AVG Secure VPN (review) is perhaps a familiar-sounding service. Not the VPN itself, but the main name that appears: AVG.
That’s right, one of the biggest names in the antivirus market has extended its reach into privacy on the web.
At first glance, it looks like AVG Secure VPN is going to offer top-notch service, as they are available with a couple of positives.
AVG Secure VPN offers its users a secure connection because it remains free from viruses and leaks. Their network also has competent customer support that is available 24/7.
Unfortunately, all of those elements fall apart because it lacks many of the desirable features of a VPN service. They only use two protocols, have 50 percent slower speeds, and Netflix is frustratingly blocked.
So is there any reason to buy this VPN? Let’s find out…
AVG Secure VPN Overview
|OVERALL RANK:||#54 out of 78 VPNs|
|USABILITY:||Simple and easy to use|
|LOG FILES:||Some Logging Policy|
|LOCATIONS:||36 countries, 50 servers|
|SUPPORT:||Good customer chat support|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||160-bit, 256-bit AES; OpenVPN, UDP|
AVG Secure VPN Pros
No Malware Found, Virus-Free
Since AVG can be a major player in the antivirus arena, they are only expected to work in this area. and that they do.
I ran Virustotal Scan on both the Windows and Mac versions of the VPN service. The end result was quite satisfactory.
These are the results for the Windows version:
And the Mac version:
Because the iOS and Android versions were not available, it was unable to scan them. Their customer service team confirmed this.
No IP or DNS Leaks
So far, they need to prove that their overall network security, encryption, and personal connection are safe from any leaks. this can please all potential users of the service.
For testing I used their Taiwan server and ran the application through the post-tests:
- https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
- https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
The DNS leak test came back positive:
The service also did an excellent job of hiding my IP address:
Overall, the VPN provider did a stellar job keeping my geolocation anonymous and away from exposure. This is excellent news for those who use public Wi-Fi frequently.
Good Customer Chat Support + Community Support
When looking at the standard of customer care, the reaction time for such service should come first. Fortunately, AVG Secure VPN offers good customer chat support for its users.
Chat support is not immediately available once you enter their website, but can often be easily accessed through their “contact us” page and by going to sales support.
Once inside, you simply have to provide your first and last name, and your email address. then you will start.
Here is an example of their chat support service:
For the basics, it’s pretty good. However, when asked a particular question that is too technical, they will do one of the following:
- Direct it to technical support. it will wait 3-5 minutes before starting.
- The support representative will direct you to their FAQ page to answer your question.
Some support representatives will try to answer your question as simply as they can. This takes time, but not as long as being transferred to a special representative.
Their Community Support
AVG Secure VPN has a community support page that answers any questions you have about the service. The answer takes an hour or two, but there is an answer anyway.
Easy To Use VPN App
The available application that you can simply download for Windows and Mac has great ease of use. You’ll get the app as a 30-day free trial, so you can check it out for yourself.
Once the application is installed and started, the main thing you will see is the following interface:
You can use the switch to connect to an optimized server location automatically. The “optimized server” will vary from location to location, as it does with most VPN applications. Once you’ve connected, a notification will appear, and you’ll be able to safely browse the web.
You can manually choose which server you are connected to by clicking “change location”. All servers will be listed and you prefer to categorize them as compatible with your region. There is also the option to show only servers optimized for streaming and people that allow P2P:
The settings tab will display a variety of options. one of these options is the selection to automatically connect to your servers once the application starts.
In general, the provided application is quite easy to use. There aren’t many tabs to go through and switch servers manually. In addition, all available applications or versions of AVG Secure VPN have a built-in kill switch for added security.
Located in the Czech Republic, a Safe Haven for Data Protection
Data protection is often the most important thing a VPN provider should have. With the 14 eyes currently covering a variety of major regions around the world, it is quite difficult to search for a VPN service that is located far from your jurisdiction. AVG Secure VPN is proud to mention that it stays away from malicious government agencies.
The VPN provider is based in the Czech Republic, which is not part of the 14 eyes. This suggests that user data and knowledge are not so easy to hand over to the government.
However, the Czech Republic will cooperate against cases that violate network exploitation laws. This is often not much to worry about, but it helps to understand.
AVG Secure VPN Cons
So far so good, right? Well, not quite. You will quickly see why all the brilliant features of AVG Secure VPN are outweighed by the negatives of the service.
Slow Speed Test Results
For a service that is protected by such a huge company, you would think AVG Secure VPN can deliver in terms of network speed. Unfortunately for this service, he falls flat on his face.
I tested six random servers:
- New York
The fastest server speed the VPN needed was Taiwan, as it is the most optimized for my location. However, the results that followed were pretty bad.
As part of the monitoring test, I measured my internet speed without AVG Secure VPN:
- Ping: 27ms
- Download: 51.51 Mbps
- Upload: 49.07 Mbps
Here is the result of the speed of Taiwan:
- Ping: 61ms
- Download: 21.60 Mbps (58.1% slower)
- Upload: 25.60 Mbps (47.8% slower)
Even for a server that claims to be optimized, that’s pretty slow. On the plus side, the loading speed did manage to interrupt, but only by 50%, which is acceptable.
The following tests only showed the severe lack of speed of AVG Secure VPN.
- Ping: 295ms
- Download: 5.19 Mbps (89.9% slower)
- Upload: 1.60 Mbps (96.7% slower)
Given that these were the fastest I could get from Europe, the download and upload speeds were appalling.
- Ping: 307ms
- Download: 6.21 Mbps (87.9% slower)
- Upload: 2.94 Mbps (94.1% slower)
It is even as bad as the EU server.
