PureVPN vs NordVPN: 7 Key Areas Compared and Tested
Last updated: October 21, 2022
As two of the biggest VPNs on the market, PureVPN and NordVPN are in hot competition. However, with similar pricing and features, it might be difficult to determine which is best for you. In this review, we’ll dive into the key features and capabilities of each so you can make the right choice. Trying to hide your IP address, secure your connection, or just unblock Netflix in another country? While these are all possible with the use of VPNs (virtual private networks), some VPNs are better at certain tasks than others. Both PureVPN and NordVPN are no exceptions. While PureVPN and NordVPN are similar in many ways, they have a few key differences that could pose major advantages (or major disadvantages) for certain users or tasks. Read on to learn more about the key details of each and find out which VPN is right for you.
Key Features: PureVPN vs NordVPN
PureVPN offers almost double the number of simultaneous connections as NordVPN, which could be useful for networks shared by many users and devices. While both are compatible with most operating systems, PureVPN is also compatible with Amazon Fire TV and, with the free Kodi add-on, JeOSs. Both also claim to offer ad blocking, but the feature was notably absent from the PureVPN control panel. Thankfully, split tunneling and other key security features are still standard in both. NordVPN takes things a step further by offering double-hopping to add an extra layer to user privacy.
While PureVPN offers more connections and greater compatibility, NordVPN’s extra security features make it ideal for security-conscious users. Since both are robust in their own ways, it’s just a matter of preference.
Unblocking Features: PureVPN vs NordVPN
PureVPN and NordVPN both offer strong unblocking capabilities, being able to unblock BBC iPlayer and other websites with notoriously strong geo-restrictions. Both VPNs can also access Netflix, Hulu, and other major streaming services in most countries, albeit with some minor discrepancies. The Great Firewall of China posed the biggest challenge in our comparison. NordVPN was the only VPN capable of fully bypassing the Chinese firewall, thanks in part to its obfuscated servers that hide VPN activity altogether. While PureVPN can also bypass the Chinese firewall, users report mixed success, even when accessing Hong Kong, Beijing, and Guangdong servers.
With more Netflix and more reliable Chinese firewall unblocking, NordVPN offers the strongest unblocking features, especially for users in China. However, PureVPN still unblocks more than enough websites to satisfy most users. Its Chinese servers still offer some chance of unblocking the Chinese firewall, which is a bonus.
Servers and Performance: PureVPN vs NordVPN
VPN performance boils down to two major categories: servers and speed. VPNs are most effective when they have server locations in many countries since the variety makes it easier to bypass geographic restrictions. However, this flexibility sometimes comes at the expense of speed. PureVPN is a perfect example of this. While PureVPN has over 1,000 more servers in over twice as many countries as NordVPN, its average speed and performance are significantly less. The average PureVPN speed averages between 50 and 90 Mbps, with the UK and European servers being the fastest. PureVPN servers rarely match the 90-plus Mbps speeds of NordVPN servers. However, part of this excellent performance is due to NordVPN having fewer servers and fewer server locations.
While NordVPN and PureVPN are equally strong in their own areas, NordVPN offers the greatest combination of servers and speed. However, PureVPN is still a great choice for UK and European users, with VPN server speeds averaging close to those of NordVPN.
Security Features: PureVPN vs NordVPN
PureVPN and NordVPN both have strong security and privacy features, with both VPNs using the latest AES-256 data encryption and RSA-4096 control channel encryption. Both services also include an Internet killswitch (IKS) for app security. These VPNs also use OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, and IKEv2 VPN protocols. However, PureVPN also uses SSTP, while NordVPN also uses WireGuard and NordLynx. NordVPN ultimately provides the greatest number of VPN protocols, thereby offering the greatest flexibility. Split tunneling, obfuscation, and other typical VPN security features are also common between both VPNs. In either VPN, users can use obfuscation to completely hide VPN-related network activity or use split-tunneling to limit VPN use to certain apps. NordVPN also provides double-hopping, allowing users to access a double VPN instead of just one. At the time of writing, PureVPN doesn’t provide this security feature.
While both VPNs use the latest security protocols, NordVPN offers greater flexibility and more security features. With the addition of double hopping and cloaking technology absent from PureVPN, NordVPN is the more secure option.
Privacy and Torrenting: PureVPN vs NordVPN
|Safe Jurisdiction||Yes (Panama)||Yes (Hong Kong)|
|Onion Over VPN||No||Yes|
|Dedicated P2P Servers||Yes||Yes|
|DNS Leak Protection||Yes||Yes|
PureVPN and NordVPN offer near-identical privacy options, with NordVPN providing additional compatibility with the Onion network. Both VPNs also keep no logs and accept most forms of anonymous payment. Each also exists in a “safe” jurisdiction with privacy regulations that prevent governments from accessing activity logs and other VPN data. As a result, PureVPN and NordVPN users can rest assured that their network activity and data will always stay private. Both PureVPN and NordVPN support torrenting and offer dedicated P2P servers for file sharing. They are also both usable with the Tor browser and Onion network, with NordVPN providing a dedicated Onion over VPN service.
