With over 2,000 servers spread out across 140+ countries and budget-friendly subscription prices, PureVPN provides one of the most attractive services available in the market. Its ability to help you unblock Netflix and availability of user-friendly apps for all major platforms are additional reasons why users worldwide continue to use PureVPN.
In spite of its fine array of features and coverage, the question remains: is PureVPN really safe? Can it be completely trusted to protect you from the many dangers online? Journey with us as we use this post to answer critical questions regarding how safe PureVPN truly is, especially in terms of protecting your online activity and identity.
Where is PureVPN registered?
PureVPN is located in Hong Kong which is a privacy-friendly location. Hong Kong does not have any data retention laws which makes it easy to PureVPN to truly maintain a strict no-logs policy. This location is also not part of the 5-9-14 eyes countries which essentially means that it’s under no obligation to share users’ information with countries belonging to that surveillance framework.
However, the influence of China over Hong Kong cannot be ignored. While users from the West may have no concerns about this, it’d surely be a problem if you’re in China or looking to visit there. Again, it’s worth highlighting that PureVPN in 2017 assisted an FBI investigation that led to the arrest of a Cyberstalker. While it is commendable that a criminal was brought to books, this is clearly a concern for a VPN that “supposedly” does not monitor user activity or store logs.
Another location-based concern with PureVPN is that its parent company is based in Pakistan which is not VPN-friendly in any way. Pakistan has data retention laws and may be able to use their military muscle into bullying PureVPN to release vital user information especially if users engage in any activity unfavorable to the country’s authorities.
Does PureVPN have strong security features?
One of the reasons PureVPN is such an attractive VPN provider is the availability of so many security features and options. In terms of essential security features, PureVPN offers strong AES-256-CBC encryption that’s literally impossible to crack alongside a kill switch and support for many advanced VPN protocols including OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, and IKEV2.
On a more advanced note, PureVPN offers Split Tunnelling which essentially allows you to decide which app should connect to the internet via your VPN tunnel or directly to your ISP. In addition, you can expect to find a port forwarding feature which is ideal for P2P users.
It’s, however, disappointing that PureVPN does not offer any decent protection from DNS or IPv6 leaks. This means that your real IP address could potentially be exposed without your knowledge.
However, when you look a little closer, this isn’t necessarily the case. PureVPN was at the center of the scandalous disclosure of user data to the FBI in 2017. So what kind of data does PureVPN store? To start with, PureVPN collects your name, email address, and payment method during signup like many other providers do.
Does PureVPN have a history of sharing private data with law enforcement/other scandals?
This is probably the biggest scare we have when it comes to PureVPN. As highlighted earlier, PureVPN was involved in a major privacy scandal in 2017 when it assisted the FBI in providing user data that led to the apprehension of a cybercriminal. The FBI contacted PureVPN as part of their investigations into a cyberstalker and PureVPN was very cooperative afterward.
The VPN provider was able to provide the FBI with logs and also suggest that the user may have accessed their servers from two consistent IP addresses. Consequently, the FBI was able to deduct that these two IP addresses represented the user’s home and work and subsequently arrested the criminal. This makes things very interesting as PureVPN has always claimed to maintain a strict no-logs policy and also to not store any personally identifiable data.
Does PureVPN offer anonymous payment methods?
One of the standout benefits of subscribing to PureVPN is that it supports the use of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and dozens of anonymous payment options when receiving payments. This is great if you intend to stay anonymous at every given stage of your dealings with the VPN provider and remain untraceable.
Closing Thoughts: is PureVPN really safe?
PureVPN is a reliable VPN provider with so many exciting features that make it easy to bypass difficult geo-blocks. However, is PureVPN safe? When it comes to safety, we’re not totally convinced about the provider. It has a faulty kill switch and does not provide protection from IPv6 leaks which essentially means you constantly face the risk of exposure when you use the provider.
Their history of disclosing personal data and sharing logs with the FBI in the past also leads us to make the verdict that PureVPN is not entirely safe. Nevertheless, we still believe that PureVPN is an effectively reliable provider when it comes to accessing streaming platforms like Netflix and generally bypassing tough geo-restrictions. See a comprehensive review of PureVPN here.