Avira Phantom VPN Review
Updated · Jun 06, 2022
Best for: Private browsing
Phantom VPN is one of the web protections against internet privacy and cybersecurity threats from Avira.
Technically, this virtual private network (VPN) is under the control of NortonLifeLock Inc.
The product has been around since 2016, at least. Despite that, I didn’t find a single Avira Phantom VPN review published on Trustpilot, Capterra, and G2.
Google Play (where it’s been downloaded over a million times), however, featured more than 30,000 testimonials. There, the average Avira VPN review star rating was an impressive 4.4.
Is it really that good?
For this Avira free VPN review, I tested the limits of its Windows and Android clients. I also sought to find out what its sole browser extension could do.
Keep reading to learn the (surprising) truth!
Avira Phantom VPN Features
Can Phantom VPN do what most VPNs do? As follows are its basic features.
This VPN supports Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. There’s an Avira Phantom VPN Chrome extension too.
Unfortunately, that’s it.
This VPN has no downloadable configuration files for Linux and routers. It isn’t compatible with smart TVs and game consoles yet either.
Will Avira Phantom VPN work with your computer, smartphone, or tablet?
It will if your device runs any of the following operating system versions:
- Windows 7 and later
- macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) and later
- iOS 11 and later
- Android 5 and later
Moreover, there are two Avira Phantom VPN for Windows versions. One you can get from the Avira site and the other from the Microsoft Store. The former has slightly more features than the latter.
Furthermore, Avira Phantom VPN for Google Chrome is more of a proxy service than a VPN one.
Is this bad news? Not entirely.
Surprisingly, using the Chrome extension instead of the Avira Phantom VPN for Windows or Android comes with a unique upside. You’ll learn about it next.
Only the premium edition has unlimited bandwidth, however. The free Avira Phantom VPN doesn’t.
As an unregistered user, Avira will restrict your usage to 500MB every month. But you can double your bandwidth limit to 1GB by creating an account.
The free Avira Phantom VPN for Chrome, however, doesn’t have any data cap.
It might indicate that the Avira Phantom VPN browser extension does IP (internet protocol) address masking only, and not data encryption.
Unlimited Device Connections
Experienced VPN users would say that a constraint on simultaneous connections on multiple devices doesn’t always mean much. Router and mobile hotspot setups are elegant workarounds. So, as long as a vendor supports either or both, such a limitation won’t tie you down.
You can set up Phantom VPN on Android smartphones and tablets as well as Windows, macOS, and iOS devices. So, this policy applies to them only. At least you can connect countless devices running the supported OSes.
Launch on Startup
When enabled, you won’t have to run Avira Phantom VPN for PC from inactivity whenever you power on your computer.
It’s a convenient feature, but it’s more than a time-saver. Setting this VPN on autopilot can help guarantee your internet privacy and security.
Among the Avira Phantom VPN desktop apps for Windows, it’s available in the client from the Avira site.
With one click, it can connect you to the nearest server. This keeps lag to a minimum since distance won’t be too much of an issue. It’s available in Avira Phantom VPN for Chrome, Windows, and Android.
The Windows client from the Avira site displays server speed. Distance can slow down your internet connection. But this information can help you compare locations and pick the fastest one.
When enabled, this premium feature prevents your internet traffic from leaking when your VPN connection drops. The kill switch is exclusive to Avira Phantom VPN for PC, though.
DNS Leak Protection
Avira has its own DNS (Domain Name System) service. What this means is that your online activity will be completely hidden from your ISP (internet service provider).
Other than privacy, keeping your DNS requests secret can help you avoid internet throttling and enjoy a stable connection speed.
Avira Phantom VPN Advanced Features
In general, Phantom VPN’s functionality is quite standard. But I found two rare features.
When turned on, you can automatically secure your online traffic when you connect to a not-so-trustworthy Wi-Fi network.
To enable it on Avira Phantom VPN for Android, permit the app to access your device’s location.
When activated, it can block dubious sites and protect your PC from Trojans, viruses, worms, and other types of malware. Considering that Avira is an antivirus program through and through, this malware blocker should give you peace of mind.
Avira Phantom VPN Servers and Locations
The Avira Phantom VPN server fleet is strong - 1,400. It offers IP addresses from up to 52 locations across more than 35 countries and territories.
As expected, the majority of its locations are in Europe. This vendor offers IPs from five jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific and another five from the Americas. It has India servers too. No options in Africa and the Middle East, though.
The number of locations you can connect to would depend on how you use the software.
