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PureVPN Review: Features, Price & My Verdict

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PureVPN flat logo
Verdict:
RECOMMENDED​
Overall Score:
7 / 10

PureVPN is slowly climbing the ranks to become a recognized top-tier VPN.

It’s proven to its users that it takes privacy seriously and online security is a priority. However, like most VPNs, it’s not without its flaws.

Read my PureVPN review to see what I mean.

Now, I’ve used my share of VPNs and know what to look for in a quality service. So, I put the improved PureVPN to the test and found it ticks most of the right boxes.

With its cheap subscription fees, you can’t expect the very best service, but for protection with decent(ish) speeds, you’ll have adequate cover!

Continue reading for an in-depth analysis…

General Info & Features

vpnAlert Rating: 7 out of 10 ⭐
Jurisdiction: Hong Kong & The British Virgin Islands
Logging: No-logs policy with regular audits
Encryption: AES 256-bit encryption
Security Features: DNS Leak Protection, Port Forwarding, Kill Switch, Public WiFi Protection, Split Tunneling
Servers: 6,500+ servers in 78+ countries, 96+ locations worldwide
Protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec
Average Speed Loss: 5.6 Mbps
Streaming: Disney+, ESPN, and BBC iPlayer (unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max with its browser extension)
Torrenting: Does not support P2P on all servers
Supported Devices: Windows, Mac, Android VPN, iOS VPN, routers, Kodi, Android TV, Firestick, DDWRT Applet PLUS Chrome, Firefox, and Edge extensions
Simultaneous connections: 10
Customer Support: 24/7 live chat
Usability: User-friendly apps
Monthly Price: $10.95
Discount: Exclusive PureVPN Offer
Official Website: https://www.purevpn.com

PureVPN Review: At a Glance

PureVPN website

My overall experience with PureVPN was good – no huge complaints. 

For a lower-tier VPN, you’ll have access to exclusive features, including Split Tunnelling and Port Forwarding.

I was also surprised at how easy it was to unblock Netflix! Although, I couldn’t unblock Hulu at all.

If your mission is to unblock Hulu, then try Surfshark.

This is another budget-friendly VPN with better unblocking results.

But considering PureVPN’s almost unbeatable price with its 2-year plan, slower speeds and subpar streaming are easy to overlook. 

Let’s face it; you’re still getting a big bang for your buck!

What PureVPN does deserve recognition for is security.

Your paid subscription will give you access to DNS leak protection, WiFi protection, a killswitch, and the most popular protocols.

But that’s not all I like about this VPN.

Unlike its rival, NordVPN, which only allows six simultaneous connections, PureVPN allows 10. It also covers a vast range of devices, including Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, routers, and a few Smart TVs and media sticks.

Torrenting using PureVPN also gets a thumbs-up

I just made sure to connect to a P2P server (not all the servers offer this functionality).

But if you want a better picture, here’s a glance at my PureVPN review results:

Categories: Score Out of 10:
Privacy & Jurisdiction 9
Security 9.5
Countries & Servers 7
Speed & Performance 7.5
Media Streaming 7
Torrenting 7
Multi-Platform Compatibility 8
Customer Support 6.5
User Experience & Usability 8.5
Pricing 9.5

Generally speaking, if you want a secure VPN to browse and torrent with, PureVPN will meet your needs.

But if you want a VPN to stream geo-locked content without the need for extensions, there are better options (I’ll share a few suggestions below).

My continued detailed review will help with your final decision if you’re on the fence.

Let’s get to it!

Pros

Cons

Privacy & Jurisdiction

Rating: 9 / 10

Since this is quite a hot topic, I’ll start with PureVPN’s logging policy

I’ll also briefly discuss the VPN’s “scandalous” past and what it’s done to rectify its mistakes.

PureVPN’s No-Log’s History

PureVPN doesn’t have a spotless record where user privacy is concerned. 

Back in 2017, the provider shared stored logs with the FBI, helping them solve a vulnerable case. While the company’s intent was good, they proved that their “strict” no-logs policy was a farse.

Following customer backlash, PureVPN quickly altered its privacy policy to regain users’ trust. Since this uproar, the VPN provider worked hard to get to its current “zero-logs” status and gained favor in its community once more.

Current Logging Policy

Current Logging Policy

As stated in PureVPN’s Privacy Policy, it does not “keep any logs that can identify or help in monitoring a user’s activity” when you use its VPN.

In other words, the provider doesn’t log:

  • Browsing activity or history
  • A user’s original IP or records of IPs assigned
  • A customer’s original IP
  • Connection time
  • Sites visited or content or data accessed
  • DNS queries generated by the user

Keep in mind that, like other VPN providers, you’ll still need to give PureVPN your name, email address, contact details, and payment info when signing up. They also track your bandwidth consumption and software statistics.

However, the PureVPN assures users that this data won’t be shared with third parties.

Now, the next question:

Has PureVPN Been Audited?

PureVPN is continuously audited

The answer is “yes.” PureVPN is continuously audited.

After it found itself in hot water, PureVPN put a new air-tight privacy policy in place and got two auditing companies to give customers a sought-after nod of approval.

The first auditor is an independent US-based firm named “Altius IT.” 

Altius IT certified that it found no evidence of log files that could identify a user’s activity when using PureVPN’s service.

If this isn’t reassuring enough, PureVPN also has an “always-on” contract with KPMG. This means that PureVPN can be audited anytime, without notice.

In the company’s own words: “PureVPN doesn’t violate its zero-log claims, and thus, assures a safe and trustworthy VPN service.”

Who Owns PureVPN?

PureVPN is owned by GZ Systems Ltd, an app and cybersecurity development company that’s been around since 2010.

But the VPN’s roots run deeper.

It was in 2006 when the VPN service was first commercialized by the brainy young graduates, Uzair and Aaqib. GZ Systems Ltd bought the service when it recognized its potential – and then used its resources to build the VPN the three million+ customer base it has today.

