|Price||$2.91/mo on a 2-Year Plan|
|Servers||2,000+ in 140+ Countries|
|Logs||No Logs Certified|
|Works in China||Yes|
|Compatibility||Windows, Android, Apple, Chrome, Firefox|
Based in Hong Kong, my PureVPN review uncovers that the provider enjoys a prominent place in the VPN industry. It is an all-rounder that has a 100% verified No-Logs policy through a US-based auditing firm; Altius IT.
It is a budget-friendly VPN, starting at $2.91/mo (on a 2-year plan), offering NAT Firewall, Split Tunneling, Ad/Tracker blocking, IPv6 Leak Protection, Kill Switch, DDoS Protection, and dedicated IPs for personal use.
At the same time, it has apps for all major platforms/devices and 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries around the world. The best part of all: you get exceptional performance with average speeds of 91.51Mbps in download 88.59Mbps in upload.
I highly recommend PureVPN, if you are in search of an affordable VPN packed with a ton of useful features. It is also among the few providers in the marketplace to successfully unblock Netflix on all devices!
PureVPN Review: Rating Criteria
- Jurisdiction: Where is PureVPN Based?
- Security: Is PureVPN Really Safe?
- Leaks: Does It Leak Your IP, DNS & WebRTC?
- Servers: Is It P2P Compatible, does it work in China?
- Streaming: Does it work with Netflix & other VoD services?
- Speed: How fast is PureVPN?
- Compatibility: Apps and supported devices
- Pricing: How much does PureVPN cost exactly?
- Trustworthiness: Trustpilot ratings, Reddit & Customer support
Jurisdiction: Where is PureVPN Based?
PureVPN has its headquarters in Hong Kong, so let’s start by talking about its hub. This former British colony is now an autonomous territory of China. However, does that make it a safe place?
Despite China’s notorious reputation regarding its draconian internet privacy laws, Hong Kong is more at par with major European countries than the mainland itself. At least, as far as internet freedom and data privacy laws are concerned.
Hong Kong is not bound by any data/information gathering or sharing agreement like the 5/9/14 Eyes, as we found out in detail after conducting a study on invasive jurisdictions.
Security: Is PureVPN Really Safe?
My PureVPN review of the providers’ location, security audit, warrant canary, and logging policy, reveal. the VPN is a safe choice for the privacy-conscious. Learn more about each aspect below:
Does PureVPN Keep Log Files?
After receiving a huge backlash for cooperating with the FBI, involving a female victim of cyberbullying and cyberstalking, PureVPN vowed to eliminate all logs. Surely, they helped catch a criminal and ease the mind of an innocent girl, but they did still hand over logs.
As such, it was their duty to take the backlash seriously, and they did. Now, the provider joins the ranks of VPN services to get their no-logs claims verified, as part of their commitment to delivering strong privacy and security to its customers around the world.
“We DO NOT keep any record of your browsing activities, connection logs, records of the VPN IPs assigned to you, your original IPs, your connection time, the history of your browsing, the sites you visited, your outgoing traffic, the content or data you accessed”
The Only Thing They Do Log
Protocols and Encryption Information
PureVPN offers support for protocols like SSTP, PPTP, and L2TP. However, most apps utilize the OpenVPN protocol to secure you online, as it allows the implementation of military-grade encryption.
The provider utilizes AES-256-CBC cipher with HMAC SHA1 hash authentication for the data channel and AES-256-CBC cipher with HMAC SHA384 hash authentication and RSA-2048 handshake encryption for the control channel.
Supports Port Forwarding, Split Tunneling, and Dedicated IPs
The Hong-Kong based provider is among the few in the marketplace that supports advanced features like the Port Forwarding, DDoS Protection, Split Tunneling, and IP leak protection.
All these specialty features combined boost the overall protection you receive for downloading torrents or streaming on VoDs. Of course, I would like seeing an addition of DoubleVPN and Onion over VPN too.
Native Apps for all Platforms Free from Malware
To test if the VPN is safe to download/install, my PureVPN review involved performing tests on all apps supported by the provider from VirusTotal.com. The results reveal that all apps are secure from viruses/malware.
Leaks: Does It Leak Your IP, DNS & WebRTC?
For this PureVPN review, I even conducted a thorough leak test, involving the usage of over 6 different tools. PureVPN passed all tests, indicating it does not leak any information whatsoever.
WebRTC and HTTP Request Leaks:
IPv4/IPv6 and Torrent IP Leaks:
Servers: Is It P2P Compatible, or Does It Work in China?
The VPN has a large global network of 2000+ servers in over 140+ countries worldwide, according to my PureVPN review.
