PureVPN fast facts
|Our rating: 3.9 stars out of 5
Pricing: Starts at $3.74/mo (annual)
PureVPN’s 6,500 servers across more than 70 countries make it an attractive choice for users looking for a virtual private network with an extensive server network. It provides more flexibility for unblocking content and offers faster speeds. PureVPN’s Windows application also has an intuitive design, making for seamless navigation.
Unfortunately, PureVPN suffers from a controversial logging incident with the Federal Bureau of Investigation that prevents it from being a top security recommendation. While it has made efforts to rebuild trust, its overall package may not be enough for more privacy-focused users.
- PureVPN pricing
- Is PureVPN safe and trustworthy?
- Key features of PureVPN
- Speed and performance: How fast is PureVPN?
- PureVPN servers and locations
- PureVPN pros
- PureVPN cons
- Who is PureVPN best for?
- PureVPN alternatives
- How we evaluated PureVPN
|1 year||$3.74 per month||$5.82 per month||$7.49 per month|
|2 years||$2.29 per month||$3.33 per month||$4.99 per month|
|1 month||$12.45 per month||$15.95 per month||$19.95 per month|
|7 days||Free for 7 days|
|What's included?||VPN service||Depends on chosen free trial subscription (can choose between Standard, Plus, and Max)|
PureVPN has three different subscriptions: PureVPN Standard, Plus, and Max. The main difference between the three is the included services:
- PureVPN Standard comes with only the VPN service itself.
- PureVPN Plus includes a password manager and end-to-end file encryption.
- PureVPN Max includes the VPN service, a password manager, end-to-end file encryption and an additional personal privacy manager.
Before choosing a plan, I recommend trying PureVPN’s 7-day free trial. While there isn’t a dedicated trial for desktop, a trial is accessible via PureVPN’s mobile apps on iOS or Android. Once you sign up for the free trial on a mobile device, you can log into your account via desktop. The trial allows users to choose which subscription (Standard, Plus, Max) they want to test drive. In my experience, setting up the free trial was fairly easy and trouble-free.
If you plan on using a paid plan, PureVPN Standard for two years at $2.29 per month is the best option. This is very affordable compared to other VPNs with the same duration. It’s also a better option compared to the monthly $12.45 Standard subscription that is on the pricier end for a monthly plan.
I would’ve preferred if either the additional password manager, encrypted file system or privacy manager were included in the VPN itself; this would’ve given PureVPN more unique features to set it apart from the competition.
You can purchase either the Plus or Max subscriptions to get these features but having at least one of them included, without an additional payment, would’ve given PureVPN more bang-for-your-buck value.
Is PureVPN safe and trustworthy?
PureVPN comes with the three most important security protocols for a modern VPN: OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IPSec/IKEv2. It also features AES 256-encryption, a kill switch and domain name system leak protection.
Unfortunately, an issue arises with its no-logs policy. Like most VPNs, PureVPN claims to have a no-logs policy where they state that they don’t log browsing activities, connection logs, original IPs and browsing history.
Since then, PureVPN has come out with two third-party independent audits that verify their no-logs policy. First was with Altius IT in 2019 and the second with KPMG in 2021 — both finding no evidence of the company keeping any logs. The KPMG audit is noteworthy because it was an “always-on” audit that allowed KPMG to audit PureVPN’s network without prior notice.
Overall, PureVPN seems to be a safe VPN, given its security features and two recent audits. Though, the incident in 2017 is a hard pill to swallow and a valid reason to try a different service instead, especially if security is your number one priority.
Key features of PureVPN
If you’re considering PureVPN, it’s important to know the features that set it apart from other VPNs. Let’s take a look at some of PureVPN’s key features.
Large server suite
PureVPN comes with around 6,500 servers worldwide (Figure A), making it one of the biggest server networks available. This is especially useful if you’re looking to unblock geo-restricted content, as it allows you more flexibility and choice in the servers you can use.
The PureVPN network also includes servers from 88+ locations and more than 70 countries — a plus if you want to use a diverse set of servers from different regions.
PureVPN offers a split tunneling feature that allows you to control which online activity is routed through the VPN and which is routed through your regular internet service provider (Figure B).
This is a convenient feature that will allow you to lessen the bottleneck on your VPN server’s speed because not all applications, such as music streaming, need a VPN’s protection.
In my testing, PureVPN’s split tunneling worked as advertised and was able to reliably filter my chosen apps through the VPN properly. It must be noted, though, that split tunneling doesn’t work on PureVPN’s WireGuard protocol. Hopefully, PureVPN allows split tunneling with the faster WireGuard in a future update.
