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Avira Phantom Free VPN Review

 Rated 0 out of 5 
No user reviews
Screenshot of the Avira Phantom Free App
Simon Migliano

Simon Migliano 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 and more.

Additional Testing by David Hughes

Our Verdict

How is this calculated?

We calculate the VPN service’s Overall Rating by combining the ratings of several testing categories. Each category is weighted as follows:

  • Privacy & Logging Policy: 20%
  • Speed: 20%
  • Security & Technical Features: 15%
  • Streaming: 15%
  • Ease of Use: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Server Locations: 5%
  • Bypassing Web Censorship: 5%
  • Customer Support: 5%

Learn more by reading our VPN testing and review methodology.

Avira’s free VPN is a disappointing VPN service. It's a simple VPN that uses OpenVPN protocol and can access US Netflix on mobile, but it stores user logs and monthly data is limited to just 500MB (or 1GB if you create an Avira account).

Ranked #49 out of 55 VPNs

Avira Phantom Free VPN Category Ratings

  • 44.0/10
  • 44.0/10
  • 0.10.1/10
  • 4.34.3/10
  • 7.17.1/10
  • 2.82.8/10
  • 7.27.2/10
  • 66.0/10
  • 1.71.7/10

Avira Phantom Free VPN Pros & Cons

  • No payment info required on signup
  • Minimal logging policy
  • First-party DNS servers
  • User-friendly custom apps
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections

  • Maximum 1GB monthly data cap
  • Desktop limited to one server choice
  • No VPN kill switch
  • No native Fire Stick app
  • No live support for free users
  • Slow speeds

Why Trust Our Review?

We’ve spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing 55 VPN services using our impartial review process to recommend you the best VPN software.

Here are some of our key VPN testing statistics:

Total Hours of Testing30,000+
Weekly Speed Tests3,000+
VPN Services Reviewed55
Streaming Platforms Tested Daily12
IP & DNS Leak Tests Performed9,500+
How Much We've Spent On Testing$25,000+

Avira’s free VPN service promises to turn you into an “online phantom,” but is this really possible when you’re not paying a dime for it?

Many free VPNs can actually put your privacy at risk, so we had to put the free version of Avira Phantom VPN to the test. In this review, you’ll find out all there is to know about this VPN including: how safe it is, if it keeps logs and if it works with Netflix.

Don’t forget, Avira also operates a better-performing paid VPN service. You can read our review of Avira Phantom VPN Pro here.

Before fully diving into this Avira free VPN review, here’s a summary of this VPN’s benefits and drawbacks.

Avira Phantom Free VPN Key Data

Data CapDownload SpeedLogging PolicyData LeaksJurisdictionServersIP AddressesCountries With ServersUS NetflixTorrentingSimultaneous ConnectionsWorks In ChinaSupportCheapest PriceOfficial Website
Unlimited500MB / 1GB
No Identifying DataNo Identifying Data
Germany (14 Eyes Member)Germany (14 Eyes Member)
24/7 Live ChatOnline Resources Only
$6.50/mo over 12 monthsFree

Privacy & Logging Policy

Who is Avira Phantom Free VPN?

How is this calculated?

We analyze and dissect the VPN service’s logging and privacy policy. A VPN should never log and store:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

Headquarters outside of 14 Eyes or EU jurisdictions are also preferable.

Avira Phantom Free logs your IP address and is based in privacy-unfriendly Germany. We don't recommend it if you want to protect your privacy.

Ranked #45 out of 55 VPNs for Privacy & Logging Policy

We examined Avira VPN’s logging policy in detail. Here is what it logs:

Data TypeLogged by Avira Phantom Free VPN
Browsing ActivityNo
Device InformationYes
DNS QueriesNo
Individual Bandwidth UsageYes
Individual Connection TimestampsNo
Number of Simultaneous ConnectionsNo
Originating IP AddressYes
Account InformationNo
VPN Server IPNo
VPN Server LocationNo
Date of Last ConnectionNo

As you can see, Avira VPN logs sensitive data, including your original IP address. This is the one thing a VPN should definitely not log.

It also stores aggregated data on your bandwidth usage and information about your device.

This isn’t good enough and we recommend that you don’t use Avira Free if you want to protect your privacy.

Is Avira Trustworthy?

Avira launched Avira Phantom VPN in 2016, but the company itself has been around since 2006.

Even before then, Avira’s antivirus software was developed back in 1986 by its predecessor, H+BEDV Datentechnik GmbH, so the company has been around for a long time.

Avira currently has its headquarters “by the shores of Lake Constance” in Tettnang, Germany, but it also has offices in China, the Netherlands, Romania, and the US.

We advise steering clear of VPN services based in Germany. It’s part of the 14 Eyes data-sharing alliance, and is also subject to EU data retention laws.


Disappointing Speeds

How is this calculated?

We calculate the VPN’s speed rating using our download speeds, upload speeds, and ping (latency) measurements.