The highest number of servers that PureVPN has is in the European region, followed by North America. Here is a breakdown of the server count region wise:
- North America: 656 Servers
- Europe: 769 Servers
- Asia: 309 Servers
- Central America: 12 Servers
- South America: 81 Servers
- Africa: 150 Servers
- Oceania 93 Servers
- Total Servers: 2070
Is PureVPN Good for Torrenting?
Indeed, my PureVPN review uncovers it is a great choice for downloading torrents. The provider offers a huge list of p2p-specific servers and even makes available features like Split Tunneling and SOCKS5 proxy to speed up and protect you.
It uses the OpenVPN (UDP) protocol for its p2p servers and encryption is available via AES-256 cipher, RSA-4096 key encryption, and SHA384 hash authentication.
While testing the USA server speeds for p2p/torrenting on uTorrent, PureVPN also managed to deliver an average of 91.51 Mbps and 88.59 Mbps upload.
Does PureVPN Work in China?
PureVPN fails to offer consistent performance in China to residents. Unlike other providers like ExpressVPN, and Surfshark, it does not offer a dedicated Chinese page for residents to download the product.
As far as Chinese expats are concerned, the VPN does work in bypassing “The Great Firewall”, and is the only provider to offer 12 Chinese servers, among which 6 are located in Shanghai and 6 in Beijing.
It still needs to invest in obfuscated servers either through Xor or the Stunnel protocol, which redirects the VPN traffic to port 443, making it look like regular HTTPs traffic, fooling sites/countries that impose VPN bans.
PureVPN Uses both: Bare-Metal and Virtual Locations
Like many other providers these days, PureVPN does not offer physical servers in all of its locations. It also utilizes virtual locations mainly for availability in countries with tough internet laws.
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 fictitious.
Testing on their az1-ovpn-udp.pointtoserver.com server revealed that it is actually located in Edinburgh, UK. Some other virtual locations used by PureVPN include: Aruba, Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen.
Does PureVPN Work with Netflix and Other VoDs?
Indeed, my PureVPN review discovers it is the only in the marketplace to unblock VoDs directly through its browser add-on, despite the VPN ban. And this is not only limited to Netflix.
Just make sure to clear your browser cache before accessing the Netflix site, or as a simpler solution launch the “Incognito” on Google Chrome or “private mode” on Mozilla Firefox.
Below you can see how i used their Chrome extension to unblock the US version of Netflix and stream the hit film series, “Avengers: Infinity War”, without any hassle!
Further testing of PureVPN revealed the provider now unblocks Netflix in 3 more regions (in addition to the above); Canada, France, and Germany
Speed: How Fast is PureVPN?
On an average, PureVPN managed to deliver 91.51Mbps in download and 88.59Mbps in uploads, after testing their servers in 5 different locations. All in all, the speeds have improved since we last tested the service.
Compatibility: Apps and Supported Devices
One of the few VPN providers compatible with all the major platforms and devices, below is a complete list of devices that the provider supports, according to my PureVPN review:
- Android TV
- Boxee box
- Amazon Firestick
- Microsoft Surface
- Now TV Box
- Raspberry Pi
- Chrome cast
- Play Station
- iOS App (Relaunched)
PureVPN for iOS
PureVPN’s iOS app was not available actually for a long time, as it was removed due to violating the iTunes policy. A new one has made its way back to the apple store though, and is built on the same framework, as its Android counterpart.
The overall UX and UI of the iOS app is quite remarkable and does not get affected by varied screen sizes of the iPhone/iPad. Connection times were also quick and did not take longer than 10 seconds on average. Overall, the app scores a 10/10!
PureVPN for Android
Thanks to its lightweight structure, PureVPN’s Android app will not bog down even the worst and slowest of Android devices. Navigation is seamless, similar to its iOS counterpart, and connection times were also impressive.
This implies that the developers did put effort and thought into designing a UX specifically suited to the platform. Netflix and other VoDs worked fine and the speeds have improved massively too. On the rating scale, the Android app gets 9/10 from me.
PureVPN for Windows
The Windows app targets both audiences; the tech-savvy and amateur VPN users. And, that is why it is a hit among Windows lovers. For the layman, the default settings work perfectly for browsing, torrenting, and unblocking.
You have specific modes available that connect you to relevant servers i.e. if you want to download torrents, click on the “File Sharing” mode and enjoy maximum security and fast speeds for torrenting.
Then, once you enter the “Preferences” menu, the app is a pure haven for the tech savvy. It presents a myriad of protocols, encryption, and app tweaking options for further boosting your security and privacy online.
PureVPN for Mac
Similar to the Windows counterpart, my PureVPN review of its Mac app shows it uses the same design and style. It offers a remarkable list of features for both: rookie and tech-savvy VPN users, which contributes to its overall likability.
