Avira Phantom VPN Review 2024: Disappointing Features, But Perfect for Netflix UK

Avira's VPN is lacking robust protection, including features like split tunneling, dedicated IP addresses, and a kill switch for operating systems other than Windows.
3.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Avira Phantom VPN's website

VPN
Avira Phantom VPN
  • Unlimited data with paid plan
  • Works for Netflix in the U.K.
  • Misleading no-logs policy claims
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Is Avira Phantom VPN a good VPN? We tested Avira's virtual private network (VPN) and found it to be an unimpressive choice for those looking to protect their data and hide their identity online. With its strong encryption and a low number of servers around the world, it can securely get your internet traffic from point A to point B, but it lacked important features.

With its limited features and sluggish performance, it falls short of the top five best free VPNs we have tested. Those looking for robust protection, with features such as split tunneling, dedicated IP addresses, and a kill switch for operating systems other than Windows should look elsewhere. However, look no further if you’re seeking a VPN that can unblock Netflix shows in the U.K.

Read our Avira Phantom VPN review to learn more about its pros and cons, pricing plans, performance tests, misleading no-logs policy, and why we felt it lacked the “wow factor.”

In this article
Avira Phantom VPN overview
Who is Avira Phantom VPN best for?
Avira Phantom VPN features
Avira Phantom VPN test results
Avira Phantom VPN compatibility
Avira Phantom VPN customer support
Avira Phantom VPN prices and subscriptions
Avira Phantom VPN FAQs
Bottom line: Is Avira Phantom VPN good?

Avira Phantom VPN overview

Price $5.99–$10.00/mo (for paid plans)
Free version Yes
Max # of connected devices Unlimited
# of servers *150 servers in 37 countries
VPN protocol OpenVPN, IPsec
No-logs policy Some logs
Headquarters Tettnang, Germany
Netflix access Yes, but cannot access Netflix in Canada

*Prices as of 5/30/2023.

*In our research, we found Avira Phantom VPN states it has 150 servers in 37 countries on some pages and 1,400 servers in 37 countries on other pages, so the official server count is unclear.

Who is Avira Phantom VPN best for?

  • Recommended for anyone seeking anonymity and security of data without needing all the bells and whistles, plus access to the U.K.'s Netflix library.

Avira Phantom VPN is a reliable choice if you need to hide your IP address and location while securing your private data with AES-256 encryption. For example, it’s useful if you want to access your banking information or purchase items over the internet while using an unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspot at a coffee shop or airport.

Although we think it lacks a lot of features and speed, we believe its standout feature is its ability to access Netflix in the U.K., which many other VPN providers cannot do. Streamers looking for access to geo-restricted content will find this VPN to be an excellent option.

Avira Phantom VPN pros and cons

Pros
  • AES-256 encryption
  • Supports unlimited devices
  • Works for Netflix in the U.K.
  • Unlimited data with the Pro version

Cons
  • Misleading no-logs policy claims
  • Slow server speeds
  • No customer support for the free plan
  • No split tunneling feature

Avira Phantom VPN features

Avira Phantom VPN has a free plan and a paid Pro plan, both of which offer the following: bank-grade AES-256 encryption, access to 150 servers worldwide in 34 countries, OpenVPN and IPsec network tunneling protocols, malicious website blocking, and support for unlimited simultaneous connections.

Avira Phantom VPN Pro has additional specs the free version doesn’t have. They include unlimited data, a kill switch (available for Windows only), DNS leak prevention, and customer support (by phone or email). However, the free plan allows for only 500 MB of data per month, which is far from ideal for streaming services. And it doesn’t provide customer support.

We wish Avira offered extra features, though, such as split tunneling and dedicated IP addresses. Even though we felt Avira Phantom VPN is easy to use and gets the job done, its features are lackluster. We also thought its user interface had a “cheap” appearance and could use some help in the design department.

Server count and countries

  • 150 servers in 34 countries worldwide

Having many VPN servers in different locations can improve connection speeds, give you more server options to get around geo-restrictions, and make the VPN more reliable and easy to use.

Avira’s website states that its Phantom VPN has about 150 servers worldwide. We manually counted how many countries its servers are available in and the total came to 34 countries worldwide. An article about VPN server count from Tom’s Guide stated that anything lower than 1,000 is a negative for a VPN, so 150 servers is definitely not a positive VPN server count.[1]

However, a blog post by ExpressVPN argues otherwise and states that VPN server count doesn’t matter as much as bandwidth, as well as good uplinks and connectivity.[2] This means you can’t always judge a book by its cover. A VPN service with 20,000 fancy servers can have connectivity issues with multiple devices, whereas another service can have 100 servers with exceptional performance. Quality over quantity matters. But we’ll let you be the judge of that.

