There is an extensive range of VPN solutions available, making it often difficult to choose the right one for your needs. Therefore, we have compared two of the most popular VPN providers, NordVPN and PureVPN, in terms of pricing, connection speeds, streaming performance, customer support, and more.
If you are looking for a VPN service, you have likely heard of NordVPN. The provider offers an excellent range of security features, an impressive number of servers, and an unrivaled user-experience. PureVPN offers an extensive range of VPN servers and well-designed apps. However, it does come with a few limitations when it comes to encryption and the kill switch’s reliability.
With over 5,500 servers, NordVPN is a powerful but relatively cost-effective, with subscription prices starting at just $3.49 per month if you commit to the longer-term 2-year plan. However, if you want the freedom of a monthly rolling contract, you will, as always, be paying a premium price of $11.95. There is a range of payment options, including PayPal and credit card, and anonymous methods, including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
There is 256-bit encryption as standard and advanced features such as Onion over Tor, and Double VPN encryption, which re-routes your VPN connection through two different servers rather than just one. There is a range of NordVPN obfuscated servers, which enables access to the VPN in places that do not typically support a VPN connection, such as offices or universities.
There is a reliable kill-switch too, to protect you in case the VPN fails for any reason. The kill-switch will cut your internet connection so that no unencrypted data or your real IP address become exposed. NordVPN has also even completed multiple independent security audits of its VPN services and policies. This is extremely reassuring for those users that are concerned about their privacy and anonymity on the internet.
Connection speeds are relatively fast too, and more than sufficient for streaming and gaming in high definition thanks to the provider’s proprietary NordLynx protocol. On UK server connections, NordVPN reached speeds of up to 350Mbps, which is hugely impressive. NordVPN boasts excellent streaming unblocking potential too, and can access a range of streaming sites, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, YouTube, and more.
There is support for torrenting on most, although not all, of the NordvPN servers, making it a decent choice for fans of P2P sharing. If the VPN detects torrenting activity, it will automatically connect you to a server optimized for torrenting. This means that you do not have to waste time looking for the right server.
NordVPN desktop apps are well-designed and powerful. However, the mobile apps are somewhat difficult to use on a small screen, which is disappointing. There is support for a wide range of devices and operating systems, but you are limited to 6 simultaneous connections. For ease of use, there is 24/7 live-chat support with NordVPN, which is reassuring. If you run into any issues while setting up or using a VPN connection, help is always on hand.
If you sign up for a longer-term plan with PureVPN, it is available at an extremely affordable price. There are over 6500 PureVPN servers located in 140 countries worldwide and compatibility for a decent range of devices and operating systems. There are some useful additional features too, including torrenting support and IP and DNS leak protection.
However, PureVPN is arguably not one of the best VPN services on the market due to a few limitations. There is room for improvement when it comes to PureVPN’s usability and security.
The PureVPN short and mid-length subscription plans are relatively expensive in terms of affordability, at $10.95 per month on the monthly rolling contract and $8.33 per month on the 6-month plan. However, if you are happy to commit to a longer-term plan, you will get the VPN for a significantly lower price. Sign up for the provider’s 1-year plan, and the monthly price drops to just $5.82 a month.
The most cost-effective option is the PureVPN 5-year plan. However, this is not often obviously displayed on the company’s website. On this plan, the monthly price comes in at just $1.32, making it one of the most affordable VPN providers on the market in 2021.
PureVPN comes with a useful 7-day trial for just $0.99 too. This means that you can test the complete product before committing to a paid plan. Also, every PureVPN paid subscription plan is covered by a 31-day refund guarantee too for additional peace of mind. If you are not happy with the service on offer, request your money back, no questions asked.
Although the VPN may have some weaknesses, it has undergone two security audits with renowned security company KPMG, which is incredibly reassuring. The audits offer solid evidence to reinforce the provider’s claims to protect user privacy and anonymity on the internet. PureVPN has also introduced an “always-on” auditing policy, which means that KPMG can investigate PureVPN at any time without giving the company notice beforehand.
Server speeds are average with PureVPN. While you may experience some slower speeds at busier periods of the day, performance is typically sufficient to stream or game in high definition or even 4K. PureVPN is not a bad choice for streaming fans either as it is successful at unblocking geo-restricted content on a range of streaming services, including Disney+ and Netflix. However, the provider struggles to gain access to the more troublesome BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video, which is disappointing.
