PureVPN review

TOP rank 7.8
October 23, 2019

PureVPN performs spectacularly well on a number of areas, such as speed, security, and privacy. It is also reasonably priced and comes with a responsive and helpful customer care team.
One of the things that I didn’t like about the app was the streaming error on Netflix.

It is one of those things that I would not want to have around. Some of the servers were also very slow like the one located in Australia, which led to a 75% drop in the internet connection speed. Overall the app fits the bill on most things.

5 years: $1.32/month
Save 88%

PureVPN performs spectacularly well on a number of areas, such as speed, security, and privacy. It is also reasonably priced and comes with a responsive and helpful customer care team.
One of the things that I didn’t like about the app was the streaming error on Netflix.

It is one of those things that I would not want to have around. Some of the servers were also very slow like the one located in Australia, which led to a 75% drop in the internet connection speed. Overall the app fits the bill on most things.

5.5
Speed
9.1
Security
7.2
Compatibility
8.2
Price
9.1
Support
Pros
Fast servers
Military grade encryption
DNS and IPv6 antil-eaks
Port forwarding technology
Outstanding customer care team
5 simultaneous connections
Cons
Some servers are slow
The app'
s interface is a bit cluttered with settings
The streaming error on Netflix

Summary

Speed drop speedtest We check the speed with and without VPN, then calculate the average in percentage. The smaller the speed drop, the faster the VPN.
-53%
Logging
Strict no-log policy
IP, DNS Leaks
No
Jurisdiction The 5 Eyes (FVEY), 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes alliances impose laws that force VPN companies to hand over logs to the government upon request. Privacy Havens - These are countries where companies don't have to share their logs to the government and VPN users are completely protected.
Japan (Privacy Haven)
Servers
2000+
Countries
180+
Netflix Unblock
No
Torrenting speed drop
-86%Bad
Simultaneous connections
5
Works in China
Yes, servers in China
Support
24/7 Live Chat, Email
Kill switch
Yes
Encryption AES-256 is the most secure type of encryption today. Other standards like DES-CBC, AES-128 provide lower levels of security.
AES-256
Protocols OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec are the most popular protocols which provide optimal balance between speed and security.
IKEv2, OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP
Platforms
Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
Applications
Amazon FireStick, Android TV, Chrome, Firefox, Routers

Speed tests

Ordinary connection
Download: 2.19 Mbps
Ping: 15 Ms
Upload: 0.09 Mbps

VPN apps work by setting up a connection over a bunch of servers that can be thousands of miles apart. Depending on how fast those servers are, the speed of your internet connection can go down drastically.

That’s why many, if not all, VPN apps use “fast speeds” as a selling point because they want you to believe that their connection is not going to throttle your internet speed.

Checking VPN servers

When the speed range is about 2Mbps like the one I used to test PureVPN, it becomes a lot easier to tell whether the VPN service is “fast”. I tested PureVPN on speedtest.net. The following are the results of the test. As you can see, PureVPN sure does deliver a fast connection.

Norway
Download: 1.83 Mbps
Ping: 155 Ms
Upload: 0.06 Mbps
Japan
Download: 1.09 Mbps
Ping: 395 Ms
Upload: 0.15 Mbps
USA
Download: 1.95 Mbps
Ping: 295 Ms
Upload: 0 Mbps
Australia
Download: 0.56 Mbps
Ping: 431 Ms
Upload: 0.16 Mbps

Average speed drop: -53%Bad

Security features

If a VPN app fails on security, then I would say that it has little else to offer to the world. I wanted to find out what encryption methods, protocols, and the security features it has in store.

Military-grade Encryption

PureVPN uses the AES-256 encryption standard, which happens to be the world’s most advanced and secure way to communicate over public networks. Even the most powerful militaries use the same encryption method as PureVPN. This is to say that is darn hard for anyone to tap your data, as long as the VPN connection is working.

OpenVPN Protocol

To set up the connection, PureVPN relies on a number of protocols. The most prominent of which is OpenVPN. You might have encountered the name “OpenVPN” someplace else, and this has to do with the fact that OpenVPN is the world’s most popular VPN protocol. The protocol is open source, but that is not the only reason it has such a huge fan base. There are also other qualities in play, such as strong security, and wide compatibility.

