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AVG Secure 2022 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying

Author Image Aleksandra Kovacevic
Aleksandra Kovacevic | Cybersecurity Researcher
Updated on 14th December 2021

Can a company riddled with past data selling scandals suddenly become a privacy-first VPN provider?

Firstly, both Avast and AVG Technologies are in the antivirus software industry. Secondly — are AVG and Avast the same thing? If these two brands sounded similar to you, it’s because they belong to the same company. Namely, Avast has been the parent company of AVG Technologies since 2016.

A little background: both were founded in the Czech Republic — in the late 80s, early 90s, and went global. In July 2016, though, Avast acquired its rival AVG Technologies for $1.3 billion.

But the thing that struck me the most is that Avast, an antivirus software used by millions worldwide, had a data leak scandal not so long ago. As it turns out, the firm was selling highly sensitive browsing data.

That made me wonder, how safe is your identity with AVG Secure VPN?

Aside from its apparent lack of privacy and obfuscation tools, its pricing plans are also a little unreasonable. You can only subscribe to yearly plans, which is a bit too committing for me, especially for a VPN lagging far behind others in this category.

Not only that, but I also had a lot of back-and-forth with the support for something you should have by default. I would much rather skip all the hassle and get a VPN that works right away.

To see for myself, I gave AVG Secure VPN a try. I tested every single aspect of AVG Secure VPN: from security and privacy to streaming, speed, support, and set-up.

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

  • I couldn't bypass geo-blocking. Unfortunately, I couldn't unblock Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, or BBC iPlayer. Even its customer support confirmed geo-blocking is too strong for this VPN. Click here to see my streaming results.
  • Not for privacy enthusiasts: invasive logging practices, past data selling scandals, and unstable connections. On the positive side, it does feature a kill switch, and it is located outside the 14 Eyes. Jump to the privacy section.
  • Robust encryption with no IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks detected. 256-AES encryption is more than enough to keep you safe, plus I was happy to see my tests showed no leaks. Find out more about its security here.
  • Sparse server network, featuring only 60 servers, hence the streaming difficulties. Check out my speed test results here.
  • Torrenting was smooth, thanks to its P2P-optimized servers. I didn't have any issues using BitTorrent. Find my tests below.
  • No 24/7 live chat support, but you can get further help via email and remote assistance. I found it disappointing that you can only get in touch with an agent via a support request form on its website. It takes them about 24 hours to respond. Read about my experience with AVG customer support.
  • You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, which is great compared to some other VPNs. Find out more about device connections here.
  • AVG supports Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. No Linux support, though. Also, it is not compatible with Fire OS, so it can’t be installed on Amazon Fire Stick. Click here to see more details on device compatibility.
  • Set-up and installation were relatively easy, but otherwise a lot of work if you need help with anything. Jump to the set-up and installation section.
  • Affordable, but with a catch. The tradeoff is you only have yearly plans. However, there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 7-day free trial (which didn’t technically work for me). Find out more about its pricing plans here.

AVG Secure Features — Updated in January 2022

7.0
💸 Price $3.75/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee 30
📝 Does VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 60
💻 Number of devices per license 10
🛡 Kill switch Yes
🗺 Based in country Czech Republic
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — Didn’t Work for Me at All

During my tests, AVG Secure VPN couldn’t unblock any of the streaming sites. I couldn’t stream Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or Disney+. But based on the info you can find on its website, you get the impression that streaming is a no-brainer for this VPN:

Screenshot of a section from AVG Secure's website that mentions streaming support

Based on the info I found online and on its website, its streaming capabilities should be solid

But even though AVG has special streaming servers, they are not strong enough to bypass geographical restrictions.

I tried all 15 servers in the US (including 4 dedicated streaming servers), and I couldn’t access the Netflix US library content on any of those. Geo-blocking was too strong for AVG’s servers. In case you’re getting a VPN primarily for avoiding geo-filtering, which is a technique used to limit your access to the content online based on your geographic location, I suggest using some other VPNs that excel in this area.

A screenshot of AVG's dedicated servers.

AVG Secure VPN has specialized streaming and torrenting servers

This is its current list of dedicated streaming servers:

  • Germany, Frankfurt
  • UK, Wonderland
  • US, Gotham City
  • US, Miami
  • US, New York
  • US, Seattle

Unblocked: None of the Streaming Sites I Tested

I couldn't unblock any of the streaming sites I tested using AVG Secure VPN. Even its support confirmed this. If you’re on the lookout for a VPN that can help.

