WeVPN is the latest victim of the current financial crisis and has closed its doors for good.
Users have been reporting issues accessing the services for a couple of weeks, and now confirmation has come through that it has shut down for good.
In a statement on their website, the team behind WeVPN said, “we regret to inform you that due to unforeseen financial difficulties, WeVPN will no longer be able to provide our services to you… [We] want to express our gratitude for your support throughout our journey.”
No more details are provided than that, which is a slight irritation, but it is safe to presume that WeVPN has simply run out of money and does not have sufficient subscriber numbers to cover its costs or financial investors willing to continue to pump funds into the business.
What happens to WeVPN subscribers now?
For WeVPN subscribers, this will be a moment of panic.
Even if you have only recently paid up for a subscription, the service is no more, and it is our understanding that there will be no compensation or refunds for subscribers as WeVPN was not covered by any of the financial insurance schemes present in the USA or elsewhere.
It is disappointing and does the whole VPN industry a disservice when this type of issue occurs but, to give WeVPN some credit, they do appear to have made some effort to ensure that WeVPN customers are not left high and dry.
While their closing down statement is painfully short of detail, it does go to great lengths to explain that they have reached an agreement with another VPN provider to offer free accounts to all their existing customers for the duration of their WeVPN accounts.
Even those with expired accounts will be able to get three months for free.
Windscribe steps in
The service in question is Windscribe.
According to a posting from their co-founder, they were approached indirectly and are making this offer out of the goodness of their hearts and for the greater good of the VPN industry as a whole.
A statement on the Windscribe website said, “Our decision to provide WeVPN users with free accounts for the duration of their WeVPN subscription stems from our commitment to maintaining confidence in the VPN industry and protecting end users from potential harm.”
“We understand the frustration and uncertainty that can arise when a VPN provider goes out of business,” it continued, “and we want to ensure that no one loses their hard-earned money or feels abandoned during this time.”
Reading down the responses to their Co-Founder, you will see some cynics have suggested that they are simply trying to acquire WeVPN’s customer base to expand their own business.
The very first comment says, “I’d frame it as you bought their customer list at the wholesale cost of their remaining subscriptions, and WeVPN gets a creditor off their books. Which isn’t bad, but it isn’t just goodwill.”
We certainly wouldn’t want to jump to that conclusion, but there is no doubt that there is a good business opportunity here for Windscribe.
That is doubtless why another VPN provider, TorGuard, has also offered to credit WeVPN customers with free accounts for the duration of their existing subscriptions.
So, as long as you have got proof of your WeVPN subscription, you can still get a VPN service for the duration of your subscription, even if it is not the one you actually signed up for.
What if you don’t want to use these VPNs?
Other VPN providers may well decide to follow the lead of Windscribe and Torguard and make a similar offer to WeVPN subscribers. We are not aware of any more at the time of writing.
This situation is somewhat unprecedented in the VPN industry as large providers generally don’t shut. With the exception of Proxy.sh shutting in recent years and EarthVPN running as a somewhat ghostship, very few established providers shutter.
But if you don’t like the look of any of the VPNs that are trying to lure you in with a free deal, what are your options?
If you paid via your bank you may be able to recover some costs if consumer protection covers you in your country of residence. Attempting to recoup money via Paypal may be futile as they can generally only recover funds from WeVPN’s Paypal account of which is likely already empty.
Unfortunately, most options don’t involve writing off your WeVPN subscription costs. That money is gone, and if you want to get value for money from it, you will need to take on one of these deals.
What you should not do, however, is feel sucked into using Windscribe or TorGuard long-term, especially if you are not that impressed by their service.
What you could do is move over to one of these providers for the remaining few months of your WeVPN subscription and then shift onto a VPN of your choosing.
ExpressVPN is our pick of the bunch right now, with NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN hot on their heels. All three are big companies and well-established VPNs where a financial collapse of the type that has hit WeVPN is unlikely to happen again.