AVG Review

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

September 23, 2020

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Features

2.8/5

Speed & Performance

3.5/5

Ease of Use

4.5/5

Mobile App

4/5

Customer Support

3.3/5

Pricing

2.8/5
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AVG VPN Pros:

AVG VPN Cons:

AVG is a brand that is known around the world for its antivirus product, and so it probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that they also have a VPN available. But is it any good? Does it live up to their antivirus product?

Promising “military-grade encryption,” I was certainly excited to find out. Read on to discover my thoughts about the AVG VPN offering.

AVG VPN

Overview

With so many different VPN providers on the market today, it can be difficult to narrow down your search effectively. With AVG, though, you definitely have a brand with a trusted name in the industry.  

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the AVG VPN has a lot of similarities with Avast SecureLine, as long-term rival Avast purchased the company back in 2016. I have reviewed Avast SecureLine VPN, so you can read my thoughts on that as well.

At the moment, Avast is headquartered in the Czech Republic, which can be a bit of an alarm in terms of privacy because it means that the business is subject to intelligence-sharing agreements with other countries and intrusive EU data retention laws

The jurisdiction is an issue because of the detailed logging policy, which is something I will discuss in further detail in this review, as it is definitely something you need to be mindful of if you do decide to go for AVG. 

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Speeds

In terms of speed, I would recommend AVG VPN for casual users. It is certainly not the fastest VPN out there, but it is going to be more than sufficient for casual use. 

If you’re near to one of the 36 server locations that AVG has, you will find that the speeds are fast enough for Full HD streaming on a couple of devices and general browsing. The download speed drops by approximately 25 per cent. 

One thing I did notice is that there is quite a significant drop in the download speed when it comes to long distances. 

The network isn’t very big, with just 36 servers. This is enough for casual users, but you may need something more substantial. One thing I was a bit disappointed with was that there is not a list of the server network on the AVG website. It would be good to have this information.

Once I purchased the VPN, I was able to see that all of the popular locations you would expect are covered, including the US, Australia, Canada, the UK, and a number of other European countries. There is also a server in South Africa, two in the Middle East, three in Central and South America, and eight countries in the Asia Pacific. 

If you want a VPN with a much more comprehensive selection of servers, check out my ExpressVPN review, as they have more than 3,000 servers in 160 locations. You can download it here.

Security

Security

As touched upon earlier, one thing I do need to point out is the detailed logging policy that AVG VPN has in place because of its jurisdiction. This means that VPN connection details are kept on every user for a minimum of 30 days

I went through the Privacy Policy on the AVG website so that I could get a thorough understanding of how they handle information. The policy states that the company will disclose your personal data to “unrelated third parties” in specific circumstances. These circumstances are as follows:

  • In response to a third-party subpoena
  • In compliance with a legal requirement in the public or by a court of law 
  • To satisfy a legitimate government order or request 

For a lot of people, this will rule AVG VPN out of their selection process, as it’s not something you really want to hear from your VPN company. Of course, AVG does not log your true IP address in full, but they do retain more data when compared with other VPNs. 

So, what data does AVG VPN collect?

  • The total amount of data you have transmitted throughout your session
  • A timestamp when you connect to and disconnect from the VPN
  • The IP address of the individual VPN server you have used
  • The subnet of your original IP address – this is basically part of your IP address, so it cannot be used to identify you personally but it can identify your ISP

Personally, I don’t think all of this data needs to be collected for troubleshooting purposes, and so it is quite a lot of information to take. This is stored on the servers at AVG for 30 days. If they believe you are breaching the Acceptable Use Policy, they may keep this information for longer. 

AVG has stated that they do not monitor activity logs, DNS queries while connected, and your full originating IP address. 

Protecting your data

While AVG VPN may not be the best in terms of the data it collects about you, it is one of the better options with regard to protecting your data on public Wi-Fi networks. 

There are various VPN protocols for each of its custom apps. For iOS, IKEv2/IPSec is used, which is one of the newer VPN protocols. This is vast, secure, and can efficiently handle network changes. For macOS, an older protocol is used – L2TP/IPSec – yet it is still secure. OpenVPN is used for Android and Windows, which I believe offers a great balance between performance and privacy. 

