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  • VPN Protocols: Proprietary (AdGuard VPN Protocol)
  • Simultaneous Connections: Five
  • Servers: 50+ locations in 42 countries
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • Streaming: Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video

minimum price:

≈£2/month

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AdGuard VPN Review

AdGuard has offered ad blocking software for over ten years and is now stepping onto the VPN scene with AdBlock VPN. Check out this AdBlocker VPN review if you want to know whether this VPN can live up to the high expectations set by its ad-blocking counterpart.

AdGuard VPN Review

minimum price:

≈£2/month

Visit Website
  • VPN Protocols: Proprietary (AdGuard VPN Protocol)
  • Simultaneous Connections: Five
  • Servers: 50+ locations in 42 countries
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • Streaming: Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video

Best For

Security

STRENGTHS

  • Affordable
  • Excellent speeds
  • Torrenting-friendly
  • Zero-logs policy
  • Free plan available

WEAKNESSES

  • Limited streaming capabilities
  • Smaller network of servers

You may have heard about AdGuard for its popular ad blocking software, but the company has also recently added a fully-fledged VPN service to its list of products. Coming from a company that has already built a reputation for providing high-quality ad blocking and online privacy protection software, AdGuard VPN is one of the most promising new VPN services on the scene.

In this AdGuard VPN review, I’ll take a close look at all the features that make this VPN stand out, as well as how it performs in terms of speed, security, and reliability.

About AdGuard VPN

The company behind AdGuard VPN, AdGuard Software Limited, was founded in 2009 in Moscow, Russia. In 2017, it relocated to Cyprus due to more robust EU privacy laws, lower taxes compared to other EU countries, and better currency conversion, among other reasons.

The company offers a range of ad-blocking and online privacy protection services, and AdGuard VPN is the latest addition to its list of software products.

Launched in 2020, AdGuard VPN is a “freemium” VPN, meaning it can be used at no cost, but with a few restrictions, such as limited bandwidth, fewer server locations, and two simultaneous connections, compared to the five you get with the paid version. In addition, this VPN provider has 50+ server locations in 42 countries worldwide.

Unlike most VPN providers, AdGuard VPN uses its own proprietary protocol, promising excellent speed and increased online anonymity. Security-wise, AdGuard VPN offers a strict zero-logs policy and AES 256-bit encryption.

Here is a closer look at some of its main features.

AdGuard VPN Key Features

Kill Switch

Kill Switch is a standard feature offered by most VPN providers today, including AdGuard VPN. The Kill Switch automatically disconnects your device from the internet in case the connection to the VPN server fails, preventing your actual IP address and location from being exposed.

AdGuard VPN Kill Switch | CyberCrew

From the moment you install AdGuard VPN on your device, this feature is turned on by default and will activate the second there is an issue with the connection to the VPN server. You can access the Kill Switch feature under the General tab in the Settings menu of AdGuard’s desktop app, where you can toggle it on or off as you prefer.

Split Tunnelling

Split Tunnelling is another industry-leading feature included in most VPNs, and it is also offered by AdGuard VPN. Split Tunnelling divides your internet connection into two, routing only some apps through the encrypted VPN tunnel while giving other apps direct access to the internet.

That can be useful in situations where you want to enjoy a faster internet connection for tasks that don’t require the usage of a VPN, such as gaming.

To activate Split Tunnelling with AdGuard VPN, simply navigate to the Settings menu and, under Split Tunnelling, add all the applications on your computer that you want to exclude from the VPN.

AdGuard VPN Split Tunneling | CyberCrew

For all other applications not included in the list, AdGuard will send your traffic through the encrypted VPN tunnel as usual.

Website Exclusions

In the Exclusions tab of the main interface, you will find a feature similar to Split Tunnelling, where you can exclude trusted websites from being accessed with the VPN.

AdGuard VPN Website Exclusions | CyberCrew

You can choose between a general or selective mode depending on whether you want AdGuard VPN to work on all websites except those excluded or work only on the websites added to exclusions. If you have a long list of websites that you want to exclude from the VPN connection, you can even import them in bulk or export them from another device.