You have the same intuitive mode selection option, configuration tweaking, and other modifiable settings that make using the app dead easy. At the same time, the look of the app does not bore you and looks quite modern!
PureVPN for Linux
PureVPN does not offer a GUI-based app for Linux, similar to most providers. However, it is still a great option for those who can understand and implement coding for establishing VPN connections.
Most reviewers would agree that setting up non-GUI based apps on Linux is a challenging task. Even so, PureVPN does pretty well at streamlining the configuration process. You can follow their guide here for more information.
PureVPN for Firestick
The VPN works seamlessly on Firestick with its dedicated app; optimized for the platform. You can download it either from Pure’s website or by visiting Google Play Store and simply typing in “PureVPN”.
This allows users of the platform to leverage maximum security on their Amazon Fire TVs, all while gaining the capability of unblocking platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, and more.
PureVPN for Kodi
For instructions on how to install PureVPN on Kodi, you can follow this guide. Once the app is installed, you can leverage great security when streaming pirated content, saving you from hefty DMCA fines!
Pricing: How Much Does PureVPN Cost Exactly?
If you opt for the first one, you will have to pay $10.95 per month, which is not a very affordable deal at all. The best plan offered by PureVPN currently is its 2-Year Deal, costing you just $2.91/month.
The cumulative cost of this plan is just $69.99 billed once for a full year’s worth of subscription. Does it come back with a guarantee? YES, a 31-day refund, if you are not satisfied with the VPN.
Sadly, there is no free trial available, but PureVPN does offer a PAID trial available for $2.50 and has a validity of 3-days (good enough for testing). Charges for Port Forwarding and Dedicated IPs are listed below:
1-month – $1.99/mo
1-year – $0.99/mo
2-year – $0.99/mo
1-month – $1.99/mo
1-year – $1.99/mo
2-year – $1.99/mo
As far as payment methods go, PureVPN goes all out. It supports all the standard options, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Cashu, and anonymous Bitcoin.
For more diversity, the provider implements PaymentWall, which allows it to accept payments in 150 different methods from over 200 countries worldwide, leaving no stone unturned.
Trustworthiness: Trustpilot Ratings, Reddit & Customer Support
PureVPN has a higher rating than even the most famous providers in the marketplace, *coughs Nord and Express*. From over 8,654 reviews, it has gained a 5-star rating, indicating more than 85% of its users have had a positive experience.
PureVPN Review Reddit
Is PureVPN safe and secure? That’s what most redditors are asking on Reddit and from the responses I have analyzed, I can safely say the provider is definitely doing something right, as it gains positive reviews from most users.
Below you can see a few embedded reddit threads talking about PureVPN’s overall speed and performance. Most, if not all, are positive with of course some users having a negative experience.
Here a user talks about how he’s been using PureVPN for the past 2 years and considers it to be one of the best unblockers in the market for accessing Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer etc.
Naturally, where there were positives, I did come across some reviews that were negative. Mostly they were concerns about the VPNs logging policy, which of recent have been audited.
PureVPN’s Customer Support
The Hong Kong-based provider has a very proactive customer support team, be it from the live chat, ticket, or email support. All representatives are quite helpful and detailed in their responses.
Usually, other execs redirect you to a link or blog to save their effort. However, I observed that unlike other VPN services and their chat support team, PureVPN’s executives did not mind elaborating on their answers.
I even recorded the response times after sending the VPN four questions via email with intervals. Among them, two were general queries and two were a little more technical. See the statistics below:
|Question||Initial Response Time||Number of Emails|
|How to download PureVPN?||20 Minutes||1|
|Why is PureVPN so slow?||15 Minutes||1|
|How do I get a refund from PureVPN?||25 Minutes||1|
|Why is my PureVPN not connecting?||22 Minutes||1|
PureVPN Alternatives Review
PureVPN already exists as a famous provider that is suitable for all your VPN-related needs at a budget-friendly price. However, if you want to another inexpensive deal, do consider signing up with Surfshark (starts at $1.99/mo).
Do I Recommend PureVPN?
I highly recommend PureVPN to those looking for an affordable yet feature-packed VPN service. There are improvements required in bypassing “The Great Firewall”, but overall you receive good protection and security.
All dedicated apps function smoothly and responsively, which adds to the likeability of the VPN. Add this to a large number of servers available, dedicated IPs, and the Hotspot feature, PureVPN provides good value for your money.
Not to mention, it has recently joined the ranks of logs providers and even unblocks Netflix and other streaming platforms directly through its browser extensions. You can get a plan for $1.99 from here.