To understand if PureVPN is truly one of the best VPN providers in the industry, it has to be put through a series of tests. In this PureVPN review, I’ll be uncovering the true potential of this VPN client!
Ready for the results? The keep reading!
Now, before we get to the main aspects of this review, you need to understand what VPN reviews are all about, and how they’re conducted. It’s to give you a clear idea of you’re about to invest on PureVPN and everything the provider offers in terms of security, unblocking abilities, speeds and server coverage.
VPN reviews often vary from person to person, so it’s great to keep your views open about the results. The end result also depends on how fast you’re connection speeds are, or your physical location in comparison to the VPN server you’re connected to.
We’ll be breaking up, reviewing and testing each crucial part that highlights the reliability of the VPN, in this circumstance of PureVPN.
PureVPN review 2020 – At a glance
Here’s a table showing giving you a little idea of what the PureVPN offers and the results, just in case you don’t feel like going through the entire review.
|Servers||6500+ servers in 140+ countries|
What do we know about PureVPN?
Below, you’ll see some points against what PureVPN claims to offer, and what I’ll be testing along the entire review. They are:
- PureVPN is headquartered in Hong Kong, and claims a no-logs policy after being audited twice.
- It encompasses a massive network of 6500+ servers in 140+ countries. But, are they streaming and torrenting compatible? We’ll find that out later.
- They claims to offer “Ultra-Fast VPN Connections” (Find the test results further on)
- PureVPN mentioned that they offer powerful security like military-encryption, a Kill Switch, Port Forwarding and protocols.
- Dedicated IP
- Simultaneous and multiple device connections.
- A 24/7 live chat
I’ll be discussing all this and more in this PureVPN review, putting each of the points mentioned above under the microscope.
The PureVPN rating guide
Cybersecurity measures are extremely crucial for online protection and privacy, and a VPN is a major part of it. This is why we conduct VPN reviews, to check if the provider measures up to standard. In this PureVPN review, I’ll be following a criterion, which will later produce accurate results on how this provider performs.
Here’s how this VPN is tested:
Pricing – How expensive is PureVPN?
When looking for the best VPN service, you need to also check whether the provider is affordable or not. This will give you an idea of what features and performance to expect for the price you’re paying. Turns out, PureVPN is among some of the best cheap VPN services that offer a great discount on its 2-year plan.
Need an idea of what PureVPN costs overall? Take a look at its packages below:
The PureVPN prices fall into 3 plans:
- $10.95 for the 1-month plan
- $5.82/mo. for the 1-year plan after paying $0.99 for the trial
- $3.33/mo. for the 2-year plan (70% off) (BEST PRICE)
According to me, I feel the monthly plan is a little overly priced, but it’s still cheaper than most providers. The yearly and biennial packages are quite feasible, with the 2-year plan being the most affordable.
However, apart from these, PureVPN offers a secret plan for the 1 and 2-year packages. They are:
However, I don’t completely believe in long term plans. There’s a lot that can change within that time frame, so the 2-year plan is best!
Although, if you’re still looking for other top VPN services that offer more affordable plans, there are cheap VPN services you can look at.
The PureVPN 7-day trial?
Now, here’s where things get a little confusing. Most VPN users usually prefer a free trial VPN to test the app’s many features, and in the case for PureVPN, the free trial might not be what you think. When I contacted the support chat, the agent told me that the only free trial available is over a one-year plan (But, it’s not actually free).
The confusion lies in the payments. Usually, a free trial for a VPN either means you pay nothing for a short time, or you subscribe to one of the VPN packages and test the VPN for free for a limited time. However, I find the PureVPN free trial a little bit misleading. Take a look at the image below:
Now, if you take a look at the image above, there are two things I find a little odd:
- The first thing users see is a 7-day free trial
- And a 1-year subscription that costs an affordable $0.99 (47% off)
At first glance, most users would assume the 1-year package costs a total of $0.99 that comes with a 7-day free trial + 31-day money-back guarantee.
Then if you look closely, it says you’ll be charged $69.95 for a year, straight after the trial. That’s around $5.82/mo., the same price mentioned above for the yearly package.
The issue isn’t about the price of the yearly plan, but rather about the fact that most users will assume they’re paying $0.99 for a 7-day trial and an entire year’s service. However, you’ll be charged a full year’s price of $69.95 after the trial ends.