The strong AES-256 cipher is used to encrypt data while using the AVG VPN. 

I was delighted to see that AVG has recently added a kill switch for macOS and Windows! There aren’t really any advanced security features, though, such as multi-hop or split tunnelling.  

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Ease of use

I found the desktop app for AVG easy to use and install. You shouldn’t have too much trouble here! The apps are laid-out well and they have a very user-friendly interface. If you need any extra help, the FAQs section on the website is helpful, as are the basic setup guides. 

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Torrenting

If you are looking for a VPN for torrenting purposes, AVG does permit torrenting and there are a number of servers that are optimized for P2P use

They are located in the US – Seattle, New York, and Miami – and the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the Czech Republic. They are all easy to identify, as they are marked with a ‘P2P’ in the server list. 

Of course, you may be a bit apprehensive about using AVG for torrenting because of the company’s logging policy. This is certainly something that would prevent me from using AVG. I would recommend trying out IPVanish or NordVPN instead. You can read my reviews in both. 

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Unblock streaming services

AVG used to lag behind when it came to unblocking streaming servers, yet I am pleased to see that they have made improvements in this department. I have unblocked both BBC iPlayer and Netflix, with servers optimized for streaming. 

Can you use AVG in China?

One thing you do need to keep in mind is that AVG VPN is not a suitable choice for high-censorship countries. If you are based in the likes of China, Turkey, UAE, or any other high-censorship country, AVG VPN probably won’t work.

The reason for this, I believe, is because there are not any stealth protocols or obfuscation tools included, which means that censors can easily detect AVG VPN because OpenVPN is the only VPN protocol that is used. 

This is not something that AVG VPN tries to hide. They have openly stated via customer support that their VPN will not work in China. If you do want to bypass the Great Firewall of China, I would recommend checking out my review on Astrill VPN.

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Compatibility

AVG VPN is compatible with the four main platforms:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Apple macOS
  • Microsoft Windows 

You can check out my “reviews by device” if you would like more information on the best VPN for a specific device.

As is the case with a lot of VPNs, it is possible to connect up to five devices at the same time. 

Games consoles and streaming devices

If you are looking for a VPN for gaming purposes, you should take a look at the other VPNs that I have reviewed instead. This is because AVG VPN is not compatible with streaming devices and games consoles, as it cannot be installed onto your router. Plus, there are not any custom VPN apps, aside from those for the four main platforms that I touched upon in the former section. 

Browser extensions

There are not any browser extensions included with AVG VPN, meaning you need to use a different VPN for Opera, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome

Customer support

I can’t lie; I wasn’t thrilled by the customer support on offer at AVG! There is no live chat, which is a bit of a let-down for such a reputable company. 

There is only one way to get in touch with a customer service representative and this by raising a support request on the website. It can be a bit annoying for those who are in need of immediate help!

There are some informative set-up guides on the website, as well as a decent FAQ section.

Pricing

I would label AVG VPN as pretty much middle of the road when it comes to pricing. There are three different options to choose from.

The first is the one-year package, which costs $4.99 per month. This is charged in one payment, with $59.88 to pay today.

The second is the two-year package, which is $3.99 per month. This is charged in one payment, with $95.76 to pay today.

The third is the three-year package, which is $3.99 per month. This is charged in one payment, with $143.63 to pay today. It is a bit disappointing to see that you don’t get a bigger discount for going for the three-year option!

There aren’t any shorter deals available, so you either have to sign up for the year or not at all! There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, though, as well as a seven-day free trial. I was delighted to see that you do not need to add your credit card information to try out the free trial, which means you can definitely give it a go without risk! 

Summary

I certainly think that AVG VPN is a good choice for anyone who is looking for a basic VPN for casual use only. It is not advisable for torrenting because of the data logging policy and it is not the best choice for those seeking a VPN for gaming purposes either. However, if you are looking for something basic, you will be more than happy with this offering! 

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