Avast is a Czech company that is best known for its antivirus software. This includes both Avast Pro and AVG, the latter of which was acquired in 2016. Apart from providing the best free antivirus software on the market, Avast also sells other security software, including Avast SecureLine VPN.
At first glance, Avast SecureLine VPN seems like a simple, easy-to-use VPN offered at an affordable price. However, it’s not just software that Avast has for sale: the company was recently caught scanning users’ devices for all sorts of data and selling it to the highest bidder through a subsidiary company, called Jumpshot.
Because of this, we strongly recommend that you don’t use any Avast product under any circumstance. Instead, check out our article on the best VPNs or best antivirus with VPN for alternatives. For our money, we recommend that you check out ExpressVPN (read our ExpressVPN review to find out why). With that out of the way, let’s move on with the Avast SecureLine VPN review, for completeness’ sake.
Alternatives for Avast SecureLine VPN
Average speedDownload Speed92 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency3 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 10
Average speedDownload Speed92 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency4 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash
- : 6
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 8
Average speedDownload Speed91 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency5 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, PaymentWall
- : 5
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Simple & easy to use
- AES-256 bit encryption
- Unlimited bandwidth
- DNS leak protection & WebRTC blocking
- Optional kill switch
- Gets into Netflix & BBC iPlayer in some locations
- Supports English & 40 other languages
- Compatible with Windows, macOS, Android & iOS
- Logs some information about your VPN usage
- Company was caught selling user data
- Split tunneling isn’t supported
- You cannot modify your VPN protocol
- Has only 55 servers across 34 countries
- Wasn’t able to get into Amazon Prime Video
- Cannot be configured on a router
If you’ve never used a virtual private network before, you might appreciate that there are fewer features to worry about with Avast SecureLine VPN. However, if you are the type of person who wants to easily tweak a VPN’s settings, then you won’t be satisfied with this service. Above all, SecureLine VPN emphasizes simplicity and ease of use over customization.
For instance, there aren’t any settings for custom DNS servers. By default, SecureLine VPN will just use Avast’s DNS servers. If you want to change this, then you’ll have to do it manually in your device’s settings each and every time you connect to a server. This isn’t difficult, but it will become tedious if you don’t want to use Avast’s DNS servers.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t want to use Avast’s DNS servers, as we’ll discuss in the “privacy” section below.
We would have liked to see split tunneling included with SecureLine VPN. This is a more advanced feature, though, which is included only in some of the best VPN software.
Split tunneling allows you to pick and choose which applications should or should not use the VPN tunnel. If this sounds like something you need, then check out our StrongVPN review.
However, SecureLine VPN provides you with the essentials you’d expect from a VPN. It has applications for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices that are simple and easy to use. In a few clicks, you can be securely connected to a VPN server in any of the supported countries, doing whatever you want online without the prying eyes of others.
Avast SecureLine VPN Features Overview
|Payment methods||PayPal, Credit card, Debit Card|
|Supports split tunneling|
|Free trial available|
|Worldwide server amount||700 servers in 34 countries|
|Desktop OSes||Windows, MacOS, Android TV|
|Mobile OSes||Android, iOS|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Avast Secure Browser|
|Can be installed on routers|
|Can access Netflix US|
|Can access BBC iPlayer|
|Can access Hulu|
|Can access Amazon Prime Video|
|VPN protocols available||IPSec, OpenVPN|
|Enabled at device startup|
|Passed DNS leak test|
|Malware/ad blocker included|
|Email support||office hours|
Unlike most other VPNs that we’ve reviewed, Avast SecureLine VPN doesn’t have a monthly plan option. You can only select between one-year, two-year and three-year plans for either one device or up to five different ones.
- : Unlimited GB
- : 1
The monthly cost of Avast SecureLine VPN isn’t bad. For one device, prices are as low as $2.99 per month. For up to five devices, prices go as low as $3.99 per month.
