Let us start our PureVPN review with a look at how the company came into being. In 2006, Hong Kong based GZ Systems Ltd. began experimenting with a VPN to help guard against throttling of bandwidth by ISPs of users who stream media or play online games. Thus, PureVPN was born. In 2007, they started commercial operation of PureVPN with servers in just two locations. They quickly grew in users and in number of locations, expanding to sixteen in the first year alone. Today they have one of the largest VPN networks with over 2000 servers in 180 locations, spread among 141 different countries. Their technology has grown as well. They have developed custom software for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. They have a self monitored gigabit network with over 80000 IP addresses available throughout the world for their subscribers.
Pricing and Special Offers
PureVPN used to offer a variety of VPN packages but have now settled on a single one. It is sold in three term length plans. Like many VPN providers, they have increasing discounts on these plans based on term length. These plans are monthly, 1 year, and 2 years. This means that currently you can get a month of PureVPN service for $10.95, 12 months for $2.95 per month (best deal), and 2 years for just $3.29 per month. This means you can save 73% off their regular monthly price if you sign up for a year of the service.
They also sell a few add-ons which are as follows:
- NAT Firewall – $4.99 /Mo
- Dedicated IP – $4.99 /Mo
- Dedicated IP w DDoS Protection – $5.99 /Mo
So, what do you get for your money with PureVPN? They offer the following benefits to all of their subscribers:
- Free custom VPN Software for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android
- 5 Simultaneous connections
- Unlimited VPN bandwidth and usage
- Worldwide virtual IPs from more than 2000 servers in 141 different countries
- Shared IP addresses among subscribers for better privacy
- Choice of VPN protocols: OpenVPN (TCP-UDP), SSTP, L2TP, IKEv2, and PPTP
- Encryption choice based on purpose
- The ability to bypass censorship and geo-restrictions
- Wi-Fi hotspot protection against hackers and identity theft
- VoIP support to save on long distance costs
- Support for P2P and file sharing
- 31-day money back guarantee
PureVPN has a variety of ways to pay for their VPN service. They accept the following credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, VISA Electron, and VISA Delta. If you like to keep all of your online payments in one place, PayPal is also accepted. For those who want a little more anonymity, you can pay by Bitcoin. They also accept payments through Paymentwall, Alipay, CashU, and many others. If you pay by either PayPal or Bitcoin, all that is necessary to establish an account is a username, password, and an email address.
Risk-Free Trial Period
PureVPN knows that you would like to test out their service for yourself before you decide to buy it so they offer new subscribers a 31-day, 100% money back guarantee. This should be enough time for you to completely test out their VPN service and support. The PureVPN refund policy states that they will first try to resolve any issues before approving a refund.
If you are in compliance with refund policy criteria, and you are not completely satisfied with their service, then they will refund your full purchase price. To claim your refund, send an email to email@example.com stating your VPN username and your reason for cancelling the subscription. No refunds will be given later than 31 days from purchase date.
PureVPN Network and Server Locations
As we said in the introduction, the PureVPN network started with just 2 server locations but has grown to over 180. They self manage their gigabit network of VPN servers which has grown to over 2000 VPN servers in 141 different countries with access to over 80,000 IP addresses. They have servers on nearly every major continent including Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America, and South America.
- North America
- Canada – Montreal, Quebec, Vancouver
- US – Ashburn, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, New York, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC
- Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Island
- Central America
- Belize, Costa Rica
- South America
- Aruba, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
- UK – Gosport, London, Maidenhead, Manchester
- France – Paris, Roubaix
- Germany – Berlin, Frankfurt, Hessen, Munich, Nuremberg
- Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine
- Australia – Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
- New Zealand, Papua New Guinea
- Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen
- Algeria, Angola, Cape Verde, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia
Looking at this list of cities, it is easy to see that PureVPN has servers all over the world and multiple servers in more popular locations as we mentioned previously. Their network supports most VPN protocols including: OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, and PPTP. We will discuss a little more about these protocols when we review the PureVPN custom software.
PureVPN also implements data routing, whereby in the interest of network efficiency during peak times you may be routed to a different datacenter than the one you chose. This redirection uses business and commercial logic to route you to a low latency, high speed server at another datacenter within the same country or barring that, the nearest available country. We could see this being an issue if you were connecting to a particular country for a purpose (IP address) and they in the interest of network efficiency redirected you to another country.
PureVPN is committed to the freedom of the Internet and allows file sharing in many of their locations. Limiting file sharing to these locations helps them to maintain the overall performance of their network. Also these locations are generally more friendly to file sharing and P2P software usage.
Privacy and Security
We Do Not monitor user activity nor do we keep any logs. We therefore have no record of your activities such as which software you used, which websites you visited, what content you downloaded, which apps you used, etc. after you connected to any of our servers. Our servers automatically record the time at which you connect to any of our servers. From here on forward, we do not keep any records of anything that could associate any specific activity to a specific user. The time when a successful connection is made with our servers is counted as a “connection” and the total bandwidth used during this connection is called “bandwidth”. Connection and bandwidth are kept in record to maintain the quality of our service. This helps us understand the flow of traffic to specific servers so we could optimize them better.
From this excerpt, you can see that PureVPN only logs the connection time and bandwidth used for their users. They do not log any specific activity such as sites visited, content downloaded, or software or apps used while connected to their VPN network. They are located in Hong Kong, which has no mandatory data retention laws. That being said, they will comply with proper judicial channels with clear proof of violation of TOS in accordance with the best interests of their customers and the company and turn over any specific information they may have about said activity if it exists.
