PureVPN has received mostly positive reviews for its fast speed and strong data encryption, making it a reliable option for streaming and torrenting. However, some have criticized its inconsistent speed results and mixed security reputation.
Despite this, PureVPN has recently made significant improvements, becoming the first VPN to receive an Always-On Audit, ensuring its security is top-notch. We thoroughly tested PureVPN and answered important questions such as its safety and logging policies, as well as its ability to unblock Netflix.
Due to its improvements and features, PureVPN has earned a place on our list of best VPNs. Read on to discover more about what PureVPN has to offer as one of the top VPNs available.
PureVPN pros and cons
|Strong encryption and multiple protocols||Inconsistent speed results|
|Dedicated IP options available||Mixed security reputation|
|Good for streaming and torrenting||Not as user-friendly as other VPNs|
|Wide server network||Has kept some logs in the past|
|Always-On Audit for enhanced security||Live chat support can be slow to respond|
Is PureVPN good for streaming?
|Platform||Does it work?|
|BBC iPlayer||✅ Yes|
PureVPN may not be the top VPN for streaming, but it can unlock some geo-restricted content depending on the server you’re connected to. Additionally, it has a dedicated app for Apple TV, which is a significant advantage.
For users who are willing to prioritize streaming performance over security, PureVPN offers a Proxy Control feature. This allows access to geo-restricted sites without encrypting the connection. While this may compromise security, it can result in better speeds by making a tradeoff between speed and security.
Unblocking Netflix with PureVPN
I was able to easily unblock the US and Japanese libraries of Netflix with PureVPN. However, I had no success accessing the French and German libraries as my browser displayed content from my home country instead. Some users have even reported that Netflix doesn’t load at all when using PureVPN. Keep in mind that your experience may vary depending on the server used, tunneling protocol, and browser.
Does PureVPN unblock other platforms
PureVPN pleasantly surprised me by unblocking BBC iPlayer, but unfortunately, the connection was extremely slow, and I experienced a lot of buffering. This could be due to the server being busy.
On the other hand, accessing geo-restricted content on YouTube was effortless, as I have yet to come across a VPN that can’t unblock this streaming platform.
In general, PureVPN offers a decent selection of streaming services. However, it’s evident that having access to a larger number of unblocked streaming sites would be even better.
Is PureVPN good for torrenting?
PureVPN is a suitable option for torrenting, but it is important to note that not all servers support it. PureVPN blocks P2P on servers located in countries that prohibit file sharing such as the US, the UK, Canada, and others. Fortunately, there are still numerous servers to choose from, and you can check which ones support P2P on the list under the Locations tab.
I tested torrenting with PureVPN and didn’t encounter any issues, but the speeds were not optimal. It took me 25 minutes to download a 5GB Linux installation image, while it only takes 3 minutes without a VPN. If you’re looking for better P2P speeds, check out our list of the best VPNs for torrenting.
Plans and pricing
PureVPN is a budget-friendly VPN service, with prices lower than many other VPN providers in the market. It is even more affordable than some of the other inexpensive VPNs, like Surfshark and Windscribe, especially if you go for a long-term subscription plan.
All the subscription plans of PureVPN come with the same features, and you can use the VPN on up to 10 devices simultaneously. However, it is essential to note that according to the VPN’s terms of service, sharing your account with others is strictly prohibited, including family members.
If you are looking for the best value for money, then the 2-year plan is the best option as it offers the most significant savings. PureVPN also provides a 31-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the service.
You can subscribe to PureVPN for a month for $10.95, which is still an affordable option compared to other VPNs in the market. The payment methods accepted include PayPal, credit cards, and various cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. However, some of the PureVPN landing pages may not display the crypto payment option, which can be confusing.
Can you get PureVPN for free?
PureVPN doesn’t offer a free version, but there’s a seven-day trial for only $0.99. This provides an opportunity to evaluate the VPN service and test its compatibility with preferred streaming platforms. Additionally, PureVPN offers a 31-day money-back guarantee, allowing ample time to thoroughly test and decide if the service meets your needs.
