Avira is already well-known as an antivirus company, but they offer VPN service as well.Unlike other antivirus
companies, Avira has built its own service instead of relying on services from a third-party. And while you can
access it for free if you already pay for the Avira Prime service, is it worth it or should you try another service?
Let’s see what reviewers think.
As noted above, if you already subscribe to Avira Prime, you can access the Avira VPN for free. They also offer a
free option that provides up to 500MB of service per month without asking for an email and for an unlimited number
If you need more bandwidth, they offer an option for mobile devices and another either a month-to-month or yearly
subscription for all devices.
Avira Phantom VPN supports Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. If you’re using a computer where you can’t download apps,
then you can take advantage of the Chrome extensions. Unfortunately, you can’t use it on routers, smart TVs or game
Ease of Use
Overall, the interface is basic, making it easy to use. With that said, experts note it could be confusing figuring
out how to select country locations. When you connect to the VPN, it will choose the server closest to you. However,
if you want to use a server from a different country, you will need to find the link at the bottom of the dashboard
that says “Nearest location.”
Otherwise, everything is straightforward. This is because the service doesn’t offer a ton of features anyway. For
those who want something that’s quick and simple, it’s perfect. However, if you want more customizability, you’re
better off looking elsewhere.
You can connect an unlimited amount of devices to the service even with the free version! If you sign up for a paid
service tier, the mobile-only payment plan will only cover your mobile devices. So if you want protection all
around, it’s best to pay for the full plan.
Avira Phantom VPN doesn’t offer a ton of standout features but it checks most of the boxes for protection.
- Killswitch (only for paid subscribers)
- Unlimited bandwidth (only for paid subscribers)
- Tech support
- Military-grade encryption protocol
- Browser safety
The browser safety add-on further increases your overall safety as it blocks ads, protects against unwanted programs
during downloads, checks for malicious sites, and offers tracker protection.
Privacy and Logging
On the surface, the service appears to offer good privacy. It does not require email registration for the free tier
and accepts PayPal. Still, there’s no Bitcoin payment option for those who want true anonymity online.
Still, the policy admits they log the amount of data you use and whether you’re a free or paid user.
Overall, TechRadar states, “... None of that constitutes any significant privacy risk, and many commercial VPNs
record similar details, often even more.”
Perhaps the biggest hurdle in terms of privacy is its location. Avira is in Germany, which means they must comply
with data retention laws. As of 2016, the company may be required to hold on to identifiable data to comply with
local law. Still, any data they track is anonymous. This means they would have nothing to share if called upon by
the government to turn over information.
While Avira Phantom delivers on many fronts, it sadly falls flat on performance. Its unimpressive speeds disappointed
reviewers. When they tested across different locations around the world, they could only reach roughly 14% of their
base transfer speed.
Still, many reviewers found speeds fast in the US, UK and Germany. And considering most of its 100 servers are
located in the US and Europe, that’s a relatively good sign. It just means you shouldn’t connect to the Asia or
Mexico servers if speed is important.
If you pay for a monthly or yearly subscription, you have access to 24/7 telephone support. There’s also a support
forum you can search to see if anyone has encountered the problem you’re facing before. There are also knowledge
base articles but reviewers found they don’t provide a lot of detail.
Avira Phantom VPN doesn’t offer the most features and isn’t the fastest VPN on the block, but it provides a generous
set of features for a free option and good privacy. With that said, it doesn’t offer too much in the way of
customization and its lack of server locations and mediocre speeds make it hard for experts to recommend paying for
PC Mag notes, “... Avira offers much of what we’re looking for in a VPN, at a reasonable price… That said, the app is
in need of a visual overhaul, and its server offering is far from robust.”
PC World adds, “... You can definitely find VPNs with faster speeds. What you get with Avira, however, is the comfort
of knowing who’s behind your VPN, the knowledge its run by security experts, and a very liberal simultaneous use