Up to 10 device connections
PureVPN allows for 10 simultaneous device connections or logins (Figure C). With some VPNs offering only 5–8 simultaneous connections, PureVPN’s 10 allowable logins is a significant value-add for users with multiple devices.
This can be an important budget consideration for prospective VPN users, especially if they’re worried about paying for another subscription only to accommodate more of their devices.
Speed and performance: How fast is PureVPN?
PureVPN offers fast speeds and an overall reliable connection. In my testing, I experienced relatively snappy speeds while using Google Workspace apps such as Docs, Drive and Keep, streaming 1080p YouTube videos, web browsing for research, and attending online video meetings. Websites loaded fast, and I didn’t have any noticeable drops in speed or connectivity.
In terms of internet speed tests, PureVPN provided great results for downloads as it only had a 5.98% decrease in speed compared to my ISP. However, I recorded a significant drop in upload speed with a drop of 79.92% — even while using PureVPN’s recommended server location. If your regular workflow involves frequently uploading large files, this may be an important result to consider.
To test for DNS leaks, I ran PureVPN multiple times using a public DNS leak tool. After multiple tests using different servers and locations, I recorded zero leaks.
For in-app performance, PureVPN’s Windows application was decent. The user interface has a minimalist design (Figure D) that’s easy to navigate and use.
I found that activating features within the application felt a bit clunky. For example, going to the app’s Server Tab takes an additional second or two before it opens. The story is the same with switching servers, as it takes a moment to establish a new connection. To PureVPN’s credit, it was able to maintain connectivity reliably once the connection was established.
PureVPN servers and locations
PureVPN grants users access to around 6,500 servers in more than 88 locations, spread across 70+ countries. This makes it one of the larger server suites available — an important feature if you plan to use your VPN to bypass geo-blocked content.
The VPN also provides a healthy spread of servers worldwide.
|North America||2,232 servers|
|South America||115 servers|
|Central America||4 servers|
While the bulk of PureVPN’s servers are in Europe and North America, it’s still good to see that the network is able to provide options across all seven continents.
I also appreciate how PureVPN automatically segments which of their servers are best for peer to peer file-sharing. It lessens the steps you have to take if you want to use the VPN for torrenting. I wish PureVPN had more privacy-focused features out of the box, as its more unique security features (i.e. encrypted file-sharing and password manager) require additional payment. Otherwise, their server network is a definite strong point.
- Large network with 6,500 servers
- 7-day free trial via mobile
- Up to 10 simultaneous device connections
- Intuitive application
- Relatively good speeds
- Includes split tunneling feature
- Prior incident handing off logs to FBI
- Activating features feels a bit clunky
- Unique security features are paid add-ons
Who is PureVPN best for?
PureVPN is best for users who value having a large server network as one of their main considerations in a VPN service. Its 6,500 servers across 70 countries is a meaningful value proposition to unblock geo-restricted content or access servers in specific locations. PureVPN also offers generally good speeds within a minimal and intuitive user interface.
However, its logging incident with the FBI in 2017 prevents it from being a good pick if privacy and security are your main concerns. While it has made strides to rebuild customer trust, users looking for a VPN with a good track record in keeping their privacy and no logs policies should look elsewhere.
While PureVPN is a decent VPN solution, it may not have the right mix of features for your needs. We’ve listed below similar alternatives that could serve as better options.
If you’re a longtime user of the Firefox browser, Mozilla VPN may be a good option. Coming from the maker of Firefox, Mozilla VPN offers ad blocking, zero bandwidth restrictions and multihop routing. It currently offers around 500+ servers in 30+ countries.
For more security, ExpressVPN offers TrustedServer security that gives users additional privacy protection through independently audited, RAM-only servers. ExpressVPN also offers a choice of 17 other languages in both its app and browser extensions.
CyberGhostVPN is one of the best VPN picks for its country spread. It has servers in over 100 countries worldwide, making it a top choice for unblocking content in other regions. It also allows for seven simultaneous device connections and provides 24/7 live customer support.
How we evaluated PureVPN
My review of PureVPN involved a detailed analysis of its security features, cost and real-world performance. I had hands-on time with PureVPN through its free trial via their mobile application. Specifically, I tested the version of PureVPN offered with the Max subscription on my Windows computer.
Finally, I scored PureVPN on everything from its security protocols to its price based on an internal algorithm to get a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars. I looked at PureVPN both on its own and in relation to other VPN services.
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