PureVPN’s ever-growing list of features offers lots of bang for your buck. It fits right in at the top of the VPN market and is one of the most universal VPN services out there.
PureVPN’s ever-growing list of features offers lots of bang for your buck. It fits right in at the top of the VPN market and is one of the most universal VPN services out there.
PureVPN has a lot you would want from a reliable VPN – plenty of servers, excellent security features, and some of the lowest prices. Yet, it also raised some privacy concerns in the past.
For those interested in streaming, PureVPN can be a viable option. This VPN unblocks not only Netflix but other streaming platforms, such as BBC iPlayer or Disney+ as well. In the meantime, torrenting fans should be happy with the port forwarding feature.
In this PureVPN review, I’ll discuss its security and privacy, performance, compatibility, and customer support, among other things. Let’s see if the deal’s worth it!
|Rank||#10 out of 231 providers|
|Support||24/7 live chat|
|Logs||Independently-audited no-logs policy|
|Free version or trial||No|
The best way to decide on a VPN’s speed is to run some long-term tests. So that’s what we did by creating our in-house speed testing tool to check the speeds in multiple countries on a daily basis.
While most reviewers test the VPN a few times only before counting the average speed, we use data from the last two weeks. Besides, we minimize the number of steps between the VPN and the speed test server, thus getting more accurate results.
As you can tell from the results, PureVPN download speeds are really good, although sometimes it can be multiple times slower than the fastest VPN provider. The results should be even better for everyone when PureVPN finishes implementing WireGuard, now available on Windows and Android.
With PureVPN, you should be able to stream HD videos on Netflix without issues. P2P file exchange will be fast – downloading a 10 GB file should take up to 10 minutes. Of course, if you connect to a remote server on another continent, both uploading and downloading can become an issue.
On a more positive note, when using our test servers in Europe and North America, the client connects quickly, the speeds are decent, and the connections seem reliable.
PureVPN boasts a server network of 6500+ servers across 70+ countries. Those are quite impressive numbers. Furthermore, less than 2% of the servers are virtual and all those in the US, the UK, and Europe are 10 Gbps.
Here’s how PureVPN servers spread across the globe:
As you can see, around 80% of the servers are in North America and Europe. That’s the case with most VPN providers. But what sets PureVPN’s fleet apart is its presence in countries like the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Aruba, Monaco, Brunei, and Kenya.
To prepare for the upcoming 5G standard, PureVPN has started implementing 20 Gbps servers that can double your speeds. Currently, they are available in the following countries:
Considering that many competitors are still struggling with 10 Gbps, PureVPN is a true trail-blazer.
The VPN server speed depends on many factors, but distance is the most important. If it’s in your country, there’s virtually no way it could be slower than one in another continent. Next comes the server load – if it operates near its full capacity, the performance will suffer. Finally, there are many other technical factors, such as virtual and physical servers.
Pure VPN can automatically choose the fastest server based on your intention. But if you want to configure the DNS manually, here are some of the options:
There’s no separate option to choose the least loaded server because their speed is also measured by the distance, among other factors.
PureVPN advertises its services as a tool to complete anonymity when browsing the internet. Besides, the service is said to have entertainment value via streaming services unblocks.
Their strongest selling points are:
With that said, there were certain problems in the past. PureVPN was at the center of the scandalous disclosure of user data to the FBI in 2017. So, when it comes to the safety of this tool, you’ll have to take the provider’s word for it. Ultimately, their technical prowess is impressive, but it is for you to decide whether that will be enough to protect your privacy.
Let’s start with encryption, one of the most substantial aspects of PureVPN. Just like most competitors, this provider uses practically impenetrable AES-256 encryption. This military-grade cipher can withstand a brute-force attack for centuries.
Secondly, PureVPN is already implementing the next-gen WireGuard tunneling protocol, but it’s currently available on Windows and Android only.
In the meantime, you can use a plethora of time-tested alternatives:
Not all of these are available on each device type, but all apps have at least one secure tunneling protocol, which is more than enough. It doesn’t matter how old or recent your device is – with PureVPN, you’ll have options.
Recently, PureVPN has introduced a revolutionary feature named Quantum-Resistant Encryption Keys. Available with OpenVPN in select countries, these quantum computer-generated keys significantly boost your security and privacy. This way, your connection is protected from quantum computing threats.
