Avira Review (2022)

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

January 21, 2022

Features

3.5/5

Speed & Performance

4/5

Ease of Use

4/5

Mobile App

4/5

Customer Support

3.8/5

Pricing

3/5

Avira Pros:

Avira Cons:

If you are looking for a basic VPN that does exactly what it says on the tin, Avira could be just the choice for you. However, do note that it only does the bare minimum! If you’re looking for something a bit more extensive, this may not be the option for you. 

To help you get a better understanding, read on to discover my thoughts about Avira Phantom VPN and whether or not this is a good choice.

Overview

You may know Avira better as an antivirus software. However, back in 2006, the company decided to branch into the realm of VPNs. This is when I saw Avira Phantom VPN introduced. 

Marketed as an ultra-secure VPN service, mixed reviews greeted this product when it was released. Years have passed since then, though, and I was interested to see whether Avira had improved their service or whether there was still more that was needed to turn this into a VPN that I could really get behind!

Although the VPN has been about for quite a few years now, the company’s anti-virus software has been on the market since 1986, so they clearly have a long history in the industry. 

At the moment, the company is headquartered in Tettnang, Germany. However, it also has offices around the world, including the United States, Romania, the Netherlands, and China. Typically, Germany would not be the best place for a VPN service to be based. This is because Germany is part of the 14 Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance. Plus, Germany falls under the data retention laws in the EU. The no-logging policy goes a long way to lower concerns, though, so it is nowhere near as bad as it could be. 

Essentially, this means that by law Avira will comply with any data requests the public authorities put in. However, as Avira does not store any information that is personally-identifiable, they’re not going to be able to handle this over.

How many servers does Avira have?

At the moment, the server network is rather small at Avira. There are 37 countries covered by the product at present. One element that was frustrating is that I was not able to determine how many IP addresses or individual servers the company maintains. I tried to find out, but the guys at Avira were keeping their lips sealed. This is rather irritating, as I would always like to know this information before committing to a VPN.

Out of the 37 locations covered, 24 are in Europe. There are no servers in Africa and one service in South America, which is located in Chile. In Asia, there are four servers, which can be found in Singapore, Japan, India, and Hong Kong. In the United States, 12 cities are covered. Finally, in Australia, there are servers in Sydney and Melbourne.

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Speeds

The speeds are a bit hit-miss when it comes to Avira. On one hand, the speeds within the same country are pretty impressive, and I have definitely noticed some improvements here since the VPN was first launched. 

At the same time, there is still work that needs to be done over long distances. 

One element that I was impressed with was the low latency. This means that Avira could definitely be a viable option if you are looking for a VPN for gaming purposes. 

One thing I must point out is that Avira is not the most reliable VPN in the world. I have noticed some fluctuations while using the platform. For better reliability, consider NordVPN.

Security

One thing that Avira advertises extensively is that it is extra secure. This is the main thing I would expect from a brand that is already known for its antivirus. 

I am pleased with the security offering Avira brings to the table. You can be sure that you will be safe online. Yet, I would have expected a few more advanced features.

OpenVPN is used to run all of the custom VPN apps on the Avira platform. The cipher AES-256 is used to encrypt all of the data as well.

One feature that I was happy to see on the list was a kill switch. If your connection drops out, you can be sure that your IP address will not be exposed. 

You will also be protected against DNS leaks as well, as Avira operates its own DNS servers, as opposed to renting them from third party businesses. 

If you want a VPN that really puts security first, offering a wide range of configurable settings, I would recommend taking a look at my review on TorGuard. 

Does Avira collect logs?

When it comes to Avira’s logging policy, I was happy with what I read. While Avira does log some data, it only logs the bare minimum. The information that is collected by Avira includes the amount of time the person is online, the total bandwidth consumed, and whether the account is premium or free. 

With this minimal data, there is no way that Avira is going to be able to track any activity online back to you. They don’t monitor or log the VPN server you connect to, your IP address, or your browsing activity.

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Ease of use

Avira is very easy-to-use. The app is clear and everything works how you would expect it to! Of course, I do think a lot of this is down to the fact that there are not many advanced features, so it is a bit of a trade-off!

