Phantom is a new-ish VPN service from the German security software giant Avira. Avira, established in 1986, is one of the world’s largest antivirus software companies, with over 100 million customers. With the establishment of Phantom, Avira is now venturing into the VPN business.
High standards of service and performance might be expected from such a well-established background. How does Phantom VPN stack up?
- Easy to set up and use
- Competitive pricing
- Available across operating systems
- Good bundle offers
- Well suited for mobile usage
- Small amount of servers Limitd geographic locations
- Limited configurability
- Desktop speed need improvement
- Lack of 24/7 customer support
Avira is packaging its VPN services with antivirus and other security softwares, so if you’re looking to upgrade your security standards, this might be a good choice. The Avira Prime package includes Phantom VPN, Avira Antivirus, as well as other services depending your operating system – for Windows, they are offering System Speedup Pro and Software Updater Pro, whereas for Android, the bundle includes Optimizer Pro and AppLock+ Pro.
If you are only interested in the VPN service, it’s also possible to install it separately. Phantom VPN is available in Free and Pro plans, but the Free option is too limited to be a realistic alternative, offering only 500MB per month. If you want to stream or download anything, like most users do, the Free option won’t be enough for your needs – but if you only require very infrequent VPN usage, it’s an option.
Overall, Phantom VPN is very simple to configure and use. It’s clearly been designed with novice users in mind. There is little room for customisation, which might frustrate more discerning users. Users have no choice in protocols, and there is limited information available about the encryption – Avira only state they use AES-256, the industry standard. The amount of servers is limited, with geographic locations in 20 countries. For someone who wants room for more advanced configurations, Phantom VPN is not the best choice. However, for the average user, who just wants a reliable and practical VPN service, it works a treat.
In case of problems, you’ll have to get in touch with customer support via e-mail, as Avira has no 24/7 customer service centre for its VPN. This is slightly surprising from such a large and well-established company.
Customer support is reliable enough, but even in case of urgent problems, you’ll just have to wait for reply or call the service number, potentially racking up some premium fees.
Price-wise, Phantom VPN Pro is competitive enough. The annual multi-device plan is £52.00, which comes down to £4.3 per month. If you’re not willing to fork out the whole sum in one go, the monthly multi-device plans go for £7 a month and can be cancelled anytime. A mobile-only plan for Android or iOS only costs £4 a month. Overall, these prices are nothing to complain about.
If you want to opt for the bundle of the VPN and Avira’s other security software, the prices are even more competitive. Avira Prime for 5 devices costs £86 a year, or £9 on a monthly pricing plan, whereas Avira Prime Unlimited (for up to 25 devices) costs £113 a year.
Considering that Avira is one of the most trusted security software providers globally, they could be forgiven for charging a premium for their services. But perhaps surprisingly, their price range isn’t markedly more expensive than average.
Speed and overall performance
The speeds Phantom VPN offers on desktop are nothing to write home about – satisfactory but standard. However, the mobile version is capable of offering significantly higher speeds, placing it among the best options for mobile users. As Avira also offers a mobile-only Pro plan, it’s a great option for someone who mostly surfs the web on their mobile device.
Overall, Phantom VPN offers a reliable and smooth service. As could be expected from Avira, the security aspects are well thought-out; there is a kill switch and built-in DNS leak protection across all platforms. However, the kill switch feature is not available in the Free version, which is only suitable for very light use anyway.
Phantom VPN provides servers in 20 countries. Most locations are pretty standard, including the US, Canada and the UK. There are a few locations in Asia, including Japan, Singapore and China; Brazil in South America; and Australia.
Overall, the amount of servers and geographical locations isn’t huge, but it’s comprehensive enough for most users. Avira is also promising to add more locations in the future.
How to install
Installing Phantom VPN is very straightforward. It’s definitely one of the easiest VPNs to set up, with almost no manual configuration needed. Just install and go. Their website is also smooth and well-designed. There are no major differences in the app design or features between different platforms.
Phantom VPN is available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS. However, it doesn’t support older versions. On Windows, it only supports Windows 7 and later; on iOS, only iOS 8 and later. It’s not available for routers.
Phantom VPN is a solid offering for people who just want a reliable VPN and aren’t that bothered about the lack of configuration options. For the average user, it’s good enough, but there are better alternatives out there when it comes t
- Supported Platforms>