PureVPN offers a feature-laden product, but it is not without limitations. Despite the fact that PureVPN boasts an extensive list of features and a reasonable price, its quality, and usability is not comparable to that of the best premium VPNs on the market.
The Hong-Kong-based provider has been in operation since 2007 and has built up a long list of features in that time. PureVPN boasts an impressive number of over 2000 self-managed VPN servers in more than 140 countries across 180 locations. It is compatible with almost every device and operating system and offers a wide range of protocols, DNS and IP leak protection, P2P torrent support, a reliable kill-switch, split tunneling, and anonymous payment options including Bitcoin if necessary.
There are dedicated clients for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux, browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome, as well as download options for routers, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Kodi, and more. There is support for 10 simultaneous device connections too, which is more than most providers offer.
Unlimited BandwidthKill SwitchSplit TunnelingZero Data LoggingFree Version / TrialMobile AppBrowser ExtentionNetflix ApprovedFirestick Compatible
Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Virgin Islands
Isle of Man
Papua New Guinea
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United Arab Emirates
When it comes to customer internet freedom, security, privacy, and anonymity, PureVPN boasts a range of sophisticated features including over 2000 secure servers across 140 countries in more than 180 locations, a range of advanced protocols, DNS, and IP leak protection, and a reliable integrated kill switch.
In 2017 reports revealed that a man arrested on suspicion of cyberstalking, which was in part based on PureVPN data records that showed its service was accessed from originating IP addresses including the man's workplace and home. Thus, the zero-logs policy did store a significant amount of data, and this information was successful at linking internet activity to a specific person and location.
The provider responded to this report in a post that pointed out that it does not keep complete logs such as user internet activity or browsing history, and its limited logging processes are fully explained in its privacy statement. However, this does not address the fact that the provider describes itself as a zero-logs provider on the website when this is not in fact true. This is problematic, as no-logging policies are largely based on customer trust.
When it comes to PureVPN's apps, there is a range of advanced security features including complete IP and DNS leak protection, port forwarding, multi-port feature, and the option to utilize a non-NAT network to use a unique IP address. On the desktop client, users can choose between OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2, and L2TP protocols. However, there is not yet support for WireGuard.
The VPN does offer a kill-switch however, upon testing, it did not operate as expected, which is somewhat worrying.
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong. It offers an extensive list of features including over 2000 self-managed servers across 140 different countries in 180 locations worldwide, apps for almost every operating system, a large choice of protocols, P2P sharing support, proxy extension, DNS and IP leak protection, split tunneling, an integrated kill switch, the option to pay anonymously with Bitcoin and more.
There are dedicated PureVPN apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, as well as download options for routers, Kodi, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android Television, and more. PureVPN provides support for 10 devices simultaneously too, which is more than most providers offer and sufficient for the typical customer.
Subscriptions prices are slightly higher than average at $11 a month, $8.33 a month for the 6-month plan, and $5.82 for a month when billed annually. Previously, the provider offered a 2-year plan which cut the cost to just $3.33 a month, however, this is no longer available, making the VPN one of the more expensive options on the market. If you sign up for the yearly plan you will be charged $70, whereas Surfshark's 2-year plan comes in at just $48.
There is a 7-day trial which costs $1 which does give you sufficient time to test the product and determine whether it meets your needs. If you cancel before the 7 days if up, you will receive your $1 back too.
On all of PureVPN's subscription plans, there is a 31-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test the product for longer before fully committing to a paid subscription. This is more than most providers offer and it is a useful addition. The current refund policy is risk-free and no-questions-asked, meaning that you can simply send an email to the customer service team and ask for a refund.
There is a range of payment methods including credit card, Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, PayPal, AliPay, gift cards, and more.
PureVPN's app features 5 different modes including Stream, Freedom, Security/Privacy, Internet, File Sharing, and Dedicated IP. Once you have chosen a mode, you can pick server locations from the dashboard. Here you can browse by cities or countries, view ping times, search by server name, or create a Favorites list for easy use later.
