What Will Avast Do For A Mac

AVG Ultimate – $59.88/yr ($119.99), 10 devices (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS) AVG has a similar price plan to Avast. There are three plans to choose from, two of which are paid-for and one that is free. Mac users can take advantage of AVG – it's also free but has reduced features compared to the Windows software. Avast do offer cheaper pricing if you sign up for longer than a year, with two- and three-year subscriptions available. Avast offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you will need to purchase the product and request a refund if you’re not happy with it. However, there’s a third version available. It’s called Avast Ultimate, and it costs $49.99 a year for one PC or Mac and $59.99 for 10 devices. Its appeal lies in two extra features: Avast Cleanup Premium (which acts as a password manager and a system cleaner) and Avast SecureLine VPN.

Avast Secureline offers both free (7-day trial) and paid versions. They use strong 256-bit AES encryption and you can choose from OpenVPN, IPSec & IKEv2 protocols.

Their server speeds are top of the line, they even landed in the top 10 of our fastest reviewed VPNs, but still fall behind the top providers like Express and NordVPN.

Is this a decent provider? Let’s find out in this Avast Secureline VPN review.

General Info & Features

OVERALL RANK:#17 out of 78 VPNs
USABILITY:4/5
LOG FILES:No Logging
LOCATIONS:34 countries, 55 servers
SUPPORT:Phone, Knowledge base
TORRENTING:Torrenting Allowed
NETFLIX:No 0/5
ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:AES 256
COST:$6.67/mo
OFFICIAL WEBSITE:www.Avast.com

Avast Secureline was launched in 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. Although the company, Avast, has been around for a while – since 1988.

The VPN service supports the following devices and operating systems:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android
  • Android TV

Avast SecureLine works on up to five devices and features no bandwidth limits.

As for TOR, customer support mentioned the VPN is not compatible with it.

It’s worth mentioning that Avast provides ONLY 55 servers in 34 countries.

That’s a really low number of total servers compared to other VPN providers, like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, that both have over 3,000 servers.

The only countries that Avast has more than one server location are Canada (two cities), Germany (two cities), Russia (two cities), Spain (two cities), the United Kingdom (two cities), and the United States (16 cities).

Avast SecureLine does offer a kill switch, which is perfect for protecting your privacy if your connection is ever lost.

Kill switches are a critical safeguard or backup plan. When they detect your network connection is about to terminate, they’ll automatically kill your current session, too.

That helps to keep whatever you were doing private and away from prying eyes.

If purchased alongside your subscription, their MultiDevice service allows up to 5 simultaneous conncetions.

Avast Secureline Pros

1. Top 10 Download Speed

Avast brags on their homepage about how fast their VPN service is.

So now it’s time to put them to the test – literally!

I ran speed tests of their service on servers in the US and the Netherlands to see how they stack up against the competition.

Here are my results without VPN:

Here are our results with Avast VPN:

US Server

What Will Avast Do For A Mac Pro

  • Ping: 113 ms
  • Download: 67.94 Mbps
  • Upload: 13.67 Mbps

Netherlands Server

  • Ping: 34 ms
  • Download: 65.97 Mbps
  • Upload: 39.44 Mbps

These are pretty fast speeds in comparison to some other VPNs. They’re not the fastest, but not the slowest, either.

2. Well Encrypted and Secure

  • AES-256 encryption
  • Kill-Switch
  • DNS leak protection

Avast SecureLine offers two protocols, IPSec and OpenVPN on UDP with AES 256-bit encryption.

This is military-grade encryption. The “256” number refers to the encryption strength.

The short story is that 256-bit is the best in the business right now. It’s considered virtually ‘brute-force proof’ by many of the top government agencies and security professionals around the world.

Avast SecureLine also offers DNS leak protection. This handy little feature makes sure that none of your personal data might ‘leak’ outside the VPN connection without you realizing it, divulging your browsing activity or true physical location.

3. Torrenting Is Allowed

It appears that torrent downloads and P2P are allowed with this VPN. According to the Avast VPN FAQ page:

SecureLine VPN allows peer-to-peer connections through our data center locations listed below.

  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • New York City, New York
  • Miami, Florida
  • Seattle, Washington
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Paris, France

4. No Logs Policy

Avast SecureLine claims that they keep no data logs of your online activity.

However, they do store connection logs, which show the time you connect or disconnect to a server, how long you are connected, and how much bandwidth you use.

Avast claims that this information is only collected for “diagnostic purposes and to prevent abuse of the VPN connection.”

