PureVPN vs. Windscribe

Last Updated: January 22, 2020
Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Windscribe is a growing service, but can it compete with the might of PureVPN? To settle this, check out this PureVPN vs Windscribe comparison!

PureVPN vs Windscribe

Where PureVPN stands tall as a reputed “premium” provider in the industry, Windscribe follows a “freemium” model and ranks as a strong “free” service with paid plans as well.

Which service is better though?  To find out, read this in-depth PureVPN vs. Windscribe comparison analysis, where I will be assessing both providers on a number of crucial aspects:

Highlights

PureVPN Windscribe
  1. 2,000+ servers in 140 countries
  2. Dedicated IPs Available
  3. 5 Simultaneous Connections
  4. Apps for All Platforms/Devices
  5. No Logs Policy (Audited by AltiusIT)
  1. 600+ servers in 60 countries
  2. AES-256 bit Encryption
  3. Dedicated IPs Available
  4. Build a Custom Plan Option
  5. 10 GB Bandwidth Limit on Free

Pricing and Discounts

PureVPN Windscribe
Subscription Period 1 Month Free
1 Year 1 Month
2 Years 1 Year
Special offer 73% Off on a 2-Year Plan 54% Off on a 1-Year Plan
Highest price per month $10.95 $9.00
Lowest price per month $2.91 $4.08
One-Year Price $49.92 $49
Money-Back Guarantee 31-Days 3-Days

In terms of pricing, both PureVPN and Windscribe tend to be budget-friendly providers. The latter also makes available a free plan for users to leverage.

This plan comes with a 10 GB bandwidth limit. If we compare this to other services like TunnelBear and Hide.Me, the limit is not that bad for a FREE service.

At the same time, you have a limited selection in servers and features. This is why Windscribe also makes available a premium plan for its users.

It has two tiers: monthly and yearly. Where the monthly starts at $9.00, the yearly gives you a 54% discount, reducing the costs to $4.08/mo.

As another option, Windscribe also gives users the ability to “build a plan”. This enables them to select the duration of subscription and other specifics.

PureVPN, on the other hand, does not offer a “free” plan and neither a “custom subscription”. They offer plans of three varied durations.

The monthly starts at $10.95, while the yearly gives you a 62% discount, starting at $4.16/mo, meaning you only pay $49.92 for 12-months, which is barely $1 more expensive than Windscribe.

If you want to get the best value from PureVPN though, I recommend going for their 2-year subscription, which starts at a minimal $2.91/mo.

This means, users get to leverage a massive 73% discount. For a total of 24-months, you will only be paying a one-time fee of $69, which again is quite affordable.

As far as money back’s are concerned, PureVPN offers a 31-day refund guarantee. Meanwhile, Windscribe only offers a 3-day refund (which cannot be availed if you use up the 10GB limit).

Get This Best Deal for PureVPN: Save 73% on their 2-year special

Get This Best Deal for Windscribe: Save 54% on their 1-year special

Features

PureVPN Windscribe
Simultaneous Connections 5 Unlimited
Operating System Apps Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Fire TV Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire TV
Manual Install Devices Linux, Routers, Set-Top Boxes Routers, TVs, and more
Split Tunneling Yes (All Apps) Yes (All Apps)
Free Extras Official Kodi addon, ad-blocker, malware-scanner, browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox R.O.B.E.R.T., Config Generators, ScribeForce, Split Tunneling, DoubleHop

Both PureVPN and Windscribe offer their own unique set of features. These allow users to receive more security and protection online for all internet-related activities.

If we talk about apps compatibility, both VPNs have native clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Fire TV, Android/Apple TVs.

PureVPN adds to this list a dedicated extension for Kodi. As far as router support is concerned, you have manual setup guides for setting up both providers on Tomato or DD-WRT devices.

Where PureVPN supports simultaneous connections on 5 devices only, Windscribe supports unlimited multi-logins giving it an edge over other providers in the marketplace.

As far as extra features are concerned, PureVPN offers NAT Firewall, Split Tunneling, Ad/Tracker blocking, IPv6 Leak Protection, Port Forwarding, Kill Switch, DDoS Protection, and dedicated IPs.

Windscribe, on the other hand, gives users access to R.O.B.E.R.T., config generators, ScribeForce (Team accounts), port forwarding, split tunneling, and DoubleHop.