PureVPN servers and locations
PureVPN seems to have a large server network, comparable to popular VPN services such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN. With over 6500 servers in 78 countries, PureVPN offers a substantial number of servers to choose from.
|Regions||Countries||Number of servers|
|North America||9||1,788 servers|
|Central America||1||15 servers|
|South America||6||171 servers|
PureVPN offers two types of servers: physical and virtual. Physical servers are located in the country they appear to be in, while virtual servers appear to be located in a different country than they actually are. PureVPN has a large server network, with over 6,500 servers in 78 countries, but the use of virtual servers can affect performance compared to physical servers.
The Android app offers four modes to filter servers based on your needs: Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, and File Sharing. If you can’t find a server in the country you need, you can contact support and request one.
PureVPN also has Quantum-Resistant servers in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. These servers use encryption keys generated using a verifiable quantum process, providing enhanced security and privacy.
Speed and performance: Is PureVPN fast?
We conducted several speed tests using PureVPN in various locations to evaluate its speed. Initially, we tested the VPN using its OpenVPN protocol in multiple locations. However, the results were not as impressive as those obtained using the WireGuard protocol, which retained around 70% of the original connection speed on average. The speed test results using the OpenVPN protocol are listed in the table below.
|Download retention||Upload retention|
|US (NY)||14% (134 Mbit/s)||15 % (151 Mbit/s)|
|United Kingdom||16% (155 Mbit/s)||27 % (266 Mbit/s)|
|France||21% (202 Mbit/s)||25 % (245 Mbit/s)|
|Singapore||13% (126 Mbit/s)||15 % (149 Mbit/s)|
|Australia||21% (206 Mbit/s)||37 % (355 Mbit/s)|
PureVPN’s WireGuard protocol delivers impressive speeds, averaging 200 Mbps for downloads and 210 Mbps for uploads (when the baseline speed was 300 Mbps). However, this protocol lacks certain features such as split tunneling and dedicated IP options. Although PureVPN’s speed may not match up to top VPN providers like NordVPN or Surfshark, it is generally fast, especially when you connect to the server closest to your location.
The Windows app is convenient since it displays the ping for each server location before connecting, allowing you to choose the fastest server without testing. While connected to a server, the app shows current upload and download speeds and the active tunneling protocol.
PureVPN performance with other protocols
PureVPN’s speed test results with OpenVPN UDP were impressive, with low download speed drop-offs in many locations. However, the speed fluctuated considerably when connected to US and UK servers, while the Canadian server speed appeared to be more stable. PureVPN has also implemented an extra security layer – multiport – which automatically connects you to one of the specified ports and eliminates the need for manual setup. Additionally, you can connect to multiple servers simultaneously without the need to disconnect from the VPN.
Although IKEv2 was much faster than OpenVPN TCP, it was also much less consistent. OpenVPN TCP severely impacted speeds, making it one of the least effective options for more distant locations.
The average download/upload speeds when using each of the available tunneling protocols are as follows (based on tests conducted on 10 locations):
- Baseline: 300Mbps download/300Mbps upload
- WireGuard: 200/210
- IKEv2: 167/12
- OpenVPN UDP: 145/141
- OpenVPN TCP: 37/14
WireGuard provided the best speeds of the bunch, while IKEv2 offered slightly better download speeds than OpenVPN UDP but was still far from impressive. It’s worth noting that you may experience connection issues when using the IKEv2 tunneling protocol, with some servers disconnecting and internet access being lost while connected to the VPN, ultimately hurting average speed test scores.
How to download and install PureVPN?
To download and install PureVPN, follow these steps:
- Go to the PureVPN website and click on “Get PureVPN.”
- Choose a plan that suits your needs.
- Create an account and select your preferred payment method.
- Once you have subscribed, download the appropriate PureVPN app for your device and operating system.
- Launch the installation wizard and follow the prompts to install the application.
- After the installation is complete, launch the PureVPN app and log in with your account details.
- Choose a server location and connect to the VPN.
That’s it! You’re now ready to browse the internet with PureVPN.
Interface and ease of use
|macOS||Almost identical to Windows|
|Linux||Uses the Command Line Interface, GUI|
|Android||The most feature-rich|
|iOS||Similar to the Windows app|
The PureVPN app for Windows is straightforward and user-friendly, although it has a simplistic appearance. It offers multiple tunneling protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), and IKEv2. Users can choose their preferred protocol, as well as turn on or off the kill switch and auto-connect features.