“Young graduates, Uzair and Aaqib, built PureVPN so that people could use the internet the way it was meant to be used.”

Where Is PureVPN Based?

PureVPN’s company is based in Hong Kong but the product itself is nestled in the British Virgin Islands.

This is a clever strategy.

By situating itself in Hong Kong, the VPN gains a supporting Chinese customer base. Why? Because the Chinese government has enforced heavy censorship, whereas its neighbor, Hong Kong, has yet to endure the full force of the Great Firewall.

Hong Kong is also one of few countries that can defeat China’s firewall in terms of VPN unblocking – so it makes sense that GZ Systems would hold onto this jurisdiction.

As for the British Virgin Islands, well, this is an independent judiciary that stands in favor of privacy and anonymity laws, allowing PureVPN to retain a firm grasp on its no-logs Privacy Policy.

PureVPN New Home: British Virgin Islands

Security

Rating: 9.5 / 10

Security is one of the main reasons internet users subscribe to a VPN. 

Luckily, PureVPN has your back in this regard!

In this section, I’ll discuss PureVPN’s security features and share tests that verify these features.

Ready? Here we go!

How Secure Is PureVPN?

PureVPN is a very secure VPN and offers the same military-grade encryption and security features as many top-tier VPNs.

It uses 256-bit AES encryption and some of the best security protocols to guarantee online safety. It also has a suite of premium security features, such as DNS Leak Protection, public WiFi protection, a killswitch, and split tunneling (on some apps).

Let’s discuss these features and see which ones passed my tests with flying colors.

PureVPN’s Encryption Status

PureVPN runs on 256-bit AES encryption to keep your online activity indiscernible.

To make sure it’s working, I conducted a test using Wireshark (a free program that can be used to test network encryption).

PureVPN Encryption Test:

First, I linked up to the VPN’s WireGuard protocol.

Then, I analyzed individual TCP, UDP, DNS, and HTTP data packets.

To do your own test, you can install Wireshark and capture traffic by right-clicking on one of the appropriate packets. Then, select “Follow…UDP/TCP stream.”

If the live capture shows an illegible script, it’s encrypted!

Here’s a sample image of a TCP stream:

PureVPN Encryption Test

I tested all traffic types (TCP, UDP, DNS, and HTTP), and all results came back as “encrypted.”

DNS Leak Protection

DNS Leak Protection

PureVPN uses SmartDNS to enable users to access websites and geo-restricted content securely. Once you’re connected to one of the VPN’s servers, you’re automatically secured with the highest-grade encryption.

I’ve read contradicting reviews on the VPN’s DNS functionality, so I put it through my own test.

DNS Leak Tests

I used dnsleaktest.com to do my test.

The first test came back as follows:

DNS Leak Tests

If you’re wondering why it shows “M247 Ltd,” I contacted PureVPN’s support for an official answer.

The agent gave me long-winded feedback on how a VPN works, and I felt he was avoiding my question, “why does the name M247 Ltd reflect?”

After a bit of back and forth, I got the answer I wanted.

The PureVPN IP/server routes your traffic to a public IP address, which was the M247 Ltd based in New York. I’m testing from South Africa.

To back up this data, I performed the same test using ipaddress.com. 

I got the same results: there were no DNS leaks.

From my side, PureVPN passed the DNS leak test with flying colors. 

I repeated the test using a German server and my closest local server to back up my results. Again, pass!

PureVPN passed the DNS leak test

PureVPN’s WebRTC Leak Protection

For your added peace of mind, PureVPN also offers WebRTC Leak Protection.

So, if you plan on doing tons of filesharing or torrenting, then the provider promises “to stop WebRTC leaks in their tracks.”

Testing PureVPN for WebRTC leaks was my next step:

PureVPN’s WebRTC Leak Protection

Test passed! I’m happy with the result.

Again – there’s contradicting info on the net, with some PureVPN users claiming their DNS leak tests failed. The only thing I can think of is that some servers are more volatile than others. My advice is to perform a DNS Leak test on each server before starting your online activity.

PureVPN Protocols

PureVPN Protocol

PureVPN’s site says it supports safety protocols on all its servers. 

But essentially, it only supports 3: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and WireGuard.

PureVPN supports OpenVPN on Windows, macOS and Android, and IPSec/IKEv2 protocols on iOS. WireGuard works on PureVPN’s Android, Linux, iOS, and Mac apps.

PureVPN also supports PPTP and SSTP protocols for those who prioritize speed over security.

WireGuard and OpenVPN are the best at keeping your activity and details from prying eyes, with WireGuard having the advantage of speed. 

IKEv2 is also a secure VPN protocol because it encrypts data twice.

All in all, I’m happy!

Kill Switch

PureVPN has a Kill Switch feature on its Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux apps.

This feature kills your internet if your VPN connection is interrupted and can be enabled in your app’s “settings” panel.

PureVPN states on its website that with its killswitch (Network Lock) enabled, “you can rest assured about your online privacy and security.”

PureVPN Killswitch Test

To put the VPN’s money where its mouth is, I ran a quick Killswitch test on my Windows device.

These are the steps I followed:

  1. First, I disabled the killswitch.
  2. Then, I connected to a PureVPN server and opened a site.
  3. I then enabled the Kill Switch and quickly changed to another server (the Windows app allows you to do this).
PureVPN Killswitch Test

During this quick drop, my opened site threw a “this site can’t be reached” error. A positive sign that the killswitch worked!

WiFi Security

PureVPN promises automatic public WiFi protection but offers nothing fancy in terms of settings and notifications. This means there’s no WiFi detection feature like some VPNs offer. I checked with customer support to clarify:

As you can see, the agent raised the use of the Kill Switch. 