Blocked By: Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+

In my experience, all the popular streaming sites, including Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ detect and block AVG Secure VPN.

As a huge fan of Netflix, I was excited to watch Radium Girls from my location in Vienna. After reading tech reviews and finding out that AVG Secure has dedicated streaming servers for unblocking the US and UK Netflix, I decided to try it out.

Even on its website, AVG Secure prides itself on having dedicated streaming servers which “makes streaming a breeze”.

A screenshot of AVG's website page

Getting around content restrictions is not precisely one of AVG Secure's selling points

Much to my disappointment, I couldn't access US exclusives like The Radium Girls, The Borgias, Weeds, and Jericho, even while using the Gotham City server.

A screenshot of the error when I tried streaming content from the US library (Gotham City server)

Even AVG’s special streaming servers wouldn’t let me watch Netflix US

A screenshot of Netflix US library blocked while using AVG Secure VPN (server in Atlanta)

Jericho is another US-only series which means AVG Secure VPN didn’t unblock Netflix US

A screenshot of Netflix US library blocked while using AVG Secure VPN

I tested all of the US servers; none let me watch Netflix US

I also tested Disney+ and couldn’t even log in — all I got was a black screen. As I found out, Disney+ has heavy geo-blocking that detects whenever you’re using a VPN to mask your location, hence the black screen. When I turned the VPN off, the sign-up screen appeared again. A similar situation happened with Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

I reached out to its customer care to see if it could solve the problem. That took quite a bit of my time and did not solve my streaming problem.

A screenshot of an email response from AVG's support

The customer agent offered further assistance in the form of remote control from their tech support team

I had to download the LogMeIn Rescue remote support software so that their support agent can access my computer. When I tried installing the file, though, a dialog window popped up saying: "You don't have permission to open the app. Contact your computer or network administrator for assistance."

A screenshot of permission issue message on Mac Big Sur

I couldn’t run the app because of the problems with permissions on Mac Big Sur

Just a quick tip for solving permission issues on Mac Big Sur: System Preferences > Security and Privacy > General and then click “Open anyway”:

A screenshot of how to solve permission issues on macOS

If you get permission problems, as I did, you need to allow the app installation manually

When I finally got the permission out of the way, I connected to its remote support.

A screenshot of my correspondence with AVG's remote support agent

In my case, it didn’t take them longer than 15 minutes

However, the remote support did not solve my issue. Instead, the support told me that it is normal to be blocked by streaming sites:

A screenshot of my correspondence with AVG's remote support agent

The connection with its remote tech support was breaking all the time even though my connection was stable

After this, AVG sent me an email once again apologizing for the inconvenience and explaining why it couldn’t help me:

A screenshot of my email correspondence with AVG's support agent

AVG support told me it is not up to them but up to the streaming sites

Also, for those of you who enjoy streaming with Firestick devices, AVG Secure VPN has no app support for Firestick streaming devices. For streaming purposes, I definitely recommend a more reliable VPN.

Given that AVG Secure has dedicated streaming servers in the US and the UK, I thought I'd easily access Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.

Instead, this is the welcome message I got while trying to watch Radium Girls from a US server in Jacksonville:

A screenshot of a Netflix error message when I used a server in Jacksonville

Netflix blocked my connection when I used a server in Jacksonville

Same situation as far as BBC iPlayer is concerned — not even the special UK Wonderland server let me stream:

A screenshot of a BBC iPlayer error message when I used the Wonderland streaming server

Not even AVG’s dedicated streaming server Wonderland let me stream on BBC iPlayer

I was disappointed that I couldn’t watch any of the shows on Netflix US, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer. What are these servers good for then anyway? I reached out to their customer support with this complaint.

The customer support suggested running the players in Incognito, which I did, but this didn’t solve my problem. Click here to read more about my back-and-forth with its customer care regarding this issue.

A screenshot of AVG's email response

Streaming in Incognito mode didn’t help me access BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, or Netflix

Next, they suggested reinstalling the app; that, too, didn’t help. In the end, I downloaded LogMeIn Rescue remote support software so that its support agent can access my computer. It took them about 10-15 minutes to tell me that there is nothing they can do about this because this is not due to the VPN performance but rather the streaming site restrictions. But isn’t that what you’d expect from a VPN provider in the first place?

