Betternet VPN Review

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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.


  • pro icon Free VPN
  • pro icon Fast speeds on premium plan
  • pro icon Unblocks Netflix


  • con icon Malware found in Android app
  • con icon Limitations on free VPN plan
  • con icon Expensive premium plans
Price Starting At: 7.99 $ / monthly 95.88 $ / annually
For New Users: 45 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 80+
General information
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: 5
OS support: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows
Streaming: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer
Browser Extentions: Chrome
VPN Promotion: Get VPN from Betternet VPN for 7.99$ per month
Unlimited Bandwidthcross iconKill Switchcross iconSplit Tunnelingcross iconZero Data Loggingcross iconFree Version / Trialcross iconMobile Appcross iconFirestick Compatiblecross icon
Payment options
  • American Express
  • Diners Club International
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Mastercard
  • Mastercard Debit
  • UnionPay
  • Visa
  • Visa Debit
  • Visa Electron
Geolocations available
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Singapore
  • 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.

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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.


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Is Betternet VPN Safe?

One of the most frequently asked questions about Betternet is whether or not it is a safe VPN. There are a few factors that raise eyebrows regarding the level of safety that Betternet VPN provides.

First of all, Betternet lacks a few essential security features, such as a kill switch. This means that users won’t get any notification if their connection to one of the VPN servers drops. Moreover, while there is protection against DNS leaks on the mobile and desktop apps, the Chrome browser extension is not DNS leakproof.

Furthermore, malware and tracking software was discovered on the Betternet apps for Android devices. This issue was never commented on by Betternet, which is concerning and is perhaps an indication of the VPN’s attitude towards safety.

Does Betternet VPN Sell Your Data?

The Betternet VPN privacy policy enlightens users as to whether or not the service sells data. Fortunately, the VPN provider doesn’t store VPN usage logs and doesn’t, therefore, sell this data to third parties.

However, this doesn’t mean that Betternet doesn’t collect user data. It stores IP addresses (unrelated to VPN use) and uses these for advertising purposes. Furthermore, Betternet partners with Google to provide targeted ads to users in its Betternet free apps. However, there are no details on whether Betternet profits from using its subscribers’ data.

Is Betternet VPN Free?

Betternet offers a free VPN. However, this VPN is limited, as is the norm for free VPNs. This is what Betternet free users can expect to enjoy:

While 500Mb per day is quite generous, it isn’t as great as the unlimited bandwidth that premium users can enjoy.

Moreover, Betternet free users can’t enjoy ad-free VPN use, fast speeds, or advanced customer supports. Furthermore, the free plan won’t unblock Netflix or any other streaming sites, which is one of the main reasons people enjoy using VPNs.

So, while Betternet offers a free plan, it might be better to use this as a free trial of sorts. If you decide you like the VPN service, then you can upgrade to a premium subscription to enjoy more features.

How Much Does Betternet Cost?

If you upgrade to the premium plan, you can choose from two subscription options.

Fortunately, there is a 45-day money-back guarantee meaning you can get a full refund before the end of 45 days if you aren’t happy with the service.

Where is Betternet Based?

Although Betternet VPN is owned by Betternet LLC, it is a part of the Aura Group. The Aura Group is a large company that has many VPN company subsidiaries, including Hotspot Shield.

While Betternet is an Aura Group member, it is its own company and therefore operates slightly differently from Aura. For example, Betternet was incorporated in the US and therefore is based there.

The fact that Betternet is based in the US may slightly worry some users for a few reasons. Firstly, the US operates strict data retention laws and could subpoena Betternet for data on its users at any time.

As well as the above, the US is a founding Five Eyes member. The Five Eyes is an international security alliance between several countries. It shares data between countries in an effort to counter international security threats such as terrorism. However, many people are unhappy with the alliance and view it as a large infringement on personal privacy.

While it is concerning that Betternet was incorporated in the US, and therefore must follow the laws of this jurisdiction, it is reassuring that there is only minimal logging. The VPN also doesn’t log browser data, and the privacy policy even goes so far as to reassure users that the government won’t view their data, stating:

“This means that we are not able to share your VPN browsing activity with anyone – whether it’s an ad network or government agency – because we simply don’t store that information.”

How does Betternet VPN Work?

What is Betternet VPN, and what does Betternet VPN do? Betternet is a Virtual Private Network service that aims to give users more privacy online and internet freedom.

With an active connection, Betternet VPN masks your internet data and sends it via an encrypted tunnel to a VPN server. This process doesn’t just ensure that your internet traffic is protected with encryption at all times, but it also changes your IP address and, therefore, your location. This makes it appear as though you are in another part of the world.

