Avast SecureLine VPN vs Private Internet Access in 2021

Ethan Payne
Ethan Payne | Writer
Last updated: July 19, 2021
Avast SecureLine VPN vs Private Internet Access

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Choosing the right VPN is always a difficult decision if you don’t have a chance to try it out. A method to simplify that decision is to compare two against each other and see which one is better.

In this case, I’ll be comparing Avast SecureLine VPN vs PIA (Private Internet Access). Avast is a well-known brand for making a multitude of online security products against viruses and malware. It’s based in the Czech Republic, and the VPN uses the OpenVPN tunneling protocol, has a kill switch, the SmartVPN feature, and has 700 servers in 34 countries.

Meanwhile, PIA is a VPN first and foremost and a popular choice among many. It’s based in the United States, uses the WireGuard tunneling protocol, has the split tunneling feature, and employs a network of over 36700 servers in 77 countries.

There’s much more ground to cover before we can decide which VPN is worth our attention. I’ll look over their connection speeds, security features, privacy practices, device compatibility, various use-cases, and more.

Highlights

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
Our rating6.2⭐8.3⭐
“Best for” nomineeN/ABest overall, Best for USA, Best for Netflix
Price starts from$3.99/month$2.08/month
ReviewAvast SecureLine VPN reviewPrivate Internet Access review
WebsiteAvast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access

Speed

One of the most essential metrics when choosing a VPN is connection speed. Usually, we’d take advantage of our VPN speed test, but Avast SecureLine VPN is not integrated with it yet. Thus, we will settle with using a regular speed test while connected to both VPNs in multiple locations. I’ll be using the default OpenVPN connection with Avast SecureLine VPN, while with PIA I’ll be using WireGuard. As you can imagine, the results shouldn’t be surprising.

The base download speed is 294 Mbps, and the upload speed is 316 Mbps.

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
USA
Download155 Mbps206 Mbps
Upload18 Mbps88 Mbps
UK
Download139 Mbps229 Mbps
Upload37 Mbps87 Mbps
Canada
Download156 Mbps291 Mbps
Upload22 Mbps271 Mbps
Germany
Download149 Mbps246 Mbps
Upload36 Mbps27 Mbps

As predicted, PIA easily won this round with the help of WireGuard. Some servers turned out with slower results than expected, but these speed tests should always be taken with a grain of salt.

Servers

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
Servers700+36700+
Countries34+77+
All physical serversYesNo
Owns all serversNoNo
RAM-only serversNoNo
P2P serversNot allYes

PIA boasts a massive network of 36700 servers in 77 countries, one of the largest in the VPN market. Meanwhile, Avast SecureLine VPN has a measly 700+ servers in 34 countries. It’s not bad, just that the number looks particularly small when compared to PIA. Avast SecureLine VPN’s network perk is that all servers are physically located in their respective countries.

Neither service can brag about owning their entire server network or any type of RAM-only technology. Avast SecureLine VPN allows P2P traffic on some specific servers, while PIA allows it on all servers.

The numbers don’t lie, and it’s clear that PIA is the victor of this round as well.

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Pricing

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
Free trialYes, 7-daysNo
One monthN/A$11.95/month
One year$4.99/month$3.33/month
Two years$3.99/monthN/A
Three years$3.99/month$2.08/month
Money-back guarantee30 days30 days
Payment optionsCredit card, PayPalCredit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, cryptocurrencies, Beam, Mint, gift cards
Current dealAvast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access

PIA’s pricing plan is pretty standard – there are three tiers, ranging from the shortest and most expensive to the lengthiest best deal. On the other hand, Avast SecureLine VPN has a different approach, offering three similarly priced plans. Furthermore, it has a trial period, which outweighs the lack of a monthly subscription.

Despite that, PIA is still cheaper and offers anonymous payment options, which are essential if you want to maximize your privacy.

Avast SecureLine VPN pricing

Avast SecureLine VPN has three subscription options, which are as follows:

  • $4.99/month for one year
  • $3.99/month for two years
  • $3.99/month for three years

Strangely, the three-year plan costs the same per month as the two-year plan. Plus, there’s no option to get a monthly subscription, even though those plans are usually ridiculously priced and would be in the company’s interest. To compensate for this, Avast SecureLine VPN has a 7-day free trial, which doesn’t even require your credit card information.

Once you’ve tried out the service and picked out a subscription plan, payment option choices include credit card and PayPal. Furthermore, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access pricing

Private Internet Access offers three different subscription options:

  • $11.95/month for a monthly plan
  • $3.33/month for an annual plan
  • $2.08/month for a three-year plan

If you are not satisfied with the default choices, there’s always the option to look through the PIA coupon codes online to find a better deal.

PIA does not have any kind of free version or free trial. Instead, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you back out if you change your mind.

Finally, you have a wide array of payment options to choose from, including credit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Bitpay, cryptocurrencies, and even gift cards.

