More and more, privacy, security, and unrestricted access to global content are becoming important considerations for everyday internet users.
Masking your personal information when you browse online is excellent advice, as it protects you from scams and viruses, as well as keeps your personal data hidden and secure. And thankfully, VPNs present a simple solution for doing just that.
More so, VPNs are one of the only ways to bypass geo-filters to access content that isn’t available in your country. You can simply assume the IP address of a target country and gain access to their content libraries on streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Avast is a Czech software company with a dedicated VPN service called Avast SecureLine VPN.
In this article, we’re going to be performing a comprehensive Avast VPN review. We’ll focus on all its main features, as well as price and service quality while comparing to other leading VPN providers to help you decide if Avast is the one for you.
What to look for in a VPN
Each VPN app should perform the same core function of masking your IP address and providing an additional layer of security when browsing online — but it’s a highly competitive space.
Different VPN service providers offer a wide range of interesting and useful security and privacy features, as well as variable connection speeds, encryption protocols, and optional add-ons.
However, there are a few essential features you should look for when choosing the right VPN service in order to get the most from your investment. Take a look at our list below of these key features.
Excellent security/privacy protocols
When it comes to VPNs, top-notch security and privacy is the name of the game.
Your provider should definitely use bank-grade AES 256-Bit encryption. This encryption standard uses a cipher algorithm that makes it virtually impossible for hackers, or even the world’s most powerful computers, to crack.
They should also use a variety of VPN protocols like OpenVPN for enhanced privacy. It’s important that your VPN of choice has a no-log policy, which means the provider does not have access to identifiable data related to your account or activities.
Finally, antivirus software or ad-blocking features are worthy of bonus points!
Using a VPN will decrease your internet speed, as your connection is rerouted to a remote server. This is known as VPN Latency, and the effect is quite minor in most cases.
Distance to the server, encryption protocols, server load, and ISP throttling all have an effect on VPN latency. By selecting a VPN provider that’s closer to your actual location or has a greater amount of servers, you will be reducing this effect and enjoying better speeds.
Make sure your provider optimizes their VPN connection for higher speeds.
Your computer isn’t the only device you should consider protecting with a VPN. Your cell phone likely has an even greater amount of private information on it and probably connects to public WiFi quite frequently.
A VPN server can be connected to your phone or tablet devices, too. Look for providers that offer multiple simultaneous device connections so you can be protected and unblock geo-restricted content wherever you go on whatever device you use.
With most VPN services, you can choose exactly what server you want to connect to in whatever country you desire.
You could select specific servers based on factors such as:
Access to certain content libraries such as Canadian Netflix
Proximity to your location
But server location varies from provider to provider. Consider the extent of your VPN provider’s server coverage and where you want to connect to in order to get the most out of your investment.
You may not end up using every single feature a VPN client offers, but it’s good advice to select ones that have the most additional features at the best price. You then have the option to use them if you ever need to.
Split-tunneling, which allows you to connect to a local and public network simultaneously, is an example of one of these additional features. Also, lookout for a kill-switch option, DNS leak protection, or more attractive pricing formats.
Avast SecureLine VPN pros & cons
Avast SecureLine VPN presents an attractive VPN software package at a reasonable price.
For up to 10 devices, you can pay the equivalent of $3.99 per month for a year’s access to the service in one $47.88 payment. Alternatively, you can pay for the service monthly at the price point of $8.99 per month.
Either payment method comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the service.
See below for our full list of the most significant pros and cons of the Avast VPN service.
Avast VPN Pros
You wouldn’t buy a brand new car without taking it for a test drive, and fortunately, the same can be said for VPN services.
Avast VPN offers a totally free seven-day trial where you can test the service and see if it works for you.
You can test factors like:
The speeds it offers for different server connections
Whether or not it can successfully unblock certain content libraries that you love
The extent of its server network.
The best part of the free seven-day trial is the fact that you don’t need to provide any credit card details to gain access. That’s pretty unique among these kinds of offers. It’s a very consumer-friendly gesture on Avast’s part.
One of the better features of Avast SecureLine VPN is the broad compatibility it has with certain devices and brand ecosystems.
Firstly, the service is based on open-source technology from Windows and Android systems, meaning it can fluidly work with many of those respective devices and operating systems. This means that any Android Smart TV, Nvidia Shield TV, and Mi Box devices will be directly compatible.
They also mention that the service is approved by Apple for compatibility and performance with iPhone and Mac devices.
Security & Privacy
Avast software meets all the essential criteria for excellent security and privacy for its users.
