The Good & Bad of PureVPN
PureVPN has recently made quite a few changes so this review has been updated since its original posting. The date is now July 2013, and this review will reflect my own previous experiences with PureVPN, as well as the recent changes that have been made.
My Test of PureVPN in China
PureVPN performed surprisingly well in China compared to some of the other services I tried while in the country. I lived in China for about 5 years, and have seen many services advertise themselves as ‘GFW resistant' even though they were far from it. This was not the case with PureVPN.
Not only were the servers fast and I was able to stream TV on YouTube, but I was also able to use PPTP and L2TP VPN which are blocked in many regions in China. The significance of that is that PureVPN was able to offer service is one of the most heavily restricted internet zones in the world. I think this reflects well on their performance.
Though you may not live in China, it should be noted that if a VPN can do well from behind the Great Firewall, it can definitely perform well in other areas of the world. I have not tested in the Middle East (another heavily censored zone), so would be interested to know if anyone reading this review is there and has tried it.
PureVPN Operating System Compatibility
Positives to Consider
PureVPN used to have a tiered plan with various bandwidth limitations and server restrictions based on how much you pay per month. They have since changed this policy to have unlimited bandwidth for all accounts, and access to all server locations. They have also added several servers and thousands of IP addresses over the course of the past 2 years that I've followed them, so they are constantly improving.
One thing that is unique about this service is that they offer live support. Many services don't (StrongVPN and SwitchVPN do). In addition to having live support, the live support is actually active! Many places have a ‘live support' app pop up but there is no one behind it, so it's technically ticket support. It's obviously a marketing scam to make people feel like they are getting a lot for a good price. PureVPN has reliable live support.
PureVPN Server Locations
PureVPN also has many method of payment. I'm surprised to find out that many services don't allow Paypal, or ONLY allow credit cards. What's the point of paying anonymously if you have to use your own credit card information? Some people don't mind, some people do. Either way, it's cool that you have lots of options here.
They also have a very nice VPN client. It is one of the best ones I've seen as you can see in the video below. I was very impressed with the software.
So in a nutshell, you get a reliable service for a decent price and good support.
Negatives to Consider
No service is perfect. These negative things do not mean that PureVPN is a ‘bad' service, but they should be considered. Everyone is looking for something different when choosing a VPN service, so these I'd like to talk about these to give you a clear idea of what PureVPN offers.
Live support is on 24/7/365, but they are non-native English speakers. If English is not your native language, you might not notice. However, English is my native language, and when I requested technical support, I felt I needed to ‘dumb down' my English to get my point across. I would prefer to speak to a native English speaker when getting tech support.
More Features of PureVPN
I can get more for less with other services. PureVPN is a good service, but many other services like IPVanish and HideMyAss offer access to more than 40 or 50 countries with their service. For some, that's not an issue because most people don't need access to that many VPN servers. But they also have more IPs, more servers. All of these things are offered for a similar price.
The key then is that you have to decide if PureVPN is faster or their customer support is better. I found it to be similar to other places.
They do not offer OpenVPN. For more security they recommend L2TP/IPSec for Mac, and SSTP for Windows. Most other VPN services offer OpenVPN. I guess from a user standpoint you won't really notice a difference, but for those interested in privacy and security, you may prefer OpenVPN.
PureVPN is a good VPN service. I felt that the price is worth the quality of the product and the level of service. However, it's hard to find something that makes them absolutely better than other places. If you have your sights set on this service and are tired of reading reviews, now's a good time to sign up. You will not be disappointed.
Sept 02, 2011