Secure VPN is the by-product of AVG Technologies; one of the biggest names in the cybersecurity industry, founded in 1991 as an antivirus provider, acquired by Avast in 2016. It is an unpretentious privacy tool, popular for receiving protection on unsecured public Wi-Fi.
Users have access to limited features and server locations, but the price is reasonable and you get a free 7-day trial for testing the service. A good option for novice users looking for a simple product, not packed with a ton of confusing settings and configurations.
To secure the incoming/outgoing traffic, AVG Secure VPN uses military-grade, AES-256 encryption with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication.
For control channel, AVG VPN uses the same AES-256 ciphers with an RSA-2048 handshake. Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) is provided by a DHE-4096 key exchange.
This works in favor of the provider, as the country is even lenient on those, who access the BitTorrent network. VPNs are not banned in the country and the law provides for freedom of speech and press.
The government respects the rights of netizens, apart from “hate speech” cases that deny communist-era crimes and the Holocaust. Otherwise, the government prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy.
There was some outrage on a new bill of Minister of Finance Andrej Babiš. It focused on “internet deanomization” according to which each user had to possess an “internet passport” to access the digital world. However, it was never passed, due to the sheer disapproval from netizens.
The Czech Pirate Party even submitted a petition signed by 11,000 people, protesting the government’s effort to impose censorship, demanding free access to the internet.
As such, netizens enjoy an unrestricted internet in the country, with blocks only imposes on web pages promoting pedophilia, child trafficking, child prostitution, and pornography.
AVG Secure VPN’s “Logging Policy and Use” is quite transparent and straightforward. Unlike other providers, this product does not lie about NOT storing VPN data.
Of course, They do not exactly state what “VPN Data” they record, but just claiming they do should be enough for the privacy-conscious to be alert of the service.
The provider claims it collects this data for technical purposes, fraud against service, and to prevent/identify abuse of their services, like breaching their “End User Agreement”.
This involves indulging in spamming, file sharing, or other illicit activities. In order for the provider to identify such cases, they will track what websites you visit.
As such, they need not state what data is recorded, but we do know it records usage logs (which is a red flag). I’ll leave trusting the provider with your info to you!
In order to get a complete picture of the security offered by AVG Secure VPN, I conducted WebRTC/DNS/IP Address leak tests on three different websites.
The process involved connecting to varied servers and seeing if the provider suffers from any leakage issues. Results you see below are from my tests on their Israel, Petah Tikva server.
Perfect Privacy – DNS Leak Test
As you can see, upon checking the DNS from Perfect Privacy, the results reveal that the address resides from Israel through the HQserv Communication Solutions ISP.
This means, the provider successfully managed to cloak my DNS address, making my official location unknown and invisible. The IP I got access to; 18.104.22.168
Browser Leaks – WebRTC Leak Test
Nobody wants to sign up with a provider that fails to offer the most basic facet of a VPN: PRIVACY. If there is even the slightest chance of your WebRTC is leaking, you will reek so bad.
Lucky for you, AVG Secure passed the test, upon connecting to an Israel Server. As you can see, the results below show a public IP and local IP from Israel.
IPLeak.Net – Complete Privacy Analysis
To ensure that the results we received for both WebRTC and DNS leak tests were accurate, I decided to conduct a complete privacy analysis on the provider using IPLeak.net.
If you look at the results below, you can see no signs of any leakages. The IP address is that of an Israeli location, including the local IP.
The DNS server is also the same as the cloaked IP, verifying that your identity remains secure when using AVG’s VPN application.
App File Check
I have to say that I was really disappointed to discover that AVG, despite being a renowned antivirus and antimalware software, has a virus in their Secure VPN.exe file for Windows.
The test was performed on the virustotal.com website, where you can upload a file and have it analyzed across multiple antivirus services to check for any red signs.
Where the .exe application passed 69 checks, it failed in one. The app comes with the GrayWare/Win32.Presenoker virus. The mac .dmg file passed all 55 checks.
Most VPN providers do not reveal basic information about their service, lacking the transparency necessary for users to trust their product.
They avoid informing users about their headquarters, owners, investors, the board of directors, warrant canaries/transparency reports, and auditing processes (if any).
So, I instead decided to ask providers INVASIVE questions on email (listed below), which you can see in this transparency blog. I am still awaiting a response from AVG Secure VPN.
