Avast SecureLine

Score

Pros

  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Provides international access to US Netflix

Cons

  • Requires a separate licence for each platform
  • Only one connection per licence at a time
  • More expensive than many rivals

Key Features

  • Review Price: £44.86
  • $59.99 (£44.86) per year (1 Windows PC)
  • Connect one device per licence
  • Windows client supports OpenVPN
  • Requires separate subscriptions for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS clients

What is Avast SecureLine?

Run by the anti-malware firm, Avast, SecureLine is a reliable, no-frills virtual private network service with clear policies and a useful selection of endpoint locations. It uses the same backend network as AVG Secure VPN, which is also owned and run by Avast, but the two services provide different features and pricing schemes.

Related: Best VPN

Avast SecureLine – Features and usability

SecureLine’s stand-alone client is gratifyingly simple to use, if not particularly slick. You choose your endpoint country and city from a pull-down menu, connect, and you’re all set. There aren’t many additional options, but a setting that automatically prompts you to connect your VPN for security if your computer joins an unsecured Wi-Fi network is a useful security measure. The service is also available as an optional upgrade to Avast Antivirus, with the same features but an integrated interface.

Avast SecureLine – Performance

SecureLine did well in our European speed tests in particular, with speeds of over 9.35MB/s (75Mbit/s) in our file transfer tests to the Netherlands. Its US performance was above average at 2.8MB/s, and our latest tests showed UK transfer speeds of 7MB/s – a marked improvement on last year’s performance.

We were also able to use the service to stream US Netflix content – something else that we couldn’t do in our previous round of testing. However, BBC iPlayer still detected that we were using a VPN.

Related: What is a VPN?

Why buy Avast SecureLine?

Avast is headquartered in the Czech Republic and has a no-logging policy across its VPN service. The company explicitly states that, although general network performance is monitored, it “does not log bandwidth, URLs, or packet data and we do not gather any personally identifiable information”.

SecureLine provides VPN endpoints in a reasonable number countries – 34 so far – including some unusual ones: Russia, Taiwan and Brazil, as well as the more common endpoints in places such as the USA and the Netherlands.

However, it’s expensive, with an annual subscription for a single device working out at £3.74 a month. A free seven-day trial is available, though, so you can see if SecureLine meets your needs before you pay for it.

Unlike most VPN services, you’ll have to buy a separate copy for each device you’d like to use it on, rather than having a single cross-platform subscription. When you buy the Windows or macOS version, you’re offered a discount on the Android and iOS apps, but it’s still not good value for money.

AVG Secure VPN is also owned by Avast, and uses the same backend infrastructure, but currently costs less for UK users, although it has a smaller range of endpoints.

Verdict

Although Avast SecureLine’s performance is adequate for most VPN users, its restricted single-device licence and relatively high cost make it a poor choice when more capable rivals such as Private Internet Access cost less.

Score