- 6500+ servers in 70+ countries
- Offers P2P supported servers and port forwarding
- Quantum Resistant servers
- Up to 10 simultaneous connections
- Faster connection speeds and lower latency
- 5,500+ servers in 60 countries
- Offers SmartDNS
- Fast torrenting download speeds
However, these VPNs are as diverse as they’re similar. For instance, PureVPN offers port-forwarding, whereas NordVPN doesn’t, but it offers a SOCKS5 proxy which PureVPN lacks.
So, which one should you pick?
Continue reading as I pit PureVPN against NordVPN by testing their offerings to help you decide which VPN is best for you!
PureVPN vs. NordVPN (Overview Table)
|Servers:||6500+ servers in 70+ countries||5,500+ in 60 countries|
|Speed:||27 Mbps drop||7 Mbps drop|
|Protocols:||IPSec, IKEv2, OpenVPN (TCP), OpenVPN (UDP), and WireGuard||NordLynx, OpenVPN (TCP), OpenVPN (UDP), and IKEv2|
|Streaming:||Hulu, Amazon Prime, NRK, France.tv, BBC iPlayer||Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, NRK, France.tv, BBC iPlayer|
|Torrenting:||P2P supported servers + seeding||P2P supported servers + no seeding|
|Gaming:||440 ms ping + 0% packet loss||279 ms ping + 0% packet loss|
|Logs:||Verified no-logs policy||Verified no-logs policy|
|Security:||AES 256-bit encryption, Public WiFi protection, kill switch, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection||AES 256-bit encryption, Kill Switch, Double VPN, WiFi Protection, obfuscation, Onion Over VPN, and more|
|Devices:||Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, routers||Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, routers|
|Customer Support:||24/7 live chat and email support||24/7 live chat and email support|
PureVPN has over 6,500 servers in 70+ countries, most of which are quantum-resistant. These quantum-resistant servers are designed to prevent even quantum-level computers from decrypting your live traffic on these servers.
On the other hand, NordVPN has 5,500+ servers in 60 countries, lesser than the country or server count PureVPN boasts. This makes PureVPN a better fit to get IP addresses or unblock content in more countries.
Furthermore, NordVPN doesn’t have servers in the Middle East and Africa, unlike PureVPN. Hence, PureVPN is ideal for connecting to Middle Eastern and African servers.
That said, NordVPN’s servers are RAM-based compared to PureVPN’s disk-based servers.
The RAM-based servers remove your session data as soon as you disconnect from the server, ensuring no information on what you did online is retained past the time of disconnection. However, disk-based servers take a while to delete the data.
Cure53 and Deloitte audited NordVPN for its server claims in early 2023, and both found the provider’s claims consistent. PureVPN was audited similarly by KPMG in 2020, which found no issues. However, PureVPN hasn’t undergone an audit since 2020.
Does PureVPN or NordVPN Work in China?
I contacted PureVPN’s customer support team to ask if PureVPN works in China.
Here’s what one of PureVPN’s customer reps responded with:
And the same is true with NordVPN. One of NordVPN’s customer reps told me that Windows users couldn’t use NordVPN to break the Great Firewall of China and access the internet. However, the provider acknowledged that it’s currently fixing this issue.
Luckily, both VPNs offer obfuscation to disguise your VPN traffic as regular traffic and bypass the firewall restrictions in China. NordVPN even has a separate “Obfuscated Servers” section under its “Speciality Servers” to choose an obfuscation server quickly. On the other hand, PureVPN doesn’t have such a dedicated section but supports obfuscation on selected servers. More about this when I discuss obfuscation below.
PureVPN has an extensive server network spreading into the Middle East and Africa, where NordVPN lacks a presence. However, NordVPN uses RAM-only servers that delete your session information when you disconnect, unlike the relatively unsafe disk-based servers preferred by PureVPN. So, NordVPN wins this round.
Is PureVPN Faster Than NordVPN?
I connected both VPNs to similar servers and ran six speed tests, which NordVPN won.
This wasn’t a big surprise since NordVPN offers its proprietary protocol, NordLynx, optimized for fast speeds. Whereas the fastest protocol PureVPN offers is WireGuard.
