PureVPN Review 2019
Pure VPN based in Hong Kong, a Chinese ruled territory but one where the laws of the Chinese mainland don’t apply. Hong Kong doesn’t even have any major data retention laws and neither its part of any data sharing alliance.
More than 2000 servers are now offered by PureVPN, a comprehensive overview of which I will offer later in this review.
The server count is high but not the highest in the industry (NordVPN has over 5000 servers currently) but still, it covers a highly diverse location base with over 180 server locations offered around the world, making for perhaps the best overall server location coverage in the industry by far.
In total, PureVPN offers 12 types of compatible apps for different operating systems and platforms. Windows, Macs, Androids, Firestick, Linux, every major device is covered by a dedicated PureVPN app making for easier usability and increased dexterity.
PureVPN is a zero logs provider as it doesn’t keep any personally identifiable logs as of now. Minimal connection timestamps are collected like time of initiating the connection, but this is not dangerous to user privacy or anonymity at all.
Its military grade encryption ensures that no one can decipher your internet packets going in or out from your connection, keeping you secure.
The streaming domain is where PureVPN is at its best. It unblocks Netflix US and many other streaming sites quite easily. Not all proscribed servers for the task of bypassing geo-restrictions work, but that’s ok since many of them do and allow users to access their favourite streaming content through them.
It can also bypass internet censorship in many countries over the world like Iran and can allow you to access the free internet just like anyone else in the free world can.
PureVPN also supports Torrenting and the amount of dedicated support you can get on this activity is one of the service’s major highlights.
Information on many of these activities and the more intricate details on them can be retrieved any time, anywhere and by anyone using PureVPN’s live chat support option, which is available 24/7 to resolve all sorts of queries and troubleshooting issues. You can also raise a ticket for more technical or service related issues with the service.
Service Background and Jurisdiction
PureVPN is owned by GZ Systems which is in turn owned by Uzair Gadit and has its base in Hong Kong, so lets start this review by talking about its hub. This former British colony, is now an autonomous territory of China, but does that make it a place where VPNs shouldn’t be setting up their base?
Not quite, and that’s because, despite China’s notorious reputation regarding its draconian internet privacy laws, Hong Kong is surprisingly, more at par with major European countries than China, as far as internet freedom and data privacy laws are concerned.
Hong Kong also is not bound by any data/information gathering or sharing agreement or alliance like 14 Eyes, as we found out in detail when we conducted a study on how more invasive some places can be in terms of data privacy than others.
PureVPN scores some major points here for keeping a major cornerstone of its basics right.
Supports OpenVPN and has Military Grade Encryption
Many users who are not familiar with the technical jargon of the VPN industry often get confused about the purpose of the protocols offered by VPNs. Users do often have a basic understanding of things like encryption, servers etc. but not many know what these “Secure protocols” actually do.
Well, these protocols actually secure a user against all sort of “Man in the middle” attacks. These attacks occur when someone intrudes your connection, sits in between (hence man in the middle), and gains the ability to intercept all of your data.
These sort of attacks are most common at public places like Coffee shops, public Wi-Fi, Airports, Offices etc. and that’s because these attackers know that users are often too casual with their protection when at such places.
PureVPN offers OpenVPN to secure you against very such attacks, because its most robust and secure among all protocols being offered these days. But, PureVPN also support other protocols like L2TP, PPTP etc. which the user can opt for if the device they are using doesn’t support OpenVPN or they need a faster connection.
Now coming to another important component of a VPN’s security apparatus, PureVPN also offers AES-256 military grade encryption, which is such a powerful level of encryption that even brute force computing cannot allow any hacker to get through it.
This encryption is called ‘Military Grade” for this exact reason, as its ciphers allow it to be used by sensitive government and military agencies and installations around the world.
But despite offering such industry standard security tools in order to provide you with maximum security online, PureVPN’s controversial logging policy doesn’t allow us to regard it as a safe service for sensitive activities.
This VPN is good enough to protect you on activities like Torrenting, but not when you are being pursued by a government agency, so don’t go for it if you are one who goes for a VPN primarily because its secure.
Its Apps are Free From Malware
A big problem in downloading and running apps from even VPN providers comes in the form of you not knowing whether that particular app is safe for your system or not.
And just because of relaying this fear, I made PureVPN’s app go through a virus detection test on VirusTotal.com. The result? The apps are clean and safe to use! So if you want to download and use them, go ahead!
Advanced Security Add-Ons
Apart from the must-have security features for a VPN like military grade encryption, OpenVPN protocol support among others, some modern day providers are now offering special, niche security features that add more versatility and strength to your online privacy.
These features include things like Double VPN and Onion over VPN. PureVPN also offers some of these extra security features like DDOS protection, Split Tunnelling, Ozone Servers and IP Leak protection.
But the provider doesn’t have a multi-hop/Double VPN feature neither does it offer intimate protection alongside Tor for those who use this browser. These two are the most important extra security features that a provider can offer, so PureVPN loses some major points for not offering them in an otherwise highly well-loaded service.
