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AVG Secure VPN Review

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AVG Secure VPN screenshot
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

Ask Simon about AVG Secure VPN

Our Verdict

6.56.5/10
How is this calculated?

Our overall rating is reached by combining several subcategories. The subcategories are weighted as follows:

  • Logging & Jurisdiction: 30%
  • Speed & Reliability: 25%
  • Security & Features: 20%
  • Streaming: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Ease of Use: 5%
  • Support: 5%

See our full methodology in how we review VPNs.

AVG Secure VPN is a decent VPN choice for streaming or protecting your data on public WiFi networks. It offers good download speeds, but we don’t recommend it to anybody with stringent privacy needs due to its invasive logging policy.

Ranked #35 out of 68

AVG Secure VPN Category Ratings

  • 6.96.9/10
  • 5.45.4/10
  • 6.86.8/10
  • 6.16.1/10
  • 88.0/10
  • 2.52.5/10
  • 6.56.5/10
  • 7.77.7/10
  • 44.0/10
  • 6.56.5/10

AVG Secure VPN Pros & Cons

Pros

  1. Decent speeds
  2. Unblocks US Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  3. VPN kill switch & no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks
  4. Optimized VPN servers for torrenting
  5. User-friendly VPN apps for popular platforms

Cons

  1. Keeps connection logs including timestamps
  2. Very small server network (36 countries)
  3. No configurable options
  4. Doesn’t work in China
  5. Terrible customer support

AVG is one of the biggest antivirus brands in the world, but how good is its VPN service?

Sadly, AVG Secure VPN is not a very good VPN. While its sufficiently secure, it is a privacy unfriendly piece of software, which logs too much user data.

Streaming fans will be happy that the VPN unblocks US Netflix and BBC iPlayer. However, P2P users need to stay away from a service that stores their web activity.

We thoroughly tested AVG Secure VPN to produce a detailed review of this virtual private network, to answer common questions like:

  • Is AVG Secure VPN fast?
  • How safe is AVG Secure VPN?
  • Does AVG VPN allow torrenting?
  • Is AVG Secure VPN worth the money?

AVG Secure VPN Key Data

Data CapUnlimited
Speed76Mbps
Logging PolicyIntrusive Logging
Data LeaksNo
JurisdictionCzech Republic (EU Member)
ServersNot disclosed
IP AddressesNot disclosed
Countries36
US NetflixYes
TorrentingPermitted
Works in ChinaNo
SupportEmail & Online Resources Only
Cheapest Price$3.99/mo over 24 Months
Official WebsiteAvg.com

Intrusive logging policy

Logging Policy & Jurisdiction

6.86.8/10
How is this calculated?

We dissect the logging and privacy policies of every VPN. A VPN should never log:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

A base of operations outside of 14-Eyes or EU jurisdiction is preferable.

AVG VPN logs too much data. The VPN collects a part of your IP address and connection timestamps. This data is aggregated, but it could still be used to identify you from your online activity. There are far safer and more private VPNs than AVG Secure VPN.

AVG’s privacy policy is extremely long, but at least there is a section dedicated to its VPN service. In this section, we discovered exactly what AVG Secure VPN logs.

The information the VPN service collects includes:

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

This is an unnecessary amount of data to collect for troubleshooting purposes. The data 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 states that it does not monitor:

  • Your full originating IP address
  • DNS queries while connected
  • Activity logs: the apps/services/websites you use when connected

Regardless, AVG logs more user data than is necessary. It should put off anyone who wants a high level of online privacy.

Ownership Overview

AVG (including AVG Secure VPN) was acquired by Avast Software s.r.o. in July 2016.

Avast operates its own Avast SecureLine VPN, which we also reviewed, and it also owns HMA VPN (see our updated review).

Avast is headquartered in the Czech Republic, which raises a red flag for privacy. In fact, the company is subject to intrusive EU data retention laws and intelligence-sharing agreements with other countries.

AVG’s jurisdiction is a problem because of its intrusive VPN logging policy. As we mentioned above, the VPN keeps user connection logs 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, such as:

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

Adequate internet speeds

Speed & Reliability

6.16.1/10
How is this calculated?

Speed ratings are calculated using upload speeds, download speeds, and ping (latency).

