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PureVPN Review 2020: Did An Independent Audit Prove No Logs?

Are you considering buying PureVPN and are therefore looking for an updated PureVPN review in 2020?

PureVPN is one of the oldest vpn services, being founded in 2006.

But it has had a rather controversial past that greatly tainted its image… much to the dislike of many internet privacy advocates.

PureVPN review press room

This is especially true because of their involvement in supplying user logs in a cyberstalking investigation even after they claimed to keep no logs.

So, what has changed about PureVPN in 2020?

Do they still keep logs and are their apps still sluggish… like they were a couple years back?

An independent security firm called Altius IT audited PureVPN and we’ll look at their findings in a moment…

In this PureVPN review in 2020, we are going to delve into the PureVPN pros and cons and see if it is a vpn you should even consider buying in 2020.

Here is a quick summary.

PureVPN review facts and figures

PureVPN is a vpn service provider founded in 2006 by its parent company GZ Systems and is currently headquartered in Hong Kong.

With a customer base counting to 3 million PureVPN users, it offers secure encrypted internet access, unblocks streaming platforms like Netflix, allows P2P files sharing and torrenting and works very well in China.

Websitepurevpn.com
Servers2,000
JurisdictionHong Kong
StreamingNetflix, Hulu, Amazon, iPlayer
Speed3.8/5
TorrentingP2P servers
PrivacyKeeps logs
Devices10
Pricing$ 3.33/month
Free trial$ 0.99

Let’s now take a more detailed review of PureVPN.

How many servers does PureVPN have?

If a vpn company has more servers, you can expect that their services will be better in general.

Even though this is not always the case, more servers mean you have a lot of options for switching servers if you are not impressed by the speeds from one server.

It could also mean that there would be low server loads at each time as the users will be spread out.

So how many servers does PureVPN have?

At the time of writing this PureVPN review, it has a total of more than 2,000 vpn servers based in 140 different countries.

PureVPN review server footprint

In fact, while most vpn companies concentrate their servers in Europe and North America, PureVPN does the contrary…

PureVPN servers are relatively well distributed across the various contents with servers in Myanmar, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea.

There is also a great collection of servers in China… based in Beijing and Shanghai.

From their server count and distribution, PureVPN is a medium sized vpn company that is trying to reach everyone.

If you are looking for a vpn that will provide a server is almost every country you visit, I recommend PureVPN.

Can PureVPN unblock Netflix?

Will you be able to access Netflix using PureVPN?

While most vpns struggle to unblock Netflix because of their tough proxy server detectors, PureVPN was successfully able to unblock Netflix in the US.

Even though a few of the US servers I connected to were giving me proxy server errors, a great number of PureVPN US servers can stream Netflix.

PureVPN review quick features

If you try to access Netflix from one server and it’s blocked, simple switch servers.

In almost all the cases when I switched servers, I was able to then stream Netflix.

In addition to Netflix, I was also able to stream Hulu and Amazon Prime Video using the PureVPN US based servers.

When I connected to the UK servers, I was also able to stream content from BBC iPlayer.

Even though I was able to stream Netflix in the US, I was not impressed by the trial and error kind of approach.

I would have appreciated it if PureVPN labelled Netflix optimized servers so that I simply connect to servers that are known to unblock Netflix.

This would have freed me more mental space and saved me from frustration.

Overall, though, since I was able to unblock the various streaming platforms in different countries… I think PureVPN is a great vpn for streaming.

It’s trailing some of the best vpns for streaming like NordVPN & ExpressVPN.

How fast is PureVPN?

Connection speeds can be a major PureVPN pro or con.

Even though you want to be secure and anonymous online, you don’t want to pay for it by slow and slugging browsing speeds.

You already paid money for that…

How does PureVPN speeds compare with other premium vpns in this industry?

In order to test PureVPN speeds, I connected to its servers based in the US, UK and Hong Kong.

Before connecting to PureVPN, I tested my connection speeds with speedtest.net.

PureVPN review speed tests initial

My download speed was 21.52Mbps and 3.19Mbps upload, before connecting to PureVPN.

When I connected to the USA server, my speeds dropped to 15.72 download while my upload speed increased to 8.79Mbps.

PureVPN review speed tests US

I then connected to the UK based server.

