PureVPN Review

Brad Smith

Brad Smith · Read user reviews

Pure VPN screenshot Full disclosure: I’m not affiliated with PureVPN in any way nor I’m using their affiliate links. This is fully my honest, unbiased experience with PureVPN.

Testing period: 1 month


Quick Background & Features Info

Founded in 2006 by their parent company GZ Systems, PureVPN is one of the oldest and largest VPN providers on the market.

From their humble 2-server beginnings, PureVPN has quickly expanded their operation and they now boast more than 750 servers across 140 different countries.

Pure VPN Server Locations
PureVPN servers list

While they are headquartered in Hong Kong, which is an increasingly tumultuous jurisdiction for a VPN provider (largely due to their proximity and relationship with China) PureVPN manages and hosts their own network and DNS hardware which should mean that your information is more secure with them than with the average VPN.

Their services are compatible with all major devices including:

  • Windows
  • Android
  • Mac
  • iOS
  • Linux

If you are particularly keen on optimizing your online protection, you can even set PureVPN up to work with your routers, smart TVs, and streaming services (like Roku, Amazon Fire, and Chromecast)

They’ve recently introduced a ‘virtual router’ feature to Windows devices, which means you can empower a Windows desktop or laptop with ‘router’-like features to connect up to 10 different devices. 

Some VPN services, like VyprVPN for example, will only limit you to two different simultaneous connections. So the fact that you can connect PureVPN to a real router, in addition to setting up a ‘virtual router’, means you can connect TONS of different devices. (Probably more than you’d ever want or need, anyway.)

They also have a ‘split-tunneling’ feature which means you can choose how (and where) you’d like to send traffic – through your VPN or internet service provider as usual. So your data can be split as needed.

While PureVPN doesn’t offer their own TOR, you can use one on top. Combining VPN’s with the Tor network to add an additional layer of privacy and security.

PureVPN has a kill switch feature that works like a fail-safe. The goal is to make sure your privacy and anonymity are never compromised, and that your personal information is never divulged.

Last but certainly not least, PureVPN comes with the NAT Firewall add-on so that all possible hacking loopholes are secured.

Pros of using PureVPN

1. Supports All Major Protocols (OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP …)

‘Man-in-the-middle’ (MiTM) attacks are some of the oldest (and most common) ways that hackers gain access to your sensitive information.

You might not even sense anything is wrong. But somehow, someway, someone has placed themselves between you and your intended connection (like a browser or a website).

They can then read your emails, see what websites you’re going to, grab your session cookies to fool different websites into thinking they’re you, and even get personal information or passwords.

Many times the very tools used to help intercept these practices, like WiFi Pineapple, can be used to perform them by anyone, anywhere. Like, sitting in your local coffee shop for instance. Now, browsing emails or booking a flight while sipping a latte can turn out to be not such a relaxing afternoon after all.

This potential risk now extends to mobile devices, apps, and even your smart devices too.

To combat these problems, PureVPN offers all major protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, and even IKEv2.

While OpenVPN is your best bet to get both benefits from security and speed, you might also need to choose L2TP/IPSec based on device availability or PPTP (in only a few certain cases where you’re not as worried about security vulnerabilities).

2. Industry Standard 256-bit Encryption

Brute force attacks are another unfortunately common practice.

Hackers eventually figure out your passwords and pin numbers through a series of repetitive, lightning-fast, trial-and-error combinations.

They’re one of the oldest tricks in the book (besides simply guessing your spouse’s birthday or kids name). And they’re actually increasing.

For example, a recent wide-spread attack on WordPress sites has been directed by a Russian company being used by the country to launch cyber attacks (you can’t make this stuff up).

The best form of defense in this case, is prevention. That comes in the form of 256-bit encryption, which is one of the most secure connections possible used by government agencies around the world.

Your encrypted tunnel gets sealed shut so that third-party sites, ISPs, and nefarious, shadowy organizations worthy of being the next Bond villain, can’t see what you’re up to.

In addition, your privacy and anonymity is completely safe by their ‘end-to-end’ connection. This includes when you switch from one IP to another (or another, or another) across PureVPN’s 80,000+ options.

3. Some Pretty Cool Features (When they Work)

One of the few things that I really liked about PureVPN is just how many features and options they offer their users.

