Who should you choose in a showdown between Surfshark and AVG Secure VPN? We’ve looked at two of the biggest names in the sector as we aim to find out which provider is best overall.
This comparison checks out key features such as streaming, speeds, and security, so you’ll be better placed to make a decision when picking either Surfshark or AVG Secure VPN.
Surfshark vs AVG Secure VPN – Which is best?
If you’re in need of a quick answer, we have you covered. In this particular head-to-head, we’d opt for Surfshark as the obvious winner. It’s better than AVG in almost every respect, from pricing to connection speeds.
Better known for its antivirus software, AVG’s Secure VPN can’t match up to a dedicated provider in the form of Surfshark. Read on to find out why.
Surfshark has built up a strong reputation as a budget provider, as long as you ignore the price of a one-month plan which comes in at $12.95 USD. This drops to $3.99 per month for a year, while a two-year deal works out to just $59.76 altogether. (With the longer subs, you’ll have to pay for the entire term upfront.)
Unlike the majority of providers, AVG Secure VPN doesn’t offer a monthly plan. Instead, you’ll have to choose between one ($53.88), two ($105.36), or three years ($158.04) of coverage. Strangely, there’s no difference in price between the two-year and three-year deals, so there’s no real incentive to commit for a longer period. It’s a shame to see a lack of flexibility.
One positive for AVG Secure VPN is the opportunity to try it out for free for 60 days. It’s a generous trial, and should give the user more than enough time to test it out to see whether it fits the bill.
Only Surfshark allows the user to pay for its VPN with cryptocurrencies, which is perfect to improve anonymity. With AVG, you’ll have a choice between credit/debit cards and PayPal.
There’s parity when looking at the money-back guarantee that each service offers. You’ll be covered for the first 30 days, which is the industry standard. Overall, Surfshark works out to be cheaper, and is a clear winner when it comes to pricing.
Which has better features
How do the VPNs perform in terms of key features? Once again, the differences are stark.
AVG allows for 10 simultaneous device connections with a sole account, which is double the average VPN service. However, Surfshark can be used with unlimited simultaneous devices, which is unbeatable.
Surfshark also has a larger network. 3,200+ servers split over 100+ countries is a total that AVG is unable to match. (You’ll find 700+ servers in roughly 40+ countries with AVG, who use a mix of physical and rented options.) If you plan to connect to far flung locations, we’d stick with Surfshark for the best results.
If you’re in need of split tunneling, Surfshark offers the feature, which is called Bypasser. AVG also offers split tunneling via its Android app. However, only Surfshark supports MultiHop connections, which allows the user to route their traffic through an additional server.
It’s another notch in the W column for Surfshark.
Solid router support will ensure that every device in your home network can be connected to the VPN at any one time. It’s one of the easiest ways to provide blanket protection.
Surfshark supports Asus, DD-WRT, and Tomato routers, alongside various other popular models and firmware. You’ll also find a collection of setup guides on its website. As for AVG, this is where we begin to see the true limitations of the service. It can’t be used onanyrouter models, which is a disappointing result.
As a consequence, you won’t be able to connect to games consoles, smart TVs, or any other devices that don’t use a popular operating system such as Android.
If you’re hoping to use a pre-flashed router, you’ll be able to purchase models with Surfshark already installed. It’s a bit of a dismal showing for AVG, and sets the tone for things to come.
What services do they unblock?
Surfshark is one of the more reliable budget providers on the market, even if you’re aiming to access some of the more strongly guarded online services. Anything from streaming platforms to banking apps should be accessible, so it’s the optimal choice for bypassing geo-blocks in this particular comparison.
Once again, AVG is unable to match up in terms of streaming, even if it will be able to access most blocked websites.
What Netflix libraries
The most popular streaming service in the world, Netflix content will differ depending on the region you’ve selected. (For example, US Netflix has lots of exclusive shows, as does the UK edition.)
A VPN is the best way to access different Netflix content libraries, but the platform actively blocks the IP addresses used by providers.
Surfshark is better at accessing various versions of Netflix, with AVG unable to do so consistently. However, AVG Secure VPN does come with servers tagged for streaming, which are your best bet for watching international Netflix streams.
You’ll be able to torrent with AVG’s VPN, although it’s not as quick as Surfshark so it’ll take longer for your files to transfer. If that wasn’t the case, we’d score this as a draw. However, AVG does have servers that are specifically labeled for streaming.
Setup & usability
Comparatively, Surfshark covers the key operating systems listed above, but it also offers Linux support, as well as browser versions for Chrome, Firefox, and MS Edge. You’ll also be able to find .ovpn files on its website, allowing the user to connect using a third-party OpenVPN client. (This makes it easier to use on almost any device or platform via manual installation.)
