NordVPN vs AVG Secure VPN

More and more people are coming around to the benefits of using a VPN, but there are many VPN providers out there that it can be difficult to decide where to spend your money. That’s why we’ve put together an easy-to-read guide to two of the biggest brands on the market, NordVPN and AVG Secure VPN.

It’ll show exactly which features they have, what they mean for you, and how these services stack up against each other. What’s more, reading this guide and learning about common features will help you critically examine other VPNs moving forward.

Highlights

NordVPN

  • Boasts exceptionally high speeds
  • No problems unblocking popular  services
  • Fantastic set of security features
  • Keeps no logs

AVG Secure VPN

  • Fast enough for browsing, streaming, and torrenting
  • Unblocks streaming services
  • Affordable subscriptions
  • Uses effectively uncrackable encryption

NordVPN vs AVG Secure VPN pricing

NordVPNAVG Secure VPN
Subscription periodsOne monthOne year
One yearTwo years
Two yearsThree years
Special offerSave 72% on your two-year subscriptionGet 20% off with a two or three-year plan
Highest price per month$11.95$4.99
Lowest price per month$3.71$3.99
One-year price$59$59.88
Money-back guarantee30 days30 days

If you sign up for one month at a time, NordVPN costs $11.95 USD. This puts it at the higher end of the pricing scale, but given that its two long-term plans come with steep discounts, this service is clearly hoping users sign up for longer. A one-year subscription, for instance, cuts the cost to $59, which is effectively just $4.92 per month — a saving of 58%. Committing to a two-year plan grants you a whopping 72% off, effectively reducing the price to $3.71 per month.

There’s a huge difference in terms of these VPNs’ highest prices. That’s largely because AVG Secure VPN doesn’t offer a monthly subscription option; you have to commit to at least a year upfront. If you choose the two or three-year plans, you’ll save 20% and lower the price by a dollar per month, which isn’t exactly the discount you’d expect for this kind of commitment.

NordVPN and AVG Secure VPN both provide a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you can try either service out for a month, and simply cancel for a full refund if you’re not impressed. Due to a recent change to its pricing structure, AVG Secure VPN now no longer offers a free tier; that said, it does come with a seven-day free trial, and you don’t have to enter any payment information for this.

BEST DEAL FOR NORDVPN:Get 72% off by choosing NordVPN’s two-year plan.

BEST DEAL FOR AVG SECURE VPN:Save 20% by signing up to AVG Secure VPN for more than a year.

NordVPN vs AVG Secure VPN features

NordVPNAVG Secure VPN
Simultaneous connections610
Operating system appsWindows, Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Firestick/Fire TVMacOS, Windows, Android, iOS
Manual install devicesSelect routersNone
Split tunnelingBrowser extensions onlyMobile only
Free extrasAutomatic wifi protection, ad-blocking and malware-scanning. Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.Automatic wifi protection

These VPNs both offer apps for the most common operating systems. That said, NordVPN caters to a wider range of users since it has apps for Linux and Amazon Firestick. Further, unlike AVG Secure VPN, it can be manually installed on supported routers, which allows you to protect every device on your network. NordVPN also has a fairly standard connection limit, allowing you to protect six devices simultaneously, whereas AVG Secure VPN increases this to ten, something only a handful of other services do.

AVG Secure VPN and NordVPN both include automatic wifi protection, which allows the app to connect automatically any time you use an unsecured network. Additionally, each offers split tunneling functionality (the ability to let specific apps pass through the VPN), although AVG Secure VPN only includes this in its mobile apps, and NordVPN only has it in its browser extensions.

NordVPN has a couple of other features that its rival doesn’t. For instance, it comes with a built-in ad-blocker and malware-scanner called CyberSec. It also has browser extensions, which means you can effectively install the service on any device that supports Chrome or Firefox (although these won’t encrypt traffic from any of your other apps).

NordVPNAVG Secure VPN
Streaming service
NetflixMultiple libraries including US, UK, Australia, Canada, India, and JapanUS, Germany
HuluUS, JapanNo
Sky GoYesNo
Amazon Prime VideoMultiple libraries including US, UK, Canada and JapanNo
BBC iPlayerYesNo
ABCYesNo
CBSNoNo
NBCYesNo
ITVYesYes
Channel 4YesYes

There’s a clear difference between the two in terms of unblocking ability. AVG Secure VPN wasn’t able to access most of the services we tried, although it could could access a handful of fairly popular streaming services and two Netflix libraries. On the plus side, this provider has specific servers for streaming, so at least you won’t have to rely on trial and error to find the right ones.

