Avast SecureLine VPN Review 2021: Before You Buy, Is It Worth It?

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Avast SecureLine VPN Overview September 2021

Avast is a cybersecurity company popularly known for its antivirus software. So I was intrigued when I learned that it also had a VPN. I wanted to find out if this VPN would meet the company’s reputation. So I put the VPN through extensive testing.

My results revealed that while Avast SecureLine VPN can perform some basic operations, it doesn’t match the company’s reputation. During my tests, I found out that Avast SecureLine VPN efficiently unblocks Netflix and Disney+, but it had no luck with other popular streaming services. While the VPN provides excellent security features and offers optimized servers for torrenting, I realized that Avast (the parent company) has a concerning history of selling customer data.

Luckily, you can go ahead and test it for yourself. Avast SecureLine VPN’s advantage is that you don’t have to commit to a lengthy subscription because it offers a 7-day trial period. Additionally, it provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you can try the service for an extended time. If you feel unsatisfied, you can unsubscribe, get all your money back and check out these top VPNs on the market.

Don’t Have Time? Here’s a 1-Minute Summary

Avast SecureLine VPN Unblocks Netflix and Disney+ (but Can’t Access Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, or BBC iPlayer)

I would not recommend Avast SecureLine VPN for streaming as it can’t unblock most popular streaming services. I ran multiple tests to try to see if it could unblock the major streaming sites. I had luck unblocking Netflix and Disney+, but it didn’t work with Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, or BBC iPlayer.

Netflix and Disney+: Unblocked

Avast SecureLine VPN has several servers around the US, which is perfect for unblocking one of Netflix’s most extensive video catalogs. When I watched The Witcher on my Netflix US account, I was impressed with the smooth video playback and excellent quality. I also asked a couple of friends in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, and Canada to test the VPN with their local Netflix library. It could unblock the content in those regions seamlessly.

Screenshot of Avast SecureLine VPN unblocking The Witcher on Netflix.

I watched The Witcher on Netflix with excellent playback quality using Avast SecureLine VPN

Avast SecureLine VPN also seamlessly unblocked Disney+, letting me watch The Simpsons without any trouble. Speeds were fast enough to stream in HD with zero buffering.

Screenshot of Avast SecureLine VPN unblocking The Simpsons on Disney+.

I had no lags while I watched The Simpsons streaming on Disney+using Avast SecureLine VPN

Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer: Blocked

It was disappointing to find out that Avast SecureLine VPN couldn’t unblock most streaming services. When I tried to access Hulu while connected to Avast SecureLine VPN, the site blocked my connection. This happened to other services like Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer. I got an error message on most streaming platforms despite using one of Avast SecureLine’s optimized streaming servers.

It looks like you’re using an anonymous proxy or VPN

In my experience, Amazon Prime Video has one of the strictest VPN blocking technologies. Avast SecureLine VPN couldn’t get past the restriction, and I couldn’t watch any of its streaming content.

Even though Avast SecureLine VPN has a UK server optimized for streaming, it couldn’t unblock BBC iPlayer. The service quickly detected that my colleague in the UK was using a VPN. She tried other UK-based servers (Avast SecureLine VPN has 3 available with 1 optimized for streaming) and had the same result.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a VPN that unblocks your favorite streaming services, Avast SecureLine VPN isn’t the best option. While SecureLine successfully unblocked Netflix and Disney+, it struggles with other popular options like Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. If you are looking for a VPN for secure and quality streaming, I found that ExpressVPN has the most success at unblocking streaming services like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video.

Speed5.0

Is Avast SecureLine VPN Fast? My Base Speed Dropped Significantly

I found that Avast SecureLine VPN reduced my internet connection speeds significantly on most of its servers. To get an idea of how fast Avast SecureLine VPN is, I connected to several different servers and ran a series of speed tests using its OpenVPN protocol. The VPN claims to have no bandwidth limit. That means you should be able to get speeds up to 2 Gbits/s but this was not my experience.

Speed Test Results

I usually have base speeds of 180Mbps, but I had a 68% drop in download speeds when connected to Avast SecureLine VPN’s servers. My connection was even slower for servers further away or under heavy user load.

However, even the slowest connections gave me fast enough speeds to watch my favorite shows in HD. When connected to the server in Melbourne, Australia (the furthest server from my location), I had speeds of 8Mbps. Keep in mind, however, that this isn’t quick enough to multitask while you watch.

If you run these tests yourself, you may find your numbers differ slightly. Factors like base speeds, geographic distance from a server, and peak-use times, tend to impact download speeds significantly. Avast SecureLine VPN will substantially decrease your connection speeds.

