Top Level Overview
PureVPN calls the city of Hong Kong home, which is good news for those among us who are fixated on internet privacy. In addition, the service provides good speeds and security levels.
The company offers over 500 servers, which is absolutely fantastic for frequent travelers or for those whose countries regularly get overlooked in the VPN world.
These are located in over 141 countries (wow) which includes locations in Oceania, Africa, South America, Central America, Asia, Europe and North America.
One thing I really dig is the SE Asia coverage. For example, they have 4 servers in Thailand; I’ve not come across a service that has more than 1 there. A good sign.
PureVPN boasts 24/7/365 customer service, including a live chat support. They also have other ways of contacting the customer service representatives: a support ticket, a dedicated email address and an online contact form.
They also offer a PureVPN knowledge base for those techies that want to figure everything out themselves. I am not one of them.
PureVPN has hopped on the unfortunate bandwagon that is no free trial, sadly. It really is annoying me how all the VPN providers copy each other on this – one does it and they all follow suit.
Anyway, instead they offer a 7-day money back guarantee (“hassle free!”), which is fast becoming a standard.
Let’s get into pricing…
PureVPN offers three plans:
1 Month Plan: $10.95 per month.
1 Year Plan: $5.45 per month ($65.40 per year)
2 Year Plan: $2.99 per month ($35.88 per year/ $71.76 per two years)
All plans include the following as standard:
- Multiple security protocols, including Stealth (military grade encryption)
- 5 device connection policy
- IP Leakage package
- NAT firewall protection
- Unlimited server switching
- Internet kill switch
- Unlimited data transfer
It’s everything I expect and a bit more, which is impressive. 5 devices is more than enough, and will suit small families too. The Kill Switch is an expected but nice addition, as is unlimited server switching.
However, NAT firewall is a pretty cool. It protects your IP address from intruders and hackers, kills anonymous traffic which can transmit malicious software and protect users from bad packet data.
Note that there are a number of fun add ons that PureVPN offers…at a price. Sure, it’s only $1.99 per month but it definitely can add up if you’re looking to bulk up your security protocols.
The features include dedicated IP VPN, which is supposed to boost your streaming speed, limit online banking access to include your IP only, limit blog access to your IP only and more.
You can grab DDoS protection too, which disguises your original IP address and uses anti-DDoS servers to ensure that your connection is safe.
This add on is primarily for those who like to game online, though it can also boost streaming speeds and block unwanted traffic.
Security & Privacy
PureVPN offers a variety of security protocols, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP and IKEv2.
They run on 256-bit AES encryption, and even offer the popular Stealth, a protocol designed to disguise VPN traffic as regular web traffic, even when subjected to deep packet inspection by your network administrator or firewall.
Great for those in China trying to beat the great firewall.
The desktop client offers advanced settings with additional security features like the DNS leak protection, IPv6 leak protection and the ever popular kill switch.
Let’s talk location: PureVPN is based out of Hong Kong, which is good news for users’ privacy. Hong Kong is pretty hands off when it comes to internet surveillance, though it does take issue with serious copyright infringement and the distribution of extreme obscene content. For the most part, you can rest assured your info is safe!
Hong Kong is known to have very little internet censorship beyond obvious copyright violations and extreme obscenity. Unlike China, Hong Kong’s freedom of expression is definitely a ‘thing’ and it’s protected by their very own Bill of Rights.
Let’s talk logs: yeah, PureVPN does claim to be logless. But you’ve got to take that with a grain of salt.
They do admit to keeping session and connection logs that record information like connection and disconnection times, the amount of bandwidth used, click rates on popular software features and the amount of time you’ve spent using the service. This is primarily used to troubleshoot and also to ensure solid customer service and feature updates.
The desktop client is nice in that you can customize it according to your VPN needs. The options include: streaming, internet freedom, security/privacy, file sharing, or remote use.
The dashboard feature will allow you to choose from a variety of security protocols and then will allow you to scroll through and select a country and a server.
All information is listed below your server selection so you can see the details of the connection. It’s pretty easy to toggle between advanced settings, as well.
Speed & Performance
I found that speeds with PureVPN were quite variable, especially with file sharing. I didn’t have a huge issue with streaming, though I’ll attest it wasn’t the fastest. You do have an abundance of servers to choose from though so it’s not like you won’t one fast enough for what you need.
As previously mentioned, PureVPN has plenty of ways to contact their customer service reps: you can send an email, submit a ticket request, visit their knowledge base / FAQ and also contact them on Live Chat.
Their Live Chat option is not the speediest, nor is it the most comprehensive, answer wise. On technical queries you would do better to direct queries to the email ticket system.
PureVPN offers a 7 day money back guarantee, which is good news. They don’t offer a free trial, which is the bad news. I doubt this will change; it’s just the way the industry is now.
Signing Up & Getting Started
With PureVPN, signing up is nice and easy. You first have to select the plan you’d prefer and from there, you can enter an email address, a name and your payment details. You can pay with major credit cards, as well as Bitcoin.
You will receive 2 follow up emails that contain your payment details and login information. From there, you can download your desktop client using the setup wizard, which is a nice touch.
Pure VPN Review Conclusion
Don’t let the no frills website put you off: PureVPN offers good value for money in terms of the amount of servers and countries covered, the amount of devices you can use simultaneously (5), and the solid security features, which include Stealth.
The monthly price is a at the high end but the yearly deal is a steal. The desktop and mobile clients are nicely laid out and easy to get around. They offer iOS and Android apps for full mobile compatibility. They even have a Chrome app now, as picture above.
I really don’t have many complaints at all. I’d use PureVPN at the drop of a hat and will certainly do so when in Asia, as they have a ton of servers there that will no doubt be quicker than connecting outside of the region.
- Full in-house network: no third-parties involved
- Stealth protocol for disguising traffic as non-VPN traffic
- 5 device connection
- Servers in over 100 countries
- No logs*
- Hong Kong based
- Monthly price plan is on the high end
- Lots of servers but some are slow and not worth the hassle.
- *Some customer information is retained, like connection and disconnection times