If you’re considering Avira’s free antivirus and VPN, you might wonder about the efficacy of their VPN services. The free Avira VPN seems secure, but is it truly reliable? What about the premium version? When you try both, you’ll notice that while the free option offers decent security and connections, it might not match up to the best premium VPNs.

If you try the free Avira VPN, you’ll find reliable connections and decent security measures, making it a good choice among free VPNs. However, its slower speeds, limited server network, and lack of customer support might leave you wanting more. It’s worth a shot for the free version, but for a premium service, you might find better options elsewhere.

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

 

Pros

  • Good streaming performance. You’ll experience good streaming performance as you try it out. Enjoy decent playback on various platforms.
  • Solid security features on pro plans. The pro plans offer solid security features, including 256-bit encryption and a kill switch, ensuring your online safety.
  • Good for gaming. Being a gamer, this Avira Phantom VPN will be worth it; thus, you can play games without experiencing any slowdown.
  • Easy to set up. What makes even this Avira Phantom VPN more amazing is it’s easy to set up the process. In which you can easily install and use it.
  • Generous money-back guarantee. If you’re not fulfilled, exploit the liberal unconditional promise. Demand a discount if it doesn’t live up to your assumptions.

Cons

    • Slow speeds. You might encounter slow speeds as you use it, experiencing poor results on both far-away and local servers.
    • Small server network. The server network is relatively small, limiting your options regarding locations.
    • Weak customer support. If you need customer support, be aware that it might be weak. You might not be completely satisfied with the answers you receive.

2023 Update Features Of Avira Phantom VPN

💸 Price5 USD/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee60 Days
📝 Does VPN keep logs?No
🖥 Number of servers1400+
🛡 Kill switchYes
🗺 Based in countryGermany
🛠 SupportEmail support
📥 Supports torrentingYes

Streaming — Above Average but Has Some Playback Issues

When you try Avira Phantom VPN’s premium app, you’ll find it allows you and your team to enjoy a decent variety of streaming content without issues. To ensure its compatibility, an international team of testers, including you, has confirmed its functionality with various platforms and libraries. However, it’s worth noting that some users experienced longer load times, and a few had their VPN use detected while attempting to watch services available in their home country.

Even the free version allows you to stream in decent quality, but it comes with data limits. You’re limited to 500MB of monthly data, making it suitable mainly for watching short videos on platforms like YouTube.

While Avira Phantom VPN could be used to access streaming platforms unavailable in your location, be aware that this may go against their terms of service. Deciding about extending how you use the VPN is the most important thing you should note. Avira states in its policies that it doesn’t monitor your online activities, emphasizing your responsibility to adhere to the rules and regulations of any site, app, or service you access. Please be cautious and follow guidelines to avoid any potential issues.

Works With: Netflix Libraries

There might be problems while trying to watch Netflix from different countries. And these include France, the United States, Canada, Japan, and other countries.

Most of my testers did report long wait times before videos would begin playing

Unfortunately, you might face a significant amount of buffering while accessing. As a matter of fact, one analyzer encountered a video requiring 2 minutes to stack, stamping one of the longest burden times we’ve gone over while utilizing VPNs.

Works With: Max, Amazon Prime Video, ESPN+, Peacock TV, and DAZN

Accessing popular platforms like Max is feasible if you’re in the US. Be prepared for extended load times, sometimes up to 30 seconds, before Max videos start playing. The good news is that once the playback begins, the platform has no subsequent issues.

The Miami server I tested from the US gave me the best speeds for streaming

Similarly, watching Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, ESPN+, and DAZN is possible, but be patient as the loading times are consistently long and might be a bit frustrating.

Doesn’t Work With: Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+

When you watch Hulu using Avira Phantom VPN, you may encounter difficulties. Even though you were in the US during your attempt and could stream Hulu without issues without a VPN, Avira Phantom’s US servers consistently got detected by Hulu, preventing access.

Hulu’s full library is only available in the US, with limited content in Japan

The situation extends to Disney+ and BBC iPlayer as well. While connected to Avira Phantom’s servers, streaming on Disney+ became nearly impossible, with persistent loading wheel issues. Meanwhile, a colleague in the UK faced similar challenges trying to watch the free BBC streaming platform using Avira’s UK servers.

In terms of overall streaming performance, Avira Phantom’s performance is slightly better than average. However, this might not be surprising because it’s not the largest VPN. Its top competitors, though, are notably more impressive.

Speed — Slow Speeds, Even on Local Servers

When you try Avira Phantom, you may notice a significant drop in speeds across most servers, especially those located more than 10,000 km away. If you opt for the free version, expect an average speed reduction of over 80%, which is common for free VPNs. Few free VPNs offer faster speeds.

In our speed tests, our speed expert rigorously checked each Avira Phantom server at least 10 times using a single UK location and connection. The default protocol (OpenVPN) was used since most of the apps don’t allow you to switch protocols.

