Betternet
6.6
Good
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What do we look at?
Content: Our Score:
Speed 8.0 / 10
Servers 5.0 / 10
User Experience 8.0 / 10
Support 5.0 / 10
Pricing 7.0 / 10
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Betternet Review 2024: Before You Buy, Is It Worth It?

Betternet Overview

Betternet has gained considerable popularity as a VPN option among Android users. But as more people use it, there are concerns about it collecting users’ data. In light of these concerns, I looked into Betternet’s practices to share important information about possible dangers and how it compares to the best in the business.

My test results indicate that Betternet retains a significant amount of identifiable user information, which is a notable concern. This drawback is further compounded by the service’s struggle to bypass restrictions on popular streaming platforms. However, it’s worth noting that Betternet does have some redeeming qualities. For instance, it boasts an impressive server spread and delivers commendable download speeds when connected to short-distance servers.

Betternet’s 7-day free trial offers the chance to explore its premium features before committing. If, after subscribing, you find yourself unsatisfied, their 45-day money-back guarantee ensures your satisfaction. If Betternet doesn’t fulfill your needs, explore other top VPN providers to find the perfect match for your online security requirements.

Don’t Have Time? Here’s a 1-Minute Summary

Betternet Unblocks Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (But Can’t Access Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer.)

While Betternet VPN enabled me to unblock a few of my streaming services, it proved inadequate when attempting to access a wider range of streaming services. Specifically, I was able to use Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but all other services I tested remained inaccessible.

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video: Unblocked

I experienced uninterrupted streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video with Betternet. The VPN also didn’t disappoint when connecting to several different servers, with speeds remaining consistent between a wide array of locations. I’m happy to report that I didn’t notice buffering either.

Screenshot of That Woman playing on Netflix while Betternet is connected to a server in the US

I connected to Netflix and streamed D.P. in UHD using Betternet

I was able to access my US Netflix account with Betternet’s US server. I watched an entire season of D.P. in crystal clear UHD, and I never experienced any drops in stream quality or moments of buffering.

Screenshot of Cinderella playing on Amazon Prime Video while Betternet is connected to a server in the UK
I streamed Cinderella on Amazon Prime Video with Betternet’s UK servers

Amazon Prime Video also worked perfectly. I watched Cinderella in UHD with no buffering or interruptions.

Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer: Blocked

Betternet didn’t work with Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer no matter how many times they were tested. The first two servers I tested with HBO Max wouldn’t even let me access my account. I had to keep switching servers until I found one that would take my credentials. Then, when I finally got access to my account, I was still blocked from accessing my favorite shows and was given an error code like the one below.

It looks like you’re using an anonymous proxy or VPN

It was the same story for other streaming services I tried. Specifically, I received an error connection notification from Disney+ and was unable to access Hulu due to my VPN being detected. Similarly, BBC iPlayer refused to play any shows, as it identified the UK server provided by Betternet as being located outside of the UK.

If you’re looking for a VPN for streaming, ExpressVPN can unblock all the streaming services you need. It offers a seamless streaming experience, allowing you to enjoy your favorite shows in UHD quality on any platform without any interruptions or buffering.

Speed

- 8.0 / 10

Fast, but Inconsistent Speeds Across Servers

Despite inconsistencies in speed, Betternet manages to deliver impressive results when connecting to nearby servers. To my surprise, I even experienced an increase in speed when connected to certain Betternet servers — an uncommon occurrence when using other VPNs.

Speed Test Results

To evaluate Betternet’s performance, I conducted speed tests in four different countries, recording my average speeds in each location. Before using Betternet, I first established a baseline for comparison by running a speed test without the VPN service, recording 25.2 Mbps for downloads and 3.08 Mbps for uploads.

When I connected to a local Betternet server, I was pleasantly surprised to see a significant boost in my speeds, which increased by around 50%. This remarkable performance remained consistent across local servers for both the free and paid versions of the service.

