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Avira Phantom

March 2017 - Review, Packages & Deals

Our verdict

“Streamlined and simple app that covers basic VPN needs well”

7.5

RECOMMENDED FOR

  • Privacy
  • Travel
  • Unblocking

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Super simple and easy to use
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Consistenty solid and reliable performance

Works with

  • Google-Gmail
  • Skype
  • Youtube
  • HBO
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat

Top Avira Phantom packages for March 2017

1 Month

$9.99 per month
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 20 server locations
View Package

12 Months

$9.99 $5.20 per monthsave 48%
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 20 server locations
View Package

Free Version

FREE
  • 500MB data cap
  • 1GB data cap if you register
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
View Package

TOP10VPN RATING

Recommended For

  • Privacy

    Killswitch & zero logs plus OpenVPN equals online privacy

  • Travel

    Simple mobile & desktop apps perfect for use on the move

  • Unblocking

    Effective at unblocking websites and beating censorship

Avira Phantom Overview

Phantom VPN is part of leading online security firm Avira’s popular suite of antivirus and security products. Phantom VPN is also available as a standalone product, either in its free data-capped form or full pro version. Now a multinational company, Avira was formed in Germany in 1986 and is best known for its market-leading free antivirus software. Phantom VPN is a typical Avira product in that it is clean and low-key, and gets on with the job in the background. Not only is bandwidth unlimited but a single subscription entitles you to use Avira Phantom VPN on an unlimited number of devices, which is fantastic value for money.

It delivers consistently above-average performance across its servers with more than enough speed for buffer-free HD video streams. The app is unobtrusive, very simple to use and as it’s based on the OpenVPN protocol, very secure and reliable. The choice of 20 server locations may not be the biggest around but most popular destinations are covered and the consistency of performance even over long distances means it’s less important to connect to the nearest server. Avira maintains its own DNS and VPN servers rather than renting them, which can give you extra piece of mind regarding your privacy. A 30-day money-back guarantee from this well-respected and established company means you can subscribe in confidence and make up your own mind about the product.

What we like
  • Simple, nicely-designed, unobtrusive apps on desktop and mobile
  • Consistent speeds and reliable performance
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections - great value
What we like less
  • Missing more advanced privacy settings
  • Blocked by Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Company HQ in Germany, which means it falls under EU DRD

SPEED & PERFORMANCE
7.6

Avira Phantom is a solid performer, delivering some of the most consistent results we’ve seen in its speed tests. While there’s no danger of singeing your eyebrows, the speeds are absolutely good enough for streaming HD video without breaking a sweat. It’s really positive to see such strong results on distant servers as this reduces the negative impact of having a smaller global network.

We wouldn’t recommend it for gaming though as the latency is a little on the high side, although that won’t affect most users. While connection times on mobile are snappy, the desktop app drags its feet a bit in creating a connection.

FeatureAvira PhantomExpressVPNNordVPN
Max download speed 25.82 (BRA)61.14 (UK)46.57 (US)
Max upload speed 29.82 (US)36.64 (FRA)36.14 (US)
Ping time 12ms5ms5ms
Unlimited bandwidth TrueTrueTrue
Average time to connect 11s8s13s
Reliability score 8.59.89.6
Tested and working with Google-Gmail, Skype, Youtube, HBO, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapchatNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Gaming, Torrenting, Facebook, Twitter, Google-Gmail, KodiNetflix, Facebook, BBC iPlayer, Torrenting, Twitter, Google-Gmail, Youtube, Kodi

Speed breakdown

SERVER LOCATIONDownload Speed (Mbps)Upload Speed (Mbps)
Australia12.873.31
Brazil25.826.82
ChinaN/AN/A
France22.5112.87
Germany23.7211.18
Mexico19.492.89
UK23.2210.53
USA22.6629.82

How do we test these VPN speeds?

  • We continuously test the performance of all our featured VPN providers to ensure you have all the latest information you need to choose.
  • We use the Ookla Speedtest tool on our fibre-optic line in central London, via our own paid-for VPN accounts to ensure the fairest results.
  • Our normal download speed is around 40Mbps, upload 18Mbps and ping 3ms and results are from London to the most popular global locations.
  • Our tests are intended to give you an idea of the range of connection speeds. The closer the server and faster your connection, the faster your speeds.

LOCATIONS
6.9

Avira is strangely cagey about the number of servers and IP addresses it has, declining to confirm any details. All we can tell you is that there are 20 locations available, which firmly puts it well behind its rivals in terms of choice.

However, everything about Avira Phantom is aimed at the average user who doesn’t want to wade through a ton of options they will never use. Check the locations as you may well find your needs catered for, in which case who needs 100 other countries?