Our download speeds dropped by 45% on short-distance servers and 67% on distant ones

Personal tests on 10+ servers, both nearby and distant, yielded similar results, with some servers causing speed reductions of over 90%. In comparison, the best premium VPNs typically reduce speeds by 10-20% on close servers and rarely more than 50% on distant ones.

The closest server to her location still dropped her speeds by nearly 50%

While these slow speeds may not impact most high-bandwidth activities like gaming or streaming, if your base speeds are below 25Mbps, you might be better off using a VPN that maintains better rates.

Gaming — Decent Ping for Gaming Without Lag

Try Avira Phantom’s premium option for gaming. You might be surprised to find that it performs well despite the initial poor speed results. With low expectations due to the speed issues, you may be genuinely impressed by its gaming performance. When you play Minecraft on the London server with a ping of 10ms, you can enjoy your game without any glitches.

On the distant Miami server, my game played flawlessly without any stuttering

Try switching to the Belgium server with a ping of 17ms, and you might be amazed that your gun fires instantly after you press the button. A fast connection that quickly recognizes your actions, measured by ping, is crucial in gaming. A ping above 100ms can be too slow for smooth gameplay, so aiming for a much lower ping is ideal.

Just be aware that your results may vary if your base ping rates are high, and it’s recommended to play with the closest server you can find for the best experience.

Server Network — Limited Locations but Effective

When you try Avira Phantom VPN, you’ll notice it has 1,400 servers across 37 countries. This network size is limited compared to most top VPNs. This limitation can affect your choices and potentially result in slower speeds due to overcrowding. It’s disappointing that there are no servers in Africa, which might impact your access from that region. However, Avira mentions plans to add more locations in the future.

Take a look at the table below to explore what it provides:

EuropeAustria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Ireland, Italy, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK
South AmericaBrazil, Chile, and Mexico
North AmericaCanada and the United States
AsiaHong Kong, Japan, and Singapore
OceaniaAustralia

When you try Avira Phantom VPN, you’ll notice that each country generally has one server location, except for the US, the UK, and Australia, which offer city-level servers for more precise location pinpointing.

It’s worth mentioning that some servers are rented, a common practice among VPNs due to the cost of high-tech infrastructure. However, when you contacted customer support for more information on how Avira ensures privacy on these rented servers, the agent couldn’t provide detailed insights, which may raise some concerns.

Avira Phantom also offers servers in smaller countries like the Isle of Man

If you opt for the free version, you’ll be connected to the server closest to you, with no option to switch locations.

Additionally, it’s disappointing that Avira Phantom doesn’t offer dedicated IP addresses and lacks features like RAM-only or private DNS servers for added protection.

Overall, while the network provides reliable connections to get the job done, it’s worth noting that top VPNs in the market offer more comprehensive features and capabilities.

Security — Good Protection but Missing Customization Options

While Avira Phantom provides fundamental security features, it falls short compared to the extensive options offered by top VPNs. One notable limitation is the inability to switch protocols on most devices or customize configurations.

However, the available protocols are robust, ensuring a secure connection, even if they may only sometimes be the fastest. Avira Phantom enhances your safety through military-level encryption and includes a kill switch. It incorporates features typically found in antivirus software, such as the Optimizer and Battery Saver. Despite these positives, it’s disappointing that common VPN features like split tunneling are absent.

Encryption and Protocols

Avira Phantom VPN employs the widely recognized AES 256-bit encryption, setting a robust standard that renders your data highly resistant to unauthorized access by hackers.

Across various platforms, the VPN utilizes different protocols. For Windows, Mac, and Android, it employs OpenVPN with TCP, ensuring secure connections. On iOS and macOS, it opts for IPSEC with UDP. Notably, the Android app also integrates Wireguard, a cutting-edge protocol renowned for its exceptional speed and security in the industry. However, there is room for improvement, as it would be advantageous for Avira Phantom VPN to extend the application of Wireguard to its other platforms for a more consistent and enhanced user experience.

IP, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 Leaks

While exploring Avira Phantom VPN servers, you’ll likely discover the absence of IP or DNS leaks, attesting to the effectiveness of its security protocols.

I tested over 15 servers, and it always hid my real location

An added advantage is the provision of protection against IPv6 leaks, a feature not uniformly offered by all VPNs.

Kill Switch

With the paid subscription, you can access a kill switch feature in Avira Phantom VPN. Remember that the kill switch is not automatic; you must navigate to the settings area to activate it. When you try it by disconnecting the VPN, you’ll notice that your internet stops, assuring its functionality.

Unfortunately, the kill switch isn’t available with the free version. Nonetheless, even without it, the free version remains a safer choice than many of the less secure free VPNs.

