Avast SecureLine VPN Review

Avast SecureLine VPN is but one of Avast's many security products. As VPNs go, it's pretty decent as it gets you into Netflix and uses good encryption, but for the price you can get better. Check out our full review for the details on why we recommend going elsewhere.

By Ben Stockton
— Last Updated: 07 Jun'19
2018-07-12T03:28:03-08:00
Table of ContentsRating
Features
60%
Fair
Pricing
65%
Decent
Ease of Use
90%
Excellent
Speed
80%
Good
Security
85%
Very Good
Privacy
50%
Poor
Streaming Performance
85%
Very Good
Server Locations
70%
Decent
Customer Service
75%
Good
User Reviews & Comments

Decent
Starts from $ 167 per month
Save 44 %
best-VPN-reviews

Avast is a Czech software company best known for its antivirus products. As of January 2019, it held more than 15 percent of the Windows anti-malware applications market share. That puts it ahead of big names such as Kaspersky Lab and McAfee Inc.

In addition to anti-malware software, it offers a VPN, which is what we’ll be looking at in this Avast SecureLine VPN review. We’ll examine its speed, privacy and security, as well as its ease of use. We’re also going to take a dive into server locations and the quality of its customer service before wrapping up with our verdict.

SecureLine VPN has a limited feature set, but it performs well. It’ll get you into services such as BBC iPlayer (though not Netflix), but you can find VPNs that’ll cover more devices, and more streaming services, for a similar price. Privacy isn’t its strong suit, either, so it’s unlikely to be making our list of the best VPN choices any time soon.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Gets into BBC iPlayer
  • Reasonable speeds
  • Good spread of servers
  • Simple to use
  • Killswitch
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Weaknesses:

  • No choice of VPN protocols
  • Doesn’t support split tunneling
  • Maximum of five devices
  • Some information is logged
  • Doesn’t work with Netflix

Alternatives for Avast SecureLine VPN

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Features

60% - Fair

SecureLine VPN’s focus is to be simple to use. It’s not packed with functionality, instead opting to provide the key features that it thinks you’ll need and making them easy to use. It has succeeded at that, offering a product that has a shallow learning curve and decent server speeds, which we’ll talk about later in this review.

Other VPN services, such as Windscribe (read our Windscribe review), have a much broader feature set, including options for port forwarding, and far greater control over configuring VPN protocols and encryption methods.

With SecureLine VPN, there are only two key settings that users can tinker with. There’s a killswitch that you activate simply by ticking a box in the preferences. Its purpose is explained beneath the box, where it says the killswitch will “prevent privacy leaks by blocking all internet access if your VPN should suddenly disconnect.”

There’s also the option to set trusted networks. That means if you’re connected to your home WiFi, for example, the VPN won’t be active. If you decide to do some work in your local coffee shop, though, your VPN protection will kick in. It’s a simple feature, but useful if you’re on the move a lot but don’t want to use your VPN at home.

There’s no option to change VPN protocols at all, but SecureLine VPN uses OpenVPN on Windows and IPSec/IKEv2 on macOS, which are highly recommended choices. If you’re looking for something customizable, SecureLine VPN isn’t the VPN for you, but the less tech-savvy may appreciate having the choice taken out of their hands.

SecureLine VPN doesn’t support split tunneling, either. That’s a feature that allows you to decide which data passes through the VPN tunnel and which goes through your unprotected connection. That’s handy if, for example, you’re using your PC as a media server and you don’t want to have to stream your movies via a server on the other side of the world.

If split tunneling is a feature you need, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Plenty of VPNs offer it, such as Ivacy (read our Ivacy review).

Avast SecureLine VPN Features Overview

Starts from$ 167per month

General

Payment methods
PayPal, Credit card
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections
5
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
7 days
Refund period
30 days
Worldwide server amount
55 servers in 34 countries
Desktop OSes
Windows, MacOS
Mobile OSes
Android, iOS
Browser extensions
Can be installed on routers

Streaming

Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
n/a
Can access Amazon Prime Video
n/a

Security

Encryption types
256-AES
VPN protocols available
OpenVPN, IKEv2
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
n/a
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included

Support

Live Chat
24/7
Email support
24/7
Phone support
24/7
User forum
Knowledgebase

Pricing

65% - Decent

Windows/Mac
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 1 Included Devices
1-year plan $ 5.00 / month
$59.99 billed every year
2-year plan $ 4.58 / month
$109.99 billed every 2 years
Save 8 %
3-year plan $ 4.44 / month
$159.99 billed every 3 years
Save 11 %
Android/iOS
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 5 Included Devices
1-year plan $ 1.67 / month
$19.99 billed every year
Save 44 %
Multi-Device
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 5 Included Devices
1-year plan $ 6.67 / month
$79.99 billed every year
Save 26 %
2-year plan $ 6.25 / month
$149.99 billed every 2 years
Save 30 %
3-year plan $ 6.11 / month
$219.99 billed every 3 years
Save 32 %

If you take a quick look at the SecureLine VPN webpage, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only payment plans available were annual subscriptions. It’s only when you go to the payment page that you can find the prices for other subscription periods, and even then they’re easy to miss.

