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PureVPN Review – A Trustable VPN in the Data Retention & Censorship Era

VPNs came into existence with the primary purpose of securing users’ access to the Internet. As time passed, VPNs became a critical tool for keeping users’ online activities confidential and their access to various online resources free from limitations.

As the need for a VPN grew, more and more VPN services began to surface in the industry. However, not every VPN service ended up delighting users across the globe. Some promised to deliver the fastest speed, but couldn’t keep up. Others assured universal unblocking of geo-restricted content, but they also failed to live up to their claims.

When it comes to VPNs, there are only a few services that have made to the A-list because of their reliability, efficiency, and performance. Among the top-tier services, only a handful of names come to our mind and one such name is PureVPN.

So, does PureVPN live up to the promises it makes?

In this PureVPN review, I will discuss the critical aspects of the VPN service, and perhaps most importantly, whether it should be trusted with our privacy or not.

The Goods & Bads in a Nutshell

Before I go into details, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of the service:

Goods

  • 2,000+ VPN Servers in 140+ Countries
  • Over 300,000 Anonymous IP Addresses
  • Multiple Tunneling Protocols
  • 5 Multi-Logins
  • Compatibility with a Wide Range of OS, Platforms, and Devices
  • A 31-Day, No Questions Asked Refund Policy

Bads

  • No Free Trial Account

No-Logging Privacy

It is only logical to be conscious when it comes to your privacy. Luckily, PureVPN operates from Hong Kong, which is one of the best regions for a VPN to be headquartered at. For starters, the region doesn’t have any data retention laws. Secondly, the region doesn’t come under the UK-USA agreement, and thus, it isn’t involved in any mass surveillance activities.

Moreover, the VPN service is one of the very few services in the industry I have come across that offer a fully transparent privacy and no-log policy. While going through its Privacy Policy page for review, the following claim immediately caught my attention:

“You are Invisible – Even We Cannot See What You Do Online.”

The VPN service further clarifies, in quite a detail, what type of information it collects, from where it collects and how it uses the information. The privacy policy further states:

“We DO NOT keep any record of your browsing activities, connection logs, records of the VPN IPs assigned to you, your original IPs, your connection time, the history of your browsing, the sites you visited, your outgoing traffic, the content or data you accessed, or the DNS queries generated by you.”

However, it also states that the service only knows the day the user connects to a specific VPN location and the user’s ISP. According to PureVPN, it is the “bare minimum” details the service requires for troubleshooting and technical assistance purposes.

All in all, I believe that PureVPN’s transparency regarding its no-logging policy is a clear statement in itself and that it doesn’t keep logs.

Security

VPNs are best known for their security attributes. PureVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption algorithm, which is the same encryption technology officially used by intelligence agencies and the military
network.

PureVPN Review – A Trustable VPN in the Data Retention & Censorship Era 1

Moreover, the VPN service is compatible with all the popular connectivity protocols including PPTP, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2 and OpenVPN. Another advantage associated with the service is that users have complete control over how they want to access the web via a VPN. For instance, if a user needs more emphasis on the speed rather than security, they can switch their protocols to PPTP. Likewise, users who
require a balance between speed and security can switch to the OpenVPN.

Moreover, for the non-techies, it is best to leave the protocol selection up to the PureVPN client by setting Automatic Protocol selection in the Settings.

Key Features

One of the many factors that enabled PureVPN to secure a leading spot in the VPN industry is its feature-rich application. Apart from all the basic features of a VPN, PureVPN is also armed with advanced security and privacy tools that are developed to give Internet users complete peace of mind.

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Let’s give you some good insights into the primary features that I assessed while reviewing PureVPN:

VPN Servers

The VPN service has a surprisingly massive network of VPN servers. The service claims to have over 2,000+ VPN servers located in 180+ locations across the six continents. The service also claims to have an IP pool of 300,000+ IPs.

Unlimited Bandwidth

Perhaps, it is one of the best features of the VPN service. After all, apart from security, streaming and downloading are the topmost activities users get a VPN for. With unlimited bandwidth, users can stream
their favorite shows all day long and download large files without worrying about getting their bandwidth exhausted.

Split Tunneling

Split tunneling is a great feature for users who need to access specific content via a VPN and other via their ISPs. For instance, with Split tunneling, a user can access an international geo-restricted website
and a local FTP at the same time, without disconnecting their VPN.

IKS

Privacy is of utmost importance to VPN users. Keeping the protection of users’ privacy in mind, VPNs have come up with a smart Internet Kill Switch feature. With automatic IKS enabled, the VPN immediately kills all the Internet activities in the event of a sudden loss of connection.

