We're coming at you with springtime updates from Windscribe, as well as the Community Team's insight on the state of the internet at large.
Let’s Start With Windscribe Updates
On April 20th (nice), we celebrated our birthday in style. It's insane to think that this train has been chugging along for 7 freaking years now. If it were a child, it would be... old (do child years work the same as normal years?). Anyway, as we enter year 8, be prepared for us to continue to jack up our product offerings, keep your data secure and do increasingly crazy stuff to make dictators' lives a living hell 'cause that's what we’re about at Windscribe, baby!
As usual, our team is hard at work keeping everything running smoothly. But that’s not interesting news, now is it? You wanna know what we’ve been working on, what we've accomplished over the last few months, and how things have been moving and shaking. Don't worry baby birds, we'll feed ya - check out some of the awesome updates below.
Late last year, we upgraded all of our VPN nodes to boot into a diskless RAM-based environment. That means a crazy amount of security as each one of our servers can be wiped instantly the moment it is tampered with. We're also quite far along working on the next phase of our in-memory service architecture: something we're calling FreshScribe. See how we add the word Scribe to all of our features? That's branding, baby. Stay tuned for the blog post that will explain how it works, as well as the audits we have already done and will be conducting in the very near future ahead of the FreshScribe release. Big ups to the Backend Team!
We've Gone Platinum (CPUs), Baby!
For months, our Systems Team has used the word migration at least 3 times per sentence. A few weeks ago, the big day arrived - we successfully migrated our core infrastructure from a rented datacenter hosted by a third-party in Montreal to a locally-hosted (Toronto) datacenter, self-managed and maintained entirely by our team (and now on platinum CPUs). Why did we make the move? Well, imagine you're renting an apartment - your kitchen ceiling falls in because the unit above you flooded and now you can't get into your kitchen and your landlord is refusing to answer your calls. That's kind of what it was like. So after a year of careful planning, WE ARE THE LANDLORDS NOW. We don't use the word "hero" often, but the Systems Team deserves all the praise and accolades for this major maneuver.
Our Apps Team Has Been Killing It!
We've built a new mechanism to bypass blocking in places like Russia and Iran (beautiful countries, terrible governments) on both mobile and desktop. Version 2.6 is out now and should improve the experience for Win, Mac, and Linux users. The system is still evolving though, mostly because governments don't stop trying to block their citizens from accessing the internet. Thanks, governments, you big jerks!
There is another big feature in version 2.6, and that's an upgraded functionality for failed connections on specific protocols. This mostly applies to users on adversarial networks. Here's an example: say you are trying to connect via the WireGuard protocol and it fails to connect, now the app will automatically try connecting again, and then try the next best protocol. Keep in mind that you can always override these protocol selections, and swap to a different protocol using the home screen. Innovation!
Are you as obsessed with GitHub as we are? No? Fine, well our Windscribe Desktop App GitHub repo is entirely up to date, and you can see the changelog here. You can also access our newest Guinea Pig build (v2.7.5) because that's how we roll. This updated version now has DNS-over-HTTPS/TLS support alongside Split DNS. Oh, we've also accepted our first-ever pull request from a public user! We've also added a Contributor's Guide to streamline the pull request process - before you submit a request, take a look at the Guide then make sure to discuss your change with the Windscribe team via an issue before submitting a pull request. We just want to make sure the change is not already in the works and is doable before you spend too much time on your end! Never has the quote 'If you build it, they will come' from Kevin Costner's classic Field of Dreams been so poignant outside of building baseball fields for ghosts. Is that too old of a reference? Probably. Are we excited to have public contributors? Very much, yes.
We open-sourced our Android app too! If you are curious, here's our Windscribe Android App GitHub repo. And if you're a fancy-pants iOS user, version v3.6 is now available on the App Store too (with new features like auto-connect failover!). For those of you that are loading Windscribe up on your FireStick, v3.7 is available in the Amazon Store as well. Covering all the bases, just like in Field of Dreams. Yes, we know it is a super old reference that most of you won't understand, but age brings wisdom, and we are wise people.
The Web Team Has BIG NEWS!
Keep a close eye on our website! Closer. CLOSER. There we go, that is a good eyeball distance. You might have noticed that we've already overhauled the Knowledge Base section. If you didn't notice, that's okay too, go check it out, there is a lot of great information in there. We'll be continuing to update our website's UI over the next couple of months as well. It's going to be beautiful, like the ending of Field of… never mind.
