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WindScribe Vs NordVPN (Detailed Comparison + Pros & Cons)

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

June 16, 2021

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If you are looking for a great VPN, you will have plenty of options to choose from! It often helps to compare VPNs against one and other, so you can figure out which one is going to be right for you. That is why I have put this comparison together, helping you to understand the differences between Windscribe and NordVPN. 

Before I continue, I should explain that I have already done comprehensive reviews of both services.  You can check out my NordVPN review and Windscribe review to find out more.

NordVPN VS Windscribe

Best VPN For Full Feature Range

Best VPN For Unlimited Connections

A basic overview of NordVPN and Avast VPN

Before I delve into more specific areas, such as streaming and security, I will start off by giving you a basic understanding of the two services.

In terms of jurisdiction, NordVPN is based in Panama, and Windscribe is based in Canada. Of the two, Panama is a safer place for a VPN provider to be based. In fact, Canada is probably one of the worst places to host a VPN. This is because it is one of the members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which also includes the United States, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. This means that those five countries have agreed to share intelligence with one and other, which is not ideal when you’re looking for a VPN.

Another one of the big differences between the two VPNs is their server network. Windscribe has more than 500 servers across 60 countries. However, NordVPN far surpasses this, offering more than 5,000 servers across 59 countries. Clearly, you have a much wider server selection to select from when using NordVPN. This makes a big difference because it ensures that you can enjoy great performance no matter where in the world you want to connect a server to. With NordVPN, if one server isn’t performing too greatly, you can easily disconnect and use another instead. 

NORDVPN VS WINDSCRIBE: SECURITY

There is no denying that security is one of the most important factors that you need to consider when you are looking for a VPN. After all, isn’t this your reason for using one in the first place?

The good news is that both VPNs perform very well on the security front. 

The desktop client on NordVPN uses AES-256 encryption and OpenVPN by default. No other options are provided. You may think that this lack of choice is a big negative. However, OpenVPN and AES-256 encryption are the superior choices in the industry, so it’s not something to worry about! It’s pretty much the gold standard in VPN security, so you can’t go wrong with it.

Despite the fact that Windscribe provides OpenVPN as an option, it is not the default choice. Instead, the protocol set from out of the box is IKEv2. You can read my comparison of the different VPN protocols to get a better understanding. I would recommend that you do make the chance to OpenVPN personally, as you can get better security and you won’t lose anything in terms of performance. All you need to do is go into your settings and change the protocol; it is very easy.

In terms of privacy policies, both VPN providers tick the box here. Their privacy policies are comprehensive yet they are written in clear language too. Also, neither provider collects any logs, which is crucial. The fact that NordVPN is based in Panama does give it a slight edge on the security front.

WINNER: NordVPN

NORDVPN VS WINDSCRIBE: SIMULTANEOUS CONNECTIONS

One common theme that you will find throughout this entire review is that both VPN providers have a habit of going above and beyond the industry standard, which is why they are so highly thought of. This is certainly the case when talking about simultaneous connections.

The vast majority of VPN providers on the market today are going to allow you no more than five simultaneous connections. However, NordVPN has gone one further than this, allowing account holders to connect as many as six devices at the same time.

Windscribe have taken this Queen, and they have raised it with a King, allowing an unlimited number of connections. That’s right; there are no limits when it comes to the number of devices that can use the VPN. This makes Windscribe a great choice for families and households that use a lot of Internet-connected devices

WINNER: Windscribe

NORDVPN VS WINDSCRIBE: FEATURES

One area where I do feel that NordVPN shines above the rest is when it comes to VPN features. The company makes a dedicated effort to ensure that customers are provided with the most modern and in-demand features. The NordVPN ad blocker and browser extension are two of the most popular. 

In terms of the ad blocker, it is referred to as CyberSec. It is one of the best ad blockers on the market today. Not only will it ensure that ads are blocked, but it can help to block other threats as well, including phishing and malware. 

My feeling from using both VPNs is that NordVPN tries to provide all of the features that the typical user would want. On the flip side, Windscribe seems to be more concerned about their “power users” and providing features for the people that want to control the tiny elements of the performance of their device. 

To give you a good example of this, one feature on Windscribe is what is known as “secure.link,” which will enable the user to scan a website for URL trackers before heading to them. This means that the users can get an understanding of the security of the website before even needing to visit it.

WINNER: NordVPN

NORDVPN VS WINDSCRIBE: STREAMING

Next, I am going to delve into the world of streaming. After all, one of the main reasons why people use VPNs today is so that they can stream their favourite television shows. A lot of the VPNs on the market today have trouble when it comes to streaming, especially with regard to unblocking Netflix, as Netflix has very strict controls in place. However, NordVPN manages to bypass them.

