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Lucas Novac



Published: January 14, 2024

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AdGuard VPN Review – is it Safe in 2024

Our investigations are devoted to helping users make thoughtful decisions when they need to choose a VPN. There are a lot of providers in the arena, and all of them claim to be the best, the most secure, the fastest, etc.

Except that each of them is the best of the best, every service also has its peculiarities. Digital solutions offer a lot of ways to configure the VPN architecture; hence, every service has its own solution.

For a common citizen who tends to leave his simple life, it may appear to be a sophisticated task to grasp the technical stuff in the background of the VPN functionality. And here is the moment where we are all yours.

You will find here all the essentials about the current provider to compose a clear vision for it. We hope our job will facilitate your comprehension of all the basic VPN characteristics and help you make a better choice.

  • Simple launch and installation
  • Good customer’s support
  • Available for distinctive platforms including 4 browsers
  • Liable Privacy Policy
  • Very low connection speed on Windows’s app
  • Very low connection speed on macOS’s app
  • Very low connection speed on Android’s app
  • Very low connection speed on iOS’s app
  • Very low connection speed on browsers’ extensions
  • Only 3 gb available

AdGuard VPN Features

The current enterprise is a virtual private network software issuer that developed its production for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS platforms, as well as for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera browsers.

The information from the official website affirms that the network encompasses 65+ servers across 53 countries. As well, they wrote about a strict no-log policy and ultrafast servers. We will check if these benefits are available for the free version.

Clock-around customer support service will help users find answers to their questions, of course, if the 24/7 option is within the unpaid suit.

There are not many details about the technical scope of their system; hence, we will reveal it during the software exploration.

Privacy and Logging

We know the cunning of providers to write prominent statements of their achievements on the main pages of the website and to hide the pitfalls inside the privacy policy page. It is not the rule for all VPNs, but a common case. In order to be sure about the real state of affairs, we explore the privacy policy page and highlight dubious pieces.

The very first notice about the privacy aspect we faced was on the main page of the official website.

AdGuard VPN do not collect or share your data
The promo text on the website’s forefront inspires confidence.

We hope that it is true; however, our duty is to check the facts, and at the moment we are not giving any assessments.

The privacy policy page of Adguard VPN is divided into subdivisions for general privacy and specifically for each platform. We will start with the general document and follow up with all others.

Privacy policy keynote
They present themselves as fighters for users’ privacy.

The privacy policy page started with a determined explanation of their rigorous approach to consumers’ privacy. The start is good.

The next screenshot.

Collecting only the necessary information for functionality providing.
In order to provide full functionality, some information is collected for this purpose.

The last sentence on the screenshot contains the phrase ‘only the information that is necessary’. And we are very curious to know what exact data they collect to provide services.

It is a very fuzzy definition because some services use IP addresses, billing details, and devices’ identifiers, whereas others use some data about the application issues or the version used. The difference is significant, you see.

Two items with vague explanations about reasonable measures fro data protection
One more vague explanation about the measures to protect users personal data.

And again, each paragraph starts with the words ‘we take reasonable measures.’ What are the exact measures? Is it just a strong password or a team of developers who care to clock around for the world’s best security standards?

‘Reasonable measures’—it  sounds like a state official’s promise on his pre-election campaign. Don’t you have a similar association? 

Now we are on the last screenshot from the general privacy policy document.

AdGuard VPN does not allow people under 16 years old to use their services.
They are against the usage of their services by individuals under 16 years old.

There is no protection measure for users’ privacy from the technical side; however, we think it is a good practice to prevent young people from using VPNs because of their unconscious age. VPN can give access to restricted content, which may impact the psychological state.

We finished with the general statement and are going to observe particularly dedicated subdivisions.

The list of data that AdGuard VPN for Windows collects
The list of the collected data by the Windows’s application.

We investigated each point from the provided list on Windows’s privacy policy subdivision and found one minor event: storing user activity data. The penultimate point describes it.

AdGuard can collect URLs on Windows if identifies websites as untrustworthy.
Visited URLs are kept under specific circumstances.

If the user gives permission to involve him in the option’s development process, only then will URLs be kept.

