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2019's Review of AVG VPN: Cost, Protection, Limitations

AVG Secure VPN is an online privacy solution from one of the biggest cybersecurity companies in the world – AVG. Although the antivirus solution is what comes to mind when you hear ‘AVG’, the VPN promises to be an equally good deal.

The service comes with several useful features – but does it really live up to AVG’s good reputation?

In this AVG VPN review, I will take a look at the pros and cons of the VPN service and let you know whether it’s worth your time and money.

However, if you want the best value, I recommend NordVPN. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

AVG VPN Quick Overview

CriteriaDetails
JurisdictionCzech Republic
LoggingNo logging policy
Locations & Servers56 servers in 36 countries
Encryption256-bit AES
Torrent and P2P allowedLimited
SpeedFast connections
Usability5/5
Simultaneous Connections5 devices
Live Chat
No Live Chat support
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
Refund30-days
Price:1-year: $79.99
2-year: $149.99
3-year: $219.99
Better alternative:Find it here

My Rating Criteria

Not all VPNs are created equal.

So, first, before we take a look at AVG VPN, let’s look at some of the aspects you should consider when getting a VPN.

Basically, your top considerations will be influenced by your intended usage.

If you are a streaming fan, I expect speed to your top propriety.

However, the same cannot be said of security-oriented users.

Generally, you should ask yourself the following:

Is the VPN Service Fast Enough?

Although VPNs will generally slow down your internet speeds, the best providers can keep that change at a minimum. A fast VPN will allow you to browse smoothly and stream videos interruption-free.

Here, I recommend looking especially at the download speeds and ping times.

How Secure is the VPN?

In regards to security, you should zero down on the provider’s encryption standard, tunneling protocols, and logging policy.

For maximum online privacy, you should ensure your VPN features the robust AES 256-bit encryption and the OpenVPN protocol.

Again, a VPN that records and stores usage data is not worth using.

How Large is Their Server Network

Does the provider offer servers in all your preferred locations?

It goes without saying but to access restricted content, your VPN should have servers in a country where that content is available.

Not to forget the value of servers near you. Connecting to a local VPN server not only allows you to obtain faster speeds but also enables you to get localized search engine results and keep up with the local news.

Does the VPN Restrict Bandwidth or Traffic?

Not all VPNs allow unlimited bandwidth. You would also be surprised by the sheer number of providers that limit or restrict P2P traffic.

Does the VPN Support Your Device?

Whether you use a Windows, Mac, or even Linux, you VPN must be compatible with your device. Otherwise, why would you get it in the first place?

For ease of use, opt for a VPN that comes with a native app for all your primary devices.

How Reliable is the Customer Service

Should you run into any issues with your VPN, around-the-clock customer service can help you quickly get things back up and running.

Introducing AVG Secure VPN

AVG Secure VPN banner

Operated by AVG Technologies under the umbrella of Avast Software SRO, AVG Secure VPN has earned a reputation as one of the most secure VPN services in the market.

In so many ways, the VPN is similar to Avast SecureLine, but comes with its unique client and pricing plans.

The service works with both PCs and smartphones, and supported platforms include Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

While AVG Secure VPN does guarantee leak-free connections, it lacks several useful features that you would otherwise expect from a service backed by a big name online security company. On the other hand, it’s affordable prices, and easy-to-use apps are a huge draw for some users.

AVG Secure VPN offers a 7-day free trial (no credit card needed) after which you can upgrade to a paid subscription.

Here is a quick look at the pros and cons of the VPN service.

Pros

  • Robust encryption
  • No logging policy
  • DNS leak protection
  • P2P support
  • Simple, intuitive apps
  • 7-day free trial
  • Reliable customer service
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Few servers
  • Speeds vary between servers
  • No dedicated IPs

Security and Privacy –Protocols, Encryption & Features

AVG Secure VPN performs admirably when it comes to security and privacy.

I found their connections to be quite safe and leak-proof.

The provider uses AES 256-bit encryption, the industry gold-standard, but they only support two tunneling protocols –OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec.

It would be nice to see them add the faster IKEv2 protocol as well.

As expected, their website features strong SSL encryption, which ensures that any personal information you provide is protected.

Is It Safe?

