PureVPN 2016 Review
- Prices starting from $2.91
- 500+ VPN in 140 countries (80,000+ IP addresses)
- 7 days money back guarantee
- 24/7/365 Live Chat support
- 5 Simultaneous Logins
- Widest protocol support including (PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, OpenVPN & IKEv2)
- Largest range of accepted payment options
- Compatible on Routers
- Largest collection of servers in UK, US and Canada
- No Free Trial
Hong Kong based PureVPN has been serving security and accessibility enthusiasts since 2007. The official website states that the service is currently catering to users around the world with over 500+ servers in 140 countries. This PureVPN review covers all of the functions and features that make PureVPN a popular choice amongst every day internet users
Plans And Pricing
There are three pricing plans to choose from.
- The one year (12 month) subscription comes for $2.91/mo
- The 1 month PureVPN subscription comes for $9.99
- The semi-annual (6 months) subscription comes for $7.99/mo
In our PureVPN review, we tested the three-staged purchase process:
Unique Selling Proposition
In our PureVPN review, we found that Split-Tunneling tool is clearly it’s unique selling proposition. The feature allows the PureVPN client to remain active for only selected applications while all other data traffic flows from outside the perimeter of the VPN tunnel established upon VPN activation. Users can add the programs of their choice through the Split-Tunneling tab.
The feature is easy to use and can be enabled/disabled as required. It is ideal for individuals looking to take a load off their VPN tunnel and improve VPN performance. Users looking for heavy VPN use (such as users wishing to engage in more than one of streaming, gaming and torrent downloading at the same time) will appreciate this feature.
A trial can help a user experiment with a VPN service without having to make a full commitment. Since the encryption and tunneling quality provided by most VPN services is impacted by a number of elements, VPN services often offer either unpaid trials or refund guarantees to users. In this PureVPN review, we found that trial is available through the three day money back guarantee. Users can try out the full range of PureVPN features, functions and services. This is a much better deal than other free trials, since free trials usually come with restrictions and limitations.
In comparison, the PureVPN trial provides users full compatibility to try out the service on desktop, laptops, mobiles, routers and other devices. In addition, PureVPN review showed that trial users can also seek support from the LiveChat system to get their problems, issues, and queries resolved. This provides an excellent chance for users to troubleshoot their problems if they want to stay with the service, or ask for a reimbursement if they want to abandon the subscription.
The PureVPN trial also gives users an excellent chance to try the service on custom operating system or consoles. The additional advantage of tutorials and setup guides provides additional support that is not usually available with other VPN services.
Server Spread and Locations of PureVPN
For our comprehensive PureVPN review, we found that the provider boasts a server-strength of over 500+ servers. These servers are spread out across 140 countries. The largest collection of PureVPN’s servers is located in the United Kingdom, the United States and in Canada. Besides these, PureVPN has at least two servers located in all the other countries.
A VPN service provider is nothing without a good server spread and PureVPN seems to know this quite clearly. A good server spread is sensibly distributed to give users maximum online anonymity, accessibility and security. But the PureVPN review unveiled that it goes a step further and includes server in those countries as well, where the internet freedom is TRULY considered as a blessing because of strict censorship policies.
That is the reason why PureVPN has three optimal servers in China – because China blocks and bans the living daylights out of the internet. PureVPN chooses to focus server expansion efforts across the world while the bulk of the server count remains in the US and UK. Recently it has further expanded its server locations in the Asian, European, American and African regions as well, where several servers have been added in its list to facilitate the users.
PureVPN Android App
Android smartphone and Tablet users can make the most of PureVPN through the latest build of Android app. For our PureVPN review, we tested the app and found that it protects their devices against all sorts of hackers and malware and lets them access all the blocked websites and channels. The android client comes with 2 GB of free bandwidth and offers in-app support and package updation options.
Download the app and sign up with your email address to recieve your 3 digit activation code. Tap the ‘plug’ icon on the lower right to select a VPN server from the available PureVPN server options. You can choose between OpenVPN TCP and OpenVPN TCP through the hamburger icon on the top right.