Speeds — At First Terrible, Then Solid

The speeds were slow on my first 7-day free trial. Once I switched to a 60-day free trial, the speeds got a lot better. I used Ookla to measure my speed test results. AVG also offers the possibility of using the OpenVPN protocol, which can improve your speeds in case you need a faster connection.

A screenshot of AVG's FAQ regarding its 7-day trial

You should be able to get the same service

7-Day Free Trial Speed Test

I experienced extremely slow speeds on my 7-day free trial. I connected automatically to the nearest server, which was in Vienna. However, when I tried measuring my speed, I couldn’t perform the test. When I disconnected, though, I could complete the speed test without any issues.

A screenshot of a latency test error

Latency test error I kept receiving while connected to a server in Australia

Much to my surprise, I couldn’t even measure the speed while connected to servers in Europe or Australia. The message said it could be due to a firewall or server issue. Since my firewall was off at the time, it must have been a fault on their part.

Next, I tried connecting to a server in Brussels. This one, too, was slow; every tab froze. No page would open. Even with its optimal server feature turned on — which connects you to the nearest server for best speed — I still couldn’t perform the speed test.

At first, I thought this might have been just a temporary glitch. The next day, I tried again with the Optimal server with no luck (again using an Austrian server); then I connected to a server in Brussels, Amsterdam, and London, and after waiting for a minute or 2 to load, I got the same latency error message:

A screenshot of latency test error while using a server in Brussels

Same error message the next day while using a server in Brussels

I wasn’t even able to measure my speed while connected to any of the servers. I was disappointed with the speeds overall at that point. So, I reached out to its customer support and asked them why my connection was extremely slow:

A screenshot of an email reply from AVG's customer care

But my connection was slow regardless of the server I chose

Support told me this was due to my distance from the server. I’m not sure if this was the case or not. I figured if it were just due to server distance, the speed would have been better on some and worse on other servers. But in my case, it was consistently bad.

60-Day Free Trial Speed Test

I also tested out its 60-day trial, which proved to be much better in terms of speed.

That happened because I decided to do a much-needed disk cleanup and updated my iOS just before finishing the tests, so I deleted the VPN files as well. Because of that, I had to reinstall the AVG VPN app that I downloaded a few days ago as part of the 7-day free trial. But when I wanted to download the app again, I kept getting the error: “AVG Secure VPN is already installed, please uninstall the previous version first” — even though I uninstalled it.

So a helpful tip for Mac users: if something like this happens, locate and delete AVG Secure VPN folder manually by typing /Library/Application Support/ in Finder’s menu bar Go/Go to Folder. After this, you should be able to reinstall AVG Secure VPN.

Once I got that out of the way and reinstalled the app, I noticed I couldn’t subscribe to the 7-day trial anymore, probably because you can only start your free trial once — which makes sense, after all.

I got a slightly different offer this time — even though I was on day 3 of a 7-day free trial.

The offer was to start a 30-day trial (you can cancel any time, apparently), but you need to subscribe to a 1-year plan and add your payment info — either credit card information or PayPal.

So, I got my 60-day trial, and at the same time, I could see if there is any difference. This time, the upload and download speeds were much better. It turns out there’s no such a thing as a good “no payment details attached” free trial, at least when it comes to AVG Secure VPN. However, I think that technically there shouldn’t be any difference — because otherwise how are you supposed to check if it works? I think this is a big issue because you don’t actually get any service preview, as promised.

That felt like a different VPN. Using the Optimal location feature, I automatically connected to a server near me, this time being much faster.

A screenshot of AVG's app window

My optimal location server was the same as my physical location but with a different IP address

My baseline speed in Vienna was:
Download speed: 153.08 Mbps
Upload speed: 15.62 Mbps

A screenshot of my baseline speed test in Vienna

My baseline speed in Vienna

I had consistently solid server speeds on my 60-day trial. Here are the speed results of some of the servers I tested in Europe, North America, and Asia:

Prague, Czech Republic
Download speed: 141.67 Mbps (7.45% decrease)
Upload speed: 13.33 Mbps (14.66% decrease)

A screenshot of a speed test using a server in Prague

Considering the distance, it makes sense the speeds in Prague were the best

Amsterdam, Netherlands P2P
Download speed: 140.04 Mbps (8.51% decrease)
Upload speed: 11.25 Mbps (27.977% decrease)

