Betternet Review 2022: Before You Buy, Is It Worth It?

What do we look at?

🚀Speed 8.0 / 10
📍Servers 5.0 / 10
👍User Experience 8.0 / 10
📞Support 5.0 / 10
🏷️Pricing 7.0 / 10
Disclosures:
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Betternet Overview September 2022

While Betternet is known to be one of the more popular VPNs among Android users, it’s also been accused of collecting user data for third-party use — which, if true, is very concerning. I decided to test out this Canada-based VPN to see what I could find out.

While there are some benefits to the service, I don’t think Betternet is a good choice because of its poor privacy policy and limited server network. I connected to distant servers in seconds and experienced instances of improved connection speed compared to my base connection, which is quite impressive. However, the pros of Betternet end there. I wasn’t able to unblock several streaming platforms, nor was I able to play online games easily. My biggest issue with Betternet was its questionable privacy policy of storing user logs. I prefer other VPNs on the market over Betternet that have fast speeds as well but are also far better at protecting your data.

Still, if you want to see if this VPN is the right choice for you then Betternet has plans that are available free for the first 7 days, or you can make use of the 45-day money-back guarantee if you’re dissatisfied with your overall experience.

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

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

I was able to unblock a couple of my streaming services with Betternet VPN, but it fell short when unblocking streaming services overall. I could use Netflix and Amazon Prime Video but all other services I tested were inaccessible.

Netflix and Amazon Prime: Unblocked

Netflix and Amazon Prime streamed seamlessly for me 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.

A screenshot of D.P. on Netflix while using Betternet

I connected to Netflix and streamed D.P in HD 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 HD, and I never experienced any drops in stream quality or moments of buffering.

A screenshot of Cinderella on Amazon Prime Video while connected to Betternet
I streamed on Amazon Prime with Betternet’s US servers

Amazon Prime was no different when it came to connecting and streaming. I watched Cinderella all the way through with no buffering or lag.

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

A downside for sure, Betternet wasn’t able to unblock Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer no matter how many times I tried. For HBO Max, the first two servers I tested 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. Disney+ gave me an error code, Hulu detected my VPN and wouldn’t let me stream shows, and my colleague in the UK also failed to log into BBC iPlayer.

Betternet was a bad choice for my streaming habits. There are better VPNs out there for watching shows through several different platforms. For a VPN with comprehensive unblocking capabilities, I recommend ExpressVPN as it unblocks every streaming service I’ve listed above in HD.

Speed8.0

Fast Speeds for Most Servers

Betternet’s highlight by far is its quick connection speed. I conducted several speed tests and was pleased with my results. I was surprised to see that my speeds actually increased when connected to some Betternet servers, something which rarely happens when using a VPN.

Speed Test Results

When connecting to Denver, CO, a server located in my country, my speeds were consistent. They remained this way as I switched to other US servers. Once connected, I got right down to confirming the specifics with download and upload times. My base speed was 25.2 Mbps for downloads and 3.08 Mbps for uploads.

With the free version, I tested an automatic server located in Kansas. My speeds were faster than normal with a download speed of 52.78 Mbps and an upload speed of 11.98 Mbps. With the premium version of the VPN my speeds were also faster when I used other US servers.

Screenshot of Betternet Speed results showing consistently good speeds.

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

When I tested servers outside of the US, that’s when my speeds slowed. The UK’s speeds were 87.8% slower for downloads with only 3.03 Mbps, and uploads were 88.7% slower at 0.35 Mbps. When I tested speeds for Australia it was by far the slowest. My downloads took 95.1% longer and my uploads were 78% slower.

China was the fastest distant server overall. My download speeds only dropped by 3.9%, and my upload speeds were actually faster. Instead of 3.08 Mbps China servers had me at 9.96 Mbps, 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.

Servers5.0

Server Network — 125 Total Servers

All 125 of Betternet’s servers are easy to connect to. The free version of Betternet only lets you use servers in the US and auto-selects the server you use, rather than letting you choose from a list. This means that free users are more likely to experience lag from servers being overcrowded. Premium members have access to servers in other countries, but for all 85 countries available most only have one server per country.

Betternet is owned by Pango and its partners, which means they don’t own their 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 is often shared with these parties.

If you’re interested in a VPN with multiple servers in each country and no third-party involvement, a VPN like ExpressVPN has 3000+ servers for you to choose from and does not share your information with any third-party entities.

Security — Solid Protection for a VPN

Betternet uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data as you access the world wide web. To prove how reliable this really is, I ran DNS leak tests with various servers. Fortunately, it was successful at masking my IP address.

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 also offers additional security features you can select through its main menu, like a kill switch. If there is a server drop or you have a lapse in coverage, the kill switch activates and severs your connection to the internet, which prevents other parties from accessing your information in these moments. With Betternet, you also have the ability to block specific domains altogether that you don’t trust.

There is also a customizable section for your VPN protocol with Betternet. You can select Hydra, which is defined as “bank-level security,” or IKEv2 (IPSec), which is a fast protocol but can easily be blocked by internet providers.

