PureVPN is a fast VPN with mostly positive reviews. It offers strong data encryption, plenty of secure protocols, as well as features for seamless torrenting and streaming, making it a great VPN for media consumption. On the other hand, PureVPN's critics mention rather inconsistent speed results and mixed security reputation.
However, recently, this VPN has greatly improved in some regards. For example, it became the very first VPN with an Always-On Audit, which means that its security got an enormous upgrade.
In this PureVPN review, we put this provider to a big test, and answered all of the main questions. Is PureVPN safe? Does it keep any logs? Can it unblock Netflix?
I'll give you some spoilers: it is, it doesn't, and it can.
But to find out more about this and many other things – carry on reading!
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|🥇 Overall rank:||#5 out of #32|
|📖 No logs policy:||No logs|
|💵 Price:||From $1.99/month|
|🖥️ Servers:||6500+ servers in 78 countries|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, DAZN|
|🔥 Coupons:||PureVPN coupon 82% OFF + 3 months FREE!|
PureVPN pros and cons
- AES-256 encryption
- Unblocks Netflix
- Supports torrenting
- No DNS leaks
- Compatible with Android TV
- Supports port forwarding
- 31-day money-back guarantee
- Limited Linux app
- Connection issues
- Some features don’t work with WireGuard
Is PureVPN good for streaming?
While it’s not the best VPN for streaming, PureVPN is able to unlock some geo-blocked content depending on the server you’re connected to. Also, it has a dedicated app for Apple TV, which is a big plus.
And for those who are willing to sacrifice security for a better streaming experience, PureVPN offers a Proxy Control feature. It allows you to access geo-restricted sites but your connection is not being encrypted. Meaning that you may get better speeds by making a tradeoff between security.
|Platform||Does it work?|
|BBC iPlayer||✅ Yes|
Let’s take a look at what exactly PureVPN can do when it comes to streaming.
Unblocking Netflix with PureVPN
Luckily, I managed to unblock the US library of Netflix on my first try. The VPN also unblocked the Japanese library without a flaw.
Unfortunately, PureVPN wasn’t successful at unblocking the French and German libraries – Chrome simply displayed content from my own country.
Some users even report that Netflix doesn’t load at all when this VPN is in use. However, your experience may vary based on the tunneling protocol, the server used, and your browser.
In case you have trouble accessing this streaming site, you can check out our list of the best VPNs for Netflix.
Does PureVPN unblock other platforms?
I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to unblock BBC iPlayer with PureVPN. However, the connection was incredibly slow and I experienced lots of buffering. This might have been due to a busy server.
I also tried my luck with DAZN and successfully unblocked it with the help of a UK server. However, the streaming site didn’t work when I was connected to a US server.
Unsurprisingly, accessing geo-blocked content from YouTube was a piece of cake, as I have yet to see a VPN that doesn’t unblock this streaming service.
Is PureVPN good for torrenting?
Yes, PureVPN is a decent choice for torrenting. However, keep in mind that not all PureVPN’s servers support it. That’s because the VPN provider has blocked P2P on servers located in countries that prohibit file sharing (the US, the UK, Canada, etc.). Luckily, there are still lots of servers to choose from.
You can see which of them support P2P on the list under the Locations tab.
So, I checked whether torrenting with PureVPN truly works. I had no issues but the speeds weren't great: it took 25 minutes to download a 5GB Linux installation image, while it only takes 3 minutes without a VPN.
Take a look at this list of the best VPNs for torrenting if you’re looking for better P2P speeds.
Plans and pricing
PureVPN is one of the least expensive VPNs on the market, even beating such cheapskates like Surfshark and Windscribe when it comes to long-term subscriptions.
No matter which PureVPN subscription plan you buy, you’ll get the same features together with the possibility to use the VPN on 10 devices simultaneously (just keep in mind that the VPN’s Terms of Service prohibit sharing your account with other people – even family members).
The best value for PureVPN is there when you purchase a long-term plan. With the biggest savings on a 2-year plan, it's by far the cheapest option from the ones available. There’s also a 31-day money-back guarantee that lets you change your mind in case you're not satisfied with the service.
You can also get PureVPN for a single month for $10.95. Taking into account all the other VPNs on the market, this is not an outrageous price for a monthly subscription.
The payment options include PayPal, credit cards, and a variety of crypto currencies like Bitcoin. However, some PureVPN landing pages don’t display the crypto payment option, which is rather confusing.
