Avast VPN review

Privacy is a rare commodity these days, especially online. Big Brother Google knows what you did last summer and where, unless you are using a VPN. Avast Secureline VPN is a subscription based service that comes from one of the more prominent names in the world of cyber security. 

It might not be the best service in its price range, but Avast VPN offers top notch security with specialized P2P torrenting servers and a user friendly interface. The main drawbacks include a very limited number of servers and decidedly average speeds. Read our Avast VPN review to find out more.

Key features:

  • Kill switch
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • DNS leak protection
  • Specialized P2P servers

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Military-grade encryption
  • User-friendly interface
  • Separate servers for anonymous P2P sharing
  • No log policy
  • Multiple connection protocols
  • Free 7-day trial
  • Few servers
  • No split tunneling

Main Features

A good VPN service has to be fast, provide a large number of secure servers, and include a reassuring privacy policy, especially when it comes to data collection.

Server Speed

Let’s start by answering the question that most people ask when picking a VPN: to what extent will using Avast Secureline slow down my Internet connection? We tested the Avast VPN download and upload speeds by connecting to various servers around the world over a period of several days.

The testing was conducted from our Belgrade office, so naturally, locations in Europe scored better than those in the US or other continents. While testing US-based servers, we experienced crippling drops in speed only with the ones on the West Coast, which is expected considering the distance. Meanwhile, Russian-based servers performed better than those in the UK. Here are the most notable results from our Avast Secureline VPN multi-device tests, catalogued from the fastest to the slowest.

To begin with our base speed without VPN:

avast vpn review featured image 1

Our first and fastest virtual trip took us to Paris:

avast vpn review featured image 2

Followed by Saint Petersburg, Russia:

avast vpn review featured image 3

A UK server based in London:

avast vpn review featured image 4

Next up, a few locations in the US, starting with New York:

avast vpn review featured image 5

Los Angeles:

avast vpn review featured image 6

Moving continents to Johannesburg, South Africa:

avast vpn review featured image 7

And then to the land of the rising sun in Tokyo, Japan:

avast vpn review featured image 8

We followed the hobbit trail all the way to Auckland, New Zealand, and the results were predictably grim:

avast vpn review featured image 9

We agree with most of the Avast VPN reviews that describe Avast Secureline as a decidedly average service when it comes to speed. Popular servers such as the one in London tend to underperform, showing consistently worse results when compared to servers with similar distances from our testing location.

Server Selection

Another notable downside to Avast’s VPN, especially when compared to competitors like NordVPN, is the limited number of servers. While leading VPN providers offer hundreds or even thousands of servers worldwide, Secureline VPN only provides 57. On the plus side, the servers are located across 36 different countries, and there was never an instance when we couldn’t connect to one of the available servers. We factored all of this into our Avast VPN rating.

There are 16 servers in the US, three in the UK and two in Canada, Germany, Russia and Spain. This includes three dedicated P2P servers in the US and one in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands, and the UK. Despite the low numbers, the servers are located in enough countries around the world to cover most people’s needs.

Security Features

Avast security is top notch, which is to be expected from a company with a long history in antivirus and cyber security solutions. Avast’s VPN platform is based on software by one of the oldest names in the VPN industry, HideMyAss (HMA). The company became a subsidiary of Avast in 2016, a partnership that spawned Avast Secureline. HMA is still offered as a separate service, but Secureline is essentially based on the same framework.

Our Avast Secureline VPN review affirms that the company uses military-grade 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data. There are two protocols available, depending on the operating system that you use. MacOS and iOS users will connect through IpSec/IKEv2, while people on Windows and Android will use OpenVPN.

The older Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is also supported. However, Avast Secureline doesn’t officially support direct router configuration. That means that when using Avast’s VPN, your router cannot be configured automatically.

If the router supports OpenVPN or IpSec/IKEv2, you should be able to manually configure the VPN connection with your user credentials from the desktop or mobile apps. After all, router-level configuration makes VPN access from multiple devices on a network much quicker than having to individually set up each device.

Another important characteristic of any good VPN service is DNS leak protection, and we’re happy to report that Avast is a secure VPN solution in this regard. HideMyAss famously had issues with this particular feature in the past, but Avast Secureline is far more secure. When you activate Avast Secureline VPN, you can rest assured that your real IP address and other data won’t be leaked.