The macOS version of PureVPN’s app is similar to the Windows version, with the exception of the absence of ping displayed next to each server. This VPN for macOS supports WireGuard, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec tunneling protocols.
The Linux version of PureVPN functions through the Command Line Interface, which makes it more suitable for users with an IT background. However, the company has recently launched a new GUI app for Linux, which is now available on Ubuntu. This new version offers an auto-connection feature, an Internet kill switch, and supports two protocols – TCP and UDP. Additionally, PureVPN’s Linux version also provides a Connect to Fallback option, which automatically connects you to the next best available option if you’re unable to connect with your preferred protocol.
The new Linux GUI app is straightforward to use, has a minimal design, and is similar to the Windows version. PureVPN for Linux supports both WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP) protocols.
Currently, PureVPN’s Android app is the most feature-packed among its counterparts. It includes server modes like Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, and File Sharing, split tunneling, network type selection (NAT or non-NAT), and Dark and Light themes. PureVPN’s Android app also supports WireGuard, IPSec, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols.
The iOS version of PureVPN shares similarities in design and functionality with the Windows version. It supports the WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), and IKEv2 protocols. Compared to the Android app, it may seem more basic, but this is typical of VPN apps designed for iPhones.
If you’re looking for a VPN service with a plethora of advanced features, PureVPN may not be your ideal choice. However, if you’re satisfied with basic features such as a kill switch and split tunneling, then PureVPN is a suitable option for you.
A reliable kill switch is a crucial feature for any VPN service as it ensures that your internet connection is immediately stopped when accidentally disconnected from the VPN. This feature is particularly helpful when using public Wi-Fi or engaging in activities such as torrenting to prevent potential privacy breaches.
PureVPN has an enabled kill switch by default, which can be disabled if desired. However, while it generally works well, it has some limitations in certain situations. For instance, when attempting to connect to another VPN while PureVPN was in use, the kill switch did not activate, and I was able to connect without any problems. Furthermore, upon disconnecting from the second VPN, PureVPN continued to display as active, and my IP address was leaked, indicating a potential security issue. This could be a major problem if using PureVPN in a heavily-censored country.
While it is not recommended to use multiple VPNs simultaneously, this example illustrates the kill switch’s potential limitations, indicating that it may not be reliable in unusual circumstances.
Currently, PureVPN’s split tunneling feature is only available on the Windows and Android versions of their app. It’s a useful tool for conserving bandwidth by allowing you to select which applications or websites should use the VPN connection. This means that some of your apps’ traffic will be encrypted while the rest will use the open network, reducing the amount of data being transferred through the VPN.
To set up split tunneling on PureVPN, simply select the installed applications on your phone that you want to connect through the VPN, and you’re all set. Hopefully, this feature will be added to the other versions of the app in the future.
PureVPN offers a paid add-on feature called port forwarding, which costs less than a dollar per month. This feature allows external devices to access a specific device that is connected to your local network, provided that it is properly configured.
Port forwarding is particularly useful for activities such as setting up gaming servers, hosting small websites, accessing security cameras, or remotely accessing your device.
PureVPN recently introduced an obfuscation feature that is beneficial for users living in highly-censored countries where VPN usage is restricted. However, it is not recommended for users seeking the fastest connection speeds.
The obfuscation feature hides your VPN traffic, making it appear as if you are browsing without the aid of a VPN. You get all the benefits of a VPN, such as unblocking geo-restricted content, avoiding ISP throttling, and staying protected, while also making it difficult for anyone to detect and block your VPN connection.
Furthermore, PureVPN has also added a domain fronting feature that utilizes different domain names from various parts of the website, making it seem as if you are accessing the site from a different domain. This makes it harder to block the site, giving you a better chance of bypassing blocked content no matter where you are. However, it can be challenging to set up and may slow down your connection or weaken your online security, as each domain must be resolved before the website loads.
PureVPN has introduced an add-on called PureKeep, which is a password manager aimed at enhancing online safety. This feature offers a vault where you can securely store your sensitive information, such as bank details, documents, and passwords. All data in the vault is protected by state-of-the-art encryption and a master password known only by the owner.
PureKeep also includes a password generator that creates complex passwords with numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters. With this tool, you can easily create and manage new passwords without the frustration of memorizing them. Furthermore, you can safely share your passwords and send attachments to colleagues, friends, and family through collaborative vaults and organizations.