Here are the VPN protocols PureVPN offers across its PC and mobile devices:
- OpenVPN UDP
- OpenVPN TCP
In contrast, here are NordVPN’s protocols:
- NordLynx (NordVPN’s proprietary protocol)
- OpenVPN UDP
- OpenVPN TCP
To ensure a better comparison of the VPNs’ speeds under each protocol, here are the similar protocols I selected on different devices for this test:
- WireGuard for PureVPN and NordLynx for NordVPN on my Mac.
- IKEv2 and OpenVPN for both providers on my mobile (iPhone) device.
Furthermore, I chose similar servers across the two providers:
- Singapore (the closest)
- United States (the farthest)
NordVPN smoked PureVPN with a big difference in speed drop in all protocols.
Check the next section for the results.
Speed & Performance Tests
The results of the speed tests I performed for each protocol and server are broken down in detail below.
|PureVPN (WireGuard)||27 Mbps speed drop||41 Mbps speed drop||128 Mbps speed drop|
|NordVPN (NordLynx)||7 Mbps speed drop||19 Mbps speed drop||26 Mbps speed drop|
|PureVPN (IKEv2)||66 Mbps speed drop||64 Mbps speed drop||56 Mbps speed drop|
|NordVPN (IKEv2)||27 Mbps speed drop||61 Mbps speed drop||56 Mbps speed drop|
|PureVPN (OpenVPN UDP)||50 Mbps speed drop||96 Mbps speed drop||82 Mbps speed drop|
|NordVPN (OpenVPN UDP)||15 Mbps speed drop||18 Mbps speed drop||40 Mbps speed drop|
Despite the distance from my location to the US, NordVPN recorded the lowest speed drop over the NordLynx protocol.
Whereas PureVPN performed the worst when connected to the same server from my location.
NordVPN obliterated PureVPN on every comparable protocol. Also, the NordLynx protocol didn’t experience much of a speed drop. So, NordVPN wins this round without challenge.
I tested NordVPN and PureVPN with Amazon Prime Video, NRK TV, CNN Go, Crackle, and BBC iPlayer to ensure you can get these content libraries from abroad.
Check out the next section for Netflix results.
In the meantime, here are the results for the other streaming platforms:
|Streaming Service||PureVPN Access?||NordVPN Access?|
|Amazon Prime Video||Yes||Yes|
PureVPN and NordVPN unlocked most streaming platforms, but Amazon Prime Video detected both VPN providers and didn’t allow me to stream content at first.
I fixed this by clearing my browser cache and cookies and relaunching Prime in Incognito/private browsing mode.
Although the message “Traveling?” did appear, I could play movies and TV shows.
Otherwise, NordVPN and PureVPN performed incredibly well, and I watched HD and 4K content without any buffering on the streaming platforms I tested.
You should also note that only NordVPN provides SmartDNS.
I used this feature to stream content on my old SmartTV that doesn’t have a NordVPN app, and my gosh, it performed exceptionally.
I tested NordVPN and PureVPN with five Netflix libraries: the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Japan. Here’s how they performed:
|Unblocks:||Netflix US?||Netflix UK?||Other Netflix Libraries?|
|PureVPN||Yes (USA-2)||Yes (UK - London)||Netflix CA, AU, JP|
|NordVPN||Yes (USA-2)||Yes (UK-1)||Netflix CA, AU, JP|
With NordVPN, the stream buffered for a few seconds, but playback resumed immediately and didn’t buffer anymore once a strong connection was established.
I had a similar experience with PureVPN, which took almost the same time as NordVPN to resume playback. But ever since, I didn’t struggle with poor connectivity anymore.
NordVPN and PureVPN were both able to seamlessly unblock multiple streaming platforms and play content. Also, both VPN providers performed equally on Netflix. Hence, this round ends in a tie.
PureVPN offers P2P servers in 36 locations, while NordVPN offers P2P servers in 51 locations to give users more options to connect to. In fact, NordVPN’s bigger package gives you a higher chance of landing a nearby P2P server, which is essential for faster downloads.