An essential security feature: the kill switch stops all internet traffic if your VPN connection drops. This prevents your real IP address (and identity from leaking), maintaining your anonymity online.
This feature is enabled by default on Windows. Mac users can activate the PureVPN kill switch by going to Settings:
When it comes to mobile apps, PureVPN is yet to add this feature to the version for iOS. In the meantime, Android owners can use the native “Always-on VPN” feature. However, it’s not compatible with split tunneling.
IP or DNS leaks are probably the worst things that can happen to you when using a VPN. This means that your IP address, browsing history, and location can be traced right back to you.
With that said, I decided to run an online test to see how reliable PureVPN is.
First of all, I connected to Sweden with my PureVPN account and was assigned the IP address 188.8.131.52.
Then I checked whether it was leaking:
As you can see, this is the IP address PureVPN gave me, meaning there was no IP leak.
People often ask where PureVPN is based. It’s located in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly location. This country is also not part of the Fourteen Eyes countries, which essentially means that it’s under no obligation to share users’ information with countries belonging to that surveillance framework.
The service was previously located in Hong Kong for over a decade but decided to switch to a jurisdiction that’s more focused on user privacy.
PureVPN operates under the name of GZ Systems Limited, which is owned by a parent company Gaditek. What should be worrisome is that it’s based in Pakistan, which is notorious for its data retention laws, and may be able to use its military muscle to bully PureVPN to release vital user information.
It was discussed in our major research on the hidden owners of popular VPN products. In a nutshell, Gaditek is shady. What’s more, they maintain several websites to promote PureVPN as the #1 VPN.
So, if you’re wondering how come you’ve been reading all these great PureVPN reviews, it might just be that marketing gun aimed at you.
However, it’s worth highlighting that in 2017, PureVPN assisted an FBI investigation that led to the arrest of a cyberstalker. While it is commendable that a criminal was brought to book, this is a concern for a VPN that “supposedly” does not monitor user activity or store logs.
Independent audits of VPN security and no-log policies are becoming more common, and PureVPN has joined the fray. In 2019, they had their no-log policy audited by a leading California security audit service, Altius IT.
In 2020, PureVPN asked KPMG, one of the leading accounting companies, to do a second audit, which also went well. If that wasn’t enough, the auditors have the right to initiate a non-scheduled audit at any time without warning.
This sounds like a good setup. However, I cannot guarantee that their ghosts from the past won’t return.
Other than secure encryption, proper tunneling protocols, and a kill switch, PureVPN has these technical features (most of them cost extra):
PureVPN supports most major device types, including desktop, mobile devices, smart TVs, etc. At the end of 2020, they introduced a redesigned app with a uniform design across all major platforms. With minimal design, it also offered minimal customization, which wasn’t met with applause from the advanced users.
PureVPN supports these desktop apps:
The installation of PureVPN is no different than the majority of the programs. All you have to do is follow the steps, and you’ll be fine.
Before the update, you would get to choose the primary purpose of why you’re getting the product – Stream, Be secure, Download, and Other. The app would have separate modes to choose from, depending on what you want to do.
I’m glad that PureVPN finally ditched their mode system. It was probably created for novice users but got them even more confused, infuriating the veterans at the same time.
As previously mentioned, desktop apps use a lot of white space, but it looks rather empty when there’s such a limited number of settings.
The main menu has a standard big connection button with a recommended location and a left sidebar with options like Locations, Help, Subscription details, and Settings. What you’ll find in the latter depends on your OS.
Windows users can toggle the kill switch and choose between WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols. There’s also split tunneling and personalized server selection. Turned on by default, it tries to assign you the same servers that worked well before.
In the meantime, the macOS kill switch and personalized servers are off, and the automatic protocol is L2TP/IPSec. Luckily, you can select WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec, and OpenVPN (UDP) instead.
Speaking of PureVPN for Linux, it doesn’t have a GUI, like most services. You can install the VPN on Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, Mint, and Debian – both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported.
To sum up, PureVPN desktop apps could have more features because the majority of the top competitors have both better-looking and more customizable clients.
You can get PureVPN on:
Once you download and log into the app, you get the first screen which is a compact version of the desktop counterpart.
Putting usability aside, the Android app has a couple of features. One is split tunneling, which allows you to choose which apps will use the VPN connection. The other is personalized server selection, already discussed above.
