In today’s world where so much information is put out into the cybersphere, you can never be too careful. To protect yourself, you should turn to a virtual private network (VPN). Though it may come at a cost, it can offer peace of mind that your information is secure, as well as, offer access to sites that may be prohibited in your country.
Protect Your Privacy
Did you know that some internet providers are able to sell your individual browser history? With so much of our personal and financial information being shared online, this was a scary truth for me. It spurred me on to find better protection of my information and led me to discover VPNs.
When you choose to use a VPN, you are actually hiding where your phone, tablet, or computer is located when surfing the web. In addition, a VPN encrypts your information, specifically that which is sent online. Anyone who would want to intercept your browsing history, like your internet service provider (IPS), would be unable to do so.
What Makes One VPN Better than Another?
When it comes to comparing VPNs, it all boils down to what you are using that VPN for. If you are simply using it to protect your information, a standard, inexpensive VPN should work. However, if you are hoping to stream entertainment sites like Pandora, Netflix, and Hulu, you will need to do your research.
For media streaming, you’re going to need to make sure the VPN you choose offers servers in the countries that allow the site you want. In addition, VPNs with 5,000 servers are going to have a better connection and faster, more reliable speeds than those with fewer than 100. If you want to download certain items and documents, you will also want to make sure torrenting is allowed with that VPN.
Comparing NordVPN and PureVPN
In my journey to find a VPN that checked all of the boxes on my list, I came across NordVPN and PureVPN. Below, you will find a comprehensive list of their features and benefits.
#1 – Privacy
Obviously, the main reason for a VPN is for the protection of your private information. For me, this was key and top of my list for getting a VPN. With these two companies, however, there were a few mixed results.
With PureVPN, I was happy to see that they used 256-bit encryption. This is one of the most secure connections and is actually used by government agencies. Where they fell flat, however, was in their DNS leak protection. Unfortunately, users reported that they noticed their DNS and IP addresses occasionally being leaked. This is obviously not good if you want to secure your privacy and remain anonymous while being online.
On the other hand, NordVPN has excellent security and privacy features. It has double data protection, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and above industry standard encryptions. Users have also reported no IP address or DNS leaks when using this VPN. provider.
#2 – Speed
Another major factor of a VPN is speed. Because so many users are using a VPN for downloads, gaming, and media streaming, you need to feel confident your VPN can stream these sites efficiently. In most cases, you are also paying for the VPN and want to know you are getting your money’s worth.
With PureVPN, the company claims that you are getting “ultra-fast speed” with servers supporting a 1Gbit connection. However, when tested, the fastest server speed that could be found was 35Mbps. The slowest speed was actually a server located where the company is headquartered. I found this to be a large negative against this provider as speed is critical when using a paid VPN provider.
NordVPN was a different story, which is good considering they claim to have “blazing speeds.” As opposed to PureVPN, NordVPN had downloading speeds that topped out at 74.15 Mbps. This is pretty impressive, especially when you take into account that some of the servers you are using are actually thousands of miles away.
#3 – Server Coverage
Compared to other VPNs, NordVPN and PureVPN are doing well with not only the number of servers they have, but the number of countries they inhabit. NordVPN has close to 5,200 servers located in 60 different countries, while PureVPN has over 2,000 servers in more than 140 countries. You can’t go wrong with either of these companies in regards to their worldwide coverage.
In addition to the features you would normally look for in a VPN, NordVPN and PureVPN both have added features that make them more attractive.
A lot of NordVPN’s added features focus on security, which provides extra comfort when using this VPN provider. Not only does it work on most operating systems, but it allows six server connections, has a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and Onion Over VPN for searching the dark web. NordVPN’s SmartPlay also provides access to more than 400 streaming services that are typically geo-restricted.
PureVPN is actually very similar in their added benefits to that of NordVPN. PureVPN works on all devices, it allows for five simultaneous server connections, has a kill switch, split tunneling, a NAT Firewall, and DDoS protection. In addition, it allows you to customize your VPN, making it the most useful for you and your specific needs.
#4 – Customer Service
Customer service is another big issue, especially when dealing with a new piece of technology that you may not be familiar with. Both sites have 24/7 chat boxes on their sites. These claim to be live and ready to take your questions. However, both didn’t offer the most helpful information.
With NordVPN, asking a question on live chat primarily directs you to check out the available tutorials. In their defense, they have close to 500 guides and tutorials, but you may not want to have to dig through this information on your own. With PureVPN, their responses also seemed automated/canned, and not helpful if you are not already a paying customer. PureVPN’s also offered several guides and tutorials.
