A Full Betternet VPN Review – Tested, Reviewed, and Compared for 2024

In this Betternet VPN review, we’ll take a look at this VPN app/service, mention some pros and cons, cover the core features and pricing model, discuss security, compare it to competitors, and generally try to provide a strong overview of this product to help you decide if Betternet VPN is the right product for you

In this day and age of digital detectives, governmental firewalls, DDOS attacks, and other such Internet dangers and obstacles, users are turning in increasing numbers to VPN services to help them navigate through these tangled waters while also providing security and safety.

Betternet VPN is one of the many options available. Read on to learn more about Betternet VPN and see how it compares to the best VPN products today.

What is Betternet VPN?

Betternet VPN is a VPN app/service that allows users to browse, stream, torrent, and use the Internet knowing that their identity and location are concealed. In addition, through servers located around the world, Betternet VPN users can access geo-restricted apps and content that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.

Based in the United States, Betternet VPN offers installations for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices as well as a Chrome extension

Their service includes over a thousand servers distributed worldwide throughout over 115 different countries. Betternet VPN offers unlimited bandwidth for their service, which includes their own proprietary VPN protocol known as Catapult Hydra.

Betternet VPN Review Pros and Cons

Not every VPN service is a fit for everyone’s needs. We’ll cover features and security in more detail later in this article, but here are a few pro and con points for Betternet VPN.

Pros

  • Wide availability of servers
  • Allows torrenting
  • Up to 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Easy installation
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Cons

  • Limited installation options
  • Doesn’t hide IPv6 address
  • No kill switch for macOS
  • Very limited free trial

With locations in over 115 countries, Betternet outshines many of its competitors in regards to server availability. In addition, Betternet supports torrenting on all of their servers and lets users install on up to 10 devices.

However, the range of device installs is a bit limited, and they don’t provide a kill switch option for macOS installs. They promote their free trial, but it is very restricted, offering only a limited amount of bandwidth and access to only four servers.

How Much Does Betternet VPN Cost?

Betternet offers two premium subscription options – a monthly plan and an annual plan. Even with the annual plan, the price comes out to $7.99 per month, which is at the higher end of VPN services.

Additionally, the only payment methods accepted are credit and debit cards. No options for Paypal, cryptocurrency, or anything else.

Plan Price
1 month $12.99 / month
1 year $7.99 / month – $95.88 billed annually

Betternet does offer a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is longer than the standard 30-day guarantee that you’ll see for most services.

Betternet also offers a limited, free version of their VPN to use, though it has limited capabilities and is also ad-supported. However, there is no registration requirement to try it.

Reviewing the Core Betternet VPN Features

But aside from pricing, what consumers really want to know is what sort of features are offered with the product. Betternet VPN includes most of the standard features one would expect in a VPN, such as privacy, security, split tunneling, and plenty of servers to choose from.

But they also include an always-on option, an anti-phishing detection system to warn you when visiting dangerous websites, and their own custom-built VPN protocol.

Always-on

Betternet VPN has an option allowing users to set the VPN to launch on system startup. Coupled with the auto-connect option, you can be sure that your system will always be protected.

Kill Switch

Betternet VPN does include a kill switch option, allowing the program to shut down your Internet access if it detects a lost connection to the VPN server.

This is pretty standard and expected of modern VPN apps. However, Betternet VPN does not offer a kill switch for macOS installations.

Anti-Phishing Detection

Betternet also includes a built-in anti-phishing feature designed to warn users if they are about to visit a website that contains malware or phishing links. This is a nice extra security feature that you don’t see offered with every VPN.

No Data Limits

There are no data limits when using Betternet VPN. You can connect as often and as much as you like and stream and torrent to your heart’s content.

This is pretty a common feature for most premium VPN subscriptions, but not for all of them. So it’s nice to know that you don’t have to worry about maxing out your bandwidth.

Catapult Hydra Protocol

Rather than using a standard VPN protocol, Betternet has created its own, known as Catapult Hydra. This protocol was designed to improve latency and performance over long-distance connections. The Hydra Protocol also uses traffic obfuscation to try and mask the fact that you are using a VPN.

Split Tunneling

Split Tunneling is another standard feature in VPNs these days. This allows you to set only certain apps to route through the VPN, in case you prefer to use your local, generally faster Internet sometimes, while also maintaining your VPN connection and protection.

Is Betternet VPN Safe?

A number of years ago, Betternet was hammered hard by a review calling out various security issues. And though Betternet has taken care of most of those issues, there still seems to be a general concern about Betternet’s safety among many other reviewers.

So let’s take a look at some of the important VPN security features and see how Betternet VPN stacks up.

AES 256-bit Encryption

Betternet VPN uses the industry standard AES 256-bit encryption, making sure that even if the data stream is intercepted, decrypting the contents will be virtually impossible. This is the expected encryption level to see. Anything less would be a cause for concern.

