'A popular brand name with some less than popular features.'
At first, AVG Secure VPN seems to have a lot of things going for it: a well-known brand name and an accomplished anti-virus software, so in theory they should provide a decent service at the very least. While there are some positives for AVG, some fundamental flaws make it difficult to recommend.
Price and plans - How much does AVG VPN cost?
AVG Secure VPN has 3 plans available ranging from a 3-year plan to a yearly subscription. They do offer a 30-day money back guarantee as well as a free trial. However, the only ways to pay are either by card or Paypal, whereas other providers such as NordVPN offer alternatives such as Bitcoin as payment methods. It may not seem like much but it’s a small indicator of the service as a whole compared to other industry leaders.
Based in The Czech Republic, AVG Secure is another VPN provider that has it’s headquarters away from the Fourteen Eyes surveillance but The Czech Republic is still in the European Union and must comply with data retention laws. Their logging policy which we’ll come to later is also an issue. It’s also worth noting that AVG was purchased by Avast a few years ago which has a less than stellar history of providing data, the most notable example being an Avast product HideMyAss which gave details to investigators.
Steaming - Does AVG Secure VPN Work with Netflix?
Some providers struggle with unblocking content but AVG Secure VPN is not one of them. After testing servers for over a week in the US and UK for access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer, each time access was granted which is a real positive for the VPN. That said, Netflix and other companies are always looking for ways to ensure this doesn’t happen so what worked today, might not work in the future. For now, you can add AVG Secure to the list of providers that guarantee unblocking of geo-restrictions.
After running a server in Italy, the DNS leak test came back postive and they also did a great job in hiding my IP address.
Logging policy - Does AVG VPN keep logs?
What’s also worrying is the data retention section where they state:
While every VPN provider needs to keep a bare minimum of information, keeping logs and the frankly vague data retention period throws up a whole number of red flags for privacy minded individuals who choose to use a VPN.
Does AVG Secure VPN have an Adblocker?
Although other software in the AVG lineup does include an adblocker such as the AVG Secure Browser and their internet security software, the VPN service does not. Make of that what you will. It’s a shame because it clearly shows that they are more than capable of including this feature into the VPN software but have chosen not to.
After testing a number of servers there were some decent results all round:
Standard internet speed
AVG connection (Glasgow, UK)
AVG connection (Brazil)
AVG connection (Japan)
AVG connection (USA - P2P)
Some great results with the notable exception being Japan which is a world away from this UK based user. Based on this the the performance would be more than enough to manage HD streaming as an example.
Is AVG Secure VPN good for Torrenting?
The good news is although the number of P2P servers is limited to 8 AVG do offer specific and easy to use connections.
The good news continues elsewhere with no bandwidth limits when torrenting via these P2P servers though you are restricted to only using the dedicated servers. However, there are things to note, while the locations have a decent enough spread, at peak times these may easily become overloaded and the performance will more than likely be heavily affected. AVG Secure VPN also doesn’t include any features such as port forwarding to speak of so if torrents are your thing, it likely shouldn’t be the first port of call.
Although AVG Secure do offer a 24/7 live chat it is difficult to find on the website. You need to go through to the sales support section via the contact us page.
I understand why some companies make the live chat option difficult to find but it’s just another small issue that other providers don’t have. The questions that were put to the online team were answered professionally and promptly which is minimum to be expected.
The speeds are okay and it has shown it’s capable of unblocking geo-restrictions but that’s pretty much all there is to speak of for AVG Secure VPN. Low server numbers and a highly questionable privacy / logging policy make this a simple no from me. There are much better providers (read my review for NordVPN here) for roughly the same price so why choose a sub-par product?