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Both NordVPN and PureVPN are among the most recognized and used VPN providers worldwide. If you look at performance alone, the fight is more than fair, but you have to consider PureVPN’s career-breaking collaboration with US security agencies before you cast the final verdict.
TL;DR? No worries – in the table below you’ll find both providers compared side by side in some of the most important categories:
|“Best for” nominee||Best overall, Best for Netflix, Best for P2P, Best for China, Fastest VPN||Best for Mac, Best for Linux, Best for Zoom, Best Chrome extension|
|Price starts at||$3.30/month||$2.91/month|
|Review||NordVPN Review||PureVPN Review|
NordVPN does look a lot better, and it’s way more affordable. But how about other features?
Read on to learn more about both of these services and how they stack up against one another in all things VPN.
NordVPN vs PureVPN security
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2|
|Security features||Double VPN, Tor over VPN, CyberSec, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, kill switch, split tunneling||Split tunneling, kill switch, dedicated IP addresses, and port forwarding|
Both providers look great in terms of security. Both use foolproof military-grade encryption, a powerful kill switch, and have a great set of protocols.
Speaking of protocols, although both PureVPN and NordVPN have the default secure option in OpenVPN, NordVPN has one advantage. They offer their proprietary version of the WireGuard protocol called NordLynx, which ensures a faster and more secure browsing experience.
To see how both providers do in terms of IP and DNS leaks, I ran some online tests, connecting to Sweden with NordVPN and Honduras with PureVPN.
As you can see, both NordVPN and PureVPN worked great at hiding my true IP address and providing a new one.
When it comes to other security features, I appreciate that PureVPN has the split tunneling feature that works on all major apps, and not only on Android as is the case with NordVPN.
However, NordVPN wins by offering Onion over VPN, Double VPN, and a free SOCKS5 proxy, which PurePVN does not have. Hence, the winner of this round is clear – it’s NordVPN.
NordVPN vs PureVPN privacy
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs|
Both VPNs have an independently-audited no-logs policy, as well as an option to pay anonymously, with cryptocurrencies. Does that mean this round should end with a tie?
Unfortunately, no, due to the privacy scandal surrounding PureVPN. Back in 2017, the FBI accidentally let slip how PureVPN’s strict “no logs” policy was basically bogus. A US-based cyberstalker harassing his old roommate was apprehended by the FBI, but the greatest cost was paid by the VPN provider. All of a sudden, in spite of loud “no logs” advertisements, PureVPN became the VPN provider that had logs and was willing to share them with state agencies.
With that said, PureVPN’s independent privacy audit came after this incident – in 2019. This serves as a big step towards cleaning house on PureVPN’s part, but NordVPN clearly wins the privacy battle.
PureVPN vs NordVPN speed and performance
PureVPN is certainly marketed as one of the fastest services of its kind. However, our speed testing tool has shown that’s clearly not the case. Sure, the speeds are not bad until you compare them to NordVPN speeds. Moreover, after introducing the NordLynx feature, NordVPN speeds increased even more.
NordVPN boasts over 5100+ servers in 60+ countries around the world.
In contrast, PureVPN has 6500+ servers in 140 countries. Of course, not all of those servers are physical.
Below you will find a detailed comparison of NordVPN’s and PureVPN’s performance.
NordVPN vs PureVPN: 14-Day Speed Average
|Download Speed||1,633 Mbps||75 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,577 Mbps||160 Mbps|
|Download Speed||1,392 Mbps||89 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,191 Mbps||260 Mbps|
|Download Speed||553 Mbps||156 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,145 Mbps||425 Mbps|
NordVPN vs PureVPN: apps and ease of use
|Other apps||Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV||Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Edge, Firefox||Chrome, Edge, Firefox|
|Manual setups||Routers, firewall, NAS||Router, firewall, NAS|
|Customer support||24/7 live chat, email, FAQ, tutorials||24/7 live chat, knowledge base, support tickets|
Just by looking at the table, you can tell that both providers do an excellent job when it comes to app support. Both NordVPN and PureVPN have apps for major platforms, apps for Android TV and Fire TV, as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Edge and Firefox.
Both can be manually set up on routers, firewalls, and NAS.
PureVPN offers 10 simultaneous connections, while NordVPN offers 6. This may seem like a huge difference but as a matter of fact, most users do just great with 6 connections.
When it comes to Customer support, it’s not that PureVPN doesn’t provide quick customer support – it does. But can you actually get what you need when you contact PureVPN?