On top of that, NordVPN also offers SOCKS5 proxy for faster torrent downloads, which is missing on PureVPN. Setting up a SOCKS5 proxy could be challenging, but you don’t have to worry about it anymore once you have it set up the first time.
In contrast, PureVPN offers Port Forwarding as a paid add-on, which NordVPN doesn’t for safety reasons. This port forwarding is somewhat easier to use than SOCKS5, making PureVPN your pick to seed torrents.
Since NordVPN and PureVPN don’t log your online activities, you can rest assured you won’t receive DMCA notices or become a victim of copyright trolls.
Even so, neither NordVPN nor PureVPN supports downloading copyright-protected torrents as spelled out in their ToS.
Check the next section to see how both VPNs performed in real-life torrent download tests.
I tested the torrenting speeds of both VPNs by downloading a 2.4GB copyright-free movie, Alexander the Great: Military Genius Who Changed the World.
I selected the WireGuard protocol on PureVPN and NordLynx on NordVPN since they were the fastest from my speed test above. I fired up my qBittorrent torrent client to download this file since it’s compatible with both VPNs.
Other compatible torrent clients you can use with these VPNs are uTorrent, Vuze, and BitTorrent, among others.
Finally, I connected to a US – New York P2P server on both VPNs.
Here’s how they performed:
|Average Download Speed||Max Download Speed||Download Completion Time|
|PureVPN||2.9 MiB/s avg||5.9 MiB/s avg||13 minutes, 14 seconds|
|NordVPN||5.8 Mib/s avg||10.1 Mib/s avg||7 minutes, 08 seconds|
NordVPN downloaded the torrent file in less than half the time it took PureVPN.
It also had higher average and maximum download speeds compared to PureVPN.
Both NordVPN and PureVPN provide P2P servers. Exclusively, NordVPN provides a SOCKS5 proxy, while PureVPN offers paid port forwarding. But NordVPN wins this round for having more P2P servers, faster download speeds, and shorter waiting times.
To determine whether NordVPN and PureVPN are suitable for gaming, I ran a ping and packet loss test. Here are the results:
|PureVPN||New York||WireGuard||440 ms||0%|
|NordVPN||New York||NordLynx||279 ms||0%|
I also tested both providers with Overwatch to see how they fare with fairly graphics-heavy first-person shooter games. The gaming experience was excellent on NordVPN, but I occasionally experienced latency, which also caused me to lose a round once.
On the other hand, PureVPN was horrible with Overwatch. The lag was extraordinarily high, making the game unplayable at some point.
If you pitch your tent with PureVPN, connect to a nearby server to get lower ping and little to no latency.
I also played Assassin’s Creed: Unity, an open-world RPG, using NordVPN and PureVPN. The results mimicked what I got on Overwatch – with NordVPN making the game decently playable while PureVPN frustrated my gaming experience.
On top of that, PureVPN charges for DDoS protection, which comes as part of the basic NordVPN subscription instead. So, you might be exposed to screen freezes, server disconnection, and other rampant DDoS issues, especially in P2P games with sore losers.
PureVPN’s ping is higher, which also causes latency when playing first-person shooter and other graphics-intensive games. NordVPN, on the other hand, performed exceptionally with all tested games. NordVPN wins this round.
PureVPN is headquartered in the BVI (British Virgin Islands), a privacy-friendly region not part of the 14 Eyes intelligence nations. Similarly, NordVPN is headquartered in a privacy-friendly location, Panama.
Hence, neither provider must respond to a court subpoena from other jurisdictions (like the US, UK, etc.) ordering them to release their users’ information.
Moreover, NordVPN and PureVPN promise a 100% no-logs policy.
To enforce this and minimize user data collection, NordVPN and PureVPN only require your email on signup. They go one step ahead to ensure your details remain anonymous by allowing you to pay for the subscription with cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, PureVPN won’t issue you a refund if you decide to cancel your subscription after paying with cryptocurrency, but NordVPN will.
Here’s a quick summary of what PureVPN and NordVPN logs:
|Traffic Logs?||Connection Logs?||IP Address?||Server Location?|
NordVPN even has an open-source Linux terminal, unlike PureVPN, so users can review its code for transparency.
