|Original author(s)||GZ Systems|
PureVPN allows users to select from four categories: Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, and File Sharing. The user's selection then determines which servers through which their traffic will be routed. PureVPN's 2000 servers are located in 140 countries with 87 of those countries having virtual servers that make the servers seem to be in a different country than where they are actually at. PureVPN requires users to provide their real names to use the service. It stores the day and the Internet service provider through which a user accesses the service but does not store the name of the website or actual time of access.
The service has been criticized for having inconsistent speeds, being unable to access Netflix videos, and having usability problems. It has been praised for its feature set and for being based in Hong Kong which has "favorable data laws".
PureVPN is owned by GZ Systems Limited, a software company that creates Android sports apps. Its mailing address is in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. PureVPN was co-founded by Uzair Gadit who is based in Pakistan. Founded in 2007, it employs contractors in the United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Pakistan, and Hong Kong.
PureVPN's homepage allows users to select from four categories: Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, and File Sharing. Each category has a different configuration. Internet Freedom, for example, lets customers select which countries their Internet traffic is going through when trying to bypass the Great Firewall of China. According to Mashable's Charles Poladian, "many credible reports" indicated that PureVPN was unsuccessful in overcoming China's Great Firewall. PureVPN allows customers to select what they plan to do such as browsing social media, conducting Voice over IP calls, and streaming videos. It then uses this selection to choose specific servers for customers to send their Internet traffic through. Other configuration options include the transport protocol (the less safe UDP or the more safe but less speedy TCP) and split tunneling (choosing the apps that will direct traffic through the VPN). PureVPN offers users the option to turn on the "VPN Hotspot", allowing other devices to use the PureVPN hotspot connection.
PureVPN provides desktop clients for Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows and mobile clients for Android and iOS. PureVPN can be run at the same time on five sessions. It allocated 200 servers for peer-to-peer file sharing and BitTorrent usage but does not provide any servers for accessing the Tor network.
PureVPN has more than 2,000 servers in over 140 countries. Their servers are in 180 separate locations and in Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, North America, and South America. Max Eddy of PC Magazine said PureVPN "offers some of the best geographic diversity I have yet seen among VPN companies" though "not everything is necessarily as it seems". Eddy found that in 87 of those countries, PureVPN's servers are virtual servers that merely make the servers seem to be in a different country than where it really is at. PureVPN places virtual servers close to the country they say it is at, which Eddy found problematic for users who want to avoid their data passing through certain countries.
PureVPN stores logs containing information about what Internet service provider a customer used to access it service and which day the service was used. PureVPN does not store the exact time a customer accessed VPN. To prevent misuse and monitor quality, it records how much bandwidth customers are using. PureVPN also stores HTTP cookies for online advertising purposes as well as user account information like email address and credit card data. It does not store what websites a customer is accessing. Brian Nadel of Tom's Guide criticized PureVPN for requiring real names for user signups, even when users employ Bitcoin or gift cards for payment. VPNs largely do not require real names.
Mashable's Charles Poladian praised PureVPN for being based in Hong Kong, which he says has "favorable data laws" and "isn't part of the intelligence-gathering alliance". PC Magazine's Max Eddy said that Hong Kong, as a special administrative regions of China, does not need to follow China's laws but that with China attempting to block VPNs that do not follow its rules, "PureVPN's legal situation is more complicated than that of the average VPN service".
Mashable's Charles Poladian wrote, "PureVPN works, sometimes even with Netflix, but it has enough issues to keep the VPN from being your go-to choice for private internet access." He criticized PureVPN's erratic speeds, Internet access problems, and inability to overcome Netflix's block of VPNs so that he could watch videos available only in another country. Brian Nadel of Tom's Guide gave VPN a negative review, writing, "its performance was pretty bad in our testing, and we have concerns about the customer service, the real-name policy and the fact that it's essentially based in China". TechRadar's Mike Williams wrote, "PureVPN is loaded with nifty features and we saw decent results on the performance front. It's good value as well, but usability issues with the apps might put you off."
PC Magazine's Max Eddy wrote, "PureVPN is not a bad service by any measure, but it's not the best." He preferred competitor VPNs Private Internet Access, which "offers a spartan experience at an unbeatable price", and NordVPN, which "costs slightly more than average but packs excellent features into an excellent interface". PC World's Ian Paul gave PureVPN a mixed rating, criticizing it for using virtual servers and praising it for having "fine" speeds and having "most of the features you need in a VPN".
- Poladian, Charles (2018-09-06). "PureVPN review: Even limited Netflix access can't save this buggy VPN". Mashable. Archived from the original on 2019-04-22. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- Williams, Mike (2018-12-04). "PureVPN review". TechRadar. Archived from the original on 2019-04-29. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
- Paul, Ian (2017-08-25). "PureVPN review: It works well if you don't mind virtual server locations. PureVPN is a Hong Kong-based VPN that's recently been criticized for using virtual server locations". PC World. Archived from the original on 2019-04-22. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- Nadel, Brian (2017-10-10). "PureVPN Review: Looks Good, Acts Bad". Tom's Guide. Purch Group. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- Eddy, Max (2018-06-19). "PureVPN". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on 2019-04-29. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
- Caruana, Anthony (2019-06-14). "The Five Best VPNs For 2019". Lifehacker. Archived from the original on 2019-09-29. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
- Eddy, Max (2017-10-11). "Did PureVPN Cross a Line When It Disclosed User Information? When a VPN hands over user data on a creep, there's a freak out". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on 2019-04-22. Retrieved 2019-04-22.