Overall Rating: 3.7 out of 5
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it's a type of programming that creates an internet connection for a user that is encrypted. Some networks such as the internet you would use at a coffee shop or public library are potentially less secure than the one you use at home.
When you use a VPN service, the information you send while using that less secure internet connection is encrypted so it can't be intercepted as smoothly without your consent. The data that you submit is more protected when you use a VPN, and that's why it's become a common practice for everyday users and is no longer a product employed by only corporate employees.
Using a VPN service doesn’t restrict how you use the internet or send data, but it does better protect your data by using specific protocols. Many business travelers will use VPN services to access websites in locations where there may be geographical restrictions.
What is AVG VPN?
AVG is a virtual private network (VPN) service that is easy for users to install and use without taking a lot of time to learn how to use it first. AVG VPN is compatible with computers that use Windows and Mac operating systems but also works with Android and iPhone devices.
Users can use AVG VPN on their computers but can also use them on their cell phones, tablets, and any other devices that use a compatible operating system. AVG also offers a number of different options for automating different processes and settings, and allows unlimited use of their VPN service for customers.
If you are unsure about which VPN service that you want to use you can test drive AVG for 30-days before needing to buy a subscription. This free trial allows you to take your device to multiple different locations and use the VPN service on various networks.
If you end up purchasing AVG and you aren't ultimately happy with it, you can take advantage of their money-back guarantee to get a refund within 30-days of buying the product. This trial means that ultimately you will have a full month to use AVG and decide whether it is the right VPN service for you.
This AVG VPN review would be incomplete if we failed to mention the unlimited service that you can get when you use AVG. This VPN service allows you to install the software on as many devices and computers as you want and you only need to purchase one license.
This level of versatility is unique in the realm of VPNs, but many services are moving towards matching this model instead of making users purchase an individual license for each device. The catch with this multi-device use under one license is that you can only use the VPN service on one device at any given time.
How Does AVG VPN Work?
An AVG VPN review shows that the interface introduced to users is simple and doesn't have any settings that are overly complicated. The straightforward design makes this VPN software more accessible to those who perhaps haven't used many other VPN services but can still fit the needs of more advanced users.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Capabilities
This software also allows for Peer-to-peer (P2P) connections which enable users to participate in downloading torrents while still maintaining their anonymity. This feature can be helpful when downloading files from other individuals sharing them online, and can also allow users to share their own content without disclosing as much personal information.
Secure VPN Protocols
The protocols that AVG uses are different for Mac and Windows devices. For devices that use Windows, the protocol used is Open VPN which is on UDP. For Mac devices, the AVG VPN software uses IPsec protocols.
It's worth noting that some routers will have an option that allows IPsec to be disabled. This selection may appear as one of the options for the router as VPN pass-through. In order to use AVG VPN, the router needs to have VPN pass-through enabled which may not be up to the user if they are using a public network.
Internet Connection Speeds
When using any VPN service, you may notice that your internet connection can be slower at times and this lag can vary based on your internet browsing habits and the information transferred between your machine and the network.
When sending large amounts of data over the network, the lag in your internet connection may be from the VPN software working to encrypt your data. When using a VPN software such as AVG, any data that you send will need to be encrypted to protect it and this process can take additional processing time.
Under normal circumstances, this level of delay should be hardly noticeable and shouldn't be a problem for most users. If the lag in your connection is significant, it may be a problem that isn’t the VPN. Users may also experience a delay based on the server they are connected to and how far away that server is located.
Each server will have a different capacity for accepting and deploying data, and since AVG VPN only has access to 29 servers, users can expect to be connected to whichever one is available, closest, or has the capacity at that time.
While these slight decreases in internet speeds can be annoying, the encryption process is what makes the AVG VPN process work as a method for safeguarding your data and is therefore necessary. When the VPN software is switched off your device should have normal internet connection speeds, but your data will then be unprotected.
Licensing and Activation
When you purchase AVG VPN, you can install the software on as many devices as you like, but only one device can use the service at any given time. It's also worth noting that this software cannot be activated on devices that run Windows XP or Windows Vista.
Once you install the software on your Mac device the product should activate itself; however, it may be necessary for a user to perform the activation manually. Once you install the software, you may need to open the AVG VPN menu that appears in the top right, navigate to the applications window, and select “preferences” which will then take you to the VPN dashboard.
Once you are at this window, you’ll be able to activate the product on your Mac device by logging in on the AVG website. Once you log in the activation process is complete.
For devices that run Windows, you'll most likely need to activate the product by logging into your AVG MyAccount using the same email address that you entered when you purchased the product.
When your license is close to expiring, you can also log into your account to renew your subscription, make changes, or cancel.
