- Affordable plans
- Multi-platform compatibility
- P2P support
- Security features
- Port-forwarding support
- Decent after sales support
- Credited as No-Log VPN Provider
- Slow speed recorded
- Additional subscriptions required
- Unattractive desktop GUI
- No-trial period offered
PureVPN is one of the reputable VPN providers in the VPN market for more than a decade. Founded back in the cold November 2006 morning, this Hong Kong based VPN provider claims to be the world’s fastest VPN service provider. Unlike previously reviewed BolehVPN, this provider experience of a slow growth from their initially available 2 servers up to more than 2000 available servers across 140 countries located in 180 strategic locations.
Diving into their features, PureVPN claims they provide a blazing fast internet speed while using their service, providing security and anonymity by using the strongest military-grade encryption along with the highly recommended VPN protocols. PureVPN allows instant unrestricted access to contents, particularly entertainment without any limitations.
Unlike Surfshark, one single PureVPN only allows 5 devices simultaneously. On the other hand, this provider also claims that they are operating outside of fourteen eyes jurisdiction. PureVPN underwent Altius IT‘s audit and the service provider was certified as No-Log VPN Provider by this leading California-based independent security firm.
To my acknowledgement, this provider provides business solution for entrepreneurs through their PureVPN for Business class. Targeting corporate companies, the provider offers a few extra features that not available for home consumers such as two-factor authentication, securing business data, testing the product or an application via different country of server selection. You can refer the features fully, here and pricing, here. For this review, I will be only focusing on home-consumer class VPN subscription. According to the TrustPilot rating, the service was marked as an excellent service.
Pricing and Plans
PureVPN is one of the cheapest VPN providers. Additionally, you can add $0.99 further by subscribing to three different additional features for the same subscription amount for port-forwarding, dedicated IP and DDoS Protection.
|Plans||1 Month||1 Year||2 Year|
|Additional Bundles||$0.99/mo for Port-Forwarding or Dedicated IP or DDoS Protection|
Payments to the service can be made via credit cards, PayPal, AliPay, UnionPay and a few reputable payment providers. Anonymous payment gateway is made available for the individuals who wish to subscribe to this service, anonymously. This provider also offers 31-Day Money-Back Guarantee if the service fails your expectation within the given time period. Use ‘discount10‘ code to get a surprising discount amount.
Administrative Panel Walkthrough
The service will be activated upon successful payment has been made. The login credentials will be sent to the registered email. Logging into the administrative panel greeted with PureVPN’s confidential no-log audit document that can be downloaded right away.
Exploring the panels further, a few noticeable bundled features such as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox can be installed right in your preferred browser of choice. Opera will get its own dedicated PureVPN extension soon based on the silhouette shown in the panel.
Being a VPN provider, PureVPN sure does their homework well by making their application can be used on any platform. To my surprise, PureVPN apps are available for TV’s that runs on Android TV, Firestick, Kodi and Apple TV. Well done PureVPN’s system engineer. As for power users, PureVPN provides configuration files for each platform from router to gaming consoles as standard.
PureVPN also showcases their available VPN protocols for each server country. Currently, the highest VPN protocol grade supported by PureVPN is OpenVPN.
The operating system environment used for this review is Windows 10 Build 1909. The downloading process of the Windows app is time consuming, and I waited nearly an hour to download a 40MiB file.
The procedure of installing the application is pretty standard. I personally opt out from installing PureVPN proxy extension for both browsers because I normally prefer to browse the internet via the application itself.
After the installation process, you have to use the login credentials for the application that sent to your email upon activating the service. This means, if you use the web administrative credentials, you may not be able to log in to the desktop app. Adding the salt to the injury, the user credentials needed to be key in carefully in order to avoid failed login attempts. On the good side, it is a good security feature for the users as it only requires one-time process to use the application.
The features bundled with the desktop app are not well mapped. The features seem to be shuffled up or wrongly mapped as users tend to look for the types of modes or profiles in general term, offered. Looking at the modes given, you can select a variety of modes ranging from streaming to privacy mode, depending on the type of situation required.
By default, DNS Leak Protection is enabled by default. Good move by PureVPN. Next, a few extra safety features such as Internet Kill Switch is present. Under the Security drop down option, you can enable a few features such as the 256-bit encryption, using PureVPN DNS servers and IPv6 Leak Protection. Another feature such as Multi Port is available. This allows to automatically scan for any open ports available as an alternative towards closed or throttled ports to increase the browsing speed. PureVPN also flexible in terms of providing connectivity towards a non-CGNAT and CGNAT networks.