We test average speeds regularly using a dedicated 100Mbps connection in London, UK. Local download speed is considered the most important factor.

AVG Secure VPN performed poorly in our speed tests. Our download speeds dropped from 100Mbps to 67Mbps when connected to a nearby server, which is particularly disappointing. Our speeds were sometimes faster connecting to servers further away, which suggests the VPN has a reliability problem.

Here are our full local speed test results when we tested AVG Secure VPN:

Local Speed Test results before using AVG Secure VPN:

  • Download Speed: 95Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 98Mbps
  • Ping: 4ms

Local Speed Test results with AVG Secure VPN:

  • Download Speed: 66Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 40Mbps
  • Ping: 17ms

Download speed loss when AVG Secure VPN is running: 31%

AVG Secure VPN is not even close to being as fast as the fastest VPNs but speeds are sufficient for most web activities.

International Speed Test Results

Here are the full results we recorded when connecting to server locations from London, UK with a 100Mbps internet connection:

  • USA:
    • Download: 43Mbps
    • Upload: 13Mbps
  • Netherlands:
    • Download: 76Mbps
    • Upload: 54Mbps
  • Singapore:
    • Download: 23Mbps
    • Upload: 4Mbps
  • Australia:
    • Download: 27Mbps
    • Upload: 4Mbps

Upload speeds were particularly disappointing. Clearly, AVG VPN is not an ideal choice if you regularly upload files or torrent.

On the other hand, AVG Secure VPN’s ping times were acceptable. Low latency is crucial for smoother gaming, but ultimately there are better VPNs for online gaming.

Small VPN server network covering 36 countries

Server Locations

88.0/10
How is this calculated?

The global spread and coverage of the VPN server network is the most important factor here.

We also consider the number of city-level servers, plus how many IP addresses are maintained.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

AVG Secure VPN’s server network isn’t very big, covering just 36 countries. There's a lack of server choice, with no dedicated IP or obfuscated options. The VPN provider also will not disclose how many of its servers are rented and virtually located.

Globe with a blue flag
36Countries
Image of a city landscape
55Cities
Image of a pink marker
Undisclosed number ofIP Addresses

AVG Secure VPN’s server network isn’t very big, covering just 36 countries.

Sadly, AVG’s website doesn’t list its server network, making it difficult to check whether or not the country you need is available before you purchase.

Thankfully, AVG Secure VPN’s servers cover the most popular locations such as the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and many countries in Western Europe.

There are also eight countries available in Asia Pacific, three in South and Central America, two in the Middle East, and one in Africa (South Africa).

AVG Secure VPN app's server locations list

AVG Secure VPN allows users to drill down to city level in six countries:

  • Canada (2)
  • Germany (2)
  • Russia (2)
  • Spain (2)
  • UK (2)
  • US (15)

City-level server choice is great for optimizing speeds and for accessing geo-specific content. AVG Secure VPN’s selection of 15 cities in the US alone is impressive for a server network of this size.

AVG does not disclose how many individual VPN servers (or IP addresses) it provides, nor does it specify whether they are virtual or physical servers.

If you need a wider range of VPN servers, read our Hotspot Shield review, a VPN that serves over 80 countries.

Streams US Netflix and BBC iPlayer

Streaming

6.96.9/10
How is this calculated?

Streaming is rated by the number of different services unlocked, how many regional libraries are viewable, and how consistently the VPN can access them.

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, DAZN, and Amazon Prime Video are all tested on a weekly basis.

AVG Secure VPN has dedicated servers for streaming US Netflix and BBC iPlayer. We found these to be reliable, working each time we tested them. We couldn't watch any other streaming services, though, such as Prime Video or HBO Max.

To our surprise, AVG Secure VPN streams US Netflix and BBC iPlayer on its streaming-optimized servers.

In the past, the VPN service didn’t work reliably with American Netflix. However, our recent tests show that AVG VPN has vastly improved its Netflix accessibility.

Connect to the ‘Gotham City’ server to stream US Netflix, and the ‘Wonderland’ server for BBC iPlayer.

Don't use for torrenting

Torrenting

5.45.4/10
How is this calculated?

We calculate the average download bitrate of every VPN using a bespoke torrenting setup.

Testing also factors in the percentage of servers which permit P2P, plus useful features like port forwarding.

