Pros: No WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaks. P2p/file sharing is allowed on 10 p2p-specific servers. The rare provider that offers users the ability to receive assistance and support via phone calls.
Cons: Pricing structure is immensely confusing. Only a limited 55 servers in 34 countries worldwide. Mediocre performance for streaming and torrenting. Only two payment methods supported.
Bottom Line: Avast fails at unblocking VoDs and suffers from a lack of features and server network, along with confusing pricing details. You can get better reliability for lesser with Surfshark or PureVPN instead.
|Server Count||55 servers in 34 countries|
|Price||$79.99 billed once (1 Year Plan)|
|Protocols||OpenVPN & IPSec|
|Bypasses China Firewall||No|
Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, add an extra layer of encryption to your internet. Avast SecureLine is one such service, backed by the famous antivirus company behind it; also owning the reputed AVG and HideMyAss VPN counterparts.
One may think with such a pedigree, the VPN delivers exceptional security/privacy online. Sadly, Avast has proved to be a mediocre service. Subsequently why, I recommend going for the #1 service in our listings, Surfshark.
What is a VPN?
After connecting to a VPN service, your internet connection passes through a secure encrypted tunnel. Information sent/received through this tunnel cannot be read by government entities, local ISPs, hackers, or copyright infringement hunters.
As such, these tools protect you when downloading torrents or unblocking geo-restricted websites. At the same time, they give you anonymity from owners of public Wi-Fi networks or cybercriminals from stealing your data.
Pricing and Features
Avast SecureLine’s most confusing aspect is its pricing. It apparently follows a device based pricing strategy, which is quite strange and creates a lot of confusion.
Nearly all top VPNs like IvacyVPN have streamlined subscription plans that are priced on the duration of a subscription i.e. monthly, yearly, or even two-year plans.
But apart from one regular plan that works on all devices, Avast SecureLine VPN offers device-based subscription plans. Below the Avast VPN cost on different plans is described in detail:
- Yearly Subscription for 5 devices: $79.99
- Windows OS access: $59.99
- Mac OS access: $59.99 yearly
- Android OS access: $19.99 yearly
- iOS/iPad OS access: $19.99 yearly
For the pricing, you do not get access to a ton of features, like you would with Surfshark, iVacy, or ExpressVPN. Avast also fails in unblocking VoDs, but you do receive good support for downloading torrents.
Although the pricing is confusing, Avast does offers an incredible, 7-day free trial offer where you just need to download their client and start running it on your device.
The only thing that is required to initiate this trial period is your credit card details. No payment will be deducted, if you cancel your subscription before the end of the trial period.
For payment methods, Avast SecureLine supports only two options: credit/debit cards or PayPal. There is no Bitcoin support though, which is a bummer, as it doesn’t give the user any leverage on being anonymous.
Hands On With Avast SecureLine VPN
Avast SecureLine VPN offers a basic app repository with support available for popular platforms i.e. Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. The provider does not support any niche/streaming device through a dedicated app.
Coming to the UI/UX of the apps, simplicity is what Avast VPN has focused majorly on. No complications, no edgy features that are difficult to interact with. Just a simple click and you get connected to your selected server.
The apps are designed with noobs in mind, so 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 user friendly feature. I probably believe that Avast’s wide experience in the Antivirus domain has allowed it to replicate the same on its 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 function exactly like that.
The mobile apps are equally clean and responsive, with almost the same interface as their desktop counterparts. The server list is easily accessible and a single tap on any server name will automatically initiate a connection to it.
Surprisingly, Avast VPN turned out to have one of the lowest speed drops in the whole industry, easily making it one fastest VPNs in the industry. On my 100MB connection, I was getting these speeds without a VPN connection.
- Download Speeds: 87.92 Mbps
- Upload Speeds: 78.10 Mbps
- Ping Rate: 66 Ms
Here’s my speed from Avast VPN’s San Francisco Server from the same internet connection
- Download Speeds: 83.04 Mbps
- Upload Speeds: 79.88 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 unblock VoDs, otherwise it would have been a no-brainer to go for this VPN, as your first choice for streaming.
While technically, Avast SecureLine VPN isn’t based in any 5, 9 or 14 Eyes country it does have its headquarters in a place known for cozying up in terms of information sharing with these alliances i.e. the Czech Republic.
So the jurisdiction is not fully secure and even its not a part of any problematic alliance, it’s dilly-dallying with members of these alliances raise a big red flag that’s not ignorable at all.
Avast VPN secures claims to be a Zero logs provider. This claim is actually plausible, as the provider doesn’t store personally identifiable information like your real IP address, the IP you connect to, your browsing activity or any other similar logs.
However, Avast VPN does store connection and bandwidth logs, so it does know when you connect, how long you use the VPN and how much data do you use during that duration. Does this make the VPN unsafe? No, not at all.
While a true VPN shouldn’t keep any kind of logs, not even connection or bandwidth logs, these types of logs are usually harmless and even if a VPN collects them it won’t compromise your privacy in any major way.
Encryption and Protocols
Avast SecureLine VPN uses the AES 256 cipher to encrypt user data that goes through its protected connections. No can decipher this encryption standard because that’s not a plausible possibility.
Even if you have a thousand supercomputers working simultaneously, they will not correctly decipher the data encrypted under this cipher for hundreds of years, probably even more.
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.
However, if we talk about it from a perspective of security, this is not much of an issue. OpenVPN itself is a secure, open-source software and that’s best for protocol support to VPNs.
The server infrastructure of Avast VPN is far weaker in numbers than what you can get for a much lower price from other top industry VPNs. The reach is really poor, extending to only 55 servers in 34 countries worldwide.
These lesser numbers result in overcrowding, thus keeping speeds slow on congested servers. Plus, the low number of countries in which the servers are hosted, make the distance to servers longer, thereby increasing lag.
Avast SecureLine VPN’s biggest weakness is its inability to unblock Netflix US or any other streaming site. 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 Avast SecureLine VPN didn’t make this screen go away. Avast SecureLine VPN doesn’t support Netflix unblocking from any country or through any of its server, period!
I tested Netflix on 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.
Avast VPN definitely tends to be one of the fastest VPNs I have tested. So, there is no doubt that it offers good torrenting capabilities. However, I am yet to see torrent-specific features like SOCKS5 proxies from the provider.
At the same time, Torrenting and P2P support is offered by Avast SecureLine VPN but only on these limited number of server locations (listed below). So, I would like seeing an improvement in the servers too.
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- New York City, New York
- Miami, Florida
- Seattle, Washington
- London, United Kingdom
- Paris, France
WebRTC/DNS/IP Leak Tests
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, along with the results.
WebRTC and HTTP Request Leaks:
IPv4/IPv6 and Torrent IP Leaks:
Avast SecureLine VPN opts for a unique approach towards offering customer support. While others offer live chat, you can actually call an Avast customer support exec for a talk whenever you want!
When I called on the support helpline, I found the execs to be really polite and incredibly experienced to solve major issues. Avast SecureLine VPN also offers a dedicated FAQs section, but it has only basic level queries.
Do I Recommend Avast VPN?
I do not recommend Avast SecureLine VPN to anyone reading this, as I believe the service has a long way to go to justify its high price range. The missing features, poor server reach, and lack of Netflix unblocking makes it pretty much useless.
The provider does offer great speeds and sturdy apps, but the flaws can just not be ignored. So, for now, this service is not on our recommendation list. If you are looking for a good, secure, fast and feature-rich VPN service, go for Surfshark.