If you’re looking for a VPN for Windows or macOS, the minimum subscription you can buy is one year. If you click the small drop-down box on the payment page, you’ll find options for two years and three years are also available, but there’s no monthly price plan.

If you’re buying the iOS or Android VPN subscription, you can choose to pay monthly or annually, but there’s no option longer than one year. For the multi-device product, you’re given a choice of one month, one-year, two-year or three-year billing. Bizarrely, the monthly multi-device option is missing in the UK.

Ignoring the complex and secretive range of alternative payment options, if you want a VPN for your PC or Mac, you’ll pay $59.99 per year. For mobile devices, you can pay $2.99 a month or $19.99 for a year’s subscription. It’s worth noting that you can’t mix and match. Your subscription will only cover five iOS or Android devices.

Even so, SecureLine VPN won’t be making our best VPN for iPhone guide.

Avast SecureLine VPN Multi-Device Plans

If you’re looking for something that’ll cover mobile and desktop, you’ll need the $79.99 annual plan. If you’re not confident enough to commit to a year, you can find the $8.99 per month option, too, with a little hunting.

SecureLine VPN’s pricing holds well against its competitors, as long as you’re only looking to use it with five devices or less. It’s especially cheap if you’re looking for a monthly subscription for your mobile devices. On price alone, it’d do well compared to its competitors on our best VPN for Android shortlist.

If you need a VPN for more devices, there are services that offer plans with no device limits. Goose VPN (read our Goose VPN review) is similarly priced, but it can cover as many devices as you want.

Avast offers a free seven-day trial for its products, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee. The only payment options are PayPal or credit card. There’s no support for bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

If you want a more anonymous payment method, look for a VPN that accepts cash or bitcoin, such as Mullvad (read our Mullvad review).

Ease of Use

90% - Excellent

Registering for SecureLine VPN is simple enough. When you purchase your subscription of choice, you’ll need to supply your country, first name, last name, zip code and email address. That’s a lot of personal information considering alternatives such as cryptostorm (read our cryptostorm review) require none.

You’ll also need to provide your payment details. PayPal and credit or debit card are your only options. Once your payment has gone through, you receive an activation code via email.

Avast SecureLine VPN Download and Install

Setting up is also straightforward. Just download the application and install it as you would any other program. When you launch SecureLine VPN, you’re greeted with a simple dashboard. It’s not subtle. A large, red “off” button sits in the middle of the screen with a warning that “your online privacy is not protected.”

Clicking the big, red button activates the VPN. You’ll be prompted to start a free seven-day trial or purchase a subscription. Click the text on the bottom to indicate that you already have an activation code and enter it to validate your subscription.

You can now see information such as your connection time, real IP address, your location and your IP address as it appears to others. We tested SecureLine VPN in the UK and it defaulted to a location in London. Beneath that information is a large button for changing your location.

Clicking that button brings up the list of servers. The current server is displayed at the top, and it was labeled the “optimal location” for us. Hovering over the “i” next to that information opens a pop-up window that explains an optimal location “helps you get the best possible connection speed.”

The other server locations are displayed below that. There’s also a menu on the left to filter them by location, for peer-to-peer or for streaming. Some individual servers in the list also have small icons to indicate that they’re optimized for P2P or streaming.

Changing locations was as simple as clicking on a different server. It took about two seconds for it to connect. Click the now green button in the middle of the application and the VPN will disconnect almost instantaneously.

There are only two other buttons on the page. The first opens what’s essentially an advert for Avast’s mobile VPN products. The second button is the classic settings cog icon, which opens the preferences. There are three sections: “general,” “network security” and “subscription.”

Avast SecureLine VPN Settings

The “subscription” section just provides information on your subscription and when it expires. “Network security” is where you’ll find the option to activate the killswitch, which blocks internet access if the VPN disconnects to ensure your privacy is maintained.

The only other settings in that section are the option to turn on the VPN automatically when you connect to the internet or to be asked if you’d like to turn it on. You can also exclude trusted networks, meaning that the VPN won’t turn on when you’re connected to specific WiFi networks.

The “general” section only has five settings. You can control how SecureLine VPN shows you notifications and whether it shows in your menu bar. You can set it to launch at start-up and you can sign up to receive beta updates.

The final option is to turn off offers for other products. Having experienced the tedious pop-ups that Avast uses in its antivirus products, such as Avast Pro (read our Avast Pro review), we can’t recommend switching the option off enough.

