Avast VPN Review: Protection and More
Avast SecureLine VPN comes either as part of an antivirus bundle or as a stand-alone product. Typically, a VPN that comes as a part of an antivirus, would be more focused on protection, which when compared to mainstream VPN services, falls short on features and functions.
So we ask the question, is Avast SecureLine VPN any different than your typical everyday antivirus VPN? Or can it compete toe-to-toe with the major premium VPN provider?
If you’ve heard about Avast before, I think you’re probably familiar with its antivirus service. That’s not the only thing they specialize in; they’re offering their own top-notch VPN. Avast VPN supports torrenting, unblocks some streaming websites, and is pretty fast.
To know everything you need to know about Avast VPN, keep reading this article.
In this section, we checked how Avast VPN fares against its competitors in terms of speed tests, the number of servers, their geographic distribution, and their fastest available protocol.
1. Speed tests
Avast VPN results were better than expected in our speed tests. The speed was amazingly fast in some certain areas, despite the small number of servers they have. This speed volatility most probably has a lot to do with the small number of servers they have.
2. Number of servers and geographic distribution
Short explanation: Avast VPN has servers distributed over 34 countries in 50+ locations.
Long explanation: Server locations and numbers are important, as these allow you to pick different IP addresses as needed, without much traffic congestion. Sadly, the company doesn't disclose the number of servers they have, which makes it hard to compare them to other VPN suppliers in this regard.
3. Fastest available protocol
Short explanation: IKEv2 is the fastest available protocol by Avast VPN (recommended to use).
Long explanation: In the VPN world, many protocols exist, with differences between protocols making the difference in how secure a VPN is, how fast, and whether it can bypass geo-censorship. It is noteworthy to mention that it's more oriented towards mobile devices, though.
Avast VPN provides high-quality security protocols in order to protect your information. They publish regular independent security audits to provide their users with insight into its policies and security protocols.
The most important features regarding security and privacy include:
1. Encryption and protocols
Avast VPN provides AES-256-bit encryption, which is the standard for the industry. It is so secure to the point that governments, militaries, and banks utilize this type of encryption to secure their data.
Are you new to VPNs?
For Avast VPN, use IKEv2 protocol for speed, use OpenVPN protocol for security. Avast isn't the best at bypassing geo-censorship (obfuscation).
Pro mode: The protocols available for Avast VPN include:
macOS, iOS, Android
Security and encryption
AES 256-bit encryption
UDP ports 500 and 4500, and ESP IP Protocol 50
uses 443 port (hard to block)
Faster than OpenVPN
Slower than IKEv2
2. Logs policy
Short explanation: Avast VPN keeps certain logs for 30 days before deleting them.
Long explanation: Avast VPN admits to logging some information. As described by them, they log information on bandwidth, connection, actual IP address, and time stamps. However, all this information is stored for 30 days only. Afterward, the logs will be deleted.
3. Kill switch
Short explanation: Avast VPN has a fully functional kill switch feature.
Long explanation: Avast VPN comes with a kill-switch feature, a feature that turns off the Internet if the VPN is disconnected to avoid any IP, WebRTC, or DNS data leaks. A kill switch is important in the protection of your online privacy.
4. RAM-based servers
Short explanation: Avast SecureLine VPN doesn’t have RAM-based servers.
Long explanation: A RAM-based server means that the data, instead of being saved to SSD drives, is saved on RAMs. This is advantageous to security because RAM-based servers are wiped clean every time the servers reboot.
5. VPN based country
Short explanation: Avast is based in Czechoslovakia.
Long explanation: Avast is based in Czechoslovakia, which is outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. VPN companies based inside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance are considered a possible security threat as these countries are known to spy on their citizens and share information internally. (Read more What Is the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance).
6. Warrant canary
Short explanation: Avast has a warrant canary system.
Long explanation: A warrant canary is an indirect method to warn customers of governmental attempts to subpoena where the presence of the warrant on the company’s official website means the local government hasn’t tried anything yet.
If the warrant canary is removed from the company’s page, it means they were asked for logs. Avast updates their warrant canary SHA-256 checksum in a quarter annually as verification of its integrity.
In terms of the applications of VPN in the real world, we dive further into how Avast SecureLine VPN fares against the rest in the following categories:
One of the most sought-after functions of a VPN is its ability to unblock geo-restricted content, and the most important of which would be Netflix; and in our test, Avast VPN managed to unblock Netflix US, which was surprising to us since most antivirus associated VPNs tend to work more as protective VPNs.
In addition, Avast VPN managed to unblock Netflix UK, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, and BBCiplayer.
You can access the streaming optimized servers using the left-hand side filter for a better streaming result, which is nice. However, the fact remains it is quite limited.
Short explanation: Avast SecureLine VPN allows torrent. Furthermore, Avast SecureLine VPN has specialized torrenting servers.
