Avast VPN Review (Oct. 2020) – Is Avast VPN Good?

Last updated: October 8, 2020

Avast VPN review summary: Avast VPN seems to promise a lot but ultimately fails to deliver as a VPN service. You get reasonable speeds with Avast (we recorded an average 41.7 Mbps on a 65 Mbps internet connection), eight P2P servers in six different countries, and access to three Netflix regional libraries – including Netflix USA, Netflix UK, and Netflix Australia. But beyond that, the service offers very little. It has got only 57 servers, limited device options, no connectivity for high censorship countries, and poor customer support. As an alternative, you can try NordVPN, which is a much better paid VPN than Avast VPN. It costs only $3.71 per month, provides 5000+ servers, evades restrictive firewalls with ease, and comes with a genuine 30-day money back guarantee.

Avast VPN is a relatively new entrant in the VPN market, hailing from the famous Czech labs of Avast, a company globally known for its next-gen cybersecurity solutions. Naturally, the rich technological heritage raises expectations for Avast SecureLine VPN to do well. 

So how does the service hold up to the massive reputation of its creators? Is Avast VPN worth it? We take a look in this unbiased Avast VPN review

Avast SecureLine VPN is a Czech-based VPN service

We spent two full weeks with Avast VPN, testing the service thoroughly.

Our team took the VPN apart and inspected every feature to make sure nothing was left uncovered in the review. Still if you find anything missing, feel free to drop your questions in the comments section below, and we would try our best to answer them. 

So without any further ado, let’s get the ball rolling…

In a hurry? Read the main highlights of our Avast VPN review

  • Can Avast hide my IP? Avast is a reliable and secure VPN for masking your IP. It uses robust tunnelling protocols to spoof your location and hide your online activity. With Avast, you can surf the web safely.  
  • Does Avast VPN allow torrenting? Avast SecureLine VPN supports torrenting eight servers. These servers are located in the Netherlands, Frankfurt, France, Czech Republic, London, Seattle, New York, and Miami.  
  • Can you watch Netflix on Avast VPN? Yes, you can stream Netflix US on Avast VPN. However, the connection options are limited. 
  • Does Avast VPN work in China? Avast VPN lacks obfuscation tools and therefore doesn’t work in China or other high-censorship countries. If you’re interested in a VPN for China, we’d recommend checking out Surfshark or ExpressVPN.
  • Is Avast VPN good? Avast VPN is not bad but there are better options available. It’s good for beginners, though. You can use it for day-to-day browsing or watching your favourite Netflix shows. Other than that, it’s a big no from us.

Avast VPN jurisdiction

  • Based in: Czech Republic
  • Pros: VPNs are legal in the country; Czech Republic is not involved in online surveillance activities
  • Cons: Czech Republic has friendly relations with Five Eyes Alliance members

Avast VPN is based in the Czech Republic. This is both a good thing and a bad thing—well, mostly good. 

It’s good because VPNs are legal in the Czech Republic, making the operations easier for the company to maintain. Furthermore, the Czech Republic’s government is not known for carrying out any surveillance activities online, removing privacy concerns. However, and this is where things get a little interesting, it does have friendly relations with Five Eyes Alliance members.

As you know, Five Eyes Alliance countries regularly exchange intel with each other. So for the Czech Republic to have a good relationship with them creates an uneasy in our mind whether the country could actually be tracking the online traffic passing through its lands. But that’s just a doubt for now, and we don’t have any evidence to make a case for it. 

Avast VPN servers and server locations

  • Server locations: Thirty-six locations spread across Europe, North America, South America Africa, Asia, and Middle East 
  • Server count: 57

Avast VPN has a Europe-heavy server profile, operating live servers in more than 22 countries across the continent. In North America, the company provides coverage in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. It even has presence in Africa, which is quite rare for a VPN service. 

In Asia, you can connect to Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Japan. That’s more than a decent portfolio of locations. Scratch the surface, though, and there is very little to be impressed about.

Avast VPN maintains servers in Asia

Avast VPN Asia servers

In most Asian countries, Avast VPN only maintains a single server location. For example, if we talk about Australia, the service offers just one server located in Melbourne. 

Why is this thing a downer? It is disappointing because you are likely to face high traffic footfall on the limited servers available. Everyone would be hopping on the same servers, creating a shortage of resources and slowing down the connections.

In contrast, the US alone has sixteen servers.

Avast VPN US servers

Avast VPN US servers

We can only hope that Avast VPN will add to its global server count, especially in Asia, as it establishes itself in the coming years.      

Is Avast SecureLine VPN safe?