No-logs policy and headquarters

  • Avira Phantom logs policy: Some logs
  • Avira Phantom headquarters: Tettnang, Germany

A VPN service may have a type of privacy policy called a “no-logs policy,” which informs its users that it doesn’t collect or store any logs of their online activity and details. These details can be your IP address, websites you’ve visited, files you’ve downloaded, and more. A no-logs policy is important for anyone who values their privacy. It makes sure that third parties, such as your internet service provider (ISP), the police, or the government can't find out about your online activities or personal information.

Avira Phantom VPN claims it has a strict no-logs policy and abides by Germany’s privacy standards because it is headquartered in Tettnang, Germany. It says it does not share data with third parties, such as the government, “Big Tech,” or advertising networks. This is a contradictory statement because Avira is a German company, and Germany is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance. This means Avira is obligated to share any intelligence it collects from you if requested by other governments that belong to the alliance.

Unfortunately, we were unable to locate Avira's no-logs policy on its website or on the VPN app. It was also difficult to find its privacy policy, which did not specify details about its no-logs policy. This is ironic considering how Avira’s privacy policy states it’s committed to providing you with transparency. However, when you install its products such as Phantom VPN, it can collect your personal data such as your usage data, browser activity, device data, location, websites or URLs visited, etc. This means Avira’s no-logs policy claims are not legit.

Kill switch

In the Pro version of Avira Phantom, there is a "kill switch" that can be enabled to make sure your online traffic stops and remains encrypted if your VPN connection drops for any reason or length of time. This helps ensure no data is leaked and that your IP address remains hidden. However, Avira’s kill switch only works on Windows, so we were not able to test this feature.

A kill switch is important for protecting your privacy from cybercriminals who may try to sniff and intercept your data, such as passwords or banking information for nefarious purposes. They can violate your privacy by using this information to access your accounts and pay for things online without your permission.

Split tunneling

Unfortunately, Avira Phantom VPN does not offer split tunneling as one of its features. Split tunneling is an important VPN feature to have available because it allows you to divide your internet traffic into two, select which data to send through your VPN tunnel so it gets encrypted, and select which data you don’t want to be routed through your VPN. Hence, the name "split tunneling.”

Split tunneling can optimize your VPN’s performance by improving its speed and latency. For example, you may want to use a VPN to access geo-restricted streaming services in places, but you don't want to use a VPN for your printer. By doing this, you can reduce the internet traffic going through your VPN and prevent your VPN server from becoming a bottleneck.

Encryption

Avira Phantom VPN uses the same highly secure encryption algorithm, called AES-256, that banks and the military use to keep your data and online traffic safe from prying eyes. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256, also known as Rijndael, is a symmetric encryption algorithm that uses a 256-bit key to secure your VPN traffic and data with end-to-end encryption. The higher the number, the more combinations of digits, which protects against brute-force attacks and provides higher levels of security.

VPN protocol

Avira Phantom VPN uses both OpenVPN and IPsec network tunneling protocols for maximum security. OpenVPN’s tunneling protocol establishes secure connections over the internet through a custom security protocol that uses the SSL/TLS encryption protocol, and AES-256 for end-to-end encryption of data. OpenVPN can also work over TCP and UDP protocols for transmitting data, but it works best over UDP.

IPsec, which stands for “Internet Protocol” and “secure,” establishes a secure tunnel through which data can be transmitted by authenticating and encrypting data packets sent over both IPv4- and IPv6-based networks. People often use OpenVPN and IPsec as VPN protocols to secure connections over the internet and prevent malicious actors from snooping on their internet traffic. Today, there are more modern and arguably more secure tunneling protocols such as WireGuard and IPsec/IKeV2.

Avira Phantom VPN test results

We ran a series of tests to assess whether Avira Phantom VPN met our expectations for online privacy and security. We evaluated its speed, ability to stream Netflix in various regions, as well as its leak protection capabilities.

Although we found its speeds were very slow for downloading and uploading compared with other VPNs such as TorGuard, we were pleased to find that Avira Phantom VPN streamed Netflix adequately without a lot of lag or buffering issues. It was also able to bypass geo-restrictions for Netflix in the U.K., which many VPNs cannot do.

In addition, it passed our DNS leak tests and WebRTC leak tests. Overall, our testing suggests that Avira Phantom VPN is a reasonably secure option for anyone seeking a VPN service, though its slow speeds may be a concern for some users.

Speed tests

  • Avira Phantom VPN speed test results: Avira Phantom VPN failed its speed tests.

