For those looking for a good VPN full of customizable features, PureVPN is one of the best in the industry. In fact, not only does PureVPN have everything that a VPN should have but it also provides all this in the most charming and elegant manner via its apps compatible for multiple devices. In turn, all these features are organized to make everything easier for the less tech-savvy while also being fully configurable to please those users that are looking for more in-depth capabilities.
Different Modes, Different Experiences
Starting off with PureVPN’s own downloadable client, we were treated to a pleasant surprise since the first thing that the program offers is a selection of preset profile types, customized to match each of the possible purposes for using a VPN. These are called “modes” and will automatically configure the VPN to behave in the most suitable way, which is useful for all those that don’t like to mess with the settings and would rather easily receive better security, improved streaming, smooth file sharing or internet freedom with minimal effort. Naturally, it’s possible to switch between these at any time and expert users will also rejoice thanks to the customizable settings that allow for further tuning to any of the pre-established modes.
For example, a VPN beginner with the wish to watch Netflix with a focus on fast streaming will benefit from the automatic selection of protocol and other settings, while connecting to the recommended and most suitable servers. But hardcore VPN veterans aren’t pushed to the sideline either as they can go through the unsorted location list and mark their favorites in a separate page, manually choose between protocols or even completely disable the 256-bit encryption. PureVPN does warn, though, that too many manual alterations can make the service behave differently than the original purpose of any given mode.
Neat Security Features
The user-friendly VPN client is just the beginning as PureVPN has other tricks up its sleeve. Its devotion to internet security has resulted in an SSL browser protection feature, coupled a kill switch that immediately stops internet connections if the VPN protection drops. Moreover, on top of the military-grade encryption level there’s also a NAT firewall and other features such as split tunneling, IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection, multi-port selection and more for those truly familiar with the inner workings of a VPN service.
In addition, PureVPN also gives users the chance to add some extra features to the program. This list of add-ons includes: P2P and DDoS protection, port forwarding, dedicated IPs and more. The only downside is that these are all paid for separately, which can end up adding quite a bit onto the final price.
PureVPN maintains one of the biggest VPN networks currently available. There are over 140 countries to choose from, translating to more than 2,000 servers and more than 300,000+ anonymous IP addresses. The service’s reach covers the whole planet, even Africa and other locations that aren’t usually available such as the Middle East and South Asia. PureVPN also supports and encourages P2P, preparing some servers exactly for that purpose. And to make everything easier it’s even possible to filter the servers according your intended purpose for using the VPN and it’ll automatically choose the best option.
In terms of performance, the results are quite positive. Tests were conducted from Europe to different worldwide countries and even the further destinations demonstrated quite impressive speeds. For instance, it’s not at all strange that Denmark or Ireland provided the best results given their geographical proximity but while the U.S. and Colombia naturally had much higher ping they were still almost on par with the European countries when it came to consistent speed. The app’s different preset modes produced the expected results, too: those with faster protocols and lighter encryption had the better results, of course, though the others were not disappointing either.
However, there are also downsides since the download speeds aren’t quite as impressive. It’s normal to see a slight decrease in speeds between downloads and uploads, but the gap between them with PureVPN is very significant. This should have little impact on the average VPN session but it’s an area where PureVPN falls behind some of the competition. This is of less importance, though, when compared to the constant DNS leaks that occur on all connections. Given PureVPN’s reputation, its P2P friendliness and the fact that this is one of the many security features advertised on the official website, this is a big disappointment.
True to its word, though, PureVPN utilizes military-grade 256-bit encryption that prevents third-party surveillance, hacking attempts and malicious spying on your privacy. PureVPN also has a zero-log policy as the company promises not to track and store your online activity, going so far that it cannot even identify specific user actions. During a VPN session, unspecified data on the bandwidth and connections usage is collected, serving only the purpose of maintaining the high quality of the service.
It’s worth mentioning once again the entire range of both inherent and extra tools that PureVPN makes available. Such features like IPv6 and WebRTC leak prevention, the different VPN protocols – including OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP SSTP and IKEv2 – P2P protection, and much more help to maintain a high level of privacy and security.
