PureVPN Review [Updated July 2020]: Is it safe and secure?
PureVPN is a well-renowned budget-friendly VPN service with 2000+ servers suited for torrenting, streaming, and powerful security. For the price of $0.99 and a 4.5-star rating, PureVPN manages to offer the best bang for your buck.
PureVPN is amongst the most renowned VPNs in the industry. The company is headquartered in Hong Kong which is renowned for being free from data retention laws.
In addition, PureVPN offers 2000+ servers which are perfect for downloading torrenting, streaming Netflix, and for a whole bunch of other stuff.
Feature-wise PureVPN offers powerful encryption, Kill switch, Split tunneling, and flexibility to simultaneously protect up to 10 devices at the same time with only 1 PureVPN account for a low price of $0.99.
But there were few flaws as well. This is why I revisited PureVPN again, put it through extensive testing, and because a lot has been fixed, I gave it a 4.5-star rating in this PureVPN review.
My Rating Criteria
I rated PureVPN on my 9 step rating criteria listed below:
- Jurisdiction – Where is PureVPN based?
- Security – Is PureVPN Safe?
- Leaks – Does it leak IP, DNS & WebRTC?
- Servers – Is it P2P Compatible, or does it work in China?
- 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, Reddit & Customer support
Jurisdiction – Where is PureVPN based?
PureVPN is located in the data retention free jurisdiction of Hong Kong. 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.
Anyways, Since Hong Kong is a surveillance-free jurisdiction, they are not obligated to store any logs whatsoever.
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 Apps offer, PureVPN offers few extra goodies that I personally haven’t seen with other VPN providers.
Let’s start with Kill Switch…
PureVPN Kill Switch
Although the PureVPN’s Kill switch feature was highly criticized in the past, however, it’s now been fixed.
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
“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.”
Not only that, but 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.
If you don’t know what data logging means, I’ve covered it in great detail in my in-depth logging policy research article.
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.
Files You Download And Websites You Visit (Usage Or Activity Logs)
The Only Thing They Do Log
Awesome Split Tunneling Feature
In addition to a Kill switch, PureVPN also offers a feature called Split Tunneling. If you don’t know what this feature does, it is basically 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.
It makes perfect sense, I mean why you would want to burden down your Facebook with overhead encryption.
The Split tunnelling feature did had some flaws in the past, however, that too is fixed now. I tested it with torrenting and it worked perfectly as advertised.
PureVPN Dedicated IP Address
Unlike other VPNs, PureVPN offers dedicated IPs. This feature is perfect if you don’t want to deal with account suspensions, IP fluctuations, or Netflix proxy errors.
That said, PureVPN’s dedicated IPs cost additional over your current subscription plan. But considering that you wouldn’t have to share your dedicated IP with other PureVPN users, paying $3.99/mo extra can go a long way.
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.
If you don’t know what is, it’s 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 computing resources like printers remotely.
Unlike Nat Firewall that can restrict VPN essentials like torrenting, PureVPN Nat Firewall, or Port forwarding gives VPN users the freedom to specify ports for incoming connections.
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 on various servers using ipleak.org and didn’t experience any leaks at all.
Take a look at the screenshots below:
Servers – Is it P2P Compatible, or does it work in China?
As I mentioned earlier, PureVPN boasts awesome server coverage comprised of 2000+ servers in 180+ locations across the globe.
While a lot of VPN providers only target their server locations in Europe and North America, PureVPN offers a global blend of server locations spanning all the way to Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, and even Myanmar.
These servers work perfectly in China and can handle torrenting, streaming, and even online gaming. You can check out the PureVPN server list here.
Is PureVPN good for Torrenting?
P2P File-sharing and torrenting works great with PureVPN. I managed to get decent downloading speeds 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.
Even though this might be disappointing for some users, it’s nice to see that PureVPN at least supports torrenting in the first place. I say this because most VPN companies simply don’t want to deal with copyright infringement cases associated with torrenting.
For more information about PureVPN’s performance and support for torrenting, you can see this detailed guide on the same.
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. You can find out more details about using PureVPN in China in this 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 15 Mbps office internet connection, I managed to squeeze out over 14 Mbps download speeds.
For your convenience, I’ve compiled pings, download, and upload speeds of PureVPN in the table below.
|Server Location||Ping (MS)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|U.S Miami FL||266||9.92||6.40|
Overall, PureVPN managed to deliver excellent speeds for Netflix streaming, torrenting, and overall fast browsing.
Streaming – Does It Work With Netflix & Other VoD Services?
Yes, as I mentioned earlier, Netflix works great with PureVPN. 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.
If we talk about streaming experience, PureVPN offered excellent speeds and I didn’t notice any lags or pixelated video quality.
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.