Before we tested Avira Phantom VPN's speed, we tested our baseline internet speeds first. We used Spectrum as our ISP in a small household at our home in Los Angeles and used a 2017 Macbook Pro for the test.

These were our baseline internet speed test results:

  • Downloads: 352.21 Mbps
  • Uploads: 22.79 Mbps
  • Pings: 14 ms

Spectrum suggests that a small household should aim for a download speed of 100–200 Mbps and an upload speed of 5 Mbps, which is generally sufficient for most households.[3] And according to AT&T, a good ping rate of less than 50 ms is ideal and desirable for gaming.[4] Based on this, our baseline internet speed test met the recommended standards. 

We tested the speed of Avira Phantom VPN and found that it didn't live up to our expectations. We were disappointed that its speeds were painfully slow across various server locations in Miami, London, Montreal, and Sydney.

Despite its slow speeds, we were pleasantly surprised that its streaming performance on Netflix was reliable without any lagging or buffering issues.

Avira Phantom VPN speed test results without using a VPN.

Avira Phantom VPN speed test results without using a VPN.

Avira Phantom VPN's U.S. to U.S. speed test results (Los Angeles to Miami).

U.S. to U.S. speed test results (Los Angeles to Miami).

Avira Phantom VPN's U.S. to U.K. speed test results (Los Angeles to London).

U.S. to U.K. speed test results (Los Angeles to London).

Avira Phantom VPN's U.S. to AU speed test results (Los Angeles to Sydney).

U.S. to AU speed test results (Los Angeles to Sydney).


Avira Phantom VPN speed test results

Test type No VPN US to US US to UK US to AU
Download speed 352.21 Mbps 79.55 Mbps 36.35 Mbps 63.67 Mbps
Upload speed 22.79 Mbps 19.48 Mbps 14.89 Mbps 4.01 Mbps
Latency (ping) 14 ms 81 ms 146 ms 157 ms
Download speed % difference N/A 126% 163% 139%
Upload speed % difference N/A 16% 42% 140%
Latency % difference N/A 141% 165% 167%

Test results as of 2/22/2023.

Avira Phantom VPN Netflix tests

  • Avira Phantom VPN Netflix test results: Avira Phantom VPN passed its Netflix tests.

We tested Avira Phantom VPN’s ability to stream Netflix content from various locations and were pleasantly surprised that there were no buffering or lagging issues, despite the subpar download and upload speeds we observed. This raised the question of how it performed so well with streaming. According to Netflix, your VPN requires a minimum speed of 3 Mbps for high-definition (HD) streaming on Netflix, and up to 15 Mbps for 4K/Ultra HD quality when you run a Netflix speed test with your VPN at Fast.com.[5]

To further evaluate the VPN's performance, we tested its server connections around the world in the following countries: the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. We discovered the VPN's connections ranked above the maximum speed required for 4K/Ultra HD streaming on Netflix.

Avira Phantom VPN also worked flawlessly when we streamed Netflix shows from different server locations. While we were unable to connect to Netflix in Canada, we were impressed it was able to bypass geo-restrictions in the U.K., which is something many other VPNs can’t. So we recommend watching Netflix in the U.K. with Avira VPN. As far as other streaming services, Avira Phantom VPN users have largely reported that it doesn't work with BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime Video.

Avira Phantom VPN Netflix test results

US to US US to UK US to Canada US to AU
Did it work with Netflix? Yes Yes No Yes

Test results as of 02/22/2023.

DNS leak tests

  • Avira Phantom VPN DNS leak test results: Avira Phantom VPN passed its DNS leak tests.

Avira Phantom VPN successfully passed our DNS leak test. DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is a crucial part of networking that translates domain names into IP addresses. It works like a giant address book that directs internet traffic to the correct destination and associates domain names (such as avira.com) with their corresponding IP addresses (such as 122.0.5.21).

A DNS leak test is used to identify when a user’s internet traffic is being routed through a DNS server where it was not intended to be routed. This can be the result of a VPN connection failure, or worse, a malicious service provider. Fortunately, Avira Phantom VPN passed the DNS leak test, which means its connection security is good and users can browse the web with peace of mind.

Avira Phantom VPN's DNS leak test results (Local IP and local ISP were not leaked).

DNS leak test results (local IP and local ISP were not leaked)

WebRTC leak tests

  • Avira Phantom VPN WebRTC leak test results: Avira Phantom VPN passed its WebRTC leak tests.