A VPN’s main purpose is to protect your privacy and anonymity online, however, this only occurs if the VPN service takes the necessary steps to secure your information. It is necessary to keep in mind that a VPN may have access to a significant amount of information, and if they monitor your activity, it is no better than a cybercriminal or your Internet Service Provider.
PureVPN reassures users that it does not store web traffic data, browsing history, or DNS requests. Nor does the provider keep logs of your actual IP address or the IP address of your chosen VPN server, which is reassuring. The VPN company does store the time you connected to a VPN server as well as the total bandwidth utilized during the session. However, this information collecting is not unusual in the VPN industry and many of PureVPNs competitors do so too.
It seems that the VPN provider only profits from subscription sales, which is reassuring as many VPN providers continue to intercept customer internet traffic to insert advertisements. Others have even sold anonymous user data to third parties.
It is necessary to note that PureVPN is located in Hong Kong. Despite that Hong Kong is not subject to obligatory data-retention laws, the Chinese government has been attempting to prohibit any VPNs that do not comply with certain regulations. However, Hong Kong is an autonomous territory within China that maintains its own legislative and judiciary rules, meaning that it does not have to comply with the laws imposed by China. It remains difficult to determine a VPN provider’s security levels by solely considering its headquarters’ location. It is clear that PureVPN’s situation is somewhat more complicated than many of its competitors.
How Much Does PureVPN Cost?
PureVPN subscription prices start at $11 a month if you opt for the 1-month plan, meaning that it is far from being the cheapest provider on the market. However, as usual, a longer-term plan will significantly reduce the monthly subscription price. If you choose PureVPN’s 6-month plan, the price will drop to $8.33 a month, but its 1-year plan is the most cost-effective option at $5.32 a month. Previously, PureVPN offered a 2-year plan, but this no longer appears to be available.
No matter what subscription plan you choose, you will be protected by a 31-day money-back guarantee, which is more than most VPN services offer and is enough time to fully test the product before committing to a paid subscription. There is a 7-day trial available for just $1 too, and if you cancel the trial before the seven days are up you will receive your $1 back too.
PureVPN providers the option to add-on a variety of services including a firewall and other useful extras. There is a business version of PureVPN too that is priced on a per-user basis. Prices start at $8 per user per month, with the option to upgrade for additional features.
What VPN Protocols Does PureVPN Use?
Different VPNs utilize a range of different protocols to create a secure encrypted tunnel. PureVPN operates on multiple protocols including IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, and SSTP. All of these protocols utilize 256-bit encryption, except PPTP which operates on 128-bit encryption. We would typically recommend using OpenVPN whenever possible as it is open-source and offers the highest levels of speed and reliability.
Does PureVPN Provide a Good Server Network?
It is helpful to consider the server network that a Virtual Private Network service offers when deciding on the right one for you. Despite the fact that a VPN provider may remove or add servers if customer demand decreases or increases, the number of servers and server locations is useful to know. The higher number of server locations that a VPN offers, the easier it will be to find a reliable and fast server connection, whether you are at home or abroad. A greater number of servers in a range of different locations also offers more choice when it comes to masking your real IP location too.
Currently, PureVPN provides users access to over 6500 self-managed VPN servers across 140 different countries in 180 cities. The network includes servers in Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, North America, and South America, making it one of the most diverse server networks of any VPN service.
However, it is necessary to note that more than 87 of PureVPNs servers are virtual locations. A virtual server location is a software-based server which means that one physical server runs multiple virtual servers that can be configured to appear in a different country to their actual location.
Virtual servers can pose an issue if you want to know what country is handling your private internet data. This is hard to do with PureVPN. Despite that you can find out which of its servers are virtual, they are placed in a location that is near to the actual geographical location. This means that it is not an exact location, and it remains difficult to determine where your data is being handled. This may be a cause for concern if you are worried about your data being stored or routed through certain legal jurisdictions.
Is PureVPN Compatible with Desktop?