A screenshot of a speed test using a server in Amsterdam

Excellent speed test result using a server in Amsterdam

Brussels, Belgium
Download speed: 125.70 Mbps (17.88% decrease)
Upload speed: 13.29 Mbps (14.9168% decrease)

A screenshot of a speed test using a server in Brussels

Great speed in Belgium as well

UK, Glasgow
Download speed: 97.66 Mbps (36.20% decrease)
Upload speed: 13.44 Mbps (13.95% decrease)

A screenshot of a speed test using a server in Glasgow

Good speed in Glasgow considering the distance

US, Gotham City (streaming server)
Download speed: 142.06 Mbps (7.19% decrease)
Upload speed: 12.69 Mbps (18.75% decrease)

A screenshot of a speed test using a server in New York

Gotham’s server speed was astonishingly good (too bad it wouldn’t let me stream Netflix US)

Japan, Tokyo
Download speed: 31.21 Mbps (79.61% decrease)
Upload speed: 7.77 Mbps (50.25% decrease)

A screenshot of a speed test using a server in Tokyo

Tokyo’s server speed was significantly slower

Melbourne, Australia
Download speed: 10.94 Mbps (92.85% decrease)
Upload speed: 4.17 Mbps (73.30% decrease)

A screenshot of a speed test using a server in Melbourne

The speed in Melbourne was significantly slower than my baseline speed in Vienna

Singapore, Republic of Singapore
Download speed: 38.43 Mbps (74.89% decrease)
Upload speed: 6.93 Mbps (55.63% decrease)

A screenshot of a speed test using a server in Singapore

Singapore speed was acceptable considering the server distance

I also used servers in Spain (Madrid), and Germany (Berlin), which gave me solid speeds for a smooth browsing experience.

Are AVG Secure VPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? Fast Yes, but Still Not Playable

Depending on the trial I used, my speeds went from zero to solid. But I still couldn’t play League of Legends online.

On my 7-day trial, the speed was terrible, meaning not playable or even downloadable. I tried downloading and playing League of Legends while connected to a server in Montreal, Canada. Installation was straightforward, with a few hiccups here and there. The download speed was terrible, though.

A screenshot of gaming with AVG Secure

Couldn’t even download the game on my 7-day trial version of AVG Secure VPN

Just in case, I wanted to see if there was some scheduled maintenance going on. But everything was as usual at the time, so the speeds must have been slow due to the VPN.

A screenshot of gaming with AVG Secure

Riot game status showed no issues or events to report

Once I switched to the 60-day trial, my download was much faster. Still, for some reason, I couldn’t even enter the game.

Server Network — Sparse, but Solid Speeds for Surfing

AVG VPN has a small and, in my experience, unstable server network.

Because of its sparse server network, which includes 30 countries, it is not so great in comparison to other providers in the same price range.

The thing that bothers me when there are so few servers is that the network tends to get congested which leads to slower downloading, streaming, and torrenting. More servers equal better speeds because there is less congestion, so I see why AVG Secure VPN is not on par with other top-tier VPNs in this respect.

What I also found a little unusual is AVG doesn’t mention the number of its IP addresses. Not only that, but it doesn’t even list its server network, so you can’t check server locations before purchasing. Before I signed up, I also wanted to know whether they’re virtual or physical — but I could not find this info either.

The only thing I did know was that AVG Technologies and Avast are one company and probably share the network because Avast bought AVG in 2016.

A screenshot of Avast's blog announcing Avast and AVG became one company

A screenshot of Avast's blog announcing Avast and AVG became one company

I suppose if you're familiar with the Avast Secure Line server network, you might find this one familiar, too.

A screenshot of AVG's server list

Server locations by regions and purpose

Server Locations

Server locations are divided into 6 geographical regions. Here’s a table of all the available servers, their locations, and types:

Region/Country Servers
Africa 1 in total
South Africa 1
Asia Pacific 8 in total
Australia 2
Japan 1
Malaysia 1
New Zealand 1
Singapore 1
South Korea 1
Taiwan 1
Europe 27 in total
Austria 1
Belgium 1
Czech Republic 1 (P2P)
Denmark 1
Finland 1
France 1
Germany 2 (1 P2P)
Hungary 1
Iceland 1
Ireland 1
Italy 1
Luxemburg 1
Netherlands 1 (P2P)
Norway 1
Poland 1
Portugal 1
Russia 2
Spain 2
Sweden 1
Switzerland 1
Ukraine 1
the UK 3 (1 streaming; 1 P2P)
Middle East 2 in total
Turkey 1
Israel 1
North America 20 in total
Canada 3
Mexico 1
the US 16 (3 both P2P and streaming; 1 streaming)
South America 1
Brasil 1

I mostly used the default feature called Optimal VPN server location, where the VPN chooses the best server based on your location.

