Windscribe VPN vs ExpressVPN: which one is better?
A reliable VPN service is a must-have in today’s world, where online privacy and security are becoming increasingly important. However, choosing the right one for your needs can be tough with many available options.
Two of the most popular VPN services on the market are Windscribe VPN and ExpressVPN. Both promise to provide high-quality security and anonymity, but which one is truly better?
In our comparison, we’ll review and compare Windscribe vs ExpressVPN to help you make an informed decision. You will learn about their speed, features, security, available streaming services, pricing, torrenting, server locations, and ease of use. Ultimately, we’ll declare a winner.
Windscribe vs ExpressVPN
Both VPN providers offer similar services but still has some differences in terms of features, its quality, pricing options, streaming, support, and more. However, ExpressVPN wins in most of the categories by offering the better overall value.
|🥇 Overall rank:||#6 out of #42||#18 out of #42|
|🖥️ Servers:||3,000 + servers in 105 countries||480 + servers in 69 countries|
|📖 No logs policy:||No logs||No logs|
|💵 Price:||From $6.67/month||From $5.75/month|
|🔥 Coupons:||ExpressVPN coupon 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!||Cybernews VPN Coupons|
|🔒 VPN protocols:||Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WStunnel and StealthVPN|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube|
|🖥️ Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|📥 Simultaneous connections:||8||Unlimited|
|💁🏻 Support:||Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat||Self-help, bot chat, tickets|
Speed comparison: Windscribe vs ExpressVPN
When it comes to VPNs, speed is an important consideration – you don’t want the connection to keep lagging. A slow VPN, indeed, can be frustrating and may even hinder some online activities. In our comparison of Windscribe vs ExpressVPN, we found that both services offer impressive speeds; one is faster with download while the other is much faster with upload speeds.
To provide reliable results, we counted the average download and upload speeds of Windscribe VPN and ExpressVPN from several different locations.
- Baseline: 1 ms ping/ 500 Mbps download/ 500 Mbps upload
|ExpressVPN (Lightway)||Windscribe (WireGuard)|
|Avrg. download speed||255.6 Mbps||402.6 Mbps|
|Avrg. upload speed||389 Mbps||151 Mbps|
The speed results show that neither of the two providers is clearly the best out of the two. While Windscribe is faster with download speeds, ExpressVPN has twice the faster upload speeds.
Therefore, with both of these VPN providers, you can enjoy reliable and stable connection speeds. Neither of them will majorly slow your internet connection, so, we cannot claim either of the two as the clear winner of this category.
In terms of features, both VPN services might be excellent choices if you want to safeguard various devices. They both offer functional apps for all the major operating systems in addition to command-line Linux installers, great features, such as split tunneling, Smart DNS, Threat Manager, and more. We overviewed and detailed them down below.
Each provider enables split tunneling, which allows you to bypass the VPN for a selected apps or websites. ExpressVPN offers this feature for Windows, Mac, Android, and routers. On the other hand, Windscribe’s split tunneling is available on Windows, Mac and Android apps. However, Windscribe split tunneling is not available for routers, making it quite a drawback.
With ExpressVPN, it’s pretty easy and straightforward to use the split tunneling feature, as you can head over to settings and select which apps use ExpressVPN when connected.
In Windscribe’s app, you can simply navigate in split tunneling settings and select which apps, IPs, or hostnames you want to include or exclude from the VPN tunnel.
Both VPN providers have a variation of a Smart DNS feature. It’s useful, as most devices that are your go-to media streaming gadgets like a smart TV don't always have native VPN support. So, ExpressVPN and Windscribe came up with ways to have VPN-like functionalities without the need for an app.
ExpressVPN’s Smart DNS feature is called MediaStreamer. It doesn’t add any protection layers and doesn’t have anything to do with safer browsing. It can make your streaming experience easier though, as you can change the DNS address, and the device will act as if it's using a VPN when connecting to geo-restricted sites
With Windscribe, this feature requires manual router configuration. However, this is less important, considering you can link as many devices as you want.
In addition, you can use the Windscribe app on another device to redirect traffic from your Smart TV or gaming console using the proxy gateway feature.
Overall, ExpressVPN's spin on the same feature is more user-friendly and, in our opinion, easier to set up.
Another feature both VPN providers offer is a variation of an ad blocker. ExpressVPN Threat Manager is essentially a feature that blocks all tracking and other potentially malicious activity from third parties when browsing or using apps.
This is a useful one to enhance online privacy, anonymity and to stay safe while browsing.
Windscribe also comes with a similar feature, called R.O.B.E.R.T. feature, which is an IP blocking tool that you can customize what to allow. Its free version blocks ads and trackers, while those who have a paid subscription to Windscribe will also get protected from malicious pages that can infect the computer with malware.
Even though Windscribe has some fantastic features, it is more than evident that ExpressVPN wins this ExpressVPN vs Windscribe feature competition. It is because it comes with much more advanced features built into the app.
Windscribe vs ExpressVPN: which is more secure?