There’s a positive: you can cancel the subscription during the 7-day trial period so that you don’t get charged for the yearly subscription. Another point to note, the 7-day trial is refundable, according to the PureVPN refund policy.
So, if you’re really looking for a trial period, it’s best you go for the 31-day money-back guarantee over the two-year subscription, which is really affordable!
31-day money-back guarantee
The PureVPN refund period is pretty great according to me. It offers a day extra to test the VPN compared to most VPN services. So, if you subscribe to any one of the PureVPN plans, you get a 31-day money-back guarantee over it. Always make sure you go through the entire refund policy to understand where the refund applies. Here’s a snippet from it:
Sometimes, you need to see the kind of payment methods a VPN provider offers. There are certain payments that allow a user to maintain their anonymity. Here is a list of all the PureVPN payment methods:
- Credit cards
- Payment wall
Location – Is PureVPN part of a safe jurisdiction?
PureVPN is located in Hong Kong, a safe region, free of heavy online surveillance.
The location of a VPN might not seem very important but it is. In most cases a VPN is located in a country that is either part of the 14-eyes alliance or within a region that is highly surveillanced. Users need to be aware of this.
However, there are some situations where a VPN might be located in the eyes vicinity, but at the same time offer a strict no-logs policy. So, you need to consider both these facts when choosing a VPN.
Hong Kong is a region controlled by China, but luckily runs a different law where surveillance and monitoring is concerned. This means PureVPN is located in a safe jurisdiction.
PureVPN location coverage – What’s served?
The VPN you choose needs to offer a wide platform of servers spread in countries all over the globe. Secondly, the number of servers is a plus point. This gives users a wide option to choose from in case the one they require works too slow.
PureVPN, luckily, is a premium provider that offers a wide server network of around 6500+ servers in 140+ countries! That’s plenty of coverage to go around! You’ll find most of the servers based in Europe, with the second-largest coverage in North America.
When you connect to these servers, PureVPN will allow you to create a virtual shield, where your ISP won’t be able to track your physical location nor your IP address. It can, however, detect the connection to these virtual servers.
Does PureVPN work in China?
Yes, it does.
There are only a few VPN services that work in China, and that too with great difficulty. This is because China, among other surveillanced countries, block access to VPN services. Luckily, PureVPN does function there! However, the functionality might vary from user to user, which is quite common, considering that not many providers work there.
To access the local content or websites within this sovereign state, you can connect to one of the neighboring China servers, and to access international services, you can connect to the US or UK servers. This depends on what you’re trying to unblock.
However, I did contact the support chat asking for the best server to use in China, and one agent did mention that a VPN client wasn’t required. This is because they offer optimized servers for access in China that can be manually configured on your device.
Here’s a full list of the optimized PureVPN servers that you can use in China, without actually downloading the VPN app! This is extremely useful considering that downloading the app in China might be a little difficult, as it is in most countries.
Need an idea of what they look like? Take a look at the image below:
Does PureVPN offer dedicated IP addresses?
Yes, it does.
There are cases where VPN users require a dedicated IP address. This is for private and secure access to the internet. Sometimes, certain shared IP addresses are often blacklisted, depending on the kind of activities certain users carry out. The user connected to the same shared IP address after that could be in hot water because of it. This is why users require a personal IP address that only they can use.
PureVPN offers dedicated IP addresses in 8 locations (HK, the US, UK, Singapore, Malta, Germany, Australia, and Canada).
The dedicated IP, of course, can be bought for a price of $0.99, on top of any subscription package.
Security – The PureVPN encryption and protocol review
The security features of a VPN is extremely crucial to stay safe and anonymous online. You might need a VPN to access geo-blocked services but what’s the point if they’re not done undetected?
So, keeping that in mind, let’s review what PureVPN has to offer in terms of security protection, starting with its:
The best kind of encryption is the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, and PureVPN offers it. You’ll even find all of its protocols utilizing the same encryption standards, except for PPTP that uses 128-bit encryption.
The best protocols are required for better security and faster speeds, and right now, the industry’s best is either OpenVPN or WireGuard. PureVPN on the other hand offers a standard but great selection of protocols to choose from. They include:
- OpenVPN ( Available on Windows, Android and macOS apps)
The best protocol to use would be OpenVPN since it comes with the best encryption and speeds. However, OpenVPN isn’t available on the iOS app that you can replace with IKEv2 or IPsec.
When you connect to the PureVPN server, you should check your connection details, like in the image below. It’ll show you which protocol you’re connected to. There’s also the option of manually switching it as well.
