PureVPN Review

PureVPN comes bundled with a pile of powerful features, which is surprising looking at the price. These don't always work as you might expect, though, and there are lots of usability issues with the apps – but demanding users who'll use this level of VPN power should give PureVPN a look.

PureVPN is a VPN that was established in 2007 by a Hong Kong-based company called GZ Systems Ltd. Initially, the VPN started with two servers, but it’s had massive growth in terms of its global server network. Currently, PureVPN runs over 3 million satisfied users around the world – something that has its teams working around the clock to give you the best service.

PureVPN is also feature-packed, and prides itself with its famous statement, “a VPN service with unbeatable features.” It sports special features like port forwarding and gives dedicated IPs.The Hong Kong-based VPN also claims to be among “the most loved VPN,” something we seek to confirm. And considering PureVPN gives decent connection speeds, enterprise-grade security, and top-notch performance, it seems to be a solid option. PureVPN has in the past been faced with scrutiny over its logs policy and having a generally misleading privacy statement – but this is no longer the case.

The Hong Kong-based VPN is also an excellent option for cord-cutters. The VPN has invested heavily in working with various streaming software and devices, including Roku, Kodi, Firestick Boxee, playing consoles and more. PureVPN also provides a long list of connection protocols, such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and IKEv2.

Money-back guarantee31 days
Free trial period7 days
Allowed concurrent connections10 devices
Supported streaming servicesNetflix, BBC iPlayer,
No logs policyYes
P2P allowedYes
SmartDNSYes
Encryption256-Bit AES
AuthenticationHMAC SHA384
Data Cap/ BandwidthUnlimited
Handshake encryptionRSA-2048
VPN ProtocolsOpenVPN, L2TP-IPSec, IKEv2, PPTP, SSTP
Special featuresPort Forwarding, DDoS Protection, Dedicated IP, Multi-Port, NAT Firewall, Split Tunneling, kill switch, P2P allowed, IPv6/WebRTC/DNS leak protection,
Customer support24/ 7 livechat
Server locations180+ locations, 140+ countries
Number of servers2000+ servers
Dedicated IPs300,000+ IPs
Supported platformsWindows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox
Supported devicesRoku, Kodi, Boxee box, Raspberry Pi, Chrome Cast, Firestick, Xbox, PlayStation, Now TV Box, Microsoft Surface, Android TV, Routers.
VPN legal jurisdictionHong Kong, Privacy Haven

At first glance, PureVPN seems like an excellent VPN, but we’re not going to conclude at face-value. We’ve been testing its service for days, and we aim to cover every aspect of the VPN. This means we’ll look at its price, server availability, features, security and privacy, performance, user-experience, its compatibility, and customer support.

In this review, we’ll put PureVPN to test and see if they deserve their claims.

PureVPN Pricing and Payment Options

PureVPN Pricing

PureVPN sells three premium plans, including a monthly plan, annual plan as well as a two-year plan. All three plans offer the same features but ultimately vary in terms of their billing cycles and the sale discounts involved. We’ve reviewed the various price rates, and here’s how they compare.

  • The Monthly plan – goes for $10.95 per month. Gives you access to all features and qualifies for the refund policy. Very expensive plan, and not recommended unless you need the VPN for less than a month.
  • The 1-Year plan – goes for $4.08 per month, billed at $48.96 every 12 months. You qualify for a 63% off, get all features, and qualify for the refund policy. Only recommended if you need the VPN for less than 12 months.
  • The 2-Year plan – sells at $2.08 a month, billed at $49.92 every two years. You’ll get a whopping 73% off, access all features and qualify for the refund policy. This is the most popular package, and it’s the most recommended, thanks to its affordable rates.

PureVPN also gives you a chance to purchase extra special features like port forwarding, dedicated IP, and DDoS protection. For instance, you can get Port Forwarding at $0.25. Moreover, if you’re sceptical about privacy, then you can also buy a dedicated IP at $0.99, and DDoS protection at $0.99.

PureVPN Dedicated IP

Note: The price plans we’ve reviewed are what you’ll get if you use our purchase link on our site below. We use an affiliate link to refer you to the best VPNs that we’ve tested. The best part, you’ll enjoy subsidised prices that you’ll otherwise miss on the actual rates displayed on the official VPN site.

PureVPN Free trial and Refund Policy

PureVPN Free Trial

For every premium plan you purchase, PureVPN covers you with a generous 31-day money-back guarantee, hassle-free. Notably, 45 days is the highest number a VPN has recorded in its money-back guarantee period, which makes PureVPN the second best with 31 days. This sufficient time to experience what PureVPN can offer before you consider investing in their service.