All other collected data is not related to the sensitive individual information, meaning that it is not stored with an IP address, user’s name, surname, card details, local device identifiers, etc. All the information entails technical sense.

Now we are switching to macOS’s privacy subdivision.

The list of data that AdGuard VPN for macOS collects
The list of the collected data for macOS’s application

Compared to the previous example, the current operating system requires fewer volumes of information gathering. But still, there is no sensitive user’s data, only the technical stuff, and the penultimate point has the same sense as we discussed a few minutes earlier.

As we have finished with desktops’ policies, let us move to the Android privacy notes.

The list of data that AdGuard VPN for Android collects
The list of the collected data by the Android’s application.

The list is very similar to the two preceding, and now we have not found much information about the consumer’s data gathering.

AdGuard VPN trial period implies users email storage
The user’s email address will be collected in the event of trial period activation.

We do not recognize email as very sensitive information because it is a kind of asset that we are used to sharing a lot with various services when buying their proposals or when registering. An application identifier is also non-valuable data. And the next screenshot illustrates a case that shows when an IP address can be collected.

If user permits the collection of the technical data, then their IP will be collected
Your IP address will be transmitted if you confirm technical data interaction.

An IP address is precise identifying information; however, in this current case, it is collected merely with the user’s permission.

Android’s privacy agreement has exhausted facts, and we are moving to iOS.

The list of data that AdGuard VPN for browsers collects
IOS will collect the visited URLs with the user’s permission.

We have already seen this point above on other platforms, and now you know that on the iPhone it is too.

The last subdivision is given to browser extensions, and there is nothing critical as well.

The list of the collected data by the browsers’ extensions.

If users permit sending statistics via browser extension, then the domains of visited websites will be collected
If you agree to send the statistics, then the visited domains will be collected.

Statistic delivery is off by default, but if you allow this operation, you will share the domain addresses of the websites you visit with their server. Also, you may permit collecting the visited URLs; however, they are not gathered automatically.

We observed all the essential moments of the privacy policies and eventually did not find facts compromising consumers’ privacy. All the cases where sensitive personal data gathering was possible are exceptionally regulated by your permission.

Speed Tests – How Fast is AdGuard VPN?

The connection speed is one of the paramount characteristics while surfing the internet. VPN software influences it but does it differently. Every single provider has its own system’s architecture, and you will not find any general statistics regarding connection speed.

We made tests on all the distributions and composed the results into a clear and simple presentation. Speed tests are split into three blocks:

  • PC Test
    • Windows;
    • MacOc.
  • Browsers’ Extension Test
  • Mobile Test
    • Android;
    • IOS.

Every test was conducted with the same internet service provider (further ISP) and at two locations on each platform. One is the US server, and the second is the randomly selected available country from the European region.

PC Test

Windows’s speed test will open this section.


AdGuard VPN speed test for Windows
Speed test was made for the US and UK locations

The vertical image shows the results of the ISP. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 94.04 mbps;
  • upload speed is 89.98 mbps;
  • ping time is 2 ms.

The top-right image shows the performance of the US server. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 21.06 mbps;
  • upload speed is 6.92 mbps;
  • ping time is 148 ms.

The download speed is about 78% below the ISP speed, the upload speed is nearly 92% below it too, and the ping time has increased from 2 ms to 148 ms.

The bottom-right image shows the performance of the UK server. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 20.95 mbps;
  • upload speed is 21.04 mbps;
  • ping time is 41 ms.

The download speed has been cut by nearly 78%, the upload speed has decreased by 77%, and the ping time has increased from 2 ms to 41 ms.

Both locations showed very bad performance; the decline is so high that you probably will not manage to use the application comfortably even if the ISP connection speed is fast.


AdGuard VPN speed test for macOS
Speed test was made for the US and PL locations

The vertical image shows the results of the ISP. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 88.2 mbps;
  • upload speed is 82.8 mbps;
  • ping time is 3 ms.

The top-right image shows the performance of the US server. The indexes are:

  • download speed of 19.7 mbps;
  • upload speed is 22.3 mbps;
  • ping time is 133 ms.

The download speed decreased by 78% below the ISP speed, and the upload speed worsened by about 73%. Ping time heightened from 3 ms to 133 ms.

