- Excellent for streaming
- No log claims in recent audits
- Longer plans provide great value
- Provides extra features, like a dedicated IP and Firewall
- Diverse servers
- Supports P2P and BitTorrent
PureVPN is great for users looking to stream and torrent, but more privacy-conscious people might be kept away by the provider's spotty history
Updated: June 10,2022
In this PureVPN review, we will be taking an in-depth look at one of the foremost VPNs in the market, and see how it holds up in providing premium services that ensure data security.
A VPN or virtual private network helps you encrypt your web traffic, preventing third parties from monitoring your activity on the internet. It tunnels your traffic to a secure server before pushing it to the wider internet. VPNs are also used to unlock content restricted due to oppressive internet policies or country-specific content. In this VPN review, we’ll see if PureVPN is up to the task of securing your privacy.
- Number of servers: 6,500+
- Number of server countries: 140+
- Maximum simultaneous connections: 10
- Split tunneling: Yes
- Kill switch: Yes
- Ad blocking: Yes
- Supported protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP
- Streaming services supported: Disney+, Netflix, HBO, Hulu, BBC iPlayer
- Price range: $2.91-$10.95 per month
- Best price: $2.91 per month for a two-year subscription
- Virtual servers’ locations are ambiguous
- Occasional DNS leaks
- Can be difficult to get online
Since 2007, PureVPN has been one of the leading VPN providers in the global VPN service market. Operating more than 6,500 servers in 180+ locations and 140+ countries, it offers a variety of features, such as military-level encryption, peer-to-peer compatibility, unlimited bandwidth and port forwarding, and apps for literally every activity.
There are also several protocol choices you can make while using the service. The service has apps compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, including extensions for major browsers and setup manuals for VPN integrations with Kodi, routers, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and more.
PureVPN reviews offerings to its subscribers periodically to come up with the best plans. Currently, subscribers to the service can test it out for seven days for $0.99 to see if it meets their needs. Once the seven-day trial elapses, you will be charged at either $10.95 monthly, $44.88 yearly, or $69.84 for two years. If you are looking to commit for a longer period, the two-year subscription is the most affordable option since, that way, the service will cost you just $2.91 per month.
PureVPN Lifetime Subscription Review
At some point, there was also a long-term subscription plan offered by PureVPN, supposed to last till the end of time and to cost just $70. However, for reasons best known to the provider, PureVPN has since revised the lifetime subscription into a five-year subscription. Sure, it may not run till the world ends, but it’s still one of the longest subscription plans for VPNs on the market. It costs $1.32 per month and is usually made available during discount market events such as Black Friday. You can, however, access the 88% discount on their site.
Payments for the subscription plans can be made by credit cards, PayPal, and gift cards. You can also use cryptocurrencies to pay for your subscription.
Installation and Ease of Use
Our PureVPN review would not be complete and accurate without a test of its functionality. We found that downloading and installing the app only takes about five minutes. The app is very user-friendly and is ready to use as soon as the installation has been completed. You don’t need to make any configurations to the settings.
On the flip side, the app tends to slow down devices, taking a bulk of system resources. This might not be the case with stronger units, but if your system is an older version, we recommend using the PureVPN Chrome extension instead.
We’ve observed that this extension is effective while performing tests for the purpose of writing this review of PureVPN. With it, you’ll have the options of choosing your location, setting up a bypass list, and connecting to the VPN service. It doesn’t have as many settings as the desktop app, but we recommend it for daily usage.
After you’re done with a seamless installation, you will be prompted to choose a user mode from the options Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, File Sharing, and Dedicated IP. Selecting a particular mode optimizes the performance for that activity, so if you pick streaming, you get better streaming. However, choosing one mode appears to get you less of the others, like low security.
The difference between the modes is not entirely clear. On further review of PureVPN’s usage, however, we established you don’t need to worry about compromising one feature just because you selected another mode. You can click on the settings bar and choose your preferred protocols.
Privacy and Logging
The company claims that it doesn’t log sessions, and while that sounds comforting, we did take a closer look at the fine print in the terms of service. In reality, there is actually some session logging, but it was reported to just be the server connection time, incoming IP address, and the total bandwidth used. From word on the street and several PureVPN reviews, that is misleading and not entirely true.
In 2017, an arrest was made in connection with a cyberstalking campaign, facilitated by PureVPN records on browser activity. Actions on the internet were traced to the man thanks to log sessions. This and other incidents put a dent in PureVPN’s claim.
