Surfshark vs. Avast VPN: Comparing Features, Pricing, and More (2024)

Surfshark vs. Avast VPN: Comparing Features, Pricing, and More (1)

Surfshark

View Plans

Surfshark vs. Avast VPN: Comparing Features, Pricing, and More (2)

Avast SecureLine VPN

View Plans

Editor’s Rating 9.5/10 7.9/10
Servers 3,200+ ~1,000
Server locations 100 countries 55 countries
VPN protocols OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2 OpenVPN, WireGuard, Mimic
Encryption 256-bit AES 256-bit AES
Kill switch Yes Yes
Split tunneling Yes No
IP address leak protection Yes Yes
Free option 30-day money-back guarantee 60-day trial
Subscription price range $2.49-$12.95 $4.39-$10.99
Read our review Surfshark VPN review Avast VPN review

We see an interesting juxtaposition with Surfshark and Avast. Surfshark started as a VPN provider, but it has since expanded to offer antivirus software among other personal digital security tools. On the other hand, Avast is one of the largest and oldest antivirus companies1 and has more recently introduced a VPN into its lineup of products.

Based on those facts, many might (understandably) come to the conclusion that Surfshark is the better VPN option. After all, its main product is a VPN, whereas Avast is primarily an antivirus brand. We don’t like speculating, though, so to find out which is better, we tested Surfshark and Avast’s VPNs side by side.

What You Get From Each VPN

Several critical distinctions immediately jump out if you take a quick look at Surfshark VPN and Avast SecureLine.

Servers

For starters, Surfshark operates three times as many servers as Avast. It has over 3,200 servers in 100 countries, while Avast has only about 1,000 servers in 55 locations.

To be fair, that is by no means a bad stat line. It’s just that it’s up against Surfshark, one of the best VPNs in the market. With the right features, even a VPN with as few servers as Avast can be a great choice. Just take a look at our Atlas VPN review. Atlas has about just as many servers as Avast, but it received a 9.0 out of 10 from us.

Surfshark vs. Avast VPN: Comparing Features, Pricing, and More (3)

Devices

Another notable difference between Surfshark and Avast is the number of devices they can protect. Surfshark includes VPN access for unlimited devices in each subscription. Avast’s subscriptions cover only up to 10 devices.

Again, that is not a bad number. According to Pew Research, 97 percent of U.S. adults own a laptop or smartphone.2 Even if you live in a household of five, each with a mobile device and a computer, one Avast subscription is still enough for the entire house. Avast is good, but Surfshark is better.

Features

When trying out or buying a VPN, we recommend looking for three staple features: kill switch, split tunneling, and multi-hop.

In essence, the kill switch stops your device from connecting to the internet if and when your VPN connection fails. Multi-hop, on the other hand, connects you to two VPN servers instead of just one to boost your privacy. Both the kill switch and multi-hop are useful in protecting your privacy.

On the other hand, split tunneling is more of a productivity feature. You’ll need this if you want to keep your VPN connection but have a few apps that don’t work with a VPN. For example, many online banking apps refuse to connect if you’re on a VPN network. You can use split tunneling to give those apps a non-VPN network to connect to.

Surfshark vs. Avast VPN: Comparing Features, Pricing, and More (4)

Surfshark offers all those three features, but with Avast, only the kill switch is available. For many, though, the kill switch alone is enough. It’s the only one of the three features that is absolutely necessary. Not everyone needs the extra security of multi-hop and the convenience of split tunneling. Of course, if you need those features, you should definitely go with Surfshark.

Which One Performs Better?

You can draw those comparisons just by looking at each VPN, but features are just half of the equation. We tested Surfshark and Avast side by side to see how they actually perform in the real world.

Security: Are There Any Leaks?

The main job of a VPN is to protect your privacy through encryption and by hiding your IP address. So, if exploits like DNS and WebRTC leaks can reveal your real IP address, then the VPN has already failed.

Surfshark vs. Avast VPN: Comparing Features, Pricing, and More (5)

Fortunately, both Surfshark and Avast SecureLine prevented any leaks. One at a time, we connected Surfshark and Avast to a server in Australia and performed our DNS and WebRTC leak tests. All our tests returned favorable results. They detected the server’s IP address in Australia, not our actual IP, which was exactly what we wanted.

We’d like to note, though, that using obfuscation technology, Surfshark goes a step further. It can evade detection by network firewalls. For example, in countries that ban the use of VPNs, governments have firewalls that can detect traffic headed to or coming from a VPN server. Surfshark camouflages its traffic to look like normal online traffic so it’s less likely to be detected. Avast offers no similar technology.

Pro Tip: Even if Surfshark can evade detection by government firewalls, we still don’t recommend using VPNs in countries that ban them.

Speed: Which One Is Faster?

Another critical performance metric is the speed. In most circ*mstances, using a VPN will slow down your internet connection. The fastest VPNs, however, will have a less noticeable impact on your original network speed.