To create an account with PureVPN, you will need to enter an email and a password, however, these are not the login details you use to access the actual VPN app. Instead, PureVPN will send you an email containing the password and username to enable you to sign in to the app. Many other VPN providers utilize this login process too as it means your payment details and app usage activities are separate, ensuring a higher level of anonymity. However, it can be confusing, especially for first time VPN users.
Once you have downloaded the app and signed in, the interface will offer five different options: Stream, Security/Privacy, File-Sharing, Internet Freedom, and Dedicated IP. Depending on the mode you select, PureVPN will configure your experience differently. This feature is useful as it highlights features that users may not otherwise be familiar with, but it is perhaps too complicated for a customer that wants a simple VPN connection. For example, NordVPN’s client has a simple Connect button to activate the VPN.
Selecting any of the five modes will activate the VPN connection, but each offers different features depending on your task. The Privacy mode, for example, seems to be PureVPN’s default VPN mode and it enables you to search all available servers and manually select the one that you want to connect to. The Stream mode is designed to allow quick access to streaming services such as Netflix, however, this mode is not completely reliable. Upon testing, PureVPN was unable to access Netflix.
There is a range of other settings and features within the app. The Protocols menu allows you to choose from multiple VPN protocols as well as the provider’s specialized Stealth protocol. The client marks each protocol with a rating for security and speed, which is useful for first-time users. The VPN is set to auto mode as standard and will choose the best available protocol automatically.
Many VPNs struggle to prevent data leaks where private user data becomes exposed. PureVPN seeks to resolve this issue with its Gravity mode, which accesses its secure DNS servers. The client also features a Global server map which allows you to choose your own server.
Once you are connected to a server, the client will show your connection status, IP address, and session duration. There is a traffic chat too that shows the amount of data you have consumed during the VPN session, however, PureVPN does not have a data limit, so it is only helpful if you need to monitor your usage for another reason.
Is PureVPN Good for Streaming?
Streaming services and libraries vary depending on your geographical location. Installing a VPN means that you can hide or mask your location, and gain access to a host of geo-restricted content that would not be typically available in your region. However, many streaming services have begun to implement VPN blocking technology to stop users from accessing such content.
Many users download a VPN for the purpose of accessing geo-restricted content on streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer. Thus, unblocking capabilities are an important aspect of any VPN.
PureVPN is relatively successful at accessing YouTube and can unblock multiple libraries without issue, however, this is standard among VPNs. It can also overcome geo-restrictions on Disney+. However, it did struggle to access both BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video.
It is not much help if you want to watch Netflix either. When tested, Netflix detected the use of a VPN and blocked streaming, even when PureVPN’s Stream mode was activated. It is not surprising that Netflix blocks streaming from PureVPN’s servers, as it does so for many other VPNs, it is ironic considering that PureVPN highlights its streaming capabilities.
If you are content with just Disney+, PureVPN may be suitable. However, if you want a VPN that will unblock a host of streaming content we would advise looking elsewhere. NordVPN for example has no issues unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney+ and is a much better option if you are looking for a premium VPN for streaming.
Does PureVPN Offer Add-ons?
If you want to get more out of your subscription with PureVPN, the provider offers a range of add-ons for an additional cost. Access to a NAT firewall will cost an extra $0.99 a month, and a static IP address will set you back $1.99 every month. You can also opt for DDoS protection if you are a gaming fan for $2.25 a month.
The provider does offer P2P protection for an additional $1.99 a month on top of your normal monthly subscription price, however, this will not actually hide your P2P torrenting activities. Instead, PureVPN states that it will simply scan P2P files for malware.
There is also the option to purchase PureVPN’s Enterprise-Grade Security and Privacy for an extra $2.99 a month. This add-on offers ad-blocking and malware protection on the network level. However, we would advise opting for a specialized anti-virus app instead of this add-on, if you want to ensure your system is protected from viruses and malware.
Is PureVPN Good for Torrenting?
