Avast Secureline VPN Review

June 25, 2018

8:55 am

Rating

69%

Ease of use:5 stars
Features:3 stars
Privacy:4 stars
Speed:4 stars
Help & Support:3 stars
Value for Money:4 stars

Pros
  • Intuitive
  • Effective protection
  • Reasonably speedy
Cons
  • Confusing and restrictive plans
  • Lacks advanced security features
  • No killswitch

Easy to use and fast, but doesn't stand out

Avast Secureline is a VPN service from a well-known name in online security. It comes from the same stable as Avast’s Internet Security and Free Antivirus products. Overall, we’d consider Avast to be a good quality VPN, though it lacks some of the advanced features that help the better services stand out. If you’re a VPN first timer who isn’t fussed about technical extra features, then going for a trusted name brand like Avast might be a smart choice – it’s certainly simple to use.

While security is a focus for Avast, Secureline is also designed to enhance your privacy and internet freedom. It does so by creating a Virtual Private Network connection between your PC and a VPN server, which encrypts and carries your internet traffic to the wider Internet, protecting it from snooping and disguising your true location and identity.

What is Avast Secureline?

Avast Secureline promises a fast, effective and easy-to-use service that hides your online activities – and without Avast logging any activity, either. It supports Peer to Peer traffic for those that want to share files using torrent applications, and it uses bank-grade 256-bit AES encryption for privacy peace of mind.

You can use Secureline to secure your connection when you’re using public WiFi, so that you don’t have to worry that the network operator – or another user – is spying and collecting sensitive data. A VPN can also stop governments or nosey corporations from collecting information on what you do online, or to unblock websites or video streaming services that are normally blocked in certain countries. For instance, if you’re travelling or working in Europe, you can’t access your US Netflix library or NBC’s catch-up TV services without using a VPN.

Avast Secureline VPN Connect or DisconnectGetting Started with Avast VPN

It’s simple enough to sign-up for the service, but it can be confusing if you need to run Secureline on more than one device.

Most VPNs allow you to connect using any number of different devices running different operating systems, as long as only five are connected at one time. But, Secureline asks you to have different subscriptions for a PC, iOS or Android device. Alternatively, you can pay for a more expensive option that covers you for five devices of any type.

Once you do sign up, you won’t have any problems installing the applications, as the website guides you through the steps.

From there, a small introductory presentation takes you through the major features, though the app is so simple that there’s not that much to learn.

Avast Secureline: The Good

This is a great VPN to pick if you’re not particularly confident with all things technical, and just want an easy piece of software to run.

Simple Service

Secureline is very, very easy to use. You just select a location from the pop-out menu, then click Connect

There are clear and helpful notifications that let you know when you connect and disconnect.

No Privacy Leaks

Does Secureline protect your privacy? You betcha. Our IP and DNS leak tests didn’t pick out anything that could give away your identity or location.

Streaming Services Unlocked

We found Secureline had no problem unblocking catch-up TV services from NBC or Comedy Central, though Netflix US detected an unblocker and refused to play any shows or movies.

Need to watch Netflix over a VPN? Some services can connect to it successfully – read our roundup of the best VPNs for accessing Netflix.

Decent Speeds

Secureline isn’t as fast as promised, but speeds are perfectly acceptable for everyday use, both over long-distance and short-distance VPNs. If you’re planning to stream video from across the pond, Secureline won’t have any problem giving you the necessary bandwidth.

Avast Secureline VPN Server LocationsAvast Secureline: The Not-So-Good

Secureline is a good VPN service, but arguably a little basic.

No Killswitch Option

Secureline doesn’t have the advanced security and privacy protections of some other VPNs, and crucially, there’s no killswitch option to drop all connections should the VPN unexpectedly fail.

A killswitch has become a standard feature in other VPNs – and rightly so. If you are doing anything where anonymity is a real concern, the consequences of such a failure could be serious.

Price Points

Secureline’s pricing is another downside – there’s a fee if you want to connect more than one device at a time, and there’s no free option available.

Avast Secureline Prices

The PC only and Mac only Secureline plans are very limited – and ask you to pay extra if you want to cover more than one PC or Mac, which makes the $59.99 per year asking price seem pretty steep. The $79.99 five-device plan is better value, but still more expensive than some more flexible VPNs.

Unlike other VPNs, there’s no option to pay monthly. It’s a year upfront or nothing, nada, zilch.

The Verdict

Ease-of-use is Secureline’s biggest plus point, but otherwise it’s an unexceptional VPN. Some of the plans seem oddly restrictive, while the limited set of features doesn’t do much to impress. It’s reasonably fast and solid on security and privacy, but other VPNS do the same – and more – for less.

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Stuart Andrews has been writing about IT and consumer technology for over twenty years, working across many of the UK's biggest specialist titles. While specializing in PCs and related technology, software and cloud-based services, he also writes about IT in education, video games and internet security

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