Avast SecureLine VPN Review 2019
With a small server park and the weight of a popular cybersecurity brand name, Avast SecureLine VPN was formed back in 2014. Since then, it has not been able to break into the big league of Best VPN providers and has been considered a second tier service as well.
But how good a VPN actually is can only be found if you run a critical analysis on all of its aspects and then derive a conclusion through it. And that’s exactly why I conducted this in-depth review of Avast SecureLine VPN in 2019 so that’s user can find whether the VPN is as secure and dependable as the famous antivirus that this firm offers or not.
Encryption and Protocol Support
Avast SecureLine VPN offers the industry standard AES 256 encryption to protect user data that passes through its connections. This encryption level is the best in the world and it cannot be deciphered even if a thousand supercomputers work in unison for the next 100 or even a 1000 years.
In terms of protocols, Avast VPN just offers OpenVPN but only with UDP and another protocol in the form of IPSec. This is alright since OpenVPN with UDP is faster than OpenVPN with TCP, but security wise, this is not much of an issue since OpenVPN itself is a secure, open source software that’s best for protocol support to VPNs.
App Safety Testing
Avast Secureline VPN doesnt have any major security vulnerabilities but still, we cant be sure of it unless we can run a check on whether its apps are safe to install and use or not.
Many apps, even those belonging to top, reputable brands, have been found to have engines and malware in them. When we tested NordVPN, we found their app to contain these same malware, so you can never be too careful when you are in the cybersecurity domain. Nothing should be taken for granted here.
So how secure are Avast VPN’s apps? I ran a test on their apps through VirusTotal.com.
And they all came out clear with not even a single engine detected, so you can go ahead and download any of their apps as they wont cause any harm to your device/system.
Avast VPN Test
Coming from such a reputable parent company that has been around for years and has dominated the computer security industry, I expected that Avast would know better and be vigilant about not letting its guard down on any security related front. So, I ran tests and review their policies to check just how secure Avast really is and here are my results.
Avast SecureLine claims to be a Zero logs provider and that claim is actually plausible to a certain extent as it doesn’t keep logs of real IP address, the IP you connect to, your browsing activity or any other logs related to personally identifiable information.
But they do store connection and bandwidth logs, so they do know when you connect, how long you use the VPN and how much data do you use during that duration.
A true VPN shouldn’t keep any kind of logs, not even connection or bandwidth logs like MullvadVPN. Avast VPN falls short here and I categorize it as mildly secure.
While technically, Avast SecureLine VPN isn’t based in any 5, 9 or 14 Eyes country but its based in a country that is known for cosying up in terms of information sharing with these alliances i.e. Czech Republic.
So the jurisdiction is not fully secure and there is no evidence to suggest that Avast will willingly give up your data, but even the slightest of vulnerabilities cannot be written off.
DNS Leak Test
If a VPN is suffering from DNS or WebRTC leaks, it will leave your IP exposed making any activity done online incredibly unsafe. So does Avast VPN leak your IP?
The answer is absolutely not! Avast VPN is safe and doesn’t leak your IP at all.
Here are the tools I used to test Avast’s grittiness in protecting your real identity or IP from being exposed online, along with the results.
WebRTC and HTTP Request Leaks:
IPv4/IPv6 and Torrent IP Leaks:
Avast SecureLine VPN Free Trial
Not many VPN providers are open towards offering a zero-commitment free trial these days. ExpressVPN, PureVPN, CyberGhost, Surfshark, PIA or even a whole lot of other popular VPN providers don’t offer anything for free. The best they do is they offer a 30 day refund period in which you can get your money if you don’t really like their service.
But there have been a lot of user complaints where VPN providers don’t manage refunds properly, taking days and sometimes even weeks to give the user their money back rightfully.
However, Avast Secureine VPN hasn’t towed this line at all as it offers an incredible, 7 days free trial offer where you just need to download their client and start running it on your device, but you have to offer your credit card details to proceed with this.
This is by far one of the best features of Avast SecureLine as it will increase user confidence in the service, build the provider’s reputation that its not afraid for users to check out its service and even probably bring in more users to subscribe to it.
Avast SecureLine VPN Price
Avast SecureLine’s most confusing aspect is its pricing. It apparently follows a device based pricing strategy which is unique and quite strange as it creates a lot of confusion.
Nearly all top VPNs like NordVPN have streamlined subscription plans that are priced on the time you require the subscription for e.g. monthly, yearly and even two yearly plans.
But Avast SecureLineVPN offers device based subscription plans.
Here the pricing plans offered by Avast SecureLine VPN:
Yearly Subscription: $79.99 billed once
Yearly Subscription only for Windows OS access: $59.99 billed once
Yearly Subscription only for Mac OS access: $59.99 billed once
Yearly Subscription only for Android OS access: $19.99 billed once
Yearly Subscription only for iOS/iPad OS access: $19.99 billed once
So if you want access to 5 different multi-logins, the all-round yearly subscription offers the best value at $79.99 billed once. I do like the separate plans available for mobile devices as they allow users to pay much less and for exactly the service they require.