Security

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
EncryptionMilitary-gradeMilitary-grade
ProtocolsOpenVPN, IPSecWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Kill switchYesYes
DNS and IP leaksNo leaksNo leaks
Security featuresSmart VPNSplit tunneling, PIA MACE, Shadowsocks, SOCKS5

Let’s start with some common features. Both VPNs utilize military-grade AES-256 encryption, come equipped with OpenVPN tunneling protocols and kill switches, and did not experience any DNS or IP leaks during testing. Of course, that’s expected of any worthwhile VPN. Now we need to dive into the details.

Needless to say, PIA scored another point by having more features than its competitor.
Avast SecureLineVPN security features

Avast SecureLineVPN security features

In addition to OpenVPN, Mac users of Avast SecureLine VPN get access to the IPSec tunneling protocol.

Avast SecureLine VPN Smart VPN feature

One of the main, albeit underwhelming, features of this service is Smart VPN. It automatically detects your needs and connects to the most optimal server for that purpose. Plus, the desktop app has a leak scanner available to check your email for potential breaches.

And if the word automagically makes you cringe – don’t worry; you’re not alone.

Private Internet Access Security Features

PIA is a proud member of the “VPNs that have implemented WireGuard” club. So far, it’s still pretty exclusive, but being a part of it means that you get to provide insane connection speeds to your users. Naturally, other tunneling protocol options are there as well, such as OpenVPN and IKEv2.

PIA is not against naming features after itself (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Introducing PIA MACE – a feature that blocks domains used for ads, trackers, and malware.

PIA connection settings

A more aptly named but equally important feature of PIA is split tunneling. It’s relatively customizable and allows you to choose which apps should run exclusively with PIA connected or avoid the VPN connection entirely.

Other worthwhile features include SOCKS5 and Shadowsocks proxies. The former is helpful if you’d like to add an extra layer of security while torrenting. And the latter comes into play when traveling in restrictive countries.

Privacy

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
JurisdictionCzech RepublicUnited States
LoggingKeeps connection logsCourt-proven no-logs policy
Anonymous paymentNoBitcoin, gift cards

A contentious topic for these two VPNs is privacy. On the one hand, PIA is based in the United States, a founding member of the Five Eyes alliance. On the other hand, Avast SecureLine VPN is known for collecting a bit more information than necessary.

So far, not a great look for both services. Can either of them redeem themselves?

Private Internet Access privacy

Well, PIA has proven in court that it does not keep logs of any kind. Authorities knew that a hacker was using PIA to commit a crime. Thus they reached out to PIA for more information. And yet, PIA could not provide anything no matter how much you’d have twisted their arm. And such a situation has happened more than once for this provider. Furthermore, PIA has anonymous payment options, supplementing the fact that this service is a top choice for privacy.

Avast SecureLine VPN privacy

Meanwhile, Avast SecureLine VPN clearly states that it collects some information about your connection (e. g. connection timestamps, your incomplete IP address, amount of data transmitted, OS version, application events). Furthermore, it’s open to sharing some information with third parties whenever necessary.

It can be argued that all of this is not uncommon and totally necessary for the VPN to function properly and make improvements in the future. Perhaps that’s true. In any case, you’re always welcome to read the privacy policies of VPN providers and make judgments for yourself.

As it is right now, PIA nets itself another point in this competition.

Device compatibility

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
Major dedicated appsWindows, Mac, iOS, AndroidWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android
Other dedicated appsAndroidTVN/A
Browser extensionsChrome, Edge, FirefoxChrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera
Manual setupN/ARouters
Simultaneous devices1010

Unfortunately, device compatibility is an area where both VPN providers seem to struggle. But we’re not scraping the bottom of the barrel here. There are still quite a few distinguishing features that make one better than the other. But the main takeaway is that Avast SecureLine VPN would win a point here if it officially supported router configuration – an essential feature for any VPN. But because it lacks that, PIA grabs another easy win.

Avast SecureLine VPN device compatibility

Avast SecureLine VPN is available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Sadly, no support for Linux users. Additionally, it has a dedicated app for AndroidTV. A browser extension is available for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. Unlike many other VPNs, you cannot manually configure routers with this VPN to secure your entire home network. Finally, you can use a single subscription to connect ten devices simultaneously.

Private Internet Access device compatibility

PIA has dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. That’s around the same as their competitor, except that there’s no app for AndroidTV. The browser extension supports Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera. Unsurprisingly, routers can easily be configured to work with PIA. Lastly, one subscription allows you to connect ten devices simultaneously, the same number as their competitor.

Streaming

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
Netflix USNoYes
Other Netflix librariesNoYes
Other platformsNoYes
Smart DNSNoNo

Avast SecureLine VPN just can’t seem to catch a break from losing to PIA. Sadly, streaming is no exception, as this VPN cannot get around the geographical restrictions of streaming services very well.