AVG Secure VPN is a bad option for torrenting. In our latest torrenting tests, we recorded a slow bitrate and poor overall performance. The VPN also logs too much information to be trusted with sensitive activity. If you torrent files often, you should use a different VPN.

AVG Secure VPN allows torrenting, and has several servers optimized for P2P traffic. These servers are labeled ‘P2P’ in the server list, and are located in:

  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands
  • The UK
  • The US (Miami, New York, & Seattle)

Despite that, we don’t recommend AVG Secure VPN for torrenting due to its invasive logging policy. The VPN stores way too much user connection data.

There are far more private P2P VPNs available. See what you mean by reading our review of NordVPN or our analysis of IPVanish.

AVG VPN won’t work in China

Bypassing Censorship

2.52.5/10
How is this calculated?

Our remote-access server in Shanghai, China routinely tests if a VPN can beat restrictions and access a free, open internet. Obfuscation technologies and nearby servers are also a contributing factor.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

AVG Secure VPN does not work in China, UAE, Turkey, or any other high-censorship country. The VPN apps don’t come with any obfuscation tools or stealth protocols, making OpenVPN – the only VPN protocol included – very easy for censors to detect and block.

AVG itself openly admits the VPN won’t work in China “due to Chinese government regulation and policies.”

While Chinese web filters block many VPN services, there still are VPNs able to bypass the Great Firewall. See our ExpressVPN review or our Astrill review, the two best anti-censorship VPNs we’ve tested.

Doesn't work on many devices

Platforms & Devices

How is device compatibility rated?

A quality VPN should maintain functional, fully-featured applications and extensions for as many platforms and devices as possible.

This does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Ease of Use rating.

AVG Secure VPN provides custom VPN apps for four popular platforms: Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. Unfortunately, AVG Secure VPN provides no manual workarounds for other devices and platforms, like Linux.

Apps

  1. Windows Logo
    Windows
  2. Mac Logo
    Mac
  3. iOS Logo
    iOS
  4. Android Logo
    Android

AVG Secure VPN is incompatible with games consoles and TV streaming devices. It doesn’t have a Fire TV Stick app, no Smart DNS tool, and you can’t set it up on your home router.

For better streaming and online gaming, we recommend these highly-rated Apple TV VPNs, Fire TV Stick VPNs, and VPNs for gaming.

Lacks browser extensions

AVG Secure VPN doesn’t come with any VPN browser extensions.

To use a VPN directly from your browser, we recommend these top Chrome VPNs and these secure Firefox VPNs.

On the plus side, you can use AVG Secure VPN on up to ten devices simultaneously.

Strong encryption but basic security tools

Security & Features

6.56.5/10
How is this calculated?

Top-rated VPNs offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a functional kill switch. We also consider additional security features and the global spread of VPN servers.

AVG Secure VPN includes the average amount of encryption and security features, but nothing more. It encrypts traffic using AES-256, uses OpenVPN, and comes with a kill switch. However, it uses a less secure protocol on MacOS and it doesn't include any advanced features, like double hop.

Protocols
  1. IKEv2/IPSec
  2. L2TP/IPSec
  3. OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
Encryption
  1. AES-256
Security
  1. VPN Kill Switch
Advanced features
  1. None

AVG Secure VPN uses different VPN protocols for each of its custom apps:

  • Windows and Android – OpenVPN (UDP), our preferred protocol for its balance between privacy and performance.
  • MacOS – L2TP/IPSec, an older protocol but still considered secure.
  • iOS – IKEv2/IPSec, a protocol that’s secure, very fast, and capable of handling network changes efficiently.

You can’t toggle between VPN protocols as they are enabled by default in the apps.

AVG Secure VPN's app settings

All VPN apps use AES-256 encryption, which is widely considered unbreakable.

There aren’t any advanced security features (like multi-hop), but at least AVG VPN has a VPN kill switch on its Windows and MacOS clients.

The kill switch protects your real IP address, if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly. The feature blocks all internet traffic and keeps your true IP address hidden.

No VPN leaks

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

AVG Secure VPN leak test results on browserleaks.com

AVG Secure VPN leak test results on browserleaks.com connected to a US server. We test from the UK.