AVG Secure also has a network of dedicated streaming and P2P servers which are supposed to optimize your connection for each activity. Sounds great in theory, but when I tested them, they didn't work. If you’re interested in seeing my streaming test results, click here.

Therefore, aside from geolocation, you also have servers divided depending on the activity you need them for:

  • Streaming — 6 in total: 4 in the US (Miami, New York, and Seattle, plus 1 of which is recommended for streaming, called the USA, Gotham City), 1 special streaming server in the UK called the UK, Wonderland, and 1 in Germany
  • P2P traffic — 8 in total: 1 in the Czech Republic, 1 in France, 1 in Germany, 1 in the Netherlands, 1 in the UK, and again 3 in the US (Miami, New York, and Seattle — these 3 are both for streaming and P2P).

I found it super easy to change the server location — simply open AVG Secure VPN and hit the “Change location” button.

Security — Theoretically Solid

I wouldn't recommend AVG VPN if your primary concern is privacy. Theoretically, though, you should be more than secure thanks to the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, which is almost impossible to crack thus making your connection virtually impenetrable.

In case your connection drops — which happened to me with this VPN — to protect yourself you can enable the kill switch feature. This stops your internet connection until your VPN reconnects, preventing your data from leaking.

The kill switch is a relatively new feature of AVG Secure VPN, available for Windows and macOS. I noticed that you have to turn the kill switch on manually; it is not on by default. To do this, go to the Network Security tab and mark “Activate Kill Switch,” and your data is safe even if the connection to a VPN server breaks.

Should you use this VPN with public WiFi to stay on the safe side? I wouldn’t trust it 100%. Public WiFi is one of the most dangerous types of network. So, if you’re not sure, it only makes sense to be cautious.

A screenshot of how to activate the kill switch feature on AVG's app

Activate the kill switch feature to protect yourself from accidental VPN dropouts

If you like customizing your connection depending on what you’re doing, you’ll find a solid choice when it comes to security protocols. AVG VPN uses all 3 major protocols: IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN. To change the protocol, just go to the settings of your VPN app.

There is no WireGuard support. Theoretically, WireGuard could improve your speed in this case because it is a simpler VPN protocol, which means it tends to have fewer bugs and uses less CPU.

But my preferred choice would still be OpenVPN because it adds an extra layer of safety from man-in-the-middle attacks, meaning it can keep you safe even while using public WiFi, which you need if you want to use AVG Secure VPN on a regular basis.

Though, there is no Multihop feature, which many other VPNs have. Multihop passes your data through two or more VPN servers, which increases your security and makes your activity even harder to track. In my opinion, that would be a welcome addition to AVG’s security, especially if remaining protected is high on your priority list.

Also, in the light of the 2019 data harvesting and selling scandal with Avast, I’d be cautious. After all, Avast Antivirus sold data of over 435 million users to Google, Microsoft, etc. You can’t help but wonder, if it happened once, can it happen again? Not something you can brush aside so quickly, in any case.

But as far as DNS leaks go — it passed the test. Based on my DNS leak tests, AVG didn’t leak data or show security issues.

A screenshot of a DNS leak test result while using AVG's server

I detected no leaks while connected to a server in Frankfurt

Just a quick tip, though: when changing locations, make sure you have the kill switch feature on because the connection will break for a few seconds, potentially leaking your data.

Privacy — Not a Top Choice VPN if Privacy Is Your Main Concern

Despite all these features, I wouldn’t recommend this VPN if keeping your data private is your top priority. Intrusive logging practices, past data harvesting scandals, and complex privacy policies with a lot of ‘ifs and buts’.

The events surrounding the company itself don’t instill a lot of trust.

