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Betternet Review

Last updated: June 11 2020 By Dean Chester

Betternet review

Betternet is no longer a free VPN. Their free program is closed in return for software from sponsors. You still can find a lot of reviews and ratings on the Internet where this VPN is positioned as an unlimited free VPN service. But this information is outdated. Now Betternet is a free trial VPN.

But do not hurry to get upset! In this review, I will teach you how to use Betternet for free more than 7 trial days!

However, only on Windows. If you need a free VPN for other platforms, get acquainted with our review: free VPNs.

Look at the characteristics of Betternet VPN:

Supported platforms

iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, Chrome

Encryption method

AES 256-bit key

Protocols

OpenVPN and IPsec

Jurisdiction

Switzerland

Servers

1 server in the Netherlands is available with a free version

Logs

Advertisers can collect certain personal data

Peer-to-peer technology

Available

What do we see here? Support of all major platforms, “undisclosed” 256-bit encryption key, the main reliable tunneling protocols and only 50 servers in 10 countries.

At first glance - nothing outstanding. Especially if compare Betternet with the best VPNs. But I carefully have analyzed the abilities of the conditionally free version of Betternet and found a “bold” plus. It isn’t related to technical characteristics. It is a possibility to use the VPN for free without any time limit under certain conditions.


Free usage of Betternet

What requirements must be met in order to use Betternet without time limits? Everything is very simple, but it is available only on PC.

  • Betternet Unlimited free for Windows:

Agree with a free 7-day trial when launching the app:

Betternet: start free trial

The page will open in your browser and you will be suggested to extend your subscription. You may close this page. It won’t interfere with Betternet usage.

Ready! Now you can turn on or off the VPN at any time in the app’s and, what is important, without ads. After a 7-day period, you will be suggested to click “START FREE 7-DAY TRIAL” and everything will recur. I carried out this 3 times and managed to use the VPN for free.

But you should know about one important disadvantage of this method - you won’t be able to choose a location. You will be connected to the same server in the Netherlands. There are no other VPN servers. You can change this by subscribing to the service.

Accordingly, you won’t be able to manage your location and unblock Netflix and will be limited in Internet connection speeds.

  • Betternet for iOS:

The method that I used for Windows does not work. The free trial is available only 7 days.

After iOS app launching (I tested Betternet on iPhone), click “Subscribe now”:

Betternet subscribe now

Then agree with the VPN settings:

Betternet install profile button

Then you will be able to use the VPN for free 7 days. Every time you will connect or disconnect the VPN, you will see ads. After a period of time, there will be an automatic payment from your account and your subscription will change to “Premium”.

  • Betternet for Android:

Betternet free trial is also available 7 days for Android users. Moreover, to launch the app one has to subscribe to a trial version and enter his bank card number.


What are the benefits of the free trial and paid Betternet subscriptions?

The main method for earning money for a great number of VPNs - paid subscriptions. That’s why “free” plans are always limited. But what do we get with Betternet if pay for the service?

  • All virtual locations in 10 countries will be available for you;
  • The absence of ads in mobile versions.

Too few advantages if compare with other paid VPNs.


What are Betternet prices?

They are quite affordable:

Betternet prices

On the one hand, they are lower than other “ Free” competitors have, but on the other hand, you can spend this money on a paid provider with much greater potential. For example, NordVPN or CyberGhost VPN.


Betternet safety

I will start my review of Betternet's abilities by analyzing its Privacy Policy. Betternet claims that it doesn’t save or store any identifying info about you:

Betternet privacy overview

But the phrase “we always delete your IP address after you disconnect from the VPN” bothers me a lot. I know how Virtual Private Network works. That’s why I do not understand why to delete something if a VPN tunnel doesn’t have to store an IP address to work. It seems like after a great number of experts’ devastating reviews Betternet has changed the Privacy Policy (in 2018) and began to use phrases that sound reliable for customers but not the real information.

We cannot check it, but there is a serious drawback in safety, which they do not conceal.

Advertisers have access to personal data through Betternet

Despite advertisers who buy ads through Betternet do not see your real IP address, they have access to IMEI, MAC address and know what mobile phone operator you use. And this is nothing more than your personal data.

Of course, it would be wrong to think that a free VPN is able to provide you with complete anonymity, but wait! Betternet is not free of charge! It only provides with the free trial.

They make money from inexperienced users. Meanwhile, there are VPNs with free trials, however, without ads, e.g. Surfshark (7 days, like Betternet offers) or ProtonVPN (has 7-day free trial as well).


Tests for Betternet

Speed is one of the major criteria for a VPN after safety. Betternet is one of the leading VPN services by the number of app downloads. In this regard, it is obvious that they have a lot of users and massive bandwidth usage. I will remind you that they rent only 50 VPN servers in 10 countries. This number is too minor even for a small VPN provider.

Actually, after testing Betternet for speeds, I got rather low rates:

EU: 7.2 Mbit/s

US: 5.8 Mbit/s

Asia: 3.3 Mbit/s

Such speeds will allow you to use VoIP messengers, anonymous surfing, and unblocking websites without video content.

IP leak tests showed unfavorable results in 2017 and 2018. Betternet didn’t protect you against DNS, WebRTC и IPv6 leaks. However, I don’t see such a problem in 2020. Betternet has improved the protection of your anonymity. However, they still have not implemented Kill Switch. That’s why I do not recommend you to use the VPN when your Internet connection is not stable and can drop.


Betternet for Windows

As I have already mentioned, I liked that it’s possible to use the VPN for free without time limits on Windows. Moreover, you can use the VPN without ads.