No Activity Logs

Betternet says that they do not collect, log, store, or share any data logs of their users. This includes both premium and free users. However, while they don’t track what websites you visit, they do track devices used, time using the service, servers visited, and more.

Supposedly this is all for metrics and won’t tie back to specific users. But for those interested in more complete privacy, Betternet VPN may not be the right choice.

Kill Switch

A kill switch is pretty much a required feature for any VPN these days. And Betternet VPN does offer a kill switch option, except for on macOS systems. All of the other device installs for Betternet VPN do include a kill switch, causing the system to disconnect the Internet if the connection to the VPN service is lost.

U.S. Based

There are some conflicting views over how much of a security risk is posed to your identity through VPN services based in the United States. This is due to various U.S. laws that could require the VPN company to hand over user data.

However, if the company doesn’t retain that data, then there is nothing to hand over. Betternet VPN claims to not keep any user-specific data, so in theory, your identity should still remain anonymous.

Proprietary Protocol

The default protocol for Betternet VPN is their homemade service known as Catapult Hydra. Since this isn’t open source as some other commonly used protocols are, we don’t really know what’s going on under the hood.

But, Betternet does give users the option of switching to IKEv2 (IPsec), a more standardly used protocol, or Wireguard, another open-source protocol.

Betternet VPN Compatibility

Betternet VPN offers installs for the most commonly used operating systems, phones, and browsers. However, there is no support beyond that.

You can run Betternet VPN on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Google Chrome. But, unlike some other VPNs, you cannot run Betternet on other browsers, routers, or smart TVs.

Windows

Betternet VPN does install on Windows 7, though Microsoft is ending support for everything prior to Windows 10 at the end of this year. I don’t think that would affect a VPN install, but you never know.

macOS

Betternet VPN is available for macOS versions 11.0 and higher. It takes up about 20 meg of storage space. You can download this version on the Mac App Store or directly from Betternet.

Android

You can also download Betternet VPN for Android from the Betternet webpage or through the Google Play Store.

iOS

For installation of iOS systems, Betternet VPN requires iOS version 14.0 or later. You can download this through the Betternet website or from the Apple Store.

Betternet VPN vs Competitors

VPN App Notable Feature Cheapest Plan Log Policy Free Version? Simultaneous Connections Split Tunneling? Kill Switch?
Betternet VPN Unlimited bandwidth $7.99 / month (1 year plan) No user-specific logs Yes, but limited 10 Yes Yes (though not on Mac)
SurfShark Unlimited connections $2.73 / month (2 year plan) No logs Free trial from Google Play Store and App Store Unlimited Yes Yes
Express VPN Good performance and speeds $8.32 / month (1 year plan) No activity logs No 8 Yes Yes
VPN Unlimited Wide variety of device installs $5 / month (1 year plan) No activity logs Yes, limited. Also seven day free trial of the full version 5 Yes Yes
CyberGhost Large number of servers $2.19/month (2 year plan) No activity logs 24-hour free trial of the full version 7 Yes Yes
PureVPN Low prices $2.29 / month (2 year plan) No Logs 7-day free trial 5 Yes Yes
NordVPN Fast speeds; well-known $3.99 / month (2-year plan) No logs No 6 Yes Yes (though not for Windows or Android)

Aside from the price point, Betternet VPN holds up when compared to other competitors. But without much in the way of additional features or services, it’s hard to see a reason to spend the extra money.

What is Betternet VPN Good For?

New Users

Betternet VPN features a very easy installation, setup, and connecting process. Even a user who is completely new to VPNs shouldn’t have any problems using Betternet.

Torrenting

Betternet VPN supports torrenting through all of its servers, whereas many other VPN services only allow torrenting through specific servers. In addition, their unlimited bandwidth policy ensures that you don’t have to worry about running into data caps.

Free Version

Though it’s somewhat limited, Betternet VPN does offer a free, ad-supported version of their app. Not every VPN service is willing to give their product away for free, even with a limited trial. And it’s always great to be able to try before you buy.

Wide Distribution of Server Locations

The server options for Betternet VPN cover a wide selection of countries, with over 115 to choose from. And though a lot of VPN services will have more overall servers, there aren’t many that can boast of locations in over 100 countries.

Betternet VPN Server Locations

Betternet runs over one thousand servers across more than 115 locations around the world. They don’t give a breakdown of how many servers are in each location, but they do provide a list of all available countries.

North America:

United States, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas

Central and South America:

Chile, Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Europe:

Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Hungary, Romania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.

Asia / Pacific:

Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

Africa and Middle East:

Algeria, Egypt, Israel, South Africa, United Arab Emirates.

A list of Betternet server locations

Is Betternet VPN Good?

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use, free VPN, then Betternet is certainly a viable option. But the free version is pretty limited and likely not useful for most people’s long-term needs.