The good news is that, with servers closer to my location, I got low latency, making it suitable for gaming activities. That said, compared to top VPNs like ExpressVPN, you usually don’t see a speed drop of more than 20% or a latency drop of more than 15%, even with distant servers.

Screenshot of Avast SecureLine VPN speed test results showing the speeds dropped the further away from my location

I experienced a significant speed drop with the servers further away from my location

If you rely on fast internet speeds for gaming or torrenting, you need a VPN that doesn’t cause significant speed drops. Several VPNs offer faster speeds for whatever you do online. During my tests, I’ve found that ExpressVPN is the fastest on the market. It’s perfect for multitasking, so you can easily use ExpressVPN to game, stream music, or torrent while watching a movie.

Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.

Servers4.0

Server Network — 700+ Server Locations in 30+ Countries

From its desktop client, I was impressed to see that more than 53 server locations were available in more than 30 countries. Each location had multiple servers totaling over 700 in number.

Once you launch the app, it displays a neat interface, and you can easily switch the server location by tapping the “change” button. You will find a list of regions, including Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South America.

Alternatively, by selecting the “All” tab, you can choose from the list of countries with different server locations. Avast SecureLine VPN also features two tabs for specialized servers for P2P and streaming. Once you select it, you will find a list of the supported locations for those specialized services.

Screenshot of Avast SecureLine VPN servers by regions.

You can select from the list of servers by region and specialized services

Similarly, selecting and switching between servers on the mobile app is seamless. You simply select the “Server Location” button and scroll down the list of available servers. You will find specialized servers marked as P2P or having the streaming icon.

Security — Military-Level Security Guards Your Information

Overall, Avast SecureLine VPN provides some great security features. Firstly, it uses the popular and reliable OpenVPN protocol. This protocol is open-source, with no hidden code, and securely tunnels your internet connection. It is run with OpenSSL libraries over UDP ports to provide speedy connections while you surf the internet securely. Avast SecureLine VPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and offers DNS/IPv6 leak protection for its cipher, which makes it impossible to crack. This means that you don’t have to worry about your data being hijacked by hackers or leaked while you’re online.

On the macOS and iOS client, Avast SecureLine VPN uses IKEv2/IPSec for the security protocol. Also, its SmartVPN feature automatically turns on the VPN connection when you connect to an unknown network or a public WiFi, a blocked website or when you torrent. This way, you’re protected from fake networks or sites that intend to steal your data when your VPN is not connected.

During my tests, I was impressed that Avast’s kill switch feature cut off my internet connection every time I disconnected from the VPN. This assured me that my data would never leak if my VPN connection abruptly dropped. However, the VPN’s kill switch isn’t turned on by default, so you’ll have to switch it on yourself. Fortunately, this is simple enough — just go to the settings and check the box with the “kill switch” option.

Privacy — Questionable Privacy History

Avast SecureLine VPN privacy policy is concerning. Since Avast has so many products, it wasn’t easy to find its privacy policy addressing Avast SecureLine VPN. Determined to understand its log policy concerning its VPN service, I reached out to the customer support team. Avast’s support team let me know that it doesn’t log websites or app usage. However, it does keep connection logs.

On the bright side, Avast SecureLine VPN owns all its servers and doesn’t use virtual servers. This is a plus because using third-party servers may pose some risks. The server providers can install backdoors to leak user data or even hand over the server to law enforcement. On top of owning its servers, Avast maintains a warrant canary, which guarantees that the company doesn’t have a backdoor that grants access to its server information.

Avast is headquartered in the Czech Republic, outside of the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes alliances. These are alliances of countries (US, UK, and most European countries) that work together to collect and share intelligence. However, the country collaborates with these alliances.

The alliances’ project is a top privacy concern for many VPN users like me. A government agency in your country may intercept your internet activities and share them with other agencies within the alliances. The Czech Republic often works with these countries and complies with their requests for intelligence. If you’re worried about a VPN based within one of these intelligence-sharing coalitions, Avast might not be suitable for you.

When I ran a DNS leak test, I was happy to see my actual IP address stayed securely masked.

Screenshot of DNS leak tests showing that Avast SecureLine VPN masked my real IP address.

My actual IP address was masked when I connected to the Avast SecureLine server in Miami

Unfortunately, Avast SecureLine VPN records a timestamp of your connection, some part of your IP address, the VPN IP address, and how much data is transmitted and stored for 30 days. While it states that it can’t identify you based on this information, I’m still uncomfortable with the VPN logging any information about my online activities. Not just that, Avast has sold user information in the past to advertisers like Facebook and Twitter. I find this to be a huge red flag as a privacy-minded individual.

