AdGuard VPN Review 2024

Adguard VPN offers user-friendly apps and reliable connection speeds, but it has a small server network, only one protocol and no independent audits yet.

A user-friendly VPN with a good free plan, but lacking some vital features.

Rank #67 / 67
AdGuard VPN
Our AdGuard score
  • Features
    8.5 / 10
  • Pricing
    9 / 10
  • User-friendliness
    9 / 10
  • Speed
    7.5 / 10
  • Security
    9 / 10
  • Privacy
    8 / 10
  • Streaming
    8.5 / 10
  • Servers
    6.5 / 10
  • Service
    7 / 10
  • Apps Support
    7 / 10
Streaming Access
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Arthur Sabayi
Last update: April 12, 2024

Quick Answer: Is AdGuard VPN Good?

AdGuard is good enough to keep you safe if you want to unblock restricted content or hide your daily online activities from unwanted eyes. It’s cheap, offers a free version and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for the long-term price plans. However, it offers only one protocol and it is also missing some common VPN features.

Overall Rating 8 / 10
AdGuard VPN

AdGuard started as a web analytics tool in 2009. It pivoted to ad-blocking services in 2011 before branching into virtual private network (VPN) services in 2021, so it’s fairly new to the VPN world. It may not feature in our best VPNs list, but it shows promise and packs features that got my antennas twitching. In this AdGuard VPN review, I set out to lift the VPN hood to see what’s inside.

While AdGuard VPN’s apps are neatly designed and easy to navigate for first-time users, I quickly noticed that AdGuard VPN is one of the few VPNs I’ve ever used that includes only one protocol. Additionally, it’s not compatible with routers or Linux. OK, not every top VPN provider has those options, but next I wanted to ask if those apps were coming — and I couldn’t find a live chat option. 

It’s not all doom and gloom, though, as the AdGuard VPN has positive sides that give other providers a run for their money. For instance, the free version was very impressive. The VPN app offers obfuscation on all its servers. 

This impartial AdGuard VPN review will look at all the good and bad aspects without leaving any stones unturned. However, in short, compared to other VPN providers, I found this VPN to be lacking overall.


AdGuard VPN Review Overview

In this review, I will look at all the security and privacy features, conduct speed and DNS leak tests, explore all the server locations and investigate which streaming platforms you can unblock using AdGuard VPN.

Overall Rating 8 / 10
AdGuard VPN
Our AdGuard score
  • Features
    8.5 / 10
  • Pricing
    9 / 10
  • User-friendliness
    9 / 10
  • Speed
    7.5 / 10
  • Security
    9 / 10
  • Privacy
    8 / 10
  • Streaming
    8.5 / 10
  • Servers
    6.5 / 10
  • Service
    7 / 10
  • Apps Support
    7 / 10
Pros
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Decent streaming performance
  • Obfuscation on all its servers
  • Affordable premium plans
  • Offers a free version
  • User-friendly apps
Cons
  • Non-refundable monthly subscription
  • No live chat customer service
  • 3GB free monthly data cap
  • Limited device compatibility
  • Limited protocol options
  • No independent audits
Free trial
No
Money-Back Guarantee
30 days
Worldwide Server Amount
42 countries
Simultaneous Connections
10
Works with
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Streaming Access
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How Good Is AdGuard VPN?

AdGuard VPN is decent enough to provide you with all the necessary online protections. However, I believe there’s a lot of room for improvement. For it to be good enough to rival some of the best VPNs in the game, it would need to add more features, trustworthy protocols and increased device support.


AdGuard VPN: Latest News and Updates

adguard vpn homepage
AdGuard VPN has a clean and navigable homepage.

There hasn’t been any major news surrounding AdGuard VPN, though I had hoped to find out its plans to expand its services to other devices like Linux and routers. However, the existing Windows, macOS, Android and iOS apps continue to receive regular updates that try to fix any existing issues.


AdGuard VPN Background & History

adguardvpn
AdGuard VPN was launched in 2021.

