Choosing to use a VPN may protect you from many of the dangers perusing the internet today. At the very least it can help protect your privacy and add another layer of security to your computing habits. However, many dangers come with using a VPN if you don’t do your homework and make sure the service you choose is legit and safe.
The VPN you choose should meet specific criteria and have decent brand recognition. PureVPN has brand recognition, and it has a good reputation. However, no software ever works perfectly on every type of hardware. It’s important to look at any flaws or problems other users may have before you decide to buy or subscribe.
We want to help make your decision easier and break down all the good and bad points of PureVPN. This PureVPN review will remove any doubts you have about the service and provide you with plenty of options to compare with other services. We’ll give you some other options as well, just in case you decide against using PureVPN.
Overall Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0
What We Like About PureVPN
It’s been around since 2007, and so far, the service hasn’t fallen prey to many of the issues that plagued other popular VPN services like poor speed or connection issues. Many budget-friendly VPNs work great for protecting your privacy but lack the speed to allow you to do things like stream video or download large files. The most impressive features included with PureVPN include:
Honestly, our list of favorite features only includes a fraction of the advantages PureVPN offers. One of the better features we didn’t put on the list is the native apps you can get for nearly every popular device or operating system. Instead of going through a complicated setup process, you can just install the app on your PC, Mac, Android, or iOS device.
If you’re feeling industrious or have the technical prowess, you can set up your router to always use the VPN so that you never need to worry about whether or not your data is safe and encrypted when it leaves your home or office. It also has apps for Kodi, Amazon’s Fire Stick, and nearly every smart TV regardless of the firmware the TV uses. They’ve done a lot of work to make the setup easy for you. As a side note, in our reviews of VPN's PureVPN was particularly good for torrenting.
Privacy and Security
One of the more impressive features PureVPN offers is their speed. Unless you plan to connect to a server on the opposite side of the planet, you can expect download speeds to drop less than 30 percent from what your rate is without using the VPN. That may seem like a big drop, but it's impressive for a VPN to maintain high speeds.
Many people use VPNs to get around certain restrictions which we won’t name or get into at this time. However, PureVPN takes extra steps to make sure you can use your favorite streaming services provided those services are allowed in the country where your server is located. However, you may get some errors and have to try a few times to get the connection to stick.
Customer support is critical anytime you use a service like PureVPN. All companies are only as good as their worst customer experience. PureVPN’s customer support website is easy to use and probably has all the answers you need. They also offer a ticket system for support along with live support as well. If you’re really impatient, ask them for help on Facebook.
Setting up a new VPN can be a trying experience and cause some frustration if you’re new to the process. When you install PureVPN, it asks you which mode you prefer and allows you to choose from several including privacy, streaming, file sharing, and internet freedom modes. Once you select a method, the software makes all the adjustments for you during the installation process.
Overall, there are plenty of things to like about PureVPN and a lot that we didn’t mention because it’s overly technical perks or things most people don’t want or need in a VPN. We recommend giving it a try but make sure you test all the features before you commit to a subscription plan just in case you live in an area that PureVPN doesn’t perform well in usually.
We Found a Few Problems
No VPN service is perfect, and we really can’t expect anything to please everyone. Some users complained that they had some concerns about a report that PureVPN was used to connect a stalker to their online activity via VPN logs which prompted this blog post. Most users are satisfied with the explanation in the blog post and consider the VPN private.
In speed tests using servers in the same region, or at least the same country, Pure VPN performed above average compared to other popular VPNs. However, some areas like Asia showed significantly poorer speeds at all times of the day. That said, this is the main reason we urge you to test before you commit just to be safe.
Many VPN services do not maintain their servers. To be clear, the servers they use may be self-maintained which means a third party manages the server and PureVPN just uses it to pipe traffic through or connect to clients. This can raise security concerns and allow third parties to pump ads into your traffic which may cause problems. Some may even be malicious.
While this is a concern, we didn’t find any evidence that PureVPN had this problem, but the potential is there, and you need to be aware of it. There’s no way to test for these types of issues. Your best bet is to practice safe browsing habits and pay attention to any ads you may consider clicking on or even moving your mouse over to close.
We like the simplicity of setting up the PureVPN software, but you may have to spend some time searching and looking for definitions online. It allows you to choose from several options during the installation, but it doesn’t specify what those options do. For instance, the internet freedom and privacy options seem like the same thing to us, but they're different.
How Much Does It Cost?
A few dollars extra a month for privacy and security may seem harmless, but if you add up all the fees most of us pay each month for streaming services, internet access, data, and everything else; paying $30 for a VPN might seem excessive. This is another area where PureVPN stands out from its competitors and helps make privacy affordable for you.
Their monthly fee is only $$, and we suggest choosing this option until you’ve had time to test the service to make sure it works well in your area and on your devices. If you like it, you can upgrade to a three-month plan or an annual plan and save money. For three months the price drops to $8.00 a month, and the yearly plan lists the monthly cost at only $ a month.
