While NordVPN is one of the best-known VPN providers, PureVPN is less famous. That isn’t to say that PureVPN isn’t popular since it has many loyal subscribers. However, NordVPN is many people’s go-to VPN.
We’ve taken a look at NordVPN and PureVPN side by side to see whether NordVPN really is the best or if PureVPN is a better option for users. Read our comparison review to find out more about the VPNs’ security and privacy features, ability to access streaming and torrenting platforms, and server network locations.
Using a VPN hides your web traffic from prying third eyes like your Internet Service Provider (known as an ISP), government agencies, or hackers on public wi-fi networks. VPNs employ many different features to encrypt your data and give you protection online.
What VPN is better than NordVPN when it comes to security and privacy features? The provider seemingly has it all; there is military-grade encryption with 4096-bit RSA keys and Perfect Forward Secrecy to change encryption keys at every session.
Besides 256-AES encryption, NordVPN uses excellent protocols; these include OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and NordLynx. NordLynx is based on WireGuard, which is a new protocol and uses state-of-the-art cryptography. Using NordLynx creates a super-fast tunneling connection but is safer than WireGuard.
PureVPN employs AES-256 bit encryption and AES-128 bit encryption. However, PureVPN also offers no encryption, and the encryption level is always optional upon installation of the VPN. We recommend changing this immediately in the settings and opt for AES-256 for more security or AES-128 for a slightly faster connection.
There is also a choice of protocols with PureVPN, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and IKEv2. While you can choose your tunneling protocol, PureVPN switches protocols in the background until you connect to the server of your choice.
The above means that you could unknowingly have a connection running over PPTP, which has some vulnerabilities when you wanted to use OpenVPN or IKEv2. Once you establish a VPN connection with Pure, it is worth checking the protocol you’re connection is running over in the app, just in case.
In terms of jurisdiction, both NordVPN and PureVPN are based in privacy-friendly countries. NordVPN is based in Panama, and PureVPN is based in Hong Kong. Panama is one of the most privacy-friendly regions in the world, which is good news for customers as it reassures users that the company won’t be forced to hand over data to the Panama government.
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong, a region with good data retention laws. Hong Kong is also not a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes, and neither in Panama. The 5 Eyes is an international alliance between several nations that monitors citizens’ data.
Both VPNs are based in good places in terms of privacy laws. However, it is worth remembering that Hong Kong is becoming increasingly less autonomous as China imposes more legislations in the region. Some VPN providers have pulled their servers from the region as a result, but it is yet to be seen what the effect of China in Hong Kong will have on PureVPN.
Both NordVPN and PureVPN offer some excellent security options. First of all, NordVPN has private DNS on all of its servers to handle its own DNS requests. There is also IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection to prevent your real IP address from getting exposed.
As well as the above, NordVPN offers CyberSec, a built-in malware, adware, and tracker blocker. There is also an internet kill switch to cut off your internet access if your VPN connection falters.
Another NordVPN feature that is excellent is Double VPN. Double VPN routes your connection through two servers, changing your IP address twice to mask your real IP. Users can also make their connection more private by tunneling their connection via the Tor network via the Onion Over VPN feature. You need to click the Onion over VPN icon in the NordVPN app when selecting a server to do so.
PureVPN also has an automatic kill switch and a built-in adblocker that protects your device. PureVPN also provides WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leak protection. Both providers also offer an automatic wi-fi protection feature, in which the VPN kicks in whenever users connect to an unknown network.
The winner: The security and privacy winner is NordVPN; this is because PureVPN changes the tunneling protocol on a VPN connection without users knowing, which we don’t think is a great thing. However, both VPNs perform well in every other aspect relating to privacy.
Outside of security, NordVPN and PureVPN have a lot of additional features on offer.
NordVPN provides 6 simultaneous connections on every subscription plan, which is enough to cover all of your devices. There is split tunneling available, and you can customize this feature on the app, deciding which apps you want to access outside of the VPN tunnel.
A VPN is the best tool to access restricted content online and foreign Netflix libraries. Thankfully, NordVPN can provide people access to streaming services in other countries, and thanks to its obfuscated servers, the streaming sites don’t detect VPN use.
NordVPN can unblock many Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu libraries, as well as BBC iPlayer in the UK. Regardless of the country, be it Germany, Italy, or Japan, you’ll be able to stream a lot of foreign content with NordVPN.