What Is AdGuard VPN?

AdGuard started in 2009 in Moscow as a web analytics tool called NetChart. It transitioned to ad-blocker services in 2011, so it’s not new to personal data protection. The company moved to Cyprus, which is part of the EU, so AdGuard is subject to stringent data protection laws.

The VPN protects your online traffic by passing it through an encrypted VPN tunnel, adding an extra layer of encryption to your internet connection and preventing your ISP from seeing your online activity.

Who Owns AdGuard VPN?

AdGuard Software Limited owns AdGuard VPN and has provided data privacy services like ad-blocking for over 12 years with support for multiple platforms. I found an AdGuard official page that chronicles its journey from NetChart to what it is today. You can imagine my surprise to find out that it was originally founded in Russia.

In 2017, AdGuard Software Limited moved all its operations to Cyprus, which is under the full protection of the European Union, including its superior privacy laws. There were some allegations in 2022 that AdGuard VPN was using Russian servers, which AdGuard denied.

From our team’s research, it seems that AdGuard’s main development team is still located in Moscow. However, the location is public knowledge — they’re not trying to conceal it. Additionally, the code is open-source for anyone to inspect. Plus, the VPN was blocked in Russia in 2022, which only happens when a VPN does its job well. 

Overall, our team is comfortable with these details of the VPN, but it would be nice to see them have an independent audit (more on that later).

Where Is AdGuard VPN Located?

AdGuard Software Limited is based in Limassol, Cyprus. It owns all AdGuard software, including the VPN. One of the key advantages of this location is that it’s bound by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which features the strongest privacy and security laws in the world. 

This means that no one can compel AdGuard to disclose your data in any way that compromises your safety. Add the no-logging policy offered by the VPN, and you have a reliable privacy structure that maintains your anonymity at all times; you’ll find more of these details in the privacy section.

How Safe Is AdGuard VPN?

Based on the features it offers and the tests I conducted, as far as safety and user privacy are concerned, AdGuard VPN delivers. There haven’t been any instances of a major data breach since the VPN was released. 


AdGuard VPN Features

Features
Rating 8.5 / 10

Basic Features 

First on the list is advanced encryption, which is the pillar of VPN protection. It conceals your online movements and stops your ISP from snooping on you. It also protects you from potential hacking threats if you frequently use unsecured public WiFi networks, which I’m guilty of whenever I visit my favorite coffee joint.

There’s an auto-update feature within the app; when activated, it downloads the most recent version of the VPN the moment it’s available. People rarely pay attention to app updates, so enabling it automatically removes that burden from you. You can also choose to have the VPN launch when you switch on your device and then auto-connect immediately. 

Another basic change I personally like is setting the theme to “dark” mode. AdGuard also has a stats feature you can use to view your usage time, data consumption and frequently used apps.

Advanced Features

The first advanced feature that AdGuard VPN offers is a kill switch for preventing IP leaks if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. For example, when you switch from WiFi to a mobile network, there’s a momentary window as the VPN reconnects where you lose the VPN encryption. The kill switch prevents this by disconnecting the internet until the VPN connection is reestablished.

adguardvpn feature
The split tunneling feature is called “exclusions.”

There’s a split tunneling feature called “exclusions” for choosing which websites and apps you want to encrypt with the VPN and which ones you want to exclude. Encryption sometimes burdens speeds, and some apps and websites don’t work with VPNs, so excluding them from the VPN tunnel helps you avoid getting locked out.

AdGuard VPN also offers DNS blocking features that block different types of content at the DNS level. For example, the AdGuard DNS feature blocks ads and trackers, and AdGuard DNS Family Protection blocks adult content unsuitable for young children. There’s also OpenDNS that blocks malware and phishing attempts anytime you open risky sites like torrenting platforms.

In total, there are 10 default servers on AdGuard VPN that you can use to block domains, and each can be individually activated or deactivated from the app settings. You can also add your own custom DNS servers.