For starters, they offer a kill switch, five simultaneous connections, support for all major protocols, DDoS protection, advanced port forwarding, split tunneling, and a NAT Firewall.

In fact, they provide such a plethora of ways to optimize and customize your VPN experience that it would make even the best VPN blush.

Well…

It would if all of these features worked all the time.

However, they don’t.

I personally experienced a killswitch failure and, after reviewing a number of forums and third-party reviews, realized that almost every customer has experienced some type of issue with one or more of the features that PureVPN offers.

But they work most of the time so I suppose this is technically still a “Pro.”

4. Unrestricted Torrenting

PureVPN is solidly pro-torrenting.

Why’s that noteworthy?

Because ever since copyright infringement lawsuits have began flooding the marketplace, more and more VPNs are shying away from P2P servers.

Often, the ones who do still offer torrenting-friendly servers only allow it on a small handful.

But PureVPN doesn’t have any of these restrictions.

You’re free to use torrenting on any of their servers. So download away!

Cons of using PureVPN

PureVPN is kind of like that kid in high school who slid by with all A’s but never actually did much to earn them. It looks great on paper but sucks in the real world.

Sure, their services are affordable, they have some cool features and a great selection of servers. But the paltry “Pros” I’ve discussed so far simply cannot outweigh the massive list of “Cons”.

1. Atrociously-Slow Download Speed

Here’s a speed test I ran on speedtest.net to ensure the accuracy of this review.

PureVPN performance test
US Server (New York)
  • Ping: 125ms
  • Download: 29.41 Mbps
  • Upload: 29.06 Mbps
EU Server (Amsterdam)
  • Ping: 40ms
  • Download: 35.49 Mbps
  • Upload: 27.29 Mbps

Asia Server (Hong Kong)

  • Ping: 355ms
  • Download: 6.77 Mbps
  • Upload: 3.62 Mbps
UK Server (London)
  • Ping: 53ms
  • Download: 62.48 Mbps
  • Upload: 45.90 Mbps

Ironically, the slowest server that I tested was actually the server where the company is headquartered!

But things weren’t too great on the “faster” servers either.

Their Amsterdam server (the fastest that I could find) only topped out at 35 Mbps out of 100.

Considering that their top competitor, PIA, offers servers with more than double the download speed at a very similar price, I can promise you that no one will be buying PureVPN for their “blazing-fast browsing and streaming experience” anytime soon.

2. DNS, IPv4, and IPv6 Leaks

When you are in the market for a VPN, you are typically there for one reason and one reason only.

Security.

Whether you want to protect yourself when working from public wi-fi or bypass censorship laws in your country, personal, security is (and should be) your primary concern when selecting a new VPN service.

Unfortunately for PureVPN, their service simply isn’t up to the task of anonymizing your internet experience.

I found countless instances of disgruntled customers who noticed that their DNS and personal IP address was being leaked while using Pure VPN’s services.

I decided to ask one of their customer service reps about the alleged issues.

IPV4 and IPV6 leaks Here’s how they responded.

PureVPN 24/7 live chat (nope)

While this response sounded oddly like an automated chat software and not a live representative (which I will touch on shortly), it also didn’t answer my question.

So, I inquired further and received the following response.

PureVPN Logging policy

Even if you completely ignore the ambiguous response, PureVPN, or at least their “Highly trained representative” blatantly lied to one of their customers.

Even though they allegedly resolved these issues “A few months ago“, I found several reviews and customer complaints from September 2017 with screenshots and testimonials proving otherwise.

So…

If you are concerned about your security, you should probably find another VPN provider like ExpressVPN.

3. Their No Logs Policy Isn’t Completely True

At this point in the review, you are probably starting to see a theme.

PureVPN loves to make big promises.

But for some reason, they don’t see fit to actually keep any of those promises.

This is true with their privacy protection and a 7-day money back guarantee, and it’s true with their logging policy as well.

One the surface, PureVPN markets their product as a “Zero Logs” VPN.

However, if you read the fine print you will quickly realize that this simply isn’t the case.

logging policy

So they don’t keep any logs BUT they do keep a record (a.k.a. a “Log”) of your connection and bandwidth?