I found AVG Secure VPN has 4 privacy policies on its website:

  1. General Privacy
  2. Products Policy
  3. VPN Policy
  4. Cookies Policy

As for the VPN Policy, the data it collects and processes is supposedly necessary for improving its products and services, as well as for legal purposes. I suspect to make this look a little better now, AVG is trying to be very transparent about how it handles information. It goes into great detail under which circumstances it discloses your data.

You can even find links to the privacy policies of its payment processors:

A screenshot of AVG's payment processors

Links to the privacy policies of its payment processors

As found on its website, the data it processes is mostly used for product functionality, billing, and payment but also for third-party tools, and other purposes.

It is, however, reassuring to find out that your IP address, DNS queries, browsing history as well as email correspondence, and any attached files would still be safe:

A screenshot of AVG's privacy policy

They are quite explicit about the data they hand to others

Even though you should be theoretically super protected, in light of its history of processing personal data, you feel a little unsafe. The fact you’re sharing your information with third-party vendors isn’t something you necessarily want.

As per its privacy policy: it has the obligation and the right to disclose your data to unrelated third parties under certain circumstances.

The right to disclose your info primarily includes legal obligations such as accounting, anti-money laundering, legal orders, sanction checks, or “other obligations”.

I can’t say this is a privacy-friendly VPN, mostly because of its strong logging policy: it logs connection timestamps and a certain amount of data.

In its lengthy privacy policy, a section on VPN services discusses its logging practices and what it means for you. Technically, AVG VPN collects the following information:

  • traces of your original address
  • the IP address of the specific server you used
  • when you connected/disconnected
  • the amount of data collected

Another thing I didn’t like is the fact that AVG VPN keeps connection logs and stores the server’s service data for a certain period. That alone makes me uneasy, not to mention Avast’s data selling scandal in 2019.

My takeaway is: even though it is transparent in how it discloses your personal data, the very fact that it discloses it bothers me.

Torrenting — Solid Torrenting Speeds

Good news: AVG VPN has special P2P servers. Bad news: I still don’t recommend it for torrenting due to its invasive logging policy.

Even though it (supposedly) doesn't log the data that you transfer, it does store connection logs, duration, and bandwidth usage.

A screenshot of AVG VPN's FAQ

AVG stores a lot of data so I would not recommend heavy torrenting

Technically, torrenting is allowed and should be solid, especially since AVG offers dedicated P2P servers that are optimized to give you fast and secure torrenting. It has 8 P2P servers in 6 different countries:

Torrenting — Solid Torrenting Speed

AVG VPN has dedicated P2P servers

My download went smoothly — the speed was excellent. But if you are getting a VPN primarily for torrenting, your privacy might be compromised now and then, depending on your volume and frequency. Just make sure you’re not torrenting when you want to change server location because your connection will be briefly disrupted.

A screenshot of AVG Secure VPN app

Switching to a new server while downloading will interrupt your connection

Does AVG Secure VPN Work in China? No

If this is the main reason you’re getting a VPN — I don’t recommend using AVG. High censorship countries such as China, UAE, and Turkey have extremely restrictive firewalls, and you need a VPN that has obfuscation tools and stealth protocols needed to bypass the block.

Here’s what I found customer support says on their community forum regarding the Chinese restrictions:

A screenshot explaining AVG Secure doesn't work in China

A reply from its support representative on a question whether AVG Secure can work in China

Simultaneous Device Connections — Up to 10 Devices at Once

You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, which is a lot compared to some other VPNs.

It used to be 5, but as of April 2021, you can use it with up to 10 devices, which is a solid change. Unfortunately, those who took out their subscription before can only connect up to 5 devices until it renews.

Subscriptions purchased after April 2021 allow for 10 simultaneous devices instead of previous

Subscriptions purchased after April 2021 allow for 10 simultaneous devices

I managed to connect 5 devices at once, and I noticed a slight difference in speed, but nothing major.

However, I found it disappointing that on a 7-day free trial, you can only use AVG Secure VPN on 1 device. So, if you were hoping to use the trial to test out how it works on your laptop and your tablet or phone, you're out of luck because you can't connect both of them at once to test it.

Device Compatibility — Supports Most Mainstream Devices and OSs

In my experience, it is not the most versatile VPN on the market when it comes to device compatibility. AVG supports Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. No Linux support, though.

Also, if you were hoping to use it with your Firestick device — I have to disappoint you. AVG Secure VPN is not compatible with Fire OS, so it can’t be installed on Amazon Fire Stick.

