Windscribe has a high level of available customization. It is possible that this type of VPN is better suited to the more experienced user that wants a specific browsing experience. A user that also will play around with the settings enough to get better performance. There are a lot of features that allow you to restrict content for employees or even underage users. Some of the features associated with ‘R.O.B.E.R.T.’ will come standard with other VPN providers. These are the most important ones such as malware blockers, adblockers, whitelisting, and split tunneling. However, Windscribe does have more customization available than most and is better at marketing these features.
The rates observed when testing each exit node were lower than any other VPN tested. 17 exit nodes exhibited an upload rate of less than 10Mbps and 7 of them had a download rate of less than that amount. Out of all the servers texted 7 of them showed a latency of less than 200ms. For the 20 exit nodes tested (and that functioned) they exhibited an average upload rate of 9,4Mbps which was a drop of 90% when compared to the base/ISP speed. The average download rate was 23.52Mbps which was a drop of 75%. Both of these drops are extremely significant and break the threshold of what is seen as a decent decrease in performance due to using a VPN. Some of the servers could not be connected to, and as a result, the performance could not be gauged. Having said that, connecting to each node took less than a second, which is much faster than any of the other tested VPNs.
When using the double-hop feature for several server combinations, the upload rates consistently stayed below 1Mbps, whereas the download rate varied considerably but never got above 20Mbps. Most of the double hop configurations made use of the local (South African) server to help the odds, but it did not improve the performance. Additionally, the double-hop feature works as a combined setting between the desktop app and the browser extension. The user must set the primary node using the desktop app and the second one using the browser extension. There are in fact many features that are exclusive to the browser extension. The configuration worked well though, in terms of maintaining anonymity and showing the correct location.
The VPN provider worked well to unblock geo-restricted websites even though several reviews claimed it does not perform this feature well. The designated servers for Netflix were used to test streaming capabilities. These servers again are only accessible through the browser extension. The streaming on Netflix and Youtube experienced significant buffering when skipping through content or when viewing certain series.
Regarding the split tunneling feature, it worked well enough to maintain anonymity in general except for the designated apps and URLs. Windscribe will not let the user down when concealing identity or preventing DNS hijacking. The ad-blocking capabilities were also satisfactory, and the VPN protocols were not out of the ordinary in any way. The VPN protocols that gave the best performances (in marginal increments) were Wireguard and IKEv2. The VPN does allow unlimited devices but will monitor your bandwidth usage so it could function well in a commercial/small business setting. The very poor upload rates may be a counterargument to the previous statement. I do not believe that the customization of the security features can outweigh the very poor performance rates.