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AVG Secure VPN Review

Rebecca Duff
By Rebecca DuffUpdated
Our Score6.2
User Rating
 40% 
(1 User Review)

Beginners VPN with basic levels of privacy. Slow speeds, 30-day logs & bad customer support.

What we like
  • Peak (local) download speeds: 50Mbps
  • User-friendly apps for VPN newbies
  • Works with Netflix
  • Optimized servers for streaming & P2P
  • Servers in 36 countries worldwide

AVG Secure VPN is marketed as an internet tool to keep you safe on public WiFi, and that’s what it does. Speeds are rather slow, but AVG Secure is super easy to use, and works with Netflix most of the time.

AVG VPN’s custom apps are only available for major platforms and operating systems, and they lack many configurable settings. There are no manual workarounds to install AVG VPN on your home router, either.

AVG VPN provides strong encryption but no advanced privacy features – there’s not even a VPN kill switch. AVG VPN’s logging policy is also one of the more intrusive ones we’ve seen.

Customer support is only for paying customers, and it is well below the standard we expect. There is no live chat and our emails went unanswered.

If you want basic security provided by a well-known brand, AVG VPN might be for you, however there are much better VPN services available.

Pricing & Deals

AVG offers different pricing plans to make your choice easier: you can choose from a 12-month plan through to a 3-year subscription. All the plans include the same product features but the longer subscription, the smaller the monthly cost.

Surprisingly, there isn’t an option to get a month-by-month plan, unlike the vast majority of VPN services.

The price for a single year is the most expensive, coming in at $6.66 a month. You can reduce the cost to $6.11 a month on the 3-year plan.

AVG Secure VPN Coupon

AVG Secure VPN

Get 8% off AVG Secure VPN's 3-year plan

  • Tested

AVG Secure VPN Pricing & Deals

Best Value Deal
3 Years
US$6.11/mo
Save 8%
Billed $219.99 every 3 years
2 Years
US$6.24/mo
Save 6%
Billed $149.99 every 2 years
12 Months
US$6.66/mo
Billed $79.99 every 12 months
Get AVG Secure VPN30-day money-back guarantee

AVG VPN is available on a seven-day free trial, and a 30-day money-back guarantee policy is also in place. No personal information is required for the free trial: simply download the VPN to your chosen device and you’re good to go. You can only use the VPN on one device during the trial, though.

When your seven days are up, you simply won’t be able to use the VPN service anymore.

AVG’s money-back guarantee allows you to request a refund for any reason within the first 30 days of your subscription, but is subject to a 10GB data restriction: if you’ve used more than that amount of data, you won’t be eligible to get your money back.

Also you won’t get your money back if you’ve connected to the VPN service more than 100 times in total. This is harsh in comparison to the ‘no questions asked’ refund guarantees offered by top VPN providers.

If you do qualify for a refund, simply contact the AVG support team – iOS users will have to go direct to the App Store.

Payment & Refund Options

It’s only possible to purchase AVG Secure VPN using a credit card or PayPal. This limitation puts it well behind its competitors in terms of variety of payment methods.

We’d love to see the option to pay with cryptocurrencies, as well as a international options like AliPay or WorldPay.

Speed & Reliability

AVG Secure VPN has gotten quicker recently, with satisfactory local speeds and impressive consistency over longer-distance connections too.

AVG’s local download speeds aren’t lightning fast but at 45-50Mbps they’ll be quick enough for HD streaming and speedy file downloads.

Connecting out to the US from Europe you can expect speeds of around 39Mbps, which is impressive. Connecting as far out as Australia clocks in at 30Mbps, which almost matches speeds offered by top-level competitors.

Uploads weren’t as consistent as downloads, ranging from 10-45Mbps locally. While there are servers optimized for torrenting, unreliable upload performance will put off P2P users.

Latency was unacceptably high, even on same-city connections, with London coming in at 16ms. This means that keen gamers will probably want to look elsewhere, especially considering the fact that some of our top-tier providers offer ping of as low as 1-2ms for a similar monthly cost.

To find out about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.

Features

Server Locations

Globe with a blue flag36Countries
Image of a city landscape55Cities
Image of a pink marker55+IP Addresses

AVG Secure VPN’s server network is below-average in size, covering just 36 countries. Unfortunately AVG’s website does not list its server network, making it difficult to quickly check whether or not the country you need is available.

AVG does not disclose how many VPN servers (or IP addresses) it provides, but we are fairly sure that it’s not a high number and this leads to congested server traffic and slow connection speeds.

AVG’s server coverage is best in North America and Europe. It gives a choice of 15 different cities across the US, which puts AVG up there with some of the best VPN providers for the US. There are also city-level servers in a few other countries, including Germany, Russia, Spain, and the UK.

There are eight countries to choose from in the Asia Pacific region, from Australia and New Zealand to Malaysia and Taiwan, and unusually a server in mainland China.

