PureVPN recently saw lots of improvements after years of criticism surrounding its unsettled logging policies. Now the VPN service has added a slew of fancied features to its arsenal, including rolling out the WireGuard protocol, revamping its native apps, and executing no-logging audits
But are all these upgrades good enough to cement its place as one of the best VPNs? I wanted to figure out if these changes have really made a difference in PureVPN’s overall performance. So, I did in-depth tests while considering its security offerings, speed, streaming abilities, server network, ease of use, and more.
From my test results, I found that PureVPN is fully packed with unparalleled security smarts to allow you browse anonymously. The VPN unlocks geo-restrictions that block you from streaming content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+.
The fast speeds PureVPN offers will take your streaming experience to the next level. Interestingly, it gets around tough hurdles laid down by torrenting sites at ease.
PureVPN has vastly distributed servers to connect to alongside a simple interface that gives the user a smooth browsing experience. But its poor customer service shows it can’t compete with high-end VPNs just yet.
Streaming: Unblocks Netflix, ESPN, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ & Hulu
A VPN still reigns supreme as the most invaluable tool for people who love streaming movies, catch-up TV shows, and sports online. That’s because a VPN allows you to access blocked content from multiple streaming platforms around the world.
PureVPN makes the grade. It unblocks nearly all streaming services I tested – Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO Max, just to mention. The VPN seamlessly cracked the most stringent platform like BBC iPlayer better than before.
Initially, PureVPN couldn’t get access to HBO Max’s content. So I had to consult the customer support for more recommendations.
Unblocked: 4 Netflix Regions
I enjoyed fast movie streaming on Netflix. Be mindful that not all VPNs can get around Netflix’s upgraded VPN blocking tech in certain regions. Lesser-known VPNs struggled, but PureVPN does maneuver comfortably in these tough hurdles.
During my tests, I had no trouble using PureVPN to access 7 Netflix libraries (over 4,335 movies and 1,197 TV shows available), including Netflix US, UK, Canada, and Germany. The VPN app for Windows slipped past restrictions, allowing me to watch new films added on Netflix US.
Watching Netflix with PureVPN
When still connected to the US servers, I accessed a huge selection of renowned titles from the Netflix UK library. You’ll successfully binge-watch “Straight Outta Compton” the most enjoyable biopic around for any fan of rap music.
My favorite movie, “My boss’s Daughter,” streamed in HD quality. On top of that, there were neither delays nor buffering when loading one episode after the other. You can also turn on subtitles when you start streaming shows, just like I did.
This means PureVPN has scaled up its services and invested in the VPN infrastructure to give its customer the best streaming experience from any location
Unblocked: BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer is one of the few stringent streaming platforms, but the sheer amount of content it hosts is staggering. PureVPN performed better than I anticipated. The first 2 UK servers gave me the best results on my first attempt. It was easy to view a terrific collection of films on BBC iPlayer without lags and interruptions.
If you like the ever-entertaining “Rio Bravo,” PureVPN’s iOS app lets you download to your iPhone to watch when abroad.
When I switched to a longer-distance server, I had to wait for 5 seconds for the movies to start. The loading time was slightly poor. Local servers get the job done than faraway servers.
Unblocked: Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, ESPN & Hulu
PureVPN worked well with Disney+. I connected to its US servers to refute claims that the VPN service has an unrivaled unblocking power. First off, the PureVPN proved me wrong after the site downloaded quickly. The movie “Captain Marvel” was clear without any lag and buffering.
The vendor knows what soccer fans like. PureVPN’s ability to unblock ESPN is the biggest-selling point. I could watch the English Premier League (EPL) live in HD quality.
Amazon Prime Video and Hulu were extremely easy to unblock. All servers I tested circumvented the streaming websites’ geo-restrictions hassle-free. I was impressed to stream a ton of films between them when lounging on the couch.
Blocked Sometimes By HBO Max
PureVPN struggled to unblock HBO Max when I gave it a try. When I tested a server in New York, the process didn’t yield any fruits worth the mention. It didn’t get past HBO Max geo-blocks on my two attempts. And if I did, streaming on the platform was inconsistent.