As you can see, little customization is available with SecureLine VPN. It’s aimed at users who want something that works out of the box, with no complex setup. If that’s what you’re looking for, Avast is a good choice.

If you’re looking for something that you can tweak to suit your needs, look at the other alternatives in our VPN archive.

Speed

80% - Good

We wanted to see how SecureLine VPN performed as a whole, so we ran speed tests on different international servers from our reviewer’s base in the UK. The results are shown below.

Location: Ping (ms)Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)
Unprotected (UK)13194.3012.24
Germany49191.789.74
Russia11439.396.03
Brazil22841.301.12
U.S.8575.042.62
South Korea47218.943.07

Speeds for servers in mainland Europe were impressive. A server in Frankfurt, Germany, gave a download speed that was almost 99 percent of the unprotected speed. The upload speed wasn’t quite as good, at just under 80 percent of the unprotected speed, but that’s still reasonable.

Outside of Europe, the drop was significant, as you might expect given the distance. Connecting to a U.S. server saw our download speed drop by more than 50 percent. Servers in Russia and Brazil had download speeds that were about one-fifth as fast as our unprotected speed and South Korea was less than 10 percent as fast.

SecureLine VPN might not be topping our list of the fastest VPN services, but it performed well, especially for local services in Europe. As always, experiences may vary, depending on your distance from certain servers.

Latency was a mixed bag. Nearby servers, such as the one in Frankfurt, Germany, offered reasonable latency. The latency when using the U.S. server was impressive but the South Korean server had almost half a second of latency. If you’re looking for the best VPN for gaming, SecureLine VPN might not be the right option for you.

Security

85% - Very Good

SecureLine VPN describes its security as “bank-grade.” That might not be the most confidence-inspiring claim these days, considering that even major banks such as HSBC have been victims of hacking. Set your worries aside, though, because SecureLine VPN’s security is good.

Its cipher of choice for Windows is AES 256-bit with OpenVPN. As our VPN security guide explains, that’s one of the most popular VPN protocols, and for good reason. OpenVPN is open source, with a community that constantly searches for vulnerabilities to ensure the protocol stays secure. It’s also speedy.

If you’re using the macOS application or an iOS device, SecureLine VPN uses the IKEv2 protocol with IPSec. The website claims that makes it “Apple-approved.” The only real explanation it gives for what that means in real terms is that SecureLine VPN is “built on Apple’s proprietary stacks to ensure the best compatibility and performance.”

Regardless of whether it’s Apple-approved, IKEv2/IPSec is more secure than the L2TP/IPSec protocol used by some VPNs. L2TP requires the user’s credentials for authentication, so it’s not ideal for guaranteeing privacy. IKEv2 is also much faster because L2TP uses double encapsulation, which slows the process down.

With a killswitch on offer, we made sure it worked, and it did. We also tested for WebRTC and DNS leaks, and the service passed with no problems.

Unlike most VPNs, SecureLine VPN doesn’t give you a choice of protocols. If you’re looking for something that works out of the box, then its defaults are robust. If you’re after a VPN with more customization options, take a look at CyberGhost (read our CyberGhost review).

Privacy

50% - Poor

In Avast’s privacy policy, it says there’s no logging. Dig deeper, though, and that claim doesn’t hold up. The key phrase in the sales pitch is that Avast doesn’t track the websites you visit or the content you consume once you’re connected to its servers.

Buried in its privacy policy, though, we found that Avast stores your IP address and a timestamp whenever you connect to and disconnect from its VPN service, much like Buffered VPN (read our Buffered VPN review). It also logs the IP address of the VPN server you used. The claim is that the data is used to monitor the performance of the VPN service.

To be fair to Avast, it publishes a clear summary of government requests for customer data, as well as the number of disclosures that were made. In 2018, there were 79 requests for user information, only one of which was granted. That’s a disclosure rate of 1.27 percent.

There’s also a warrant canary published quarterly. A warrant canary is a clever legal loophole. The company isn’t allowed to publish information about when requests for data have been made. Instead, each quarter it publishes a statement that no requests have been made in the previous quarter.

If that report is missing for the next quarter, Avast has complied with a legal request for data.

What concerns us is Avast confirmed a customer’s email address associated with an IP address in the request it granted, which was for a criminal investigation in the Czech Republic. If you’re looking for a VPN that can guarantee it’ll keep your IP address anonymous, SecureLine VPN isn’t it.

If privacy is your main concern when choosing a VPN, you’ll need to look at another provider, such as our top-rated VPN service, ExpressVPN (read our ExpressVPN review).

Streaming Performance

85% - Very Good

In the server list, SecureLine VPN has a section for streaming. It offers one location in the UK, called Wonderland, and three in the U.S.: Gotham City, Miami and New York City. We’re not sure why it has mixed real names with fictional locations.

