PureVPN – Budget-Friendly VPN with More Than Six Thousand Servers
PureVPN’s impressive arsenal of advanced security features along with a robust AES 256-bit encryption allows users to bypass geo-restrictions and browse the internet safely while being protected from online threats. Having recently moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to the British Virgin Islands, PureVPN has once again reiterated its commitment to the company’s strict no-logs policy that aims to protect users’ privacy at all costs.
PureVPN Pros&Cons | Check Positive and Negative Sides
- An extensive network of servers
- Impressive add-on features
- Strong leak protection
- Dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming
- No free trial version
PureVPN Features Table Summary
|The British Virgin Islands
|Number of devices with one license
|Number of countries
|Number of servers
|Live chat, 24/7 technical support, tickets, and guides
PureVPN: Use Cases
With fast servers, unrestricted bandwidth, and no ISP throttling, PureVPN is one of the best VPN apps for torrenting, gaming, and streaming geo-restricted content on Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube, among other platforms. PureVPN offers dedicated servers for torrenting and video streaming making it a delight to watch videos on those servers. Not only was I able to unblock Netflix US and other geo-restricted streaming platforms but I also enjoyed smooth streaming without buffering.
PureVPN used to offer specific modes for specific purposes like streaming, torrenting, banking, and general browsing, among others. However, this feature has been removed in a recent update and PureVPN now lets its advanced algorithm select the best server for a user’s needs. Beginners will find PureVPN’s apps easy to navigate and use thanks to its user-friendly UI and advanced algorithm that selects the right server based on a user’s requirements.
On the other hand, professionals and advanced users will find PureVPN’s ample advanced features quite the treat. PureVPN also offers a few features that not many VPN companies do. These features include port forwarding, DDoS Protection, and dedicated IP as add-on features. While the speed of your internet connection is bound to decrease when you connect to a VPN, PureVPN’s fast and optimized servers ensure that you do not notice that decrease in speed and browse or stream without issues.
PureVPN Features Overview
PureVPN recently shifted its headquarters from Hong Kong to the British Virgin Islands. While Hong Kong is one of the few countries that do not have surveillance laws and are privacy-friendly, the British Virgin Islands is one of the last bastions of data privacy where many VPN companies set up shop. Additionally, the British Virgin Islands are not within the jurisdiction of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.
A kill switch is an essential VPN feature that protects your private data and internet traffic by instantly terminating your internet connection if and when your VPN connection suddenly drops. The kill switch is usually activated by default but you can manually activate PureVPN’s kill switch from the “Advanced Options” in the app settings.
PureVPN lets you connect up to 10 devices simultaneously with one license and supports over 20 platforms with different operating systems. Supported platforms include, but are not limited to, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Kodi, Roku, Play Station, Xbox, and routers.
The company boasts a global server network of more than 6500 servers across over 89 locations in over 78 countries. Only a few VPN companies like CyberGhost (10400+) offer more servers than PureVPN. However, PureVPN’s network of over 6500 servers is much more extensive compared to other top VPN providers such as NordVPN (6000+), ExpressVPN (3000+), and Surfshark (3200+)
PureVPN does support torrenting but only on select servers. The apps have a list of servers that are marked for P2P file-sharing and you can easily download files from Torrent without lags on any of these servers. However, PureVPN has blocked P2P on servers in countries (Canada, the UK, the USA, etc) that do not allow file sharing. Nonetheless, PureVPN is one of the best VPN apps for fast and safe torrenting.
I was able to unblock geo-restricted content on not only Netflix but also BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and YouTube, among others. While I could access the US and Japanese libraries of Netflix, I was unable to access the French or German libraries with PureVPN. Streaming was smooth with zero lags and minimal buffering thanks to PureVPN’s fast servers.
PureVPN uses the 256-bit AES algorithm to encrypt and decrypt users’ data. AES 2256-bit is the safest and strongest encryption algorithm currently available. Coupled with secure tunneling protocols, AES offers robust security as well as fast speed. To route traffic through encrypted tunnels, PureVPN uses authentication protocols like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), and SSL.
Split Tunneling is an advanced feature that lets customers split their internet traffic between their ISPs and the encrypted VPN network. Services that require your ISP’s IP address and services that you want to protect by routing through the VPN network can work simultaneously because of split tunneling. You can access the split tunneling feature by visiting the ‘advanced’ tab on the settings menu of the app.
PureVPN offers a 31-day money-back guarantee which is at least 1 day more than the usual 30-day guarantee that most other companies offer. PureVPN’s money-back guarantee is also simply-worded and it is easy to put in a request for a refund.
Server speed tests
PureVPN Server Speed Tests
Nowadays, most VPN companies claim to offer lightning-fast speed on their servers. PureVPN follows suit and claims to offer a fast VPN service. To test PureVPN’s claims, I tested some PureVPN servers on speedtest.net to find out each server’s speed. The download and upload speeds of my internet connection without PureVPN were 51.66 Mbps and 7.81 Mbps, respectively.
