Last Updated: June 9, 2020
- Company location: Hong Kong
- Number of servers: 2,070
- Zero-log policy: No
- Protocols: UDP/TCP/IKEv2SSTP/L2TP/IPSec
- Stealth VPN: Yes
- Double VPN: Yes
- Ad-blocker: Yes
- Torrenting: Yes
- Streaming: Yes
- Customer support: Decent
Torrenting, streaming, and safe browsing.
- Apps for most devices
- Dedicated servers for streaming and torrenting
- Average to slow speeds
- Add-ons make it expensive
PureVPN frequently pops up when people look for better privacy and security online. It was eluding me for a while until the time finally came for the extensive review. I tested speed, privacy, functionality, and support to determine if this VPN app is up to snuff. I also considered many of your popular queries like:
- Can I easily connect and watch my shows from Netflix US?
- Can I use PureVPN for gaming?
- Is my browsing information secure?
Tons of PureVPN reviews suggest that we are dealing with a top-notch service, but I am all about testing everything for myself before I make any conclusions. So let’s not waste time and dive right in.
What is PureVPN?
Hong Kong-based software company GZ Systems developed PureVPN and first made it publicly available back in 2006. Since then, the company has been stacking some remarkable numbers — more than 2000 servers in over 180 locations, over 300000 IP addresses, and a continually growing user base that now exceeds 3 million people. Wow, talk about impressive!
The founders of the PureVPN app state the main drive behind their creation was the idea of absolute internet freedom — a noble goal of achieving a safer online environment where we can browse without fear or restrictions. GZ Systems have augmented their software with 256-bit military-grade encryption. Then, they went ahead and packed it with tons of built-in and additional features to ensure the completion of that goal.
The package plans allow up to 5 connections and have no restrictions on bandwidth usage. For larger teams, the developers offer Business VPN packages with enhanced capabilities. Among the businesses that trust PureVPN services, you can see high-profile names like Trivago, Nvidia, Sheraton, and many others.
Should you decide you enjoy the service, there are various options to earn more while spreading the love. PureVPN generously offers Refer-a-Friend, Affiliate and Reseller programs, plus a lucrative Big Bounty program, where you can make up to $1500 for finding and reporting bugs. All this suggests that the company appreciates and encourages the community to be active in an attempt to improve the service.
I went ahead with a PureVPN download and installation in order to run some speed and security tests.
PureVPN Essentials – Speed, Security, and Privacy
Any VPN worth its salt must be quick, without any DNS or IP leaks, and should keep logs to a minimum.
The abundance of servers around the world is always a good sign for stable upload/download speeds. The company server list is available and updated on both their website and inside the app, which was quite convenient. I ran some preliminary tests to check my normal speeds and use them as a base point.
I then ran the same tests with an IP in the Netherlands, provided by the PureVPN app.
The speed drop is about 30% which is worse than industry competitors like ExpressVPN but still decent. Then things got strange. Running a couple of other close locations (Romania and Austria) revealed speed drops of about 60-70%. To be fair, I did not experience any significant lags in my browsing speed, but such big drops are rarely a sign of reliability.
Overall: Despite the questionable tests, the company delivers satisfying results. The PureVPN Windows app was behaving as expected, connections were established fast, and browsing was smooth, without annoying lags. Maybe not as lightning-fast as they advertise on their website, but still pretty good.
PureVPN takes security to another level. I don’t even know where to begin, there were so many features that initially I even felt overwhelmed. You can take advantage of secure Wi-Fi anywhere you go, split tunneling for better traffic distribution, internet kill switch, even a hotspot out of your VPN app. The Ozone-ready PureVPN servers are all enhanced with server-level antivirus, adblocker, IDS/IPS which all guarantee your safe online experience.
To make things even sweeter, you have a plethora of extra security add-ons at your disposal — port forwarding, dedicated IP addresses, and DDoS protection just to name a few.
Next thing I ran some DNS and IP leak tests.
Tests ran very smoothly, and the results were excellent — I tried several locations and never had any issues with leaks.
Overall: PureVPN reviews around the web suggested that the app developers are keen on providing ultimate security, but you can never be too careful. Now that I’ve seen it for myself, I can back all the praises about the company.
Privacy is one of the main reasons people turn to a VPN service. It’s only natural for all VPN providers to advertise this benefit, but only when you spend some time using them, you figure out which ones actually deliver. . .
Sounds nice…if only it wasn’t for this “minor” detail a few sections down:
Sure, you might argue that actual browsing history does not appear to be recorded, but what about the part with the “ongoing traffic”? I do not think that part is explained clearly enough.
Overall: Quite a refreshing experience to find a company that likes to deal with their clients with such transparency, but big words need to be backed by big actions, otherwise the formula doesn’t work.
So what are the competitive advantages that make PureVPN stand out from the crowd?
1. Smooth Interface and Reliable App
The PureVPN Windows 10 app had quite a nice feel to it. The download and installation were fast and seamless, and the software behaved nicely. I was able to navigate around the menus without any confusion.
2. Advanced Options
Ultimate safety is the primary goal for PureVPN, and that is reflected by the number of security features available.
The PureVPN Encryption and IPv6 Leak Protection are activated by default, and there are a few more that you may fancy. The PureVPN Kill Switch is a feature that I personally always find handy, but the Multi Port Selection is the gem I rarely see offered with other VPN providers.