They offer a 31-day money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with the service or it doesn’t perform well in your area. Many popular VPNs don't provide any guarantees, so we're calling this a bonus perk. They do use some marketing smoke and mirrors with their pricing plans. For instance, if you sign up for the annual plan, you only get the low price for the first year then you have to pay the regular fee.
That's not a real issue, but it is annoying when companies do that or try to hide the fine print. However, paying around $40 for the first year and $70 the next year is still a low price for fast speeds and privacy. You may find a cheaper VPN to use, but it's unlikely you'll find one with the same number of servers and perks as PureVPN. In short, this is one of the most affordable and dependable VPNs available.
How Does PureVPN Stand Up to Its Competition?
Can I get something better? That question seems to drive the marketing plan of nearly every product on the planet from cars to toothbrushes. It applies to VPNs as well. Our brain is always wondering if we can do better or find a better deal. There's nothing wrong with that notion, and we want to help you figure it out.
PureVPN has more servers than many of the popular VPNs you find when you start shopping around online. Their servers are spread out to over 200 locations around the globe which almost guarantees you can find a fast server near your home or office. To add to its glory, the service is one of the cheapest VPNs available as well. However, they do have some stiff competition.
NordVPN is one of their most significant competitors. However, if you remove their names from the mix and just look at the features and pricing, both VPN services seem to mirror each other. PureVPN is a few cents cheaper than NordVPN if you buy an annual plan. NordVPN offers six licenses for their software while PureVPN only offers five. Honestly, either VPN is a good choice.
TorGuard is another high performing VPN you’ve probably read about if you’re researching VPNs. TorGuard is admittedly faster than most VPNs including PureVPN. However, it’s unlikely you’ll notice the difference unless you perform speed tests since both services are fast. TorGuard costs a few dollars more each month as well.
If you want a high-speed VPN that easy to use and setup, PureVPN is an excellent option. If you want more control over your VPN and you know your way around networking, OpenVPN might be a better option for you. You can get a free, community version of the software if you want to set up your own VPN or use one of their services which includes Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure VPNs.
Our Final Verdict
We rate PureVPN a solid 3.0 stars on a scale of one to five with five stars being the best end of the range. The service is reliable, and the VPN is fast, but we're wary of the third-party server system. The third-party servers add just enough risk for us to worry about privacy. That said, it’s unlikely there are any actual security risks, but we can’t take the chance.
A few other issues lowered their score as well. The software installation is easy, but it doesn’t offer much guidance when you need to make choices about the setup. When we compared these flaws to their competition, it pushed the star rating for PureVPN down to three stars. They could easily climb above four stars if they move away from third-party servers.
How to Test Your VPN
The primary test you want to perform when evaluating a VPN include some technical tests and some really dull manual testing. For the technical tests, let someone else do the work for you like Fast.com or SpeedTest. These services test your internet speed and let you know exactly how fast it is at the moment. We suggest checking it a few times back to back at random times during the day.
Make sure you test your internet connection to get a sense of its speed before you check the VPN.
PureVPN can achieve download speeds up to 75 megabits but only if your internet can handle that rate. If you’re on an economy package, you may need to upgrade your internet to enjoy your new VPN fully. In a perfect scenario, 100-megabit downloads turn into around 70-megabit downloads on the VPN.
Other than running several speed tests at random times, the only other tests you need to try include using the VPN and its software to make sure it works for your purposes and offers all the features you need or want. Just play with it and see if you can watch Netflix or download your favorite Linux distribution, assuming you use Linux, without a lot of buffering.
You may want to run a few tests to determine if your IP address gets blocked as well. Before you test your VPN, find out what your IP address is by visiting Google and searching for “what's my IP.” Google should show you your IPV4 or IPV6 address. You don't need to know what those terms mean, but you do need to write the number down. If Google fails, visit this site to find your IP address.
Once you know what your IP address is, repeat the process using your VPN. You should get a different result. If you don’t get a different result, check your configuration or choose another VPN service. There’s a flaw in how some web browsers handle information over a VPN, and it may reveal your real IP to some websites if the website knows how to ask for it. Most VPNs have patched this problem.
Don’t give up on your chosen VPN right away if it fails a test. Go back over the configuration and make sure you did everything right on your end before you abandon it for a different VPN. It’s easy to make mistakes or choose the wrong options during the initial installation that may cause the VPN to perform poorly or not work at all. Always assume you’re at fault until you triple check everything.
Some Final Notes
PureVPN is an excellent choice for reliable speeds and decent streaming results. It comes with tons of great features and apps for nearly any popular device or operating system as well. We urge you to test the service from your area before committing to a plan. Your experience may not be the same as other users, but you won’t know unless you test it yourself.