Privacy — Minor Red Flags Regarding Online Privacy

I’m concerned for my privacy with a VPN like Betternet. I will say that a positive aspect of Betternet’s privacy policy is that they clearly state that they collect your data and disclose who this information is shared with when you use the free version of the VPN. They do this to better provide their services, which are listed below in Pango and Aura’s privacy policy. Not all VPNs state this on their websites.

But, while Betternet may be secure enough to keep others out, they’re the ones who still have access to you and your data.

Screenshot of Betternet's privacy policy

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

While I do think the transparency of Betternet is noteworthy, for some it is important to them that their data not be stored, logged, or shared anywhere when they’re using a VPN. However, none of your information will be logged If you purchase the premium version of the VPN.

Screenshot of Betternet's privacy policy

Third-party content providers may have access to your information through Betternet.

Betternet had a hacking incident in 2017 along with several other VPN providers, and its Chrome extensions were used to spread malware. Something else that is a red flag for me is, despite digging through several articles and scouring the internet, I haven’t found anything substantial explaining what Betternet did in response to this event to improve their security.

Torrenting — Safe for Torrenting

Betternet allows for torrenting on all of its servers. Because Betternet has a kill switch available for premium members if your server drops you can protect yourself from the riskier aspects of torrenting like hackers or malware.

Betternet is based in Canada, and torrenting is legal there. 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? Yes, but not Recommended!

Betternet is a free option that works for users in China. As I don’t live in China, I can’t test this for myself. To get the answer, I reached out to customer service. They explained that Betternet doesn’t connect all the time in China. When it does, connection and streaming speeds are reliable and you can easily browse without data restrictions. This isn’t a surprise to me given the speeds of Chinese servers when I tested them. Though, I still wouldn’t recommend browsing in China due to this VPN’s questionable logging policy, especially on its free version.

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. For a VPN that is guaranteed to work in China without compromising your privacy, I recommend ExpressVPN.

Server Locations

Australia
Ireland
United Kingdom
United States

User Experience8.0

Simultaneous Device Connections — Up to 6 at Once

You can connect up to 6 devices at once with Betternet. I connected my Windows desktop, my laptop, and my iPhone and experienced no delays while streaming and browsing.

The only frustration I had with Betternet VPN on my iPhone was having to deal with in-app advertisements when using the free trial version. If you have a paid subscription, you won’t need to contend with pop-up ads.

For me, 6 devices is more than enough coverage. If you have a larger family, though, or several people using multiple devices, this isn’t as generous as top VPNs with unlimited connections. For a VPN that doesn’t limit your options to just a handful of devices, I recommend IPVanish. It allows for unlimited device connections with a single subscription.

Device Compatibility — Works With Most Common Devices

Betternet falls short of comprehensive device coverage. Betternet is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Apple iOS, Chrome, and Android. 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.

While it’s fortunate that most common devices are compatible, Betternet doesn’t currently work on Linux, Smart TVs, streaming devices, gaming consoles, kindles, or routers.

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. All in all, it took me a minute. Each of the menus are very easy to navigate and features are explained further if you hover over the option.

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 to 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.

Support5.0

Betternet has both a 24/7 support center as well as an option to contact them via email if you have any questions or issues. Both choices are under the “contact support” tab under the main menu.

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.

After testing out the premium version of the VPN, I sent an email to ask for 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.

Pricing7.0

I don’t think Betternet is worth the money. Its features don’t stack up against its price point compared to other VPNs on the market.

Betternet has two plans available — a 1-month, and a 12-month plan which costs you less per month. You can pay for the software using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club International, and Union Pay, which makes Betternet available for a wide range of clientele.

You can also try Betternet for 7 days free. If you are unsatisfied with the product, you can request a refund within the first 45 days of your subscription. I purchased the premium version so I could experience all of Betternet’s features. However, I still don’t think the premium aspects of Betternet are the best you can do for a virtual private network.

Betternet offers the following plans

Final Verdict

Overall, Betternet isn’t a VPN I’d suggest purchasing. I also would not suggest using the free version as it has privacy issues involving your data. It did have some positive features like a very easy software setup, installation takes no time at all, and my connection speeds were above average.

However, the negatives simply do not outweigh the positives. It can’t unblock other streaming services I like to watch, its speeds are only good within certain countries, and its questionable privacy policy left me concerned about my data.

The biggest drawback of Betternet is its privacy, which is one of the biggest reasons consumers seek out VPNs in the first place. While Betternet offers AES 256-bit encryption, 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 ExpressVPN.

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. Outside of this, I think there are better VPNs on the market due to its unreliable unblocking capabilities, questionable logging policy, and limited server network.

Can I use Betternet for free?

Yes, Betternet offers a completely free version. It does have a premium app, however, that offers a 7-day trial. You can also request a refund within 45 days of subscribing if you are not satisfied.

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.

Important to know

2015
Yes
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windows mac android ios

Contact Details

support@betternet.co
www.betternet.co

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