Betternet Review 2017

Comparison: PureVPN vs Betternet

VPN Providers purevpn_comparison cyberghost
Price $2.92/mo $4.99/mo
Servers 500 Servers in 140 Countries Servers in 10 Countries
Multi Login 5 None
Money Back Guarantee 7-Days None
Encryption Level 256 bit 256 bit
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited
Get this Offer » Visit »

Betternet Overview

Betternet offers servers in 10+ locations of the world, covering US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, France, and Singapore. With cutting-edge network infrastructure, Betternet allows users to unblock 1000+ sites on Windows, Mac OS X, Android and iOS devices for free. The OpenVPN & IPSec protocols ensure top-notch privacy to subscribers at all times.

Pros

  • Offers Servers in 10+ Locations
  • Zero Activity Logging Policy
  • No Bandwidth Caps
  • No Data Caps
  • Easy-to-use
  • Free Trial Without Credit Card
  • One Touch Server Selection
  • Decent Connection Speed
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility (Android, Mac OS X, iOS, Windows)

Cons

  • Fewer Encryption Protocols Offered
  • Service Sponsored by 3rd Party Advertisers
  • No Version Available for Mac Operating System

 What is Betternet ?

Betternet is a Canadian VPN provider which serves more than 38 million users worldwide. With its headquarters located in Vancouver, British Colombia, Betternet offers free of cost service and distinguishes itself from traditional VPN providers. Despite charging from subscribers, Betternet monetizes and covers the service costs from 3rd party advertisers.

Subscribers can avail prime benefits of Betternet and achieve instant protection and security against the rising threats of cyber world. Provider gives exclusive online freedom to those who want one-touch access to geo-blocked sites and services for free.

In Betternet review, we will critique each and every aspect of provider which makes it a top choice among free VPN providers.

Pricing Plans

Betternet serves users of all levels with its pocket-friendly plans. Currently, provider offers two premium plans.

The premium users get an edge over the freemium subscribers with 5 simultaneous connections, dedicated servers, better speed, zero ads policy, great server locations and round the clock customer support. The pricing plans are offered as following:

  • Monthly plan costs $10.95
  • 2-Years plan costs $2.92

Note: Both premium packages offer similar features. But ,at the time of creating Betternet review, it was discovered that no protocol selection option was offered in any of the packages.

Payment Methods

Despite being fans favorite service, Betternet only accepts payment via Play Store and iTunes. However, this can be considered a positive aspect of the service as they retain no credit card information of users.

Moreover, when subscribing to premium version , a user agrees to get automatic account renewal once his account expires. We suggest subscribers in Betternet review to cancel the service on time if they don’t want to get charged for next month.

Server Locations

Betternet has its servers located in all prime regions of the world. However, the freemium version offers no option for server selection, but premium subscribers get an opportunity to spoof their location to the US, UK, Canada, Netherlands, France, Germany, Japan and Singapore.

Surprisingly, provider hasn’t disclosed the exact number of servers, but we expect them to offer servers in Australia, allowing users to unblock Seven Network and more channels.

We decided to evaluate their high-speed performance claims and tested their service using a 10 Mbps intentionally throttled connection. After carrying out the tests, we achieved surprising results:

Before connecting to Betternet:

betternet review

After connecting to Betternet UK server:

betternet review

As soon as we connected to UK server, our download speed dropped slightly with a noticeable increase in ping speed. But to our surprise, we were able to stream various popular videos on YouTube, Netflix, Dailymotion and Vimeo hassle free without interruptions.

Multi-Login Feature

The simultaneous connection is an incredible benefit offered with premium version . It gives subscribers an option to use a single account on up to five devices at a time.

Once subscribed to premium account, a user can access geo-blocked services and play region-restricted games on Android, iOS, Windows and Mac by using a single account.

Free Trial Version Without Credit Card

Betternet is widely acclaimed for its free service model. The VPN doesn’t require any credit card information from subscribers but displays unwanted ads.

In addition to this, upon starting the free version, users are asked to view a video. These video views and target advertisements are their chief source of income.

Betterspot

Betternet prides itself by offering an exclusive router service “Betterspot”. For the first time ever, users can switch to Tor anonymity with just a single click. The Betterspot router aims to enhance users’ security and privacy with state-of-the-art technology. Moreover, when Betterspot is turned off, it works as a normal router. In times of query,  users can get instant assistance from Betterspot’s 24/7 customer support.

With Betterspot, a user can choose from wide range of servers including dedicated premium servers as well. In Betternet review, we consider Betterspot as an additional and worth trying service.

Money Back Guarantee

Although provider offers a free trial version, but to deliver subscribers with a realistic experience of paid version, Betternet offers a 30-day fair usage refund policy. However, the refund policy consists of a surprising limitation according to which a subscriber shouldn’t consume more than 50 MB of data.

We VPNRanks in our Betternet VPN review consider the offered data limit to be very unrealistic, as 50 MB of data is inadequate to evaluate a service for streaming and online gaming.