With PureVPN android app, you can watch movies and TV shows on popular streaming channels and services. The ‘Support’ function offers Live Chat and Email ticketing that is available 24/7/365. Upgrade from within the app to access the full range of PureVPN’s 500+ servers at any time.
PureVPN iOS App
We tested the iOS app for our PureVPN review. Its iOS App offers 2GB of free data with complete online freedom and anonymity for ultimate experience. The improved user-friendly interface provides handy operation. Even more, customer satisfaction is at number one priority in PureVPN. Military grade encryption, Blazing fast speed, 100% anonymity, Reliable security and Very-affordable packages are some of the benefits you get by using Pure VPN.
Following are some unbeatable features offered by PureVPN:
- IKEv2 Protocol Protection with up to 256-bit encryption.
- PPTP and L2TP protocols supported.
- Unblock almost each and every content.
- VoIP and Video Call supported.
- 24/7 live technical support.
- Unlimited Bandwidth.
PureVPN Windows Dialer Beta
With major changes made to the Windows dialer of PureVPN, the new Beta software for Windows looks terrific and absolutely mesmerizing to the eyes. From fixing minor bugs, making enhancements and introducing new features, PureVPN Windows Beta provides a better overall user experience.
In addition to the main features, our PureVPN review showed that the engineers at PureVPN have made sure to make it more user-friendly. With the new Windows Dialer Beta, the users can personalize the VPN client depending upon what purpose they are using it for.
For example the personalization of your Windows dialer can be done for Streaming Mode, Unblocking Mode, Security & Privacy Mode, Torrent and other file sharing Mode and Dedicated IP Mode. Soon you will be provided with an option to synchronize your account across different devices so you can run a single device on 5 different devices.
The new Windows Dialer Beta lets you mark favorite a server and also includes a list of optimized servers so you can select and connect to a region that suits your need the most. One of the most important enhancements that have been made includes reducing your RAM consumption to ensure your device functions normally when you are running PureVPN Windows Beta in the background
Having discussed the various features of PureVPN Windows Dialer Beta, we are going to share some pictures on the new PureVPN Windows Beta Dialer that looks absolutely stunning to the eyes. Let’s take a look at some of the features of this fresh Windows dialer!
1) Upon installing the new client, double click and open it. This is what your basic dialer will look like. Enter your credentials and press enter. You can also select your basic protocol and check other settings as well.
- Once you have entered the login credentials, you will see the client dashboard. Here you can search you desired location and purpose of use.
- You will be presented with different modes to select from. Where you may select the purpose of use from Streaming, Internet Freedom, Security / Privacy, File-Sharing and Remote/Dedicated IP.
- Finally click on the Global Map from left pane of the screen. You will be able to see a list of PureVPN servers distributed in different countries.
- For your reference we have connected to US server located in Los Angeles. You will be to see number of servers in front of country name in brackets.
- Once connected successfully, you will be able to see the statistics of your connection. You will be able to see duration, Your IP and location.
- You will be able to see your location in the green pin at the bottom-right corner of the screen. As show below.
Business Packages by PureVPN
If you are looking for a corporate VPN, you need to go no further. Our PureVPN review showed that the service remains one of the favorite choices for business companies and it provides three different packages to all the business corporations to choose from.
This VPN for business caters to the needs of small businesses and large corporations. The three business VPNs by PureVPN are named as: Silver, Gold and Platinum. The users can opt for Silver Plan by PureVPN for small business that provides 5 VPN accounts, seven different protocols for security and 5 dedicated IPs. You can get the Silver Plan for $69.70/month only.
To be able to stand out as true business VPN is an achievement in itself, and PureVPN has certainly done that. This corporate VPN provides Gold Plan as well, if you have an average sized business. It gives you 10 VPN accounts, a limit of 200 sessions and remote access so that the employees can access their data files from anywhere through a secure channel. The Gold Plan is available for $114.45/month only.
The best plans of all, is the Platinum Plan, which is simply the best business VPN by PureVPN. By signing up with Platinum Plan, you will get 15 VPN accounts, 10 dedicated IP addresses and complete freedom to carry out your business activities in private. You will get the Platinum Plan for as low as $177.25/month.
