NordVPN Vs. Avast: Pros & Cons of Each

12 min read by Bogdi

published un an în urmă, updated 2 luni în urmă

You may have fantastic network security at home. But when you are in public, the information you send online is far from secure. That’s when a virtual private network can become highly useful.

A virtual private network (VPN) provides increased protection when you are using a public internet connection. VPNs increase both your privacy and the security of your data. There are many VPNs available today. Two of the most prominent options are NordVPN and Avast SecureLine.

In this article, we will cover the basics of what to look for in a VPN. Then we will look at the differences between NordVPN and Avast SecureLine.

What is a VPN and How Does it Work?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. These networks offer a lot of benefits to anyone using a public internet connection. The primary function of a VPN is to enhance your privacy and safety online.

As we move through our daily lives, it is becoming more common to come across free internet connections.

This Wi-Fi is often offered as a complimentary amenity by businesses such as the following.

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Airports

While it is so tempting to surf the internet on the free connection offered by your local café, doing so poses some significant risks.

Consider the following next time you want to connect to public Wi-Fi.

Dangers of Public Internet Connections

When in public, internet users face some serious risks. The truth is that we don't always check fpr the HTTPS sign. HTTP (the not secure version) allow people on the same network to get access to your information if they know how to. Most people won’t come after your information. But a hacker will.

If you happen to share a public network with a hacker, they can access some of your most important pieces of information, such as these.

  • Credit Card Information
  • Phone Numbers
  • Social Security Number
  • Business Data
  • Addresses

The list of vulnerable information does not end there. I’m sure you can think of many more pieces of data that you would not want to share with the public.

But despite this danger, many public internet users are unaware that their information is not secure. And while free internet use is hard to resist, in some cases, it is far from worth it.

If a hacker gets access to your computer, they can steal private data. They can also install harmful software called malware onto your computer.

Once a hacker has breached the security system, they can do almost anything they want with your information. They may even try to access your bank account to use one of your credit cards.

To avoid this, you have two options when it comes to the opportunity to use public Wi-Fi.

  • Avoid using public internet at all costs
  • Use extra safety measures to make sure that your public internet use is secure.

The first option is the simplest approach. But if choosing not to use public internet is not an option for you, you need to prepare yourself to remain safe.

How to Stay Safe When Using Public Internet

If you want to avoid the dangers of public internet use, you need to use one of the following strategies.

  • Only use SSL (HTTPS) connections
  • Do not access any personal information while browsing in public
  • Install a VPN

An SSL certificate indicates a secure internet connection for a specific website. When a website has an SSL certificate, the URL will indicate as such. Those URLs will begin with HTTPS rather than HTTP.

Your browser will likely have an option that will only allow you to use sites that have HTTPS. When you are in public, be sure to use this setting. This will help to prevent you from going to non-secure sites.

There is a great extension for Google Chrome to help you with this. It's called HTTPS Everywhere and you can download it from the Chrome web store.

While this method does not offer complete protection, it can help to keep your information safe. You should also be careful about the specific information that you access while using a public connection.

When in public, avoid any sites that ask for personally-identifying information. This will make it more difficult for a hacker to access this data. But, again, this is not completely protective.

For the best level of security, you will want to opt for your third option.

The Benefits of Using a VPN

Using a VPN may be the best option you have when browsing on a public internet connection. Even though you are in public, a VPN makes it so that you are completely anonymous to those nearby.

A VPN accomplishes this by creating a secure encrypted internet connection. In doing so, it essentially masks your IP address. That means that those around you have no way of identifying the information unique to you.

Even if a hacker is trying to directly access your information on a public network, it will be extremely difficult for them to do so. This is because the VPN encryption mixes up your data, making it virtually unreadable to other people.

When you employ a VPN, all of the following information remains hidden from the public.

  • Web Activity
  • Your Devices
  • Your Location
  • Your IP Address

These are fantastic security features. They are especially useful for those who travel for business and must maintain communication via the internet. If you are a traveling professional, a VPN will keep you safe as you access and share company data. Of course, VPNs are useful for non-business people as well.

