In case you’ve ever searched for antivirus software online, you’ve probably encountered Avira before. This is a reputable cybersecurity company offering a whole range of products for protecting your sensitive information. Therefore, it’s not so surprising to see Avira offering a VPN solution as well. However, just because it comes from a well-known company doesn’t mean that Avira Phantom VPN can be recommended by default. This is why we’re here, as we’ll test numerous aspects of this VPN and come up with our own, objective findings. So, welcome to our hands-on review of Avira Phantom VPN Pro.
We’ll start thing slowly by first introducing you to this VPN. With this said, we’ve prepared three tables for you, where you’ll get the learn the basic information about Avira Phantom VPN, what kinds of streaming platforms it unblocks, as well as its pros and cons. So, let’s get started.
|Jurisdiction||Germany & The USA (14-Eyes Alliance).|
|Logs||Anonymized data only.|
|Number of Servers||28 countries; Unknown number of servers.|
|Encryption Standards||AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec.|
|Speed Reduction||48%, on average.|
|Live Chat Support||NO|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Web browsers.|
|Price||€4.00 ($6.50) per month.|
Next, we’re going to tell you if Avira Phantom works with Netflix, Hulu, and other highly popular media streaming services. Before we do that, we’ll also make a note that we’ve tested this VPN hands-on, and the following results are based on our actual testing of this product.
|Media Streaming Support|
|Amazon Prime Video||YES|
And finally, we wouldn’t want to forget those who’re in a rush. If you don’t have the time to read this entire review, check out the table below. You’ll find information related to this VPN’s strong and weak sides, as well as our final verdict.
|The Bottom Line|
|Cons||Missing router support; Slightly below average performance; Small server network. No anonymous payment.|
|The Final Verdict||We recommend Avira’s VPN service to average home users who don’t need plenty of customization and tweaking.|
Now, we’re finally ready to dive deep into everything this VPN offers. So, make sure to join us as we’re about to review Avira Phantom VPN Pro – from the inside out!
Avira Phantom VPN Pro – TechNadu’s Hands-On Review
We’ll be putting Avira VPN through a series of tests, one step at a time. If you’d like to learn more about this process, we have a dedicated article on how we review VPNs.
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
What’s problematic about Avira is its jurisdiction. It comes from Germany, but also has a headquarter in the USA. However, it comes with no previous data leaks. Our Score: 5/10.
It’s important to know where your chosen VPN comes from, as these online services (just like any other type of business organization) must respect the laws of their home country. So, let’s see where Avira comes from and what that means for its users.
Jurisdiction & Applicable Laws
Avira is a cybersecurity company founded in 2006, in Germany. However, this company was previously known as H+BEDV Datentechnik GmbH, founded all the way back in 1986. It serves customers worldwide, and it’s said that it has more than 100 million users relying on Avira’s products to battle malware and different kinds of damaging scripts, actions, and other types of digital threats.
As you can imagine, such a large company cannot operate from a single location. This is why Avira has offices in Romania, the Netherlands, China, and the United States of America. This means that your use of this software is regulated by the laws of the nearest Avira headquarters, and these are two of those in the world. So, let’s take a closer look.
Unless you’re located somewhere in North America, you will be purchasing a VPN under the jurisdiction of Germany. This country is one of the leading members of the European Union, which has several positive and negative implications. On the one hand, Germany has very strict and rigorous laws regarding data protection and the way companies log your personal information. As an example of this, the EU fined Google for GDPR privacy violations not too long ago, and the same thing happened in France as well. On the other hand, Germany is a member of the 14 Eyes Intelligence Alliance, founded by the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. This means that 14 countries can easily access your personal data if there’s a justifiable reason to believe that you’re breaking any laws.
Next, if you’re located in North America, your use of Avira Phantom VPN Pro will be regulated by the laws of the United States. We don’t have to tell you that the US is one of the leading countries when it comes to data logging and mass-surveillance. This is precisely why top-rated VPNs are headquartered in exotic locations like Panama, Dominica, Seychelles, and the British Virgin Islands – as all these countries are out of the reach of the 14-Eyes Alliance.
Previous Data Leaks
All in all, we do believe that Avira Phantom VPN is a trustworthy option. However, we simply can’t ignore the fact that it falls under the jurisdiction or Germany or/and the USA. This means that individuals looking for complete online anonymity should probably find a VPN that comes from an exotic country with privacy-friendly laws.
Supported Platforms & Devices
Avira Phantom VPN meets the needs of non-demanding home users. Sadly, you can’t install it on routers or media streaming devices. Our Score: 6/10.
A single VPN subscription usually lets you protect several devices at once. And when it comes to Avira Phantom VPN Pro, you get unlimited simultaneous connections. So, let’s see what kinds of devices are supported by this VPN.