But, when you read Avast’s privacy policy, you’ll find that they offer links to third-party sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

Overall, I’m a fan of Avast’s security. Just be aware that some logging, like most other VPN services, is happening in the background.

5. Fast Customer Support through Call Center

Avast Secureline uses a ticketing system and has a number you can call for a free diagnosis.

They also offer a knowledge base full of help articles, tons of support pages, and a forum.

Since the knowledge base is searchable, users can easily find what they need by typing in a few basic keywords.

That being said, Avast doesn’t offer a live chat support option and I wasn’t able to find a customer support email for the company.

Both developments had me a little bummed.

They do, however, have a Twitter account where users can send in direct messages. I sent one in to test out how responsive their social support is.

More than three hours later, I still hadn’t heard back.

The good news is that if you need support fast, Avast’s phone support is available 24/7. The question, of course, is how truly fast was it?

I called in to see if it was an automated service or if I would actually receive help from an actual human. Initially, there is an automated message that directs to select a number so that Avast can direct your call to the right person.

This is a huge step above live chat, in my opinion, because you have the option of hearing a live person’s voice for assistance.

I’ve tested “live” chats on numerous VPNs and sometimes it took them hours to get back to me (hint: VPNArea).

No live chat or email options were disappointing. The Twitter alternative was interesting, but so far has proved to be too slow. However, they saved it in the end with a quick, responsive call center.

6. Great Usability on Both Desktop and Mobile

Avast’s VPN software is surprisingly sleek and simple. All it takes to connect to one of Avast’s servers to hide your IP address is the click of a button.

And changing your location is as easy as selecting a country off of the server list inside of the user interface.

There’s even a “Preferences” menu where you can customize Avast to better suit your needs. For example, you can set it to automatically connect every time your computer starts up. That way, you’re always protected.

Avast also offers a mobile app that is available for both iPhone and Android. The usability of the mobile app is just as sophisticated and simple as using the service on a PC or Mac.

Much like the desktop interface, all it takes to connect to a server is just one tap.

And changing server locations takes little to no time at all.

However, the free mobile trial requires users to hand over their credit card information to get started, unlike the desktop version.

So if you’re only looking for an initial test drive of the service, you might want to do it on your good old fashioned desktop instead of mobile.

7. We Found No DNS, IP or WebRTC Leaks

VPN’s create a secure tunnel around your internet connection.

This encrypts your traffic so no one can bust inside. But more importantly, it creates a seal around your IP address and hides your true location.

That way, no government agency can get you in trouble for looking at what you’re looking at while sitting where you’re sitting.

Unfortunately, these connections aren’t always as secure as they seem to be.

For example, a DNS or WebRTC leak can cause your IP to be revealed without you even realizing it.

The good news is that we found the Avast Secureline connection to be leak-free.

  • https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
  • https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
  • https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
  • https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (none found)
  • https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
  • http://dnsleak.com/ (none found)

DNS leak test:

IP leak test:

That’s the good news, though.

Which means there’s also a little bad news we found when running these security tests.

But we’ll tell you about those down below in the next section.

8. No AdWare/Malware Found

A VPN might protect you from inadvertently downloading malicious files.

But what happens when the very VPN you’re using to protect you does their own malicious injection?

For example, before firing up the VPN client, we ran their installation files through VirusTotal.com.

Nothing found, it’s as clean as it gets.

Avast SecureLine Cons

1. No Router Support

It’s also important to note that Avast SecureLine can’t be set up on routers to provide additional protection. This VPN appears to be basic protection for PC and mobile devices only.

While this won’t be a big deal for most users, it’s something to keep in mind. Installing a VPN on a router is a great way to protect all of the devices in your house without having to remember to sign in every time you log on.

It’s especially useful if you want to protect gaming consoles, IoT devices, smart TVs, and lots of phones and tablets.

This isn’t a deal breaker, but we’d prefer the possibility of using Avast with a router.

2. Does Not Work With Netflix

There’s always an ongoing battle between VPNs and Netflix—and Avast is losing the battle at the moment. Netflix knows when you’re using an Avast connection, and won’t let you stream movies or shows.

Of course, it’s possible that this could change. VPNs are always working to stay ahead of Netflix’s blocking capabilities.

Netflix VPN streaming error

But for the moment, you’ll need to use a different VPN if you want to watch Netflix.

3. Czech Republic (Bad Jurisdiction)

Malware removal mac

Avast is based in the Czech Republic.

While the country isn’t part of any of the major intelligence-sharing agreements that we discuss on a regular basis, it does cooperate with the Five Eyes agreement countries.

