PureVPN Review [Updated October 2020]: Is it Safe?
PureVPN is a well-renowned budget-friendly VPN service with 2000+ servers suited for torrenting, streaming, and military-grade security. For the price of $0.99 for the 7-day trial and a 4.5/5-star rating, PureVPN manages to offer the best bang for your buck in the entire VPN industry.
On paper, PureVPN appears to be the perfect VPN in every single way. But when I tested, I was pleased to see that the provider does live up to most of its claims. It offers 2000+ servers which are perfect for downloading torrenting, streaming Netflix, and for a whole bunch of other stuff.
Feature-wise, PureVPN offers military-grade AES 256-Bit encryption, Kill switch, Split tunneling, and flexibility to simultaneously protect up to 10 devices at the same time with just a single PureVPN account for a low price of $0.99.
But is this VPN really this good? It certainly is good enough to compel me to recommend it as one of the top providers in the industry today. My goal in writing this PureVPN review is to dive deep into its pros & cons, all the features & functionalities, its customer support, and more to show you exactly why I generally rate this VPN so highly.
So without further ado, let’s get on with the review.
- Superior unblocking ability: Unblocks popular streaming services effectively including Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Hotstar, and more.
- Certified “no-logs policy”: Independently audited logging policy.
- Top-notch features: IP leak protection, split-tunneling, kill switch, torrenting support, dedicated streaming mode are super-valuable PureVPN features.
- Offers “paid trials” rather than free trials.
- Based in Hong Kong
My Rating Criteria
I rated PureVPN on my 8 step rating criteria listed below:
Jurisdiction – Where is PureVPN based?
PureVPN is headquartered in Hong Kong, which used to be a country with relaxed privacy laws. However, with the introduction of Hong Kong’s National Security Law, it is no longer a safe jurisdiction.
PureVPN is aware of this situation and they’ve already taken down their Hong Kong servers. The provider is also planning on shifting its headquarter to some other country over privacy concerns.
To be real with you, jurisdiction is the number one factor you should look into any VPN service. I say this because VPN logs and jurisdictions are codependent(we’ll talk about this in the logging policy section of this review).
For instance, if PureVPN was headquartered in the United Kingdom (An integral part of the Five Eyes), they would have had to abide by the UK’s Investigatory Power Act, AKA the Snoopers Charter.
Security – Is PureVPN Safe?
Yes. PureVPN is considered as one of the safest VPNs around, and there’s a reason for it. It offers powerful 256-bit encryption and optimized protocols like:
Each of these protocols is different in terms of functionality and are perfect for gaming, streaming, secure online browsing, and offer the first line of defense against online threats like session hacking or Man in the middle attacks (MITM).
Additional Security Features
Aside from the traditional security features that most VPN providers offer, PureVPN offers few extra goodies that I personally haven’t seen other VPN providers offering.
Let’s start with the Kill Switch…
PureVPN Kill Switch
Although PureVPN’s Kill switch feature was highly criticized in the past because it didn’t work properly, however, it’s now been fixed. It now works flawlessly.
The last time I reviewed PureVPN, the Kill switch feature actually failed twice. That said, I performed the test again for the PureVPN review, and the feature worked properly.
To test the Kill switch feature, I simply clicked the “disconnect” button from their desktop app. As soon as I did that, my Wi-Fi connection automatically disconnected. Props to them for making it work the way it should.
Awesome Split Tunneling Feature
In addition to a Kill switch, PureVPN also offers a feature called Split Tunneling. This feature basically creates a two-way tunnel for your encrypted and unencrypted traffic.
For instance, you would only want to encrypt your torrenting traffic leaving your regular browsing traffic unencrypted.
Similarly, you can choose to pass your streaming apps through the VPN tunnel so that they can bypass geo-blocks and leave your social media apps out of the VPN tunnel so that you can use them without compromising your browsing speeds.
I tested this feature out when torrenting and it worked perfectly as advertised.
Does PureVPN Keep Log?
If you don’t know what data logging means, I’ve covered it in great detail in my in-depth logging policy research article.
To further strengthen their claims, PureVPN has also recently performed an independent audit of its “no logs” policy by Altius IT. The famous auditing firm couldn’t find any evidence that could be used to identifying a specific person on PureVPN’s network.
Although PureVPN no longer keeps any logs, if we go back a few years ago, PureVPN was involved in a serious controversy regarding data logging. I’m obviously talking about the infamous data logging case that helped catch a cyberstalker.
Even though PureVPN claimed to be a log-less VPN service, they still disclosed the alleged stalkers’ information to the FBI.
Based on the severity of the matter, the CEO of PureVPN had to come forward and officially release a statement regarding the data logging allegations. Here’s a screenshot of that:
PureVPN Dedicated IP Address
Unlike other VPNs, PureVPN offers dedicated IPs from countries like the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Malta, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. But, its dedicated IPs cost additional over your current subscription plan. You can buy a dedicated IP from PureVPN for $3.99/mo extra.
