As two of the popular VPN services available, Avast VPN and ExpressVPN find themselves compared to one another often. Each offers a selection of critical features to security-minded internet users interested in the best protection for their online data. So, which service reigns supreme in the battle of ExpressVPN vs Avast VPN?
Avast has been a significant player in the computer security space for over twenty years, getting its start in the late 80s as an antivirus company. While they still maintain a wildly popular antivirus software today, their SecureLine VPN service has quickly become the crown jewel of their portfolio, and they help secure the online devices of millions of users.
ExpressVPN was launched in 2009, and since then, it has steadily grown to become one of the largest and most trusted VPN providers on the market. Today, they serve millions of users with 160 server locations in more than 90 countries.
While each VPN provider is a powerhouse in their own right, which one has the features and security protocols in place, you need to ensure your privacy online? Today, we’re going to take a closer look at Avast VPN vs ExpressVPN to help you decide which is the best VPN for your online security needs.
Avast VPN vs ExpressVPN: quick comparison
|3rd party audit
|Yes, by PwC
|Yes, all servers
|3000 servers in
|Streaming and P2P
7-days free trial
in the mobile app
|3.5 / 5.0
|4.5 / 5.0
|Avast VPN Review
|Get Avast VPN
The jurisdiction a company operates from can have a major impact on the level of privacy users can expect to receive. Some countries have laws that are especially favorable to user privacy, while other countries are quick to compel VPN providers with subpoenas to divulge sensitive user information.
When selecting a VPN, the option you choose must conduct its business from a jurisdiction that’s favorable to user privacy.
Avast VPN is headquartered in the Czech Republic, which has no data retention laws. Such laws were ruled unconstitutional by the Czech government, which means their policies are quite favorable to users from a privacy perspective.
Meanwhile, ExpressVPN is based out of the British Virgin Islands, a country with strong user privacy laws on the books. The BVI has strong data privacy legislation on the books, and ExpressVPN is only required to comply with subpoenas received directly from the BVI government, or in rare cases, subpoenas that are processed in conjunction with BVI authorities.
Both providers score high marks from a user privacy perspective, and they both provide users with the peace of mind in knowing that their VPN provider won’t be compelled to give up their private user data.
The truth is that a VPN provider can claim practically anything they want about their VPN services. Many providers claim to offer impressive performance and security features that any privacy-minded internet user would like to have. But, there’s a fine line between slick marketing and the truth. Is your VPN provider putting their money where their mouth is and delivering the security experience they claim to provide?
The best way to confirm that a VPN is who they say is with a 3rd party audit. VPNs willing to undergo an independent audit have generated tons of buzz in recent years, as a 3rd party audit is the gold standard of trust.
As it stands today, Avast VPN has not undergone a public audit of its services. While a third party may have audited them, those results have not been released, so it’s challenging to speak to whether or not Avast VPN is delivering on all of their privacy claims.
However, ExpressVPN has undergone a publicly available third-party audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is the most trusted name in the business when it comes to independent audits.
PwC audited ExpressVPN to confirm that their VPN servers operate according to ExpressVPN’s stated privacy and security policies and ensured the security of ExpressVPN’s trusted server technology, which eliminates hard drive data storage in favor of a RAM-only implementation.
ExpressVPN has also been audited by the security firm Cure53 to ensure its browser extensions’ safety and security.
While the lack of a third party audit doesn’t necessarily mean that Avast VPN isn’t delivering on their privacy and security claims, it is concerning. Meanwhile, multiple audits from some of the most trusted names in the business, including PwC, confirm that ExpressVPN is an exceptionally trustworthy option.
When it comes to Avast SecureLine VPN vs ExpressVPN, ExpressVPN scores major points thanks to their publicly available third-party audits.
Most users don’t just use their VPN across one or two devices; they use them across every device they own. Whether you’re on your desktop, laptop, phone, tablet, smart TV, or any other device, users expect their VPN to perform well and keep their activity on the internet private.
But, all of these different devices have unique characteristics that may not mesh well with your VPN provider, so the VPN you choose must offer native apps for all of the other devices you use.
