By passing all of your internet traffic through a remote server run by the VPN provider, a VPN helps preserve your privacy. PureVPN is a great option for regular travelers and anyone who needs to fake their location because of its vast and evenly dispersed server network. Its newly updated app, which is smarter and snazzier than ever, as well as its accessible selection of add-ons, like port-forwarding and dedicated IP addresses, further excite us. But we find its privacy practices to be unclear, worry about its complicated pricing, and are dissatisfied that it doesn’t provide more privacy options, such multihop connections.
What is the price of PureVPN?
There is no free version of PureVPN’s product available. If that’s a concern for you, think about the many top-notch free VPN services available. editor’s choice award The finest free subscription we’ve come across is provided by ProtonVPN, which has no data usage restrictions.
The monthly pricing of PureVPN is $10.95, which is slightly more than the $10.11 average we’ve seen across the VPNs we’ve researched. Although many VPNs are less expensive, that is more reasonable than Editors’ Choice winner Surfshark VPN, which has a monthly fee of $12.95. Mullvad VPN, the Editors’ Choice winner, costing just â‚¬5 ($5.88 at the time of writing).
Like the majority of VPN services, PureVPN provides discounted long-term memberships. When renewing a subscription for the first time, PureVPN raises that discounted price, which is an unsettling step further. An annual subscription, for instance, costs $44.88, but it automatically renews for $69.96 the following year. Even more perplexing is PureVPN’s two-year subscription, which runs $69.84 for the first two years and $69.95 for each additional year. Even while PureVPN’s renewal rates are clearly stated on its purchase page and it isn’t the only VPN we’ve come across that does so, this comes dangerously close to being a bait and switch. When signing up, choose your plan wisely.
With an annual cost of $70.96 on average, PureVPN is a distinctly average purchase. However, we strongly advise against beginning with a long-term strategy. Purchase a trial subscription to test the VPN at home and with all the websites and services you frequent. You’ll end up saving even more money if you research a VPN before purchasing it.
Payment methods accepted by PureVPN include credit card, PayPal, and Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies). PureVPN is currently connected and displaying connection details. Winners selected by editors Truly anonymous monetary payments can be made to Mullvad VPN and IVPN’s respective headquarters.
The Value of Your Investment
You can use a single PureVPN account to connect up to ten devices at once. That covers all devices in even a big household and is twice the average. However, as more VPNs completely remove such limits, the industry may be shifting on this front. There is no cap on the number of concurrent connections with Avira Phantom VPN, Encrypt.me VPN, Ghostery Midnight, IPVanish VPN, Surfshark VPN, and Windscribe VPN.
(Editor’s note: Ziff Davis, which also owns soft360, is the owner of Encrypt.me, IPVanish, and other websites.)
Some VPNs pass your traffic through the Tor network for anonymity, which makes it much more difficult for prying eyes to follow you online but comes at a high performance penalty. In order to increase security, some rivals provide multihop connections, which route your online data across at least two VPN servers. Although PureVPN offers necessary VPN security, it lacks additional privacy options like these.
Split tunneling is a feature that PureVPN does offer. This enables you to choose which traffic should pass via the VPN. By doing so, you may maintain the security of specific activities while giving more data-hungry, less sensitive functions the access they require. Winners selected by editors Among the few VPN services that include multihop, split tunneling, and access to Tor are NordVPN and ProtonVPN.
when disconnecting from PureVPN
Additionally, PureVPN provides software for streaming systems like Android TV and even Kodi. All the devices on your network would route their traffic through the VPN if you followed the company’s instructions for configuring a router to use its VPN.
Although VPNs are practical tools for quickly enhancing your privacy, they cannot guarantee security from all threats. We highly advise readers to use a password manager to generate unique passwords for each account, turn on multifactor authentication wherever it is offered, and install specialized antivirus software.
What Extras Does PureVPN Provide?
For additional monthly payments, PureVPN offers add-ons if you’re eager to maximize your membership. It has a big selection of choices that is almost as comprehensive as TorGuard VPN. To its credit, PureVPN explains each selection in detail.
Dedicated IPs are exclusive IPs that are only given to you and may be less likely to be blocked than the IPs used by PureVPN’s core service. For $2.99 a month, PureVPN offers dedicated IPs from Singapore, Australia, Canada, Germany, Malta, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Compared to other VPNs, which normally charge $5 per month for dedicated IP addresses, this is substantially cheaper.
You can direct traffic to a particular network port using port forwarding, a sophisticated technology that is rarely used. Port forwarding is available through PureVPN for a monthly fee of $.99. For $3.49 a month, the firm also offers bundled dedicated IPs and port forwarding.