And while he’s not wrong in his method, it would be nice if PureVPN put more effort into this service. Also, there’s no killswitch feature for iOS users!

Split Tunneling

PureVPN reserves split tunneling for its Android and Windows apps

It also works on Chrome and Firefox browser extensions.

If your device/s works on one of these operating systems, you’ll benefit from routing some traffic through your VPN while the rest is processed through your usual (not VPN-protected) network.

The apps feature a device-based split-include configuration, meaning users can select the apps they want to run through the VPN, leaving the rest to run on the unprotected network.

Read: 7 Best VPNs With Split Tunneling (PureVPN makes the cut)!

How to Use PureVPN Split Tunneling on Android

What I like about PureVPN’s split tunneling feature is its ease of use on both Android and Windows.

Enable split tunneling on Android by:

  1. Opening the app and navigating to the “Settings” menu.
  2. Next, select “Advanced.”
Selecting Advanced
  1. Select “Split Tunneling.” This window will provide you with three options: “All apps will use VPN,” “Allow only selected apps to use VPN,” and “Do not allow selected apps to use VPN.”
  1. Select your preferred option. The allow/do not allow options will raise an app menu to select apps that you do/don’t want to run through the VPN.
Select Preferred Option
How to Use PureVPN Split Tunneling on Windows

Here’s how you can use PureVPN’s split tunneling on Windows:

  1. Open your app and click on the settings cog found in the bottom left corner.
Click Settings
  1. Next, click on “Split Tunneling.”
  2. Click on the toggle to enable split tunneling.
Enable Split Tunneling
  1. Click on “Modify Apps” to select/deselect which apps you want to run through the VPN-protected network.
Click Modify Apps

I really do appreciate how PureVPN simplified the process.

Android & iOS App Permissions

The last thing I wanted to investigate under PureVPN’s security status was its app permissions.

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to an iOS device, but pinpointing requests for Android was simple. I used the exodus tool.

Note there are currently two PureVPN app versions available, each with its own permissions. Both have the same number of trackers, but the most recent version (8.23.32) includes (way) more permissions.

Let’s check the most recent first:

The last report for version 8.23.32 was created on December 15, 2021, and updated on February 10, 2022.

To date, this version of the PureVPN Android app features five trackers: Adjust (analytics), AppsFlyer (analytics), Google CrashLytics (crash reporting), Google Firebase Analytics (analytics), and MixPanel (analytics & advertisement).

I can’t complain about these results, as the only trackers used are for analytical, reporting, and advertisement purposes.

What’s a little excessive are the 16 permissions, although none of them are harmful.

Version 3.3.0 eases up on the permissions.

Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager (analytics) replaced Adjust (analytics) and AppsFlyer to keep to a total of 5 trackers.

There are also only six permissions:

Version 3.3.0 was last updated on February 10, 2022, following the most recent report on July 2, 2021.

Overall, there was nothing concerning on either of the app versions.

My research indicates that iOS apps are harder to gauge, and there’s no useful tool like exodus to round them up. You’ll have to view the permissions in your app to see if there are any red flags. If there are, make use of PureVPN’s refund policy.

Countries & Servers

Rating: 7 / 10

Next, I’ll go over PureVPN’s server network in-depth, including its server locations and access to dedicated IP addresses.

Plus, you’ll get the full scoop on the provider’s virtual servers!

PureVPN’s Servers

In terms of server numbers, PureVPN competes with the most popular VPNs like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. With several servers to choose from, you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that provides fast speeds and excellent unblocking properties (more on this below).

Here’s a glimpse of the VPN’s locations and server numbers:

Regions Countries Number of Servers
North America 9 1,788
Europe 32 2,750
Asia 18 576
Central America 1 15
South America 6 171
Oceania 2 451
Africa 6 124

That said, PureVPN offers two types of servers. A good chunk of the servers are physical, meaning they’re solid servers located in the country they’re allocated to.

But several of PureVPN’s servers are also virtual

A virtual server seems to be situated in a different country than it is. 

For example, if you connect to a German virtual server, the physical box may be in Belgium. Luckily, you’ll be assigned a German IP address anyway.

Unluckily, a virtual server won’t provide you with the same level of speed and stability as a physical server.

PureVPN only goes as far as telling us that their virtual servers exist in the US, but they don’t mention virtual locations. This is a tad inconvenient, considering there are 1788 servers spread across nine countries.

Does PureVPN Have P2P servers?

Yes, PureVPN has P2P Servers, but not in all locations. 

This is because some countries have strict policies on file sharing. 

I used the filter on my Android’s PureVPN app to find the P2P-supported servers to take my pick. I found this to be a straightforward and convenient feature.

My only gripe is that there are no P2P servers in the most popular locations, including all UK, USA, Canada, and Australia. This makes torrenting on these servers impossible (more about this below).

Port Forwarding

PureVPN is one of few VPNs that offer port forwarding

But before you get excited, know that this comes at an additional cost ($0.99).

If you’re willing to fork out the extra cash,you can create a direct line of communication with another server so that you don’t have to share bandwidth with anyone else.

If you’re a serious online gamer, PureVPN is worth considering for this feature alone. This exclusive line will enhance your connection’s performance so that you can enjoy a smoother gaming experience.

While PureVPN has made this feature easy enough to use, the process can still be tricky to implement. Unless you’re already tech-savvy, you may want to do some research before reaching for your wallet. 

Countries & Cities

PureVPN Countries and Cities

At the beginning of 2021, PureVPN had 6,500 servers across 180+ locations in 140+ countries. Today, the VPN provider still has 6,500 servers but only covers 86+ locations in 78+ countries.

But this isn’t a bad thing.

Suppose you have a selection of well-populated locations, and you’re guaranteed that a single server doesn’t become overloaded or detected by streaming providers. In that case, a wider location coverage isn’t necessary. 

In fact, Surfshark only caters to 65+ countries with 3,200 servers and excels as a VPN.