I reached out to PureVPN customer support to see if troubleshooting could really help. The representatives recommended two ways;
I use its browser extensions
Switch between different servers to find a good combination of connectivity and speed
All the two methods registered a huge difference on my second attempt. When I set up its browser extension, I got straight into HBO Max without much effort. I also did as they suggested – switched between a few different servers and managed to explore more catalogs with just minimal interruptions.
To put your mind at ease, I suggest you try CyberGhost or NordVPN. They’ll unblock HBO Max if that’s your must-have platform.
Speed is very vital. Poor speeds leave streamers, torrentors, and gamers scratching their heads. On its website, PureVPN boldly claims to be the speediest VPN ever.
To determine PureVPN’s speed performance across different servers, I tested 3 servers with my internet connection.
Based on my speed tests, PureVPN is fast when I’m connected to servers located close to my actual location. The VPN provider recently boosted its server network to stay competitive in the VPN market. Now the fast download speeds with a nearby server are a resounding success.
PureVPN isn’t always fast compared to other top VPNs, such as CyberGhost. Very distant connections and remote countries are unpredictable. However, the speed is still enough to handle basic internet browsing without any interruptions.
It’s obvious to record a speed drop when using a VPN. Before testing PureVPN, I measured my home network using the Ookla speed test tool – the speed stood at 65.45 Mbps.
For testing, I switched to a new WireGuard protocol instead of IKEv2, which is set by default on Windows and Mac.
When I ran a server closer to my physical location (local server), such as the Miami server, I got a speed drop of 21.05% (speed was 51.67Mbps). I could stream 4K picture quality without any hitch.
I had a poor start in long-distance servers after the PureVPN server in Madrid registered an average download speed of 9.93 Mbps. The slow speed isn’t a big deal, given the thousands of miles in between.
PureVPN struggled badly in Japan. Once I put the Tokyo server into a test, the best download speed PureVPN pushed out was 4.47 Mbps. That’s not good for my streaming experience.
If you want to enjoy good speeds for torrenting, streaming, and gaming, I recommend you pick nearby servers over faraway servers.
Server network: Large Network for Reliable Connection
PureVPN is on a par with top VPNs when it comes to network coverage. The VPN service boasts an outstanding network of both local and international servers. While more servers allow you to find reliable connections, numerous server locations boost your chance of spoofing your location overseas.
The VPN service’s global coverage is robust. Currently PureVPN has 6500+ encrypted servers across 78+ countries. Without a doubt, a network of this size ought to prevent server overloading issues and assure stable speeds. In turn, I got only a few CAPTCHAs around the web.
You’ll get well-distributed servers to connect to beyond the US and European countries with just one click. It has a dozen servers located from South America, Asia to Africa.
PureVPN Company previously claimed to support its servers in 140+ countries, but at the time of writing, it had already trimmed down to 78 countries. The restructuring involved weeding out slow virtual servers, which necessarily shows PureVPN’s focus on quality over quantity.
Even though PureVPN reduced location count, it’s predominantly a serious competitor in the VPN market. Another recent improvement to the VPN service is the new server speed upgrades from 10 Gbps connections to 20Gbps, citing that it’s ready to operate in a 5G world.
Of the 78+ entries on its server list, the provider notifies that 20 are actually virtual servers. Virtual servers aren’t inherently bad. They’re programmed to appear somewhere else instead of where they’re physically located. VPN users are assigned IPs to connect to a location of your choice, but PureVPN routes your traffic through a server in a safer location.
The VPN is transparent about virtual servers, which is a plus for its reputation. You can easily tell the virtual servers as they have a small icon (VS) beside them. Other VPN providers who use virtual servers will rarely tell you.
I accessed all virtual servers on its website before launching the VPN. If you’ve already identified your fastest servers, you can save them on the “Favorite” list for easy access next time. PureVPN recommends the best server (mostly a nearby server) every time you auto-connect.
