Betternet VPN Review 2024 — Is it Any Good?

Our Score
6.2
DECENT
Ranked 47th out of 83 VPNs
Ranked 47th out of 83 VPNs
Fact Checked by Katarina Glamoslija
Penka Hristovska
Penka Hristovska
Published on: January 20, 2024

Betternet VPN Review: Quick Expert Summary

Betternet VPN is owned by the Aura Group, which is the same company that owns HotSpot Shield, and it offers a few of the same features as Hotspot Shield, including fast speeds for web browsing on nearby servers and a user-friendly interface. But unfortunately, it’s nowhere near as good as Hotspot Shield or any of our top-ranked VPNs in 2024, including ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access.

Betternet comes with essential security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection, plus advanced security features such as perfect forward secrecy, and extra features like a split-tunneling tool and anti-phishing protection on websites. It also has obfuscation, a feature that hides your VPN traffic, and supports Tor over VPN connections and P2P traffic on all servers.

But sadly, Betternet has significant downsides that I can’t overlook. For starters, it collects your IP address and provides vague reasons as to why, has slower speeds on distant servers, only works with some streaming sites, and isn’t safe for torrenting because it collects your IP address. In addition, Betternet lacks extra features like an ad blocker and is missing 24/7 live chat. Finally, its plans are extremely overpriced.

Betternet allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, offers a so-so free plan, and a monthly and yearly plan. All plans are covered by a 45-day money-back guarantee.

🏅 Overall Rank #47 out of 83 VPNs
🌍 Number of Servers 1,000+
📱 Number of Devices 10
💸 Starting Price $7.99 / month
🎁 Free Plan
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 45 Days

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and ExpressVPN are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company

Betternet Full Review

Betternet Full Review

I spent a couple of weeks testing Betternet to see how it compares to some of the best VPNs available on the market.

Even though it’s a scaled-down version of Hotspot Shield, which is a very good VPN, Betternet didn’t impress me much at all. Despite including essential security features and fast speeds for surfing the internet, Betternet has too many drawbacks to be considered a top VPN.

Here’s my quick take on Betternet — it’s a decent VPN for browsing, but I can’t recommend it due to its sketchy no-logs policy, lack of streaming support, and hefty price tag.

Betternet Features

Betternet offers the following industry-standard VPN security features:

  • Kill switch — This feature automatically disconnects you from the internet if your VPN connection goes down.
  • 256-bit AES encryption — Betternet uses the same encryption used by banks and militaries.
  • No-logs policy — Betternet doesn’t record the sites you visit or the files you download.

Betternet VPN comes with Hydra, Wireguard, and IKEv2/IPSec protocols, all of which are fast and secure. I like how Betternet VPN gives you the option of selecting either protocol, and there’s an Automatic option that picks the best protocol for your network. That said, Hydra always provided me with the fastest speeds and is one of the fastest protocols in the industry.

When it comes to advanced security features, Betternet uses perfect forward secrecy. It changes your encryption key with each VPN session, making it impossible for hackers to access keys from any other past or future connections. I like how it protects you from malicious sites on the web — in my tests, it flagged some shady HTTPS sites that I tried to visit.

Betternet supports The Onion Router (Tor) on all servers, so you can safely browse .onion sites while connected to the VPN — IP leaks are rare in Tor, but if they happen during your session, only your VPN IP address will be leaked. I still prefer Proton VPN for browsing Tor as it lets you visit Tor sites in regular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

It obfuscates your traffic with the help of the Hydra protocol, which makes your VPN traffic look more like normal traffic. This allows Betternet to work in censor-heavy nations like China and Iran. Still, it doesn’t work in restrictive countries as consistently as ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access.

Although Betternet has the option to enable leak protection, it doesn’t indicate what specific leak protections it offers in the app — the site claims it protects from DNS and IPv6 leaks. Regardless, I ran DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak tests while connected to servers in multiple countries, including Japan, the US, and the UK, and Betternet passed with flying colors each time.

As for extra features, Betternet includes split-tunneling (on Windows, Android, & iOS), which allows you to choose which websites are excluded from the VPN and which apps and sites are routed through the VPN tunnel. This is great considering some top VPNs only let you split-tunnel apps.

Overall, Betternet comes with decent security features, including perfect forward secrecy and leak protection, secure protocols, and some cool extra features like malware protection.

Betternet Privacy & Security

Betternet’s no-logs policy falls under Aura’s privacy policy. It states that the VPN doesn’t keep logs of anything that you do online, including your browsing history and the files you download. While Betternet’s free plan is supported by ads, the company says these ads are not tied to the websites you visit, and none of your online traffic is shared with advertisers or other third parties.

However, I don’t like how Betternet logs your IP address — even though it claims to instantly encrypt your IP address and delete it at the end of your session. Betternet says your IP address is collected to:

  • Prevent fraud if you submit a payment to Betternet while connected to the VPN.
  • Learn non-identifiable information like your location and internet service provider to improve connectivity quality.
  • Analyze advertising practices.

