Industry-standard security features • Simple to use • Works with torrenting

Logs some of your information • Slow-to-average internet speeds • Bad chat support

PureVPN doesn’t really offer anything that sets them above their closest competitors. You’re probably better off with one of those.

PureVPN was founded by GZ systems in 2006. It’s located in Hong Kong. 

It promises to give you internet security, freedom, and warp-speed internet. 

It offers (among others) military-grade encryption, an easy-to-use app, and the ability to torrent —all great features for any VPN.

The real story is a little different, though. 

A secure VPN on paper

The first thing I look for in every VPN is how secure it is. Providing security is, after all, the very thing that VPNs were created to do. If your VPN isn’t secure, you’re better off not wasting your money on it in the first place.

Now, when I say security, I look at the details. PureVPN offers some pretty good security features overall — on paper anyway.

It offers the industry standard 256-bit encryption to protect your data. I’ve talked about this military-grade encryption in the past and how it’s used by the NSA to protect the data of the United States of America. 

Along with their military-grade encryption, it supports all the major VPN protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, and even IKEv2.

It also has a security feature it calls an “Ozone server.” These servers come built-in with the following features:

  • URL filter: allows you to block specific websites on your network. 

  • Anti-malware: finds and stops malware that try to enter your device. 

  • IDS/IPS: detects and prevents malicious traffic at server level. 

  • Content filter: blocks those annoying ads.

  • App blocker: allows you to pick apps and restrict their internet access.

Another security feature it has is a built-in kill switch. This feature is one to look for in any VPN. It protects your security in case your online connection is interrupted. It does this by immediately killing certain apps when the interruption occurs.

Additionally, you can use the add-ons PureVPN offers if you want to improve your security even further. These add-ons are:

  • NAT firewall: which stops hackers from exploiting loopholes.

  • Dedicated IP: if you want complete control over your online data.

  • DDoS protection: which it claism can defeat even the most complex DDoS attacks.

Checking for leaks

The first thing I check in a VPN is if it leaks any data, which is very bad.

Here’s why: A DNS is like an online directory or phonebook of servers. It provides your browser the correct site that you searched for.

Every time you search for something on the web, your browser sends a request to a server through your ISP. The server then points your browser in the right direction.

This becomes a security issue because your ISP and all the servers your browser had to go through can view and monitor any of the sites you visited and the information you sent to those sites.

Using a VPN changes this. Your VPN sends your browser’s request through an anonymous IP instead of sending the request directly to the DNS. 

So, if your VPN leaks your DNS information, it’s like you aren’t using a VPN at all! 

When I tested PureVPN for DNS leaks, the results came out negative.

DNS leak test 1:

DNS leak test 2:

DNS leak test 3

DNS leak test 4

All these DNS leak tests have the same function: show my current IP address. If any of them showed my current IP correctly, it meant PureVPN was leaking my DNS information — which it didn’t because the IP address shown in all the tests wasn’t my IP.

Next, I checked for any hidden malware. Some free VPNs, usually offered by questionable vendors, have hidden malware lurking within their install or executable files. 

Like the DNS leak test, the malware test was negative.

Getting just one or two red flags on this test won’t make your VPN instantly risky. Even so, PureVPN passed with flying colors for zero red flags.

The penultimate security factor I watch out for with any VPN is where the company is based. This matters because it determines whether the VPN falls under the 14-eyes jurisdiction.

This jurisdiction consists of countries who’ve agreed to share data and intelligence with each other. Those countries can compel VPN companies to retain and surrender (to them) any user data retained, which could include yours.

Fortunately, PureVPN is located in Hong Kong. The company claims it chose this country in particular to avoid having to comply with data retention and release laws. 

All in all, Pure’s security features seemed OK. So, why did I say that it was fine only on paper?

Well, a VPN’s security features only matter if the company behind the VPN is itself secure. You check this by looking at the fine print of their logging policy. This is because a company that logs your data (internet activity, sites you’ve visited, IP information, etc.) can sell your data to anyone willing to pay for it.

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That said, PureVPN claims to log no data.

And then it contradicts this by admitting to keeping some of your data by recording your total bandwidth use. 

So, which is it? No logging or some logging? To be honest, it just got me confused.

Looking at speeds

We’ve established that PureVPN may have a chink in its armor as far as your security is concerned. But how does it fare performance-wise?

Spoiler: PureVPN is a mixed bag.

First, a speed test. A VPN’s speed depends on several factors which include, but aren’t limited to, the physical distance between their server and your device, and the number of users active at the time of the test.

I tested PureVPN’s speed on several servers which yielded these results:

US Server (New York)
Ping: 125ms
Download: 29.41 Mbps
Upload: 29.06 Mbps

EU Server (Amsterdam)
Ping: 40ms
Download: 35.49 Mbps
Upload: 27.29 Mbps

Asia Server (Hong Kong)
Ping: 355ms
Download: 6.77 Mbps
Upload: 3.62 Mbps

UK Server (London)
Ping: 53ms
Download: 62.48 Mbps
Upload: 45.90 Mbps

After these tests, I have to say that PureVPN’s download speed is slow to average at best. The fastest speeds I got were from its UK server.

I found this disappointing, especially since PureVPN has over 750+ servers in 140+ countries in 180 total locations around the world.

A convenient VPN to use

Its Android app was pretty easy to install and use. PureVPN’s app lets you choose from different modes that are optimized for their specific purpose. A check appears on the mode you choose.

The app allows you to connect with one touch. You can also choose the country and city you want to connect to as well as the specific purposes you want (like social media, using PureVPN in China, or streaming). 

The Settings are easy to navigate: You just scroll down. It allows you to select the protocol you want for a specific purpose as well as toggle the auto-connect function on and off. Advanced settings also let you toggle the specific security functions on and off.

This ease of use is particularly good since PureVPN can be accessed on virtually any device. These include: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers, Smart TVs, and even game consoles. It also has browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome for added simplicity.

Being usable on any device is great because PureVPN allows you to have five simultaneous connections with just one account. This means that you can use any five combinations of these devices at a time.

Another welcome addition to any VPN is the ability to torrent. This is especially popular ever since governments around the world started tracking and shutting down the bigger torrent sites. Luckily, PureVPN supports torrenting.

Sadly though, it still can’t unblock Netflix. 

The only other thing about I found truly disappointing about PureVPN’s experience was the service’s customer support.

It advertises “live 24/7/365” chat support but I got mixed signals when I asked them some legitimate questions.

The responses I received not only seemed automated but they also weren’t answering my question. 

Still, to be fair, only part of the response seemed automated. I think PureVPN’s chat support team uses an automated message to respond to you first then they try to answer your question personally if necessary.

But even then, they still couldn’t figure out the answer to my query. In the end, I had to figure it out myself!

An affordable VPN 

Price-wise, PureVPN wasn’t bad at all. 

This is what its pricing looks like:

  • $10.95 per month (monthly plan)

  • $4.15 per month (yearly plan)

  • $2.49 per month (two-year plan)

It also has a limited three-year plan where you pay a total of only $69 for the whole period — which gives you the best bang for your buck at less than $2 a month.

Final thoughts

In the end, I am impressed with what I experienced while reviewing PureVPN. Their industry-standard security features and easy-to-use app really upped their standing.

However, its confusing logging policy, average (and sometimes even slow) internet speed, inability to unblock Netflix, and bad chat support weigh PureVPN down and prevent the service from ultimately receiving higher ratings.

Their cheap prices put them in the same range as NordVPN and PIA, who simply blow them out of the water based on performance alone. 

This is why I can’t say I personally recommend PureVPN. While it’s not bad, there are better options out there.

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