Additionally, you can decide to go extra cost by getting a dedicated IP address. That’s if you want to;
Host a web server or an FTP
Set up remote access to your personal computer
Whitelist your IPs
Dedicated IPs offer a high anonymity level over shared IPs since you’re the only one using them.
Security: Powerful Security Features
We appreciate the company’s tremendous efforts in keeping user privacy a top priority. PureVPN is chock-full of advanced security features to help you surf online with complete anonymity. Technical security plays a large part in why users come back to the VPN over and over again.
From strong encryption and secure VPN protocols to an automatic kill switch alongside a split tunneling feature, PureVPN never disappoints.
It’s important to go after the industrial-grade encryption level when choosing the most secure VPN today.
At maximum settings, PureVPN applies AES 256-bit encryption to its server connections as a way of strengthening your online freedom. The Advanced Encryption Standard uses a cipher algorithm to block ISPs from prying on your web activity, malicious actors peeking into your personal information, and pesky third parties tracking you.
PureVPN is a reliable choice for anyone using unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks, such as what’s offered in coffee shops, airports, or bars. Blind hackers who spend hours trawling through these networks won’t brutally force this encryption level.
The fact that senior governments use AES to make their data virtually undetectable demonstrates how reliable this feature is.
Internet Kill Switch
Hackers are eagerly waiting to ambush you in the event your VPN connection drops. A unique kill switch (lock feature) integrated on PureVPN shuts down your internet connection the moment your VPN disconnects. That, in turn, prevents the accidental exposure of your real location, IP address, or online activities.
You’ll be impressed to learn that the robust network lock feature is automatic. I didn’t have to command it on my Windows desktop because it’s set by default. You can disable it, but I wouldn’t advise you to do that. The added layer of protection it adds is of utmost importance.
PureVPN supports three VPN protocols for encryption; you can connect via IKEv2 or OpenVPN (TCD and UDP). Keep in mind the use of these protocols varies significantly by platform. Mac and iOS apps support IKEv2, while its Windows app supports both OpenVPN and IKEv2.
The Android version does well with OpenVPN and IKEv2. On Linux, PureVPN only works with OpenVPN. Of the two, IKEv2 offers the fastest connection speeds. OpenVPN TCP is more secure, while UDP is faster.
I found that IKEv2 is set by default on the Windows app. You need to disconnect the VPN first and toggle off the enabled protocol to access the other protocols. With the new WireGuard technology, the legacy protocols may seem flawed and outdated.
We’re glad to see the newest, secure, and fastest protocol rolling out. The WireGuard protocol gave me top speeds without sacrificing security. Thanks to PureVPN developers, whose focus is to scale up the services to meet users’ needs.
Split tunneling helps manage your connection on a per-app basis. With it, you can choose which traffic to reroute through an encrypted VPN and which apps to use your local connection.
Practically, you can watch movies on US Netflix using a VPN while running other browsers simultaneously in the background. So, you’ll secure your sensitive information without affecting the speed of other internet activities.
The setup is very simple. Enable split tunneling on the PureVPN. Click on the icon “modify apps” and list the apps you want encrypted. Only the listed apps will use a VPN connection. I encrypted Microsoft Edge to bill new software and watched cartoons on YouTube via my internet.
It’s encouraging to see that split tunneling is available on Android and windows. After all, they’re the most commonly used apps of all time.
DNS, IPV6, & WebRTC Leak Protection
One key element to PureVPN’s technical security is strong leak protection. Your connection is secured by IPV6, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection to prevent your real IP address from getting discovered.
I found zero leaks when I connected to the PureVPN servers. My IP addresses changed to my target location each time. All servers hide my DNS requests, too.
The leak test showed my VPN IP address and location
That’s a good idea if you’re using the VPN service to stay anonymous. Plus, IPv6 was blocked to keep my actual location private. I was happy, this time out of relief of not being exposed to websites that I visit online.
Additional Security Features
It’s an extra security feature PureVPN offers for users wanting service or internet-connected devices from another location. For instance, you can game online with your friends while you’re away.
When configured properly, you can set up a direct connection with a game server, host small websites as well as simply access your device remotely if necessary.
