Avast VPN Review [2019 Update]
Avast is no stranger in the computing industry. The company is well known for its anti-virus software but is a relatively new player in the VPN business. In this Avast VPN review, we’ll take a deeper look into whether Avast VPN is as good as advertised.
Avast offers its VPN service under the brand Avast Secureline. It was launched in 2014 and based in the Czech Republic.
Unlike most top VPNs, Avast depends on only 55 servers in 34 countries to tunnel connections from subscribers to the Internet. The US boasts the highest number of servers (16), and other countries have an average of 1-2 servers.
Users can download and install Avast VPN on a number of popular operating platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can connect up to 5 devices to a single Avast VPN account when you subscribed to its premium plan.
Table of Contents
Avast Secureline VPN Pros
In its venture into the VPN market, Avast seems to be scoring points with the various features of Avast Secureline. Here’s what we've found impressive with Avast VPN.
1. Bank-Grade Security
When Avast VPN claims that it’s offering bank-grade security, it means you’re protected by AES-256 encryption. Without going into details, the AES-256 is super-secure encryption that is technically unbreakable even with a supercomputer.
AES-256 is the same encryption used by military and government agencies to protect their data from being deciphered by malicious parties. When you connect to an Avast VPN server, you’ll enjoy the same protection.
Besides employing the strongest encryption, Avast VPN tunnels data via the OpenVPN and IPSec protocol. The OpenVPN protocol works on Windows and Android platforms. It uses the OpenSSL library to provide the necessary encryption without sacrificing speed.
Avast VPN users on Mac and iOS devices will be relying on the IPSec protocol, which is developed for maximal efficiency on Apple’s devices.
Any hackers prying on your device will have an impossible task of breaking through the security of Avast VPN.
2. Impressive Connection Speed
Using a VPN means channeling data from your device to an additional server before connecting to the Internet. But the additional encryption and decryption don't mean you have to suffer a significant speed reduction when using a VPN.
Avast VPN boasts commendable connection speed despite its limited number of servers. You’ll barely notice any reduction in speed when you’re browsing or streaming movies over Avast VPN.
Here’s a quick comparison of internet connection speed before and after connecting to Avast VPN.
This screenshot shows internet connection speed before connecting to the Avast VPN.
Here’s how Avast VPN performs when connected to the US server.
It’s safe to say that Avast VPN holds its own against other top VPNs where connection speed is concerned.
3. No DNS Leaks
DNS leaks is a notorious issue faced by some VPNs. It’s a technical flaw that exposes the IP address of a device even when connected to the VPN.
In other words, your location and identity are unknowingly exposed, and you’re a vulnerable target despite using a VPN.
Thankfully, Avast VPN doesn’t suffer from DNS leak issues.
To check out if you have a DNS leak issues, use IPLeak.net to observe the IP address before and after connecting to an Avast VPN server.
You should have a different IP address shown after connecting to a VPN server in a different country.
4. Kill Switch
There are many variables that can influence the stability of a VPN connection. In some instances, connection to the VPN may be disrupted abruptly and reveal your IP address and browsing activities.
A kill switch is a handy feature built in the VPN client software that terminates internet connection in such a scenario to protect your privacy.
Avast VPN did not have a kill switch feature for years until it was introduced in its software recently. It’s a missing piece of the puzzle that makes Avast VPN a foolproof VPN in terms of privacy.
5. P2P Torrenting Support
Torrent users understand the inconvenience of having connection speeds throttled by ISPs when they are sharing files amongst the community.
With Avast VPN, you’ll have no such issues as it provides full support for P2P applications. It goes to the extent of highlighting servers that are P2P friendly on its VPN software.
The same technology that ensures unhindered torrenting also enables you to bypass geo-restriction. This means that you’ll have access to contents in almost any country when connected to Avast VPN.
6. User-Friendly VPN App
The VPN technology intends to achieve a simple goal, which is to provide total protection when you’re connected to the Internet. While the underlying technology is complicated, the VPN client application shouldn’t be so.
Again, Avast has banked on its experience of creating user-friendly applications with the Secureline VPN. Installation is a hassle-free process which is usually completed within a couple of minutes.
The Avast VPN app is designed to enable non-technical individuals to connect to the VPN easily. The interface features navigational tabs arranged in an intuitive manner. In other words, you don’t need a lengthy manual to start using Avast VPN.
7. Smart TV Support
Is there a chance of hackers accessing your smart TV? The short answer is yes. While you have nothing to lose over a hacked TV, the experience of having a smart TV controlled by an unidentified party is unsettling.
With such concerns in mind, Avast VPN has introduced protection for smart TVs when you install the Secureline VPN in Android smart TV, Nvidia Shield TV, or Mi Box. Avast VPN basically puts an end to getting blocked on your smart TV.
AvastVPN doesn’t place any bandwidth limitation on smart TVs, which means a pleasant streaming experience on the big screen.