Screenshot of Betternet speed test results in the US, UK, China, and Australia

Tests proved that speeds for Betternet are one of its best features because of how reliable they are

However, when testing servers outside of the US, my speeds noticeably slowed down. The UK server showed a significant decrease in speed, with downloads being 87.8% slower at 3.03 Mbps, and uploads being 88.7% slower at 0.35 Mbps. I had the slowest speeds when testing servers in Australia, with downloads taking 95.1% longer and uploads being 78% slower.

China’s server proved to be the fastest among the distant servers. Although there was a slight decrease of 3.9% in download speeds, upload speeds actually increased. Instead of the initial 3.08 Mbps, China’s servers provided an upload speed of 9.96 Mbps, marking a 69.1% increase.

Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.

Servers

- 5.0 / 10

Server Network — 100+ Total Servers

Betternet has over 100 servers in 80 countries with city-level servers available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain. The free version of Betternet restricts you to servers solely located in the United States, with server selection done automatically rather than through a list of options. This means that free users are more likely to experience lag from servers being overcrowded.

Since Pango and its partners own Betternet, the service does not have control over its own servers. This can be a problem when technical issues arise. There are more steps when fixing a problem because of how many parties are involved behind the scenes, which has contributed to slow improvement for Betternet. Additionally, this can be a red flag for users who value privacy as this means your data could be shared with these parties.

CyberGhost is a good option if you’re looking for a VPN with multiple servers in each country and no reliance on third parties. With an impressive list of over 11,676 servers at your disposal, you can make an informed decision while resting assured that your information remains exclusive to you with no external parties in the mix.

*Editor's Note: Transparency is one of our core values at WizCase, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as CyberGhost VPN. However, this does not affect our review process, as we adhere to a strict testing methodology.

Security — Solid Protection for a VPN

Betternet provides basic security features but is not as advanced as other leading VPN providers.

Some of the features available are:

  • Military-grade encryption – Betternet employs AES 256-bit encryption, the same standard used by the military, to safeguard your online activity.
  • Strong protocols – Betternet provides a section for configuring VPN protocols. Hydra, a protocol that guarantees security on par with the banking industry, is one of the available options. IKEv2 (IPSec) is another option, but while it’s a speedy protocol, it’s also easy for ISPs to block.
  • Kill switch – the kill switch activates and cuts off your internet connection in the event of a server drop or a lapse in coverage, preventing unauthorized parties from accessing your information. With Betternet, you also have the ability to block specific domains altogether that you don’t trust.
  • Split tunneling – this feature is the most recent addition to Betternet VPN that enables you to selectively route specific internet traffic through the VPN connection while bypassing the VPN for other traffic. However, take note that it is restricted to the Windows version of the program.
Screenshot of successful DNS leak test with a server in Sydney, Australia
I conducted several DNS leak tests and my IP was effectively cloaked with each server

Betternet worked reliably despite not having any features to prevent IP or DNS leaks. My IP address and DNS information were both hidden during my leak tests across multiple servers.

Privacy — Not Log-Free

Even though Betternet VPN has updated its privacy policy, I’m still worried about how safe my personal information is when I use their service. Upon a thorough examination of the policy, I identified several vulnerabilities related to the collection, storage, and utilization of my data.

Betternet guarantees that it does not monitor the websites users visit. Nevertheless, it does collect certain types of data, which could potentially have implicating consequences.

These data include:

  • Identity and Account Information
  • Billing information
  • Usage information
  • Device information (including device identifiers, browser types, device types and settings, operating system versions, and ISP name)
  • Diagnostic information
  • Location data
  • VPN-Specific Information

Screenshot of Betternet's privacy policy

Betternet’s privacy policy makes it clear that data is collected for customer service reasons

I appreciate Betternet’s openness about its data collection practices; however, as a user who prioritizes privacy, I find the extent of the information gathered to be concerning. This concern is heightened when considering the 2017 hacking incident, where Betternet’s Chrome extension was compromised by malicious code. The fact that I haven’t been able to find any substantial explanation of what Betternet did in response to this event to improve its security raises additional red flags for me.

