Avast SecureLine VPN vs. ExpressVPN [Updated 2021 Test Results]
Bernard Hastings | Last Updated:
Avast and ExpressVPN are two well known providers operating in the internet security sector. However the services that each traditionally provides are actually quite different. ExpressVPN is perhaps the best known service provider currently in the vpn market. Avast on the other hand, has a reliable and provent track record as a provider of quality anti-virus software.
More recently though, Avast has expanded the range of products that they offer to now include a vpn service. This new product is known under the brand name of Avast Secureline VPN. ExpressVPN on the other hand, has been around for more than 10 years exclusively offering only vpn related products and services.
Today we are releasing our updated comparison report for 2021, where we are going to compare Avast VPN vs. ExpressVPN to see how each stacks up against the other, and to find out which is the better vpn service. We’ll examine each of their key features and vpn related functions in detail to determine an overall winner in regards to: internet security, online privacy, network speed, customer service, and pricing.
How We Scored Them
The comparisons that we performed were based on evaluating different fuctions and features for each vpn service provider. Each one of these was given an equal weighting in the scoring process, since each individual users will value those function and featuers differently. As each feature was evaluated, we examined the results and awarded a winner. We tallied up the results and awarded an overall winner based on which vpn service provider had the most individual feature wins.
So let’s dive straight in, and see how each of these competitors performs against each other:
For many consumers, pricing is the most most important factor that they consider when choosing a vpn service.
Avast SecureLine does not offer a monthly plan. To use their service you’ll need to commit to a 12 month plan. Though, having said that, they do offer a full 30 Day Money Back Guarantee should you change your mind. Avast will cost you $3.99 USD per month on their 2 Year Plan. (Note: this is for their basic plan which only allows x1 device to be connected to their service at a time).
ExpressVPN offers plan options for Monthly, 6 Month, and 12 Month periods. On a 15 month plan, ExpressVPN costs $6.67 per month. This is significantly more than Avast SecureLine, but ExpressVPN does come with more features included (see below), so you will need to take that into account as well when making your overall decision.
Below are the latest ExpressVPN subscription prices, current as at October 2021:
Winner of Pricing: Avast SecureLine
The speed of the vpn connection is a vital input for any vpn comparison test. Connection speed plays a large role in just about all features that users typically purchase a vpn service for – whether it be for video streaming, gaming, or even just regular web surfing.
The hardware that we used for this test was a standard Dell Inspiron 5770 laptop, with Core i7 processor, and 16 Gb or RAM. The test was conducted from our current location in New York City, USA. We started by establishing a baseline test to record our connection speed without a vpn connected. We used SpeedTest.net to obtain our Download and Upload speeds – we got 155 Mbs and 40 Mbs respectively. We ran this test x3 times and recorded the average. We then connected to different VPN Servers in New York, London, and Sydney, and repeated the same test. We recorded our Download and Upload speeds with a vpn connected.
We started this test by first recording results for ExpressVPN:
ExpressVPN Speed Results:
|VPN Server Location||Ping (ms)||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)|
|New York – no vpn||8||155||40|
Next step, we connected our laptop to Avast VPN, re-ran the same tests, and recorded the results:
Avast VPN Speed Results:
|VPN Server Location||Ping (ms)||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)|
|New York – no vpn||8||155||40|
Winner of Connection Speeds: ExpressVPN
The ability to stream online content from all the major streaming services is the number one vpn feature that our website readers report to us. Geo-blocking is the main technique that most streaming platforms use to restrict content from certain countries. If you’re located anywhere in the world outside of the UK for example, then geo-restrictions will prevent you from accessing any of the BBC iPlayer content. Futhermore, if you’re located outside of the USA, for most other countries their Netflix library is significantly smaller than the main library in the USA.
Avast SecureLine does not make any mention on their website about their ability to get around geo-blocks imposed by Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, or BBC iPlayer. We interpret this to mean that this type of functionality does not appear to be a high priority for them. When we tested this for ourselves from our test location in New York, we found that it worked well with BBC iPlayer and returned decent streaming speeds. However, it was a different story when we tried accessing the USA Netflix library when we tested it from our other test locations in London and Sydney. The bad news here is that it flat-out refused to connect. Each time we were presented with the dreaded Netflix message: “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy”. It definitely does appear that circumventing geo-block restrictions imposed by streaming services is not a strong feature for Avast SecureLine, which is quite unfortunate as this is a popular feature requested by many typical vpn users.
ExpressVPN didnt have a dedicated streaming server, so this was indeed initially a concern for us. The good news though is that when we tried to access USA Netflix from our test locations in Sydney and London, we were able to access the full American library without any issues. We repeated this test over several days and got similar results on each occassion. There was one instance where we were not able to connect, so we jumped on the ExpressVPN Chat tool and quickly got in contact with one of their support representatives. Apparently there was some issue with vpn server that we were connected to. The support person were able to advise of other servers that they knew to be working well with USA Netflix – we switched our app to those servers and were then able to connect as normal. Similarly, we were able to connect to BBC iPlayer from both test locations outside of the UK (New York and Sydney) and was able to access it and stream content without any buffering or lagging.
During our testing, we confirmed ExpressVPN was able to access all of the major streaming services including: Netflix, Disney+, HBO, ITV Player, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and Hulu.