We regularly test the VPN’s local and international speeds using a dedicated 100Mbps internet connection in New York, USA.

Avira Phantom Free will slow your internet down by at least 47%. On long-distance connections, your speed loss can reach up to 98%. These are poor results, especially when compared to most other VPNs.

Ranked #42 out of 55 VPNs for Speed

We tested Avira’s free VPN on our 100Mbps baseline internet to see how it affected our speeds. Here are the results in full:

As the data shows, Avira Phantom Free is slow, especially compared to most other VPNs.

A speed percentage loss of 47% on local New York connections is considerable, more than we’d expect from a quality VPN.

Connecting into Canada we picked up hugely reduced speeds of 20Mbps. and in Australia 2Mbps. There are much faster free VPNs available, like Windscribe Free.

Server Locations

Lots of server available on mobile but not on desktop

How is this calculated?

The key factor for calculating this rating is the global spread and coverage of the VPN’s server network.

We also consider the total number of servers, the number of city-level servers, and the number of IP addresses available.

For a free VPN service, Avira offers a huge number of locations to connect to - as many as on it's paid premium service. But this is for mobile users only. Desktop users are restricted to the nearest server only.

Ranked #36 out of 55 VPNs for Server Locations

Globe with a blue flag
33 Countries
Image of a city landscape
47 Cities
Image of a pink marker
47+ IP Addresses

Avira used to offer as many locations on its free version as it did on its paid version, before removing choice of servers for free users altogether.

However, our recent testing has found that Avira has reverted that decision on mobile. Free iOS and Android users once again have access to the full array of Avira servers – that’s a choice of 33 countries and 47 cities.

While there are premium VPNs which offer a far greater number, this is a terrific choice for a free VPN.

For Windows or macOS users, though, you can only connect to the nearest server.


Poor choice for streaming

How is this calculated?

This rating is calculated by how many different streaming services and regional content libraries the VPN can unblock, and how consistently it can access them.

We test access to Netflix, Disney+, Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more platforms on a weekly basis.

Avira Phantom Free isn't a great VPN for streaming. We were able to access US netflix on mobile, but not desktop. No other streaming services worked.

Ranked #32 out of 55 VPNs for Streaming

The free version of Avira Phantom isn’t brilliant for streaming, however we were able to access US Netflix and the UK’s All4.

We consider that to be the most important streaming library. That does appear to be the limit of its abilities, though, as it wouldn’t work with the Germany, Japan, or France libraries.

This only works on mobile, though, as on Windows and macOS it isn’t possible to select the US server.


Limited data for fast torrenting

How is this calculated?

This rating is determined by the VPN’s torrenting speeds, the percentage of servers that allow P2P file sharing, the service’s privacy and trustworthiness, and useful settings like port forwarding.

For speed specifically, we calculate the VPN’s average download bitrate using our bespoke torrenting setup.

If it weren't for Avira Free's strict data cap it would be a good free option for torrenting, but that data cap makes it hard to download more than one or two files a month.

Ranked #39 out of 55 VPNs for Torrenting

There are no clear rules on torrenting with Avira Free, and there’s actually no mention of it on the website.

When we tried using the VPN to torrent, though, it worked really well. It only narrowly misses out on being one of our best free VPNs for torrenting.

Avira Phantom Free Torrenting Test

We tested Avira Phantom on qBittorrent

The main drawback is the 500MB / 1GB data cap, which is only enough to download one or two files a month.

There’s also no kill switch though, meaning there’s a risk your IP address could be exposed during use.

Bypassing Web Censorship

Not a good VPN service for China

How is this calculated?

We routinely test if the VPN can bypass strict internet restrictions in China using our remote-access server in Shanghai.

Other important factors we consider include obfuscation technologies and the availability of servers in neighboring countries (for faster connections).

Neither the free nor premium Avira Phantom apps work in China, or other heavily censored regions.

Ranked #41 out of 55 VPNs for Bypassing Web Censorship

The free version of Avira Phantom is not a good VPN service for users in China, and it looks like that has unfortunately been the case for quite some time now.

One user took to Avira’s customer forums to let others know that they’d tested Avira Phantom with various ISPs such as China Mobile and China Unicom, and the VPN wouldn’t work while connected to any of them.

Screenshot of a user comment on Avira's community forum

This is most likely due to the fact that Avira uses OpenVPN, which is very easily detected and blocked by government censors, and it has no additional obfuscation tools to hide your VPN connection in any way.

Take a look at our Best VPN Services for China for a comprehensive overview if you’re planning on connecting out from that country.

Security & Technical Features

Offers a basic level of security with no kill switch

How is this calculated?

A secure VPN must offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a working kill switch.

To calculate this rating, we also factor in additional security settings and features.

Avira does enough to ensure your online safety while you’re connected. It uses top-class encryption (AES-256) and the most secure VPN protocol (OpenVPN), but there are no advanced settings at all.

