PureVPN for Torrenting
PureVPN is a very interesting VPN provider. Among their many security features, there are some unique tools that set them apart from other VPNs. In this review, we will test the safety and speed that PureVPN provides when torrenting. We will also explore all the extra features available in this software.
Safety and Privacy
The company started in 2006 and it is based in Hong Kong. This location is outside the dangerous monitoring areas, such as North America and the European Union. Because they are located elsewhere, they won't cooperate with those governments in case they try to request any kind of data. They are clear about this subject in their terms:
"PureVPN specifically chose Hong Kong (HK) for its headquarter because there are No Mandatory Data Retention Laws in Hong Kong".
"We Do Not monitor user activity nor do we keep any logs. We therefore have no record of your activities such as which software you used, which websites you visited, what content you downloaded, which apps you used, etc".
PureVPN offers quite some protocols: PPTP, L2TP, StealthVPN, SSTP, IKEV and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP). As always, we recommend Open VPN UDP. It's a modern protocol and it offers a better encryption than the others, AES 256 bit. And UDP is a bit faster than TCP, making OpenVPN UDP the best combination considering security and speed.
As most top VPNs do, they also use shared IPs. This means users share the same IP addresses. In case someone tries to monitor your activity, they won't be able to assign one IP to a single user.
The User Interface
The software looks nice, modern and most importantly, simple to use. The user can connect to a server directly from the dashboard. There's even different ways of choosing a server, like a list of all countries, world regions, or even cities. There's also a map for you to explore, zoom in and select the country that you want to connect to, directly from that map.
The following image is an example of the list of countries. As you can see they are organized by alphabetical order and you can scroll up or down until you find the one you want. Keep in mind that the ones that allow torrenting have a P2P symbol in front of them.
The software has a large number of tools to increase security, and some of them are actually rare in most VPN software. All tools are organized in "Preferences". The user is able to control every option from the same place, without having to wonder around to find different options. Let's have a closer look at the most important features in PureVPN:
Here the user is able to choose a few different things. There are some basic self-explanatory options on the top, such as launching the program when turning on the computer. But we will focus on the last options of this panel:
The user can choose the protocol here. There's even an option to let the software choose the best protocol automatically, depending on the connection of each user. We always recommend OpenVPN UDP, as it is the most secure protocol at this moment.
The last option is rare, and a relieve for many users. Most VPN softwares are made in English language only, but PureVPN has the possibility of choosing between 8 languages. At the moment, the available ones are: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish and Turkish.
This panel offers the possibility of choosing a mode for the VPN connection. The objective is that, after selecting an option, the software will enhance user experience according to the selected option. For example, selecting the mode "File Sharing" will optimize the software for torrent downloads. In other words, it will prioritize anonymity and speed. For other modes, there will be other priorities. The available modes are Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, File Sharing and Remote/Dedicated IP.
This is one of the most important panels. There are two sub-menus, "Security" and "Internet Kill Switch"
On the left image, we have the Security options. Here you will be able to increase the security of your connection. To be more specific, 256 bit is the highest encryption available. And it's also a good idea to enable DNS and IPv6 leak protection. It's a way to be certain that there are no leaks. In the past, this provider had some issues with DNS, but it was solved by adding this feature. At the very end, there's even an option to have reminders when the VPN is not connected. A useful tool for distracted users who forget to connect the VPN software.
On the right image, you can see the Internet Kill Switch options. This is one of the fundamental tools for the ones who want anonymity for their downloads. Basically, in case the VPN connection drops, this feature will kill the Internet connection before your real IP is exposed.
But they don't just give you the traditional Kill Switch "turn on / turn off" button like most VPNs do. There are more options that give the user full control over this feature. For example, there's the option of stopping the Internet completely in case you stop the VPN manually. In other words, if this last box is checked, your Internet will only work when there is a VPN connection. This is a great way of ensuring that your data is encrypted at all times.