There is torrenting support on some, although not all, of the provider’s VPN servers. There are few P2P optimized servers in popular locations, which means that you may have to compromise with long-distance servers, which may slightly affect internet connection speeds.
The PureVPN apps for both mobile and desktop are not the most polished on the market, but they do come with a range of useful security features. However, there are some concerning weaknesses with PureVPN’s kill-switch and encryption.
Customer service is decent, with a live chat and an extensive range of setup and support guides available on the PureVPN website. There is a ticket system too; however, you may be waiting slightly longer for an answer to your query here.
For many users, affordability is one of the most important factors when choosing a VPN solution. Therefore, we have compared NordVPN and PureVPN in terms of their pricing structures, free trials, and money-back guarantees.
NordVPN is not the cheapest provider on the market, especially if you opt for a short-term subscription option. NordVPN’s monthly rolling contract comes in at an eye-watering $11.95 a month. However, this is to be expected, and as with most providers, prices fall significantly if you commit for longer.
On the NordVPN 6-month subscription plan, prices fall to $9 a month; however, you will have to pay $54 upfront. If you sign up for one year with NordVPN, the monthly cost comes in at $5.75 a month. However, the most cost-effective option is the NordVPN 2-year plan which comes in at just $3.49 a month, a discount of up to 70% compared to the rolling monthly option.
We would be inclined to recommend opting for the 2-year subscription plan, considering the impressive discount on offer. There is a 30-day refund guarantee on all of the NordVPN paid plans, which means you can test the service for a month and request a refund if you are not completely happy.
However, if you are concerned about committing to such a long subscription period, it may be advisable to sign up for one month to avoid the large initial payment. Then, you can either claim your money back or sign up for a longer-term if you are happy with the service.
When it comes to pricing, NordVPN is not the cheapest provider on the market; however, it does come with an extensive range of advanced security features that are likely worth the extra investment. There is a range of payment options to suit every user, including credit card, PayPal, prepaid card, UnionPay, AmazonPay, Google Play, and iTunes. Also, if you are concerned about your anonymity online, NordVPN accepts crypto payments too in the form of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Monero.
NordVPN offers 7 days for free on its Android and iOS clients if you want a free trial period. However, if you want to fully test the product to determine whether it offers all of the features you need, we recommend signing up for a paid subscription and utilizing the 30-day refund guarantee if you are not satisfied. You will get your money back if you are not happy and have sufficient time to make up your mind.
Like NordVPN, PureVPN is relatively expensive if you opt for a longer-term subscription plan. If you sign up for one month with PureVPN, it will cost you $10.95. If you want a more cost-effective option, it will be necessary to commit for a longer period. Sign up for 6 months, and the monthly price will drop to $8.33.
The 1-year PureVPN plan comes in at $5.82 a month. Previously, the provider offered a 2-year payment option; however, this no longer appears available. PureVPN does offer a large 5-year subscription plan, but it is not obviously advertised on its site. On the 5-year option, monthly prices fall to an extremely affordable $1.32, making it one of the most affordable VPNs available.
No matter which VPN subscription plan you choose, you will be protected by a generous 31-day refund guarantee, which will give you sufficient time to fully test the service on offer. There is a 7-day free trial available for $0.99, in case you need even longer.
NordVPN is arguably the best VPN service on the market when it comes to user privacy and security. NordVPN operates on military-standard AES-256 bit encryption combined with 4096-bit Diffie Hellman keys as standard.
There is Perfect Forward Secrecy technology with Nord too, which makes sure that new encryption keys are created when you log in to a new VPN session and every hour after that. This ensures that even if a VPN session became compromised, the cybercriminal or third party would only gain access to a maximum of an hour of data.
NordVPN also offers Onion over VPN, which will reroute your VPN connection through the encrypted Tor network for an additional layer of online privacy. However, this will significantly reduce your server speeds. There is Double VPN technology too, which will route your data traffic through two different VPN servers rather than just one.
Users also have access to a range of obfuscated Nord servers that are useful for overcoming VPN blocks or restrictions in places such as universities or offices, where VPNs are often limited. Importantly, there is a reliable kill-switch too, which will automatically cut your internet connection if the VPN drops for any reason. This ensures that no unencrypted information of your real IP address ever becomes exposed. This feature is important for any activities that require complete online security, such as torrenting.
