Key Takeaways: PureVPN Review
- PureVPN has strong security features and has successfully passed four independent security audits, the most recent in early 2023. The audits confirmed that it truly is a no-logs VPN.
- The VPN offers a large server network with numerous locations across the globe. However, varying connection speeds on distant servers could impact users’ streaming and browsing experience when accessing distant servers.
PureVPN was founded in 2007. In this PureVPN review, we’ll delve into recent updates and consider both PureVPN’s strengths and areas where it falls short.
Over the years, PureVPN has been continuously improving and offers a range of features, such as a kill switch and split tunneling. Our tests showed the VPN to have sluggish speeds while streaming and other users have reported challenges in unblocking some streaming platforms.
For a comprehensive look at the top VPN services make sure to check out our list of best VPNs, and if you’re looking for a free VPN, we have you covered with that, as well.
Cloudwards completed a freshPureVPN review. Since our previous review, PureVPN has completely redesigned their app UI and now accepts cryptocurrency payments.
Updated to include information about several changes to privacy, security, speed, server locations, ease of use and support.
This article was rewritten to include product updates as well as current general details, including information about the VPN’s new Apple TV app.
What Is PureVPN?
PureVPN is a virtual private network owned by GZ Systems Ltd. and has its jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands (formerly in Hong Kong). PureVPN allows for 10 simultaneous connections and has unlimited bandwidth. Our tests found that the VPN service has sluggish speeds, and although it unblocked all the major streaming platforms, there was buffering while watching.
This VPN has a large network of over 6,000 high-speed servers located in more than 65 countries. All of its servers in the U.K., Netherlands, Germany, France and many in the U.S. were upgraded in 2023 to 20 Gbps server speeds, and the VPN plans to continue to grow the number of 20 Gbps servers.
PureVPN: Our VPN Expert’s Opinion
PureVPN has made noteworthy developments toward providing a better, more secure and stable VPN service. We like PureVPN’s recent dedication to improving its list of features, including 20 Gbps servers in many countries and its Apple TV app released in late 2023. However, there are still the issues of trustworthiness and the VPN struggles to reliably unblock streaming platforms.
PureVPN: Pros & Cons
- Apps for most devices
- Built-in speed test
- Budget friendly
- Kill switch
- Specialty servers
- Built-in password manager
- Questionable privacy history
- Poor customer support
- DDoS protection is a paid add-on
- Sluggish speeds
Average speedDownload Speed94 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency4 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Amazon, Paygarden, Apple Pay, Google Pay
- : Unlimited
$3.33 / month(save 66%)(All Plans)
- : Credit card
- : 5
Average speedDownload Speed94 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency6 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash
- : 6
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, cash
- : 10
Average speedDownload Speed81 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency41 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin, Amazon Pay
- : 7
Features: What Can PureVPN Do? (65/100)
PureVPN offers split tunneling on Windows and Android devices, which allows you to select specific apps or websites to be routed through the VPN. It also has a kill switch that will shut down your internet connection in the event of a VPN breach. The latter is a feature many VPNs have.
In addition, PureVPN also has PureEncrypt, a cloud security tool; PureKeep password manager; and PurePrivacy, which analyzes your social media settings and makes them easy to understand so you can choose the best setting options for your needs. There is a useful built-in speed test, which automatically tells you the download and upload speeds for each server.
DDOS protection is a paid add-on with PureVPN, as is port forwarding and a dedicated IP address that prevents users from getting stuck with an IP address that is banned for someone else’s actions as can happen with a shared IP.
PureKeep is a user-friendly password manager. It allows users to generate strong and complex passwords, store sensitive information and use simplified multi-factor authentication. The feature has the ability to sync data across multiple devices and track password health.
Although PureKeep is a capable password manager, it doesn’t generate password strength reports like 1Password. Read our best password manager article for more.
PureEncrypt uses advanced encryption algorithms to safeguard the privacy of data. This includes end-to-end encryption with AES 128-bit, AES 192-bit and AES 256-bit, depending on user preference. The feature also allows users to encrypt data with a password and is compatible with Windows and macOS.
PureVPN has the option of a dedicated server for an additional $12 per month, or just $7.20 per month on the two-year plan. A dedicated server differs from a dedicated IP in that you have the entire server at your disposal.