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, MacOS.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android, iOS.|
|Web Browsers||Google Chrome.|
We can see that Avira Phantom VPN covers a number of popular platforms. When it comes to computers, you can run it on Windows and MacOS (Linux is missing here, obviously). And when it comes to handheld devices, Avira Phantom runs both on Android and iOS (including iPhones and iPads). There’s also Google Chrome, as Avira is offering a recently released Chrome extension. In other words, there’s now a possibility to run this VPN on Chromebook computers as well.
As you can see, plenty of devices are missing here. Perhaps the biggest downside is Avira’s lack of router support. This is one of a few VPNs that you can’t install on any routers, which is perhaps why a single Avira VPN subscription supports an unlimited number of devices. This means that this downside is somewhat mitigated by the fact that you can protect your entire household by installing native software (on your computers, smartphones, and tablets). Finally, there’s no support for media streamers, which have become increasingly popular during the last few years.
Installation & Initial Configuration
The process of installing Avira Phantom is simple. However, you’ll also end up with software that acts as a marketing channel for the company. Our Score: 7/10.
To become a user of this VPN, you first need to subscribe to Avira Phantom VPN Pro. This includes creating your user account and going through the payment process (we’ll talk about this VPN’s pricing later in the article). This will allow you to log-in to your account on the official website of Avira. You’ll get access to a helpful and nicely designed control panel, where you’ll see detailed information about the services you use, both free and paid. And as you can imagine, this is Avira’s way of promoting their free tools – everything from their antivirus, password manager, system speedup tools, and plenty more. And of course, this is from where you can download Avira Phantom VPN.
The process of installation is simple enough. You double-click on the installation file, go through several installation steps, and that’s about it. Luckily, Avira isn’t forcing you to install other software made by this company – at least not during the installation. However, aside from Avira’s VPN service, you’ll also get an application with a simple UI that acts as a gateway to their products. This can be slightly annoying as Avira is pushing this kind of marketing in an aggressive way – which is what often happens when you install free software. That’s because you can also use Avira’s VPN free of charge, in a very limited way. However, since you’re paying for the Pro version, there’s no need for such aggressive marketing schemes.
Aside from the standard set of features, Avira Phantom comes with a kill switch and anti-malware. Split-tunnelling and other high-end features are missing. Our Score: 8/10.
You must be wondering what kinds of features this VPN provides? Well, we’re going to take a close look at this, and inspect what kinds of basic and more advanced features Avira Phantom VPN offers. To get started, take a look at the table found below.
|VPN Features Checklist|
|DNS Leak Protection||YES|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||YES|
|Unlimited Server Switches||YES|
In terms of protecting your personal information, Avira Phantom uses DNS leak protection – which is the basic feature found in pretty much any VPN out there. When it comes to more proactive measures, you’ll find full support for IPv4, even though Avira protects you against IPv6 leaks as well. We were able to verify whether this company fully supports IPv6 or simply blocks this kind of traffic – but your private information should be kept safe either way.
Next, Avira can also protect your malicious websites, malware-related scripts, and more. It doesn’t have a built-in ad-blocker – but you can use other Avira’s products (free of charge) for this purpose. And lastly, paying customers of Avira Phantom VPN also get unlimited bandwidth, data, and server switches.
As you can see, this VPN comes with a nicely designed set of features – with numerous tools designed to prevent leaks and hide your identity. However, this isn’t the most feature-rich VPN out there. For example, it doesn’t support split-tunneling and it doesn’t allow you to fine-tune your user experience (aside from having a basic settings panel).
Avira Phantom VPN comes with a (supposedly) limited server network that’s present in only 28 countries. In comparison to top-rated VPNs, Avira trails behind. Our Score: 4/10.
We’re sure that you’re looking for a good VPN deal – and you want to invest your money wisely. Well, that’s why you need to know how many servers you’ll get to use, and whether there are nearby servers that could potentially bring throttle-free speeds. So, here’s the server count info for Avira Phantom VPN Pro.
|Server Count Info|
|Number of Servers||N/A|
|Number of Locations||39|
|Number of Countries||28|
|Specific Cities Selection||The USA-based locations only.|
VPNs are usually quick to display the number of their servers, as this is one of the major comparative points. If you find a VPN that hides this information, it usually means that it has nothing to brag about. Interestingly enough, Avira Phantom VPN Pro hides this information in a very rigorous way. We’ve approached them via customer support to ask about their server locations, capabilities of those servers, and the total number of servers in the world under the supervision of Avira – and the company declined to respond to us. We were told that they offer 39 server locations and that they can’t disclose any other information related to their server network.
