In this PureVPN review, we explore one of the many popular VPN providers. The VPN industry is full of services that claim to protect your data, but there are only a few that really stand out. While a VPN can be a powerful tool for hiding your data from third parties, you need to make sure it’s secure and fit for purpose.
Here, we go through PureVPN’s key factors, such as security, ease of use, unique features, and overall value for money. By the end, you’ll know the answer to questions like “Is PureVPN safe?”, “Is PureVPN free?”, and most importantly, “Is PureVPN good?” so stay with us to learn whether PureVPN is worth it in 2023.
What is PureVPN?
They’re headquartered out of Hong Kong, which leaves them out of the jurisdiction of many Western agencies, including the 14 Eyes intelligence pact.
PureVPN offers online privacy and security. As a VPN, it creates a secure and encrypted connection between a user’s device and the internet.
When you connect to the internet via PureVPN, it masks your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic, making it difficult for third parties, such as hackers or government agencies, to monitor your online activities.
In addition to providing privacy, PureVPN allows you to appear as though you’re connecting from practically anywhere in the world.
You can bypass geographical restrictions by masking your IP address with one from a different location. This allows you to access content, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, that may be restricted or blocked in your country.
How Does PureVPN Work?
You can install the PureVPN application on almost any device, such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet, and it also works on routers, providing blanket encryption for every device that’s connected to the internet through it.
Once PureVPN is activated, all your internet data is encrypted for ultimate protection over your data. It employs robust encryption algorithms such as OpenVPN and WireGuard.
These scramble your internet traffic, making it appear as garbage data to any potential eavesdroppers. This way, it’s impossible to intercept or decipher the transmitted data between its origin and destination.
This encrypted tunnel connects your home internet connection to one of PureVPN’s many VPN servers in any number of locations across the globe, making it appear as though you’re connecting from that location.
This is particularly useful for bypassing geographic restrictions and accessing websites, streaming services, or other online content that may be blocked or limited in the user’s actual location.
When connected to a PureVPN server, your original IP address is replaced with the IP address of the VPN server you’ve selected. This IP substitution helps to anonymize your online activities and makes it challenging for websites or online services to track your real location.
This is especially handy if you’re concerned about online privacy, but also makes it more difficult for ad agencies to serve you personalized adverts.
While other encryption technologies, such as SSL, keep your data secure while it’s traveling over the internet, they’re of no help if the router you’re using is insecure. This is especially true if you’re working on public WiFi, which has several security issues.
For example, it’s possible for other users on the network to monitor your traffic. PureVPN solves this issue by encrypting your internet data before it ever leaves your device, ensuring that sensitive data, such as passwords or financial information, remains secure and private.
PureVPN’s Pros and Cons
At a glance, here are the things we liked the best about PureVPN and one or two things they could do better:
- A wide range of location options
- Easy to set up
- Bundled with a password manager, cloud file host, and personal data management tool
- Unblocks many streaming services
- Provides core VPN features and not much more
PureVPN Price Breakdown
PureVPN offers three pricing plans, with the option of monthly, annual, or 2-year subscriptions. Here are the cheapest of the bunch, the 2-year plans:
- Standard — Comes with all the features from PureVPN — Monthly pricing for this plan is $10.95/month, and annual is $3.74/month.
- Plus — All the features of the Standard plan, plus PureKeep, the password manager, and PureCrypt, a file encryption backup tool. Monthly billing is $15.95/month, and the yearly option is $5.82/month.
- Max — You get PureVPN, PureKeep, PureCrypt, and the PurePrivacy privacy management tool all in one package. You can also pay $19.95 monthly or $7.49/month with a yearly subscription.
PureVPN also offers additional add-ons for an extra cost. Most users won’t need these, but those regularly using P2P protocols or hosting a web server will find these options handy:
- Port forwarding — $1/month
- Dedicated IP — $2/month
In terms of payment, PureVPN offers several options. You can use any major credit or debit card, but there are also PayPal and Google Pay. Plus, it even allows you to pay with Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum through Coingate for additional privacy.
There’s also a 31-day money-back guarantee. If you’re unsatisfied with the service within this period, you can request a refund. The refund policy applies to all subscription plans, excluding monthly plans. To get a refund, contact the PureVPN support team via live chat or email.
