Avast VPN vs. NordVPN: which VPN is better?
You’ve probably heard a lot of praise for NordVPN already. Everyone seems to be talking about it non-stop, from Youtubers to security experts. On the flip side, Avast SecureLine VPN doesn’t get as much online fame. But maybe it should?
In this Avast VPN vs NordVPN comparison, I’ll try to find out which VPN service is actually the better one. I’ll compare the speed, features, security options, price, and the ability to unblock streaming services.
Avast VPN vs. NordVPN
|Locations:||35 countries||59 countries|
|Pricing:||From $3.99/month||From $3.30/month|
|Current deal:||Get Avast VPN, now up to 47% OFF!||Get NordVPN, now 72% OFF + 3 Months FREE!|
|VPN protocols:||OpenVPN, Avast Mimic||NordLynx, IKEv2, OpenVPN (UDP/TCP)|
|Logging:||Connection logs||No logs|
|Support:||Knowledge base, help forums, free 24/7 consultation via phone||Knowledge base, FAQs, email, chatbot, live chat|
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
Speed comparison: Avast VPN or NordVPN
The internet speed with an active VPN is one of those things that varies based on many factors. It’s possible to test the general tendencies, but keep in mind that your results might be different than what I presented below. With that in mind, let’s look at the speeds of Avast VPN vs NordVPN.
For this test, I used the fastest tunneling protocol of each application. In NordVPN’s case, it was NordLynx, its in-house variant of the speedy WireGuard. As for Avast, I used OpenVPN UDP, which is the best choice available on this VPN.
- Baseline: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
|NordLynx/OpenVPN UDP||NordVPN||Avast VPN|
|Download average||235.5 Mbps||149.75 Mbps|
|Upload average||124.2 Mbps||28.25 Mbps|
As you can see from the table, NordVPN is the winner in the speed department. It’s almost twice as fast when it comes to download speed, and more than five times faster in terms of upload speed.
When browsing the web, I noticed a bit of a lag when Avast SecureLine VPN was in use. I didn’t have this problem with NordVPN, though.
I also noticed that Avast VPN takes its time to change a server - you have to wait up to ten seconds for that. On the other hand, NordVPN connects to a different server almost instantly.
Netflix and streaming performance
The possibility to unblock streaming platforms is quite an important feature of any good VPN. It’s no secret that lots of people get a VPN merely for watching geo-blocked movies, shows, and sports events. Which means that testing a VPN’s performance in this field is a must when determining a winner.
So, how did it go? Well, some of the results could have been better. Here’s why.
When trying to unblock Netflix, I had little luck with Avast SecureLine VPN. Even though it has specialized servers for streaming (Germany, the UK, and four different US cities), none of them worked for me - and I tried all of them.
Even though there were no error messages, Netflix simply displayed its international content, not allowing me to watch geo-specific shows and movies.
On a brighter note, Avast VPN successfully unblocked BBC iPlayer. It also let me watch geo-restricted Youtube videos (which is kind of expected from any VPN, though).
Now, about NordVPN. It’s a real lifesaver when it comes to Netflix content, as it flawlessly unblocked the US, UK, and Canadian Netflix libraries. It also lets you access BBC iPlayer, DAZN, and even Hulu. And, of course, Youtube videos go without saying.
Movie buffs will also appreciate NordVPN’s SmartDNS technology called SmartPlay. You’ll find it useful if you like watching movies and shows on devices that don’t support VPN connections, like gaming consoles. It works by unblocking streaming services without encrypting your connection.
When it comes to torrenting, both VPNs are a good choice.
Avast VPN offers specialized servers for torrenting, which allow for anonymous P2P file transfers. However, that’s kind of it - there are no other features that would make torrenting easier.
In addition to specialized P2P servers, NordVPN also offers servers that use Onion over VPN for an extra layer of security. In addition to this, some of NordVPN’s servers let you use their free SOCKS5 proxy, which you can set up on your torrenting app.
Out of the two VPN services, NordVPN is the one that offers more features, including such essentials as Obfuscated Servers and SmartPlay, making it a winner in this category. Sorry, Avast - maybe you’ll be luckier next time.