Screenshot of Avast SecureLine VPN privacy policy showing it logs some connection data.

I was displeased when I learned that Avast SecureLine VPN logs some connection data

Since Avast stores some connection logs, I wouldn’t recommend it for a privacy-minded VPN user. If you value your privacy like I do and want to stay fully protected online, I’ll recommend you try Cyberghost. You can use Cyberghost for complete privacy online. It’s trusted by thousands of VPN users worldwide.

Torrenting — Has Servers Optimized for P2P Sharing

Avast SecureLine VPN has a fleet of servers optimized for P2P sharing. These servers are easy to find in the main interface under the ‘P2P’ tab in the navigation menu. You can also find these servers while searching by country since they have a ‘P2P’ icon. They provide a fast connection that can make torrenting faster.

Screenshot of Avast SecureLine VPN dedicated P2P servers

I was happy to learn that Avast SecureLine VPN has optimized servers for P2P sharing

While Avast SecureLine has optimized P2P servers that allow fast torrenting, it captures and stores connection logs — a huge red flag for a privacy-minded individual. Fortunately, other top-tier VPNs like Cyberghost have optimized servers for P2P and don’t keep any connection logs.

Does Avast SecureLine VPN Work in China? No

Avast SecureLine VPN may not work in China. I wasn’t able to test Avast SecureLine VPN in China since I don’t live there. However, I found a blog post by Avast where it listed some countries, including China, where its VPN may not work. I also reached out to Avast support via email, and the agent confirmed that the VPN isn’t guaranteed to work in China.

Screenshot of Avast blog post showing a list of countries the VPN may not work in.

I found a blog post with a list of countries, including China, that Avast SecureLine VPN may not work

Many VPNs don’t work in China because of the Great Firewall of China that blocks most VPNs in the country. If you want a VPN that’s guaranteed to work there and has an airtight privacy policy, your best choice is ExpressVPN. You can use ExpressVPN to surf the internet securely in China. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to get a full refund if it doesn’t work for you.

Server Locations

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brazil
Canada
China
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Hungary
Israel
Italy
Japan
See all supported locations...

User Experience6.0

Simultaneous Device Connections — Connect up to 10 Devices at Once

Avast SecureLine VPN offers different subscription levels depending on how many devices you want to connect. The lowest price plan only allows for one connection. However, you can pay extra to expand this allowance to up to 10 devices, which should be sufficient for most people. That said, If you want to get maximum value for your money and connect more than 10 devices simultaneously, I’ll recommend IPVanish. IPVanish allows you to connect unlimited devices simultaneously, even with the most basic plan.

Device Compatibility — Very Few Compatible Devices

Avast SecureLine VPN is available for leading platforms such as Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV, iOS, and browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. That said, the VPN service is still limited in device compatibility. Avast does not have any manual configuration files so you won’t be able to install it on your router, most smart TVs, gaming console, or other devices.

It’s essential to ensure all of your devices are protected, so you need a VPN with a broad range of device compatibility. For a more versatile VPN, I recommend using ExpressVPN to cover all of your devices, including gaming consoles, smart TVs, and even your router.

Ease of Setup & Installation — Installation and Use Are Pretty Straightforward

Downloading the desktop client is pretty simple. I tested the app on my Android and Windows devices. I found the mobile app was even easier to use than the desktop client. Once you download the app from the respective app store, you can tap on the “free trial” button to get started. That said, selecting the free trial option on the mobile app requires connecting your credit card information — which is not the case for the desktop app. After signing up, I was able to get connected to the fastest server with a tap within seconds.

How to install and Set Up Avast SecureLine VPN:

  1. Download the app from the Avast SecureLine webpage.
    A screenshot showing the download button on Avast SecureLine VPN webpage
  2. Run the installer file and launch the app.
  3. Once it opens, toggle the “Off” button “On.”
  4. Select a “free trial” to try the app before you purchase a subscription.
    A screenshot showing the free trial button to sign up for an Avast SecureLine VPN account
  5. Connect with the optimal server to start using the service. 
    A screenshot showing Avast SecureLine VPN activated.
  6. Toggle connect button “On” to be protected by the VPN.

Support7.0

If you need any assistance with Avast SecureLine VPN, you can check out the knowledge base or reach out to support via email, 24/7 live chat, phone, or Twitter.

I first reached out to Avast to inquire about its VPN’s log policy via their support email. I got a response after nearly 20 hours. Since Avast uses the same support team to handle queries about the VPN, antivirus, and other company products, I realized it wasn’t easy to get relevant and timely assistance.

