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PureVPN

April 2017 - Review, Packages & Deals

Our verdict

“PureVPN has flaws but delivers privacy for streamers”

8.7

RECOMMENDED FOR

  • Travel
  • Sports
  • Streaming

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Currently working with Netflix
  • Choose servers by purpose & location
  • Customise app dashboard by purpose

Works with

  • Google-Gmail
  • Netflix
  • Kodi
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube

Top PureVPN packages for April 2017

1 Month

$11.00 per month
  • 5 Simultaneous Connections
  • Connect to 141 Countries
  • 500+ Secure Servers
View Package

24 Months

$11.00 $2.99 per monthsave 73%
  • 5 Simultaneous Connections
  • Connect to 141 Countries
  • 500+ Secure Servers
View Package

6 Months

$11.00 $8.95 per monthsave 19%
  • 5 Simultaneous Connections
  • Connect to 141 Countries
  • 500+ Secure Servers
View Package

TOP10VPN RATING

Recommended For

  • Travel

    Truly global choice of server locations

  • Sports

    Broad range of servers great for global sports fans

  • Streaming

    US servers work with Netflix and Sling TV

PureVPN Overview

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 while maintaining your privacy and comes at a very attractive price point.

For most VPN users who frequently stream content and want to 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.

What we like
  • Works with Netflix
  • Good range of servers
  • Best servers are very fast
What we like less
  • Auto mode frequently defaults to less secure protocols
  • Unable to connect via OpenVPN protocols in our tests
  • Very inconsistent speeds, ranging from a crawl to blazing fast.

PRIVACY
6.0

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.

FeaturePureVPNExpressVPNNordVPN
Open VPN (Auto) TrueTrueFalse
Open VPN (UDP/TCP) TrueTrueTrue
PPTP TrueTrueTrue
SSTP TrueTrueTrue
L2TP/IPSec TrueTrueTrue
IKEv2 TrueFalseTrue
Proprietary Protocols TrueTrueFalse
Supports TCP Port 443 FalseTrueFalse
Supports Obfsproxy FalseFalseTrue
Supports Multihop TrueFalseTrue
Supports SSH Tunnel FalseFalseFalse
Supports SSL Tunnel FalseFalseTrue
Permits P2P TrueTrueTrue
Strongest encryption AES-256AES-256AES-256
First party DNS servers TrueTrueTrue
DNS Leak Blocking TrueTrueTrue
Killswitch TrueTrueTrue
Accepts Bitcoin TrueTrueTrue
Accepts Paypal TrueTrueTrue
Anonymous payment method FalseTrueTrue
Activity logging FalseFalseFalse
Connection logging TrueTrueFalse
Tor over VPN server FalseFalseTrue

SPEED & PERFORMANCE
7.1

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 basic streaming. There’s also a seven-day money-back guarantee so you can test for yourself.

FeaturePureVPNExpressVPNNordVPN
Max download speed 77.25 (FR)61.14 (UK)46.57 (US)
Max upload speed 15.82 (FR)36.64 (FRA)36.14 (US)
Ping time 4ms5ms5ms
Unlimited bandwidth TrueTrueTrue
Average time to connect 10s8s13s
Reliability score 7.39.89.6
Tested and working with Google-Gmail, Netflix, Kodi, Facebook, Twitter, YoutubeNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Gaming, Torrenting, Facebook, Twitter, Google-Gmail, KodiNetflix, Facebook, BBC iPlayer, Torrenting, Twitter, Google-Gmail, Youtube, Kodi

Speed breakdown

SERVER LOCATIONDownload Speed (Mbps)Upload Speed (Mbps)
Australia5.001.36
Brazil2.780.54
China4.32.63
France77.2515.82
Germany7.018.32
Mexico7.865.78
UK23.8625.28
USA14.1212.11

How do we test these VPN speeds?

  • We continuously test the performance of all our featured VPN providers to ensure you have all the latest information you need to choose.
  • We use the Ookla Speedtest tool on our fibre-optic line in central London, via our own paid-for VPN accounts to ensure the fairest results.
  • Our normal download speed is around 40Mbps, upload 18Mbps and ping 3ms and results are from London to the most popular global locations.
  • Our tests are intended to give you an idea of the range of connection speeds. The closer the server and faster your connection, the faster your speeds.

LOCATIONS
9.5

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.

