PureVPN full review
PureVPN is a VPN created in 2007 that has a large infrastructure with over 6500 servers, located in 78 countries all over the world.
Initially based in Hong Kong, the provider, as a result of tensions with continental China, moved its headquarters to the British Virgin Islands. A reliable location where ExpressVPN is located, which keeps it out of the 5, 9 and 14 eyes alliance
PureVPN offers a range of functionalities to preserve your anonymity on the internet, Kill Switch, Split tunneling, Wifi protection. You can even acquire a dedicated IP if you want.
PureVPN has increased the total number of simultaneous connections since our last test, from 5 to 10. In addition, it allows you to create a Wi-Fi VPN access point (Hotspot) on your computer so you can connect all the devices in the vicinity.
PureVPn’s performance has greatly improved with the integration of the Wireguard protocol that provides fast and stable speeds.
PureVPN has specific servers to get over the geographical blocks set up by the different streaming platforms, including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO…. as well as servers optimized for Torrenting.
The provider offers applications for a variety of platforms, PC, smartphone, smart TV… and extensions for Firefox or Chrome.
Finally, PureVPN offers very interesting rates with the possibility to pay by Bitcoins.
Unblocking streaming platforms
PureVPN Speed and Perfomances
We checked a large number of servers around the world (see how we conduct our tests).
As with all the VPNs we test, we checked the performance with 3 different sites Fast.com, Open Speed Test and Ookla.
With the adoption of the Wireguard protocol, PureVPN’s performance has clearly improved since our last test. Servers located in Europe and North America show fast and stable speeds without reaching the performance of the best providers.
Servers far away from our location, such as those in Australia or Argentina, have seen their speed drop considerably, which is quite normal.
PureVPN : unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
PureVPN acts effectively to bypass the geographical restrictions put in place by the streaming platforms. In particular, it provides specific servers for Netflix that can also be used to access Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO…
By connecting to U.S. or European servers, streaming in HD quality was satisfactory not suffering from buffering or random speeds.
PureVPN and Torrenting
PureVPN allows P2P download only on certain servers.
To download on torrent you must select the file sharing option, which will select for you optimized servers located outside the UK, USA, Canada or Australia to avoid complaints from the DMCA.
In terms of performance, European servers are to be recommended. They showed very decent speeds during our test.
The main features of PureVPN
Once activated, Kill Switch, continuously monitors your connection for any change in status or IP address.
If it notices any change (e.g. your VPN connection fails or disconnects), it will instantly shut down your device or prevent the specified apps from connecting to the Internet (torrent client for example) until the VPN connection is restored or you close the VPN app.
A VPN aims to improve your anonymity, but this only works if the provider takes the proper steps to protect your information, otherwise they are no better than an ISP (Internet Service Provider).
Due to the tense relationship with China, PureVPN has relocated its headquarters to the British Virgin Islands, one of the best jurisdictions for a VPN provider. Confidentiality is protected there by very strict privacy and non-data retention laws.
PureVPN claims not to record your activities or DNS requests. Furthermore, it also doesn’t record your real IP address or the IP addresses of the VPN server you’re using, which is a very good point.
However, it should be noted that the total bandwidth used during your session is recorded. This type of data collection is not unusual among VPN services and PureVPN ensures that the records kept can not be associated with any specific user activities.
Ease of use
When PureVPN is launched, a screen prompts you to select one of the following five options:
- Internet freedom
- Security / privacy
- File sharing (File sharing / Torrent)
- Dedicated IP (dedicated ip)
Depending on what you select, PureVPN will automatically optimize the various connection settings. For example, if you choose Security / privacy, it will focus on security, if you select streaming or file sharing, it will focus on speed.
Novices will appreciate this, as they won’t need to understand or change the settings. Others will be less attracted, because there is no indication of how the different modes are set. A clear and detailed display would have been desirable.
The Protocols menu allows you to choose from the available VPN protocols, as well as PureVPN’s customized Stealth protocol. Each option is accompanied by a speed and security note, which can be useful. By default, PureVPN is set to Auto and selects the protocol that best suits your needs.
Many VPN companies are faced with potential leaks, where your information can be briefly exposed. PureVPN responds to this with its Gravity option, which exploits the company’s secure DNS servers.
The Global Map tab on the left allows you to bypass PureVPN’s recommendations and select the server of your choice. To tell the truth, we prefer this kind of interface and it is a pity that PureVPN has not decided to use it as the main part of its application.
Once connected, all your information, whether it is your connection status, your current IP address or the duration of your session is displayed in the lower half of the interface. You will also find a traffic graph showing the level of bandwidth consumption during your session. Remember that PureVPN does not have a bandwidth limit, so this is just information to measure your consumption, which can be useful on smartphones.
PureVPN: Mobile application
The Android application and iOS of PureVPN are almost identical to the Windows version. After choosing a “Mode” we were able to select a server according to its country, city etc.
What is interesting is that mobile applications provide most of the settings and features including the choice of protocol (OpenVPN TCP/UDP or IKEv2), kill switch, split tunneling etc.) of the main application, which is not often the case.
ProtonVPN compatible devices
PureVpn offers a very large choice of platforms:
The technical support of PureVPN
PureVPN provides a large number of tutorials and troubleshooting guides, divided into different categories: getting started, installation guide, troubleshooting, users in China, how to watch Netflix US and more. All of these sections are very well done, by the way.
The Configuration Guides contain subsections for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Smart TV, routers and other devices.
If the information provided on the site is not enough you can contact support by
- Live Chat
PureVPN : Prices and Payment Methods
3 different choices available, all of which offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
PureVPN offers, in addition to the traditional payment methods, the possibility to pay with bitcoins.
Final verdict on PureVPN
PureVPN has made some major improvements since our last test, such as moving its headquarters to the British Virgin Islands (one of the safest locations for a VPN provider), or adopting the Wireguard protocol which has boosted its performance.
Unlocking geographical restrictions imposed by streaming platforms has been greatly improved, unblocking Netflix for example does not cause as many problems as in the past.
Torrenting users will appreciate the servers optimized for torrenting that offer fast speeds and anonymous connections.
Finally, the applications provided by PureVPN are relatively easy to use and available in several languages.
- Based outside the jurisdictions of the 5, 9 & 14 eyes alliance.
- Advertising blocker.
- Kill Switch
- Dedicated IP
- Wireguard protocol
- Price 2 year subscription
- Performances of servers located outside of Europe or North America are rather poor.
- Price for 1 month subscription.