Now after seeing so much hate against PureVPN I was tempted to use the software. Call that counterproductive or counter-intuitive but usually when you start hearing a lot of negativity about something its just competitors who have hired a negative publicity agency. In case you were wondering yes there are such agencies which is why I’ve learned never to trust everything you read on the internet.
Coming back to PureVPN, the only place I trust for reviews is Trustpilot.com. The reason for this is that only those who have genuinely used the software or service can leave a review. There is no way to game the system either by competitors or the company itself. You can either take a look at the screenshot from Trustpilot below or check out the reviews here. Its evident from the reviews and the rating starts that PureVPN is excellent. Plus, you can scroll down to read individual comments from users to get a better idea as to what can be expected.
What you need to know about PureVPN
It Does Not Slow Down Your Internet
Over the years VPN services, in general, have received bad press for notoriously slowing down internet speeds that users have not been happy with obviously. Interestingly, there are still many VPN services that slow down what may be already slow internet. Fortunately, with PureVPN that’s not the case even if you use it to stream Netflix, YouTube, etc.
In addition to not slowing down your internet, PureVPN offers a number of other features like robust servers that are located across the world and which scored exceptionally during our speed tests. Then there is also the fact that they use military-grade encryption, with apps for Android and iOS devices. Though there are many more reasons to consider PureVPN as we’ll examine in detail below.
Hands-on and First Impressions
We have admittedly used PureVPN before, but after a hiatus or perhaps two years we pretty much forgot how things worked. Once you’ve decided to subscribe and download their software, you’ll have to enter your email and choose a password. Interestingly and perhaps confusingly, this is not what you’ll use to log-in to the software, but rather it is used for billing purposes.
Once subscribers have paid, they receive an email with the username and password in plain text. We have used other VPNs that use the same method to separate payment identities from user identities which ensures better anonymity. Yet we think that it may be confusing to first-time users but its something you get used to. Plus, in our experience the email tends to land in your spam folder for some reason, so make sure to check that too before calling support.
Excellent Set of Features and Easy to Understand
I have used dozens of VPN apps over the years, and PureVPN is like a breath of fresh air. It is very easy to use and compared to the last time I used the app its now geared towards people who are new to using VPNs. As soon as PureVPN loads you are prompted to choose from five options, i.e. Security, Internet Freedom, Stream, Remote/Dedi IP (this feature gives you a dedicated IP) and File Sharing. The app then delivers an experience that’s based on the option chosen.
The other thing I like about PureVPN is that all the features are to the point. For instance, their Internet Freedom feature lets you choose what region you want to access Netflix from, like from the UK, Australia, etc. You can also access Netflix from China where it is otherwise blocked.
Compared to the last time I used PureVPN this time around it felt zippier. The interface was bright, with colorful pictures some of which may be difficult to read on a smaller screen. Once you are connected to a private server, you’ll see the present IP address, connection status, and the duration of your session.
The traffic chart gives you a good feel for how much bandwidth is being consumed, which is useful for anyone on a metered internet connection. But it is important to mention here for all those worrying about data caps that PureVPN does not have any. So, you’re only limited to what the ISP has in store for you!
Like many other competing VPN services, you choose the server and the country it is based in. You can search for servers and then click on them to connect. Apparently, some servers based on where you are located are going to be faster than others because of lower latency.
You can also choose which protocols to use. Choose between OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, PPTP, and L2TP. Then there is PureVPN’s own stealth protocol which according to the company ensures the best anonymity. Since people like me have a tough time understanding which protocols to select, PureVPN makes it simple by providing a speed and security rating for each. The important thing to note here is that as the security improves the speed slows down. So, you’ll need to strike a compromise between the two depending on what’s needed. By default, the software chooses a protocol it thinks best for you. Most people who don’t work for the CIA (pun intended) will be fine with the default option.
A Mind-Blowing Number of Servers
The map on the left lets you bypass the software’s default recommendation and choose a server for yourself. Keep in mind that by default PureVPN chooses the fastest server which is often the nearest one. When in China I noticed that it kept picking up servers in Hong Kong by default which is not only nearby but also the fact that Hong Kong’s cyberspace is not as rigorously censored as mainland China.
PureVPN has over 2000 servers which are spread across 140 countries and 180 locations around the world. Servers are located in Asia, Central America, South America, North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Now you may think that PureVPN just has servers in countries which perhaps don’t censor or block websites, but you’d be wrong. Servers in Russia, Turkey, and China are there just in case you needed them.
The Test of Speed – How Fast is PureVPN?
Let us start off by making one thing clear, i.e. whatever VPN service you use, the internet speed will take a hit. That hit is a result of the extra security measures employed to encrypt and protect your identity. The vast majority of VPN services make every possible effort to ensure that the hit is as mild as it can be. So, unlike what many people will have you think it’s not going to be like using dial-up.
PureVPN, when compared to other similar VPN services, happens to be much faster. So, yes it does live up to the claim of being the fastest in the industry.
The way we compared and tested the performance was by using Ookala’s nifty speed testing website and app. We then ran the speed test on both domestic and international servers. We then compared the results, calculated their percentage difference, and that’s how we found PureVPN to be faster.
PureVPN has a domestic latency of a mere 6.7% percent. As a matter of fact, during our downloading tests, PureVPN improved speeds considerably which by our calculations is an unbelievable 346% percent. We found that competing VPN services were much slower. Some we suspect were throttling download speeds perhaps because they didn’t want to stress out their servers.
When it comes to uploads, PureVPN didn’t really boost it like it did with downloads, but it took a mere 4.5% percent hit. If anything this is still one of the best upload scores we’ve seen from a VPN provider.
During our international speed tests, the latency increased by 200%. Though download speeds were still a whopping 403.8% percent better than any of the competing products I tested it against. The uploads were 22.7% percent slower which is second best when compared to perhaps Hotspot Shield which improved the upload speed by 1.4% percent.
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I credit PureVPN for offering above average customer support especially when compared to the competition. You can call support 24/7, and they can be reached via live chat. Plus the FAQs page serves to answer 80% of the questions that most users may have about the service and software.
PureVPN is a winner regardless of how you cut it. I found it snappy and easy to use, as does my father who knows far less about computers and VPNs than me. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a cost-effective, highly secure and easy to use VPN service. We also wrote a great walkthrough guide about PureVPN, so if you are new to using a VPN service, we highly recommend you to read this guide.
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