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.
Pure VPN was originally created in 2006. The next year, commercial services were offered. The VPN was developed by GZ Systems, a company in Hong Kong. Pure VPN has since built a reputation for its large number of server locations. This enables the service to be used almost anywhere in the world.
The Supported Platforms
Pure VPN supports all of the major platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android. Browser extensions can be downloaded for Firefox and Chrome. The software can be manually configured for gaming consoles including Nintendo Wii U, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PS3/4, routers including TP-Link, Asus, Belkin, DD-WRT and Tomato, Kodi, Chromecast, Amazon Firestick, BoxeeBox, Kindle Fire, Blue Ray players, Android TV, Roku, Amazon TV, Apple TV, Raspberry Pi and WebOS.
The Pure VPN website provides instructions to install the VPN on the user’s device. This makes the service easy to use for beginners. Some technical knowledge is necessary to manually install the software on any device including routers.
Security and Safety
Pure VPN offers the most current security measures including encryption. The software enables the user to set the level of security they prefer including no encryption and AES-256. The connection protocols for the service are SSTP and IKEv2 for default. OpenVPN can be selected. The website provides instruction manuals based on the platform. If the user is not sure which protocol to select, the best option for their needs can be chosen automatically.
The service offers StealthVPN. This exclusive protocol features the best of modern technology. Ports 5500 and 443 are utilized for an ideal way to gain access to geographically blocked websites and bypass firewalls. Pure VPN offers Gravity and Ozone. These proprietary features provide additional security. Ozone enables the user to protect their web traffic from suspicious websites, malware and intruders. This feature contains URL and app filtering, IDS/IPS, content filtering and server-side antivirus protection. This is currently available only in certain countries.
Gravity was created to prevent anything from being loaded onto the device with suspicious codes through websites and to protect DNS requests. This means in addition to the traffic going through the secure DNS servers, it also passes through firewalls to eliminate any potential threats prior to the occurrence of any damage. The protection offered by Pure VPN is reliable against IPv6, WebRTC and DNS leaks. The service additionally provides its users with an effective killswitch.
Pure VPN also provides a few optional add-ons. This includes port forwarding, DDoS protection and Dedicated IPs.
Pure VPN Review for Servers
Pure VPN currently provides more than 2,000 servers in 180 locations in 140 countries. The available options can be seen in a list on the company’s website. North America has 650 servers, Central America ten, Europe almost 800, South America eighty, Oceania ninety, Asia 300 and Africa 150. The service uses a combination of virtual and bare metal servers. This has virtually no impact on the end-users. Unlike the majority of VPNs, Pure VPN marks all virtual servers on their website.
All servers supporting the Ozone feature of the company have also been clearly marked. The company additionally offers its customers servers specifically optimized for both P2P and VoIP traffic. The VoIP servers enable the customers to use Skype, Google Hangouts, Viber, Vonage and similar apps. An additional layer of security is added. This means the user does not have to worry about private or business conversations being intercepted.
The favorite apps of the user can be used in countries blocking VoIP. This includes UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Libya, Paraguay, the Carribean, China, Kuwait, Egypt, Qatar, Guyana, Mexico and North Korea. This also provides online gamers with an excellent solution. Pure VPN provides its users with server switching and unlimited bandwidth and speed. Each account can support a maximum of five connections at the same time.
Privacy and Logging
When the user creates an account, Pure VPN will ask for their name, payment method and email address. This information is necessary to provide the user with the service, for communication purposes, to personalize and improve services, to prevent fraud, process transactions and compliance. When the user connects to a server, Pure VPN will know the location of the server and the bandwidth. They will not know the time or date. This information is necessary for preventing malicious behavior that may impact other users.
The service implements specific tools for its customers including iTunes, Apptentive, New Relic, Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, Crashlytics, Firebase and MixPanel. Zendesk provides the functionality for support tickets. LiveChat Inc. provides the live chat feature. The user’s correspondence, email address and name are recorded in the correlating systems by the support staff. Pure VPN does not record assigned IPs, DNS requests, origin, browsing activities or session timestamps once the user has connected to a server.
Pure VPN uses excellent security measures including high-quality encryption algorithms. This ensures the information is secure and the data transfer is safe. The user can access, correct and update the data in their profile. They can also unsubscribe to all marketing emails and marketing communications. The user can request their data to be deleted at any given time. Everything but the email will be erased within thirty days. The email is retained to prevent duplicate or fake accounts.
Pure VPN Review for Pricing and Plans
The price for one month is $10.95, one year is $5.81 per month and two years is $3.33 per month. A monthly plan is an excellent option for testing out the service to determine how it compares to the other providers. The monthly fee is less with one of the lengthier plans. There are available add-ons including Dedicated IP for $1.99 each month and Dedicated IP including DDos protection for $2.99 each month.
All of the options include a money-back guarantee for a period of 31 days. This provides the user with ample time to try the service, test the software and decide if this is the best service for their needs. Pure VPN accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Alipay, BlueSnap, gift cards, PayPal, PaymentWall and several different cryptocurrencies.
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.