A Look at PureVPN’s Features
While PureVPN isn’t too fancy, it provides a set of core features that are ideal for the privacy-concerned user. Read below:
You simply enable Split Tunneling from the options menu and choose which applications or websites you want to exclude from the VPN tunnel. PureVPN’s Split Tunneling feature is available across a range of devices and platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
There are a variety of reasons why Split Tunneling is useful. By choosing which apps you run through your VPN, you can appear to be in two different places at once. This is great if you want to watch content from abroad while browsing online banking or work-related resources from your home connection.
Conversely, you might want to encrypt your browsing traffic for privacy and security while also enjoying low-latency gaming. Split Tunneling can help you make decisions that optimize internet speed and performance for activities that don’t require the additional security of a VPN while still protecting you for the use cases that do.
It’s crucial when accessing sensitive information or conducting financial transactions, adding an extra layer of protection for peace of mind. As such, it’s one of the most important features of any good VPN, and during our PureVPN review, it proved to be no exception.
PureVPN’s Kill Switch works seamlessly, requiring only a single button press to set up. Once it’s on, it operates by continuously monitoring the VPN connection.
We found it worked well, consistently cutting the network connection in a variety of disconnection scenarios ensuring that no unencrypted data was transferred over the public network.
PureVPN provides the ability to unblock content and bypass geo-restrictions with connections from various locations around the world.
This provides you with access to a wide range of online content and streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. It’s particularly useful if you want to access region-specific content that isn’t available in your area or if you want to watch content from home while on holiday.
PureVPN’s extensive server network spans 70+ locations, offering a wide range of options to choose from when unblocking content. It also provides dedicated streaming-optimized servers for accessing popular streaming platforms.
These specialized PureVPN servers are designed to offer optimized speed and performance for watching HD content, ensuring a smooth and buffer-free streaming experience.
PurePrivacy is a comprehensive solution for safeguarding your digital footprint and reclaiming your online privacy. It offers various features and tools to help you take control of your personal information and manage your social media privacy. With PurePrivacy, you can request data brokers:
- Remove your data
- Erase your search history
- Block online trackers
- Simplify your online presence
PurePrivacy works by analyzing potential risks to your data and initiating data deletion requests on your behalf. It helps you stay in control of your social privacy by simplifying privacy settings and recommending appropriate settings based on your vulnerability.
The platform also shows you who’s storing your data and how you’re being tracked online, empowering you to make informed decisions about sharing your information.
It provides a one-stop platform for all your privacy needs, allowing you to secure your privacy and data across different platforms from one location. That said, to keep your files private, you’ll want to use PureEncrypt.
PureEncrypt is a file protection solution that aims to help you protect your files and keep them private with tamper-proof file encryption, allowing you to safeguard your valuable files.
With it, you can create and lock unlimited vaults, securing your sensitive files behind encrypted passwords — similar to the best password managers.
PureEncrypt provides several powerful features to enhance the security of your important files. With it, you’ll get:
- End-to-end encryption to ensure that your photos, videos, and files remain private
- Protected cloud storage, syncing your encrypted files across multiple devices for convenient access to them from anywhere
- Added security checks like face ID and fingerprint authentication for further convenience
PureEncrypt even includes an automatic app logout feature, allowing you to set a timer for logging out of the app.
Finally, there’s PureKeep, a password manager offered by PureVPN that provides a secure and convenient way to manage your passwords and protect your private information.
With PureKeep, you can store unlimited passwords in secure vaults, ensuring that your sensitive details are kept safe.
The platform allows you to generate strong passwords, making it difficult for hackers and scammers to crack them. You can also see the strength of your current passwords and assess their security. Plus, there are convenient syncing capabilities, allowing you to sync your saved passwords across 10 devices simultaneously.
This ensures that you have private access to your important documents and secure logins wherever you are. Multi-factor authentication also adds additional security. You can choose from various security checks, such as a one-time password, fingerprint, or face ID, to access your PureKeep vaults.
PureVPN does pretty well with security. We’ve evaluated all aspects of its technical security, as well as its privacy and logging policy. Read on to find out more:
PureVPN explicitly states that they do not keep any logs that can identify or aid in monitoring a user’s activity. That said, PureVPN does collect certain information for customer support and service excellence purposes. However, this data cannot be used to identify or track users.
