- English e-mail support
- No chat support
- No phone support
Betternet VPN is a popular free VPN service that is used by millions of users around the world. However, there are many questions surrounding the reliability and security of Betternet, given that it has been embroiled in some security scandals.
Although there are many negative reviews on Betternet VPN, people still use the service, meaning there must be some good aspects to the VPN. Betternet VPN can unblock some streaming services and offers data encryption secured by the fast Hydra protocol.
We've taken a deep dive into Betternet VPN and its free VPN and premium service. If you're on the fence regarding using Betternet, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this VPN and whether or not it can provide online privacy and browsing freedom.
- Free VPN
- Fast speeds on premium plan
- Unblocks Netflix
- Malware found in Android app
- Limitations on free VPN plan
- Expensive premium plans
|Type of IP offered:||Shared|
|Simultaneous connections / Users:||5|
|OS support:||Android, iOS, macOS, Windows|
|Streaming:||Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer|
|VPN Promotion:||Get VPN from Betternet VPN for 7.99$ per month|
- American Express
- Diners Club International
- Mastercard Debit
- Visa Debit
- Visa Electron
- Hong Kong
- United Kingdom
- United States
Betternet VPN Security
VPN services are, first and foremost, a tool to keep personal data and browser traffic private online. Any good Virtual Private Network should prioritize its users' privacy and security to ensure that no third parties can track their internet traffic.
Betternet VPN comes up short in several areas regarding security features. While there is military-grade data encryption for users of both the premium and free VPN services, there is no kill switch available. This is disappointing especially given that an automatic kill switch will block your internet connection if the VPN server drops. Without a kill switch, you could unknowingly expose your browsing activity to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and snoopers on public networks.
Fortunately, there are some upsides to Betternet VPN. For example, we didn't experience any DNS leaks or IP leaks with the VPN. This is important since DNS requests and IP leaks can reveal a lot of information about your interests, the websites you visit, and your real location.
Every Betternet VPN connection is secured with the Catapult Hydra protocol, which other VPN services like Hotspot Shield use. Hydra creates a fast connection but also helps secure your VPN tunnel.
Unfortunately, Betternet VPN is not a completely log-free VPN. Betternet logs a minimal amount of data, including the following:
- IP addresses collected at the start of a VPN session - these are encrypted and deleted
- VPN session duration, connection timestamps, and bandwidth consumption
- The domains that users visit (this is anonymous)
- Device hashes
However, Betternet VPN asserts that it doesn't collect data that can specifically link users to their activity on the VPN network, meaning your privacy should stay intact.
Free users may wonder then why there are in-app ads on the free app. This is because Betternet uses Google Analytics to provide targeted ads to appear to users in the app. While this isn't great, it is good to know at least that Betternet VPN doesn't use its users' VPN data to create these apps.
Unfortunately, Betternet VPN found itself embroiled in a security controversy a few years ago. Malware and tracking libraries were discovered to be embedded in Betternet's Android app. This is incredibly bad for a VPN service; even worse, Betternet VPN never publicly responded to this issue, leaving users unsure of whether or not the Android phone app is safe or not.
Betternet VPN Features
Although Betternet VPN calls its free service an 'unlimited VPN,' it comes with many limitations. For example, there is a 500Mb daily data limit and access to just one US server; this isn't great news for people who might want to browse the web under a Japanese or British IP address.
As well as the above, the Betternet free version doesn't allow users to install the free plan on multiple devices simultaneously and also cannot successfully unblock geo-restricted streaming services. If users attempt to visit sites like Netflix on the free version, they'll be met with a Betternet VPN premium subscription advertisement.
While we aren't overly impressed with the Betternet VPN free version, there are some good things about the VPN service. Firstly, the premium service provides access to servers in more than 80 server locations, far more than the one US server available on the free plan. While there aren't many Betternet servers on offer when compared to other VPN services like Private Internet Access, Betternet operates in countries such as the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, France, Australia, and Germany.
Moreover, the paid Betternet VPN service provides users with unlimited bandwidth and fast internet speeds thanks to its Hydra protocol. The premium service can also unblock popular streaming platforms meaning you can watch BBC iPlayer, unblock Netflix and enjoy a buffer-free connection thanks to a good download speed.
Every Betternet premium member can use the VPN on up to six devices at any time. There are mobile apps for Android and iOS, a desktop app for Windows and Mac. There is also a Google Chrome browser extension.
Customer support could be better as, at the moment, there is just email support. Moreover, the information available to help users on the Betternet website is scarce and not very helpful.