PureVPN Port Forwarding
Another additional feature that PureVPN offers is Port Forwarding. Similar to dedicated IP, PureVPN’s Port Forwarding feature costs additional and starts from $0.99/mo. This feature is basically a network technology that allows external devices to access computing services on private networks. It is especially popular for secure gaming, torrenting, and accessing peripheral devices like printers remotely.
Leaks – Does It leak IP & DNS?
PureVPN is among the very few VPN’s that doesn’t leak your IP or DNS address. I performed the leak test for PureVPN using ipleak.net and didn’t experience any leaks at all while connected to the France server.
IP leak test
First, I performed an IP leak test using the tool available on ipleak.net. As expected, PureVPN successfully passed the test, as the tool correctly identified the French IP address I was connected to:
DNS leak test
Next, I performed a DNS leak test to see if PureVPN is successfully hiding my DNS details. As you can see in the image below, PureVPN is successfully protected my DNS address as the tool detected my fake French DNS which I was connected to through PureVPN:
Is PureVPN good for Torrenting?
Yes, PureVPN VPN is actually good for torrenting and P2P file-sharing. The provider offers a variety of p2p-optimized servers that unblock torrent websites and ensure safe downloading of torrents.
When testing the VPN on my 25 Mbps connection, I managed to get a 2.0 mB/s download speed and 0.2 kB/s upload speed without facing any network interruptions.
But be advised that PureVPN torrenting is prohibited in the United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), Canada, Australia, and in other countries where torrenting is illegal by law.
For more detailed information, check out our PureVPN torrent guide.
Does PureVPN Work In China?
Yes. PureVPN works surprisingly well in China. It offers 12 special obfuscated servers in China. You can use PureVPN China servers in Shanghai and Beijing. That being said, since a lot of VPNs are blocked in China, you might not be able to access PureVPN’s website or download its app from the Google Play Store.
While users abroad trying to connect to Chinese servers might face issues, users within China can easily bypass the Great Firewall of China to access foreign content with PureVPN’s overseas servers. Thus, whether you want to access blocked Western social media sites or streaming services, PureVPN can help you do that.
For more information check out our PureVPN china guide.
Speed – How Fast Is PureVPN?
PureVPN managed to offer outstanding download and upload speeds during my testing. I mean, I was seriously blown away by the results. With my 100 Mbps office internet connection, I managed to squeeze up to 90 Mbps download speeds.
Before I discuss my speed test results, let me first explain what the terms download, upload, pings actually mean.
- Download speed: The rate of file transfer when the destination of the transfer is your system/device. The higher the download speed, the quicker you can obtain the complete file through the Internet on your system. Download speed is generally measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
- Upload speed: The rate of file transfer from your computer/system to another on the Internet. The higher the upload speed, the quicker you can send videos, images, etc. to others on the Internet. Like download, uploa speed is also measured in (Mbps).
- Ping: Also known as latency, is the time it takes for your data packets to complete a round trip from your system to the server. The lower the ping, the more stable and faster your connection is. Ping is especially important for tasks where quick input response is needed such as gaming. It is generally measured in milliseconds (ms).
For your convenience, I’ve compiled the pings, download, and upload speeds of PureVPN in the table below.
|Server location||Download speed||Upload speed||Pings|
|Australia||76.75 Mbps||86.84 Mbps||131 ms|
|Canada||54.73 Mbps||97.09 Mbps||253 ms|
|Netherlands||86.75 Mbps||81.25 Mbps||160 ms|
|France||90.84 Mbps||78.84 Mbps||128 ms|
|Russia||81 Mbps||63.35 Mbps||163 ms|
|Spain||9.93 Mbps||6.20 Mbps||365 ms|
|UAE||78.5 Mbps||23.17 Mbps||446 ms|
|UK||74.59 Mbps||80.09 Mbps||128 ms|
|US||51.67 Mbps||65.42 Mbps||299 ms|
Overall, PureVPN managed to deliver excellent speeds for Netflix streaming (HD and 4K Ultra HD), torrenting and overall fast browsing.
For more information, see this PureVPN speed test guide.
Streaming – Does It Work With Netflix & Other VoD Services?
Yes, as I mentioned earlier, Netflix works great with PureVPN. I think it has to do with the fact that PureVPN uses residential IPs to trick Netflix. In fact, PureVPN can unblock a total of 7 Netflix regions. You can now stream content from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, and even Japan. We’re covered more details about using PureVPN with Netflix in our dedicated guide. Perhaps you might want to check that out.
If we talk about streaming experience, PureVPN offered excellent speeds and I didn’t notice any lags or pixelated video quality. I was able to stream multiple shows in HD and 4K Ultra HD with my 100 Mbps connection.