Since PureVPN is a well-renowned business VPN, it offers you custom accounts as well. If you are looking for a DDoS Protected business VPN accompanied with several other add-ons, make sure you check out PureVPN.
PureVPN Corporate Consumers
Unlike other VPN services, PureVPN seems pretty focused about entertaining customers with corporate-scale needs. Most VPN providers choose to skirt past the subject but our detailed PureVPN review showed that it has a separate set of web-pages for this purpose.
Corporate consumers get access PPTP, L2TP IPSEC and SSL/SSTP protocols as well as the convenience of having a READY-TO-USE infrastructure setup for them. And that is beside the fact that corporate consumers are welcome to dedicated servers and a bandwidth of 10000 GB per month.
In addition, PureVPN also invites corporate customers to contact the company for custom packages designed to cater to specific needs. In fact, there is even a separate FAQ section for corporate users.
Speed Tests of PureVPN
US Server Without PureVPN
For a server located in the United States, SpeetTest.Net reported the following Ping, Download speed and Upload speed for my internet connection when used without a PureVPN connection.
- My IP Location: New York, US
- Destination Server IP Location: Kansas, US
Once I had connected PureVPN, SpeedTest.Net reported the following Ping, Download speed and Upload speed for my encrypted and tunneled internet connection.
- My IP Location: New York
- Destination Server IP Location: New York
The Ping came down considerably which is a definite improvement and the upload speed remained consistent which is also quite encouraging. However, note that PureVPN’s accessibility and anonymity seems to be coming at the cost of download speed.
UK Server Without PureVPN
For a server located in the United Kingdom, SpeetTest.Net reported the following Ping, Download speed and Upload speed for my internet connection when used without a PureVPN connection.
- My IP Location: Maidenhead, England
- Destination Server IP Location: Maidenhead, England
Once I had connected PureVPN, SpeedTest.Net reported the following Ping, Download speed and Upload speed for my encrypted and tunneled internet connection.
- My IP Location: London, England
- Destination Server IP Location: London, England
I love the Ping I got from the PureVPN server but the download speed seems to have suffered once more while the upload speed hardly experienced any significant change.
PureVPN seems to be holding stable in upload speeds and that is good since VPN encryption relies heavily on data upload speed. The download speeds are moderate but I figure a bit of tweaking with the software and a little bit of nagging with the tech support should bring about an improvement.
A Crash Course in Using Split Tunneling
In our PureVPN review, we will show you how to utilize the Split Tunneling feature. Split Tunneling only works if you have administrator rights to your system. A ‘guest’ using your system will not be able to use it. Once you enter the Split-Tunneling tab, you will first need to ‘Enable’ split tunneling. The Enable/Disable button is designed to identify the current split tunneling status. PureVPN also allows you to apply Split Tunneling permanently by checking the ‘Make Permanent’ check-box.
Once you have enabled Split Tunneling, there are two ways you can use it. The first is to allow the client to detect applications running on your system that can be subjected to PureVPN tunneling. Doing so will allow the PureVPN client to auto-detect and generate a list of applications.
Remember, the client software’s detection and listing of applications does not mean that these applications are now under PureVPN’s coverage. To run any of applications with PureVPN coverage, click ‘Launch’ for that application and it will be launched under PureVPN coverage.
In case the PureVPN client fails to detect an application, you can manually add it to the list by using the ‘Add an Application’ feature on the lower right corner of the client interface.
Make sure you ‘Enable’ Split Tunneling before you hit ‘Connect’. This way the PureVPN will know that it is not supposed to tunnel the entire data traffic stream and will only begin tunneling an application once you launch the desired application.
Support tickets can be opened for tech support, billing issues and abuse complaints. In addition, the support tickets can also be used to request assistance for corporate plans and reseller support. I tested the responsiveness and effectiveness of PureVPN’s Support Ticket system – and I was very happy with the results.
- Support Ticket Opened at: 11:28 AM
- Response Received at: 11:34 AM
My Question: How can I use PureVPN on a router if I do not have a DD-WRT flashed router? How can I turn it into a DD-WRT flashed router?PureVPN’s Response: Thanks for contacting us. Please share with us a screen shot of your router’s WAN Settings page and the make and model of your router and we will let you know if you can configure VPN on your router or not.
