zzz00m

Level 5
Here is my balanced opinion of Avira Phantom VPN. I think it's the best option for home use, but needs some work on the auto-connect feature and the Android app.

I love it on my desktop computer! The speed difference between using this VPN, or no VPN is very close, within a few MB/s. So no performance hit, and I can leave it connected even for multi-gigabit downloads.

But it seems hit or miss on auto-connect during startup, which is no problem for me on my (secure) private home network.

But I would be reluctant to use Avira Phantom VPN with my laptop on the road with untrusted Wi-Fi hotspots.

If I boot up and it doesn't auto-connect, my Windows machine is exposed to a potentially hostile network until I can manually connect to the VPN. The 'block all internet traffic if VPN connection drops' feature seems to work great, but this doesn't apply to the first time after boot if the auto-connect VPN doesn't start. I can see TCP/IP traffic using my local IP address, until I start the VPN, then it switches over.

My workaround is to use Windscribe VPN on my laptop. That blocks all internet traffic until it is connected. I don't use as much bandwidth on the laptop, so I can stand the performance hit from their VPN service. The performance of Windscribe at home often left me disconnecting Windscribe anytime I wanted to download files. It was OK for streaming media, no difficulties there, just some software installers have huge file downloads these days.

Finally, regarding Android, I found the reliability of the Avira Phantom VPN app to be rather unstable. It would sometimes disconnect and refuse to re-connect, requiring a restart of the device. So I use Windscribe on my Android.

Bottom line, I would choose Avira Phantom VPN for home use, and use Windscribe for my mobile Windows and Android devices.
 

roger_m

Level 22
Content Creator
Verified
My internet speed was quite a bit slower when using this. Of course, the speed will vary depending on what servers you are connecting to and the server load. But in my case, I quickly uninstalled it.
 
A sniffing app, such as Fling, to detect internet traffic, after VPN is connected. I was shocked to learn that all devices connected to the very same public router are discovered. That means that all other devices users are able to to "see" and "hear" you.
 

zzz00m

Level 5
A sniffing app, such as Fling, to detect internet traffic, after VPN is connected. I was shocked to learn that all devices connected to the very same public router are discovered. That means that all other devices users are able to to "see" and "hear" you.
I can see all the available Wi-Fi hotspots around me, even when I'm connected to my VPN, although all of my internet, TCP/IP traffic, etc., packets are routing over my VPN tunnel.

I suspect that your sniffing app is looking at the locally available OSI Data Link Layer 2 info, like MAC addresses, which is necessary to negotiate a connection with a Wi-Fi network. That doesn't mean that those devices can 'see' and 'hear' your internet traffic.

Your internet traffic is handled using TCP/IP packets utilizing Network and Transport layers 3 & 4.

Airheads Community

Wi-Fi and the OSI model | Control Engineering

Different things. If your computer is routing all internet traffic over an encrypted tunnel, you have nothing to worry about, as long as your VPN is not leaking.
 
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I can see all the available Wi-Fi hotspots around me, even when I'm connected to my VPN, although all of my internet, TCP/IP traffic, etc., packets are routing over my VPN tunnel.

I suspect that your sniffing app is looking at the locally available OSI Data Link Layer 2 info, like MAC addresses, which is necessary to negotiate a connection with a Wi-Fi network. That doesn't mean that those devices can 'see' and 'hear' your internet traffic.

Your internet traffic is handled using TCP/IP packets utilizing Network and Transport layers 3 & 4.

Airheads Community

Wi-Fi and the OSI model | Control Engineering

Different things. If your computer is routing all internet traffic over an encrypted tunnel, you have nothing to worry about, as long as your VPN is not leaking.
I do appreciate your informative reply. However, I still have a question hung over my head---if my device is connect to a different VPN, such as Psiphon, then scan the traffic with Fling, the result shows only the router(public hotspot) and my device are visible, others (I mean all other people's devices are invisible). Why is this ?
 

L0ckJaw

Level 8
Verified
Now officially on the website from Avira

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Torrenting is allowed.

This is in the Logging information :

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Very clear logging policy : We cannot share what we dont know.