South America is limited to just Brazil and Venezuela, and users in Africa will be disappointed as only South Africa is available.

Those needing a VPN service with a wider server network can take a look at HideMyAss! which covers over 190 countries and is also owned by AVG, so if you trust AVG then you may want to use HideMyAss!.

Platforms & Devices

Apps

Windows LogoWindows
Mac LogoMac
iOS LogoiOS
Android LogoAndroid

AVG offers custom VPN apps for Microsoft Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices and you can use the VPN on up to five devices simultaneously.

Unfortunately there are no manual workarounds for other devices and platforms, such as Fire TV Stick or Linux, so if you need to use a VPN on anything outside of the four main platforms, AVG VPN isn’t the right VPN provider for you.

It’s also not possible to set up AVG VPN on your home router, nor can you buy routers with the software pre-installed, so there’s no way of protecting all of your devices without having to purchase and install the VPN apps onto each one.

Browser Extensions

AVG doesn’t provide VPN browser extensions for Google Chrome, Safari or Mozilla Firefox users. If you want to use a VPN extension when web browsing, take a look at our best VPN extensions recommendations for Chrome and Firefox.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

AVG Secure VPN is incompatible with games consoles or streaming devices, as it can’t be installed on your router and it doesn’t have any custom VPN apps outside of Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.

You will need to use another VPN service if you want to use a VPN for Apple TV or Android TV, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, Chromecast and many more.

AVG’s primary focus has always been antivirus, so it’s not surprising that they do not provide VPN solutions for gamers and streamers. You won’t find any setup guides for these devices on the AVG website.

If you want to use a VPN on your games consoles or streaming devices, there are plenty of VPN services that will work very well, such as ExpressVPN or IPVanish.

Streaming & Torrenting

AVG Secure VPN is a decent VPN for streaming, with servers optimized for streaming BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

While we found the VPN to work with Netflix during our latest test, access to the service has been unreliable in the past. One customer support agent replied to an AVG customer’s query about Netflix not working (several months ago) on the Support Community forum saying: “This is an issue on provider’s side and we cannot influence it.”

We have found the AVG Secure VPN to work reliably with BBC iPlayer through the ‘Wonderland’ UK server, though.

Servers optimized for P2P activity worked, but we can’t recommend AVG VPN for torrenting due to its excessive logging policy and slow speeds: the slow speeds are far from ideal for downloading larger files. There are far more reliable options out there if torrenting is your priority, such as NordVPN and CyberGhost.

Encryption & Security

AVG Secure VPN is decent for protecting you on public WiFi networks, but we can’t recommend it to anybody with stringent privacy needs.

The AVG VPN apps use the OpenVPN protocol, which provides the best balance between security and speed. AVG doesn’t tell you that they use OpenVPN though (we had to contact their support team to find out). Encryption is via the strong AES-256 cipher.

AVG VPN does not come with any advanced features unfortunately, not even a VPN kill switch which means that if your VPN connection drops for any reason, your true IP address will be exposed.

We didn’t experience any DNS or IP leaks during our tests, thankfully.

While AVG’s VPN apps will do a good job of keeping you safe when using free WiFi hotspots, they just don’t provide the level of protection we see with the best VPN services.

Protocol
  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
Encryption
  • AES-256
Security
    Advanced features

      Bypassing Censorship

      Forget about using AVG VPN in China, UAE, Turkey or any other high-censorship country, as it just won’t work. This is because the VPN app only uses OpenVPN, which is very easy for censors to detect and block.

      AVG are the first ones to admit that their VPN “is completely blocked in China” and will not work for anyone.

      In order to bypass the Great Firewall and access restricted web content, you’ll need a VPN service with ‘stealth’ protocols to beat China’s aggressive web filters. ExpressVPN, Astrill and VyprVPN are VPN providers that work best in censored nations.

      Privacy

      Logging Policy

      AVG’s Privacy Policy is extremely long and rather complicated. It took us ages to find relevant information for users of their VPN service. Once we knew where we needed to look, the VPN section is fairly simple in comparison to the rest.

      Information it collects includes:

      • A time stamp when you connect to and disconnect from the VPN
      • The total amount of data transmitted during your session
      • The subnet of your originating IP address (this is just a part of your IP address and can be used to identify your ISP, but not you personally)
      • The IP address of the individual VPN server used by you

      This is an unnecessary amount of data to collect for troubleshooting purposes, and all of this is stored on AVG’s servers for up to 30 days, or even longer if they suspect you of breaching the Acceptable Use Policy.

      At least AVG doesn’t monitor any of the websites you visit when using their VPN. Regardless, this is one of the more intrusive logging policies we’ve seen, and should put off users seeking the highest levels of privacy.