Native apps are installed directly on the device, and they’re designed to work seamlessly with a particular operating system. Of course, even if your device doesn’t have a native app available, that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe. But, it may be a bit more cumbersome to set up and use than a VPN with a native app for your device.
Avast VPN offers a fair selection of native apps, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Android TV apps. Considering this represents the lion’s share of different devices on the market, most users will find that Avast’s offering is perfectly suitable.
But, if you’re looking for a VPN that offers even more native applications, ExpressVPN may be a wiser choice for you. ExpressVPN offers all the same native applications as Avast VPN, plus a few additionals as well.
Beyond native apps for computers and tablets, ExpressVPN also offers native apps for Linux, Kindle Fire, and a variety of popular routers, including popular models from Linksys and NetGear. With a VPN-ready router and ExpressVPN, you’ll be able to protect all wireless traffic coming through your router with a single VPN connection.
Similar to native apps, browser extensions make it easy to set up a VPN connection and configure it to your liking, right from your internet browser.
Avast VPN offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, as well as their own branded browser. Avast’s browser is built from the ground up with an emphasis on user privacy. The browser is sleek and performs well, but if you prefer to stick with a browser you already use, like Chrome or Firefox, their browser extension is simple and easy to use.
In ExpressVPN’s case, they provide a simple and intuitive browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. They don’t have their own browser currently, and many users who are focused on user privacy aren’t especially fond of Chrome or Firefox. However, when used in conjunction with the VPN browser extension, you’ll be able to significantly boost the level of privacy you’ll have.
If you’re not the only person in your household, you’re going to want a VPN that can handle multiple simultaneous connections to your VPN without affecting the speed or quality of service. Fortunately, both Avast VPN and ExpressVPN allow for multiple simultaneous connections.
Both services allow for up to five simultaneous connections, which is usually enough to satisfy the average household’s needs. If you plan on having more than five devices connected at once, you may want to look towards other options that allow you to connect unlimited devices, such as SurfShark VPN or Avira Phantom VPN.
Advanced VPN Features
Each VPN provider has their own “special sauce” of features. All VPNs are designed to keep your information secure and private, but most offer some useful features and benefits that make them unique. Here’s how Avast VPN and ExpressVPN stack up when it comes to advanced features.
Avast VPN Advanced Features
Avast’s SecureLine VPN is a relatively bare-bones option for VPN protection, but they still have a few noteworthy features that are worth discussing.
Avast provides users with 256-bit encryption, which is the industry standard for security. Their platform is built on OpenVPN and OpenSSL protocols, which are the most widely used and trusted protocols available, and they offer 55 server locations across 34 different countries.
SecureLine VPN is completely no-log, so you don’t have to worry about them retaining data about your internet activity. Their servers provide a shared IP address, so when you connect to a server, you’ll be using the same IP as every other user on that server, which adds an element of anonymity to your online activity.
ExpressVPN Advanced Features
Unlike SecureLine VPN, which is a more affordable and less full-featured option, ExpressVPN provides a litany of unique features that help separate them from the sea of other VPN providers.
ExpressVPN also uses 256-bit encryption and the OpenVPN protocol to keep your activity private, and they offer an impressive cache of server locations, with 160 servers located across 146 countries.
ExpressVPN also has proprietary TrustedServer technology, which eliminates server hard drives, which is one of the most significant challenges standing in the way of a completely private connection. Every time one of the servers is rebooted, absolutely all information is wiped clean from the server thanks to their RAM-only configuration.
This VPN also offers split tunneling, which allows you to protect only a portion of your internet activity, which enables you to make use of local IP services at the same time you’re connected to a secure server in another part of the world.
Rounding out their offering of advanced features is the NetworkLock kill switch, which blocks all internet traffic if your VPN connection drops. Users can then reconnect to the server of their choice without exposure to potential security risks.
Streaming & Torrenting
Streaming and downloading torrents are two of the most popular VPN applications, and many providers offer dedicated servers specifically for those streaming or downloading from torrents. A VPN is especially helpful for streamers, as they can mask the country your IP address originates from, which will unlock regionally protected content.