I have no clue what the latter means, and either way, I prefer a VPN that doesn’t collect your IP address at all (like the VPNs in our top 10 list for 2024).

Betternet also monitors your bandwidth to keep track of how much data users of the free plan use and to help optimize the VPN — though I really am not sure what this is specifically referring to or its purpose (and frankly, I’m not a fan of it).

Betternet Privacy & Security

I’d trust Betternet’s no-logs policy a lot more if it had conducted an independent audit (like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access).

What’s worse, Betternet is based in the US, which is a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances (a group of countries that have agreed to share intelligence data). This means that the government or any other Eyes Alliance member countries can demand the VPN to turn over user data. And while Betternet shouldn’t have any information stored to share with authorities, there are too many question marks in its no-logs policy for me to trust it 100%.

Overall, Betternet VPN doesn’t log your online traffic and the files you download, but it collects your IP address, it’s located in a non-privacy-friendly country, and its no-logs policy hasn’t been independently confirmed.

Betternet Speed & Performance

I ran speed tests on servers in the 80 countries where Betternet has servers to determine my speeds. Betternet has fast speeds on nearby servers, but I experienced noticeable decreases in speeds on distant servers.

I started out by testing my baseline speeds without connecting to a VPN server. Here are my speeds:

Betternet Speed & Performance

I then connected to a VPN server by using Optimal Location, which is Betternet’s quick-connect tool that connects you to the fastest server based on your location (for me, it was in Bulgaria).

And here are my speeds when connected to a VPN server in the US:

Betternet Speed & Performance

My speeds on nearby servers were decent. They dropped around 50% on average when I was connected to servers in Bulgaria and Greece, but I was able to watch HD videos and surf the web without any significant slowdowns.

While connected to servers that are far away from me (in the US, Japan, and Australia), my speeds dropped by more than 60%, but I still maintained decent speeds for all of my internet activities. Websites took 3-4 seconds to load, HD videos loaded in about 5-7 seconds, and files downloaded pretty fast.

Overall, Betternet has really good speeds on nearby servers, but it was not as fast on distant servers as other top VPNs I have tested like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access.

Betternet Servers & IP Addresses

Betternet has a good server network with 1,000+ servers based in 80 countries. While it doesn’t match competitors like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN (servers in 100+ countries), I like how the servers are located in 6 continents, allowing just about any user to find a local server to connect to for the best user experience.

Betternet has servers that are optimized for streaming on popular platforms like Netflix, YouTube, and Disney+, and it has gaming-optimized servers that minimize lag for games like Fornite and Roblox. Plus, it allows P2P traffic on all servers.

Overall, Betternet has a good server network that supports streaming and gaming, and it allows P2P traffic on all servers.

Betternet Streaming & Torrenting

Betternet has decent streaming. It works with Netflix. My colleagues in the UK and the US could only use it to watch Netflix in their locations, and my colleague in the US said it worked with Max 100% of the time, as well as Amazon Prime US and Hulu. However, it wasn’t compatible with BBC iPlayer, Crunchyroll, or Disney+.

If you’re looking for the best streaming VPN, I recommend ExpressVPN. It works with 100+ streaming sites, including all of the most popular ones, has super-fast speeds, and is simple to use.

Betternet Streaming & Torrenting

Torrenting is allowed on all servers, but I would avoid Betternet for downloading files due to a less-than-ideal privacy policy — I just don’t feel safe torrenting with this VPN. Honestly, ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN for P2P traffic — it allows torrenting on servers in 105 countries, has top-notch security features, and offers ultra-fast download speeds.

Overall, Betternet has an OK streaming support and although it supports P2P traffic on all servers, I wouldn’t recommend it for torrenting. It works with some popular streaming sites, and I don’t think it’s safe to download files with it due to Betternet’s shady privacy policy.

Betternet Plans & Pricing

Betternet offers a choice between a free account, as well as monthly and yearly premium plans. The free plan is pretty decent. It offers access to 5 server locations in 3 countries (US, Singapore, and UK), and you don’t even have to create an account to use it, which is pretty generous for a free plan, but there’s no streaming support. On mobile, you get unlimited bandwidth though you have to watch an add for every 30 minutes of free VPN, but on desktop, you only get 500 MB of free data.

The premium version, which costs $7.99 / month, is very expensive, especially for the value you receive in return. It comes with access to servers in 115+ servers locations in 80 countries, allows 10 connections, doesn’t include ads, and supports streaming (but it only works with half of the popular streaming sites). That being said, all of the top VPNs in 2024 provide a better value (and cheaper prices) than Betternet VPN.

Betternet VPN only accepts credit cards, and it backs each purchase with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Betternet Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

Betternet Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

Betternet has intuitive apps for iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows, and there’s a browser extension for Chrome (but Betternet doesn’t have apps for Linux, routers, smart TVs, and other devices).

