Betternet VPN Review
When it comes to VPNs, we are all looking for something solid and reliable that enables us to gain as much access as possible to restricted content, without necessarily breaking our banks. Some people value certain aspects in VPNs above others and that’s what they consider a priority when picking their suitable VPN. For instance, a person could be okay with average speed as long as they get maximum benefits when it comes to aspects such as privacy and security. I believe that a great VPN should be able to provide a great balance of all features, so that you don’t get maximum benefits from one feature and the bare minimum from another feature.
Betternet VPN is a Canadian-based VPN that has impressed many with its track record of being termed as the worst and also the best VPN ever. Betternet VPN comes packed with lots of trackers and malware, and is one of the most downloaded VPNs on mobile app stores so far.
In all honesty, Betternet cannot pride itself on the fastest Internet connection. Nor can it brag about having a lot of servers, but its free forever price tag is what most users find completely irresistible. I mean, who wouldn’t be obsessed with a free VPN?
Is My Privacy Protected with Betternet?
As a policy, Betternet VPN does not keep any logs or share your true IP address. This means that Betternet VPN always deletes your true IP address as soon as your VPN session is closed. Betternet also does not associate your email address, unique mobile ID or username with your browsing information or any online activities. This means you stay anonymous in terms of your online presence, which is great.
With Betternet VPN, creating an account is optional so you literally don’t have to share any of your personal information to use any of their products or download anything. This I think is one of the things that set Betternet VPN apart from other VPN brands, which require you to create an account before luxuriating in their products.
Betternet VPN has also made it clear that they do not share any of their customers’ personal information with unaffiliated third party websites, aside from service providers that they use for business operations and internal technology. That way you do not have to worry about receiving unsolicited promotional emails on a daily basis. However one of the privacy cons of Betternet VPN Is the lack of a kill switch, which is sort of a privacy deal breaker for so many people.
How Much is Betternet? Is There a Free Trial?
The prime product of Betternet is its free VPN. It is however, ad-supported which essentially means that you will be installing advertised applications and watching video ads in order to keep using it on mobile. That is how Betternet VPN makes money while still providing you with a free VPN. At this point it comes down to your level of patience and tolerance since some of us literally cannot stand video ads no matter how free the product we’re getting is.
Many customers, however, have come out to question just how free Betternet VPN is. This is due to the fact that in order to use it on their desktop client, which offers a free 7-day trial, you are required to provide your credit card details. This to a lot of people is a privacy- intrusive turnoff, especially considering that they don’t accept any other payment method including PayPal.
There are users who have complained that in the free 7 day trial they were charged $11.99 and not given an option to unsubscribe from the monthly plan. They had to contact their bank to stop these deductions.
Betternet offers three paid plans $11.99 monthly subscription, $23.94 bi-annual, and $35.88 annual plan.
This paid service boasts of providing quality support, no ads, and about five simultaneous connections with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This money-back guarantee, however, feels like a rip off for a lot of users since it is only valid if the user uses less than 50mb. This, in all honesty will not get you any further than testing the VPN.
Betternet Speed Test
Let’s be real for a minute here and accept the fact that we cannot expect a whole lot from a free VPN service. It is for this reason that I find the Betternet VPN speed considerably low, with a download speed of as low as 3mbps and an upload speed of up to 12mbps. This means that Betternet VPN is not the best for torrenting, however the speeds improve with the premium plan.
On the bright side, with Betternet VPN users are able to use p2p file sharing apps and some streaming access, however low quality, and some protection against DNS leaks.
How is Customer Service at Betternet?
Betternet offers 24-7 customer support for its premium and free users, however, there is no live chat option. The Betternet website FAQ does not offer much information so you will be required to go through the customer service system to get some general information or help. However, on the bright side, their customer service is very active on twitter even though most customer support questions are redirected to the standard system. Most users don’t like that but hey, we’ve seen worse so this is slightly bearable.
In terms of features Betternet VPN is reasonably okay. With Betternet VPN you are able to install Betternet desktop app on your Mac and windows, their mobile app can be installed on iOS and android or one can simply use their browser extension.
Betternet uses hundreds of shared IP addresses to cover up your real IP address and keep your online presence completely anonymous. Premium users of Betternet gain great access to Betternet’s dedicated servers, which are located all around the world in order to avoid Geo-restrictions. Betternet allows you to stream videos and movies, access restricted online content and use social media effortlessly. It also allows torrenting and p2p sharing, although not the very best. Betternet VPN has also introduced the very superior HexaTech VPN which is almost block-proof, for some safety and additional protection.
Betternet servers are available in ten countries such as Singapore, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, UK, Netherlands, Canada, France, seven US cities and Germany. The premium version also provides five simultaneous connections, open VPN encryption and no adverts whatsoever, which is really great compared to the free version.
Is Betternet Safe?
Like I mentioned at the beginning, Betternet is a VPN that is based in Canada, and Canada is among the countries within the five eyes surveillance agreement. This means that Betternet is not located in a country that would be considered good for privacy. Many believe that when it comes to security, privacy and transparency, this VPN gives with one hand and takes with the other. For instance, Betternet VPN specifies on their website that they use OpenVPN with AES 256-bit encryption and 128-bit AES-CBC for IPSec and that’s about it. They did not bother to expand further on this, which raises eyebrows.
They also promise 100% privacy and anonymity, but they have stated most emphatically that should they be asked to provide logs with the authorities, they will oblige, which doesn’t sound so good in terms of privacy. This could mean that they do actually keep logs and continue to raise security and privacy concerns among users.
Betternet VPN’s free version sounds great, but who wants to watch ads and install unsolicited apps forever? Their privacy is not guaranteed, and their security could use a thorough makeover. Aside from that, as many people have complained, their 30 day money-back guarantee seems to be a complete rip off, since most people will use more than 50mb when testing it out.
In my honest opinion, there is nothing wrong with a free VPN, but you can get more perks at an affordable price on other VPNs. Betternet VPN provides some great services, but if you want great speed, absolute privacy and better security at great rates I suggest you look elsewhere.