The FAQs are detailed and provide information on general queries related to payment, tech queries, router based VPN connections and software queries.
The Forums seem to be pretty active and PureVPN support representatives frequently jump in to help concerned customers.
The 24/7 Live Chat is the crowning glory of PureVPN’s customer support. It is online 24 hours a day without fail and there are no bots involved. Customer support provides immediate assistance to queries and concerns. Smaller and mid-sized problems are almost always solved within moments. Problems relating to trouble-shooting and setup assistance are resolved the fastest while user-account related problems tend to take longer.
PureVPN scores full marks in providing customers the comfort of knowing that there is always somebody (and by somebody i mean a real individual) present on the other side to help with service issues. The support team can probably be a little better but it beats some of the other VPN services out there that expect users to find respite in the limited customer support options of dropping touble tickets and emails.
PureVPN Review on Google Play
We wanted to know what the users feel and think of PureVPN’s service, therefore we read some of the comments and PureVPN review on Google Play. Most of the comments were positive, with a few users complaining about the app’s functionality.
- Some users asked for a Kill Switch for the Android app, otherwise appreciated the PureVPN Android App for functioning properly.
- Some users appreciated the quick response by the PureVPN officials and were appreciative of the fact that their issue was resolved within 48 hours.
- Like mentioned above, there were some users who were disappointed with the PureVPN Android app and vented out their anger on Google Play.
PureVPN Review on Twitter
Once we were done with our findings on Google Play, we checked on Twitter to see the general feedback and PureVPN reviews given by the users. Much like Google Play, we got a similar type of response from the users. But there were definitely more happy customers than the ones who were complaining about its services.
We are embedding the tweets below to give you an idea about the reviews and opinions of PureVPN users.
1. A user decided to help others stream the Ice Sliding World Cup that is geo-restricted by recommending them PureVPN.
— Ken Childs (@TheKenChilds) November 27, 2015
2. Much like the previous one, this user here also recommended PureVPN when a Twitterati took to twitter asking for a VPN.
3. Streaming blocked? No problem! PureVPN has got you covered.
@Glinner I can access Netflix US with Purevpn. Never had an issue
— Michael Slowey (@twitmgs) November 19, 2015
PureVPN Review on CNet
For our PureVPN review, we read the CNet’s review of PureVPN and decided to include the feedback by the users. Some comments (genuinely moderated) will help you decide if you should give PureVPN a try or not.
- A user commented on how he found PureVPN helpful for the unblocking purpose.
- Then there were some users who were disappointed with the services of PureVPN.
- Some users couldn’t hold themselves back from appreciating the PureVPN app.
The PureVPN review showed that it accepts over 50 payment methods. These include Paypal, credit cards, Alertpay, Bank Transfer, Paymentwall and Bitcoin. PureVPN also takes Bitcoin as an accepted payment method. In my experience, this indicates a strong desire that the company harbors to remain on top of developing e-commerce trends.
PureVPN has partnered with Paymentwall to cater to customers wishing to pay with other e-payment methods such as AliPay, Webmoney, Yandex, PaySafeCard, Ukash, CashU, Giropay, Necard, Mercado Pago, MyCard Wallet, Qiwi, iDeal, Todito Cash, Mol Points, NeoSurf, Dotpay and others.
You can choose your desired payment method in step 3 of the check-out process. Your choice will influence the next stage of the process.
- Selecting PayPal as your payment option will redirect you to a new webpage (gateway) where you may enter in your PayPal account details and confirm them so that PureVPN staff can process your order.
- Selecting Bank Transfer will present you with a fully prepared invoice with all the relevant details you need to make a bank transfer.
- Selecting Payza will forward you to Payza’s Member Check-Out page with your selected order details visible on the right side of the screen. You may then log-in and complete the payment transaction.
- Selecting Paymentwall will forward you to gateway of Monetization Platform Paymentwall where you can either make your payment using a Paysafe Card or make your payment using a Paymentwall powered bank transaction.