PureVPN will allow DDoS protection for $3.99 per month. This stops attackers from saturating your site with fake visitors. Competitive gamers who might have DDoS attacks launched against them may find this beneficial.
Other businesses are beginning to broaden their product offerings beyond VPNs. For an additional cost, NordVPN offers encrypted storage and a password manager, while Hotspot Shield VPN provides free access to a number of security and privacy services. PureVPN continues to be a VPN only.
Additionally, PureVPN offers a corporate edition that is charged by the number of seats. Pricing may change based on the size of the company and its unique requirements, but it is $8.45 per person each month.
the VPN Protocols
It’s possible to construct an encrypted tunnel in a number of different ways thanks to VPN technology, which has been around for a while. The open-source options, like the veteran OpenVPN and the upstart WireGuard, are what we favor. Both are open to being examined for any potential weaknesses.
Although compatibility varies considerably between platforms, PureVPN supports a number of VPN protocols. Its macOS client supports IKEv2 and IPSEC, while its Windows app supports OpenVPN and IKEv2, another useful protocol. The Android app only supports OpenVPN and IKEv2, while the iOS app supports IPSEC, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. PureVPN only supports OpenVPN on Linux.
Protocol selection for PureVPN
Locations of Servers and Servers
When using a VPN, the more server locations it offers, the more likely it is that you will have a quick and dependable connection when you are traveling. With more server locations, you have additional options for hiding your location.
139 countries are currently represented in PureVPN’s server network. Perhaps its strongest selling point, its reach is absolutely astounding. With six locations in Africa and seven in Central and South America, it reaches considerably further than any other VPN in its coverage of North America and Europe. The competition frequently pays little attention at all to these areas. Even ExpressVPN, which we frequently cite as the top VPN for travelers, can’t compete with PureVPN.
Some countries with significantly oppressive internet regulations are also on the list of server sites, including Turkey and Vietnam. Notably, PureVPN does not provide servers in Russia, Hong Kong, or the People’s Republic of China.
The server selector on PureVPN displays all of the available server options.
PureVPN uses virtual locations in part to provide this global coverage. These are servers that are set up to appear somewhere other than their actual location. According to PureVPN, 21 of the 139 entries on its server list are virtual locations. This approach is not always troublesome, as it occasionally enables VPN providers to offer service to a dangerous area by keeping their servers in a secure area. However, PureVPN has to be clearer about the locations of these servers.
Since virtual servers are software-defined, numerous virtual servers can be hosted on a single hardware device. According to PureVPN, it exclusively employs physical servers. It is not rare for PureVPN to lease rather than own the majority of this infrastructure. In comparison to CyberGhost’s 7,300 servers, PureVPN claims a total of about 6,500 servers.
Some VPN services, including ExpressVPN and NordVPN, have switched to RAM-only or diskless servers. These devices are immune to physical manipulation because they don’t write data to disk. Although PureVPN claims to have taken action to protect its infrastructure from attack, it has not yet taken this step.
PureVPN Protects Your Privacy
How the corporation describes the data it receives about users’ relationships is particularly perplexing. According to the policy, it doesn’t save browsing activity, session timestamps, DNS requests, assigned VPN IP addresses, IP addresses, or session timestamps. That’s fantastic. Later, the policy clarifies that PureVPN does know the day of each connection, the length of the connection, the amount of data used, and the VPN location usedâ€”it just doesn’t use timestamps or IP addresses to do so.
While part of this data is retained by PureVPN for the life of the connection, not all of it is preserved, and none of it can be linked to a single user, the provider clarified to us. The business pointed us to a KPMG audit, which states that PureVPN does not log personally identifiable information about users. The rules of the audit, according to PureVPN, preclude them from making the findings public.
Still, that’s a lot of data for PureVPN to compile and store. PureVPN should work to collect and store even less data. The business should also make its policy more clear.
The company further states in the policy that it does not lend or share any personal information supplied by clients. A PureVPN official informed us that the business exclusively generates income from membership purchases. The business is clear that it has no knowledge of customers’ browsing habits. This is all very good.
Since it was founded in the British Virgin Islands, PureVPN is governed by local laws there. According to the business, it has team members operating in Toronto, Karachi, and Hong Kong.
To prove their commitment to privacy, some VPNs have begun hiring outside audits. For instance, Editors’ Choice winner TunnelBear VPN has promised to publish the findings of yearly audits. Although audits are not flawless, we believe they are a valuable indicator of a company’s dedication to protecting its clients. Although PureVPN claims to have undergone an audit by Altius IT and has informed us of the findings, it does not provide clients with a link to the audit. We want the complete text to be made available.
