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Betternet VPN Review

Betternet VPN Review

Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are helpful encryption tools and measures to gain privacy and anonymity while browsing the web. They can be found in the form of either free or paid services. Generally, the latter is widely considered more secure, because they don't keep logs of users' activity and are more transparent about their privacy policy.

However, Betternet qualifies as a “freemium” VPN, in the sense that it offers a free software with the option to upgrade to a “premium” package, with more offerings and features but at a fixed price. There is no denying of Betternet's success: the company claims that it has 38 million users on the planet between the two modes.

All in all, Betternet is a product that has made its contribution to the VPN market. The free version lets you browse the web anonymously at no cost, but the speeds are extremely slow and, thus, not suitable for activities such as streaming. The premium mode has no ads, is faster, has a week-long free trial, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

As for drawbacks, the service's privacy policy is not clear, and the free version serves adverts with tracking libraries while keeping activity logs. There is no kill switch and DNS leaks may occur with the no-cost mode.

Pricing and plans

As we have already stated, Betternet is a freemium service. It has a free version, although it is nothing to write home about, and a premium feature, with more offerings. Naturally, the latter requires users to pay a monthly fee.

The good thing about Betternet's free version is that it has no caps whatsoever: you may use it as much as you want. The premium service, on the other hand, costs about $11.99 per month, which is somewhat expensive.

If you choose to hire the six-month plan, the per-month cost goes down to $3.99, a significant discount. The annual plan collapses all the way down to the equivalent of $2.99 per 30 days, an amazing value considering the offerings.

Free Trial and Money Back Guarantee

As far as the premium service is concerned, Betternet does provide a 30-day money-back guarantee: users can test the brand and, if they don't like it, they can opt for a refund after a month. However, there is a caveat.

In order to be eligible for the refund, the users must have minimally used Betternet: the cap is set at just 50 MB of data, a very low number that can be easily surpassed at any moment and with the most basic of activities.

In a more positive tone, the premium service also offers customers a seven-day free trial. However, the only drawback is that they need to enter credit card details to be eligible for the mentioned period. Users need to pay attention and cancel the trial before the seven days. Otherwise, they will start being charged while using the monthly plan as a framework.

Sign Up and Client

Signing up for the Betternet service is very straightforward. The “Try Free” option should get you started, as it is the week-long free trial of the premium service. You need to provide your payment method up front, though.

The premium version of Betternet has a mobile app. It is not the best of the market, though, as it only allows you to choose a server to connect: you won't be able to change the VPN protocol or do anything else.

Users can enjoy Betternet in several of the most common devices, operating systems, and browsers: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Android. The system only allows you to use one device per license, though.

As for the website, Betternet makes sure to keep things simple. It is very easy to use and navigate through, and the design is well-achieved. The number of pages and links to visit and open isn't huge. Be sure to read the “How do we make money” section to fully understand the policies and terms.

Features

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Betternet has the advantage of offering both a free and a paid service. That means that the latter represents a marked improvement over the former, and that is evident in the features offered. However, make no mistake: Betternet's premium version isn't close to the top 10 VPN alternatives.

For starters, it doesn't include a kill switch to protect users from unencrypted data sharing in the event of a VPN connection loss. The free version functions via ads through videos, but the premium one features no advertising messages whatsoever.

The availability of five simultaneous connections is a very attractive offering, as is the free access to a browser extension for Chrome and the apps for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. Betternet also provides OpenVPN encryption.

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At the end of the day, users expect a little more when it comes to features. There is no kill switch, no DNS leak protection, no auto-connect, no split tunneling, no double VPN, no NAT firewall, no cloaking, no stealth VPN, and many other things.

Servers

While some of the top options in the VPN market can offer its customers dozens of servers (in some cases, the number approaches a hundred or even surpass it,) Betternet doesn't have a whole lot to offer, with 50 total servers in 10 countries.

The servers are located in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Canada and seven American cities. Those are all available for premium subscribers, while free VPN users get access to one server in the United States of America.

Speed and performance

Betternet's premium service offers acceptable speeds, suitable for regular browsing and even streaming. However, it is not enough to be called the fastest VPN service in the industry. The free option, however, is another story.

Tests have demonstrated that Betternet's free service gets download speeds of 3-5 Mbps, which is a very poor mark that makes regular browsing a pain. That being said, Betternet is not the perfect VPN for torrenting, either.

Privacy and Encryption

Being a Canada-based VPN, the outlook for full privacy is somewhat limited, as the government has been threatening full data privacy in recent times. As far as the privacy policy, the company does not do a good job bringing peace to people's minds, as it is ambiguous and unclear.

The privacy policy says that Betternet collects some data logs, namely connection time and bandwidth. There are no clear signs as to what is considered personal information and what's not, either. Are IP addresses personal information? We don't know for sure.

Regarding encryption, Betternet uses OpenVPN with AES-256 encryption and also has L2TP/IPSec with a 128-bit key, but it isn't clear where exactly the brand implements these tunneling protocols.

Customer Service

Those with premiums accounts can access the support section via the app. However, it is buggy and not very user-friendly, so you will be best served to enter through the website.

There is no 24/7 live chat feature, but a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section helps people sort their issues and find answers when possible.

My current VPN Recommendation is HideMyAss! It's inexpensive, secure, and trustworthy, and they have one of the best mobile apps in the industry.

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