AdGuard VPN Cost: Plans & Value for Money

Pricing
Rating 9 / 10

AdGuard has relatively cheap long-term plans, but its biggest advantage is its free version. The free plan has limited features, but I found it sufficient for simple tasks such as browsing, which won’t push you above the 3GB monthly data cap. To unlock more with this VPN service, you need the AdGuard VPN Unlimited plan.

Breaking Down AdGuard VPN Pricing & Plans

AdGuard VPN’s premium version comes with three price plans. The longest is the two-year plan, which costs $2.99 per month and competes with our selections for the best cheap VPN. If two years is too long, the one-year plan will cost you $3.99 per month. Finally, the monthly plan costs $11.99.

PlanMonthly PriceOne-Year PriceTwo-Year Price
Premium$11.99$3.99 per month
($47.88 total)
$2.99 per month
($71.76 total)

NOTE: The 30-day money-back guarantee is limited to the one-year and two-year plans. The monthly subscription is non-refundable.

AdGuard VPN Free Version

What’s the difference between the free and paid versions? The free AdGuard VPN plan gives you access to 10 server locations (though you can’t choose), lets you connect up to two simultaneous devices and gives you 3GB of free monthly data (4GB on the macOS version). You’ll also have access to the split tunneling and DNS server features.

If that still doesn’t sound like enough, try the alternatives on our best free VPN list or pay for an AdGuard VPN subscription. With the premium version, you can use all the locations with no data caps. Additionally, you can connect up to 10 simultaneous devices and access the statistics feature.

How to Get AdGuard VPN for Free

Getting AdGuard VPN for free is easy. You just need an email address to create an AdGuard account, or you can use a Google account to automatically sign up with a single click. You can then download the app for your device, log in with your credentials and connect to any of the 10 free servers to start using AdGuard VPN.

AdGuard VPN Pricing Deals

AdGuard VPN has pricing deals that occasionally run throughout the year but are never constant. At the moment, the best discount you can get is 75% off the two-year plan and 67% off the one-year plan.


Apps & Support

Apps & Support
Rating 7 / 10

AdGuard VPN is fairly new, so its compatibility isn’t as advanced as other older options. Hopefully, there are plans to improve it as time passes, but at present, you can’t use it on routers or Linux devices, you can use the VPN on only the following devices.

What Devices Work With AdGuard?

AdGuard VPN works on the following platforms:

adguardvpn apps
AdGuard VPN doesn’t work on Linux or routers yet.

Server Locations

Server Locations
Rating 6.5 / 10

AdGuard VPN doesn’t disclose the exact number of servers it has. The only information available is that it offers servers across 69 locations in 55 countries. Most of these locations are concentrated in Europe. 

adguardvpn servers
AdGuard has servers across the globe.

A standout feature of AdGuard VPN servers is that they each display a ping value to show you server latencies — so you don’t have to spend too much time looking for the ideal server for your gaming or video chat needs. Faster servers with lower latencies are always in green, while the slower ones are in orange. 

The free version lets you connect to any of the 10 free servers — but you can’t choose. If you don’t land on the server you want, try disconnecting, then try connecting again.

Where Are AdGuard’s Servers Located?

AdGuard VPN’s server network spans all world regions, but the majority of the servers are located in Europe. 

RegionCountriesLocations
North America314
South America44
Europe2831
Asia1212
Africa11
Oceania22
Middle East55
Total:55 Countries69 Locations

Hands-On Testing & Ease of Use

User Friendliness
Rating 9 / 10

AdGuard VPN is one of the most user-friendly VPNs I’ve tested. Both the free and premium versions have apps with simple buttons that are well labeled and easy to access in the app settings. 

adguard account
You can manage your account from one place.

Most features like the kill switch or DNS servers only need one click to toggle them on and off; this holds true across Android, iOS, macOS, Windows and browser extensions.