However, SecureLine VPN is neither the cheapest nor the best value-for-money VPN out there. Alternatives like CyberGhost are not only more affordable, but also packed with more features (you can read more about it in our CyberGhost review). There are plenty of excellent free VPNs, too, such as Windscribe (read our Windscribe review).
Although there’s a discount if you opt to pay for the first two years in advance, there’s none if you pay upfront for three years. Unless you’re looking to lock in these prices for as long as possible, there’s little reason to subscribe to either of the three-year plans.
Like many other VPN providers, you can get a full refund in the first 30 days of your subscription if you’re not happy with SecureLine VPN. You don’t have to hand over any money to give it a shot, though. There’s a free seven-day trial, which gives you plenty of time to see if it’s a good fit for you.
Avast accepts payments made with a credit card or PayPal. It’s disappointing that there’s no support for bitcoin payments, especially when cryptocurrency payments are now supported by many other VPN providers that we’ve reviewed. Some even allow you to pay with cash (read our ProtonVPN review and Mullvad review for two examples).
Ease of Use
Purchasing an Avast SecureLine VPN subscription is simple enough to do on Avast’s website. You can also get started with a seven-day free trial by clicking the orange button on the SecureLine VPN product page to download the application onto your device.
Once installed, click the large, red button, and you’ll be prompted to start your seven-day free trial or to enter the license key from a purchase you’ve already made. Once you’ve sorted that out, just select the “on” button to connect to one of the Avast VPN servers.
We encountered no problems when setting up SecureLine VPN on a Windows computer. There were no snags when connecting to a server for the first time, either. Everything worked without a hitch.
Even if you’re not familiar with VPN software, SecureLine VPN has such a barren user interface that it’s impossible to miss the need-to-know information. In the middle of the SecureLine VPN application, you’ll be able to see your real IP address (which is now hidden), your virtual IP address and how long you’ve been connected to a specific VPN server.
You can change the location of the server you’re connected to by selecting “change location” at the bottom of the app. That’ll bring up a list of all your options. This list can be filtered by region, but it also has specific sections to highlight servers that are optimized for P2P transfers — torrenting, in most cases — or streaming. This setup is similar to NordVPN and CyberGhost.
Avast SecureLine VPN Settings
You can change some settings in the menu at the top of the application, but there aren’t many. The options include whether you want to receive desktop notifications, whether the VPN should launch with your computer startup and what language to use (it supports English and more than 40 other languages). You can also opt in for beta updates, but Avast warns that this may impact the stability of the VPN.
In the “network security” settings, you can also configure whether you want SecureLine VPN to automatically turn on when you connect to the internet (and define exceptions to this). The most important option here is the kill switch. If your VPN disconnects for any reason, this will stop all internet traffic.
Avast SecureLine VPN Browser Extension
In Avast SecureLine VPN’s settings, you’ll also find a shortcut to add a browser extension to Google Chrome or the Avast Secure Browser. We installed the Google Chrome browser extension, but it isn’t a stand-alone application. It instead pairs with the desktop application and just allows you to control the VPN from your browser.
In the browser extension settings panel, you’ll find an option to enable a “WebRTC blocker.” We recommend that you enable this. If you don’t, your real location might be revealed when using Google Chrome — even when Avast SecureLine VPN is on.
It’s clear that Avast SecureLine VPN has been designed to be as simple and easy to use as possible. It automatically enables DNS leak protection, blocks IPv6 requests and prevents you from changing what protocol it uses. It just works straight out of the box, with little customization required.
Unfortunately, that also means you can’t customize anything. If you’re a tinkerer, make sure to read our TorGuard review and AirVPN review.
We conducted some speed tests on a wired connection in the United Kingdom to see how Avast SecureLine VPN performed.