NordVPN offers split tunneling on its Windows and Android applications, while Avast offers it only on its Android app. The feature itself can prove itself useful in various situations. It lets you select the applications that should (or shouldn’t) use VPN connections.
For example, you can set up the VPN only with your Netflix app, allowing other applications to use regular traffic so that the speed wouldn’t suffer.
We touched upon SmartPlay in the section about streaming, but it’s worth mentioning this NordVPN feature once again.
It gets automatically activated when you try accessing geo-restricted streaming services. Thanks to SmartPlay, you have a much higher chance of unblocking the site that you need.
In addition to this, the SmartPlay technology broadens your possibilities to watch movies on a variety of devices that don’t have a proprietary NordVPN app.
This is a feature offered by both NordVPN and Avast SecureLine VPN. However, while both services have specialized servers for torrenting, only Avast offers servers dedicated to streaming (which, unfortunately, didn’t manage to unblock Netflix for me).
In the meantime, NordVPN offers Onion over VPN servers, which combine the Onion Router and a VPN tunnel. Also, it also offers Obfuscated servers that might be helpful in countries where VPN use is restricted.
CyberSec is a NordVPN feature available on all of its platforms. Once enabled, it automatically blocks ads and blacklisted websites that may contain malware, spyware, and trackers.
When you try opening a blacklisted page, you’ll get a notification. You’ll be able to enter the website only when you disable the feature.
Avast VPN lets you set up a bunch of rules that would be executed each time the VPN is activated. For example, you can choose to turn the VPN on when torrenting, streaming, accessing a certain website, or connecting to unknown networks.
Even though NordVPN offers some similar configurations, they are not as flexible as Avast’s.
Data breach checker
Avast SecureLine VPN offers a neat little feature called a data breach checker. You simply need to enter your email address to see whether any of your passwords have been leaked on the web.
Avast VPN vs NordVPN: which is more secure?
Strong security is the cornerstone of any VPN. Military-grade encryption, a good selection of tunneling protocols, and an audited no-logs policy make any VPN suitable for those who want to protect their identity online.
And, in this case, NordVPN is the better choice of the two. It has more tunneling protocols, its no-logs policy is much more rigorous, and it has been already audited by an independent third-party.
In addition, the mobile apps of NordVPN are ioXt certified, which proves that they meet all the necessary security criteria.
Encryption and tunneling protocols
When it comes to encryption, Avast VPN and NordVPN won’t disappoint you. That’s because they both use the AES-256 encryption, which is the current standard in such industries like banking, military, and security.
However, the VPNs differ in their selection of tunneling protocols. The only protocols Avast offers are OpenVPN UDP and Avast Mimic. The latter is a brand new in-house protocol, and not much information is available about it at the moment.
Meanwhile, NordVPN has a lot more protocols to choose from: NordLynx, IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP, and OpenVPN TCP. I especially like NordLynx, which is NordVPN’s version of the fast and secure WireGuard.
When the topic of logging emerges, NordVPN has a squeaky clean reputation. For one, it’s based in the privacy-friendly Panama. Secondly, its no-logs policy is pretty straightforward, stating that none of your information is logged or stored. What’s more, the policy’s truthfulness has been proven by two independent security audits.
You see, it collects certain information that a VPN shouldn’t collect. This includes your original IP minus the last four digits, the full IP address of the VPN server you’re using, and connection timestamps.
This shouldn’t cause you any concern if you’re simply using Avast VPN to watch Youtube or protect your laptop while using public wifi. However, if you want to torrent or do something else that requires full anonymity, Avast might not be the best choice for you.
Kill switch is an essential security feature of any VPN. It automatically cuts off your internet connection when the connection with a VPN server is compromised. In this way, your real IP address can’t get accidentally exposed.
Luckily, both Avast VPN and NordVPN have this feature integrated into their apps. In fact, NordVPN has two kill switches: one for the whole internet and the other - for selected applications. Meanwhile, Avast’s kill switch is only system-wide.
Plans and pricing
I like that both Avast VPN and NordVPN have simple pricing systems. You get the exact same software with every subscription, the only difference being the monthly price. Which decreases the longer you want to subscribe to the service.
|Category||Avast SecureLine VPN||NordVPN|
In this case, NordVPN isn’t the leader anymore - its cheapest plan is more expensive than the cheapest plan of Avast. Also, Avast VPN offers a free 7-day trial version with all the features unlocked, which doesn’t even require any credit card details.