Logging Policy

AVG VPN has a transparent privacy policy. They do not log user activities nor do they store your originating IP address or any DNS queries.

AVG, however, keeps a timestamp of your connections and the IP of the server you are using – stored for 30 days, after which time is deleted on a rolling basis.

They also collect personally identifiable information such as email, username, and payment details. But then again, so do most VPN providers.

On their part, AVG VPN claims to use this information solely for registration and payment processing.

AVG Secure VPN logging policy

AVG, however, keeps a timestamp of your connections and the IP of the server you are using – stored for 30 days, after which time is deleted on a rolling basis.

They also collect personally identifiable information such as email, username, and payment details. But then again, so do most VPN providers.

On their part, AVG VPN claims to use this information solely for registration and payment processing.

Virus-Test (No Malware Found, Virus-Free)

Despite being a product of AVG, I decided to run the Windows setup file through virustotal.com to see if it contained any threats.

No single malware was detected during the test.

No single malware was detected during the test

IP, DNS & WebRTC Leaks

A VPN may have the best encryption and privacy policy, but if it’s leaking your DNS, WebRTC, or even worse, your IP information, then it isn’t worth using.

To confirm whether AVG Secure VPN is as safe as it claims, I connected to the Boston, USA server and ran the service through several tests.

Connected to Boston, USA

IpLeak.Org – IP/DNS Leak Test

The result? No IP leaks.

No IP leaks using AVG VPN

I was, however, surprised to see the test return Charleston, South Carolina as my server location (see above), instead of Boston. But hey, what gives?

As long as my IP is not exposed, I’m good. But I was pleased to see all other tests depict the right server location.

But enough of that. I also tested for DNS leaks, and none were detected.

None DNS leaks were found

Ip8.Com – WebRTC Leaks

Additionally, AVG Secure VPN does not expose WebRTC information at all.

Overall, the provider did a fantastic job of hiding my identity and physical location.

AVG Secure VPN does not expose WebRTC information

IpLeak.Net – IP, DNS, & WebRTC

Although the above tests were conclusive, I went a step further and conducted a complete privacy analysis using ipleak.net.

As you can see, both the public IP and DNS addresses remain the same.

There are also no signs of WebRTC leakage.

IpLeak.Net test results

Does AVG VPN Have an Internet Kill Switch?

Another thing I liked about AVG VPN is that it comes with an internet kill switch.

The feature senses when your VPN connection is about to drop and automatically terminates your access to the internet.

You can activate kill switch in the settings section

Torrenting and P2P

Is AVG VPN Good for Torrenting?

As implied earlier, the provider does allow torrenting, but there are better options.

Their zero activity logging policy notwithstanding, AVG admits to collecting connection timestamps as well your server IP address.

Also considering that also store personally identifiable information such as your username and email, I wouldn’t recommend the VPN for torrenting.

P2P Compatible Servers

AVG Secure VPN only allows limited torrenting on just a total of 8 servers.

But looking on the bright side, the provider groups all P2P servers together and you can easily access them by clicking the P2P section on the server menu.

Access P2P servers

GDPR Compliance

AVG Secure VPN is one of the few VPNs that follow GDPR guidelines.

Why is that good, you may ask. With GDPR, you can trust your VPN to be true to their word.

To be certified, VPN providers have to conduct an audit of their data handling processes and policies.

So, if a GDPR compliant provider like AVG says they won’t keep logs, they actually won’t. Otherwise it may cost them a huge percentage of their revenue in fines.

Streaming – Does AVG Secure VPN Work with Netflix?

Unblocks Netflix with Servers Optimized for Streaming

For most people, Netflix is the go-to streaming service.

However, due to licensing and copyright issues, their content library isn’t uniform in all countries. As a result, you may be unable to continue watching some of your favorite shows when traveling abroad.

Fortunately, despite Netflix’s tough stance against VPNs, there are a few providers that manage to unblock the service and provide to the massive UK and US Netflix catalogs.

AVG Secure VPN is one of them.

I tested all the US and UK streaming-optimized servers, and all worked perfectly with Netflix.

Netflix Access in Other Locations

While all the streaming-optimized servers worked perfectly with Netflix, they are located in only three countries – the US, UK, and Germany.

So, how about the other 33 countries that AVG VPN has servers in?

Can you use them to access Netflix?

For the most part, NO.

I tested numerous servers across Europe and Asia, and only 1/10 unblocked the streaming service.

Smart TVs, Game Consoles, and Other Streaming Devices

Game consoles do not come with in-built VPN functionality.

Most smart TVs do not support it either. To use a VPN, you would need to input SmartDNS configuration or install the VPN directly on your router.

Unfortunately, AVG Secure VPN supports neither of those options.

If you are looking to use the VPN with your PlayStation, Xbox, FireTV, Apple TV, Roku, or Chromecast, you will need to look for an alternative VPN service.

Speed and Reliability

Fast but Inconsistent Speeds

Speed can make or break a VPN service.

However, unlike most of the other factors, you shouldn’t take a VPN’s speed at face value. Generally, proximity plays a huge role meaning the nearest servers always tend to be faster.

With that in mind, I tested AVG’s speeds, and I was impressed by the results. I used a 75 Mbps internet connection and surprisingly, the VPN maintained speeds in the 60s on most UK servers.

However, it was a different story when I connected to the US, Canada, and Australian servers. The speeds were inconsistent and dipped further, averaging in the low 50s.

PingDownload
Speed before using the AVG Secure VPN23 ms74.24 Mbps
Connected to Glasgow, UK server51 ms68.72 Mbps (-7.44%)
Connected to New York, US server97 ms59.84 Mbps (-19.39%)
Connected to Melbourne, Australia server179 ms43.67 Mbps (-41.17%)

AVG VPN Server and Locations

AVG Secure VPN gives you access to 56 servers spread across 36 countries, and the provider is continually adding more servers and locations.

Still, that’s a small number, to be honest.

Regardless, the provider has done a decent job of spreading them across Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.

AVG Secure VPN countries

Optimized Servers

AVG Secure VPN provides both streaming and torrenting optimized servers.

They have also added a nice touch by taking ‘guesswork’ out of the server selection process. Now you can easily find your preferred servers by clicking the region or category sections.

AVG Secure VPN optimized servers

No Dedicated IPs

I was disappointed to find out AVG VPN does not offer Dedicated IPs.

While not as anonymous as Shared IPs, Dedicated IPs are ideal for streaming and secure remote access. They also help you to avoid the hassle of verifying your identity every time you log to sites like Gmail, PayPal, and eBay.

Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android

AVG VPN comes with easy-to-use apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

However, support for Linux distros and routers is yet to be available.

The available apps boast a sleek interface, and you can establish a connection with a single click.

You can use the AVG Secure VPN on up to 5 devices simultaneously.

Quality Customer Service

Phone Support but No Live Chat

AVG VPN offers free direct support via phone. You can also opt for 24/7 premium support, but be prepared to part with no less than $79.

The provider also offers a FAQ section as well as community support, where you can exchange ideas with other users. They, however, lack Live Chat support, which is disappointing.

AVG Secure VPN Pricing and Payment Methods

Pricing Plans

AVG Secure offers three different pricing plans – 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year plans.

They do not offer monthly plans, which can be discouraging for short-term users. As for the pricing, the longer your subscription, the less you will pay in the long run.

The 12-month plan will set you back $79.99 ($6.66 per month), but you can lower the cost to $6.11 per month with the 3-year plan.

Payment options include PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

Free VPN Trial

AVG Secure VPN comes with a full-featured 7-day free trial, which you don’t need to register or provide your payment details to use.

Refund Policy

All their pricing plans are backed by a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee allowing you to try their service risk-free. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the service, you ask for a full refund within the first 30-days.

What Other Users Are Saying About AVG Secure VPN

I found AVG Secure VPN to be quite impressive.

However, as always, I decided to search for other user comments online.

While most users were pleased with the VPNs fast and secure connections as well as its ability to unblock Netflix, others seemed displeased by its limited compatibility and P2P support.

AVG Secure VPN reviews

Alternatives for AVG Secure VPN

AVG Secure VPN has a lot going for it, but it also has its drawbacks.

Luckily, there are a few alternatives that you can turn to.

NordVPN - Best Premium VPN

NordVPN is a powerful all-around VPN that delivers on multiple areas.

The VPN is located in Panama, a non-14 Eyes country, and they keep neither activity nor connection logs. With over 5700+ active servers in 60 countries, NordVPN maintains one of the largest VPN server networks you can find.

Unlike AVG Secure VPN, the provider also provides access to Dedicated IPs, which work perfectly with Netflix. I was also impressed by their SmartPlay feature, which allows you to access streaming sites with a single click.

That said, it’s their security and privacy features that really blow their competitors out of the water. The VPN offers military-grade AES 256-bit encryption with OpenVPN. They also go a step ahead and provide the ultra-fast IKEv2 protocol, which AVG VPN lacks.

But that’s not all NordVPN offers in regards to security. The service features Double VPN, perfect forward secrecy, and CyberSec, a free ad and malware blocking tool.

NordVPN is fairly priced, and a single account supports up to 6 simultaneous connections. Compatible platforms include Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android TV, Linux, and routers.

Similarities

  • Fast speeds
  • Robust encryption
  • Zero activity logs
  • DNS leak protection
  • Internet kill switch
  • Allow P2P
  • Easy to use apps
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Differences

  • Double encryption
  • Live Chat support
  • Native app for Linux
  • Compatibility with routers

ExpressVPN - Best for Streaming

Expressvpn.com homepage

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs you could ever hope to encounter.

The VPN comes with over 3000 servers spread in 160 locations across 94 countries.

ExpressVPN is located in a privacy friendly jurisdiction, the British Virgin Islands, and operates under a strict privacy policy.

Similarly to both AVG and NordVPN, their connections are protected with AES-256-bit encryption with OpenVPN as the primary protocol.

They also offer L2TP, PPTP, and IKEv2 protocols, but the latter is only available on iOS. Extra security features include an automatic kill switch, DNS/WebRTC leak protection.

The only major downside I found with ExpressVPN was the lack of Dedicated IPs, which, as I mentioned earlier, are great for accessing restrictive websites. They do, however, provider SmartDNS, which works well with Smart TVs.

At $12.95 per month, ExpressVPN is a little bit expensive, but you can lower the price significantly with a long-term subscription.

The service supports up to 5 devices simultaneously on almost any platform imaginable, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and routers.

Similarities

  • Ultra-fast connections
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • No activity logs
  • DNS leak protection
  • Internet kill switch
  • P2P allowed
  • User-friendly apps
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Both lack dedicated IPs

Differences

  • Vast server coverage
  • SmartDNS
  • Live Chat support

AzireVPN - Affordable One

Homepage of AzireVPN

AzireVPN is an excellent VPN alternative if you are on a budget.

The VPN is available at only €5 per month on a month-to-month subscription, and their long-term plans are even more affordable.

However, in exchange for the low price, you should be willing to make a few sacrifices, most notably, speed, server coverage, and compatibility.

AzireVPN has very few servers under their belt, with them only having 30 servers in 7 locations. This is not much, even by AVG’s standards. It becomes even more bleaks when you contrast with the thousands of servers the likes of NordVPN and ExpressVPN provide.

Although AzireVPN has apps for Windows, Android, and Mac, you will need to configure manually any other device, including iOS and Linux.

That said, I was pleased with their security and privacy offerings. The VPN primarily uses AES 256-bit encryption with the OpenVPN protocol. They also provide the new WireGuard protocol as well as Socks5, a proxy protocol.

AzireVPN is based in Sweden, which is part of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance.

But they do maintain a strict logging policy meaning they don’t store connection or activity data, which is encouraging.

Similarities

  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Zero logging policy
  • P2P allowed
  • No dedicated IPs
  • Lack SmartDNS
  • Small server network

Differences

  • The WireGuard protocol
  • Limited 24-hour free trial
  • 7-day money-back guarantee

Conclusion

AVG VPN is a decent VPN that delivers fast internet speeds on most of their servers.

Also, if you are looking for total privacy and security when online, then this is definitely a VPN worth checking out.

Unfortunately, that’s about all AVG VPN offers. The service comes with limited P2P support, and its device compatibility leaves a lot to be desired.

I recommend getting a well-rounded VPN like NordVPN or any of the other alternatives above.

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