AVG’s simplicity is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s exceptionally easy to use. On the other, it doesn’t have many notable features, or interesting options to play with. Both VPNs are user-friendly, allowing you to get started with a few clicks.
How do Surfshark and AVG Secure VPN fare in terms of mobile features?
It’s hard to recommend AVG Secure VPN if you’re looking for much of note on iOS. The mobile apps are similar in design to the desktop versions, aside from a split tunneling feature found with Android. (Split tunneling lets you decide where to route your traffic.)
Surfshark also offers split tunneling for Windows and Android, along with static IPs for both platforms. macOS, Android, and iOS users can take part in a seven-day free trial, while notable Surfshark features include Whitelisting, CleanWeb, and Shadowsocks.
Performance & speed
Connection speeds will have an impact on most online tasks. The fastest VPNs will be quick enough to negate any potential slowdown, so we’ve taken a look at each provider's performance to give you a better idea of what to expect.
Surfshark wipes the floor with AVG in terms of speeds, which is no real surprise given results seen elsewhere. That’s not to say that AVG Secure VPN isn’t fast enough for taxing tasks like 4K streaming or torrenting, just that it can’t compare to the top speeds seen with Surfshark.
We compared AVG and Surfshark in terms of technical security. What does the duo offer when it comes to protocols and additional features?
|IPv6 leak protection
|WebRTC leak protection
Surfshark comes with a range of additional security features. This includes access to the WireGuard protocol, ensuring snappy speeds and sturdy security at all times. You’ll also find legacy protocols, and there’s no sign of outdated options like PPTP. It comes with leak protection, while Shadowsocks is typically used to circumvent internet censorship.
In comparison, AVG Secure VPN uses the proprietary Mimic protocol developed by Avast. (It can also be found with Avast Secureline VPN.)
AVG Secure VPN isn’t the service to pick if you’re looking for many additional security features of note. There are no obfuscated servers, and it’s a disappointing result, even if the service aced our IP and DNS leak tests.
For many users, the primary function they want from a VPN is improved privacy. How do these providers hold up?
|British Virgin Islands
|User details required for sign up?
|Anonymous payment options?
Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, while AVG Secure VPN operates from the Czech Republic. The BVI is arguably a better option from a privacy standpoint, although neither are a part of the Five Eyes (FVEY) surveillance agreement.
AVG does ask for a lot of information during sign-up, including your name and ZIP code, and your name has to match up to the payment method. In other words, it’s hard to sign up anonymously. In comparison, Surfshark allows the user to pay with crypto, and you won’t be as tied to your account.
Surfshark has a simple logging policy, noting that it collects some diagnostic data, but no personally identifiable information. That’s a decent result, ensuring that you’ll be able to remain anonymous while using the provider.
Our review of AVG Antivirus notes that the company was found to be harvesting its users' browsing histories and selling it to third parties via Jumpshot. Coupled with the information it collects about the user, it’s not a great result. (Avast discontinued the practice as of January 2020, and there’s no suggestion that it extended to its VPN service.)
Nonetheless, it’s not the best track record, and doesn’t bode well considering AVG hasn’t been audited by a third-party service. If you’re really interested in improving online privacy, we’d advise to look elsewhere.
Next up is customer service. It’s always important for new users, especially if they’ve never tried out a VPN. Ideally, you’ll never have to get in contact with support staff, but it’s good to have the option to do so just in case.
|7-days (macOS and mobile apps)
|Money-back guarantee length
AVG’s website is monolithic, with lots of pages devoted to the various services it offers, such as its antivirus, or the AVG Ultimate package. In terms of information about the VPN itself, you’re best off heading to the community forums, although there are a number of basic guides available.
SurfShark has the usual range of options, including 24/7 live chat, email support, and a collection of detailed guides to sift through. Each provider also comes with a simple 30-day refund policy, while AVG has a 60-day trial.
As the more specialized service, Surfshark edges ahead of AVG Secure VPN thanks to strong customer support.
AVG relies on the power of its branding, with a VPN that leaves a lot to be desired when compared to a premium provider like Surfshark. You might as well use it if you’ve got it packaged along with other AVG products, but it’s unable to match up in this particular comparison.
The length of the free trial is notable, but it’s not enough to make a massive difference in the grand scheme of things. It’s unable to access streaming sites aside from Netflix, while privacy leaves a lot to be desired.
There was only ever going to be one winner, and it’s the company that focuses on its VPN service first and foremost.
Surfshark is our pick as the best budget provider on the market, packing a significant punch despite the low asking price.
Outright Winner: Surfshark
If you are still unconvinced, check out our other comparison pages to see how Surfshark fares against various different providers.