PureVPN also gives you a risk-free 7-day free trial if you purchase the two-year plan.

PureVPN Payment Methods

PureVPN has partnered with McAfee Secure to offer secure payment methods. The VPN accepts all major payment methods, including debit/credit cards, PayPal, Alipay, PaymentWall, BlueSnap, and Cryptocurrency. And while all the methods listed are secure, we love the privacy that Cryptocurrencies offer. These payment method doesn’t ask for your information like names and emails – an excellent choice if you want to maintain your anonymity.

PureVPN Payment Methods

PureVPN Servers

PureVPN Servers

Since its inception in 2007, starting with only two servers, PureVPN has invested over the years to offer one of the best server count and coverage around the world. At the time of this review, PureVPN stood at over 2000 servers in 180+ locations distributed across 140 plus countries. These are impressive numbers for a VPN that strives to be the best in terms of global coverage. Furthermore, its server coverage is the largest in the VPN industry.

PureVPN also offers specialised servers for various uses, such as streaming, file-sharing, security/privacy, or internet freedom. However, if you want to try their dedicated IP mode, you’ll be required to download the supporting add-on.

PureVPN Features and Capabilities

Port Forwarding

PureVPN gives a port forwarding feature that adds an extra layer of security, necessary to stop cybercriminals from exploiting security weaknesses. You can also use the feature access your computer remotely, especially if you run your own game/email server.

VPN Kill Switching

PureVPN gives an internet kill switch feature that acts as a fail-safe option. The feature is a crucial tool that ensures your privacy isn’t compromised, by terminating your device internet access whenever the VPN connection fails. P2P and torrent lovers will benefit the most from a kill switch.

DDoS Protection

DDoS protection is an add-on offered by PureVPN that you can use to overcome complex DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. This is an exciting security addition, given the recent increase of DDoS attacks in cybersecurity.

Dedicated IP

PureVPN gives you an option to take complete control of your online identity by purchasing one of their dedicated IPs. You can use a dedicated IP to access secure portals like your online bank account, remote CCTV access, and other remote servers using a single IP. At the time of this review, PureVPN offered dedicated IPs are several regions around the world, including Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Netherlands, Canada, the UK, and the US.

Bear in mind that several services like streaming platforms block VPN IPs. Furthermore, dedicated IPs are not VPNs.

DNS/WebRTC/IPv6 leak protection

PureVPN offers a SmartDNS that can protect your device from leaking DNS information to your ISP and other prying eyes. Equally, the VPN uses strong security infrastructure that masks your IPv6 and WebRTC data by displaying the VPN server’s details to encroaching eyes.

Split Tunneling

PureVPN offers Split Tunneling, an exciting feature that you can use to whitelist some apps from the VPN’s radar. Thanks to this, you can protect most of your browsing activity via encrypted VP servers, and allow others to be read by your local ISP. For instance, you can exempt banking apps and other financial services that might raise suspicious alarms, and still stream your favourite content globally.

Virtual Router

Virtual Router is a special feature that’s rare in the VPN industry, but its offered by PureVPN. You can use the feature to create a virtual router on your computer. The virtual router allows you to connect up to 10 devices and offers maximum protection.

NAT Firewall

PureVPN also provides NAT Firewall, a feature that adds an extra layer of security and blocks cyber-attackers from exploiting any loopholes in your network. NAT Firewall is implemented at the VPN server level and stops any dangerous traffic that can compromise your security.

PureVPN Privacy and Security

Privacy

PureVPN has a favourable base of operation, which is Hong Kong. The country doesn’t have any data retention laws. The best part, Hong Kong, is not a member of the 5/14 Eyes, and currently out of reach of any powerful surveillance agency.

Thanks to this, PureVPN can observe a strict no log. Here’s what they say about keep logs:

 “We do not monitor user activity, nor do we keep any logs. We, therefore, have no record of your activities such as which software you used, which websites you visited, what content you downloaded, which apps you used, etc. after you connected to any of our servers.” 

Our servers automatically record the time at which you connect to any of our servers. From here on forward, we do not keep any records of anything that could associate any specific activity to a specific user. The time when a successful connection is made with our servers is counted as a ‘connection,’ and the total bandwidth used during this connection is called ‘bandwidth.’ Connection and bandwidth are kept in record to maintain the quality of our service. This helps us understand the flow of traffic to specific servers so we could optimize them better.”

A bit on the downside, PureVPN stores slight details, including your bandwidth and connection time. Normally, this is of no concern, but a report published in August 2017 claims that PureVPN shared connection logs with the FBI that was used to incriminate a user. This is a huge setback in terms of privacy and an unforeseen action by the Hong Kong-based VPN.