The PureKeep add-on can be obtained for only one dollar per month and is accessible through the PureVPN application or the PureVPN member’s area.
Is PureVPN safe?
PureVPN is considered to be a secure VPN service as it uses AES-256 encryption, which is the industry standard for data encryption. The VPN also offers an always-on audit feature, providing users with an extra layer of protection. For more information, you can read further in this review of PureVPN.
Encryption and tunneling protocols
PureVPN ensures the highest level of security for its users with AES-256 encryption, which is the industry standard encryption trusted by the US military and government, as well as by businesses that handle sensitive information. With 2256 possible key combinations, the cipher’s complexity is difficult to break.
|WireGuard||The highest speed, very secure|
|OpenVPN TCP||Low speeds, very stable and secure|
|OpenVPN UDP||High speeds, less stability|
|IKEv2||High speeds, good for mobile devices|
|SSTP||Might work in China|
|L2TP/IPSec||The most outdated of the bunch|
Moreover, PureVPN offers various tunneling protocols, each with its own balance between speed and security. Users can select the protocol that suits their requirements from the options screen. WireGuard, which is supported by all PureVPN applications, provides the best performance. Alternatively, both OpenVPN variants are excellent choices, as they provide strong security.
PureVPN has recently moved its base from Hong Kong to the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction with privacy-friendly data retention policies. While Hong Kong is also known for its data privacy, China’s influence on the city has raised concerns about potential breaches. With the relocation, these doubts have been allayed.
Despite this, PureVPN still retains some personal information such as name, email address, and payment method. Nevertheless, it offers the option of paying with cryptocurrency for an anonymous monetary transaction. Overall, PureVPN’s relocation and independent audits make it a competitive choice in terms of privacy, on par with other top VPN providers.
PureVPN recently announced that they are the first VPN provider to have an always-on audit, with their agreement with KPMG International Limited allowing the auditing company to conduct surprise audits at any time. This ensures that your privacy is protected at all times, as there is no chance for the service to prepare for the audit in advance. This is a significant step towards transparency in the day-to-day operations of the company.
Unlike other VPN providers who agree on specific dates and times for audits, PureVPN’s agreement allows for surprise audits without prior notice. This means that the audit results are authentic and have not been tampered with. KPMG has already conducted an audit and found no evidence that PureVPN does not adhere to their no-logs policy, with further audits planned in the future. The results of these audits will be published publicly by KPMG.
|4/7 live chat||✅|
|Guides or articles||✅|
|In-app chat bot||✅|
If you encounter any issues while using PureVPN, you can visit their support page to browse through the setup, troubleshooting, and FAQ sections. You can also submit a support ticket, but you need to log in with your PureVPN account to do so. Alternatively, you can use the in-app troubleshooting feature to instantly fix various issues.
PureVPN also offers 24/7 live chat support. You only need to provide your name and email address to start a chat, and a customer support agent will be with you in under a minute. During our testing, the support agent was polite and made an effort to be helpful. Additionally, you can directly get support within the application through the built-in chat bot.
Is PureVPN any good?
PureVPN effectively unblocks popular streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube. It utilizes reliable encryption, similar to other high-quality VPN providers. Furthermore, its compatibility with the SSTP tunneling protocol makes it a viable option for users in China.
Users can achieve good speeds by using either the WireGuard or OpenVPN UDP protocols. Quantum-Resistant servers and a password manager add-on are also available to enhance security and privacy.
If you have any inquiries regarding PureVPN, please leave a comment below, and we will be happy to assist you.
Does PureVPN work in China?
Yes, PureVPN is expected to work in China as it supports the SSTP tunneling protocol that can bypass the Great Firewall. However, if you’re not satisfied with the service, you can check out our recommended VPNs for China.
Is PureVPN trustworthy?
Yes, PureVPN is a trustworthy service. Despite being involved in a privacy controversy in the past, the company is now regularly audited to ensure its security and no-logs policy.
Is using PureVPN legal?
Yes, using PureVPN is legal in countries where VPNs are allowed. However, it is recommended to check your country’s laws regarding VPN usage.
Who owns PureVPN?
PureVPN is owned by GZ Systems Ltd., based in Hong Kong, while the product itself is based in the British Virgin Islands.