Unblocking Capabilities

PureVPN Windscribe
Netflix Yes No
Hulu Yes No
Sky Go Yes No
Amazon Prime Yes No
BBC iPlayer Yes No
ABS Yes No
CBS Yes Yes
NBC Yes Yes
ITV Yes Yes
Channel 4 Yes Yes

In terms of unblocking, I was quite disappointed with the performance delivered by Windscribe. PureVPN, on the other hand, proved to be quite the remarkable “unblocker.”

Windcribe failed at unblocking services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Voot, Hotstar, Disney Plus even after trying out different servers.

The streaming sites it did manage to unblock, I had to encounter problems of inconsistency, downtimes, and detection of proxy/VPN errors, which was quite frustrating.

Conversely, PureVPN managed to unblock all platforms with flying colors. In fact, all of their apps come equipped with a “popular websites” option.

This menu lists all popular streaming sites. If you want to unblock Netflix, simply click on the icon, and you will be redirected to the unblocked US version of the site.

The best part of all: the performance stays consistent even on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browser extensions, a feat that not even the best in the industry have achieved so far!

China

China takes blocking VPNs quite seriously. As such, “The Great Firewall” employs numerous technologies and algorithms to stop expats/residents from bypassing geo-restrictions.

Sadly, Windscribe failed at offering any incentives to either audience. The Canadian-based provider has no mirror website to download their apps in the country and neither does it have Chinese servers.

Conversely, PureVPN is the only provider in the industry offering 12 Chinese servers (6 in Beijing and 6 in Shanghai). At the same time, it offers apps that work in the country.

Albeit, currently the list is only limited to Windows, macOS, and Android. Nevertheless, this is still quite an achievement, as many providers fail at providing access to China!

Setup and Interface

PureVPN Windscribe
Automatic Setup Wizard Windows, Mac, Android, iOS Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Main Location Selection List-based List-based
Extra Settings Pages Yes Yes
Mobile Friendly Yes Yes

PureVPN supports all popular platforms/devices. In terms of user-interface, all of their apps tend to be incredibly easy-to-use and cater to both: rookie and tech-y VPN users.

All apps adopt a list-based location selection menu and you also have different modes available like p2p/file sharing, streaming, unblocking, etc for connecting to relevant servers.

As an added incentive, PureVPN’s app even has a port changing option. This helps in bypassing geo-restrictions and VPN bans on streaming sites and countries with tough laws.

The mobile apps also have the same set of features but tend to be different in appearance. They boast a darker design and UI, but one that is incredibly user-friendly.

PureVPN Mac App

As compared to PureVPN, Windscribe’s apps feature a more compact interface and styling; one that stays consistent on all of their apps for different devices/platforms.

There is not much visible difference between the desktop/laptop and smartphone applications, as their color theme, accessibility, and navigations are pretty much identical.

Just the size of the VPN clients varies device-to-device and platform-to-platform. For instance, the browser extensions boast an even more minimalistic appearance. e

Servers

PureVPN Windscribe
Server Countries 140+ 60
Total Number of Servers 2,000 600+

As compared to PureVPN, the Canadian-based Windscribe falls awfully short in “server numbers”. In fact, their network infrastructure is among the smallest.

You only have access to 600+ servers in 60 countries worldwide. This poor server count results in speed issues caused by user load on different servers.

PureVPN, on the other hand, boasts a large listing of 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries worldwide, granting more functionality to users in different countries.

In fact, the Hong Kong-based VPN has the largest number of countries supported in terms of servers, which is quite a feat for a provider that is budget-friendly.

Speed

PureVPN Windscribe
Speed Loss 9% 30.75%

To get a better idea on the performance of both providers, I conducted a speed analysis. This process required the testing of different servers from both providers on a myriad of aspects.

These include streaming on sites like Netflix, browse the internet, downloading torrenting files, or playing online games. For the task, we picked up 4 random servers from PureVPN and CyberGhost.

In bare speed tests on a 100 Mbps connection, PureVPN managed to deliver an average of 91 mbps in uploads and downloads, indicating a speed loss of 9%.

Windscribe, on the other hand, delivered mediocre speed averaging at 69.25 mbps. This indicates a speed loss of over 30%, which is not suitable for any VPN user!

Security

PureVPN Windscribe
VPN Protocols PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, IKEv2, OpenVPN IKEv2 and OpenVPN
OpenVPN Data Encryption AES-256-CBC AES-256-CBC
OpenVPN Control Channel Encryption RSA-4096 RSA-4096
Cloaking Technology None None
App Security Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection
DNS Status Private DNS Private DNS

PureVPN supports a great variety of protocols. These include PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, SSTP, and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP) to give users of all kinds freedom of choice.