The bottom-right image shows the performance of the French server. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 21 mbps;
  • upload speed is 21.2 mbps;
  • ping time is 34 ms.

The download speed was upgraded by nearly 76%, the upload speed fell by about 74%, and the ping time increased from 3 ms to 34 ms.

Loss is expressly high for either server, and the current result does not create a sustainable ability to surf the web with such velocity.

Browsers’ Extensions Test

Adguard VPN produces extensions for four popular browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera. We did the speed check only for the Google Chrome browser, as it is the most popular. The received results you can confidently try on the left browsers because its internal setup has a lot of similar configurations.


AdGuard VPN speed test for Chrome
Speed test was made for the US and IT  locations

The top image shows the results of the ISP. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 67.09 mbps;
  • upload speed is 46.76 mbps;
  • ping time is 5 ms.

The central image shows the performance of the US server. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 21.93 mbps;
  • upload speed is 20.86 mbps;
  • ping time is 125 ms.

The download speed incurs a decline of 67% relative to the ISP speed, and the upload speed is nearly 55%. The ping time has increased from 3 ms to 125 ms.

The central image shows the performance of the Romanian server. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 20.96 mbps;
  • upload speed is 21.18 mbps;
  • ping time is 41 ms.

The download speed loss is 52% lower than the ISP speed, and the upload speed is 90% lower. The ping time has increased from 2 ms to 41 ms.

The extension presented better results than both desktop applications; nonetheless, the objective outcome is also quite lean to pretend even on an average estimation. And again, you will barely feel a smooth, joyful process utilizing the internet at such a slow speed.

Mobile Test

In this block, two mobile platforms are all ours for observation. We will start with Android and continue with iOS.


AdGuard VPN speed test for Android
Speed test was made for the US and FI locations

The first image in a row shows the results of the ISP. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 62.1 mbps;
  • upload speed is 51.3 mbps;
  • ping time is 2 ms.

The central image shows the performance of the US server. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 3.28 mbps;
  • upload speed is 21.5 mbps;
  • ping time is 207 ms.

The download speed is about 95% lower than the ISP speed, and the upload speed is nearly 58% lower. Ping time has increased from 2 ms to 207 ms.

The right image shows the performance of the FI server. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 10.7 mbps;
  • upload speed is 21.8 mbps;
  • ping time is 50 ms.

The download speed is nearly 83% lower, the upload speed is approximately 58% worse, and the ping time has increased from 2 ms to 50 ms.

The results of the Android’s application also showed intensive deterioration and do not predict convenient utilization of the internet with the connected VPN.


AdGuard VPN speed test for iOS
Speed test was made for the US and FI  locations

The vertical image shows the results of the ISP. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 42.5 mbps;
  • upload speed is 40.5 mbps;
  • ping time is 3 ms.

The top-right image shows the performance of the US server. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 20.9 mbps;
  • upload speed is 21.2 mbps;
  • ping time is 145 ms.

The download index is approximately 51% lower than the ISP speed, and the upload speed is about 48% lower. Ping time has increased from 3 ms to 145 ms.

The bottom-right image shows the performance of the FI server. The indexes are:

  • download speed is 21.1 mbps;
  • upload speed is 21.4 mbps;
  • ping time is 52 ms.

The download speed decreased by nearly 50%, the upload speed decreased by around 48%, and the ping time increased from 3 ms to 52 ms.

The general assessment is again too low, notwithstanding that the IOS’s application presented the best results among all the issued applications.

The speed test section is over, and it is time to discover the safeguarding possibilities.

About Safety – How Secure is Adguard VPN?

There are no comprehensive particulars about the security possibilities on the official website; hence, we analyzed applications to comprehend the potential.

MacOS’s application does not have a rich selection of security features.

AdGuard VPN settings on macOS
The Settings page encompasses various adjustments within one tab, mixing up the security features with general.

At the very beginning of the screen, there is a Kill Switch toggler. It’s a useful function that prevents data transmission directly through your internet provider in the event of a sudden VPN connection dropout. When the VPN tunnel is restored, traffic will again go through the protected environment.

At the bottom of the settings field, there is a subsection called “Advanced Settings.”.