We tested Avast on multiple computers, using popular sites such as Ipleak.net, Dnsleak.com, and Ipx.ac/run to determine whether our DNS, IPv4, or IPv6 addresses were being leaked. The  sites only picked up the location and IP address of the VPN server, proving that DNS leak protection is working. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for split tunneling, as you are currently unable to route select traffic through VPN while other traffic goes through your standard network connection.

Another feature worth mentioning in our Avast VPN review is the software’s kill switch. Most VPNs have a kill switch these days because even brief VPN connection cuts can expose your real IP address and other private data. Once the kill switch is turned on, Secureline VPN will automatically disable Internet access until a VPN connection is reestablished. The kill switch works well whether you are using Avast security for Mac, PC, iOS, or Android.

Privacy Policy

The Avast VPN logging policy was highly controversial in the past. The company claimed to have a strict no-logs policy, but in addition to the duration of each VPN session and the bandwidth used, Avast also logged the user’s originating IP address. You can see how this could be a problem, especially when it comes to Avast Secureline VPN torrenting. The user’s actual IP address, which would have to be turned over to authorities on demand, is the very thing a VPN is designed to hide.

Today, we’re pleased to report that the company no longer engages in such practices. Some data, including the bandwidth used and the duration of each VPN session are still being logged, but your IP address is safe.

This brings us to another important point. Unlike many other providers, the company is very open about the information it logs and why. But before you activate Avast Secureline VPN, make sure to read and understand their privacy policy.

User Experience

The overall user experience is just as important as security, privacy, and connection speed. It’s important to know what devices and operating systems the VPN works on, how organized and intuitive the user interface is, and if there is a mobile app. Users also need to know if the app supports P2P file sharing/torrenting and if it can bypass geo-blocked content.

Supported Platforms

Our review of Avast’s VPN service would be incomplete without the list of platforms that support Secureline. In addition to PC and Mac, the software also works on Linux while mobile platforms including Symbian and Windows Mobile have dedicated apps. The user interface on PC and Mac has a very clean and simple design. Connecting to a recommended server takes a single click, and changing servers is also simple. The collapsable Preferences menu is where you can find most of the program’s settings.

avast vpn review featured image 10
avast vpn review featured image 11

Mobile App

The Avast mobile app is highly efficient regardless of whether you’re using Avast for iPhone, Android, Symbian, or Windows Mobile. It also gets high marks for navigational efficiency. Connecting to your first server and changing servers takes just a few screen taps.

avast vpn review featured image 12avast vpn review featured image 13

According to Avast reviews, one notable downside to using the mobile app is that the free trial requires you to share your credit card details. It’s worth noting that the Avast trial for PC and Mac devices doesn’t require your credit card information. The Avast VPN trial includes a full seven days of unrestricted VPN access regardless of the device you use.

P2P and Torrenting

When it comes to P2P file sharing, Avast has several servers that allow torrenting. The server selection has a separate P2P section, housing servers from the Czech Republic, France Germany, Netherlands, the UK, and three servers in the US (Miami, New York, and Seattle).

Streaming Services

If you’re relying on our Avast Secureline VPN review to learn about the streaming options, we have some good and some bad news. While the program has a dedicated streaming section, with three servers in the US and one in Germany and the UK, streaming services don’t always work.

Many who tested Avast’s VPN on Reddit and similar public forums can confirm that some services are more reliable than others. Take Avast Secureline VPN and Netflix, for example. The US and German versions worked well during the review process, while the French and Japanese ones kept coming up with proxy or unexpected error messages.
avast vpn review featured image 14
While using Avast’s VPN with Netflix was a bit of a hit-and-miss experience, Hulu didn’t work at all. BBC’s iPlayer worked on one UK server (UK Wonderland) but not others.

Streaming services are getting smarter at recognizing and blocking VPN connections, and Avast Secureline is no different. Sometimes it’s just a matter of trying a bunch of different servers until one works. It’s in these situations that the NordVPN vs Avast rivalry becomes even more relevant and when we appreciate having a lot of servers to choose from.

Customer Support

We’ve already covered most of the software’s features in our Avast VPN review. But what happens when you need technical assistance? Unfortunately, there is no live chat service available on the website.

But the provider has a very thorough FAQ and Knowledge Base as well as active user forums where you can usually find all the help you need. There is also a standard ticket system for sorting out issues related to your Avast VPN license, subscription, and more.

Based on our experience, customer support agents are very helpful and relatively quick in responding to queries. However, don’t expect instant help as responses can take up to 48 hours.

avast vpn review featured image 15

Pricing

When it comes to Avast pricing, the company offers several deals if you purchase some of their other products. If you’re only interested in the VPN, you can sign up for one, two, or three-year subscriptions for either one or five devices.