Malware Protection

While you might find Avira Phantom’s Malware Protection feature useful, it might need to reach the level of ad blockers seen in several other VPNs. This feature allows toggling in the advanced settings.

When you activate this feature and visit ad-heavy websites like The Daily Mail and Buzzfeed, you’ll notice it doesn’t entirely eliminate banner ads, pop-ups, or similar elements. Its primary aim revolves around blocking sites known for hosting invasive cyber threats like malware rather than addressing advertising content.

Privacy — Policy Could Be Clearer

You’ll notice a concise privacy policy as you try out Avira Phantom VPN. You might have a few concerns about the data it accesses. Additionally, it’s based within the 14-Eyes Alliance, and an independent body hasn’t audited its privacy policy.

Does Avira Phantom Keep Logs? No

As you try Avira Phantom VPN, you might have some concerns about how it handles information related to your location. While it asserts a strict no-logs policy, it mentions “automatically processing” identifiable information, including your IP address.

Avira Phantom VPN doesn’t allow you to pay anonymously through cryptocurrency

It’s common for VPNs to see your IP when you connect, but the best ones reassure you that this data isn’t stored. It might bother you that Avira’s policy doesn’t explicitly state whether it stores IP addresses. The only data it specifically claims not to store is information “about the web pages you visit or the services you use on the internet.”

It also collects less sensitive data, such as bandwidth usage and installation date. In the past, its policy indicated that it might send your data to the US, but fortunately, it no longer claims to do so. While it wouldn’t be labeled non-privacy-friendly, providing clearer policies could enhance user understanding.

It’s important to note that the same privacy policy applies to the free version. If you’re using a VPN with the expectation of absolute privacy, consider exploring alternatives to Avira Phantom VPN.

Was Avira Phantom Audited? No

As you try Avira Phantom, you may note that its privacy policy has yet to undergo independent audits or verification in court. Many top VPNs have audited policies, providing tangible evidence that they adhere to their stated commitments. Suppose you attempt to obtain more information about audits from support. As I’ll explain further, they could be more helpful in that case.

Based in Germany

As you try Avira Phantom, you’ll notice it’s based in Germany, a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance. This alliance involves countries that have agreed to share data about their citizens. This situation could be troubling for you, as Avira Phantom might log your identifiable data. If requested to share this data, it could compromise your privacy.

Does Avira Phantom Work in China? No

If you try Avira Phantom VPN, it’s improbable that it will reliably operate in China. Initially, you might receive information suggesting uncertainty about its effectiveness in the country. However, when attempting to cancel the service, you might receive a conflicting email claiming that Avira Phantom does function in China.

The staff member couldn’t offer any specific tips on how to make it work

Despite the Chinese government’s restrictions on numerous VPNs, it generally doesn’t actively pursue individuals for using them. Notwithstanding, it’s critical to note that your group upholds no criminal operations. Before deciding to utilize a VPN, get to know the laws of the nation you’re in.

Torrenting — Allowed but Not Recommended

As you try Avira Phantom VPN for torrenting, it allows the activity, but the speeds can be disappointingly slow. When testing it on the London server, you might notice a drop in speeds by nearly 90%. Downloading a 750MB file could take you about 50 minutes, a significant difference from the time taken without a VPN, which could be less than 10 minutes. Similar experiences might occur when trying various servers across Europe and the US.

It is not recommended to torrent with the free version due to its data limits and the absence of a kill switch. With only 500MB of monthly data, torrenting for an extended period isn’t feasible. Additionally, connecting to strangers on P2P sites without a reliable kill switch might not be safe. However, it’s important to remember that there aren’t many free VPNs designed specifically for torrenting, so this is typical.

While downloading copyrighted files is not, torrenting itself is legal in most nations. You should really get to know your nation’s laws before participating in any downloading exercises.

Installation & Apps

Installation & Apps — Easy to Use but Lacks Compatibility Options

As you try Avira Phantom, you’ll notice it maintains a simple interface across all devices. It also provides apps for the most popular operating systems. However, you might be disappointed that you can’t connect to other major devices.

Setup & Installation

As you try Avira Phantom, you might be impressed with its setup and installation process. On all the devices you attempt, you’ll find that the installation is fast, and the interface provides helpful pointers and graphics to make using the VPN easy.

It’s also nice that the free app doesn’t come with any annoying ads

The user interface for both the free and paid versions is similar. The main distinction between the versions is that the paid app allows you to switch servers and utilize its kill switch.

Device Compatibility

As you try Avira Phantom VPN, you’ll notice it’s only compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS devices. You might find it a little disappointing that it doesn’t offer apps for streaming or gaming devices. Additionally, no apps are available for routers, limiting your ability to use them on most smart TVs or other streaming devices.

Desktop — Apps for Windows and Mac

As you try Avira Phantom VPN, you’ll notice that its desktop app remains consistent whether you’re using it on Mac or Windows. You’ll have access to identical settings and features, including the dark-to-light theme.