It does offer some add-ons that are incredibly useful. Lets go through each one of them one by one:
PureVPN NAT Firewall/Port Forwarding add-on Review
Formerly known as the PueVPN Nat Firewall add-on, PureVPN’s Port Forwarding feature is an add-on that you can get by paying an extra amount of money with your existing subscription plan.
This feature protects you by blocking all or any unwanted traffic that wants to access your computer.
Port Forwarding is good for everyone but its especially more useful for those who have sensitive data on their systems or they conduct sensitive transactions through their connections for e.g. banking transactions.
Turning it on is also very easy. On the Windows client, just go to Settings > Port Forwarding > Configure. Once here, you will need to choose an option from Block all/Open All/Block All but allow.
This option is good, but not much necessary and on top of this, its offered as an add-on for $1.99/month excluding the subscription value cost for the monthly and quarterly plan. On the Yearly plan, its cost goes down to $0.99/month.
But the extra price is not worth paying as firstly, this feature doesn’t contribute much to the overall PureVPN security that you getting out of the VPN itself, and secondly its not as valuable for you to pay extra for it.
A Logging Policy shrouded in controversy
What does PureVPN’s logging policy actually entail?
But they keep connection timestamps, however one great highlight here is that they have now resorted to just logging the day you connected through their service. Previously, they used to keep exact connection timestamps but not anymore.
They do collect your name, email and payment details, but that is understandable as any firm requires such information to create user accounts and manage them.
But if they want, they can go up a notch even in this by following MullvadVPN’s example of just creating user accounts by using account numbers, not names or email addresses.
However, due to their implication in the case regarding the FBI and the cyberstalker, its logging policy, despite being seemingly clear and secure, is still highly questionable.
Their warrant canary is not clear anymore now so I would recommend users who are looking for privacy with a VPN, to go for this service with a high amount of caution.
Its Not CTD Compliant Yet
The Center for Transparency and Democracy now offers VPNs a chance to make themselves more transparent to their users by answering a series of related questions. Ranging from telling out about your revenue model to who owns you, this new CTD VPN Compliance questionnaire is being lapped up by many top providers in the industry.
It started with ExpressVPN and now other providers like Tunnelbear have aced their compliance test as well.
But PureVPN hasn’t yet responded to calls by CTD to verify their transparency. This, while not affecting the brand now, can create serious trouble for it in the upcoming times.
Transparency is a virtue that is regarded extremely highly in the VPN domain and if PureVPN isn’t taking enough steps to match up the industry standards related to this issue, it would find itself in troubled waters very soon.
Affordably Priced Subscription Plans
VPNs are conventionally offered on a subscription model which means that you usually need to pay a certain amount to subscribe to their service for a certain number of months.
And generally, it’s the user’s psyche to get inclined towards a service that is priced low and offers the right mix of features.
PureVPN has always been one of the most budget friendly VPN services out there with its rock bottom prices.
Its current pricing plans are as follows:
- Monthly Plan: $10.95 billed once
- 2-Year Plan: $3.29/month ($78.96 billed once)
- 1-Year Plan: $2.95/month ($35 billed once)
The monthly plan is nothing to write home about and I suspect that this plan is just there to make the other plans look ridiculously expensive. If you want to subscribe to PureVPN ever, never opt for their monthly plan because its just not rightly priced.
The 1-Year plan comes in at $48.96 billed once, which makes it cost a user around $4.08 for each month of the subscription plan. According to PureVPN, you save 63% with this plan, but that’s when you compare it to the price of the monthly plan, so this discount figure is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
But currently, PureVPN is uncharacteristically promoting its 1-Year plan that costs just $35 billed once, to subscribe to the monthly cost of this plan stands at just $2.95, making it appear even more appealing than their 2-Year deal.
One year plans aren’t supposed to be the “Starred” plans when you already have a plan with a longer duration, so it was a bit of a surprise as well as a shock when I saw this 2-year plan being promoted over the 1-Year deal. Maybe, this reflects changing customer habits as they might be opting for plans with longer subscription duration instead of going for medium ones.
The pricing is one of the most important pros of PureVPN and it is this strategy of keeping the prices exceedingly affordable that has allowed the provider to stay afloat even in testing times.
PureVPN’s LifeTime Subscription Review
One of the most unimpressive thing about the service is its desperation to sell. You literally get 2-3 “Exciting Deals” stuffed in your face as soon as you open the site.
From 2 year special deals to some fake timers that keep resetting after some time, PureVPN’s subscription plans are probably the only ones on which limited deals are running all year round.
But one big thing has gone missing from all such deals i.e. the Lifetime Subscription Offer, which PureVPN was advertising ferociously till late last year.
Well actually, the LifeTime offer didn’t offer you PureVPN for eternity but for 5 Years.
When I contacted chat support to ask for the deal, the customer rep told me that the said deal has been discontinued for now and no time frame can be given as to when it will return.
PureVPN’s Refund Policy Is Not Transparent Enough
Marketing is acceptable and all brands and firms are allowed to indulge in practices that help them in promoting their service. However, this should never come at the cost of transparency.
PureVPN is a good enough VPN but its credibility is majorly affected through its own bad policies that it can do away with quite easily. I can never understand why PureVPN hasn’t corrected this thing yet as its gnawing away at its chances of being much more appealing.
