A VPN is designed to increase your privacy, but this only works if the firm offering the service takes precautions to secure your data. If a VPN is spying on you, this is no better than a paid spy or an ISP.
PureVPN recently updated its privacy policies, and the results have been positive. It’s really simple to read and comprehend. PureVPN is simple to use.
However, it falls short in the long run. Despite being reasonably priced, the software created severe issues with my smartphone.
This supplier is also difficult to contact directly and did not give the customer service I expect from premium VPNs.
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PureVPN pros & cons
Split-tunneling on Android
Supports port forwarding
31-day money-back guarantee
Vast selection of VPN protocols
Can unblock streaming sites
No DNS leaks
Compatible with Android TV
Kill switch doesn’t always work
No free version
Limited Linux app
It doesn’t support WireGuard
Cost and Features
PureVPN does not presently provide a free version or a free trial of its service. There is a seven-day money-back guarantee, though.
If you don’t want to spend money on a VPN, many great free VPN services are available. For instance, TunnelBear and ProtonVPN provide great (though restricted) free solutions.
PureVPN is $10.95 a month. However, there are often discounts available. You may also choose a 1-year registration for $59.00.
You can make payments for subscriptions in various ways, including credit cards, Bitcoin (and other currencies), PayPal, and many more.
You may even use gift cards from well-known retailers to pay. So if you’ve ever wanted to use your Starbucks gift card to get a VPN, now’s your opportunity.
Privacy and Logging
‘We DO NOT retain any details of your browsing activity, connection logs, details of the VPN IPs allocated to you, your original IPs, your connection time.
Also, not your search history, the websites you visited, your outbound traffic, the information or data you viewed, or the DNS queries you made.’
That’s fantastic! However, it is simplistic. The company claims at the top of the screen that it doesn’t keep connection logs.
But if you scroll down to the bottom to find a section titled ‘Data Included within VPN Connection Logs,’ which lists the details it does keep:
The day you are associated with a specific location, your ISP, the link length, how many interconnections you make, and the maximum bandwidth you use.
There is no tracking of your origin IP, destination IP, connection time, or subsequent actions. Thus this minimal information is unlikely to harm your privacy.
However, we believe it is a terrible idea to state at the top of the page that “we don’t store your link logs,” then list the ways you track connections a bit lower down.
PureVPN also uses ’a few technologies’ in its apps to ‘perform VPN diagnostics and track crash reports,’ according to the policy.
However, it mentions Google Analytics, iTunes, Crashlytics, Apptentive, Firebase, New Relic, and MixPanel, which may be too much, you anticipated.
This type of accident reporting isn’t unusual, but we’d expect it to be voluntary, which it isn’t. Furthermore, there is no choice in Settings for ‘Send crash data?’ – PureVPN transmits it regardless.
There’s also some good news about privacy. PureVPN stated in 2020 that it had fulfilled a no-logging audit conducted by KPMG.
Determining that the service does not track a user’s origin IP address, allocated VPN IP, the precise time whenever a user connects to a VPN server, or a user’s actions while connected to a VPN server.
PureVPN also claims to have chosen an ‘always-on’ audit strategy, which means KPMG may ‘conduct a non-scheduled privacy audit at any point during the year, without prior notification,’ according to the company.
PureVPN claims that the audit included “examination of our sophisticated infrastructure, server settings, codebase, technical data logs, and worldwide servers,” as well as “interviews of our staff involved in system modifications and database management.”
You won’t be able to see the report’s specifics since it hasn’t been made public. And it’s simply checking the primary no-logging policy, not looking for privacy problems in general.
Could PureVPN’s crash inspections, for example, cause any privacy concerns? Who knows, maybe that wasn’t part of the audit’s scope.
Even with these limits, we’re not criticizing; there’s far more security here than you’ll find with most VPNs.
PureVPN should continue conducting frequent audits and making the complete results, not just a line, available.
PureVPN’s signup process is straightforward. However, we noted that the firm currently only accepts credit card and PayPal payments.
Bitcoin, AliPay, gift cards, and other payment methods have all been removed.
The website directed us to download links for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, browser extensions, and more once we paid our money.
We downloaded the Windows software, and while it was downloading, we received a welcome email with login information.
The Windows client now has a clean yet straightforward user interface.
From a list of options, you may select your chosen server location.
With a Recent Locations database, a Favorites system, and a navigable list of nations with ping times to assist you find the fastest, the destination selector is more than adequate.
