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If there’s a truth to the statement “Fame is not everything”, then Avast definitely lives up to it. Launched in 2014 in Prague, the Czech Republic, Avast SecureLine VPN wants to ride on the coat-tails of its mother company, Avast, who’s been around ever since 1988.
Although you would have quite the expectations from such a well-known antivirus company, this VPN fails to accomplish the main goals that an online security provider should strive for.
It’s not the worst VPN out there, and it certainly overtakes many shittier providers, but you can easily find better ones after a more attentive web search.
- Fast speeds
- Military-grade encryption
- Easy and intuitive to use
- Torrenting allowed
- Can’t access Netflix
- Few servers
- Steep prices and a strange pricing system
Let’s take a closer look and see what exactly the deal is with Avast SecureLine VPN.
The official site says it quite clearly multiple times – their service is the fastest in all the cyber-realm. I’m sure I’ve heard that from even the garbage VPNs out there, which means that that statement has 0 value in and of itself.
It’s time to do some tests and see whether this is true after all or if it’s just a gross misrepresentation.
The benchmark results without the VPN connected showed:
- Download speed – 98.71 Mbps
- Upload speed – 53.00 Mbps
With the VPN on, while using the US server:
- Download speed – 68 Mbps
- Upload speed – 13.67 Mbps
The Netherlands server scored almost identically, with the only difference being in the uploading department:
- Download speed – 66 Mbps
- Upload speed – 39.44 Mbps
These results can easily put many other VPNs out of business and bury them six feet under. They aren’t necessarily lightning fast but they’re also not the slowest either.
If I were to give a mark, I’d label them as a 7.5 at the maximum. There are some online security providers out there that can easily outclass them and leave them in the dirt.
Furthermore, as good as these speeds are, they’re pretty fucking redundant if you’re actually looking to access Netflix. None of the servers are able to crack the defense mechanisms of this popular streaming website.
Netflix has been waging war against VPNs for quite some time, and it’s gotten better and better at repelling their encryption standards. Unless they go out-of-the-box, no amount of security features will manage to crack Netflix’s protection.
And Avast SecureLine just doesn’t have what it takes to do that. Its security is good enough, so you don’t have to worry about anyone tracking or stealing your confidential information but that’s about it.
For Netflix, you’ll have to look somewhere else.
There are only 55 servers in 34 countries, with the list being available on the official website.
The only locations with two servers are:
- The US
This is an extremely low number of servers no matter how you look at it. Sure, the coverage is pretty good but considering that there’s only one server available in 99% of the countries, chances are they’re going to be overly-encumbered most of the times.
It doesn’t take long for a server to become unusable because of large numbers of users swarming them relentlessly. What do you think happens when it hits a limit?
Bugs, glitches, network interruptions, and disconnections, lower speeds, and overall worse performance. Actually, you’ll find it harder and harder to connect to such a server in the first place.
However, what’s good is that torrenting is allowed and fully supported. According to the FAQ page, they allow peer-to-peer connections on the following locations:
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- New York City, New York
- Miami, Florida
- Seattle, Washington
- London, United Kingdom
- Paris, France
While this is a good thing, there are still too few servers for my liking. Let’s not forget that the download speed is largely dependent on the proximity to the server. If for some reason, the closest one to you doesn’t work, your only other option is most likely across the fucking planet.
Naturally, the download speed will also be limited as well, so torrenting is rendered harder and harder to accomplish. This is what happens when a VPN doesn’t have enough server to provide maximum efficiency and productivity.
In terms of security features, Avast SecureLine VPN uses the following:
- AES-256 encryption
- DNS Leak Protection
As for the basic VPN protocols, it uses IPSec and OpenVPN on UDP with AES-256-bit encryption. This can be called real military grade encryption that’s basically uncrackable and impossible to hack.
At the very least, the 256-bit encryption is renowned all over the world for being completely impenetrable to brute-force attacks.
As for the DNS Leak Protection, Avast SecureLine wants to make sure that none of your confidential data gets leaked out by mistake. The VPN connection will watch over all your activities and render you completely anonymous.
And speaking of leaks, following many tests that were made, none were found. And there were a lot of check-ups made:
- https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
- https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
- http://dnsleak.com/ (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (none found)
In terms of jurisdiction, the Avast company is based in the Czech Republic. It’s not a part of any international intelligence-gathering organizations, but it does cooperate with the Five Eyes agreement countries.
Of course, this is not enough evidence to say that Avast SecureLine actually does share your data with the US and the UK, but it’s sure a reason for concern that they may be bed-buddies.
The logs policy is not that trustworthy though. The official Avast website specifically says that they keep no sort of logs and that they don’t keep track of your online activity.
However, at closer scrutiny, you find out that, in fact, they do keep connection logs. This means that they know the time you connect or disconnect to a server, how long you stay connected, and how much bandwidth you’re using.
Of course, they’re only doing this for diagnostic purposes and to prevent abuse of the VPN connection.
Time for the final nail in the coffin.
