Avast SecureLine’s performance is adequate for most VPN users, but its relatively high cost and and unremarkable performance make it a poor choice when more capable rivals, which have a much wider range of features.
- Simple client
- Seven-day free trial
- Streams US Netflix
- Limited device support and security features
- Keeps connection logs
- Review Price: £49.99
- Seven-day free trial
- Clients for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS
- Windows client supports OpenVPN
- One Windows/macOS computer: £49.99 per year, £89.99 per two years, £129.99 per three years
- Five devices: £64.99 per year, £119.99 per two years, £179.99 per three years
Produced by anti-malware firm Avast, SecureLine is a reliable, no-frills virtual private network (VPN) service with clear logging policies.
It keeps connection logs but doesn’t track user activity while connected – and a limited but useful selection of endpoint locations. It uses the same backend network as AVG Secure VPN, which is also owned and run by Avast.
Although Avast has recently been in the news over the sale of anonymised user data for marketing purposes via its Jumpshot subsidiary, the company has confirmed that none of its VPN brands have ever logged user data for this purpose.
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Avast SecureLine – Features and usability
SecureLine’s standalone client is simple to use, if not particularly slick. You choose your endpoint country and city from a pulldown 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.
Recent versions of the Avast client add a long-needed kill switch to automatically suspend internet traffic if your VPN connection fails unexpectedly. This can be found in Avast’s network security settings alongside auto-connect and private network exclusion options.
Clients are available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, but no connection instructions are provided for other operating systems or embedded systems such as NAS devices and routers.
SecureLine is also available as an optional upgrade to Avast Antivirus, with the same features and an integrated interface.
Avast SecureLine – Performance
|Avast SecureLine HTTP||78.80Mbps||87.92Mbps||29.84Mbps|
|Avast SecureLine FTP||78.73Mbps||95.37Mbps||36.18Mbps|
Average HTTP download speeds for the January 2020 VPN group test, measured from a test system in the UK with a high-speed fibre connection, were 81.41Mbps from UK endpoints, 89.42Mbps for the Netherlands and 43.02Mbps from the US.
SecureLine put in a universally below-average performance in the usual speed tests, but generally not by too much, unless you’re hoping to connect to the US, although all these speeds are acceptable for day-to-day use. Bear in mind, though, we test on a high-speed fibre line; you can generally expect to see slower speeds on a slower net connection.
Avast had trouble streaming BBC iPlayer and All 4 this month, but I was still able to watch Netflix and Shudder in the US without any trouble. As usual, it was foiled by All 4’s VPN detection systems.
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Should you buy Avast SecureLine?
Avast is headquartered in the Czech Republic and has a clear logging policy across its VPN service, which explicitly states that, although network performance and connection logs are retained, it does not log activity “such as the websites you visit, what data is transferred, and which IP addresses are accessed.” That’s not bad, but it’s not quite a full no-logging policy.
SecureLine provides VPN endpoints in a reasonable number of countries – 34 so far – from unusual locations, such as Russia, Taiwan and Brazil, to more common ones including the US and the Netherlands.
If you just need to connect one Windows or macOS computer at a time, that’ll cost you £49.99 per year, £89.99 per two years or £129.99 per three years. Probably better value for most people is a five-device subscription at £64.99 per year, £119.99 per two years or £179.99 per three years.
No monthly subscriptions are available for Avast but a basic one-device, three-year subscription works out at £3.61 a month, which is good but not amazing compared to low-cost rivals. The extra cost of a five-licence account pushes it up to the equivalent of £5 a month for the same three-year period.
Far more capable rivals such as Windscribe, Webroot WiFi Security and Private Internet Access cost significantly less at all subscription tiers. A free seven-day trial is available without registration, however, so you can see if SecureLine meets your needs before you pay for it. This is also handy if you need to get a new computer connected to the internet with a bit of extra security and have no time to faff around with subscriptions.
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AVG Secure VPN is also owned by Avast, uses the same backend infrastructure and costs the same for UK users.
Avast SecureLine’s performance is adequate for most VPN users, but its relatively high cost and and unremarkable performance make it a poor choice when more capable rivals, such as Private Internet Access – if price is a priority rather than streaming – ExpressVPN and NordVPN have a much wider range of features. Private Internet Access and Windscribe cost less. We’re delighted to see that Avast has added a kill switch, though, and its registration-free seven-day trial is a useful addition.
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