i2Coalition Member Spotlight Q&A: PureVPN
Founded in 2007, PureVPN is one fo the most well-known and respected commercial VPNs on the market. It’s also one of the newest members of i2Coalition and its VPN Trust Initiative.
We had a chance to ask a few questions to this innovative VPN provider about how the pandemic has impacted VPN use, which locations on its massive network are most popular, how to check that your public IP address isn’t visible and much more.
i2Coalition: Ransomware attacks quadrupled in 2020 and this includes many high-profile ones. Do you think the necessity for many people to work from home has added some new vulnerabilities? And how can a VPN help protect an individual working from home as well as their company?
PureVPN: Absolutely! We are seeing a considerable surge in demand for VPNs from remote workers. This is because the corporate perimeter has effectively shifted to include workers’ homes where online security is typically neglected. Most home routers are never patched or have their firmware upgraded, and thus remain vulnerable to all kinds of hacks.
Having a VPN definitely helps to a good extent, especially a static IP VPN to lock down remote access to that IP only rather than leaving a network wide open to the entire pool of over 4 billion Internet IPs. A VPN also helps in many scenarios to protect otherwise vulnerable Internet traffic transmission. However, it’s important to note that a VPN can not alone help people protect themselves from ransomware, trojans, viruses, and malware. To protect against these threats, users need to have antivirus, anti-malware, and DNS based security solutions, in addition to a VPN. Firms should also run periodic security checks on home routers, with workers permission and transparency, to help relatively non-tech savvy employees learn how to maintain their online security, and for all employees, to learn how to avoid becoming victims with respect to social engineering intrusion attempts.
i2Coalition: PureVPN has more than 6,500 virtual servers worldwide. Can you talk about this impressive global coverage? And what locations are most popular?
PureVPN: Of PureVPN’s more than 6,500 servers spanning more than 140 countries, 98% of these servers are physical servers and the remaining 2% will soon be made physical as well.
We offer the best services across all locations with respect to security and privacy; however, we observe high demand in locations like US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Australia.
i2Coalition: PureVPN provides options to “Check Your Public IP Address” and “Check Your Connection for IP Leaks.” How do these features make customers safer?
PureVPN: Your IP address is like your physical address. If you want to stay anonymous on the Internet, you don’t want anybody to know about your IP address, as it can identify you and threaten your security. In fact, your Internet service provider (ISP) keeps a record of who is assigned which IP, which threatens your privacy and anonymity and can be further threatening depending on how you use a VPN. Since most reputable VPN service providers do not keep record of which IP has been assigned to which user, your IP address can never be traced back to you when using one.
PureVPN’s tool that allows you to check your public IP address verifies that you indeed are anonymous on the Internet. If your IP address as provided by your VPN service is different from your normal IP address, then you know you are protected by your VPN.
PureVPN also provides a tool to ensure that your IP address does not leak at any time, giving you assurances that your activity will never be traced back to you.
i2Coalition: Is there anything else about PureVPN’s approach that you think people would find interesting?
PureVPN: More than anything, PureVPN is a user-centric VPN provider. Our annual CEO outreach is very popular among our customers. We are big believers in user centric growth and following our quad-factor approach in pleasing our users, which includes:
- Superb Core service experience.
We’ve built what we call micro-SLAs across the globe, and mapped each and every metric that we can obtain (without breaching user’s privacy or PII) to end-to-end user journey. In Q1 2021, we launched a new app experience based on extensive research spread over 12 months. Currently, our experience teams are busy optimizing every inch of the user experience.
- Try before you buy, no obligations.
Our 7-day trial feature is also based on popular customer demand. The experience that we deliver during the trial is exactly the same as our premium offering.
- Turn customers into advocates for WoM growth.
For us, the big success indicator behind our tri-factor framework is Word of Mouth (WoM) led growth. Our current and future visions are strictly measured against this core metric in addition to other conventional metrics.
- Always-on No-log Audits
The thing our teams are most excited about at the moment is the future journey that we’ve charted for 2021 and 2022 powered by extensive user research conducted in collaboration with our global teams and partners. While our product & engineering teams were busy with the core service upgrade and UX revamp in Q1 2021, we commissioned a research group in parallel that conducted in-depth customer focus sessions (some surveys went up to a crazy 180 questions and 1.5 hours of 1:1 video interviews!!) to chart additional needs of our users beyond VPNs. That, coupled with our industry insights, is what we call the ‘future vision for PureVPN,’ and we’ll start to roll it out by early 2022.
i2Coalition: How does joining the i2Coalition fit in with PureVPN’s values and goals?
PureVPN: PureVPN has always been a big advocate for transparency and trust. Our management team has publicly associated itself with the venture ever since our launch more than a decade ago. i2Coalition shares those values and it’s only natural for us to participate.
i2Coalition is a superb organization that keeps thinking about standards across the industry not only in terms of security and privacy but also in terms of ethics and transparency. PureVPN shares the spirit with innovations such as its “always-on” KPMG audit as opposed to a one-off audit, thus raising user trust to a new level, or with the industry’s first paid bug bounty program that went live back in 2018 at BugCrowd.com/purevpn. We also strive to be fully transparent, and publish periodic transparency reports.