Check all PureVPN features

Port Forwarding

PureVPN has an extra security feature that is called Port forwarding. It is a technique that is used to redirect ports (computer signals) between LAN computers and remote computers. It is the behind the scenes process that intercepts data heading your way and sends it to a different IP address. The port forwarding feature is an add-on in PureVPN.

IP and DNS Leaks

The other way to tell whether a VPN app is offering a secure connection is to perform IP and DNS test leaks. If the IP address that shows is the one that registered under your ISP, then you have reason to believe that your VPN connection is leaking private information.

The screenshot says that my IP address is from a location in Australia but that is nowhere near true. I’m actually located several thousand miles away from that country. In other words, I’m truly anonymous. The same is true for the DNS.

IP leak results:
No leaks
DNS leak results:
No leaks

Logs policy

PureVPN says that it does not collect or store any of the following pieces of information whenever you use their VPN service:

  • Assigned VPN server IP address
  • Your IP address of origin
  • VPN session timestamp
  • Your browsing activities
  • DNS requests

Although VPN apps make it hard on your ISP to spy on you, the VPN service provider can still get details of the sites that you are visiting. That is why it is important to go to the privacy section of the homepage and see what kinds of data the app collects.

Check PureVPN privacy policy

Unblocking Netflix

Simply said, the app failed spectacularly and I would not recommend it for streaming.

I should note that it is rather odd that PureVPN led to a streaming error on Netflix given that the service has a specialized streaming mode.

Netflix
Netflix unblock status:
Failure

Torrenting

Is PureVPN any good when it comes to downloading torrents? I expected it to be given that I had already established that some servers are extremely fast.

Torrenting without VPN:
2214 kb/sec
Torrenting with VPN:
30 kb/sec
Speed deduction: -87%
Bad

As you can see, and contrary to my expectations, there was a remarkable drop in speed when I connected to the VPN. The only explanation I can find for that is that I probably used very slow servers.

So, I would advise that you try switching between servers and see which one is fast enough for your needs.

Tor Check

I also wanted to find out how well PureVPN fared when combined with the Tor browser.

The Tor network is one of the safest and most secure in the world, and if you could add a VPN connection over it, I bet no one would be able to snoop on you. Even with a 2Mbps connection, I was still able to stream HD content over the Tor network, but now with an added sense of security.

Tor
Compatibility status:
Success

Platforms

Android
iOS
Linux
macOS
Windows
Amazon FireStick
Android TV
Chrome
Firefox
Routers
Simultaneous connections:
5 devices

Pure VPN supports up to 5 simultaneous connections on the following platforms: Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, TV, router PlayStation, Xbox, Amazon FireStick, Chrome, and Firefox browser add-on. The app has the most compatibility that I have seen thus far.

For this review, I tested the app on a desktop and on an Android phone, and I have to say, the interface seems a bit cluttered. There are too many settings and modes that can leave you feeling like you don’t know what you are doing. Every time you open the app, you have to choose what mode you want i.e. streaming, privacy, file sharing, or Dedicated IP. It is a bit too much.

 

   

Customer Support

PureVPN

The app offers customer support through chat, phone, and mail. By far, the most responsive of these is chat, which is available on a 24/7 basis. It is also very helpful.

Support channels:
Email
Live chat
Help center
Phone line

Pricing

PureVPN is one of the modestly priced VPN services on the internet. You can acquire the app by buying into any of the following plans: $10.95 a month, $1.32 per month for five years and $5.81 a month for a year.

1 month
$ 10.95
per month
 
$10.95 billed every 3 years
1 year
$ 5.81
per month
Save 47%
$69.72 billed every year
5 years
$ 1.32
per month
Save 88%
$79.2 billed every 5 years

The payment process is smooth and straight forward and I certainly didn’t experience any issues while making the purchase. For this review, I went for the one 1-month subscription. All plans come with a 31 days money back guarantee but you have to explain why you need a refund.