FeatureAvira PhantomExpressVPNNordVPN
Server locations 2014557
Servers Unconfirmed1,000+790
IP addresses Unconfirmed20,000+2,000
Dynamic server switching FalseFalseTrue

Server locations

Most popular locations

  • USA

  • Austria

  • Australia

  • Brazil

  • Canada

  • Switzerland

  • Czech Republic

  • Germany

  • Spain

  • France

  • Hong Kong

  • Italy

  • Mexico

  • Netherlands

  • Poland

  • Romania

  • Sweden

  • Singapore

  • UK

  • Japan

See all supported locations…

CUSTOMER SUPPORT
7.0

Individual customer support is limited to paying customers only, which means you can’t ask questions or get help while you are considering subscribing or if you are trying out the (data-capped) free plan. Email responses are quick and professional but suffered from what’s clearly company policy to not discuss the details of its server network. They were also padded out with irrelevant (if potentially helpful) general info. We much prefer it when support agents just respond to the issue in hand.

The knowledge base is rather thin, limited to a few simple FAQs but when a product is this simple, there’s a limit to the resources that can be created.

FeatureAvira PhantomExpressVPNNordVPN
Support quality 7.4109.2
Email response time 14hrs 57mins12hrs 19mins46hrs
24/7 support TrueTrueTrue
Live chat FalseTrueTrue
Knowledge base TrueTrueTrue
Video tutorials FalseTrueTrue

EASE OF USE
9.2

What we like
  • Incredibly simple to use
  • Mobile app-style design
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
What we like less
  • No visible connection details
  • No configuration options at all
  • Limited device compatibility

Avira Phantom is a very simple one-button VPN that’s near-identical on mobile and desktop. It looks good but is streamlined almost to a fault. Aside from a killswitch and the option to automatically secure untrusted Wi-Fi networks, there are no meaningful configuration options at all. It lacks any protocol settings or other tools for privacy or unblocking sites.

It may be a design choice to be uncluttered and accessible but we missed any kind of info about our connection, such as the protocol used or our new IP address. If we didn’t know that Phantom was based on OpenVPN, which Avira confirmed to us, we wouldn’t feel very confident of our security. It’s odd that they are not more up front about this positive feature – the only mention of OpenVPN anywhere on the Avira website is buried in the software update release notes.

Avira Phantom allows unlimited simultaneous connections, which is not only fantastic value but great for privacy as they don’t have to monitor this. However limited compatibility means you can only use Phantom on machines running Windows, MacOS, iOS or Android with no manual workarounds for other devices.

Is Avira Phantom compatible with my device?

FeatureAvira PhantomExpressVPNNordVPN
Windows TrueTrueTrue
Mac TrueTrueTrue
Linux FalseTrueManual
iOS TrueTrueTrue
AndroidTrueTrueTrue
Windows Phone FalseManual Manual
Blackberry FalseTrueFalse
Router FalseTrueManual
Kindle FalseTrueFalse
Games consoles FalseManual False

PRIVACY
7.9

Although you wouldn’t know it from the app or the Avira website, Phantom is based on the industry-leading protocol OpenVPN. If you’re going to limit a VPN to a single protocol, that’s the one to choose as it’s fast and secure.

The killswitch is very welcome even if it’s a carrot used to tempt you to upgrade to a paid account. What Avira lacks in additional privacy tools, it makes up for in a privacy-focused approach. Connection metadata is purged after just 30 minutes while Avira also maintains its own DNS servers. This greatly reduces the impact of falling under the jurisdiction of EU data laws.

FeatureAvira PhantomExpressVPNNordVPN
Open VPN (Auto) TrueTrueFalse
Open VPN (UDP/TCP) FalseTrueTrue
PPTP FalseTrueTrue
SSTP FalseTrueTrue
L2TP/IPSec FalseTrueTrue
IKEv2 FalseFalseTrue
Proprietary Protocols FalseTrueFalse
Supports TCP Port 443 FalseTrueFalse
Supports Obfsproxy FalseFalseTrue
Supports Multihop FalseFalseTrue
Supports SSH Tunnel FalseFalseFalse
Supports SSL Tunnel FalseFalseTrue
Permits P2P TrueTrueTrue
Strongest encryption AES-256AES-256AES-256
First party DNS servers TrueTrueTrue
DNS Leak Blocking FalseTrueTrue
Killswitch TrueTrueTrue
Accepts Bitcoin FalseTrueTrue
Accepts Paypal TrueTrueTrue
Anonymous payment method FalseTrueTrue
Activity logging FalseFalseFalse
Connection logging FalseTrueFalse
Tor over VPN server FalseFalseTrue

VALUE FOR MONEY
8.7

What we like
  • Consistently solid and reliable server performance
  • Killswitch is nice feature at this price point
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
What we like less
  • No configuration options, basic or advanced
  • Limited server selection
  • Not working with Netflix or BBC iPlayer

final score
7.5

“Streamlined and simple app that covers basic VPN needs well”

Visit Avira Phantom website