If it doesn’t work for you, try switching servers, or get a fresh new working IP for Netflix by contacting the PureVPN support team. You can find out more details about using PureVPN with Netflix in our dedicated guide here.
Aside from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Roku also worked with PureVPN. In fact, at the time of writing this review of PureVPN, both of these services played in HD quality without annoying lags or proxy errors.
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 including routers. You can find details about installing PureVPN on routers here.
Here’s a complete list of devices that PureVPN supports:
- Android TV
- Amazon Firestick
- Microsoft Surface
- Boxee box
- Now TV Box
- Raspberry Pi
- Chrome cast
- Play Station
- iOS App(Relaunched)
PureVPN for Firestick
PureVPN is fully compatible with Firestick. In fact, PureVPN 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.
It’s no surprise that online privacy is shrinking by the day. No matter what we do online, we’re always being monitored. Even streaming shows from the comfort of your room is no longer hidden from the eyes of would-be digital marketers and copyright narcs looking to make money off of you.
Although Firestick is an awesome device with endless streaming capabilities, excessive monitoring by your ISP can take all the fun out of it. That is unless you use a combination of PureVPN and Firestick to truly anonymize your online activities.
With PureVPN working silently in the background, you’ll be able to not only unblock geo-locked streaming services but also stay totally secure.
PureVPN for iOS
If we go back a couple of months, the iOS app of PureVPN got removed from the App Store, as it failed to comply with the parameters set by Apple.
That said, the app is back online and is compatible with the latest iOS versions. I tested the new app to check its performance and I can safely say, the new version is a marked improvement with easy to use interface and works without any hiccups. In fact, the iOS app of PureVPN has a 3.7-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 seriously awful. You can’t connect to any server in one go. You have to retry multiple times just to connect to a specific server. A also experienced the error message which read “PureVPN unable to connect to remote server”.
Besides that, the application is also super sluggish to use. Typing in a server location lags terribly and the application also becomes unresponsive for no apparent reason from time to time.
PureVPN’s Windows app also has a tendency to disconnect my Wi-Fi for no reason whatsoever. Even when it’s working fine, it takes way too long to connect to a specific server. Overall, their Windows app is an utter nightmare to use.
Since I was experiencing connection issues, I Googled for “PureVPN not connecting” issue and found a quick fix that worked for me. All I did was just disable my Firewall and antivirus application and that resolved the connection issue.
PureVPN for Linux
Although PureVPN might suck on the Windows platform, using it on a Linux based machine isn’t all that bad.
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.
Typically setting up non-GUI based apps on Linux can be quite challenging, however, PureVPN has done a pretty good job at streamlining the configuration process.
PureVPN for Mac
PureVPN’s Mac app is nothing like its Windows counterpart. Instead of being unbearably unresponsive, the Mac app is absolute bliss to use.
With the same 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.
If you’re facing any issues with these apps, here are some fixes to apply when you find PureVPN not working.
How Much Does PureVPN Cost Exactly?
PureVPN offers three (3) very reasonably priced subscription plans. Here are the updated pricing plans of PureVPN:
Their 7-days trial plan 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.
These plans 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 go, 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, Reddit & Customer Support
PureVPN has an excellent reputation on Trustpilot. Unlike NordVPN, based on over 10,069 reviews, PureVPN has a spotless 4.8-star rating. 85% of users have rated PureVPN as Excellent.
PureVPN Review Reddit
Is PureVPN any good? Well, after personally testing out the service and reading Trustpilot and Reddit comments, I can say that PureVPN is actually quite good. But still, let see what some Reddit users have to say about this service.
Checking out two recent threads on PureVPN Reddit, I must say PureVPN has mostly good reviews.
Most PureVPN users on Reddit seem to appreciate PureVPN speed and overall performance.
One Reddit user even mentioned how PureVPN helped him watch the world cup in his native language.
Naturally, there are some negative comments about the service too.
A few people actually complained about PureVPN’s flawed logging policy and projected dissatisfaction with the service.
PureVPN Slow Customer Support
I’m not going to beat around the bush here, PureVPN’s live chat support is quite slow. To prove my point, I simply inquired about their refund process.
They took way too long to respond to my queries which in my opinion was quite frustrating.
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.
Recent News and Developments
- Hong Kong servers decommissioned amidst National Security Law worries – July 27, 2020. PureVPN has announced the removal of its Hong Kong servers due to the uncertainty surrounding National Security Law. There are fears that the law could have adverse privacy repercussions for people in Hong Kong. Thus, the company has chosen to err on the side of caution by taking these servers down so that the users may remain safe and protected from any possible violation of privacy from Chinese agencies. The servers will be removed from all PureVPN apps on July 28 at 00:00 HK local time, but users can still connect to these servers through the manual OpenVPN configuration until September 21 at 23:59 HK Local time.