PureVPN Review (2020): Exceptionally Competent

PureVPN (2020) Review - Feature Image

PureVPN is perhaps not exactly a top-rated and top-notch VPN service providers. However, it has much uses for those whose VPN needs are not that advance.

Given that it is an entry-level to mid-level VPN service provider, PureVPN has a few things to offer. It succeeds in terms of how a VPN service should work, but it isn’t an industry leader like some leading providers.

Criteria

PureVPN

We will look at PureVPN in several areas. When choosing a VPN, will look at the following criteria.

Number of Servers and Server Locations

The number of servers is important because it determines how popular the VPN service provider is usually. The more servers they have, the more popular they are. The less servers they have, the less popular they are.

The server locations determine what kind of contents you can access when connected to a VPN service. Keep in mind that some contents are only made available for some regions, and not the others due to copyright and proxy issues (among others).

With that being said, it does not mean that the less servers the VPN service has the less good it gets. Some VPN service providers have less than 100 servers but still pulls its weight among leading service providers.

Content Access

Being able to access contents that is inaccessible in a country is one of the main reasons why some people use VPN services. They want to bypass regional blocks to access the contents that they are unable to get their hands on.

Some people needed to use VPN services to bypass China’s notorious great firewall, so to speak. Some other people simply just want to access North American or UK contents by connecting to a reginal server.

Sometimes, although some people do not live in repressive countries may want to access contents from another country. You will have to take note that not all streaming sites like Netflix have all the shows available to its users. Some Netflix shows, for example, are only special to a certain country or region. Hence, people will need to have VPN access to have that.

VPN Connection Speediness

Connection speediness is another matter users are concerned about when choosing a VPN service provider. If the connection lags a lot, a lot of users will be put off by the tardy connection.

In a time where acquiring something within seconds and minutes is becoming the norm, it will be a plus point for VPN service providers to get on board that request. If the VPN service works a lot slower, it will put off and lost a lot of potential customers and users.

Privacy and Security

Privacy and security is (and should be) integral to a VPN service provider. Like antivirus software, what is a VPN service provider without privacy and security features.

Besides, a lot of users are concerned about their online privacy and security (ironically) in present day. Users are concerned that their private information like bank details and credit card details may get leaked.

If the users are working in identity high-risk office jobs like journalists, they may have every reasons to fear having their privacy leaked.

Plans and Packaging

Last and not least, plans and packaging. Despite all the features and services a VPN server can offer to its users, it does not mean they are for everyone financially.

Most VPN service providers charge, on average, US$10+ per month for their services. Some are considerably less, and some others charge a lot more.

Keep in mind that sometimes the cheaper the VPN service is (per month), the features may not work that well as claimed. Likewise, the more expensive the VPN service is does not mean their features are top-notch.

However, we can come to an agreement that some more-expensive VPN service providers will usually offer much better and steadier features. Remember that you get what you paid for, even if it means paying more money for a VPN service.

PureVPN Review: Why Choose It?

Having said all that, let’s see what PureVPN has to offer.

Number of Servers and Server Locations

PureVPN Servers

PureVPN has over 2000+ servers across 180+ total locations in 140+ countries total. For an entry- to mid-level-range VPN service provider, that is a pretty impressive amount of server and server location.

In Europe alone, which is one of the continents where PureVPN have the most servers at, have 769 servers. Followed by North America at 656 total servers available.

Its servers are claimed to be high speed. You will be connected to state of the art servers engineered for an optimum mix of performance and speed. What more, its servers are secure, which isn’t so bad for a mid-level VPN. Its encrypted servers add an unbreakable layer of protection as you go about your online activities.

With so many servers to choose from, you can be guaranteed that there are more bandwidth available for each users on each servers. What more with having such geographic diversity puts PureVPN in leaps and bounds among its peers.

We have also found out that although it has servers across so many countries and continents, not all server locations are physical servers. Of the 141 total servers PureVPN has, 54 of the locations are physical servers. The remaining 87 servers are virtual locations.

Virtual servers are a software defined server. It basically means that a physical server runs multiple virtual servers that can be configured in several different ways. That can include being made to appear to be in a country other than where they are legitimately located.

We have also found that PureVPN have servers in China, Russia, and Turkey. It is something notable as those countries have some of the most oppressive internet policies. Many VPN service providers no longer have servers in the aforementioned countries due to its restrictive local laws, PureVPN still does.

