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AVG VPN Review
AVG VPN is a line of products produced by AVG, a company more well known for its antivirus software. And similar to its antivirus software, AVG’s VPN has its own little history of baggage we will get to.
Table of Contents:
- What is the Deal with AVG VPN’s Payment Options
- AVG VPN’s Features
- How Easy is AVG VPN to Use
- Who is AVG VPN For
Something that is important to note right out of the gate is that it is clear from using it that AVG VPN’s target audience is currently existing AVG Antivirus users. This is made evident by the fact that AVG VPN does not have a specialty like most VPNs do. It is highly generalized and easy to use, like AVG Antivirus.
That means its features have a little bit of everything. It has above-average encryption, protection against both IP and DNS tracking, and peer-to-peer support for high-speed torrenting.
It also makes claims that it has location spoofing technology. This is the kind of technology you need in order to get around things like region-locked websites and features. In short, if you are looking to access the United States’ Netflix library from abroad, you need location spoofing technology.
That is a lot of features that AVG VPN claims to have. If you are seasoned in the ways of VPNs, then you know to be skeptical of that many promises, especially when its payment strategies are so strange.
What is the Deal with AVG VPN’s Payment Options? 💰️
AVG VPN’s payment options only get stranger the longer you look at them. There are two things that you will notice straight away if you have ever looked at another VPN:
- AVG VPN has no discount on the first year
- AVG VPN only allows you to pay for a year at a time with no monthly plan
Why is this? Well, one can only speculate. But given that this is a review, it benefits both you and us for us to tackle the question critically. The most critical reading of this is that they make money in other ways.
This might not seem like highly critical reading, especially for people that know AVG is in the business of a similarly priced antivirus software. But that is not the “other ways” we are talking about.
You see, AVG is owned by a company called Avast. Shortly after acquiring AVG, Avast was found to be illegally selling the personal information of its users. Avast owns other software, but AVG was one software among many that they used to collect data on their users to then sell.
Privacy on the Internet 🔒️
The issue is that it has become commonplace for companies to include language in their end-user license agreement that allows them to track your personal data, and then sell it later to line their pockets.
The most famous cases of this are apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok doing it. This is actually why VPNs exist in the first place: They are meant to encrypt your data to make it so mega-corporations like these cannot steal your information and sell it somewhere that ends up being nefarious or harmful.
But while VPN companies usually explicitly say that they do not log your data, some will not say anything to that effect. In these cases, they are allowed to log your data since they made no promise that they would not log it. Other times, companies will explicitly say that do log your data, as with AVG.
In short, the low price point of AVG VPN combined with the company’s past history means that it throws up an immediate red flag. The yearly plans do not help its case. Most services that only accept yearly payments rather than monthly payments do so expecting people to want to cancel after a month.
AVG VPN’s Features ➡️
So, AVG VPN is definitely logging your data and might even be selling it. That is a problem. But it will not be a deal-breaker for everyone. After all, not everyone even believes that that sort of thing is happening.
To start with, let us start with the good news. The good news is that AVG VPN features 256 key encryption. What does this mean? Well, it is a style of encryption that is basically impossible to break.
Encryption is important because it is basically the primary function of a VPN. Information is going to and being sent from your computer all the time. Websites have to call information out of your computer, like the output of your keystrokes and information that confirms that you are who you say you are.
But there is also plenty of information that websites will call out of your computer that they have no real use for. This is the information that they then sell to advertisers, spammers, and scammers.
This is the information that a VPN will encrypt for you. And the tougher the encryption, the more well protected it is. 256 key encryption is about as tough as it gets, so AVG VPN is great for doing that.
AVG VPN’s Location Spoofing 🗺️
While protecting one’s data is the main reason most people get VPNs, there is another reason that is gaining popularity.
Location spoofing means tricking websites into thinking that you are located in a different region than you actually are. What is the point of this? Well, consider Netflix.
Netflix tends to have different lineups of shows and movies available on its streaming service depending on the region of your computer. Japanese Netflix has way more Japanese shows, while American Netflix has way more American shows. This makes sense, but Netflix does not let you change regions.