FeaturePureVPNExpressVPNNordVPN
Server locations 14614557
Servers 5831,000+790
IP addresses 80,00020,000+2,000
Dynamic server switching FalseFalseTrue

Server locations

Most popular locations

  • UK

    • Maidenhead
    • London
    • Leicester
    • Gosport
    • Manchester
  • USA

    • Phoenix, AZ
    • Los Angeles, CA
    • San Francisco, CA
    • Miami, FL
    • Tampa, FL
    • Atlanta, GA
    • Chicago, IL
    • New Jersey, NJ
    • New York, NY
    • Ohios, OH
    • Houston, TX
    • Dallas, TX
    • Ashburn, VA
    • Seattle, WA
  • Canada

    • Montreal
    • Quebec
    • Vancouver
  • Bahamas

  • Jamaica

  • Guatemala

  • El Salvador

  • Honduras

  • Nicaragua

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • Grenada

  • Dominica

  • Barbados

  • Saint Lucia

  • Dominican Republic

  • Haiti

  • Turks and Caicos Islands

  • Cayman Islands

  • Bermuda

  • Montserrat

  • Belize

  • Costa Rica

  • Argentina

  • Brazil

  • Chile

  • Colombia

  • Ecuador

  • Peru

  • Bolivia

  • Paraguay

  • Suriname

  • Albania

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Bulgaria

  • Croatia

  • Cyprus

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

    • Paris
    • Roubaix
  • Germany

    • Munich
    • Berlin
    • Hessen
  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • Ireland

  • Italy

    • Milan
    • Porcia
  • Latvia

  • Liechtenstein

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Malta

  • Montenegro

  • Netherlands

  • Norway

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Romania

  • Russia

  • Serbia

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Switzerland

    • Zurich
    • Hunenberg
  • Turkey

    • Istanbul
    • Ankara
  • Australia

    • Sydney
    • Melbourne
    • Perth
  • New Zealand

    • Wellington
    • Auckland
  • Azerbaijan

  • Bangladesh

  • Bahrain

  • Brunei

  • Cambodia

  • China

    • Guangdong
    • Shanghai
  • Georgia

  • Hong Kong

  • India

  • Indonesia

  • Japan

  • Kazakhstan

  • Jordan

  • South Korea

  • Malaysia

    • Kuala Lumpur
    • Johor Bahru
  • Oman

  • Mongolia

  • Pakistan

  • Philippines

  • Qatar

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Singapore

  • Sri Lanka

  • Taiwan

  • Tajikistan

  • Thailand

  • Turkmenistan

  • UAE

  • Uzbekistan

  • Vietnam

  • Egypt

  • Ethiopia

  • Ghana

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Madagascar

  • Mauritania

  • Kenya

  • Niger

  • Mauritius

  • Senegal

  • Nigeria

  • Tanzania

  • Tunisia

  • Seychelles

  • South Africa

  • Cape Verde

See all supported locations…

EASE OF USE
8.3

What we like
  • Customised dashboards and server groupings based on intended activity
  • Auto mode is easy and reliable way to connect
  • Advanced options are comprehensive and well laid-out
What we like less
  • Desktop interface is clunky
  • Some specialised streaming servers were blocked
  • Unable to connect to OpenVPN despite multiple attempts

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 broadly compatible with streaming services, which detected it as a proxy and blocked it accordingly, regardless of your location. 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.

Is PureVPN compatible with my device?

FeaturePureVPNExpressVPNNordVPN
Windows TrueTrueTrue
Mac TrueTrueTrue
Linux Manual TrueManual
iOS TrueTrueTrue
AndroidTrueTrueTrue
Windows Phone Manual Manual Manual
Blackberry Manual TrueFalse
Router Manual TrueManual
Kindle FalseTrueFalse
Games consoles FalseManual False

CUSTOMER SUPPORT
6.0

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.

FeaturePureVPNExpressVPNNordVPN
Support quality 5.6109.2
Email response time 8mins12hrs 19mins46hrs
24/7 support TrueTrueTrue
Live chat TrueTrueTrue
Knowledge base TrueTrueTrue
Video tutorials FalseTrueTrue

VALUE FOR MONEY
8.1

What we like
  • Very affordable on 12-month plan
  • Rich suite of privacy features and user settings
  • No problems with Netflix on desktop
What we like less
  • OpenVPN protocols not working in our tests
  • Clunky app experience and inconsistent speeds
  • Poor customer support

our rating
8.7

“PureVPN has flaws but delivers privacy for streamers”

Visit PureVPN website