What kind of encryption does PureVPN offer to users of their network? Their Windows software supports a variety of protocols including OpenVPN, SSTP, IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP. They implement OpenVPN as their primary default protocol on their Android client. By default, all data is encrypted and decrypted using a AES-128-CBC cipher initialized with a 128 bit key. If you are the more paranoid type, you can manually choose a higher encryption strength. Their Mac OS X software supports L2TP and PPTP. Their iOS app uses the IKEv2 protocol which is considered to be just as secure as OpenVPN but is good for mobile devices because it reconnects easily and maintains the VPN session when the connection is lost or changes. This is due to its support of MOBIKE. This means that regardless of your operating system of choice, you can always be assured that Internet traffic is securely encrypted with a reliable connection when accessing a PureVPN server.
PureVPN is one of the few services that has a 24/7 live chat to answer any light technical, sales, or billing questions you might have. We tested their live chat and I’m happy to say that they seem to always be there. They respond almost immediately and will redirect you to another agent if the one that answers your call cannot assist you. Sometimes they would direct us to FAQs and support pages to help with our questions. For more technical problems, they provide a 365/24/7 email ticket support system with a very fast response time. They will usually get back to you within an hour. The response we received from our question was fast, professional, and concisely answered.
PureVPN Windows Client
The PureVPN team has developed apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. We will quickly show you the Windows app. You can expect the same easy to use interface in all their apps. As you can see the client lets you select any server location. You can search for locations by country or city. You will find that PureVPN has one of the largest VPN networks.
You will notice some notations next to locations that support VoIP and P2P. The PureVPN also shows you which server locations are virtual. The virtual servers are not located in the location shown in the interface. If you’re goal is privacy protection in that country then we do not recommend using them. However, if you simply want a local IP address then the virtual servers are a better choice.
The PureVPN Windows client has several modes including stream, Internet freedom, security / privacy, file-sharing, and dedicated IP. You will need to add dedicated IP to your account to use this option. If you want more control over your connection, the app will also let you select between IKEv2, PPTP, TCP, UDP, L2TP, and SSTP protocols. We recommend IKEv2 and OpenVPN UDP for most purposes.
We run speed tests on our top providers every so often to make sure performance is up to par. In our testing there was quite a difference between our ISP connection speed and the encrypted connection through PureVPN. The performance is still fast enough to stream HD content and download without issues. If you decide to connect to a popular country like the United States, then we suggest you select a specific server location. That way you can choose between a server on the east coast versus the west coast based on your current location.
As you can see from the images above, the encrypted connection lowered our base ISP download speed from 115.56 Mb/s to 63.35 Mb/s. This is a drop of 45% to a server in Atlanta, GA. This is acceptable and plenty fast enough to perform a wide range of tasks.
PureVPN has been in the commercial VPN business since 2007. They started their network with just two locations and now have over 180 spread across 141 different countries. They have over 2000 servers with over 80,000 IP addresses for their subscribers to use. They have multiple servers in popular countries like the US, the UK, Canada , France, Italy, Germany, and The Netherlands. They log session time and bandwidth used by their users but they do no record any of the individual activity, software or apps used or accessed, or sites visited by users while using their services. PureVPN is VoIP and P2P friendly and even shows which servers are best for these activities on their network. They will comply with proper legal authorities regarding illegal activity or violation of their TOS and turn over information about the single topic of violation if it exists. However, they are based in Hong Kong which does not require that such information be retained.
PureVPN has custom software apps for Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS. These apps are easy to install and allow their users to connect to VPN servers with just a few clicks of the mouse or taps on the screen. Their custom software uses a concept of modes. Modes simplify the technical setup of the connection based on a particular purpose. This means all the user has to do is select a mode to use and a location to connect to. You can select location directly or by purpose using their software. Their Windows, Mac OS X, and Android apps include some of the more advanced features available for VPNs including VPN kill switches, secure DNS, IPv6 leak protection, and split tunneling. Their iOS app has On Demand VPN.
All of their apps provide some of the best encryption available in the industry in AES-128 and AES-256. Their Windows client supports a variety of VPN protocols. Their Mac OS X software supports SSTP, L2TP, and PPTP. Their Android app uses OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) which is considered one of the best VPN protocols by many in the industry. Their iOS app defaults to IKEv2 which is secure, fast, and reliable. Also its support of MOBIKE makes it an ideal choice for multi-homed devices like the iPhone and iPad because it makes reconnection to the VPN easier when changing Wi-Fi hotspots or transfering from home networks to cellular data.
In addition, PureVPN has manual tutorials and visual setup guides to connect to their service using Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, Ubuntu, routers, and over 20 other devices using a variety of VPN protocols. Their support begins with 24/7 online chat. They aalso have a large FAQ database and an email ticketing system.
What we liked most about the service:
- They have clients for Windows and Mac OS X.
- They have mobile apps for iOS and Android.
- Modes to simplify connecting for non-technical users.
- Five simultaneous logins.
- They have kill switches in their Windows, Mac OS X, and Android software.
- They have other advanced features like split tunneling, VPN on Demand, secure DNS protection, and IPv6 leak protection.
- They have a 31-day money back guarantee.
Ideas to improve the service:
- Remove limitations on money-back guarantee.
- Include NAT firewall protection as many top providers do.
The PureVPN network includes most continents. They have servers in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Oceania, and South America. They have a fast VPN network as illustrated by our speed test. PureVPN is offering an extra discount for our reaadersThey offer a 31-day money back guarantee so you will have plenty of time to test their service and see if it fits your needs. Give their VPN service a test and see if its for you. If you like it, you can sign up for unlimited access from just $2.95 per month.