Furthermore, I thoroughly reviewed PureVPN and NordVPN’s privacy policies, which are almost identical. The information they don’t collect is tabled above.
However, they collect your email, payment method, connection time, activity, and usage logs.
This information is stored in a non-identifying way to keep you anonymous and is only used to keep your account active and improve the VPN service.
Surprisingly, NordVPN changed its stance from not complying with foreign law regulators to complying with them to log user activity if proper court documentation is provided.
This makes NordVPN a risky choice for journalists or activists relying on VPNs to protect their privacy.
Moving on, both VPN providers retain the collected information for a few years, even after you’ve stopped using their services.
PureVPN doesn’t state how long it keeps your information before deleting it, but NordVPN stores some of it for up to 10 years.
If requested, NordVPN deletes all the information it has gathered about you; PureVPN does too, but only for EU citizens.
But do these providers practice what they preach?
PureVPN was caught leaking a user’s information to the FBI in 2017.
This showed that it collected some logs, at least, to have been able to identify that user.
Conversely, in 2018, hackers unsuccessfully tried to hack NordVPN servers.
This incident prompted NordVPN to upgrade its servers to RAM-only servers.
Both providers have commissioned independent cybersecurity audits of their servers and no-logging claims after these incidents to repair their reputation and be more transparent with their users.
Although both VPN providers have reputable logging policies, PureVPN was caught leaking information in the past, and NordVPN is open to working with law enforcement authorities in the future. This round is a tie.
While PureVPN lacks some of NordVPN’s fancy security tools, both VPN providers offer similar features like IP/DNS leak protection, public WiFi protection, split tunneling, kill switch, and obfuscation servers.
Likewise, they secure your internet connection with AES 256-bit encryption.
I tested PureVPNs and NordVPNs encryption using the OpenVPN TCP protocol over Wireshark to be sure it’s not just a smokescreen.
Here are the results for PureVPN:
This means that if someone intercepts your connection on either VPN, they’ll see a bunch of unreadable texts instead of your actual online activity.
PureVPN and NordVPN also offer DNS and WebRTC leak protection.
I tested these across different servers, and none failed.
Here are the results for PureVPN:
Here are the results for NordVPN:
But these providers have more security features, as discussed below.
Obfuscation servers help hide the fact that you’re using a VPN to reroute your internet traffic from ISPs and anyone else monitoring your network. This is especially useful if you want to access the internet in a country with heavy censorship or no internet freedom, such as China.
NordVPN has 105 obfuscated servers, available only on the OpenVPN UDP and TCP protocols. PureVPN also supports obfuscation, likewise on its OpenVPN protocols, but only on the 11 quantum-resistant servers below:
- Australia – Brisbane
- Australia – Melbourne
- Australia – Perth
- US – New Jersey
- US – California
- Canada – Toronto
- Australia – Sydney
- UK – London
A kill switch is a life-saving tool that terminates your internet connection when the VPN connection drops, protecting your identity and internet activity.
To test the efficacy of the kill switch on both VPNs, I downloaded a large file from my Google Drive. I disconnected from the server I was connected to while downloading, and the download paused as soon as I disconnected.
I repeated the test by closing the VPN app while downloading the file this time.
Again, the download paused immediately.
These tests show that the kill switches on both providers work as advertised.
But PureVPN offers its Kill Switch only on Windows, Mac, and Linux, with no support for Android and iOS devices.
NordVPN also lacks a Kill Switch toggle on Linux, iOS, and the NordVPN IKE version on Mac. Instead, it’s baked into the app and turns on when you connect to a server.
You can toggle on/off the kill switch on Android devices, the NordVPN Windows app, and the OpenVPN Mac version.
Here’s a table showing the NordVPN app-level or system-level Kill Switch availability on various operating systems:
Public Wi-Fi Protection
Both VPN providers offer public Wi-Fi protection to safeguard you from online attacks or snooping on your activities when connected to public Wi-Fi or an untrusted network.
To turn on this feature, you can manually connect to one of NordVPN’s or PureVPN’s servers when using an untrusted network like public Wi-Fi.
Extra Security Features
NordVPN offers “Threat Protection,” which keeps you from visiting websites with malicious ads and malware. This free add-on also prevents your computer or smartphone from downloading malicious files from the Internet.