When you sign up, they only collect a minimal amount of information, including name, email address, password, and payment method. They specifically mention that they do not store records of:
- Browsing activity + sites visited
- Identifiable connection logs
- IPs assigned + a customer’s original IP
- Outgoing traffic or content or data accessed
- DNS queries generated by the user
However, something that did raise our eyebrows is PureVPN’s bandwidth policy. While PureVPN claims that they have an unlimited bandwidth policy, it also reserves the right to contact users regarding any bandwidth irregularities or service disruptions caused by excessive bandwidth consumption.
PureVPN isn’t clear about what they consider bandwidth irregularities, but you may need to look elsewhere if you have extremely high bandwidth needs.
PureVPN supports all major VPN protocols, namely OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard. These are the underlying methods used to turn readable internet traffic into a seemingly random stream of garbage data. OpenVPN is an industry standard, widely trusted as being highly secure and compatible with a range of devices.
IKEv2 is faster but generally only supported on Apple devices. WireGuard is the newest protocol PureVPN supports, which has a much smaller resource footprint than other VPN protocols and often boasts faster connection speeds.
While PureVPN used to support SSTP, PPTP, and L2TP, these protocols are no longer supported, although some servers are still listed on their site. These are out of date and are widely considered insecure, so we appreciate that PureVPN only supports VPN protocols that are regarded as secure.
When asking, “Is PureVPN legit?” the easiest way to answer it is by looking at their audit trail.
PureVPN is the first and, as far as we know, the only VPN provider to have an Always-On Audit conducted by the globally trusted auditing firm, KPMG. This means that KPMG can perform surprise audits of PureVPN’s processes and servers at any time without prior notice.
The audit verifies PureVPN’s claim of being a No-Log VPN service, ensuring that it doesn’t monitor or store users’ private data. The process involves analyzing PureVPN’s network infrastructure, server configurations, codebase, technical data logs, and global servers.
Interviews with personnel involved in server maintenance and database handling are also conducted. KPMG’s audits confirm that PureVPN doesn’t log users’ origin IP address, assigned VPN IP, connection timestamps, or activities through its VPN connection.
Not every VPN supports every device — and even if they do, there are some differences between the apps or the functionality that’s worth knowing before signing up. Here are all the details related to PureVPN’s device compatibility:
The Windows version of PureVPN is easy to set up and use. Once installed, it’s as simple as clicking the big “Connect” button in the middle of the screen to automatically connect to your nearest server with a stable connection. We found in practice that this worked fine.
The UI is pretty minimalist, so it might not immediately be apparent how to choose your preferred location from the server list, but there’s a toolbar on the left that gives you access to PureVPN server locations, settings, and a myriad of support options, including their referral program.
There are a few convenience options that allow you to customize PureVPN as you like. These include a “dark mode,” which inverts the colors of the UI, reducing strain on the eyes when using PureVPN at night or in low-light situations. There’s also a “Connect on Startup” option.
This ensures you’ll be protected by PureVPN from the moment you boot your computer up. You can set it to remember the last server you connected to as well, making it a true one-click solution to get connected to your preferred location.
Using PureVPN on OSX is much the same as the Windows version, although the UI is a little clearer. The options bar on the side is more prominent, providing a clear reminder of which options are available while using PureVPN. Most of the functionality is shared between both versions, but there’s a notable exception.
PureVPN on OSX doesn’t have a Split Tunneling feature. While this is unfortunate, the rest of the OSX functionality works well, including the Kill Switch.
PureVPN reminds you of which server you’re connected to with a readout on your connection page, the visible IP address, and your upload and download speeds. It’s pretty handy, giving you everything you need to know about your connection at a glance.
You can download the PureVPN Android app through the Google Play Store, which makes the installation process simple. Logging in is much like the desktop versions, only requiring a username and password.
When you’re logged in, you’re presented with a set of use cases where you can pre-populate PureVPN with a set of optimized options. We found this didn’t make a huge difference in practice, but the choice is nice.
The Android VPN also features all the normal PureVPN protocols, as well as a Transparent Proxy option which doesn’t encrypt your data but does change the location. This is used for high-speed applications where privacy isn’t much of a concern.
PureVPN on iOS is just as user-friendly as the rest of the PureVPN apps. In addition to the normal protocols that PureVPN provides, the iOS version also offers IPsec. We found it works well, but would generally recommend that you use WireGuard or OpenVPN wherever possible.