But the pricing for the best plan is a bit on the higher side considering the low level of features that Avast SecureLine offers like it doesn’t work with Netflix or iPlayer, it only has 50+ servers, it doesn’t have a Firestick app etc. You can VPNs with far better features than this for round the same price like PureVPN.
Avast SecureLine only has two types of payment options i.e. credit/debit card or Paypal, so no Bitcoin, which is a bummer as it doesn’t give the user any leverage on being anonymous with the payments as well.
Avast SecureLine VPN Subscription
Purchasing a subscription for Avast SecureLine VPN can be easily done through the provider’s sites, although the whole process is a bit longer as compared to buying subscription to other VPNs.
Here’s how it goes:
- Go to https://www.avast.com/secureline-vpn
- Click on the “Shop” Option for the Top Right bar
- Click on the device icon you want to acquire the subscription for (I choose Windows)
- Below a certain plan, you will see a “Get It Now” option. Click on it
- Select the duration for which you want the plan for and change the amount of PCs you want to get protected through this VPN
- Click on “Buy Now”
- Include any Add-ons you might want in the package
- Fill in Customer information details
- Select payment method from either Credit/Debit Card or Paypal
- Then click on Continue to obtain licence details
- Download the VPN client app for your OS and then login to it to start using Avast SecureLine
Avast SecureLine VPN License
If you’ve not been living under a rock for the past decade, you definitely would know about what exactly software licenses are.
Let me explain it anyway.
Licence keys are used to authorize a software and activate it legally. Antiviruses and Operating Systems like Windows have used Licence keys to authorize the use of their software the most.
However, using a licence key is rare in the VPN domain as you usually have a username and password to login to a user account on any client app.
Avast SecureLine does have a licence key but its going to be different from the one you have for other Avast software.
Most people wrongly believe that they can jack into a Avast SecureLine VPN subscription by just finding its licence key, a very common practice used for many software especially antiviruses. This VPN requires you to purchase a subscription in order to be able to use the service.
If any website is offering you a licence key to activate Avast SecureLine VPN, don’t fall into that trap. Only get it from Avast’s own site by subscribing to their plan.
Avast SecureLine VPN Rating
Users reviews are perhaps the most unbiased sources of information for any product or service and the same holds true for VPNs as well. That’s exactly why, BestVPN.co has created a new category where users can come and rate different aspects of a VPN service based on their own experience.
So, if you do plan to buy Avast VPN, make sure that you come here and rate it so that others can benefit off of your experience as well.
My recommendation to either go for Avast VPN or not will be available at the end of this review.
Avast SecureLine VPN Servers Review
The server infrastructure of Avast VPN is far weaker in numbers than what you can get for a much lower price in the VPN market.
With just a total of 55 servers in 34 countries worldwide, Avast VPN is not offering a very good reach for users from across the world. In comparison, PureVPN offers 445+ servers in just the USA alone! Avast VPN’s server network is too small for it serve a globe wide clientele.
The provider needs to cross the 300 server mark at the very least to put forward a respectable offering in the market, otherwise, as a user you have a truckload of options with far more features and servers at a fraction of the price of Avast VPN.
Avast SecureLine VPN Customer Experience
Avast VPN was a rare service that I tested which had very little to no nuisance issues. Most VPNs have clunky client apps that refuse to respond every now and then, a malfunctioning kill switch, frustrating speeds jumps and troughs among other problems that can invariably spoil the whole user experience.
This service wasn’t plagued by any of these issues.
Client apps ran smoothly, with all the features performing just perfectly. No delayed responses.
The kill switch works magnificently well. Just disconnect the internet and the switch will take over, and you can disengage it in a second by turning it off. Kill switches are often the most problem-prone parts of a VPN service, but thankfully, Avast VPN allows you to use the kill switch like its supposed to.
Avast VPN has one of the lowest speed drops in the whole industry, allowing me to place it among the fastest VPNs in the industry.
On my 50MB connection, I was getting these speeds without a VPN connection.
- Download Speeds: 47.92 Mbps
- Upload Speeds: 48.10 Mbps
- Ping Rate: 6 Ms
And here are my speeds from the same internet connection after I initiated Avast VPN over it.
- Download Speeds: 43.04 Mbps
- Upload Speeds: 39.88 Mbps
- Ping Rate: 79 Ms
Just a bit over 10% drop in download speeds is what I can term blazing fast. Too bad that Avast VPN doesn’t support streaming sites or unblock them otherwise it would have been a no-brainer to go for this one.
Does Avast SecureLine VPN works with Netflix
Secureline VPN’s biggest weakness is its inability to provider any sort of support to streaming activities.