PureVPN says that it offers a “31 Day Refund Policy”.
But if you go in and dig deeper into the provider’s site, which most users don’t, you would find that these statements are a bit “over-sweeping”.
If you visit PureVPN’s website, you will notice that they have advertised it their 31 day refund policy everywhere.
PureVPN needs to change its approach to the way it markets such offers by becoming more transparent. Even an asterisk on top of such announcements on its site telling a user that it needs to read more to become aware of the terms and conditions of the offer will add more credibility for the service.
But is the longer refund period by PureVPN any good? Actually not, and thats because its not beneficial to the user but to the provider. Surprised?
Well, most are, so let me explain this.
Longer refund policies ensure lower product returns as shown by the endowment affect.
This happens because the longer a product remains in one’s ownership, the higher affinity that person develops with it, which ultimately lessens the chance that there is ever going to be a refund.
If a user doesn’t like a product, it shouldn’t take 25-30 days to make the final call on the refund, so the extra period works as a psychological ploy to make users believe that they have a lot of time to refund, ultimately letting the endowment effect to take its course.
And on top of all this, instead of increasing the number of days in the refund period, the offer of a no-strings attached PureVPN free trial can allow the provider to better its customer friendliness at the point of check out.
Server Count and Locations Appraisal
Moving on, PureVPN now offers one of the largest server infrastructures in the world with 2000+ servers in over 140 countries worldwide. This sounds majorly impressive, but I had one major problem with it.
The provider focuses majorly on regions like Europe and North America as far as offering servers are concerned. Here is a breakdown of the server count region wise:
- North America: 667 Servers
- Europe: 807 Servers
- Asia: 321 Servers
- Central America: 12 Servers
- South America: 84 Servers
- Africa: 150 Servers
- Oceania 93 Servers
- Total Servers: 2134
Approximately 69% of the servers offered by PureVPN are located in North America and Europe while Asia gets just a paltry 15% of its servers, making it a majorly undeserved region.
PureVPN is doing nothing different than what is considered conventional in the VPN industry, where a majority of providers offer a big chunk of their servers in North American and Europe while ignoring the rest of the world completely.
This practice has its roots in the facts that firstly, internet penetration is high in these regions and secondly, the knowledge and need to protect oneself online is also high. This results in high sales from these regions for VPN providers, but I believe that its not right to be so skewed when it comes down to your overall server location spread.
PureVPN definitely needs to add more servers in the Asian and African regions. This will help the provider to a large extent in reducing the problems that you face when you connect to servers further away from your location while using the service.
PureVPN has a problem of not offering the best speeds if your connection involves long hop, for e.g. a PureVPN user located in France would be better off connecting to a server in Spain than lets say in Hong Kong or Canada.
PureVPN Server List/Hostnames (Physical/Virtual Explained)
PureVPN has a problem of not offering the best speeds if you connection involves long hop, for e.g. a PureVPN user located in France would be better off connecting to a server in Spain that lets say in Hong Kong or Canada. If you are not one who can compromise on a speedy connection then the fastest PureVPN server for you is the one that’s nearest to your current location.
The provider offers 2000+ servers in 180 locations worldwide but are all of those servers same? Not exactly.
PureVPN, like many other providers these days, doesn’t offer physical servers in all of its locations, but rather, it offers Virtual servers.
The primary difference between the two is exactly what their names imply.
Physical servers are actual servers which exist in a physical form somewhere, while the Virtual servers are not exactly located physically in the country/location they are offering you an IP from.
For e.g. if you have connected to a Virtual server location in Romania, it’s just an IP address that your connection if being routed from in Romania. The actual bare metal server for this virtual server isn’t located in Romania but elsewhere.
Providers offer virtual servers for a wide variety of reasons ranging from not having the resources to put an actual bare metal server in the location to allowing users to unblock content from a specific country but without incurring too much costs on acquiring a bare metal server to do the job.
PureVPN’s Virtual servers are indicated by a “V” mark besides the name of the server location in their overall server list.
Another type of server offered by PureVPN is the Ozone server. This type of server is there to allow users to get rid of unwanted ads and malware. But from what I tested, the effectiveness of such servers is mild, and they can’t be a substitute for pro adware or malware software. These servers are denoted by the “OZ” acronym in the server list.
PureVPN`s Speeds Are Acceptable at Best
PureVPN is quite infamous for its erratic speeds. Its support for streaming and Torrenting has been known to be good overall, however there have been numerous reports of its speeds going down below acceptable points many a times. So I finally decided to conduct a detailed speed test of the service myself over a period of a week.
During this endeavor, I randomly connected to its servers in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, India and whole lot of other place and conducted speed tests at regular intervals so that I become able to provide you with a fair idea of what it’s like to use the service as far as speeds are concerned.
According to my PureVPN Speed Review, the provider’s speeds are surely erratic. Mostly, you’ll see a great reduction in speeds if you go for a long hop i.e. connecting to a far-away server. Other providers don’t spoil your experience too much doing that, but PureVPN is not one of those.
I found its best speeds to be at least 15-20% slower than what the Fastest VPNs like ExpressVPN or MullvadVPN offer.