We first tried connecting to Gotham City. After 10 seconds, we were hit with a “could not connect” error message. We tried Miami next, and it connected fine. We tried Gotham again a little later and it connected with no problems, so the first time may have just been a connection error.

Avast SecureLine Netflix

From our UK location, we were able to sign in to U.S. Netflix, but streaming was another matter. Streaming a movie from U.S. Netflix just didn’t work. We received an error telling us that “something went wrong” each time we tried. Unfortunately, Netflix is blocking SecureLine VPN’s streaming servers.

If you’re looking to expand your choice of programming on Netflix, SecureLine VPN won’t work for you, so you’ll need to look at alternatives on our best VPN for Netflix shortlist.

When we tested SecureLine VPN before, it was unable to work with BBC iPlayer. We were pleasantly surprised when we connected to the UK’s Wonderland server and tried to stream. BBC iPlayer content streamed well on each attempt, with no buffering issues.

A lot of VPNs aren’t able to stream BBC iPlayer, so that’s a definite plus for SecureLine VPN. If British content is your thing, but you’re still looking for a VPN with more customization options, take a look at our guide to the best VPN for BBC iPlayer for alternatives.

Server Locations

70% - Decent

SecureLine VPN has 55 servers spread across 34 countries. Only a few countries have more than one server. Spain, Germany, Canada and Russia have two, the UK has three and the U.S. has 16.

There are plenty of VPNs that offer a better selection, such as NordVPN (read our NordVPN review). Despite the relatively low overall figure, though, SecureLine VPN provides a good spread of countries. The list includes Israel, New Zealand, South Africa and Brazil, which aren’t always covered by other VPNs.

That said, if you’re looking for serious worldwide coverage, you’ll need to look further afield. The daddy of them all is HideMyAss (read our HideMyAss review), which has servers in an incredible 190 countries, but, ironically, HideMyAss is also owned by Avast.

Customer Service

75% - Good

Avast provides the obligatory knowledgebase that covers the basics well, along with an adequate FAQ. There’s also a forum where you can ask questions that aren’t already covered in the knowledgebase. Responses are generally helpful, but it can take a couple of days to get a reply.

If you’d rather speak to Avast directly, you can contact support by live chat or email. We fired off a few simple questions asking how many servers were available, if there was a killswitch option and whether there was support for split tunneling.

The responses took just over 24 hours, and the answers were cursory but accurate. In reply to the question about the number of servers, the support rep simply pasted a link to the SecureLine VPN webpage. The list of servers is on the page, but it takes a bit of searching, so that wasn’t particularly helpful.

The online chat was also adequate but not spectacular. When asked which VPN protocol was used for the macOS application, the customer service agent had to go and check the answer which didn’t instill confidence. It took them a couple of minutes to come back with the information that it was IPSec on macOS and iOS devices.

Between the knowledgebase, forum, email and chat options, you should be able to find the information you need, but it may take longer than you’d prefer. For speed of response, the online chat is the best option, but it was frustrating that we were forced to enter our name and email address before using it.

The Verdict

SecureLine VPN doesn’t offer much in the way of features, but it’s easy to use and effective at what it does. Being able to designate trusted networks is useful and the killswitch is important, but if you want to tinker with other settings, you’re out of luck.

That said, there are dedicated servers for P2P if you’re planning to use the VPN for torrenting, but given our concerns over privacy, you might want to look at our best VPN for torrenting list for alternatives.

Privacy is the biggest problem with SecureLine VPN. Avast admits it logs your IP address and has given customer information to law enforcement agencies in the past, but that’s rare. If complete privacy is what you want from your VPN, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Our VPN reviews are a good place to start.

Thanks for taking the time to read this review. If you use Avast SecureLine VPN and want to share your experiences, feel free to add a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Avast SecureLine VPN Review

A pricey VPN that does the job less well than others.

Avast SecureLine VPN is but one of Avast's many security products. As VPNs go, it's pretty decent as it gets you into Netflix and uses good encryption, but for the price you can get better. Check out our full review for the details on why we recommend going elsewhere.
Starts from$ 167per month
Visit Avast SecureLine VPN

One thought on “Avast SecureLine VPN”

  1. Avast SecureLine VPN User Rating

    any torrent site I use with this VPN turned on considerabley slows down the transfer rate or doesnt connect

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Avast SecureLine VPN Review

A pricey VPN that does the job less well than others.

Avast SecureLine VPN is but one of Avast's many security products. As VPNs go, it's pretty decent as it gets you into Netflix and uses good encryption, but for the price you can get better. Check out our full review for the details on why we recommend going elsewhere.
Starts from$ 167per month
Visit Avast SecureLine VPN
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