The mobile apps were a breeze to install and they have an easy-to-use interface. The iOS app is more bare-bones than the Android app. On Android, Betternet lets you choose between Hydra and WireGuard, there’s a kill switch, and split-tunneling. The iOS app comes with a kill switch and the Always On feature that auto-connects you to the VPN, which you get on Android, but there’s no split-tunneling. The apps had no glitches or functionality issues during my tests.

The desktop apps are very similar to the mobile apps. You get all the features available on mobile plus IKEv2. It took me just moments to find and connect to a server, choose my protocol, and reach customer support.

Overall, Betternet has a user-friendly interface, and I didn’t experience any glitches. However, top VPNs like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access have apps that are more feature-rich.

Betternet Customer Support

Betternet Customer Support

Betternet’s customer support isn’t particularly impressive. There are a handful of decent (but old) support guides for each app and frequently asked questions (FAQs) that address basic issues, as well as email support. But I really missed the live chat option because I really like to get my questions answered in real-time (ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access have excellent 24/7 live chat).

I reached out to Betternet through multiple emails and was pleasantly surprised by their prompt responses, typically within 1–4 hours. The customer support team was friendly, professional, and provided helpful answers to most of my questions. It’s worth noting, though, that email support is exclusively available to premium users, which means potential customers can’t inquire about Betternet’s services before subscribing.

The Help Center isn’t very helpful even though it has a lot of guides on various topics. Most of the information is incorrect and/or outdated. Unfortunately, it’s also your only source of information unless you purchase a plan.

Overall, Betternet has decent customer support with responsive email support, but the support guides aren’t very informative and are outdated.

Is Betternet Worth It in 2024?

Betternet is a decent VPN for browsing but not much else. It supports torrenting on all servers, it works with the Tor browser, and it offers obfuscation, which lets you use the VPN in restrictive countries.

I’m not a fan of its no-logs policy (some aspects are very vague and it collects IP addresses). Plus, it doesn’t maintain fast speeds on distant servers, it doesn’t work with half of the top streaming services, there’s no live chat, and the paid plans are expensive.

While it comes with industry-standard VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection, and you also get perfect forward secrecy and a 45-day money-back guarantee with any purchase, Betternet falls well short of being a top VPN and you can find significantly better ones on the market in 2024.

Editors' Note: CyberGhost and this site are in the same ownership group.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Betternet safe?

I don’t fully trust Betternet when it comes to protecting my security. While Betternet uses 256-bit AES encryption, has a kill switch, and good leak protection, its no logs policy leaves a lot to be desired — the VPN logs your IP address, provides very vague reasons for doing so, and hasn’t gone through an independent audit to confirm it.

Is Betternet free?

Yes, Betternet has a free plan. It offers access to 5 server locations in 3 countries (US, UK, and Singapore). You get unlimited bandwidth on mobile but an ad plays every 30 minutes. However, on desktop, there’s a daily limit of 500 MB, which is about enough for an hour of browsing. You don’t have to create an account to use the free plan, which means you can use it on as many devices as you need.

For the most part, I’m not a fan of free VPNs, as they typically have restrictive data caps, limited servers, slow speeds, and are missing key security features. Instead, it’s best to purchase a top premium VPN like ExpressVPN.

Does Betternet keep logs?

Betternet’s no-logs policy states that it doesn’t store your online traffic, but it logs your IP address and I don’t like the reasons that it lists for taking this action. I’d trust Betternet if it verified its no-logs policy through an independent audit — like top VPNs such as ExpressVPN did.

Does Betternet work with Netflix?

Yes, Betternet works well with Netflix — my colleagues in the UK and the US said they had no problems watching Netflix content while connected to Betternet’s local servers. The VPN also works with Max and Hulu, as confirmed by my US colleague, but not with Disney+.

Still, my favorite VPN for streaming Netflix (and all other streaming sites) is ExpressVPN, which works with 100+ streaming apps and has blazing fast speeds for a smooth streaming experience.

Betternet VPN Products & Pricing

Free
$0.00 / month
Free Trial
12-month plan
$7.99 / month
1-month plan
$12.99 / month
Bottom Line

Betternet is pretty secure and has very fast speeds on local and nearby servers, but it’s really only good for basic browsing. You get necessary security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection, as well as an advanced security tool like perfect forward secrecy, and P2P support on all servers. However, Betternet logs your IP address, has slow speeds on distant servers, only works with some popular streaming sites, and only offers email support. Betternet offers a limited free plan, as well as pricey paid plans, which are all backed by a 45-day money-back guarantee.

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About the Author

About the Author

Penka Hristovska is an editor at SafetyDetectives. She was an editor at several review sites that covered all things technology — including VPNs and password managers — and had previously written on various topics, from online security and gaming to computer hardware. She’s highly interested in the latest developments in the cybersecurity space and enjoys learning about new trends in the tech sector. When she’s not in “research mode,” she’s probably re-watching Lord of The Rings or playing DOTA 2 with her friends.

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Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and ExpressVPN are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company
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