AdGuard VPN advanced settings on macOS first part
The Advanced Settings tab contains only two options related to the security.

The ‘Logging level’ is not a direct safeguard feature but has an implicit relation to it. It includes two possible positions:

  • Record by default;
  • Record everything;

There is no detailed description of each item; however, according to the privacy policy, any item should not contain personal, valuable data.

AdGuard VPN advanced settings on macOS second part
The second available safeguard feature is in the advanced settings tab.

QUIC stands for ‘Quick UDP Internet Connection’. In simple words, it is like a combination of UDP and TCP protocols. This means that this feature embodies the benefits of UDP’s lower latency and faster connection establishment times while still providing the security benefits of TCP.

QUIC is a promising new technology that has the potential to improve the performance and security of VPNs. However, it is still a relatively new protocol, and there are not yet a lot of VPN providers that support it.

It is a relatively new protocol with the potential to enhance the performance and security of VPNs.

Also, on the screenshot above, there is the ‘Exclusion’ tab, where you can set apps and URLs that should not be routed through the VPN.

The security options of Windows’s app are the same, with one more feature in addition.

AdGuard VPN settings of subnet exclusions on Windows
It may be a useful trait if you have a large local network.

This can help improve security and performance by isolating different types of traffic from each other.

This setting facilitates enhancing security and performance by demarcating the divergent types of traffic; it is rather more suitable for companies than for individuals.

The Android’s application as well contains the Kill Switch option and the ‘Logging Level feature’, but it also has a low-level settings tab for tech-savvy users.

AdGuard VPN low-level settings on Android part 1
This adjustment’s list helps technically aware users set up VPNs more flexibly.

We will briefly discover each item:

  • AdGuard CPN protocol
    • This feature includes two possible protocols: HTTP/2 and QUIC. HTTP/2 can improve performance and reduce latency, but it is a very superficial explanation, and in depth, it encompasses a bunch of specific technical characteristics. The QUIC protocol we have described recently.
  • Include Wi-Fi gateway in VPN routes
    • In general, it is only recommended to enable this setting if your priority is privacy or security. This feature has its drawbacks from a performance perspective; hence, if you are not concerned about security, disable this toggler.
  • Packet capture (PCAP)
    • PCAP is a network traffic recording procedure primarily for troubleshooting purposes. When it is turned on for the TUN interfaces, it will record all the traffic routed through the VPN, including encrypted data. Consider that it is a very simplified explanation of its meaning. 
  • Watchdog
    • Battery-saving apps can interfere with or terminate background processes, including the VPN software. This feature protects AdGuard from the influence of these apps.
  • Preferred IP version
    • Within this item, you can set IPv4, IPv6, or both simultaneously.
  • IPv6 interface
    • An IPv6 interface is a point of interaction between a device and a network configured to use the Internet Protocol version 6. 
  • IPv4 and IPv6 ranges excluded from VPN
    • You can assign here IP addresses that will not be routed through the VPN.
AdGuard VPN low-level settings on Android part 2
It is the continuation of low-level settings that did not fit into the preceding screenshot.

There are three options left to discuss from the list:

  • MTU stands for Maximum Transition Unit
    • This parameter affects the performance of the VPN by controlling the size of the transferred data packages. The most suitable MTU for a VPN connection will depend on the specific network conditions. The current explanation is very simplified; read more materials about it if you are curious about the details.
  • Excluded apps
    • You can set the list of apps that should not be routed through the encrypted milieu.
  • Proxy server port
    • There can be a number of reasons why you need to set up the port; we will not dive into details, but this feature enables users to do so.

In contrast to Android devices, iOS gadgets have very stingy setting opportunities. There are only two available options:

  • Logging mode;
  • QUIC protocol toggler.

We are done with the security settings, and the overall impression is not very exciting. In general, the diversity of settings is poor for almost all the devices, not including the Android platform.

Desktop Apps

The applications for macOS and Windows are similar in design, and the installation procedures are smooth. The first screen that you will see while launching the program will be a sign-up form.

Windows VPN sign-up screen
Register your account in the four offered ways.

We are highlighting once more that the interfaces are similar for both desktop platforms, which is why we are demonstrating an example of one of them.