However, moving forward, it’s apparent the provider has taken a serious approach to proving it doesn’t log sessions. It even engaged an external auditor, Altius IT, in 2019, to audit its security systems and privacy policies, and nothing suspicious was found. It may be relieving to some users, but more regular audits would definitely put minds to rest.
Our PureVPN privacy review continued to dig deeper, and we found that the company’s revenue stems just from the subscription plans. That means there is no financial incentive to sell user metadata, and it lends further credibility to PureVPN’s latest claims.
PureVPN is compatible with virtually every platform you can think of. There are links to applications for iOS, Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and the Firefox and Chrome browser extensions. PureVPN Android is similar to the Windows app, but it complicates the mode selection by breaking it down into more options. Getting online is still no picnic. The speed test results weren’t great, but we found that you can fix this by enabling the Multi Port option from the Protocol section.
Our reviews of PureVPN for Mac, on the other hand, are much more positive, even though it has the same layout as the Windows version. We still find the modes needlessly complex, but that’s a problem across the board. It does blend well with the Mac.
It also provides info on your usage, such as server ping time, connection status, the protocol it’s connected to, current IP address, server location, and sent and received data rates. PureVPN for iPhone is a mirror of the Android app, except for the better speed and connection. It doesn’t have the same design as the Mac version, but it can connect to the IPSec or IKEv2 VPN protocols. There are no options for OpenVPN.
As we tested PureVPN’s speed for this review, we found out that it tends to reduce download speeds, with one of our tests showing a 5.1% decrease in domestic servers. On international servers, the speed reduces by at least 55.7%. These are not alarming numbers, but there are VPNs with better ones. As for uploads, PureVPN reduces speeds by 6.2% on domestic servers and 97.6% internationally.
In conclusion, as with most VPNs, your speed levels are going to drop, mainly because of the extra protocols attached to using a VPN. Most of the time it’s just a mild annoyance, though.
For all our readers primarily interested in using a VPN for torrenting, we did a PureVPN review for P2P and determined that, while PureVPN is not the best for this type of activity, it does provide an ample environment for downloading from torrents. PureVPN allows P2P sharing on more than 200 of its servers. It also supports BitTorrent on these servers.
Some online activities are more sensitive than others and require extra protection. For example, online banking puts you at risk, especially with the rise in banking malware designed to steal your financial information and money. Luckily, as you’ll see from this section of our review, PureVPN makes banking easy.
It has an excellent split-tunneling feature that enables you to select which specific web traffic goes through the VPN, and which doesn’t. With split tunneling, your sensitive and private activities on the internet can be kept secure, while other, less sensitive activities that don’t need so much shielding can roam free.
You may want to do your banking out of your regular location, only to find that you can’t because some banks block access outside of the base country. Good news – while performing tests for this PureVPN VPN review, we observed that you could bypass these restrictions by setting your location back to the recognized IP just by using a server set in your area. The kill switch provides extra security, killing all activity in case there is a drop in connection.
PureVPN Servers and Protocols
PureVPN has one of the largest, most geographically diverse collections of servers in the world – more than 6,500 available servers in 140 of the world’s countries. This is a good indicator of the robustness of the service. The fact that they have servers in more than 19 African countries alone is a great indicator of the users’ level of choice.
Our PureVPN review considers this a huge plus: The larger the number of servers, the larger the bandwidth for each user, and the more likely it is to find a fast and reliable connection. Also, the more servers, the more location spoofing choices there are.
Considering how long we’ve had VPN technology, by now, there are innumerable ways to encrypt a VPN tunnel. PureVPN supports many of the recognized and common VPN protocols known to most users, including the L2TP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, PPTP, and SSTP protocols. These VPN protocols under PureVPN’s encryption all offer 256-bit encryption, save for PPTP, which only supports 128-bit encryption.
Generally, OpenVPN is the best protocol to opt for because of its reliability with speeds and because it’s open-sourced.
Note that when you use this VPN for streaming, it will automatically use weaker encryption protocols compared to other modes. It does this because a strong encryption protocol will reduce connection.
Streaming Platforms and Devices
PureVPN supports the major streaming platforms such as Disney+, Netflix, HBO, Hulu, BBC iPlayer. Connections may be sluggish.