Luckily, PureVPN gives you extra privacy-oriented features to improve your online privacy. You can benefit from their DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leak protection features.

Security

PureVPN doesn’t compromise in terms of security either. The VPN uses the best-in-class, military-grade 256-bit AES encryption for your data protection. They couple this encryption with the AES-256-CBC cipher that comes with RSA-2048 handshake, as well as the HMAC SHA384 hash authentication key. This is currently the best information encryption level that is also used by the military.

PureVPN also uses a long list of connection protocols, such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, IKEv2, and SSTP. Moreover, OpenVPN is the most recommended protocol if you want maximum security. However, if you want to stream and want faster speeds, IKEv2 is your best bet.

There are also useful security features that can help you boost the security of your network. These include an internet kill switch, NAT Firewall, as well as DDoS protection – already discussed in the features section above. Moreover, you can also take full control of your online presence by purchasing a dedicated IP.

PureVPN Performance

We experienced an excellent performance using PureVPN. And despite most features failing to work as advertised in the past, the VPN can now make claims that most of the features are working well. Noteworthy, the VPN’s efforts to offer dedicated apps for devices like Android TV haven’t been seamless.

Additionally, we tested several aspects of the VPN, including speeds, and the DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection features. You’d be happy to know that most of these aspects checked well.

Speed Test

PureVPN claims to offer super-fast internet speeds. As such, we performed several speed tests to get a feel of these claims. The VPN recommends IKEv2 protocols for users who love streaming and torrenting. OpenVPN is best suited for users who want to view censored content, and have a more secure connection while browsing the internet.

In this speed test experiment, we’ve provided screenshots of some of the results we collected.

Our first screenshot displays the speeds we recorded without a VPN connection, and it’ll be our baseline test:

Here’s the screenshot of the results we got after connecting to a specialised Netflix US server:

This is the result we recorded after connecting to P2P filesharing enabled server:

Finally, here’s the image of the speed results we got after connecting to a random distant server:

Generally, PureVPN shows strong claims of being a super-fast service that you can benefit from.

PureVPN Ease of Use

PureVPN Ease of Use

A quick glance at the official website gives you an informative landing page that sports a premium look as well. Noteworthy, the website prides itself with several 5-star ratings, coupled with honest testimonies from users on TrustPilot. You can navigate through the website hassle-free, thanks to the well-laid-out links, and tabs. The homepage also includes virtually every feature and capability of what the VPN can offer. You can also easily sport the LiveChat tool that you can use for quick customer support help.

Getting started with PureVPN

Getting started with PureVPN takes you less than 10 minutes. The VPN has one of the best signup criteria and doesn’t necessarily stress you to create passwords. You only need to choose your preferred subscription plan and enter your email address before you can enter your payment details. If you’re keen on privacy, we suggest you opt for the cryptocurrency option.

You’ll get a confirmation email that has your unique username and a secure password – automatically generated by PureVPN. Finally, you can use the account details to log into your PureVPN client app.

PureVPN Clients

Desktop App

PureVPN Desktop App

In this review, we tested PureVPN using the Windows desktop app. Once we installed the app, we used our account details to log in. Bear in mind that the login ID will mostly start with “PureVPN” – for example, “PureVPN04839393”.

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll see a home that has a list of server locations you can connect. Noteworthy, the desktop app doesn’t have the common “Quick Connect” option that’s readily available in most VPN apps. Instead, they make for it with multiple connection options. For instance, you can choose to connect randomly to any server location of your choice. But if you want to perform a specific task, you can click on the “change mode” link to select your preferred action. The PureVPN desktop client gives you several connection modes, including streaming, internet freedom, security/privacy, file-sharing, and dedicated IP as well.

PureVPN Streaming

Of much interest, we liked the list of optimized streaming services listed. What caught our attention includes popular streaming sites like Netflix US, BBC, Hulu, CW, HBO GO, NBC, ITV, FranceTV, RTS, Sony, VRT, beIN Sports, Fox Sports, and more. This makes PureVPN one of the best choices for unlocking multiple streaming services around the world. All you have to do is select the streaming outlet you want to watch and connect. The VPN will automatically redirect you to the selected service.

PureVPN has also invested heavily on a long list of advanced features you can use. For example, the app settings let you select the right protocol, turn on and off connection redial, auto-connect at startup, and more. The network type tab allows you to choose your preferred firewall settings. The advanced section includes features like a kill switch, multi-port options and the security encryption used. However, PureVPN warns that this option is for advanced users only. Therefore, you can choose to ignore it if you’re a novice.