OS, Device Support
A good VPN needs to offer a vast range of supported devices, not only to reach more customers but to go above and beyond the competition. PureVPN truly delivers in this regard since it supports virtually every operating system and mobile device on the market. Windows, Linux and Mac computers, as well as iOS and Android smartphones are all supported with the same smooth user experience across the board thanks to trustworthy apps. When it comes to mobile, the apps let users easily pick between protocols and any of the different countries available in the same simple manner as on computers, not to mention that the 256-bit security and all of the servers are fully optimized for mobile use.
PureVPN also thrives where others fail by reaching otherwise unreachable, unsupported devices. DD-WRT router configurations ensure that the VPN can protect games consoles, smart TVs, Chromecast and other devices, all of which have detailed guides to help with the installation. In addition, PureVPN provides native apps and add-ons for Android TV, Kodi, Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick, as well as browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome. With all these compatible platforms, it’ll be good to hear that the company allows a maximum of five devices to be connected simultaneously to one account.
PureVPN has a rather aggressive strategy when it comes to getting payments from users, with regular pop-up ads and occasional promotions for greater price reductions. However, the standard three-tier pricing scheme features the usual options and choosing the longest subscription will grant the biggest discount, though this may not be the best for some users. The best value plan lasts for two years and costs a total of $79 without any optional add-ons, translating to $3.29 per month. But there are shorter-term subscriptions, too, like the annual one that costs $64.92 or the costly monthly $10.95 option.
Given the ever-increasing competition, these price differences are understandable and, generally, they’re fair and attractive. PureVPN would benefit from a plan between the costly monthly option, but it’s no surprise to see the company focusing on longer-term subscriptions. However, PureVPN often switches its plans and pricing and it’s recommended to keep an eye out for the temporary promotions that the company frequently creates, which ultimately affect the pricing since other plans with different subscription periods can arise.
All purchases include a 31-day money-back guarantee, allowing a full month of risk-free testing. Customers can choose from a handful of payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrency and much more. It’s also possible to add extras to any plan, with the dedicated IP with DDoS protection costing $2.25 more per month, the port forwarding function for an extra $0.99 monthly, and many more options besides.
PureVPN operates top class customer support. When reaching out for assistance, users will experience quick and proper personal help from staff members, whether through live chat or email. Kudos to PureVPN for not only supporting its customers 24/7 but for making help available within the VPN apps too. In fact, it’s very rare to see some sort of help directly implemented into the client and though this is limited to the most general FAQ questions or creating a support ticket, it’s still a positive aspect to have help so immediately close.
The site is more extensive and if some question is not answered directly within the clients it will most likely be resolved here. It includes a knowledge base with all the details on the various setup processes for all major platforms, a much more extensive FAQ, and more. PureVPN’s Facebook and Twitter pages and its own blog and YouTube channel are also good to consider for the latest news and relevant content.
The performance of PureVPN demonstrates why this is one of the world’s top providers. The overwhelming number of both common and rare locations, the wide device support and multiple protocols and the clever way the apps are built to please all kinds of users are the main reasons to consider PureVPN. Obviously, the importance the company places on security cannot be ignored and it’s truly a joy to see such features as the kill switch, IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection or split tunneling so well integrated into the app. And let’s not forget the strong stance it has for not logging user details.
But there’s always space for improvement and for PureVPN this means the problematic DNS leaks. These may not be of much importance to most people but it’s still something that just shouldn’t happen, especially with the emphasis the company places on P2P sharing. It’s also unfortunate that a provider as reputable as PureVPN charges extra for certain add-on features like the dedicated IP protection or port forwarding, though this is admittedly less of an issue.
But all this is secondary to the company’s good prices and, more important, the great discounts that it frequently presents to users.
- Very feature-rich
- User-friendly apps
- Emphasis on security
- Vast and high-quality VPN network
- Great device support
- Attractive pricing
- DNS leaks
- Some extra features could be implemented for free