The number of information requests a corporation has received from governmental bodies and law enforcement is often included in a transparency report. We are grateful that PureVPN recently updated their transparency report to include those requests. It still does not make it apparent how PureVPN replied to these inquiries, though. The corporation already informed us that it did not adhere to any of them, but this information ought to be disclosed in the report.
Windows PureVPN in-depth tutorial
On our Intel NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH (Bean Canyon) desktop running the most recent version of Windows 10, we had no issue installing PureVPN. One thing to keep in mind: When installing PureVPN, the Chrome PureVPN Proxy extension is automatically checked in the installer. Although browser proxy extensions have their uses, we don’t favor anything that installs other programs. This should either be taken out or made an opt-in option by PureVPN.
Since we last examined PureVPN’s client app, it has undergone significant changes, and we are pleased with the outcome. After logging up, you are met with a sizable Connect button that will immediately connect you to what PureVPN believes to be the best server for you and put you online. This simplicity is quite appealing to us, and new VPN users will agree. We really like how the design of the app uses subtle purple accents. Nevertheless, it is still not as user-friendly or efficient as TunnelBear VPN.
The server selector is also designed intelligently. You can open the countries listed on the right to view the cities that are available there. Unfortunately, PureVPN does not allow you to select particular servers. PureVPN displays your available dedicated IP addresses, favorite servers, recently used servers, and the app’s suggested servers on the left side of the screen. We adore how the program neatly arranges all the essential server data on a single screen. This design should serve as an example for other businesses.
You can manually choose the VPN protocol you want the program to utilize from the Settings. It will automatically choose what it deems to be most effective. Additionally, the software has a Kill Switch feature that, should the VPN be unintentionally disconnected, will stop all internet activity. This feature could not be tested. Additionally, PureVPN may be set up to automatically start up and connect to a particular server when it does.
Additionally, there is a Split Tunneling setting, which is a little unclear. Split tunneling must first be toggled off before you may choose which apps to use the VPN on; otherwise, all other traffic will proceed unencrypted. What we would anticipate is reversed by this. The fact that the picker to choose an app is simply a File Explorer window adds to the confusion because you need to understand where Windows keeps its executable files. The feature in PureVPN needs to be updated.
Split tunneling selection for PureVPN
Many streaming providers make an effort to prevent VPN traffic since you can use a VPN to conceal or spoof your location. In our testing, we discovered that PureVPN could stream Netflix media, but just a portion of the catalog. That makes me unhappy.
Your VPN shouldn’t leak DNS requests in order to preserve your privacy. Using the DNS leak test tool, we examined a PureVPN server. We verified that PureVPN updated our public IP address successfully and did not leak any of our DNS data. Only the server that we utilized for testing is validated by this test. It’s possible that other servers are not set up properly.
An Android 11-powered Samsung A71 5G was used to install the PureVPN Android VPN app. When we first opened the app, it asked for our consent to establish a VPN connection and to disable Android’s battery optimization feature. Unless the feature is turned off, the battery optimization controls will turn off any VPNs that are active in the background. We decided not to turn it off while testing.
For first-time customers, the PureVPN Android app provides a brief instruction. The background of the app is a lovely lavender color with white and green accents. We connected to a server in Atlanta, Georgia, after clicking the big white button in the screen’s middle. While the VPN connects, an animation of the icons for entertainment apps like YouTube and Twitch dances around the connection button. Unfortunately, when you disable the VPN, a dire-sounding warning message that claims your internet security is at stake appears.
Android with PureVPN
Always-on VPN and Split Tunneling are two more features available in the PureVPN for Android app. Multihop connectivity and a Kill Switch are the features that are absent, as seen in other Android applications.
We went to DNSLeakTest.com and ran an extensive test while connected to a server in Paris, France. We discovered that neither our DNS records nor our real IP address were exposed.
While still connected to the Paris-based server, we went to YouTube.com and loaded a few videos. Every video began playing right away without any stuttering or buffering. For the last performance test, we changed to a PureVPN server in Frankfurt, Germany, and went to Twitch to watch a streamer play a game. The stream started after a few ads, however the video immediately began to buffer and had trouble playing. Although disappointing, given how far away we are from Germany, this is not entirely unexpected.
Using PureVPN on iOS first-hand
The iPhone VPN app for the service was installed on an iPhone XS running iOS 14.7. We signed into our account after accepting the terms of both documents and allowing the software to create a VPN connection.
VPN Pure on iOS
The iOS app for PureVPN is stylish and feminine, with a lavender backdrop and vibrant green accents. Similar to the Android version, when you connect to a VPN server, a cute animation of different icons for interests or sources of amusement is displayed. The program also contains a dark option with a deep, rich purple backdrop, lavender controls, and vivid green accents, in addition to the light mode (the default).