This feature can be extremely useful, as it will allow you to access blocked websites or conserve bandwidth without disconnecting from the VPN altogether.

Five Simultaneous Connections

One AdGuard VPN subscription covers five simultaneous device connections. For individuals using this VPN, that should be more than enough, but if you are looking for a VPN for your whole family, it might be limiting. You should also be aware that the limit decreases to only two connections if you are using the VPN’s free version.

If you are looking for the best VPN for multiple devices, you should check out Surfshark or IPVanish, as both offer unlimited simultaneous connections.

50+ Server Locations in 42 Countries

AdGuard VPN doesn’t disclose the exact number of servers it offers, but users can choose from 50+ locations spread across 42 countries worldwide. That number may seem small compared to some other VPN providers, but keep in mind that this VPN was only launched in 2020, so its number of servers will likely increase over time.

While small, AdGuard’s network of servers is well-distributed and covers all the major countries and regions. The majority of the servers are located in Europe, but AdGuard VPN also has servers in North, Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia, so you will be able to connect to a nearby server no matter your location.

At the time of writing, servers are available in the following countries:

Europe Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, the UK, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine
North and South America USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico
Asia UAE, Hong Kong, Israel, India, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia
Oceania Australia
Africa Egypt, South Africa

Proprietary VPN Protocol

Aiming to avoid the disadvantages of some of the already established VPN protocols on the market, AdGuard has chosen to develop its own proprietary VPN protocol. What’s unique about the AdGuard VPN protocol is that it operates with data instead of packets and masks itself as normal HTTPS traffic, making it much more difficult for sites to detect and block.

AdGuard also uses the HTTP/2 transport protocol, a more advanced protocol designed to speed up web browsing, which, paired with the HTTPS (TLS) encryption, ensures excellent security without compromising on speed.

Device Compatibility

AdGuard VPN started as a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge with mobile apps for Android and iOS. It subsequently launched its Windows and macOS apps and is currently available across all the major platforms. However, this VPN has yet to provide support for Linux, and unlike many other VPN providers today, you can’t use it on smart TVs or streaming devices such as Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

SOCKS5 Proxy Support

One of AdGuard VPN’s more advanced features is its SOCKS5 proxy support. Like other proxy types, a SOCKS5 proxy hides your real IP address. Still, unlike a traditional HTTP proxy, a SOCKS5 proxy is typically used for activities requiring high traffic volumes, such as HD streaming or P2P file sharing.

A SOCKS5 proxy can be used for various reasons, such as bypassing geo-restricted content or accessing sites that have blocked your IP address. In addition, it generally offers faster speeds than a VPN.

Still, you should be aware that a SOCKS5 proxy doesn’t encrypt your data like a VPN, so they are considered a less safe alternative. A SOCKS5 proxy must also be manually configured and requires more technical knowledge, so AdGuard VPN only recommends switching to this option if you know what you are doing.

DNS Servers

With AdGuard VPN’s Android app and browser extension, you can choose a specific DNS server, which will allow you to remove ads and trackers from your device and restrict access to harmful websites and potential threats.

The Android app gives you a choice of 10 DNS servers, in addition to the default one, with options including Google, Cloudflare, Cisco, and Quad9. Plus, you can set up a custom DNS server.

The browser extension offers up to seven DNS servers but doesn’t include the option to set a custom DNS server.

AdGuard VPN Privacy and Security

Strict Zero-Logs Policy

AdGuard VPN follows a strict zero-logs policy and will not share any of your personally identifiable information.

As stated in its privacy policy, the only information AdGuard collects about you are your email address and password, cookies for personalising the content of the AdGuard website, and billing and payment information. Once you’ve signed up for the service, AdGuard will also collect your usage information, which is necessary for identifying how much traffic you are using.

This VPN provider is fully compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), meaning it is obliged by law to protect the online privacy and data of its users.

What’s more, AdGuard VPN is based in Cyprus, a country outside the 5/9/14 Eyes alliances. Aiming to protect their national security, members of these alliances monitor their citizens’ online activities and are therefore considered undesirable locations for VPNs to be based in.