They use the highest standard AES 256-Bit encryption protocol and have DNS leak protection to hide your personal information from ISPs.
Additionally, they run a no-log policy. That means they can’t view your data.
As a further privacy measure, Avast also uses a single, shared IP address that everyone who connects to the service uses. This way, traffic on that server is hard to trace back to you.
Another feature we loved that you don’t see in many other VPN providers is the automatic connection when you sign in to a public WiFi network. You won’t have to remember to manually connect to the VPN every time your phone connects to a public hotspot.
Avast features a respectable 34 countries where servers are located and 54 individual cities across those countries.
That’s fairly extensive but not the largest of all the VPN providers available. If it’s very important to you that the server network is significantly large, or you want to connect to a specific location that they don’t have, this is a potential downside of the service.
Check the Avast VPN website for a full list of server locations.
Monthly payment plan is expensive
While $47.88 is a competitive price for a year’s use of a VPN service, some people might not be able to afford to pay in one installment.
In this case, you would have to pay their monthly price, which is $8.99, a significant increase from the yearly option.
4 alternatives to Avast VPN
Avast is a tempting option that’s particularly suitable for someone who has an Android Smart TV, wants advanced security and privacy features, and can afford to pay one yearly installment.
However, there are many VPN alternatives that may suit you better, so it’s important to look at what each one can offer individually before making the decision to commit to Avast SecureLine.
Here are some of the other leading VPN providers to consider.
We’ll go over their core services, any attractive additional features they offer, and state the price you can expect to pay for each.
ExpressVPN is a British Virgin-Islands-based VPN provider. This location exists outside the jurisdiction of UK law, meaning you can avoid the privacy-reducing Snooper’s Charter coming into effect this year, which could compromise your data. It also has a robust no-log policy and DNS leak protection.
ExpressVPN is known for its excellent speeds and vast server coverage, with over 3,000 servers in 94 countries.
Aside from the maximum of three simultaneous device connections, a downside of the service is that it’s a little on the expensive side. They offer one, six, and 15-month plans at $12.95, $9.99, and $6.67 per month, respectively.
For more information on everything ExpressVPN offers, check out our ExpressVPN review.
NordVPN is based in Panama, another privacy-friendly location that’s not involved with Five Eyes or 14 Eyes alliances.
Users often point out the excellent overall user-friendliness of the service, as well as the intuitive and pleasant-looking UI.
NordVPN uses the gold-standard AES 256-Bit encryption and provides a whole host of other security and privacy measures and features. CyberSec will allow you to block ads, trackers, and other malware while browsing the web through the VPN.
DNS leak protection, Double VPN, and Onion over VPN enhance your security even further; however, the speed and reliability on some of their massive selection of over 5,000 servers can be a bit hit-and-miss.
Get more information by reading our full and comprehensive NordVPN review.
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is based in the Virgin Islands and enjoys the same privacy measures.
They also use the same VPN protocol as the prior two providers, with AES 265, no-logs, and an additional kill switch for connection drops.
The best thing about Surfshark, however, is its incredible value. At $1.99 per month for a 2-year subscription, or $5.99 per month for one year, this is one of the more attractive price points on our list. Additionally, you can connect with unlimited devices from only one subscription.
Cyberghost serves over 36 million users with a robust VPN service that meets all our security and privacy criteria with a list-topping 45-day money-back guarantee.
It boasts over 6,000 servers, one of the largest networks on our list, and has a well-reviewed 24/7 customer support service.
They are one of the only providers that offer a dedicated IP. While this may sound like a vulnerability, it’s actually quite useful for avoiding common authentication problems that you may encounter with shared IP services. It also doesn’t pose a privacy risk.
They have one, six, and 18-month price plans at $12.99, $7.99, and $2.75, respectively. It’s a pretty substantial value for the money, but only when the 18-month plan is selected.
Avast SecureLine VPN has pretty much everything you could want in a VPN service. Thanks to its advanced security protocols, it offers a robust level of protection from online hackers and many other privacy vulnerabilities that you expose yourself to when browsing online, all while delivering satisfactory upload and download speeds.
Those who own Android devices – whether it’s a phone or smart TV – will appreciate the slick and fluid device connection and disconnection, thanks to great compatibility measures. You’ll also enjoy the fact that you can connect up to 10 devices, one of the highest connection allowances on our list.
It’s not the cheapest when paying month-to-month, but the yearly plan has a very attractive price point.
If you think this might be the one for you, you should definitely consider taking advantage of the 7-day free trial to see the speed, security measures, and additional features for yourself – no credit card needed.