There is good news for torrenting fans since NordVPN supports P2P file sharing on its network. NordVPN has over 4000 torrenting-optimized servers, on which you can access platforms like BitTorrent, which is more than a lot of other providers. Since NordVPN also has no bandwidth limits in place, you can torrent as much as you want to and employ split tunneling so that you can enjoy a fast internet connection outside of the VPN tunnel while you download.
Finally, NordVPN users can purchase a dedicated IP address instead of using one of the shared static IPs on offer. A dedicated IP is a good idea if you need a VPN to remotely access a work network, or for online banking, or for other activities where a trusted and recognized IP address is needed.
With PureVPN, you get 10 simultaneous connections, which is double the industry-standard of 5 device connections. This is slightly more than NordVPN and means that maybe even some of your family members can use the VPN on their devices.
PureVPN also offers dedicated P2P file-sharing servers in its network and unlimited bandwidth, which bodes well for torrenting activities; port forwarding is also a great addition for torrenters and can also be utilized by gamers. However, PureVPN falls short slightly regarding its ability to unblock streaming services.
While PureVPN can bypass censorship since it offers access to servers in many countries, it cannot get past all the VPN blocks imposed by streaming services. Fortunately, PureVPN can access Netflix in the USA and a handful of other Netflix libraries, including Netflix Japan. Unfortunately, the VPN doesn’t have the prowess to provide its customers with access to BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video.
Like NordVPN, PureVPN also has a split tunneling feature, allowing you to customize your VPN use and access certain apps and websites outside of the VPN tunnel. There is also a dedicated IP option, which we recommend for users who want a VPN for certain activities.
The winner: NordVPN reigns supreme in terms of features thanks to its streaming capabilities. It can access many Netflix libraries and is constantly updating its technology to bypass Netflix VPN firewalls. Since this is a major concern of many VPN users, NordVPN is the better option.
The number of servers a VPN offers is often a focal point for consumers since it indicates the number of IP addresses available and the possibilities of accessing foreign content.
NordVPN has a large server network with more than 5400 servers in 59 countries worldwide. In this network, there are thousands of optimized streaming and torrenting VPN servers. In terms of locations, NordVPN mostly operates in Europe, Asia, and North America. Its server coverage of Africa and the Middle East is limited, with servers only in South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Turkey.
Interestingly, NordVPN doesn’t use any virtual servers; all of the locations are where the servers are physically located. This is good since it means you won’t get connected to a server that could be in a different location, far away, and, therefore, suffer from an extremely slow speed.
PureVPN has more VPN servers in its network than NordVPN, with over 6500 servers worldwide. This is an impressive number, and PureVPN’s network operates across an astounding 140 countries and 180 global locations, which dwarfs NordVPN’s server coverage.
PureVPN has a good number of servers in popular European and Asia countries and the Americas. Unlike NordVPN, Pure also operates 102 servers in Africa, like Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria.
Among the streaming and P2P-enabled servers are VoIP servers, perfect for conversations via platforms like Skype. Many of PureVPN’s servers are physical, but the VPN provider also employs virtual servers in its network. The virtual servers are clearly marked and are used to route users’ traffic via more stable connections.
The winner: In terms of size and choice of locations, PureVPN is the clear winner. Some customers may be uncomfortable with using virtual servers since these can often be harder to manage. However, they can be safer from a security point, especially if connecting you to an IP address in a potentially dangerous zone.
The price of VPNs can vary depending on several factors: the length of the subscription plan, features involved, and which provider is offering the VPN service. We’ve taken a look at how NordVPN and PureVPN’s pricing plans differ.
NordVPN offers an expensive monthly plan, but its longer-term options are great value for money. It seems that the provider is encouraging users towards its long-term offerings.
With the longer NordVPN plans, users must pay the full fee upfront. Therefore, we recommend you test out the monthly plan to start with to make sure you really like the VPN service before committing long-term and paying a lot of money.
There is also a 15% student discount across all NordVPN plans. Accepted payment methods include all popular credit cards like Mastercard and Visa, PayPal, and Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a great option for users who want to anonymize their payment and hid their use of the VPN service.
Like NordVPN, PureVPN has three different subscription options with a monthly, yearly, and 2-year plan.
PureVPN has a 7-day ‘free’ trial on offer for just $0.99. You can purchase PureVPN with American Express, Mastercard, Visa, or PayPal. As of now, PureVPN doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies.