PureVPN Mobile App

PureVPN Mobile App

The mobile client is more simplified and doesn’t share most features and workability with its desktop counterparts. The app maintains a great design and very light when using. Once you’ve installed the app, you’re required to enter your login details to get started. The homepage gives you a “Quick Connect” green, zooming, button. However, if you’d rather connect to a particular server, click on the “Location” tab at the bottom of the page – it’ll take you to a list of server locations, sorted in terms of country and cities. The connection and disconnection take less than three seconds – a big plus to PureVPN.

The settings page doesn’t present multiple features like the desktop client. However, an “On-Demand VPN” feature drew our attention. This is a feature that once turned on; it can allow you to add a list of websites you’d like to automatically protected by the VPN every time you open them. Cool feature!

PureVPN Ondemand VPN

You’ll also be pleased to know that the mobile app opens several streaming sites around the world, that are otherwise geo-restricted. This makes PureVPN a very powerful VPN for streaming content globally.

Compatibility

PureVPN Compatibility with platforms and devices

PureVPN is one of the top VPNs to support the highest number of platforms, software and devices. You can get dedicated clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux. The VPN also gives browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox. You can also use PureVPN to configure popular devices like routers, Firestick, Roku, Android TVs, Playing consoles, and more.

PureVPN Compatibility with streaming services

PureVPN unblocks a long list of streaming services, including Netflix US, Hulu, CW, BBC iPlayer, HBO GO, iTV, Fox Sports, and more. The best part, the Hong Kong-based VPN, lets you access the content in HQ without compromising on security. We liked the desktop app streaming mode options. The mobile app doesn’t disappoint either. We’ve listed some screenshots we collected from random streaming outlets we tested. They all worked well.

PureVPN BBC iPlayer

PureVPN Compatibility with Torrents

PureVPN supports P2P filesharing, an option you can easily enable on its desktop client.  Once turned on, the VPN gives you a list of servers that support P2P around the world. And given the extensive server distribution of PureVPN globally, any torrent lover will yarn to try it out.

PureVPN Compatibility in China

PureVPN claims to work well in China. Despite our doubts, we were lucky to get confirmation from one of their live chat agents. Here’s what he had to say, “Yes, PureVPN is currently working in China.” However, keep in mind that most VPNs are blocked in China. Therefore we suggest you download the app before you enter the country. Furthermore, PureVPN compatibility in China remains something of a debate, given some users have complained about its failures while they were on mainland China.

PureVPN Customer Support

PureVPN Customer Support

PureVPN has also invested heavily on its customer support system. Like few other top VPNs, PureVPN checks the boxes in multiple support areas, including a large knowledgebase system – setup guides, troubleshoot, FAQs, Case studies and more.

There’s also the LiveChat service that has human agents helping you around the clock. In this review, we chatted with Arnold, an agent at PureVPN, who confirmed that they’re available 24/7.

PureVPN Live Chat

If you’d rather consult about something else, then you can sort to try their ticketing system, or contact them via their social media pages. PureVPN responds to email tickets within an hour – an impressive record. They also answer your queries posted on the various social media pages, within 30 minutes.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Ultra-fast speeds
  • Optimised for streaming and torrenting
  • Affordable plans
  • 31-day money-back guarantee
  • 7-day free trial
  • Supports P2P filesharing
  • Dedicated IPs
  • Kill switch
  • Port forwarding
  • NAT Firewall
  • Unbeatable customer service
  • Accepts cryptocurrency
  • Supports multiple platforms and devices
  • Offers several protocols, like OpenVPN and IKEv2
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Cons

  • Controversial privacy policy
  • Its China compatibility remains fiddly
  • Nothing noteworthy

Conclusion

PureVPN delivers on several fronts, including speeds, performance, compatibility, features, pricing and its server coverage. The VPN offers a generous 31-day money-back guarantee, something rarely seen among VPNs. PureVPN also lets you secure up to 10 devices simultaneously, and has sweetened the deal during this COVID-19 pandemic period. Moreover, the VPN’s impressive list of features gives it a big plus against its competitors.

However, the VPN sports a murky past in terms of its privacy. But its updated privacy policy is something they can build on. PureVPN also lacks a clear go on its compatibility in mainland China.

Fortunately, the VPN makes up with its massive capability to unblock a ton of streaming platforms. They also support P2P file-sharing, best suited for torrent lovers. Otherwise, PureVPN is a VPN that’s worth your investment.

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Compatable with:

Windows

Apple iOS

Android

Linux

Netflix

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.

Features

  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • 256-bit Data Encryption
  • Wi-Fi Security
  • OpenVPN
  • DDoS Protection

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