The location of Betternet VPN’s headquarters in Canada can also have implications for your privacy. Canada is a member of the 5-9-14 Eyes Alliance, a group of countries that share intelligence information with each other.

This means that the Canadian government may have the ability to access Betternet VPN’s data if required. Canada’s data retention laws require service providers to keep user data for a certain amount of time, so the government could force the company to hand over user data if needed.

ExpressVPN is an excellent choice if you value your online privacy. Unlike Betternet, it does not collect personally identifiable data, except for your billing information. Additionally, it gives you the option to opt-in for anonymized diagnostic data collection, ensuring that your online activities remain completely private. On top of that, it is also more affordable than Betternet.

*Editor's Note: Transparency is one of our core values at WizCase, so you should know we are in the same ownership group as ExpressVPN. However, this does not affect our review process, as we adhere to a strict testing methodology.

Torrenting — Safe for Torrenting

Betternet allows for torrenting on all of its servers. In addition, if your server goes down while torrenting, you can protect yourself from threats like hackers and malware with Betternet’s kill switch, which is only available to paid subscribers.

Since Betternet is headquartered in Canada, where torrenting is lawful, you can do so with complete peace of mind. I will say, however, that if you do attempt to torrent any content you should do your due diligence and confirm it is in the public domain. Also, make sure you adhere to your local laws before engaging in P2P file-sharing.

Does Betternet Work in China? No!

During a conversation with a representative from Betternet, I was informed that its service may not always provide reliable performance in China. However, it’s not just the service’s functionality that requires attention. Betternet’s logging policy is also a point of concern, especially for those using the free version. ExpressVPN is a trustworthy VPN option for those who want privacy protection and functionality in China.

If you do plan on traveling to China, make sure to download your VPN of choice ahead of time. The Chinese government has been known to block non-approved VPNs. While these policies do exist, there are currently zero reported cases of officials punishing travelers for using non-approved VPNs.

Server Locations

Australia
Ireland
United Kingdom
United States

User Experience

- 8.0 / 10

Simultaneous Device Connections — Up to 10 at Once

Betternet now allows up to 10 devices to connect simultaneously, which is an upgrade from the previous limit of 6 devices. I connected my Windows desktop, my laptop, and my iPhone and experienced no delays while streaming and browsing. My only complaint about the Betternet VPN iPhone app is that the free trial version is plagued with annoying in-app ads.

Device Compatibility — Works With Most Common Devices

Betternet falls short of comprehensive device coverage. It can run on popular operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, Apple iOS, Android, and it has a Chrome extension. The application is available in your device’s app store, and for other operating systems, you can easily download the software from the Betternet website.

Ease of Setup & Installation — Very Easy To Use

I was impressed with how easy it was to install and set up Betternet on my devices. I spent about a minute doing it. The menus are all straightforward, and when you mouse over an option, more information will appear.

A screenshot of Betternet's in-app settings and subscription tiers

I found each section of Betternet’s software simple to use and understand

To download Betternet on my iPhone, I had to go through the app store. Once I had the VPN on all of my devices, the first thing it asked me to do was select my subscription or continue with ads and limited features. If you choose the latter then you will be limited, such as not being able to choose which server you use and only having 500MB of free data to use.

Steps to Installing Betternet VPN on Windows

  1. Download the Betternet VPN installer. Open a web browser on your Windows computer and go to the Betternet VPN website.
    Screenshot of Betternet's application download page
  2. Run the Betternet VPN installer. Once the download is complete, navigate to the location where the installer was saved (usually the Downloads folder) and double-click on the Betternet VPN installer file.
  3. Install Betternet VPN. The Betternet VPN installer wizard will now launch. Click “Install” to proceed with the installation.
    Screenshot of Betternet's application installation process
  4. Launch Betternet VPN. Once the installation is complete, you can launch Betternet VPN by double-clicking on the desktop shortcut or by searching for “Betternet VPN” in the Start menu. When the app launches, you’ll be asked to sign in or create an account if you don’t already have one.
  5. Connect to a VPN server. Once you’re signed in, you can connect to a VPN server by clicking on the “Connect” button in the Betternet VPN app. You can choose from different server locations by clicking on the “Location” drop-down menu.
    Screenshot of Betternet's server and connection interfac

Support

- 5.0 / 10

Betternet offers two options for support – a 24/7 assistance center and an email contact feature. You can access both by clicking on the “contact support” tab in the main menu if you have any inquiries or problems.

