AVG Secure VPN has always been a handy tool for staying safe and private on a public Wi-Fi network. In that regard, it is an excellent pick and can compare with the leaders of the industry. Performance-wise, it lags behind the competition; but, it’s good enough to provide a semi-decent experience for the fans of streaming. The VPN supports multiple platforms and can work both on the desktop and mobile devices.
You’ve probably heard of AVG the antivirus – one of the biggest names in the business. In many ways, Secure VPN is being positioned as an addition to the antivirus. In practice, that means slower connection speeds, fewer protocols to pick from, and occasional problems with streaming platforms. Let us talk about each aspect in details to see what this Virtual Private Network has to offer.
AVG’s HQ is located in the Czech Republic, a country outside of the 14-Eyes jurisdiction. The company was accused several times of collecting personal data, but no real facts were ever provided. Besides, thanks to the HQ’s location, no government agencies have the right to request user data from the provider. Sadly, the number of servers isn’t this product’s strongest suit.
While you do have access to 55 locations (in 36 countries), the number of servers is minimal. Compared to NordVPN and its ~5000 servers, this is a very modest line-up. The dedicated apps are very user-friendly, easy to navigate, and fast, on par with ExpressVPN and CyberGhost. In many ways, it is similar to the interface of the AVG antivirus – equally easy-to-use and eye-grabbing.
With the AVG VPN, you can protect up to 5 devices at the same time. Installation is speedy and straightforward – even a newbie will be able to go through with it. The interface is one of the reasons to consider this provider. There aren’t many settings available, but that’s a pro, not a con. The average users don’t need much: just an On/Off button and the ability to quickly switch between servers.
What Do You Get With AVG Secure VPN?
- No DNS leaks
- Kill Switch
- Very user-friendly and easy-to-use
- Customer Support Is Well Above Average
- The HQ is located in the Czech Republic
- Capable of unblocking Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Below-Average Connection Speeds
- Limited Torrenting Capabilities
- Not The Best Choice For Streaming Services
- Only Two Protocols To Pick From
- The Server Line-Up Is Very Limited
- Very Few Features
Available Server Locations
We already mentioned that with this VPN, the users only get to choose between 55 locations around the globe. Even with the feature that automatically picks the most optimized server, there aren’t enough to sustain a flawless experience. It’s a bit unusual for a big company like AVG not to supply at least ~1000 servers for their service.
This lack of flexibility means constant drops in speed (we’ll talk about that in more details later). Furthermore, because of the little number of servers, stability will be below average. The good news is – 55+ locations are quite decent, and that will allow you to access content on many restricted platforms. The list includes London, New York, Miami, Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, Sao Paolo, and more.
Is It True That AVG VPN Collects Personal Data?
It’s not rare for VPN providers to be accused of stealing the private data of their users. The same happened with AVG, but no third party was ever able to provide any real proof. At the same time, the company does log user data, and there’s no telling what they’re doing with it next. They keep these logs for up to three months, while most services tend to only keep them for one.
Plus, recently, AVG was bought by Avast, another big name in the world of antiviruses. They were also involved in some controversial stories, like handing out user data to the authorities. But, it’s important to stress out that none of the accusations towards AVG have ever been proved. And, legally speaking, it’s nothing but gossip at this moment.
Along with privacy, security, and server network, compatibility is a critical aspect. These days, it’s not enough for a VPN to fully support Windows and Mac. Mobile platforms are just as important, as more and more people are starting to use VPNs to protect their Smartphones. And what about routers, you might ask – is this antivirus compatible with at least a handful of models?
What OS Are Supported?
The list of supported platforms includes Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Linux isn’t officially supported, and there aren’t any workarounds to make it work. But, at least, the four major platforms come with excellent clients/apps. As mentioned earlier, you can protect up to 5 devices simultaneously, which puts AVG on the same level as most rivals.
There are no browser extensions for Google or Mozilla. This means you won’t be able to choose between protecting the entire device and only the browser. The download-installation procedure is very easy and straightforward. Just download the free trial from the official website, and enter your credentials to activate a purchased license at any moment.
Is It Compatible with TOR, Routers?
The benefits of installing one single Virtual Private Network on the router are apparent. First of all, you don’t have to enter the password/login on every single device you own. Secondly, a license for one connection will be enough to cover all of the desktop/mobile computers connected to the same network. That is a cheap, fast, and reliable “shortcut” that many advanced users take advantage of.
Sadly, this product is not (and never has been) compatible with routers. So, you can forget about protecting your PlayStation 4 or unblocking Netflix on the TV. The same is true for TOR: the highly secure browser is also not supported by AVG Secure.
It is hardly arguable that a VPN is as good as its performance stats. In that regard, Secure VPN doesn’t have anything to brag about. It would’ve been a good alternative for the commercial VPNs if AVG made it free. However, the price-tags aren’t any cheaper than those of the rivals. The lack of servers and constant drops in connection quality are the two major concerns our team had.
We ran a series of tests to see how this VPN performs in real life. The results weren’t at all impressive; even some 100% free products on the market have better averages. Let us take a closer look at the results of the speed tests we ran. The list includes servers located in the United States and Europe.
AVG VPN Speed
We tested five servers located around the world to get the most objective results. It’s important to say that all testing was done from our HQ in Europe. And, the Internet connection had a ping of 27, an upload speed of 50mbps, and a download speed of 52mpbs.
When we connected to the nearby server, the averages dropped significantly: ping 67, upload 26, and download 20. That’s a 50% difference, while in most decent VPN the negative effect is never over 30%. Next, we tested all the rest of the available servers to come up with averages for the US and the EU. Here are the results:
- Ping: 300ms
- Upload: 1.5mbps (96% slower)
- Download: 5.5mbps (90% slower)
- Ping: 310ms
- Upload: 3mbps (93% slower)
- Download: 6.4mbs (86% slower)
Torrenting and Streaming
These days, a VPN is not only a protection tool but also a “key” to unlocking geo-restricted content. Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services have strict laws, but with the help of a decent provider, it’s easy to get access. Torrenting is another highly popular application for VPNs. Many ISPs tend to use throttling whenever the user is torrenting.
But, they won’t be able to detect P2P activity if you’ve got a decent Virtual Private Network installed on your device. The question is – can AVG’s VPN be used for outsmarting the popular streaming platforms? And can it be used to hide your torrenting activity and avoid any problems with the law? Let’s find out.
Is Torrenting Allowed?
Yes, it is allowed by the provider: there are dedicated P2P servers for optimized torrenting. At the same time, you have minimal options when using this VPN to download torrents. Because of the low count of servers, you’ll continuously get below-average download speeds. And, at this moment, P2P connections are only available in 8 locations.
All the other servers can’t be used for sharing P2P traffic, which is a significant downside. The good news is – there are no bandwidth limits when torrenting. Furthermore, the provider won’t try to prevent those looking to torrent from doing that. Support isn’t official, of course, but, again, you won’t get constant throttling like with some other VPNs.
What About Streaming Services
Recently, Netflix improved its “defense” against VPNs, meaning it’s much harder to get access to blocked content. Right now, only a very limited number of providers can unblock platforms like Netflix. The best picks for this are CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, and IPVanish, to name a few. During our AVG VPN review, we managed to access Netflix using most of the server locations in the US.
Sadly, the majority of server locations outside of the country failed at the same task. You might still get lucky with a server around the globe, but it will take a lot of tries and errors. The bottom line is – while it is possible to watch your favorite shows on Netflix, it won’t be easy at times.
As for FireStick and Fire TV, AVG Secure doesn’t support either one of the Amazon devices. The same is true for Kodi and Popcorn Time, the most popular online media players.
How Much Does AVG VPN Cost?
With the Secure VPN, there aren’t many subscription plans to pick from. And, there are no significant discounts for long-term subscriptions, which is a big disappointment. Here is the full list of the available packages:
- 12-Months: $63.99 – $5.99 per month
- 24-Months: $143.99 – $5.99 per month
- 36-Months: $215.99 – $5.99 per month
There’s a 30-day free trial that offers full protection for one single device. Once the trial is up, the user won’t be automatically subscribed to a plan. Besides, there’s a 30-day Money-Back Guarantee.
There are two significant differences between the MBG and the free trial. First of all, with the MBG, you can purchase protection for five devices. Secondly, there’s a 100GB cap, and when you go over that bandwidth, a refund won’t be possible anymore.
Customer support is one of the strongest sides of the AVG antivirus. Lucky for us, the same can be said about the AVG Secure as well. The support agents are very quick to respond, and they mostly have simple, down-to-Earth answers. Live Chat is available, but it’s not in the bottom right corner of the website as in most cases.
Instead, you’ll need to go to “Contact Us,” and then hit Sales Support. Next, the system will ask you to provide an email address and your full name (first name and last name). Once all that is done, live chat will be ready to receive your questions. The agents are excellent at answering frequently asked questions.
At the same time, if your question is too technical, you’ll have to wait for 5-6 minutes. A technical specialist will join the chat and take over. Or, the agents might re-direct you to the FAQ section. There’s also a community support page that takes much longer to respond (up to 2-3 hours on a busy day).
Summing up, we can recommend this product to users who need a VPN for secure web-browsing and have nothing to hide from the VPN service. AVG VPN is a secure and reliable service compatible with all the major platforms, but due to some downsides, it is not the best choice for torrenting or streaming.
As the company keeps logs on the users for three months, and the speeds are rather low, it will do for safe browsing, but not for binge-watching. True, the service can get you into Netflix, but you’ll probably have to deal with buffering. Lack of compatibility with streaming devices may also be disappointing for some users.
User-friendly interface and excellent customer service are AVG’s strongest points. Pricing is quite affordable, but it is not the cheapest option available in the market. If you are ready to commit and purchase a 1-year or 2-year plan, we highly recommend taking a closer look at NordVPN or CyberGhost as you will get much more at a comparable price.
Alternatives for AVG Secure VPN