Without an Avast Secureline VPN discount, an annual subscription for one device will cost $59.99. The price goes up to $109.99 for two years and $159.99 for a three-year subscription. If you want to protect five devices, it will cost you $89.99 for a year, $179.99 for two years, and $269.99 for three years. The current discount offer allows you to save up to 47% on the standard Avast VPN price if you sign up for at least two years and five devices. It works out to $2.99 per month, which is on the lower end of the VPN price spectrum and cheaper than ExpressVPN, for example.

There is also an Avast free trial available. You get to use the full version of the program for an entire week, and unless you’re using the mobile version, you don’t need to divulge your credit card details.

If you’ve already signed on for an Avast subscription but are having second thoughts, the company also offers a 30-day money back guarantee. There is a catch, though, so make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully. If you connect to the program 100+ times or upload/download more than 10GB of data through VPN during those 30 days, the money-back guarantee is no longer applicable.

avast vpn review featured image 16

avast vpn review featured image 17

Related Products

Avast is best known for its antivirus solutions. In addition, the company offers a line of performance-oriented solutions such as Avast AntiTrack, Battery Saver, Driver Updater, and Cleanup Premium. There is even an Avast ad blocker included in their Secure Browser app for mobile phones.

If you’re just looking for a good VPN solution, you probably won’t need any of these other programs. On the other hand, if you want  to upgrade your antivirus with VPN and various cleanup tools and you wish to cut down on the extra cost of Avast Secureline VPN software, you can choose the company’s ultimate bundle. For an annual fee of $99.99 (one PC) or $119.99 (up to ten devices), you can get an Avast Secureline VPN license in addition to their Cleanup Premium and Premium Security packages.

Alternatives

A lot of reviews for Avast’s VPN solution suggest that there are better options on the market. But is that really the case? Many people are genuinely interested in figuring this out. That would certainly explain frequent Google searches such as Avast VPN vs NordVPN and  Avast VPN vs ExpressVPN. Here is a rundown of some of the competing offers

How Does Avast Compare to Other VPN Services?

avast VPN logo
  • Kill switch
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • DNS leak protection
  • Specialized P2P servers
Price $3.99
cyberghost logo - cyberghost Review 2020
  • 5800+ servers
  • Ad blocking
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
Price $2.25
protonvpn logo protonvpn review 2020
  • High-end encryption
  • Secure Core features
  • P2P Servers
  • Unblocks Netflix
Price $8

As you can see, most competitors have significantly more servers in more countries. Furthermore, most have a built-in ad blocking functionality, split tunneling, and multiple switchable IP addresses for their servers as well as other advanced options.

The Avast VPN cost places the software roughly in the middle of the pack, with Nord and ExpressVPN costing more, while CyberGhost, Surfshark, and VyprVPN are cheaper. As is the case with other providers, the Secureline VPN cost depends on multiple factors, but other providers tend to give steeper discounts on long-term subscriptions.

Conclusion

Most Avast software reviews conclude that Secureline VPN is a somewhat middling product. There are faster and cheaper solutions out there. But the software still offers a solid set of features for a very affordable price. It also makes up for its low number of servers by functioning well on both computers and mobile devices. 

As long as you don’t try installing Avast VPN on Firestick or your old black and white TV, the software will work on just about any operating system and platform out there. The user interface is also excellent, and despite the absence of the live chat option, the combined efforts of customer support agents, online forums, and Avast’s knowledge base should see you through any troubles you may encounter.

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Military-grade encryption
  • User-friendly interface
  • Separate servers for anonymous P2P sharing
  • No log policy
  • Multiple connection protocols
  • Free 7-day trial
  • Few servers
  • No split tunneling

FAQ

What does Avast VPN do?

It protects your privacy by hiding your real IP address. It also allows you access to geo-blocked content by connecting to servers located in relevant countries.

Can Avast hide my IP?

Yes. Avast Secureline routes your device’s connection through it’s own private servers rather than your internet service provider (ISP), so any data transmitted through the internet comes from the VPN rather than your computer. You can check out our Avast VPN review for more details.

Is VPN use legal?

Yes, but cybercrime activities such as torrenting of copyrighted material are not.

Can you be tracked if you use VPN?

Yes, because you can be tracked through more than just your IP address. But unless you have malware installed on your computer or the VPN provider is forced to turn over records to authorities, your private data is safe.

avast VPN logo
Price $3.99/mo
Visit Website
- -