It is useful for hosting high-traffic websites, web apps and other services that require computationally intensive workloads. With a dedicated server, you will also have a unique IP address.
PureVPN’s obfuscation feature masks VPN traffic so it appears like any other internet traffic. This is useful for bypassing VPN firewalls, evading government censorship, or simply increasing privacy. This feature is available on all devices, including Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux. PureVPN’s obfuscation is automatically applied when you select the OpenVPN protocol in the app.
PureVPN Features Overview
|Payment methods||PayPal, Credit card|
|Supports split tunneling|
|Free trial available|
|Worldwide server amount||6,500 servers in 65 countries|
|Desktop OSes||Windows, MacOS, Linux|
|Mobile OSes||Android, iOS|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge|
|Can be installed on routers|
|Can access Netflix US|
|Can access BBC iPlayer|
|Can access Hulu|
|Can access Amazon Prime Video|
|VPN protocols available||OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|Enabled at device startup|
|Passed DNS leak test|
|Malware/ad blocker included|
User-Friendliness & Hands-On Testing
The PureVPN app is relatively easy to use if you’re familiar with VPNs, although it might be confusing for a beginner. After signing in, you can connect to the recommended server or choose your own from a dropdown. Above the dropdown menu, there is a server filtering option so you can quickly find P2P, quantum-resistant servers, virtual servers or those that allow port forwarding.
How to Install PureVPN
In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to install the PureVPN app in a few simple steps.
- Sign Up for PureVPN
Go to the PureVPN website and sign up for an account.
- Download the PureVPN App
After you sign in, you will be taken to a screen where you can choose one of four types of servers you want to be routed through: gaming, streaming, geo-restrictions or security. You can also choose paid extras like dedicated IP and port forwarding, or you can skip this step altogether.
- Connect to a Server
Choose the server nearest you or allow PureVPN to select the fastest server for you. If you are looking to unblock geo-restricted content in another country, choose a server within that country so you will have a local IP address.
How to Set Up and Use PureVPN
Everything within the PureVPN app is clearly labeled and easy to use.
- Enable the Kill Switch
Under the “general” tab, you will see several options to customize notifications. This is also where you will find the kill switch option, labeled “enable IKS.” You can toggle to enable or disable it and choose automatic or manual.
- Disable Automatic Protocol Selection
Under the “protocol” tab, you are able to choose whether to let the VPN select your protocol for you or do it yourself. It will automatically be toggled to automatic protocol selection. To select your favorite protocol, toggle it off. A warning box will appear letting you know that this may cause the VPN to take longer to connect. Click “proceed.”
- Choose VPN Protocol
Choose your preferred protocol — IKEv2, TCP, UDP or WireGuard — from the dropdown. IKEv2 is good for P2P file sharing and TCP for email and browsing. UDP is best utilized for things requiring fast speeds, such as gaming, and WireGuard is lightweight and fast, making it optimal for gaming or streaming.
- Activate Split Tunneling
Under the “split tunneling” tab, you can select streaming services, social media and messaging apps to cover with the VPN.
PureVPN on Desktop: macOS & Windows Apps
We used PureVPN on Windows, which has a split tunneling option that macOS lacks. The user display on both systems is much the same, but on the Windows/Android app, you can select from different server modes, including “stream,” “Internet freedom,” “security/privacy” and “file sharing.” PureVPN then selects servers optimized for the mode you’ve chosen.
PureVPN on Mobile: Android & iOS Apps
The Android app has different server modes, split tunneling, the possibility to choose port forwarding and both dark and light themes. The Android app lets you choose from WireGuard, IPSec and IKEv2 VPN protocols. PureVPN may not have made it onto our list of the best VPNs for mobile, but it does have a clean Android interface.
The iOS app is very similar to Android, but lacks split tunneling and obfuscation and has a cleaner interface.
PureVPN Device Compatibility & Simultaneous Connections
PureVPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, smart TVs, Kodi, Amazon Fire TV Stick and gaming consoles. It offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, along with dedicated apps for Android TV and Apple TV.
PureVPN allows users to have up to 10 simultaneous connections, and there is no limit to the number of devices you can download the VPN onto as long as only 10 of them are connected at any one time.
