PureVPN is a budget VPN offering reliable performance across a truly global server network, access to Netflix, and a range of custom apps for loads of popular platforms.
If you can look past its previous mistakes, PureVPN covers all bases with settings optimized for torrenting, and bypassing censorship.
Pricing & Deals
The longer you commit to PureVPN the less you’ll pay on a monthly basis – as is the case with most VPNs.
A single month is the most expensive option at $10.95, but this is reduced by a whopping 74% to just $2.88 per month if you opt for the two-year plan. There’s also an annual plan works for a reasonable $4.08 a month.
Get an extra 10% off PureVPN's 2-year plan
PureVPN Pricing & Deals
PureVPN offers a 31-day money-back guarantee – this is genuinely no questions asked, with no hidden data caps or restrictions. If it is due to a technical issue customer support will try and fix it first.
After your refund request is processed, it can take up to 30 days for the refund payment to appear in your account.
PrivateVPN also offers a three-day trial account with no data cap or usage restrictions for $2.50. This is not refundable under any circumstances, including technical problems, but is a very good way to test out all of the services without worrying about going over your data allowance.
PureVPN accepts a very large range of payment methods. This includes most major credit and debit cards, PayPal, an assortment of cryptocurrencies and tons of international options such as WebMoney, Alipay, Sofort, and Neosurf.
Speed & Reliability
PureVPN isn’t by any means one of the fastest VPN providers we’ve tested, but we were impressed by the consistency of the speeds across its server network.
PureVPN Performance Data
- Download Speed Average:33.42 MbpsUpload Speed Average:10.03 MbpsPing Time Average:142 ms
- Download Speed Average:120.23 MbpsUpload Speed Average:36.62 MbpsPing Time Average:6 ms
- Download Speed Average:151.35 MbpsUpload Speed Average:22.56 MbpsPing Time Average:6 ms
- Download Speed Average:241.05 MbpsUpload Speed Average:121.81 MbpsPing Time Average:3 ms
- Download Speed Average:224.97 MbpsUpload Speed Average:120.32 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:285.42 MbpsUpload Speed Average:72.45 MbpsPing Time Average:5 ms
- Download Speed Average:173.86 MbpsUpload Speed Average:34.55 MbpsPing Time Average:32 ms
- Download Speed Average:155.42 MbpsUpload Speed Average:81.25 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:64.78 MbpsUpload Speed Average:21.51 MbpsPing Time Average:27 ms
- Download Speed Average:89.80 MbpsUpload Speed Average:13.02 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:393.31 MbpsUpload Speed Average:43.89 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:56.89 MbpsUpload Speed Average:10.61 MbpsPing Time Average:47 ms
The current average local download speed is 178Mbps, with some locations, like Toronto, offering excellent speeds of up to 393Mbps.
Connecting out to the US from the UK you can expect speeds of around 16Mbps, which is a little lower than most other top-tier providers but still more than adequate for HD streaming.
More distant servers didn’t perform quite as well, with connections from Australia and Japan struggling to reach 10Mbps.
PureVPN’s upload speeds were equally reliable, with a local average of 53Mbps. Combined with PureVPN’s P2P-optimized servers, making it an attractive choice for both torrenters and Kodi users.
PureVPN doesn’t come anywhere close to top-tier providers in terms of peak performance on individual servers, but what makes it very appealing is the sheer consistency across its network.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
PureVPN has 140 countries on offer across six continents, catering to the more than just the popular destinations.
PureVPN operates an excellent amount of servers – there’s just over 2,000 in total. What’s most impressive is its 300,000+ IP addresses, massively reducing the risk of server congestion.
A choice of 13 different US cities provides coast-to-coast coverage, and you can drill down to city level in Australia, the UK, Canada, and a handful of other countries too.
Platforms & Devices
PureVPN offers a good range of custom apps for various devices including Microsoft Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, and Linux.
You can buy pre-configured routers with PureVPN already installed, or manually configure your existing router if it’s compatible.
PureVPN allows for up to five simultaneous connections but you can protect all the Internet-connected devices in your home by configuring your router.
PureVPN also offers browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
These are incredibly easy to download and add to your browser and can be installed in a matter of seconds if you already have the main app.
While they come with WebRTC leak protection it’s important to remember that these proxy extensions don’t encrypt your connection so should not be used in place of the desktop client.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
PureVPN stands out for offering dedicated apps for both the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TV, so all you have to do is download the software from the app store and you’re good to go. There’s even a Kodi add-on for PureVPN too.
Other streaming devices and games consoles can be protected by connecting them to a configured router.
Streaming & Torrenting
PureVPN is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for fast, hassle-free access to all major streaming services.
The Stream Mode in the main menu unlocks over 20 listed services and channels, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, Hulu, ABC, and ESPN.
