PureVPN has been providing VPN services since 2007, so it’s not surprising that it now claims a lengthy list of features: 2,000+ self-managed servers across 180+ locations, a wide choice of protocols, torrent support, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a smart kill switch, five devices allowed and payment via Bitcoin if you need it.
Unusual extras include ‘split tunneling’ (you decide which traffic goes through the VPN, and which uses your ISP) and the ability to create an instant Wi-Fi VPN hotspot on your laptop, and connect even more devices through that.
The company offers dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux, extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and more downloads and tutorials to help you set it up on routers, Kodi, Android TV, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and more.
PureVPN doesn’t advertise a trial on the website. We dug deep and found a page for something called a ‘3-day trial account’, but that’s a little misleading. It’s really just a commercial plan where you pay a non-refundable $2.50 (£2) for 3 days of service.
There is a 31-day money-back guarantee for the regular commercial plans, which is more generous than many. PureVPN’s refund policy used to include some sneaky conditions where you wouldn’t get your money back if you’d connected more than 100 times, or used more than 3GB of data transfer, but we were happy to see these have been dropped. It’s now advertised as a ‘no questions asked, risk-free, stress-free’ money-back guarantee, so if you’re unhappy, just send an email and ask for a refund.
Handing over your money to PureVPN is unusually easy, as the company supports just about every payment format there is: credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies (via CoinPayments), AliPay, assorted gift cards, and more than 150 other payment methods via the Paymentwall platform.
After parting with your cash, download links point you to apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, the browser extensions and more. We grabbed the Windows client, and as it was downloading, a welcome email arrived with login details.
PureVPN makes more of an effort to support website unblocking than most of the competition. The company doesn't just make airy promises on the website and then forget about them later, it includes specific support for streaming within its apps, in theory allowing you to access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and a host of other services from wherever you are in the world. We double-clicked the BBC option, and watched as the client connected, our default browser opened, and displayed an 'err-network-changed' message. What? This looked like a serious problem, but the browser had just detected the change in our network settings as the client connected, and once this was complete, the BBC iPlayer site opened and streamed content as usual. It was much the same story with Netflix. The client launched our browser before the connection was complete, so we saw the same error message, but this disappeared automatically, and we were free to browse and stream whatever Netflix content we liked. You're not restricted to the services built into PureVPN's apps, of course. YouTube wasn't included on the list, for instance, but connecting to a US server in the usual way got us in.