Also, NordVPN lets you turn on “Public Wi-Fi Protection” automatically through its “Trusted Network/Auto Connect” menu. Simply add the networks you trust and configure the VPN to kick in whenever your device connects to networks outside this list.
These features are available across the multiple operating systems that NordVPN supports.
On the other hand, PureVPN offers a “VPN on Demand” feature for iOS devices.
You can use this feature to connect to automatically trigger a VPN server when you visit a particular website. For instance, you can set the VPN to activate whenever you visit Netflix, allowing you to unblock regional content on the go.
NordVPN offers various security tools compared to PureVPN and provides more obfuscation servers. NordVPN wins this round with ease.
Devices & Connections
PureVPN and NordVPN are compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone. They’re also supported on Apple TV, Android TV, and FireTV Stick.
You can even install the PureVPN app on Huawei phones, but NordVPN lacks support. Instead, NordVPN has a native VPN app for Raspberry Pi and Oculus, which PureVPN doesn’t.
Both VPNs offer browser extensions if you only want to protect your browsing session. On top of that, both are installable on a router that supports third-party VPN installation. This way, you can protect all your devices — even those that PureVPN and NordVPN don’t have a native VPN built for – from the router connection.
|Compatible OS?||Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Android||Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Android|
|Smart TVs?||Android TV and FireTV,||Android TV, FireTV, + SmartDNS|
|Router Support?||Yes (manual)||Yes (manual)|
|Browser Extensions?||Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave||Chrome, Firefox, Edge|
You should know that NordVPN only permits six simultaneous connections compared to PureVPN’s 10. You can increase PureVPN’s connections by an additional 10 (for 20 simultaneous connections) by paying for an add-on that costs $20.89. Unfortunately, NordVPN lacks such an option.
Conversely, NordVPN offers SmartDNS, which is missing on PureVPN, and can unblock these geo-restricted streaming services:
- ABC Go (US)
- HBO Now (US)
- Amazon Prime (US)
- Netflix Originals
- Fox Now / Sports Go / News / Showtime (US)
- Disney+ (US)
You can also connect your gaming console to NordVPN using the SmartDNS feature to remove gaming title restrictions, play with US peers or simply hide your true DNS address. In contrast, PureVPN can only support gaming consoles when you install it on a VPN-installable, compatible router.
You can use NordVPN on six devices simultaneously, less than PureVPN’s ten connections. Both VPN providers are available for multiple platforms and can be downloaded on routers, but NordVPN offers SmartDNS to pull ahead. Judging overall, NordVPN wins this round by a small margin.
Dedicated IP Addresses
NordVPN and PureVPN also offer Dedicated IP addresses but as an add-on.
You can add a Dedicated IP address when you’re checking out or add it to your subscription after purchasing your VPN.
PureVPN’s Dedicated IP is much cheaper than NordVPN’s, costing $1.99 monthly to NordVPN’s $3.89 monthly ask.
Split-tunneling is another feature that both NordVPN and PureVPN support.
But both VPN providers allow split-tunneling only on Windows and Android.
Apple devices don’t get the split-tunneling feature, unfortunately.
This is a tie because PureVPN and NordVPN provide Dedicated IP addresses and split tunneling for multiple devices.
You can contact a customer rep at PureVPN and NordVPN through email and live chat.
My experience with NordVPN’s Live Chat was fantastic. I connected to an agent in a few seconds, and the representative replied to my queries without making me wait too long for each reply. They were eager to assist, and no matter how often I had questions, they were polite enough to respond and walk me through it properly.
The experience with PureVPN was the polar opposite. It took me a few minutes to connect to an agent. And after connecting, I had to wait sometime for them to reply.
After the agent responded, they disappeared once again. So, I had to wait about 15 minutes for another reply. This started to get frustrating after some time.
But both VPN providers constantly put out guides and other articles in their websites’ blog sections to help users stay updated with their VPN features.
NordVPN and PureVPN also have their own YouTube channel that frequently posts videos about VPN features and how to use them, among other helpful videos. However, PureVPN’s YouTube channel goes by the name “PureSquare,” since it’s trying to rebrand to encompass a host of other security suites, not just VPN.