Betternet is good for such simple Internet activity as regular surfing or downloading torrent files with low speed on your PC.

Of course, it was impossible to change my virtual location from the Netherlands to another. But the other functions worked well on Windows. One-click connect (or disconnect) is convenient. The app doesn’t show up during its usage.

You will hardly face some problems while downloading Betternet for Windows. The links to downloading files are on the main page of their website.


Betternet for Android

The Betternet application for Android is my biggest disappointment. I downloaded and installed it from Google Play Market and hoped to use the app for free but couldn’t enter the app without a subscription.

You can subscribe to the service through Google Play Market. Betternet doesn’t have access to your payment info, but I didn’t feel that I use a free VPN. Besides, intrusive video advertising appears and you have no choice but to watch it till the end.

Get acquainted with other VPN services for Android.


Betternet for iOS

Similarly to the Android app, Betternet can be used on the iPhone. However, if it is impossible to miss the message about your payment registration on Android, it happens almost discreetly on iOS. Only one warning popup about a paid subscription is shown. It is easy to miss it.

As for the rest, the app works well, except for the need to watch ads and the absence of location choice.


Betternet for Chrome

The Betternet extension for Chrome cannot be called a full-fledged VPN, as ExpressVPN has. In fact, it is a proxy with data encryption.

It is not Virtual Private Network technology. Moreover, you, in fact, give Betternet access to all your browsing history through Chrome and unlimited opportunities for showing ads.


Refund Policy of Betternet

You may get your money back within 45 days of paying for the “Premium” subscription.

But the refund process is complicated because you buy the service through via Betternet LLC using Google Play Market, Apple App Store, and Microsoft Store.

More detailed information about Betternet's money refund you may learn on the official website.


What are the reasons to use Betternet?

  1. Easy navigation makes Betternet attractive for users of all ages as everything you are to do is to use the toggle switch to run the service.
  2. Unblocking of websites is another reason to choose Betternet VPN. You will cope with unblocking of social networks Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat and others from every corner of the world. The sites banned in your country by local censorship policy will become available for you with Betternet VPN.
  3. Anonymous connection and confidentiality protection are also among the best facilities of the Betternet provider. VPN hides your real IP and location, thanks to which your online activity won’t be monitored anymore.
  4. Public wi-fi is an ideal place for hackers to take possession of your sensitive data. I wouldn’t advise you to use social networks, E-mail, make payments online being connected to the public hotspots as it is unsafe for you. But if you use Betternet, they are safe from cyber attacks. Betternet VPN uses progressive technologies to cipher the network traffic making it possible for you to access the websites through HTTPS, supplying Betternet users with a secure channel for your access to the Internet.
  5. Betternet VPN operates on various platforms and operating systems. Mac, iOS, Android, Windows, and Chrome users will be able to use this VPN. After the installation, you will manage to torrent files in the browser of your device.
  6. Simple installation is one more plus of this VPN. After Betternet downloading you are to run it and click ‘Allow’ and ‘Install profile’. Having done these simple actions you will be a lucky user of this VPN provider. If the badge ‘VPN’ appears on the screen of your gadget it means that all delivered and received by your information will go through a proxy server being encoded. And even in case somebody intercepts your information, this person won’t decode it.
  7. The absence of IP leaks is good for your anonymity. Betternet is similar to a good referee at a football pitch who controls the situation and doesn’t disturb the process of play. Betternet creators foresaw only one button ‘Connect’ for the VPN activation. Then the program changes the inscription into ‘Disconnect’ and waits until you start using all the advantages of a new IP address

Weak sides of Betternet

Possessing certain capacities, Betternet has its own disadvantages. I’d like to present them to prepare you for possible difficulties with this application.

  • You cannot get past geoblocking in cases when a VPN connection is blocked. Choose more suitable VPN service for countries with strict censorship (read free VPN for China);
  • Despite Betternet is not a free VPN in the full sense, they manipulate potential customers in order to draw attention by using the word “Free”:

VPN Free – Betternet Hotspot

  • According to the Csiro research, Betternet software was identified as potentially malicious in 2016.
  • Betternet offers little choice of countries and locations.
  • Advertising in Betternet free trial version is a big disadvantage.

My conclusion

Due to the ability to reuse Betternet free trial, the service is a good VPN for unblocking websites on PC. But that’s all. The VPN is not versatile, not fast enough, doesn’t have a Kill Switch function (automatically shuts down your Internet connection in case there are some problems with a VPN). The app is rather primitive and doesn’t have advanced settings.

I would call Betternet a successful commercial product, promoting by marketing techniques, without an advanced technical base and a strong development team.

VPN-Review - Chief Editor
Dean Chester
Cybersecurity and online privacy expert and researcher. He's been published on OpenVPN, EC-Council Blog, DevSecOps, AT-T Business, SAP Community, etc. Dean has been testing VPNs for 8 years.

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3 user reviews for Betternet Review

Service highly NOT recommended

Beware of the Betternet free trial! It’s known to subscribe you to the paid service after it runs out so you’d better cancel it way before it does. Plus, as this article says, it really goes to town with ads. All in all, I see no real reason to even use this provider: its free trial is crap and its paid version is meh. There are better (how ironic!) services.

WARNING!!!

Wow, I just read that some serious vulnerabilities/exploits were discovered! Apparrently, hackers now can basically see what you do online if you are using betternet. I don’t want to spread panic or anything but I guess it’s worth mentioning here so that people who use it stay safe.

Different versions

I really like the mobile version but I think on Windows it’s not as good