The sign-up screen barely needs a verbose explanation, so we are moving to the main app’s screen.

AdGuard VPN Windows main screen
The provider chose a cartoon’s ninja style for the software design.

The interface of the application is intuitive without sophisticated elements. On the very top is located the main menu, and the general area contains three interactive components: the connect/disconnect button, the location’s search field, and the location’s list area.

The provider gives 3 gb of free bandwidth. At the first time, you can obtain plus 1 gb for the email confirmation during the registration and plus 1 gb for the mobile device connection to the existing account. We connect both iPhone and Android in the hope of receiving 1gb for each device, but no. In all the following periods, you will get 3 gb per month.

Mobile Apps

Applications for iOS and Android also have similar designs and components.

AdGuard VPN Android main screen
Mobile software as well executed in ninja style.

The visual representation of the app contains a menu bar on the bottom of the screen and two interactive elements in the main area: the connect/disconnect button and the location’s area. The bandwidth for the mobile applications is not individual and is linked to your account. We remind you once more that you have just 3 gb for free per month for all your devices.

Browser Extensions

AdGuard VPN produced distributions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera browsers. All the extensions are identical from the design and configuration’s perspective. For instance, we will present Google Chrome’s application to give you a vision about extensions.

AdGuard VPN Chrome main screen
Extensions have the same ninja style as the previous apps.

The main screen of the application places three interactive elements: the connect/disconnect button, the location’s field, and the hamburger menu icon in the right upper corner. The bandwidth has the same characteristics and is tight to your account with a limitation of 3 gb.


This block is going to be short because the performance on all platforms is disappointing. The best results were produced on iOS’s application, with a deterioration of around 50% for both the download and upload indexes. And it was the best achievement among all the apps; the indexes of other distributions are palpably worse.

An exceptional attention deserves the bandwidth of 3 gb. What is this, a sample in a perfume store? Splash a few times to feel the future perspective; it is really ridiculous. Such a traffic volume was maybe relevant 20 years ago, but definitely not nowadays.

Work in Highly Restricted Countries

There is no information regarding this query on the official website or applications.

Server’s Locations

The main page of the website tells us that users can enjoy 65+ locations in 53 countries around the world.

AdGuard VPN network
information from the official website about the network’s capacity.

It appears that the specified numbers are intended for the paid plan rather than the free version. Each product offers eight the same countries for free utilization:

  • Finland;
  • France;
  • Germany;
  • Italy;
  • Netherlands;
  • Poland;
  • UK;
  • US:
    • Dallas;
    • Miamy;
    • New York.

What Bonuses Does the Paid Version Offer, and How Much Does It Cost?

AdGuard VPN subscription plans
The longer the plan’s term, the cheaper the price per month. 

The subscription’s plans offer you three available payment options. If you purchase the longest plan, then the price per month will be $2.99. In the case of a monthly subscription, the price per month is four times higher. Yet, to get the minimum monthly price, you need to put in $71.76 right away.

Paid plans offer unlimited bandwidth, better speed performance, up to 10 simultaneously connected devices, and a personal DNS from AdGuard.

About Support

The website contains a dedicated support section with a set of predefined materials, including the FAQ section. 

Every application contains a support section inside the menu. You can write them with ‘Report a bug field’ or ‘Leave feedback field’, and you will get an answer to your email.

We sent a feedback form and received an answer a little more than in one day.

AdGuard VPN live chat with customer service
Their live support should work around the clock if they believe the website’s information.

We made sure that their live support is really live, and in general, the organization of the support’s components is convenient and useful.

AdGuard VPN Review: Final verdict

Observing the current provider, we noticed that their privacy policy gives a liable protection of personal data. However, the security options presented in their software are very stingy to ensure the flexibility and liability of the connection. Only Android’s app presented a richer set.

The connection speed and the free bandwidth are two points that play a tangibly negative role in AdGuard’s reputation. Speed indexes are extremely low for the whole set of software products. And in combination with 3 gb of monthly free bandwidth, this provider takes a backseat among competitors.

Even the decent support service and eight available countries cannot outweigh the ridiculous bandwidth and incredibly slow speed. We can not recommend the current vendor, seeing that it is useless because of its obvious drawbacks.