In terms of security, both Windscribe and ExpressVPN have robust security features, such as military-grade encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and advanced security protocols.
|Encryption||4096-bit RSA keys and 256-bit AES||4096-bit RSA keys and 256-bit AES|
|A member of the 14-eyes alliance?||No||Yes|
|No-logs policy||Audited||Not audited|
Both VPNs use 4096-bit RSA keys and 256-bit AES encryption, generally regarded as being unbreakable. In addition, they each have their own DNS servers, lowering the possibility of outside influence.
Furthermore, if your connection drops suddenly, ExpressVPN’s network lock function serves as a kill switch and stops you from browsing. Importantly, this is accessible across all platforms. Besides, ExpressVPN is located in privacy-friendly jurisdiction, whereas Windscribe’s base country is a member of a 5-Eyes alliance.
All things considered, if you are looking for top-notch security, ExpressVPN is the winner in this category.
Most of Windscribe’s and ExpressVPN’s servers run entirely on RAM. It’s encouraging to hear that Windscribe has changed its architecture to RAM-only servers, meaning that servers’ data is permanently deleted upon server reboot and never written to a hard drive.
ExpressVPN stops the operating system and applications from ever connecting to the hard drive using TrustedServer. Instead, RAM or volatile memory runs the server. Since RAM needs the power to hold data, every time a server switches on and off, its contents are erased, preventing data and potential hackers from remaining on the computer.
ExpressVPN has a slight edge in terms of security as it is based in the British Virgin Islands, which has strict data protection laws, and it has also undergone independent audits to verify its security claims.
Windscribe, on the other hand, is based in Canada, which is a member of the 5-Eyes intelligence alliance and has not undergone the same level of independent audits as ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN rejects keeping any personally identifying data on its servers. However, it does maintain a few records, such as the time of your connection, the server you selected, and the amount of data you sent, but primarily to assist with technical troubleshooting.
As is commonplace for VPN service providers, ExpressVPN and Windscribe claim that they will not log your data, bringing further support to their allegations about RAM-only servers. However, ExpressVPN is a strong contender in this competition due to its extraordinary security features.
Both ExpressVPN and Windscribe claim to have strict no-logs policies, which means they do not collect or store any information about your online activity, such as your browsing history, IP address, or connection timestamps.
However, Express VPN logs have undergone a third-party audit by PwC to verify its policy, whereas Windscribe has not undergone a similar audit. The comforting factor is that ExpressVPN’s host country is not a member of the 5-Eyes alliance.
There is no need to be worried if Windscribe is safe. Although it is based in a country that is a member of the 5-Eyes alliance, Windscribe only tracks your 30-day bandwidth usage and the date of your most recent use of the service. It does this to clear out inactive users and apply data limits on free accounts. At the same time, it keeps your activities secret thanks to its no-logs policy.
Netflix and streaming performance
Both ExpressVPN and Windscribe are known for their ability to unblock geo-restricted content and provide fast streaming speeds. However, when it comes to streaming performance, ExpressVPN, again, has the edge over Windscribe.
They also have optimized servers for streaming on popular platforms and help provide faster speeds and more reliable access to the content you want. So, if you’ve ever wondered if Windscribe works with Netflix, the answer is yes, it does.
Windscribe is a superb VPN for getting around geo-restrictions. It is compatible with all streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and others.
By lowering lag and getting around your Internet service provider’s bandwidth throttling, streaming with ExpressVPN improves your watching experience. Several streaming services, including Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Showtime, Sling TV, and many more, are accessible with the help of ExpressVPN. It also comes with optimized streaming servers.
Considering that we couldn’t find services that ExpressVPN blocks, and since it comes with more services available, we can clearly state that it is the winner in this round.
ExpressVPN and Windscribe are popular choices for torrenting due to their robust security features, fast speeds, and P2P-optimized servers.
ExpressVPN has an extensive network of servers – many are ExpressVPN P2P-optimized. The provider allows torrenting on all their servers. They also have strong security features, including AES-256 encryption and a kill switch, which helps keep your online activity private and secure while torrenting.
Windscribe torrenting comes with a P2P-optimized server network. However, it only allows torrenting on specific servers, which can be limiting if those servers are already heavily used. On the other hand, Windscribe port forwarding unquestionably keeps this VPN on course; it is an excellent technique to increase torrent speeds and distribute content.
Still, if you prioritize fast and secure torrenting, ExpressVPN is the better choice.
Plans and pricing
While ExpressVPN and Windscribe are affordable and frequently offer discounts, there are differences in pricing between the two services.
|Build a plan/6 months||Build-your-own plan||$9.99/month|
Windscribe is generally more affordable than ExpressVPN. It offers a free plan with a 2GB monthly data cap, which is a good option for trying out the service, but it is limited in terms of features and server options.
Their paid plans start at $5.75/month when billed annually, giving you access to their servers and unlimited data usage. They also offer a build-your-own plan option, where you can customize your plan and choose the specific features you need. Their monthly plan costs $9.00/month.