If you are a little bit confused by this oxymoronic policy, you are not alone.

I don’t always mind if a VPN company keeps certain logs in order to continually improve and optimize their service.

But I do take an issue with a company that advertises zero logging and then blatantly keeps logs of your activity (which of course, you wouldn’t know unless you read the fine print).

4. Terrible Customer Service

As you probably discerned from my previous points, I am not a big fan of PureVPN’s “24/7 Live Customer Service.”

While reviewing PureVPN, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and came back to their website several hours after my initial query to see if another agent could help answer my question.

And here’s what I received from their so-called “Live Chat”.

Fake pureVPN support

It seemed odd to me that my support agent would need to know whether or not I had a PureVPN account in order to answer this question, so I dug a little deeper.

PureVPN customer support is worst

Not only did they completely ignore the question that I originally asked, they were, yet again, caught in a blatant lie.

The company advertises live support agents and over the course of my previous correspondence, they expressly claimed I was speaking with an actual person.

Which left me with one of two conclusions.

Either PureVPN uses an automated chat service and expressly lies to potential customers.

Or…

They have some of the most poorly trained agents in the entire industry.

Either way, things aren’t looking too good for them.

5. Deceptive Advertising Practices 

Nearly every ‘Con’ that I have discussed over the course of this review comes back to one thing…

False advertising.

When it all came down to it, the repeated pattern of lying to their customers is what really ruined PureVPN for me.

If you bring enough to the table, I can overlook lackluster speeds, I can overlook mediocre customer service, and I can even overlook a slightly bloated price tag.

But what I can’t and won’t overlook is a company that makes a habit of deceiving and misleading their customers.

  • PureVPN claims that they keep no logs… They do.
  • They claim to have 24/7 live customer service agents… They clearly don’t (or if they do, they are the most robotic agents I’ve ever encountered).
  • They claim to have a money back guarantee… But that only applies if you use fewer than 3 GB of data.
  • They claim to protect your DNS and IP Address… But countless third-party reviews and customer complaints clearly show these services rarely work.
  • They make claim after claim that they simply cannot backup and for me, that’s the biggest deal breaker there is.

If I am going to trust a company with my personal data, my hard earned money, and, in some instances, my personal security, then I want to be sure that the company in question is above reproach.

And PureVPN just isn’t.

6. Zero Netflix Servers Worked Properly

PureVPN claims to work with Netflix.

But unfortunately, these claims didn’t hold up in our tests.

All four of the following PureVPN servers were blocked:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

Usually, we can get at least one or two servers to work. So the fact that none of them did unfortunately places PureVPN towards the bottom of our Netflix-friendly VPN list.

Pricing, Facts & Hidden Clauses

The first, and possibly most noticeable ‘pro’ about using PureVPN is the price tag.

Even though they have increased their price by about 10% since the last time I reviewed them, they’re still one of the cheapest VPNs on the market and offer a phenomenal price for customers on their 2-year plan.

Here’s how it all breaks down.

PureVPN current pricing

Month-to-Month Plan

  • $10.95 per month
  • 0% Savings

Six Months Plan

  • $8.95 per month
  • 18% Savings

Two Year Plan

  • $3.25 per month
  • 70% savings

They also allow customers to purchase their service with almost every payment method imaginable (even Target gift cards)

PureVPN has lots of payment options

In addition to their budget-friendly pricing and wide array of payment options, all of their purchases come with a 7-day money back guarantee.

But tread with caution…

Even though this is technically the “Pro” section of my PureVPN review, I must digress for a moment to point out that GZ Systems engages in some very deceptive marketing tactics (which I will discuss later).

Among these tactics is their 7-day money back guarantee.

Yes, you technically can get your money back after 7 days.

But if you read the fine print, you will quickly see that this guarantee isn’t as straightforward as it might seem.

purevpn refund policy is strict

If you look at the ToS, you will notice that the 7-day refund is only available for users who do not exceed 3 GB of bandwidth or 100 sessions.

This is a huge problem.

Not because they limit your bandwidth, but because they don’t explicitly tell you this information unless you go digging for it. For the dissatisfied PureVPN customer, downloading one file too many will render the 7-day refund null.

Do I recommend PureVPN?