8. Strict No-Logging Policy
When you subscribed to a VPN, you’re hoping that your privacy is protected during and after an active session. While the technology takes care of your privacy while you’re online, you’ll have to bank on the logging policy of the VPN provider when you’re offline.
According to Avast VPN, you can expect that none of your browsing behavior is tracked or collected when you’re using the VPN. AvastVPN may store background logs like session duration, connection time, and bandwidth usage, which doesn’t reveal your identity or internet activities.
9. Phone Call Customer Support
While the developers have done a great job with the Avast VPN app, there are occasions where you’ll need assistance on technical or billing matters. A VPN is as good as the customer support that you get in the time of need.
Instead of offering Live Chat, you’ll have the choice of submitting support tickets or browsing the extensive product knowledge base.
Alternatively, you can call up Avast customer support team directly. In the VPN industry, phone call support is rather unheard of.
If you bump into any issues with Avast VPN, here’s the number that you should call. You’ll be greeted by an automated message which will eventually direct you to friendly personnel. The support line is available 24/7.
10. Free Trial And Money Back Guarantee
At a glance, Avast VPN’s pricing for its premium plan can be confusing. You’ll need to pay $59.99 yearly for a single Windows or Mac account. And Android or iOS account will cost $19.99 per year.
Note that all the above plans support only a single device. You’ll have to fork out $79.99 per year for a plan that allows up to 5 concurrent connections.
Avast offers a 30-day-money-back policy for Secureline app purchased through its online retail store. However, the refund policy is subjected to the usage of less than 10GB or 100 times of connection made.
For risk-free testing, you can download the trial version of Avast VPN, which allows you unlimited access to the service for 7 days.
The 7-day trial doesn’t require any registration, nor your credit card number. It’s a no-strings-attached installation that allows you to try out Avast VPN to your content.
Avast VPN Cons
As much as we’re impressed with Avast VPN, it isn’t a totally rosy picture. There are some areas of concern that you ought to know about.
1. Bad Jurisdiction
The fact that Avast VPN is based in the Czech Republic may cause concern for users who are panicky at the slightest risk of a privacy breach.
While the Czech Republic doesn’t belong to the Five-Eyes, a group of countries allied in intelligence sharing, it is considered friendly to the group. This means that the Czech Republic is motivated to share intelligence when required.
As for Avast VPN, we’re betting that it stays true to its no-logging policy. Without any incriminating data collected, your privacy wouldn’t be at risk.
Ideally, we’d prefer a VPN to be hosted at a country that is neutral when it comes to intelligence sharing.
2. No Netflix Support
If you’re hoping to get a VPN for Netflix, Avast Secureline may not be the right choice for you. Technically, masking your device’s IP address will enable you to get connected to Netflix, but the streaming giant has smartened up.
Of late, Netflix has been blocking numerous VPN providers, including Avast VPN. Even if you’re connected to Avast VPN US server, you may be greeted with an access restriction screen. Unfortunately, there is no workaround at the moment of writing.
If you’re a Netflix subscriber and hoping to catch up with your favorite TV shows when traveling abroad, check out these VPNs that work for Netflix instead.
3. Limited Server Locations
Avast VPN doesn’t have the largest amount of servers compared to other leading VPN providers. While there aren’t any immediate issues with this, a growing number of users may increase the traffic on these servers.
We’re hoping that Avast has plans to increase the server counts to mitigate any congestion problems in the future.
4. Does Not Support Routers
Installing a VPN on a router means that any devices connected to it are automatically protected from hackers and cyber attacks. It’s a convenient feature where you can plug in gaming consoles, digital devices, smart TVs, and other gadgets without the need of manually signing in.
Unfortunately, Avast VPN doesn’t support installation on routers. You’ll have to connect to VPN on the supported devices manually.
How Avast VPN looks like on different platforms
As mentioned, Avast VPN is intuitively designed with an easy-to-use interface on different devices. Here are how Avast VPN looks on popular platforms.
Is Avast VPN Good?
There are great numbers of VPNs that are vying for your attention. Is Avast VPN a good option? We believe that the fundamental requirement of a VPN is to provide anonymity and security for internet users.
In this review, it’s evident that Avast VPN, with its years of cybersecurity experience, has achieved that with the Secureline VPN.
Avast VPN offers bank-grade security without compromising on speed. Instead, Avast VPN is amongst the top VPNs in terms of connection speed. You’ll be having a pleasant experience browsing or streaming movies on Avast VPN.
In a digital age where privacy is a cause of concern, Avast VPN demonstrates that it is more than capable of protecting its users’ interest. Besides having a strict no-logging policy, Avast VPN is watertight where no DNS or IP leaks have ever been detected.
While there are some downsides to AvastVPN, it’s P2P-friendly features and phone call customer support tips the favor for us. We couldn’t recall any other VPNs where you could have 24/7 phone access to customer support.
With a 7 days trial option on top of the 30-days money-back guarantee policy, we found no reason not to recommend Avast VPN. Avast VPN is as good as it claims, if not more.