Avira Phantom VPN successfully passed our WebRTC leak test. WebRTC stands for Web Real-Time Communication, which is a free and open-source project that allows web browsers and mobile applications to conduct real-time communication (RTC) via simple APIs. WebRTC enables features such as voice and video calls, file transfers, and screen sharing without the need for browser plug-ins or other additional software.

A WebRTC leak test is performed to determine whether a user’s real IP address is leaked even while connected to a VPN service. A WebRTC leak can occur when WebRTC APIs are being used to bypass the VPN tunnel, exposing your real IP address and location to the websites you are visiting.

Avira Phantom VPN's WebRTC leak test results.

Avira Phantom VPN compatibility

Avira Phantom VPN has cross-platform compatibility with various devices, such as PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, on the following operating systems and browsers:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Google Chrome
  • Opera

However, Avira Phantom VPN does support smart TVs, routers, or Linux at this time.

Avira Phantom VPN customer support

Avira tech support is available only on Avira Phantom VPN Pro by phone or email; it is not available for the free version. Avira’s knowledge base is also available for frequently asked questions.

Although we haven't contacted anyone for Avira tech support, we are convinced it isn't excellent based on the number of complaints customers have made about the slow-to-nonexistent response times and inadequate answers to basic technical questions. 

Avira Phantom VPN prices and subscriptions

Avira Phantom VPN offers a free plan, as well as two paid plans. The Avira Phantom VPN Pro plan costs $10 per month or $78 annually and supports unlimited devices, whereas the Avira Phantom VPN Mobile plan costs $5.99 per month and is available only for mobile devices running iOS or Android. Avira accepts credit cards from Visa, MasterCard, Barclays, and Discover Card, as well as PayPal.

Compared with other VPNs, the starting prices for these plans are relatively standard. We believe that for the value provided by Avira Phantom VPN's features and performance, you are better off looking elsewhere.

Avira Phantom VPN cost

Plan 1-month cost
Best Value
1-year cost
Avira Phantom VPN Pro $10.00/mo $10.00/mo
Avira Phantom VPN Free Free $78.00/yr
Avira Phantom VPN Mobile $5.99/mo N/A

Prices as of 05/30/2023.

Avira Phantom VPN does not offer a free trial, but it does have a 60-day money-back guarantee after you purchase any of its subscription plans. Free Avira Antivirus is also available for download and comes with a free VPN.

Avira Phantom VPN plan comparison

Features Avira Phantom VPN Pro Avira Phantom VPN Free
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome, Opera Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome, Opera
Data limit 500 MB/mo (1 GB/month if you register your account) Unlimited
# of devices Unlimited Unlimited
Virtual IP address
DNS leak prevention
Data encryption
Kill switch Yes (for Windows only) Yes (for Windows only)
P2P file sharing
Customer support
Details View Plan View Plan

Avira Phantom VPN FAQs


+

Is Avira a free VPN?

Avira has a free VPN available, as well as a paid Pro VPN and paid mobile VPN plan.


+

Does Avira VPN sell your data?

Avira VPN does not sell your data, per its privacy policy.


+

Is there Avira tech support?

Yes, Avira tech support is available by phone or email. Avira’s knowledge base is also available for commonly asked questions.

Bottom line: Is Avira Phantom VPN good?

Avira Phantom VPN successfully hid our IP address and location for basic privacy and security and it worked well for streaming Netflix in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. However, its global VPN speeds were disappointingly slow and it lacks important features, such as split tunneling, dedicated IP addresses, and a kill switch for operating systems other than Windows.

Both the free and paid versions offer support for unlimited devices and it passed the DNS leak and WebRTC leak tests. However, Avira Phantom VPN’s misleading no-logs policy, poorly designed user interface, and a high number of customer complaints regarding its customer support make us hesitant to recommend this VPN.

Do we think Avira Phantom VPN is worth it? Honestly, we think you can save your money for a better VPN elsewhere that has better features for the same price, if not less. For a higher-rated Avira product, learn more about Avira’s antivirus software.

3.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Avira Phantom VPN's website
VPN
Avira Phantom VPN
  • Unlimited data with paid plan
  • Works for Netflix in the U.K.
  • Misleading no-logs policy claims
Author Details
Mars is a California-based cybersecurity professional and writer currently pursuing a B.S. in Cybersecurity. With interests ranging from OSINT to ethical hacking and threat intelligence, Mars leverages his two years of writing experience to produce informative content on topics such as Internet guides and VPNs.

Citations

[1] Does Server Count Really Matter?
[2] VPN Server Count: Why It Doesn’t Matter

[3] What is a Good Download and Upload Speed?

[4] What is ping and how does it impact professional gaming? 

[5] Internet Speed Connection Recommendations