DNS Leak / IPv6 Leak Protection

Although there were some complaints regarding the DNS or IPv6 leak, the service testifies that the issue has been solved via their latest patches. So, I put their connection to test and I did not find any IPv6 or
DNS leak with PureVPN. I tested the leaks on different online tools that give accurate results.

WebRTC Leak Protection

After reviewing dozens of other VPN services, I can say it for sure that PureVPN is amongst the very few services in the industry that offers WebRTC leak protection.

Top Add-ons

If you are okay with coughing up some extra bucks for added security and functionality, the VPN service has a treasure trove of add-ons that users can avail. Following are the add-ons that I came across during
my testing.

Dedicated IP

Dedicated IPs are not only used by VPN users but also businesses across the globe. These IPs allow users to access remote networks, FTP servers, IP-enabled devices such as IP camera, and more.

PureVPN is one of the only two VPN services in the industry that offers dedicated IPs. However, the VPN service doesn’t offer dedicated IPs from all the 140+ countries it has VPN servers in. The service offers
dedicated IPs from the most sought-after locations including the US, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Germany, and Malta. Users can even request the VPN service to assign them dedicated IPs
from specific cities for better convenience or connectivity.

The best aspect about the dedicated IP add-on is that it is available at a fairly cheap cost. Users can either subscribe to a monthly dedicated IP plan or a 1-year or 2-year plan.

Port Forwarding

Port forwarding is heavily used by online gamers as they create dedicated servers and open these servers only on specific ports. However, apart from gaming, port forwarding has a plethora of productive use cases. For instance, if you want to connect to your home computer from anywhere, you can do it via port forwarding.

Regardless, PureVPN’s port forwarding feature is unlike what other VPN services are offering. For starters, other VPNs don’t let you use the VPN simultaneously with the port forwarding feature. However, you can forward port and use the VPN service simultaneously with PureVPN.

The VPN service offers port forwarding add-on for as low as $1.99/ month.

P2P Protection

The P2P protection add-on is best for users who are highly active torrent users. It is true that torrents are not always 100% secure. Some torrents contain malicious files that are left as bait for unsuspecting
users. Fortunately, the P2P protection add-on of PureVPN helps torrent-savvy users to avoid downloading any malicious torrent to their device.

Ozone and Gravity

These enterprise-grade add-ons prove that PureVPN never hesitates to go a level beyond when it comes to security. The security add-on offers a mix of state-of-the-art cybersecurity tools including URL filtering, App filtering, anti-malware and IDS/IPS. PureVPN seems to be the first in the industry to be offering advanced security features.

Speed & Performance

Internet speed and connectivity are the most important concerns of VPN users. After all, VPNs are known to reduce speed and harbor connectivity issues. In my review, I found PureVPN to be quite smooth and speedy. I had heard that the service experienced connectivity issues, however, upon using the application, I found that I was able to connect to all the popular destination within seconds.

Secondly, speed doesn’t seem to be an issue when it comes to PureVPN. The VPN has proved itself to be an efficient and speedy service in that it doesn’t reduce the speed significantly. Secondly, it offers lower
latency on almost every server. The speed test results showed improved latency after connecting to the VPN.

Software Compatibility

PureVPN works perfectly fine with an extensive range of devices, consoles and operating systems. The VPN service has dedicated blogs as well as support center articles where users can find complete setup
guides.

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PureVPN is compatible with:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Amazon Firestick
  • Android TV
  • Routers
  • Gaming Consoles
  • Kodi
  • Roku
  • Apple TV

Although the functionality is the same across different devices, some devices might lack a few features or protocols.

Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Access

Netflix and VPN services never go hand in hand. After all, Netflix not only opposes VPNs but it has also blacklisted the IP pools of a good number of VPN services. There are a few services such as PureVPN that
are still unblocking Netflix US. It is not only Netflix, but Hulu US, Amazon Prime and dozens of other popular streaming services can be accessed from anywhere with PureVPN.

To instantly access Netflix, Hulu or any other service on the web browser, it is recommended to go with the PureVPN browser extension (Chrome and Firefox). The extension has the list of all the popular streaming services. Users need to click to connect to the desired popular channel.

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The best part is that PureVPN seems to have dedicated streaming servers that allow buffer-free streaming on Netflix.

Pricing

PureVPN is a feature-rich VPN with an absolute value for money and is available for as little as $3.54 a month for its 2 years plan. You can sign up to their two-year plan for a total of just $84.95. Another good thing about them, they support major cryptocurrencies as a payment method which adds to the overall anonymity this VPN service provides.

Verdict

On the whole, I found PureVPN an excellent VPN service. I especially loved the dedicated IP and port forwarding add-ons as the add-ons were worth the test. The add-ons opened doors to new ways to use
a VPN.

 

This article was sponsored by PureVPN

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