Compatibility of PureVPN for different Platforms
PureVPN offers tutorials to setup the VPN service on Windows, Mac, Linux, HP Web OS, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Routers and Boxee Box. However, custom PureVPN apps are only available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
While screenshots of PureVPN Windows app can be seen above, details on the functions and features of PureVPN Mac app can be found in this detailed PureVPN Review.
PureVPN’s compatibility is gold! The service is compatible with almost every device and platform under the sun. In addition, PureVPN also works great for secondary devices such as gaming consoles and the rest.
An interesting episode I had with the PureVPN Live Chat support is worth mentioning here. I went through the full website and saw no content for using PureVPN on an XBox 360, so I decided to see if I finally had any dirt that I could use to mess with Live Chat support. Within 60 seconds of having initiated the conversation I had been presented with a URL for a PDF document constituting a detailed setup guide for setting up PureVPN on XBox 360 – with and without router support. Kudos to PureVPN!
PureVPN Internet Kill Switch
The PureVPN Internet Kill Switch has been designed to ensure uncompromising security.
The PureVPN Internet Kill Switch pauses all your internet traffic if your connection to the PureVPN server ever goes down unexpectedly.
This means that data will not leave your system unless it has been routed through PureVPN’s encrypted tunnel; because PureVPN’s Internet Kill Switch will stand guard. The Internet Kill Switch has been designed for online security lovers who are unwilling to compromise on their data security.
Once the Internet Kill Switch identifies that you have reconnected to the PureVPN server, it unpauses your internet data traffic. You can also manually deactivate PureVPN’s Kill Switch from the PureVPN if you wish to continue using the internet without VPN coverage.
According to the PureVPN FAQ on the Internet Kill Switch, the feature is accessible from PureVPN’s client software. It can be activated/deactivated by checking the feature titled “Activate Internet Kill Switch when VPN disconnects“.
PureVPN’s Optional Addons
With PureVPN’s SmartDNS, you can go past the geo-restrictions to access your favorite movies and TV channels. The VPNs are not generally directly supported on the SmartTVs and you have to manually configure them before you use them. SmartDNS is available on all the PureVPN packages and you do not have to pay a single penny to access it.
2) Web Protection & NAT Firewall (for $2.99 per month)
The Network Address Translation Firewall (NAT Firewall) is PureVPN’s answer to users worried about end-to-end security – particularly at the VPN server end. The NAT Firewall is present at the server end and compensates for the hopeless firewall that is built into your Windows and easily penetrable.
A VPN is the ultimate online security solution, but it comes with the catch that your NAT Firewall becomes somewhat redundant, and you lose the protection that NAT Firewall provides.
Activating the PureVPN NAT Firewall will allow you to protect the IP address assigned to you by PureVPN’s server. Failing to use the NAT Firewall makes VPN users at risk from sophisticated hackers who exploit data packets to gain entry into the internet users’ system.
The image below shows how you can activate the NAT Firewall Add-on during check-out from the PureVPN website. The Add-on costs a meager $2.99 per month to secure your data stream from the VPN server end, thus ensuring safety that nobody’s grand daddy can get through (pun intended)!
3) StealthVPN Browser (For high cencorship countries & ISPs) (for $2.99 per month)
The StealthVPN Browser is a VPN browser that is fully device/OS compatible and is the perfect tool for people who want a one-shot gun-shot solution to unblock websites without any extra hassle. The ultra-light super-accessible browser ensures a zero-logging experience for all your sensitive internet use.
4) Dedicated Streaming (for $3.99 per month)
The Dedicated Streaming AddOn works by providing PureVPN users a special browser designed just for streaming purposes. Streaming anything in that browser will give you a 20Mbps speed boost. This speed boost is ideal for internet users who have slow internet connections and therefore fail to enjoy quality movie streaming because of buffering and lag.
5) Dedicated IP (for $1.99 per month)
This AddOn provides PureVPN users a fixed IP. This feature is usually used by specialized VPN users and heavy duty internet users. It is ideal for people who want to setup any form of server for others users since it will give users access to the same fixed IP every time they log in.
The Dedicated IP AddOn works in addition with the standard dynamic IP plan, which means that you will have the standard dynamic IP service at your disposal, and can activate your fixed IP whenever you want.