When you click an icon to the nation’s right, it expands to show all of its cities. Although this is a common concept, most VPN programs only provide a ‘expand me’ sign when a nation has several locations.
As a result, we frequently extended a list to discover it only contained one city since PureVPN does it for all nations.
IKEv2 connections took about three seconds, whereas OpenVPN connections took eight seconds. When you’re linked, you’ll see a notice on your desktop.
In comparison to the previous Windows program, the settings are more basic.
There will still be a kill switch and the IKEv2 and OpenVPN TCP/ UDP protocols to select from, but that’s about it. Split tunneling, for example, is no longer available.
For example, the complete response to the Ping query states, ‘To seeping numbers, go to Preferences and select the ‘Enable Ping’ option,’ however that is for the prior client.
Unfortunately, this version does not have an ‘Enable Ping’ option. And because our build was almost six months old, this mistake has been there for quite some time.
You can at least start a live chat window or file a ticket from inside the app, but neither option is great.
When we selected the Chat button, a browser tab appeared with a link similar to https://direct.lc.chat/109xxx87, but it wasn’t even labeled PureVPN.
It’s most likely operated solely by PureVPN workers, and everything is completely secure.
However, it would be better if the live chat gate opened on the PureVPN website instead of a third-party service that most customers are unfamiliar with.
IPv6 leak prevention and a multi-port option that automatically picks the optimal port, preventing any closed or throttled alternatives, are among the advanced features.
In addition, you may acquire a unique IP address using a non-NAT network, and a proxy server is accessible if needed.
Windows app testing
IKEv2 connections are now properly configured to need encryption, which is a significant improvement over our previous tests. Your credentials are not saved locally, and IPv6 is deactivated by default.
The way protocols are handled is still odd. For example, PureVPN connected through IKEv2 when we picked the OpenVPN UDP protocol, presumably because it has a fallback procedure.
If it can’t get access via its standard protocol, it’ll attempt something else. Although this seems sensible, we discovered that the only method to connect using OpenVPN was to disable the fallback option.
It is less of an issue than in the prior app because the protocol you’re using can now be seen in the Connection Details tab. But it’s perplexing, and we’re left wondering what else is going on behind the hood.
Last but not least, we investigated the app stop switch. In theory, if the VPN goes down, this should restrict internet access, ensuring that your data isn’t sent via an unencrypted connection.
But things didn’t always go as planned. We used a program that verified and displayed our unique Ip address several times before attempting to terminate the connection forcefully.
The majority of the time, this worked as expected, and the sole IP address we noticed belonged to PureVPN.
However, we did see our true IP on a few occasions, indicating that a request had successfully evaded the kill switch and gone (unprotected) over our standard connection.
We found that PureVPN connections dropped five times on their own (without our intervention). We don’t know why it happens, and it might be connected to our test environment.
Therefore we won’t make any inferences. However, most VPNs never lost a connection, even once during app tests. Thus PureVPN’s sluggishness perplexed us.
We started by installing the newest PureVPN software on Windows 10 computers in a US data center and a UK data center, both with 1Gbps connections.
We used several popular benchmarking web services to test data rates, including SpeedTest’s website and command-line program, TestMy, and Netflix’s Fast.com.
We performed five measurements at each location and computed the median speeds, then conducted the experiments using OpenVPN and IKEv2 in both daytime and nighttime sessions.
Netflix and streaming
PureVPN, like most VPNs, claims to allow you to view geo-blocked material from anywhere in the globe.
‘Whether it’s movies, TV episodes, or sporting events, PureVPN gives you quick and unfettered access to your favorite material,’ according to the company’s website.
The ‘Popular Websites’ section where you may pick a platform is no longer available in the most recent applications. Instead, the service operates similarly to most other VPNs.
Select a server in the location you require, connect, and check whether your streaming service is available.
PureVPN gave us total access to BBC iPlayer from all 3 of our test connections, which functioned well.
PureVPN offers a comprehensive help website with several lessons and troubleshooting tips.
Setup Guides, Troubleshooting, FAQ, and Account and Billing are only a few of the categories listed on the home page, and most of these pages include more material than you’d think.
For example, the Setup Guide contains subsections for Fifteen platforms, and some of those individual parts offer more material than a weaker VPN’s whole help site.
PureVPN provides many features and is a good value, with an incredibly broad range of systems supported.
Yet, speeds are below standard, customer support is shaky, and several concerning flaws prohibit this service from vying with the finest VPN competitors on the market.