There my download speed dropped to 16.34Mbps while my upload speed dropped to 4.14Mbps.

PureVPN review speed tests UK

Lastly, I connected to a Hong Kong based server and here are my results.

While download speeds dropped to 16.53Mbps, my upload speeds dropped further to 2.19Mbsp.

PureVPN review speed tests HK

From these speed tests results, it’s clear that PureVPN experiences huge drops in speeds in most of its servers.

I consider a connection speed of 80% and above of the original speeds to be great… yet in all the 3 cases I tested, PureVPN speeds remained below 80% of my original connection speeds.

PureVPN is clearly not the best vpn for you if you are concerned about your connection speeds dropping too much.

Does PureVPN allow torrenting?

Will you be able to torrent with PureVPN?

Even though torrenting copyrighted material is illegal, P2P file sharing is not going anywhere anytime soon, so it would be incomplete for me to do a PureVPN review without talking about torrenting.

PureVPN review best features

First of all, never download torrent files without first connecting to a vpn or proxy.

Anti piracy laws are getting tougher by the day… you don’t want to be caught torrenting copyrighted material.

That being said, the answer is YES. 

PureVPN review P2P servers

PureVPN fully supports torrenting and P2P file sharing on their servers but you must do it through their torrenting optimized servers for the best speeds and safety.

I say safety because torrenting is blocked in servers in certain countries, thanks to the same copyright laws, so your torrent traffic will definitely get blocked.

Luckily, all the PureVPN torrenting optimized servers are labeled.

So when you are ready to torrent, just head over to the app and select the torrenting servers and get started.

Since PureVPN does not keep any logs that can identify you, I confirm in this PureVPN review in 2020 that torrenting with PureVPN is completely safe and anonymous.

PureVPN review we dont keep

Just ensure you torrent from the dedicated torrenting servers if you don’t want your traffic blocked or speed throttled.

And I think this is for the best… torrenting loads the server and PureVPN doesn’t want you slowing down other internet users who are not necessarily torrenting.

So if you don’t head over to torrenting optimized servers, they’ll happily slow down your torrent traffic.

PureVPN no logs policy?

Does PureVPN keep logs?

This is a very interesting question because it is what made PureVPN stand out as a very controversial player in the vpn industry.

Think about it…

How does a vpn say they don’t keep any user logs, only to surface in court with logs of your torrenting activities…? logs that actually lead to a conviction!

Even though they denied it in their privacy policy, PureVPN used to keep logs about their customers secretly.

This became evident when they cooperated in a cyberstalking investigation in 2016, by providing data logs for a user with a particular email address that was suspected for online stalking.

PureVPN review startup settings

When the ruling was made, the court documents credited PureVPN for their support in providing the logs.

This incident caused a huge backlash among its customer base and caused PureVPN bad publicity as their subscribers felt betrayed by the company who promised to make them anonymous online.

Let’s remember that PureVPN is based in Hong Kong, a country with no data retention policies… and should be considered a privacy haven.

Yet a vpn from this country still compromised user identity.

So while the location is great, look more into the fine print of their privacy policy and ToS documents because that’s where vpns play you for your ignorance.

Well, in order to take care of this broken trust and at least stay in business, PureVPN revamped their old privacy policy.

PureVPN review no logs policy

At the time of writing this PureVPN review, PureVPN does not keep logs of your actual IP address, the IP of the vpn server you connect to nor your connection timestamps.

However, they do log your bandwidth usage still.

Apart from your bandwidth, just like ExpressVPN, they’ll log your connection time, the location of the server you connected to and your ISP.

But coming from a company that has lied before, would you believe them now?

Well, a third party security firm called Altius IT conducted an independent audit of PureVPN servers, software source code and configurations to try find out if there was more than meets the eye…

This is what Altius IT had to say after the audit:

“[we] did not find any evidence of system configurations and/or system/service log files that independently, or collectively, could lead to identifying a specific person and/or the person’s activity when using the PureVPN service.”

Now, this is quite a relief.

You can now be rest assured that you are completely anonymous when using PureVPN services.

PureVPN review other features

Your torrenting is private and no one will come after you with a lawsuit.

If you want a vpn that has taken a step further to prove their dedication to your privacy online, I highly recommend PureVPN.

