Rated as #1 on Google Play and App Stores, Betternet VPN is a free Canadian-based VPN service that takes pride in serving over 38 million internet users. With only a handful of servers that are spread across 10 countries around the world, 60% of Betternet’s clients are located outside the US. Accordingly, we have decided to test their free VPN service and write our review. Scroll down for more details.
Betternet is fully compatible with several platforms, such as: Windows (7, 8, 10), Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome & Firefox. This means that it can be run on PCs, laptops, mobile phones and tablets.
Betternet VPN relies mainly on OpenVPN AES 256 encryption which is considered to be the best encryption protocol to allow users surf the internet with optimal security and anonymity. They also support 128 bit AES-CBC for IPSec. We find them lacking in this area as they could also include other encryption protocols, such as: PPTP, L2TP or SSL and SSH.
Betternet free VPN service requires no signing-up or following lengthy registration procedures. All we had to do is to download Betternet client on our Windows system for testing. Here is a feedback on our experience with Betternet free VPN client for Windows:
– The installation process was fast and hassle-free. The client is very light and did not consume much space.
– The client interface is very basic and simple.
– All that needs to be done is click on “Connect”
– Betternet automatically selects the best server for your location, we were connected to “Switzerland” server.
– At first the speed was very fast, but then it dropped significantly and froze our Chrome browser and tampered with our internet connection that we had to uninstall the application to get our internet working again.
Betternet VPN Features
In this section, we will explore the different features offered by Betternet VPN softwares for free and premium subscribers.
Servers and Bandwidth
Betternet VPN may have a short list of countries (10 countries), but the list is packed with important and popular server locations, including: USA, UK, AUSTRALIA, HONG KONG, CANADA, JAPAN, SINGAPORE, FRANCE, GERMANY, etc. Only premium subscribers have the option to select any server from that list. Meanwhile, free users, Betternet VPN chooses the best server to your location. We were given “Switzerland”.
As for bandwidth and speed, Betternet VPN provides unlimited bandwidth to paid and free subscribers.
One of the very good features of Betternet VPN is that it permits P2P sharing to premium and free users. However, as we have previously explained that Betternet complies with Canada’s internet laws and they strictly say this on their website:
“If we ever receive a DMCA takedown notice or valid court orders, we fully comply with the notices without disrupting or jeopardizing any clients privacy. As mentioned earlier, we don’t save any logs, IPs, ports, user information or timestamps. Hence, in order to satisfy legal requirements from bandwidth providers we do not disclose any user data to the authorities. So far we have not received any valid court order that has required us to provide something we do not have.”
Betternet boasts about its Hexa service for mobile devices. Hexa VPN supposedly operates by using high-level encryption protocols (Hexa protocol) that makes their VPN extra secure. Further, Hexa VPN users can get to test Betternet’s newest features exclusively before they are released on the website. In addition to security and exclusive features, Hexa VPN is supposedly “blockproof” as advertised on their website:
“The other VPN protocols are not difficult to be blocked in different countries. Blocking Hexa protocol is not as easy as other traditional protocols. Hexa Team is trying to improve Hexa as a protocol which is immune to blocking.”
Another interesting feature provided by Betternet is “NeverAds“. As the name suggests, NeverAds is a free adblocker application for Safari browser on iPhone which blocks ad, popups, banners, malware, YouTube ads to help users boost internet speed completely hassle-free.
Betternet Premium Packages
Betternet is mainly a free VPN service, but it has recently started offering paid-subscription VPN services (Betternet Premium) alongside its free model for cheap prices.
- 1 Month for $11.99 per month
- 6 Months for $3.99 per month
- 12 Months for $2.99 per month
> Benefits of Betternet Premium
- - Premium users have the option to choose the server they wish to connect to from a list of 10 popular locations. This option is not available to free users.
- - Ad free.
- - Multi-login up to 5 devices.
- - Faster connection.
- - Premium support.
Payment Options and Refunds
Users can subscribe to Betternet VPN premium services through two ways only: Google Play Store or App Store. In this way, Betternet would not be able to store payment details of any of its users which make it a safe transaction.
Moreover, Betternet premium subscription is auto-renewed through any of the two payment methods mentioned above. Users can also cancel the subscription at any time.
Secondly, Betternet makes money by sponsoring third party services in the form of ads on their free apps. This means that even though Betternet VPN does not keep logs or share personal information of its users, some of those third party ads may collect personal data and browsing activities of their free subscribers.
Thirdly, Betternet clearly states on its terms of service section that it has the right to prevent any access to its services, make changes or maintenance at any time without giving out notice to its subscribers. They also hold the right to terminate any premium subscription if it violates its agreement policy.
Live chat is not available on Betternet, but their ticket system is very well-organised as it is divided into different categories depending on the nature of your question. They also have a copious F.A.Q section and a blog that contain detailed information about the VPN service. We tested their ticket system and haven’t received a reply yet.
- - Cheap VPN
- - Free VPN service
- - No registration process
- - Single-click to connect
- - Hexa VPN
- - NeverAds, free adblocker
- - Multi-login for premium users
- - Premium users can choose servers from 10 different locations
- - P2P sharing
- - Premium service is ad-free
- - Partially keeps logs (metadata)
- - 1 server for free VPN users
- - Small network of servers
- - Live chat is not available
- - Lack of variety in encryption protocols
- - Third-party ads for the free model