A Kill Switch is one of the more advanced features that a VPN should offer. It secures a user’s data and anonymity, even after the VPN connection accidentally or voluntarily stops midway. PureVPN does offer a Kill Switch feature for the Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Sadly, there’s no Kill Switch option for the iOS app, which is quite common.
PureVPN offers a Split-tunneling feature, which is great for those who’d like to re-route only certain traffic through the VPN’s encrypted tunnel. It works both ways, you either choose which app, streaming service or website to include or exclude through the VPN’s tunnel.
PureVPN offers IPV6, DNS and WebRTC leak protection. This will make sure that when you’re connected to the VPN and access geo-blocked websites or any platform for that matter, you data, anonymity, and activities stay anonymous. It holds tight and secures your physical location or IP.
The VPN comes with certain modes according to what you require the VPN for, allowing you to optimize your speeds accordingly. It offers a streaming mode, internet freedom mode, security/privacy mode, file-sharing and dedicated IP.
Additional security features (paid)
Just in case you’re looking for the additional security features that PureVPN offers, you’ll need to pay for them. You can add them to your app when subscribing to the service. They include:
- Port Forwarding – buy it for $0.25 on top of any subscription plan.
- DDoS Protection – buy it for $0.99 on top of any subscription plan. You can however, only choose one server for DDoS protectioserve4rn. Here’s a list of the countries available:
Invisibility – The PureVPN leak test
A major part of the PureVPN security is whether or not the VPN leaks DNS, IP and WebRTC. There’s no point in you trying to invest in a VPN for streaming or fast speeds, when the software leaks your data. So, to make sure PureVPN is up to mark, I put it through a series of tests.
Luckily, PureVPN passed all three tests. You’ll find the results below:
I first connected to a US server on the PureVPN app, replacing my physical location with a virtual server provided to me through the app.
For the IP leak test, I conducted the test on ipleak.org. The results I got were completely leak free!
For the DNS leak test, I conducted the test on dnsleak.com. The results I got were completely leak free!
For the webRTC leak test, I conducted the test on browserleaks.com. The results I got were completely leak free!
Does PureVPN unblock Netflix and other streaming services?
Yes! It does!
As mentioned above, most users invest in the best VPN services to unblock geo-restricted streaming services. This is usually within heavily restricted or surveillanced countries. Among these services, include popular options like Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime.
Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services. However, as popular as it is, it’s also equally difficult to unblock. And, with that being said only a few VPN services work with Netflix. Luckily, PureVPN does work with Netflix, and a couple of other platforms.
Upon testing, I managed to gain access to:
- BBC iPlayer
- Disney Plus
- Amazon Prime
- HBO GO
Again, the results may vary from user to user, depending on your physical location, your internet speeds and other factors.
Does PureVPN Support Torrenting?
Yes, it does. PureVPN supports torrenting and even offers dedicated servers for it.
When trying to review the PureVPN app, you need to keep many factors under consideration. Besides the unblocking abilities and access to streaming services, torrenting allowance is something to look into. You’ll find some of the best torrent sites often blocked in most countries – either they’re geo-restricted or they are a violation against copyright laws.
Users need to be extremely careful while trying to access them. A VPN is one of the safest ways to access P2P platforms, and luckily, PureVPN works well with them. You’ll even find a few servers labelled with P2P allowance against them. Here’s a sample:
However, if your main focus lies in P2P activities, there are other and more reliable torrenting VPN services to consider.
Now, progressing ahead in this review, I’ll be highlighting the PureVPN speed tests. What’s a VPN for streaming and torrenting without great speeds?
Speed – Is PureVPN fast?
Yes, PureVPN delivered pretty fast and steady speeds.
A VPN is not supposed to increase the speed drastically. That’s one of the most common VPN myths or misconceptions. They’re in turn are supposed to stabilize the connection speeds that you’re already working with.
In general, an ISP is commonly known to throttle the speeds of their users, slowing it down, and limiting the bandwidth usage. When you connect to a VPN, you’re able to bypass ISP throttling, making your speeds steadier and faster than before.
There are some circumstances when the server you connect to slows down your speeds further. This is because of your physical location in comparison to the server you’re connected to.
