What is a VPN
VPN come from the acronym in English Virtual Private Network, which translated means virtual private network. With a VPN we can have a computer network technology that allows a secure extension of the local area network over a public or uncontrolled network, such as, for example, the Internet. The way to operate is by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection, through the use of dedicated connections that may or may not be encrypted.
As for typical examples of the use of a VPN that have the Internet as a link, they could be connecting two or more offices of a company. Also another very topical thing would be to allow the connection from home or another place to the workers of a company to be able to work. This is what we know as telecommuting or remote work.
Regarding the advantages that a VPN offers us, in addition to improving our privacy, it is that it avoids geo-blocking, hides our traffic from our Internet provider, allows us to browse more anonymously and can be used to hide P2P downloads. However, it has an important drawback, it is that the connection speed is generally lower than our contracted speed. For this reason, it is advisable to hire a quality VPN since they have higher speed, security and better preservation of our anonymity.
Windscribe VPN: What this free VPN offers us
Windscribe is a VPN that will allow us to surf the Internet privately. In that sense, what it is going to do is encrypt our browsing activity, block ads and unblock entertainment content. In case you don’t know, some governments block content based on its location. In addition, corporations monitor and sell our personal data.
What Windscribe does is encrypt our activity, it never filters our DNS information and it will never track us. Thanks to this service our IP address is masked. Thus, it offers us private and unrestricted access to entertainment, news sites and blocked content in more than 60 different countries.
As for the features that Windscribe offers us, they are:
- A large network with servers in more than 63 countries and 110 cities.
- ROBERT is an option that blocks IP addresses and ad domains of your choice on all your devices.
- It does not have an identification record based on IP and date / time.
- It uses AES-256 encryption with SHA512 authentication and a 4096-bit RSA key.
- We can generate OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard and SOCKS configurations for all our devices.
- Port forwarding to access internal resources safely.
- It can work in split tunnel mode, in which we can choose which applications go through the VPN and which ones do not.
Another thing to note is that there is a free version and a paid version. If you want to check the prices you can do it here.
The main difference is that the paid version offers unlimited data and access to all locations, so we can choose more countries and cities.
The different ways we can use Windscribe
The first is by using your desktop app which, with its firewall function, is able to block all connectivity outside the tunnel to eliminate all types of leaks. In addition, it allows us to turn our computer into a secure Wi-Fi access point. We can also create a proxy server on our network for other computers. This, which is the one that offers the most possibilities, is the one that we are going to learn to install and configure later. It has versions for Windows, MAC and Linux.
The second would be by using browser extensions. With functions to automatically choose the best location for us, blocking ads and trackers that follow us across the Internet and changing the time zone so that we appear to be in the country to which we are connected. Additionally, it blocks WebRTC to prevent leakage out of the tunnel and simulates the GPS at the location of the connected proxy. In that sense, it has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Edge.
The third is with mobile apps for Android, IOS and Blackberry. But there is still more as it has support for KODI, routers and more. You can download the one you need from the Windscribe download section.
Installing Windscribe on Windows
If we click on the Windscribe download link From the previous section you will get a screen like this:
Then we click on the button Windows and we wait for the installer to download. Once the download has finished, we execute the file that we have downloaded and the following will appear:
Here, simply what you have to do is click on the button Install. The installation does not offer any complexity and it will not ask us to configure anything until it has finished. As soon as it ends, this screen appears:
Now comes the time of the configuration in which we have two options:
- Get Started: used to create an account to use Windscribe.
- Login: to be able to log into the application. If we already have an account we can do it directly and otherwise we will return here after creating it.
In our case, as we do not have an account, we click on the button Get Started:
In this section we create our Windscribe account by choosing our username and repeating the password twice. The two arrows that form a circle are used to randomly generate a username and password. The email is optional, but it serves as a recovery record and to give you more GB of data. When we have everything done click on Create Account and will provide us with this information:
Here you can see the importance of having an email, since instead of 2 GB for free we could get 10 GB. To finish with the configuration, the next step we have to take is to go to the button Login that we have talked about before. There we will enter the same data of the account that we just created.
Windscribe operation, options and performance test
Once we have entered the credentials of our account we are ready to use it and we will get a screen like this:
We have four sections of Windscribe that you should know and that you have marked in red boxes:
- The three horizontal stripes icon where you can access the configuration options.
- The power button of the VPN.
- Our Current IP.
- Locations that allows us to choose between different countries and cities.
Just below the last option, we have the available data that we have left. If we click on the options button we can see this:
In this case we have the typical options for the program to start with Windows and connect automatically if we click on the second option. It also has many more options that you can explore, although as it comes standard it already works correctly and safely. If we click on Locations we can choose between different countries and cities. By having a free version, it will only let us choose between the best location and some cities in the United States and Canada.
Now, to change our location, we will double-click on Best Location or by pressing on the power button. In this case, he has located us in Paris.
We are going to check that our IP has changed in which is my.net. Before our original IP started with 213 now it starts with 185.
As expected, it has located us in France, but since we want a more precise location, we click on Geolocate IP. If we do, we will see confirmed that it has located us in Paris.
To measure performance we are going to do a speed test. These are the results without the VPN in place:
If we activate the Windscribe VPN in Paris we get these results:
Here you can see that the speed has dropped considerably, something that was to be expected, and the latency has also increased. For performing basic tasks and maintaining privacy is sufficient. The only thing that the data that Windscribe offers may fall short soon, unless we only use it for browsing. If we want higher speeds that we could obtain on Spanish servers and unlimited traffic, we must opt for a paid version.