My Experience With AdGuard VPN 

I started with the free version to see if the free features worked. After tapping on the “connect” button, I was connected to a German server in Frankfurt that let me unblock the German Netflix library with ease. Connecting to a server on the premium version was equally fast on my first attempt. This time, I connected to a U.S. server and unblocked Max.

The signup process was also straightforward. I used my Gmail account, so I didn’t need to type in the email address. I could also easily add websites and apps to the “exclusions” feature with a single tap, confirming that it works.

How to Install AdGuard VPN

Here’s how to install AdGuard VPN.

How to Set Up AdGuard VPN

The VPN is now installed on your device; here’s how to set it up and get it working.


Speeds & Performance Testing

Speed
Rating 7.5 / 10

AdGuard isn’t the fastest VPN I’ve ever tested, but it still posted competitive results that could shame many established VPNs. I used my unprotected network speeds of 40 Mbps for all the speed tests, and the expected patterns emerged — for instance, the VPN servers closer to my physical location were faster than those further away. 

The VPN performed very well when I connected to South Africa, the nearest server to my physical location, posting speeds of 32.34 Mbps — a 19% speed drop with a latency of 45 ms. The New Zealand server, which is the furthest from me, recorded the slowest speeds, averaging 17.08 Mbps (a 57% speed drop) with a latency of 343 ms

All the tests were conducted using the default AdGuard VPN protocol, since it was the only option. I recommend choosing servers closest to your actual location if you want to get better speeds with lower latencies.

AdGuard VPN Speed Test Results

Here’s a table showing how the VPN fared in my speed tests.

LocationLatency (ms)Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)
🇰🇪 Kenya (Unprotected)104037
🇿🇦 South Africa4532.3428.16
🇩🇪 Germany (Frankfurt)17820.7817.49
🇺🇸 USA (New York)23626.1220.92
🇹🇷 Turkey28722.7619.45
🇳🇿 New Zealand34317.0810.34

AdGuard VPN was impressively fast on nearby servers, with the lowest speed drop being 19%. While this may not be on par with ExpressVPN’s performance, I still got decent speeds even on the free version. 

Free VPNs can be slow, yet AdGuard VPN was faster than the free versions of alternatives like Proton VPN and Atlas VPN.


Streaming Performance

Streaming Performance
Rating 8.5 / 10

Unblocking major streaming services wasn’t hard with AdGuard VPN, thanks to its reliable network of servers distributed across the globe. The speeds also ensured I didn’t experience any buffering when using some fast servers. 

Can AdGuard VPN Unblock Netflix or Other Streaming Sites?

AdGuard VPN unblocked all six streaming services that I tested. These included Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Max and Disney Plus. The best part is that each of these platforms was unblocked on my first attempt.

adguard netflix
AdGuard unblocks the major streaming services.

However, I experienced some issues when using the free version. That’s because the free version does not let you choose your server location, so it kept connecting me to the Frankfurt server. This made it hard to unblock a platform like BBC iPlayer, which is only available in the U.K. This means free users should look elsewhere for a good streaming experience.

Here’s a table showing how the VPN performed with each streaming platform.

Overall Rating 8 / 10
AdGuard VPN
Streaming Access
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Is AdGuard VPN Good for Torrenting?

AdGuard doesn’t have servers dedicated to torrenting like NordVPN or CyberGhost — check out our best VPN for torrenting list for detailed examples — but it has the speed to handle P2P file sharing. I downloaded a 2GB file in 62 seconds using the South African server. If you have faster unprotected speeds than I do, you should be able to handle multiple torrents at once.


Security: Is AdGuard VPN Safe?

Security
Rating 9 / 10

AdGuard is a safe VPN that hasn’t had any breaches in the short period it has been active. It employs the standard security features common in mainstream VPNs, as discussed in the next section.

adguardvpn kill switch
The kill switch button is located in the app settings.

Encryption & Proprietary Protocol

AdGuard has a proprietary VPN protocol called the AdGuard VPN protocol. Based on its claims, it was developed to offer users both speed and security without switching to another protocol. 