NordVPN, on the other hand, rose to the challenge. It was able to unblock every service we threw at it. Notably, this provider often unblocked multiple regional libraries for the same service. This is significant since many other VPNs only allow you to access the US version of a site.

Which of these VPNs work in China?

Chinese internet censorship is among the most pervasive in the world, with everything from foreign news outlets to pro-democracy content blocked outright. Further, the government knows that its restrictions can be bypassed with a VPN, so it has taken steps to prevent citizens from downloading these as well. Even if you do have a service installed, many VPNs’ servers have been blacklisted, and as a result, they won’t work at all in China.

AVG Secure VPN is one of these. To its credit, it seemed to have worked on the mainland until some time in 2020. Since then, though, connectivity issues in China are a recurring theme on the user support form, and no one has been able to find a fix. As such, you should not rely on this VPN while traveling in China.

NordVPN, however, works perfectly well in China, provided you use one of its obfuscated servers. To access these, simply click the gear icon, move to the Advanced tab, and activate the Obfuscated servers (OpenVPN(TCP)) option. Next, return to the main screen and scroll down the list on the left to find them in the Specialty servers section.

Setup and interface

NordVPNAVG Secure VPN
Automatic setup wizardWindows, Android, MacOS, Linux, iOSiOS, Android, Windows, MacOS
Main location selectionList-based/Map-basedList-based
Extra settings pagesYesYes
Mobile-friendlyYesYes

Both of these services offer user-friendly apps for desktop devices. NordVPN features a split layout, with a server list on the left and a map on the right. We liked that you can access all of its specialty servers (obfuscated, P2P, Onion over VPN, or dedicated IP) directly from the main page. Despite the number of options available, navigating the menu remains simple, since everything is neatly grouped into tabs.

NordVPN interface

There isn’t a huge amount to say about AVG Secure VPN’s desktop app. The main screen is almost exclusively for a quick connect button, although you can change locations from here too. Users can’t search the server list, but they are grouped by continent. Further, you can choose to show only the P2P or streaming-optimized servers if you have a specific job in mind. There are only a handful of options to choose from, but they’re all well-labeled, letting you know exactly what each does.

AVG interface

NordVPN has a slightly different layout on mobile, with the server list moved to the bottom of the home screen. However, it maintains all of the functionality of its desktop apps, and even adds a couple of new features. These are tapjacking protection, which lets you know if an app is trying to trick you into clicking something other than what is shown on screen, and dark web monitoring, which notifies you if it finds your email address in leaked data on hacker forums and other unsavory sites.

NordVPN Mobile

AVG Secure VPN is almost exactly the same on mobile as it is on desktop PCs. That said, its mobile apps have split tunneling functionality and require you to configure the kill switch in your device’s settings, rather than having it be a simple toggle switch.

AVG Secure VPN Mobile

Servers and performance

NordVPNAVG Secure VPN
Server countries5936
Total number of servers5,400+Not disclosed

It’s difficult to accurately compare the networks of these two services. That’s because AVG Secure VPN doesn’t mention how many servers it has. NordVPN, on the other hand, has one of the largest networks around, with over 5,400 servers in 59 countries. This is about the number of locations you’d expect from a paid VPN; in contrast, AVG Secure VPN’s 36 seems a little underwhelming, especially given how close these providers are price-wise.

The gap between them widens when you take performance into account as well. AVG Secure VPN offers an average download speed of 50 Mbps, which is fast enough for most tasks, including 4K streaming. However, NordVPN is more than twice as fast, averaging 115 Mbps. This makes it a better choice for larger households, particularly if your family likes to torrent or watch TV online, since you’ll be less likely to notice slowdown when multiple people are using the internet at the same time.

Here’s a full list of the locations where NordVPN and AVG Secure VPN have servers:

 NordVPNAVG Secure VPN
Albania
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Latvia
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malaysia
Mexico
Moldova
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Ukraine
Vietnam

AVG Secure VPN covers all of the bases, with servers in in-demand countries like the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada, plus some less commonly-seen locations like the Czech Republic and Taiwan. It even offers access to servers in Russia, a location NordVPN previously pulled out of due to privacy concerns. Still, since this provider doesn’t keep any activity logs, the government shouldn’t be able to find any data that identifies you, even if it were to seize AVG’s servers.

NordVPN has servers in almost twice as many locations, including India, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates, three countries with widespread online censorship. With such a large selection of countries, there are very few limits to the content you’ll theoretically be able to access.

