PureVPN Review [Updated Sep 2020]: Is it Safe and Secure?
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-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. 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? Could it be the perfect VPN you were looking for?
Well, that’s what I want to find out in my PureVPN review. Today, I’ll dive deep into its pros and cons, its feature, its customer support, and more and tell you exactly if it is actually as good as it is advertised online.
So without further ado, let’s get on with the review.
My Rating Criteria
I rated PureVPN on my 8 step rating criteria listed below:
- Jurisdiction – Where is PureVPN based?
- Security – Is PureVPN Safe?
- Leaks – Does it leak IP, DNS & WebRTC?
- Speed – How fast is PureVPN?
- Streaming – Does it work with Netflix & other VoD services?
- Compatibility – Apps and supported devices
- Pricing – How much does PureVPN cost exactly?
- Trustworthiness – Trustpilot ratings & Customer support
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?
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 OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, PPTP, and even IKEv2.
Each of these protocols are 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 the 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.
PureVPN logging policy
If you don’t know what data logging means, I’ve covered it in great detail in my in-depth logging policy research article.
“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, or the DNS queries generated by you.”
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:
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.
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 & WebRTC?
PureVPN is among the very few VPN’s that doesn’t leak your IP, DNS, or WebRTC. I performed the leak test for PureVPN using ipleak.org and didn’t experience any leaks at all while connected to the US, UK, Canadian, Australian, and German server locations.
Take a look at the screenshots below:
If you pay attention to the screenshot above, since I was connected to the US server, my true IP address is nowhere to be seen. This proves that PureVPN is actually leak proof.
Is PureVPN good for Torrenting?
Yes, PureVPN VPN is actually good for torrenting and P2P File-sharing. With 2000+ servers in 180+ locations, 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 torrenting 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 over 90 Mbps download speeds.
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.
Aside from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Roku also worked with PureVPN. In fact, at the time of writing this review of PureVPN, I managed to stream a bunch of other streaming services too like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney Plus, and even Amazon Prime in HD quality without any issues.
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:
|Routers||Chrome cast||Android TV||Play Station|
|Amazon Firestick||Xbox||Microsoft Surface||iOS App|
|Kodi||Roku||Boxee box||Now TV Box|
PureVPN 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 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.
PureVPN 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.
PureVPN for Windows
Their Windows app is not the best. You can’t connect to any server in one go. You have to retry multiple times just to connect to a specific server. PureVPN’s Windows app also has a tendency to disconnect my Wi-Fi for no reason whatsoever. Speaking of disconnections, if you’re facing any connection issues, make sure to check out our PureVPN not working guide. Overall, their Windows app needs improvement.
PureVPN for Linux
Although PureVPN’s Windows app needs some improvement, its Linux app is actually quite good. Now granted there is no standalone PureVPN application that supports Linux, however, with a bit of configuration, you can run PureVPN on your Linux machine. PureVPN has done a pretty good job of streamlining the configuration process.
PureVPN for Mac
PureVPN’s Mac app is nothing like its Windows counterpart. With an intuitive mode selection option, everything is streamlined and makes using the app dead easy. The interface is super slick and looks quite modern and minimalistic.
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.
How Much Does PureVPN Cost Exactly?
PureVPN offers three (3) very reasonably priced subscription plans. Here are the updated pricing plans of PureVPN:
- 1-month – $10.95/mo (No discount)
- 7-day trial – $0.99 (Save 40%) – After trial, an auto charge of $77.88 for the 1-year plan
- 6-months – $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. In addition to regular plans, PureVPN also offers a 5-year lifetime subscription plan for just $1.65/mo.
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 credit cards, PayPal, Crypto, and a bunch of other payment methods.
Do note that coin 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 Ratings & Customer Support
PureVPN has an excellent reputation on Trustpilot. Based on over 10,750 reviews, PureVPN has a spotless 4.8-star 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. Here’s a screenshot of that:
PureVPN Review FAQs
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, PureVPN is definitely worth getting.
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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