We didn’t see a kill-switch option in the app, which is somewhat disappointing and makes the iPhone VPN slightly worse than the other PureVPN versions we tested. However, other than this, PureVPN works well on iOS.
The Linux offering is quite different from the other versions of PureVPN available. Unfortunately, PureVPN doesn’t use a graphical user interface for the Linux client.
You install and configure the client through a command-line interface, which has a reduced set of features compared to the other fully-featured desktop versions.
If you’re looking for a great Linux client, you may be better off looking elsewhere. In fact, we’ve got a list of the top Linux VPN clients that you shouldn’t miss out on when looking for Linux VPNs.
PureVPN Vs. Top Competitors
We’ve summed up the most important aspects of PureVPN compared to the top competitors in the industry, which you can check out below:
|Top VPN Apps||Average Speeds||Cheapest Plan||Simultaneous Connections||Server Count||Server Locations|
PureVPN works as a functional budget option with a good spread of worldwide locations. Although ExpressVPN is a clear winner in terms of average speeds, most users won’t have a fast enough internet connection to take advantage of their top-tier connections.
PureVPN also wins out for value when you purchase the Max package, which comes with a whole suite of privacy-preserving tools. If you want a better idea of how PureVPN stacks up against the rest of the competition, you can check out our list of the best VPN providers for more information.
What is PureVPN Good For?
Knowing how PureVPN holds up, whether it be to stream, game, or torrent, is important, considering that these are among the key reasons people get a VPN. Here’s what our testing showed:
PureVPN is ideal for viewing content from abroad thanks to a location selector that disguises your home location. With PureVPN, you can enjoy content from platforms like HBO, Hulu, Paramount Plus, ITVX, Peacock, and Netflix, expanding your entertainment options.
When we tested out PureVPN’s streaming capabilities, we found that it was possible to access every streaming service we tried, including Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime.
While some users have complained about inconsistent streaming experiences, we found that we suffered no buffering or jitters while streaming HD content. PureVPN is fast enough to handle 4K content without issues, even when several people are using the same connection.
Public WiFi Protection
PureVPN also provides security on public Wi-Fi networks. When you connect to public Wi-Fi in places like cafes, airports, or hotels, there’s a risk of hackers intercepting your data. PureVPN encrypts your data, making it significantly more challenging for unauthorized users to access your sensitive information.
We tested PureVPN for leaks across IPv4, IPv6, and DNS to make sure this is the case. We found that PureVPN doesn’t leak in any situation, making it ideal for use on public WiFi.
For those engaged in peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing or torrenting, PureVPN provides a secure and private environment. It supports P2P file-sharing activities and allows you to connect to servers optimized for P2P, ensuring that your file-sharing activities are protected.
We tested a random selection of servers across PureVPN and found inconsistent results, some servers supported high-speed P2P transfers, and others gave us a poor connection with few seeders.
PureVPN is good for torrenting, but if you’re having trouble, you’ll need to try a few different servers out until you find one that works.
PureVPN can also enhance online gaming experiences. It can reduce latency, protect against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and allow gamers to access gaming servers in different regions, circumventing region blocks and providing a smoother gaming environment.
Gaming on PureVPN is a seamless experience, but we’d recommend you choose the “Gaming” use case when you first boot up PureVPN for a set of options optimized for peak gaming performance.
PureVPNs Server Options
PureVPN has one of the largest sets of server farms out there, currently serving over 70 locations. We’ve got the full list below of every server location that PureVPN offers:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong (SAR)
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korea
- British Virgin Islands
- Brunei Darussalam
- Cayman Islands
- Puerto Rico
- United Arab Emirates
Is PureVPN Good? | A Look at PureVPN Reviews
The general consensus is that PureVPN is functional and fast but no-frills. While it works perfectly well as a VPN, there aren’t a lot of extra features to draw you away from another VPN that already suits your needs.
When testing PureVPN’s speeds for our streaming tests, we found that accessing the UK servers gave us top speeds of 78.93Mbps download and 23.16Mbps upload when using a 100Mbps connection. These are more than adequate speeds for a VPN.
Where PureVPN stands out from the pack is in its fast and responsive support staff. We found many Pure app reviews indicating that PureVPN is quick to respond when dealing with user issues, especially when it comes to connectivity problems. You don’t need to take just our word for it, though.