The second time I contacted the company was when I was trying to understand how its VPN’s pairing feature works. I spoke with Avast SecureLine VPN’s live chat agent, and I am happy to report that Avast’s customer service team was knowledgeable and responsive to my questions.

Screenshot of live chat with Avast SecureLine VPN support.

I got a helpful and prompt response from Avast customer service

However, you can only get help through Avast SecureLine VPN’s live chat if you’re a paying customer with an order number. If you’re trying the software for free, support directs you to the knowledge base or support forums instead.

How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Pricing7.0

Avast SecureLine VPN offers an annual, 2-year, and 3-year plan for single devices or up to 10 devices. It accepts all major credit cards and PayPal for its subscriptions. If you’re a privacy-minded user, these payment methods might be problematic as they link your identity to your account. While its 3-year subscription comes at a low cost, I recommend trying the service before committing to a long-term contract.

Avast SecureLine VPN has a 7-day free trial, so you don’t need to pay right away to try it out. To have more time to test the software, I opted to sign up for the 1-year package. After purchasing the plan, Avast sent my account information and activation key to my email. When I tried to sign in on the desktop client, it didn’t accept my login information. Instead, I had to use the activation key, a process I found inconvenient.

After testing the one-year plan for 15 days, I opted for a refund. I found the 30-day money-back guarantee and refund process to be simple. The best part was that canceling and requesting a refund is automated. I didn’t have to reach out to customer support to get my money back. Instead, there’s a form to fill out on the website that asks how you want to cancel your subscription. That said, please note that if you’ve used over 100GB of data or connected more than 100 times, you may not be eligible for a refund.

A screenshot showing the Refund Request process on the Avast SecureLine VPN webpage.

I got a refund in less than 5 days after applying on the website

After submitting my refund request through Avast’s online form, I got a response in less than 2 hours. Avast refunded my money to my PayPal account the same day. Similarly, purchasing your account through the Google Play or Apple App store may complicate the process of getting a refund. If you buy an Avast SecureLine VPN subscription through these app stores, you need to reach out to that mobile store to get a refund. This process can delay how quickly you get your money or prevent you from getting that refund entirely.

Avast SecureLine VPN offers the following plans

Final Verdict

Avast SecureLine VPN may be great if you’re looking for a cheap but relatively good VPN service, but it has limitations, especially regarding its log policy. It also fails to unblock some of the most popular streaming sites and has relatively low connection speeds. Additionally, it leaves most of my connected devices unprotected as it has limited device compatibility.

However, many other VPNs provide better value for the price. For example, ExpressVPN has very affordable monthly costs, advanced features, and a no-logs policy you can trust.

You can also test ExpressVPN out completely risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee — if you don’t like it, you can easily get a full refund.

FAQs About Avast SecureLine VPN

Is Avast SecureLine VPN good?

It is good if you want a cheaper VPN service that offers military-grade encryption. Still, SecureLine VPN failed at unblocking most streaming platforms and reduced my base speeds significantly. Its privacy policy also left me questioning what personal data Avast actually keeps.

If you are looking for a top VPN that guarantees consistent performance, unblocks more streaming services, and has a truly a zero-logs privacy policy, I recommend you try Cyberghost VPN. It also offers better features, and a 45 money-back guarantee so you can test it out for yourself.

Can I use Avast SecureLine VPN for free?

Yes, for a limited time. Avast SecureLine VPN is one of the few VPNs that has a free 7-day trial. After you use it, you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee. However, if you’ve used more than 100GB of data or connected more than 100 times, you won’t be eligible for a refund. Also, if you’re using the mobile version for Android or iOS, you will need to enter your card information before using the free trial. That said, Avast SecureLine VPN has a straightforward, automated refund process. Avast processed my request the same day, and my money was returned to my account in 3 days.

Is Avast SecureLine VPN really safe?

Yes, Avast SecureLine VPN has several safety features that will protect your device and keep your internet connection secure. This includes AES 256-bit encryption, OpenVPN protocols, and a kill switch. However, the service has no straightforward log policy, which is a privacy concern.

For a genuinely safe VPN, I recommend that you use ExpressVPN’s top-tier security features. Not only does it work to protect your data from prying eyes, but it also has a no-logs policy that’s been proven by independent audits. ExpressVPN’s no-log policy is evident in the Andrey Karlov investigation, where the Turkish authorities seized the company’s servers, only to find no stored logs.

Important to know

2015
No
1
windows mac android ios

Contact Details

[email protected]
www.avast.com/secureline-android

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