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Torrenting

Are you searching for a VPN for torrenting purposes? If so, Avira is a decent choice! I do wish there was a bit more information on the Avira website regarding the use of their VPN for torrenting. The company basically states that torrenting is permitted, yet there’s not much else they have said about it. I prefer ExpressVPN for torrenting purposes.

However, there are a lot of features that indicate this is a good choice for torrenting in my opinion. Of course, I am referring to the VPN kill switch, decent same-country speeds, and the minimal logging policy in place. When you take all of these factors into account, it is not hard to see why a lot of people would be keen to use this VPN for torrenting purposes.

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Unblock streaming services

While I have been impressed with the different things that Avira has to offer in some areas, one thing that it is not going to be any good at is unblocking streaming services. If you are looking for fast access to the likes of Netflix or BBC iPlayer, I would recommend looking for a different VPN.

I have not been able to unblock either of these streaming services with Avira as of yet. Plus, there are not any servers that have been optimized for streaming, so it really does not feel like this is an area that Avira is interested in pushing at the moment.

Will this VPN get passed the Great Firewall of China?

It probably does not come as a surprise that you are not going to be able to use this VPN to bypass the Great Firewall of China when you consider that the VPN can’t get past the firewalls in place at the big streaming companies.

As a consequence, you can’t expect Avira to be a wise choice in any high-censorship, so I would not recommend it if you are looking for a VPN in the likes of Iran or Turkey.

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Compatibility

You will get the typical range of custom VPN apps for devices like Android, iOS, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. 

Unlike a lot of the other VPN services out there, Avira is not compatible with any routers. This means that you’re going to need to download the software onto every device, which is a bit annoying, but it’s not the end of the world!

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

One thing that does really set Avira apart is your ability to connect an unlimited number of devices at the same time, which is a big plus when you consider that most VPNs offer five simultaneous connections.

Games consoles and streaming devices

You cannot use this VPN on any streaming devices or games consoles because it is not going to be compatible with any type of router. You could try to download the Android app if you have a Smart Television that uses the Android OS, yet I cannot promise you that this would work.

The other solution would be running the Avira Phantom VPN app on another device and piggybacking the VPN connection off this. For example, you could run it on your smartphone or desktop PC. 

Browser extensions

Until recently, browser extensions were not available with Avira. However, this has recently changed with the introduction of an extension for Google Chrome. 

Unlike a lot of the other proxy extensions that are provided by most VPN companies, this is a genuine VPN extension, which means the same high-level of AES-256 encryption is utilized as the desktop client.

Customer support

The customer support is a bit of a mixed bag. If you are a paying customer, you are going to enjoy personalized customer support, which means you can make the most of 24-hour live chat.

Unfortunately, this is not available if you’re only using a free VPN. Instead, you will need to make do with the email support, yet all my responses via email have been quick, so it is not all doom and gloom!

Avira could do with some more resources and information on its website. The FAQ section is limited and there are not many tutorials, so this is somewhere I hope to see the company improve on in the future.

Pricing

You have the option of going for either a free or paid plan if you decide that Avira is the VPN of choice for you.

What is the difference between the paid plan and the free plan? Well, with the paid plan you are going to be able to make the most of unlimited data on an unlimited number of devices. 

You will also get access to the best features, including concealing your activity on P2P encryptions and bank-grade encryption.

When going down the paid route, you have three options. You can choose the mobile plan, which is an in-app purchase, costing £3.99 per month. 

You then have the option of going for one of the multi-device plans, which can either be paid monthly or yearly. If you go for a monthly plan, it is going to set you back £7 per month. If you opt for the annual plan, you can save £32 over the course of the year, as it will set you back £52 for the 12 months. However, the catch here is that you are going to need to pay for the VPN upfront, i.e. you will be billed annually.

I was pleased to see that there is a 30-day money-back guarantee available. So, if you are not happy with this VPN, you will be able to get your money back within the first 30 days. 

Summary

So there you have it: an insight into Avira and the different things you can expect if you decide to go with this service. 

There are some great points about this VPN, including the good local speeds, minimal logs policy, and torrenting being available. At the same time, there are some clear areas where this VPN needs to improve, especially in the streaming department.

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