Avira Phantom VPN Full Review: Worry-Free Online Presence
Avira Phantom VPN is a product that came to the market by the German cybersecurity company Avira. Besides a reliable and affordable antivirus, Avira offers a VPN that will protect your online presence from hackers and data breach attempts.
Many VPN users expect to have unlimited online access to whatever they want online; Avira Phantom VPN bypasses high censorship imposed on websites or applications and goes through firewalls to enhance your online experience.
That's not all; let's discuss all that you need to know about Avira Phantom VPN in detail.
When having too many options, choosing the perfect fit for you becomes overwhelming. Our review will discuss how Avira Phantom VPN performs in terms of security, speed, and bypassing restrictions.
Avira Phantom VPN Speed
In this section, we checked how Avira Phantom VPN performs in speed tests. We'll also help you find out the number of servers, their geographic distribution, and the fastest available protocol offered by Avira.
1. Avira Phantom VPN in speed tests
Testing a VPN's speed isn't that easy since many factors take a role in the tests, including the number of servers, available protocols, and type of encryption. However, testing a VPN's speed in many locations under the same circumstances can tell the average of a VPN's speed and if it can manage a good internet connection to handle most of the tasks well.
Overall, Avira Phantom VPN performs better when using it to download than to upload. Its downloading and streaming speed was better when tested in closer locations. However, the overall speed got slower when it was tested in farther locations.
In a nutshell, Avira Phantom VPN is good enough for lag-free streaming and is fast enough to download. If you're looking for a blazingly fast VPN, Avira Phantom might not be your best choice, though.
2. Number of servers and geographic distribution
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN has 150 servers in 37 different countries.
Long explanation: More servers means a better possibility to find a server nearby. The small number of servers is considered as one of Avira Phantom VPN's downsides. However, its network has a good distribution and servers in locations that allow unrestricted streaming or greater libraries for most popular streaming services and applications.
3. Fastest available protocol
Short explanation: IKEv2 is the fastest available protocol by Avira Phantom VPN (recommended to use).
Long explanation: In the VPN world, many protocols exist, with differences between protocols making the difference in how secure a VPN is, how fast, and whether it can bypass geo-censorship. Typically, the trade-off is between speed and security, with the PPTP protocol typically being the fastest but the least secure.
Security and Privacy
We believe that most of people use a VPN to get an anonymous and private internet connection. This section will discuss if Avira Phantom VPN can protect your online presence and what features it has to get you the most possible secure connection.
1. Encryption and protocols
Avira Phantom VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption on all its servers, which is the same standard used by militaries and government agencies worldwide.
Regarding protocols, Avira Phantom VPN uses OpenVPN for Android and Windows and IKEv2 for macOS and iOS, which is less secure than OpenVPN. The company is currently working on adding WireGuard protocol to the list, which is highly secure, but it is not available yet to be used.
|Platform||Windows, macOS, and iOS||Windows, Android, Linux, and Fire TV App|
|Security||IPsec encryption||AES 256-bit encryption|
|Firewall||UDP ports 500 and 4500, and ESP IP Protocol 50||Uses 443 port (hard to block)|
|Speed||Intermediate||Slower than IKEv2|
2. Avira Phantom VPN logs policy
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN has a true no-log policy.
Long explanation: Avira Phantom VPN has a true no-log policy (i.e., they gather no information at all, not even your email address or billing method).
3. Avira Phantom VPN kill switch
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN has a fully functional kill switch feature.
Long explanation: Avira Phantom VPN has DNS leak protection and a kill-switch that prevents your data from leaking and your real IP address from becoming visible. Avira Phantom VPN offers an automatic kill switch, which blocks all internet traffic and protects you from data leaks if your VPN connection temporarily goes down.
4. Avira Phantom VPN RAM-based servers
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN doesn't use RAM-based servers (not hard drives).
Long explanation: A RAM-based server means that the data, instead of being saved to hard drives, is saved on RAMs instead. This is advantageous to security because RAMs are wiped clean every time the servers reboot.
5. Based country
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN is based in Germany.
