An outstanding VPN service to choose
PureVPN is one of the best overall VPN services around, and should definitely be a contender if you’re looking for a secure VPN to protect your online privacy. It bills itself as the world’s fastest VPN service (though we wouldn’t entirely agree), and it offers a great mix of cyber-security features, internet privacy and good value. Whether you’re a power-user keen to delve into more complex settings, or a VPN first-timer, PureVPN has something for everyone, and it’s an excellent service to choose.
- Effective privacy and security features
- Smart Mode-based approach
- Clear notifications
- Excellent value
- Not as fast as billed
- Doesn’t unblock Netflix unless you use the browser extension
In this review:
- PureVPN Review Summary – Why we think PureVPN is one of the best VPNs out there
- Features and Security – The features you can expect with PureVPN
- Does PureVPN Work with Netflix? – Yes! Although you have to jump through a few hoops first…
- How Fast is PureVPN? – Speed is important when considering a VPN. Does PureVPN have the chops?
- Does PureVPN Share your Data? – Is your browsing activity safe with PureVPN?
- How we Tested PureVPN – Our in-depth research explained
- PureVPN Pricing – How much PureVPN will set you back, and how to get the best deal
- PureVPN vs Competitors – Find out how PureVPN stacks up against other VPN services
- PureVPN Download Steps – How to download, and get started, with PureVPN
- The Verdict – Should you sign up for PureVPN?
|Overall Test Score||A marriage of rich features and a simple-to-use interface make this one of the best VPNs we've tested|
|Features||There are plenty of features to play with, such as a Kill Switch, and the dedicated hot spot function, which turns your device into a secure internet point|
|Ease of Use||A beginner-friendly layout makes PureVPN one of the easiest VPN services to get to grips with.|
|Privacy||PureVPN's security features, Ozone and Gravity, mean that your browsing can't be snooped on by anyone else. It also won't log your data|
|Help and Support||PureVPN offers plenty of assistance, with live chat and email support on call if you get stuck|
|Speed||While not the fastest out there, PureVPN still offers fast enough transfers that won't leave you wanting|
|Paid plan||Available for $2.95 per month||See PureVPN Plans and Deals|
How Fast is PureVPN?
For all its claims about speed, PureVPN isn’t always that fast. It takes a while to connect, apparently while verifying the username and password.
Though VPN connections within the same region proved very fast in our tests, transatlantic connection speeds were worse than average. If you want the fastest VPN, then NordVPN proved to be a safer pair of hands in our tests. PureVPN is at its best if you stick to servers that are in your own region.
In real terms, how much of a problem is this? Well, the average user will get along fine with PureVPN, and you won't notice any real lag when it comes to web browsing everyday internet activities. It only becomes a problem if you want optimum download speeds, or want to stream in 4K, which will require a fast connection. Again, NordVPN is the solution if you're a data hungry user.
If you're more of a sharer than a downloader, then you'll want to know about upload speeds. PureVPN does pretty well here, and your usual upload speed won't take too much of a dip. In fact, it's on a par with NordVPN in this category, and much faster than competitors such as ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN.
Does PureVPN Share your Data?
One of the main concerns from VPN users, is whether or not their data, and activities, are really safe. After all, if you're using a VPN, you could be accessing content that's not available in your region, or bypassing a work firewall. Even if you're not up to anything illegal, there aren't many of us who would want their browsing history readily available to all.
Opinion on PureVPN is slightly divisive in this area, and it stems back to one instance. In 2017, PureVPN aided the FBI in tracking down a cyberstalker who had been carrying out an harassment campaign on a 24 year old Massachusetts woman, as well as her friends, colleagues and family. The crimes involved hacking into online accounts, sending child pornography, and making over 120 hoax bomb threats. The perpetrator was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
PureVPN received criticism for sharing user data with the FBI, with online commentators complaining that the VPN states it doesn't collect logs of internet activity. It's true that VPN doesn't do this, but the data it did have on the perpetrator were network logs, mainly used for troubleshooting and maintenance. While these don't identify online activities, the FBI were able to cross-reference this with their own information to pinpoint the cyberstalker's activities.
If you're using a VPN to access Netflix in another country, you don't need to worry about the Feds kicking down your door. You're only in danger if you're engaged in some shady, high end illegal activities, in which case, we can't help you.
To answer the question then, does PureVPN share your data? Well, only once, and that was for a criminal who was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
PureVPN doesn't keep logs of your data, and can't see what you're doing online
How we Tested PureVPN
As VPN users ourselves, we want to know that the service we're paying our dollars to each month is the very best we can get, for the price. The best way to know this is to test them ourselves. We don't rely on marketing materials or claims on the VPNs website – we get our hands dirty and actually use each one. That's how you know that a Tech.co rating can be trusted.
Lets take speed as an example. You want a VPN that won't let you down when it comes to how fast it can send data back to you. This is vitally important when you're downloading files or streaming video. While its true that no VPN will ever reach the same speeds as your connection when you're not using one, some come pretty close (including PureVPN), and others fall miserably short, making a simple task as browsing a website a turgid experience.
Then there's security – after all, one of the main reasons to use a VPN is to protect your online identity, and you computer, from any nefarious people out there who might be trying to spy on your activities. There isn't a VPN that will tell you it isn't secure, which is why we have to do it. During testing, we actually try to break the VPN's own security, and look at how much data it is sending out to the internet about our session.
Of course, features are one thing, but if a VPN is overly complicated, with hundreds of poorly explained options and an interface that requires a degree in computer science to decipher, it can be intimidating. That's why we also make sure that VPN company's have actually applied some common sense to their design, and have ensured that their apps are easy to navigate and use. That's not to say you have to compromise on features – the very best get the balance of usability and options just right.
VPN customers can make considerable saving by signing up for an annual subscription
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PureVPN vs Competitors
PureVPN isn't the only VPN in town, far from it. The market is crowded with dozens of company's all after your montly subscription. We know they're not all deserving of it, because we've tested a whole bunch (see our detailed table below).
So, what gives PureVPN the edge? One of the stand outs of the service is how simple it is to use. Five minutes with the app, and you'll be switching regions like a pro. There's still a lot of depth to the features for those who want them, but it's beginner-friendly, pipping Torguard on this score.
We've noted that PureVPN isn't the fastest VPN out there, but it's still notably faster than ExpressVPN, which we found could be somewhat sluggish at times.
While we're comparing it to the competition, when it comes to features, PureVPN is far more versatile than NordVPN. Although it's a great VPN in its own right, it can't match the sheer suite of options offered by PureVPN.
PureVPN is one of the best VPNs we've ever tested
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You've read our review, now its time to check out PureVPN for yourself