VPNs have some other benefits that go beyond protecting personal data.

For example, a VPN can allow you to:

  • Access sites that are typically blocked in a certain geographical region
  • Access your home network while traveling
  • Continue using your streaming services when outside of the country

Clearly, VPNs are useful for protection and convenience. But there is an extremely high amount of VPN options available to you. So, how can you go about choosing the right VPN for you?

Choosing the Right VPN

With the vast array of VPNs around, it is helpful to breakdown the common features of these options. By knowing what to look for, you have a much better chance of choosing the best VPN option for your needs.

Here are a few common factors in evaluating your search for a VPN.

Let’s take a look at each of those elements in further detail.

Evaluating VPN Cost

As with many services and products, VPNs can have a very wide range of prices. Some VPNs could cost up to $12 per month. Others are completely free.

But beware of free VPN offers. While enticing, free VPN companies may make their profits by selling your data. To avoid this, just choose a VPN that is not free. Luckily, there are many options that are not excessively expensive.

Evaluating VPN Privacy Protection

As with cost, VPNs have varying degrees of protection. But there is one major feature that you want to watch out for in this area.

Don’t select a VPN company that keeps a log of your data. This only diminishes your level of security. Any record of your data is something that a hacker could potentially access and use against you.

Avoid this by making sure that your VPN provider has a strict policy against data logging.

General Security and Other Factors

VPNs also come with a range of security capabilities. The exact details of these capabilities will be very different between brands. In general, you want to specifically look for VPNs with great security ratings.

Beyond these features, you want to watch out for scams. There are plenty of fake VPN services that are just a front for people trying to access your data.

Don’t choose an unknown company to be your VPN provider. Even though they may sound very convincing, these companies may not have your best interest in mind. Again, you should be especially aware of free offers.

Now that you know about the basics of VPNs let’s take a look at two popular VPN options on the market.

NordVPN

NordVPN is a great option for anyone looking for a VPN. This is one of the top VPN services. NordVPN has a long-standing reputation that continues to this day.

NordVPN is a highly popular VPN option, and its benefits outweigh its downsides.

Pros and Cons of NordVPN

Here are some of the common complements and critiques that NordVPN users have to offer.

ProsCons
Great encryption capabilitiesHigher price than many VPNs
Many servers worldwideOnly six connections are allowed simultaneously
Reliable speedsRoom for some privacy improvements
Strict zero-log policy
Easy to use

While some have complaints about the price, the general consensus is that NordVPN is worth the cost for what it offers.

Speed and Servers

In the past, some people were critical of the privacy that NordVPN offered. But few to none complained of slow speeds.

In response, NordVPN has endeavored to expand its system in order to improve privacy. This expansion included the addition of many new servers. These servers increase the security of the entire system by monitoring more data more thoroughly.

Here is a breakdown of the extent of NordVPN’s network as of this month.

  • Over 5,300 total servers
  • Servers located in 59 different countries
  • 5,000 IP addresses

Those numbers represent an increase in the overall network. The goal is to increase security. But that increase in security typically comes at a cost.

In most cases, the following table holds true.

Effect on SecurityEffect on Speed
Larger Network of ServersHigher securityLower Speed
Smaller Network of ServersLower securityHigher Speed

The Relationship Between Size and Speed

It is easy to understand why a larger system tends to be slower. Processing more data over longer distances simply takes more time. The opposite is also true. If you want a fast service, the system should be small to support that speed.

  • Nord hasn’t slowed down. Interestingly, NordVPN’s recent network expansion has not had a major impact on its speed. The average speed loss from compared to a typical internet connection is 32%. That may seem like a significant decrease in speed. But compared to other VPNs, it is not a significant reduction.
  • Nord has SmartPlay. To further add to the speed that NordVPN is known for, the company offers a service called SmartPlay. This service improves streaming speeds for videos.

