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Lucas Novac



Published: March 14, 2024

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star 7.1/10
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Betternet VPN Review – Is It Safe in 2024

VPN services have an impressive demand among consumers nowadays because they solve two important tasks. Users want to be sure about their private data safeguards, and another desire is to have access to any global content.

A lot of virtual private networks claim to be the most secure and the best in their field, but the real state of affairs is not so perfect. Thus, selecting a vendor that will serve you may be a complex task. At first, it is not easy to define your variant without a minimal technical background, and you should check a bunch of various characteristics to be confident of the provider’s possibilities; these are hours of your private time.

Our dedicated platform,, is aimedato explaining to the audience the VPN settlement essentials in a clear, human-readable form in a matter of fifteen minutes. The information you will receive here is totally sufficient for a basic understanding of the differences among the providers. We hope our job will facilitate you find what you came for.

  • Easy installation
  • No registration
  • Modern protocols
  • Non-strict privacy policy
  • Significant speed deterioration on macOS
  • Significant speed deterioration on Windows
  • Almost zero speed results on Android
  • Annoying ads on mobile OSs
  • Just 3 free locations for the mobile and PCs platforms
  • One free location for browser extension
  • Does not work in highly restricted countries
  • No live support

Betternet VPN Features

Every provider has a unique functionality set, and in this section, we are going to reveal the peculiarities intrinsic to the current virtual private network. The company has developed its software for desktop and mobile operating systems and one browser: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Google Chrome Browser.

The company’s official website explains about features
The company’s official website shows what users may expect from the programmes.

The first item shows that the free edition is available. Pay attention that sometimes it can be a trick, and real free editions can be just for one operating system and others are paid. We will see soon what the situation is here.

The next perks are: absence of registration, privacy protection, access to global content, streaming adjusted servers, and blocking of malware and malicious sites.

More features of the virtual private network
More features.

In addition to the previous option, you can set up the VPN software to automatically be launched while your device is being turned-on. The next important remedy that provider offers you is a ‘Kill Switch’ option that prevents you from a data leakage in case of sudden VPN connection cut off. And the last point is again about the prevention of visiting suspicious web resources that you can meet on your way.

Betternet offers some possibilities from a privacy prospective
Betternet also offers some possibilities from a privacy prospective.

The provider claims not to store users’ identifying data or monitor web activity. In addition, this brand proposes a Tor network and ensures that it can protect your IP address and visited domains.

Comfortable possibilities to enhance workflow
The features that make workflow comfortable.

The screenshot above tells that users have been able to utilise a vast variety of fast servers with unlimited traffic bandwidth. Also, we can see an illustration of the compatible platforms with the current software.

Privacy and Logging

The main reason we talk about privacy is that the VPN provider can collect users’ sensitive data itself. Sometimes strange situations occur when the virtual private network of your choice can gather all types of valuable personal information. But the main reason you have decided to use an encrypted network is to protect personal data. Do you feel this confusion?

Each company has to present their approaches to personal data handling in order for every customer could acquaint himself with them. Most of all, official websites contain this information under the ‘Privacy Policy’ page. Do not neglect reading this document if you have decided to pick the service on your own. The promo page will describe you as best as possible in the most shiny colours, and in a decent majority of cases, it will just be an engaging text that is different from reality.

The first general explanation from the privacy policy page
The first general explanation

The services of the current company collect certain species of information in order to enhance their advertising and marketing campaigns. As he ensures this data does not lead to any  individual person. However we think that it would be more professional to list the exact types of information because, possibly there can be some valuable assets.

Billing contact details, street address, email address, and payment instrument details has been collected
A lot of confidential data has been collected.

According to the first bullet point, the provider collects a scope of information related to Betternet’s account. Basically, it is a widespread practice to store this information; however, we know a few providers who do not even compile this information.

The second point shows that the payment information includes very sensitive intelligence that reveals the user’s identity and precise billing details. So, in summary, the ongoing VPN company will obtain your name, street address, email, and billing details. This tactic is not about strict privacy.

A set of possible statistical data collected by the provider
Just the technical information at first glance.

