Avira Phantom VPN Review
In general, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) protects your web traffic from various online threats, but there are some VPN services that offer much more than just that. From allowing you to access geographically restricted content to providing you with military grade protection, a VPN could be everything you need. The competition is large, the number of VPNs is huge thus providing you with a variety of options to choose from. But how would you know which one to fully trust?
From the international internet security company Avira, Phantom VPN is now one of the most noted VPN services in the world that is known to be a solid performer in the industry. With the backing of a strong security firm, could this be the only VPN you need?
Is My Privacy Protected with Avira Phantom VPN?
As a product of a leading internet security company, it is natural for users to expect high levels of privacy from Phantom VPN. The VPN service clearly mentions on its website that it does not track: the websites visited by users, users’ IP address, the virtual locations used by them for surfing, and “ any information that can link you to any action, such as downloading a file, or visiting a particular website ”. These statements are quite comprehensive on their own and give us confidence that our online privacy remains intact when using Phantom VPN.
However, as most other VPN service providers, this VPN service tracks:
- Diagnostic data for product improvement. Users are allowed to switch off this tracking function.
- Whether the user has opted for free or paid services, for communication purposes.
- The amount of data consumed by the user, to calculate infrastructure costs.
As we know, these data are usually collected by almost all VPN services for the same reasons and therefore don’t really impact your privacy while using the service.
When it comes to sharing information with third parties, Avira mentions that they don’t “ forward or sell ” personally identifiable information (PII) to third parties. “ If we work with advertising and publishing partners, we will only share non-PII ”, they further add. Once again, similar to any other VPN company, they also state that they “ may disclose your PII if we are required by law to provide it to governmental agencies, courts or other authorities ”.
To simplify, this means that as long as you are using their VPN for regular purposes, such as torrenting, gaming etc., you won’t have any problems. As long as it’s not entirely illegal. They also offer a kill switch, which is a great feature and a vital tool for attaining privacy. Overall, Phantom VPN does excel in providing quite a good level of protection to users’ privacy.
How Much is Avira Phantom VPN? Is There a Free Trial?
With this VPN service, you basically get two options to choose from: Phantom VPN and Phantom VPN Pro. As the names suggest, the first option is a free plan that gives you a data volume of 500 MB per month and a few other general features, and the second is the paid version of the service where you get more comprehensive features.
With Phantom VPN Pro, you get to choose from three different data plans as given above. First is the monthly plan which is priced at $10 per month, billed monthly, and allows multiple device access. Next is the annual plan which is priced at $6.50 per month, billed annually ($78 per year), and this plan also allows multiple device access. The third plan is designed especially for mobile devices and is a monthly plan priced at $5.99 per month, and this is available for Android and iOS devices.
As always, the benefits you attain from a paid subscription plan would be more than what you can attain from the free plan. And when it comes to pricing, Phantom VPN looks to be quite decent, neither too high nor too low. You can make your payments via PayPal or using your American Express, JCB, MasterCard, or Visa credit card.
Avira Phantom VPN Speed Test
Avira Phantom VPN is definitely a solid performer in terms of speed. Many VPN providers struggle with this issue, and it’s known that by using this service, your internet connection automatically slows down. It also depends on the servers you are using. But Phantom VPN passed the test successfully, although they do not have the highest number of servers available, considering their background.
D uring our tests, we found that the connection and speed was quite consistent most of the time, except for a few times when some servers were a bit slower. However, you wouldn’t have any problem with streaming HD videos and other content or share files using the VPN service. In addition, the VPN service is also a great choice for gamers.
How is Customer Service at Avira Phantom VPN?
Despite being a leading company, Avira fails at providing comprehensive options for customer support. As users of Phantom VPN, you wouldn’t be able to contact their customer support team 24/7 because they do not offer a live chat feature. You can contact the professionals at Avira only via email and telephone. For a response via email, you may have to wait anywhere between a few hours and few days, which isn’t ideal for any VPN user.
What’s worse is the fact that the company offers customer support only to paid customers and not for those using their free plan. Taking into account the size of the business, this lack of proper customer service features is a big letdown.
While they can certainly allow themselves the expenses of providing another way of communication, needless to say their brand is somewhat transparent and has had a solid base of customers for over 30 years now.
The Avira Phantom VPN website, as you would expect, is designed extremely well, with a clearly laid out design, enabling easy navigation. The website basically covers all the different products from Avira, which thus includes the Phantom VPN as well.
Installing the VPN client is a highly user-friendly process and takes only a few minutes when you just follow the instructions.
The VPN service is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, and works well on all these platforms.
When it comes to features, as mentioned earlier, you will be able to enjoy the complete features set offered by the VPN service only if you sign up for one of their paid plans. When you do this, you get to use features such as web anonymity, unblock restricted content, fast speeds, free tech support, multiple simultaneous connections (no limits), IP address masking, unlimited data usage, a kill switch, and more. What is also a great advantage, especially when it comes to competition and remaining one of the best on the market, is that this VPN provider works simultaneously on an unlimited amount of devices. From what we’ve come across, most of the VPN companies offer from one up to five simultaneous connections.
In addition, Phantom VPN also prevents DNS leaks, which is a great security feature that benefits VPN users. The VPN service has also made sure to make it easy for users to perform basic operations, from connecting or disconnecting with a single click to using advanced features.
On the whole, the set of features offered by Avira Phantom VPN are very useful, neither too fancy nor too simple.
Is Avira Phantom VPN Safe?
Apart from the lack of proper customer support features, what further disappoints us about Avira Phantom VPN is the lack of information on security on their website. The Phantom VPN section of the Avira website has very little to zero information on the type and level of security it provides. There is no mention about the types of protocols it supports and the encryption standards it uses. This could be a huge hurdle for first-time or new VPN users.
We had to contact the company to know about these details, after which we could find out that the VPN service uses L2TP/IPSec protocol on Mac and iOS devices, and OpenVPN for Android and Windows devices. When it comes to encryption, Phantom VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption, the highest standard in the industry.
As discussed before, the VPN offers DNS leak protection, which works well is preventing leaks, and we weren’t able to find bugs, WebRTC or DNS leaks during our testing.
Though this gives us a confidence that the VPN service delivers great security, it would be much better if they were transparent and laid out all the information clearly on their website.