To put it bluntly?

No.

PureVPN offers and admittedly affordable service with a wide server selection.

However, their service is one of the slowest that I’ve ever reviewed, the company is engaged in so many lies and half-truths I can barely keep track, and the customer service is just plain awful. Plus, no Netflix servers worked, either.

If you are looking for a VPN provider that can offer fast download speeds, an exceptional customer experience, and a high-level of integrity, PureVPN isn’t for you.

I recommend using ExpressVPN – it’s slightly more expensive but you get a quality product you can trust (you can read the review here). If your budget sensitive, try using NordVPN – $2.75/mo (review here).

Add your own review

Have you ever used PureVPN before? If so, what was your experience like? I’m always interested to hear what other enthusiasts have to say about the VPNs that I review! Let me know below.

29 user reviews for PureVPN

Paul 10/10 June 7, 2018

PureVPN dedicated ip

I have had pureVPN for months now and their service is superb. The customer support they offer is also a 10/10.

If you are looking for ddos protection for xXox one etc, look no further then purevpn. The price, support, reliability, and anonymity is extremely good. I do not see why people rate this VPN poorly. I use it on my phone, and two pc’s at once and works great. I have tried express VPN, hidemyass, etc and I cannot find a better vpn then PureVPN. Not to mention the other’s don’t offer DDOS protection and for me, that was a main reason to get a VPN.

Jonathan Wood 1/10 June 3, 2018

Sketchy company

I opened an account – the 1 year plan – with PureVPN in Nov 2017.

I used the service for a couple of months and then went dormant for quite a while. The servers were slow and unreliable at the time. It is now June 2018 and I tried to log into my account and use the service. I was kicked off and informed that my account had been suspended pending payment verification. For a payment that had been processed 8 months ago.

I contacted their 24/7 chat and they sent me a payment verification email requesting a photo of my card… for a payment 8 months old. Sketchy.

sheskito 1/10 May 21, 2018

dishonest

I have used PureVPN to stream content with region protection. The server worked which is why I rated it 2.

My problem is that PureVPN suspended my account without telling me why and I still don’t understand what happened (I would be even OK to pay for more bandwidth) and continue to charge me through iTunes for 5 months. There is no way to cancel the service through PureVPN app. I have to go to iTunes to discontinue the payment.

M 1/10 May 15, 2018

Horrible, next please

Wish I wouldn’t have bought it. I bought PureVPN for features that it claimed to have, but that are left out of the Mac OS X version, like Split Tunneling; this is stated no where I can find, ever.

They weaseled out of the 7-day money back guarantee because I paid with Bitcoin. They claim they refund Bitcoin, but not if you use the particular Bitcoin payment method I used; you must use the other option… this was not explained clearly anywhere near the giant money back guarantee letters. Should have read all of the negative reviews first; they are spot on.

Luuta 1/10 April 28, 2018

Looks like a scam

Got a lifetime subscription through Android Central for £50 or so. Never worked properly, but became increasingly unreliable with time.

Slow to the point it wouldn’t respond, dropping connection, crashing phone. Wouldn’t work with public hotspots, often said it was working but various websites knew exactly where I was. Eventually gave up on it as being useless.

It seems they hook you, then over a period of a couple of weeks deliberately shut the service down. I presume limited resources and data theft are the key reasons for the apparent behaviour.

Avoid like the plague.

anonymous 1/10 April 20, 2018

sell your privacy

They sold one of their customer logs to FBI, and he got arrests.

No one should EVER use a company like this!

Fours 6/10 March 31, 2018

Works for what I need.

Have always got the speed I’ve paid my isp for with PureVPN, however, I use a dedicated server, and do notice a drop in speed when using other random servers. Their customer service has always helped me when needed. Their prices are very cheap and cover multiple devices, even mobile in public networks (however it is balls slow usually).

I rated low only because I truly thought there were no logs and I want VPN for anonymity. I consider the No Logging advertising as lying after this article. Will not recommend. Will gladly pay more for true anonymity.