6) Dedicated IP with DDoS Protection
With DDoS Protection IP provided by PureVPN, make sure to protect your devices against all sorts of DDoS attacks. You can get PureVPN’s Dedicated IP with DDoS Protection for additional $5.99/month.
Setup instructions are available for operating systems that are not catered to with custom software. These include Linux, HP WebOS (Only for WebOS Version 3.0.2 and above), OpenVPN (for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7), Blackberry, DD-WRT flashed routers and Boxee Box.
The setup instructions are great and explained in detail with screen-shots available for most tutorials. I would like to see a VPN service that has apps, clients and software running for every operating system out there.
PureVPN offers users access to five protocols: PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, OpenVPN and IKEv2. However, our user-experience turned out to be a little different. The protocol drop-down menu in the PureVPN client was limited to PPTP, L2TP and SSTP.
You have to talk to the customer support about the remaining protocols and they told me that an individual looking to use Open VPN will have to connect VPN through alteration in internal configuration files while IKEv2 has to be connected manually. Clearly PureVPN chose to exaggerate the VPN connection possibilities a little.
The PureVPN website states that all three pricing packages come with up to 256-bit encryption. It is comforting to know that PureVPN has a consumer friendly feature set accompanying the pricing plans. You get at least 256-bit encryption no matter which pricing plan you choose to subscribe to. On the other hand, I find it slightly worrying that PureVPN uses the term “upto” in identifying protocol encryption levels.
What the website won’t tell you is that the PureVPN client offers four categorical encryption settings to choose from. Once you install the free PureVPN client, go to the ‘Settings’ tab for general system settings and look under ‘Security’.
- Option 1 – No Encryption Allowed (The VPN server will disconnect and thereby drop your VPN session if you choose this and the selected VPN server requires encryption)
- Option 2 – Optional Encryption (The absence or presence of encryption will have no impact on your VPN covered internet session)
- Option 3 – Require Encryption (The VPN server will disconnect if and thereby drop your VPN session if it declines your request for Encryption)
- Option 4 – Maximum Strength Encryption (Much like in the above case, the VPN server will disconnect if and thereby drop your VPN session if it declines your request for Encryption)
It is clear that PureVPN does not want you to acquire a quantification of encryption levels at any point. However, if you use your VPN without encryption, it fails the purpose behind the entire exercise of using a VPN. I would personally choose either option 3 or option 4 – anything else would be a compromise on value for money. I suggest you follow the same approach for the sake of your own safety.
The PureVPN website explicitly states that it does not share, sell or rent user information. The PureVPN website uses browser cookies (which is acceptable and in line with industry standards). Data storage and protection policies state that consumer information is not shared with any third party unless and until the consumer specifically provides permission to do so at the point of information submission. Even then, the collected information is accessible to PureVPN’s technical and maintenance staff responsible for keeping the service running and roaring.
I do not like the sound of that and I suggest you make life miserable for the Live Chat tech support if you ever feel that you are being routed to a second server at any time during your PureVPN session.
PureVPN Free Trial
PureVPN does not offer a free trial – For users still unsure of PureVPN’s service, there is a 7 day money back guarantee. Needless to point out, 7 days is a little too short a margin considering how there are other VPN service providers out there who provide money back guarantees for as much as 30 days.
Conclusion drawn from Review of PureVPN
PureVPN is a VPN for the middle-class netizen. If you don’t have enough money in your bank account to worry about losing a few hundred dollars every month, then PureVPN is the VPN for you. The server spread is beyond good and the customer support is exceptional. The client software is extremely user friendly and the compatibility is almost pioneering. PureVPN gets my vote!
When I visited the website for this review and went to the pricing plan page, PureVPN had yet another discount campaign running and was giving 10% off on all plans. PureVPN is a big one for discounts offers. A trip through PureVPN review made it clear that PureVPN manages to come up with a new discount offer for just about every single holiday on the calendar – making PureVPN extremely affordable for people who are into smart buying.
In light of the cost-effectiveness, the moderately good service quality seems quite justified and all of it comes together to form a complete package that makes for a good return on investment.