There is no manual configuration needed to get Betternet VPN to work. Users can simply set up the app on their computer and mobile devices and enable the VPN via this.

How do I Turn off Betternet VPN?

Switching off Betternet VPN is easy. Once you have the VPN app installed on your device of choice, you simply need to open the app and switch it on using the large ‘Connect’ button on the home screen. Alternatively, you can connect to a particular VPN server from the server list.

When you want to turn off Betternet VPN, you can simply tap the ‘Disconnect’ button in the app. This will immediately cease the active connection to the VPN server. If you’re using the Chrome extension, then you can use the in-app extension and switch the VPN on and off using the buttons available. It couldn’t be easier to turn off Betternet VPN.

Does Betternet Block IP?

Betternet VPN is a great solution for users who want to hide their real IPs with a VPN IP address. Betternet helps to mask users’ actual IPs, which can hide their location and other information that IP addresses can reveal.

We ran IP leak tests when using the Windows client and didn’t have any leaks. However, this wasn’t the case when using the Chrome extension. Unfortunately, there were IP and DNS leaks using the Chrome browser add-on which means that your actual IP address may not be entirely blocked when browsing on Chrome.

The fact that your IP address may be revealed could be risky, especially if you are doing something such as torrenting. Therefore, if it is especially important for you to hide your VPN, we recommend using the Betternet app instead of the browser extension.

Does Betternet Work with Streaming Services?

So long as you pay for the premium version of Betternet, you should be able to unblock multiple streaming sites. Betternet works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and several other services.

Unfortunately, free users won’t be able to watch geo-restricted streaming content. Whenever users of the free VPN visit a streaming site, they will be met with a paywall to sign up for a premium Betternet plan. This is interesting since other free VPNs like ProtonVPN do not do this on their free versions. However, it isn’t abnormal for a free service to be unable to unblock a streaming site as many simply don’t have the power to do so.

Can You Use Betternet for Torrenting?

Torrenting is supported on the Betternet server network. Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android users can employ the VPN to download as many files as they wish without any data limits since Betternet’s premium service offers unlimited bandwidth.

While Betternet offers advanced encryption to protect user privacy and hide torrent activity, we wouldn’t recommend it as a torrenting VPN. For one thing, there is no kill switch, which is an essential torrenting VPN feature. Your VPN connection could drop and expose your download activity without a kill switch. This is problematic, especially if you’re using torrents to share illegal copyrighted material.

Is Betternet Fast?

Depending on the Betternet plan you choose, you’ll either enjoy fast or slow speeds. The premium Betternet plan offers fast speeds, which bodes well for activities such as streaming. However, when we ran a speed test on the free service, we noticed that our download speed dropped dramatically, as did our upload speed.

With the free service, page load times increased, which was frustrating. However, since Betternet only offers access to one server, slow speeds are expected. With the premium service, users get unlimited bandwidth and more choice of servers which ultimately means better speeds.

What Devices does Betternet Support?

If you purchase a premium Betternet plan, you can connect the VPN to five devices simultaneously. When it comes to device compatibility, Betternet offers dedicated apps for the following systems:

With regard to browser extensions, Betternet currently only offers a VPN browser add-on for Google Chrome.

Does Betternet Offer Customer Support?

Betternet claims to offer 24/7 customer support for its premium subscribers; however, this support comes in the form of an email service only. There is no live chat support, and the help section on the website is extremely sparse. This is slightly disappointing since many other VPN providers offer excellent customer support services, including live chats.

There is even more disappointing news for free users since there is no dedicated customer support for users on the free plan. This means that if you run into an issue with the free Betternet service, you won’t be able to get help from the customer support team.

Is Betternet a Bad VPN?

So, is Betternet a good or bad VPN service? There are plenty of great things about Betternet, including the fact it offers a free service which essentially acts as a free trial for the premium plan. Moreover, Betternet employs great encryption and native apps, which makes it easy to use.

Unfortunately, there are some downsides, such as the fact that Betternet carries out minimal logging and also the fact that there are ads in the free app. As well as this, Betternet’s Android apps contained malware, which is extremely worrying.

So, while Betternet is not the worst VPN, it is also not one of our top picks.

Is Betternet VPN Worth it?

Betternet is worth trying out for free to see if you like it. However, we recommend steering clear of the Android app and testing out other apps. However, it is relatively expensive when compared to other VPN services, and we don’t think it is worth the high price point.

Author Madeleine Hodson

Hi, I'm Madeleine. I'm a British writer with a global background, currently based in the UK. I have always been interested in the online world and how it connects people worldwide. My keen interest in the internet led me to ...
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