Like Surfshark, PureVPN managed to keep a good balance, and its servers aren’t overused or busy enough to catch the eye of streaming police (in most cases). 

Does PureVPN Bypass Censorship?

PureVPN bypasses censored content. However, like with all VPNs, governments and streaming companies can detect and block VPN servers quickly.

So, a server can perform well one minute and fail the next. 

Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t unblock Hulu from South Africa, but other PureVPN users had success?

That said, a good VPN should never disappoint and allow customers to always stream geo-blocked content.

What does play in PureVPN’s favor in this regard are its dedicated IP addresses. I’ll admit that I held onto my cash and didn’t purchase a “fancy” dedicated IP (more on this below). Perhaps if I did, I would have gotten to see what Hulu’s about! 

Dedicated IP Addresses
PureVPN Dedicated IP Addresses

A VPN with a dedicated IP can unblock almost every geo-restricted website. PureVPN provides two types of dedicated IPs.

The first is freely available to all VPN subscribers, but you’ll be sharing the IP with other PureVPN users. I used a free dedicated IP to try to access Hulu, but I still didn’t come right.

The second type of dedicated IP is the “fancy” one I mentioned. 

It’s fancy because you won’t need to share it with anyone, and it’s unlikely to get blacklisted. This option is perfect for gamers and those who are adamant about unblocking sites. However, this exclusive dedicated IP costs an additional $1.99 per month (on top of your subscription plan).

Does PureVPN Work in China?

One thing that PureVPN certainly has in its favor is that it works in China! According to many solid sources, it can indeed be used to bypass the infamous “Great Firewall.”

This is an impressive feat and some top-tier VPNs battle to wiggle their way into this highly censored country.

BUT!

If Chinese users want a nearby server, they’re out of luck – they’re currently unavailable! I asked customer support why and got the following reply:

PureVPN in China

Hmm. Not very reassuring! However, it’s near impossible to find a VPN that’s not temperamental.

P.S. I did try to connect to a server in China a day later and got the same feedback. I also never received an email to date to say that a server’s available.

Speed & Performance

Rating: 7.5 / 10

It’s time to discuss PureVPN’s speeds.

I tested several servers and compared the provider to popular VPNs such as NordVPN and Surfshark (another affordable VPN).

PureVPN Speed Tests

VPN speeds can be tricky to gauge because numerous factors influence the results. Your location, device, how many users are on the server, and distance from the server all affect speed. To give you the best feedback, I tested PureVPN as thoroughly as possible.

To start, I did two sets of speed tests using the same WireGuard protocol.

First, I tested PureVPN’s speeds on the five locations closest to me.

Here they are from closest to furthest:

  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Luanda, Angola
  • Mombasa, Kenya
  • Lagos, Nigeria
  • Cairo, Egypt

Then, I used the five fastest servers according to PureVPN’s app.

These were (from fastest to slowest):

  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Mombasa, Kenya
  • Lagos, Nigeria
  • Bucharest, Romania
  • Vienna, Austria
PureVPN Speed Test Locations

As you can see, my nearest server location (Johannesburg) promises the fastest speeds. But I was surprised that Romania and Austria replaced Egypt and Angola, as neither are nearby. 

Now for the juicy bits – let’s see how my results faired!

Speed Test Results

Before I delve in, here’s a picture of my base internet speed for comparison:

Base Internet Speed Test Result

The three fastest PureVPN servers were South Africa, Egypt, and Romania.

South Africa being the fastest makes sense. Kenya and Nigeria have poor connectivity infrastructures, so it’s no surprise that I got better speeds from Egypt and even Romania!

Here are my speed results for South Africa:

Speed Test Result in South Africa

My results for Egypt:

Speed Test Result in Egypt

And, finally, my results for Romania:

Speed Test Result in Romania

The results were erratic, but this was to be expected (so many factors to consider). For example, Vienna placed fourth but had a lower ping than Romania! And Egypt’s ping, well, that’s just off the charts!

Here’s a table for better perspective:

PurVPN Server Download Speed Speed Subtracted From 19.65 Mbps
Johannesburg, South Africa 18.50 Mbps -1.15 Mbps
Cairo, Egypt 14.41 Mbps -5.24 Mbps
Bucharest, Romania 14.06 Mbps  -5.59 Mbps
Vienna, Austria 13.54 Mbps -6.11 Mbps
Mombasa, Kenya 11.95 Mbps -7.7 Mbps
Lagos, Nigeria 11.30 Mbps -8.35 Mbps
Luanda, Angola 11.18 Mbps -8.47 Mbps

All in all, you’re likely to get decent download and upload speeds on at least one server, though I can’t say if it’ll be a nearby server or one from PureVPN’s suggested “fastest” servers.

To be honest, the speed results are not the best, but they’re not the worst, either!

I’ll discuss this next.

PureVPN Speeds Compared to Other Top VPNs

Compared to other top VPNs, PureVPN is at a comfy middle ground.

How do I know? I did a quick speed test on five of the provider’s competitors using their fastest available servers.

I compared these results to the server that gave me the best speeds (South Africa) using PureVPN.

My base internet speed was 19.65 Mbps.

Here are my results:

VPN Provider Download Speed Speed Loss Difference
ExpressVPN 19.00 Mbps 0.65 Mbps
NordVPN 18.97 Mbps 0.68 Mbps
Surfshark 18.68 Mbps 0.97 Mbps
PureVPN 18.50 Mbps 1.15 Mbps
IPVanish 18.22 Mbps 1.43 Mbps
CyberGhost 16.05 Mbps 3.6 Mbps

In the end, PureVPN performed well enough to beat IPVanish and CyberGhost, two popular top-tier VPNs!

Also, most server speed results I got were still fast enough to enjoy online activities, such as streaming, gaming, and torrenting. 

One thumb’s up from me.