Betternet Customer Support

Being a free VPN service, Betternet does not offer a 24/7 live tech support at the moment. However, the provider offers an informative knowledge base area, FAQs section, and e-mail ticketing system. Users can get an instant solution for common queries through FAQs section.

Interestingly, the email query system is powered by Zendesk, and it aims to provide a detailed solution for complex issues faced by subscribers.

For Betternet review, we decided to evaluate their customer support and dropped off a query enquiring about the offered protocols.

However, we received no response from them until the next day. We hope that provider improves customer support in future.

Betternet Security & Encryption Protocols

Most VPN providers in market offer a traditional set of encryption protocols (PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN), but provider has distinguished itself by providing a unique set of tunneling protocols.

We conducted in-depth analysis of provider services for Betternet review and discovered following secured protocols with respective encryption keys:

  • OpenVPN with AES256 bit of encryption
  • IPSec with AES-CBC 128 bit of encryption

Note: After studying the offered encryption protocols of service in our Betternet VPN review, we suggest users choose this service solely for unblocking sites, as it doesn’t provide an adequate protection for torrenting and P2P file sharing.    

Log & Usage Policy

Being located in Canada, Betternet isn’t obliged to follow any strict data retention regimes. Interestingly, provider apparently claims that it doesn’t collect, log or store users’ data on any of its servers or elsewhere.

However, Betternet only keeps subscribers’ data which is mandatory for service delivery. After examining their privacy policy we discovered that following data is logged by service:

  • Connection time
  • Total amount of data transferred per day

Note: Although Betternet states to retain users’ information for service delivery purposes, a surprising part of their privacy policy confirms that they  work with partners and third parties. Shockingly, provider takes no responsibility for what its partners or third parties do with the retained data.

How Does Betternet Works?

A VPN requires a massive amount of hardware and monetary resources. On another hand, a free VPN services are sponsored by third party advertisers and so does Betternet.

Now, if you’re already wondering about what does provider do? Then VPN service works with one-click encryption model. As soon as a user installs and starts VPN on one of the supported device, the VPN service routes his entire network traffic through a secured encrypted tunnel.

This ensures a top-notch protection to confidential information of a user against hackers, snooper, phishers, identity thieves, spy agencies and every person on earth who wishes to eaves drop on user data privacy.

Once a user becomes anonymous on internet, VPN allows him to bypass the geo-restriction and gives him access to geo-blocked services (BBC iPlayer, NBC, CBC, Pandora, Spotify, HBO Now, Fox Go, 4oD, Netflix and more) from anywhere in the world.

What is Betternet for?

Betternet offers a range of privacy benefits to users of various platforms. Now, if you want to know what provider does? Then following are the perks of using VPN service on your device:

  • Bypass state censorship & firewalls
  • Access geo-blocked sites from anywhere
  • Achieve unbeatable online protection
  • Become 101% anonymous on internet
  • Spoof location to 10 locations of the world
  • Access your favorite channels and sports while travelling abroad

How To Use Betternet

Betternet follows a simple seven step installation process. If you’re unfamiliar with VPN installation on different platforms then here’s how to install VPN service on Windows:

  • Go to official site of Betternet
  • Now, go to download section
  • Download the VPN app on your system and install it
  • Upon successful installation, open VPN software
  • Proceed by skipping the guide and hints
  • Now click on connect button and wait till you’re connected
  • Upon successful connection, enjoy accessing thousands of websites and services that were previously blocked in your region

Is Betternet A Good VPN

There’re plenty of reasons to consider Betternet as the first choice for data privacy. Instead of choosing the premium service, we suggest users give a try to free plan and witness the unmatched benefits of a true VPN service.

On top of all, provider doesn’t require credit card information or any other detail from users. With VPN installed on your device, you can access thousands of geo-blocked sites with just a single click.

In addition to this, 100% online protection, reliable security, and protection against every cyber goon are the benefits you get with Betternet.

How is Betternet Free?

How exactly is Betternet free? is it safe? These are the frequent questions among every user on internet. To resolve the query of masses, provider doesn’t asks for any fee or financial information from its users. However, their service do require huge funds to keep the servers up and service running.

In our Betternet VPN review, we unveiled three main sources that keep their service running:

  • Video ads
  • Sponsored apps
  • Products

The provider usually shows video ads of 10 to 15 seconds before connecting to VPN server. Moreover, “app suggestions” are displayed at the bottom of connecting window, consisting of sponsored apps.

Does Betternet Use Cellular Data?

A raging question in mind of subscribers is that does Betternet use cellular data? Is Betternet VPN consuming more data? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, and the reason lies on encryption mechanism of VPN. In essence, whenever you perform an online activity, Betternet VPN transmits a couple of more packets to encrypt data. As a result, overall data usage becomes increased and if you’re using 3/4G internet plan, you will face unwanted data consumption.

So how do you minimize cellular data usage with Betternet VPN?