As default though, PureVPN deploys the OpenVPN protocol on all devices, with the exception of iOS devices that use the IKEv2 protocol for faster speeds and security.

For encryption, the provider utilizes AES-256-CBC cipher with HMAC SHA1 hash authentication for the data channel, which is quite impressive and highly-secure.

Meanwhile, it deploys the AES-256-CBC cipher with HMAC SHA384 hash authentication and RSA-4096 handshake encryption for the control channel.

Windscribe, on the other hand, only supports the IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocol on all of its devices. As a default, all of its apps use OpenVPN.

For encryption, Windscribe uses AES-256 ciphers coupled with SHA-512 authentication and the strongest 4096-bit RSA key for handshaking –  in addition to supporting Perfect Forward Secrecy using Diffie Hellman (DHE).

Leak Tests

To get a better idea on the app security, I conducted a leak test on PureVPN and Windscribe. The process involved the usage of 6 different tools to check for;

WebRTC and HTTP Request Leaks:
DNS Leaks:
IPv4/IPv6 and Torrent IP Leaks:

Both PureVPn and Windscribe managed to clear the tests from the 6 different tools above and did not reveal our original IP, DNS, or WebRTC information.

Privacy

PureVPN Windscribe
Headquarters Hong Kong Canada
Connection Logs None None
Activity Logs None None
Sign Up Information Email Address Email Address
Anonymous Payment Methods Various Cryptocurrencies Only Bitcoin

In terms of privacy, deciding the winner does not actually take long. PureVPN has its headquarters in the safe, Hong Kong, whereas Windscribe is based in Canada.

As you probably know, Canada is a founding member of the Five Eyes Alliance, which indulges in intelligence sharing by imposing mandatory mass surveillance and data retention laws.

Therefore, it may not be a good option exactly to sign up with Windscribe, despite them claiming to be a “zero logs” provider. They will have to comply with their country’s laws!

Windscribe has also not undergone an audit of their no logs policy. Meanwhile, PureVPN has recently joined the ranks by getting its service audited by AltiusIT.

Configuration

PureVPN Windscribe
Address Allocation Shared/Static Shared/Static
Static IPs 8+ Countries 13 Locations
DDoS Protection Yes No
NAT Firewall Yes Yes

Both PureVPN and Windscribe support a shared/static infrastructure to meet the varied demands of their customers. Albeit, the availability of IPs varies by provider.

Windscribe has dedicated IPs in a limited 13 locations with most of them being distributed in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.

PureVPN, on the other hand, has static IPs in 8+ countries with a higher count. Countries supported include US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Malta, Hong Kong, Singapore.

Customer Support

PureVPN Windscribe
Video Guides Yes Yes
Searchable Knowledge Base  Yes Yes
Phone Support No No
Email Support Yes Yes
Average Email Response Time 39 Minutes 45 Minutes
Ticket Support Yes Yes
Live Chat Support Yes No

PureVPN and Windscribe both offer support in the form of live chat, video guides, knowledge base, FAQs, email, and tickets. All of these are good options to receive support.

The second-best option for most is email support. So, I went a little further with my testing to analyze the response times from both providers as well.

Below you can see the stats of both providers on the basis of four different questions.

PureVPN

Question Initial Response Time Number of Emails Question Answered
Is PureVPN good for Torrenting? 25 Minutes 1 Yes
Does PureVPN work with Netflix? 39 Minutes 1 Yes
Can I Install PureVPN on LibreELEC 50 Minutes 1 Yes
How to setup PureVPN on Firestick? 44 Minutes 1 Yes

Windscribe

Question Initial Response Time Number of Emails Question Answered
Does Windscribe hide your IP? 42 Minutes 1 Yes
Is Windscribe good for gaming? 1 Hour 1 Yes
Does Windscribe work with Netflix? 37 Minutes 1 Yes
Does Windscribe have a kill switch? 40 Minutes 1 Yes

The Winner: PureVPN

PureVPN is the Winner

After analyzing both providers, it becomes clear that PureVPN emerges victorious and rightly so. The VPN is an all-rounder in simple words.

It is budget-friendly, has a good server count, unblocks all streaming platforms smoothly, and works in China. If that was not enough, it is even endorsed by Forbes.

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