Is PureVPN a Slow VPN?

PureVPN is not a slow VPN. However, it’s not as fast as some of the most popular VPNs.

After my testing, I concluded that PureVPN offers average speeds

If you have a fast line speed and connect to one of the fastest recommended servers, you should have no problem streaming or torrenting files without interruptions.

Media Streaming

Rating: 7 / 10

This section will discuss if PureVPN works with major streaming platforms.

I tested the provider with Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max.

Is PureVPN Good for Streaming?

Yes and no. PureVPN is good for streaming because it offers adequate speeds for a lag-free streaming experience – although streaming in 4K might be a problem.

But it didn’t unblock all the streaming services I tried to access, hence the “no” and the rating of 7 out of 10 (the best VPNs can unblock ALL sites).

There are tons of reviews that say PureVPN does unblock all media sites. 

But many also said it didn’t. So, I put it through my own tests.

Does PureVPN Work With Netflix?

Yes, PureVPN works with Netflix.

I’m in South Africa, and we have our own version of Netflix over here. 

But I’m always curious to see what’s happening on the US version.

To test if I could access Netflix America, I attempted to sign up without connecting to PureVPN. It immediately re-directed me to a South African server. Notice the plans offered in South African rands (R):

South African Plans

Then, I connected to a PureVPN US server and refreshed my browser. 

When I created my account, I was kept on the US portal.

Notice the figures are now in US dollars:

US Portal Plans

I entered my account details and was immediately given access to Netflix US. Success!

I got to watch a recently added US-only title (Stand by Me). 

It works!

Connected to Netflix US

I’m on team “PureVPN works with Netflix.”

Does PureVPN Work With Hulu and HBO?

My tests indicate that PureVPN does not work with Hulu, but does work with HBO.

After I had such simple success unblocking Netflix in the US, I thought I’d have the same outcome unblocking Hulu. But no, PureVPN does not work with Hulu. I even reached out to customer support to see if they could offer me a hack.

They did suggest connecting using PureVPN’s browser extension instead of the app. At this time of writing (February 2022), I couldn’t unblock Hulu.

PureVPN on Hulu

As for HBO, my experience was similar to unblocking Netflix – it was smooth sailing.

Once I connected to a US server, I could move through the actions of entering my details.

So far, I’ve watched a bunch of stuff on HBO with no issues.

Overall, I’m happy with these streaming service results

I can live without Hulu. The question is, can you?

Torrenting

Rating: 7 / 10

If you’re wondering if PureVPN supports torrenting, this section is for you!

Is PureVPN Good for Torrenting?

PureVPN was a good choice for torrenting if it didn’t block P2P servers in popular countries like the US, UK, and Canada, where file sharing is not allowed. 

For this pure reason, I gave the provider a torrenting rating of 7 out of 10.

Other than this hiccup, the torrenting is pretty good when connecting to a P2P server. I already mentioned that the speeds are adequate.

Another positive is that the VPN bases itself in the British Virgin Islands. 

From a torrenting perspective, this means there are no data retention laws, and you won’t be flagged for downloading copyrighted material.

A PureVPN account also has the advantage of port forwarding, offering users an even smoother portal to share files with.

PureVPN Torrenting Test

I like to investigate before recommending a VPN for a certain service. 

Testing  PureVPN for its torrenting capabilities was, therefore, a must.

I connected to the fastest P2P server and downloaded a file using uTorrent.

My average download speed was 1.7 MiB/s with a max download speed of 2.3 MiB/s.

PureVPN Torrenting Test

Remember, our connections in South Africa are much slower than in first-world countries, and I’m also currently sitting with a 20 MB line (poor me).

My 2.04 GB file downloaded in 13 minutes. In my opinion, this is good.

Multi-Platform Compatibility

Rating: 8 / 10

PureVPN supports several devices with dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

It also allows you to connect ten devices to one account, which is more than some bigger players allow. For example, NordVPN only allows up to six simultaneous connections. This means you can use PureVPN on your smartphone to browse the web and stream content safely on your Smart TV simultaneously!

What Devices Does PureVPN Support?

Devices that support PureVPN

PureVPN supports the following devices with apps or manual setup guides:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • DD-WRT Router
  • Kindle
  • Android TV
  • Kodi
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • Blackberry
  • QNap

Let’s discuss this list.

PC, Mobile, & Miscellaneous Devices

PureVPN offers native apps for Windows (7, 8, 10, and 11), macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. These apps connect you to a VPN-protected server with a quick click of a button.

There are also manual setup guides for QNAP, Blackberry, and Kindle (Fire HDX).

Routers

PureVPN offers a dedicated “applet” (not an app) for DD-WRT routers only.

This means you can install the provider’s VPN on the router without going through the schlep of an entire manual setup.

It does support several other routers, except for Fortinet’s Fortigate. 

However, a manual setup for these devices is required, with the setup being specific to each router.

Consoles & Smart TVs

PureVPN offers dedicated apps for Android Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, and Firestick. It also has an add-on app for Kodi. Not many VPNs have an app for Kodi, so kudos to PureVPN in this regard!

However, its router setup is the only support it offers for other Smart TVs (like Apple TV) and gaming consoles (like PS4 and Xbox).

Where Can I Download PureVPN?

The safest way to purchase PureVPN is via its official website, found here.

Whether you’re downloading the app for your PC, Smartphone, router, or TV – it’s best to get your VPN right from the source, as you never know when you’ll come across a fake PureVPN app.

Does PureVPN Have Browser Extensions?

PureVPN offers browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Edge

The extensions are free with any PureVPN plan.

Browser extensions tend to work better at unblocking content

Saying this, they got me nowhere with my attempt to unblock Hulu. 

My bad luck, maybe?

The thing to remember with extensions is to use them cautiously. 

They don’t offer the same level of security as a VPN app, no matter what VPN you use.

How to Use PureVPN With Kodi?

