- 5 Simultaneous Connections
- Connect to 141 Countries
- 500+ Secure Servers
“PureVPN works with US streaming services, a huge plus that makes up for some flaws”
US servers work with Netflix and Sling TV
Broad range of servers great for global sports fans
Truly global choice of server locations
PureVPN is a Hong Kong-based provider, which means your activity is beyond the reach of US and EU jurisdictions. Established in 2006, PureVPN offers a service that includes a full-featured app and an impressive range of server locations spanning the globe. It works well with Netflix and most streaming services and comes at a very attractive price point.
For most VPN users looking to unlock more streaming content and tighten up security while browsing on the move, PureVPN is a worthwhile choice given the affordability of its 12-month plan and excellent range of server locations, some with eye-catching performance.
However, we must point out that the savings do come at a cost. The app has some great ideas and excellent features but is clunky and doesn’t deliver on all its promises all of the time. More importantly, if achieving maximum privacy at all times when using a VPN is paramount, PureVPN just isn’t reliably robust enough.
PureVPN speeds are maddeningly inconsistent. When they are fast, they are very, very fast but when they are slow, they are glacial. Our advice is to check our speed breakdown to review performance for locations you are likely to use. Bear in mind that 10Mbps may not seem fast but it’s enough for streaming. There’s also a seven-day money-back guarantee so you can test for yourself.
|Max Download Speed||77.25 (FR)||61.14 (UK)||46.57 (US)|
|Max Upload Speed||15.82 (FR)||36.64 (FRA)||36.14 (US)|
|Average time to connect||10s||8s||13s|
|Tested and working with||Netflix, Kodi, Sling TV, HBO||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Gaming, Kodi, Torrenting||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Torrenting, Sling TV, Kodi|
|SERVER LOCATION||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)|
PureVPN offers an impressive range of server locations with 47 locations across Europe and 35 in North America, including 14 in the US. Asia is well represented, including two servers in China with suprisingly reasonable speeds given local limitations. PureVPN offers a choice of cities in popular locations and identifies the host city of all its servers within its app.
Customer support is a mixed bag with PureVPN. It’s certainly fast, with responses to emails coming very quickly indeed. However, responses are obviously scripted, link to FAQs and progress through standard loops that aren’t very helpful for users who have already tried using FAQ material.
It seems near-impossible to prompt customer support to engage with you on an individual basis. Livechat is similar: prompt, courteous but not effective at solving anything beyond helping newbies use the product. The knowledge base is reasonably comprehensive but not always very well-written or in perfect English.
The PureVPN app looks great at first glance and has some good ideas about user experience, however the execution can be a bit hit and miss. We love the concept of choosing a purpose (streaming, internet freedom, file sharing, security, dedicated IP) that customises your dashboard accordingly.
This concept of using purpose to direct you to the best experience extends to server choice with the option to group servers under such headings as BBC iPlayer (Faster Streaming) or Optimized for China. The problem is that the interface on desktop is clunky with noticeable input lag and a general sense of fiddliness. Worse, some of the promised server purposes don’t deliver, ie iPlayer being blocked in our tests or connections failing/dropping out.
In thorough tests across several devices, we could not successfully connect via OpenVPN protocols TCP nor UDP. The proprietary Stealth VPN was also very unstable. Auto mode is your best bet and reliably connected to servers (albeit by the less desirable PPTP protocol).
The mobile app experience was better although slightly confusing at first, however it was less effective with US streaming services, which detected it as a proxy. Advanced settings are reasonably comprehensive and well laid out with an optional killswitch and split tunneling (that lets you direct specific traffic through the VPN, leaving the rest to be directed via your ISP). Overall the app is easy to use if a little frustrating at times.
It’s hard to recommend PureVPN for anyone with stringent privacy needs. It defaults to PPTP, the weakest and most vulnerable protocol, while the go-to OpenVPN protocols were not available through the app. Through some extremely manual configuration using the open-source OpenVPN client, we were able to connect via TCP but not UDP. StealthVPN is unstable, leading to dropouts. L2TP/IPSec and SSTP are available if you select them manually but don’t perform all that well.
It’s a shame as the app has one of the richest set of privacy features available, including a killswitch, split tunneling (that lets you direct specific traffic through the VPN, leaving the rest to be directed via your ISP), options around encryption, IPv6 leak protection and secure DNS. It also offers a dedicated IP address for an additional fee. If all you need to do is dodge regional restrictions on content or use public Wi-Fi more securely, then don’t let our criticisms deter you, especially given the price point. However, if your privacy needs are more particular, look elsewhere.
|Open VPN (Auto)|
|Open VPN (UDP/TCP)|
|Supports TCP Port 443|
|Supports SSH Tunnel|
|Supports SSL Tunnel|
|First party DNS servers|
|DNS Leak Blocking|
|Anonymous Payment Method|
|Tor over VPN server|