Avast VPN: The Best VPN for You?
When the popular antivirus company Avast announced they would be offering a VPN service, many customers were excited at the prospect of the top provider of digital security pushing into the privacy space.
Unfortunately, Avast Secureline VPN has yet to live up to the hype. The app (both on mobile and desktop) is relatively featureless, only offering a fraction of the security protocol and customization options that privacy enthusiasts demand from a reliable VPN.
So what are the alternatives to Avast Secureline? Are they any good? Read on in our guide to find out!
Is Avast VPN Good?
Is Avast VPN good? Well, sort of.
As far as app performance and connection reliability goes, it’s at the top of its class. With an average download speed of over 300 Mbps, it’s one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested to date.
Of the VPNs we’ve tested for streaming, Avast was one of the most reliable at getting through Netflix’s VPN block. In addition, speeds were fast enough that we could stream either in HD or 4K without any buffering. Speed is a huge issue with other VPN services that work with Netflix. If you’re looking for a stutter-free streaming experience, then Avast Secureline VPN is a solid option.
Add in the fact that you don’t need to use a credit card or create an account to purchase the service, and you’ve almost got a perfect VPN recipe.
Where Avast is Lacking
Unfortunately, for everything that Avast gets right, there are also critical areas where it comes up short.
The first, and most obvious, is that there are no customization options. You can’t set a preferred protocol, choose a default server to connect to, or even activate a kill switch.
Netflix working with Avast Secureline is great, but it’s the only streaming service the VPN unlocks content for. And they only unlock Netflix’s library for the United States. If you’re trying to watch a show that’s only available in the UK or Canada, you’re out of luck. Not to mention that users of Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, or Disney Plus won’t have any unblocking capabilities.
Finally, there’s the pricing. We broke down Avast Secureline VPN’s convoluted and confusing pricing scheme in our full review, but here’s a recap.
Prices vary depending on how many devices you want to cover, whether you buy the service on mobile or desktop, and there are only two payment options. The mobile app is the only place to purchase a monthly or bi-yearly subscription (desktop is annual only). However, the option to pay with PayPal is nice.
In sum, there’s a lot to love about Avast Secureline, but there are a lot of areas where the VPN needs to improve.
We’ve compiled a list of VPNs that offer many of the features, perks, and streaming services that Avast Secureline VPN is missing.
Best for Streaming – CyberGhost VPN
Many VPNs claim to unlock streaming content, but only a select few actually work. Even fewer work for more than one service in multiple countries.
CyberGhost VPN is one of the best in the business when it comes to accessing streaming services. CyberGhost makes it fast and easy to get connected to streaming portals like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, and HBOGo. It will even let you stream different Netflix libraries from countries including the UK, Canada, and the Netherlands.
Right now, Avast simply can’t keep up with premium providers like CyberGhost VPN in this aspect. However, speaking of “keeping up”, Avast completely smokes CyberGhost when it comes to overall speeds. So if you only want to stream American Netflix, you should probably just stick with Avast.
Best for Security Customization – IBVPN
Almost any VPN worth its salt will let you change the encryption protocol you connect through. But IBVPN goes the extra mile when it comes to encryption and overall strong security practice.
IBVPN has dozens of different encryption configurations to choose from. You can even choose the level at which standard encryption protocols protect your connection (128-bit AES up to 512-bit).
The service also uses what’s known as a “double VPN”. Essentially, if someone manages to detect your first IP address and wants to try to tie it back to your real identity, they’ll be greeted with yet another VPN node, making it virtually impossible for anyone to detect who you are or where you’re connecting from.
In addition, IBVPN also makes it super easy to get on the Tor network. If you really want to go the extra mile on security, there are connection options that automatically route your connection through Tor nodes. These keep you completely obscured on an Onion-only connection.
In comparison, Avast doesn’t even let you pick the security protocol you want to use. IBVPN’s plethora of security options make even the top tier providers like ExpressVPN shake a little in their boots.
Best for Extra Features – PureVPN
When it comes to packing in the most features for your dollar, no one does it quite like PureVPN. In our review of the service we found that not only does PureVPN offer the standard features you’d expect from a modern VPN (kill switch, DNS protection, IPv6 leak protection, etc), but the company also offers a slew of its own proprietary features to boot.
One of the best innovations is Split Tunneling, which lets you customize which apps on your computer route their traffic through your standard network and which connect through your VPN. Split tunneling is perfect for anyone who wants to keep the load on their VPN connection as minimal as possible.
You can also turn your desktop or laptop into a VPN-enabled hotspot, a feature that is unique to PureVPN.
When it comes to extra features, Avast still has a long way to go.
As we mentioned in the intro, there are a few things that Avast gets perfectly right. The connection reliability, speed, and US-based Netflix streaming are outstanding aspects.
This in mind, there are plenty of other VPNs who take what Avast does to another level. Secureline is fine for what it is, but if you really want a premium VPN, there are better options.
IBVPN is the way to go for security enthusiasts. PureVPN has got you covered back to front with extra features. CyberGhost is essentially a one-stop shop for all things streaming.
Considering everything we’ve discussed, it’s clear that Avast Secureline VPN must step up its game if it wants to compete with the biggest VPN providers.