That said, you can encounter the Netflix proxy error at least once or twice on the US library of Netflix. But after switching to a different U.S server, you should be able to successfully unblock the U.S library of Netflix.
Other streaming services
Aside from Netflix, Hulu, and Roku also worked with PureVPN.
Like Netflix, PureVPN has a dedicated Hulu server which works flawlessly. As soon as you connect to this server, you will be instantly taken to the Hulu website and be able to access it from anywhere in the world.
Thanks to good speeds, I received decent quality streams when unblocking Hulu with PureVPN.
PureVPN can effortlessly unblock Disney Plus through several different servers including Canada and Australia. Unlike Hulu and Netflix, there as of yet no special Disney Plus servers that are reserved for unblocking this streaming service. But you can still access Disney Plus just fine by connecting PureVPN’s standard Canada and Australia servers.
Amazon Prime Video
For Amazon Prime Video, PureVPN offers a dedicated server that will bring you access to the US library of Amazon shows and movies. It is highly reliable and works efficiently for fans of Amazon that want to bypass geo-restrictions on Amazon Prime and access the US catalog anywhere in the world.
Compatibility – Apps And Supported Devices
PureVPN’s device compatibility is great. Combine with the fact that you can use PureVPN on 10 devices simultaneously, which makes it a pretty versatile VPN service. In fact, it even supports some less common devices. For instance, you can install PureVPN on routers, Kodi, and also use it with devices like gaming consoles.
Here’s a complete list of devices that PureVPN supports:
|Amazon Firestick||Xbox||Microsoft Surface||iOS App|
|Kodi||Roku||Boxee box||Now TV Box|
PureVPN App for Firestick
PureVPN is fully compatible with Firestick. It offers a fully optimized standalone application for Firestick & Fire TV which can be easily sideloaded. In-fact PureVPN is one of the best VPN for Fire TV.
Although Firestick is an awesome device with endless streaming capabilities, excessive monitoring by your ISP can be annoying. That is unless you use a combination of PureVPN and Firestick to truly anonymize your online activities.
PureVPN App for iOS
PureVPN is compatible with all the latest iOS versions (Requires iOS 10.0 or later). I tested the app to check its performance and I can safely say that its easy to use interface works perfectly without any hiccups. In fact, the iOS app of PureVPN has a 3.6-star rating on the App Store.
PureVPN App for Android
Similar to PureVPN’s iOS app, the Android app of PureVPN also works without any issues. I truly enjoyed the user experience on my Android device. The app is considerably lightweight, and the lack of cluttered options makes using the app a total breeze.
Like the desktop apps, you can choose a particular ‘Mode’, whereby you’ll be able to select a server by country, city, or the purpose you want to use the VPN for such as access to Netflix, China, p2p filesharing, etc.
The Android app is not as straightforward as VPN apps generally are, but it is quite stable in terms of performance and is still simple enough to not needlessly frustrate new users.
The most impressive fact is that PureVPN’s Android app inherits most of the features and settings available in the desktop versions. Normally, VPN providers drop some of the functionalities that are available in desktop. But not PureVPN. You can still use kill switch, port forwarding, and even split-tunneling with the Android app, which is rare to see.
If I had to pick one PureVPN app that I enjoyed the most, I’d choose the Android version.
PureVPN App for Windows
The PureVPN Windows app, while quite responsive, can be a little confusing to use. To start with, there are five different “modes” that you can select for PureVPN to work as. These are: Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, File Sharing, and Dedicated IP.
It is apparent that PureVPN will optimize its settings for the particular mode that you’re selecting it for. For instance, if you want to unblock streaming websites, the Stream mode is the best fit for your needs. If you’re trying to access general websites that might be geo-restricted, the Internet Freedom mode is probably your best bet and so on.
At the same time, the Windows app does give the user the freedom to configure the settings for themselves, such as the preferred VPN protocols.
Connecting to servers is pretty easy. There’s a list of servers by country, city, and even streaming services that you want to access. You can search for your favorite servers in the search tab found in the server selection screen.
Some features are so difficult to find that it feels almost like they were hidden on purpose. For instance, there’s no obvious way to find split-tunneling. You’ll have to enable the Beta feature in order to access split-tunneling (though the Beta feature screen warns users that these features may be “unstable”).
It’s a bit strange to see such a reputable provider making it so difficult for users to find and access functionalities like split-tunneling.
Overall, it is a good app that works as expected most of the time, but the provider could do a better job of explaining its functionalities for ease-of-use and intuitive understanding of users.
That said, if you do encounter any issues with the app, this PureVPN not working guide for quick fixes.
PureVPN App for Linux
The PureVPN Linux app is quite basic, but it gets the job done. The provider has made the setup process pretty simple for Linux users. The Linux distros of Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS are currently supported by PureVPN.