This can be considered good but wait, there’s more.
While everyone shares the best speeds they got in their testing, I will do the exact opposite i.e. I will share the worst speeds I got during my entire experience, so that you know what to expect when the service is at its worst.
My internet connection speed was 50 Mbps and here are the speed test results I got from a PureVPN connection routed through its server in Copenhagen, Denmark:
Ping: 224 Ms
Download Speed: 17.04 Mbps
Upload Speed: 10.59 Mbps
A ping rate of 224 is way too high. But what was more alarming here was the absolute nosedive I experienced in speeds. Download speeds fell by a whopping 65% which is not acceptable at all.
But the place where I faced the biggest disappointment was in the Upload speeds where the speed loss was almost 79%.
Conventionally, even at the best of times, a loss of 25-35% speed is normal for a VPN considering all the encryption and protocols it needs to go through, so a speed loss in the 60-70% range is not a number that anyone could be happy with.
Their speeds are a lot better on other servers, particularly those in the US but in places like Europe or the Far East, expect a nosedive from PureVPN.
But hey, this is the absolute worst of the service in 2019, which means that the only way from here is up. My best tests had some pretty amazing speeds including those where speed loss hovered around the 20% mark.
If speed was my main concern as a prospective VPN buyer, I would certainly give the provider a good thumbs up and ensure that I do consider it as a serious option when weighing my final choices.
PureVPN’s Customer Service Review via Trust Pilot
Review aggregation sites like Trustpilot are often a highly honest indicator of what the public or the average user thinks of the service and its performance standards holistically.
The ratings on the site for PureVPN were dedicatedly positive with around 85% of users rating it as a 5 star service.
The ratings for Average/Poor/Bad service got around 3% of the total votes from among the 7624 reviews posted for the service on Trustpilot so far.
This indicates that the user overwhelmingly has had a positive experience with the service, which is a bit out of tow from what I experienced in my testing and review of the service, but its what the customers think of the service and their opinion is just as honest as mine, if not as polished or intensive.
Pure VPN Can Unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer
Bypassing the geo-restrictions on sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer is no mean feat for a VPN and that’s because bypassing geo-restrictions isn’t as easy as connecting to the server in the country where the service is located and unblocking it. Its 2019 and the streaming sites have become more stringent than ever in protecting their geo-restrictions on copyrighted content.
The biggest roadblock in the ways towards unblocking these major streaming sites is a thing called a VPN Ban. This “Ban” is not a software or a feature, but rather a complex series of mechanisms through which Netflix or BBC iPlayer or even other similar services like them, impose a blackout on VPNs.
For bypassing the VPN ban, a VPN needs to be fast enough to shift servers on a continuous basis and that’s because the ban works by recognizing VPN servers through too much traffic coming from a series of IP addresses and then restricting them from accessing the service.
Shifting servers requires a VPN to be on top of its game always as doing this means you have to be agile as well have dedicated resources to execute the task to perfection.
PureVPN is one of those rare services these days that can offer you a stellar unblocking experience. Not just it unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer but it can work through almost all popular geo-restricted services and sites easily.
According to my review, PureVPN Netflix’s and other unblocking performance is powerful and reliable enough to be trusted for supporting your streaming needs and is definitely among those selected providers who can unblock these geo-restricted sites with ease.
But there is just one drawback towards using it for streaming i.e. you don’t get a Smart DNS service. The only reliable provider offering this feature is ExpressVPN.
A PureVPN Smart DNS feature was there a while back but now it’s gone, so you can’t bypass geo-restrictions on your niche streaming devices like Firestick by way of this feature if you opt for PureVPN. However, mostly this isn’t a major worry as features like PureVPN for Firestick app help compromise for the lack of a Smart DNS feature.
Torrenting is ALLOWED with Pure VPN Service
In recent times, Torrenting has faced a backlash of epic proportions from major government agencies and copyright trolls around the world, closing down popular sites like Torrenthound, Torrentz, KickAss Torrents etc. with many others on the verge of meeting a similar fate.
This is because, these agencies and copyright trolls accuse Torrenting fans and sites to be indulging in copyright violations of content.
However, this hasn’t stopped Torrenting fans to completely shun the activity altogether but rather the activity is still ongoing as it was a few years ago, with the only difference being that the risk accompanying the activity has grown tremendously.
This leaves just VPN for p2p file sharing as the sole saviors for users as they make this activity incredibly safer than it would be without it.
But these days many VPNs have cowed away from offering support for Torrenting. PureVPN thus remains one of the last remaining VPN services that can offer users with an incredibly free Torrenting experience.
You can compare pure`s torrenting friendly policies with that of other providers in this detailed research sheet.
Hold On! It will take a while to load this…
PureVPN isn’t just offering lip service by saying it supports Torrenting, but it is actually quite suitable for the activity.
The speeds were a major issue as they are erratic most of the time, but apart from that, I didn’t get any copyright notices or even DMCA notices that could have compelled me to shun the provider for this purpose.
PureVPN Still Doesn’t Work in China
For us, a VPN is suitable for China only if it gets a nod on these three core parameters:
- Its site can be accessed in China
- Its nearby servers work phenomenally well
- It easy to download and install in China
PureVPN doesn’t even meet even one of these parameters by a long shot.
