Is AVG VPN Any Good? (Pros & Cons Analyzed)

AVG VPN is not one of the most spoken about VPNs in the market for sure. But it’s there as an option, and shoppers with Amazon vouchers to spare may notice the great value of some of their 1-2 year VPN subscription activation codes.

Therefore it’s reasonable to ask whether it’s worth taking a punt on their product, and that’s something I actually did recently, having a gift voucher I needed to use on something.

Having used this service for a few weeks now, I wanted to run though all the positives and negatives I’ve spotted so far about this provider. Basically, it’s a perfectly fine VPN for entry level, undemanding users looking for a bargain.

AVG VPN is an entry level Premium VPN service, with a basic server selection and acceptable performance. The main positive is the great value of the service when activation codes are used, with the negatives being some privacy/data collection issues, plus unreliable streaming access, poor obfuscation and frequent disconnects when using the Automatic protocol or on weaker Wi-Fi.

In other words, it does what a VPN should do in terms of basic function and does it reasonably well some of the time, but isn’t a top of the range, sophisticated service for sure, and the frequent disconnects can get REALLY annoying.

Just being honest, the more I use this service, the more I find it falling it mediocre territory despite it being really cheap when you get started with it the “DIY” way of buying activation codes online and downloading the app and entering them yourself.

Let’s drill down a bit deeper into the pro’s and cons, to see who this product may and may not be suited for.

Positives Aspects Of AVG VPN

Here are some pro’s to the AVG VPN service from my use so far:

Cost/Value – Honestly, buying a standard VPN style subscription to AVG VPN isn’t the best value on the market, but taking the more DIY route and buying an activation code online and installing and starting the app up yourself can be super value. Especially if you’ve got an Amazon voucher to get rid of, like I did. Their 1 year and 2 year activation codes are superb value, and I effectively got 2 years of unlimited VPN access for £5 when I used the voucher I had. Good luck finding value like that anywhere else on the VPN market! You’re looking at $30 minimum for 1 year and maybe $45-50 for 3 years using special offers. So AVG VPN is great value if you just want a basic VPN and do it the DIY way.

Compatibility – Works on all major devices you’d expect, like Windows, Android, iOS, Mac. No support for Firestick

Simultaneous Connections – Up to 10 devices can use the service at any time from any one subscription. Usually enough to cover most user’s needs.

Basic function – In terms of basic function, AVG VPN works fine, just like most other VPN’s I’ve used. It provides acceptable (but not absolute, top notch, market leading) speeds. You can stream and watch YouTube for example, as long as your underlying Wi-Fi connection is good enough to support it. Based on my use, it shaves off between 20-40% of your base connection speed, which is standard for a VPN, perhaps a little towards the high side. It gives you an IP where it says it will, and this is confirmed if you use an IP lookup tool, without any leaks of your real IP.

Torrenting – AVG VPN does also have servers optimized for torrenting/P2P if that’s what you’re wanting.

Basic security – AVG VPN uses the main encryption protocols you’d expect from a VPN, and they work well, with no data leaks indicated from testing. In other words, it does what it’s supposed to do in terms of fully encrypting and “ring fencing” your connection so it’s protected from snooping and prying eyes.

Kill Switch – A nice security feature which blocks all traffic and prevents data leaks in the case of disconnects from the VPN server. Helpful if you’re transferring/accessing sensitive data or accounts on an unreliable connection and don’t want them compromised if the VPN connection drops.

Support – There’s 24/7 customer support to resolve any connection issues, plus a 30 day money back guarantee if you decide it’s not for you. They also do offer a 7 day free trial to test the service out.

In other words, AVG VPN has all the basic features and functionality you’d expect from a basic VPN. It’s a legitimate, standalone application (not one of those cheap browser add ons) that works like a VPN should in securing your connection. And it delivers a perfectly usable, masked connection for browsing/streaming etc.

Negatives Aspects Of AVG VPN

Based on my use of AVG VPN so far, here are some negatives and downsides I’ve observed.

Servers – This is a potential downside for more advanced users that really want a lot of server locations, because AVG VPN doesn’t offer you that. It’s towards the bottom end of the market in terms of server choice – less than 40 countries offered. But all the main countries you’d expect (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, all major European countries) are there as with any premium VPN (full server list here). It’s just not the VPN for you if you need a more specialized country server location. Also, it shares it’s servers with it’s parent company Avast VPN, which again isn’t the best for performance or independence.

Disconnects – I don’t know whether this is specific to the Wi-Fi network I’m currently on, but I do find AVG VPN often randomly disconnects 10-20 seconds after I first connect it, and I have to manually reconnect. Maybe this happens on weaker or more stable Wi-Fi connections, but it is a minor annoyance. It’s usually totally fine after you reconnect it the second time, but there is this strange thing where it drops connection very soon after you first enable a server. Maybe this isn’t an issue on stronger Wi-Fi connections, but be aware that connections can be unstable on weaker Wi-Fi networks (in fairness, this is true for all VPNs). The Kill Switch feature also negates this somewhat and prevents leaks if your connection does drop.

Update – I’ve tested this against a few other VPNs, and AVG VPN definitely does seem to disconnect a bit more often on shaky Wi-Fi connections to the point where it got VERY annoying. Changing the VPN protocol seemed to fix for now at least – see our guide on fixing disconnects with AVG VPN. Avoid using the Automatic protocol setting.