The winner: Aside from the yearly plan, which is cheaper with NordVPN, PureVPN offers cheaper overall deals, which means it is our winner. In terms of money-back guarantees, Pure also has a slightly longer refund policy, by one day, which beats NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
VPN services, for all their benefits, can sometimes slow down internet connections. VPN companies work hard to ensure that they deliver fast server speeds to not affect connection speeds too much.
We first ran some speed tests with NordVPN to see how well it performed running over the NordLynx protocol. Our download speed on a US-based server was high, reaching 39Mbps. When we switched to a UK-based server, it dropped ever so slightly to 37Mbps, but this didn’t make a noticeable difference. Our ping was also low on both servers, which bodes well for gaming.
In the name of fairness, we then ran speed tests with PureVPN, connecting to servers in the same countries. PureVPN claims to offer super-fast servers, so we wanted to put this to the test; in the US, our download speed was a high 37Mbps, and in the UK, it only dipped to 36Mbps.
We then ran a speed test to check speeds in Asia, connecting to a Japanese-based server with each VPN. Since Japan is one of the most popular countries for VPN use, providers must offer fast speeds in this part of the world; fortunately, NordVPN and PureVPN both do! We experience a download speed of 35Mbps with Nord and 33Mbps with Pure.
The winner: NordVPN offers slightly faster connection speeds. However, both providers performed well in our speed tests, and either VPN provider would be a great choice if you’re looking for a fast and reliable internet speed.
Being able to use a VPN on all of your devices is important. Since PureVPN offers 10 simultaneous connections on each plan, you can easily protect all of your devices with one subscription.
PureVPN supports Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and Amazon Fire Stick. As well as all of these, there are browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. You can also configure PureVPN to a DD-WRT router and use an app to control the VPN’s settings.
You can also use PureVPN for Kodi, and it is a great choice for fans of the media player software.
Like PureVPN, NordVPN also offers support for many operating systems. NordVPN has dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV, and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
You can also configure the VPN to your router, circumventing the 6 device connection limit and protecting other IoT (Internet of Things) devices in your household. There is also the option to use NordVPN for Kodi; switch on NordVPN and let it run in your device’s background while using Kodi.
The winner: It’s a draw here since both providers offer support for many devices. Either VPN is great if you want to protect many operating systems simultaneously.
Well-designed apps make it easier for customers to enjoy VPN services. Fortunately, PureVPN and NordVPN have decent apps that provide ease-of-use and an overall good VPN experience.
We really like NordVPN’s dedicated desktop and mobile clients and apps. They have a blue design and feature a map of the provider’s servers around the world. Users can opt for the quick connect button to remove the difficulties of choosing a server or browse the server list.
The settings section in NordVPN’s app is also well laid-out and allows customers to quickly and easily change protocols and enable other features like the kill switch and more.
PureVPN’s app is less stylish than NordVPN’s, but it does provide ease of use thanks to its simple design. Users can employ the quick connection option upon launching the app or scroll through the server list.
As mentioned in the security section, you can customize your encryption level and change protocols. However, we recommend checking your protocol once you have established a server connection to check it hasn’t changed.
The winner: We prefer NordVPN’s app overall. It has a more stylish design and a better layout that looks slightly more professional and allows for easier navigation.
Using a VPN can be difficult at times, and you may run into issues with the service, which is why your VPN provider must offer good customer service.
NordVPN offers a great help section on its website, which is full of information on making the most out of the service. There is also a ticketed email service through which you can email a member of the customer support team. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the live chat support on the site in languages including English, French, and German.
PureVPN also offers customer support. There is a support center on the site containing information such as setup guides, FAQs, and more. There is also a live chat on the website, which requires you to enter your name and email address. Alternatively, you can contact the customer support team via email, which can be found on the PureVPN website.
The winner: It’s a tie! Neither VPN offers more than the other regarding customer service, and both have great offerings available.
In this review, we compared PureVPN and NordVPN against each other in all important areas of a VPN. Overall, it seems that NordVPN is the best for a few key reasons; it doesn’t change your protocol unknowingly when connecting to a server, it is based in Panama, and it offers faster speeds with great apps.
However, that isn’t to say that PureVPN isn’t a good option. It has a large server network, excellent additional features, and offers its services at a low price.
I’m Madeleine, and I'm a writer that specializes in cybersecurity, tech products, and all things related to the internet.
I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I wr...
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