As mentioned, PureVPN is one of the few VPNs that work successfully with Kodi.

Follow these steps to connect PureVPN to your Kodi devices:

  1. Start by signing up for PureVPN. Then, choose and pay for a subscription plan.
  2. On your device, download the PureVPN repository Zip file.
  3. Open your Kodi app and navigate to the “Add-ons” menu.
PureVPN with Kodi
  1. Select “Package installer” (Box icon) and then select the “Install from zip file” option.
  2. Open the “download Zip PureVPN zip file” and wait until you receive a notification.
Download Zip PureVPN Zip File
  1. When you receive your notification, return to Kodi’s main menu. Select “Add-ons” again.
  2. Next, select “Open Program add-ons.” Then, click on “PureVPN Add-on Settings.”
  3. Select “Configuration panel.” Here, you’ll be prompted to enter your PureVPN username and password. Click “OK” and select a server to connect to from the list.
Select Configuration Panel

That’s it. Your activities in the Kodi app will be protected!

Customer Support

Rating: 6.5 / 10

I had to reach out to PureVPN’s customer support team several times throughout my review process, and a few things stuck out to me.

First, the Live Chat feature isn’t “live” from the get-go.

I had to click through a series of options before I was directed to a real agent. These options were also very general, and mostly, they had nothing to do with my questions. 

So, I clicked on random selections just to be directed to a human.

However, this hasn’t been the worst customer service I’ve received from a VPN provider, and at the end of the day, my support ticket was acknowledged, and my questions were answered swiftly, with an average response rate of 2 minutes.

Indeed, the 24/7 live chat support was 24/7 (some VPNs lie about this).

However, I have one gripe. I feel the support agents could’ve done better at going the extra mile with each of my requests. 

For example, I’d either get short responses or get directed to a general article where I’d have to sift the wheat from the chaff.

I’ll demonstrate.

PureVPN Customer Support Test

After opening my Live Chat and filtering out irrelevant robot responses, I asked the question, “Does the PureVPN app on Firestick (from Amazon app store) support Wireguard?

The first feedback I received was from ANOTHER bot, and I was directed to an article on “How to Set Ip PureVPN With Amazon FireTV and Amazon Firestick.” This article did not answer my question.

PureVPN Customer Support Test

At least, I was offered another button, “I am not able to set up Pure VPN.” I clicked on this.

Only then was I directed to an agent, Scott. Annoyingly, I was prompted to ask my question again.

PureVPN Customer Support Agent

To give Scott his due, he responded quickly and directly.

No, the Wireguard is only available on PUREVPN Application on Windows and Android for now.”

I decided to ask him if there was an alternative solution. 

This was when I was offered a clearly “copy and paste” response.

Not cool.

PureVPN Customer Support Response

Perhaps Scott was lazy or just having a bad day, but he could have put more research into my question. If he did, he might have found a solution like one of the PureVPN moderators did on Reddit:

PureVPN Moderators on Reddit

I was also a little offended that Scott didn’t ask me if there was “anything else” he could help me with before I received his final goodbyes. 

But it wasn’t just him, I must have dealt with over five different agents while doing my research, and I felt like each one had something better to do.

PureVPN Customer Service Agent Last Reply

The final message ended in hope

User Experience & Usability

Rating: 8.5 / 10

PureVPN’s apps follow the “less is more approach.” This is good if you’re not a tech genius, but you’ll still want to use your VPN to its full potential.

This makes PureVPN’s apps easy to use.

The interface is also clean and easy to navigate, and the settings are straightforward.

And if there’s not an app for your device, the provider’s guides for manual setups are easy to understand

How to Use PureVPN?

In this section, I’ll explain step-by-step how to use PureVPN on Windows and Android, including what PureVPN features to enable (and how to enable them)!

I don’t have an iOS or Linux device, so I can’t share my feedback with PureVPN on these devices, but I’ll share a helpful “how-to” guide from a reliable source.

Windows

Setting up the PureVPN Windows app was a breeze.

Here are step-by-step instructions:

  1. If you haven’t already, purchase a PureVPN subscription. You can get a major deal here.
  2. Download and install PureVPN for Windows.
PureVPN on Windows
  1. Open the PureVPN app and log in using your credentials.
  2. You’ll be met with the following opening screen (your recommended server may differ):
PureVPN Opening Screen
  1. Before you connect to a server, I suggest you tweak your settings. Click on the cog in the bottom left corner to customize your experience.
  2. First, click on “General” and enable your killswitch.
Click General and Enable Killswitch
  1. Now, select “Protocol” and choose your favorite protocol. I recommend WireGuard.
Select Protocol and Choose Wireguard
  1. If you want to direct some of your apps through the VPN tunnel but not others, then navigate to the last settings feature, “Split Tunneling.”
  2. Head back to the servers’ menu and select your preferred server – sort locations by Alphabet, Popularity, or Ping.
Sort PureVPN Locations
  1. Connect.
Connect to location server
  1. Check your connection for leaks. I use IPLeak.
  2. Enjoy PureVPN on your Windows device!

Now, let’s go through the motions using the Android App.

Android

The PureVPN Android app was also easy to install and use – just follow these instructions:

  1. If you haven’t already, purchase a PureVPN subscription. You can get an awesome deal here.
  2. Follow the provider’s official PureVPN website link to download and install the Android app.
PureVPN on Android App
  1. Open the PureVPN app and log in using your credentials.
  2. You’ll be met with the following opening screen (your recommended server may differ):
  1. Before connecting to a server, head over to the settings menu and select “Settings.”
  2. Select the “Always-on” setting and enable the “Always-on” toggle. This is Android’s version of the PureVPN Killswitch.
  1. Navigate back to the settings menu and click on “Connection Protocol.” Click on your preferred protocol.
  1. If you want to direct some of your apps through the VPN tunnel but not others, navigate to the last settings feature, “Split Tunneling.”
  1. Head back to the servers’ menu and select your preferred server. Sort locations Alphabetically or Popularity – or search your preferred location.
  2. Click on the “funnel” icon to filter servers by “P2P Supported.”
Sort by Popularity
Filter servers by P2P Supported
  1. Connect.
  1. Check your connection for leaks. I use IPLeak.
  2. Enjoy PureVPN on your Android device!