ExpressVPN’s pricing is more expensive compared to Windscribe. They do not offer a free version, but they have a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free 7-day trial for its mobile users (available to download on Google Play Store and Apple App Store), which allows you to try out the service risk-free. Their monthly plan is priced at $12.95/month, but you can save money by signing up for their longer-term plans. Their 6-month program is priced at $1.00/month, and their annual plan is priced at $1.00/month.
Overall, Windscribe is more affordable than ExpressVPN, so we declare it a winner in this category. Still, ExpressVPN’s high-quality features and performance may be worth the extra cost for some users.
Regarding server locations, ExpressVPN has a more extensive network than Windscribe, with servers in over 105 countries worldwide. This extensive server network makes it easier to find a server that can unblock the content you want and provides a more stable and reliable connection, as the servers won’t be overcrowded.
Additionally, ExpressVPN has many servers within almost each country, allowing users to choose from multiple servers for better performance and access to local content. It also comes with virtual servers.
Windscribe has a smaller server network with servers in around 69 countries. However, their server network is still relatively extensive and covers most of the major regions around the world. Similarly, Windscribe offers servers within the country in some locations, which can provide better performance and access to local content. Identical to ExpressVPN, Windscribe also offers virtual servers. All in all, ExpressVPN comes out with more and versatile server locations.
Platforms, interface, and ease of use
When it comes to interface and ease of use, both services are user-friendly and easy to navigate.
|Automatic setup wizard||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Main location selection||List-based||List-based|
|Extra settings pages||Yes||Yes|
ExpressVPN has a clean and straightforward interface, with a simple one-click connect feature that makes it easy to get started. It also offers a range of advanced features, such as split tunneling and a kill switch, for users who want more control over their VPN settings.
Windscribe’s interface is also user-friendly, with a modern and colorful design that is easy on the eyes.
Next, let’s see if there is a difference between the desktop and the mobile apps.
ExpressVPN’s desktop app is easy-to-use and user-friendly. Logging into ExpressVPN takes less than a minute. With options to just use your most current server or the best location, it has a substantial fast connection button that makes connecting and ExpressVPN disconnecting pretty easy. Although the server list is organized by continent, you may always search for a particular country if you’d like.
Although there aren’t many settings to experiment with, the fact that they are divided into numerous tabs makes everything organized. In addition, it’s noteworthy that this program provides direct access to speed tests, IP address checkers, and leak testers so you can confirm its proper operation.
Although Windscribe has a unique look, some people might find it distracting. The app has an unusual design and displays its server list in a pop-out menu. On the bright side, there is an integrated speed tester, and you can connect with just one click. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to select one. Furthermore, it’s unclear why a firewall button is present on the home page, given that you shouldn’t typically disable it.
What’s really important, it doesn’t matter whether you use Windscribe Linux or Windows. You still get the same interface.
Both of these VPNs have user-friendly smartphone applications. Most of ExpressVPN’s features are still present and comparable to the desktop version. The app even provides an automated connection option, which is missing from the main desktop app.
Windscribe iOS switches to a more standard layout on smaller screens instead of its more stylized look. The firewall and proxy gateway features are disabled, but most other tools are still accessible, and the settings menu has been cleaned up, making it much simpler to use than the desktop version.
Customer support is another essential aspect we’ve reviewed in this Windscribe vs ExpressVPN review. In this final section, you’ll see which VPN will come running when you need their help.
The good news is that the help sections of both VPNs are excellent and can guide you through some of the most typical issues you might run across. Furthermore, customers that have more technical issues can also submit support tickets for assistance or watch video guides on YouTube.
Still, ExpressVPN has an advantage in this category due to its round-the-clock live chat service. The most important thing is that you get a response immediately. You don’t even need to be a subscriber for general questions concerning the service.
On the other hand, Windscribe offers a chatbot that points you toward the knowledge-base articles.
Windscribe vs ExpressVPN – which one is the winner?
|Ease of use||✅||✅|
Windscribe has impressive speed, security, and versatility, especially considering it offers a free subscription tier.
However, ExpressVPN takes things to another level – more supported locations, speed, ways to get help, and streaming ability.
And if you’re still thinking – its money-back guarantee is ten times as long as Windscribe’s, too, giving you more time to try it out first-hand.
More VPN comparisons:
Is ExpressVPN better than Windscribe?
Yes, it is. ExpressVPN and Windscribe are high-quality VPN services and the choice might depend on your specific needs and priorities. Still, ExpressVPN has proved as more advanced across most categories during our testing.
Which VPN is stronger than Windscribe?
ExpressVPN proved to be the more powerful VPN during our tests. Alternatively, market-leading VPNs like NordVPN or Surfshark also have the upper hand compared to Windscribe.
What VPN is better than ExpressVPN?
There are a great number of the next-gen VPNs that could be considered better than ExpressVPN. Some of the best VPN providers are NordVPN and Surfshark.