Nothing will protect your privacy and identity online like a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN works by rerouting your internet connection through a secure encrypted tunnel of servers so that others cannot access or decipher it.
A VPN will also serve to mask your real IP address and location and replace it with that of a remote VPN server so that your internet activity information cannot be linked to you or your computer. By replacing your real IP address with that of a VPN server, you can gain complete internet freedom and access to geo-restricted streaming sites from around the world.
Gotham City, the home of Batman, is a New York VPN server location that Avast SecureLine VPN introduced to enable customers to access US streaming services from around the world. There is an extensive range of VPNs on the market, so how does Avast’s Gotham City compare.
In 2018, Avast SecureLine VPN secretly added a new server location called Gotham City. The VPN provider offered little official information to explain what the location is for. The VPN client interface offers a label for the Gotham City location that says, “The server is optimized for video streaming.” This means that Gotham City, New York is designed for streaming Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, and other geo-restricted services.
Whether you connect to it from Europe, the United States, or Asia, the Gotham City server’s real location is always New York. This may cause significant delays and a slower connection if you are located outside of the US. Thus, we would recommend only connecting to Gotham City if you are located in the US or you want to watch US-only streaming content.
Gotham City is available on all Avast SecureLine VPN clients, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Avast SecureLine VPN is a well-designed, simple-to-use service that delivers impressive performance and decent security protection. However, the VPN service is somewhat lacking in advanced features when compared to some of its competitors. Its subscription price is also arguably too high considering the standard of service on offer.
Security company Avast has introduced a VPN service alongside its well-known anti-virus products. Although Avast SecureLine VPN does work reasonably well, it comes with a limited set of features and a relatively high subscription price when compared to most other premium services on the market.
Avast SecureLine hits all of the basics required of a VPN and delivers support for most common operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. The app works well with any Avast existing anti-virus software, but there is, unfortunately, no support for Linux, Chromebooks, or Wi-Fi routers, which is disappointing.
Avast offers a generous 7-day free trial, which is not often seen from a premium VPN. This means that you can test the service for a week and decide whether it is for you. There is no data limit during the Avast trial period either, so you can consume as much content as you like.
Once the free trial is over, pricing becomes somewhat confusing. Users can opt for a single PC license for $59.99 a year, a license for 3 PCs for $69.99 a year, 5 for $79.99, and 10 for $99.99. It is worth checking Avast’s site regularly for seasonal deals and discounts, as you may be able to get the VPN product for a lower price.
Previously, Avast charged users for each macOS device, but now Avast’s macOS software costs $59.99 a year. To install the app on an iOS or Android device, you will need to choose a separate subscription which costs $19.99 a year per platform.
This means that your yearly subscription price could quickly add up if you need to simultaneously protect multiple PCs, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. This payment structure is typical for antivirus software, but it does not work well for a VPN service.
Thankfully, Avast has introduced a multi-device license that allows protection for up to 5 devices for $79.99 a year. Users can choose to pay with a credit card, PayPal, or transfer. There is, unfortunately, no option to pay with Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies, which may be disappointing for any security-conscious user that wishes to remain completely anonymous online.
Avast SecureLine has a relatively small server network that is spread across 19 countries worldwide. Despite that it may be sufficient for most users, it offers significantly fewer locations than premium VPN services that come with thousands of servers around the world.
The client interface is well-designed but simple on both mobile and desktop. It is easy to navigate and suitable for beginner users. However, there are few configurable features compared to most other services, which means that VPN experts will likely be disappointed.
There is no option to alternate between protocols set by default to OpenVPN for Android and Windows and IPSec for iOS and macOS. Nor does the VPN offer the option to set up an automatic connection upon startup or when you connect via an unsecured network. Avast SecureLine VPN does not come with ad-blocking for any platform.
When it comes to privacy, Avast SecureLine VPN utilizes industry-standard AES-256 bit encryption to protect your internet traffic from the prying eyes of cybercriminals, your ISP, and malicious third parties. However, as Avast does not offer the option to pay with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, it will be necessary to enter your real name during sign-up.
Also, the provider admits to logging user information when connected to the Avast SecureLine VPN. And, there is no kill-switch to protect your sensitive internet activity if the VPN connection drops or fails for any reason.
Connection speeds are decent, although significantly slower than premium VPNs.
Setting up and installing the VPN is relatively simple, and there is email support during business hours. However, to utilize Avast’s 24/7 telephone support, it will be necessary to pay a higher subscription fee.
Overall, Avast SecureLine VPN is a simple, somewhat disappointing VPN service. Although it may make sense to purchase the Avast VPN if you are already an Avast Antivirus customer, its higher subscription prices and lack of features mean that it cannot compare with some of the best, more affordable providers on the market like CyberGhost, NordVPN, or Surfshark.
Avast SecureLine VPN is a relatively expensive VPN product with few configurable features and a small network of servers. Therefore, we are inclined to recommend a more affordable premium service such as CyberGhost, NordVPN, or Surfshark.
Czech-based CyberGhost is a popular and well-regarded VPN provider that offers impressive performance and powerful dedicated clients for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. There are some useful streaming features, making it a great option for television fans, and it comes at a relatively affordable monthly price.
Subscription prices start at just $2.25 with the CyberGhost VPN service, making it significantly cheaper than Avast and one of the cheapest VPNs on the market in 2021. Customers are protected by a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, too, meaning that you can test the service before committing to a paid plan.
Unfortunately, the company has not yet completed an independent security audit of its product and servers, but it does make some reassuring statements about its logging processes. It offers a strong transparency report, and all of the CyberGhost VPN apps appear to be completely secure.
On UK and US server connections, CyberGhost offers impressive speeds that are sufficient for watching content in high-definition without buffering or lagging. There is compatibility with a range of geo-restricted streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, YouTube, and more. However, CyberGhost cannot overcome VPN-blocks on the BBC iPlayer, which is disappointing for fans of United Kingdom content.
Torrenting fans will enjoy complete internet freedom thanks to wide P2P compatibility across most, although not all VPN servers. There are some useful features, such as setting up an automatic connection when you launch a torrenting client, military-grade encryption, and a reliable integrated kill-switch, which make it an excellent choice for torrenters.
CyberGhost comes with impressive desktop clients that offer a range of configurable features rarely seen in an affordable VPN. The mobile apps do come with slightly fewer features, but they are well-designed and functional.
If you run into any difficulties using the VPN product, there is 24/7 live chat assistance and a range of useful written guides available on the company site.
NordVPN is an all-around great VPN product that comes with P2P compatibility, excellent streaming performance, and super-fast connection speeds thanks to its proprietary NordLynx protocol. It has completed an independent security audit too, which is reassuring for security-conscious customers.
NordVPN offers a much more cost-effective VPN product when compared to Avast. Monthly subscription prices start at just $3.71 as long as you are happy to commit to a longer-term plan of two years.
If you want the freedom of a rolling monthly contract, you will be paying an expensive $11.95 a month, though. NordVPN comes with a range of payment options to suit all customers, including PayPal, credit card, and anonymous Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments.
All NordVPN clients come with military-grade AES-256 bit encryption to ensure your private information and browsing activity are protected. NordVPN comes with a range of advanced security features, including Onion over VPN, which will re-route your connection to the anonymous encrypted Tor network for an extra layer of protection, as well as access to Onion sites.
NordVPN also offers the option to use Double VPN encryption which will send your data through two remote servers rather than just one. It is almost impossible for anyone to read or decipher your private information and link it to your real IP address. Nord’s obfuscated servers enable enhanced performance in locations that do not typically allow the use of a VPN connection, such as university campuses or libraries.
There is a reliable integrated kill-switch, too, to ensure your private information and browsing activity are protected even if the VPN connection fails for any reason. If the VPN connection drops, the kill-switch will cut your internet connection so that no unencrypted information or your actual IP address is exposed.
NordVPN is also one of the best VPN products for user privacy, as it has completed an independent security audit of its no-logging policy and services. This is a real benefit for privacy-conscious customers that want to remain completely anonymous online.
Server speeds are excellent across all NordVPN products, especially if you utilize the proprietary NordLynx protocol. NordVPN is a great option for people looking to stream overseas content on geo-restricted services worldwide, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, and more. There is compatibility for P2P activities, too, across most, although not all, of the NordVPN server network.
The NordVPN desktop version is powerful and well-designed. However, the mobile apps are slightly trickier to use due to the server map page. There are apps for a wide range of devices and operating systems, and with 6 simultaneous connections, you can protect all of your devices at the same time.
NordVPN customers have access to reliable 24/7 live-chat assistance and a comprehensive troubleshooting section on the website. Overall, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs available, no matter what devices you use.
Surfshark is an extremely affordable VPN product that comes with a lot of impressive features. As long as you are happy to commit to a 2-year plan, Surfshark is one of the most cost-effective VPN companies. It also comes with a generous unlimited connections policy for internet freedom on all of your devices.
If you are ready to commit to a longer-term subscription plan, you can get the Surfshark VPN app for just $2.25 a month, making it one of the most affordable options on the market and a more cost-effective choice when compared to Avast.
The VPN offers all of the basics to ensure your internet activity data and real IP address remain protected at all times. There is military standard AES-256 bit encryption and support for a range of secure protocols. There is also the option to enable a MultiHop server feature to re-route your internet data through multiple servers for an added layer of protection.
There is a split tunneling feature too, which is useful if you need to separate your connections when torrenting and an ad-blocker to protect your information from malicious websites. The reliable integrated kill-switch will protect your information and IP address if the VPN app fails for any reason.
When it comes to data logging, Surfshark offers impressive, audited no-logging policies, and it is located in the British Virgin Islands, a country that enjoys excellent data privacy laws. This makes the VPN app an excellent option for any privacy-conscious customers that wish to remain completely private and anonymous on the internet.
Server speeds are great, especially on US connections. Even on busy servers, it is fast enough to stream and game in high-definition without lagging or buffering. There is support for P2P sharing activities too, which is reassuring for torrenters.
Customer support with Surfshark is decent, with a range of troubleshooting articles and a live chat available. Overall, the VPN app is an excellent option for streamers, torrenters, and any user looking for an affordable privacy solution.
If you want to protect your computer and other devices from hackers, cybercriminals, your ISP (Internet Service Provider), the US government, and others, we would recommend installing and using a VPN. VPNs will keep your browser history, internet activity, the websites you visit, and the information you share online hidden from prying eyes.
VPNs will also help you overcome geo-restrictions and censorship issues by masking your real IP address and replacing it with that of remote server locations. This enables free internet access no matter your location. If you want to stream something that is not typically available in your region, a VPN will enable you to do so. Connect to a server located in the same country as the content you want to access.
A VPN will also protect you when you access unsecured public Wi-Fi networks such as those in cafes, hotels, and public transport. Such networks are prime targets for hackers and cybercriminals, posing an issue for your internet privacy. Activate your VPN before you connect to enjoy complete security and privacy wherever you are.