So, the fact that AdGuard VPN is based in the safe jurisdiction of Cyprus is another huge plus for the more privacy-conscious users out there.

AES 256-bit Encryption

In addition to being a privacy-focused VPN provider, AdGuard VPN also offers excellent security. The VPN supports both AES 256-bit encryption and AES 128-bit encryption and gives users to choose between one or the other based on whether they prioritise speed or security.

AES 256-bit encryption, also known as military-grade encryption, is considered the golden standard for data encryption and is virtually unbreakable, but it can lower your connection speed to a degree. However, if you choose 128-bit encryption, you will still enjoy the benefits of excellent security but with slightly faster speeds.

Streaming

For a relatively new VPN service, AdGuard VPN has surprisingly good streaming capabilities.

The VPN is capable of unblocking several Netflix libraries (including the US, the UK, Germany,  and Australia), as well as Disney Plus and Amazon Prime US and UK libraries. However, it still cannot bypass the geo-restrictions of several other streaming platforms, including Hulu and HBO Max, and it also doesn’t allow access to BBC iPlayer when connected to a UK server.

Torrenting

AdGuard VPN supports torrenting and anonymous P2P sharing across all its servers. It also offers servers in several torrent-friendly locations, including Switzerland, Romania, Mexico, and Spain. That, coupled with the VPN’s strong security and good speeds, makes AdGuard VPN a great option for torrenting.

AdGuard VPN Speed and Performance

Speed is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a VPN provider. While it is perfectly normal for your internet speed to drop slightly when using a VPN, the difference should be minimal and shouldn’t significantly impact your browsing experience.

AdGuard VPN offers decent speeds across all its servers. During testing, I connected to several servers in Europe and the USA, and the download speeds never dropped below 20 Mbps. Upload speeds were also consistent, remaining around the 9 Mbps mark. That is only a slight drop in speed compared to my base speed of around 28 Mbps download speed, and 12 Mbps upload speed.

Below, you can see the speed test results of several AdGuard VPN servers.

AdGuard Speed Test - The Netherlands Server | CyberCrew
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

 

AdGuard VPN Speed Test - Finland Server | CyberCrew
Helsinki, Finland

 

AdGuard VPN Speed Test - France Server | CyberCrew
Paris, France

 

AdGuard VPN Speed Test - Germany Server | CyberCrew
Frankfurt, Germany

 

AdGuard VPN Speed Test - UK Server | CyberCrew
London, United Kingdom

 

AdGuard VPN Speed Test - USA Server | CyberCrew
Dallas, USA

 

As you can see, AdGuard VPN offers some excellent speeds that should be enough for most data-intensive tasks such as HD streaming, online gaming or downloading large files.

Moreover, at the top of the list of servers in the main interface, AdGuard shows you the three fastest locations at all times, along with the ping for each of the servers, with real-time updates.

AdGuard VPN Customer Support

AdGuard VPN offers several support options. For a quick answer to your question, you can search through its FAQ section, while for more detailed answers and instructions, you can access its comprehensive knowledge base.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the FAQ section or the knowledge base, you can also seek help from other AdGuard VPN users and developers in the active community forum. If you prefer, you can join the AdGuard VPN Telegram channel and chat with other users in real-time. For more direct support, you can contact AdGuard’s technical support team via email.

AdGuard VPN is also present on several social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, where you can follow up with all the news and announcements related to the VPN.

While AdGuard VPN offers decent customer support, it would have been even better if there was a phone or live chat option for more urgent issues.

AdGuard VPN Price

AdGuard VPN has three pricing plans to choose from, based on whether you want to subscribe for a month, one year, or two years. All paid plans include unlimited VPN traffic and no speed limits. If you choose to subscribe to one of the yearly plans, you can also take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can take a look at how much each plan costs below.