Throughout our regular tests, we have had no issues accessing Netflix through the dedicated server, but watching BBC iPlayer has been a bit hit-and-miss.
It’s also a great choice for keen Kodi fans and torrenters, as P2P is permitted on the majority of servers.
Encryption & Security
It used to be difficult to recommend PureVPN for anyone with stringent privacy needs due to previous issues with its logging policy, but a recent revamp means that this is no longer so much of a problem.
The app chooses the ‘best’ protocol for you on startup, but we recommend using OpenVPN as it’s the best protocol for all-round performance and privacy. Encryption is via ‘unbreakable’ cipher AES-256.
The VPN kill switch is an essential feature, blocking all web traffic should the VPN connection drop for any reason, preventing your true IP address from being exposed.
You’re also protected against DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leaks – which our independent tests proved to be working effectively – giving you peace of mind that your online activity isn’t visible to anyone other than yourself.
The desktop app also includes split tunneling, allowing you to direct specific traffic through the VPN and leave the rest to go outside of the encrypted tunnel.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- First-party DNS
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
- VPN Kill Switch
- WebRTC Leak Blocking
- Split Tunneling
Despite China’s crackdowns on VPN providers, PureVPN is one of the few services to still work in the country, even if it’s becoming more and more unreliable as time goes on.
Currently, only the Windows app can be used in the country, but customer support suggested that manual configuration with the IKEv2 VPN protocol is more effective at beating the censors.
There are other providers out there offering a much simpler, more comprehensive solution for high-censorship countries should you need it, such as ExpressVPN.
Previous controversies surrounding PureVPN’s logging policy means we’re still a little skeptical – you might want to look into providers with strict zero-logs policies, such as CyberGhost or PrivateVPN.
It emerged that, in an online harassment case that took place in October 2017, the FBI was able to identify the accused by matching the IP address of a PureVPN server used in the crime with the true IP address that he used to connect to the server.
While we don’t condone the actions of the alleged criminal, PureVPN didn’t tell customers it logged their IP address, and claimed to only log connection times and bandwidth used. Even worse, it made the false claim that: “We do NOT keep any logs that can identify or help in monitoring a user’s activity”, which clearly isn’t the case.
However, PureVPN has recently gone some way to redeeming itself with the introduction of a completely revamped logging policy, where the only information collected is:
- The day you connect to a specific VPN server location
- Your Internet Service Provider
- Total bandwidth used by each user
It does not collect your originating IP address, connection timestamps, DNS requests or the IP address of your chosen VPN server. This means that nothing you do online can be traced back to you as an individual, restoring a little bit of our confidence in the service.
PureVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Hong Kong, putting it beyond the reach of the US and EU.
It says it specifically chose HK for its headquarters because there are no mandatory data retention laws, therefore it isn’t a legal requirement to store user data or share it with any third parties.
PureVPN clearly states that “if and when [it] receive[s] subpoenas that are legally upheld in the court of law in Hong Kong, [it] won’t be of much help since [it has] almost nothing of value to share”, which is reassuring.
Ease of Use
The PureVPN apps show promise and there’s a clear focus on user experience, but we found the execution to be inconsistent.
The main dashboard can be customized by purpose (streaming, internet freedom, file sharing, security, dedicated IP), but the desktop apps still feel a little clunky and old-fashioned.
Well-organized configurable options can be found in the settings menu, and we love the helpful explanations that go alongside some of the more advanced options, such as IPv6 leak protection them.
The mobile apps are a little more streamlined without compromising on advanced features.
Installing PureVPN is super easy and won’t trouble even the most inexperienced of VPN users. Simply download the software, follow the installation prompts, then enter your login credentials.
There are extensive user-friendly setup guides for a whole host of popular devices on the PureVPN website if you get stuck.
PureVPN offers a live chat feature, which is very handy for quick, simple questions. The agents respond promptly and courteously but their knowledge doesn’t extend to more complicated queries – it was much the same story for email support.
The support center on the website is certainly comprehensive with lots of FAQs, troubleshooting advice and manual setup guides for loads of devices.
The Bottom Line
- Fast, reliable performance with local speeds of up to 393Mbps
- Quick, easy access to Netflix and other major streaming services
- Easy to use. Very quick set-up on most popular devices
- Huge global network - connect securely to 140 countries
- Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox are a bonus
- Desktop client can be clunky and unresponsive
- Company history of handing user information to law enforcement
- Auto mode in the app defaults to less secure protocols
- Limited customer support
PureVPN is a fantastic choice for frequent streamers and those who want to tighten up security while browsing on the move.
It’s not as fast as the majority of top-tier providers but offers a high level of consistency across a vast global network of over 140 countries.