The number of servers is one of the primary selling points of every VPN provider. Those who have vast farmlands (presumably) filled with servers across the globe will let you know about it as soon as you visit their website. Even those with a modest server count will probably mention it somewhere on the Home page. But while you can always say “the more, the merrier” about a VPN server list – particularly because it makes geo-blocking and censoring more difficult – the server quality and location is the key thing. Otherwise, it would be impossible for any VPN service that has less than a thousand servers to crack the Top 10. And what about the PureVPN server list? Where does it stand compared to the competition? Read on to find out.
How big is the PureVPN server list?
You don’t need to scroll down PureVPN’s website much to see that it has over two thousand “strategically-placed” servers that should help you overcome any possible restriction. While it cannot compete with TorGuard or CyberGhost, both of which are offering more than three thousand servers, it’s on the same level as our #1 – ExpressVPN.
What does that say to us? It means that you don’t have to be the leader in the quantity department to be the overall VPN leader. In comparison, NordVPN has more than 5700 servers, but that’s not enough to give it a significant edge over ExpressVPN.
Having this in mind, one should look at the number of countries and locations or regions that have VPN servers. This will help to determine how big the actual network is and how densely it covers the globe.
How spread out is the PureVPN server list?
There are cases when VPN service providers blow up the server numbers by adding “virtual,” (read: fake) locations. Unfortunately, that’s also the case with PureVPN. Therefore, while its 180+ locations in 140+ countries look impressive, expecting it to have a physical server in Bhutan or North Korea would be optimistic at best. In the case of North Korea, the server would probably be “administered” by the government anyway, so that’s why no reasonable VPN providers would take such a risk. In fact, most top VPNs linger around 60 countries with servers, which makes PureVPN’s 140+ almost absurd.
Because of the virtual servers, we will ignore the location and country numbers that PureVPN has posted, concentrating only on the number of servers and their spread around the globe. These numbers will also not be 100% precise because there’s no way to know which servers are virtual and which ones are physical, but at least it would give us an idea about the continents where PureVPN’s presence is felt most. Based on that information, you should be able to decide if this VPN will be able to provide decent connectivity.
PureVPN servers by region
Unsurprisingly, the majority of PureVPN servers are in Europe and the Americas. That’s almost 1600 or 74% of the total. Normally it would mean that the server spread is pretty good – such well-known brands as Astrill VPN boast the same percentage. The difference is that the latter is one of the best VPNs for Asia, and PureVPN is yet to climb to the top in any region.
In South America, PureVPN has 81 servers (4%) in 13 countries. If we were to believe that all of them are real, the result could be considered very good because, for example, NordVPN has less than 1% of their servers in this region.
Asia is a big and ever-growing VPN market. Many top VPNs are yet to give it the attention it seeks, with Astrill VPN being probably the strongest service in this regard (1 out of 5 servers on this continent). PureVPN has 15%, but again, this is probably too good to be true.
When it comes to Oceania, some VPNs like to count these servers as belonging to the Asia-Pacific region. We prefer them separately because the distance from New Zealand to any mainland server when seeking the best connectivity is just too much. PureVPN’s 4% is a good number, beating even Astrill (assuming all of these are physical servers).
The next big region is the Middle East, Africa, and India. It usually has the lowest number of servers both percentage-wise and in total. PureVPN boasts having around 150 servers in Africa alone, totaling 7% (!). But there’s no way to separate India or Middle Eastern countries because the server list in the PureVPN client doesn’t allow selecting anything but the country. So either you believe that NordVPN has ten times fewer servers in Africa or just ignore these numbers and check the actual speed each server gives you.
PureVPN server speed
Finally, we come to the most exciting part, which is checking if the self-proclaimed “World’s Fastest VPN Service” can walk the walk. The reviews and user opinions were conflicting, so we did a test of our own from Europe. The speeds were either good or very good, with drop-offs in line with the increasing distance. So while PureVPN is not the fastest service we’ve laid our hands-on, it indeed is one of the fastest.
As previously mentioned, a lot of has to do with the server you’re connecting to. A nearby physical server will often give you hassle-free connectivity, while a virtual one on another continent may cause latency issues at the best of times. With PureVPN, you shouldn’t expect any problems in North America or Europe, but other regions must be tested before deciding to buy the service.
PureVPN servers and streaming
A common problem when trying to stream a show or a sports event is geo-blocking. And PureVPN isn’t helping as much as it could by allowing users to choose more than just the country. This means that a user in New York might have to connect to Los Angeles for no reason, losing bandwidth due to the vastly increased distance.
To be fair, PureVPN has a special option named “Purpose” where you can choose what you want to stream, like a particular cable channel, Hulu, or US Netflix. To be even fairer, PureVPN was not created purely for streaming. While PureVPN managed to unblock the US Netflix library, the BBC iPlayer did not bring us the desired results.
PureVPN servers and torrenting
PureVPN is not a bad choice for torrenting. First, it offers unlimited bandwidth and 200 optimized P2P servers. Second, the speed is good enough to avoid leaving your computer on for the weekend while you’re away, just to have a few GBs downloaded by Monday. Third, you can retain your anonymity by paying for PureVPN with cryptocurrency and using the VPN’s powerful security features.
But there are enough weak points too, one being the lack of a SOCKS5 proxy. Many torrenting fans favor it due to its speed and the flexibility it offers. There are also some reports of IP and DNS leaks, although our tests show nothing of the sort. Last but not least, the aforementioned P2P servers are the only ones allowing torrent traffic, and some critics suggest they are second-class, providing worse speeds.
Read more: PureVPN for Torrenting
How is the PureVPN server list?
It’s hard to conclude when you don’t know how many of the 2000 servers scattered across 140 locations are physical and which are just “virtual.” These doubts are already no good, so we’d refrain from calling the server list “great.”
With that said, the speeds are indeed great, so who are we to judge? Just keep in mind that over the years PureVPN has seen its share of scandalous stories.