Once again, setting my PureVPN Android up was super easy; I could successfully connect to a leak-free server.

iOS and Linux

As mentioned, I don’t have access to a Linux or iOS device.

However, PureVPN created a very useful guide for using the different apps on different devices. I don’t know about you, but I appreciate this gesture! 

You can find the guide here.

Pricing

Rating: 9.5 / 10

What are PureVPN’s prices, and how do they compare to other quality VPNs?

And does PureVPN offer a VPN for free?

Find out in this section, along with the provider’s refund policy and payment methods.

PureVPN Pricing & Plans

PureVPN’s prices are very affordable, though the best deal is its 24-month plan.

See for yourself:

purevpn pricing

No matter which plans you choose, you’ll get all of PureVPN’s general features included for free.

Keep in mind that Dedicated IPs, Port Forwarding, and DDoS Protection come at an extra cost:

  • Dedicated IP – $2.99 pm
  • Dedicated IP with Port Forwarding – $3.49 pm
  • Port Forwarding – $0.99 pm
  • DDoS Protection – $3.99 pm

It’s disappointing that PureVPN asks extra for DDoS protection and Port Forwarding. But especially DDoS protection. Most VPNs include this for free.

But…

Don’t forget – you can get a HUGE discount on top of PureVPN’s existing deals when you use this exclusive sign-up link.

Payment Methods

PureVPN accepts several payment methods, including PayPal, Visa, Moneybooker, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and WebMoney.

But – I was disappointed to discover there are no cryptocurrency options.

Many popular VPNs offer Bitcoin as a payment method, and I thought PureVPN would recognize this transaction (being a fellow tech-player and all) – I thought wrong.

Can I Get PureVPN for Free?

The answer to this is a solid “no.” You cannot get PureVPN for free.

In fact, unlike most VPNs that offer a free trial period, PureVPN charges for their 7-day trial. The cheek!

PureVPN Premium Trial

While the paid trial does give you access to all the premium features, it’s a little off-putting to potential customers who want to test-drive the VPN before forking out money.

The provider claims to offer a discount after the trial, but this is also confusing. The current trial advert promises 70% off the 1-year plan (after the trial expires). However, at the time of writing, the subscription plan at check-out offers a 73% discount on the same plan. Hmm.

What Is PureVPN’s Refund Policy?

PureVPN offers users a 31-day money-back guarantee.

So, if you’re unsatisfied, you can request a refund before the 31 days are up. 

The 7-day trial is also refundable.

The provider claims that this is a “no questions asked” policy. 

However, they also mention that they “will first try to resolve your issue successfully before processing the refund request.”

In my mind, they would have to ask questions to do this, no?

How Does PureVPN Compare to Other Top VPNs?

PureVPN is a cheap VPN. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable VPNs on the market and even beats Surfshark’s deals.

Here’s a table to help you compare:

VPN Provider: Monthly Plan: Best Deal: Payment Options: Refund Policy:
PureVPN $10.95 24 Months + 3 Months Free ($53.95) – Save 82% PayPal, Visa, Moneybooker, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, WebMoney, and more 31-Day Money-Back Guarantee
NordVPN $11.99 2 Years ($95.76) – Save 66% Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, ACH Transfer, Cryptocurrencies 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Surfshark $12.95 24 Months + 2 Months Free ($59.76) – Save 82% MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Cryptocurrencies 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
ExpressVPN $12.95 12 Months + 3 Months Free ($99.95) – Save 49% Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, WebMoney, iDeal, UnionPay, and more 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
CyberGhost $12.99 3 Years + 3 Months Free ($83.85) – Save 83% PayPal, International Wire Transfer, PayNearMe, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee

BONUS: PureVPN for Business

PureVPN for Business

PureVPN also offers a business solution for “teams” (companies and organizations).

There are three plans to choose from – “VPN for Teams,” Dedicated IP VPN for Teams,” and “Dedicated VPN Server for Teams.”

Subscription prices are calculated according to the scale of how many team members will need to connect to the VPN. The prices decrease when you add more members, ranging from as low as $6.76 per user to $399 per month for teams with 50+ members.

Here’s a preview of what’s included:

VPN for Teams Dedicated IP VPN for Teams Dedicated VPN Server for Teams
20 VPN accounts for team members 50 VPN accounts for team members 50+ VPN accounts for team members
Free Port Forwarding 50 Dedicated IPs 50+ Dedicated IPs
5-Multi Login Free Port Forwarding Free Port Forwarding
Administration Panel 5-Multi Login Multi Login (number to be confirmed with your agent)
All features included in PureVPN’s standard plan All features included in PureVPN’s standard plan All features included in PureVPN’s standard plan

The plans may seem more costly than your basic PureVPN subscription at first glance, but if you have a large team that you need to cover, you’ll save a lot of money by going the “PureVPN for Business” route.

What Do Customers Think About PureVPN?

Finding “real” and honest reviews on PureVPN service was a bit of a headache, but “find” them I did!

First is a review from a fellow South African. His stance is that he “wouldn’t recommend PureVPN if it wasn’t a bargain:”

Real and Honest PureVPN Review

After searching Facebook for opinions, I headed over to TrustPilot

Surprise, surprise! PureVPN was giving an excellent scoring of 4/7 out of 5! There was also a whopping 13,607reviews to sift through!

TrustPilot Reviews for PureVPN

The feedback is mostly good, and the few complaints lean towards poor customer service and the refund policy more than the VPN’s abilities.