This feature lets you choose which Applications wil run through the VPN. When turning it on, there will be a panel where you can add the software apps you want. For example, if you add uTorrent to the Split Tunneling, it means that only that program will work through the VPN. In that case, you would have your real IP for browsing, while for file sharing with uTorrent, you would have the IP provided by the VPN with an encrypted connection.
This can be useful in some situations where the user needs to do something with the real IP and other things with the VPN server's IP. But generally speaking, we recommend you to connect to the VPN without Split Tunneling. It's always better to have all your data encrypted.
This is another rare tool, and a great one too. The users have the possibility of creating a VPN Wifi Hot Spot. If you don't know what a Hot Spot is, basically it's a device that acts as the Internet host for other devices. With this tool, you can turn your device into a source of secure Internet for other devices that you allow to connect through Wifi. The Internet you will be providing to those devices is powered by the VPN, which means it will be encrypted and safe.
The high amount of servers is another positive point. They have more than 750 servers spread through 141 countries, in 180 locations. P2P file sharing is allowed in most of the servers, but they decided to exclude some of them. This is because some countries have strict policies when it comes to torrents. They decided to play it safe by not allowing P2P in a couple of servers from those places. Those are countries such as the US and UK.
But users from those countries have plenty of options nearby where they can connect to download torrents in safety. It's actually better to connect to a server in a country different from yours. In case someone tries to monitor your activity, they would have to attempt to go through different jurisdictions, which is extremely hard.
Pure VPN is compatible with the most popular platforms, such Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and more. They allow 5 simultaneous connections, so a single user can protect up to 5 devices with the same account. It's more than enough for one person. Actually, there are enough extra connections for someone you trust to be protected with your account. For example, a single account can protect an entire 5 member family.
DNS Leak test: Thanks to the DNS leak prevention tool, we didn't see any leaks.
IP Test: During our extensive testing, the IP detected was never our real one. It was always the IP from the VPN server.
Torrent address detection test: When downloading a torrent connected to PureVPN, the IP address detected was also the one provided by the VPN software.
PureVPN passed the speed tests with high scores. These are the results we achieved with this VPN software:
Just like all the VPN providers we recommend, the speed with PureVPN was good. We liked the fact that, even when connected to servers that are very far from us, we could still have very decent speeds.
As usually happens with this kind of software, the longer the subscription, the bigger the discount they offer. That is the case with PureVPN. They offer a two year plan at $2.95 per month. This makes a total of $70.8 for a period of 2 years. That is cheaper than most VPNs offer for their annual subscription.
Also, there is a money back guarantee policy of 7 days. This means the user has 7 days to test the software and decide on whether to continue using the service or having his money back.
The major payment methods are allowed, such as Paypal, Bitcoin, Credit Card, etc...
What we like about PureVPN
- They don't keep user logs
- Based in Hong Kong
- Great encryption (256 bit AES)
- Shared IP addresses
- Good speed
- Many important security extra features
- Possibility of changing the language of the software
- Impressive number of server locations
- 5 simultaneous connections
- 7 days money back guarantee
What could be improved
This is a complete provider that offers a lot of features. But like every other service, there's always something to improve. This is our current suggestion:
- Even though PureVPN doesn't have any data limitations, the 7 day trial period comes with a download limit of 3GB. This means that, if during those first 7 days, the downloaded data is higher than 3GB, the user is no longer entitled to a refund. It would be nice to increase this amount of data, or even make it unlimited.
PureVPN passed all our tests with no problems. Although they had some issues in the past, they clearly worked on them. Now, this VPN software offers a strong encryption along with a complete set of features. We really liked the fact that they offer important tools such as a Kill Switch and DNS leak protection. Besides that, they also provide extra features that give more control to the user. The fact that they don't save activity logs is an extra layer of security, giving peace of mind to their users.
Considering that such service is available for $2.95 per month, it's definitely one of the most affordable VPNs. We didn't have to think twice to include it in our list of best Virtual Private Networks for torrenting.