Betternet is a free and premium VPN service which offers access to free users via ad supports and to paid account users with premium features.
It offers servers in 10+ locations around the world. Betternet allows users to block about 1000+ websites on iOS, Mac OS X, Android, and Windows devices for free with its forefront network infrastructure.
It is an excellent choice for those users who demand simple-to-use interface and one-touch unblocking solution.
Betternet is one of the newest free VPN providers, and those who wish to stay anonymous while surfing the Internet are huddling around the Betternet service, which is why it has 10 to 50 million downloads alone on Google Play.
Here is a comprehensive Betternet VPN review which sheds light on the different aspects of the Betternet VPN provider:
- 1 Let’s Start With Pros & Cons Of Betternet VPN
- 2 Let’s Take A Look Into Betternet Features:
- 3 How Does Betternet Make Money?
- 4 Where Betternet Performance Lacks?
- 5 Betternet Website
- 6 Betternet VPN Setup Guide
Let’s Start With Pros & Cons Of Betternet VPN
- Free or very cheap
- Simple user interface
- Permits P2P
- No usage logs
- No data limits
- BBC iPlayer available
- One touch server selection
- Decent connection speed
- Poor customer support
- A limited number of servers
- Keeps connection logs
- Average performance
- US Netflix is inaccessible
- Lack of the strong security
Let’s Take A Look Into Betternet Features:
Betternet VPN is a free service for different system users. The free users are not limited to restricted data usage. If you require a VPN service, for say a small business trip, then you might protect your information in a new location by using the free service by Betternet without needing to pay for the monthly subscription for merely a few days.
The paid subscribers, who avail the Premium plans of Betternet, get the upper hand over the free subscribers and enjoy the following advantages:
- 5 simultaneous connections
- Dedicated servers, faster speeds
- Great server locations
- 24/7 customer support
- Ad-free service
The Premium pricing plans offered by Betternet come with a 7-day free trial version. The Premium plans are as follows:
- 1 Month at $11.99 per month
- 6 Months at $3.99 per month – Save 65%
- 12 Months at $2.99 per month – Save 75%
Both the premium packages offer somewhat similar features but they still have no protocol selection option. The Premium subscription is $11.99 per month which is quite pricier as compared to the Premium VPNs like ExpressVPN.
Betternet Money-back Guarantee
Betternet VPN offers their users a relaxation of 30-days money-back guarantee so that their investment is not at risk. But the refund policy from Betternet VPN is under strict conditions. You are only eligible for the refund if you have availed less than 50 MB data. That means there is no use of 30-day refund policy and this is because 50 Mb is used in only connecting to the internet. Therefore, it is impossible to check their services without investing money.
The best VPN services strive hard to offer more than one device connection simultaneously through your VPN. For instance, if you are traveling, then you can keep your laptop, mobile phone, and your tablet all connected to your VPN service at a time. This provides a user with convenience as he does not have to disconnect a device to connect to the VPN through any other device.
As per our Betternet VPN review, it provides up to five simultaneous connections so that you can use any five of your devices at a time. This multi-login feature offered by Betternet is regardless of the device type and the OS the user uses as long as it has VPN support.
Betternet VPN is not packed with added-value features. That is not surprising at all because it is providing a free VPN service primarily. So if you are looking for a VPN packed with exclusive features, then you can opt for some other paid VPN like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Although what Betternet does offer regardless of the free service is that it permits P2P downloading.
However, it is important to note that, concerning the DMCA notifications, Betternet has clearly stated, “If we ever receive a DMCA takedown notice or valid court orders, we fully comply with the notices without disrupting or jeopardizing any clients privacy. As mentioned earlier, we don’t save any logs, IPs, ports, user information or timestamps. Hence, to satisfy legal requirements from bandwidth providers, we do not disclose any user data to the authorities. So far we have not received any valid court order that has required us to provide something we do not have.”
But in our Betternet VPN review, we had a lot of issues to go up against. Firstly, Betternet VPN is located in Canada which has direct and efficient legal jurisdiction. Secondly, this VPN is not foolproof as it leaks information if a user is not careful enough. Thirdly, you have to understand you access provider’s incentives, values, and position, whether or not you are trying to infringe on copyright.
Betternet does offer P2P connections, but there is nothing that proves whether they are a profitable company with a legitimate team and proper insurance or not.
Security and Privacy
A VPN is considered the most secure option available among other services and tools. The safety and privacy offered, according to our Betternet VPN review, ensures its user’s complete privacy through OpenVPN with AES256 encryption and IPsec with 128-bit AES-CBC.
Betternet VPN distributes all the user traffic over hundred of shared IPs which makes sure that the user traffic mixes in the crowd and thus ensures anonymity as no one knows about your actual identity.
Another thing of importance here is that Betternet VPN is enabled on your browser, so it is only concerned with any Internet activity which is routed through that browser and any other Internet activity routed via other means is thus neither encrypted nor hidden. That’s why if you think that your connection is failsafe then it is not true.
Therefore, for ironclad security and privacy, you need to opt for some other VPN service provider like NordVPN which has a Double encryption feature that multiplies the encryption and security strength.