Avast

This doesn’t mean that Avast will be sharing your data with intelligence agencies in the US and the UK.

But the fact that the Czech Republic is friendly with these countries and willing to cooperate on intelligence sharing makes some people nervous.

Protection

We don’t have any evidence that Avast has been sharing data with Five Eyes countries. But we aren’t especially comforted by the Czech Republic’s cooperation with them.

Avast SecureLine Pricing Options and Plans

Rather than offering the standard one-month, three-month, six-month, or year package like almost every other VPN service I’ve reviewed, Avast’s pricing is based on the device you want to use it on.

Each package is the same as far as access to features go, though.

Access to 5 devices is $79.99 per year.

This comes out to $6.67 per month or about $16 per year for each device. This plan appears to be the best value.

Access to Avast SecureLine for your PC or Mac is $59.99 per year. This comes out to about $5 per month for access to only one device.

Access to this VPN for Android, iPhone, or iPad is $19.99 per year. This plan comes out to be $1.67 per month for access to one mobile device.

One of the great things about Avast SecureLine is that they offer a free 7-day trial with no strings attached.

You don’t have to enter your payment information to have full access to Avast SecureLine to decide if you want to use it.

The payment options, much like the pricing, are a bit lacking in comparison to other competitors who offer other payment methods such as Bitcoin, Perfect Money, etc.

Right now you can pay via:

  • Credit Card
  • PayPal

Avast’s refund policy reveals a standard 30-day money-back guarantee if you purchase through their “online retail stores” or through Google Play.

If you go through a reseller or iTunes, for example, you’ll have to go back to them for refunds (and the terms might differ).

The only potential catch with this refund comes down to your VPN usage during the thirty-day period.

If you upload/download over 10GB of data, or if you connect over 100 times, you will not be eligible for a refund. So make sure you don’t over-use the service during that initial month.

Do We Recommend Avast Secureline?

After reviewing all of the evidence, I don’t recommend using Avast’s VPN service.

The company provides a reasonably good free antivirus solution. Their VPN is incredibly easy to use. And the call-in customer service option was great!

But in the end, there are just too many issues to overlook.

The fact that it doesn’t work with Netflix is a big one. Not everyone wants to stream over a VPN, but it’s a very common use for private networks.

Czech jurisdiction, the lack of router support, and pricing that’s easy to beat all combine to make this a VPN that’s not at the top of my list.

Avast Secureline is certainly not a bad VPN. It’s very fast, supports torrenting, and only keeps connection logs. And we found that the connection was leak free for the most part.

But you can get those features without paying as much, and it’s easy to find a VPN that supports Netflix. All in all, Avast isn’t a bad choice, but it’s certainly not the best one.

For me, there are better alternatives for Avast VPN.

Add your own review

MJ 9/10

Works with Netflix

As of writing this, late September 2019, it works fine with Netflix. A torrent is loading also quite nicely, and they offer a 60 day trial - all platforms included, so I got a mobile VPN for just for fun and giggles.

Avast is also a known name in security, so their VPN doesn't seem sketchy at all to me. I recommend this.

Stu 4/10

No Netflix anymore

Antivirus For Mac

Just a quick review to say as of 10/07/19 it is near impossible to stream anything through this VPN using UK servers (required for local services such as BBC / Netflix). It used to work on Netflix but no longer does and only offers a paltry 4 IP's to switch through. Spend a bit more and get something with dedicated IP's.

Andrew 1/10

Go away

I don't even own this. I have never downloaded it, but I get pop ups every 10 minutes with no way to get rid of them. The pop ups themselves have no information. There is also no source of it on my PC. This just shows that they are not performing at proper standards.

John Miller 2/10

Product okay - company act like crooks

The product is okay.

The price has gone up every year and I have been charged the 2-year rate for two years in a row (i.e., paid twice). Most recently (today), Avast charged my *expired* card successfully. I did not authorize it.

Avast makes it *very* hard to manage your accounts/subscriptions. For this reason, I do not recommend *any* of its products. - that's after nearly a decade of being a customer.