The features are, however, not included in the subscription plan. But for an additional monthly charge, you get the add-on for less than a dollar every month.
PureVPN’s DDoS protection
PureVPN offers an anti-DDoS service. You don’t have to worry while playing online games. Just get its DDoS Protected Dedicated IP, which comes as an add-on.
Having this feature is pretty useful. It secures your website against complex DDoS attacks from cybercriminals without making any changes to your hosting.
When an attack is detected, the feature neutralizes it immediately. Businesses and e-commerce stores use this tool to filter out illegitimate traffic. You can get it at an extra cost to your plan.
Ultimate Privacy: Zero logging, Outside 14-eyes & Security Audits
PureVPN service has stood the test of time, with a lengthy list of privacy features to bank on. While it had a shaky record with user privacy in the past, the VPN fixed its aggressive logging policies and now vows to protect user data.
Others include the location where PureVPN operates and voluntary self-audits.
Reassuringly, the company advertises itself as a no-logs VPN. PureVPN insists it has a strict zero-logging policy. The VPN service logging history proved different five years ago. In 2017, the VPN came under fire after it provided the FBI team with logs of an alleged cyberstalker, resulting in his arrest.
The data leaked included; the user’s originating IPs, email address, and timestamps connections. More precisely, these were sufficient for the FBI to track, arrest and charge him. The practice set off a few alarm bells to most of its users.
Since then, PureVPN has been working hard to repair its image. Through its official website, the VPN clearly states, “We practice no-log policy, which means we do not record your activities or what you do online.”
PureVPN doesn’t collect your IP addresses, browsing histories, sites visited, DNS requests, or timestamps. A few user data is stored for various purposes. It keeps records of your email address, name, and password for account registration.
It’s a bit strange to hear that PureVPN collects all this, considering that other VPN vendors don’t require you to provide such sensitive information. You can use a pseudonym instead.
Jurisdiction – Outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance
The VPN Company was originally based in Hong Kong, but in 2021 it moved its headquarters to the British Virgin Islands. Both countries are outside the reach of 14-Eyes or any surveillance alliances. And still, they don’t have mandatory data laws.
If you’re familiar with VPNs, you already know the threats posed by China over Hong Kong. The country is well-known for its draconian internet censorship laws. So, the relocation puts users’ minds at rest.
The company claims that it underwent a third-party audit 3 years ago. It has been doing so in the subsequent years. In 2019, an independent US-based company called Altius IT went over its security system to certify its claims.
On the bright side, the auditor didn’t find any identifiable security issues. PureVPN also has a long-term contract with KPMG, a reputable audit firm.
PureVPN prioritizes the privacy of its users. You can be confident your connection logs won’t be leaked.
Compatibility with Devices: Works with Most Major Platforms
PureVPN provides native apps for the most popular OSes in use as we talk – Windows, iOS, Android, and Mac. Linux Simple Command-Line app is available for Ubuntu, Arch, Fedora, and Linux Mint. Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox are supported as well.
Users can also follow PureVPN’s configuration guides to manually configure the VPN on smart TVs, BoxeeBox, Apple TV, Android TV, and more. We can’t forget to mention that you can manually install it on routers and Chromebooks.
In my tests, I was intrigued by how straightforward it was to install the apps. It just took me less than 1 minute to download and install the Windows app. I went further and tested it on my MacBook, smartphone, and Firestick.
Browser extensions for Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Safari haven’t been launched yet. This will disappoint some fans for sure.
Set-Up, Installation & Ease of Use
The VPN provider’s efforts to make easy-to-use apps have been successful. Experts and beginners alike can install PureVPN on all major platforms without any trouble. PureVPN’s apps gave my tests a more promising start than I expected. They’re intuitive to inspire the confidence of every new user.
Desktop Apps – Windows and Mac
After subscribing to a standard plan, PureVPN directed me to a wide selection of apps. When I clicked “Windows,” the app installed incredibly fine on my PC. App for Windows has an easy-to-navigate interface. That said, it’s a real boon for users with less-tech experience.