It uses the same AES-256 bit encryption as in other PureVPN apps. You can unblock popular streaming sites by connecting appropriate servers just as easily as well.
PureVPN App for Mac
PureVPN’s Mac app is quite similar to its Windows counterpart. The interface is slick and appealing to the eye, and most functionalities such as Modes, VPN protocols, kill switch and others remain the same.
Selecting servers in the PureVPN Mac client is as easy as in the PureVPN app. Simply choose a country, city, or website that you want to access in the selection screen to make a connection.
Overall, it is good to see that the provider didn’t neglect MacOS users in any way and diligently optimized the app for Mac systems.
PureVPN Browser Extensions
PureVPN also offers a browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox. Its browser extensions are quite lightweight and allow you to pick different servers location and popular websites to unblock. The browser extensions also give you an option to enable or disable WebRTC leak protection.
With the extension, not only can you access simple websites, but you can also unblock streaming services like Hotstar, SonyLIV, Hulu, and more. Personally, I found the extension more convenient when I’m only interested in accessing blocked websites because of the easier in-browser access.
Pricing – How Much Does PureVPN Cost Exactly?
PureVPN offers three (3) very reasonably priced subscription plans. Here are the updated pricing plans of PureVPN:
- 7-day trial – $0.99 (Save 40%) – After trial, an auto charge of $77.88 for the 1-year plan
- 1-month – $10.95/mo
- 6-month – $8.33/mo (Save 24%)
Their 7 days trial is not only convenient to test out the service, but the 40% discount that comes with it, makes it one of the cheapest VPNs in the industry.
All of the plans that I mentioned earlier come with a 31-day money-back guarantee. So, if you want to cancel PureVPN, you will be eligible for getting a full refund. See our detailed PureVPN cancellation guide to learn how the cancellation process works.
Aside from standard subscription plans, PureVPN offers a special 5-year subscription for $1.65/mo. Other than that, PureVPN charges additional for Port Forwarding and Dedicated IPs. Here’s what both of these extra services will cost you:
As far as payment options are concerned, you can purchase PureVPN through a bunch of different options including:
- Credit card
- Union Pay
Do note that bitcoin payments are nonrefundable. That’s something to consider if you don’t end up satisfied with their service. That being said, if you want to play safe and don’t want to commit to a lengthy subscription plan, you can just try the 7-day paid and a free trial of PureVPN.
Trustworthiness – Trustpilot Rating
PureVPN has an excellent reputation on Trustpilot. Based on over 11,077 reviews, PureVPN has a spotless 4.8/5 rating. 86% of users have rated PureVPN as Excellent.
PureVPN Customer Support
PureVPN’s live chat support is available 24/7 and is quite helpful too. No matter what issue you might have, their support team will get it resolved in just a matter of minutes. I asked them about the best server to watch US Netflix and they’re immediately got back to me with a solution.
Other than the live chat support, the tutorials and guides are also quite comprehensive and contain information pertaining to setups, troubleshooting steps, and more for every type of device that PureVPN supports.
Now that you know basically all the pros and cons of PureVPN, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions people have about PureVPN.
Who owns PureVPN?
PureVPN is owned by GZ Systems Ltd, which is headquartered in Hong Kong. The company was founded back in 2007 and has now become one of the most leading VPN brands in the industry.
Is PureVPN legal?
Yes, PureVPN is totally legal to use. Just keep in mind that some countries have banned VPN usage. So if you’re residing in Russia, China, or in any other anti-VPN country, you must be extra careful when and where you use PureVPN.
Is PureVPN any good?
PureVPN is good for unblocking U.S Netflix, fast speeds (90+ Mbps), downloading torrents, and for staying completely anonymous on the web with its solid AES 256-Bit encryption.
Can I trust PureVPN?
PureVPN is 100% trustworthy. It guarantees zero logs and has also been independently audited by a leading California-based independent security auditor, Altius IT.
How Much Does PureVPN Cost?
PureVPN starts at $0.99 – 40% off (7-day trial) and you also choose between its 1-year plan ($77.88), 1-month plan ($10.95/mo), and 6-months plan ($8.33/mo) depending on your budget.
So, Is PureVPN any good? Well, considering all its features, its ability to unblock Netflix, actual servers in China, and affordable pricing with dedicated Kodi VPN addon, I’d definitely recommend PureVPN.
That said, while there’s a lot to praise about this VPN, there are still a few annoying issues that need to be fixed.
To be honest, the last time I wrote on PureVPN review, I found their service to be absolutely terrible. However, they’ve certainly come a long way since then in 2020.
If you compare PureVPN alternatives, let’s say PureVPN vs IPVanish, PureVPN is not only much safer, much cheaper, but it also offers far more servers as well. Not to mention PureVPN’s privacy features that are on par with other industry leaders.
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