NordVPN is effective at blocking DNS and WebRTC leaks too and operating well during leak tests. It is necessary to note that NordVPN suffered a data hack in 2018, which the provider blamed on a third-party data operator. A single NordVPN server was compromised during the attack, but it is not clear what data was exposed. However, since the incident, NordVPN took the important step to upgrade all of its VPN servers to RAM-only, which is much more secure than hard-drive.
The VPN service has also completed multiple security audits to provide further evidence to its security claims, which is reassuring. Therefore, we have no hesitation in recommending NordVPN as an excellent VPN product, even for users concerned about their security and privacy online, as it is now one of the most secure VPNs on the market.
Like NordVPN, PureVPN supports a range of first-rate VPN protocols, including OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and PPTP. There is a kill-switch too; however, it is not as reliable as that offered by NordVPN, which is somewhat concerning. All of the PureVPN apps come with IPv6 and DNS leak protection, port forwarding, a multi-port feature, and the option to utilize a non-NAT network for a unique IP address too.
NordVPN states that it does not store any data regarding user online activity. The service offers a transparent no-logging policy that outlines its logging procedures in a detailed yet easy-to-read manner.
NordVPN does not monitor, record, log, store, or share any private user internet data. The company does not store VPN connection timestamps, bandwidth usage, data traffic logs, accessed IP addresses, or online browsing information. NordVPN also does not store VPN session logs, which many VPN services continue to do despite claiming to be no-logging.
The VPN provider has even completed multiple independent security audits by PricewaterhouseCooper to reinforce its privacy claims. It is reassuring to know that the audit found no signs that NordVPN had violated its no-logging claims in any way.
Since the 2017 incident, PureVPN has taken steps to prove that it is now a no-logging VPN provider and has even undergone two audits of its privacy policies and software.
The first audit was completed by Altius, an auditing firm, and did not find any evidence that the provider stores any information that could be used to link a particular user to online activity. The second audit was carried out by KPMG, one of the top security companies in the world. This audit further reinforced PureVPN’s no-logging claims.
Moreover, PureVPN has even introduced an “always-on” auditing policy which means that KPMG can investigate the VPN company at any time without giving prior notice.
Despite that you likely want a VPN to protect your privacy and security on the internet, the connection speed is important, especially if you are a fan of streaming and gaming in high-definition or 4K. If the VPN’s server speeds are not fast enough, you will experience constant lag and buffering.
Therefore, we have compared NordVPN and PureVPN in terms of their average connection speed on a range of server connections. On average, NordVPN takes about 6 seconds to connect to a server, which may not be the absolute fastest, although it is more than sufficient for most users.
NordVPN offered an average speed of between 75-100Mbps on a US server connection with OpenVPN during VPN speed tests. On NordLynx, which is available on all NordVPN apps, the service reached an average speed of between 340 and 350Mbps, which is extremely impressive and faster than most other providers on the market. This makes NordVPN an excellent choice for fans of streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
PureVPN provided an average speed of up to 250Mbps on a United States server connection during our speed tests. This is more than sufficient for the average user and fast enough to stream and game in high definition.
NordVPN provides servers in 15 United States cities, 3 Canadian cities, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, 5 Australian cities, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, 2 Indian cities, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Turkey, and European servers in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Ireland, Czechia, Italy, Spain, Finland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Portugal, Luxemburg, Ukraine, Greece, Estonia, Iceland, Albania, Cyprus, Croatia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and North Macedonia.
PureVPN offers access to servers in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Belgium, France, Sweden, Japan, Singapore, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, India, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Romania, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, New Zealand, Mexico, Latvia, Iceland, Turkey, Lithuania, Greece, Estonia, Kenya, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Brazil, South Africa, Costa Rica, Hungary, South Korea, Thailand, Nigeria, Moldova, Malta, Ghana, Albania, Georgia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Azerbaijan, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivida, Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darassulam, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, Grendada, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyyzstan, Laos, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syria, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzebekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Serbia, Montenegro, and the Isle of Man.
Many users choose to use a VPN for the sole purpose of accessing geo-restricted content on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Disney+, Hulu, HBO, and more. If you are a streaming fan, you need to know whether your chosen VPN provider will offer access to all of your favorite services.
NordVPN comes with excellent streaming performance and has taken steps to ensure it can provide access to a host of geo-restricted television shows and movies. NordVPN is successful at accessing Netflix and overcame VPN blocks on a range of servers with ease. This is impressive, considering that many VPNs struggle to gain access to the service.
