AvastSecureline VPN Review: In addition to offering basic VPN protection, good speeds, and a wide array of server locations, AvastSecureLine VPN has the reputation of being backed by a leading antivirus company. However, it lacks additional privacy tools and is pricey. It also collects a surprising amount of information about its customers. Although Avast has the core of a good VPN service, it needs a course correction.
What Is a VPN?
When you connect to a VPN, it creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN’s server. No one on the same network as you can see what you’re doing, and neither can your ISP, which is good since they are eager to sell your anonymized data. Out on the web, spies and advertisers have a more difficult time tracking your movements as your true IP address is hidden behind the VPN server.
Still, using a VPN won’t protect you from all dangers. Ads, malware, and other network attacks can still harm your computer and steal your personal information. The best way to protect your computer is by using antivirus software, enabling two-factor authentication to prevent account takeovers, and using unique and complex passwords on every site and service you use with the help of a password manager.
Pricing and Features
I was dismayed to discover that SecureLine does not offer a multi-device pricing tier when I first reviewed it. It is a good thing that Avast has since changed and rolled out a pricing scheme that is far better for consumers. With $59.88 a year, you can secure up to five devices on any platform. Five devices are the industry standard for VPNs. A two-year subscription costs $95.76, and a three-year subscription costs $143.64.
VPN subscriptions cost an average of $73 per year. That makes SecureLine a good value when comparing annual plans, undercutting much of the industry on price alone. Many VPNs cost significantly more. For example, Hotspot Shield costs $95.88 per year. Avast’s plans start at one year, while much of the industry also offers monthly billing options. Most VPN services charge a monthly subscription, on average $10.10 a month. It’s much easier to budget for that from month to month, even if it’s more expensive over the long term. In those terms, Avast’s hefty upfront cost is hard to swallow.
Subscriptions always save consumers money, but I advise against long-term subscriptions at first. Until you try it out, you can’t tell whether a VPN will work on all the sites you need, or if it will provide adequate speeds. It’s best to start with a short-term subscription to test out your VPN before committing for the long run. Avast does offer a seven-day free trial without requiring a credit card, which is helpful, but I wonder if a week will be enough time to determine a service’s quality.
Despite the fact that Avast does not offer monthly plans, it does offer single-device plans at a discount. One device on any platform can be protected for $47.88 per year, $71.76 every two years, or $107.64 every three years.
Avast used to charge separate fees for platform-specific versions of its service. These are no longer available, which is good for consumers. Even though it was nice to save a few dollars here and there, the previous arrangement was too confusing to be practical.
Avast’s offering is serviceable, but other companies are able to offer more at a lower price. Mullvad VPN, for example, is only €5 per month ($5.61 USD at the time of writing). While other companies charge more, they offer more features. McAfee owns TunnelBear VPN, which costs $9.99 per month. TunnelBear makes up for its lack of features with ease of use, a quality overall experience, and a relentless commitment to transparency and privacy. ProtonVPN and NordVPN offer almost every VPN tool you could want. Furthermore, several companies have even moved away from limiting the number of devices you can use at a time. There is no limit to the number of devices that can be used simultaneously by Avira Phantom VPN, Encrypt.me VPN, Ghostery Midnight, Surfshark VPN, and Windscribe VPN. Ziff Davis, the parent company of PCMag, owns Encrypt.me.
Nothing is cheaper than zero cost, and there are some free VPNs that are worth consideration. TunnelBear and Hotspot Shield VPN have free subscription tiers, but limit bandwidth to 500MB per day and per month, respectively. With ProtonVPN, you don’t have to worry about bandwidth limits, making it the best free subscription we’ve seen.