PureVPN Pricing: How Much Does PureVPN Cost?
PureVPN offers three plans, each with three payment options. The Standard plan includes only the VPN, while the Plus plan includes the password manager and encryption software. Finally, the Max plan includes all those features, plus the personal privacy manager.
- Only VPN. Two extra months free on 2-year plan.
- Unlimited GB
- Adds password manager and file encryption software. Two extra months free on 2-year plan.
- Unlimited GB
- Adds a personal privacy manager. Three extra months free on 2-year plan.
- Unlimited GB
Standard Pricing Plans Breakdown
Priced at $12.45 per month, it falls just slightly below ExpressVPN at $12.95 per month and is notably more affordable than Surfshark’s Starter monthly plan, which is currently $15.45. However, that is significantly more than Proton VPN, which is only $9.99 per month and also has an excellent free plan.
PureVPN offers a discount on its annual plan. This reduced rate brings the monthly cost down to $3.75 for 12 months plus three extra months on the “standard” plan, totaling $44.95 for the first 15 months (you lose the discount pricing when the first billing cycle ends, though). This is slightly more cost-effective than the Surfshark yearly plan, which is priced at $3.99 per month ($47.88 yearly).
Pricing is more competitive on these VPNs’ basic two-year plans, with PureVPN priced at $2.21 monthly ($52.95 yearly) and Surfshark at only $2.49 per month ($59.76 yearly, but you get three months free).
PureVPN Free Plan & Money-Back Guarantee
PureVPN does not have a free plan, but it does offer a seven-day trial for $0.99. If you don’t cancel within those seven days, it is automatically renewed on the one-year plan, so make sure to read our guide on how to use the PureVPN trial. PureVPN also has a 31-day money-back guarantee.
Note, though, that many users across Reddit and in the comments of our own reviews have noted trouble in claiming their money back from PureVPN.
Speeds with nearby servers were good, but the speeds for servers farther afield were slower than expected.
PureVPN Speed Test Results
First we ran a speed test without the VPN, which you can see in the top row. Then we connected PureVPN to each server location and tested the speeds three times and averaged the results.
Nearest Server Speed Performance
|137 Mbps (100%)||127 Mbps (100%)||07 ms (100%)|
|(Los Angeles, USA)||100 Mbps (73%)||82 Mbps (65%)||45 ms (643%)|
Distant Servers Speed Performance
|🇺🇸 United States (NY)|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom|
|🇿🇦 South Africa|
Notes From the Lab: Our Detailed Speed Analysis
Our evaluation of PureVPN’s speed performance involved a series of Ookla speed tests carried out both without the VPN enabled and while connected to servers. This allowed us to gauge how the service impacted download and upload speeds as well as latency.
With PureVPN connected to nearby servers, there was a reduction in speeds compared to without the VPN, which is typical of VPN services.
As expected when connecting to servers located far away, such as those in Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Singapore, the impact on speed was more pronounced. Although it is normal to see connections slow down with servers in distant locations, the impact PureVPN had on speed was more significant than the results of our speed comparison with seven other VPNs.
Security: Is PureVPN Safe?
PureVPN provides essential security features, such as an internet kill switch and split tunneling on Android and Windows devices, and uses industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption to keep data secure.
PureVPN Security Features
PureVPN offers PurePrivacy, which is a social media privacy tool that assesses users’ social media privacy settings and recommends changes to enhance privacy. It identifies data leaks and has a personalized dashboard for security alerts and privacy checkups.
PureEncrypt is a cloud security solution that encrypts digital files and folders in secure vaults using end-to-end encryption. Users can create unlimited vaults, safeguarding any files they choose.
PureVPN Leak Test Results & Detailed Security Analysis
From our testing, PureVPN was able to effectively hide our IP address, with no DNS leaks when tested with IKEv2, TCP, UDP and WireGuard protocols.
Privacy: Is PureVPN Private? (80/100)
PureVPN formerly held its jurisdiction in Hong Kong but has now moved to the British Virgin Islands.
Note, though, that PureVPN has a controversial past. There was a security incident in 2017 where PureVPN handed over IP addresses of a user to the FBI. This understandably raised concerns about the service’s adherence to its no-logs policy. However, in 2019 PureVPN stated that it stopped keeping logs and it began using third-party auditors.