Content Access

PureVPN does what VPNs should be able to do – help you bypass any notorious internet blockages and help you access “forbidden” or blocked contents. There are still borders in cyberspace, and should be expected.

Many services offer different contents based on customers’ locations. Some contents are made available on some regions, while other regions may not get it. By accessing those blocked contents, you can access it with the help of a VPN. A VPN service provider can help you hide or spoof your location, something which streaming services tried to block.

If you want to use PureVPN to access Netflix, you may face some problems. Some users have said that PureVPN will not be of much help as there were times when users are unable to access Netflix.

Netflix apparently can detect users using a VPN and block their streaming. Somehow it has notoriously blocked a lot of VPN services, and PureVPN is no exception. That can be disappointing because PureVPN claims to be able to access Netflix and other streaming sites on its official website.

Users may be cynical and ask “what’s the point with all that hoolabaloo then?” And they have every right to.

Although Netflix does fight back against VPN service providers, that does not mean they outright ban the VPNs. Netflix does, however, state in their website that they have the right to use technology to verify your location and the content of choice will be made available in the primary country of the customer.

If you are still hard-on about wanting to access the blocked content, there are still other ways to access it. We recommend changing your server location every now and then to avoid getting caught by Netflix (or any other streaming sites, government people, etc.). That way you can access your contents.

Connection Speediness

If you plan to use VPNs to access blocked streaming contents, the connection speed is definitely one of the most important aspects for you. PureVPN’s speediness is above average, so to speak.

Note that the precise performance is hard to measure as it is affected by several factors. Factors such as you location, the server you are accessing, the platform you are using, protocol, and your network connection type – among many others.

Users who have tested PureVPN mentioned how there was a 6-8% average slowdown when connected to an overseas (UK) server. The user’s baseline connection speed without connecting to a VPN service provider was 68mbps. That baseline connection decreased to 61mbps when connected to PureVPN.

Some users have commented that with some other VPN service providers, you are able to achieve 3-4mbps more. Although that may be the case, you are less likely to notice much differences – as with other VPN service providers. To put it simply, PureVPN is more consistent than most other VPN service providers.

When connected to a US server with a 500mbps, the users reported back saying they experienced a slightly faster connection speed. With a 500mbps, when connected to PureVPN the users managed to get an average speed of 200-300mbps.

For that kind of speed returns, you can come to a conclusion that it has more than enough speed for the average user. By average we meant using VPN services to stream videos and movies, access social media platforms, etc.

Privacy and Security

As like any other VPN service providers, privacy and logging is essential. PureVPN is no exception to that, and has made a pretty big deal about its no-logs policy. Meaning to say, with 0-logs policy PureVPN will not keep any logs of what you did online.

Although they made it that way, there was some session loggings (in fine print). PureVPN do, however, keep logs of the time you connect to a server, your incoming IP address, and the total bandwidth used.

That may seem as a “no big deal” kind of matter, when in fact it is. Back in October 2017 there were reports appearing of a man arrested on suspicion of conduction extensive cyberstalking campaign.

PureVPN played in part based on their records showing its services were accessed from originating IPs including the accused’s home and workplace. The 0-logs kept some kind of logs and records and these were able to help connect internet actions to a specific account.

Although that does not describe the issue why PureVPN described itself as “keeping 0-logs” in their main website. That has obviously turned out as not entirely true, and at the same time not a trivial point. So, as users do remember to read fine print before you dedicate your money to their subscription plan.

Ever since that incident, PureVPN has updated its privacy policy. They have explicitly mentioned they don’t keep records of the IP addresses assigned to you, browsing activities, connection logs, etc.

In the same policy, it has described that the minimal connection data it records. That they know the day you are connected to any of their specific VPN locations and from which Internet Service Provider. It further covers plenty of other important issues in a much clearer and readable way.

So far the good news is that PureVPN’s current privacy policy has been thoroughly cleaned up and said all the right things. It’s better than most of the competition.

Despite all that, it is understandable that some users will question whether they can trust PureVPN after that incident. We will not be able to tell you what to believe. However, it’s definitely worth checking out both its original blog defense and its current privacy policy before you settle for it.

Plans and Packaging

If you are interested in PureVPN, it has several plans available for you to choose from.

  • 1 month: US$10.95/month
  • 1 year: US5.83/month
  • 2 years: US$3.33/month

It comes with a 30 days money back guarantee feature. If you have changed your mind about wanting to be subscribed to PureVPN until end of your subscription term, you may do so before the 30th day mark.