There is no smart DNS tool either, which means you can’t set it up on your home router. Smart DNS is a great tool that can allow you to use content unblocking features from the VPN using devices that do not have native VPN support, like home routers.

It’s not the best choice for gaming either because it is incompatible with game consoles and TV streaming devices. I have a PS4 and could not play it using this VPN.

Ease of Use

7.8

Set-Up & Installation — Relatively Simple and Fast

I can't complain about the set-up and installation — it was straightforward. You can find the necessary downloads on its homepage. In case you need guidance, there are simple set-up guides in its FAQs.

A screenshot of AVG Secure VPN app

I quickly downloaded and installed AVG free 7-day trial for iOS

What I loved about AVG Secure's initial 7-day trial is that you don’t even need to enter your credit card information to get your trial started:

A screenshot of a 7-day trial offer of AVG Secure VPN

No credit card is required to start your 7-day free trial

Interesting thing though: there are 2 versions of the free trial: the 7-day free trial and a 60-day free trial. The difference is: to sign up for the 7-day trial, you don't need to leave your payment details — you just need to download the app from their website and install it.

AVG won't charge you anything to sign up for the 60-day trial, but you need to leave your credit card or PayPal account info. The good news is — you can cancel any time.

A screenshot of AVG's Secure VPN message once you opt for a 60-day trial

AVG Secure VPN's subscriptions are continuous

Important to remember: you will be charged automatically once the free trial ends, so make sure you cancel your subscription manually unless you want to go ahead and pay for the entire year. With this trial, I could connect multiple devices — up to 10 at a time.

Compare AVG Secure With The Top Alternative VPNs

9.9
9.5
9.3
9.3

Pricing

10.0
3 Years
$3.75 /month
2 Years
$4.15 /month
1 Year
$4.55 /month

The prices are affordable but come with a catch. The monthly price sounds enticing, but its plan is not monthly — only yearly.

When you first see the monthly price, it looks like a great deal, but you have to pay the yearly price upfront. Even though the price is relatively affordable, to commit to a minimum 1-year plan sounds a little too much for me. But then again — it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which I believe helps in this case.

AVG Secure VPN offers only yearly subscriptions

AVG Secure VPN offers only yearly subscriptions

Reliability & Support

7.6

The customer support was responsive but it couldn’t fix my problem. Plus, it usually takes about a day to respond to each email.

Imagine you need help urgently with a security issue of some sort. With no live chat feature and such slow response time, I couldn’t help but wonder — how would you solve the problem? For me, this is a big issue, so I think if you commit to a year-long plan, you need reliable support.

For those ready to come up with more money, you can get AVG Security Premium Tech support as a paid service. I suppose this extra feature can help you get the most out of their system and put your mind at ease regarding security issues.

The difference is that AVG Premium Tech Support helps you with all AVG products and all operating systems at your disposal 24/7 by phone. You have 3 plans available:

  • Simple Fix for basic help, 1-time call for $79
  • Complex Fix for advanced help, $119 per call
  • Total Care for $199 per year, unlimited calls

But even if you have more AVG products, I think paying this much extra for help makes no sense. I’d appreciate it much more if its regular support replied a little faster instead of paying for 24/7 professional tech support, which technically I should have by default.

A screenshot of AVG's Premium Tech Support pricing plan

AVG offers Premium Tech support as a paid service

For common questions, you can also check out its AVG Support Community page, where you can ask questions and share tips and solutions. The page is quite active, and its representatives generally respond — not to every inquiry, though.

Depending on the level of assistance you might need (mine was probably high), you have 3 ways of getting help:

#1 Self-Help

That means finding the solution yourself using one of the online resources provided on its support/FAQs page. While quite comprehensive, I found the online resource pages very unintuitive and not so easy to navigate through.

The page offers links to all sorts of educational or instructional content on its blog. I’d say the resources are helpful only if you need basic help installing and activating your VPN. All resources are categorized based on the OS you’re using.

AVG’s resource page is divided based on the OS you’re using

AVG’s resource page is divided based on the OS you’re using

You can leave a question on its community forum, or read about other people’s issues, but its support isn’t as active.

#2 Enquiry Per Email

You can only contact a real person by filling out an inquiry on its tech support page. A 24/7 live chat feature is sorely missed here. You get your web ticket number, and you get a reply per email, usually in a day.