It’s also important to note that you’ll find servers in 28 countries. This isn’t much, but they seem to be evenly spread across the world (not applicable to Africa, though). And also, you can’t connect to individual cities or servers. Instead, you just pick a country and hope for the best. Still, you can connect to different locations (cities) within the USA, including 12 different locations (and one server for streaming).
Finally, we’ll make a note that other reviews offer different numbers related to Avira’s VPN. You’ll find information saying that Avira offers anything from 40 up to 800 servers. However, keep in mind that the company isn’t willing to disclose that number – and we suspect that it’s fairly low, nonetheless.
Ease of Use
Avira Phantom comes with a simple UI, suitable for average home users. More advanced users will be left wanting additional options and in-depth tweaking. Our Score: 7/10.
The home screen of Avira Phantom Pro comes with a very simple UI. At the bottom, you’ll see a prominent green button that says ‘Secure My Connection’ – and it does just that. The first time you open this application, clicking on the green button will connect you to a nearby server. Of course, you can also select a server manually by clicking a link just above this button.
Selecting a server is done by clicking on any of the countries you’ll see on the list of available servers. You can search for a server manually or simply go for the nearest location. Also, you’ll get to see the ping values for all servers, indicating how close or distant you are from the servers that Avira offers. In general, you can expect better performance from nearby servers and vice versa. So, when you’re ready, just click on any country and the VPN will automatically connect you.
If you take a look at the top of the UI, you’ll see a button that takes you to Avira’s Web-based control panel (which we talked about in the Installation segment of this review). Then, there’s a button that takes you to the application’s setting panel. This is where you’ll find a few interesting options, starting with the option for enabling Avira Phantom on certain Wi-Fi networks. You can also decide to open the application on start-up, as well as enable/disable the application’s kill-switch and anti-malware tool. And that’s pretty much it.
As you can see, this VPN seems to be designed for average home users. There isn’t plenty to tweak here, and everything seems to be automated. This means that if you’re an advanced user, you’ll be left wanting for additional options allowing you to fine-tune your experience.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
This VPN seems like the perfect solution for media streaming. It unblocks all of the world’s popular media streaming websites, and it also supports P2P. Our Score: 10/10.
Now, let’s see what kinds of streaming platforms can be used via this VPN. More precisely, we’ve tested Avira’s VPN solution with four of the world’s most popular streaming websites, and here are the results.
|Media Streaming & Torrenting Support|
|Amazon Prime Video||YES|
Surprisingly enough, Avira Phantom Pro can successfully unblock Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. We’ve managed to unblock and use these servers by connecting to a US-based server optimized for streaming. And of course, we used a UK-based server for BBC iPlayer. All of these websites were unblocked with ease, and we managed to stream HD content as well.
It should be also noted that Avira Phantom Pro is compatible with P2P file sharing. However, our strong recommendation would be to stay away from illegal files as both the USA and Germany have strict copyright protection laws. If you get your hands on illegal files, you’ll be breaking the law – so, don’t be surprised if you receive a copyright infringement notice.
Security & Privacy
Supported Encryption Protocols
Avira Phantom VPN relies on AES-256 encryption, which is the strongest possible commercially available encryption. In other words, you shouldn’t be worried even if someone gets to your (encrypted) data – as it would take many years for someone to actually ‘read’ it.
When it comes to the available VPN protocols, Avira relies on OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2. You won’t get to use all three of these protocols at once – since this depends on your platform of choice. OpenVPN is available on Windows, Mac, and Android (if downloaded from their website). If you download the Android app from the App Store, you’ll get IPSec. And iOS devices only use IKEv2. Nonetheless, all three of these protocols are strong and capable – with OpenVPN being our first choice.
- Diagnostic data that is collected from your device, which should help Avira resolve performance issues, bugs, and more. Interestingly enough, you can disable this type of logging from within the application itself.
- Avira also keeps track whether you’re a free or paid customer. As noted earlier, Avira Phantom can be used completely free of charge, in a very limited way (where you can decide whether to supply your email address or not). And of course, there are customers who pay for this service and get to use it with no limitations.
- The total amount of data that you use. This information is clearly presented via the official application, and this helps Avira to calculate the costs of their infrastructure.
DNS Leak Test
Take a look at the screenshot above, and you’ll see that no DNS leaks were detected. This means that as soon as you power on this VPN and connect to a remote server, all your data becomes encrypted and protected. Third-parties will be able to see only your virtual information, which includes a virtual IP address, hostname, ISP, and county of origin.
Speed & Performance
Avira Phantom VPN will throttle the speed of your Web connection by around 48% on average – which is slightly better than the average result. Our Score: 6/10.
You probably know that any VPN out there will slow down your Web connection. However, the best VPNs keep this at 10% to around 15% – which means that your Web browsing habits should not be affected. With this in mind, we’ve tested Avira Phantom VPN Pro – so here’s what you need to know.
We start by setting up some baseline data. This means calculating the speed of your Web connections, without having this VPN enabled. As you can see from the screenshot, we got 147.15 Mbps for downloads and 9.79 Mbps for uploads. As our ISP is telling us that we have a 150 Mbps connection, we conclude that it’s not throttling us in any way.
Next, we’ve allowed Avira to connect us to the nearest server. We’ve located in Europe, where this company offers a nice server coverage. Upon connecting to a server in a neighboring country, we managed to get 94.99 Mbps for downloads and 8.36 Mbps for uploads. As you can see, our Web connection has been already made slower, as expected.
Finally, we also connected to a remote server – which in our case is a server in the USA. This time around, we managed to get 57.53 Mbps for downloads and 7.33 Mbps for uploads. To make sense of all those numbers, take a look at the table found below.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline Speed||147.15 Mbps||9.79 Mbps||0%|
|Nearby Server||94.99 Mbps||8.36 Mbps||35.4%|
|Remote Server||57.53 Mbps||7.33 Mbps||60.9%|
We conclude that Avira Phantom VPN Pro made our web connection slower by 48%, on average. This means that Avira works slightly better than the average VPN out there (where you can expect to experience speed reduction between 50% and 60%).
Avira will answer your questions – but in many cases, you’ll be left searching for an answer on this company’s website, on your own. Our Score: 6/10.
Since VPNs are premium-priced solutions, it’s important to know what kind of support you’ll be getting for your money. So, here are all the ways you can have your questions answered.
- Frequently Asked Questions: There’s a nice range of questions answered by Avira’s support team. In terms of the company’s VPN, you’ll find questions related to downloading and installing the software, activating your license and more.
- Videos & Tutorials: Avira has a pretty active YouTube channel, featuring plenty of educational videos. However, as you can imagine, the main focus of those videos is malware (and how to use Avira’s antivirus).
- Email & Telephone Support: Finally, you can contact the company via a form found on their website, and you’ll receive a response to your inbox within 24 hours, on average.
All in all, we expected from Avira to offer much more comprehensive customer support. What bothers us the most is that there’s no live chat – which is something that pretty much every high-ranked VPN offers these days.
Avira Phantom VPN offers a competitive pricing plan, where the annual plan allows you to save up to 37%, bring the price down to €4.00 ($6.50) per month. Our Score: 8/10.
Since Avira has two headquarters (in the USA and Germany), you will see one of the following two pricing plans, depends on where you come from. First, let’s take a look at the pricing plans applicable to North America.
|Total Price||Per Month||Savings|
|Mobile – Monthly||$5.99||$5.99||N/A|
As you can see, you can buy Avira Phantom VPN Pro for $10.00 per month – if you want to protect all your devices. There’s no limit on how many devices you can use via this plan, and it includes computers, smartphones, and tablets. If you’d like to save some money in the long run, we recommend getting the annual plan, whose price comes down to $6.50 per month – which lets you save 35%. And if you want to protect your mobile devices only (Android or iOS), you can get a mobile plan priced at $5.99 per month.
If you’re not located in North America, you will see Avira’s pricing plans displayed in Euros. So, here’s an overview of how much you’ll need to pay.
|Total Price||Per Month||Savings|
|Mobile – Monthly||€3.95||€3.95||N/A|
Everything we said earlier also applies to this set of pricing plans. For €5.95 per month, you can become a subscriber to Avira Phantom VPN Pro, and install this VPN on any number of computers, smartphones, and tablets. The annual plan brings the price down to €4.00, helping you save 37%. And the mobile plan (for Android and iOS) is priced at €3.95 per month – and this plan doesn’t have its annual counterpart.
When it comes to the available payment options, you can pay via credit cards and PayPal. Sadly, anonymous payment options are not available. And lastly, Avira offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which means that you have one month to change your mind and have your money returned.
Do We Recommend Avira Phantom VPN Pro?
We have to say that we were surprised by how helpful and useful this VPN can be. It doesn’t have the biggest server network out there, and you’ll certainly find more polished VPN solutions. However, Avira Phantom VPN allows you to unblock plenty of media streaming platforms, it keeps you secure on the Web, and takes proper care of your data. This means that if you’re looking for a fully automated VPN service, this one definitely seems interesting.
- CONS: Coming from Germany (and the USA); Not the best performance; Doesn’t allow tweaking; Semi-helpful customer support.
- OUR SCORE: 7.0 out of 10!
Intrigued by this VPN? Want more information? If that’s so, make sure to check out Avira Phantom VPN Pro by visiting its website and getting a subscription. We’re sure it’ll meet your expectations.