There are many VPNs, so identifying the benefits and weaknesses of each product is important. This AVG VPN review is meant to highlight the positive and negative traits of AVG’s service so you can be more confident in your decision.
The feedback of users who have tested AVG’s VPN will be considered when granting a final rating. The comments of other reviewers will be given consideration as well. All of this will be combined with the reviewer’s time with the product to create a final rating that reflects different testing.
The final rating will be provided using a five-star system. The rating will reflect the general usability of the service. You may feel different from the rating depending on how specific features are handled, so this review strives to highlight as many significant features as possible.
Positive Features of AVG VPN
When putting together this AVG VPN review, the positive traits were measured first. Although negative traits are often weighed more heavily, due to their ability to cripple a service, it’s important first to identify what makes a service stand out.
Positive features can be something that is considered standard in the industry, but that this service does better than its rivals. It may also include features that are unique or improve your use of the service in ways that competitors don’t touch on at all.
Compatibility With Platforms
AVG VPN works with most major platforms. Compatibility is a big factor that can make a VPN completely useless, but AVG’s ability to be used with all major platforms is one of its most stand out features.
This allows it to offer you protection on different devices that utilize different platforms while using the same license. If you have a smartphone, a laptop, and a personal computer, for example, the chance that these devices use different platforms massively increases.
Platforms in this context refer to Windows, iOS, Kindle, and other operating systems. If a VPN isn’t designed to be compatible with a platform, it will be almost entirely useless for any devices using that platform. Many platforms even encourage companies, like VPN producers, not to support their rivals to better corner the market.
Platforms such as Windows, iOS, Kindle, and more are supported through this VPN!
AVG is extremely adaptable because AVG took the time to write the program with these many major platforms in mind. Few VPNs can be used with all major platforms, so AVG is one of the most versatile VPNs when compared to their competitors.
Image Capture via AVG
Adapting To The Cryptocurrency Market
VPNs are an entirely digital service, so paying with physical currency can seem odd to some. AVG accepts digital payments, but they also accept payments using the latest trend in the digital economy; cryptocurrency.
AVG VPN is compatible with Bitcoin at the moment, so you can pay for the service in Bitcoin if you choose. A VPN is also designed to provide privacy and security on your devices, so you can use AVG’s VPN in turn to protect any devices you use to manage your Bitcoin.
AVG does not currently accept other forms of cryptocurrency, but that may change. Bitcoin is currently accepted because it is the largest and one of the most stable currencies. Cryptocurrencies can currently fluctuate widely in value, but as these services stabilize, AVG may be willing to accept other cryptocurrencies as well.
How Many Devices Can Be Enabled With Just One License
When purchasing a VPN license, you are entitled to use the VPN on a limited number of devices. A license that allows you to select more independent devices is going to be better, especially if your home has many digital devices.
This VPN can be used with up to five devices when you purchase a single license. This meets the standard for VPNs, as many VPNs aim to enable exactly five devices per license.
There are licenses that allow you to enable more devices with other services, but the price often reflects that. Many of AVG’s rivals have made their licenses more limited recently; however, protecting four devices or less. For this reason, AVG’s decision to maintain five devices per license has been a positive decision for the company and service.
If you want to protect a business or have a family, you may require multiple licenses. This is the situation where licenses covering additional devices will stand out more. In this situation, AVG will seem exponentially superior to rivals who cover only four devices or less.
An example of five devices would include a smartphone, laptop, personal computer, an iPad, and one other digital device of your choice. Luckily, due to AVG’s high compatibility with different platforms, you can mix and match most devices to find a situation that’s right for you.
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Customer Support Helpfulness
A live customer support service is always the best option, but for digital services that aren’t always an option. Many digital service providers find live and phone call customer support to be hostile situations, and avoid them for their employee’s sakes.
AVG has done their best to bridge the gap though by offering interactive customer service through a live chat system. This makes better use of their limited customer support team, who might otherwise be bogged down in long customer service phone calls.
If you have an issue with your service, you can contact a customer service representative through chat. You can directly explain your issue, and receive feedback as they work to resolve the issue. If a fix is insufficient, you can say so immediately and continue with the service until they resolve your problem.
If that doesn’t solve your issue, AVG has set up forums and a community among service users to exchange information and ask for help. If users have had similar problems in the past, you may be able to trade information and resolve the issue before turning to customer support. This isn’t a substitute for professional help but may help with minor issues in the meantime.
The common way VPN services offer customer service is through a problem ticket setup. This denies customers the ability to interact with other humans as much as possible. AVG’s chat isn’t the same as on-call customer service, but it’s significantly better than the current standard most VPN customer support centers offer.
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Ease Of Service
The VPN provided by AVG is easy to set up. The service requires minimal installation and has an easy setup option to help you activate it as soon as possible after purchase.
Some VPNs take time to activate as the company verifies your purchase. You may also be asked to select a folder for installation, use manual installation options, and other steps that drag out the process.
They can also have you take steps to uninstall the service, going through multiple windows and confirmation screens in an attempt to make you reconsider. AVG aims for ease of use though, so you can install and uninstall the service without being guilt-tripped along the way.
One thing AVG would benefit from is a kill switch so that you can disable the VPN when it is limiting specific services you use. These services will be mentioned more in the negative elements section, but the ability to turn the service on and off when it becomes a problem would be a valuable addition to the service.
