PearlVPN Review & Test 2019 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying
If you are looking for a straightforward VPN that is easy to install and use, then Pearl VPN should certainly be on your list. However, if you like an array of customizable features and a website that provides specific details, then you may want a premium service like ExpressVPN.
Pearl VPN provides stable and secure connections across its network of 33 server locations, spread over 25 countries. While speeds vary significantly depending on the server that you are connected to, every server we tried provided a connection speed suitable for surfing and streaming.
While Pearl VPN is functional and reliable, it is lacking in customizable features. You can choose your server location and opt to autostart the application on login and automatically connect on launch.
Advanced settings consist of choosing between UDP and TCP connections and changing the port setting to one of three different options. There is no kill switch and any other protocols require manual download and setup.
If your main purpose for purchasing a VPN is to stream geoblocked content, then Pearl VPN might not be the right choice for you. While we were able to access the BBC iPlayer, we couldn’t bypass the block on US, Australian, or Belgian Netflix.
There are some other negatives to this service, namely the lack of information and communication. There are few details on the website about encryption, the number of connections you can run simultaneously on one license, and whether the service supports P2P activities.
The website does state that connections are secured with military-grade encryption, but no further information about the encryption type is provided. Similarly, while the terms of service do not specifically forbid the use of Pearl VPN for P2P activities, no guidance is given as to whether any servers are optimized for this purpose.
Attempting to interact with customer services is similarly frustrating. There is no FAQ section on the website and no live chat; communication is purely via a contact form. Pearl VPN promises to respond to emails within one business day, but as of writing this review, we are still awaiting a response to an inquiry we submitted four days ago. (Update: After nearly a week, we finally did receive an email apology for the customer service delay.)
The website does include setup guides for OpenVPN, IPSec, and PPTP, as these protocols must all be installed manually. While Pearl VPN’s service is compatible with most platforms, it only offers dedicated clients for Windows and MacOS.
Pearl VPN’s approach to your data and privacy is complex, to say the least. It is important to say that the provider does not log traffic data, nor does it collect information on the use of the VPN.
However, Pearl VPN does collect personal data when you subscribe, including your email address and payment data. It also places a temporary cookie on your device if you use the optional control panel.
We are always wary of VPNs based in the US, but Pearl VPN is very clear that it is governed by the laws of the State of Minnesota, which has some of the strongest privacy and online security legislation in the country. This means that Pearl VPN can only collect information with your consent and must be transparent about what it does with that information.
Pearl VPN meets these state requirements, and while it does comply with valid subpoenas after passing them through its own legal team, the vendor notes that it cannot share information that it does not collect in the first place.
|Number of countries with servers||25|
|Number of servers||33|
|Number of IP addresses||33|
|Does VPN keep logs?||No|
|Does VPN include a kill switch?||No|
|Number of devices per license||1|
If you use a Windows or OSX operating system, then installing Pearl VPN is straightforward. Simply sign up to the service, choose your payment method and subscription plan, and download the client.
If, however, you are using any other operating system, then you need to download Pearl VPN manually. This may prove tricky if you have limited experience with manually installing software.
Also, if you require access to IPSec or PPTP protocols, these also need to be downloaded and installed manually, regardless of your operating system.
Once you successfully install it, getting connected with Pearl VPN is easy. Open the app, input your login details (the VPN login details that were sent to you in your welcome email, not your account login info), choose the country you wish to connect to, and connect.
From the Advanced tab on the app, you can change your connection setting between UDP and TCP and choose between three port settings to try and make your connection harder to detect. However, without manually downloading alternate protocols, this is the limit to the customization possibilities on this VPN.
Pearl VPN offers two subscription packages – monthly or yearly. Both packages offer the same features and level of service, but the yearly subscription package is a better value.
Pearl VPN is competitively priced in relation to other VPNs that we have reviewed. However, it offers less for your money than other similarly priced VPNs.
The vendor does not offer a free trial but does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
We experienced no reliability issues while testing Pearl VPN. We were able to successfully connect to numerous servers in its network and surf and stream with no difficulties.
Support, however, is an issue. Information on the website is extremely limited. There is no FAQ section or troubleshooting advice. The only setup guides relate to protocols that need to be manually installed.
Communication with customer service can only be achieved via the contact form on the website; there is no live chat option. Response times to queries are a further concern, as we are still waiting for a response to our questions – four days and counting.
While canceling the service is very simple and takes less than a minute, we waited almost a week to receive our refund. The refund did come with an email apology for the customer service issues.
- Good connection speeds for surfing and streaming
- Servers across 25 countries
- Multiple server locations in the US
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Get started with PearlVPN now