Free vs Pro Windscribe Accounts - What’s the Big Diff?
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Free vs Pro Windscribe Accounts - What’s the Big Diff?

Rebecca Rosenberg
Rebecca Rosenberg

We Put the FREE in FREEDOM

Not to brag, but Windscribe has one of the best free VPN offerings out there - up to 10 GB bandwidth per month, with access to servers in 11 countries. So what's the catch? What's the actual difference between free and paid Windscribe accounts?

Before we dig into it, let's address a potential concern: "Free VPNs sell your data, which is why it's free."

You may have heard the phrase "if something is free, you are the product." Free apps like Facebook and Instagram may not be asking you to pay. Rather, they use your data as currency to sell to advertisers. Well, not Windscribe. We operate on a "freemium" model. We 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 b) we don't believe in that kind of business model.

Now that that's out of the way, let's kick it off with what's the same for free and paid Windscribe accounts:

1. Same Great Apps

Our apps (desktop, mobile, browser, smart TV) are exactly the same for free and Pro users - all of the same functionality, security, connection protocols and features. We believe that all users should have the same service, no matter how much cash they contribute to our bottom line. Hell! Even non-customers/non-users can use our apps to import and connect with OpenVPN/WireGuard configs from other VPNs. They can even make use of Windscribe's features and firewall options, because everybody deserves peace of mind - even users of VPN services that compete with us.

2. Throttling - We Never Have and Never Will

Windscribe will never throttle your account. We wouldn't even dream of it! Speeds, while connected to Windscribe, are impacted by a number of factors, but you can be absolutely sure we have not and never will throttle your speeds, no matter what type of account you are on. If you run into any issues with speed, check out these troubleshooting steps.

3. Device limits - Forget About It

We don't limit the number of personal devices you can use Windscribe on. Even for free users? YUP! Both free and paid users can use Windscribe on as many personal devices as they like. Our systems will only detect usage that is obviously attributed to abusing our service, so you should have no trouble connecting all your devices to Windscribe at the same time.

So what’s the difference? Why should I upgrade to Windscribe Pro?

While Windscribe has a pretty stellar free option, there are some big perks to going Pro - let me spell it out for you:

1. Pro Servers, Speed and Access to All Server Locations

With a Windscribe Pro account*, you will have access to all server locations in 111 cities in 64 countries. While both our free and Pro servers are configured exactly the same way, Pro users connect to our Pro-only servers, and free users connect to our free servers. The Pro servers are always less "crowded" than the free servers, leaving ample resources for every Pro user.

A quick example: a free server may have a 1 Gbps uplink and 100 people connected in parallel. If everybody were to download stuff at the same time, everybody would get 1 Gbps ÷ 100 = 10 Mbps speed. A Pro server might have a 1 Gbps uplink but only five users connected in parallel - leaving 200 Mbps for each user if each user downloaded stuff simultaneously. We never throttle, but it's simple math - too many people on a free server = less bandwidth for everybody. Fewer people on a Pro server = more bandwidth for everybody.

*Why the asterisk? Windscribe offers two types of paid accounts: the Pro subscription (monthly at $9 and yearly at $69) and the Build A Plan custom subscription. Build a Plan is a sweet option that gets you access to more locations and unlimited data for as little as $3 per month, but there are some differences between Build a Plan and Pro accounts that you should be aware of:

  • Build A Plan does not come with unlimited bandwidth, as each purchased location will add 10 GB of bandwidth. However, you can buy the Unlimited Bandwidth and R.O.B.E.R.T. add-on to get unlimited bandwidth and access to our server-side ad and tracker blocker R.O.B.E.R.T. for $1. In addition, when purchasing Unlimited Bandwidth and R.O.B.E.R.T. under the Build A Plan umbrella, you will get access to a total of 10 custom rules for R.O.B.E.R.T. Monthly Pro, and Yearly Pro account types will have access to a total of 1000 custom rules for R.O.B.E.R.T..
  • Static IP purchases can only be accommodated under the Build A Plan umbrella if you have Unlimited Bandwidth and R.O.B.E.R.T..
  • Build A Plan will only let you generate IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard config files and credentials for the server locations you have purchased
  • Build A Plan does not give you access to Ephemeral Port Forwarding

2. Unlimited Bandwidth

With a full Pro account, you have unlimited data bandwidth. That's right, no data limits! You get all the data all the time! So stream 4K content all day, every day, to your heart's desire... Or until you run out of things to watch. And then do it again the next day, because the data? It's unlimited.

3. Access to IKEv2, WireGuard and OpenVPN Configuration Files

Need to set up Windscribe on your router? Want to bypass the Windscribe app entirely, and manually set up the VPN on your device? Do you need access to config files? With a Windscribe Pro account, you can do it all. And then? The world is your oyster.

4. Full R.O.B.E.R.T. Control

R.O.B.E.R.T. is our one-of-a-kind customizable server-side domain and IP blocking tool. We've got a whole whack of robust custom blocklists, and as a Pro user, you'll have access to all of 'em, while free users only have access to the first two.

  • Malware (available to free and pro users)
  • Ads and Tracking (available to free and pro users)
  • Social Networks (Pro users only)
  • Porn (Pro users only)
  • Gambling (Pro users only)
  • Fake News + Clickbait (Pro users only)
  • Competitors (Other VPNs) (Pro users only)
  • Cryptominers (Pro users only)

Plus, you can create up to 1000 custom whitelist, block and spoof rules. Free users can only make 3.

5. Some Other Stuff too

With a Pro account, there are a few more little extras you should keep in mind:

  • Access to Ephemeral Port Forwarding - set up Port Forwarding for seven days without a static IP!
  • Ability to purchase Static IPs (Build A Plan users can, too, as long as they have unlimited data on their plan)
  • If you have an active monthly or yearly Pro Windscribe subscription, you get 50% off our smart DNS service Control D, to help you block unwanted content, bypass geo-restrictions and be more productive. Snag the discount at the bottom of the sign-up page - just click on “Apply Promo Code”, then select “Windscribe Username” and add your username to receive the discount.
  • Bragging rights

TL;DR: We offer the same great apps and protection to all users, PERIOD. Our strict no logging policy also applies to all users, PERIOD. If you are looking for unlimited data, access to all server locations and extra add-ons (custom configs anyone?), you can upgrade to Pro at any time. But that’s up to you. And baby? You do you.

Editor's Note: This article was corrected to reflect current pricing on July 8th

Rebecca Rosenberg
Rebecca Rosenberg