The Avira Phantom VPN mobile and desktop apps that I tested have a similar selection of locations. But the Chrome extension is missing three: Iceland, Isle of Man, and Russia.
At the time of writing this Avira VPN review, the extension’s location list didn’t include a streaming-optimized server. Phantom VPN has one, dedicated to streaming services in the United States. More on this later.
When it comes to accessibility, most locations are available when you buy the premium plan.
The Avira Phantom VPN free version for Windows labels every single location as “Pro.” The only way to connect is to use the Nearest Location feature.
So, the region from which your new IP address comes would depend on your whereabouts at the time of connection.
Despite offering fewer locations, the free Avira Phantom VPN for Chrome is a bit more generous. It gives you access to servers housed in Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and the US (Atlanta) at no cost.
On the Android app, no location is restricted. You can connect to whatever country, territory, or city you want without having to sign up for an Avira Phantom VPN trial.
Avira Phantom VPN Speed
For this Phantom VPN review, I used Speedtest by Ookla.
To see how fast Phantom VPN is, I connected to its servers in Perth (Australia), Manchester (UK), and Seattle (US).
From my physical location in the Philippines, the results were interesting, to say the least.
Take a look:
As you can see, I saw the biggest drop in download speed came from the location closest to mine.
Perth server’s speed loss was about 30%. It was a far cry from the 6.85% and 7.53% observed with the hardware in Manchester and Seattle, respectively.
Despite the noticeable dip in download speed, the Perth server recorded an almost 8% higher upload speed.
It’s practically a common theme. Connecting to the Avira Phantom VPN server in Seattle even posted a 26% jump. My experience with the Manchester hardware was a different story, but the dip was a negligible 1.32%.
In terms of ping, it always increased by at least eight times no matter where I connected. But the highest rise was with the Perth server, soaring by 1,332%. It was unexpected since it was the nearest to me.
Avira Phantom VPN Privacy and Jurisdiction
Avira is headquartered in Germany, with offices in Romania, the US, Japan, Singapore, and China. None of these locations (save for Romania) are 100% safe for internet privacy.
Germany and the US are members of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance. It’s a coalition of 14 Western nations known for snooping into the privacy matters of their citizens and comparing notes.
Japan and Singapore are not signatories to the Fourteen Eyes agreement. But that hasn’t stopped them from sharing what they know with the group.
China doesn’t align itself politically with Fourteen Eyes countries as well as Japan and Singapore. But it’s one of the most authoritarian nations on the planet.
Usually, the legality of VPNs within Mainland China’s borders is puzzling. That’s why you should think twice before using any vendor that has set up shop in this country.
Nevertheless, I’m confident that the Avira Phantom VPN app won’t leak users’ online activity to any party. Even if it wanted to, it can’t.
Avira keeps no log of the sites its VPN users visit. It doesn’t track people’s real IP addresses and the IPs it assigns to them.
It collects and stores diagnostic data, however, which is anonymized and voluntary. In other words, the volume data this vendor receives contains no personally identifiable information. Plus, you can opt-out of it.
Avira Phantom VPN Security and Protocols
This VPN provider supports the gold standard of data encryption: AES-256. All of the data that passes through its encrypted tunnel is as confidential as a US military secret.
Phantom VPN primarily supports the following protocols:
- IPSec (Internet Protocol Security)
- IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange v2)
OpenVPN is available on non-Apple devices. The Avira Phantom VPN Mac app uses IPSec, whereas Avira Phantom VPN for iPad and iPhone secures traffic with IKEv2.
Since recently, you can enable WireGuard on Avira Phantom VPN for Android in order to experience reduced speed loss.
The problem is that WireGuard doesn’t support AES-256. Rather, it uses ChaCha20. It’s secure, but it doesn’t enjoy the widespread acceptance among cybersecurity experts AES does.
Avira Phantom VPN Leak Test Results
Here’s the moment of truth.
I used Ipleak.net to see whether this VPN leaks my original IP and DNS addresses.
And I tried to catch a WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) leak with ExpressVPN’s native tool. WebRTC can broadcast your real location on the internet through the browser.
To carry out said tests, I didn’t pick a specific server. Instead, I used Nearest Location on my PC.
Here’s how it did:
Original IP and DNS Addresses
Hong Kong IP and DNS Addresses
Before the WebRTC Test
After the WebRTC Test
As you can see from the results, I had no complaints.
Avira Phantom VPN and Streaming Services
As mentioned earlier in this Avira Phantom review, this VPN has US-based hardware dedicated to streaming.
I connected to it to see whether I could unblock Netflix US content. And I was able to.