Security

NordVPNAVG Secure VPN
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, NordLynxOpenVPN (UDP only)
OpenVPN data encryptionAES-256AES-256
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-4096RSA-4096
Cloaking technologyObfuscated serversNone
App securityKill switch (all platforms)Kill switch (desktop only)
DNS statusPrivate DNSPrivate DNS

Here’s where NordVPN really begins to shine. As well as supporting OpenVPN connections, it has its own NordLynx protocol, which is based on the extremely fast and secure Wireguard. This offers a significant speed increase when using distant servers and would be well suited for people visiting remote locations like New Zealand or Hawaii. By comparison, AVG Secure VPN only supports OpenVPN (UDP), which doesn’t exactly offer a ton of flexibility.

To its credit, AVG Secure VPN matches its rival in terms of encryption. Both use 256-bit AES with 4096-bit RSA keys, which is effectively uncrackable (for the time being). They each have a kill switch too — this stops sending data the second you lose your connection to the VPN, preventing you from accidentally browsing the web unprotected. However, NordVPN provides this in all versions of its app, whereas AVG Secure VPN only has it on Windows and MacOS.

NordVPN has its own obfuscated servers that give you the freedom to access the internet without restrictions, wherever you are in the world. AVG Secure VPN doesn’t offer any kind of cloaking mechanism, which is pretty problematic given its single supported protocol. In other words, if a network or service simply rejects OpenVPN traffic, this VPN’s users would be blocked completely.

Privacy

NordVPNAVG Secure VPN
HQ basePanamaCzech Republic
Connection logsNoDuration of session, connection timestamps, chosen server data volume transferred
Activity logsNoneNone
User details for signupEmail addressFull name, ZIP code, email address
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoin, Ethereum, RippleNone

The good news is that neither of these services keeps any logs of the sites you visit. In fact, NordVPN is a zero-logs provider, so it doesn’t store any record of your connection at all. It also accepts three kinds of cryptocurrency, giving you plenty of ways to sign up anonymously.

AVG Secure VPN is a different beast though. During registration, you’ll have to provide your full name, email address, and ZIP code. Further, as it only supports credit card and PayPal payments, you can’t just enter made up information. It also stores quite a lot of information about your connection, including what time you started and finished using the VPN, as well as how much data you transferred. While this isn’t enough to identify you outright, it can be paired with data requested from other sites to effectively remove any doubt.

Configuration

NordVPNAVG Secure VPN
Address allocationSharedShared
Dedicated IP address possibleYes, in Germany, the UK, the US, France, or the NetherlandsNo
NAT firewallNoNo

NordVPN and AVG Secure VPN use something called shared IP address allocation. This provides a layer of plausible deniability about your actions, since everyone on the same server shares a single IP address. As such, everyone’s activities are mixed together, making it extremely difficult to tell which user visited a given site.

Of these two providers, only NordVPN allows its users to obtain a dedicated IP address. This costs an extra $70 per year, and allows you to choose which of five countries you’d like the address to point to. Additionally, the apps offer access to servers labelled “Dedicated IP” at no extra cost. However, you share these with other users, so they’re really just static IP servers.

Customer service

NordVPNAVG Secure VPN
Live chatYes (in-house)Yes
Ticket supportYesNo
Email supportYesNo
Phone supportNoYes (US, UK, Australia)
Searchable knowledge baseYesYes
Video guidesYesNo

Whichever service you choose, you’ll be able to search the help center for setup guides and answers to commonly-asked questions. They each offer 24/7 support over live chat as well, and NordVPN’s team operates in-house, so may be able to answer more complex questions than an outsourced help desk could.

In addition to its live chat service, AVG Secure VPN offers support over the phone (making it one of the few remaining providers to do so). There’s also a forum where users can raise issues, although often, administrators will mention that they’ve simply emailed the solution to the user, which kind of defeats the purpose of a support forum.

NordVPN offers video guides and privacy-related insights in several languages on its highly-active YouTube channel. Alternatively, you can send queries over email. Notably, while AVG Secure VPN goes to great pains to only provide personalized support to paid-up users, NordVPN staff are happy to answer questions from anyone.

The winner: NordVPN

NordVPN Aug 2022

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

AVG Secure VPN has made a few changes recently (dropping its free plan and increasing the connection limit, for instance) but it’s still lagging behind most other high-profile providers where it counts. Asking users to sign up for a year at least is a sign that you’re not confident they’ll return after their short-term subscription expires, and it’s easy to see why. After all, AVG Secure VPN has a small number of server locations, poor unblocking ability, and few impressive privacy features, for the same price as well-known providers that offer much more.

Take NordVPN: it’s among the fastest services on the market, capable of unblocking just about any service you ask it to, and packed to the brim with cutting-edge security features. It works almost anywhere in the world, refuses to keep any logs at all, and has a track record of pushing back against anti-privacy legislation. In short, it’s far and away the better choice for most people.

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