Avast SecureLine VPN: lacks features and relatively expensive as a standalone product

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 24, 2021
Updated • Oct 24, 2021
VPNs
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Avast SecureLine VPN is a commercial VPN product by Avast, a company known for security products such as Avast Free Antivirus or Ultimate, and CCleaner. The VPN solution is included in Avast Ultimate, Avast Premium Security and Avast Cleanup Premium.

Avast SecureLink VPN is available for the desktop operating systems Windows and Mac, and the mobile operating systems Android and iOS.

Avast SecureLine VPN key takeaways

  • Included for free in some Avast security products.
  • 7-Day free trial is available that does not require a credit card.
  • Programs and application are easy to use.
  • Good privacy and security features.
  • Lacks platform support (Linux).
  • Price is relatively high compared to top of the line VPN products.

Avast SecureLine VPN main features & specifications summary

  • System compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Android TV
  • Pricing: 1 year – $59.88, 2 years – $95.76,  3 years – $143.64
  • Features: 7-day free trial to test the service, Internet kill switch, Smart VPN Mode which turns the VPN connection on or off based on usage, P2P and streaming servers.

Avast SecureLine VPN pros & cons

Pros

  • First Run wizard that explains key VPN concepts.
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections.
  • Included in other Avast products that cost just a bit more.
  • Limited number of streaming optimized servers.

Cons

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  • No third-party audit.
  • System support is limited (no Linux, no manual configuration).
  • Limited protocols support (no WireGuard).
  • Limited number of servers and locations.

Download options for Avast SecureLine VPN

Avast SecureLine VPN alternatives

There are plenty of Avast SecureLine alternatives available, including NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or Private Internet Access. The following table highlights differences between the services.

 Avast SecureLine VPNNordVPNExpressVPNPIA
Serversunknown> 5200> 3000unknown
Locations34 countries59 countries94 countries78 countries
Connections106510
KillSwitchYesYesYesYes
Split TunnelingNoYesYesYes
Content blockingNoYesNoYes
0-loggingNo, connection logs are recorded.Yes, verifiedYes, verifiedYes, verified
Smart DNSNoNoYesNo
Media streamingLimitedYesYesLimited
JurisdictionCzech RepublicPanamaHongkongUnited States
Other featuresP2P and streaming servers.Obfuscated servers, Tor servers, double-VPN connectionsCustom WireGuard based protocol LightwayCustomize OpenVPN parameters, open source
Price (cheapest, per month, longest subscription period)$3.99$3.30$8.32$2.19

Check out the following comparison articles for additional details:

What is Avast SecureLine VPN?

Avast SecureLine VPN is a VPN product by Avast that is included in several Avast products and also available as a standalone product. Avast supports Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices officially. Users are required to subscribe to the service to use it.  Avast offers a free 7-day trial of its service and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Why do you need it?

VPNs may improve online privacy and security. The VPN is like a shield that protects the Internet connection and the device from harm. Any site, app or server a user connects to interacts with the IP address of the VPN, and not the IP address of the device of the user.

Avast customers may run the VPN on up to 10 devices simultaneously. VPNs may unblock geographically restricted content, access services that are blocked in their country or region, and use it for other activities on the Internet.

The traffic of VPN connections is encrypted, which protects the traffic from spying by Internet Service Providers, governments, or network actors.

Privacy is a key feature when using VPNs, but they serve other purposes as well:

  1. For P2P activities, which may be blocked or not allowed in a country.
  2. To unblock streaming services offered in other regions, e.g. to watch Hulu, Disney+ or HBO.
  3. To access sites that are blocked on the network, by the ISP, or by the government.
  4. They may improve performance, if the VPN routing is better than the routing of the ISP.

How does Avast SecureLine VPN work?

Avast SecureLine VPN is provided as a desktop program or application. The program or application needs to be installed on devices before VPN connections can be established. Avast VPN requires a subscription, and customers may use the VPN during the subscription period.

Avast customers need to sign-in to the VPN application to use it after the 7-day trial expires.  The connection protects the device's IP address and Internet traffic against spying and other forms of attacks.

Avast SecureLine VPN features analysis

Avast SecureLine VPN offers a small selection of features and options that customers get when they use the VPN.