It’s good to know that both services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. It will give you enough time to get acquainted with the service and decide whether you want to keep it or not.
As for the payment methods, I like NordVPN’s selection a bit more than the one of Avast. That’s because Avast only allows you to pay with a credit card, debit card, and PayPal.
At the same time, NordVPN also includes such payment methods like Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, and a bunch of crypto currencies. However, it doesn’t let you pay with PayPal.
It’s also important to know that any Avast SecureLine VPN subscription plan will give you 10 simultaneous connections, while you can only connect to 6 simultaneous devices when getting NordVPN.
|Middle East and Africa||3||4|
It’s quite apparent that NordVPN offers a much bigger server selection than Avast VPN. In fact, it offers twice as many countries as Avast and almost eight times as many servers.
Additionally, NordVPN lets you select a country directly on a map, while you only have a list when using Avast.
Platforms, interface and ease of use
|Supported OS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Other software and devices||Android TV||Kodi, Android TV, Amazon Fire devices|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox||Chrome, Firefox|
When it comes to compatibility, Avast falls behind NordVPN. That’s because it lacks a Linux application and doesn’t support as many different types of devices, like Fire TV Stick.
Even though I appreciate Avast’s generosity of letting you use the VPN on 10 devices at the same time, it’s apparent that NordVPN deserves to win in this category.
The desktop apps (Windows and macOS) of Avast SecureLine VPN are reminiscent of Avast Antivirus, having the same color palette and a similar layout.
And they are pretty easy to use. These are actually quite good applications for beginners, as they don’t have any advanced features or complicated customization options. However, those who want more might be a bit disappointed by the lack of features, so it’s a matter of taste.
Now, the Windows and macOS applications of NordVPN will please a broader crowd. Even though they are quite intuitive, they also offer a bit more than mere protection. However, keep in mind that the Linux version of NordVPN doesn’t have a graphic interface.
Both Avast and NordVPN offer applications for Android and iOS.
The mobile apps of Avast are pretty decent. They are really easy to use and run smoothly. Keep in mind that the Android version is the superior one, as it offers more features like split tunneling.
When it comes to NordVPN, its mobile applications are top-notch. Easy on the eyes and intuitive, they are almost identical to their desktop counterparts - minus the screen size. Keep in mind that only the Android app offers split tunneling, auto-connect, and pausing, while the iOS application has a dark web monitoring feature.
Even though this might not seem that important at first, having a few good customer support options is essential. Especially if you purchase a long-term subscription.
So, what does Avast offer in the customer support department? Well, to tell you the truth, it’s a bit lacking, as there is no live chat option. However, you can find help by reading through the FAQ database and the help forum - or submitting a ticket. There’s also the option to make a phone call.
The situation is a bit better with NordVPN. In addition to a knowledge base, it offers a 24/7 live chat, a chatbot, and email support. Overall, it’s much easier to contact the customer support of NordVPN than the one of Avast.
NordVPN vs Avast SecureLine VPN: which is better?
|Ease of use||✘||✔|
In this Avast VPN vs. NordVPN fight, the latter wins without breaking a sweat. NordVPN offers a more trustworthy no-logs policy, better speeds, and a broader selection of features. Avast doesn't have a good response to the sheer amount of NordVPN's servers and their variety.
However, I’m not saying that Avast SecureLine VPN is a bad service in itself - it just gets put at a great disadvantage when compared to such an industry giant as NordVPN.
Does NordVPN work with Avast?
Yes. If you want to use NordVPN and Avast Antivirus simultaneously, you shouldn’t experience any problems. However, if you suspect that Avast might be blocking NordVPN, try disabling its Web Shield feature.
Is Avast VPN worth the money?
It depends. If you’re looking for a really simple VPN to protect your PC while using public wifi, it might be worth getting Avast, as it’s not an expensive service. However, if you need more, you might want to invest your money into another software, like NordVPN.
Is NordVPN worth it in 2021?
Yes. NordVPN is a quality VPN service with military-grade encryption, fast tunneling protocols, and a trustworthy no-logging policy. It’s still one of the best VPN applications even today.
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