Summary: PureVPN is a Hong Kong based VPN provider operating over 750 servers in an impressive 141 countries. Not only is the network size impressive, but many features, including a wide selection of protocols, multiple device connection, and bandwidth capabilities, deliver a stellar performance. Read our PureVPN review to get complete details on this brand’s rating.
PureVPN Review – Pros and Cons
PureVPN is a Hong Kong based VPN provider that operates over 750 servers in 141 countries around the world. While its network size is undoubtedly impressive, we tested other features that users have come to rely upon, namely setup, UI, VPN protocols, support, streaming support, price and more. Here’s a quick look what makes PureVPN a good contender and where it could improve.
- Quick and easy setup
- A slick, graphically impressive UI
- Great selection of protocols, including StealthVPN
- Pay by virtually any means possible
- Quick, helpful support by chat and email
- Unclear what some of the modes do
- Netflix isn’t supported
- Only a 7 day money-back guarantee policy
- Some servers are slow
- No phone support
PureVPN stands out for its ease of use including quick set up, smooth user experience, payment methods and highly responsive customer support. Although it doesn’t support Netflix streaming, there’s alot you can get out of this service with no complications.
Overall Score for PureVPN: 80/100
PureVPN Setup and Usability
Getting PureVPN running on a machine is not a complicated endeavor. The company offers apps for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, and Android in addition to configuration files for Linux and Chromebook users. Unlike some of the best VPN providers, the PureVPN free download is available without having to create an account – a plus for the extra privacy-conscious.
After installing the PureVPN download, users can begin using the program immediately (if they have a valid license, of course). One area in which this program really shines is its UI.
After downloading the program, users simply follow a few short prompts to get the program up and running. Once they do, they’ll discover the breathtaking UI. We’ll be honest: at times, we felt like we were playing a video game rather than connecting to a VPN (the PureVPN server list is shown in real time on a map display). Okay, it’s not quite that good, but the company has invested some serious effort in crafting quality visuals for its users and the results are impressive.
The main program window uses clean icons to help guide users to the part of the program that will best suit their needs (users can select whether they need the VPN to stream, gain “internet freedom”, obtain security/privacy, or conduct file sharing). One negative here however: the company hasn’t offered a clear response on the exact difference between Internet Freedom and Security/Privacy mode in the user forums, but we’re going to hazard a guess that the security option would be the better choice for those engaging in e-commerce and online banking. Popups from the notification area are also relatively unobtrusive and do not get in the way of the user experience.
Our thoughts: nothing complicated about the process at all and a delightful UI.
Rating: 5/5: Fuss free, uncomplicated installation process.
But despite the pretty graphics, how well does it actually work?
After passing through the PureVPN login screen, users can gain access to a decent welt of fairly sophisticated options simply by perusing the system settings windows and editing the settings on their PureVPN account.
Feature 1: Startup pinging
PureVPN facilitates pinging servers on startup which is a useful way to test latency before choosing which server to connect to and see whether any packet losses occur during the process. The Speed Test Tool serves as a useful adjunct to the purpose menu to help users select the most efficient server for their browsing needs.
Feature 2: Automatic launch
PureVPN can be set to launch automatically with Windows and connect to a pre-defined server upon launch. While such a setup can also be configured manually, the fact that it is included in the program can save users’ time and effort. This feature is particularly useful for those needing a VPN connection to run on their machines all the time.
Feature 3: Wide protocol selection with StealthVPN support
PureVPN supports a decent variety of protocols for connecting to its servers including IKEV, PPTP, and StealthVPN (a protocol that, like its name suggests, disguises VPN traffic as regular traffic and can even pass below the radar of deep packet inspection tools.) These granular options are good news for users with slightly unusual VPN-ing requirements (such as connecting from older hardware).
Feature 4: Multi Port Support
Multi Port support is available on the Windows version. This feature automatically scans systems’ open ports in addition to closed or regulated ones and intelligently selects the best one to establish a connection with. This allows users to further improve connection reliability.
Feature 5: Split Tunneling
Split tunneling is available on both the Windows version and PureVPN Android. Incidentally, the company also provides a PureVPN APK file in addition to making the app available through the Play Store.
Split tunneling lets users separate their outbound traffic between VPN traffic and untunnelled regular traffic depending on configurable rules. The latter makes it a perfect choice for users that want to, say, force Netflix to connect through US servers but keep regular traffic behaving conventionally.
Rating: 5/5: Advanced features and an easy UI are a winning combination!