Betternet uses cookies, and it is a tracking technology that can gather much information depending on its settings. In theory, it can collect your IP address and location.

The device information collected by the vendor is generally technical, except for the device identifiers. Some of them can be like a human’s ID card that can expose a set of sensitive data, such as an IP address, hence the location too, etc.

In terms of diagnostic information, the visited URLs by you are also collected along with the timestamps.

The last highlighted sentence indicates that any information has been collected regarding your account credentials. We do not understand what they are talking about because the first point of the screenshot above directly describes that they collect an account’s name, username, email, and password. How should users understand ambiguous statements?

Business account make your data visible for all members
Corporate accounts.

If you are a member of the corporate account, your personal and account information will be accessible to other participants in this cooperative network.

Additional data gathering by third parties
The partnership with advertisement third parties involves additional data gathering by them.

The free application utilizes ads inside the app from external parties. In turn, the advertising providers embedded their own tracking technologies that will collect users’ IP addresses, approximate geolocation. In addition to valuable data, the outer partners also collect device-specific information.

Applicable measures by Betternet to protect users' intelligence
Applicable measures by Betternet to protect users’ intelligence.

The security measures of consumer data protection are a favorite place for VPN vendors to give a vague clarification of what is going on. Instead of familiarizing clients with the precise scope of technical and physical measures, including official namings, articles, and standards, they decided to use some common words like ‘administrative, organizational, technical, and physical safeguards’. And now it is absolutely unclear what they have put inside this explanation.

Users data retention rules
As long as you have an account, they will hold your data, or maybe even longer if it is required by law.

For the free version, it is not required to have a dedicated Betternet’s account, but if you decide to purchase a subscription, your personal data will be kept for an unpredictable time because law requirements can be very distinctive from geo to geo.

Privacy policy updates
Privacy statements can be changed at any time.

Be attentive because this document can undergo amendments at any time since there are plenty of factors that play a role here. You can see the last update date at the very start of the privacy policy page.

Speed Tests – How Fast is Betternet VPN

Each VPN software impacts the connection speed but does it differently. Some of them can take all the capacity of the internet service provider’s (ISP) speed, while others cause slight losses. There are a lot of details in the technical settlement of the software and hardware influencing internet velocity.

However, users do not require details about programming architecture; they need to know speed. Thus, we are not going to scrutinize the engineering stuff in this section; our main point is just to understand the real speed of the current VPN.

Three main indexes are important for us in this exploration:

  • Download speed index shows how fast your local device can consume the traffic;
  • Upload speed index  shows how fast you can push content from your device to the web;
  • Ping time response reflects the response latency from a server or another user. This identification is especially notable for live-time events like online meetings, online video, audio calls, and gaming.

PC Test


The initial internet service provider speed on macOS
The initial internet service provider (ISP) speed

The indexes are:

  • The download speed is 311 mbps;
  • The upload speed is 396 mbps;
  • The ping time is 3 ms.
VPN speed test for MacBook
An auto-server that is accessible for the free edition. The location is in the USA.

The indexes are:

  • Download speed is 221 mbps;
  • Upload speed is 41.5 mbps;
  • Ping time response is 108 ms.

The download speed capacity fell nearly 29%, the upload speed drop to about 90%, and the ping time response raised from 3 ms to 108 ms.

Due to the fact that we explored the speed on macOS utilizing a commercial internet carrier with a robust speed, the upload speed index is 41.5 mbps. Yet, if it had been an ordinary domestic internet provider, most of all, we would have observed a result close to zero.

The download speed index downgrade is not critical, but in the case of utilizing a mobile network or low-speed social hotspots, you can experience significant lags. The ping time response is too high for smooth proceeding of the real-time events.


The initial ISP speed on Windows
The initial ISP speed.

The indexes are:

  • The download speed is 71.89 mbps;
  • The upload speed is 56.31 mbps;
  • The ping time is 2 ms.
VPN speed test for Windows
An auto connected location of the Windows OS. The US server.

The indexes are:

  • Download speed is 12.61mbps;
  • Upload speed is 25.7 mbps;
  • Ping time response is 133 ms.