      Jurisdiction

      AVG Secure VPN is owned by Avast, which has its headquarters in the Czech Republic. This is a bit of a red flag for privacy, as it makes them subject to intrusive EU data retention laws and intelligence-sharing agreements with other countries.

      AVG’s jurisdiction is a problem because of its detailed logging policy, which means it keeps VPN connection details of each of their users for a minimum of 30 days.

      In its Privacy Policy, AVG even states that it will disclose your personal data to “unrelated third parties” in a few different circumstances, the main ones being:

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

      This is definitely not something you want to hear from your VPN provider, even if it doesn’t log your true IP address in full. This attitude towards customer data and consumer privacy is not good.

      Ease of Use

      AVG’s VPN desktop apps are well-laid out and very user-friendly, but way too basic. The main screen is extremely stripped back and only displays your chosen VPN server location and an on/off toggle that lights up in green to let you know you’re connected.

      We expect to see more connection information, such as your new IP address or maybe even some basic speed stats. The interface is also unnecessarily large, taking up a large portion of the screen.

      You can access the VPN server list by clicking the ‘change location’ button in the center of the app, and this opens in a separate window. We really like the way this list is organized by continent, saving you from scrolling through the entire server list.

      There are even specific tabs for servers optimized for streaming or torrenting. There’s no way of saving your favorite servers though to easily access them at a later date.

      AVG’s VPN software really falls down when it comes to configurable settings – there are none, in fact. Clicking on the cog in the top right-hand corner will take you to the general settings list, to turn on WiFi security and to allow the VPN to automatically connect on startup.

      Getting Started

      Installing AVG Secure VPN is simple and doesn’t require much work on your part. Once you’ve signed up to AVG VPN, you’ll receive a confirmation email with all the details you need – this includes a helpful link to download the VPN without having to visit the website.

      After you’ve chosen your setup language, the installation wizard will guide you through the setup process; it’s mostly just a case of clicking the ‘next’ button.

      Annoyingly, in order to complete the VPN setup you’ll have to restart your device, so make sure you’ve saved everything important before you do so. Once you’ve restarted your device, simply log in with your email and password and you’re good to go.

      • Installing software
      • How to use the app

      Customer Support

      AVG’s customer support is below-par from what we’d expect from a well-established security company. The support section of the website is awfully laid out and it took us a long time to find the relevant resources, since there’s no dedicated section about its VPN service.

      When we found information on AVG’s VPN app it was limited to just basic FAQs and links to the community forum, which is mostly user-generated with little input from AVG’s support team. This information should be enough to solve most straightforward questions and minor troubleshooting queries, but for anything more complex you’ll have to contact AVG support.

      Live chat is not available, and there is no contact email address. The only way to get in touch with a support agent is via a support request form on the website. You’ll only get a response from a human being if you have a paid AVG VPN subscription, otherwise you’ll just be redirected to the FAQs.

      We sent a few questions using the support request form but we never received a response, so don’t expect to have any problems resolved within a matter of minutes like you would with top VPN providers.

      Overall we had a very disappointing experience with AVG VPN’s support that needs a lot of improvement.

      The Bottom Line

      What we like
      • Quick local download speeds: up to 50Mbps
      • User-friendly apps for VPN beginners
      • Currently working with Netfix
      • Optimized servers for torrenting/P2P
      • Servers in 36 countries worldwide
      What we like less
      • Terrible customer support
      • Keeps VPN connection logs
      • No VPN kill switch & other security features
      • Very few individual servers

      AVG Secure VPN is okay at protecting you on public WiFi, but we can’t recommend it for much more than that.

      Torrenting and P2P is permitted on a few AVG servers, but slow speeds and its intrusive logging policy don’t make it a good choice for torrenters. AVG VPN is an okay choice for streaming as it is currently working with BBC iPlayer and Netflix, but access is unreliable at best.

      AVG VPN provides robust encryption and it uses OpenVPN, but the lack of advanced privacy features is disappointing. There’s no kill switch and the logging policy is pretty intrusive. Also, AVG VPN apps won’t work in high-censorship countries such as China.

      The VPN apps are well designed and user-friendly, but they are very simple with no advanced settings. Customer support is bad – there’s no live chat, we never received replies to our emails, and the resources on their website are very badly organized.

      AVG VPN could be an ok option for a first-time VPN user, however if you really value your privacy this isn’t the VPN service for you.


      AVG Secure VPN User Reviews

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      2 out of 5 stars

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      1.  40% 

        Caused harm to my business

        No matter what you do, someone may see your location as Czech Republic, because that's where AVG is based. If I had known that, I would have chosen an American company. I am a healthcare provider and an insurance company kept thinking I was accessing their website from the Czech Rep. So they suspended my account two weeks while investigating. Emails back and forth to AVG led to the conclusion (paraphrasing here) "that's just the way it works, sorry!" Had to cancel and uninstall from computer. Very disappointed.

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