What impressed me the most was that this protocol provides built-in automatic obfuscation. Another VPN with something similar is ExpressVPN, which has automatic obfuscation built into some servers, so you don’t need to do anything on your end to activate the feature.

The obfuscation disguises your VPN traffic to look like regular internet through the HTTP/2 transport protocol, which maintains your speeds while making it hard to detect. It claims to improve speeds even more by batching data so fewer confirmations are required, which sounds plausible but requires more investigation.

ProtocolEncryptionDevices
AdGuard VPN ProtocolAES-256Windows
macOS
iOS
Android

Leak Test Results

adguard dns leaktest
AdGuard passed the DNS leak test.

A DNS leak test is one of my favorite tests to determine how secure a VPN is because it confirms the VPN’s core promise. I connected to a South African and an Australian server for good measure, and the DNS leak tests for both servers were successful. Each replaced my IP address and hid the name of my ISP, proof that AdGuard VPN does encrypt your online traffic.


Is AdGuard VPN Private?

Privacy
Rating 8 / 10

AdGuard is a private VPN that maintains your anonymity whenever you browse the internet from any corner of the globe. Through the encryption and automatic obfuscation that AdGuard VPN offers, no one can see the websites you visit.

adguard privacy
AdGuard has a strict no-logging policy.

While the VPN hasn’t had any privacy breaches yet, it’s hard for me to authoritatively declare it to have reliable privacy. AdGuard VPN has only been operational for three years now, and that’s too short for me to make a solid conclusion. All I have are the basic privacy tests like DNS leaks, and those only tell a small part of the story.

Privacy Policy: Does AdGuard Keep Logs?

While the VPN claims to honor a “no-logs” policy, their privacy policy speaks a different language. According to AdGuard VPN’s privacy policy, it considers things like your name, ID number, location data and other online identifiers as personal information. It collects this data when you visit their website or use any of their products, and it stores this information in its servers in Frankfurt, Germany. 

What caught my attention was the part where AdGuard claims to never disclose, share or sell your data without your consent or when required by law.

In VPN terms, that last part is not a good thing. It basically means that AdGuard VPN can hand over your browsing data when compelled by a court order. That shouldn’t happen for a trustworthy VPN. 

The best VPNs for privacy are ones that don’t have the ability to store any information, for example, using RAM-based servers that wipe data with every server reboot, like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

Independent Audits

AdGuard hasn’t had any independent audits yet, and that’s a big issue. VPN audits are a good way to determine whether a service stands by its word regarding vital security and privacy features or not. The lack of an audit doesn’t mean AdGuard isn’t secure, but it would boost my certainty about the VPN’s standing. 

Take CyberGhost, for instance; despite being a major VPN service provider for years, it got its first audit in 2022. ExpressVPN had its first audit in 2019, while NordVPN conducted its first one in late 2018. Since AdGuard is a new VPN, I hope there’s an independent audit on the horizon.


Customer Support

Customer Service
Rating 7 / 10

I was disappointed by the absence of a live chat feature because it’s the fastest method for resolving issues. It’s frustrating when you can’t contact a support agent to deal with an urgent VPN issue, and in my experience, VPNs with live chat features are more efficient.

adguardvpn support
AdGuard doesn’t have a live chat option.

Taking longer than 24 hours to respond to a customer in today’s highly digitized world is criminal. However, I’m cutting AdGuard VPN some slack here because it hasn’t been in the game for long. 

How to Contact AdGuard

The fastest way to contact the AdGuard VPN support team is by sending an email directly to [email protected]. You’ll be assigned a ticket number and have your query answered once the right person gets hold of it. 

I checked how fast the response was by asking if the service provider had plans to add apps for Linux and routers. It took them eight hours to give me a response, which is quite good for an email ticket. However, if you have anything that requires more urgent attention, AdGuard VPN’s support will disappoint you.

adguard support message
AdGuard VPN’s support takes too long to respond.