  • Tunnelling protocols used: OpenVPN (for Windows and Android) and IKEv2 (for Mac and iOS)
  • Encryption: AES-256 bit ciphers
  • Other features: IP, DNS and WebRTC protection; automatic kill switch; free of ads and malware

Avast VPN offers top-notch security. It uses OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols to keep your internet traffic safe from man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. Moreover, it implements AES-256 ciphers to encrypt your data, provides IP, DNS and WebRTC leak protection, and has an automatic kill switch to prevent privacy spills in case of sudden disconnections. 

Let’s look at each of these features in more detail. 

Tunnelling protocols and encryption keys

Tunnelling protocols are the pillars on which the VPN technology sustains. They are combinations of transmission protocols and encryption standards that ensure a secure data exchange between your device and a VPN server. 

Different tunnelling protocols offer different levels of security and connection stability. OpenVPN is currently one of the most robust tunneling protocols available in the market. Both Android and Windows clients of Avast SecureLine VPN use OpenVPN to protect your web traffic from spoofers and hackers. 

Likewise, Avast VPN Mac and iOS apps use IKEv2 tunnelling protocol. This is another high-grade tunnelling protocol, perfect for short distance connections. 

Of course, risks of a breach can never be completely eliminated even with tunnelling protocols in place. Therefore, VPNs must use encryption for additional security.

Avast VPN relies on AES-256 ciphers for encrypting your online communications. These are top-level ciphers used by top military and government agencies around the world.

IP, DNS and WebRTC protection

Besides securing and encrypting your internet connection, a VPN must also be able to hide your IP address so no one can know your true location. 

An IP address leak can occur through:

  • the VPN tunnel formed between your device and a VPN server
  • DNS requests
  • WebRTC browser APIs   

Avast SecureLine VPN provides protection against all potential IP leak sources. We tested the service on three different online IP leak detection tools and did not find any IP, DNS or WebRTC spills.

  1. ipleak.net (no leaks found)  
  2. browserleaks.com/webrtc (no leaks found)
  3. dnsleak.com (no leaks found)

Avast VPN provides IP, DNS and WebRTC leak protection

Avast VPN provides IP, DNS and WebRTC leak protection

Automatic kill switch

VPNs can sometimes disconnect all of a sudden. That’s when you need a safety valve, which can instantly turn off your internet connection to prevent your real IP from getting exposed. Avast VPN has an automatic kill switch for this purpose. You can turn it on by going to the app settings.

Avast VPN offers automatic kill switch

Avast VPN offers automatic kill switch

Does Avast SecureLine VPN contain malware?

Some VPN providers may allow ads on their platform to generate additional revenue for their business. These ads may carry malware and viruses, putting your online security at risk. 

Although Avast VPN does not support ads, we still wanted to make sure that it was free of any malicious software or scripts. We scanned the VPN’s installation file and found it all clean.

Avast VPN is free of malware

Avast VPN is free of malware

Does Avast VPN keep logs?

  • Avast VPN does not log: Online activities 
  • Avast VPN logs: Connection timestamps, bandwidth usage, and partial IP address; deleted after 30 days

Avast SecureLine VPN maintains a transparent privacy policy and does not keep any record of your online activities. It does, however, log your connection timestamps, the amount of bandwidth you use, and the subnet of your originating IP address (without the last octet)

Is the latter part anything to worry about?

While we would have preferred Avast to run 100% log-free VPN operations, we don’t think there is anything to be concerned about. Your online history remains untraceable with the data it collects. Plus, the company deletes all the records after 30 days, anyway.

Devices Avast SecureLine VPN supports

  • Compatible devices: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Android TV; offers Chrome browser extension too 
  • Simultaneous connections: 5

We like VPNs with extensive device support. This provides the flexibility to use a service on multiple platforms. Unfortunately, Avast VPN lacks a bit in this department and offers clients only for Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and Android TV. There is no support for streaming devices, consoles, or routers. However, you can install an extension for your Chrome browser.  

On the brighter side, you can connect up to five devices simultaneously on a single Avast SecureLine VPN account. That’s a handy feature to have if you live with your friends or family and want to share your account with them. 

How to set-up Avast VPN on your smartphone if you already have it on your computer or laptop?

To set-up Avast VPN on your smartphone using an existing subscription:

i) Download Avast VPN app from Play or Apple Store, depending on whether you have an Android or iOS device. You can also get the download link by clicking on the mobile icon present on the Windows/Mac app dashboard.

Step 1 for setting up Avast VPN on your smartphone

ii) After completing the download, open the app and tap “Already Purchased?” option, available on the top right-hand corner of your mobile screen.

Step 2 for setting up Avast VPN on your smartphone

iii) Select “ENTER ACTIVATION CODE” from the list.

Step 3 for setting up Avast VPN on your smartphone

iv) Open your Avast VPN Windows/Mac app and go to “My Licenses”.

