More people than ever before are now turning to VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to keep them and their information safe and secure online. They work by hiding your IP address, as well as information about which websites you visit and what you do there.
This is a good thing, because there are various people and groups out there who might want to see this information, and often for nefarious purposes.
Governments who want to spy on you, businesses who want to sell the information, and scammers who want to steal your money could all be interested in this stuff.
There are now too many VPNs on the market to count, but in this review, we’ll be considering Pure VPN so that you can decide whether it’s the VPN for you.
Pure VPN isn’t one of the most famous names on the VPN scene, but that shouldn’t put you off. It does a very good job on a lot of counts, and its relative obscurity has more to do with its less extensive marketing compared to some of its competitors than with any flaws in the service it offers.
It also received several major upgrades in 2021, so if you tried it before then, you should know that you’ll be dealing with a whole new game if you give it another go now.
The first thing to say is that Pure VPN uses AES-256 encryption. This is not only the coveted standard of the industry in general, but it’s also what governments and financial institutions use to keep their data secure, so you can be confident that it’s top-notch.
It also supports split tunneling. This is a nice feature that allows you to channel some of your online activity through the VPN while the rest is left unsecured. This allows you to balance safety with speed nicely.
One other safety feature it has is a kill switch. This is a setting that will disconnect your device from the internet if it loses its connection to the VPN. This ensures that there’ll never be a time when you’re online unprotected, keeping your information secret even if the VPN fails.
Another positive on the topic of security is the location of the company headquarters, that being the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands are a jurisdiction associated with a high degree of respect for privacy (hence why so many financial institutions and offshore companies have headquarters or are registered there).
More importantly, it’s completely outside the jurisdiction of any intelligence sharing alliances such as Five Eyes, or any associated organizations. This means that none of the countries that are part of that alliance can request information from Pure VPN, so your information is safer.
Aside from the security benefits, one of the major reasons that people often like to use VPNs is that they can be used to get around region locking restrictions. What does this mean? Well, you probably already know that most streaming services have restrictions on their content.
For instance, users of Netflix in the US have access to a different library of content than users in other countries. If you want to get around this, a VPN can help – or at least that’s what more or less all VPN companies claim.
Not all of them actually offer all that great a service in that area, but Pure VPN is better than most. In our tests, it had no trouble getting past the Netflix region locking. It was the same story with BBC iPlayer and Disney+, although it didn’t manage to crack Amazon Prime Video.
There’s a constant back and forth struggle between streaming services and VPN providers – the streaming services attempt to block access from VPNs and the VPN providers try to get around the blocks.
While some VPNs definitely do a better job than others, the advantage can change sides fairly regularly.
This is another important area for most VPN customers. After all, what’s the point of being able to unlock the Netflix libraries of the world if you can’t get good enough speeds to actually stream anything?
All VPNs will reduce your speed a bit, since the measures they take to keep your information private slow things down, but some do so more than others.
Generally, the speeds are pretty good, comfortably beating the average VPN. In particular, its download speeds are very reasonable, particularly if you’re using a server close to you – speeds drop more quickly if you use servers that are more distant.
However, its peak speeds, while good, aren’t quite as good as some of its rivals like ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN, for example.
Nevertheless, you should find that they’re enough for most of what you’ll be doing, including streaming video and audio.
Pure VPN is one of the pack leaders when it comes to the sheer numbers of their servers. They operate over 6500 individual servers, a lot more than almost all of their competitors. Some smaller VPNs have only a few hundred servers, and even many of the larger ones have fewer than this.
Pure VPN’s servers are split across 97 locations in 78 different countries, which is excellent for ensuring that there’ll always be a server close to you.
It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll ever need anything close to the number of servers on offer, or that you’ll ever need to use all of these locations. Nevertheless, it’s nice to know that the variety’s there to accommodate any eventuality.
Since the speeds you get from your VPN depend, among other things, on how close you are to the server you’re connecting to, there should be enough variety here to get you a speedy connection wherever you are.
Subscription Plans And Pricing
There are three subscription packages for you to choose from when it comes to Pure VPN. You have the option of buying one month, 12 months, or 24 months at a time. As is common with VPNs, the longer subscriptions represent a larger overall outlay but a smaller one when it’s broken down on a month-by-month basis.
Aside from the cost, it makes no difference which one you go for – there are no features that one grants you that the others don’t.
The base prices are on the higher side of average, but if you check their site you’ll probably notice that they usually have one discount deal or another going on for the longer subscriptions, so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be paying full price unless you’re only buying one month.
Given this, the prices are very reasonable and represent excellent value for money, considering everything that you’re getting for the price.
There is a 7-day trial period available, but it’s not actually free – it costs $1. That’s not a significant amount of money, of course, but plenty of other VPNs do offer free trials – and for longer periods of time as well.
However, Pure VPN makes up for it by offering a 31-day money-back guarantee. All you need to do if you’re not satisfied before the end of that period is let them know, and you’ll promptly be given a full refund.
Since you can effectively treat those 31 days as a trial period, the lack of a free trial isn’t really an issue.
Pure VPN offers a pleasingly wide range of payment methods. This includes the obvious cards (including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and UnionPay), PayPal, but also various Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and others.
Note, however, that money paid via crypto cannot be refunded. Make sure you bear this in mind if you think you might want to take advantage of the money-back guarantee.
Pure VPN has apps for use on iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. This covers all the major bases, but it’s not all – it also offers apps for other things like Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and others. This makes it a very well-rounded VPN as far as variety of platforms goes.
Pure VPN offers good customer support through a couple of different channels. First is its online support page, which includes a wealth of FAQs and troubleshooting guides.
You can also open a support ticket there if the FAQs aren’t enough to solve the issue, and someone from the customer service team will get back to you before too long.
If this is too slow for you, however, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s a 24/7 live chat feature available, so you’ll be able to get some action on your problem right away if necessary.
All things considered, Pure VPN offers a very high quality service. With no worries about security, solid download speeds, and a number of extra security features, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this VPN.
Speaking of which, the prices are also pretty reasonable, particularly if you can start your subscription while a discount’s on offer.