Not just its website is banned in China, but the nearby servers it offers don’t offer good enough speeds, always remain choked, and you can’t download its app in China.
Despite offering a supporting document for unblocking in China, most of the help points in it are not good enough to secure a get through.
The Provider does work in China but only if you have it pre-installed in your system before you board on a plane to Beijing or Shanghai. This means that once you enter the Chinese Mainland, you can kiss goodbye to important features that are needed to make a VPN work properly in such a sensitive place.
You will have no sort of PureVPN support, neither can you download any of its app and you cant even check up on your billing or file for a refund.
The only way you can make PureVPN work in China is if you have it pre-installed on your device before you board on a plane to China or get a friend to send you the credentials of an account after buying a plan and send them to you in China along with the setup files of the dedicated app for the OS you are looking to use PureVPN on.
But seriously, if you don’t want to go such a long way, then I don’t recommend PureVPN for China unblocking, if you are looking for a VPN for China. Use ExpressVPN or NordVPN instead if you really want to experience top draw VPN performance in the country.
PureVPN Extra Service Features
Apart from all the conventional features that every other VPN app offers, PureVPN sets out to define itself as an exclusive service that offers extra service and security features that users won’t be able to find elsewhere.
Split Tunneling is a feature that works exactly like what its name implies. It “Splits” your traffic, and allows you to be in charge of what goes through your VPN tunnel and what doesn’t.
This feature works well, and came in especially handy when the connection was a bit slow by PureVPN, allowing me to keep my major apps and services safe from intrusion.
Every user will agree that we don’t usually need all of our apps and services to be routed through a VPN enable connection, and some take priority over others for e.g. If I am Torrenting and the speeds are slow, I will definitely prefer the VPN to offer cover for this activity than to protect my Snapchat conversations.
The Split Tunnelling Feature by PureVPN is one of its starred features and one of my most preferable features in a VPN from now on wards, once I have used it.
PureVPN also offers a kill switch which has definitely had some complaints and I must say that they are not unfounded. This feature did not work properly till 6 months ago and many users were aghast about it, and that’s because the importance of a properly functioning kill switch is undeniable in the event of a connection drop.
But, PureVPN has undergone a major revamp and its kill switch now works well to serve the function it was meant to perform.
PureVPN Dedicated IP Review
A conventional VPN server works fine and can easily allow you to spoof your IP and unblock ge-restricted content for you, but its only issue is that it can assign a different IP to you every time you connect to it. This can sometimes create issues if the website you are willing to access recognize the VPN server based connection and blacken out all IPs on it, thereby leaving you out from accessing that server location as well.
To overcome this, PureVPN offers dedicated IPs, which you can buy as an add-on in order to get your own personal IP which no one in the network will be allowed to share. This reduces the risk of getting blacklisted or being locked out of a certain location and also, you will be protected more robustly through the PureVPN DNS leak feature if you go for a dedicated IP for yourself.
Still, the limited locations offered by PureVPN for dedicated IP is a big turn off for me as they shouldn’t be charging me separately for a single dedicated IP or a streaming IP for PureVPN. if it only works in a single location. It would be much more feasible that after getting the add-on, I am assigned dedicated IPs in all the countries its offered in, not just one like it’s the case today.
Well you know about the background know and some of it major features even, but now, lets get down to a deep analysis of what’s good in the service and what’s not. Lets start with the Pros.
PureVPN Problems and Fixes
The live chat option is the most preferred option for solving any problem or get something fixed/patched up. Whether you want know simply how to use PureVPN or you want to get info on the refund policies, just ask them and they’ll most definitely guide you through any major issue you are having.
But PureVPN also offers a very well built support repository for this task as well.
This repository contains virtually all types of guides on troubleshooting issues you might have. However, according to my own experience, some of them may be outdated and may not work. So the best option is to go neutral and give the problem a search on Google and you will get a good enough answer to solve your issues in a jiff.
A user can have or experience any sort of issue, but some of them are major and highly occurring so I am relaying their solutions here:
1-PureVPN Android App Not Working in China
If you are going to China, you must make sure that you have the latest version of the PureVPN Android app on your phone as the app is not available on the Google Play store in China.
If the PureVPN app is not working there, you can’t do much as you can’t access their live chat support or their repository and neither can you even reinstall the app.
2-PureVPN Windows 10 Not Working
The most problematic app offered by PureVPN is the one for Windows 10 OS. It has minor niggles and glitches that can make it difficult to work with the app.
If the app is not responding or working for a long period, then you might need to uninstall and re-install the app. This almost fixes up all major issues.
Sometimes, you just need to switch between different protocols like OpenVPN, L2TP etc. as this can create issues.
There are many other errors that the might show depending on the kind of technical issue afflicting your system, so it’s best to consult chat support for it.
3-Unable to Connect to Remote Server
Sometimes, the server won’t get connected to and that can result in you getting the error of “PureVPN unable to connect”. You can deal with it firstly by waiting it out and try again after a couple of minutes. But if it’s still not working, PureVPN support offers an excellent 6 step guide to get through it. You can access the guide here.
