Thursday, May 27, 2021

AVG Secure VPN

AVG Secure VPN is a VPN product from cybersecurity giant AVG Technologies (now owned by Avast), well-known for its antivirus and other software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices.

Price

The VPN service is available under three subscription lengths: one-year, two-year, and three-year. The three-year option is the cheapest in the long run, as it costs only $3.99/month for the first three years, after which it is renewed at $269.99 billed every three years (around $7.50/month).

Regardless of the chosen subscription plan, you can run simultaneous VPN connections on up to 5 devices at the same time.

The best part? You can take this service for a spin during its seven-day free trial and you don’t even need to leave your financial details. Speaking of which, it only accepts credit/debit cards and PayPal as methods of payment.

In addition to a free trial period, AVG also has a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee if its VPN solution isn’t up to your standard.

AVG Secure VPN

(Image credit: avg.com)

Alternatives

AVG Secure VPN is a decent alternative to the major industry names like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost. It provides solid speeds, unblocks popular streaming content, supports torrenting, offers a free trial and generous money-back guarantee, and isn’t expensive, at least at first.

However, the more demanding users will find themselves disappointed with its lack of features, as well as support for platforms besides the mainstream ones. 

Streaming 

This VPN is a great option for anyone who wants to unblock their favorite localized libraries on today’s popular streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer and Netflix, as we witnessed ourselves during our tests. As a matter of fact, AVG Secure VPN even offers special servers that work best for streaming.

About the company 

AVG Secure VPN is run by Avast Software, with headquarters in the Czech Republic. Its anonymity product provides users with access to 50 VPN locations around the world including in Iceland, Israel, Mexico, South Africa, Portugal, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and other places.

AVG Secure VPN

(Image credit: Future)

Privacy and encryption 

To safeguard your privacy online, AVG Secure uses the 256-bit AES encryption standards, but it doesn’t say which protocols are deployed during your VPN connection.

All the apps, except the one for iOS, feature a kill switch - the mechanism that shuts down your internet access if there’s an interruption to the VPN connection. Do note that this option isn’t turned on by default.

This provider supports torrenting and P2P traffic and even offers specialized servers that are optimized for this purpose.

AVG’s Privacy Policy states that “your IP address is collected at the time at which your product or service is being provided, for the purpose of facilitating our billing process” but that the company doesn’t store this information. Your IP address is also processed “for the purpose of downloading certain products, fraud and malware detection”. 

Unfortunately, that’s the closest we get to a no-logs policy, so having an independent auditor coming in to check the platform would be very helpful.

Support 

AVG Secure VPN is available as an app for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

At the time of writing, its iOS app has an excellent score of 4.7 stars (out of 5), as rated by 6,700 users. Its version history shows that the app is regularly updated, several times each year. Its Android counterpart had 4.3 stars as rated by 31,300 users. It was updated just weeks before this review.

If you need assistance, you can try looking at the vendor’s blog, which has a special section dedicated to its VPN service. Here you can read all about unblocking restricted content with a VPN, proxy servers, data encryption, setting up a VPN, and more.

You could also visit AVG’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube profiles for some general updates. 

As for a more direct approach, it is available in the support center, support community, or via support form and one of the vendor’s agents will be right with you. Note that phone and email support are available only to paying customers.

You can, however, try using Avast customer support email. We’re yet to receive an email response to our more general query about AVG Secure VPN. 

AVG Secure VPN

(Image credit: Future)

Speed and experience 

The apps not only look very nice and sleek but are also incredibly easy to use, in part due to their lack of options and features (aside from a kill switch). Connecting is a walk in the park as well, as the app connects within seconds and triggers a notification in the lower right corner each time the user connects and disconnects.

We tested the provider’s download speeds on a 71.45Mbps testing connection from a location in south-east Europe, letting the app connect us to the most optimal VPN server for our location first. It connected us to Budapest and delivered a very good result: 32.52Mbps.

Then we decided to give Glasgow, UK a chance and it didn’t do as well, hailing a much lower 15.43Mbps. After the UK, it was time for a bigger challenger: the US. We connected to a server in “Gotham City” and got a decent result considering the distance, 14.11Mbps.

Finally, we skipped over to the other side of the globe and gave a server in Taipei, Taiwan a chance. The speeds were expectedly lower for this location at 6.50Mbps.

Verdict

AVG Secure VPN is a very good anonymity product, one that can almost stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the industry giants. It checks all the boxes: strong encryption, good speeds, user-friendly and gorgeous apps, P2P support, Netflix unblocking. It also offers a few extras like a free trial, generous refund policy and low starting prices. 

However, there are some elements that need work, like being more available to its customers, covering more platforms and throwing in more features. Otherwise, there’s a lot to like about this VPN.

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