Poor Obfuscation – This is something that’s become more apparent the more I use it. It’s one of the more poorly obfuscated and easy to detect VPNs. I find it getting detected by sites really easily and quite often. And the “Mimic” protocol specifically designed to avoid this doesn’t seem to work any better. Even Amazon Video picks AVG up as a VPN when some free VPNs work fine. Also, I just got blocked by the Steam Store of all places:

The sentence “If you use a VPN, find a better one” pretty much sums it up. I was only trying to visit the site to view a game and definitely wasn’t scraping. I also find I get a lot of “captchas” and “confirm you are a human” prompts when using AVG servers, especially with search engines. This rarely happens with top notch VPNs.  Not impressed on this count with AVG VPN.

Cannot Post YouTube Comments – I don’t know what’s going on here, but I cannot post any comments on YouTube when using AVG VPN servers. It just gives me “comment failed to post” error message, it’s fine when disabling it or using another VPN (even a free one). Really basic function that it’s reasonable to expect to do – must do better AVG.

Streaming – AVG VPN does not provide reliable streaming access, despite advertizing this on their site and marketing and having streaming optimized servers. This relates to the last point on the poor obfuscation. With some versions of Netflix and a few other providers, streaming access might work, but definitely isn’t guaranteed. If accessing geo-restricted streaming is one of your priorities, you’re better off going with a well established provider like ExpressVPN that specializes in this.

Here’s a broad list of what does/does not work:

  • Netflix – Mostly
  • BBC iPlayer – Mostly
  • HBO Max – Mostly
  • Amazon Video – No
  • ITV Hub – No
  • All4 – No
  • Disney+ – No

The Amazon Video one is really disappointing, as even some decent free VPNs can access that. But overall, you can see streaming access is patchy and not guaranteed.

Privacy – AVG VPN is not a completely zero log VPN. It’s not bad, but it’s not market leading in terms of consumer privacy. Firstly, some personal details like name and ZIP code are needed to confirm your account and VPN registration. Secondly, whilst they don’t log actual browsing history, they DO collect other information like session times and data volume used. Also, AVG’s parent company Avast, has also been caught doing some dodgy things with user data in the past. Just something to bear in mind if privacy is your main concern.

Here’s some privacy bottom line points on AVG VPN:

  • Based in the Czech Republic, which falls under EU data protection/collection laws. Not the best for privacy.
  • Collects some data, like connection timestamps, data use and IP of servers connected to, and retains some of this data for between 35 days and 2 years.
  • No actual browsing data is logged/stored.
  • They claim this data cannot even be traced back to the end user and is designed to allow optimal function. But it’s not the most privacy friendly provider for sure, despite their policy being transparently stated.

Bottom Line Conclusions

AVG VPN started out to me as an acceptable basic VPN is you just want a basic way to secure and encrypt your connections and hide your IP address. It’s definitely not market leading or stand-out in any way, but it functions OK as a standard VPN which allows you to change your apparent location and add another layer of encryption to your connection.

But just being honest, the more I’ve used it, the more it’s fallen in mediocre territory regarding performance. The “positives” list is quite small, and the “negatives” have continued to grow as I’ve used it more. There’s free VPNs that work better than AVG, even if they may have limited servers and data.

Here are some cases where it might make sense to use AVG VPN:

  • You’ve got an Amazon or other tech store voucher spare to use, and just want a cheap VPN subscription (great value if you buy and use activation codes online).
  • If you just need a basic VPN to change your IP address to your home country when traveling/working etc, to make email/account access easier.
  • You work a lot on public Wi-Fi and again want a basic VPN to just secure your connection.
  • You only need server locations in one of the obvious, major countries that ALL VPNs always offer in their server lists.
  • You occasionally want basic streaming access (but this isn’t your main focus).
  • You aren’t bothered about having minor aspects of your activity and VPN use logged (but not actual browsing).

Here’s when it probably DOESN’T make sense to go for AVG VPN:

  • Paying the full standard subscription price the standard way ($50-60 per year) – there’s more reliable and better performing VPNs with more server locations for even half the price.
  • If you want broader and more reliable streaming access (ExpressVPN is your best bet here, though it’s much more expensive).
  • If you’re very privacy conscious and want an absolutely watertight, zero log, 100% private VPN (AVG VPN is not that, nor are Avast/AVG products in general).
  • You want a VPN with really strong “masking” and “obfuscation” protocols that can get past even the most advanced VPN detection tools/software (to access streaming etc).
  • You’re going to need server locations in less obvious countries often not covered by many VPNs.
  • You don’t want a basic VPN, but really want a more advanced, top of the range VPN, with all the “bells and whistles”, loads of server locations and extra features. AVG is more basic and stripped down, for sure.

In other words, as with all things, you get what you pay for, and AVG VPN is OK for more basic VPN users (perhaps first time users) that just want something cheap and simple to get started with.

For more advanced, demanding or experienced users, there are better options available for sure. But for starting out or users on a budget, it’s a reasonable option if you’re not expecting the world.


As a regular VPN users for 7+ years, I like providing useful info to help people find free or low cost VPN solutions for online security and privacy.

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