- Even though PureVPN is already cheap, you can save even more money by using these mouth-watering PureVPN coupons!
Can you get PureVPN for free?
There is no free version of PureVPN. However, there’s the possibility to try out the full service for seven days for only $0.99. This will give you a clear idea if the VPN fits your needs – for example, whether it works with your preferred streaming platforms.
Also, PureVPN offers a 31-day money-back guarantee. So, you will have plenty of time to find out everything you need to know about the service.
PureVPN servers and locations
|Regions||Countries||Number of servers|
|North America||9||1,788 servers|
|Central America||1||15 servers|
|South America||6||171 servers|
With that said, you might want to know that there are two types of servers offered by PureVPN. A good chunk of them are physical, which means that they are physically located in the country they appear to be in.
However, a lot of PureVPN’s servers are virtual. A virtual server seems to be located in a different country than it actually is. For example, if you choose to connect to a Bulgarian server, it might be located in Greece. Luckily, you’ll be assigned a Bulgarian IP address anyway. Unluckily, you can't hope to get a similar level of performance compared to a physical server.
If you use their Android app, you can also choose one of four modes to filter the servers according to your needs: Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, and File Sharing. And I like the fact that if you don’t find a server in the country you need, you can contact support and request such a server. They promise to do their best to get the server you want.
Additionally, PureVPN has Quantum-Resistant servers in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. They use encryption keys that are generated using a verifiable quantum process to provide better security and privacy.
You can check out the full list of both virtual and physical servers on the official site of PureVPN.
Connecting to a server
Once you know which country you need, it’s easy to connect to a server using PureVPN. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Click on the little globe icon on the left side of the screen
2. Choose your preferred location
3. That’s it! You’re connected.
Does PureVPN work in China?
Most likely – yes, PureVPN should work in China (even though it’s difficult to check this, for obvious reasons). You see, PureVPN supports the SSTP tunneling protocol which is usually able to bypass the Great Firewall. In case you're not happy with the service, feel free to browse our take on the best VPNs for China.
Speed and performance: Is PureVPN fast?
|128 Mbit/s||253 Mbit/s|
|247 Mbit/s||404 Mbit/s|
|141 Mbit/s||458 Mbit/s|
PureVPN showed impressive speed test results with OpenVPN UDP: many locations had low download speed drop-offs. On the other hand, the speed fluctuates quite a bit when connected to the US and UK servers, while the Canadian server speed seems to be more stable.
In any case, while the speeds aren't as high as some of other top VPN providers, such as NordVPN, PureVPN is generally pretty fast. If you want to maximise speed, be sure to choose server location closest to your actual location.
When using the Windows app, I find it convenient that you can see the ping of every location before connecting to it. In this way, you can find the fastest servers without the need to test them first. Also, while connected to a server, the app shows the current upload and download speed, as well as the tunneling protocol in use.
PureVPN performance with other protocols
PureVPN also supports the WireGuard protocol, which offers really good speeds. The average download speed was 200 Mbps, while the average upload speed was 210 Mbps.
However, you won’t be able to use certain features when WireGuard is selected, like split tunneling or the dedicated IP option.
And with a newly implemented extra security layer – multiport – OpenVPN tunnel automatically connects you to one of the specified ports which eliminates the struggle of a manual setup. Plus, you can connect to several servers simultaneously so you wouldn't need to disconnect from a VPN to change them.
Nevertheless, IKEv2 was much faster than OpenVPN TCP but also much less consistent. In addition, OpenVPN TCP severely impacted the speeds, making it one of the least effective options for more distant locations.
Here are the average download/upload speeds when using each of the available tunneling protocols (I tested 10 locations in total):
- Baseline: 300Mbps download/300Mbps upload
- WireGuard: 200/210
- IKEv2: 167/12
- OpenVPN UDP: 145/141
- OpenVPN TCP: 37/14
You can clearly see that the speeds with WireGuard are the best from the bunch.
Also, IKEv2 offers a bit better download speeds than OpenVPN UDP. However, its download speeds are far from impressive.
Also, you might have some connection issues when using the IKEv2 tunneling protocol. During my tests, some servers kept disconnecting and I even lost internet access while being connected to the VPN. This really hurt the average speed test scores.
Now, let’s take a look at how the best speeds of PureVPN compare to other fast VPN providers:
|Provider||Average download speed|
As you can see, PureVPN falls right in the middle, offering decent speeds suitable for streaming and torrenting.