PureVPN Reviews by Major Tech Websites
Most VPN review websites don’t indulge in this practice but I always work towards ensuring a high level of transparency with our users, so I am sharing some overviews of PureVPN reviews don’t by other VPN review sites. I am doing this so that users can know and trust our reviews as being on the same lines as the ones in the industry.
1- CNET PureVPN Review
CNET is a highly trustworthy and authoritative site for tech related issues and not just VPNs. It has rated PureVPN as its 4th best service overall in the Best VPN category. But its previous rating was number 1 and that time it was the Editor’s choice VPN but since CNET found issues with its streaming, it downgraded its rank, but still considers it a good service.
2- PCMag PureVPN Review
Another very reliable site when it comes down to tech related reviews, PCMag has rated PureVPN 4.5 out 5 rating points. It has pointed out that PureVPN’s pricing and its niche apps are its best forte.
PureVPN Review Reddit
Reddit exists as one of the most helpful communities for learning about a myriad of topics/products/services. You can find opinions of experts in various industries and even user reviews that can assist in decision-making processes. PureVPN has been a great topic of discussion on Reddit for quite a few years, especially after their cooperation with government authorities on logging information.
But, instead of salvaging their reputation, PureVPN indulged in some shady marketing that resulted in their brand name being banned from linked to on the platform.
This means that Reddit won’t allow you to put a link to PureVPN.com, whatever the reason, even if its genuine. Neither Can You Find Any Official recent Threads of the site on reddit.
There are some old mentions of the service there, however they are a mixed bag, mostly filled with rants on how the speeds can be a big issue and some positive points like it being extremely suitable for Netflix and other related streaming unblocking as discuss in best vpn reddit blog.
PureVPN’s Client App Has Serious Flaws That Need To Be Done Away With
Here are the list of VPN clients offered by PureVPN:
The whole purpose of having a client app in the first place is to make it as easier for the user to interact with the service’s different aspects as possible. PureVPN’s client app surely do that but there are some features in it that I really found confusing.
Firstly, the Client has a “Select Mode” option, which looks like this:
There are two options titled “Internet Freedom” & “Security/Privacy” are exactly the same thing so there was no need to add an extra mode that does the exact same thing just because you wanted to fill up some empty space.
Now coming, to the default protocol in the client which is set at IKev. Its just not right, because the industry norm for the default protocol and what’s also the best option security wise is OpenVPN protocol. PureVPN might have changed the default protocol from OpenVPN to IKev to improve speeds, but you cant do that while compromising security, so this needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Lastly, the option for IPv6 leak protection is disabled by default which is a serious security flaw especially on part of those users who are new to the whole thing and don’t know much about how they need to check on such things by diving deeper in to the client.
If there is a feature for extra security and protection, then seriously there is no point in keeping it turned off. Seriously, not likable at all.
The best feature of PureVPN is that it has a very expansive repertoire of apps and extensions, allowing users to deploy its service on any device or platform without much problems.
Each of these apps has been custom developed by PureVPN and most of them perform exceptionally well. (Windows app being an exception to this rule).
Here is a brief overview of what you can expect with each app that PureVPN offers:
PureVPN Windows App
This app is not as good as it should be, far from it, which is strange since all of its other apps are highly responsive and mostly crash-free. PureVPN Windows app is prone to stopping suddenly, not being able to initiate connections and some glitches with other important features as well. On the experience scale, I would probably not give it more than 5/10.
It works fine usually, but sometimes it can be a major spoil sport. One more thing, On PureVPN OpenVPN is not the default protocol, especially on the Windows app, so do keep that in mind.
PureVPN Mac App
An app which is much, much better than its Windows counterpart, PureVPN App for Mac is inherently stable and doesn’t have any major problems at all. It even is the best app among the lot by some distance. I wonder why team PureVPN is not replicating its performance on the Windows app. On the rating scale, I would give it a 9/10.
PureVPN Android App
With a low disk profile and lightweight structure, PureVPN Android app won’t bog down even the worst of Android devices, and that’s it best pat. It’s highly navigable and all options like settings are easily accessible, which implies that the developers but some effort and thought into designing a UX specifically suited to the platform. Netflix worked fine and so did my browsing. One the rating scale, the Android app gets 7/10 from me. It could’ve been better had it been a little bit faster.
PureVPN iOS App
PureVPN iOS app was not available actually for a very long time and this one just came out recently. So far, its been good and is actually built on the same lines as the Android app. UX and UI are good and the connections don’t simmer for more 10 seconds before going through, which is pretty darn good considering that VPN apps for iOS usually take more than 15-20 seconds to do that. I would give it a rating of 8/10 as it’s faster than the Android app but not as flawless as the Mac app.
The Best Part about PureVPN’s Apps
No app offered by PureVPN requires any sort of invasive permissions like demanding access to your camera or contact lists and neither does PureVPN log your information of any kind. No Trojans were detected when I ran the setup files through Virustotal.com on any app that the provider offers. Support can be accessed within the app from the settings menu, allowing users to get their problems solved without having to visit the site for every query.