Many customers are inclined to say “not really” and some of them have altogether given up on live support.
This is not at all the case with NordVPN’s 24/7 live chat support. They claim to serve over 3,000 user inquiries each day and, from our experience with them, at least, they seem in no way overcrowded or rushed. Additionally, NordVPN has recently launched a very useful chatbot, which can solve many of the more common issues.
Torrenting and P2P with NordVPN vs PureVPN
|Allowed on||Selected servers||Selected servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||No|
|Split tunneling||Yes (Windows, Android)||Yes|
Both NordVPN and PureVPN allow torrenting on selected servers and have a kill switch feature, which is essential when it comes to P2P. Both providers have a split tunneling feature, however, it’s worth mentioning that currently NordVPN only offers it on Windows and Android.
Speaking of PureVPN, it will only allow P2P file sharing on specific servers in Kazakhstan, Kenya, and a few others, and the service is not the fastest for P2P file sharing to begin with.
NordVPN, on the other hand, is one of the best services for torrenting. With optimized P2P servers, unlimited bandwidth, excellent encryption, and a free SOCKS5 proxy, this service puts at your disposal all the tools you need to torrent safely.
Netflix and other streaming platforms
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||No|
Customer reviews regarding their use of PureVPN to bypass Netflix’s geo-blocking are inconclusive. Some users say they could access Netflix using PureVPN, while others say they could not. We’ve tried PureVPN ourselves and while we could access the American Netflix and use PureVPN for Kodi, we could not unblock Hulu, BBC iPlayer, or Amazon Prime.
Overall, NordVPN is once again much more reliable. Using NordVPN, we’ve accessed several US servers for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Kodi.
China and other restricted countries
|Works in China||Yes||No|
|Stealth VPN||Yes (Obfuscated servers)||No|
|Tor over VPN||Yes (Onion over VPN)||No|
The features speak for themselves – as NordVPN has both Stealth VPN and Onion over VPN, and PureVPN has none of these, the former provider is the true winner of this round. While on NordVPN you can turn Obfuscated servers on. They will slow down your connection, but you’ll be able to use the VPN in restricted countries like China.
Perhaps even more importantly, PureVPN is based in Hong Kong. With the current uncertain political situation, it’s best not to rely on a VPN provider that may be susceptible to Chinese power.
Pricing: NordVPN vs PureVPN
|Free trial||Yes, 7-day on Android||7-day|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||31 days|
|Payment options||Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPay||Credit card, PayPal, cryptocurrencies|
In terms of pricing, these two services have quite a lot of similarities. They have three pricing plans, money-back guarantees, free trials, and a nice selection of payment options. The differences crop up when we look at the details.
The NordVPN free trial can only be claimed on Android devices in the Google Play Store, while PureVPN offers its trial to everyone. Furthermore, the latter offers a 31-day money-back guarantee, which is marginally lengthier than usual.
Both services offer monthly, annual, or two-year subscription plans. Prices differ slightly, but not by a lot. However, PureVPN has some features, such as port forwarding, locked behind additional costs, which makes the service more expensive overall. Additionally, NordVPN has more payment options, making it the better option for price-conscious customers.
NordVPN vs PureVPN – which is the winner?
NordVPN wins by a landslide in pretty much every respect. While the word of the day for PureVPN is “controversial” or “uncertain,” NordVPN sets the industry standard for reliability and support.
With NordVPN not only will you stay safe and private while online, but you will also access more geo-blocked content, enjoy great streaming speeds, and smooth torrenting. On top of that, it’s prices are great, especially when you consider the features you get.
Is NordVPN the best VPN?
According to our extensive research, NordVPN really is the best VPN. It’s fast, secure, available on a wide variety of devices, reliable, and affordable.
Does NordVPN have a free trial?
Yes, NordVPN has a free trial. You can claim it on the Google Play Store on Android devices. After that, you can use the VPN however you please for 7 days.
Is PureVPN better than NordVPN?
Although PureVPN is considered a top-of-the-line VPN, it is not better than NordVPN. It has room for improvement in terms of streaming, connection speed, and security features.
Is PureVPN free to use?
PureVPN is not free to use. Luckily, it does have a 7-day free trial, which can be used without any limitations.
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Mikaela is an investigative journalist that likes to cover the ever-changing world of technology. She tries to keep her finger on the pulse of digital trends and share her insights on the most relevant topics, including big tech, security, privacy, and data breaches.