Two special purpose server categories are offered: P2P and streaming.

A click on either displays servers that are optimized for these purposes. P2P is self-explanatory, it allows users to use P2P software, such as BitTorrent, for downloading and uploading.

Streaming servers are limited to the regionsGermany, UK and the United States. Streaming worked so-so in our tests. Some Netflix and Disney+ connections did work, others, such as Hulu or BBC iPlayer, did not. If you are looking for a VPN provider that supports streaming, we suggest you run the trial of Avast SecureLine VPN to find out if the services that you want to access are supported. P2P worked without issues during tests.

Privacy and Security features of Avast SecureLine VPN

Two of the main reasons for using VPN connections are related to privacy and security. A VPN hides the device’s “real” IP address, if configured correctly.

Avast SecureLine VPN uses industry standard AES-265 encryption with the OpenVPN protocol. The clients lack support for WireGuard, the best option when it comes to protocols, as well as other protocols, IKEv2, which other providers support.

Avast SecureLine VPN offer a few privacy and security features:

  • Kill Switch functionality – The kill switch is disabled by default. It will block Internet access on the device if the connection to the VPN drops. It can be configured under Menu > Settings > VPN Mode.
  • Smart VPN Mode -- When enabled, will connect and disconnect automatically based on usage.
  • Local device access -- Enable access to local devices, e.g. printers or scanners, in private networks.

Avast notes that it is keeping connection logs, but no usage logs. Connection logs include the following information:

  • Connection timestamps (start and end).
  • Subnet of the IP address (final octet is not recorded).
  • VPN IP address.
  • Amount of data that is transferred.

The recording of part of the IP address is problematic. While it is true that a user can't be identified directly, there are not that many options when just the last octet is not recorded (255 to be precise).

Avast SecureLine VPN speed and leak tests

Speed and performance are essential for many VPN users. We ran several benchmark tests to find out how good Avast SecureLine VPN performs.

We ran all speed tests three times. The first test ran without VPN connection to get a baseline of the 50/20 Mbit Internet connection. The second ran tests on a local VPN connection (same region connection), and the third a connection to a foreign region, in this case the U.S.

avast vpn speed

Without VPN:

Download Speed: 32 Mbps
Upload Speed: 19 Mbps
Ping: 17ms

Regional Server results:

avast vpn local speed

Download Speed: 24 Mbps
Upload Speed: 16 Mbps
Ping: 21 ms

United States Server results:

avast vpn remote speed

Download Speed: 17 Mbps
Upload Speed: 4 Mbps
Ping: 207ms

The VPN connection did not match the connection speed of the Internet connection. To be clear, the Internet connection itself was not very stable on that day. Connections to the same region were okay, but it was not possible to get full speed out of them.

Ping to far away servers was not good, but that too was to be expected. Download speed was okay-ish, but upload speed was not good at all.

We ran DNS and IP leak tests to verify that Avast SecureLine VPN does not leak IP addresses when it is used. The clients passed the leak tests, and we did not experience any crashes or issues while using the clients either.

  • DNS Leak Test: passed (https://www.dnsleaktest.com/)
  • IP Leak Test: passed (https://ipleak.net/)

How to use Avast SecureLine VPN

avast secureline vpn

Avast SecureLine VPN needs to be installed before it can be used. Desktop programs for Windows and Mac, and apps for Android and iOS are available.  Once installed, all that is left to do is sign-in to an account or create one, and start connecting to servers to use the VPN.

Step 1: Install Avast SecureLine VPN

All apps and programs are easy to install and use. The Windows version is available as a net installer, which means that it requires an active Internet connection during installation to download the setup files.

Avast customers may open the privacy policy and terms during installation.

Setup is straightforward, as options are not provided. Avast displays a wizard on first run after installation that explains key VPN concepts.

avast vpn first run wizard

The application is started automatically afterwards. The 7-day trial does not require a login, it can be used without.

The main interface displays the connection status and an option to connect to an "optimal location".

Step 2: Configure the Avast SecureLine VPN client

avast vpn settings

Avast SecureLine VPN offers just a few basic options. The most important one is the kill switch functionality, which is not enabled by default. You may want to enable it to protect your IP address when the VPN connection drops.