Avast VPN is well known as a smart choice for streaming, and they advertise that they’re able to get users around blocked content so you can stream to your heart’s content with services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more. While they don’t have servers specifically designed for streaming, all of their servers support content streaming, so you shouldn’t run into issues.
Some, but not all, of Avast VPN’s servers also support peer to peer sharing. If you’re interested in downloading torrents, just connect to one of these P2P enabled servers and download away without concern for whether or not your activity is being kept private. Avast provides unlimited bandwidth, so you can download as many torrents as you like with no restrictions.
ExpressVPN also allows you to skirt by regional restrictions to enjoy streaming content from anywhere in the world. You’ll have no trouble using any major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer. Plus, ExpressVPN advertises that they have you covered for practically every other streaming service under the sun.
As for torrenting, P2P downloading is supported across the entire ExpressVPN server network. You’ll be able to connect to any server at any time to privately download torrents. ExpressVPN also provides unlimited bandwidth, so you’ll never run into any download restrictions when using this VPN.
Most VPN providers provide attractive discounts for users who sign up for the long term. But, who wants to pull the trigger on a year (or more) of VPN service without taking it for a test drive first? A free trial is ideal since you’ll be able to try out the provider before you consider signing on for the long term.
Avast’s SecureLine VPN provides a 7-day free trial, and no credit card is required to sign up. Most VPNs that offer a free trial are pretty restrictive; some allow you to try the service out on a single device or limit the access you have to different servers. Thankfully, the Avast VPN trial provides you with unlimited access to every feature they have for seven days.
At the end of your trial, you can either sign up for their service or choose to part ways in search of a VPN that’s a better fit. Even after your trial has expired, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you decide you’ve made the wrong decision.
ExpressVPN advertises a free trial, but it’s more of a money-back guarantee. You select the service you want and pay for it upfront. From there, you have 30-days to decide if it’s a good fit for you. If not, ExpressVPN will provide a full refund promptly.
While all indications suggest that receiving a refund is easy if you decide that ExpressVPN isn’t a good fit, their “trial” isn’t as transparent as the one Avast offers, since you’ll need to pay for the service upfront.
Price is a significant factor in selecting the best VPN for you, and both Avast VPN and ExpressVPN offer competitive pricing that’s consistent with the industry standard.
Avast offers a lower price than ExpressVPN, although they’re slightly less flexible since there’s no month to month option. Avast offers plans for a single device, as well as a plan that will protect as many as five devices. Here’s how their pricing breaks down:
- $3.99 per month – 12 month commitment
- $2.99 per month – 24 month commitment
- $2.99 per month – 36 month commitment
Up to five devices
- $4.99 per month – 12-month commitment
- $3.99 per month – 24-month commitment
- $3.99 per month – 36 month commitment
ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive, but they offer more flexibility with their month-to-month and six-month plans.
Up to five devices
- $12.95 per month – No commitment
- $9.99 per month – 6-month commitment
- $8.32 per month – 12-month commitment with three additional months free
Reddit Users choice
Reddit has long been a sounding board for the hottest products in the tech space, and Reddit users are happy to share their opinions when it comes to Avast VPN vs ExpressVPN.
The consensus among Reddit users is that while both VPN’s are serviceable options, ExpressVPN is the better choice for those who are serious about their privacy. ExpressVPN offers the most comprehensive array of features, and while they’re more expensive, they provide a more complete product than Avast.
Avast VPN vs ExpressVPN: Final Word
When it comes to the battle of Avast VPN vs ExpressVPN, both VPN’s perform well and deliver an array of features that VPN users have come to expect from their service provider.
Avast’s SecureLine VPN is available at an attractive price that’s sure to please the budget-conscious VPN user, but they can’t compete with the array of features that ExpressVPN provides.
ExpressVPN offers more security and usability features, more server locations, and they have multiple third-party audits in their corner that speak to their trustworthiness and reliability. If you’re serious about keeping your internet activity private and secure, ExpressVPN is the clear choice for you.