A screenshot of AVG's tech support form

You have to mark you have a paid/trial going on to get help

I reached out to its customer support on several occasions, the first time being regarding the speeds on my 7-day trial. They told me it is because of the server distance.

The second time was because of the streaming problems. If you happen to have issues with streaming like me, you will not solve these quickly, if at all.

Its customer support usually replies the next day. It takes them 24 hours — more or less. I’ve reached out 4 times so far for different issues. Each time, I got a reply the next day at approximately the same time:

AVG's Secure reply on my question why I can't stream Netflix US

I complained I couldn’t unblock Netflix US and other sites

#3 Remote Assistance

My experience with its remote assistance was not great. Its tip to stream in Incognito mode didn’t solve my streaming problem, so I decided to turn for more help. Remote control is the last possible way to get help when you’ve exhausted all other means.

AVG's Secure reply on my question why I can't stream Netflix US

The support suggested I re-install the VPN first, then turn for more help if needed

I tried uninstalling and activating the VPN, but it didn’t solve my problems. Next, I decided to get the remote help they offered. But installing the support file didn’t go as smoothly on my Mac:

A screenshot of permission problems on macOS Big Sur

I encountered permission problems with Mac Sur while trying to install remote support software

A screenshot of how to solve permission problems on macOS Big Sur

To solve the permission issue on Big Sur, go to System Preferences/Security & Privacy/General

When I finally connected to its remote customer care, I got a reply telling me it was not up to the VPN but the streaming services. Read more about my streaming experience with AVG Secure VPN here.

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict

AVG Secure VPN is not a good choice for streaming and privacy-oriented users. Even though it is super easy to install and use, this is not a VPN I’d subscribe to — not even for a month, let alone a minimum of 1 year.

While I was satisfied with its speeds overall, bypassing geo-blocks was impossible. Customer support exists, but I've seen much better. However, what concerns me is that the connection is unstable. In my case, it would break very often.

While I value its transparency, that doesn't change the fact that it harvests a lot of personal data, which makes me uneasy.

  • Complex and questionable privacy policy
  • Intrusive logging practices
  • Data harvesting scandal of its parent company Avast
  • Can’t unblock streaming sites
  • Slow customer service
  • Only yearly subscriptions are available
  • Solid torrenting speeds

FAQs on AVG Secure VPN

Is AVG Secure VPN safe?

Safe is not the word I would use to describe this VPN, so I wouldn't recommend it to privacy enthusiasts. I can't call it unsafe either, but it doesn't sound reliable given Avast's past data selling scandal (its parent company), invasive logging practices, and relatively long privacy policy. I tested and reviewed all of its safety features in detail.

Can AVG Secure VPN unblock Netflix?

A resounding no. I tested all the streaming and regular servers. Sure, you can watch Netflix just like you would without a VPN, but bypassing geo-blocking is impossible with AVG VPN. I also tried it with Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. If you’re looking for a VPN to watch Netflix US, you can skip AVG Secure.

Will AVG Secure VPN slow my speeds down?

On my 60-day trial, I had no issues with speed. My test results showed that the speed is faster on nearby servers, but faraway servers also performed well. Depending on the server distance, your speeds should remain decent.

Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 30
Mobile app : Y
Number of devices per license : 10
VPN Plans: www.avg.com

AVG Secure User Reviews

4.3
Based on 24 reviews in 8 languages
Jeanette Zimmermann
AVG Popups - 2
Jeanette Zimmermann

No matter what I do on my laptop, AVG is CONSTANTLY putting up pop-ups on my screen. I am really sick of it. I purchased AVG, this is not a freebie but I really don't think I'll renew. I might not even wait out my year's subscription.

Anonymous
Does Not Meet Expectations ! - 2
Anonymous

I have had drop-outs in the middle of banking transactions. NOT GOOD! Some days, I receive: "there is a problem try again later" Really ???? They harass you to renew your subscriptions 5-6 weeks in advance. If you signed up for auto-pay they will pay themselves 10-15 days in advance of the renewal date. Bye AVG !

I M Peedoff
Rubbish! Too slow and keeps disconnecting. - 4
I M Peedoff

The only thing I noticed, apart from the slowing down of my computer, was that ads came up in the language of whatever country I set the location for. It doesn't give me the confidence to use it for online banking etc. and it is way too expensive. Also, I am now stuck with it for 2 years because of the lack of monthly options. Do not buy it!

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