PureVPN leaves a double impression. From one hand, it is a great provider of services which many competitors fail to offer. For example, it grants access to online content in China despite the country’s governmental bans of VPNs. It also allows using Netflix despite the fact that the latter literally is on war with virtual private networks.
At the same time, the company got a negative fame from the last year’s case when it helped FBI to catch a cyberstalker who terrorized a young woman. The guy used PureVPN and thus became invisible to local police which had to get help from FBI. And the provider had some recorded data about this person which, in fact, helped to catch him.
Leaving that aside, the general features make PureVPN one of the greatest picks on the market. And we are not simply chattering. Our conclusions were made after several tests we have recently conducted.
What we really liked about PureVPN is that their team seemed to care about its reputation and the degree of services they provide. We got an impression that they have read all the negative reviews from previous years and made strong improvements to their work.
They have updated the log policy, refined the reimbursement policy and introduced other significant changes. Besides, their website became more user-friendly and comprehensive. Our PureVPN review is all about that.
PureVPN is said to belong to Chinese jurisdiction. Its main office is located in Hong Kong. This might seem strange, given the repressive regulations on Internet China has. But as the firm’s delegate put it, despite the government’s attempts to ban VPNs, this does not touch them since Hong Kong is an “autonomous place” in China.
PureVPN has more than 2000 servers in 140+ nations. Its website says they don’t have servers on another planet besides Earth, yet. But talking about our planet, they seem to have servers anywhere from North to South and from East to West, which is the most impressive geographic variety offered by any VPN.
Be aware that the provider uses virtual servers as well, which means the servers are not certainly physically situated where they are hosted. But they still provide the same benefits as any other physical server. And actually, it can be counted as their competitive advantage.
PureVPN is a great variant for family users since one account supports five simultaneous connections. It supports all platforms for PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Earlier, some reviews claimed that this VPN didn’t work with Linux. Seems the provider made certain improvements and currently, their website offers detailed guidelines on how to get a free Linux app.
Also, PureVPN has desktop apps for Windows and Mac. It also encourages users to try their Chrome and Firefox extension. But the latter ones don’t code your connection, thus, you.
What do you get with PureVPN?
- Works with all major protocols
- Common 256-bit encryption
- Has some awesome features (Kill Switch, Multiport, VPN Hotspot, Split Tunneling)
- Unrestricted torrenting, possibility to use Netflix
- Multiple payment variants; accepts cryptocurrencies
- Among the most affordable VPNs
- Has a built-in antivirus, antimalware support
- Refund policy
- Sluggish download speed
- Dubious logging policy
- Insufficient customer support
- Connection problems with many servers
Founded in 2007, PureVPN is one of the oldest and biggest VPN providers on the global market. Like any other network, it has plenty of advantages and likewise a set of drawbacks to consider. Let’s have a look at those.
Privacy and Security
When picking a VPN, users usually pay much attention to secrecy and safety issues. Actually, it is the main reason for many of them to begin utilizing a VPN. In many aspects, PureVPN is an excellent instrument to defend your machine from unwanted guests and you from unpleasant situations.
Encryption and Protocols
The network endorses several VPN protocols. It allows you to choose the connection. OpenVPN is the default one but you can easily switch to any other protocol depending on your preferences.
There are certain peculiarities of each protocol. For instance, the coding level and speed. Thus, PPTP has the lowest encryption but better speed, while others offer supreme level of encryption but perform slower because of that (SSTP). However, performance may also depend on the connection (OpenVPN).
PureVPN boasts some amazing features for advanced protection which make this product stand out among competitors:
- Kill Switch
- Split Tunneling
- Content Filter
- URL Filter
- Port Forwarding
It also offers two features at additional cost:
- Smart DNS server ($4.95/ month)
- NAT firewall ($2.95/ month)
More than just a VPN
Usually, the strongest VPNs go with additional protection, i.e. antivirus and/or malware defense. And PureVPN is among the leaders. It can offer a selection of the most progressive things too.