PureVPN Firestick Review
PureVPN not only supports streaming platforms but also provides software for streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick and routers. Using PureVPN with Amazon Fire TV Stick is fairly easy, although some users have complained about not being able to use the device. However, you can find the PureVPN app on the Amazon app store, and a simple download and installation should get you up and running.
Other than the Fire TV Stick, PureVPN supports similar devices, such as Kodi and Roku, although using any VPN on the latter can be tricky, as Roku is not natively VPN friendly.
Availability in China
What if you want to use PureVPN in China? Our review has shown that this VPN is the one that just won’t back down, even though China is known to have an internet-oppressive environment and that most VPN providers don’t have any servers in that country. In addition to having servers in Turkey and Russia, PureVPN still offers servers in China, despite all the regulations against private online usage.
PureVPN vs. IPVanish
Unlike PureVPN, IPVanish is based in the US, a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. However, IPVanish maintains a zero-logs policy, accounting for potential privacy concerns.
PureVPN offers significantly more servers and locations to its users than IPVanish. With 6,500 servers and more than 140 countries, PureVPN’s server infrastructure is four times larger than PVanish’s.
However, the two providers have a similar set of features, encryptions, and VPN protocols.
The pricing plans are almost identical. However, PureVPN offers a significant discount of $2.91 per month for a two-year subscription. Unfortunately, such a plan isn’t available with IPVanish. Another disadvantage of IPVanish is that it doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies. Therefore, we’re more inclined to recommend PureVPN for better price and privacy.
PureVPN vs. ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is a top-notch VPN provider, but how does it stack up to PureVPN?
First off, ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Isles, a jurisdiction that has no data retention laws and is a separate entity from the UK.
The most significant advantage ExpressVPN has over PureVPN, however, is its servers. All servers run on RAM exclusively. This means that information stored on them isn’t retained as it would be on an HDD- or SSD-based server.
You can install ExpressVPN and PureVPN on Kodi, Android, or iOS smartphones, Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and many other platforms and devices.
We were surprised to see that ExpressVPN has fewer servers and countries available than PureVPN. However, since “fewer” in this case still means more than 3,000 servers and 94 countries, most users won’t feel the need for the more comprehensive selection that PureVPN offers.
A higher price tag is expected because ExpressVPN provides a faster internet connection and RAM servers. A yearly ExpressVPN subscription will cost you $8.32 a month, in comparison to PureVPN’s price of $3.74 per month.
To relieve concerns of privacy-focused users, PureVPN makes a point of being always open to security audits by KPMG to ensure independent verification of its users’ privacy. The VPN service provider is improving its service, which has been previously labeled as slow and unreliable. Our PureVPN speed test has shown that the provider has already made significant progress in this department.
PureVPN customer support is available through email and live chat. A knowledge base and FAQ resources contain comprehensive information on anything you might need, from installing the VPN on more than 20 devices to server status and announcements.
The support provided is at a level of professionalism we expect from the best companies in the industry. Waiting for an email response takes more time than getting an answer when chatting with a customer representative, as is usually the case.
PureVPN Review – Final Words
While it falls short in some aspects, PureVPN’s service is one that still holds its own, primarily because of its wide array of options with server locations and support for multiple devices. Its long-term plans deliver good value. It could do better with connectivity and the performance of the kill switch, but the PureVPN security review with the open audits is a welcome development and shows the company takes its users’ concerns seriously. The availability of the OpenVPN protocol among other major encryption protocols is also a step in the right direction.
PureVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market, especially if you are looking for a VPN with plenty of options with servers, protocols, and device support. The subscription plans are also of excellent value – you can get plans for as low as $3.33 per month (70% off).
If you are having a slow connection to PureVPN or any general issues with PureVPN speeds, there could be several reasons. If you have a running firewall, it could be interfering with the VPN, resulting in a slow connection. You could also be experiencing slow connection while using P2P sharing services because the server you are connected to has disabled or blocked P2P file sharing. Slow speeds could also result from the encryption protocols and added security used to keep you protected.
From the tests we ran for this PureVPN review, and from PureVPN’s newest updates, we can assure you that this is one of the best VPNs for unlocking Netflix libraries. Limitations are a thing of the past, and even though Netflix has started a crackdown campaign on blocking VPN access to its platform, with PureVPN, you can still access it without any problems.
PureVPN is a commercial virtual private network owned by GZ Systems Limited. GZ Systems Limited is a company founded in 2007. It runs its operations from Hong Kong.