Pure VPN Review

With PureVPN you get great value for money which seems too reasonable to be true for a top class VPN service.

Unfortunately, there are some significant issues regarding this service and their applications.

Is it as bad as it appears, or are these claims unjust? This is what this PureVPN aims to find out.

purevpn server list

Locations:2000+ servers in 141 countries.
Connections:Up to five devices at once
Wi-Fi security:Automatically Protects on new Wi-Fi networks
DDoS protections:Advanced port forwarding
Split Tunneling
24/7 live chat:Round-the-clock support
Speed Test:Poor download speeds
Encryption:OpenVPN, IPSec, PPTP & L2TP
Jurisdiction:Hong Kong

Privacy and Security

Location

When you check the PureVPN website, you see the company is based in Hong Kong, however, dig deeper and you can see it appears the company is owned and operated by a company called Gaditek which lists this VPN service as one of its brands.

Gaditek is based in Karachi, Pakistan so the claims of being based in Hong Kong might not be correct.

Either way, both locations are outside of the 5-eyes jurisdiction, but they have been found out to be aiding various authorities in different jurisdictions, namely the USA.

Kill Switch

The Kill Switch was just one area of testing, and the service does state they provide a firewall-based Kill Switch which is the best form.

This is when it works, and during testing, it was found their Kill Switch implementation wasn’t working as it should.

Second tests were performed to see if it was a firewall-based kill switch as advertised. It failed and it is easy to see the kill switch isn’t anywhere near as capable as it should be, and also the company is not being overly honest by describing at being firewall-based.

Encryption

PureVPN uses OpenVPN which is a good solid form of encryption. However, this isn’t enabled by default and thePureVPN Privacy and Security default on windows is the IKEv2 VPN protocol which is the weaker of the two.

The clients also give the option of changing from 256-AES bit encryption. Aside from this, they also allow IPv6 leak protection as an option, but to enable this it is buried deep inside the settings, and many users might not be aware they are open to leaks.

When you look at the client software, it includes everything you could desire and looks good, but as it was found during testing, most of these security features didn’t work as expected.

One feature which does work is when you use PureVPN iPhone, and with this, you get their “Ozone” feature which is an advanced firewall where it blocks attempts of any malware being installed on your phone.

Performance

Speed Test

All the tests were carried out from a European location, and as you can see from the results below none were satisfactory considering the base speed was 100 Mbps connection.

Australian users could suffer further, and for any chance of a good Kodi, experience can be forgotten.

This is all the more worrying when you see the number of servers they operate in their network.

  • Netherlands: could not connect
  • Germany: could not connect
  • Belgium: could not connect
  • United Kingdom: 3.7 Mbps download
  • Iceland: .74 Mbps (740 Kbps) download
  • Denmark: 2.4 Mbps download
  • New York, USA: 3.7 Mbps download

Devices

With 5 consecutive connections, PureVPN does support a vast array of platforms.

With custom apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS, as well as Amazon Fire Stick and Android TV.

As well as this, PureVPN has a VPN extension for Chrome and Firefox, and custom a Kodi app. There is also a manual setup guide available for a combination of other platforms includes Linux (many distros) and some routers.

Customer Service

Although there is a fast response in reaching a representative via PureVPN.com, they were not very helpful in resolving issues, and if users are new, they could make things much worse.

The responses were scripted, and the solution on occasions was to reinstall the VPN software

While checking customer service the time was used to see how it fared with US Netflix. This is blocked when usingPureVPN to access Netflix the desktop client, and mobile devices.

However, if you use the browser add-ons for Chrome and Firefox PureVPN Netflix can be accessed.

This is good and bad because Australian Kodi users will find they have no access unless they use the browser add-ons.

PureVPN torrent downloading is supported, but with the dismal download speeds, it is hard to tell how fast an Australian user might be able to download a file of a reasonable size.

Pricing/Deals

The current pricing from the PureVPN website it as follows

  • Monthly Plan $10.95 per month
  • Yearly Plan $4.15 per month billed as $49.80 per year
  • 2 Yearly Plan $2.49 per month billed as $59.76 every 2 years

The company offers a 7-days money back guarantee, but there is a large crux in being able to receive this. If you happen to exceed 3Gb of bandwidth or you exceed 100 sessions, you will not receive a refund. There have also been complaints of users not receiving refunds, or they took a long time.

Although downloading and installing the client software is easy enough if their servers are up, then after your PureVPN login you are presented with a simple screen where you can browse the PureVPN server list.

All seems fine until you select one to find, you can’t connect with the optimum security to some locations for whatever reason. Having to wait a while leaves you utterly exposed.

Cons

PureVPN might have one of the most extensive networks of any VPN provider, but this doesn’t justify the following cons of using their service:

  • IPv6 and IPv4 leaks and DNS leaks
  • Broken features (kill switch)
  • Questionable sales tactics
  • Very Slow speeds
  • Contradictory statements with “no logs” claims
  • Lots of connection problems with many servers

Final Verdict

For a service of such size, you would think the performance would be better. It might be okay if they failed in a couple of areas and were strong in others.

Although they are one of the cheapest VPN services if you sign up long term, this lack of functionality and overall security isn’t worth skimping on.

To top all this, PureVPN has been found of handing over data logs to US authorities when they explicitly state they have a “Zero logging policy.”

If all the features worked, and your VPN connection was much faster, and they fixed the leaks, then they might be worth a consideration.

But, until that day arrives, you’re better looking somewhere else.