Is Windscribe better than ProtonVPN?

Free VPN Comparison: How Does Windscribe Stack Up?

Rebecca Rosenberg
Rebecca Rosenberg

I started this article with an open heart and mind, and the intention of doing a fair comparison of our Free VPN offering and that of our competitors. After conferring with the team, we reviewed the following VPNs to see what's on offer for free: ExpressVPN, IVPN, Mullvad, Nord and ProtonVPN. It turns out that of the VPNs listed above, only Windscribe and Proton actually have a free offering, so my job just got a whole lot easier!

Before we get into it, I want to touch on something I've said before myself: "if something is free, you are the product." I stand by this as a general rule, but Windscribe is one of the rare places where that is 100% NOT the case. We operate on a "freemium" model, and do not sell any private data because: a) we do not have the data to sell (take a look at our privacy policy here and our information request record here) and b) we don't believe in that kind of business model. You can learn more about other models here: Free VPN Myths Debunked.

Windscribe VS ProtonVPN

Here's how Windscribe's Free VPN option compares to ProtonVPN.

*“Unlimited” is not quite accurate, as traffic is throttled, with ProtonVPN only offering “medium” speed to free users.

While ProtonVPN does offer "unlimited" data to their free users, the locations are limited (3 countries) and can only be used on 1 device. Plus, do a little digging, and you will find that Proton are excessively linked to Tesonet (Nord's parent company); in fact, you don't even need to do the digging - we've done it for you with our VPN Relationship Map. They have also faced controversy for collecting their users' data for the authorities, despite a misleading privacy policy that implied they logged no IPs.

But what about the other guys? Mullvad and IVPN, along with Nord and Express, do not offer free plans. Instead, they provide 30-day money-back guarantees or monthly subscriptions, which allow you to test the services with the option to change your mind. But no free options.

If you are new to the VPN world, you will want to do your research to understand precisely what you need and if the free options will work for you. We even have a little guide to get you started: How to Pick a VPN.

Depending on your needs, you may find there are other free products that better suit them. Looking for improved speeds and ad blocking? Look no further!

Control D Could Suit Your Needs

Control D, our smart DNS service, can block content, including ads, malware, social, and more! There are no bandwidth limits, and you can access these features without even signing up for an account:

Blocking content by simply adjusting your DNS settings is a breeze and can be done on almost every device, including computers, mobile, browsers, and smart TVs. The benefits of this cannot be overstated - by getting rid of ads and trackers, you can speed up your browsing and use less data. A real win-win!

If you are looking to change locations or disguise your IP*, you will either need to upgrade to the paid version of Control D (which you can test out first with a 30-day free trial, no credit card or purchase required) or use Control D in tandem with Windscribe. For your average browsing needs, stick to Control D to block content, use less data and speed up your browsing. Then, when you need to change locations to access certain content, disable Control D and switch over to Windscribe! This will help you save your free Windscribe bandwidth (GBs) for when you really need them. Another win-win!

Look, we aren't ever going to tell you what to do. But with privacy and access to information as our mission at Windscribe and Control D, we provide products to ensure you are both protected and able to access the content you need, free of charge. So quit your dilly-dallying and get started on protecting your privacy:

Sign up for a free Windscribe account and download our apps

Access free Control D configurations to block content, use less data and improve speeds

*This applies to all traffic using DNS (most browsers) and most networks (as long as the network is not using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

Rebecca Rosenberg
Rebecca Rosenberg