PureVPN video review
If you find this PureVPN review a bit complicated (especially if you’ve never heard about VPNs before), I highly suggest watching the video review prepared by my colleagues.
Interface and ease of use
|macOS||Almost identical to Windows|
|Linux||Uses the Command Line Interface|
|Android||The most feature-rich|
|iOS||Similar to the Windows app|
The Windows version of PureVPN is quite intuitive and easy to use, albeit a bit plain-looking. It supports WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), and IKEv2 tunneling protocols. It lets you select the protocol, as well as enable/disable the kill switch and auto-connection.
The Mac version of the app is almost identical to the Windows one – except there’s no ping displayed next to each server, which I found a bit disappointing. Also, this macOS VPN supports WireGuard, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec tunneling protocols.
Now, the Linux version is the most different of them all. It functions through the Command Line Interface, which means that it is targeted at users with an IT background. It’s quite a common occurrence when it comes to Linux VPNs. The app offers WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP) protocols.
Right now, the Android app of PureVPN is the most feature-rich of the bunch. It offers different server modes (Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, and File Sharing), split tunneling, the possibility to choose the network type (NAT or non-NAT), as well as the Dark and Light themes. The Android application offers WireGuard, IPSec, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols.
Now, the iOS app is more similar to the Windows version in terms of design and functionality. It supports WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), and IKEv2 protocols. It’s more basic than the Android app, but that’s usually the case with VPN apps for iOS.
If you need lots of advanced features, PureVPN might not be the service for you. However, if you’re content with the basic stuff like a kill switch and split tunneling, then you’re good to go.
A good kill switch is an essential feature of any VPN. When enabled, it automatically stops your internet connection as soon as you get disconnected from your VPN by accident. It’s especially useful when you’re using public Wi-Fi (which is prone to hacker attacks) or when you’re torrenting and don’t want your identity to get compromised.
The kill switch of PureVPN is enabled by default (of course, you can disable it anytime you want). Unfortunately, even though it works most of the time, it’s not perfect in unusual situations.
For example, I tried connecting to another VPN while PureVPN was in use, as using two VPNs usually results in the internet shutting down (which would activate PureVPN's kill switch). However, I was able to connect to the second VPN without issue. And when I disconnected from it, PureVPN indicated that it was still in use.
Now, here’s the worst part. When I checked my IP address, I found my own IP instead of the one of the server I was supposedly connected to. In other words, my IP was leaked. It can be a serious issue if you're planning to use a VPN in a high-censorship country.
Of course, a regular user shouldn’t try using two VPNs in the first place. However, the fact that the kill switch didn’t react appropriately shows us that it is prone to confusion and might not handle other atypical situations.
At the moment, you can find the split tunneling feature only in the Android app of PureVPN. This is quite a handy feature to have, so let’s hope they add it to the other apps in the future.
Split tunneling allows you to conserve bandwidth by letting you choose the applications (or, sometimes, websites) that will use the VPN connection. In other words, the traffic of some of your apps will be encrypted, while the rest of your internet traffic will go through an open network.
When trying to set up split tunneling on PureVPN, you get a list of the applications installed on your phone. Simply mark the ones that should connect through the VPN, and you’re good to go.
Port forwarding is an extra feature of PureVPN that you can buy for less than a dollar a month. When configured properly, it allows the computers outside of your network to access a specific device connected to your local network.
With port forwarding, you can set up gaming servers, host small websites, watch your security camera, or simply access your device remotely whenever you feel the need.
PureVPN has recently implemented an obfuscation feature which it’s beneficial for those who live in highly-censored countries and especially those that restrict VPN usage. Yet, not recommended for those who seek to have the fastest connection speed.
An obfuscation feature hides your VPN traffic which makes it look like you’re simply browsing without the help of a VPN. You receive all the benefits a VPN can give, like unblocking geo-restricted content, avoiding ISP throttling, and staying protected, but, at the same time, no one can detect your VPN connection and block it.
Additionally, PureVPN has added a domain fronting feature that uses different domain names from other parts of the website to make it look like you come from a different domain. And since it makes it harder to block the site, you have higher chances of bypassing blocked content wherever you’re located at. However, it’s quite tricky to set it up and it might slow down your connection or even weaken your online safety as each domain has to be resolved before the website loads.
Is PureVPN safe?
PureVPN is a safe VPN service. It uses AES-256 encryption and offers reliable tunneling protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN. Continue reading this PureVPN review to find out more.