PureVPN encryption technology?

For your data and personal information to be transmitted safely through the internet, it has to be encrypted.

When data is thoroughly encrypted, it becomes impossible to decrypt even if a hacker hijacked your packets through a packet sniffing software.

PureVPN review server list

So what encryption technology does PureVPN use?

Luckily, PureVPN traffic is tamper proof because PureVPN uses 256-bit encryption technology which is impossible to crack.

It is this very encryption that is also used by governments and militaries to encrypt classified information.

So you can be rest assured that your PureVPN traffic is immuned to eavesdropping.

Apart from the strong encryption technology, PureVPN also supports a lot of vpn connection protocols… more than most vpns actually support.

PureVPN review connection protocols

So you’ll be able to switch between various protocols as you wish.

PureVPN supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, PPTP and IKEv2.

Even though some of these protocols, like PPTP, are dated and very insecure… if connection speed is more of your concern than security, you can try out PPTP.

Otherwise, OpenVPN is the best protocol for security in desktop and Android apps while IKEv2 is great for iOS.

When it comes to data protection and encryption, PureVPN is at par with the most secure vpns out there.

Does PureVPN have an ad blocker?

Internet companies and online businesses have gotten very aggressive with their advertising.

This could partly be because most people have become ad blind, so they want some other ways to force-divert your attention.

It could be in the form of those video ads that automatically start play in the background… could be in the bottom right or left corner of your screen.

PureVPN review server search

You might find them really intrusive and annoying at the same time.

However, thanks to some vpns, there are technologies for blocking these ads from playing altogether.

We call them adware blockers.

Does PureVPN have an ad blocker?

Yes, before writing this PureVPN review in 2020, I installed the desktop version and checked their ad blocker.

After turning on this ad blocker, I was able to visit certain sites that played auto video ads and these ads didn’t play anymore.

I had an ad free browsing experience.

This PureVPN ad blocker, coupled with their NAT firewall is a great combination for upping your security online.

If you are looking for a vpn that will enable you block ads on your browsers and apps, I recommend PureVPN.

Does PureVPN have dedicated IPs?

Dedicated IPs enable you to access the internet always while using the same IP address.

This is important especially for banking apps that will lock you out everytime you try to login with a new IP until you provide additional verification.

PureVPN review premium features

Will you get an IP that is assigned only to you and not shared by anyone?

Yes, PureVPN provides dedicated IPs but you have to purchase them separately.

While this is contrary to vpns like NordVPN that freely provides dedicated IPs with your currently plan, most other vpns don’t even provide dedicated IPs in the first place.

So I think even if you have to purchase it separately, it is great that this option is available in the first place.

PureVPN dedicated IPs will provide you with an IP address that you can whitelist in your specific apps for uninterrupted access to services.

While you have the option of buying a dedicated IP address separately after choosing your normal PureVPN plan…

You can also choose to just buy a PureVPN plan that comes with a static IP address.

If you do it this way, you won’t have to pay separately for a dedicated IP.

You’ll just need to choose the country you want an IP address in.

In fact, if for example you purchase a dedicated IP in the UK but it can’t unblock BBC iPlayer, you simply email support and they’ll provide you with another IP that can unblock that service in that country.

Talk about taking dedicated IPs to the next level… ? I only saw this with TorGuard.

Does PureVPN have a kill switch?

It is true that a vpn ensures that you browse the internet privately and anonymous.

But this is only true as long as your remain connected to the vpn servers.

PureVPN review kill switch

Since most internet connections drops a few times a day, your vpn would get disconnected a number of times.

Interestingly, this disconnection and reconnection happens without you even realizing it.

What’s not interesting is that whenever your vpn disconnects, your real IP address is revealed and your ISP can see what you are doing online.

This is particularly a terrible idea if you were torrenting from a country with tough any piracy laws.

It is at this point that a vpn internet kill switch come in handy.

Does PureVPN have an internet kill switch?

Yes, PureVPN has an automatic kill switch that when turned on, will cut off your internet access anytime it disconnects from the server… until it reconnects.

So your torrent client will have to stop and wait until the vpn reconnects to continue the downloads.

If you are looking for a vpn that will enable to stay anonymous at all times, then I recommend PureVPN.

Its kill switch will ensure you only access the internet through an encrypted channel.