- Compatibility with platforms
- Adapting to the cryptocurrency market
- Five devices can be enabled with just one license
- Customer support helpfulness
- Ease of service
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The Most Negative Elements Of AVG’s VPN Service
Depending on the service, the negative elements of a VPN may significantly outweigh the positive traits they provide. In some places, they may not meet the industry’s standard for a feature, or in others, they may lack a feature entirely.
When putting together this AVG VPN review, several elements were lacking. Those missing or lacking features are listed below, along with the parts of the service they most negatively impact.
They Handle User Data In A Subpar Fashion
The reason you want a VPN is to obscure your location and to stop others from tracking how you use your devices. These factors prevent advertisers from creating targeted ads, stop websites from selling your personal data, and more.
For this reason, most VPNs make it clear that they do not record your logging times, or track your browsing and use of services. In theory, your VPN can deny other services from tracking you but can track your activities themselves. They can then sell that data, even though preventing other services from doing so is likely the reason you bought a VPN.
AVG is a bit murky in this department. They have refused to be clear on whether they personally track your loggings or data. The lack of clarity when talking about user data is a large, detrimental part of the service.
It’s even possible that if certain services pay them, they enable those services to track your data through their VPN. It’s unclear if this is the case, but it’s their questionable responses in this department that make this a part of their service you should be extremely wary of.
Limited Access To Streaming
Streaming is one of the most important services in the modern, digital environment. You can stream television and other services directly to your tv, phone, or computer. VPNs can disable your access to some streaming services, so how they handle streaming services is an important factor to consider.
AVG’s VPN service offers limited access to Netflix. Not all of their servers will allow you to run the most popular streaming service on your devices unless you disable the VPN. If you have to turn the VPN on and off regularly, that means there are more chances for your data to be tracked, for your computer to come under attack, and for you to forget to turn the service back on.
The fact that some of their servers offer access to Netflix also means that not all customers receive an identical experience. For a subscription service like VPNs, this means a greater opportunity for them to offer you different, pricier plans with more features. Not every customer will want to wade through these options to find the right fit, so this is a big negative.
As mentioned, they only offer limited access to Netflix. Many other streaming services are blocked entirely. Netflix is the number one streaming service, so the possibility of being denied access to even that shows how far AVG has to go in enabling streaming while using their service.
AVG doesn’t mention online gaming or other interactive media at all.
The service doesn’t mention streamed gaming content at all, so it is unclear how it interacts with interactive streaming media. Considering its limited compatibility with Netflix and other common streaming services, we’re pessimistic about this area of service going forward.
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Bottlenecks On P2P And Torrenting
For many digital activities, peer to peer (P2P) transferring is faster than using a host or client. It allows you to download and upload files faster by cutting out a proverbial middle man in the process. Torrenting is similar, allowing users to transfer metadata about in smaller packets.
One of the benefits of a medium service is that it acts as a verified safe database though, so individual files passing through don’t have to be verified as safe every time. For a service like a VPN, this means dealing with PSP transfers and torrents can be difficult. Many VPNs understand the popularity of torrenting though and take strides to enable it.
AVG is not one of those services. This VPN offers limited PSP and torrenting options. It does not handle these direct services well, so you will experience a great deal of bottlenecking when trying to torrent files. Other files will be denied entirely depending on the VPN’s settings.
Transferring files through PSP methods is not uncommon. Even if you don’t download torrents often, websites you use may use similar transfer methods. This means a significant portion of digital services will be limited for you until AVG improves their VPN in this department.
- User data handled in subpar fashion
- Limited access to streaming
- Bottlenecks on P2P and torrenting
Final Rating: 3.25 of 5
When considering all of the information, this AVG VPN review shows that the product has a fair amount to offer. Its negative traits stand out when compared to competitors though. Limiting PSP services and Netflix streaming already acts as major negative factors when rating the product.
Big Missteps Bog Down The Final Score
The biggest misstep is their unclear tone about how they handle tracking user data. The point of this and similar services is to create a Use It and Lose It environment, where any data tracking your activity while online is forgotten the moment you sign off.
AVG does not clearly state that they do not track loggings or other data. This means their service has the potential to sell your data elsewhere, defeating the main purpose of VPN services. If this was proven to be the case, the rating might harshly reflect this by being lower.
No data exists to show that they do this or have the intention of taking these actions; however, so the rating in this review has not been lowered. AVG should be clearer with their customers in the future.
An Overall Positive Experience
AVG’s VPN receives a 3.25 out of 5 rating because it has many positive elements to balance out the sharp negative traits. Its compatibility with all major platforms, in particular, is a feature that few of its market rivals offer as well. Many homes now have a mixture of platforms when you take smartphones, personal computers, and so on in place, which makes their service versatile.
Their use of chat for customer support, which allows customers to interact with a human during troubleshooting, is also a significant boon.
FAQs, forums, and live ticket services are rarely as helpful as direct customer service.
Another feature that shows their commitment to future technologies is their acceptance of Bitcoin. Adopting cryptocurrencies shows an interest in other budding digital markets, and a plan to expand further in the future. While AVG is not an exceptional VPN at the moment, there are clear indications that they plan to expand what their service offers in the future.
AVG’s VPN is a series of sharp contrasts. The Pros of their service are very strong, but so are the Cons. In the end, their customer service and broad availability on platforms make it an easily accessible service that will meet a majority of user’s needs. For this reason, it edges just above a 3 rating, for a generally positive reception in this review.