Encryption and tunneling protocols
All the tunneling protocols supported by PureVPN offer AES-256 encryption. It is the current industry standard of encryption, trusted by the US government, military, and companies that deal with sensitive data. The reason is the cipher’s complexity and the huge number of 2256 possible key combinations.
PureVPN also implements lots of different tunneling protocols. All of them differ in speed and security, and you are free to pick the one that suits your needs from the options screen.
|WireGuard||The highest speed, very secure|
|OpenVPN TCP||Low speeds, very stable and secure|
|OpenVPN UDP||High speeds, less stability|
|IKEv2||High speeds, good for mobile devices|
|SSTP||Might work in China|
|L2TP/IPSec||The most outdated of the bunch|
For the best performance, you should use WireGuard – it’s supported by all applications of PureVPN. Both variants of OpenVPN are also good choices, as they offer excellent security.
First things first, PureVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. Previously, this VPN was based in Hong Kong – but in late 2021, it made a switch to a different jurisdiction.
Both Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands with privacy-friendly data retention policies. However, many users were less certain where China's pressure on the city might make PureVPN a less desirable option. With the latest switch, these doubts are all but subsided.
Secondly, PureVPN has already proven that it can leak personal information to the authorities. In 2017, the company aided in the arrest of an alleged cyberstalker by providing his logs to the FBI. More precisely, they managed to trace two of the criminal’s email accounts to the same IP address.
However, PureVPN’s website states that they still keep track of your name, email address, and payment method: but that's just about a standard procedure. You can also pay with cryptocurrency for an anonymous monetary transaction. That being said – with independent audits and an excellent location, PureVPN now offers solid privacy features, rivaling even the best VPN providers.
Recently, PureVPN announced that they're becoming the first VPN on the market with an always-on-audit. Their agreement with KPMG International Limited highlights that the auditing company can conduct a thorough surprise audit without notice. The message is clear – audits could happen at any time, so your privacy is safe at all times.
Most other VPN services agree on a particular date and time for being inspected, but not in this case. This means that there's no opportunity for a service to be cleaned up before the inspection. It ensures that the VPN you're using is safe and that their audit results weren't tampered with. It's a significant step to making sure that the company is transparent with their day-to day operations.
Not that long ago, KPMG has already inspected the service and found no evidence that the service doesn't adhere to their no-logs claims. Expect additional checks in the future. KPMG will be publishing these reports publically.
|24/7 live chat||✅|
|Guides or articles||✅|
|In-app chat bot||✅|
If you encounter a problem while using PureVPN, you can head straight to its support page and browse through the setup, troubleshooting, and FAQ sections. You can also fill in a support ticket. Interestingly, you have to log into the page with your PureVPN account before doing that. Or you can use the in-app troubleshooting feature to fix various issues instantly.
There’s also the 24/7 live chat. To start the chat, you only need to enter your name and email address. Then, you get a customer support agent in under a minute. When I tested the chat, the support agent was really polite and tried his best to be helpful. Alternatively, you can get the support directly through the application via the in-built chat bot.
Is PureVPN any good?
PureVPN does its job really well. It successfully unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, and Youtube. It uses reliable encryption like most quality VPN services. What’s more, it should work in China thanks to the SSTP tunneling protocol.
You can also get some good speeds with either WireGuard or OpenVPN UDP. In addition, there are Quantum-Resistant servers for you to get improved security and privacy.
In case you have any questions about PureVPN, please leave us a comment – we will be glad to help you!
More on VPN providers from CyberNews:
PureVPN vs. NordVPN: which one is better?
PureVPN vs. IPVanish: do we have a winner?
Surfshark VPN review: all about safety and more
Does PureVPN work in China?
Yes, Pure VPN should work in China. The VPN supports the SSTP tunneling protocol which is usually able to bypass the Great Firewall. In case, you're not happy with the service, feel free to browse our take on the best VPNs for China.
Can I trust PureVPN?
Yes, PureVPN is a trustworthy service. Even though the company had been involved in a privacy scandal, it is now constantly audited in terms of security and its no-logs policy.
Is PureVPN legal?
Yes, using PureVPN is legal. If the use of VPN services is allowed in your country, then PureVPN is no exception. However, please check the laws of your country before getting a VPN for the first time.
Who owns PureVPN?
PureVPN is owned by GZ Systems Ltd., which is based in Hong Kong. The product itself is based in the British Virgin Islands.