NordVPN wins this round, hands down. PureVPN’s customer support service was time-consuming, unlike NordVPN, whose customer support agents were attentive and responsive.
PureVPN’s app is cluttered, and its UI isn’t user-friendly on Mac and Windows computers like NordVPN. For starters, you can’t resize the VPN app, which takes up a lot of screen real estate, whereas you can resize NordVPN’s app to the size that’s comfortable for you.
However, PureVPN’s smartphone user interface is pretty neat, similar to NordVPN.
NordVPN and PureVPN also offer a quick connect button to help you choose the nearest, fastest, or pre-configured location. Or, you can pick any server from the “Locations” section and run with your new IP address.
I also liked that PureVPN allows you to sort the locations by popularity or alphabetically, whereas NordVPN sorts alphabetically by default.
Moreover, PureVPN supports its Port Forwarding servers on iOS and Android smartphones.
Moving on, NordVPN offers an “Auto-connect” section in the Settings/Preferences window, which automatically triggers to connect you to a choice server when using public/untrusted Wi-Fi networks.
PureVPN offers “Shortcuts” in response, but only on Mac devices, to launch a streaming service on a specific server. For instance, you can create a shortcut to “Netflix UK” by choosing Netflix as the streaming service and the UK server as the server of choice. When you click on the shortcut, your browser will launch Netflix UK after establishing a connection with the server.
NordVPN was easier to use on different operating systems and has a neat and sorted user interface. On the other hand, PureVPN’s Mac and Windows apps are a bit clunky. So, NordVPN wins this round.
Price & Value
PureVPN is cheaper compared to NordVPN. Here’s PureVPN’s pricing:
And here’s NordVPN’s pricing:
NordVPN accepts debit/credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and cryptocurrency. However, PureVPN doesn’t support Google Pay or cryptocurrency, but it supports credit/debit cards, Apple Pay, and PayPal.
Both VPN providers also promise a money-back guarantee; PureVPN offers a 31-day package, and NordVPN promises a 30-day offering.
The basic VPN prices lack add-ons like Dedicated IP, DDoS protection (PureVPN only), and Port Forwarding (PureVPN only).
PureVPN is affordable compared to NordVPN, but most of PureVPN’s standout features are available as add-ons, which add to the bill anyway. NordVPN offers only Dedicated IP as an add-on and accepts multiple payment options, including cryptocurrency. So, NordVPN wins this round.
PureVPN vs. NordVPN (Overview Table)
|Servers:||6500+ servers in 70+ countries||5,500+ in 60 countries||PureVPN|
|Speed:||27 Mbps drop||7 Mbps drop||NordVPN|
|Protocols:||IPSec, IKEv2, OpenVPN (TCP), OpenVPN (UDP), and WireGuard||NordLynx, OpenVPN (TCP), OpenVPN (UDP), and IKEv2||Tie|
|Streaming:||Hulu, Amazon Prime, NRK, France.tv, BBC iPlayer||Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, NRK, France.tv, BBC iPlayer||Tie|
|Torrenting:||P2P supported servers + seeding||P2P supported servers + no seeding||Tie|
|Gaming:||440 ms ping + 0% packet loss||279 ms ping + 0% packet loss||NordVPN|
|Logs:||Verified no-logs policy||Verified no-logs policy||Tie|
|Security:||AES 256-bit encryption, Public WiFi protection, kill switch, DNS and WebRTC leak protection||AES 256-bit encryption, Kill Switch, Double VPN, WiFi Protection, obfuscation, Onion Over VPN, and more||NordVPN|
|Devices:||Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, routers||Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, routers||Tie|
|Customer Support:||24/7 live chat and email support||24/7 live chat and email support||Tie|
Hard Choice to Make?
If security and speed are important to you, go with NordVPN as it performs exceptionally and offers many tools compared to PureVPN. But, if you want a VPN for all torrenting activities, PureVPN should be your pick as it also offers Port Forwarding.
Protect private web traffic from snooping, interference, and censorship. All plans are covered by a no-hassle 100% money-back guarantee for your first 30 days of service.