Does PureVPN support split tunneling?

Apart from a kill switch, split tunneling is a feature that I consider very important in a vpn application.

While a kill switch blocks your internet access for your entire device in case of a connection drop…

PureVPN review main features

… a split tunnel lets you specify which apps must have their traffic encrypted and which ones should access the internet without a vpn connection.

You’ll particularly find this feature important for example when running backups as you down want speed drops caused by vpns.

PureVPN has a split tunneling feature that lets you do exactly that.

With this split tunneling feature, you’ll be able to select which apps are required to access internet with or without a vpn connection.

If you are looking for a vpn with a great split tunneling feature, PureVPN works.

IPv6 leaks, DNS leaks and WebRTC leaks tests

Will PureVPN keep you safe while you are making video calls via Zoom or Skype?

In order to establish this, I used ipleak.net to test for IP leaks through WebRTC browser technology… it’s the technology that supports video calls.

PureVPN review IPv6 leak tests, DNS leak tests & WebRTC leak tests

From the screenshot above, there were no leaks in my IPv6 address, DNS or WebRTC.

PureVPN will therefore keep you completely anonymous even when on video calls or if your ISP gives you an IPv6 address.

Does PureVPN work in China?

Will PureVPN work in China?

Is PureVPN obfuscation technology smart enough to bypass China’s great firewall?

In countries like Russia, China and UAE, internet access is heavily censored and certain sites are completely blocked.

PureVPN review quick features

This is especially true for most social media sites like Facebook.

However, if you visit China, you might still want to be able to access these sites without a problem.

Interestingly, PureVPN is well able to bypass China’s firewall and you’ll be able to continue having uncensored internet access in China.

PureVPN is able to disguise its vpn traffic to look like normal https traffic and “fool” China’s DPI (deep packet inspection) technology.

So if you are looking for a vpn service that you can carry with you to China, then I recommend PureVPN.

Remember you need to install PureVPN before you go to China because this website is blocked in China… so you won’t be able to access the download pages for their apps within China.

PureVPN also has physical servers in China based in Beijing and Shanghai which are great if you want to stream content in China at great speeds as well.

What does PureVPN cost?

How much does PureVPN cost?

Well, I started this PureVPN review by mentioning that PureVPN is a budget friendly vpn service.

PureVPN review pricing

It is, however, true that the times have changed.

PureVPN used to offer heavy discounts like $0.99/month for 2 and 3 year plans… that’s not the case anymore.

I think improving their services prompted them to strike out the steep discounts, even though they still offer great discounts for bargain buyers.

At the time of writing this PureVPN review, PureVPN offers 3 pricing plans.

1-month plan costs $10.95/month

12-month plan costs $5.83/month, billed as $69.96.

24-month plan costs $3.33/month, billed as $79.93.

As you can see, PureVPN is not that “cheapest vpn” anymore, but you still get great discounts… the 2 year plan offers you upto 70% OFF.

In addition to that, all PureVPN plans come with all the premium features, except dedicated IPs and port forwarding which you have to purchase separately.

But, like I mentioned earlier, you can decide to purchase a dedicated IP vpn plan by choosing a country at checkout and not pay extra for a dedicated IP later.

Every purchase is protect by a 31 day money back guarantee.

Payment options

What payment options does PureVPN support?

PureVPN supports payment for their plans through various options.

PureVPN review payment methods

First, you’ll be able to pay for PureVPN using any credit card, PayPal, AliPay and other popular payment methods.

Secondly, PureVPN supports anonymous payment methods like Bitcoin for additional anonymity.

Even though payments through cryptocurrencies are not refundable, it is a great option for anonymous payments.

Refund policy

Does PureVPN offers refunds?

Sometimes you might purchase PureVPN and realize it’s completely not what you want or not what you were looking for.

It could as well be an erroneous purchase… like double billing.

PureVPN review money back guarantee

In that case, can you get your money back?

Every PureVPN plan your purchase comes with a 31 day money back guarantee.

So you have upto 31 days from the time your purchase PureVPN to try it and decide if you want to keep it or cancel.

If you decide you want to cancel, just email [email protected] and your refund will be processed within 24 hours.