Suspicious Logging Policy
Right from the start, AVG Secure VPN is pretty straightforward with its logging policy. It claims to collect your VPN data for a variety of reasons. Such data is stored for two – 3 months before it is deleted. The service will only keep your data indefinitely if (A) you breach your EULA and (B) if the user has tried to defraud the service.
The statement is already concerning as it clearly states that it collects your data. This is where it often gets a bit more suspicious, unfortunately.
AVG Secure VPN claims to collect “VPN Data”. What do these data refer to? Your TOS never specifies what it contains. I contacted their privacy department via email and they have yet to send a response.
Another thing that worries me about their TOS is the purpose of keeping the VPN data. one of these reasons indicates that you want to stop file sharing and other illegal activities. For the service to detect file sharing, in theory it needs to know the websites you are using. To try this, you need your usage logs, which can be a major red flag. This often only gets scarier as “VPN data” can be a very broad term, so it could mean a lot of things.
Regardless, a VPN provider’s ability to collect user logs is a drawback. Only the most basic information, such as email addresses, diagnostics, and billing information, should be collected.
Netflix Blocked For Most Locations
Netflix means a great deal to a large number of people all over the world. However, for the past few years, the service has been hostile to VPNs. Using a VPN, you can unblock Netflix and access it from anywhere in the world.
However, the same cannot be said for AVG Secure VPN.
I first tested 6 servers, 4 of which belonged to their stream-optimized locations. the two opposites were chosen at random.
The good news: Most server locations in North America unblock Netflix.
The bad news: most opposite server locations don’t.
I also tested this for five more server locations spread across Europe and Asia. So far, only Japan has Netflix unblocked.
Limited Torrenting and P2P Locations
AVG Secure VPN currently supports P2P connections in eight locations:
- New York
The image above states that Brazil allows P2P, but its Windows application says otherwise.
This feature is not available in the remaining server locations.
The limited choice of this feature holds it back in terms of flexibility and selection.
All servers provide unlimited bandwidth for those looking for torrents. So there it is. Just remember that the speed you’re getting is still terribly slow.
Lackluster Servers, Tunneling Protocols, and Missing Features
For a service that comes from AVG, it is expected that they will need the installation to increase the number of servers to a couple of hundred. Unfortunately, AVG Secure VPN only has more than 20 servers. That is less even than most VPN providers that are not protected by a huge reputable company.
Their tunneling protocols suffer from the same lack of flexibility. Right now the service only uses OpenVPN and UDP for Windows and IPsec for Mac. That’s too low. It doesn’t work with PPTP, but it still doesn’t offer enough alternatives for when a user wants to modify protocols. Since different tunneling protocols provide different benefits, the paucity of them here is somewhat disappointing.
Other Missing Features
- AVG Secure VPN does not support TOR. TOR is an additional protective suit and most VPNs work well with it. This, however, does not want to play with the opposite children.
- It does not support routers. If you are trying to protect a variety of devices with AVG Secure VPN, it will quit.
A Heavily-Stained Background
This Wired article explains that AVG has the ability to sell your browsing data to third parties. When a parent who owns a VPN service gets in trouble, it’s an honest cause for concern.
Note that the article simply sheds light on this fact and does not actually say that the company has already done so. Or have they? Remember, AVG Secure VPN collects your VPN data. This information could contain a variety of specific elements and the repair is collecting it for up to three months.
It is also worth mentioning that AVAST bought AVG. The latter is also not safe from controversies because it has been a victim of them on several occasions. Here are a couple of examples:
- Their transparency report states that they cooperated with the authorities in the distribution of user data as part of an investigation in the Czech Republic.
- An Avast product, HideMyAss! VPN handed over user information that led to the arrest of a hacker.
- Avast fell victim to hackers who compromised CCleaner. The pirated version of the software was available for download for the next several weeks.
AVG Secure VPN Payment Methods and Refund Policy
AVG Secure VPN payment methods are quite confusing if you are looking to purchase their service.
First of all, heading to your website will show this result:
$ 79.99 a year for a VPN sounds expensive, right? Well, that’s not all. This website does not say that the version to be purchased here is for one device only. I made sure of this fact by asking for their sales support.
If you want to save a lot of money and get it cheaper for five devices, I recommend downloading the free trial version first. Once the app starts, you will manage your subscriptions and see your expected payment plan:
Available payment plans are for an annual subscription only. there is no monthly or quarterly offer.
AVG Secure VPN, unfortunately, only accepts a few payment methods. You will only pay via credit and unlimited credit or PayPal. The PayPal method does not take your balance but instead requests the card linked to the account.
Although limited, the costs of the offers are quite reasonable and on par with all opposing superstar VPN providers.
Their Refund Policy
AVG Secure VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you’ve already purchased a subscription and need to cancel it, you’ve definitely finished posing for a refund within the allotted time. To get started, you will contact your sales support and invite a refund. They will go through the traditional process of asking why you are canceling your payment.
Sales support will notify you that their refund team will process the request and, if it is submitted successfully, will email you the method within the next three days.
Do I Recommend AVG Secure VPN?
This is a simple NO on my behalf.
First, you will get a VPN for the entire packet; Privacy is your goal, but it doesn’t have to seriously compromise your everyday experience.
Unfortunately for AVG Secure VPN, doesn’t check most of those boxes.
It is slow, it does not offer enough features or compatibility. To increase that, its parent companies are known to maintain vital information for extended periods of their time. All that dirt has finally gotten them, I’m afraid.
All in all, AVG Secure VPN seems like that old-timer trying to stick to old-fashioned methods during an age when innovation and adaptability are required. My advice, choose the highest names in the VPN market. It is money well spent.
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