In our Windscribe review, we found plenty of things to like about their VPN service. In fact, most of that stuff isn’t going to change in our review, despite my thoughts on them as a company.
These ratings and reviews on our site are objective after all. They have decent speeds, a user-friendly PC app and website, and a decent free-to-use VPN model (with limits on usage). However, lately, I’ve been getting a little bit annoyed with their “marketing techniques”. (Keep in mind that a lot of VPNs love to use these sort of practices, and it’s hard to catch them all, but this is one instance I’ve found lately).
WindScribe is purposefully trying to mislead customers into purchasing their product. This is not OK. VPNs are supposed to stand for privacy advocacy, and consumer rights–so when I see a VPN purposefully misleading customers by spreading misinformation or using sketchy advertising techniques to funnel customers into a purchase, this triggers me.
Windscribe Using Google Ads to Redirect Customers
If you aren’t familiar with Google Ads, then let me help you out a bit. The way it works is that you enter in a keyword you want to trigger your ad. So for example, if you are TorGuard, you might input “TorGuard” into Google ads, so when a customer searches “TorGuard” they will see your ad.
What Windscribe is doing is using these keyword triggers to show their ads. When someone googles “TorGuard” and “Private Internet Access” they will see these two ads that I listed above. Using trademarked keywords that you don’t own is not allowed. In some cases, it’s not illegal per se, but if the company has trademarked the term, it’s definitely illegal. You can’t bid on Google ads that contain the word “Netflix” for example.
And if it’s not illegal, it’s just shady. If someone is searching for something in Google, and you are purposefully trying to redirect them to another product, that means you are a secondhand product. In these cases, Windscribe clearly knows that TorGuard and Private Internet Access are both more popular, and better products (and they are–see our reviews) so they are trying to convert customers who don’t know any better.
Another thing that bugs me is that while Windscribe is probably the best “free” VPN out there with less restrictions than some “free” vpns, it’s not free in the same sense that these other services are paid. They aren’t really the same products. Windscribe’s free version can’t be used for serious torrenting or anything that will use serious bandwidth.
Windscribe Making False Claims about VPNs
Perhaps my bigger problem with Windscribe’s latest marketing techniques is spreading misinformation. See this comparison table Windscribe has made on their website:
This comparison chart makes Windscribe out to be a better product than TorGuard, and I think it was inspired by this article I did here (which is a much fairer comparison). Windscribe does have more free VPN options (with clear limitations) than TorGuard, but that’s their only advantage.
From this chart, you can see that Windscribe claims TorGuard does not allow “P2P“. In fact, TorGuard does allow P2P and they include a free BitTorrent proxy with their normal VPN subscription that works great for torrenting. Why would TorGuard have this landing page if they don’t allow P2P connections?
So this is a blatant lie. In addition, TorGuard also has a firewall (included with most VPN to block any local network connections), Adblock (with this you have to enable the Custom DNS setting in the TorGuard Lite client app), and the ability to run double VPN if you log in with an SSL proxy + VPN.