When it comes to security protocols, WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN are the main choices, while Proxy connects to a server without encryption for better performance. The kill switch is not there, but you can use Android’s native “Always-on VPN” feature.
Switching to iPhone, I found the same server personalization and a new VPN on Demand option. Here you can enter a list of domains, and opening them will trigger a VPN connection. Unfortunately, PureVPN for iOS doesn’t have a kill switch.
The tunneling protocol selection for iPhone includes WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP. Like on Android, you can go Automatic and leave decision-making to the app.
PureVPN has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. The Chrome version has more than 300,000 installs, which is not a bad result. The Firefox version, of course, is much less popular, with about 15,000 downloads. Much to my surprise, the Edge add-on had twice as much.
Neither of the browser extensions is free, which means you either have to get a subscription or use the 7-day “free trial,” which requires your payment details.
Downloading and installing the add-ons went well, but I was caught off-guard by the auto-loading PureVPN webpage. It stated that I could get a Premium browser extension for $1.99/month, with fast speeds and over 100 streaming channels.
The price was the same as the annual plan of the VPN at the time of writing this review. I honestly cannot understand why PureVPN would offer its service by naming it a Premium browser extension.
Moving on to the actual add-ons, they seem to do their job well. While the design stayed the same, no functions have been removed either. Both Firefox and Chrome extensions kept their word and unblocked both Netflix US and BBC iPlayer for me.
Once you get them set up and running, using PureVPN browser extensions is a breeze. You can quickly select a country, a Popular Websites tab with streaming platforms, and the Prevent WebRTC leak switch at the bottom. This is a bare minimum, but it should get the job done if you just need to unblock websites and browse the web safely.
The main downside of a browser extension is that it only encrypts your browser traffic. On the other hand, using it solves the infamous browser-level issue of leaking WebRTC. Most VPNs can avoid WebRTC leaks only by using their proprietary browser add-ons.
Here are some of the platforms that also have apps or can be configured manually:
The Android TV app can be downloaded from Google Play Store or sideloaded on Android TV Box. PureVPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick is also a great app that will turn any smart TV into a streaming hub. Apple TV and other smart TV owners probably already know that their devices don’t support VPNs, so they’ll need a router, wifi, or Ethernet connection first.
A third option for watching your beloved shows online is to use the Kodi app on your Kodi-enabled device. The PureVPN app was designed according to the media player, so you should have no problem getting used to it.
When it comes to routers, PureVPN gives you plenty of options. You can use a DD-WRT applet or configure it manually. There are more than 20 supported router models, including Tomato, Asus, pfSense, Linksys, and TP-Link.
Finally, Roku, Chromecast, Blue Ray players, and game consoles can be set up via the router. On top of that, you can manually configure this VPN on QNAP, Synology, OpenELEC, Raspberry Pi, Chromebook, and so on.
PureVPN offers seven Netflix libraries in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, and Australia. This should be more than enough for most users, except if you’re looking for something local. I was unable to access the Australian library, though.
You should expect fast speeds from PureVPN – during my test, the connection was good enough to stream not only in HD but 4K as well. Of course, if your regular connection is too slow for watching in high quality, a VPN won’t do any good. That is unless your ISP is throttling the bandwidth.
You can opt-in for a dedicated IP to guarantee unrestricted access to Netflix. However, seeing how well the regular subscription works, this may seem like overkill.
What’s really missing is the Smart DNS feature. It allows you to unblock Netflix or any other platform without encrypting your connection, resulting in much faster speeds. Another great thing is that you can use Smart DNS on virtually any device, even those that don’t natively support VPNs. Hopefully, PureVPN will add this feature in the near future.
With PureVPN, you can watch more than 100 popular streaming platforms, such as:
The most convenient way to access them is from the browser extension that automatically connects to the right server and loads the chosen resource.
If you’re having trouble accessing any of these, detailed instructions are available on their website’s Support Center.
What’s more, you can use PureVPN and Kodi together. There’s an add-on that you can download and use on your Kodi-enabled device.
Yes, but not in all countries. PureVPN does not support torrenting in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada:
Furthermore, we have blocked P2P on some of our servers as per changing Global Web Policy. We don’t allow p2p/filesharing where it’s illegal by law named United Kingdom (UK) , United States (US), Canada, Australia etc.