Step 4 for setting up Avast VPN on your smartphone

v) Find your activated subscription under “Subscriptions on this PC”. Click on it and note down the activation code.

Step 5 for setting up Avast VPN on your smartphone

vi) Enter the activation code in the mobile app and enjoy in-parallel Avast VPN access on your smartphone.

Step 6 for setting up Avast VPN on your smartphone

Does Avast VPN work with Netflix USA?

There are three Avast VPN Netflix servers you can choose from: i) New York, ii) Miami, and Gotham City (a virtual server).

Avast VPN unblocks: Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer (not ideal) 

Best Avast VPN Netflix server(s): New York and Miami

Best Avast VPN Hulu server(s): New York

Best Avast VPN HBO Now server(s): New York

Avast VPN unblocks Netflix USA from Australia. This came as a surprise to us given how aggressive Netflix has been with its crackdown on VPNs lately. 

There are three Netflix servers you can choose from: i) New York, ii) Miami, and iii) Gotham City (a virtual server). We tested all the three servers and found New York and Miami to be quite reliable. The virtual server did not impress us at all, failing to connect to Netflix consistently.

Avast VPN unblocks Netflix USA

Avast VPN unblocks Netflix USA with ease

Watching Netflix on Avast VPN

Watching Netflix on Avast VPN

Other streaming services you can access using Avast VPN include Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer. Hulu and HBO Now work best with New York server, while BBC iPlayer runs just about fine on Wonderland server. If you are exclusively interested in a BBC iPlayer VPN, we suggest checking out these providers.

Avast SecureLine VPN speed performance

  • Pros: Provides good upload and download speeds on US servers when connected from Australia  
  • Cons: High ping, making the VPN unsuitable to play competitive games online

A VPN is almost always likely to slow you down. That’s because when you connect to a VPN, your web traffic has to go through additional servers and networks to reach its destination. So when you are evaluating a VPN for speed, your focus should be on the extent of the speed drop. A good VPN will slow down your connection but will still provide you with enough juice to surf the web and run a stream without any problems.

We tested Avast VPN on Ookla’s speed test tool to find out how it fares on the speed front. Our test server was based in the US. We observed a 39% decrease in the upload speed, while the download speed dropped by nearly 33%. These are not great scores but are not bad either. The complete results of Avast speed test are summarized in the table below:

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping17 (ms)
Control Upload24.6 (Mbps)
Control Download62.3 (Mbps)
US Server Ping316 (ms)
US Server Upload15 (Mbps)
US Server Download41.7 (Mbps)

The high ping does not bode well for online gaming. So if you are a hardcore gamer who likes to go against international players, we are afraid you won’t like your experience with Avast SecureLine VPN.

Avast VPN torrenting support

  • Torrenting support: Available
  • Total number of Avast SecureLine VPN P2P servers: 8

Avast SecureLine VPN helpfully marks out P2P servers, making torrenting extremely easy for users. You don’t need to test the servers individually to identify the ones that offer support for torrents.

Avast VPN offers torrent support

Avast VPN P2P servers

There are a total of eight servers that you can connect to for downloading torrent files. These include:

  • Netherlands
  • Frankfurt
  • France
  • Czech Republic
  • London
  • New York
  • Seattle
  • Miami

All servers are IP leak-proof and well optimized for performance.

Can Avast SecureLine VPN help bypass censorship?

  • Censorship bypass support: Not available
  • Missing component: Obfuscation technology

Unfortunately, Avast VPN cannot bypass censorship, mainly due to its use of OpenVPN protocol. Most countries with repressive internet policies like China, UAE, and Iran use advanced firewalls that can detect OpenVPN easily and track your true location. 

The company may add obfuscation tools in the future to hide its use of OpenVPN tunnelling protocol, but right now, it lacks such tools.  

How much does Avast VPN cost?

  • Single device support tier plans: 1-year subscription for USD 3.99, 2-year subscription for USD 2.99, and 3-year subscription for USD 2.99
  • Multi-device support tier plans: 1-year subscription for USD 4.99, 2-year subscription for USD 3.99, and 3-year subscription for USD 3.99
  • Available payment options: Debit/credit card or PayPal
  • Refund policy: 30 days

Let’s talk about Avast SecureLine VPN pricing plans. 

Avast VPN offers three paid pricing plans to users: a) 1-year plan, b) 2-year plan, and c) 3-year plan. The 1-year plan costs USD 3.99 per month, while the 2-year and 3-year plans cost USD 2.99 per month. We must mention here that these prices are for the single-device-support tier.

Avast VPN offers three pricing plans to users

What is Avast SecureLine VPN multi-device tier plan?