When researching PureVPN, ratings from their customers were often between four and five stars. Check out some recent user reviews below, which speak to PureVPN’s fantastic customer service:
Overall, PureVPN is a reputable and reliable VPN to use in 2023, with a variety of intuitive apps, decent speeds, phenomenal security, affordable pricing, and decent speeds.
PureVPN Download | A Quick Guide
Downloading and installing PureVPN is a quick and painless process that makes getting started easy. We’ll walk you through the steps we took to get PureVPN working on Windows below:
On the PureVPN website, look for the “Apps” dropdown box at the top of the page.
Step 2 — Select Your Device
PureVPN is compatible with various devices and platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Choose the option that corresponds to your device by clicking on the respective download button. In our case, we’ll click “Windows”. Once you’re on the page, click the “Download App” button.
Step 3 — Choose a Plan
While the app is downloading, you’ll need to buy a subscription plan to use PureVPN. Click on the “Get PureVPN”. Depending on your needs, PureVPN offers different subscription plans, but the Standard plan will suffice for now.
Next, to proceed with the download, you’ll need to create a PureVPN account. Provide the required information, such as your email address and password, and follow the instructions to complete the registration process.
Step 4 — Install the PureVPN Application
Once the download is complete, locate the downloaded file on your device and run the installation process. The on-screen wizard will walk you through the rest of the on-screen instructions to install the PureVPN application.
Step 5 — Launch PureVPN
After the installation is complete, launch the PureVPN application. You’ll be prompted to log in using the account credentials you created earlier. When you boot up PureVPN for the first time, you’ll be presented with a list of use cases depending on how you intend to use the VPN software. Choose the one that corresponds with your needs.
Step 6 — Connect to a VPN Server
Upon logging in, you’ll be presented with the PureVPN application interface. Click on the large “Connect” button in the middle of the to establish a VPN connection.
Once connected, your internet traffic will be encrypted and routed through the PureVPN server. All that’s left is to get browsing. This is roughly the same process for each operating system, except for Linux, which requires a command line install.
The Linux installation is slightly more complex, and we hope to see a graphical user interface client for Linux in the future. Although most Linux users will be comfortable using the terminal, some other VPN providers, such as Private Internet Access, offer a fully-featured Linux client that keeps parity with their other desktop versions.
If you need more information, PureVPN has a comprehensive set of FAQs and setup guides on their site, which walk you through each step of installing PureVPN.
Why You Can Trust Our Verdict on PureVPN
Our team of experts tests and analyzes various tech and cybersecurity products to ensure that our review and comparison of these tools is accurate.
Having tested many leading VPNs, including Nord and Express, we can confidently make comparisons and know how PureVPN differs from each of the others.
We spent some time navigating PureVPN’s interface, testing the speeds with tools like www.speedtest.net from Ookla, and putting its unblocking power under the microscope.
This helps us to ensure that we give a good overview of our experience with the VPN. Beyond this, we also analyzed the experiences of other PureVPN users.
We checked on sites like TrustPilot and Reddit forums to ensure we weren’t missing anything noteworthy. These combined allow us to confidently offer an informative overview of its capabilities — both the good and the bad.
Other VPN Guides and Reviews Worth Reading
If you’re still on the fence about PureVPN, or you’re looking for a full overview of how it compares to all the market leaders, then these are sure to help:
- The Best VPN Services
- The Fastest VPN Providers
- The Best Business VPNs
- Surfshark VPN Review
- CyberGhost VPN Review
- ProtonVPN Review
- The Best VPN for Netflix
Final Thoughts | Is PureVPN Worth the Money in 2023?
PureVPN is a feature-rich VPN service that offers a range of benefits and functionalities. One of its notable strengths is its extensive server network, which spans numerous countries. This wide coverage allows you to access geo-restricted content and bypass censorship with ease.
Whether you’re traveling or simply want to access content from different regions, PureVPN provides you with a plethora of server options. While PureVPN has many strengths, it also has a few limitations to consider.
Some users have reported occasional connection issues or slower speeds on certain servers. It’s essential to choose the right server for optimal performance. Additionally, the user interface of the PureVPN app may not be as intuitive as some other VPN providers.
Ultimately, PureVPN works best when you buy it in tandem with PureVPN’s other privacy tools. Try it out with the 31-day money-back guarantee so you’ve got total financial peace of mind.