I’ll share a few examples with you:

PureVPN Review on Customer Service
PureVPN Review on Refund Policy

I also had a quick peek at Google Playstore, where PureVPN scores well once again (4.2/5).

The “rave” reviews are all about the VPN’s performance while the complaints circle, you guessed it, the refund policy!

Review on Google Playstore for PureVPN

All in all, I’m impressed with PureVPN’s customer feedback. 

For its affordable price, the VPN seems to be living up to its claims (apart from its refund policy, that is)!

Trustpilot actually gives it a better scoring than its two top-tier rivals, ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Not bad!

I’ll finish this section off with one of my favorite reviews:

PureVPN Good Customer Review

If you browse through Google Play and Trust Pilot, you’ll find several reviews similar to this.

PureVPN Alternatives

In my experience, no VPN is flawless, and PureVPN runs quite a tight ship for the most part. However, if you have your doubts, I can recommend a few PureVPN alternatives that offer excellent service.

Here are my top 3 suggestions:

ExpressVPN – The Works

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs and generally places first in my speed tests. It also unblocks all major streaming servers, including Hulu.

ExpressVPN also has excellent security features and offers a kill switch, proprietary protocol, no-logs, split tunneling, and 3,000+ RAM-only servers.

I also appreciate how their Live Chat directs me straight to an agent; there’s no beating around the bush, and helpful, detailed advice is given straight from the horse’s mouth.

Grab your exclusive deal here.

NordVPN – Best Security

If your primary concern is security, NordVPN won’t fault you.

It features everything from military-grade encryption, two killswitches, NordLynx proprietary protocol, and a double VPN to split tunneling and obfuscation features. The no-logs policy has also been verified.

The speeds are superiorly fast for gaming and streaming, and unblocking abilities are above par.

Grab your exclusive deal here.

Surfshark – Budget-Friendly

If you are considering PureVPN because of its affordable price, then Surfshark is another budget-friendly alternative.

It’s one of the best VPNs for unblocking content, and I have never had a problem streaming restricted sites.

Surfshark also offers blazing-fast speeds, unlimited simultaneous connections, a killswitch, and Camouflage Mode to conceal your online activity.

Follow this link for a full Surfshark review or – grab your exclusive Surfshark deal here.

All VPNs Compared

To help you compare PureVPN to ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark, here’s a table:

Criteria ExpressVPN NordVPN Surfshark PureVPN
Jurisdiction The BVI Panama The BVI The BVI & Hong Kong
Security Features Automatic Obfuscation, Kill Switch, Private DNS, 256-bit AES encryption Obfuscation, Double VPN, two Kill Switches, Onion Over VPN, CyberSec, 256-bit AES encryption NoBorders Mode, Kill Switch, MultiHop, CleanWeb DNS Leak Protection, Port Forwarding, Kill Switch, Public WiFi Protection, Split Tunneling
Logging No Logs No Logs No Logs No Logs
Protocols Lightway, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2 NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2 WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec
Servers 3,000+ servers in 94 countries 5,200+ servers in 60 countries 3,200+ servers in 65 countries 6,500+ servers in 78+ countries, 96+ locations worldwide
Speed Loss Difference - 0.65 Mbps - 0.68 Mbps - 0.97 Mbps - 1.15 Mbps
Torrenting P2P support on all servers Dedicated P2P servers P2P support on all servers but no seeding P2P support on some servers
Streaming Unblocks BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and more Unblocks BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and more Unblocks BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and more Unblocks Netflix, HBO, BBC iPlayer, and more
Devices Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Smart TVs, game consoles, Chrome, Firefox, Edge Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Smart TVs, game consoles, Chrome, Firefox Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Smart TVs, game consoles, Chrome, Firefox Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Smart TVs, Firestick, Chrome, Firefox, Edge
Simultaneous Connections 5 devices 6 devices Unlimited devices 10 devices
Best Deal 2 Months + 3 Months Free ($99.95) – Save 49% 2 Years ($95.76) – Save 66% 24 Months + 2 Months Free ($59.76) – Save 82% 24 Months + 3 Months Free ($53.95) – Save 82%

FAQs

Both NordVPN and PureVPN offer quality features, but NordVPN outranks PureVPN in security and speed. This makes NordVPN better overall than PureVPN.

NordVPN’s Double VPN, obfuscation feature, and Onion Over VPN feature make it one of the most secure VPNs on the market, and its technology is hard to compete with.

It’s also faster and supports gaming consoles plus several other devices.

That said, NordVPN is missing PureVPN’s Port Forwarding and Always-on Audit services, so PureVPN at least holds its own.

Although PureVPN was involved in a privacy scandal in the past, it has proven to be a trustworthy service and is now constantly audited to prove its efficacy.

After it found itself in hot water for leaking information, PureVPN quickly gained user trust by subscribing to two of the best auditing companies, Altius IT and KPMG. KPMG provides PureVPN with an “always-on” contract, meaning they can intervene and audit the provider at any time without notice.

With these new protocols in place, PureVPN has promised not to violate its zero-log claims and assures a safe and trustworthy VPN service.

Yes! PureVPN is legal in most countries. However, using it for illegal activities is frowned on and could get you into trouble with the law, depending on where you live.

VPNs are illegal or restricted in countries like Russia, China, and Turkey, where governments have strict censorship rules.

Remember, any illegal activity carried out online will remain illegal regardless of whether a VPN is used or not.

That’s a Wrap!

Do I recommend PureVPN?

If you’re torn between the choice of purchasing a really cheap VPN or having no VPN, then I say “yes” – I recommend PureVPN. The security features have proven to be efficient, and it’s not all that bad for streaming either. 

Try it now!

But if you do have a few extra dollars to spare, perhaps consider Surfshark as an affordable alternative? The overall experience is a tad better. 

Find a full review on Surfshark here

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