The VPN has the server-level intrusion detection and prevention system (IDS and IPS) which averts unwanted elements from interfering with the normal life or your machine. This feature checks all incoming traffic and blocks the items it doesn’t like. Thus, you may be sure nothing gets through this wall.
Every subscription package gives antivirus and antimalware defense without any extra cost.
PureVPN Logging Policy
Just a year ago, the VPN community was shocked by the news that PureVPN gave out information which helped the FBI catch a cyberstalker. This meant that the provider was keeping more detailed logs about subscribers than it claimed. The whole situation showed that you had to be very attentive when picking a VPN. If secrecy is your real concern, of course.
Their team says they don’t log your activity or DNS queries. They also don’t log your or your server’s real IP address. But they do note the time when you begin to utilize a server, the general bandwidth you take during the session, and your Internet provider. But still, things you do in the virtual world cannot be tracked.
Initially, The Onion Router, or TOR, is a chain of servers which allows people to browse the Internet anonymously. The main difference with VPNs is that TOR’s aim is to protect your anonymity, while VPNs were created to guarantee privacy. Obviously, if used together, they provide a wonderful tandem to support both privacy and anonymity.
However, TOR and VPNs may reduce your speed. Also, the wrong pick of a VPN will make it impracticable to use TOR. In the case with PureVPN, you can use it on top of TOR but it won’t give you much. Especially, with these uncertainties with their log policy.
On its website, the provider declares that “it is way better than Tor in terms of speed, security, and anonymity”. And probably, this is true. At least VPN does a good job when taking care of its subscribers’ anonymity.
PureVPN has a vast chain of servers on all the continents. However, many countries are covered by virtual servers. Despite the fact that some competitors have larger selections, PureVPN will satisfy the needs of the majority of subscribers. You will get assistance when choosing servers. Also, you can flag your beloved places for easy access.
When deciding whether to stick to a VPN, plenty of users wonder how it will affect the speed of their computers, tablets or smartphones. This is especially crucial if you are searching for secure ways for streaming.
We have conducted our own tests to see whether PureVPN is really the world’s fastest VPN as they say. We tested several server locations in Europe and the US. And our verdict is: IT IS NOT THE FASTEST.
We discovered that it diminished download speeds by more than 5 percent internally and almost 60 percent internationally. In our upload test, PureVPN made the speed slower by almost 7 percent internally and almost 99 percent internationally. Overall, these outcomes are average but they show that the network is far from being the speediest.
Also, if you decide to utilize an American server while being in England, the speed will be around 35Mbps, which is not that fast comparing to other leading providers. But this is yet OK for normal HD streaming.
PureVPN requires about 10 seconds to connect which is rather quickly. However, we failed to connect to servers in several countries, and this is unforgivable.
No Leaks Detected
Our tests with various servers assured us to forget about DNS Leaks when using PureVPN. At least, we haven’t noticed a single one.
The provider addresses this issue with its Gravity option which is a part of its secure DNS servers. They also suggest not to utilize it with another protection feature Ozone, because applying two of those simultaneously “can result in Potential DNS LEAK”. So, beware of that.
Does PureVPN work in China?
PureVPN was always different from its competitors when overcoming bans. It has servers in the countries with oppressive internet policies, including China and can easily jump over the Great Firewall of China. The provider presents many features to enhance the Internet security of subscribers in this particular country.
Within China, they offer servers situated in Beijing, Guangdong, and Shanghai. Obviously, the company has servers in Hong Kong. And all of those make it feasible for subscribers to access the content from outside of the country. Also, PureVPN makes it feasible to utilize social networks and VoIP services.
However, you may need to make several attempts to connect to Chinese servers. But in case you are persistent enough, you will get a chance to enjoy free Internet there. Another thing you can do in case you fail to access some websites is to change the protocol settings.