  • 1 month — $11.99/month (roughly £10)
  • 1 year — $3.99/month (roughly £3), billed at $47.88/year (roughly £40)
  • 2 years — $2.99/month (roughly £2), billed at $71.76/year (roughly £60)

For a fully-fledged VPN service, these prices are reasonable and well below some of the more renowned VPNs. Plus, unlike many other VPN services, AdGuard VPN offers a free plan, although it is somewhat limited compared to the paid version. The free plan includes:

  • Two simultaneous connections per subscription
  • Only 13 server locations, including Finnland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States (Dallas, Miami, New York)
  • 20 Mbps speed limit
  • 3 GB monthly VPN traffic

AdGuard VPN Alternatives

AdGuard VPN vs NordVPN

NordVPN is perhaps the world’s most popular VPN service, with an impressive 5,500+ servers spanning 59 countries worldwide.

Like AdGuard VPN, NordVPN uses its own proprietary protocol called Nordlynx, which is based on the popular WireGuard protocol, providing blazing fast speeds. However, with NordVPN, users can also choose from two other protocols, IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN, known for their security and reliability.

NordVPN is slightly more expensive than AdGuard VPN and doesn’t offer a free plan. Pricing starts at £2.89 a month, billed at £69.36 for the first two years for the Standard plan, and goes up to £4.39 a month, billed at £105.36 for the first 2 years for the highest, Complete plan. You can also opt for a one-year or a monthly plan, but in that case, prices become more expensive in the long run.

AdGuard VPN vs PIA

Founded in 2009, Private Internet Access (PIA) is known best for its huge network of servers, perhaps the largest of any other VPN today, with well over 10,000 servers spread across 80+ countries worldwide. In addition, this VPN has dedicated apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS and, unlike AdGuard VPN, also supports Linux.

With PIA, you can also connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, which is more than the industry average and twice the allowance you get with AdGuard VPN.

PIA is also one of the cheapest VPNs today and is even slightly more affordable than AdGuard VPN. If you choose to commit to its three-year plan, you can use the service for a full three years for only £65.

AdGuard VPN vs ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is a Switzerland-based VPN service that was founded by the same team that created ProtonMail — one of the world’s most popular encrypted email services. This VPN was established in 2016 and has since then grown to have over 1,700 servers in 63 countries across the globe.

ProtonVPN is one of the few VPNs on the market that offers a free plan which, unlike AdGuard’s free plan, is not limited in terms of data or speed. In addition, with Proton VPN, you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, but similarly to AdGuard VPN, the number of connections with the free plan is limited to only one.

ProtonVPN is also significantly more expensive than AdGuard VPN. Its most affordable two-year plan is billed at $119.76 (roughly £98), almost double the price of AdGuard VPN’s two-year plan.

Wrap Up

Although a newcomer to the VPN scene, AdGuard VPN has all the features you would expect from a top-tier VPN service.

It offers excellent speeds, a strict zero-logs policy, military-grade encryption, the ability to unblock several Netflix libraries, and even a few advanced security features, such as a SOCKS5 proxy and DNS servers. Coming at only £60 for two years, AdGuard VPN is also very reasonably priced.

So, to conclude this AdGuard VPN review, if you’re looking for a fast, reliable and affordable VPN service, AdGuard VPN should be at the top of your list. However, if AdGuard VPN is not a suitable choice for you, be sure to take a look at our list of the best VPN providers, as you will surely find a more suitable alternative.

FAQ

Is AdGuard VPN trustworthy?

Yes, AdGuard VPN is a trustworthy and reliable VPN service. The company has been in operation since 2009 and has a strong focus on security and privacy, with a strict zero-logs policy and AES 256-bit encryption.

Does AdGuard VPN work with Netflix?

Yes, AdGuard VPN is capable of unblocking several major Netflix libraries, including the US, UK, Japan, and Australia libraries.

Does AdGuard sell your data?

No, AdGuard VPN does not sell your data. The company is based in Cyprus, which is not a member of the 14 Eyes alliance, so there is no legal obligation for AdGuard VPN to share user data with government agencies. Plus, it has a strict zero-logs policy, so it doesn’t collect any personally identifiable information about its users.

Is AdGuard VPN free?

Yes, AdGuard VPN offers a free plan, although it is limited compared to the paid version. The free plan includes two simultaneous connections per subscription, only 13 server locations, a 20 Mbps speed limit, and a monthly VPN traffic allowance of 3 GB.

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