PureVPN follows a strict no-logs policy. It doesn’t collect or store any data that could identify or monitor user activities. During signup, it requests minimal information, like your name, email, password, and payment method. While using the service, PureVPN does collect connection logs containing information about when users connect to the VPN for customer support and app improvements.
PureVPN was first audited by KPMG in 2021 and currently has an “always on” audit, which means that KPMG can conduct a thorough surprise audit at any time. It has been certified as a no-logs VPN by both KPMG and Altius IT. The always-on audits definitely help with the trustworthiness of the VPN and ultimately it is up to users to decide if better practices now make up for problems in the past.
PureVPN Streaming Performance & Unblocking Ability (80/100)
PureVPN was able to unblock all the main streaming services from BBC iPlayer to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. There was some lag while streaming, meaning it doesn’t make our top VPNs for streaming Netflix list.
Can PureVPN Unblock Netflix?
There was no issue unblocking Netflix U.K. and streaming a film, although there was some buffering when fast-forwarding or rewinding the film.
Other Major Streaming Platforms
PureVPN successfully unblocked all the streaming services on our list, although there was lag on all but BBC iPlayer.
|Amazon Prime Video|
PureVPN VPN Server Locations
With over 6,500 servers across more than 60 nations, PureVPN has a varied range of locations. This is great for users seeking options for accessing geo-restricted content or ensuring privacy around the globe. The broad server network also contributes to load distribution, reduces server congestion and optimizes performance, although we experienced lag.
The majority of PureVPN’s servers are in Europe, followed closely by North America. There are significantly fewer servers in Africa and even less in the Middle East or Central America, which could lead to server overcrowding in those areas. For more information, start with our reviews of the best VPN for Egypt and the best VPN for Iran.
PureVPN Customer Support
PureVPN offers a live chat option with 24/7 support. It also offers support through a FAQ, email (support ticket), community support and in-app troubleshooting.
Live Chat Support Speed & Quality
Although there is 24/7 live chat support, you have to go through a tedious bot to get to it. Once we got through to a representative, they greeted us immediately, then disappeared for seven minutes after we asked a question about streaming on Hulu, which would not load with the VPN engaged.
Once they returned, it was another 10-minute wait for the follow-up reply. The customer support representative was very friendly, but their advice was to clear our cache, which was the same as the chatbot we had to go through to reach the agent (and did not work).
PureVPN also offers support through a knowledgebase of comprehensive searchable articles on its website.
PureVPN vs Other VPN Services
With over 6,500 servers across 65 countries, PureVPN has more servers to choose from but in fewer countries than ExpressVPN or NordVPN, and PureVPN is not quite as good at unblocking streaming services as either of those VPNs.
PureVPN has satisfactory speeds for most users, but your connection is likely to be faster with Surfshark or NordVPN unless you’re connecting through London, Manchester, or Washington, D.C., where PureVPN’s 20 Gbps servers are located.
Community Feedback: PureVPN Reviews on Reddit & Social Media
Quite a few readers commented negatively about PureVPN after our last review. Many people complained of not being able to get refunds when the product didn’t work. Others on Reddit complained that Taiwan servers don’t work with PureVPN’s new Apple TV app, and some users struggled to get the app to work at all. All in all, user feedback doesn’t look great for PureVPN.
The Verdict: Is PureVPN a Good VPN Service?
This mixed bag of features and performance prompts questions about long-term data privacy and whether occasional server performance issues are a deal breaker. We would appreciate hearing from PureVPN users. Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? Please share your thoughts to help others make informed decisions. As always, thanks for reading.
PureVPN is a reputable company that has been successfully in business since 2007, and over 3 million people use the VPN service. That said, the VPN has faced criticism for deceptive business practices and handed off logs to the FBI in 2017.
PureVPN formerly held its jurisdiction in Hong Kong but has now moved to the British Virgin Islands. It is not a Chinese company.
NordVPN is the stronger VPN choice. NordVPN reliably unblocks geo-restricted streaming services without lag, has stable speeds and dealt swiftly and effectively with its one accidental data breach incident in 2018.