#5 – Streaming
Another major reason for wanting a VPN is for media streaming, a popular choice being Netflix. As this site and so many others are blocked from certain countries, customers are able to purchase a VPN and find a server that will allow it. Both NordVPN and PureVPN claim to allow media streaming, specifically Netflix.
NordVPN seemed to hold true to their claim. Five out of six servers that claimed to allow media streaming did so. In addition, customer service was helpful in providing the best servers for media streaming.
PureVPN also claims to have fast streaming speeds. However, the results were varied. When tested with Netflix, some claimed to have success, while others said they were unable to connect at all. So streaming Netflix on their servers seemed spotty at best.
#6 – Gaming
When it comes to gaming, a VPN can be beneficial in allowing people access to different games or tournaments that are blocked in their country. With an added layer of security, it’s easy to see why a gamer would want a VPN.
With both NordVPN and PureVPN, results seemed to be positive. Both supplied relatively fast and stable speeds for gaming. NordVPN is even ranked as one of the best VPN providers for the gaming community.
#7 – Torrenting
Both companies allow for torrenting or what they call P2P (peer-to-peer) sharing and most have excellent results with it. You can’t go wrong with choosing either of these if you are interested in torrenting.
#8 – Price
A final major factor when choosing a VPN is of course price. NordVPN offers some great discounts if you are willing to sign up for long periods of time. Their three-year plan can be currently purchased as low as $2.99 a month. However, if you are not wanting to commit to three years, you could end up paying as much as $11.95 on a monthly basis.
PureVPN is slightly more affordable. They offer a two-year plan for as low as $2.88 a month. However, similar to NordVPN, you will pay up to $10.95 for a month-to-month subscription.
When looking at both NordVPN and PureVPN, these companies have a lot to offer. With thousands of servers located in several countries, media streaming, and their allowance of torrenting, you can’t go wrong with either of these VPNs. In the end, it all comes down to what your specific needs are in terms of online usage.
Wanting Just Protection and Security
If you are looking simply to surf the web while protecting your location and information, PureVPN may be your best option. Not only does it have great security features like an internet kill switch and 256-bit encryption, but it is also affordable. Its connection speeds aren’t always the fastest, but if you only need a VPN for protection while browsing, it’s a great option.
With PureVPN you can rest assured that your operating system will be compatible with their system and they even offer it on several types of devices. PureVPN also allows you to access multiple servers at any given time with unlimited bandwidth.
Wanting Both Protection and Features
If you are wanting a VPN for both protection and features, then you may want to consider NordVPN. Though NordVPN and PureVPN have similar functions and features, it’s hard to overlook the easy accessibility to media streaming, gaming, and torrenting options that NordVPN has. In addition, its speeds are extremely fast and stable compared to other similar services.
If you are new to using a VPN, NordVPN offers a vast resource of guides and tutorials to help you navigate their product. You will spend a little more on this VPN compared to others, but the reliability of the servers is well worth it (including reliable Netflix usage). I know that if I am paying for this service, I want to be confident it will work every time, regardless of surfing, streaming, or downloading.
When searching for a VPN that is right for you, it’s good to explore all of the details, big and small. Below are a few commonly asked questions.
Will NordVPN or PureVPN Circumvent the Great Firewall of China?
As most people know, China is extremely strict when it comes to censorship of the internet. Though they continue to crack down on VPNs, those living in China or wanting to visit may want to use a VPS that can circumvent the Chinese Firewall. So how do NordVPN and PureVPN stack up?
They Both Can!
Though you may find it surprising, both NordVPN and PureVPN can circumvent the Chinese firewall. PureVPN even touts this on their website as one of the perks of buying their product. In one study, both companies were able to successfully connect in as many as six of seven rounds of testing, making them pretty reliable options.
So if you are a resident of China or find yourself traveling there soon, either of these VPNs could be a good option. You will be able to protect your information while accessing sites you may otherwise be restricted from.
What is a DNS Leak and How Does my VPN Protect Me?
To understand a DNS leak, you must first understand what a DNS, or domain name system, is. DNS is actually the process of converting a domain name into an IP address. When you type in a URL, your computer contacts a server to obtain the IP address.
Most internet providers assign their customers a server and are therefore able to track their internet activity. If the device you are using to connect to the internet defaults to your internet provider’s server rather than your VPN server, your information is public and you have a DNS leak.
How a VPN Protects
Several VPN companies claim to have DNS leak protection. When your VPN has this feature, it means they are actually monitoring your DNS requests to make sure the VPN server is being utilized. To test your VPN, you can run a leak test online and ensure the IP address that shows up is not the one give to you by your internet provider.