If you’re in the hook over VPN news, you’ll know how infamous PureVPN is. Sure, it’s probably the best VPN ever, but it was also put in hot water after some privacy issues that surfaced in the past years.
Founded in 2006, PureVPN was one of the oldest, largest, and top rated VPN services on the web. It’s the child company of GZ Systems. From merely two initial servers, PureVPN expanded to a massive 2,000+ server network that has a presence in at least 140 countries.
Why choose PureVPN?
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong and they claim to manage their own servers and facilities. This could mean that their service is more secure than other VPN providers. However, since it has close proximity to China, the security level is becoming quite tumultuous over the years.
In this review, we will help you decide whether PureVPN is worth your money or not. For starters, here are some pros and cons
- Unblocks Netflix
- Tons of available features
- Good value for money
- Large server network and presence in many countries
- Five devices simultaneous connection in one license
- It partially stores logs
- The add-ons are not really useful
- Questionable security
- No VPN trial account available
Background of PureVPN
As mentioned, PureVPN is a child company of GZ Systems which is also known in creating sports Android apps and is affiliated with various businesses across the globe. First, it’s linked to a hosting service in Malta, a discount-grocery service in Pakistan, and a speed boosting gaming service in Hong Kong.
And in October 2017, a document from the United States Department of Justice revealed that PureVPN supplied the FBI some of its customers logs to track a cyberstalking case in Massachusetts. What does this mean? It means that PureVPN is lying about its intense privacy promise.
Performance and speed
As compared to its major competitors, PureVPN is in a downward spiral when it comes to its speed. Many users complain of inconsistencies in performance. Based on some tests, PureVPN only has a download speed of around 35 Mbps in a 100 Mbps connection. We’ve tested various VPN services before but it seems that this is one of the slowest that we’ve seen.
The same slow speed showed even in Hong Kong where the VPN service is based. Nothing changed even after we changed server continents. It’s just too hard to buy PureVPN’s pitch that it’s the “world’s fastest VPN service”.
Compatibility with protocols and platforms
Although PureVPN is a downer when it comes to speed, it tries to compensate by supporting as many platforms and protocols possible.
To date, many attackers come up with various ways to steal your data. Some can freely read your emails, reveal your passwords, and grab your browser cookies. All these pose a real danger, especially if you’re accessing personal information like bank accounts, booking a flight, or reading private messages.
The good thing is that PureVPN tries to combat these attacks through various protocols. It includes all major types like OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and PPTP. Most VPN services would only offer OpenVPN and IKEv2 which makes PureVPN have the upper hand on this part.
Still, not all of these would be useful for you, considering that not all users will require such intense security level.
Security level and privacy
Like most VPN services, PureVPN uses the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption. This is the same technology that government agencies use to encrypt confidential information. It’s also one of the most secure encryption processes to date.
Aside from this, PureVPN utilizes its 2,000+ network of servers and 80,000+ IP addresses to ensure that your browsing is secure. Still, the platform partially stores some of your logs which make PureVPN a bit iffy.
Overall, the platform is secure, but you just can’t trust PureVPN when it comes to 100% anonymity and privacy. Sure, they’ve gone a long way after they provided the FBI with browsing information. Still, the tests and user feedback don’t lie.
Torrenting and streaming
If you’re looking for a VPN for Netflix streaming, you can take a chance on PureVPN. However, only a few servers actually work and it’s a hit-and-miss process. We’ve tried several servers before landing in one or two that actually works.
Although PureVPN somehow works in unblocking geo-restricted streaming sites, we recommend that you check another option if you want consistency. The trial and error process with the servers can be a real pain.
With all these, the biggest consolation is the unrestricted torrenting. You can use torrent in just about any server that they have.
Price-wise, PureVPN is still one of the most affordable in the market. They are currently offering a limited offer that starts with just $3.33 per month for a one-year contract. Anyway, all of the plans have a 31-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s their pricing chart:
The only gripe we have on this part is that PureVPN doesn’t offer a free trial account. The cheapest you can have is a $2 worth of trial for a few days which may or may not be offered depending on your location.
Also, we like the fact that PureVPN supports dozens of payment methods including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero, and more.
PureVPN boasts its 24/7 live customer support. Yes, this is ideal for those who want a round-the-clock helpline. However, it can get problematic when you’re looking for actual answers. Some agents would even ask first if you already purchase VPN account before answering your question.
First, we want to commend that PureVPN allows you to chat them even if you don’t have an account yet. They also respond quite fast but you should expect that they will try to make it appear that their platform is perfect.
Aside from the live chat, you can also reach PureVPN through email and ticket support. However, some users complained about false answers and poor experience with PureVPN’s 24/7 support team.
So is PureVPN the best VPN ever? It’s not a perfect service, and if you want guaranteed privacy, we recommend that you look somewhere else. But if you’re just a casual browser, PureVPN may work just fine.