We captured the unprotected speed of our connection to establish a baseline, then quickly followed up by turning on SecureLine VPN and testing multiple different server locations. You might have slower or faster internet, but this will give you a ballpark idea of how your connection will be impacted when using SecureLine VPN.
|London, UK (Optimal)|
|New York City, U.S.|
|São Paulo, Brazil|
|Johannesburg, South Africa|
We found that its download speed dropped by a maximum of 10 percent. Upload speed dropped by approximately the same amount in most locations (the only exception being when we connected to Brazil, where upload speed dropped by about 50 percent).
We were quite surprised, with speeds remaining consistent regardless of which location we connected to. Most VPNs we’ve reviewed have a much more significant drop in download and upload speed. There’s no denying that it performed well in these tests.
Outside of the UK, it was clear that SecureLine VPN was having a negative impact on the latency. When disconnected from this VPN, our latency was only 84ms when connecting to New York City, but it was approximately double that when connected to a VPN server in the same location. For this reason, Avast SecureLine VPN doesn’t make our list of the best VPNs for gaming.
It’s all about the download speed, though, and based on our results, it seems like that area is all thumbs up. The speeds are a little too fast, though. Based on Avast’s privacy practices, we’re curious if our connection was encrypted at all. The results are far and above what we expect for OpenVPN. Read our fastest VPN guide for a point of reference.
Avast SecureLine VPN uses AES-256 bit encryption, which is the same kind of encryption that is used by banks to secure their data. This sounds impressive, and it does mean the VPN is secure, but it’s a standard feature of most VPNs (read our description of encryption to learn why).
Your VPN connection is established with OpenVPN on Windows and IPSec on macOS (none of the Avast support reps were able to say what IPSec is paired with). No other protocols are supported. That’s disappointing, but as highlighted in our VPN security guide, the ones that are supported by SecureLine VPN will be the right fit for most people.
We tested for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks while connected to SecureLine VPN and found that our real IP address wasn’t being leaked. The IPv6 connections were also completely blocked. To ensure that your IP isn’t leaked via WebRTC, you’ll also want to install the browser extension and turn on the WebRTC blocker.
Avast SecureLine VPN is clearly a VPN service that has good security, but it lacks the ability to choose between different VPN protocols. If you want to be able to customize the protocol you’re using, then you’ll want to check out alternatives, such as VyprVPN.
Considering that VPNs are all about protecting your privacy, it’s important that we dive into the privacy policies and look at the track record of Avast and its VPN service.
That sounds good. However, we found that, when we looked a little deeper, it captures some information under the guise that it’s needed to keep the VPN service running efficiently.
This information includes your IP address subnet, the timestamps of when you’ve connected to a server, what servers you’ve connected to and the amount of data transmitted back and forth while connected.
Avast has a transparency report that summarises how many requests have been made by law enforcement, as well as how many times it has handed information over about its users. It is concerning to see that Avast has previously confirmed an association between an IP and email address to law enforcement in the Czech Republic.
That’s bad, but more troubling is the recent revelation that Avast has collected user browsing data from more than 100 million devices. This sensitive data was sold to companies like Google, Microsoft, Yelp and any other company that would hand over a few million dollars through Jumpshot, Avast’s marketing analytics subsidiary.
Avast has emphasized that the data it has collected about its users is anonymized, but experts have highlighted that the specificity of the data means that it would be possible to deanonymize some users. Even worse, many users might have shared their data without knowing.
We cannot look past this breach of trust, regardless of whether Avast has now suspended operations at Jumpshot. For this reason alone, we would recommend that you stay away from Avast SecureLine VPN.
SecureLine VPN has a portion of its servers that are optimized for streaming. There’s one location in the UK, another in Germany and three in the U.S. In our tests, these optimized servers seemed to load and stream content faster than the normal ones.
We tried to access Netflix from 10 different locations, but we were only able to stream content from half of these servers. With the other half, Netflix detected the VPN and we received an error message. There are numerous alternative VPNs that provide more consistent access to Netflix in different countries. Read our best VPN for Netflix guide to see our top picks.