Long explanation: Avira Phantom VPN is based in Germany, which is inside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. VPN companies based inside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance are considered a possible security threat as these countries are known to spy on their citizens and share information internally. (Read more on the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance).
6. Warrant canary
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN has a warrant canary system.
Long explanation: A warrant canary is an indirect method to warn customers of governmental attempts to subpoena where the presence of the warrant on the company’s official website means the local government hasn’t tried anything yet. If the warrant canary is removed from the company’s page, it means they were asked.
Avira Phantom VPN in Practice
In terms of the applications of VPN in the real world, we dive further into how Avira Phantom VPN fares against the rest in the following categories:
Despite Avira Phantom VPN's modest servers network, it unblocks Netflix geo-restricted content in the US and UK, which is great considering that not many VPN services can bypass the high restrictions imposed by Netlfix on its content.
It also functioned well and fast with Disney+. However, it failed to connect to Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Max. This means you'll have limited streaming options when choosing Avira Phantom VPN.
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN allows torrenting.
Long explanation: Avira Phantom VPN doesn't clarify many issues when it comes to torrenting. Their FAQs section also lacks information about how capable the VPN to guarantee secure and private torrenting.
This is a little distracting for many users who want to use the VPN for torrenting apps like uTorrent or BitTorrent. Regardless of the lack of information, we found that Avira Phantom VPN has P2P networks that are good enough for torrenting.
This fact is supported with a true no-log policy, a Warrant Canary, and secure encryption technology.
Avira Phantom VPN makes sure that none of your data is either collected or retained, so there's no way any information can be traced back to you.
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN doesn't have specialized gaming servers.
Long explanation: Do users really need a VPN for gaming? We won't go too in-depth on this topic. However, if you want to read more about it in detail, you can read our blog post on VPN and Gaming.
4. Avira Phantom VPN dedicated IP servers
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN doesn't have dedicated IP servers.
Long explanation: A dedicated IP isn't something that is necessarily better than a shared IP. Whether you need a dedicated IP or not depends on your requirements.
5. Geo-censorship bypass (obfuscation)
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN can bypass geo-censorship.
Long explanation: Avira Phantom VPN can bypass censorship on geo-restricted online content. Still, if you're looking for a VPN that works in countries with high censorship, like China, this might not be your best choice.
6. Split tunneling
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN doesn't come with the split tunneling feature.
Long explanation: Split tunneling is another security feature that enables you to choose which apps go through your VPN and which apps you regularly access (without VPN).
7. Avira Phantom VPN Tor over VPN
Short explanation: Avira Phantom VPN doesn't have Tor over VPN support.
Long explanation: Torrent onion router (Tor) is a P2P program used to enter the dark web. Using a VPN adds an extra layer of anonymity, especially at the entry node, with the addition of data encryption.
Avira Phantom VPN Device Compatibility
Avira Phantom VPN is compatible with:
Extention availability summary:
- Google Chrome
Avira Phantom VPN User Experience
1. Supported languages
It supports the following languages:
2. Customer support
Many VPN services provide live chat support to answer questions and give solutions instantly. Unfortunately, Avira Phantom VPN is not one of those services; it doesn't offer live chat support. Also, users of the free VPN don't have many options when it comes to customer support. They only have the knowledge base, which doesn't really provide significant help.
Premium plan users will have the following options:
- Knowledge base
- Phone calls
Pricing and Payment
Avira offers two subscriptions: Monthly and annually, and unlimited connections for one account/ subscription. The monthly plan is available for $10 per month, and you can subscribe annually for $78, billed every year.
There's also an in-app purchase Mobile plan that is available for $5.99 per month only.
If you feel that Avira Phantom isn't your VPN, you can get your money back due to their 30-day money-back guarantee.
Payment methods include:
- American Express
Avira Phantom VPN is one of the best options if you're looking for a VPN with the essential features. It might not be the best in terms of streaming, torrenting, and playing games. However, it has many features that VPN users will find advantageous, including a kill-switch, Warrant Canary, and it unblocks some popular streaming services, like Netflix and Disney+.