The Windscribe extension developers have been continuing routine maintenance on the existing version of the extension (MV2). They have addressed some of the small bugs that were reported by our beloved users (thanks, you beauties - keep those bug reports coming!) and are now tying a nice little bow on the final features for the MV3 extension. Hear that cheering in the distance? That is the sound of excellence. But also hear the boos, as Manifest V3 really sucks.
Last, but by no means least, Garry 1.0 has been upgraded. That's right, that lovable digital scamp has been improved. Garry 1.0 is now stronger, faster, lighter, more agile, slightly more mentally stable, sexier, and maybe even taller. Go talk to him! He loves interacting with what he refers to as "the meaty human peasants" (his words, not ours). Garry 2.0 remains under development, so stay tuned for more!
Our VPN Map Got a Huge Update
In case you haven't seen it before, we created this really awesome VPN relationship map. You may be wondering, why did we go to the trouble of researching/creating this? Well, take it from a privacy and security company: our industry can be super toxic. It's full of lies, false claims, and paid referrals to hide those very facts. This map illustrates and highlights the shady happenings in the VPN world so you can stay informed and educated. We've also included every proven relationship between media companies, content sites, corporately-owned VPNs, and independent VPNs that we could find.
BTW, We Have a Side Hustle
In case you didn't know already, Windscribe has a sister company called Control D, an infinitely customizable DNS management service. And, like most sisters, it can do more things than its siblings. She can give you an ungodly amount of control over your internet experience. She can filter your social media usage and unblock geo-restricted content without even needing to install an app! Why can't you be like her, Windscribe? Well, we do different things, Mom! Leave us alone! She isn't a VPN, I am, okay Mom? What do you mean you are taking us out of the will? But that's not FAIR! Go back to drinking wine and watching Succession.
Aaaanyways, Control D is awesome, go check it out. And if you are a Windscribe Pro user already, you can get 50% off! Just type in your username in the payment flow, and boom, you get full control of your network at half the price!
Hot Takes From Our Blog
We've conveniently rounded up our best blog articles for you because we know you are too busy to find them yourself. Here are some of our editor's favorites. In no particular order. We don't play favorites here. Equality is the name of the game.
In this masterpiece, Rebecca slapped on her Cybersecurity professor cap and dropped some serious knowledge for the general public. Honestly though, it's a really good summary of what ransomware is, what are the common ways it happens, and how you can protect yourself.
Another classic Johnny Mainframe composition, this time focusing on actual, real-life, lol-worthy identity theft cases, as well as the steps you can take to prevent the same from happening to you. 420/69 would recommend, your mind will be blown with these crazy over-the-top schemes.
Oh, so you thought you'd only hear from Rebecca ONCE this spring?? FALSE. She's back for more, this time with a quick word explaining how Split Tunneling works in the Windscribe App.
Considering the recent LastPass data leak, we decided it was time that we took matters into our own hands. So we built Windpass, the greatest password manager to ever exist. A password manager so secure, it doesn't even remember your passwords!
In light of the aforementioned LastPass data leaks, we decided it would be important to write an educational piece to help our users understand the importance of choosing a rock-solid password manager to make your digital life a bit more secure. We've also included some recommendations based on our professional opinions as a privacy company. Obviously, your first choice should be Windpass but we understand if you don't want to put all your eggs in our basket.
The State of the Internet: In Case You Missed It
Repression and internet censorship continue to be super popular among dick-tators.
The troubles in Iran continue. Windscribe continues to provide support to charities, protestors, schools, and journalists in Iran. We are still hosting Signal proxies and temporarily provided triple the data quota for Windscribers in the region.
War breaks out in Sudan. Two generals have started a power struggle, much to the detriment of the Sudanese people themselves. Similar to our efforts in Iran, we temporarily tripled the data quota for users in the region as well as spun up additional Signal proxies to circumvent service disruptions.
If you represent an organization that requires support, get in touch with Windscribe - we LOVE f*#&ing with dictators. Speaking truth to power is the ultimate form of rebellion, and we at Windscribe like to think of ourselves as rebels.
France and several US states have introduced ways to track online internet usage by creating systems for digital identification.
The United States Senate has introduced the RESTRICT ACT for voting. The bill has far-reaching implications for VPN users trying to circumvent US government censorship, especially regarding the use of Tik-Tok.
Chrome's "Manifest V3" plan to limit ad-blocking extensions is delayed.
Classified Pentagon documents were leaked in a Discord server.
And that's us signing off for now. Expect to hear more from us soon about new updates and features that we're adding as we traverse the path towards VPN-fection. If you have feature requests, comments, questions, or concerns, email us at [email protected].
Lots of love, and unlimited good wishes,