Meanwhile, PIA has earned a comfortable spot on our list of best VPNs for streaming. With many servers and swift connection speeds, Private Internet Access ensures an excellent streaming experience. Whether it is Netflix US, UK, or other streaming platforms, this service has you covered

Torrenting and P2P

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
Allowed onDedicated serversAll servers
Free SOCKS5 proxyNoYes
Split tunnelingNoYes
Port forwardingNoYes

It appears that Avast SecureLine VPN was discouraged at some point and just stopped trying. Not only does it lack any notable features to secure you while torrenting, but it also only allows P2P traffic on a handful of servers. So if you’re looking for the best VPN for torrenting – this one isn’t it.

Let’s give the stage to PIA so it could show us how it’s done. This service has everything you would need to torrent safely – a SOCKS5 proxy, split tunneling, port forwarding, and a large fleet of fast servers.

China

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
Works in ChinaNoYes
Stealth VPNNoNo
Tor over VPNNoNo

A versatile VPN not only allows you to travel the globe from the comfort of your home, but also keeps you secure while you’re traveling to foreign countries. So how do these two fare when pitted against the Great Firewall of China?

Unfortunately, both VPNs lack robust features to penetrate the heavy censorship efforts of the regime. Luckily, PIA did not come empty-handed to the siege. It has Shadowsocks proxies, which could work in some circumstances, although it’s not the most reliable tool for the job. But that’s better than what Avast SecureLine VPN brings to the table, which is nothing.

If you’re looking for the best VPN for China, check out our list to choose the most well-equipped VPN for the job.

Customer support

Avast SecureLine VPNPrivate Internet Access
24/7YesYes
Live chatYesYes
Phone LineYesNo
Email YesYes
KnowledgebaseYesYes

Finally, we have reached the point where Avast SecureLine VPN excels. This company has many products under its belt, so it’s not surprising that their customer service is reliable. In fact, premium users gain access to all possible means of communication – 24/7 live chat, phone calls, emails, and helpful articles.

PIA is not far behind, but it lacks the option to ring up the customer support agents by phone. But other than that, its customer service is excellent.

Best VPN by category

Avast SecureLine VPN 🥈Private Internet Access 🥇
Speed and serversLoses❌Wins✔️
PricingLoses❌Wins✔️
SecurityLoses❌Wins✔️
PrivacyLoses❌Wins✔️
CompatibilityLoses❌Wins✔️
StreamingLoses❌Wins✔️
TorrentingLoses❌Wins✔️
ChinaLoses❌Wins✔️
Customer supportWins✔️Loses❌
Total wins1 out of 98 out of 9

Avast SecureLine VPN vs Private Internet Access – which is better?

The battle between these VPNs was bloody and a bit one-sided, but it’s finally over. PIA reigns supreme over Avast SecureLine VPN.

Private Internet Access is superior in almost every regard – it’s cheap, fast, secure, private, and an excellent choice for either streaming or torrenting. Even though it lacks in the device compatibility department, it still wasn’t beaten by Avast SecureLine VPN. The biggest drawback, however, is the lack of features for countries with heavy online censorship.

Meanwhile, Avast SecureLine VPN managed to score a point in the customer service category. Other than that, it’s not worth the price.

Do you agree or disagree with such an assessment? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Get Private Internet Access


You may also like to read:
Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield
Private Internet Access vs VyprVPN
Avast SecureLine VPN vs CyberGhost
Avast SecureLine VPN vs ExpressVPN

FAQ

Is Avast SecureLine VPN safe?

Avast SecureLine VPN is not entirely safe. It keeps some information about your connection for a short time. Plus, it has not been audited by a third party.

Is Avast a VPN?

Avast is a cybersecurity company that makes many different security and privacy products, such as an antivirus, a secure browser, and a VPN.

Does Private Internet Access work with Netflix?

Yes, Private Internet Access is excellent for streaming. It’s fast, has a massive number of servers, and works with many different Netflix libraries.

Does Private Internet Access keep logs?

No, Private Internet Access does not keep any logs. This was proven a couple of times when PIA could not provide the authorities with any records in a criminal investigation.

Top VPN providers
NordVPN
9.6 / 10
30-day money-back guarantee
Military grade encryption
Friendly support
Surfshark VPN
9.4 / 10
Strong encryption
Excellent performance
Unlimited simultaneous connections

Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.

4 comments
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  1. Julius Larsen

    Thanks for the side-by-side review. It’s helpful to see the different features and compare them. It looks like PIA is the clear winner but I guess it’s depending on what you’re looking for in a VPN. I only with that Private Internet Access offered a free trial.


  2. Quini

    The Avast products are overall deficient, and their VPN is not an exception. PIA is not the best VPN service, but it’s fare better than its Avast counterpart. PIA is the clear winner.


  3. TerryAnne Davis

    What a tug of war between Avast and Private internet. This review is brilliant cos it reveals a lot more than I used to know about these two vpn. Even though the review is so detailed and informative, I still would prefer Avast cos I have used them quite over some time and ofcourse it works. Good job guys


  4. A. Romer

    The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book.

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