Is Betternet Safe?
No, Betternet is not a safe VPN provider. This is primarily due to the country’s headquarters, a very vague logging policy that clearly indicates that the provider stores connection logs and lacks essential advanced security features such as Internet Kill Switch.
While that should be enough to answer the “Is Betternet safe?” question, we can not ignore the fact that this provider has become one of the industry’s popular free VPNs despite the clear disadvantage.
In this article, we will be covering different security features offered by Betternet and see if our opinion changes by the time this article ends.
Also, if you are curious to know about some other reliable and safe VPN providers, we suggest you check out our free VPN providers list.
However, if you wish to receive complete and guaranteed safety, we highly recommend opting for a popular premium VPN service. Therefore, we have listed the most trustworthy premium VPNs all in one place.
So without further ado, let’s get on with our journey to see if Betternet is safe?
Betternet’s jurisdiction makes a strong case against its ability to be safe and secure for its users. Betternet’s headquarter is located in the United States of America. A country that is a founding member of 5 eyes, 9 eyes, and 14 eyes intelligence-sharing alliance.
The location of its headquarters makes it very difficult to trust this provider with your online privacy and personal data.
As in the past, we have witnessed various incidents where internet users’ online connection records were demanded from VPN and ISP providers by the U.S state government and multiple different law enforcement agencies.
If you are looking to protect your online activities and personal data, then you should stay away as far as possible from Betternet.
You can read more about Betternet’s ownership here.
Not only Betternet keep a record of your account information, billing details, and identity verification information, but it also collects the following information when you use their service:
- Usage information: Information about service interaction, bandwidth consumed, and the duration for which the service was used.
- Device information: Various information concerning device, browser, operating system, and network information.
- Diagnostic information: Information collected about the nature of requests made to the servers. This information includes the device and applications used to make the request, timestamps, and referring URLs.
- Location information. Information regarding your location may be collected based on the device’s GPS or location service settings. Achieved by calculating your longitude and latitude based on the IP address.
The free users are in more danger as their location, advertising ID, IMEI, MAC address, and wireless carrier information are accessible by various advertisers.
If you are looking for a VPN that provides you with 100% guaranteed anonymity and online privacy, then Betternet isn’t for you.
Betternet offers OpenVPN with AES 256-bit encryption and IPsec with AES 128-bit AES-CBC encryption. These are very much industry standards.
While you can be assured that your internet traffic won’t be compromised during the transmission, the idea that everything may be recorded at the provider end leaves you with very much less trust in it.
The AES 256-bit encryption algorithm is available for both the private and public sectors, and due to the higher-length key sizes, it is quite difficult to bypass.
As a result, it is also the most regularly used security algorithm today, applied in almost everything from data storage to wireless communications.
For additional encryption and protection of your online data, Betternet also offers a Forward Secrecy feature. This feature hosts a specific key agreement protocol that ensures that session keys will not be jeopardized even if long-term secrets used in the session key exchange are endangered.
You shouldn’t worry about implementing encryption, as your data will be completely safe and secure with military-grade encryption and forward secrecy techniques.
Betternet’s DNS & IP Leak Protection
Surprisingly Betternet performed well and cleared all the DNS and IP leak test we put it through. You can see the result of one of the tests we conducted with its US location server. As far as securing DNS and IP leak, Betternets does what it says and safeguard both with its powerful encryption algorithm.
Betternet Injecting Malware and Tracker
While researching various VPN providers, a unit of researchers found Betternet one of the most malware-infested VPN applications available on the Google Play Store.
They tested Betternet using various antivirus programs. After their test concluded, they discovered Betternet to be positive for malware by 13 antivirus software. This gave it an AV rank of 13.
The same team of researchers also highlighted a high presence of third-party tracking libraries in Betternet’s Android app. These tracking libraries can be used for “analytics, tracking, or advertising purposes” and are implanted into the app’s source code.
While they promise to protect the privacy and security of their users, they are found injecting various malware and tackers into their own applications.
Internet Kill Switch & Adblocker
One sign to confirm whether the service is reliable and safe is to look for the basic safety features of pretty much industry standards. Unfortunately, on this front, Betternet fails again.
The service doesn’t offer Internet Kill Switch in any of its applications, meaning if your VPN connection is disconnected due to any reason, the applications will continue to work on your native local internet connection.
This is a serious issue as most users who use this service usually download torrents. They rely heavily on this feature to prevent their actual IP and location from getting leaked in VPN disconnection.
Internet Kill Switch disables your device’s complete internet connection in case there is a VPN disconnection. This prevents your actual IP and location from getting exposed, and your online identity and privacy are not compromised.
Not only does it not offer an internet kill switch feature, but Betternet also does not have any adblocker available in its application. While many top-tier VPN providers, just like ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN, offer built-in adblocking capabilities, Betternet sits there and lets the intrusive ads attack your device.
Let’s take a look at some of the frequently asked questions.
Can Betternet be trusted?
Does Betternet sell your data?
It is quite likely that Betternet does sell your data. It is a free VPN service, after all. Like any other free VPN service, it is likely to sell your personal data or VPN connection logs to any third-party advertiser or other organization.
Do you have to pay for Betternet?
No, you don’t have to pay for Betternet. While its free version is completely free of cost and available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, it also offers a premium version. The cost of premium membership includes $12.99/mo for the monthly subscription and $7.99/mo for the annual subscription.
With that, we have reached the end of our article. Till now, we haven’t seen enough evidence that could convince us to change our initial response to the “Is Betternet Safe?” question.
A virtual private network’s core purpose is to safeguard the user’s online privacy and data. Still, when a provider fails to achieve that purpose, no privacy-conscious user will ever trust it. You can learn everything there is to know about this provider in our in-depth and detailed Betternet review.
So if you are looking for a dependable, safe, secure, and reasonable free VPN for your online privacy. I strongly suggest that you check out ProtonVPN, Windscribe, or TunnelBear.