The client does not list options to switch protocols. Avast mentions in a FAQ that users may access Experimental features in Settings, but these were not available on the test system until I enabled beta updates. The company lists two protocols that it supports: OpenVPN, which is used by default, and Avast Mimic, which acts as a fallback on Windows 10 and 11 systems.

Avast users may enable Smart VPN Mode, which is designed to automate the connecting and disconnecting. Usually, it is better to control connections, but it may be an option for users who forget to connect to the VPN regularly.

Step 3: Connect to a Server

Avast vpn servers

A click on the "Off" button in the main interface connects the VPN to an "optimal location" according to Avast. Customers who want more control over the process may activate the change button to display the full list of support regions and special purpose servers.

Regions on all continents are supported. Specialized server listings for streaming and P2P are displayed as well, and Avast highlights these specialized servers in the regular region listings to indicate support.

Step 4: Mobile apps

A link to mobile apps is provided on the main screen. You may enter an email address to get the download link emailed to you. It is better to visit the stores directly to download the applications to the mobile device.

The company behind Avast SecureLine VPN

Avast is a major provider of security products. Its core products are used by hundreds of millions of users throughout the world. VPN functionality was added to Avast products some time ago to expand the functionality and business of Avast further.

The company is incorporated in the Czech Republic under the name Avast Software s.r.o. Avast agreed to a merger with NortonLifeLock in August 2021, which valued Avast's business at US $8 billion.

Avast was founded in 1988 and it had its IPO in 2018. The company acquired competitor AVG in 2016, and other products, including the popular cleaning tool CCleaner, in 2017.

Avast was caught red-handed in 2019 when its browser extensions submitted browsing data to Avast servers, which one of its subsidiaries sold. Avast ended this shortly thereafter.

Bottom line, is Avast SecureLine VPN worth it?

Avast SecureLine VPN is a solid VPN product, which offers support for 10 device connections, unlimited bandwidths and easy to use applications. It lacks support for WireGuard, as well as Linux support and support for setting up the VPN on routers or other devices on which apps can't be installed on.

The clients offer basic functionality, but lack features that other VPN providers offer. Somewhat surprisingly, Avast's VPN does not include a content blocker if it is installed as a standlone.

Server support is limited, but region support is okay.

As an add-on to one of Avast's products, it is a good deal if you just want to better protect your privacy, and use it for light Internet tasks. As a standalone product, it is too expensive for what it offers.

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Summary
Avast SecureLine VPN: lacks features and relatively expensive as a standalone product
Article Name
Avast SecureLine VPN: lacks features and relatively expensive as a standalone product
Description
Is Avast SecureLine VPN a good choice when it comes to VPN services? Our review has the answer"
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Paul(us) said on October 24, 2021 at 6:36 pm
    Reply

    This artcile opens with “relatively expensive” I dear to wright its crazy expensive.

    The company Avast, is well known for only thinking to make a dollar and with many security problems user having with there products like CClenaer and Avast free antivirus.

    The company Avast has his location in the Czech Republic what for the users means that all there data goes directly to the USA (Think CIA, F.B.I, FDA, etc.). I still cant prove for 100 % they also selling there data to commercial company’s, but I am almost there.

    The last few weeks Ghacks.net is writhing about VPN and up to now I convinced that this Avast VPN program is the number one in the VPN hall of shame. With other words the worst VPN and scam there is.

  2. ShintoPlasm said on October 24, 2021 at 7:07 pm
    Reply

    1. ExpressVPN should never be on anyone’s recommendation list anymore. It’s been taken over by shady Kape, and its jurisdiction is now divulged to be Hong Kong (!!!).
    2. Avast – another company that has entirely lost any vestige of integrity or trust. Would I trust them with my data? Hell no.

    1. yanta said on October 26, 2021 at 1:12 am
      Reply

      Kape also owns Private Internet Access, which they acquired in 2018.

  3. ULBoom said on October 24, 2021 at 9:21 pm
    Reply

    Doesn’t seem to do much of anything beside take your info. Calling this a VPN is as accurate as calling it a rock.

    Avast? Sure.

  4. Yanta said on October 25, 2021 at 1:48 am
    Reply

    If it’s from Avast it’s untrustworthy and should be avoided at all costs.

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