Other support resources you can use to get answers include an FAQ section, which lists all the possible questions you may have regarding the service. A knowledgebase also provides detailed instructions for problems with AdGuard VPN. 

The “discuss” section is an open forum where developers and other users try to troubleshoot common issues they may encounter. Finally, you can use the “report a bug” option to send direct feedback to the developers via GitHub.


AdGuard VPN Reviews on Reddit & Social Media

AdGuard VPN has mixed reviews on social media sites like Reddit, with most users wanting to know how good or bad the VPN is before committing their hard-earned money to a subscription. Most of the positive reviews on Reddit center around its affordability and the availability of a free version.

reddit positive
AdGuard VPN is loved for its low price and free version.

However, there is some negative feedback on its limited compatibility and unstable nature, even on existing devices like macOS. The lack of other protocols is another pressure point for potential subscribers who see it as too inflexible for their needs.

reddit negative
AdGuard VPN can be unstable at times.

Bottom Line: Do I Recommend AdGuard VPN?

AdGuard can get the job done, but it’s hard to recommend AdGuard when most VPN alternatives cost less and offer more. For instance, there’s Surfshark with unlimited simultaneous connections, as covered in our Surfshark review.

The bottom line is that AdGuard VPN works well for people on a budget. You can unblock content and keep yourself secure with the free version. If the 3GB data cap is too limited for your needs, the premium AdGuard VPN version is still fairly affordable. Nevertheless, when it comes to free plans, there are other free VPNs that offer more data and more server selection. 

Overall Rating 8 / 10
AdGuard VPN
Our AdGuard score
  • Features
    8.5 / 10
  • Pricing
    9 / 10
  • User-friendliness
    9 / 10
  • Speed
    7.5 / 10
  • Security
    9 / 10
  • Privacy
    8 / 10
  • Streaming
    8.5 / 10
  • Servers
    6.5 / 10
  • Service
    7 / 10
  • Apps Support
    7 / 10

AdGuard VPN Alternatives

Maybe you want an easy-to-use VPN with a bigger server network and more security features, or one that’s more affordable. If that’s the case, consider ExpressVPN for VPN newbies wanting top-notch quality, NordVPN for extra security features, Proton VPN for a better free version and CyberGhost for a larger server network.

ExpressVPN has most VPN providers beat when it comes to ease of use, servers and built-in features. Read the ExpressVPN review for more information. 

Overall Rating 9.5 / 10
Get 49% Off ExpressVPN
Pros
  • Extremely fast & easy to use
  • Servers in 105 countries
  • Kill switch, split tunneling & no logs
  • Unblocks all major streaming services
  • Excellent security record
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Uses some virtual servers

NordVPN offers fast speeds and has specialty P2P servers for faster torrenting. Check out our NordVPN review for more details.

Overall Rating 9.2 / 10
Visit NordVPN
Pros
  • Easy to operate
  • Unblocks every major streaming service
  • Great savings on one- & two-year plans
  • Includes a kill switch & ad blocker
  • Strict no-logs policy
Cons
  • Suffered a security breach in the past
  • Split tunneling isn’t available on all OSes

Proton VPN offers a free version with multiple servers in five locations. Find out more on that in our Proton VPN review.

Overall Rating 8.8 / 10
Visit Proton VPN
Pros
  • Fast download & upload speeds
  • Impeccable security
  • Unblocks all streaming services
  • Unique quality-of-life features
  • Servers in oft-ignored locations
Cons
  • High latencies on most servers
  • No live chat support
  • Overpriced plans
  • Few servers overall
  • Manual router installation only

CyberGhost has one of the largest server networks that includes streaming, gaming and torrenting servers, as explained in this CyberGhost review.

Overall Rating 7.5 / 10
Visit CyberGhost
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Thousands of servers including streaming servers
  • Strong encryption
  • Doesn’t keep logs
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
Cons
  • Cheap only with long-term subscriptions

FAQ: AdGuard VPN

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