PureVPN is a service that acts as an alternative to the market giants. This VPN certainly offers very interesting prices and correct performance, but certainly lacks the little extra that makes it essential.
|💸 REFUND||YES WITHIN 31 DAYS|
|💻🌍 NUMBER OF SERVER/ LOCALITY||6500 SERVERS IN 78 COUNTRIES|
|📱APPS||PC/ MAC/ LINUX/ ANDROID/ IOS/ ANDROID TV/ FIRETV/ ROUTERS|
|👨👩👧👦 NUMBER OF SIMULTANEOUS CONNECTIONS||5|
|📺 NETFLIX US ACCESS||YES|
|⏬⏫ P2P MODE||NO|
Who is PureVPN?
As always, it is important to know the history of a VPN to know if it can be fully trusted. The creation of PureVPN dates back to 2007 under the co-foundation of a Pakistani entrepreneur. This is the first project of GZ Systems Limited, a company specializing in publishing cybersecurity software for individuals and professionals. Like many FinTech companies, it has established its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands (previously based in Hong Kong) and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the 5, 9 and 14 eyes.
Interface and handling
The PureVPN client is by far the cleanest of all those we have tested so far, even ahead of ExpressVPN. We have also noted an improvement since the last update: it is finally possible to connect directly to the application with its original identifiers, where the VPN previously had a rather painful double login system. Once connected, we are faced with a very simple window: a main page invites us to click on the big purple connection button and the VPN automatically chooses a recommended server. Once the connection has been made and the service is running, you have access to some information such as live connection data as well as other data via the drop-down menu at the bottom: protocol used, type of IP, etc.
The left side menu gives access to server list, support, account information, notifications and options. In itself, if the interface is effective, it is nothing extraordinary if we compare what the direct competitors of PureVPN can offer. For example, we note the total absence of a list of servers dedicated to streaming or access to the Tor network. On the other hand, we note the arrival of a list of specific servers for P2P. On the other hand, despite its apparent simplicity, we would have liked more clarity in the organization of the menus.
On the options side, we note the possibility or not of activating the kill switch and the presence of a menu dedicated to split-tunneling, making it possible to isolate the use of the VPN on one or more applications. Again, that’s a bit sloppy. We would have liked to be able to use a multi-hop to secure your connection to two remote servers simultaneously or simply to be able to define a specific DNS, an option that is commonplace with most VPNs on the market. Fortunately, it is possible to enter a specific IP to connect to.
We are also a little surprised by the default recommended choice of VPN. From a Parisian connection, PureVPN recommends a server… American. We understand the idea (access to VOD abroad being one of the main uses of a VPN), but not necessarily the most relevant when it comes to security or performance.
Regarding the mobile application, we stay in the same vein with a quick connection button that eludes the rest of the interface. The drop-down menu only gives access to the list of servers and to the parameters, the latter not going further than what the PC version can offer.
Finally, PureVPN does not contradict its name, a software experience “ pure which provides the essentials to the detriment of the features that one is entitled to expect from a modern VPN service.
PureVPN servers and performance
We were talking about it above, PureVPN has chosen not (or no longer) to bother with dedicated and recommended servers specifically for each type of use. He prefers to highlight his impressive global fleet of 6,500 servers in 70 countries. It is certainly a bit less than a certain CyberGhost, but it remains well above a NordVPN or a Surfshark for example. Here are the results obtained after various tests carried out with a fiber, wired and Parisian connection.
|Download (Mb/s)||Upload (Mb/s)||Ping|
|FRENCH SERVER (PARIS)||162||58||3|
|US SERVER (NEW YORK)||158||10||79|
|US SERVER (SAN FRANCISCO)||173||7||140|
|JAPANESE SERVER (TOKYO)||202||5||238|
|SOUTH AFRICAN SERVER (JOHANNESBURG)||175||4||167|
|FINNISH SERVER (HELSINKI)||120||13||46|
Tests were performed with automatic protocol assignment
From the outset, we notice that the figures are far from being at the level of the best VPNs on the market. This does not mean that most of the usual uses, including video streaming, are impossible, but the difference is there. When an Express VPN aims for nearly all VPN-free bandwidth on a Paris-based server, PureVPN settles for the bare minimum, whether downloading or uploading. It is in any case sufficient to have access to the catalogs of American VoD services (Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, etc.) and we did not detect any problem during our tests.
In reality, this is due to a very simple fact: the default assignment of the connection protocol favors features over performance. PureVPN uses IKEV2 and Wireguard protocols mainly. The latter is much more efficient, but is not offered as standard, the fault of an incompatibility on certain servers with advanced functionalities such as the split-tunneling where thepass byGPS data. A curious choice, which makes sense, but at the expense of performance.
Once WireGuard is activated, we find much higher rates:
|DOWNLOAD (MB/S)||UPLOAD (MB/S)||ping|
|FR SERVER, without Wireguard (IKEV2)||161||68||3|
|FR SERVER, with Wireguard||718||579||2|
In essence, PureVPN should not be counted on for its raw performance, as the VPN falls within the average of the services on the market.
Despite its claims and its favorable geographical location, PureVPN is far from being the perfect pupil when it comes to protecting the data of its users. In 2017, a man was arrested by the FBI for online wrongdoing and part of the evidence used against him were PureVPN records which included his work and home IP addresses. Ethics aside, this is clearly not good publicity for a VPN that is supposed to protect or not keep the private data of its users.
We do not keep any records of your browsing activities, connection logs, records of IPs assigned to you, your originating IPs, your connection time, your browsing history, the sites you have visited, your outgoing traffic, the content or data you have accessed, or the DNS queries generated by you.
However, this does not prevent PureVPN from collecting some usage data, such as the day you connected to a specific location, your ISP, connection duration, number of connections made from a server, and bandwidth usage. Fortunately, nothing that identifies a person, even if the policy statement “zero logsis a tad misleading.
PureVPN Customer Support
From the outset, we appreciate that PureVPN has made efforts to include some bits of its customer service within the application itself. We finally have the right to a chat accessible from the application and not from the Web platform as was the case previously. Concerning the online chat, the interlocutor only speaks English, but he is available quickly. You will only have to wait a few minutes between each question to get an answer, but that’s not very annoying.
Normally, PureVPN is not a very expensive service, but this is especially the case during promotional periods. It generally offers three offers between 1 month and 2 years with very correct prices rarely exceeding 2 euros per month for two years of subscription.
Note also that PureVPN has been able to bounce back from its previous formula by including several additional security services to the VPN such as a password manager, a monitoring and data protection platform as well as a secure cloud via data encryption.