Established in 2015, Betternet can be considered a newbie in the VPN industry. The most curious thing about this provider is that its services are totally free. Betternet is available on Chrome, Android, Windows, iOS, and Mac OS. However, running a VPN service costs money, so why exactly are Betternet’s services free? The answer is – ads. This provider serves you ads from third-parties in return for providing you free VPN services. Many, many ads.
In this Betternet review, we will take a closer look at the services that Betternet provides. While many will find its free services intriguing, they’re ultimately not a great choice compared to the Top 10 VPN providers we recommend. The unrelenting ads were a major turn off for us.
Betternet’s website is poorly organized, with little effort put into describing the features of their services. There’s very brief information about their services, which is certainly not enough to convince anyone to purchase their services. From what we were able to find on their FAQ page, Betternet offers the following features:
According to its website, Betternet protects and secures the Internet connection of millions of people each day. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support any of these claims. There are a lot of loopholes that make it impossible for us to recommend this provider.
Betternet provides very little information regarding their server network. We had to really dig deep in order to find some information concerning their server networks. According to their FAQ page, users can connect to 17 virtual locations across 10 countries, including:
Users need to have a Premium account in order to change virtual locations, leaving free users stuck with only a virtual location in the US.
Anyone trying to do any real geo-unblocking will be much better off looking at the Top 5 Geo-Unblocking VPNs that we have reviewed and found to be quality. These VPNs all offer more countries, and more servers per country for better service.
Betternet claims that when using any VPN service it is normal to experience speed reductions from 30%-50%. They mention that connection speed and reliability depends on various factors like physical distance to the server, ISP, physical hardware, your download and upload speed and others.
Furthermore, Betternet states that there is a difference in the speed of the connection depending on whether you use their free or paid version. Below, you’ll see an example of the difference between their Free Client and Premium Client;
As you can see, the difference between the two connections is quite significant. The Premium Client offers access to higher download and upload speeds. It goes without saying their Premium Client is the obvious choice if you want to enjoy a fast and safe VPN connection.
As already mentioned, Betternet offers both free and paid VPN services. The free VPN services are only free because they are riddled with ads, while their paid services are ad-free. Furthermore, purchasing Betternet’s premium services depends on whether or not you purchase from their website. Weird? We thought so too.
Offering different prices for the same services depending on where you purchase their services from sounds like double standards to us;
Either way, the biggest savings come with their 12-months plan where users can save up to 75%. There is a seven-day free trial for each of their premium plans. Payments can be made via credit cards.
Betternet’s customer support section is very complicated. According to their website, free users don’t get to enjoy the perks of their email customer support. That feature is only reserved for their paying customers. On their website, Betternet offers the following customer support:
They state that there’s 24/7 personalized email support available for premium subscribers. Their blog and FAQ sections contain a lot of useful content. In fact, most of the information found on their website regarding their services is stored in their FAQ section.
Apart from having a solid customer support service, a top VPN provider is expected to have established protective customer policies. Betternet seems to have decent customer protection policies:
From what we’re able to see, these customer protection policies are considered standard. We particularly like the fact that the company is open about how they use your personal data. They explicitly state that they use some of the personal data from free users to serve them ads.
We end this Betternet review by stating that Betternet is a decent provider, but doesn’t offer anything special. Their website is weirdly-built and finding your way around their sections is extremely difficult. Having a user-friendly website that would allow potential customers to jump from browsing to purchasing in a few quick steps is essential.
Furthermore, their features are not that impressive, as they cover the bare minimum. They offer a strong encryption method, but their server network is poor. They have servers at only 17 locations in 10 countries, which is not enough for Betternet to be suited for geo-unblocking. They don’t support P2P networking, which is another major flaw.
Betternet offers decent customer protection policies, with their 45-day money-back guarantee being particularly impressive. They do have a no-logging policy, but they use the personal data of their free users to serve them ads. All in all, if you want to enjoy a safe VPN connection, read our other reviews of the top VPN providers and find yourself a great VPN provider.
Our ratings for betternet review are based on our professional experience and extensive tests with VPN providers between April 2014 – July 2014, taking into account user feedback and reviews we receive. As a friendly disclosure, some VPN providers do compensate us for customers we refer them, but this in no way effects their ranking on our website, nor our reviews.
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