Avast SecureLine is a popular VPN product from a multinational cybersecurity software company located in the Czech Republic. It will get you into Netflix, open new torrenting opportunities, and protect your personal data, but many users note that the system lacks some important features. In our Avast VPN review, we’ll discuss all the strong and weak points of the software and find out if it’s really worth buying.
To start with, let’s make a brief overview of Avast SecueLine to see what to expect from the service. When it comes to technologies, Avast employs the 256-bit advanced encryption standard along with OpenVPN and IPSec/IKEv2 protocols. A combination of the 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN protocol is considered the most secure and reliable.
The VPN can work on up to 5 devices simultaneously, with no bandwidth shedding. It is compatible with Windows PCs, Macs, iOS, and Android devices. The developer, however, didn’t foresee any opportunity to integrate Avast Secureline with Linux and Chromebook computers or open-source routers.
The software has servers in 34 countries, which is incredibly few locations if compared to other platforms that often have thousands of servers in different parts of the Globe. There are only three countries that feature more than one server– Canada, Russia, and the USA.
What Do You Get with Avast SecureLine VPN?
- It is a well-known, trustworthy brand;
- Effective protection of user’s data;
- The connection is reasonably speedy;
- The interface is intuitive and user-friendly;
- Compatible with different platforms;
- No DNS leaks;
- Free-of-charge 7-day trial period.
- No possibility to pay with virtual currencies;
- Some users reported WebRTC leaksr;
- Not compatible with Linux, Chromebook and open-source routers;
- The number of servers is very limited if compared to other solutions;
- The mobile version of the system stuffs the data into a tiny window, which can't be enlarged;
- The software lacks a “kill switch” option;
- It is pricy for the number of features it offers.
Avast Secureline make an impression of a promising VPN provider that is relatively new in the market, but keeps developing rapidly and responds to criticism by improving the quality of the service. But let’s delve dipper in our Avast SecureLine VPN review to see if the service is a good value for money, or it’s just another mediocre VPN not worth your while.
Privacy and Security
As regaining online privacy is a primary reason for many users to use a VPN, they expect a VPN service to be reliable and trustworthy. Top-notch encryption and protocols matter, as outdated technologies cannot guarantee the level of security that would meet modern standards.
At the same time, those are stable performance and lack of any kinds of leaks that define if the service is good at being on the guard of your privacy every minute it is on. The good news is Avast VPN comes with DNS leaks protection.
At the same time, some users reported they have experienced WebRTC leaks with the service in the past, and Avast promised to rectify the flaws. We are happy to report that according to our test they’ve actually kept their promise.
Encryption and Protocols
As we have already mentioned, with AvastSecureLine your privacy will be guarded by AES 256-bit encryption while the available protocols are IPSec/IKEv2 and OpenVPN. Experts claim that it’s the most reliable encryption system available in the market. At the same time, Avast doesn’t let users select protocols they prefer to rely on as most VPN providers do.
Your personal data is transmitted via OpenVPN from Windows and Android devices; if you have a Mac OS or iOS-based device, IPSec protocols are used. A beneficial point is that the software has been designed to cipher all ports, extending beyond mere encryption of Internet browser ports. Therefore, this VPN will surely keep your online activity hidden from third parties.
A long-awaited kill switch feature hasn’t been introduced yet. A kill switch would cut off the user’s online activity when connection to the VPN server is lost. It’s especially important in case your device connects to unknown Wi-Fi networks, as in case the VPN fails to encrypt your connection at some point, you’ll have your real IP exposed and your private data will be at risk of being stolen.
The software doesn’t offer split tunneling, either. It is not so essential as a kill switch, but it may be quite handy as it allows to maximize the speed of internet connection when a VPN is on. This feature allows users to select which applications should run through a VPN, and which don’t really need to be routed through the server situated in a different part of the Globe.
The only special feature Avast SecureLine can boast is the aforementioned DNS leak protection. It lets users rest assured that their ISP would not get a single chance to see user browsing history when connected to a VPN.
Avast SecureLine Logging Policy
Avast SecureLine is one of the VPNs with no-logging policy, which means they would not have your browsing activity to share at the request of the third parties. This is good news since the company’s headquarters is located in the Czech Republic, which is a party to all the major intelligence-sharing agreements. Avast hasn’t been involved in any logs-sharing scandal so far, which is quite reassuring.
At the same time, it does keeps some connection logs such as the amount of bandwidth used, the duration of the connection, as well as the time when you connected to the server and disconnected from it. The company claims that this data is necessary for diagnostic purposes and to ensure fair usage of the service by preventing possible cases of abuse.
All the data stored in the form of such logs are erased every month. Besides, there are no records of the sites you visit, the IP addresses accessed from your devices, and the data transferred. So, you should not worry that someone can connect you to your online activity via such logs.
The software is compatible with the TOR-browser, and experts do advise people to use these two instruments together to ensure even better security. If your connection to the VPN breaks for certain reasons (and we’ve already mentioned that there is no kill switch function to protect you on such occasions), TOR will protect your internet activity.
Lack of kill switch and versatility when it comes to VPN protocols selection are definitely the points Avast should work upon. Nevertheless, the VPN service is still a good choice for protecting your privacy. Another question we need to answer is whether you can expect to have stable performance and pleasant experience when using Avast Secureline.
While all the VPNs slow down the connection speed a little bit, the drop in speed should not be drastic so that users can enjoy smooth browsing and buffering-free streaming.