Once the installation of the software is complete, you can follow a few simple steps to get started on a Windows device:
If you don't select a location, you will be connected to the most optimal location available.
If you are using a Mac device the steps are as follows:
You can also skip selecting a location, and you will then be connected to the most optimal location automatically. There is also the option to access the "Preferences” menu where you can access other options.
Why Should I Use AVG VPN?
AVG VPN can be used on any internet connection which gives users the freedom to move to any geographical location and still use their preferred VPN.
The VPN software can be particularly useful if you like to frequent locations that offer free Wi-Fi. Free or open Wi-Fi connections are less secure than what is typically used in private residences, and user information generally is very trackable. We found that AVG was a particularly useful VPN for Netflix and overall affordability.
Pro Tip: AVG offer a free trial period with a money-back guarantee to make testing their service risk-free and easy to do!
When it comes to automation, AVG allows users to set their software to turn on whenever they connect to a network that isn't secure, and it also can start automatically when you turn on your device. Users can also toggle notifications to their preferences, and the software can let users know when it is in effect.
AVG VPN software is also a good choice because it runs on computers and other devices without slowing them down. This software also comes in a dedicated version for both Mac and Windows computers which makes the installation process more manageable and ensures the software will work seamlessly.
AVG is open about not logging the actions of their users while using the software, and very little user data is stored. The VPN software works on both wired internet connections and wireless networks as well.
The yearly subscription for this software is $79.99 which works out to about $6.66 each month. This price is a little higher than other VPN software options, and AVG also offers a range of additional complimentary products such as antivirus, scanning software, and malware removal software that can be purchased separately.
What Are Some of the Drawbacks to AVG VPN?
An AVG VPN review reveals that the service makes users pay for a yearly subscription upfront and users can request a refund for up to 30-days after they make their purchase.
One of the confusing parts of this service is that when you purchase the year-long subscription, it will still say that the license is good for 30-days and you'll need to go into the settings and refresh the license.
This buy-first and get a refund later concept means that users will need to give the service payment information which can be either a credit card or bitcoin. It's also worth noting that if you are currently using other VPN software, AVG may not work correctly if used at the same time.
AVGs VPN service also doesn’t have what is called a “kill switch” or an immediate disconnect in case your connection or device is compromised. The ability to immediately disconnect from a session without having to power down your device can prevent critical seconds of unauthorized access to your data.
Another potential drawback for some will be that this service uses 256-bit encryption which is fairly standard for many VPN services, but there is better encryption available. While 256-bit is considered to be strong encryption, it is not fail-proof, and users should still practice safe internet browsing.
AVG also has only 29 servers at the moment which means that each user will have a limited number that they can use based on their location, user demand, and other factors. If AVG increases their number of servers in the future, this could ultimately mean greater versatility and protection for its users.
Using a VPN Service
When using a VPN service, there will be some common steps that will take place regardless of the device or operating system that you are using. When using your VPN service to secure your data, the process will work somewhat like this:
The best VPN services will have several servers that you can connect to in order to make sure you have ample choices and the best protection. The service will also have advanced and extremely strong encryption to prevent your data from being intercepted and unencrypted.
AVG VPN is a relatively inexpensive product that can help keep your data safe and protect your information from being collected, exploited, and sold without your knowledge. This software can also protect your device when you are using a less secure internet connection and give you peace of mind when browsing the internet.
AVG also offers a risk-free trial for using their software which can make it an attractive option if you are looking for a different VPN service and are curious about how it works. Since there is no risk, and it works with Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android devices, it can be used on a variety of electronics and only requires that one license is purchased.
AVG VPN is an excellent option for those who are relatively new to using a VPN but want one that is regularly updated and comes with customer support. Online there is a well-developed FAQ and a customer contact form for further help with technical issues.
Another reason AVG is a great choice is the level of automation that is incorporated into the software which can help ensure that your VPN software is turned on before you start browsing the internet. One of the most common issues is that users forget to turn on their VPN software which can leave them and their devices vulnerable.
Using a VPN may not be necessary for all kinds of web browsing but for those looking to access confidential or sensitive documents it may be mandatory. If you are looking to download torrents or share other sensitive information with distant peers, it's a good idea to have that data encrypted using the VPN before it's sent over a network.
A common issue associated with using a VPN is that it can slow down the speed of an internet connection, but users generally report that there is little to no difference when using AVG VPN. As a bonus, this VPN software can be used on any internet connection and provides 256-bit encryption which is sufficient for normal conditions.
One of the drawbacks is definitely the confusing subscription model and the fact that you have to purchase the software in order to start the trial period. This method can be complicated for users but also forces them to give AVG their purchasing information, and email in order to complete the transaction.
Other comparable VPN services are free and don't require as much information from their users before the software is installed, but be wary of what information these services collect as you use their VPN software.