Screenshot of Betternet contact support menus. Shows options to contact the support center or to send an email

Betternet responded promptly to my refund request and processed it as soon as I confirmed it through email

I experimented with the premium version of the VPN and then sent a message to request a refund. Betternet responded to me within a day and quickly processed my request.

The support center option took me to Betternet’s website and offered a list of questions for me to choose from to assess any problems I was having. While they were fairly thorough, I would recommend sending an email if you really have something specific you need to discuss.

How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Pricing

- 7.0 / 10

When compared to the top monthly VPNs in 2024, Betternet’s price tag is too high for the value it provides. The provider offers two main plans for users to choose from: a 1-month plan and a 12-month plan. Opting for the longer-term plan reduces the monthly cost, making it a more affordable option in the long run. Additionally, Betternet aims to accommodate potential users who are on the fence by offering a completely free plan with limited features.

Furthermore, Betternet offers a free trial period of 7 days for those who are considering purchasing a paid plan. You have the opportunity to try out the premium features and make an educated choice without spending any money. If you’re unsatisfied with the product after subscribing, you can request a refund within the first 45 days of your subscription. It’s a good policy that shows the provider’s confidence in its product and provides customers with peace of mind.

When it comes to payment options, Betternet VPN supports a range of credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club – International, and Union Pay.

However, it’s important to note that Betternet lacks support for popular anonymous payment options such as Paypal and cryptocurrencies. This limitation may be disappointing for users who prefer the convenience and security offered by these payment methods.

Betternet offers the following plans

1-Month plan
 
$12.99
per month
 
View Plan
12-Month plan
$12.99
$7.99
per month
Save 38%
View Plan
View Plan
Save 38%

Final Verdict

Overall, Betternet isn’t a VPN I’d suggest purchasing. Despite the software being easy to set up, having reliable support service, and supporting torrenting, this product has more disadvantages than advantages. Some of my preferred streaming services are blocked, and the service is slow in some locations.

The biggest drawback of Betternet is its privacy, which is one of the biggest reasons consumers seek out VPNs in the first place. Betternet’s incidents with hacking and proven data collection mean you’re likely to incur a lot more risk when using the internet. If you’re looking for a non-compromise VPN that offers fast speeds, stellar security, and an air-tight no-logs policy then I recommend CyberGhost. You can test CyberGhost out completely risk-free as it’s backed by a 45-day money-back guarantee — if you don’t like it, you can easily get a full refund.

FAQs About Betternet

Is Betternet good?

I don’t think Betternet is a good VPN. It is easy to install and use and has straightforward options when selecting servers. However, there are better, more affordable VPNs out there that reliably unblock websites, have bigger server networks, and have airtight no-logs policies.

Can I use Betternet for free?

Yes! Betternet offers a completely free version for users to enjoy, but if you’re interested in an enhanced experience, premium plans are also available. To make the transition smoother and help you decide if the premium features are right for you, Betternet provides a one-week free trial that allows you to explore the benefits of their upgraded service.

In general, I don’t often recommend free VPNs as they often have to compromise speed, security, and/or privacy because they’re not generating revenue from their software. That said, there are reliable options that are safe to use. If you want to try a VPN without the financial commitment.

Is Betternet really safe?

No! There are too many providers associated with Betternet who have access to your information and data. And, given the fact that it logs your information, I don’t recommend Betternet VPN as the best choice for privacy.
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