When I put PureVPN through a series of speed tests, there are a few popular servers I connected to, to test them out. I ran this test over a 58Mbps connection. Here are the results:
Speed test without connection to PureVPN was 58Mbps:
PureVPN speed test US server was 45.33Mbps:
The speed test of the UK server was 41.26Mbps:
PureVPN speed test CA server was 40.59Mbps:
The speed test AUS server was 34.34Mbps:
PureVPN speed test German server was 28.49Mbps:
The speeds were pretty satisfactory considering my local connection speeds weren’t all that fast anyway.
In general, the minimum requirement for 4K/HD streams according to various streaming services is 15Mbps/18/Mbps. So, even though the PureVPN German server was the slowest, it’s still good enough for streaming!
Compatibility – The PureVPN device support review
Most users require VPN services that support many platforms and offers multi-device connections for maximum support. Luckily, PureVPN allows simultaneous connections on up-to 10 devices.
As for device compatibility, PureVPN has apps for innumerable platforms that are best for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. The following platforms are:
- iOS (iPhone/iPad)
- Browser extensions (Chrome/Firefox)
- Android TV
- Microsoft surface devices
- Boxee Box
- Now TV Box
- Raspberry Pi
The PureVPN Windows and Android apps
All of my PureVPN tests were conducted on the Windows and Android app. However, I found the Android app slightly better in terms of settings and the Windows app in terms of speeds and unblocking abilities.
The Windows app was quick and easy to install, simple to sign in and navigate through. Here’s what it looks like:
Upon signing in, you’ll directly see this as a default with a connect sign. When you hit the connect button, you’ll automatically be connected to the best server depending on how close proximity you are compared to it.
When I headed to the settings, I found a lack of security features as compared to the Android app. The windows app only had a Kill Switch and a protocol manual switcher. But I guess this varies from user to user depending on what device you’re using and its version.
The Android app, however, had more options to choose from, like a profile setting mode, depending on what activities you’re doing. The settings offer a Kill Switch, protocol switching, Split-Tunneling, and a Multi-Port option. Here’s what the Android app and its settings look like:
However, all-in-all, the experience and overall user-friendliness of the app is great!
Does PureVPN allow multi-device connections?
Yes, it does.
PureVPN allows people to make up to 10 simultaneous device connections. This means that along with your Windows and Android, you’ll be able to connect to eight other devices. But, since PureVPN is compatible with routers, you’ll be able to extend the connection to more devices or for those that PureVPN doesn’t offer a native app.
Reliability – Is PureVPN safe?
Apart from its safe jurisdiction and security features, you’ll have to dive deep into the PureVPN policies. Without that, how then will you know whether the app is safe? For instance, a VPN provider might be located within a safe jurisdiction but if it logs user data, then there are a few red flags you need to stay clear of.
So, let’s first take a look at the PureVPN no-logs policy.
PureVPN no-logs policy (After the Audit)
There was a slip back in 2016 where this provider logged and shared a significant amount of user data with the FBI during a criminal investigation. This went against their no-logs policy, driving users away.
However, they’ve revamped their entire software, building up a new and improved no-logs policy. PureVPN then put itself through an Audit, conducted by Altius IT, one of the leading auditors in the US.
Here’s a glimpse of the new no-logs policy:
This provider does, however, collect a very minimalistic amount of data, which includes:
- User name
- Payment method
Even though you can pretty much create any random name and email, PureVPN in short does partially collect insignificant data, making it safe.
24/7 chat support
Coming towards the end of this PureVPN review, let’s talk about the support chat.
A part of the reliability of a provider revolves around the chat support or support team. There are many reviews regarding the incompetence of the staff. However, personal experience is always required. The support chat assisted me around the clock attended to every query to the best of their ability.
PureVPN according to Reddit
Besides my own review and personal experience with this great provider, it’s important to look into other PureVPN reviews, and Reddit is a great platform to go with. Below I’ll be highlighting a couple of PureVPN reviews, both positive and negative shared by Reddit users.
However, keep in mind that these reviews are a little outdated, since the app has had many fixes and upgrades since this year.
To conclude – Do I recommend PureVPN?
Yes, I do, and here’s why:
After going through the entire PureVPN review, the results throughout the testing period were positive. I looked for speed, data leak, unblocking abilities, and other aspects, all of which were up to expectation. The apps were user-friendly, quick to install and didn’t require any major manual configurations. The only drawback was the Windows security features.
However, in a nut-shell, I do recommend PureVPN, since it’s also a budgeted choice. If, however, you’re still looking for another top VPN service, there are quite a few that are offering great deals and discounts!