Here’s the evidence:
I wanted to know if its regular Avira Phantom VPN servers were good enough for streaming. This time, I selected a UK one and was pleasantly surprised with what I found out.
It did give me access to the Netflix UK library.
How Good Is Avira Phantom VPN for Torrenting?
Avira advertises Phantom VPN for torrenting. The question is: is Avira VPN safe for downloading torrents?
Determining its usefulness for P2P (peer-to-peer) file-sharing was one of my primary goals for this Avira Phantom VPN review.
So, how did it pass my litmus test?
Well, it did hide my original IP address on the BitTorrent client.
Can Avira Phantom VPN Bypass Geoblocks?
To see if this VPN is capable of getting around geo-restrictions, I went to the Amazon Prime Video site.
It’s available from where I live. But a pop-up message would appear on the homepage to guest visitors from outside the States.
If the Avira Phantom VPN mobile app for Android works as intended, I shouldn’t see the pop-up at all. And I didn’t.
See the before-and-after screenshots below.
Ease of Use
There’s nothing confusing about the user interfaces of Avira Phantom VPN for Chrome, Windows, and Android.
None of them were aesthetically pleasing, but they got the job done. Although the most common negative Avira Phantom VPN reviews were about performance, I hardly experienced any issues.
Admittedly, the Windows app was buggy on some occasions. But it never failed to mask my IP address.
The Avira Phantom VPN browser extension is simplistic to a fault. It had zero settings, so there’s no way to adjust its functionality. In fact, I could only do things with it: pick a location or connect to the nearest one.
All of the products I tested supported English only.
On the other hand, the Avira Phantom VPN desktop client for Windows has light and dark modes. I could also tell the app to use my PC’s setting for its color theme.
This was Avira’s weakness.
Of all its self-service options, its knowledge base was my least favorite. It barely offered clear, definitive replies to interesting inquiries.
Actively participating in its Community is outside the scope of this Avira Phantom VPN review. But by the looks of it, it was decent. Its FAQ was solid too.
Avira offers phone and email support to premium subscribers. But it allows registered users to submit a ticket with or without a paid plan.
I did submit one and sent one more email to see how fast Avira’s response time was.
They did not respond, however, until after I finished this Phantom VPN review. I waited no less than 96 hours to get answers to basic questions. It was a futile effort.
Avira Phantom VPN Price
Phantom VPN has free and premium (Pro) editions.
The Avira Phantom VPN free version is good for life. It’s good for testing only, however. You can’t meaningfully secure your traffic with its usage limitation.
To get over this limit, sign up for the seven-day free trial on Android. Think of it as a partial iteration of the Pro edition. The caveat is that it requires payment information.
Here’s a comparison of the Pro and Free Avira Phantom VPN editions:
500MB data cap per month (1GB per month with registration), IP masking, 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, unlimited simultaneous connections on multiple devices
Seven days Access to 36 VPN servers worldwide Unlimited data
Avira accepts PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.
Avira Phantom VPN Review - Verdict
As a pure VPN, Phantom was excellent. It spoofed my location and circumvented geo-restrictions to my satisfaction.
Its lack of exportable configuration profiles hurts its compatibility, though. At least you can connect as many supported devices as you want with a single premium subscription with no surcharges.
Its free version won't get you far. But it's good enough for testing. After all, there's a free trial at your disposal to get rid of the bandwidth limit.
There are two things I’d like to see if I ever get the chance to write another Avira VPN review in the future:
- a kill switch on non-Windows apps
- experienced and responsive customer support.
I would encourage you to give this VPN a whirl but set your expectations accordingly.
Does Avira have a VPN?
Yes. It is called Phantom VPN.
What does Avira Phantom VPN do?
This VPN can bypass geo-restrictions, which is useful for browsing restricted content and unblocking regional streaming libraries.
It supports P2P traffic, too.
Can Avira VPN unblock Netflix?
It does have a dedicated US server for streaming, although it’s not necessarily optimized for Netflix specifically.
But you can connect to regular servers (including from other countries) and successfully unblock Netflix’s regional content libraries.
Is Avira Phantom VPN good?
Based on my tests, this VPN was able to hide my IP address and DNS requests. For the most part, I didn’t experience considerable speed loss. And it was able to obscure my real IP when P2P sharing and streaming.
To learn more about my findings, read this Avira Phantom VPN review from the top.
Romj is a veteran copywriter who used to be a Jack of all trades. Now, he's trying to be a master of one: technology. He jumps down the rabbit hole to size the latest innovations up. As a content contributor for TechJury, he hopes to help you keep up in our fast-paced world with his discoveries.
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