Avast SecureLine VPN is apparently hiding malicious adware apps buried deep among the files. These apps will collect your data to better flood you with ads in the future. Now, if this isn’t one of life’s biggest ironies, I don’t know which is.
When the very program you’re installing to protect you from such malicious threats is deliberately injecting them into your system, it’s time to take a step back and rethink your choice.
This is more an issue of trust rather than a privacy and security problem. That adware is not so dangerous because it only uses the data to provide you with ads. But the fact that Avast SecureLine is doing this behind your back is enough to shatter any trustworthiness they might have had.
Ease of Use
In terms of compatibility, this VPN supports the following platforms:
However, the client doesn’t support routers of any kind. Installing a VPN on a router allows for even more security and protection because it allows you to encrypt all the in your house faster and more efficiently.
You don’t have to sign in through each individual device and connect to the VPN each time. As long as the router is encrypted, all the devices will be encrypted as well.
Moreover, you have access to 5 simultaneous connections and you also have no bandwidth limits.
The software itself is very easy to come around to. All you have to do in order to connect to the VPN is to press a button. Your IP will be hidden in that very moment.
Changing your server location is even simpler with how intuitive the interface is. Just look over the list and pick one you like. Upon clicking on it, you’ll be automatically connected to that server.
Because this is a quality VPN we’re talking about here, the client also has settings you can define. In the Preferences menu, you can customize many such features like choosing to start Avast SecureLine and connect to a certain server when your computer starts up.
As for the mobile app that’s available on Android and iPhone, it’s just as simple to use as the one for the computer.
As you can see, all you have to do is press a single button and you’ll be connected to the default server. To change the servers, all you have to do is look through the list and pick the one you want.
Avast SecureLine VPN doesn’t have a live chat support system in place. This takes a lot from the overall experience and quality of the support itself.
What it does have is a ticketing-system and the possibility to speak to a staff member on the phone, for simpler problems.
They will also provide you with plenty of helpful articles and FAQ information that you can go through at your own leisure. There are support pages, forums, and the knowledge database is searchable as well.
As such, you can easily find out exactly what you’re looking for just by typing a few words.
Many users have reported that the ticketing system, as well as the Twitter account, are very slow to respond to inquiries and questions. One user complained that he still hadn’t received a response after three hours had passed.
However, the call center is very good and offers high-quality assistance to boot. Actually, hearing a person at the other end of the line trying to fix your problem is a good step forward for them.
Things get a little confusing here with how Avast SecureLine chooses to construct its subscription packages. While most other VPNs choose to offer the standard one-month, six-month or year package, Avast’s pricing is based on the device you want to use.
As you can see, there are four main plans which have the exact same features:
- The PC plan for $59.99 per year or $5 per month
- The Mac plan for the same $59.99 per year
- The Android plan for $19.99 per year or $1.67 per month
- The iPhone or iPad for $19.44 per year
However, bear in mind that with these plans, you only have access to one device. To get access to simultaneous connections, the final price is $79.99 per year. This comes out to about $6.67 per month. It appears to be the best value plan out of all of them.
You can also use the free-trial version that lasts for 7 days. There are no strings attached and you can use all the features during that period of time.
You don’t even have to enter your payment information for the trial version, so it’s naturally very safe.
You are offered a 30-day money-back guarantee, but only if you purchase the subscription through the online retail stores or through Google Play.
Moreover, if you upload or download over 10GB of data or connect over 100 times during 30 days, you can say goodbye to the refund. Why they decided to do this is clear – because you’ll most probably decide that their services are shit after those 30 days.
So, they want to have a safety net just in case you decide to look for another VPN and throw theirs to the garbage.
Is Avast SecureLine worth it or not?
My final verdict would be a solid “Meh/10”. After seeing all the features and analyzing all the evidence, there are too many inconveniences and issues that you have to overlook.
The VPN is easy to use and intuitive, the call-in customer service was a great idea, and the speeds are better than average, but it still doesn’t make up for all the other blunders:
- The Czech jurisdiction
- The lack of router support
- Doesn’t allow access to Netflix
- Potential Adware infestation
- Keeps connection logs
- The prices are easy to beat
You can get these same features and maybe even more without paying as much. While Avast might be a good choice, it’s definitely not the best and most efficient only you could make.
Take a look at these three top-rated VPNs and then we’ll talk:
- NordVPN – with military-grade encryption protocols, high-tech servers that are able to access Netflix and boost your speed well over the limits, a 24/7 live chat support, and accessible prices
- IPVanish – comes with a DoubleVPN feature that further enhances your security, good speeds, plenty of servers, access to Netflix, and excellent customer support
- CyberGhost – superluminal speeds coming straight from Romania, a country known for killer internet speeds and for its strict adherence to online privacy. Also, it has pretty much all the features that the other two have
These three VPNs are light years away from Avast SecureLine in all respects, and even the prices are fair given how good the services are.
Avast SecureLine VPNis extremely fast, simple and private: a truly standout VPNGo to NordVPN Instead