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|Initial release||April 20, 2016|
|Type||Virtual private network|
Windscribe was founded by Yegor Sak and Alex Paguis in 2016.
In January 2021, Windscribe began beta testing ControlD, a new standalone DNS-based ad and tracker service, a direct competitor to services such as NextDNS, DNSFilter, and Cisco Umbrella.[better source needed]
In April 2023, a mid-sized VPN provider WeVPN shut down due to "unforeseen financial difficulties". Windscribe offered to match the remaining time left on WeVPN customer subscriptions, free of charge. Windscibe and WeVPN stated that this is not an acquisition, but "purely a gesture of good will".
Windscribe offers open source desktop applications for Windows and macOS, with a command-line utility for Linux, and open source mobile applications for iOS, Android, and Android TV. Windscribe also offers encrypted proxy support via browser extensions on Google Chrome and Firefox web browsers. Windscribe users can connect unlimited simultaneous devices.
Windscribe has been an active proponent of freedom of access to information censored by authoritarian regimes. These efforts include providing expanded bandwidth free accounts to everyone affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, using profanity laden promo codes in both Russian and Ukrainian languages, as well as free and unlimited service to all journalists in the region, and subsequently combatting Russian blocks that were aimed to render these efforts fruitless. In September of 2022, with the outbreak of the Mahsa Amini protests in Iran, Windscribe once again offered expanded free accounts to those affected, as well as Signal (software) proxies aimed to unblock the popular encrypted messaging service in the region.
Windscribe maintains an evolving "VPN Relationship Map" which aims to shine the light on relationship between corporate VPNs and paid affiliates that promote them.
In February 2022, Windscribe was named as one of the best VPNs according to Wired UK, stating "Windscribe has always been among the more generous free VPN providers, but it's also one of the most reliable and cost-effective paid-for consumer VPN services."
In May 2023, Windscribe has been named "Best Free VPN of 2023" by Engadget, stating "We selected it as the best free VPN because of its high security and wide range of server options compared to other free VPNs."
On July 7, 2021, Windscribe self disclosed that two VPN servers hosted in Ukraine were seized by local authorities on June 24, 2021. On the disk of the VPN servers contained an OpenVPN private key, which under a set of strict pre-existing conditions could have been used to impersonate a Windscribe VPN server and capture traffic running through it, when OpenVPN protocol is used. There was no impact to users who used the official apps or used other VPN protocols. Only those who used custom OpenVPN configs and were on a network that is under complete control of a hypothetical attacker were potentially vulnerable. In addition, Windscribe ran servers with an OpenVPN "compress" flag that is subject to a VORACLE attack. A network wide key rotation occurred and both issues were fixed 13 days after the self-disclosure of the vulnerability.
In a follow-up article dated August 23 2021, Windscribe commented on the state of the VPN industry, pointing out identical flaws that existed with most major VPN providers at the time of writing. As of May 2023, all named VPN providers are still subject to the vulnerability.
- Comparison of virtual private network services
- Internet privacy
- Secure communication
- Virtual private network
- "Windscribe - Terms of Service". Windscribe. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
- Spark, Tom (January 20, 2017). "Is WindScribe a Good VPN?". Best10VPN.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
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- Brinkmann, Martin (April 25, 2021). "ControlD is a new DNS service by the makers of Windscribe VPN - gHacks Tech News". ghacks.net. Archived from the original on April 27, 2021. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
- "ControlD: Bypass geo-restrictions, block tracking, and be more". betalist.com. April 26, 2021. Archived from the original on August 19, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
- Fadilpašić, Sead (April 14, 2023). "WeVPN has shut down, users now moved onto Windscribe". TechRadar.com. Retrieved April 14, 2023.
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- Williams, Mike. "Windscribe VPN review". TechRadar.com. Archived from the original on January 8, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
- "Windscribe VPN Review: Is It the Best Free VPN of 2021?". www.top10vpn.com. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
- "Windscribe VPN Review 2021: Is It a Good VPN?". CyberNews. July 29, 2021. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
- Sobey-Harker, Daniel (February 26, 2022). "Windscribe's Stance On The Invasion Of Ukraine". Windscribe. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
- Kennedy, Douglas (March 25, 2022). "Tech companies fighting back against Russian censorship". Fox News. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
- McGregor, Grady (March 25, 2022). "Tech companies fighting back against Russian censorship". Fortune. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
- Meaker, Morgan (March 30, 2022). "Russians Need VPNs. The Kremlin Hates Them". Wired. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
- "The Troubles in Iran". Windscribe. September 30, 2022. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
- Sobey-Harker, Daniel (May 9, 2022). "Who owns your data? A VPN Relationship Map". Windscribe. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
- Orphanides, K.G. (February 1, 2022). "The Best VPN Services Tested for Speed, Reliability and Privacy". Wired UK. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
- Malone, Katie (May 5, 2023). "The best VPNs for 2023". Engadget. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
- Sak, Yegor (July 7, 2021). "OpenVPN Security Improvements and Changes". Windscribe. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
- "The VORACLE attack vulnerability". OpenVPN. October 9, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
- Sak, Yegor (August 23, 2021). "OpenVPN Security Improvements and Changes". Windscribe. Retrieved August 23, 2021.