PureVPN Supported Routers
Setting up a VPN on Router is perhaps the most perfect way to secure all of your devices and ensure that you can get rid of the limitations on the number of multi-logins offered by the provider in how many devices you can use PureVPN at the same time
But despite its advantages, setting up PureVPN on a Router is hard stuff and requires a certain degree of technical knowledge, so I don’t recommend it unless you are either very adept at doing so or if you need to cover up more devices than PureVPN’s multi-login feature can accommodate.
PureVPN currently supports most routers and you can find a way to setup it up on any them on its support repository. However, PureVPN offers the best compatibility with the DDWRT router as it has a dedicated app for it, making it considerably easier for you to install the service on this router than on others.
As mentioned earlier as well, one of the most impressive features about PureVPN is that it offers multiple dedicated clients for a wide number of OS. This makes it a service which takes customer ease and flexibility very seriously and is willing to go the extra mile in order to make its customer satisfied.
Downloading any of these apps is a straightforward process as the provider offers all of their download links on a single page on its site.
On the PureVPN Download page on their site, 12 dedicated apps are offered by the provider.
All of these apps and extensions work as per our latest tests on the service. The performance, however many vary on each one for e.g. based on our own experience, we would recommend you to use PureVPN apps on Firestick and Android devices as these two apps work the best out of the lot.
The Windows app is a bit sketchy as far as responsiveness is concerned and the rest of the apps are reasonable enough for you to hook them up with your devices and use them without running into any major problems.
*Many of these apps can be downloaded directly from the dedicated app stores of their OS/devices like the Android app can be directly downloaded from the Google Play store or the Firestick app can be downloaded directly from Amazon Web Store/Firestick app store. You can also finalize your subscriptions and pay for them directly on these app stores as well.
Similar to other software applications, users are always looking for cracked versions of PureVPN online. You can find many similar searches for various other VPN apps. This just goes to prove that while users are worried about their privacy, they are not willing to spend money.
Not that PureVPN is a very expensive service. It actually exists as one of the most budget-friendly providers in the marketplace.
The VPN is famous for offering amazing deals/discounts, helping users gain privacy at reasonable prices. For instance, this new year, PureVPN gave away their 2-year plan at an amazing 74% discount. This reduced their monthly pricing all the way down to $2.95 per month, billed $35.4 for 12-months. Why go free when you can avail privacy at cheapest vpn prices?
Bear in mind that most of the websites offering supposed “cracked” versions are selling a scam. Do not install apps that claim to be cracked, as they may be loaded with viruses and malware that can potentially harm your private data. There was a vulnerability in the PureVPN Windows client, which caused the revealing of stored passwords.
This issue is yet to be rectified and revolves around the “show password” option in the GUI app. While many apps do give this feature, the showing of passwords will give local attackers the ability of obtaining another users’ credentials, if they manage to log into their Windows machine. Though PureVPN has acknowledged the risk, they still have not removed the “show password” option from their app.
PureVPN’s Exclusive Features offered in the Client App
Ozone & Gravity Additional Security Features
The names for the extra security features offered by PureVPN do sound a bit weird but if you don’t know yet, the provider is based on a Spaceman theme, therefore the emphasis on such intra-world names.
So after giving you the context on the names of the features, lets delve down into the actual work they do for a user.
Ozone: Just like its namesake, PureVPN’s Ozone feature is intended to act as an Antivirus, thereby covering up your internet connection from all external threats like malware or hacking.
But does it work? Yes, but partially at best.
Offering an antivirus feature is understandable if one is a VPN service, because you might be looking to beef up your security combos. Even antiviruses these days are entering the VPN industry with their own such services. Still, antiviruses are best acquired as standalone services.
That’s because an antivirus is in itself, a complicated software and from our own experience, it doesn’t work well when offered as a feature like PureVPN’s Ozone.
This feature does do some mild anti-virus work equivalent to that of a credible, free Antivirus app with limited functionality like giving off warnings before you enter malware infested sites, but not much except that.
Ozone cannot detect threats like, lets say a Kaspersky or Avast can, so yes, its there, its nice, but is little more than a novelty.
Another feature named after a natural phenomenon, PureVPN’s Gravity feature is basically what you call an “Ad-blocker”.
I seriously don’t understand why this feature is called Gravity, because there is no obvious connection here.
Moving on from weird feature naming strategies to the actual performance of the feature.
Gravity is better than Ozone in performance (I don’t know why this feels quite strange to write it like this, but oh well, lets keep going), as it does offer a fair degree of protection over ads and nuisance pop-ups mostly. Some ads do creep past it, but its still quite good in performance.
PureVPN’s Hotspot Functionality
We all love hotspots, especially those created for Free Wi-Fi, so a client that can allow you to create a similar hotspot but for extending your VPN enabled connection, is even better.
PureVPN really surprised me by offering such a feature as it allows users to use VPNs on other devices without going through the fussy process of installing more and more client apps.
Not even the most popular VPNs out there offer the same feature so its makes PureVPN’s feature kind of unique and immensely valuable.