- Where is your company headquarters? Could we get an address?
- Do you publish Transparency Reports/Warrant Canaries?
- If yes, how often? A link to a URL or PDF file would be helpful!
- Have your claims been audited by an independent third-party security firm?
- Why have you not been audited yet? Any reasons?
- Could we get some info on the owners behind the company?
- Do you guys have any investors and is the information available publically for users?
- Who are the Board of Directors of your company?
Unlike other providers that offer subscriptions of varying durations with discounts, my AVG VPN review unveils the provider keeps things simple by offering a single yearly plan, which starts at $79.99/year.
This means you pay a measly $6.66/month. These costs are quite budget-friendly, in comparison to others in the marketplace that start at $10+ above monthly.
AVG Secure VPN providers users with servers in 50+ locations around the world. They still need to expand on their offerings, but customers do have the ability to choose special servers for P2P/Torrenting and streaming, both of which function smoothly.
I also conducted server testing on numerous locations to identify bare-metal servers from virtual (fake) ones. The process took me about an hour, where I tested around 20 locations. Gladly, all the servers were located at the exact destination advertised.
Virtual Locations Testing
Below you can see results from CA Technologies’ App Synthetic Monitor. I pinged the Israeli server to over 90 monitoring stations worldwide from ASM.CA.
The Round-Trip-Time (RTT) in all locations was extremely high, except in Israel – Kiryat-Matalon, which has an avg. rtt of 1.620 ms, indicating the server is closeby.
The tracert tool from CA Technologies’ App Synthetic Monitor, further verify these findings, displaying a rtt of 1.603 ms. This means, the server is indeed located in Israel.
Torrenting & Obfuscation
Sadly, the provider does not offer a StealthVPN a.k.a. obfuscation feature. I still had a representative of mine test the service in China (as part of our 80+ provider’s analysis), but it did not work.
Albeit, the VPN did function in other locations like Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt, where VPN bans are imminent and quite difficult to bypass.
With regards to P2P/Torrenting, I conducted a test on IPLeak.net, which requested downloading a magnet link and then assessing the background behind the network.
As you can see, the results show that my identity is protected, revealing a different IP from my actual location and address: 22.214.171.124.
One of the main reasons to invest in a VPN solution is to circumvent geo-restrictions and content limitations, imposed by streaming websites around the world.
To check if AVG Secure VPN works smoothly for unblocking VoDs, I connected to a US server and then head straight to Netflix.com for checking their complete database of titles.
Previously, where I was unable to watch “Parks and Recreation” on the platform, connecting to the US server in AVG Secure, unblocked the TV show.
As you can see below, the TV show is streaming quite smoothly and in HD quality. However, this only worked for unblocking US Netflix and not other platforms like BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime.
Extra Security Features
Even after going in-depth into AVG Secure VPN, I could not find any advanced features that could boost your anonymity online. While yes, the provider does successfully cloak your identity.
It lacks greatly in offering extra security features like automatic kill switch, DoubleVPN, Onion over VPN, StealthVPN, and DDoS/DPI Attack Protection, all of which are necessary in today’s fast-paced technological world.
AVG Secure VPN does not offer users much ability for sharing their connection on different devices. Just like most providers in the marketplace, it has a limit of five multi-logins.
This means, you can only use it on five devices simultaneously. In comparison to Surfshark, which offers unlimited connections, and is a newbie (launched in 2018) – I would say AVG Secure VPN still has a long way to go.
Upon analyzing the provider, I realized that AVG Secure VPN does not offer any browser extensions. You only have apps available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
In terms of customer support, AVG Secure VPN is quite proactive. They offer 24/7 live chat support to paid users, where you receive a response within seconds of your query.
Unlike other providers in the marketplace, the VPN even offers premium support via telephone. You can call them at 1-844-234-6038 for any information/assistance about their products.
There is also a support dashboard, where users can input search queries to get redirected to relevant blogs/troubleshooting guides.
Would I recommend AVG Secure VPN?
Umm… I do not think so. First of all, their logging policies are quite shady and I do believe they do keep usage logs, which contain timestamps and websites visited.
Secondly, their server count is far too low and they need to expand their listings. Thirdly, they do not have any advanced security features to boost your anonymity.
I’d say the VPN would only be a good choice for users, who want simplicity and need to access US Netflix. Apart from that, the VPN needs a lot of work.