The download speed fell by 82%, the upload speed was downgraded by 54%, and the ping time response was raised from 3 ms to 133 ms.

For Windows’s test, we used a common home internet provider. The deterioration of both indexes is very palpable to ensure seamless workflow. The ping time response is also too high for running live-time events.

Browsers’ Extensions Test

VPN speed test for Chrome
The autoserver of Chrome’s extension is also the US location.

The top image shows the internet service provider speed, the indexes are:

  • Download speed is 264.04 mbps;
  • Upload speed is 236.98 mbps;
  • Ping time response is 5 ms.

The bottom image illustrates the velocity while the VPN is turned-on. The indexes are:

  • Download speed is 163.06 mbps;
  • Upload speed is 387.29 mbps;
  • Ping time response is 106 ms.

The download speed loss is about 38%, the upload speed increment is 63%, and the ping time response grew from 5 ms to 106 ms.

The download capacity incurred a significant negative impact, while the upload also gained an impressive influence, but in the opposite direction. So you can expect hindrances when consuming the content, but your ability to deliver it to the internet will be very efficient. The ping time response is beyond the affordable value for processing live-time events. 

Mobile Test

The initial ISP speed on Android
Initial internet connection speed on Android.

The indexes are:

  • Download speed is 46.8 mbps;
  • Upload speed is 45.8 mbps;
  • Ping time response is 3 ms.
VPN speed test for Android
The auto connected server on Android is also the American server.

The indexes are:

  • Download speed is 4.42 mbps;
  • Upload speed is 4.32 mbps;
  • Ping time response is 159 ms.

The downgrade of the download speed is about 91%, the decrease of the upload speed is 91%, and the ping time response was raised from 3 ms to 159 ms.

Both indicators suffered considerable losses. They are far from the values that can satisfy reasonable expectations. The ping time response is not suitable for live-time events. 

About Safety – How Secure is Betternet VPN?

The security functionality may be different for the mobile and desktop platforms. In order not to duplicate the same information several times, we will observe the instance of one platform and compare it with the fulfillment of all others.

Menu with security features
The first tab of the general menu encompasses a pair of additional safeguard options.

The first radio button enables VPN to be turned on when the device is launching. The second radio button automatically turns on the VPN when you connect to an unknown Wi-Fi network in order to prevent data leakage in an unreliable digital milieu.

Kill Switch option
No encrypted network—no internet at all.

The second “Kill Switch” option cuts off the internet in case of a sudden VPN connection disruption. Thanks to it, you can be confident that your private data will not appear in an unprotected environment in the event of unexpected internet disabling. It works only with the Hydra protocol in the current software.

Split Tunneling option with two derivatives
Split Tunneling feature

Split Tunneling usually means that users can manually select the websites or applications that should be routed through the encrypted tunnel. Betternet applied this possibility just for the websites, and a handy thing is that you can select what URLs should be encrypted and what URLs will definitely be transferred directly to the ISP network.

Protocols embedded into the security system of Betternet
Protocols list.
  • Hydra is a TCP-based protocol with a robust AES-256 encryption that provides a balance of security, speed, and liability, making it attractive for users who want to achieve either performance and privacy while using VPN services. TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is one of the basic remedies used for transferring data through the web. TCP ensures reliable and ordered delivery of data packets.AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is a widespread encryption algorithm ensuring solid safeguard for data transmission. The “256” in AES-256 stands for the key size, indicating that it uses a 256-bit key length for encryption. It is quite hard to decrypt the data packages without the proper key for outer parties.
  • IKEv2(IPsec) combination is commonly used by VPNs. IKEv2 sets up the secure connection, and IPsec encrypts secure data transmission. It is a strong and reliable guard nowadays.
  • WireGuard is recognized for its superior performance and negligible overhead costs. It encompasses modern and the most enhanced cryptographic algorithms and protocols: Noise protocol framework, Curve25519 for key exchange, and ChaCha20Poly1305 for encryption and authentication. It is prepared for Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It ensures sustainable connectivity while switching between WiFi and mobile networks.
The mobile security setsuite
The mobile security setsuite.