There is, however, a way through which you can minimize unnecessary data consumption and that is by using different protocols. Fundamentally, L2TP/IPSec uses 256-bit military grade encryption keys and thus utilizes more data. On another hand, PPTP protocol comes bundled up with 128-bit standard encryption keys and therefore consumes less data than any other protocol. So, we suggest users to select PPTP protocol for browsing, surfing and streaming media. The L2TP on other hand, can be selected for torrenting and P2P file sharing purposes.

VPN Like Betternet

Like Betternet, various VPN providers in the market offer free service to subscribers. However, security aspects of these services can’t be compared with full featured premium VPN services.

Not to forget, there’re providers in the industry who sell users’ data to third parties and even law enforcement agencies.

Moreover, choosing a free VPN alternative is similar to gambling with one’s digital privacy. However, according to users’ reviews and security experts’ suggestions, following are some trusted VPN services:

  • Hotspot Shield
  • Spotflux
  • Tunnelbear
  • Hola

Cross-Platform Availability

Multi-platform availability is an unusual aspect of a VPN service. Provider takes an edge over competitors by offering excellent in-house apps for Windows, Mac Operating System, iOS, Chrome, Firefox and Android.

betternet review

Betternet for PC

Betternet PC offers instant access to almost all geo-blocked websites and services on PC, making a user anonymous and protected against a range of cybercrimes. Just download the VPN from its official website, connect to the fastest servers and surf the web like never before.

betternet review

Betternet Chrome Extention

Betternet Chrome allows users to enjoy unrestricted access to unlimited blocked sites and services. Once installed on Chrome browser, its extension gives one-touch anonymity to users. With Chrome extension, users can spoof their location to 10+ locations of the world.

 Betternet For Chrome

Betternet For Firefox

The Firefox VPN extension is the most suitable solution to access internet with zero restrictions. With Betternet add-on installed on Firefox, top-notch privacy, and 100% identity protection is guaranteed. Moreover, single tap connectivity gives subscribers with simple, easy and fast connection to the nearest available server.

Betternet For Mac OS X

Betternet Mac offers super-fast connection, location spoofing, and anonymity to Mac users. Accessing any geo-blocked sites (YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more) on Mac is just a click away with their VPN. The in-house VPN app for Apple offers a simple and sleek design with one-touch connection feature. The VPN app for Mac can be downloaded from iTunes.

Betternet for iPhone

The exclusive iPhone VPN offers superior online freedom to users. Once installed on an iPhone, it allows users to access all geo-blocked sites from school, workplace or anywhere else in the world.

Also, the service allows users to evade ISP bandwidth throttling and state censorship while ensuring 100% online freedom. The iOS VPN app of provider can be downloaded from iTunes.

How to Use Betternet on iPhone

Now, that you know about the perks of using iPhone VPN app, here’s how to use it on iPhone:

  • Go to iTunes
  • Search for Betternet
  • Download and install VPN app on your iPhone
  • Once installed, open it and hit connect

Upon successful connection, you will be able to access geo-blocked sites that were previously unavailable for you

Betternet For Android APK

Betternet on Android offers free-of-cost service with zero data or bandwidth limits. When installed on an Android device, VPN instantly unblocks tons of sites and services (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Line, WhatsApp and more). In Betternet VPN review, we consider their Android app to be the safest and highly economical solution for top-grade privacy.

Betternet vs. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield stands among top alternatives of provider. But difference among the offerings exist. Following is a head-to-head comparison of Betternet vs. Hotspot Shield service:

Offerings Betternet Hotspot Shield
Locations Offered 10 18
Security Protocols

OpenVPN with AES256 bit,

IPSec with AES-CBC 128

OpenVPN with 256-bit AES
Available Platforms Android, iOS, Mac OS X, Windows, Chrome, Firefox Android, iOS, Mac OS X, Windows, Amazon Kindle
Plan Starting From $4.99/month $11.95/month

Conclusion

After completing Betternet review, we have concluded that the service is relatively a new service in the privacy space, but includes some shortcomings. The service quality is decent and is preferred for subscribers who only want to access geo-restricted sites.

Lack of secure tunneling protocols, loopholes in the privacy policy and fewer servers are the cons of provider.

However, free of cost service, fast connectivity and ease of access are the benefits which make their service first choice for netizens around the world. We at “VPNRanks” give their service a 3/5 in Betternet VPN review.

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Saad Qureshi

Author

Saad Qureshi's Biography :


Saad is a privacy advocate by day and a Dota 2 player by night. He loves to share his knowledge, experience, and insights about internet freedom and online privacy. When he is not busy blogging about the latest trend in the tech world, he is engaged in killing noobs on Dota.


2 Responses to Betternet Review 2017

  1. Beep says:

    Rule of thumb never use a VPN based in your own country.

  2. Ali says:

    Good review of Betternet, however Saudi telcos no longer allow FaceTime (on FT enabled devices).

    I have tried Betternet and the likes, but they don’t seem to overcome this hurdle. Any suggestions?

    iMessage works even without VPN, What is so different about FT that it won’t even go through a VPN?

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