Long explanation: Avast VPN allows torrenting via P2P networks. Protecting your connection while using a VPN is essential since many torrent websites host pirated and illegal content. Keeping your IP masked also protects you from any malicious content with viruses, malware, or any other threats.
Avast VPN allows users to use a VPN on specific servers. However, you won't have to try out every server to figure that out, as you'll find the p2p optimized servers on a separate tab.
Considering Avast keeps logs for 30 days before deleting them, proceeding with care is advised.
Short explanation: Avast VPN doesn’t have specialized gaming servers.
Long explanation: when it comes to gaming, the reason why you would want to use a VPN for games is variable, but one thing is clear, which is that no one wants to lag at all. (Read more on The Uses of VPN in Gaming).
Companies with specialized gaming servers make sure your gaming experience will be smoother than with companies that don’t have specialized gaming servers.
4. Dedicated IP servers
Short explanation: Avast VPN doesn’t have dedicated IP servers.
Long explanation: While using a VPN, you would want a dynamic IP (an IP that changes whenever you reconnect to a server). In certain situations, this is not the case. A dedicated server is recommended in the following situations:
- Business security
- Frequent online payment security
- Avoid getting blacklisted on websites
- Avoid CAPTCHAs
If you find any of the above reasons apply to you and decide you need a dedicated IP server, then we recommend you try NordVPN.
5. Geo-censorship bypass (obfuscation)
Avast VPN is bad at bypassing geo-censorship.
6. Split tunneling
Short explanation: Avast VPN lacks split tunneling.
Long explanation: The split tunneling feature means you can selectively use your VPN on a certain type/source of data outgoing from your device.
Split tunneling in certain situations is favorable. For example, you're torrenting while playing a video game or watching a YouTube video.
In such a scenario, you would want only the torrenting to be encrypted. VPN encryption will slow down the connection speed relative to not using a VPN since the encrypted data is larger than non-encrypted.
7. Tor over VPN
Short explanation: Avast VPN has Tor over VPN support.
Long explanation: Torrent onion router (Tor) is a P2P program used to enter the dark web. Using a VPN adds an extra layer of anonymity, especially at the entry node, with the addition of data encryption. However, pay extra attention when viewing the dark web; a true no-log policy VPN is preferable.
Let’s just start by telling you that Avast VPN is one of those VPNs compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Unfortunately, if you're a Linux user, then you're out of luck. The same goes for gaming consoles, smart TVs, and routers.
Avast VPN is compatible with:
Avast VPN has browser extensions on:
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla firefox
1. Supported languages
Avast VPN supports the following languages:
2. Customer support
Avast’s customer support is available whenever you need them. Whether you want to submit a ticket, contact them on live chat, or check their FAQs and their extensive knowledge base. Avast’s live chat will answer you within a minute, and for the price you’re paying, I think that’s more than enough.
The only downside is there’s no phone or email support. But I mean, what do you need it for when you’ve got all these platforms to contact them. Am I right?
Avast provides customer support in the following forms:
- Live chat
- Knowledge base
- Email and ticketing
There are three different Avast SecureLine VPN plans. Let’s take a look at the plans below:
|Initial Price||$59.88 / year (~$4.99/month)||$95.76 / 2 years ($3.99/month)||$143.64 / 3 years
|Renewal Price||$89.99 / year (~$7.5/month)||$179.99 / 2 years (~$7.5/month)||$269.99 / 3 years (~$7.5/month)|
- 1-Year Plan: With the 33% discount you get at the beginning, the price starts at $4.99/month, which means you’ll only pay $59.88 for the first year, but the price renews at $89.99 (yearly price).
- 2-Year Plan: With this plan and the 33% discount, the price drops down to $3.99/month, which will cost you $95.76 for the 2 years period. However, it renews at $179.99 (2-year price).
- 3-Year Plan: The price for the 3-Year plan and the 2-Year plan doesn't differ when comparing the price per month with a $3.99/month cost and a total price of $143.64. However, this can save you on the renewal price which for the 3 years is $269.99 (3-year price).
The good news is Avast provides a 7-day free trial to try out their product in addition to a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if it’s not the VPN you want, you’ll get a refund.
Available payment methods include:
- Major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.)
Do We Recommend It?
If you’re looking for a good bundle deal VPN with an antivirus with a good value for your money, then yes, we do recommend it. Even when considering access to geo-restricted content, while it's not the best, it isn't bad either. However, there are much better alternatives, with better speed, and more available servers for streaming.
Avast VPN can unblock streaming services, including Netflix US, Netflix UK, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, and BBC iPlayer. This is amazing when considering it is an antivirus-associated VPN. However, it isn't as consistent as others, and the number of available servers isn't exactly the best out there.
Give it a try and decide if it’s the one for you; there’s a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.