Just remember to unsubscribe before the 30th day mark, and have your refund returned in full.

The Pros

For an entry level VPN service provider, we’d say they are doing quite well. Although the features may be limiting, it does not mean it does not do its job as a VPN service.

The speed connection is average. Although the speed is average, as mentioned before it works well for the average person with average needs. It does connect to Netflix and help you access any and all other contents you are previously unable to access.

We really don’t see why it isn’t a very good choice after all.

The Cons

Despite all that it can do as a VPN service provider, it does not mean it is without any disadvantages.

There was the hiccup where PureVPN got into an incident with the authorities. That one with its 0-logs policy emblazoned on its official website. And having one of its clients handed over to authorities in the process because PureVPN do indeed keep some kind of logs.

To put it simply, its transparency level is not that solid although the man being turned over to authorities has its own justified reasons.

That and the fact that its features may not be as far reaching as some of the leading VPN service providers’. However, as users you will have to understand that PureVPN is an entry- to mid-level ranged VPN service provider.

What features it offers is within reason and means of what you are paying for. Furthermore, PureVPN is made for the average user with average VPN needs in mind. Simply put, that means if you are someone who are looking for more advanced features, then PureVPN is not made for you.

Our Verdict

For all that PureVPN can do, we can say it is not our no.1 choice. In a lot of basic VPN service aspects, PureVPN succeeds, but does not excel. It does have a lot of add-ons but their value is questionable.

Furthermore, some users have mentioned that they are disappointed with its Chrome plug-in and streaming servers as it did not perform as expected.

PureVPN as a VPN service provider is not a bad service by any means. However, it certainly isn’t the best. Over what VPN services we have reviewed thus far, it is not a VPN service we can recommend.

It does, admittedly, offer affordable services with a wide amount of server selection. What more to say their customer support service, according to users, have given people positive experiences. Although they may come across as small and trivial matters, it is still an achievements if anyone should mention that.

Although it has a hiccup in its privacy transparency it does not mean it is entirely a very bad VPN service provider. Otherwise, it is considered a really good VPN to use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Q: Is PureVPN any good?

PureVPN has scored pretty good with a lot of users who have used this VPN service provider before. For an entry-level to mid-level VPN service provider, it actually is one of the better ones available in the market.

Q: How do I get PureVPN for free?

It’s not exactly free. PureVPN does, however, have a 3 days risk free VPN trial for anyone who wishes to try out PureVPN.

On the other hand, it also have a 1-month “free trial”. Meaning to say you will still need to pay for using it in full. If you find using PureVPN unsatisfactory, you can choose to unsubscribe before the 30th day mark. You will get your refund back in full.

PureVPN does not have a free version like how some VPN service providers have. Not a lot of VPN service providers provide have that kind of service. Remember that you get what you “paid” for.

Q: Is PureVPN legal?

Yes, PureVPN is legal. Contrary to what some may believe, using a VPN is legal in almost all countries. However, it is only for when you are not using a VPN service for illegal activities.

If you are interested in browsing the internet securely and safely, then by all means get a VPN service.

Q: Does PureVPN work for Netflix?

Yes, PureVPN does work on Netflix. However, there were times where Netflix may block you from accessing their contents due to geo-restrictions of certain contents.

To avoid such hassle, remember to change servers every now and then. That is to avoid getting caught (and barred) by Netflix or any other authorities.

At the same time, not every content is made available for every servers you are connected to. Some Netflix contents are only available for North American audiences, so you may have to connect and access a North American server in order to be able to watch it. The same thing works for shows that are only available in the UK, hence the best way to access UK Netflix contents is to connect to a UK server.

Q: Why is PureVPN so slow?

Connecting to VPN servers is known to decrease your internet speed. The reason being that the further your server location is away from your current connection, the slower your connection will be. It takes longer for your internet data to travel to your server choice location and back again than to one that is closer to you.

Even then, a lot of people said that the connection speed wouldn’t be as noticeable unless you have a lot of things to do online. Having said that, if the problem still persist, turn the connection off and back on again to see if the connection has improved.

Q: Does PureVPN work in China?

PureVPN does work in China, as it claims on its official website. It even has its own servers in China the last time we checked. Yes, it does let you access foreign and international contents when connected to it. So you need not worry as much if you have been wanting to catch up on your latest shows online.

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