These days, unblocking geo-restricted streaming sites like Netflix is a must have feature for every VPN as most users not just expect it, but for a lot of them, this is perhaps the only reason why they are getting a VPN in the first place.
Netflix has a VPN ban on its site, disallowing VPNs to initiate a connection to its site. The streaming giant has done this to protect its copyright pacts it has with other media houses. It blacklists VPN based IPs, so if you try and connect to Netflix with such a provider with blacklisted IPs, you will see this infamous error screen.
But did Secureline VPN make this screen go away and allow me to access Netflix US library like many other starred providers do?
Definitely, not! Secureline VPN doesn’t support Netflix unblocking from any country or through any of its server. I tested Netflix unblocking by connection to at least 10 different servers offered by Avast VPN, but each time, I would get the error message.
Avast VPN also doesn’t work to unblock any other major streaming site like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime or even Sports channels. So if you are an avid streamer, Avast VPN is definitely not the right VPN for you.
Avast SecureLine VPN Torrenting Review
Torrenting and P2P support is offered by Avast but only on limited number of server locations.
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- New York City, New York
- Miami, Florida
- Seattle, Washington
- London, United Kingdom
- Paris, France
And considering that it doesn’t suffer from DNS or WebRTC leaks and has great speeds as well, Avast SecureLine VPN is a great candidate for supporting your Torrenting VPN needs.
Avast VPN download – (Heading – how it can be downloaded)
Unlike other VPN providers, Avast SecureLine VPN doesn’t have a dedicated App Download page on its site.
If you visit the site https://www.avast.com/secureline-vpn, scroll down and you will come across the download links to each of its client apps.
Here are all the download links to Avast VPN’s client apps:
Avast SecureLine for Multiple Devices
Avast VPN offers a basic client app repository with native app support for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS OS.
The provider doesn’t support any niche/streaming device through a dedicated app so if you are thinking of using Avast VPN with Firestick or Kodi, then you will have to set it up manually.
Simplicity is the hallmark of all of its apps. No complications, no edgy features that are difficult to interact with, no nothing. Just a simple click and you get connected to your selected server. Yes, its that simple and elegant.
The apps are designed with noobs in mind, so that even if you are a novice with not much knowledge about the VPN domain, you can simply hide your identity online with Avast VPN’s single click interface.
You get a Preference menu on each app which is their best feature. I probably believe that Avast’s wide experience in the Antivirus domain has allowed it to copy many genuine innovations from there and replicated them on their VPN product. If that’s the case, I would like to see more such helpful user-based innovations.
Coming back to the preferences menu, you can use it to set your own preferences on how you want the VPN to behave.
Want Avast VPN to connect automatically every time you open your PC? No issues, just click on the option for this in the preferences menu, and the VPN will react exactly like that.
The mobile apps are equally clean and responsive, with almost the same interface as their desktop counterparts. Server list is easily accessible and a single tap on any server name will automatically initiate a connection to it.
Avast SecureLine Windows 10
Windows 10 is the newest OS version of Microsoft Windows and yes, its natively supported by the Avast Windows VPN client. The client app appears the same and retains all the functionalities that are available on the previous OS versions of Windows.
But the slight change is that the Windows client is faster on Windows 10. I also noticed a sharp reduction in setup and installation time for the client on Windows 10.
But when I checked the client app on this tool, which checks whether an app is ready for Windows or not, it mentioned that Avast SecureLine is “Adopted”, implying that the app’s being used by users with a few bugs and issues. If it would’ve said “Highly Adopted”, then that would’ve meant that there are no bugs in the app at all.
Setting up Avast SecureLine VPN
Setting up the VPN on Avast is quite easy.
- You just go on and download your preferred client app from their website.
- Subscribe to their pricing plan
- Secure activation license
- Login to the client app using the activation licence
- Select a server you want to connect to and click/tap on it and the VPN will turn on!
Avast SecureLine VPN Support
The provider opts for a unique approach towards offering customer support. While others offer live chat support via a chat window, you can actually call an Avast customer support exec for a talk whenever you want!
I found the execs to be really polite and incredibly experienced to solve most major issues and I must say that I found this support method to be much more personalized and easier than a live chat window can ever replicate.
Avast Secureline also offers a dedicated FAQs section but it has only basic level queries so for the more complex problems, you will need to call the guys up.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is not possible to establish a connection to your device with Avast SecureLine?
If you cannot establish a connection to your device, you need to check your internet connection workability after disabling the VPN, remove all VPNs connections from your device, switch servers, check your subscription validity or message Avast’s support about the issue.
Despite the great speeds and sturdy apps, Avast Secureline leaves a lot to be desired. Its got no Netflix unblocking support like ExpressVPN has to unblock US Netflix , limited number of servers, keeps some logs, isn’t based in a safe jurisdiction among other flaws. So its not recommended from my end as I believe the service has a long way to go before it can really come at par with its competitors, even the second tier ones.