The app installation is simple and straightforward. The interface for Betternet VPN is also clean and easy to understand.

The premium version includes some nice bonus features, such as a special streaming mode optimized for Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services, and a gaming mode, optimized for Roblox, Fortnite, and other games.

As for the premium version, we didn’t find any problems while using it, but there are concerns about a lack of transparency and some data logging.

Let’s see what other users have to say about Betternet VPN.

A picture of Bettnet reviews on TrustPilot

Betternet VPN has a rather abysmal rating of 1.8 on TrustPilot. TrustPilot features user reviews, which can be useful if there are enough reviews. However, there are only 41 reviews for Betternet on TrustPilot, most of them from many years ago.

User reviews are also prone to shilling and negative reviews simply because one user didn’t understand a feature. Of which you see examples of both in these Betternet reviews, so these should always be taken with a grain of salt.

However, taking a look at the most recent reviews, we see users complaining about the service cancellation process being difficult and not really much else.

How to Use Betternet VPN – a Quick Guide

Betternet is a pretty user-friendly application. Installation and connecting to different servers is both easy and intuitive.

Installing Betternet VPN

The basic installation process for Betternet VPN is simple and painless.

Once you have Betternet installed, you will need to start Betternet VPN to activate your premium subscription. You will put in your email address and then receive an email with a device link. Click the “Link new device” button, and you should be good to go.

Windows

Step 1: Download Betternet

Easily install Betternet VPN on your desktop computer or mobile device.

Install screen of Betternet VPN on Windows

Step 2: Sign the privacy agreement

Sign the privacy agreement, where they are pretty upfront about what sort of data they collect

The privacy policy on Betternet VPN

Step 3: Sign in to Betternet

You can start your free trial or sign in if you have purchased the premium version. The app will often push you into a sign-up page, especially if you click on a premium feature, though you can exit this with the back button.

Sign up for the 7-day free trial screen on Betternet

Step 4: Adjust your settings

Betternet includes a number of settings that you will want to check when you first start up. In General settings, you can set Betternet VPN to start on system launch and auto-connect to the VPN server, making sure that your device is always protected.

Settings screen for Betternet

Enable Start on Launch and Always On if you want 24/7 protection.

Toggles for the settings on Betternet

On the Advanced many, we find options for enabling the kill switch (not available in macOS), preventing IP leaks.

Settings window on Betternet

And in the Protocols section, you can leave in on Automatic or choose the specific VPN protocol you wish to use.

Mobile

You can install the mobile versions from their respective app stores through the Betternet website.

  • Go to the Betternet VPN page in the Google Play Store or the Apple Store.
  • Click the Install button
  • Startup Betternet VPN and choose the free trial or the premium subscription
  • Click Connect to connect to the VPN server

Browser extension

Installing the browser extension follows the same basic process

  • Download and install
  • Activate the extension
  • Click Connect

Instructions for setting up Betternet on Chrome

Betternet VPN Testing Methodology

Our VPN testing methodology includes making in-depth use of the product across devices, services, and websites to ensure we can offer an informed appraisal of the service. This includes connecting to different servers around the world, visiting sites, and trying to use streaming services as if we were in a different country.

We also compare our reviews with those from other sites to ensure accuracy and ensure we have the most up to date info.

Our history with testing and reviewing VPN services provides us with a lot of experience in understanding what to expect from VPN apps and services, as well as identifying potential areas of concern or missing features.

Our testing and reviews are impartial. We take on the role of a typical user and create our review from that viewpoint, calling out issues and concerns a typical user might have. Functionality and features are tested in a real-life use manner.

Our Other VPN Guides

We bring you more than just basic VPN reviews. We also deep dive into finding VPNs for specific devices, services, and more. Here are a few of our other VPN articles to check out.

Is Betternet VPN Worth it in 2024?

Betternet VPN has some good features, and it also has some not-so-great features. Its limited selection of installation options may turn some people away. Especially those who are looking for a solution that will cover their entire household.

In addition, the lack of a kill switch for macOS systems will likely be a deal breaker for anyone using a Mac operating system.

Aside from that, the Betternet VPN offers an easy-to-use experience, tons of options for server locations, 24/7 customer support through email, and all the basic features one would expect from a VPN.

The cost for Betternet VPN is certainly not on the cheaper side, but with a 45-day money-back guarantee and a free trial version, there is nothing to lose by giving it a try.

Betternet VPN FAQ

Is Betternet a trusted VPN?

Is Betternet a Chinese app?

How much does Betternet VPN cost?

What do people use Betternet for?

Does Betternet VPN work with Netflix?

Is Betternet VPN good for torrenting?

Is Betternet VPN safe?

Does Betternet VPN work in China?

Is there a free version of Betternet VPN?

References

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is a freelance writer and journalist who has been into creative writing and the tech world since childhood. When not writing, you can find him involved in blockchain gaming and apps, or hiking the trails in his local area.