Avast SecureLine Speed
When working on our review, we’ve conducted a number of tests to evaluate Avast SecureLine performance. We ran speed tests on both distant and nearby servers, and here are the results of our testing:
- The highest speed of the servers was observed in Europe. There, the speed of VPN-protected connection was around 75% percent of the original speed (starting with 91 Mbps we got the 65-76 Mbps on different servers)
- Naturally, going long distance led to significant speed drops. During East Asia testing the connection speed was less than 10% of the unprotected one. Frankly speaking, we expected to get slightly better results. At the same time, we got solid 35-45 Mbps on the Australian server, which was a pleasant surprise.
- The USA’s results are noticeably higher: with the ping of 204 ms, the download and upload speeds are 60.8 Mbps and 22.9 Mbps correspondingly.
All in all, Avast SecureLine VPN has shown better-than-average scores, especially for downloads. For many customers, the speed of server connection is the major factor influencing the choice of certain VPN provider. Avast SecureLine isn’t the king of the speed, but it’s quite promising in this respect.
No Leaks Detected
We’ve already mentioned that Avast SecureLine users used to face WebRTC leaks issue in the past.
We conducted three tests, trying to find out if there is any IP, DNS or WebRTC leakage. All our checks gave the same results – the system is absolutely safe. You don’t need to worry that someone can reveal your IP-address and steal your personal information. The protection is stable and sound.
Torrenting and Streaming
One more important feature of any VPN is its capability to unlock access to well-known websites offering movies, shows, music, and other sorts of popular content. Besides, many users value VPN for an opportunity to securely download content via torrents.
Is Torrenting Allowed?
Although you’ll never see the word ‘torrenting’ on the official website of Avast, the VPN does support P2P file sharing. However, torrenting is only allowed on 5 European and 3 US servers. The European servers are located in Germany, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the UK, and France.
Therefore, if none of the servers belong to your nearby location zone, Avast SecureLine might not be your best choice for torrenting as the speed would be too low to let you easily download big bulks of data.
What about Netflix and Other Streaming Options?
If you want to use Avast SecureLine for streaming, the good news is the speed of server connection is high enough – this was proved in the course of numerous checks. It even offers two dedicated streaming locations in the USA (3 servers) and the UK (1 server).
Netflix, being the most popular streaming service around the globe, keeps blocking VPN’s IP addresses, and if even you managed to get through the block yesterday, it doesn’t mean you’ll have no troubles getting access to your favorite show today. At the moment, however, Avast SecureLine wins this battle thanks to the Netflix optimized servers: you should be able to overcome Netflix block from all sorts of devices. We’ve tried Netflix on both our desktop and smartphones: everything works in the best way possible.
The situation with BBC iPlayer is less sunny: it would not work with Avast VPN and you’ll see the standard ‘not available in your location’ message.
How Much does Avast SecureLine Cost?
You might have noticed in the Features section of our review that with Avast VPN the starting price is $2.99 per month which is pretty low. This is not a reason to rejoice, unfortunately, as that is the monthly price for VPN protection of a single mobile device. You can pay $19.99 for 1 year upfront, which means the monthly fee would drop to $1.67.
And still most users need a VPN to protect their PCs or better all their devices. For this reason, most VPNs offer cross-platform packages with the only limitation being the number of devices that can be connected automatically, but not the OS.
Avast Securiline does have a multi-device plan, which allows for 5 simultaneous connections. An annual subscription will cost you $79.99, which translates into $6.66 which is well above the market average especially if we consider the limited set of features Avast VPN offers.
Avast SecureLine multi-device subscription for 2 years will not let you save up as well, as the plan will cost you $149.99 ($6.24/mo).
Avast Securiline offers separate subscriptions for PCs and Macs, but they are even less budget-friendly than the multi-device package.
- 1 PC/Mac for 1 year – $59.99 ($4.99)
- 1 PC/Mac for 2 years – $109.99 ($4.58)
- 1 PC/Mac for 3 years- $159.99 ($4.44)
There are also options for three, five and ten Windows-based computers, which again are no good deals.
The good news is there’s a 7-day free trial for you to test the service. Moreover, once you purchase the subscription you have 30 more days to get your money back if you are not satisfied. The catch here is that you will not get a refund if you’ve used more than 10GB of bandwidth or connected to Avast SecureLine more than 100 times.
Avast offers decent customer service with requests handled via e-mail or phone. You can submit a ticket, but don’t expect to get a swift answer, as the provider claims to normally answer users’ queries within 2 business days. Urgent problems can be addressed to phone support that is available 24/7. There is no live chat though, which is disappointing.
Alternatively, you can post your query on Avast forum, and chances are one of the community members will help you. If not, you can expect Avast representative to join the discussion and help you find the solution. The FAQ section may also be of help with some basic questions.
Do We Recommend Avast SecureLine VPN?
Avast Secureline is easy-to-use, quite reliable and demonstrates above average performance. And still, lack of advanced features and security musts such as kill switch, limited torrenting and streaming capabilities along with some logging issues do not let us call it a good value for money.
It may be a good choice for users who only need to protect a single mobile device. Users who get the service for free with the top tier of Avast antivirus suite should not look any further as well – as a free add-on Avast does well. Meanwhile, if you need a VPN for multiple devices to use it not just for sage browsing and accessing blocked websites, but also for torrenting and streaming, there are better offers in the market.