When it comes to torrenting, PureVPN gives access to split tunneling, relatively fast download speeds, and NAT firewall protection. However, most of its popular server countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia do not support P2P sharing or torrenting. Despite this fact, you can torrent by selecting a different server location, other providers such as ExpressVPN allow torrenting on all servers or automatically reconnect you to a server that does.
Is PureVPN Compatible with All of My Devices?
Also, every plan offers protection for 5 devices simultaneously, and there are apps for Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Chrome, enabling you to protect all of your devices for a single subscription price. There is software for streaming devices, gaming consoles, and routers too, including Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Kodi systems.
Is PureVPN Compatible with Android?
PureVPN offers a dedicated app for Android that is available from the Google Play store. The app is free to install, but it is necessary to have a subscription to sign in. The PureVPN app offers many similar elements as the Windows client, with a few differences.
A button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen allows you to access a list of servers from which you can choose one to connect to. The app is designed for Android, however, it is not a completely seamless user experience. There is no straightforward way to activate PureVPN quickly, which is also the case in the desktop version.
Is PureVPN Compatible with macOS?
PureVPN offers an app for macOS however, the user experience is somewhat complicated. When you log in to the macOS app for the first time, you will need to enter your PureVPN ID number. This system is utilized to further protect your online security. However, it is somewhat difficult to use and understand, especially for beginner VPN users.
Once you have signed into the PureVPN app you can get connected to a server quickly and easily. You can change between servers within the VPN app with a single click. The app also offers a range of modes including, Dedicated IP, Freedom, Security/Privacy, File-Sharing, and Stream. Some of which are self-explanatory, others are more difficult to interpret.
The PureVPN Stream option reveals a list of popular streaming websites to choose from, while it appears to connect you to the best server for each particular site, it remains difficult to understand what this mode actually offers.
Once you are connected to one of the VPN servers, speeds are relatively fast and you can easily change between servers. The PureVPN app clearly identifies virtual server locations and those that allow P2P sharing. However, there is no option to select a specific server within a country.
Is PureVPN Fast?
Using a VPN connection will typically slow down your internet download speeds and increase latency. During a speed test, PureVPN managed to achieve relatively low latency while also having little effect on upload and download speeds, which is excellent if you are a streamer, gamer, or torrenter. However, we would advise against choosing a VPN based on its server speeds alone.
How Does PureVPN Work?
A high-quality VPN will ensure your online activities are secure without significantly affecting your device’s performance. However, PureVPN does not offer a seamless service and it is somewhat difficult to use.
When you activate a PureVPN connection, it will create an encrypted tunnel between your operating system and a remote VPN server. Your data traffic is rerouted through the secure tunnel and is thus protected from malicious advertisers, cybercriminals, spies, and even your ISP (Internet Service Providers). PureVPN also serves to mask your real IP address and location, ensuring your online activities and your location are almost impossible to track.
A PureVPN connection ensures cybercriminals or malicious actors cannot monitor your network, view your web traffic, or link your online activities back to you. Therefore, the next time you connect to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network, in a coffee shop, hotel, or airport, PureVPN will give you the peace of mind that no one will be able to monitor your online movements.
VPNs such as PureVPN serve to protect your anonymity and security online but they can also provide a range of other benefits. A VPN like PureVPN will enable access to geo-restricted or censored content on websites and streaming sites such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
Despite that PureVPN does provide an important additional level of security for your online activities, they cannot protect you from every threat present on the internet. For this reason, we would recommend using PureVPN in combination with antivirus software, and a password manager.
Does PureVPN Offer Good Customer Support?
PureVPN has a large customer support website that offers an extensive range of troubleshooting guides and tutorials. The navigation page offers categories including Troubleshoot, Setup Guides, FAQ, and Account & Billing. The Setup Guide section itself offers guides for 15 different devices and operating systems.
There is also the option to seek assistance by raising a customer support ticket or accessing the website’s live chat option. However, PureVPN does not offer the same level of sophisticated customer support as other premium VPN providers such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN.