Table of Contents
This AVG Secure VPN review discusses everything you need to know about the VPN plans offered by AVG Technologies, another renowned name in antivirus and cyber security technologies. This is the same Avast subsidiary that has been providing premium antivirus software for Windows, macOS and Android since the late 90s.
If you’re trying to compare VPN plans, sit back and read through the features, VPN protocols, speed and performance, privacy details, pricing and support you can expect from AVG’s secure VPN. If you prefer Windows to macOS, and are on a tight budget, you can look at these completely free VPN for Firefox users. And if you want to explore other options look into our Avast VPN VS Express VPN review, or ExpressVPN vs Ipvanish comparison. In addition, if you want the best VPN for gaming, look in this post. Lastly, if you want software famed for its user-friendly interface, we also reviewed PIA VPN.
AVG Secure VPN Review - Can You Trust This VPN?
Do you ever feel that somebody is watching your every move online? You checked out the newest air-fryer on Amazon a couple of minutes ago, then Facebook suddenly advertises an air fryer brand as you scroll your newsfeed. Coincidence? Nope.
This keeps on happening because you probably have no idea that this is a thing, and you are unaware that you can control what businesses and marketing agencies can (and cannot “see”) with all your activities online.
Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one common way of keeping third-party companies from snooping on what you’re doing online. It hides your physical location, especially when you’re using public Wi-Fi networks, so your personal data is safe from potential hackers and your online footsteps won’t be used against you (such as up-selling stuff you were window-shopping a while ago).
Many companies offer VPN either as a standalone, or as part of a suite of antivirus, malware protection and cyber security tools. AVG is one such company.
What is AVG VPN protection?
AVG VPN for android, Apple devices, laptops or PCs all work the same in providing users with a secure connection with just a one-click of a button.
AVG boasts that its VPN provides “military-grade encryption,” which refers to encryption levels of 256 bit AES, or in layman’s terms means more than enough to secure your online activities from “spying eyes.”
Unlike other VPN providers, AVG actually promises advanced streaming support. This means that with AVG’s 50+ VPN locations, users have ample choices for dedicated streaming servers.
How AVG VPN Works
Whenever you connect to the internet, either via your smartphone or computer, your connection passes through AVG VPN’s server. It works sort of like a tunnel, except this tunnel gives you a new IP address (the unique set of numbers that identifies your device), so the companies that usually track online movement get side-tracked and lost.
Aside from confusing third-party companies by using AVG-assigned VPN, using VPN with your internet connection means that all the data that usually just go into the internet are now encrypted (converted into code). So even if prying eyes were able to see what you’re doing online, their unauthorized access to your data will still be meaningless because your data is encoded.
Why would you trust AVG with your web security, you ask? AVG developed and maintains one of the best known antivirus freeware programs in the world (AVG AntiVirus) for computers, laptops and mobile devices. It is home to many other cybersecurity software focused on privacy, IT security, and performance organization. However, if you still want to look at what others offer, check out our detailed Norton VPN reviews.
Understanding VPN protocols is important when choosing VPN plans because the protocol refers to the technology responsible for ensuring users get a secured and quick connection from their device to the VPN servers. This technology uses a mix of transmission protocols and encryption VPN standards.
There are several VPN protocols used in the industry, such as:
- OpenVPN – The word “open” here refers to “open source,” which means the source code is publicly available and hundreds/thousands of people have tried, helped improve, and continued to use the technology. OpenVPN is the most widely used and considered most secure because even before any security holes affect a VPN provider, these issues have already been pinpointed by users and VPN specialists alike.
OpenVPN is preferred by developers (those who actually understand the technology) because having the code open to public scrutiny also means the VPN providers cannot use their VPN services for suspicious things like selling user data or tracking user activities.
AVG VPN uses the OpenVPN protocol for its Windows and Android apps. You can look here for more VPN for Windows 10 options.
- PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) – This protocol has been around since the mid-90s. It is also a popular VPN protocol, but only used by free VPN providers. This isn’t ideal anymore because it is known for security flaws. Good thing AVG doesn’t use this even with their free AVG secure VPN apk.
- IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange version 2) – This protocol handles request and response actions. It is known to have the most leading encryption algorithms in the industry.
AVG VPN uses IkEv2 protocol for iOs and macOS devices, since Apple requires additional authentication. It is definitely faster and more up-to-date than PPTP.
AVG Secure VPN Features
AVG antivirus VPN and the company behind these products all come from Czech Republic. The main location of a VPN provider is important since it determines which laws it would follow.
Czech Republic is safe from Fourteen Eyes (the 14-country-strong surveillance alliance that readily shares data and information with one another). If the VPN provider is within a Fourteen Eyes country, there’s a good chance your online activities are tracked without your knowledge or consent.
If Fourteen Eyes and similar tracking has been a concern for you, you’ll be glad to know that AVG can be your alley. This of course will change if the people use AVG VPN to hide their cybercrime activities. In this case, AVG will work with the government to help catch users who exploit the use of VPNs.
Here are other noteworthy things you should know about AVG VPN:
There are 56 AVG VPN server locations within 37 countries across Asia, Africa, Middle East, South America, North America and Europe. Most of the servers are located in Europe, followed by the USA. In Asia, they have servers in Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, and China (with its infamous impenetrable firewall).
Do note that in countries with only 1 server, you will be sharing resources with other users trying to access the same one you’re using. While the VPN will still work effectively as intended, your internet connection would slow down significantly.
What’s impressive about AVG’s servers is that the 700+ VPN servers are ALL physical servers. Unlike other VPNs that rely heavily on virtual servers (multiple servers hosted in 1 physical server), AVG VPN does not use any virtual server.
Speed and Performance
It doesn’t matter if you’re using the PC or Mac version, or you’re using AVG VPN android. Whenever you use a VPN, you will experience losing internet speed in the process. It will happen regardless of which VPN provider you subscribe to, but since not all VPNs are made equal, some are still faster than the others.
When testing AVG VPN speed, I used Ookla speed test using my normal internet and took note of the download and upload speeds, as well as the latency (ping). I then connected to AVG VPN and repeated the speedtest process. The second results had decreased the download speed and latency by 45% from the original “without VPN” speeds, but upload speeds increased up to 50 percent.
Speeds are kind of tricky to use in gauging VPN since your internet connection may be originally slow even before you used VPN, so comparing my results to yours can result in confusion or inconsistent testing. In most cases though, AVG VPN has strong speed test scores that could compete with other VPN brands.
Streaming Netflix with AVG VPN
Interested in AVG VPN Netflix compatibility? When you play around AVG VPN’s server options, there’s a good chance you’d be able to stream Netflix no matter which country you’re currently located. AVG has hundreds of servers readily available to try for this purpose.
However, you have to understand that Netflix continuously works on blocking access from VPN users (regardless which VPN company you use). Streaming with AVG VPN servers may be hassle-free now for me, or when you do decide to subscribe to AVG, but this doesn’t mean it will be easy to stream with Netflix in the future.
Is AVG Secure VPN Compatible with My Device?
AVG offers its VPN apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices. Unfortunately, it isn’t Linux-supported yet, but if you have the know-how, you can connect your device to the VPN even without an app.
When you subscribe to any AVG VPN’s plans, you can use it for up to five devices simultaneously. The AVG VPN free trial only lets you use 1 device at a time, though.
After you download AVG VPN pro apk from the official Play Store, you are given access to the full app for a 7-day free trial. Like any other free app that requires in-app purchase after trial, you’ll only get to continue VPN use of the AVG secure VPN premium apk after you are credited for either the full month or year.
Other VPN providers have notable features, such as TunnelBear’s “Remembear password manager” or NordLOcker’s encrypted file vault. AVG is similar to Norton VPN in that both providers offer an entire suite of antivirus and cybersecurity utilities for both computer and mobile use.
Security – Is AVG Secure VPN Safe?
As you probably know, AVG VPN uses high-level security with advanced tunneling protocols like L2TP/IPsec and IKEv2 for iOS clients and OpenVPN for Windows and Android devices. These technologies are used in keeping users safe from attacks and prying eyes.
For data encryption, AVG VPN uses the AES 256-bit system to keep DNS and IP address leaks. Encryption turns your online data into codes, so even if someone (or a company) manages to breach your connection and sees what you’re doing, the data is still encrypted. AES 256-bit encryption is used by the military and governments from around the world.
AVG VPN has another sought-after feature: it has an automatic kill switch. You’ll need this to protect your IP address from being disclosed when you are suddenly disconnected.
Does AVG Secure VPN Keep Logs?
AVG actually lists down the information they collect and log. These include:
- Connection timestamps (time when you connect or disconnect to the AVG VPN servers)
- Amount of data transmitted during each session. This will be logged as upload and download
- The IP address that you use when connecting to AVG’s VPN server
- The IP address that AVG VPN assigned to you during a particular session
That’s a lot of information, right? Fortunately, there are no real personal details (like real name, physical location or email address) that are saved. In addition, AVG says they delete these logged records after 30 days.
AVG says its VPN service DOES NOT LOG your DNS queries and your online activity details, which means they won’t record what websites you visit, which items you buy, what apps you download, and what information you research.
Does AVG Secure VPN Have an Adblocker?
AVG VPN is available as a standalone product, and as part of the AVG Ultimate bundle.
If you purchased only the VPN, you won’t be able to take advantage of the adblocker. However, if you subscribed to AVG Ultimate, you’ll enjoy the benefits of AVG TuneUp utility, AVG Secure VPN, and AVG Internet Security antivirus.
The AVG Ultimate bundle also includes ad-blocking capabilities, so your pages load faster, ad servers cannot track you, and browsing becomes 10x safer from potential hacks, spam and other dangerous stuff online concealed in ads.
If you’ve ever tried free VPN before, you know that some of them are pretty sketchy. The good thing about sticking to a trusted brand like AVG is that its VPN client doesn’t carry malware, viruses and other malicious scripts.
The AVG secure VPN cost depends on several things.
- Number of years you sign up for. 1-year plans will always be higher than multi-year plans since companies reward longer commitments. Expect to pay around $4 to $6/month for monthly AVG VPN.
- Current Promotions. Like hosting plans, domain names, and other web-based products, VPN always has active promotions to encourage clients to subscribe. Coupons and discounts can cut up to 20% of the first year if you decide to sign up for AVG VPN.
- Standalone vs. bundle. As I mentioned above, you can stick with only-VPN, or explore other AVG products that you can bundle with VPN. The price of the VPN plan depends on what product you wish to include. The AVG Ultimate bundle, which include AVG Internet Security antivirus, the AVG TuneUp utility, and AVG Secure VPN, will get you around $120/year. If you’re lucky and you get a marked down first-year promo, you can pay for this bundle for as low as $75.
AVG always offers discounts and sale prices, so the pricing I include here could always change. The best way to know current AVG VPN cost is to use the live chat (or send an email) and ask. That’s the only legit way you’ll be able to know actual pricing, since AVG VPN free trials allow you to download the Windows program for your PC, iOS for your Mac, and AVG secure VPN pro apk for your Android device. Only after the trial run ends will you be asked to pay full price.
One major downside to AVG VPN is that it has no monthly plans. Yes, the annual plans are reduced regularly to promote the plans and encourage people to commit, but it is still nice to get a monthly option and not commit to a year’s worth of VPN.
For annual subscriptions, here’s what you can expect to shell out:
The 3-year-plan seems the most expensive (at around $220 to $270 annually), but if you compute the monthly cost, it actually becomes the cheapest.
The two-year plan can be anywhere from $150 to $180/year.
1 year is the shortest subscription plan of AVG VPN. It starts at $70 to $100/year.
AVG accepts basic payment methods like PayPal and credit cards, but welcomes Bitcoin crypto currency as well.
Ease of Use
Setting up AVG VPN
Downloading AVG VPN follows the standard procedures for downloading programs for Windows and Mac, as well as apps for Apple devices, and Android gadgets. Because the trial is free for 30 days, anyone can just try out the app to see how it looks.
Once you’ve downloaded the app/program, AVG will ask you if you want to start the 7-day trial, or if you’ve already purchased. If you have, then you are asked to enter the activation code.
You’ll have to open your “My AVG” account on the web, click on “My Subscription” tab to open the license management window. From here you can find all the activated AVG subscriptions on this computer. You should then copy the activation code and enter into your mobile app or computer program.
Connecting to AVG VPN servers
By default, AVG VPN connects you automatically to an “optimized server location.” Of course, this will vary depending on your own location (near your physical location is better). Once you’ve successfully connected, a notification pops up and lets you know that you can now access the internet safely and securely with VPN.
If you feel the current server location is slow, you can go back and click “change location.” You’ll be given a list of servers by region and you can pick the VPN server you feel is most appropriate for your needs. What I like about choosing servers is that AVG lets you filter which servers are best for P2P or streaming.
Go to the settings tab, where you can control a few more settings. This is where you can opt to enable/disable auto-connect whenever you launch the AVG VPN app. You’ll also find control for the “auto kill switch” here. This is a cool feature to ensure your IP address and identity is always protected even if you’re suddenly disconnected.
The AVG VPN interface is user-friendly with straightforward settings and just one-click controls to on/off the services. There aren’t too many tabs to set-up throughout the interface, which is good considering you only need the server options.
If you’re a Mac user, you’ll be glad that the AVG VPN version was created properly with proprietary Apple programming, and not just a Windows-version converted for the sake of having a Mac counterpart. Because of this dedicated Mac version, you can expect the AVG VPN program/app to run seamlessly on a Mac.
Reliability & Support
The AVG secure VPN provides reliable customer support. It should. Even before Avast bought the company in 2016, AVG has already made a name for itself in the antivirus software market.
AVG maintains a comprehensive page for its knowledge base, FAQs, and the AVG blog. If you can’t find answers to your concerns from these resources, you can use any of the following ways to reach AVG’s customer support:
- Live chat – Unlike most websites that show the live-chat bubble on the lower side of the homepage, AVG’s live chat is kind of hidden. You have to go to the “contact us” page first, then choose “sales support.” From here, you’ll be asked your first name, last name, and email address to begin. In cases when the support cannot resolve your issue, the agent may direct you to advanced tech support, which would take an extra 5 minutes (or more) to connect.
- Community access – As a registered AVG member, you have access to the community support page, where fellow users, VPN specialists and tech support all help each other with various issues. You can expect to get a response to your question after an hour or two.
- On-call support – If you’re a paid customer, you are prioritized and given on-call support 24/7. Unfortunately, this is only available for customers from Australia, UK and US.
E-mail and a ticket system are both available, if you’re not in a rush for an answer.
Most VPN providers offer a week-long free trial. Meanwhile, AVG boasts of a 30-day free trial for Windows. This trial includes full features and a complete list of servers. The only downside is that you can’t use it for your Mac and mobile devices for both Android and Apple. You can still try out the Android and iOS AVG VPN apps from Play Store or App Store respectively, but only for a limited time.
Because of the risk-free trial, the refund policy is much shorter than other brands. AVG VPN plans only come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you paid for a subscription and if you aren’t satisfied by the VPN, you can request a refund via e-mail, live chat, or call.
Conclusion: Who is AVG VPN for?
Now that we’ve reached the end of this AVG Secure VPN review, you probably have the answer to the question: “Is AVG VPN good?”
AVG VPN has been around for a few years already. When it comes to basic Wi-Fi protection and allowing access to streaming sites like BBC iPlayer and Netflix, this VPN plan is well worth the money.
AVG VPN does have some weaknesses: such as limited torrenting and peer-to-peer locations (there are currently only 8 locations for this, which includes Paris, London, Seattle, Miami, New York, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Prague).
AVG makes it clear what kind of data it logs and for how long on its published policy. But Avast (its parent company) has a history of cooperating with government investigations and has gotten a couple of hackers arrested in the past. While this may not mean AVG will do so as well, it is best to always read the finer details when updates to its VPN privacy policies occur.
With that said, AVG VPN has MANY notable strengths, such as:
- Clean interface. You’d never have to worry about the app being riddled with malware, virus, adware or other malicious data injected into the VPN interface without your knowledge. This is pretty common in free VPN apps and programs. But since AVG is already a major player in the antivirus industry, you can expect the company to deliver.
- No DNS or IP leaks. In the world of VPNs, a DNS leak refers to a security flaw that allows DNS requests to be shown to ISP DNS servers. This means that even if you’re using a VPN service, if there is a DNS or IP leak, the point is moot. Your IP address can still be revealed. Fortunately, AVG VPN is pretty good in keeping user data and online activity secured, encrypted and safe from any kind of leaks or spying.
- Czech Republic-based AVG. Both AVG and its parent company Avast hail from Czech Republic, which is a country that has a strong data protection policy against government agencies forcing their laws or “requests” about gathering user information, data and activity.
- Stability. The AVG VPN app may not have fancy settings and tons of tabs for control, but it offers stability. The available controls are enough to give you options to custom-search server locations based on region, streaming capability, and P2P compatibility. There also aren’t any confusing techie terms, so even if you’re new to VPN, you can enjoy cyber security with just a few clicks.
If you already use AVG for other web security tools, then just adding the VPN makes sense. The plans and pricing could use a much-needed improvement to keep things simple. And a shorter month commitment would increase their customer base.
But the AVG VPN brand has a solid no-logging policy and auto-kill switch that ensures your privacy while online browsing. With strong speed test scores, a good number of server locations, secured connection at all times, and numerous customer support gateways, the AVG CPN will serve you just fine.