Betternet VPN allows the third-party organization to inject cookies into a user’s device. That is stated in the Betternet terms of services, and according to them, the practice is to estimate the effectiveness of the VPN services. However, such a method could be risky for the customers as the third-party is independent of all the exercises without the control of Betternet.
According to our Betternet VPN review, the customer support offered is very poor. As we believe, a company should be transparent about itself, and it should provide enough information about itself. For instance, the user does not have to dig deep its way to gain the required information. Even if a user faces any problem, then the customer support should be such that it solves the issue as its utmost priority. But in the case of Betternet, customer support seems to be almost non-existent.
There is also a short and unfortunately not-at-all informative FAQ section as well. Betternet also has a ‘Knowledge Base’ which is uninformative as well. Thus, the only possible way to get direct support is by sending a ticketed request to the knowledge center where you have to wait quite a long time before getting your issue resolved. But if you are paying for a Premium service, then you can gain an all-time customer support which seems rather contradicting for free users.
In our Betternet VPN review what we came across is that Betternet does not keep logs for any information that reveals identity like your email address or your name, as it does not have that information stored. But it is not promising on the fact that your connections aren’t logged. As stated earlier, Betternet can go back through the connection data if there is a need to comply with legal requests.
However, some other VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN follow a strict no log policy where they do not even keep the connection logs.
Performance and Speed
A VPN acts as a man-in-the-middle of your Internet connection and thus causes a speed loss with the use of any VPN. However, a good VPN like NordVPN or ExpressVPN goes that extra mile just so to lessen the latency as well as the bandwidth.
However, Betternet VPN review indicates that it missed the boat on both of them and had some satisfactory results;
But it also showed highly variable results like;
For blazing speed and outstanding performance, you can employ one of the paid VPNs like NordVPN, PureVPN or ExpressVPN.
How Does Betternet Make Money?
VPN services are expensive and tedious to run that’s why no one is going to offer the services for free. We do know that Betternet offers a Premium plan to mobile users. However, Betternet says that it earns its pots of money by the following methods:
- By providing free sponsored apps:
There’s an “Install an app” button inside our mobile app. You are offered other apps for installation when you click on this button. For each app installed, Betternet earns money from the app publishers.
- By offering videos:
By clicking on the “Watch a video and connect” button inside the Betternet app, you can watch a short video. Every time you watch a video, you help Betternet earn money.
When using the mobile app of Betternet, it occasionally offers the opportunity to install free apps and to watch videos as well in return of which it allows you to connectivity through Betternet. But you can also easily dismiss these offers and enjoy the services offered. This is the reason why the question arises again as to how actually the model is working for Betternet to make money? To which Betternet answers,
“Is this model working for us? So far it has worked very well, thanks to the support of our wonderful users. We have many daily emails from our users, who share their love with us by telling us they have installed our recommended apps and find them useful.”
Where Betternet Performance Lacks?
A matter of fact is that even the most efficient tool isn’t 100% authentic; same is the case with Betternet. However, while Betternet VPN review there were few lacks in the critical fields of VPN features.
The most important feature is security, and a study showed Betternet VPN in the list of VPNs which might have been injected with the malware or adware. This lack is more concerning because of the fact of security being the major VPN feature. Yet, Betternet VPN claims to be secure and still, and there are large downloads for it.
Along Betternet VPN, the boost to the VPN tool is majorly due to the purpose of unblocking websites and streaming restricted content. Netflix being the most popular streaming channel has worldwide demand, but unfortunately, it is legal in just a few locations. Therefore, it is also among the highest priorities of users. Unluckily, the users of Betternet VPN could not unblock Netflix even with their premium version.
Also, the heavy torrenting with Betternet VPN will expose you to the speed issue which is annoying while the torrent file was downloading.
Another annoying thing with Betternet is the display of intrusive ads while you are browsing the internet. This ad display is the issue with almost all the free VPNs, and the free version of Betternet also has such lack. However, the service providers are transparent and inform the users about how they make money which is rarely seen.
The official website of Betternet VPN is understandable and simple for the new visitors. They provide easy access to the free app download with the highlighted button. However, they don’t have the display information about their premium services and the pricing. Even they don’t provide any clue of the Betternet premium services and you are told about it when you download the premium app.
Yet, it is mentioned on the page “How We Make Money” and somewhere in the FAQ section of their website.
Betternet VPN Setup Guide
Betternet VPN follows a seven-step simple and easy installation procedure. If however, you are unfamiliar with VPN installation on different platforms, then here is the simple Betternet VPN installation procedure for Windows:
- Open the official website of Betternet VPN
- Go to the Download section
- Download the Betternet VPN Windows app and then install
- Launch Betternet software
- Proceed further by skipping the hints and the guide
- Click the Connect button and wait until your connection is completed.
- Upon successful connection, enjoy your freedom on the Internet!
Conclusion – Is Betternet Good Enough?
With respect to our Betternet VPN review, the service needs to be validated on its own terms. Betternet is a cheap or somewhat free service which has expertise in geo-spoofing your location, site blocks, bypassing some simple firewalls, or simply protecting its users on public WiFi hotspots. Otherwise, if you want to protect your privacy and implement some ironclad security measures, then you should better look for some Betternet alternatives like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or PureVPN.
In conclusion, it can be said merely that Betternet is a decent and free VPN service but the service is not good enough to mask the potential dangers to your anonymity and security.