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Visit PureVPN
  • Apps for most devices
  • Built-in speed test
  • Budget friendly

PureVPN Review

PureVPN is trying to move past a complicated privacy history, including turning over user data in 2017. While this VPN has a host of features and has worked hard to improve its reputation, we still can’t wholeheartedly recommend PureVPN.

Mindy Born
By Mindy Born (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2024-02-24T11:57:18+00:00 Facts checked by Igor Kurtz

Key Takeaways: PureVPN Review

  • While PureVPN has come a long way since it turned over user data when it was requested by authorities in 2017, its privacy policy raises some concerns regarding data retention for dedicated IP addresses.
  • 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.

  • 09/24/2021 Facts checked

    Cloudwards completed a freshPureVPN review. Since our previous review, PureVPN has completely redesigned their app UI and now accepts cryptocurrency payments.

  • 02/16/2022 Facts checked

    Review updated to reflect changes in PureVPN’s privacy policy.

  • 07/27/2022 Facts checked

    Updated to include information about several changes to privacy, security, speed, server locations, ease of use and support.

  • 11/30/2023 Facts checked

    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

Pros:

  • Apps for most devices
  • Built-in speed test
  • Budget friendly
  • Kill switch
  • Specialty servers
  • Obfuscation
  • Built-in password manager 

Cons:

  • Questionable privacy history
  • Poor customer support
  • DDoS protection is a paid add-on
  • Sluggish speeds

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Features: What Can PureVPN Do?

65 % – Decent

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. 

PureVPN features
PureVPN has a number of features and some great extras.

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.

pure purekeep
PureVPN’s PureKeep will remember all your passwords for you.

PureKeep

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

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 dedicated server
PureVPN’s dedicated server provides a stable network connection.

Dedicated Server

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.  

Obfuscation

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

General
Payment methodsPayPal, Credit card
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections 10
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
Refund period
Worldwide server amount6,500 servers in 65 countries
Desktop OSesWindows, MacOS, Linux
Mobile OSesAndroid, iOS
Browser extensionsChrome, Firefox, Edge
Can be installed on routers
Streaming
Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
Can access Amazon Prime Video
Security
Encryption types256-AES
VPN protocols availableOpenVPN, IKEv2
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included
Support
Live Chat24/7
Email support24/7
Phone support
User forum
Knowledgebase

User-Friendliness & Hands-On Testing

65 % – Decent

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.

  1. Sign Up for PureVPN

    Go to the PureVPN website and sign up for an account.

    pure sign up
  2. 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.

    pure after sign in
  3. 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.

    pure server selection

How to Set Up and Use PureVPN

Everything within the PureVPN app is clearly labeled and easy to use.

  1. Open Settings Menu

    Click on the gear icon in the bottom-left corner of the app screen to go to “settings.” You will see three tabs at the top of the screen labeled “general,” “protocol” and “split tunneling.”

    pure connected
  2. 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.

    pure general settings
  3. 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.”

    pure protocols
  4. 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.

    pure protocol selection
  5. Activate Split Tunneling

    Under the “split tunneling” tab, you can select streaming services, social media and messaging apps to cover with the VPN.

    pure split tunneling

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. 

Pure android various features
The Android app has most of the same features as the Windows desktop version.

The iOS app is very similar to Android, but lacks split tunneling and obfuscation and has a cleaner interface. 

Pure android protocols
PureVPN gives Android users control over how they use the mobile app.

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?

80 % – Good

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. 

Plus
  • Adds password manager and file encryption software. Two extra months free on 2-year plan.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes
Max
  • Adds a personal privacy manager. Three extra months free on 2-year plan.
  • Unlimited GB
  • 10
  • Yes

Standard Pricing Plans Breakdown

Priced at $12.95 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 $3.99 for 12 months plus three extra months on the “standard” plan, totaling $47.88 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 $2.79 per month ($41.86 yearly). 

Pricing is more competitive on these VPNs’ basic two-year plans, with PureVPN priced at $1.90 monthly ($51.36 yearly) and Surfshark at only $2.19 per month ($59.13 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. 

PureVPN Speed

60 % – Fair

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

Location:DownloadUploadLatency
Unprotected 
(Oregon, USA)
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

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected782.1225.09
🇺🇸 United States (NY)
130
81.24
25.72
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
126
77.11
21.22
🇦🇺 Australia
430
70.84
13.79
🇧🇷 Brazil
360
73.22
20.61
🇿🇦 South Africa
461
79.47
9.62
🇸🇬 Singapore
352
68.09
39.93
Average
310
75
21.82

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?

80 % – Good

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.

Pure dns leak test
There were no DNS leaks using PureVPN.
Protocol:EncryptionSupported OS
IKEv2AES 256-bit

TCPAES 128-bit

UDPAES 128-bit

WireGuardChaCha20

Privacy: Is PureVPN Private?

80 % – Good

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.

Privacy Policy: Does PureVPN Keep Logs?

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 emphasizes that it does not track or store personal IPs, connection times or user activity. However, the privacy policy does state that for users who purchase a dedicated IP address add-on, a fixed IP address is assigned to the user, and that record is kept by the VPN for 25 days after the subscription ends.

Independent Audits

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 % – Good

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.

pure netflix
PureVPN had no problem unblocking Netflix U.K. from the U.S.

Other Major Streaming Platforms

PureVPN successfully unblocked all the streaming services on our list, although there was lag on all but BBC iPlayer.

Streaming App:Status
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
HBO Max
Hulu
Disney Plus
BBC iPlayer

PureVPN VPN Server Locations

80 % – Good

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. 

Region:Countries
North America 9
South America 5
Europe 32
Asia 8
Africa 6
Oceania 1
Middle East 4

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

40 % – Terrible

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?

PureVPN’s strengths are in its large server network, strong security features and ability to unblock Netflix. However, the service is not without its drawbacks. Users may encounter some speed variations on distant servers. Additionally, the company’s privacy policy, while claiming not to log user activities, leaves room for potential data retention, particularly regarding dedicated IPs.

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. 

FAQ: PureVPN Review

  • 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.

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