Even though PureVPN keeps logs of your bandwidth usage, I was thinking they’d use it against you in the refund but no… they actually offer a no-questions-asked money back guarantee.

However, you won’t get a refund for the 3 day trial that we’ll see below.

You also won’t get a refund if you purchase your PureVPN plan through Play Store, App Store or crypto payment.

Free trial

Does PureVPN have a free trial?

No, there is no completely free trial for PureVPN, but there is a way to try PureVPN for just $2.50.

PureVPN review trial

On the PureVPN vpn website, you’ll find a link for a 3-day trail for only $2.50.

So, while PureVPN does not offer a free trial or completely free plans, this is still a great way to test this service without risking much. 

Most vpns would require you to pay a few bucks to try or at least provide working credit cards details to activate a trail.

Support devices

How many devices does PureVPN support?

While writing this PureVPN review in 2020, I discovered that PureVPN is one of the few vpns that provides apps and support for all the platforms you can imagine.

PureVPN review supported devices

First of all, PureVPN has dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Android & iOS.

Even though the iOS app was taken out of the PlayStore for compliance reasons, it’s been restored and free to install.

You’ll also get a configuration guide for Linux, since there is no PureVPN Linux app.

PureVPN review main features

PureVPN has apps for routers, gaming consoles like PS4, Android TV, Amazon Fire Stick TV, Microsoft Surface, Kodi, Roku, Boxee Box, other smart tvs, Raspberry Pi, XBox etc.

Apart from being able to support a variety of devices, you’ll also be able to connect upto 5 devices using a single PureVPN subscription.

Even though 5 devices isn’t great as some vpns allow upto 12, it’s quite the average for most vpns.

PureVPN review devices

If you are looking for a vpn to share among a few devices, then PureVPN is great… but if you want a vpn that allows unlimited devices, I recommend Surfshark.

Customer support

Often you’ll find installation guides for most devices supported by vpns online.

And PureVPN is not left out because they have a lot of detailed installation and troubleshooting guides on their support websites for apps, routers and consoles.

What if you need to talk to a human being?

PureVPN review support

Usually I find this a quick way to find answers to some questions that are not covered in the articles or might just take a long time to find.

Luckily, PureVPN offers live chat support 24/7 where you can launch a chat and start chatting with an agent in under 5 minutes.

If you want a more detailed technical response you can submit a support ticket.

So PureVPN offers a ticketing support system… if you are already a customer.

For non customers, you can submit your query through the contact form on their website or directly email PureVPN at [email protected].

Live chat support is also available for both users and non users.

In conclusion

Clearly, as we can see, PureVPN has come a long way in terms of guaranteeing complete privacy and anonymity online.

  • 2,000 servers
  • Netfilx, Hulu, Amazon
  • Dedicated IPs
  • Torrenting allowed
  • Kill Switch
  • Works in China
  • 10 devices
  • Accepts Bitcoins
  • Ad blockers

  • Average speeds
  • No free trial
  • Keeps logs

Usually, I do not trust a vpn company’s no logs claims until an independent third party can prove that this is actually the case.

This is because companies that have claimed to not keep logs in the past have surfaced in court with logs.

However, it is also very impressive how PureVPN is able to unblock a number of streaming servers.

While most vpns struggle, PureVPN can unblock Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu etc.

Besides unblocking streaming services, PureVPN works in China… again something most vpns can’t do.

Even though there are user complaints about its apps not being the most efficient, servicewise… PureVPN impressed me with what they are capable of doing.

Also, contrary to what I expected, PureVPN delivered very acceptable speeds if you compare it to what other vpns would deliver.

While there are many other vpns that can deliver better services than PureVPN on every front…

PureVPN stands out for its pricing.

It is clearly a very considerable option for a budget buyer.

If you would like to purchase a good vpn service without paying an arm and a leg, I recommend PureVPN for you.

However, if you want top notch services and don’t mind paying more, then there are better vpns I have reviewed here.

StreamingTorrentingDevicesPrice
NordVPNNetflix, Hulu, iPlayer P2P servers6$ 3.49/m
SurfsharkNetflix, Hulu, iPlayer P2P serversUnlimited$ 1.99/m
ExpressVPNNetflix, Hulu, iPlayerAll servers5$ 8.32/m

Have you used PureVPN before?

Please share your experience in the comments below.

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