Can PureVPN Unblock Netflix?
You’ve subscribed to your flashy new VPN and the first thing you want to do with it is break open the six pack and prepare to Netflix and chill. Not so fast! Netflix and VPN providers have been engaged in a game of cat and mouse since the dawn of time (okay, not quite for that long) and PureVPN seems to be coming out mostly on the losing side of the battle. How do we know? Because this blog said so and, frankly, we couldn’t get it to work to access licensed US content either. Although there is an option for it under the purpose menu, the company does not officially support streaming the service.
While PureVPN’s large server network, kill switch, and split tunneling functionalities make it perfectly primed to be a great choice to PureVPN Netflix, unfortunately users will need to look elsewhere to find a solution to this first world problem.
Rating: 1/5: Enough said. It doesn’t work.
PureVPN will be kind on your ability to connect to overseas websites, but what about on your wallet?
For those wanting to take it for a test ride, the company offers a 3 day PureVPN trial subscription for just $2.50. (In our opinion, this is almost a better try it out option than a 30 day money back guarantee, as there are no potential squabbles with customer service departments to deal with.) The regular pricing is $10.95 for one month only, $8.95/month for a six month subscription, and just $3.25 when two year subscriptions are taken out – a whopping 70% saving. All plans include a 7 day money back guarantee.
Not sure whether you want to pay by credit card, Paypal, AliPay, or Cashu? We have to point out that PureVPN also offers possibly the longest list of payment gateway options that we have ever seen on a website. The ability to pay by cryptocurrency is, of course, also provided. There is no PureVPN Free version as all plans are premium. PureVPN lifetime subscriptions have been offered in the past through some third-party affiliate sources such as StackSocial, but at the time of writing were not being offered through the company’s website.
In the short term, pricing is about average. When two year subscriptions are taken out, however, the price is very competitive.
Rating: 4/5. Great payment options; short money-back period.
How Fast is PureVPN – Servers and Performance
PureVPN bundles some cool features on its large VPN network, but how do those servers stack up in speed and performance compared to the large pool of competition in the VPN market?
We fired up a TED Talk and measured the connection speed before and after connecting through a random Pure VPN server (we chose Dublin, Ireland, to test with). Before connecting, download speed was 40.7s Mbps and ping time was 12ms. After tunneling traffic through Dublin, download speed had fallen to just 2.65 Mbps while ping time had spiraled to 168ms. VPN users can always expect a connection drop, but a 6.5-fold decrease is certainly a steep overhead to pay for connectivity (admittedly, we chose a random server rather than the one automatically rated by the program).
Speed Test Before PureVPN
Speed Test With PureVPN
A nicely thought out feature for those wanting to choose the best server for their specific need is a “purpose” navigation menu allowing users to state what they are hoping to use the connection for (“watch sport channels,” “VOIP,” “optimized for China” are some options provided.) This improves users’ ability to hone in on just the right server for their needs – including those hoping to gain PureVPN torrent access.
Rating: 3/5: Great server network, good options, often poor speeds.
How Secure is PureVPN – PureVPN Logs
The company’s default protocol is not disclosed, although users have the option the chose whichever best suits their needs. While PureVPN’s logging practices may seem minimal, they were enough to help the FBI nab its customer Ryan Lin who conducted what authorities described as a “relentless cyber-stalking campaign against a young woman” while using its services. Although the service is based in Hong Kong, a popular location for VPN services, the Special Administrative Region’s freedom from Chinese internet censorship is not absolute. Users should always remember that achieving total anonymity online is extremely difficult in practice.
Rating: 3/5. Very few VPN providers are totally no-logs. PureVPN is no exception.
Is PureVPN Reliable? Customer Support
PureVPN provides an online ‘help and support’ section that features setup guides for all the platforms its supports in addition to FAQs and a knowledge base. Online how-to’s are clearly explained and support representative are responsive in helping users resolve queries. Customers requiring more personalized service have two means to get in touch: live chat and email support. The online chat interface is slick and easy to use, showing delivered and read receipts so you’re never left wondering whether your message has been seen or not. Hand-offs between departments take a matter of seconds to go through.
Rating: 4/5. No phone support in sight, but the other options are rock solid.
PureVPN Rating by SecureThoughts.com
PureVPN has a wide server network, some really advanced features, and a beautifully designed UI. It falls down a little on the performance of some of those servers and its privacy-guarding practices are not absolute. Overall, however, this is a VPN provider that we would be happy to recommend to almost anybody. Sign up with PureVPN today.
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