3. VPN Modes
Immediately after login, you are prompted to choose between 5 modes — Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, File Sharing, and Dedicated IP. These modes come with different speed and security options enabled, and are designed to adjust to the different reasons for using a VPN. Very considerate, especially for a novice user.
4. Multiple Protocols Supported
Regardless of the server you choose to connect to, all security protocols are available. Many companies are limited to just OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec at most, but PureVPN also offers connections through SSTP, PPTP, IKEv2 and more.
5. Security Add-ons
Another notable mention in the Security segment of this PureVPN review are the add-ons for extra control over your safe browsing. The port forwarding lets you connect to devices all over the world, which is particularly useful for frequent travelers. The DDoS protection also looks very exciting, but unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to test its efficiency.
6. Compatible with Every Platform
Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOs, routers, Chromecast, Playstation, Xbox, Roku, Kodi – whatever device you might want to connect to PureVPN, it’s most probably on the list. I am always impressed by a good variety of options, and such is the case here. Sure, I might never use most of them but I feel safer, knowing that they are out there, if needed.
7. Global Network
A vast network means vast opportunities. Older PureVPN reviews affirm that the company server list is constantly expanding, which is commendable. Even heavily restricted countries like China are a possible option, and you will most probably be able to find a suitable location close by. Handling over 3,000,000 customers is no walk in the park, but PureVPN seems well-prepared for the job.
8. Money-back Guarantee
The company policies have been a concern in the past, with users reporting shady text in the fine print and other discrepancies. Well, the PureVPN Refund Policy has either changed that for the better or they are now hiding it even deeper. I went through the policy and found nothing alarming. 31 days is more than long enough to get a taste before deciding if this is the right VPN software for you.
9. Great Community
This is where things rose to a whole new level. Heaps of not just users, but active users, can tell you if a product is worth it. PureVPN excels in that direction. Sweet offers for affiliates and resellers, cash bonuses for bug finding, plus a fantastic Ideas Forum where users post improvement suggestions. Those suggestions are reviewed and applied by the app developers, whenever possible.
10. Extensive Knowledge Base
Information is power, and here you have all the power! A PureVPN tutorial seems to pop-up for almost every topic. Articles are well-written, clearly explained and complemented with a lot of screenshots. The effort, put in this knowledge base, is truly impressive.
Among all these lucrative advantages, PureVPN can also do some improvements.
1. No Free Trial
Have you heard of a Free Trial that is not actually Free? Well, this is the case with PureVPN! You can’t see the “deal” on the website, but a direct Google search or a simple request in chat will prompt you to a link. Following that link will lead you to the PureVPN Free Trial – which actually charges you a non-refundable $2.95 for a 3-day use. That really isn’t my definition of “free”.
I was also bombarded with low-key promotional e-mails from them during my trial, which were more spammy than helpful.
2. Pop-ups. A lot of pop-ups!
Pop-ups can be profitable if done right, but past a certain point, even a good deal can become irritating. I got 3-4 different ads right in the initial 30 minutes of my encounter with the website and they kept on coming, even after my PureVPN download. I even went out of my ways to wait for the timer of one of those last-minute-super-deals to end. What do you think happened afterward? Yep, it just restarted! Cheap marketing tricks are never appreciated.
3. Average Level of Support
I was excited to test the support and see if it is as good as the other helpful materials on the website. I connected to the Live Chat and asked the rep, Olivia, a few standard questions. Replies were polite and fast, but not necessarily a great indicator of her actual competency.
So I asked if the PureVPN Chrome extension supports the same number of locations as the Windows app (which I knew for a fact it didn’t). Olivia was quickly back with a template on How To Upgrade My Extension…wait, what? I decided to give her a second chance, this time giving an exact location I knew was unavailable. She asked for some time, and just 15 seconds later she was back with a new “solution” – a link to their server locations.
At this point, I gave up the efforts to get anything different than robotic responses and left the chat.
4. Questionable Reviews
When something looks too good to be true, it most probably is. This old saying rings true when it comes to PureVPN reviews. Went through a hundred reviews on their website and even those that had awarded less than five stars sounded too flattering. Decided to do a Google search too and wouldn’t you know it — results seemed completely different. Now, I know better than to blindly follow others’ opinions but the fact that the company sweeps negative reviews under the rug is not too flattering.
If you are looking for a short-term solution, PureVPN might prove a little pricey. The monthly rate is set at $10.95, but they have good deals if you’re willing to prepay for at least a year. There is a “hidden” 2-year offer that keeps popping up, but the 1-year rate of $2.95 remains unbeatable.
Do I Recommend PureVPN?
Final verdict? I’d definitely go for it. Both the Windows app and the PureVPN extension for Chrome work smoothly, they are packed with options and are easy to navigate. There are some areas that can be improved, but overall, it’s an impressive performance. Feel free to check more VPN reviews here.
The company headquarters reside in Hong Kong, and the final decisions regarding disputes are handled in accordance with the local jurisdiction. Their servers are scattered over 180 locations around the world.
I ran into no issues while testing Netflix US with the VPN app. Just make sure to choose the Stream mode when you initially log in. This will adjust the default settings for an optimal experience.
The process of setting up Kodi on Windows was quite simple.
- Install the app
- Choose your location
- Verify your IP has changed
- Launch Kodi
You wouldn’t be the first to want to game through a VPN. So it comes to no surprise, that you can absolutely enjoy your games through PureVPN. I successfully connected my Xbox with the app, and various PureVPN reviews around the Web suggest that users have had the same success with PlayStation, Chromecast, Raspberry Pi, and other gaming platforms.