Therefore, in order to choose which region of Netflix you are watching, you need a VPN to spoof your location. This carries over to more than just Netflix. Many shopping platforms and streaming services are also location locked, as are some online games. Location spoofing gives you access to all of it.
The issue is that AVG VPN’s location spoofing is not nearly as good as it says it is. In fact, it is not nearly as good as it should be. AVG VPN has servers in more than 60 countries. And yet their ability to connect to these very countries is highly spotty at best. Even when they do, it causes a slowdown.
A VPN is always going to be partially streamed to your computer. That means if your connection with the VPN is slow, then it will slow your entire network down while you are using the VPN for security.
After all, a VPN cannot protect your internet if your internet is moving faster than the VPN. As a result, slow location spoofing means slow VPN performance in general. When it does work, it is not optimized.
What Other Features Does AVG VPN Have? 🔎️
While AVG VPN’s location spoofing is below what it should be, it at least has good coverage. This means that you can get mostly similar services in Australia as you would get anywhere else in the world.
The other features that AVG VPN provides are mostly under the hood. That means you might not notice them, but anyone who has shopped around for VPNs probably knows those are the most important features a VPN can have. The first feature worth mentioning is AVG VPN’s IP tracking protection.
IP tracking occurs when you connect to a website. Connecting to a website is far more complicated than it seems. You see, the internet is big. Connecting to a website starts with you connecting to a data center. The goal of the internet is to get you connected to the data center of the website you want.
So, you connect to the first data center, but that data center probably does not contain the website you are looking for. That data center issues your network a “pointer” that sends it to the next closest data center. This process repeats until your network “arrives” at the data center of the website you want.
What is the problem here? Well, consider what might happen if your internet connection ends up going through a “bad neighborhood”, so to speak. There are data servers that serve malware programs that will notice when a network is connecting to them and receiving a pointer.
It is possible for a person or program to retrace the steps of the pointers your connection was issued. In doing so, they can find your IP address, and sometimes even your local wireless internet network.
This is a well-known vulnerability and exactly the kind that VPNs are equipped to handle. AVG VPN is known as a particularly effective VPN for dealing with this. They have remarkably good security against IP tracking. In all our tests there was not a single instance of AVG VPN failing an IP tracking test.
How Easy is AVG VPN to Use?
Another of AVG VPN’s best features is how easy it is to use. As you might imagine from reading about all the things AVG VPN has going on in it, VPNs can be complicated. Their target audience is usually people with some degree of technological literacy because they tend to require some setup to be used.
That is what makes AVG VPN’s usability so impressive. They offer this suite of options for how to keep yourself safe, but most of it is automatic. The few things that you have to trigger manually are things that it either informs you about upfront or reminds you to configure after it updates.
This results in an experience that is extremely streamlined. Because things like encryption and IP tracking prevention are automatic, that means that the most important parts of the experience happen without input from you. Customization is also easy, though it is a bit shallow.
The lack of depth is not that much of a problem when you have this many security options though. And really, it is to be expected from something that is this cheap. Even people who are well versed in VPN features are going to notice the abundance of different features before the lack of customization.
Who is AVG VPN For?
It is clear from anyone who looks too closely at it that AVG VPN is primarily for AVG antivirus users.
However, the low price point combined with the strong encryption means that it is also a viable option for people who are looking for a low-maintenance VPN to take with them while traveling.
AVG VPN is also good on multiple devices, making it an efficient family plan. You can even configure everything from one “master” device that oversees the functionality of the rest of the devices.
Though talking about how well AVG VPN works for families does inevitably lead one back to that original issue we brought up with privacy: AVG VPN logs your information. It is not guaranteed that they sell it but remember that AVG VPN’s parent company got in trouble for selling this kind of information.
AVG VPN is an above-average VPN in a lot of respects, namely price and features. It might not be great at location spoofing, but it covers so much ground that it is bound to have something you can make use of.
Particularly because of its peer-to-peer abilities, which make it good for torrenting.
The question of whether or not you should get AVG VPN essentially boils down to whether or not you are comfortable with the data they collect from you. Even if they do not use it poorly, it is still possible for them to just get their own network compromised by hackers and lose it in the process.
Stay safe and be careful when getting AVG VPN. It is good, but not without risk.
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