We tried to access Amazon Prime Video from these same locations, but we had no luck on any of the servers that we tried. As we’ve highlighted in our best VPN for Amazon Prime Video guide, this streaming service is quite tough to get into with a VPN.
SecureLine VPN did manage to get into BBC iPlayer from the Wonderland UK server, but it was detected as a VPN when we attempted to access BBC iPlayer from the other two servers located in the UK. For alternatives that provide access to BBC iPlayer, as well as more features, take a look at our best VPN for BBC iPlayer guide.
If one of the reasons you’re looking to get a VPN is to unlock content on streaming services that aren’t available in your country, then there are much better options than Avast SecureLine VPN. Visit our best VPN for streaming guide to uncover some better alternatives.
Avast SecureLine VPN offers a smaller selection of server locations, compared to other VPNs. While popular options like TorGuard have more than 3,000 servers spread across 55 countries, SecureLine VPN has just 55 servers across 34 countries.
It’s quite underwhelming. In most of the supported countries, there’s only a single server you can pick, too. The country with the best support is the U.S., which has servers in 16 cities, followed by the UK, which has servers in three locations.
Servers optimized for streaming are located only in the U.S., the UK and Germany. Avast SecureLine VPN allows P2P connections, but only on eight servers spread across six countries.
Again, this is just disappointing when compared to alternatives. NordVPN allows P2P connections on all of its servers (more than 5,800 at the time of writing), but it also has servers optimized for P2P transfers in many locations. We’ve covered many other good options for torrenting in our best VPN for torrenting guide.
Like most other VPNs we’ve reviewed, Avast has a knowledgebase that covers the basics: getting started with it on your computer, how to cancel your subscription and troubleshooting for common problems. There’s also a decent FAQ, which we found more comprehensive than the knowledgebase itself.
If you can’t find what you’re after in these two places, then there’s also the Avast community forums, where you can search previous posts or submit a question to the community.
You can also contact Avast directly via live chat or email. We tested its customer support via live chat with a simple question about whether we could establish P2P connections on all the servers. Within about five minutes, we were connected to customer support and our question was sufficiently answered.
Avast claims that its customer support usually responds to requests in less than two business days. We put this to the test by sending them a few questions about VPN router integration, the browser extension and the VPN protocol used on Android and iOS mobile devices. We received a reply from Avast about 24 hours later, which was concise and accurate.
We managed to find the answers to most of our questions in the FAQ and Avast SecureLine VPN knowledgebase. If you do have a question that isn’t covered in these two places, then it’s good to know that you can get a quick response from Avast via live chat.
Avast SecureLine VPN isn’t the best VPN that we’ve reviewed, but it has some redeeming features. However, it’s impossible to overlook that Avast has collected users’ browsing data and sold it to companies like Google, Microsoft and Yelp. This was a gigantic breach of trust that is going to haunt Avast for some time.
All things considered, there are many other VPNs that respect your privacy and offer better functionality than Avast SecureLine VPN. We’ve already mentioned some of our favorites throughout this review, but you can find more VPNs that work in our VPN archives.
If you have any questions about SecureLine VPN or want to share your thoughts about it, just leave a comment below. Thanks for reading this Avast SecureLine VPN review.
Avast SecureLine VPN FAQ
- Security-wise, Avast SecureLine VPN is safe to use. It uses AES-256 bit encryption, includes DNS leak protection and provides an optional kill switch. However, privacy-wise, we can’t recommend Avast SecureLine VPN. Although Avast doesn’t collect logs about what you’re doing while connected to SecureLine VPN, it does collect some information when you connect to one of its servers. Additionally, news broke this year that Avast has collected and sold user browsing data from more than 100 million devices.
- You can uninstall Avast SecureLine VPN easily and quickly from a Windows 10 device. Start by searching for and selecting “apps and features” in your device’s bottom-left search bar. In the settings menu that pops up, you then need to find and click on the application labeled as “Avast SecureLine VPN.” Finally, click the “uninstall’ button to begin uninstalling this VPN.