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and Hulu all work effectively with NordVPN. If you are looking for a VPN provider who will provide you with excellent performance across all of the main streaming services, NordVPN won’t let you down. I was able to run at 1080p reliably, meaning no issues or stuttering. You don’t need to use any sort of streaming server in order to do this either, which is great. 

Windscribe has a bit of a different setup. With one of the free Windscribe accounts, you won’t be able to unblock any of the streaming services. This should not really come as a surprise because free VPNs are known for having a lot of limitations.

If you have a paid Windscribe account, you will be able to use one of the dedicated streaming servers in order to access the likes of Netflix. 

WINNER: NordVPN

NORDVPN VS WINDSCRIBE: SPEED

It is natural for speed to decrease a little bit when using a VPN. After all, you are re-routing your traffic. However, the last thing you want is for speed to be impacted to the point whereby it makes a noticeable difference in terms of your computer’s performance

I carried out a number of different speed tests to figure out which  VPN provider performed the best. What I would say is that Windscribe is probably quicker to get started in terms of establishing a connection. However, when it comes to ongoing speed and performance, NordVPN shines. It was faster on every server that I tried out. So, it is only right that I give this round to NordVPN. However, what I would like to point out is that Windscribe is certainly not slow. It still offered great performance; it is simply the fact that NordVPN is one of the better performing VPNs in the entire market today.

WINNER: NordVPN

NORDVPN VS WINDSCRIBE: TORRENTING

I was expecting NordVPN to come out on top with regard to torrenting, especially considering what I have just said about the speed and performance of NordVPN. However, after running quite a few tests, I was shocked to see just how well Windscribe performed.

I should point out that both VPNs are torrenting-friendly, so no matter which one you opt for you are not going to have any trouble if you want to use a VPN for torrenting. 

However, after doing some testing, I found that Windscribe was a lot quicker in terms of completing downloads, which was a bit of a surprise.

Again, just like the performance category above, there is no real loser here. Just because Windscribe is very quick does not mean NordVPN is slow. In fact, it would comfortably beat the vast majority of other VPNs on the market today, but Windscribe wins this round for me. 

WINNER: Windscribe

NORDVPN VS WINDSCRIBE: USER-FRIENDLINESS

No one wants a VPN that is complicated and difficult to use, do they? Luckily, you don’t have to worry about this with either option.

Windscribe VPN Mac

When using Windscribe, the interface is as minimalistic as you can get. You have a small box that comes with a dropdown menu, where you can select your server. You then simply use the power button to either disconnect or connect from the VPN. There is a line of text that shows your current IP address, as well as an on/off switch for a firewall feature. In the top right corner, you will find an icon that consists of three horizontal bars. Select this and it will open your settings up. The layout of this is intuitive and easy to use, yet there’s no explanation or information in the background for individual options.

The desktop client on NordVPN looks very different, featuring a grey interface and a white and blue map. The map takes up most of the screen, with location bubbles in blue over the countries that have different servers that you can connect to. There’s then the written server list to the righthand side. 

While both solutions are very easy to operate, there are a number of important features that NordVPN provides that are not offered by Windscribe. For example, there is no search bar on the Windscribe server list, which is a little bit annoying because it means you are going to need to scroll through all of the servers to find the one you want. Plus, I like that NordVPN provides brief explanations for what each option does, and the settings are displayed a little bit better in my opinion. 

WINNER: NordVPN

NORDVPN VS WINDSCRIBE: PRICING

It is incredibly difficult to separate NordVPN and Windscribe on the pricing front because they have such different plans. NordVPN offers some massive discounts, especially if you sign up for one of their longer plans. Plus, they seem to have special deals running all of the time!

With NordVPN, you do have the option of a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try before you buy as well so to speak. 

On the flip side, Windscribe has a free plan, although I never recommend free plans because they are always limited. However, I have to point it out to cover everything. 

Windscribe’s prices are really good, but what is very interesting is that they have a build your own plan, which enables you to customise your plan to make sure it is right for you.

WINNER: Windscribe

Final words

So there you have it: everything that you need to know about NordVPN and Windscribe. I hope that this has helped you to get a good understanding of the two providers and the level of service that they provide. Both VPNs offer stellar service, and there is a lot to like in terms of security, speed, streaming, and more. However, I would give NordVPN the edge. With a bigger server selection and a great level of performance, I am sure that NordVPN won’t let you down. 

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