YouTube is typically easy to access, and NordVPN has no issue here. The provider also easily gained access to geo-restricted Disney+ content on a range of Australian, United Kingdom, and United States servers, despite its strong VPN detection technology.
NordVPN did experience some difficulties when it came to BBC iPlayer, which is arguably the most difficult streaming service to access with a VPN. Using the NordVPN desktop app, we were unable to gain access. However, as suggested by the BBC iPlayer troubleshooting article available on the NordVPN site, we tried again using the browser extension, which gained access.
Although it may take a few attempts on several servers to access BBC iPlayer, NordVPN is still one of the best providers when it comes to accessing a host of geo-restricted content on a range of streaming services worldwide.
PureVPN is not a bad choice for streaming fans; however, it will not offer access to such a wide range of services as NordVPN. PureVPN has no issue in accessing Netflix, which is relatively impressive. It is also successful in unblocking Disney+, which is also one of the more difficult services to access.
However, fans of the BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video will be disappointed, as PureVPN’s servers struggle to access either service. If you are content with watching content on Netflix and Disney+, then PureVPN is a decent choice. However, if you are looking for a more reliably streaming VPN, NordVPN is clearly the better option.
It is essential to protect your privacy and anonymity when engaging in torrenting or P2P sharing activities. Therefore, we have compared NordVPN and PureVPN in terms of their torrenting capabilities.
NordVPN claims that it is one of the best VPNs for torrenting fans and offers access to an extensive range of P2P-friendly servers worldwide. Although not all of NordVPN’s servers are optimized for torrenting, and its network is not as widespread as VPNs that offer complete torrenting support, it should be sufficient for most users.
Typically, an issue with VPNs that do not offer full P2P support is that it may not work when you access a non-P2P friendly server. However, NordVPN makes it easy by automatically reconnecting you to a suitable server if it detects torrenting activity.
There is a range of other features that make the VPN an excellent choice for torrenting, including a transparent, audited no-logs policy, excellent server speeds, Double VPN encryption, Onion over VPN, and secure DNS leak protection.
PureVPN is not a bad choice for torrenting either, thanks to its split tunneling feature that will allow you to separate your connections and reroute your torrenting traffic through the VPN while allowing your other online activities to run through your normal ISP (Internet Service Provider) connection. There is NAT firewall protection, and impressive server speeds too.
However, while PureVPN offers torrenting support, not all of its servers are optimized for P2P sharing. This means that you may not find a P2P server in popular locations such as United Kingdom, United States, Canada, or Australia. Although you can choose a long-distance server connection, this may pose issues for some users.
NordVPN offers 6 simultaneous connections and well-designed clients for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox, PlayStation, Chrome, Firefox.
PureVPN features slightly more simultaneous connections at 10, with support for a wide range of devices and operating systems including Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Routers, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Microsoft Surface, Kodi, Roku, Boxee, Raspberry Pi, Chromecast, Now TV Box, PlayStation, Xbox.
NordVPN comes with dedicated, easy-to-use clients for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. There are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox too. Setting up and installing NordVPN is quick and simple, even for a beginner user. There is a wide range of setup and support articles available too if you run into any difficulties.
Once you have installed the NordVPN apps, the VPN interface is clean and simple. There is a large map design, a typical VPN server location list, and a search feature to help you find a particular server. Server connections are fast, and switching between different servers is easy too. In the NordVPN settings, you can choose your desired VPN protocol, activate the kill-switch, and a range of other features.
PureVPN features support for a decent range of devices and operating systems with dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. The client features a choice of five different modes, including Dedicated IP, File Sharing, Security/Privacy, Internet Freedom, and Stream. This is slightly confusing, and there is a lack of information on the PureVPN site, which is disappointing.
You can also manually configure PureVPN for access to OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, and SSTP. The PureVPN mobile apps are similar to the desktop versions and are relatively powerful.
If you run into any issues while setting up or using the VPN, it is important to know that there is help on hand to assist you. Therefore, we have compared NordVPN and PureVPN in terms of customer service.
Both providers offer a live-chat option that means that you will receive an answer to your query no matter what time of the day. NordVPN offers an extensive range of customer support guides that cover a range of topics too. There is also email support; however, you will be waiting slightly longer for an answer to your query.
PureVPN offers a range of support articles on its site too; however, they are not as comprehensive or as well written as NordVPN. In terms of customer service, NordVPN comes out on top.