Once you have the app running, changing settings is straightforward. You might prefer activating the kill switch immediately and disabling auto-connect.

On the free version, this is the only way you can connect

Finding the right server is also simple. The servers are well-organized, and you’ll appreciate including a search function to locate your desired server easily.

Android and iPhone (iOS)

Regarding Android, Avira Phantom VPN stands out as one of the top free VPNs. Its standout feature is the access to WireGuard, making it notably safer and more privacy-friendly than most free VPNs. The iOS app is quite similar, with the key distinction being the inclusion of WireGuard, which enhances the overall experience.

Browser Extensions for Chrome

As you try the free Chrome extension of Avira Phantom, you’ll notice that it allows connections to 4 locations. While an upgrade with a paid account is available, you might find it less useful. The extension primarily protects only what’s within your browser rather than encrypting all the traffic on your device.

Simultaneous Device Connections

As you try Avira Phantom VPN, you’ll find that you can connect unlimited devices under all of its subscription plans, including the free version. In your testing, you might connect your 2 PCs, an iPad, and 2 Android phones, and you won’t notice any changes in performance.

Pricing — Not the Cheapest, but Good Free Option

As you try Avira Phantom, you’ll discover three subscription options for its premium version: monthly, annual, and 2-year plans. Opting for the yearly premium subscription at $5/month with the current offer can secure you the best deal, but keep in mind that upon renewal, you’ll need to pay the full price, which might be quite expensive.

The free plan provides most of the security and features of the paid plans but comes with a 500MB data allowance per month. You won’t be able to enable a kill switch or switch servers. However, the fact that it offers a free VPN that successfully hides your IP and does not share your data already positions it among the best.

The drawn-out plans incorporate a liberal 60-day unconditional promise, while the month-to-month plan accompanies a 14-day unconditional promise. You have the choice to drop your membership from inside your record. However, to request a refund, you will need to get in touch with support.

While contacting support for a discount, the delegate could get some information about your explanations behind dropping and could try to propose two months of administration at no expense. After affirming your dropping solicitation, the specialist should support it, and you can anticipate your discount in 6 days or less.

It was nice that I only had to answer one question to get approved

PayPal and credit cards (Visa, Discover, MasterCard, or AmEx) are the only options for making payments. For complete anonymity, you might have preferred additional payment options, such as crypto.

Reliability & Support

Reliability and Support — Unimpressive

As you try Avira Phantom, you may find that it offers chat support, but every time you attempt to use it, you might only chat with a bot. Trying multiple times at different hours of the day might not connect you to a human agent, and the answers from the bot might only sometimes be helpful.

You also have the option to contact support through ticketing, email, and phone. If you raise a ticket with questions, be prepared for a potentially lengthy wait, as it took a week to receive a response through email during the experience. Waiting for a week can be unreasonably long, especially if you have urgent concerns while traveling and need to use the service for security purposes.

Satisfaction with the answers received might need to be investigated. In some instances, the support agent might link you to the privacy policy when asked about claims of audits, which could leave you wanting more detailed information.

The best VPNs have a legit 24/7 live chat that answers your questions in minutes

Telephone support is accessible from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), and there’s no help for the free adaptation. While Avira Phantom has a knowledge base, you might find it less detailed than expected, making it challenging to find many of the answers you need during your testing.

Overall, you might experience very poor customer support with slow, unhelpful, and often inaccessible assistance, potentially becoming an issue, especially during emergencies.

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict — Solid Free Version; Decent Premium Option

In comparison to VPNs provided by many renowned antivirus companies, Avira Phantom holds its ground quite well, especially in its free version. Its gaming performance, user-friendly apps, and robust encryption stand out, making it one of the safest and most trustworthy free VPNs available.

However, when weighing it against top-tier VPNs, the premium version of Avira Phantom falls short. Slower speeds and a limited server network contribute to this disparity, and the privacy policy could benefit from some enhancements. Despite these considerations, its free offering remains a standout choice in the realm of free VPNs.

Frequently Asked Questions (Avira Phantom VPN)-

Is Avira Phantom VPN secure?

Avira Phantom VPN is secure. It incorporates military-grade encryption and successfully passed all of our leak tests. Additionally, the premium version includes a kill switch, ensuring you’re always online with protection.

Is Avira Phantom VPN effective?

Certainly, it is a good VPN option, although it doesn’t outperform the top choices in the market. Avira Phantom VPN provides robust security features, performs well for gaming, and boasts user-friendly applications. However, there may be better alternatives, and its server network is relatively modest.

Is Avira Phantom VPN available for free?

Yes, Avira Phantom VPN offers a free version, but it has certain limitations. The free version has monthly data caps (500MB) and restricts server switching. Access to the kill switch feature requires a premium account.

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