However, AVG Secure VPN still recommends disabling WebRTC in your browser settings, since the VPN doesn’t offer a feature to disable WebRTC in-app.

Simple custom VPN apps with easy setup

Ease of Use

7.77.7/10
How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the intuitiveness of setup and everyday use.

Device or platform compatibility and customization options are also a factor.

AVG’s VPN desktop apps are simple to download and install. Although the apps are well-laid out and user-friendly, they are far too basic and don't offer enough customization options.

How to Install & Set Up AVG Secure VPN

AVG’s VPN software really falls down when it comes to configurable settings. Bar the recently added VPN kill switch, there are none. Not even split-tunneling, to have specific traffic travel outside of the VPN.

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

The “Optimal Location” is available for those who want to connect to the fastest server, which is likely the one closest to your physical location.

No live chat and unhelpful email responses

Customer Support

44.0/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is based on our assessment of each VPN’s:

  • Email support
  • Live chat support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all of these, and they often vary in quality and response time.

AVG’s customer support is disappointing, and not what we expect from a well-established cybersecurity company. There’s no live chat support, so you'll have to submit a support request form on the website. The online tutorials are below-par, too.

Email support via an online formYes
Online ResourcesYes

AVG’s customer support is disappointing, and not what we expect from a well-established cybersecurity company.

For a start, there’s no live chat support, which all top-tier VPN services provide.

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 received responses to some support queries, after more than 24 hours of waiting, but not to others.

The support section of AVG’s website is poorly laid out and it took us a long time to find relevant resources. That’s because there’s no clearly marked section for AVG Secure VPN.

The FAQ section is basic, but it does include some setup instructions and troubleshooting tips. There are also links to the community forum, with mostly user-generated tips and advice, but little input from AVG’s support team.

Not worth the expensive subscription cost

Price & Value for Money

6.56.5/10
How is this calculated?

Price & Value for Money receives a rating, but is not factored into our Overall Rating. We believe the reader should decide what is or isn’t a reasonable price.

A good rating here isn’t just based on how cheap the VPN is, but for the value it offers overall.

AVG Secure VPN is very expensive for the level of quality it provides. You can choose from three pricing plans, although there is no option to pay for a single month. All subscription lengths include the same product features.

Subscriptions start from a minimum of $4.99 for 12-months, which drops to $3.99 per month on the two-year and three-year plans.

Here are AVG Secure VPN’s pricing options in full:

  1. 12 months

    US$4.99/mo

    Billed $59.88 every 12 months
  2. 2 years

    US$3.99/mo

    Billed $95.76 every 2 years
    Save 20%
  3. 3 years

    US$3.99/mo

    Billed $143.64 every 3 years
    Save 20%

All plans have 30-day money-back guarantee

Simply, there are far cheaper, better, and safer VPN services available for less.

Payment & Refund Options

Credit CardYes
PayPalYes

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

There is no option to pay with cryptocurrencies for greater levels of privacy, nor are there any international options like AliPay or WorldPay.

Seven-day free trial

AVG Secure VPN isn’t free, but you can trial the software for seven days without paying a cent. No personal or payment information is needed for the free trial.

Simply download the VPN on your chosen device and you’re good to go. You can only use the VPN on one device during the free trial, though.

30-day refund guarantee

AVG Secure VPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, but it does come with some restrictions.

You are only eligible for a refund if you’ve used less than 10GB of data during the 30 days, and you’ve not connected to the VPN service more than 100 times in total.

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

AVG Secure VPN is not a good service

The Bottom Line

AVG Secure VPN isn’t a bad VPN, but it’s not a very good one either.

The VPN service streams US Netflix, but it collects too much user data, isn’t particularly fast, and offers no live support.

In short, there are far better VPN services available for the same price, or less.

Alternatives to AVG Secure VPN

Private Internet Access logo

Private Internet Access

8.88.8/10

Looking for super-fast speeds and top-level privacy? Private Internet Access provides both. It unlocks Netflix, too. Read Private Internet Access review

CyberGhost

CyberGhost

9.29.2/10

If it's access to global content you need, CyberGhost is a great choice. With VPN servers in 90 countries, the world's content is at your fingertips. It's safe, secure, and cheap, too! Read CyberGhost review

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio


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