All in all, I must say that PureVPN is an excellent choice for torrenting. In addition to their superb server selection and download speeds, there are also some nice additional features. For example, port forwarding is crucial if you need to maintain a download/upload ratio.
One of the standout benefits of subscribing to PureVPN is that it supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies. This is great if you intend to stay incognito at every given stage of your dealings with the VPN provider and remain untraceable.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, PureVPN has raised the number of simultaneous connections from 5 to 10.
Furthermore, there’s a 7-day trial for $0.99 that includes all premium features. You can cancel it anytime, and if you don’t – you’ll be subscribed to the annual plan with 47% off.
Apart from the 1-month plan, PureVPN prices are some of the best. Here’s how all the offers look like:
You’ll be granted a generous 82% discount on the lengthiest two-year plan.
Opting for any of these plans would provide you with enterprise-grade encryption, multi-login (ten devices at the same time), 6500+ secure servers in 70+ countries, as well as 24/7 customer support.
If you’re lucky, you may stumble upon an insane PureVPN 5-year deal. Appearing intermittently as a pop-up while browsing the website, it offers an 86% discount and costs $1.50/month.
I like their pricing plans because each of them comes with a 31-day money-back guarantee. You can refund your PureVPN purchase after using it for a month, with no strings attached.
Also, PureVPN once again supports a number of anonymous and other payment options. You pay with a credit card, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and PaymentWall. Anonymous payments are not refundable.
PureVPN offers the following customer support options:
The Support Center page is divided into seven main categories: Setup Guides, Troubleshoot, Account & Billing, VPN Use Cases, FAQs, Business, Learning Center, Status & Announcement.
While some of them are self-explanatory, others have a very specific role. For instance, VPN User Cases aims to help people, such as students, business people, or travelers. In the meantime, Learning Center offers guidance for advanced users who, for example, want to make Vuze load torrents via VPN only.
These categories help your potential customers find the answers about the product, its setup, etc. If the answer is not there, you can always use a chat bar at the bottom of the page.
You can quickly initiate a chat by opening the support chat window in the bottom right corner of your browser page. And, you can chat right away.
I have to admit that the PureVPN 24/7 live chat support is speedy. When I inquired about the macOS settings, I got an instant reply and helpful assistance with relevant links.
Nevertheless, many unsatisfied PureVPN customers have left comments all over the internet about clunky support. There have been lots of issues with the free 7-day trial, losing connections, not being able to connect to servers, and so on.
The complaints on the internet are usually unrelated to the response speed. However, you may get automated messages with related links to the PureVPN FAQ pages, which may not help you sort out your problem.
PureVPN does work in China. However, this does not mean that provider’s website is unblocked. This means that you might have to figure out how to get this VPN installed. If you’re traveling to China, you should install it on all your devices beforehand.
However, keep in mind that the situation in China is constantly in flux. No VPN service can provide a 100% guarantee that it’ll work in China forever. You should always consult customer support for the latest news on the situation.
PureVPN is a secure VPN service with a twice-confirmed no-logs policy. It’s on the same level as the other market leaders. In fact, it should be even higher on our list of best VPN services if not for those past scandals and proximity to China.
Should you choose it, expect fast speeds, safe torrenting, and plenty of streaming options from all over the world. PureVPN has apps for all major platforms and can be configured to work on many more. And should you struggle with setting it up on your router or Chromebook, 24/7 customer support will be there for you.
The final argument for PureVPN is the extremely low price. Even without its partially-hidden 5-year plan, you get a premium-class service without selling your kidney.
To sum up, if you want to spoof your IP address to access geo-blocked content and protect your P2P efforts, you will be more than satisfied with PureVPN.
PureVPN and other VPNs are legal everywhere except in the following countries: North Korea, Russia, China, Turkmenistan, Oman, Iraq, Iran, Belarus, United Arab Emirates, Turkey.
PureVPN doesn’t have a free version. However, it offers a 7-day trial that costs only $0.99. There’s also a 31-day money-back guarantee which should be enough to test all the features properly.
One of the standout benefits of subscribing to PureVPN is that it accepts Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other anonymous payments. This is great if you intend to stay incognito at every given stage of your dealings with the VPN provider and remain untraceable.
It does have an ad blocker, but only on older 7.x versions. If you turn on the Content Filter feature, ads will be blocked before they’re even loaded. This will work with any browser, including Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Edge, or Opera.