Mark Black 7/10

Won't Be Renewing

The VPN is fine for most things. I got it because I was interested in watching the BBC iPlayer. However, just as with Netflix, it doesn't work. The pricing is expensive too, compared with other VPN services. I made the mistake of letting my ios subscription run on, so I'm tied in for another 12 months. I made sure the mistake wasn't repeated on my Android and Laptop (which have just expired). I'm free to switch provider 🙂

Keith Trott 10/10

Excellent VPN

I have used Avast Secureline on my android device for over 4 years and have always found it to be very good. I trust Avast totally and use many of their other products. Although it could be said that this VPN appears to be quite basic, it does what it's supposed to do and it does it well, with no gimmicks! I would say however that I do NOT consider the Czech Republic to be a 'BAD JURISDICTION' with regards to 5, 9 or 14 eyes as I've researched this independently and can find no mention of them being in the alliance ? I may be wrong but I'm slightly confused by this ! Some are saying they are ! Switching servers is incredibly fast and there are also a few that are optimised for streaming. All in all I consider this to be a very good and trustworthy VPN for the money. The version I use on Android does however have no kill switch. I've contacted Avast about this and apparently for technical running issues it cannot be done on a mobile app ? They did however explain that there is a work around within the settings, in which you can select the VPN to run with priority, basically that means if the signal goes, resulting in loss of VPN then it shuts down. This does mean however that you leave the VPN turned on all the time, obviously this will have an effect on battery life, the choice is yours. Personally I'm not bothered that much by the kill switch issue as it's very rare for a signal issue to cause me a problem in this area and you will know if the VPN disconnects as 'Avast is trying to protect you' will appear in your toolbar. 10 out of 10.

Dan 1/10

Avast Secureline VPN

Just bought this because I've had the paid anti-virus for years, but I'm disappointed after reading your review and their privacy policy which mentions something about Google tracking everything you do online. It seems to me this contradicts the very reason to have a VPN - privacy. I will not renew.

Pepe Perez 9/10

Does work with Netflix

I have used this VPN for the past 3 months and I can confirm it works with Netflix (at least US). The speed is normally about 70% of your connection speed, which is still decent. However their pricing is, in fact, strange and is expensive compared to other VPNs, so I wouldn't recommend it.

Mr. Fiddly 2/10

USELESS!

I was really disappointed with this service.

I cannot properly watch videos because of the low speed. Loading standard YT videos takes 15 minutes.

Don’t recommend.

polly chan 8/10

My experience with Avast SecureLine VPN

I mainly decided to use this VPN because it comes from a company that I already knew from it’s excellent computer security software. I started using the VPN and it’s simple and friendly. It’s quite useful when I want to surf safely on the network, only when I start it sometimes it takes a while to open the program but it doesn’t slow down the internet.

In particular I like the service, one of the features that I liked the most is that I can use one license on several devices of the same type at the same time. I sincerely recommend it as well as the antivirus of the same company (Avira).

Aurora Fernandes 7/10

Really liking the VPN

I think it’s a great VPN, I mean, the simplicity of the interface, the configuration and all the necessary. I’m not seeking an ultra anonymous VPN, just some security on my web surfing.

When I configure the VPN to automatically connect to wifi, sometimes it does not get online and just crashes. This has happened 4 times so far.

Besides that, I’m satisfied.

XianKian 5/10

There are better options for Avast

Avast secureline is a good vpn. And I would definitely recommend it to my friends. However I recently switched to FrootVPN. It is not the most known VPN but it is definitely one of the best out there (in my opinion)

FrootVPN is bit pricier than Avast but it totally worth very penny.

The old adage goes that Macs can’t get viruses, so why would you bother downloading, let alone paying for, antivirus software? We have a few reasons.

No computer is immune from cyberattacks, so each year Which? tests Mac antivirus software to their limits with hundreds of virus attacks including worms and ransomware to see how they fare. Read on to see your protection options.

Browse all our antivirus software reviews, or skip straight to the best antivirus packages from our tough tests.

Built-in Mac security

While the adage mentioned above isn’t strictly true, it is fair to say that there aren’t many viruses for Mac computers, which makes them hard to come by. Our lab tests Windows antivirus software with several thousand Windows-specific viruses each year, but tests only a few dozen on Mac computers. That isn’t to say that it’s impossible to catch a Mac virus, but the number of different strains is much smaller.

There are two ways MacOS looks to defend against malware:

  • XProtect This is a detection tool built in to macOS that is kept up-to-date with the very latest virus ‘signatures’. Signatures are telltale signs that a file is in fact a malicious virus, and means it doesn’t need to be intensively scanned to work out that it’s harmful. XProtect is kept up-to-date independently of system updates, so you won’t need to restart your Mac to get the latest signatures. If XProtect detects you’ve downloaded malware, it will let you know and move the file straight into the Bin.
  • Malware Removal Tool This automatic tool will get rid of malware that hasn’t been picked up by XProtect and, if you have automatic security updates switched on (we recommend you do), will get rid of files that are malicious.

