|Price||$7.99 a month|
Betternet VPN is a freemium VPN product owned by Betternet LLC, a subsidiary of the technology company, Aura. They are also responsible for several other products, including Hotspot Shield, TouchVPN, and more. They make the product available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Chrome, and Android. The Google Play Store lists it with over 50 million downloads and more than 1 million reviews. The free version supports ads, has limited capabilities and servers. We’ll go over the ins and outs of the service and see if it is worthy of its 4.3-star rating there. Although they state they have access to 85 countries, they seem to be all virtual locations. Because they offer a free trial, we’ll use it to provide you with the best information.
How Much is Betternet?
As we just mentioned, Betternet VPN is free to use. It is limited to 500 MB a month, though. Their premium pricing is steep at $12.99 a month. If you get 12 months of service, the price lowers to $7.99 a month. Of course, the yearly option is a better value, but still more than some of the more well-known players. They offer a 30-day moneyback guarantee and a 7-day free trial. Keep in mind that the service will automatically renew the service at the $12.99 monthly cost if you use the trial and don’t cancel it. Also, they don’t make it really easy to cancel.
They accept Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover, JCB, Diner’s Club, and UnionPay. Ideally, we would love to see more options like cryptocurrency, PayPal, and gift card options. One thing we immediately found troubling about this VPN is the sign-up policy for premium service. Even if you are only signing up for their trial, you must enter a physical street address. That is different from other providers because most only ask for an email address. Why the company needs your physical street address is a mystery to us.
About Betternet LLC
Betternet Usage and Features
In showing Betternet, we’ll show the Windows version of the app. We also tried the Android version and found no difference in appearance or function. We found the VPN to be easy to use. Once you download the software, you can choose the virtual location you want to connect to. By clicking the menu icon, you’ll find the options. As you see here, the available options are a kill switch, IP leak protection, reconnect automatically, turn Betternet on when connected to WiFi, exclude domains (for split tunneling), and the ability to change the VPN protocol. Unfortunately, they only offer two protocols. These are IKEv2 and their proprietary Hydra. While IKEv2 is a good option, we are unsure about the security of their Hydra protocol. We would like to see them provide more protocol options.
Is Betternet VPN Fast?
Since the VPN only offers two protocols, we’ll test both of them. The speeds we got are pretty good. We started with a speed test to Atlanta using Betternet’s IKEv2 protocol. Our baseline speed is 459 Mbps. As you see here, we got a speed of 351 Mbps. That shows a loss of only 23%. On their Hydra protocol, the speed increases to 443 Mbps, representing only a 4% loss. Unfortunately, we do not have a way to know how strong the encryption is with the Hydra protocol. Let’s take a look at other locations.
- New York – IKEv2 = 343 Mbps, Hydra = 363 Mbps
- Los Angeles – IKEv2 = 320 Mbps, Hydra = 442 Mbps
- United Kingdom – IKEv2 = 318 Mbps, Hydra = 407 Mbps
- Netherlands – IKEv2 = 297 Mbps, Hydra = 405 Mbps
- Australia – IKEv2 = 288 Mbps , Hydra = 203 Mbps
Betternet Leak and Geolocation Tests
Since this VPN has a leak protection switch, we expect this VPN not to leak. To test that, we performed a DNS and geolocation check while connected to the UK server. As you can see in the image, both tests show we are in the UK.
How Well does Betternet Unblock Streaming Services?
Since one of the advantages of connecting to a VPN is to unblock streaming services, the next tests are important. Betternet does well with speeds and location, so we decided to test streaming services. On the left, we found an exclusive show for Netflix UK called Cuckoo. In the image on the right, we connected to BBC iPlayer. Both played without any issues. That means that you shouldn’t have any issues watching different areas of Netflix or other streaming services. Of course, that includes other options like DAZN and Amazon Prime.
Unfortunately, Betternet’s customer service is lacking. We only found a generic FAQ section and a troubleshooting section from the website when we looked for it. However, you can send an email to support from inside the app. Ideally, we would like to see them offer a live chat feature. If you have specific questions or issues with the service, you may be better off trying to find the answer yourself. Otherwise, you may be waiting for a while. If you need to send them an email to cancel your free trial, the email address is support at betternet.co.
For the most part, we found Betternet VPN to work well and provide a good service. We loved the high speeds but did not love the high prices. As with any service, there are ups and downs. Here is a look at the good points of the service and some suggestions to make the service better.
- DNS does not leak
- Able to stream content from other areas
- Good speeds
- multiple locations
- 30-day moneyback guarantee
- No logs
- Lower price
- Make non-virtual locations
- Stop requiring physical street address
- Accept more payment options
- Offer more VPN protocols
- Improve customer service options
Even though Betternet did well, the requirement to enter a physical street address is concerning. As we mentioned earlier, we can’t think of any reason why the company would need it. If you are not worried about that, this VPN will do the job it is supposed to do by keeping you safe and unblocking content. If you are looking for a service that will help you watch content from many different areas, this may be a good option for you.