To connect to a server in Atlanta, Georgia, we clicked the sizable white connection button in the program window’s middle. By tapping the globe icon in the upper right corner of the screen, you may see the list of servers (organized by nation and then city).
Beyond the bare minimum VPN security, the PureVPN iOS app has very few features. You can select to turn on Reconnect on Disconnect in the Settings menu. Unfortunately, the software does not provide a kill switch or split tunneling.
Anyone who wants to browse privately must use a VPN that can conceal their IP address and won’t divulge their DNS information. By visiting DNSLeakTest.com and doing an extended DNS leak test while connected to a VPN server in Toronto, we put this feature of PureVPN to the test. This specific server passed without issue.
We went to Twitch while connected to the Toronto server. We clicked on a stream, but it became unwatchable after the video buffered for a few seconds before appearing and starting to buffer once more.
We went to YouTube.com and clicked on a video while we were still connected to the Canadian server. It loaded the video after more than ten seconds. Again, this is not ideal; but, once the movie did start playing, there was no stuttering or buffering.
The PureVPN MacOS VPN program was downloaded from the vendor’s website and set up on a MacBook Air (2020) running Big Sur 11.2.2. The app has a lavender backdrop and white and green highlights, giving it the appearance of a wide version of the iOS app. The moment we pressed the sizable white button in the middle of the display, a server in Atlanta, Georgia, was linked to. The server switcher and the VPN settings choices are placed in a menu on the left side of the window. By clicking on the server switcher, you can select from a list of cities and then from a list of countries.
The MacOS software, like its iOS and Android counterparts, has few capabilities; it only has a Kill Switch, which prevents the machine from going to sleep automatically, and a setting that enables the VPN to automatically connect when the computer wakes up. Although split tunneling and a feature that prevents websites used for advertisements, trackers, and malware are included in Private Internet Access for macOS, a VPN competitor that also offers a Kill Switch.
The macOS interface for PureVPN
We went to DNSLeakTest.com and conducted an extensive test to evaluate the privacy of a Bangkok-based PureVPN server. Fortunately, throughout testing, both our real IP address and DNS information were secure.
We went to YouTube.com and tried to watch a video while still connected to the Thai server. Unfortunately, it took a while for the video to load, and when it did, the pictures were quite pixelated. In light of the distances involved, that makes sense.
After that, we went to Twitch to watch someone play New World. Although it took a while for the stream to load, once it did, the video was crystal clear and didn’t buffer or jitter.
Speed and effectiveness
Whatever VPN you choose to use, you can expect a slowdown in internet speed. Typically, this results in slower upload and download rates as well as longer latency. We conduct a number of tests using the Ookla speedtest tool while the VPN is connected and when it is not in order to obtain a sense of those differences. The % difference between the two sets of results is then calculated. See our page on the issue for more information about how we test VPNs.
According to our tests, PureVPN decreased the results of the download and upload speed tests by 83.9% and 82.1%, respectively. These outcomes were both noticeably worse than the median outcomes we observed across all of the goods we’ve examined up to this point. Better results were obtained by PureVPN, which saw a 49.6% increase in latency.
The chart below shows how PureVPN stacks up against the other VPNs we’ve tested. We now only have restricted access to the soft360 Labs because to the current COVID-19 outbreak, and we’ve shifted to a rotating testing strategy. As we evaluate more goods throughout the year, we’ll update the results below.
Keep in mind that VPN speeds vary greatly, thus your results may not match ours. Therefore, we advise against selecting a VPN based primarily on speed. Instead, we emphasize price, features, and privacy safeguards.
The World Has Changed
Customers should be made more aware of the company’s policies, and it should work to obtain less personal data from them. Along with updating its transparency report to reflect its interactions with law enforcement and governments, PureVPN should also make all the findings of its third-party audits public. It simply needs to be properly put together for PureVPN to turn into a really transparent business.
Additionally, its pricing structure worries us because some membership costs skyrocket after the first billing cycle. Customers should be made aware of this more clearly by PureVPN, or it should be removed entirely. Last but not least, PureVPN would profit from adding further privacy options like multihop connections.
However, a lot of the new changes to PureVPN are for the better. We are pleased to observe the extent of its VPN server network and are delighted by its stylish look. The organization should also be commended for the selection and affordable cost of its add-ons. As of right now, we still endorse the Editors’ Choice winners, particularly ProtonVPN and Mullvad VPN. Both have comprehensive and open privacy rules and are considerably less expensive than PureVPN.