Although Avast is one of the largest companies in the world that produces antivirus software, this doesn’t mean that their foray into the world of VPN’s will deliver a product of the same calibre.
VPN’s are very different from almost any other software type because there is a lot more going on behind the scenes that most people don’t see.
Can Avast deliver a product which keeps you safe as much as their antivirus products?
That is what this Avast review aims to look at.
What is Avast Secureline?
Avast Secureline comes from a company which is based in the Czech Republic. They are one of the top suppliers of antivirus and other security products for a number of operating systems.
When you look at an Avast antivirus review, the company is always well praised for high-quality products.
There VPN product does come from a solid background, and now we will see if the Avast customer reviews are right, and they do deliver an excellent VPN service, or they are hoping their antivirus reputation will bring in the customers.
Features and Benefits
First, we will take a look at what Avast Secureline delivers in terms of features because this is one of the quickest ways to find out if it can match other VPN providers.
Avast Secureline works on PC, iPhone, iOS, Android and Mac so it covers most of the major platforms. It does unfortunately only provide 55 server locations which are spread over 34 countries. Compared to other providers, this is a small network.
Installation is easy on the desktop, and once running the small program sits in the system tray and doesn’t interfere with any other parts of your computer. It is also lightweight and won’t drain any additional system resources when in operation.
On the security side, it is nice to see the service using the same protocols as other market leaders.
These are IPSec and OpenVPN on UDP with AES 256-bit encryption and are military grade standards. However, it is only Windows and Android which use OpenVPN while on Apple devices they opt to use IPSec.
When using Avast Secureline on a mobile device, it is great to be presented with an interface which is as clean and easy to use as the desktop counterpart, but, it is also small enough to not bog down the phone or device.
Further on security, the service offers a killswitch, so if your VPN connection drops, all your applications are terminated from the internet until it is restored. Another built-in feature is DNS leak protection.
This is crucial because any leak of your data can give away your IP address. The area this can be vital is if users are taking part in torrenting. It is nice to see they take internet security as a priority.
Torrenting is supported, but this isn’t on all servers, and because they are limited in server numbers, New Zealand torrenters might find slower than usual download speeds.
Once installed, users are presented with a very simplistic looking interface. This makes it very easy to use with only a server to connect to, or having Avast Secureline start at the same time as your device and it detects your home network internet connection, or if it spots a public Wi-Fi connection that is unsecured.
In terms of other security features, there is nothing else users are able to change in the Avast VPN apps.
There has been a love-hate relationship with Avast Secureline and Netflix, and at the moment, it appears they are blocked again. Other streaming services might be able to be accessed, but sadly, the main one isn’t one of them.
During testing, we put the VPN through its paces to see if the companies claims were right. In the right region they were above average, but not the best, and when tested to the remote areas such as New Zealand, or any other part of Asia, the speeds dropped quite significantly.
But, this can be understandable for a company which has a small VPN network and only a small number of servers.
One area users are most concerned with is privacy and none more so than how their VPN provider deals with logging. Avast Secureline states they hold no online activity logs, but there is some information they do log.
Connection logs which store the connection time, or the disconnection time and how long you are connected. Additionally to this is how much bandwidth you use in this time.
Links to user data are offered to third-party sites such as Facebook or Twitter. These have their own user data security problems about leaked user data.
Customer support is thankfully on the better side of things, and this might be something which is passed over from their Antivirus side of the company.
The websites have a support section which is full of useful information, and there are users forums that are helpful for newer users and long-time users.
It might be you need more help than these can deliver, so a hand search function is on hand which makes finding the answer a little easier.
When it comes to speaking to a person, they offer 24/7 phone support, and there is also a ticketing system users can make use of.
Users can email questions or concerns regarding billing, or direct to the technical support using the ticketing system for an instant confirmation. Replies are not the fastest by this means, but they are received within 24-hours.
The Avast price works out expensive when you cover mobile devices because you need a separate license for each single device.
The Avast VPN cost structure is slightly awkward and can be difficult to understand.
PC and Mac
- 1 Month $7.99
- 1 year $59.99
- 2 years $109.99
- 3 Years $159.99
Android and iOS
- 1 Month $2.99
- 1 Year $19.99
All appears normal with the Avast Secureline VPN license, but then they introduce their multiple device package.
- 1 Month $8.99
- 1 Year $79.99
- 2 years $149.99
- 3 Years $219.99
The problem with this is you can only have multiple devices of the same type.
The company does offer a 7-day free trial, so there is no Avast free VPN option, and like many good VPN’s they offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
However, a refund only applies if you purchase Avast directly and not from a third party reseller. One more problem is that if you have over 100 sessions, or you download over 10GB of data, this null’s and voids your money back guarantee.
There are a number of payment options available, but no cryptocurrencies can be used.
When you compare the device support, which is only 1 device per license unless you choose the higher multi-device package. This gives less than many more expensive options which are on the market.
Avast works out overpriced and overcomplicated for a simple VPN service they deliver.
- Strong encryption levels
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Excellent customer support
- Simple to use apps
- Great security
- Allows P2P sharing
- 7-day free trial
- 30-day money back guarantee with limitations
- No VPN software for routers
- Does keep some logs
- Doesn’t accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies
- Pricing & Restricted Licensing
- Average performance
- No Netflix
- Limited features
This Avast Secureline VPN review looked at as much as possible to bring an honest opinion and to find out once and for all is Avast good as an alternative to other competing VPN services?
For a start, the company does do some good things. With such a small network, they do have a diverse placement of VPN servers, but when it almost equals one server per country, it is easy to see why they suffer in the speed department on occasions.
Is Avast worthy as a New Zealand VPN? We would have to say let it slide for the moment, and look at better-suited options that deliver many more features, an easier to understand and manage the payment system, and can continually access Netflix.
If you are overseas for a week and need a VPN quickly, you can download the 7-day trial and use it as a free VPN for the length of your trip.