Apple also treats software downloaded from the web differently to software downloaded from its own App Store.

Indeed, macOS is pretty explicit about apps that haven’t been authenticated (signed by a registered developer and notarised by Apple). Whenever you download a program from the web, you’ll be presented with a warning to remind you that it won’t have gone through Apple’s checks. While this doesn’t necessarily mean a program will contain viruses, not being checked by Apple also means that the software won’t have gone through basic privacy and reliability checks, either.

If your Mac has completely blocked you from opening an app because it isn’t signed or notarised, you might want to think twice about opening it. But Apple does allow you to do so via the Security & Privacy menu within the Settings app.

If you stay within Apple’s walled garden, you’ll decrease your chances of picking up malware.

Why you should still consider antivirus for Mac

Even if you don’t let a piece of malware run, we have found that macOS’ built-in security scanning doesn’t always detect dormant viruses just sitting on the hard drive. If you never had any intention of running the viruses yourself, you could inadvertently share them with somebody you know who might not be so fortunate.

And there’s more to antivirus than simply protection from viruses. Almost all the security suites we test come with additional protection against phishing attacks, where websites pretend to be legit in order to steal your data. We have found that the very best Mac security suites will also bolster your phishing protection quite significantly, and perform better than the protection built in to the Mac versions of Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera web browsers.

For this reason, if you’re nervous about threats on the web, it would make sense to at least consider a Mac security suite.

Wondering about VPNs? Read our VPN reviews to see which one is right for you.

Antivirus options for Apple Macs

While there’s no cheap way to get yourself a Mac, those who don’t fancy a yearly subscription to a security suite can rest easy in the knowledge that this year we tested two free options – and while neither are Best Buys, one of them was perfectly acceptable.

If you’re a Which? member, you can see the very best antivirus options on our best antivirus for Mac advice guide. And for everybody else, we’ve highlighted five options from the biggest brands.

Best Mac Antivirus

Paid antivirus for Mac

Norton Security Deluxe

For

One of the biggest names in antivirus has a relatively inexpensive Mac option. What’s more, if you have Windows computers in your household you can mix and match the different device types under the same subscription. Subscribing gets you various other benefits, although some, such as the 50GB of cloud storage, is only available for Windows computers. See whether it’s worth paying for in our Norton Security Deluxe for Mac review.

Kaspersky Internet Security

Kaspersky’s security suite includes basic protection as well as tools specifically designed to protect your files from ransomware and a bolstered web browser for banking. Like Norton, you can mix and match a Kaspersky multi-device Internet Security subscription between Windows and Macs. See if it’s worth the cost in our full Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac review.

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

Bitdefender comes with phishing protection and a VPN for keeping your web browsing safe from prying eyes, but can this AV production take on its big-brand rivals? It’s performed well in our tests in previous years, so read our full Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac review to find out.

What Will Avast Do For A Mac Computer

Free antivirus for Mac

This relatively simple piece of software comes with live virus protection, virus scanning and a piece of VPN software. While it won’t set pulses racing with its features, for many this will be a plus point, with no unwanted bloat. That said, the software doesn’t feature any phishing protection, either, which seems like a strange omission. See how it did in our lab tests in our Avira Free Security Suite for Mac review.

AVG Antivirus for Mac (free)

If you don’t want extra features and also don’t fancy shelling out for yet another digital subscription, AVG Free might be the option for you. There are no frills, but it should deliver when it comes to basic protection, adding that last layer of defense for when all else fails. See how it fared in our antivirus lab by reading the full AVG Antivirus for Mac review.

Avira Free Security Suite for Mac

How we test antivirus

Our antivirus test lab is riddled with threats. It has set up dozens of computers in 40 countries around the world to act as ‘honeypots’ for millions of viruses. These honeypots capture viruses that are fresh into the wild and may have only existed for days. This makes the task for the security software very challenging, because many of them rely upon huge databases of so-called virus ‘definitions’ to tell whether or not a file is harmful.

What Will Avast Do For A Mac Operating System

Grabbing new threats means they will also have to rely on their own intuition – rather than simply checking a database – using more advanced techniques to decide if there’s a threat. We also use a mix of scenarios on both Windows and macOS, including viruses stored on USB sticks, and even malicious real-world phishing webpages designed to steal your data. Only the most secure software can fend off all these types of attacks effectively.

Malware can be more of a concern if you’re using an old phone. Read our guide on mobile phone security for more.