On connecting to PureVPN via its Windows app, I was automatically connected to the optimal server based on my network settings. The first server in Amsterdam, Netherlands decreased the download speed by just 9% to 47.01 Mbps but increased the upload speed dramatically to 59.63 Mbps from just 7.81 Mbps. The latency increased from 28 ms to 64 ms after connecting to the Amsterdam server.
On connecting to the London server, I recorded a decent download speed of 45.93 Mbps and an unusually high upload speed of 50.34 Mbps. The latency sharply fell to only 5 ms this time. The drop in download speeds on the Amsterdam and London servers was barely noticeable as I breezed through video streaming, copious browsing, and other internet shenanigans.
Next, the New York server recorded a download speed of 38.18 Mbps and an upload speed of 21.57 Mbps. Though the download speed decreased by a considerable 26%, streaming and gaming were surprisingly smooth on this server. However, eagle-eyed users may notice minor frame drops and lags while playing resource-heavy games like Genshin Impact on the New York server.
Some of the PureVPN servers in Asia and Australia, to name a few, fell well short of PureVPN’s speed claims most likely due to their distance from my actual location. A remote server in Seoul, South Korea had one of the slowest connections with 19 ms latency, 15.16 Mbps download speed, and 1.67 Mbps upload speed. While general browsing and watching YouTube videos were not adversely affected, streaming and torrenting will suffer at such a low upload speed.
PureVPN Users’ Feedback and Ratings
I visited several social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and various VPN forums to get an idea of PureVPN’s reputation among its general users. I also visited Trustpilot, SiteJabber, and other consumer review websites for a clearer understanding of how the product fared in practical situations.
Several VPN users on Facebook and Reddit heavily favored PureVPN over some more popular VPN apps because of its affordability and usability. With nary a negative comment on either site, I explored tech forums in search of any issues that users may have faced while using PureVPN. While many users praised its performance as “one of the best in the business”, a couple of users claimed to have had persisting issues with the Android and Windows app. However, I have not faced those issues on either the Windows or the Android app as it seems like PureVPN has addressed those issues before my review.
On Trustpilot, PureVPN earned an excellent TrustScore of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 14,000 reviews. Several reviews gloated about PureVPN’s reliable performance, server speeds, and ease of use. However, there were a few complaints on Trustpilot and SiteJabber regarding the VPN’s connectivity in certain situations. However, those issues were most likely caused due to cyber laws in the users’ countries rather than any fault of the PureVPN apps those users were using.
Google Trends and Comparison with Competitors
Google Trends is a data analysis tool by Google that compares various keywords and represents the interest in a keyword in the form of a graph. For this review, I checked the interest in “PureVPN” as well as its closest competitors like “Private Internet Access” and “PrivateVPN” to understand how interest in the keywords changed in the United States over 12 months.
Interest in “PureVPN” has been consistently high over the past 12 months, decreasing substantially only a few times. Interest in the keyword peaked twice during this period, once in January 2022 and then again in April 2022. Several global events and the rise of cybersecurity threats during such international events may have led to the increase in the search volume of the keyword “PureVPN” as more users may have been looking to protect their privacy.
On comparing “PureVPN” with its competitors as mentioned earlier, Google Trends revealed that the average interest in “PureVPN” was much higher than that in one of its closest competitors “PrivateVPN”. With both companies offering similar features and connectivity, this result can be attributed to a stricter no-logs policy and PureVPN’s headquarters being outside of a 14 Eyes Alliance country. The average interest in “Private Internet Access” was higher than that in “PureVPN” but the race was very close. It shows that while PureVPN has come a long way since its inception, it still has some way to go before it can compete with the big guns of the VPN industry.
DNS leak test
PureVPN: DNS Leak Test
DNS leaks pose a serious threat to a user’s privacy as such leaks expose personal identifiers like the user’s IP address, browsing history, and internet traffic. While most VPN apps, including PureVPN, now offers DNS and IP leak protection, it is advisable to always check for DNS leaks after first connecting to any VPN app.
I tested PureVPN for DNS leaks, IP leaks, and WebRTC leaks with the help of such sites as dnsleaktest.com, ipleak.net, and dnsleak.com, to name a few. During the numerous tests on different PureVPN servers, I did not find any DNS or IPv6 leaks while my device was connected to PureVPN. The results on the different sites were uniform with the IP addresses showing the locations my connection was tunneled through by PureVPN.
Should You Buy It?
PureVPN is an affordable and reliable VPN service provider with an extensive global network of servers that offer consistent speed and performance. Capable of unblocking geo-restricted websites and content on the internet, PureVPN ensures that customers worldwide can use the internet without compromising their online privacy. Barring a few software issues here and there, I was impressed with PureVPN’s performance during several tests, including speed and DNS leak tests.
- Loaded with advanced security features
- 31-day money-back guarantee
- Headquarters in the British Virgin Islands
- Poor online support