If you are a power user, you can further opt-in to become one of their Beta testers by testing out their newest feature. In such case, when I opt-in to become one of their beta testers, a feature called Split Tunneling is issued through the app. Split Tunneling allows only a certain application to go through an encrypted connection and at the same time another application can go through the non-encrypted connection via an ISP. This allows a better speed to be utilized.
I downloaded their application for my device running on iOS platform. As mentioned above, you need a special key issued to you to login to the apps and always keep the email sent to you. Going through the features offered, PureVPN for mobile allows you to select two available VPN protocols, IPSec and IKEv2 as standard. Well, the given protocols are considered good and secure for smartphone users. Other good features that caught my eyes are the On Demand VPN feature. Basically what this feature does is, it allows your phone to stay connected through an encrypted VPN connection until the connection was terminated by you. Another good thing about this feature is, you can configure your own preferred domain, thus automatically get connected through an encrypted VPN connection when accessing through the registered domains.
Security Features Analysis
The procedure begins by testing if my PC is leaking any DNS request made through the connected server. As to make the game fair, I’ve used their official DNS leak site to conduct the test and use a recommended site by me to actually compare the result obtained. Based on the test,
The next test requires the strongest VPN protocol to be used to test if my PC is leaking my actual ISP’s IP while using the service. Once again, I’ve used their official IPv6 leak test site and compare the result obtained using a trusted IPLeak test site by me, again. Based on the obtained output,
By any means, one of the important security analyses that should be taken care off is Web Real-Time Communication or WebRTC test. For this review, I’ve used my preferred browser of choice to conduct this test. To make things even, I’ve used their official WebRTC test site and my own preferred in-detail test site to compare the results. No DNS leak was identified. Also, I will recommend reading this guide on why using a good browser and a good VPN is healthy for your online activity.
Bandwidth and Torrenting Analysis
PureVPN claims they offer the fastest VPN service. To get a perfect analysis output, the application was updated to its latest signature issued by the service provider.
Comparing the bandwidth result obtained from NordVPN and Surfshark, PureVPN stays behind both providers and NordVPN still leads the way being the fastest VPN provider available out there followed by Surfshark and PureVPN.
The service provider offers port-forwarding in the basis of monthly subscriptions to allow a better speed achievable during p2p process, accessing the internally connected device from outside and to overcome CGNAT that prohibits certain scenarios from taking place such as installing a CCTV in the home or for gaming.
Before I proceed to test the torrenting speed for the selected country server of choice, I’ve conducted a standard test for speed I would get if I download the file from the same hosted server without a VPN connection. Based on the plotted graph on the above, I able to hit around 50MiB/s to 70MiB/s.
The next country of choice of mine was Canada. Looking at the graph, I able to get around 20MiB/s as standard. The connection seems quite good just by looking at the constant spikes.
I always prefer to use the nearest server located around my country and that is my neighboring country, Singapore. Analyzing further, the graph records inconsistent spikes occurred during downloading the file. The highest spike recorded at 22MiB/s. The total time taken to download the file is the longest here.
Next, my country of election is United Kingdom. The graph shows a constant spike that maintains at 26MiB/s and records as the shortest amount of time required to complete the downloading process.
The last server of selection on the line was located in the United States. The speeds are above average and records the second highest speed recorded after the graph shown in the United Kingdom.
After Sales Support
PureVPN offers a handy after-sales support through live chat and emails. I’ve created a fake ticket submission to test their capabilities to handle even the silliest problem faced by the users.
In this situation, I’ve used inability to login to the desktop GUI application as an excuse (the password used to log in to the web administrative panel) and sent them a screenshot of the problem to see of how they handle this ridiculous problem.
Their support team is quite effective and responds to the submitted ticket within 30 minutes. They’ve provided a solution in a professional manner.
To summarize the review, PureVPN certainly a decent VPN provider available out there. They are improving from time to time, however, they are still far behind the new contender in the market. Features like Split Tunneling is welcomed by most people including me. Enabling DNS Leak protection by default is a good move while asking the users to configure 256-bit encryption is a really bad idea as novice users may find it quite troublesome to understand such term, I would suggest the system engineer of PureVPN to enable the option by default although it is enabled by default and can be disabled anytime by the novice user.
Recapping the missing points in my review, PureVPN offers port-forwarding feature as an additional paid subscription, and by any means, port-forwarding is not really recommended by many networking enthusiasts if you’re concern on your privacy over the internet. In my point of view, PureVPN has a few factors required to improve their service in the future to be a solid rival against its giant competitor such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN and the newcomer, Surfshark. Nevertheless, PureVPN is one of decent providers out there.
Heed: You can use my affiliate link to purchase the service. By doing so, I will earn a small commission that will be helpful for me for further contributing to the development of the blog.