Avast SecureLine Review

Verdict

Avast SecureLine’s performance is adequate for most VPN users, but its relatively high cost, logging, lack of a kill switch and unremarkable performance make it a poor choice when more capable rivals, such as Private Internet Access – if streaming isn’t a priority but price is – ExpressVPN and NordVPN, have a much wider range of features.

Pros

  • Simple client
  • Seven-day free trial
  • Streams US Netflix

Cons

  • Limited device support and security features
  • Keeps connection logs
  • No kill switch

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £49.99 / £64.99
  • 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

What is Avast SecureLine?

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 useful selection of endpoint locations. It uses the same backend network as AVG Secure VPN, which is also owned and run by Avast.

Avast Secureline

One VPN for all your devices

Sign up for a two or three year subscription with Avast Secureline and save a whopping 20% off your total bill. Equivalent to just £3.99 a month you can surf the internet safely, on up to five of your personal devices.

Related: Best VPN

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.

What’s much less helpful is the lack of a kill switch to automatically suspend internet traffic if your VPN connection fails unexpectedly, and this could be a deal breaker for users with genuine concerns over their traffic being exposed.

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 Free AV 2018

Avast SecureLine – Performance

Endpoints/VPN UK Netherlands United States
Avast SecureLine HTTP 83.36Mbps 100.64Mbps 33.84Mbps
Avast SecureLine FTP 121.13Mbps 113.87Mbps 40.07Mbps

SecureLine put in a universally below-average performance in our speed tests, with HTTP transfer speeds of 83.36Mbps (10.42MB/s) from UK endpoints and 100.64Mbps from a server in the Netherlands. FTP transfer speeds were generally faster at 15.1MB/s in the UK and 14.2MB/s in the Netherlands.

US speeds this month were, in line with previous months, a usable but slow 33.84Mbps via HTTP, and better-than-usual FTP downloads at 5MB/s. Avast’s performance overall has seen a boost from our new test server’s ultra-high-speed internet connection and is certainly acceptable for day-to-day use, but bear in mind that you can generally expect to see slower speeds on a slower net connection.

Avast had trouble streaming BBC iPlayer this month, but we were 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.

Related: What is a VPN?

Should I 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.” Those seeking iron-clad privacy should look for a true no-logging VPN provider.

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.

The company recently added some new subscription tiers to buy on its website. If you just need to connect one Windows or MacOS computer at 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 NordVPN cost less than half as much for a long-term subscription. A free seven-day trial is available without registration, however, so you can see if SecureLine meets your needs before you pay for it.

Related: Best free VPN

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

Verdict

Avast SecureLine’s performance is adequate for most VPN users, but its relatively high cost, logging, lack of a kill switch and unremarkable performance make it a poor choice when more capable rivals, such as Private Internet Access – if streaming isn’t a priority but price is – ExpressVPN and NordVPN, have a much wider range of features.

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