Overall, NordVPN does a great job of balancing speed and security. Even as it has expanded its total servers, it has not sacrificed the convenience of quick and efficient use.

Quality Encryption and Security

When it comes to encryption, NordVPN is one of the best options around. NordVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption. If you are unfamiliar with what that means, don’t worry.

All you need to know is that this is the highest level of encryption available. Remember that encryption relates directly to the security of your information. So, if you are interested in the best encryption around, NordVPN is worth the price.

Want more proof? AES 2560bit encryption is so reliable that even some government agencies use it. With that level of encryption, you can be confident that your data is safe.

But NordVPN has other measures to ensure security.

  • Zero-logging policy
  • Top security protocols
  • Data wiping after each session

The fact that NordVPN goes to great lengths not to log your data is a good thing. They also wipe your data after each internet session. This makes it that much harder for hackers to identify who you are and take your personal information

NordVPN Value VS Pricing

If you are sold on the idea of using NordVPN, the last aspect you need to confront is pricing. As mentioned before, NordVPN is on the higher end of the VPN pricing range. Here is a detailed breakdown of the pricing options that they offer.

  • $11.95/Month
  • $69.00/Year
  • $54.00/6 Months

While these prices are comparatively high, the product is likely worth it.

NordVPN is a respected brand that offers a great all-around experience. It is easy to use and offers top-of-the-line encryption. Users also say it is relatively easy to use compared to other VPNs. Add good speed ratings, and NordVPN is a great option for anyone who wants more security in their public internet browsing.

Avast SecureLine VPN

Avast SecureLine is another common VPN option. This VPN service comes with generally lower ratings compared to NordVPN. These lower ratings arise from a few different aspects of the product. But Avast has its own upsides as well.

Pros and Cons of Avast SecureLine VPN

Here is a chart of the pros and cons of Avast SecureLine VPN.

ProsCons
Good SpeedLimited server locations
Affordable PriceLimited pricing options
Free TrialData retention
Transparency in Privacy Policies

Avast SecureLine and NordVPN both offer VPNs. But their products have very different features. Let’s take a look at what accounts for those differences and how that affects the experience of using Avast SecureLine VPN.

Overall Performance and Security

For the most part, users are happy with their experience using Avast SecureLine VPN. This product is reasonably fast and reasonably priced.

This VPN has fewer servers than NordVPN, but it performs very well on speed tests. But there is one concerning downside that you should take into account.

Avast SecureLine retains a significant amount of its customer’s data. This diminishes overall security. By contrast, NordVPN has its zero-logging policy that contributes to a higher level of overall security.

Unique Pricing Structure

Pricing for Avast SecureLine is quite different than for other VPNs. This VPN service Is priced based on the device you are using. While they have lower prices than NordVPN, some users say that the pricing structure is too rigid.

Here is how much Avast SecureLine costs by device.

  • $79.99/Year for five devices
  • $59.99/Year for one PC or Mac
  • $19.99/Year for a mobile device

In addition to a lack of flexibility in pricing options, there are also only two ways to pay for Avast SecureLine. While other VPNs can be purchased via a variety of means, Avast Secureline can only be purchased using a credit card or PayPal.

But in general, the pricing is fair. An added benefit to the Avast pricing structure is that they allow for free trials.

Users can try the service for free for seven days before committing to a purchase. They also can opt for a full refund after 30 days if they are unhappy with the product.

To sum this up, Avast SecureLine is a quality product with some drawbacks. And despite its merits, it does not hold the same distinction on the market as other VPNs such as NordVPN

Conclusion

Cybersecurity is more important than ever. This is true for individuals, businesses, and government agencies. Today, everyone needs to keep their information safe from hackers. Unfortunately, free Wi-Fi is a great opportunity for hackers to access your data. Luckily, a VPN can easily resolve that problem. Just make sure you know what you are looking for when shopping for a VPN. If you do, you can ensure that your information remains safe even as you use public internet connections.

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