Avast VPN offers pricing plans in two tiers: i) single-device-support tier, and ii) multi-device-support tier. With a single-device-support tier plan, you can only connect one device to your Avast VPN account. However, with a multi-device-support tier plan, you can connect up to 5 devices on your single Avast VPN account simultaneously.  The prices for multi-device-support tier plans are as follows:

  • 1-year plan costs USD 4.99 per month
  • 2-year plan costs USD 3.99 per month
  • 3-year plan costs USD 3.99 per month

Avast VPN payment options

You can pay for your Avast VPN subscription through a VISA, MasterCard, Discover or Amex credit/debit card, or via PayPal. We would prefer it if the company could add more payment options like cash, AliPay, and Bitcoin to its portfolio. 

As far as the refund policy goes, you can claim for the refund within 30 days if you are not satisfied with Avast’s service.

How to get Avast VPN for free

  • Freemium plan details: 7-day limit, no restrictions, no credit card required
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS

Besides offering paid plans, Avast VPN also offers a free trial with no credit card. This is a fully functional trial that allows you to test the service risk-free for seven days

To avail Avast VPN free trial, simply download the app on your preferred device. Once you have downloaded the app, click on “START FREE 7-DAY TRIAL” button from the app dashboard and enjoy unrestricted access to Avast VPN for next one week.

Thoughts on Avast VPN app interface

  • Strong points: Clean and simple interface, designed for non-tech savvy users 
  • Weak points: Nothing of note

How do I turn on Avast VPN?

As mentioned, the Avast VPN app has a toggle switch at the centre that allows you to turn the VPN on and off. By default, the toggle is set in the “OFF” position. When you click on it, it turns “ON”. Make sure to select your desired location from the Change location tab before switching the VPN on.

Avast VPN app design is clean and simple

Below the toggle button, you have a convenient “CHANGE LOCATION” tab that opens the list of servers available for connection. The down arrow at the side of the countries expands the server list on city-level.

Avast VPN easy to browse server list

To make things easier for you, Avast marks up servers optimized for P2P and streaming applications. These servers are further sorted into individual lists to allow for quick and convenient set-ups.

Avast VPN helpfully marks up P2P and streaming servers

The menu can be accessed by clicking the three horizontal lines at the top right hand corner of your computer screen. It is divided into three sections: a) Settings, b) My Licenses, and c) About. The settings menu lets you switch between different configurations, while the My Licenses menu allows you to activate or deactivate your subscriptions. Everything has been designed keeping non-tech savvy users in mind, a design-strategy worth appreciating.

Avast VPN Problems

Avast SecureLine VPN won’t turn on

Sometimes, Avast VPN won’t turn on. If you experience this problem, try the following:

  • Check if your internet connection is working properly
  • Select another location from the list
  • Review your Avast VPN adapter settings and check if the adapter is enabled 
  • Make sure your Avast subscription is active

Avast VPN keeps disconnecting

My team and I had some trouble using Avast VPN the first time. It kept getting disconnected. We thought the problem was from the service-end but later realized that we had kept the firewall on. If you do decide to buy Avast VPN and experience the same problem as us, disable your firewall temporarily to see if it solves the problem. If it doesn’t, try connecting on another network. This should hopefully fix it.

Avast SecureLine VPN customer support

  • Available support options: Knowledgebase, FAQs section, call, and email 
  • Downer: No live chat support

Avast VPN provides four support options to users to find answers to general queries or troubleshoot problems. 

First, you have the company-maintained knowledgebase. It offers step-by-step guides and detailed posts on different topics. Next, you have the FAQ page, with dedicated sections for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS users. This option is for those who want quick solutions to their problem. The third way to contact customer support is by submitting an online form through the mobile app. This method of communication works via email. Typically, the Avast team takes 4-5 hours to get back to you. Finally, you can call the company and have your questions promptly answered. There is no live chat support, which is a big downer and something we found quite frustrating. 

Should you buy Avast VPN?

On the surface, there are many things to like about Avast SecureLine VPN. For example, its top-notch security, reasonable speed performance, and decent torrent support. However, dig deeper, and you’ll find that the service has many flaws. For one, Avast VPN lacks coverage depth. Secondly, it offers clients for limited devices only. Third, it fails to bypass censorship. Fourth, even though it unblocks Netflix and other streaming services from Australia, the available servers are too few for our liking. And last but not least, its customer support is not that great. These drawbacks can’t be ignored.

So, if you ask us whether you should pay actual money to get the Avast VPN, our answer would be no. There are much better paid VPNs out there that you can explore. However, if you’re looking for a free VPN for your short term internet privacy needs, then Avast VPN free version with 7-day limit can definitely be a good option.

We hope you found this Avast VPN review helpful. If you would like to read any other VPN provider review, feel free to drop your suggestions in the comments section below. 

See you later and happy private browsing!

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