Either VPN is a good choice for keeping your IP address and activity anonymous and secure. However, NordVPN and its Onion over VPN service may be better for Tor and Onion users.
User Interface and Support: PureVPN vs NordVPN
|Easy User Interface||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic Setup||Yes (Windows, macOS, Android, Amazon Fire)||Yes (Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, iOS)|
|Main Location Selection||List-based||List-based, Map-based|
|Extra Settings Options||Yes||Yes|
|User Guides and Tutorials||Yes||Yes|
As two of the world’s most popular VPNs, both PureVPN and NordVPN excel at providing user-friendly interfaces and customer support. Both VPNs feature simple, user-friendly interfaces and control panels, with PureVPN being the simplest and most accessible. Automatic VPN setup wizards are also available on most major operating systems; however, iOS users will need to set up PureVPN manually on their devices. Customer support is also widely available for both options, each offering 24/7 live chat backed by email support and well-documented VPN user guides and tutorials.
PureVPN and NordVPN are both extremely easy to use and offer excellent customer support. However, PureVPN has a slightly more streamlined user interface that might be better for users new to using VPNs.
Pricing: PureVPN vs. NordVPN
|1 Month Price||$10.95/mo||$11.95/mo|
|1 Year Price||$5.82/mo||$4.92/mo|
|2 Year Price||$3.30/mo||$3.71/mo|
|Money-Back Guarantee||Yes (31 days)||Yes (30 days)|
PureVPN and NordVPN are reasonably close in price, with both offering discounts and lower monthly prices for longer subscription periods. Both VPNs also offer a monthly money-back guarantee and anonymous payment options for added security. However, PureVPN came out slightly cheaper for most subscription options. In either case, users can also benefit from occasional deals and discounts.
PureVPN is slightly cheaper for most subscription periods, especially after applying discounts and special offers. However, NordVPN users can also get similar (if not cheaper) prices with one-year subscriptions and special offers.
Comparing Popular Alternatives
While PureVPN and NordVPN are both great VPN options, we thought it wouldn’t hurt to provide a brief comparison to some other popular VPN options.
Boasting over 3,000 servers in over 94 countries, ExpressVPN is an excellent alternative to both NordVPN and PureVPN. Like PureVPN and NordVPN, ExpressVPN employs AES-256-bit encryption and can unblock most major streaming services. ExpressVPN also supports up to five simultaneous connections and offers similar features to PureVPN and NordVPN on most major operating systems. ExpressVPN is in a safe jurisdiction and doesn’t store logs, meaning that your activity will remain private forever. All these privacy benefits and features can be enjoyed at $12.95 for a one-month subscription. While slightly higher in price than PureVPN and NordVPN, you can save much more when you subscribe to a 15-month plan. Verdict: ExpressVPN is a great alternative that offers a range of excellent quality features at a reasonable price. Find out more in our ExpressVPN review.
Notoriously easy to use, Surfshark also offers strong security and privacy features backed by 3,200 servers in 65 countries. Despite having fewer servers, Surfshark guarantees fast connections by using the WireGuard protocol on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. Surfshark also offers AES-256-bit encryption, split tunneling, and even double-hopping — a feature absent from PureVPN. Surfshark’s greatest benefit is its unlimited simultaneous connections — a great feature for users with many devices. Longer subscriptions are also less expensive than most other leading VPNs ($2.49/mo for two years). Verdict: Surfshark is the perfect VPN provider for users with many devices thanks to its unlimited simultaneous connections. Subscribers can also save even more with long-term subscriptions. Read more in our Surfshark review.
Private Internet Access VPN
Boasting a massive 35,000 servers across 84+ countries, Private Internet Access has an unparalleled server park. Many users flock to Private Internet Access for its number of simultaneous connections (ten) and great speeds for browsing, streaming, and torrenting. Private Internet Access also supports many of the same VPN and encryption protocols used by other leading VPNs. Offering similar security features and performance at a lower price than both PureVPN and NordVPN ($2.19/mo for two years), it’s a great alternative. One potential downside is its United States jurisdiction. However, despite the United States’ surveillance laws, Private Internet Access’s strict no-log policy guarantees that your VPN data will always remain private and safe. Verdict: Private Internet Access is an excellent VPN service provider offering an unparalleled number of servers at a great value. Read more in our Private Internet Access review.
The Ultimate Winner: NordVPN
While PureVPN and NordVPN are both excellent VPNs, NordVPN comes out on top. NordVPN’s better unblocking, faster speeds, superior security, and fair pricing make it the superior choice despite similar features. However, PureVPN still offers near-equal performance, privacy, and security features. Some users might even prefer PureVPN for its higher number of simultaneous connections and lower price. Check out our full NordVPN review for more information on this service. If you want to learn about other top VPNs, visit our VPN reviews page.
Published on: November 24, 2021