Ranked #26 out of 55 VPNs for Security & Technical Features

ProtocolsAvailable in Avira Phantom Free VPN
EncryptionAvailable in Avira Phantom Free VPN
SecurityAvailable in Avira Phantom Free VPN
DNS Leak BlockingYes
First-party DNSYes
IPv6 Leak BlockingNo
Supports TCP Port 443No
VPN Kill SwitchNo
WebRTC Leak BlockingNo
Advanced FeaturesAvailable in Avira Phantom Free VPN
Ad BlockerNo
Dedicated IPNo
Double VPNNo
Smart DNSNo
Static IPNo
Split TunnelingNo
Tor over VPN ServerNo
Tracker BlockerNo

As a bare minimum we’d expect to see a VPN kill switch, but Avira Phantom Free doesn’t even provide one of these. This means that if the VPN connection were to drop without you noticing, your true physical location could be exposed.

One very good feature of Avira Phantom Free is that it operates its own VPN servers, and there’s also built-in protection against DNS leaks, which we found to be 100% effective in our latest tests.

Screenshot of Avira Phantom Free's IP leak test results

The results we saw while connected to Avira Phantom’s free UK server

If you’re looking for loads of configurable settings to fiddle with, Avira Phantom isn’t for you, but it does a decent job at protecting you online – we really would insist on seeing a kill switch in the future, though. iOS users should also note that the iPhone and iPad app uses IKEv2 rather than OpenVPN.

Device & OS Compatibility

Works with most devices but not routers

How is this rated?

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

Our ‘Device & OS Compatibility’ assessment contributes to the Ease of Use rating.

Avira’s free VPN has a native app for the four major platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS and Android), but not routers.


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

There are free Avira Phantom VPN apps for most popular devices, including:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • macOS
  • iOS
  • Android

Sadly, it isn’t possible to install Avira Phantom at router level, so you the only way to use it is to individually download and install it onto all of the devices you wish to protect.

The good news is that you can use Avira Phantom on as many devices as you want at the same time. Remember, however, that these all use data from the same stingy allowance of just 1GB per month, so be careful.

Browser Extensions

  1. Chrome

Avira Phantom currently provides a free browser extension for Google Chrome users.

It’s really easy to install and add this to your browser, and it works in exactly the same way as the desktop and mobile apps.

Unlike the proxy extensions most VPN services offer, Avira Phantom provides a VPN extension, which encrypts all your browser traffic.

Ease of Use

Simple apps lack advanced features

How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the user-friendliness and intuitiveness of setting up and regularly using the VPN.

We also factor in customization settings, as well as device and OS compatibility (see section above).

Like the paid app, Avira Free is easy to use for basic actions, but totally lacks advanced features or options.

Ranked #42 out of 55 VPNs for Ease of Use

How to Install & Set Up Avira Phantom Free VPN

Avira Phantom’s free VPN apps couldn’t really be any easier to use, regardless of whether you’re on mobile or desktop. Avira’s home screen is limited to an on/off button, your VPN server location, and the amount of data you’ve consumed so far.

You can view Avira Phantom’s full list of VPN server locations by clicking on ‘Nearest location’, but they are all labeled as ‘Pro’ and you won’t be able to connect to them. Clicking the ‘On’ button will connect you to Avira’s closest free VPN server.

Avira’s settings are behind the cog icon in the top right-hand corner. These are very minimal, though, and are pretty much limited to whether or not you consent to sending your diagnostic data to Avira.

Avira Phantom is a great free VPN solution if you’re just looking to click-and-forget, but it’s not a good choice for those who want a ton of configurable settings.

Customer Support

No personalized support for free users

How is this calculated?

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

  • Live chat support
  • Email support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all these support options, and they often vary in quality and response times.

Unfortunately, Avira offers minimal support for free customers. There are some FAQs and video tutorials available, but that's it.

Ranked #48 out of 55 VPNs for Customer Support

Customer SupportAvailable in Avira Phantom Free VPN
24/7 Live Chat SupportNo
24/7 Email SupportNo
Live Chat SupportNo
Email Support via Online FormNo
Tutorial VideosNo
Online ResourcesYes

Avira Phantom’s free users are currently unable to access any personalized customer support. This means users with free VPN accounts can’t email or call Avira support agents unless they upgrade to premium subscriptions, which we unfortunately see all too often from free VPN services.

Screenshot from Avira's website explaining that support isn't available to free users

Avira Free users are only able to access the FAQs and ‘Educational Videos’ on the website – thankfully, these are fairly comprehensive and should cover most problems.

You’re also able to view questions and answers on the user forums, although these aren’t updated very frequently.

The Bottom Line

Avira Free is held back by its data cap

Since Avira Phantom Free is a safe and secure VPN, we can recommend it to users who don’t mind the drawbacks and want a free service, but it just doesn’t compare to premium services.

This VPN is especially good for torrenting, but its data cap really restricts how much you can download.

You also can’t do any streaming with this free service.

User Reviews for Avira Phantom Free VPN

User Reviews are shown in the original language of submission.