Here’s how you can create your own VPN Hotspot through PureVPN Window’s Client:
- In the system tray, right click on the icon for PureVPN and choose “Restart as Admin”
- Now click on Settings > App Settings > Protocol
- Here you can select any protocol you want for your connection from TCP, UDP or even Stealth Protocol
- Turn the VPN on by clicking on Connect
- On the right side of client, click on VPN Hotspot option and then again click on “Enable VPN Hotspot”
- The client will now ask you to set a Network SSID and a password (You can also change this in the option for “Manage VPN Hotspot”)
- Connect any other device to the network in the same manner you connect to other Wifi Networks!
Customer Support is not up to the mark
VPNs are complicated services so users need the customer support to be top notch in order to facilitate them with all kinds of queries and questions.
PureVPN, underperforms as far as its customer support is concerned and that’s because its live chat feature and the agents behind it feel too mechanistic.
For e.g. I asked them whether the refund policy becomes void after you’ve consumed a certain amount of GBs in your bandwidth, and the reply I got was a link to its refund policy page.
As is evident from the question I asked here, the reply needed a much more detailed and personalized answer than the one I got from them. This was disappointing for me and it is one of the most problematic points of an otherwise good enough service.
Their site does have very detailed setup guides for all kinds of devices, troubleshooting repositories and all but when the chat support feature is there, it needs to perform well, period!
How to Cancel PureVPN Subscription Plan
The provider currently offers a 31 Day refund policy and as of now, there are no subsequent pre-conditions attached to it.
Previously, the refund couldn’t be processed if you exceeded a certain bandwidth limit. PureVPN removed this pre-condition last year in order to make its refund policy more customer friendly and less complicated for users to understand.
If you’ve subscribed to any of its plans, but now don’t want to remain associated with it, you can demand a refund anytime within the validity period of the refund offer.
Here’s how you can get past the process of deactivating or cancelling your subscription in 3 simple step:
- Use your account credentials and login in to your account on the site
- Go to the Cancellation form and fill out all the details
- Your request for the cancellation of your subscription will now be processed by PureVPN
Usually, the support team follows back within a day or submitting the request. They might first ask you the reason for cancelling the membership and try and solve any issue that you might point out as the reason for leaving PureVPN as a member.
This is usual customer behaviour and every good service asks its users on why they want to leave, so don’t get agitated because of that. If you don’t want to stay and just move on, tell them that and the process will commence.
Do bear in mind that there are some sort of payment options, which if used for paying for the membership, on which the refund policy doesn’t apply.
For e.g. if you’ve paid via Bitcoin, you can’t file for a refund, no matter what so do read up on things and ask questions about everything from the chat support exec before making a final decision on the payment methods, so you don’t have to regret or rant later on.
PureVPN Review FAQs
When it comes to using PureVPN, prospects/users may have certain queries/questions that need answers. In light of this, BestVPN.co decided to create a section for FAQs to provide appropriate assistance:
Is PureVPN Free?
Unfortunately, PureVPN is not a free service, and that is good. We at BestVPN.co typically do not place trust in services that market themselves as “Free”. In simple words, it is a fugazi, a scam! Managing a VPN service does cost money. You have to pay for servers, app maintenance/updates, support and more.
As such, if a service is not charging you a penny, there is always a chance they are involved in shady practices. With PureVPN, you do however, have access to a 30-day refund guarantee. If you want to test the service, you can check out their 3-days Paid Trial, costing $2.50.
How to Cancel PureVPN?
Requesting a cancellation of your plan from PureVPN does not require any rocket science. Simply log into your account on the official website. Head to the “My Products and Services” section and look for the option that says “Request Cancellation”. You will then be approached by a customer service representative from the VPN, who will cancel your subscription instantly!
How to Install PureVPN on Kodi?
PureVPN currently exists as the first and only provider in the marketplace to offer a dedicated application for Kodi lovers. Using PureVPN on Kodi can easily allow you to download and install the add-on on the entertainment platform to keep your identity secure when streaming movies/TV shows from Covenant.
Do I Recommend PureVPN?
PureVPN’s affordable pricing is its biggest plus while its negligible attitude towards improving its sore points like it’s questionable logging policy is its biggest negative. I recommend you to go for this VPN only for entertainment and general browsing related activties. PureVPN is the Best VPN for activities like Torrenting and Netflix Unblocking, as you cannot find a VPN that is so cheap and offers a reasonable enough performance on these fronts.
But despite all of these positives, there are a lot of negatives hampering this service.
Bypassing geo-restrictions in China is out of question and its marketing policies are a bit overboard as well. Speeds are erratic, not too bad, but erratic enough to make users think twice and for recommendations to dry up substantially.
My recommendations to this VPN is that it needs to focus massively on correcting its wrongs which doesn’t seem like a big task.
If PureVPN does commit itself to correct its wrongs then it will become as preferable as it primes itself to be.
Don’t expect too much from the service or you’ll be left ruing your choice.
This provider has a knack of overpromising and under-serving, so keep your expectations low and only concentrate on getting it for streaming needs and some added privacy.
If you don’t agree with any of the points presented in the review or if you’ve had a different experience with the provider, I would love to hear you out. Do present your side of the story in the comments thread below so that we can engage in a meaningful conversation here!