Surfshark vs. Avast VPN: Comparing Features, Pricing, and More (6)

To test Surfshark and Avast SecureLine fairly, we tested their respective speeds one at a time using the same device on the same Wi-Fi network. For reference, our normal internet speed is around 300 Mbps. We also made sure to connect to the same server location (Australia).

Speed test resultsSurfsharkAvast SecureLine
Download speed197 Mbps199 Mbps
Upload speed217 Mbps120 Mbps
Ping163 ms121 ms

We got mixed results. On one hand, Avast was about 2 Mbps faster than Surfshark in terms of download speed and about 40 ms faster in terms of latency, or ping. On the other hand, Surfshark’s upload speed was almost twice as fast as Avast’s upload speed.

Which Is More Private?

Lastly, let’s take a look at how each VPN treats users’ privacy. Using a VPN protects your online traffic from outside threats, such as hackers possibly spying on your network or your ISP logging your every move online and selling your data.3 That said, when you use a VPN, your online data goes to its servers instead, so if your VPN provider is not careful with your data, you still risk facing the backlash of a data leak.

Surfshark and Avast SecureLine are both “no-logs” VPNs, which is the term VPNs use to describe their privacy practices. This means they don’t log or collect any identifiable information about what you do while using their services. They don’t remember your browsing history, IP address, or downloads.

However, Avast SecureLine does store two types of usage-related information: connection time stamps and amount of data transmitted. The company swears to use these pieces of data only to improve its services; for example, to plan for network capacity or server improvements. Moreover, all logged information is deleted after 35 days.

FYI: Surfshark also logs connection time stamps, but it deletes the information 15 minutes after a session ends. According to Surfshark, it logs that type of data to detect and prevent abuse of its “unlimited devices” feature.

Which Is More Practical?

We’ve compared their features, performance, and privacy policy. Now it’s time to compare Surfshark and Avast SecureLine’s pricing.

SubscriptionSurfsharkAvast SecureLine
Monthly$12.95$10.99
12 months$47.88$55.08
24 months$59.76$105.36

For a short-term (less than one year) VPN user, Avast is more affordable. That $2 difference in the monthly subscription can accumulate. Of course, there are some exceptions. For example, even if you need a VPN for only one month, if you’re using it on more than 10 devices, it makes sense to spend a couple extra bucks on Surfshark, as it offers unlimited connections. With Avast, you can use the VPN on a maximum of 10 devices only.

For long-term (one year or more) use, though, Surfshark is clearly more practical. Not only does it offer more device connections, more servers, and more features, but it’s also more affordable. A two-year Surfshark subscription costs almost half as much as a two-year Avast SecureLine plan.

Which VPN Is Better Overall?

Our comparison of Surfshark and Avast SecureLine makes clear which is better: Surfshark. It bested Avast in the four areas we looked at: features, performance, privacy, and cost. It is the second-highest-rated VPN on our site, after all, with a 9.5 out of 10 Editor’s Rating.

Avast SecureLine did put up a good fight, though. We still think it’s a good option, especially if you’re using Avast’s antivirus software, as you can bundle the two services and enjoy some savings. However, if a top-notch VPN is what you’re looking for, we recommend Surfshark over Avast.

FAQ

Have some questions? We’ve got the answers!

  • Can Avast’s VPN prevent malware?

    Avast’s SecureLine does not prevent malware in any capacity. However, you can purchase it as part of Avast’s antivirus subscription to enjoy both malware protection and enhanced online privacy.

  • Does Surfshark’s VPN prevent malware?

    Yes. Surfshark’s VPN can protect you from malware to some extent. Surfshark has a CleanWeb feature that prevents your device from accessing websites that host malware. However, Surfshark’s VPN will not prevent malware from entering your device through other means (e.g., an infected thumb drive), so antivirus software is still necessary.

  • Can Avast SecureLine access Netflix?

    Yes, Avast SecureLine can access Netflix. It even has servers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany optimized for video streaming.

  • Can Surfshark access Netflix?

    Yes, Surfshark can access Netflix. It has servers in 100 countries, and while none of them is specifically optimized for streaming, most of the servers we connected to were able to bypass Netflix’s geographic restrictions.

  • Does Surfshark have a free trial?

    Unfortunately, Surfshark doesn’t have a free trial. There is a money-back guarantee, where if you cancel your subscription within 30 days of purchase, Surfshark will reimburse your payment. If you want a free trial, Avast SecureLine comes with a generous 60-day free trial.

Surfshark vs. Avast VPN: Comparing Features, Pricing, and More (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg Kuvalis

Last Updated:

Views: 6132

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg Kuvalis

Birthday: 1996-12-20

Address: 53157 Trantow Inlet, Townemouth, FL 92564-0267

Phone: +68218650356656

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Knitting, Amateur radio, Skiing, Running, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Greg Kuvalis, I am a witty, spotless, beautiful, charming, delightful, thankful, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.