Mark Hay 10/10 March 26, 2018

Never failed to impress

The service has been good and met/exceeded what I’d expect throughout my 4 years as a customer. Recommended to those are going for PureVPN

Dafydd Hewes 1/10 March 13, 2018

Very poor experience

Miserable. I fought, and I mean fought with PureVPN for 2 months. Tried to get it configured onto 4 different DD-WRT routers that all work fine. Tried to get it to work on a ChromeBook, on a Linux system, on some Android devices. IOW a slew of experience with PureVPN. Forget it. Would not stay connected on the routers, on Android devices. Setup was a nightmare, and I am a techie. I could go on and on. I went to Private Internet Access (PIA). Worked first time. Every time. Stays connected. Across all devices. End game was I burned a lot of time trying across several environments. No way would I recommend it. On any level. Tech support was dismal. Forget it folks. Trust me when I say, FORGET IT.

Dakotah 2/10 March 11, 2018

Initially Recommended but DO NOT Now

I initially was happy with this VPN service as it was simple, easy to install, and was fast enough for what I needed. However, I will not be renewing after my 2-yr membership runs out in July 2018 as the app does not work after I restart my computer forcing me to redownload the PureVPN app EVERY TIME I restart. Customer service was no help (imagine that.) Additionally, speeds and general reliability have declined significantly. Oftentimes, the only servers I can access are USA regardless of all the options of countries.

Henry Spencer 1/10 March 5, 2018

Total garbage VPN

Purchased the service because kids need to watch Australian television programs in Minnesota. SSTP is terrible. L2TP does not work at ALL. Support service is worthless. Do not get this crap VPN. I don’t know which to use for my MacBook Pro.

Rachel Pollock 8/10 March 1, 2018

It all worked out

I was having a lot of frustrations with the Google Chrome and adding extensions. I will say that the VPN is not very user friendly but they the chat option and the customer service was very good. I spent some time trying on my own and could not figure out how to get other streaming sites like Hulu to work. Kayne was very patient and helpful and we eventually figured it out. I’m not very computer saavy but like to stream he was very nice even with my Internet shoddiness and the session cutting out a few times. I’m very happy that he was persistent with my issue and kept trying to find a solution. Thank you Kayne!

Brigitte 9/10 February 27, 2018

pretty good service

I have been with VPN for over a year, at 1st I was having problems then contacted chat which at 1st i wasnt impressed with cause I was having issues but they did help me fix my problem with connecting & ive had no issues since & have been able to enjoy downloading without the worries of getting certain emails from my internet company. Only thing i would check into when signing up is the auto renewal which i wasnt aware of & had the help of getting them to remove it. I just upgraded to the 3yr plan & am very satisfied with the help i got, I recommend them:)

Serhat 2/10 February 21, 2018

Terrible!

I have been using PureVPN for a few months already. It was quite good in the beginning, but lately it has been a disaster. Extremely slow speeds as well as connection drops all the time. I have emailed with them for 1-2 weeks but couldn’t get a proper solution. Migrating to another VPN service at the end. I highly recommend you to stay away from PureVPN.

Lucas 1/10 February 3, 2018

money back scam

I hired the pureVPN service after seeing some positive reviews. Unbelievably there are sites with positive reviews.

I used it for 3 days it was terrible. Disconnect continuously, extremely slow.

Soon I started using another VPN to check if the problem was my internet bandwidth and we verified that it was not.
I asked for the PureVPN cancellation and was told that they could not as I had exceeded the 3GB of data! They don’t tell you that before the service.

I’ll probably have to ask for the payment reverse in the credit card company.

Yar 2/10 January 22, 2018

Horrible

MANY connectivity issues, it starts great, then line drops, no internet, no email, only once you disconnect, EVERYTHING gets back to normal. Working with it is inconsistent, cannot maintain a lasting connection. When trying to get a solution from Tech Support, they only address you to a link already in their website, and some other solutions such as “switch protocol”, “change DNS” etc.

Bottom line, it is slow, extremely unstable, and cannot be worked with.

Che 1/10 January 15, 2018

VERY Slow

I totally agree with this review! This PureVPN is really slow… I’m not able to stream something smoothly when I’m connected to one of their middle-east servers (tried all of them!). This is unacceptable. And even worse, I think they have some priority rules setted to make you believe it’s pretty fast during their cashback/refund policy. During this period I didn’t have any issue streaming something through their middle-east servers. I would definitely not recommend PureVPN!!! Now I’m stuck with my 2 years subscription… Anyway I think I’m going to test VyprVPN.

Tim B. 5/10 January 3, 2018

Captchas everywhere

Pretty solid VPN. Works well, only thing is you have to complete a captcha for any website you go to.

That’s pretty annoying…

Zviadi 7/10 January 1, 2018

Decent and affordable

I purchased PureVPN during black friday sale, 69$ for 5 years, which I think, is one of the cheapest rates, I have come across, at least me for me, servers are plenty fast, but there are some disconnects on my phone, not the issue on my computer though. Another disadvantage that is has, is, that when connected to some servers, it has DNS leaks, but it does not on the others, and it uses bunch of virtualized servers, which are not ideal.

If you are looking for serious protection I would not recommend it, but for cheap better than free VPN, PureVPN is not the worst option out there.

Mike 9/10 December 31, 2017

cannot compare with others, but works...

I found PureVPN to be very good, and very affordable. I have had the odd issue but nothing major. I have not used any other VPN, so cannot compare it to others, but overall very good and would recommend it.

Trevor Spottiswood 4/10 December 29, 2017

Very poor

Have tried this on and off over 6 months. Trying to access even the BBC MEDIA PLAYER from another country is impossible. If the service cannot even enable access to the BBC, then, it is very poor. The helpline has been no help at all.

John Rasmussen 6/10 December 23, 2017

Good but issues

Good but always breaking. Service is quite hit and miss.

Had the same problem of bots or poor trained support staff. Pretty sure their call system generates a fake name even for real people.

DNS leaks have got me concerned, seen reports of this everywhere.

Alproc 1/10 December 15, 2017

Pure VPN. A Pure Nightmare.

Over two years, never-ending problems. Won’t connect, disconnects sometimes 5 or 6 times an hour, customer service usually a joke Yet they claim to be “reliable and easy to use.” It’s a bald-faced lie. There must be something better.

Mark 3/10 November 19, 2017

Cheap, but comes with speed issues

I’ve been using this cheap VPN for months and from what I see it has started to perform very badly. Over the past few months I’ve noticed considerable “lag” when browsing the web. Watching youtube is a pain experience – I’ve tried many different servers but they’re all SLOW!

I think they’re overselling their services and I’m planning to cancel the service.

Amir 8/10 June 20, 2017

PureVPN is very good

I must admit buying PureVPN was my first attempt at a VPN. They had a hell of a sale that allowed me to sign up for 3 years easy for a price lower than the 2.95 offered today. I grabbed it immediately and have been happy ever since. There are no issues except the reviewers were right about the slower speed in Asia. I took a trip recently and it was not as fast as I would like. But its still solid and connected just fine.

Karol 9/10 June 5, 2017

Many different devices

I truly like PureVPN since for the cheap price you can connect your router which means you can use endless devices with it. In my opinion, they’re not really slow either. I’m located in Poland and my Internet speed is pretty OK – even when connected to PureVPN.

I also like that they have a solid software which doesn’t crash. Before PureVPN I also used Betternet which crashed a lot.

Sami 7/10 May 11, 2017

PureVPN seems OK

It bought PureVPN a few months ago and couldn’t use it, it didn’t connect, yes sometimes it connected but disconnected frequently. A week ago I contacted with customer support and got fixed it! I’ve changed DNS servers and they gave me server list. So far so good!

Hope it keeps working fine for a log time! Maybe you need to know about these things before buying PureVPN!

Enrique 1/10 April 27, 2017

PureVPN needs to Cure their VPN

Used PureVPN for a month. Cancelled my subscription, uninstalled the product and joined ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive, but everything else is better. PureVPN is slow, not user friendly, customer support is unreliable. I think they are using the cheapest servers, therefore the service and connections are utterly slow. Once, I couldn’t connect to a server for a day. – Talk about keeping myself private. 0/10 – Wouldn’t recommend them to my enemy.

James 2/10 April 18, 2017

PureVPN

I’d say there’s not much to like about PureVPN other than a HUGE server park. But that doesn’t help it when they’re just slow. I used them for torrenting while back but the DL speeds were just too slow. I’m switching to something else – bye bye PureVPN.