Winner of Streaming: ExpressVPN
The number of servers that a vpn service provider has in it’s network, and the countries that they are located in, is vital for reliable connectivity and connection speeds. First and foremost, if a vpn provider only has a small number of vpn servers it will more than likely mean that their service will be overloaded, resulting in slower connection speeds during peak times. The more servers that a provider has in different countries will mean that you have a greater overall flexibility to access different content from different service providers in various locations around the world.
Avast Secureline does not list the specific city location for each individual server that they have in their network. But they did disclose that they have 700 servers that are located across 34 countries.
ExpressVPN on the other hand is very upfront about this information as it has an impressive 3,000+ vpn servers in 160 VPN server locations, in more than 95 countries around the world.
Winner of Server Count: ExpressVPN
As each year rolls on we become more and more connected to our devices. It’s actually quite common nowadays for a single person to have a smartphone, tablet, laptop/pc, and a smart tv all using an internet connection. Of course, this also means that to protect your online privacy and internet security, each of these devices should be connected to a vpn service. When you have multiple people in a household all wanting to use their devices via a vpn at the same time, they can encounter restrictions on the number of simultaneous vpn connections.
Avast Secureline performed quite poorly in this particular test. For the standard vpn plan they only allow 1 device to be connected to their service at a time. Note: Avast does have a plan which allows up to x5 devices to be connected simultaneously, but to get access access to that feature you’ll have to pay more.
ExpressVPN on the other hand offer a very generous x5 simultaneous connections. We found that this number was quite sufficient when we tested this feature here at our offices. We tested connection speeds with the maximum number of 5 devices connect at the same time, and did not notice any speed throttling or buffering issues when watching streaming content (Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime)
Winner of Simultaneous Connections: ExpressVPN
Sometimes it can be difficult to get a vpn working on different devices. This is why it’s important to have a dedicated vpn app for each device type that you intend to use it for. Whether it be a iphone, android phone, mac or pc, a dedicated vpn app for that exact device type will ensure that your able to connect to the vpn service quickly and easily.
Avast Secureline only offers support for the very most common device types including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, and Android smart TVs. If you are only using these device types, then you should find that Avast does a decent job. If you’re looking for something with more extensive coverage (such as an app for Linux, Router or your Game Console) then you’re out of luck with Avast Secureline unfortunately.
ExpressVPN is a much larger company than Avast in regards to their vpn technology. This effectively means that they have the financial means and technical ability to invest into development of a much larger range of supported devices and apps. They have dedicated apps that you can download for free as part of your subscription for: iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, Windows PC, Mac computer, Linux operating systems, and Smart TV’s. For quick and easy vpn protection for all devices in your house, they also offer Routers to purchase which come pre-installed with their vpn technology. Furthermore, ExpressVPN also has their own proprietary MediaStreamer technology which allows you to use their vpn service with your PlayStation 3, 4 and 5, Xbox One (S), Xbox 360, and Nintendo Switch devices.
Winner of Supported Devices: ExpressVPN
In most cases, getting up and running with your new vpn subscription is a simple and straight-forward process. However, these will be occassions from time to time when you may need to get in contact with your vpn service provider to help you with some curly questions that you might have. E.g. sometimes you might find that a particular streaming service is being blocked on a particular vpn server that you are connected too. It can often be the case that the streaming service has identified the server your connected to a vpn server and may have manually applied a block to it. In this scenario, the best option is to get in contact with Customer Support who can normally redirect you to another server on their network which is confirmed as working with the blocked service.
Avast Secureline does not have a Live Chat function. This is the first thing that we noticed when we reviewed their service. Thats not to say that they don’t have other methods to get in contact with their support staff. They offer a Technical Support Ticket system that is fairly responsive, we received a reply within 24 hours. If you want immediate support, you can also check the Avast Forum on their website which contains detailed information. The fact that they don’t have a Live Chat is what made us choose ExpressVPN for this particular comparison.
ExpressVPN offers a Live Chat feature that we’ve found extremely useful over the years of using their service. This particular service operates 24 Hours a day, 7 days per week. So no matter what time-zone you are in the world, there will always be a support representative on-hand who can help resolve your question. Just as important, we found the Live Chat representatives to be quite knowledgeable, only needing us to refer to their Level 2 Support Persons for some of the more complex, unusual questions that we put to them.
Winner of Customer Support: ExpressVPN
The Overal Winner Is …
In the end, our ExpressVPN vs Avast VPN comparison really was an easy choice for us. As you can see from each individual head-to-head test above, ExpressVPN came out as a clear winner for most tests we performed.
The main reason for this can be most likely attributed to the fact that the Avast company is primarily a Anti-Virus company, which is obviously where they have put most of their development efforts into. ExpressVPN on the other hand ONLY do vpn services, so it’s the one and only thing that they are good at. ExpressVPN does one thing (vpn connections), and they do it well.
Avast Securline had a good win when it comes to pricing. However, a big thing with this is that they don’t offer a Monthly plan option which was a major drawback for us. Also important for us was that we did experience issues when trying to connect to some streaming services.
ExpressVPN is probably one of the best known vpn service providers on the market, with fast connections speeds, a wide choice of supported devices, and an excellent range of overall features included as standard. Their prices were a little more than Avast Secureline, but this is to be expected with a full-service provider like ExpressVPN. Our recommendation is to sign-up for a Monthly subscription service and test their vpn service for yourself. They have a special offer currently on at the moment, which offers excellent value and is well worth checking out: