Betternet is a popular app with over 38 million users worldwide. Its popularity stems from its unlimited free plan,
though of course, the plan itself has some restrictions. Still, is it worth your time to try out this no-cost VPN?
Let’s find out!
Betternet offers a free unlimited bandwidth plan. However, that’s all that is unlimited. You’re restricted to only US
servers, there’s little support if you run into issues, and you’re served with ads when you browse the web.
If you want more flexibility, there’s the premium plan. While it costs more if you pay month-to-month, the price
drops significantly when you sign up for the yearly subscription. If you want to try the premium features before you
buy, there’s a 7-day free trial. Just be aware it will auto-subscribe you if you forget to cancel.
You can use Betternet on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. If you’re using a computer that does not allow for downloads
you can use their browser extension for Firefox or Chrome. There is, unfortunately, no support for other networked
devices like routers, Smart TVs, or game consoles.
Ease of Use
If you opt for the free version, there’s little to do when it comes to the interface -- just press the connect
The premium option is just as minimalist -- adding location selection to the list of choices. You can’t even choose
the actual server. The interface also provides no additional information, such as ping times or how many people are
on a specific server.
It’s simple and intuitive, sure, but for the high month-to-month price, the lack of customizability is might be a
problem if you want more from your VPN.
Both the free and premium plans allow you to connect up to five different devices at the same time.
Even with the premium version, reviewers agree you’re not getting much for the money.
You essentially get military-grade encryption with OpenVPN.
If you want things like adware or malware filters, a killswitch, or in-depth access to server lists and app settings,
you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Privacy and Logging
For free users, there’s a lot to be desired in the privacy front.
The VPN serves up ads to its free users. This means advertisers might have access to your data and activities. A VPN
report found that the free Betternet Android app had the most embedded tracking libraries than any other free VPN
they tested. The even noted the service has used malware in their app.
It gets even worse, the free version also had IP and DNS leaks.
If you want privacy, then you must pay for the premium version, though it’s still not as secure as most experts want.
As mentioned above, there’s no kill switch, meaning a dropped connection could reveal your identity and
And while the company states it has a no logging policy, Technadu investigated the service and found, “... They give
up data to third-parties and do in fact log some data such as access times.”
If there’s one bit of good news to be found, the premium version passed DNS and IP leak tests.
As you might expect, the free version doesn’t offer the best performance as you’re limited to a handful of servers in
the United States.
Unfortunately, the premium version didn’t fare much better in reviews. Many reviewers could not connect to servers.
Instead, they received DNS errors whenever they attempted to access a site. This occurred even in locations that are
typically more stable such as the US and UK.
When they connected, speeds across the board were inconsistent. Download speeds in one review fluctuated between
30-60 Mbps on one server.
If you run into any issues, the FAQ and user forum are your first line of defense. However, if you need more in-depth
help, email support is only other option as Betternet does not offer phone or chat support.
Reviews indicate there are dozens of better VPNs available that are cheaper and do more to protect you.
If you want a free VPN, look at TunnelBear. While not unlimited, it offers much better features.
In the paid service tiers, ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access offer more features at around the same yearly cost.
TechRadar does not recommend the service, stating, “Betternet is a poor VPN with unreliable servers, feeble support,
virtually no features and multiple privacy concerns…”