|One of the VPN industry's veterans, Hong Kong based PureVPN is a respected service provider that has been around since 2006. It developed a reputation for fast connection speeds, excellent global server coverage and intuitive, state of the art software. It offers everything you need for quick, secure and private web browsing.|
- Fast speeds
- Top notch geographical server diversity (131 countries)
- Works well with geo-blocked streaming services
- Compatible with over 50 devices and platforms
- Innovative split tunneling feature
- Dedicated IP option
- No quick start option
- Some potential security issues with DNS leaks
- Select servers can have intermittent connection problems
PureVPN's website states it is the fastest VPN service period. That is a big claim and a difficult one to verify with complete certainty.
That said, my speed tests did show their servers are very, very fast indeed. This was particularly true for downloads, where nearly across the board connection speeds were reaching 100 Mbps.
Very few other VPNs can match those numbers. So, perhaps PureVPN's fastest claim is justified after all.
On the upload side of things, the results are just as impressive. The one exception is North America. Upload speeds in both the US and Canada, though still quick, were noticeably slower. However, for the vast majority of us, they should be more than sufficient.
One thing to remember is that I test with an internet connection that is much faster than what any VPN provider can match. This allows me to discover the true performance of each server (here is my testing methodology in greater detail if you're interested).
The numbers shown by my tests are the maximum speeds you can expect and may be capped by your own internet connection. In other words, if your internet's 50 Mbps, don't expect to see 100 Mbps downloads from PureVPN. Something in the 40 to 45 Mbps range is what I would expect in that situation.
Below are the speed tests for seven locations to which VPN users tend to connect to most frequently. Also included is a test for my best server, as determined by the Pure VPN client.
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PureVPN was established in Hong Kong well over a decade ago in 2006. It was one of the first companies in the world to offer a personal VPN solution. Over the years, it has built a reputation for being one of the top providers and has received multiple critical acclaims from organizations like CNET, PC Magazine, Mashable and the New York Times.
Privacy and Security
Here is the information in their own words:
We do not monitor user activity nor do we keep any logs. We therefore have no record of your activities such as which software you used, which websites you visited, what content you downloaded, which apps you used, etc. after you connected to any of our servers. Our servers automatically record the time at which you connect to any of our servers. From here on forward, we do not keep any records of anything that could associate any specific activity to a specific user. The time when a successful connection is made with our servers is counted as a “connection” and the total bandwidth used during this connection is called “bandwidth”. Connection and bandwidth are kept in record to maintain the quality of our service. This helps us understand the flow of traffic to specific servers so we could optimize them better.
PureVPN offers military grade AES 256 bit encryption on all its connections. It also allows payment using Bitcoin, for increased anonymity.
A nice feature that few other providers offer is that Pure VPN fully self-manages their network. This setup means no third party has access to any of the data flowing through their servers.
PureVPN offers top of the class device compatibility with support for over 50 platforms. Their client software is intuitive to use and takes a unique purpose selection approach. You pick what you would like to use the VPN connection for (for example, stream US Netflix), and the client automatically chooses the optimal server to connect to and the best connection configuration for that purpose.
That said, Pure VPN currently offers two versions of their client, which can be a little confusing. I wish they would just abandon the legacy one, and put all their efforts behind the latest and greatest.
For a few extra dollars a month, PureVPN can provide you with a dedicated IP address in the United Kingdom, the US, Canada, Australia, Germany and a few other countries. This feature is not something a lot of providers offer. A dedicated IP may serve you well if you're trying to stream geo-blocked video.
Another unique feature of Pure VPN is their split tunneling functionality. It allows you to pick which internet traffic should go through the VPN connection and which should not. This feature is great if you, for example, are downloading a torrent file but still want to do some online banking at the same time. The torrent traffic can go through the VPN connection for maximum anonymity, while you log into your bank using your regular ISP connection.
PureVPN offers a fairly generous five concurrent connections. Not head of the class, but much better than the two connection some providers allow. They also do not impose any restrictions on data transfer amounts or server switching.
The one thing to be mindful of, and this should never come up during regular usage, is that according to their Terms of Usage, PureVPN does not allow more than 200 connections per day. They deem this do be excessive, bot like usage, which can result in the suspension of your account. Here are the details:
Use our Website and/or Services to create automated or manually excessive connections to get different IPs or for any reason. Excessive connections are a nuisance since they create a bottleneck and choke our network, the price of which is paid by other users, and that is completely unacceptable. Maximum allowed sessions are 200 per day, and exceeding this limit may result in permanent suspension or termination of your account, unless explicitly allowed by the company.
Support mainly comes in the form of 24/7/365 live chat, but can also be done over email or with a ticketing system. Pure VPN has a huge knowledge base on their site, including some excellent pictorial step-by-step setup guides for just about every supported platform. They also have an FAQ page which addresses many general and technical queries, as well as payment information.
PureVPN does not offer a free trial. The do have a 31-day money back guarantee if you have not used more than 3GB of data or made more than 100 connections since starting your subscription. Those restrictions are fair enough, as not having them could invite abusive usage.
Server Location Countries
Where PureVPN really shines is in the number of servers and countries they support. They currently have 2070 servers in 131 countries. Very few other providers can match these counts. Only the HideMyAss hardware count is ahead. The complete and most up to date server list is available here.