Windows app should suit you because its improved design is somewhat basic. It should be noted that PureVPN supports IKEv2 by default, OpenVPN, and WireGuard protocols on its Windows client. The decision to enable other security features like split tunneling is up to you.
Mac client, on the other hand, is simple to read. My test for the Mac app got me started with Pure in no time. Both Mac and Windows versions of the app are nearly identical. The only notable difference is that Mac supports IKEv2 as the only tunneling protocol.
Mobile Apps – Android and iOS
I was pleased with PureVPN’s Android app. The developers have redesigned it with an intelligent one-click connect option to connect you to the fastest served, depending on your location.
Otherwise, you can select the best server location from the long list. Elsewhere, the ability to sort server locations by alphabetical order, popularity, and ping adds a nice touch.
In terms of prettiness, the iOS app wasn’t left out either. Its sleek design feels great, while the funny graphics aren’t enough to distract you from accessing every piece of information regarding the VPN.
Hit connect and let PureVPN handle the rest. Further forward, you can easily activate or deactivate the set of features on these apps.
PureVPN reminds you to use its browser extensions to unblock geo-restricted websites. The proxy add-ons not only give users reliable servers to play with but also unlimited bandwidth. Keep in mind – any add-ons (chrome extension) will encrypt your web traffic going through that specific browser.
They’re a bonus, so to speak.
Overall, many of PureVPN’s apps are relatively user-friendly to casual users. PureVPN isn’t rich in settings, and although basic users will rejoice over its performance, experienced VPN users will ask for more.
PureVPN’s support is informative. If you have a question, go straight to its 24/7 live chat feature. You’ll get a one-on-one session with the support team.
When I raised some concerns about PureVPN servers, I got delayed replies. PureVPN assigns you an agent within a given time.
One thing you’ll want to look for in a VPN is reliable support. PureVPN excels; its support is quick, prompt, and very helpful to customers needing immediate assistance.
You can also reach out to them via email support. This could be applicable for complex questions that require long-form answers. I was blown away by its knowledgeable base. Upon inserting the keyword related to your question, the in-depth guide will serve you with sensible answers.
Plans and Pricing
Lower prices are very tempting. PureVPN is price-friendly on its three plans – monthly, yearly, and 2-year. Add-ons such as port forwarding, DDoS protection, and dedicated IPs massively increase the monthly cost. You have to pay extra each month (on top of your plan).
As with most top-VPNs, a longer subscription plan is cheaper. PureVPN isn’t an exception. A 2-year plan offers the best discounts.
PureVPN accepts credit cards, Paypal, Google Pay, and cryptocurrencies. I was delighted to see it allow Bitcoin payments. All plans are backed by a 31-day money-back period. Surprisingly, Android and iOS users can take advantage of a 7-day free trial.
Yes. Unlike many providers who prohibit torrenting activities altogether, PureVPN allows P2P traffic, but only on certain servers. It comes with a set of P2P-optimized servers and they’re marked on the list for easy access. However, the provider is keen to block P2P servers in countries that prohibit file downloading and sharing (the US, Canada, and the UK).
With IP and DNS leak protection, you can visit the best torrent sites and find your favorite movies, music, and TV shows without having to worry about your data being exposed.
Is PureVPN Fast Enough for Gaming
The simple answer is yes, but it highly depends on which servers you’re using. PureVPN’s speeds on local servers will let you play online without lags. Long-distance servers result in a high ping rate and can go up to 350 Ms.
Long-distance equates to speed loss. This is a blow to your lag-free gaming experience. During my tests, I was able to play RuneScape on its US servers
How many simultaneous device connections does PureVPN offer?
PureVPN lets you secure up to 10 devices at once under a single account. Simultaneous device connections and vast device compatibility are what PureVPN has for you.
Can I use PureVPN for free?
No. Android and iOS users can enjoy a 7-day free trial, but you must pay upfront. Instead, make use of a 31-day money-back guarantee. You exclusively browse, stream, and torrent risk-free. Cancel the plan and ask for a full refund if you wish to.