Torrenting and Streaming
Our review of PureVPN shows that its biggest advantage is the chance to access streaming services through servers adapted for video. Convenient apps can be uploaded on various appliances. Routers get support too.
Is torrenting allowed?
The provider allows using of P2P and torrent connections. However, not via every server. You won’t be able to share files on servers located in those countries which do not favor torrenting. But the list of states where you can utilize torrent connections is impressive, so no need to get stressed about that.
What about Netflix?
Despite Netflix limitations, PureVPN remains a wonderful thing to utilize with Netflix. According to the provider, the streaming company would not work with VPNs that offer shared IPs. But PureVPN grants dedicated IP addresses to subscribers. So, you may be 100% anonymous when streaming and Netflix will never discover that you are utilizing a VPN.
Moreover, the provider says you will get the chance to watch the US video content in just 4 minutes. And this is accurate. We’ve managed to access Netflix many times and did not have any connectivity problems.
Note, that this a payable option. It costs $2.99 to enjoy Netflix for one month. Plus, you should have their account.
Other streaming options
PureVPN is a number one pick if you need fast access to the major streaming services. You can connect to Sky TV, Hulu, Kodi, ABC, ESPN, and more through particular servers. Actually, the provider encourages to “enjoy streaming at blazing-fast speeds on over 100s of popular streaming channels”.
How much does PureVPN cost?
PureVPN is an extremely affordable provider. It offers great plans and also non-expensive features. However, unlike many competitors, it has no free version. Which is not necessarily bad since those typically don’t offer the features the majority of folks are willing to get when utilizing a VPN.
So, here are the Plans:
- 1 Month (no savings) – $10,95/month
- 3 Months (save 27%) – $8/month
- 1 Year (save 73%) – $2,99/month (this makes $35,88 per year. But note that recurring will be charged at $64.95 next year. Auto-recurring can be changed or canceled at any time by contacting the customer support).
The provider promises to return your money within a 31-day period if you are not contented with the service. However, it may take up to one month to actually receive the money. Their staff says it depends on your bank, card or payment provider.
They will also try to resolve the issue first and in case the problem persists, their managers will process the refund request (usually within 24 hours).
Note that a 3-days trial version can be purchased for $2,50. During this interim, you may utilize the service without any restrictions. The money is not returnable even if you have technical problems. But still, this is a perfect way to test the service and decide whether you are willing to stay with them any longer.
Don’t miss their updates about great deals, i.e. Halloween VPN Deal, Black Friday VPN Deal, New Year VPN Deal and other. Or sign up to their pages in social networks to receive updates on time.
Also, the company suggests joining its affiliate program and get rewards for bringing new people to subscribe. And a “refer-a-friend” option promises surprise awards, which is interesting.
PureVPN claims to have 24/7 live customer service agents. And they do respond promptly. Nevertheless, they often appear ineffective when dealing with issues. They also respond quickly to email requests but the responses seem to be scripted. They send you to the support section on the website which appears unhelpful if you have already strived to settle the issue yourself.
But the support center on their web resource is well-organized. You get plenty of useful information there and may generate a ticket when reporting a problem. They also provide a valuable search feature which saves plenty of time when you need to find something. Although, texts are not always properly written or contain mistakes, which makes them look somewhat unprofessional.
Do we recommend PureVPN?
On the whole, PureVPN is not a bad thing. It is inexpensive, accessible, and straightforward. We would advise going for it if you are willing to utilize US Netflix or plan to go to China (Russia, Iran, and Turkey could be added to this list too).
Also, the provider works a lot to provide top-quality services and to differ itself from competitors. They still have much work to do but they seem to be willing to improve.
Yet, if your main concern is security, we advise being careful. Their logging policy still raises questions. However, PureVPN is not the only VPN provider whom you may doubt, it was just unlucky to be chosen by the cyberstalker. Plus, our main tests showed that its protection against major Internet threats is on a high level.
So, yes, we do recommend it.