The safeguard possibilities are almost the same; however, inside the ‘VPN-protocol’ tab, there are two protocols that are one less than on the desktop version: the Hydra protocol and WireGuard. IKEv2 (IPsec) is not embedded here.

Desktop Apps

The visual representation of the VPN on MacBook
The visual representation of the VPN on MacBook.

The main screen contains the connection button, a field with a selection of servers, an account icon in the left upper corner, and a gear icon in the left upper corner as well. The gear icon contains primarily security settings that we observed in the previous section. The free desktop application is not nested with annoying ads, and we did not meet the bandwidth limit.

Mobile Apps

The visual representation of the VPN on mobile
Mobile’s app design.

The visual mode of the mobile application has selfsame features as its elder desktop relative: the connection button in the center of the display, the location field immediately under the main button, the gear icon in the left upper corner, and the account icon in the right upper corner. The gear icon primarily contains the security settings and a few more general options.

The mobile free application works with third-party ads. Also, we have no free bandwidth in this distribution; you must watch a 10+ seconds advertisement to get 30 minutes of free time. The more ads you have watched, the more time you will receive.

Browser Extensions

The visual representation of the application designed for Chrome
The visual representation of the application designed for Chrome.

Betternet’s VPN software for the browser does not possess as rich functionality as mobile and PC platforms. Here we have the connection button, the location field, and a few interactive icons. 

The hamburger menu icon duplicates the right-bottom icon and contains several general items. The left-bottom icon responds for the main screen, and the central icon in the footer bar embodies Betternet’s store that does not work for the free version at the moment of writing the current review.

The provider has not predicted flexible security features for this kind of software; hence, it is unclear how exactly it defends users’ private data.


The macOS’s VPN equipment demonstrated a very low potential for the upload speed index and a palpable deterioration of the download speed index. The consumption possibility is not critical, but most of all, it will cause lags while working on a mobile network. Windows’s software speed outcome is below the average line and does not predict comfortable conditions. The ping time response for either platform exceeded the acceptable value.

The browser extension performed more than a half of the download speed decrease, but it also showed more than a half of the upload speed improvement. The live-time events are not the strong point of the current speed test.

The mobile speed test showed that Android’s software is useless because the download and upload indexes are near null.

The security stuff of the mobile and desktop apps is satisfying and considered to be a strong guard. The browser extension did not reveal its confidentiality protection capabilities; hence, we can not be sure about its liability.

Work in Highly Restricted Countries

There is no information about this query either on the official website or applications.

Server’s locations

Betternet network illustrated on the official website
The quantity of countries illustrated on their website.

The free editions offer three countries: the USA, the UK, and Singapore. The exclusion is the extension: it possesses just one American server. 

What Bonuses Does the Paid Version Offer, and How Much Does It Cost?

Comparison between free and premium plans
The comparison table from the website.

According to this intelligence, the premium plan provides you with 115+ locations, 10 simultaneously connected devices, and dedicated gaming and streaming services. And, of course, you will get rid of the advertisements immanent for the free plan.

The monthly plan costs $12.99 at the time of publishing this review. Also, you have the option to order an annual plan with a price of $95.88, and it will be $7.99 per month if you count that way.

About Support

Chat bot inside the support tab of the menu
In-app chatbot.

Live support is not predicted for the free version, although you can try an artificial chatbot that can give assistance in specific circumstances.

Betternet VPN Review: Final verdict

The current provider has both weak and strong points. The privacy policy contains enough statements where it is obvious that the company collects a lot of users’ private data—a strict no-log policy is far away from here.

The speed capabilities generally are below satisfactory results, except for the upload speed on the Android device. The mobile application allegedly does not bound you in bandwidth, yet you must watch ads to get the next 30 minutes of free exploitation.

The security core of desktop and mobile software is considered to be strong, but the browser extension does not have it all. An absence of live support may complicate the process of solving issues. Summarizing all the facts, we can not estimate this VPN as a remedy that suits all the requests, but in some situations, it may be useful.