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Betternet VPN Review

 Rated 0 out of 5 
No user reviews
Two screenshots of Betternet VPN's app side-by-side
Simon Migliano

Simon Migliano is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times and more.

Additional Testing by Harry Ferrigno

Our Verdict

How is this calculated?

We calculate the VPN service’s Overall Rating by combining the ratings of several testing categories. Each category is weighted as follows:

  • Privacy & Logging Policy: 20%
  • Speed: 20%
  • Security & Technical Features: 15%
  • Streaming: 15%
  • Ease of Use: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Server Locations: 5%
  • Bypassing Web Censorship: 5%
  • Customer Support: 5%

Learn more by reading our VPN testing and review methodology.

Betternet's Free VPN isn't safe or reliable. It only has one server location, the service logs too much data, and it lacks basic security features. Customer support is non-existent and the VPN doesn't work with popular streaming services. Overall, Betternet isn’t a private or functional VPN and we don't recommend using it.

Ranked #47 out of 65 VPNs

Betternet VPN Category Ratings

  • 0.20.2/10
  • 00.0/10
  • 2.82.8/10
  • 0.90.9/10
  • 11.0/10
  • 44.0/10
  • 2.82.8/10
  • 55.0/10
  • 1.31.3/10

Betternet VPN Pros & Cons

  • No need to register before using
  • Easy-to-use VPN apps
  • Fast local download speeds

  • Lacks basic security features like VPN kill switch
  • Only one VPN server location (US)
  • Unreliable for streaming
  • DNS, WebRTC leaks & previous malware issues
  • No customer support for free users

Why Trust Top10VPN.com?

We’re completely independent and have spent 7 years reviewing VPNs using our unbiased testing process.

Our ratings are based on our own data, and are unaffected by financial incentives.

VPN Services Tested65
Total Hours of Testing30,000+
Weekly Speed Tests3,000+
Streaming Platforms Tested97
VPN Security Tests Conducted9,500+
Money Spent on VPN Subscriptions$25,000+

November 2023 Update: It’s been claimed that Hamid Rezazadeh, the alleged founder of Betternet, is the son of Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family affairs. Iran is highly restrictive of internet freedom, including VPN usage.

Betternet has denied these allegations. We’re actively monitoring the situation and conducting our own investigation. We will update this review following our findings.

It may have a large user base, but Betternet isn’t a safe, reliable, or private VPN.

For this Betternet VPN review, we tested every key aspect of the VPN service to answer key questions like:

  • Is Betternet free VPN safe?
  • How fast is it?
  • Can you watch Netflix with Betternet?
  • Who’s behind Betternet VPN?
  • Does Betternet Free permit torrenting?

The results were underwhelming. Betternet VPN underperformed in many categories, to our disappointment.

The VPN logs too much web data, it throttles internet speeds, and it’s useless for streaming and torrenting. It also caps data usage at 500MB each day.

See our list of fast and safe free VPNs

EXPERT ADVICE: Instead of getting a risky VPN like Betternet, try using Private Internet Access. It’s fast, safe and unblocks websites and applications around the world, including US Netflix. Try PIA VPN risk-free for 30 days.

Betternet VPN Key Data

Data Cap500MB
Download Speed84Mbps
Logging PolicySome User Logs
Data LeaksYes
JurisdictionUS (Five-Eyes Member)
ServersNot disclosed
IP AddressesNot disclosed
Countries with Servers1
US NetflixNo
Simultaneous ConnectionsUnlimited
Works In ChinaNo
SupportOnline Resources Only
Official WebsiteBetternet.co

Privacy & Logging Policy

Betternet Logs Too Much Data

How is this calculated?

We analyze and dissect the VPN service’s logging and privacy policy. A VPN should never log and store:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

Headquarters outside of 14 Eyes or EU jurisdictions are also preferable.

Betternet logs a huge amount of information including your true IP address (temporarily), your location, connection timestamps and device information. It even logs anonymized usage information. This goes well beyond what is reasonable and puts your privacy in jeopardy.

Ranked #48 out of 65 VPNs for Privacy & Logging Policy

Below is a summary of all the data that Betternet logs:

Data TypeLogged by Betternet VPN
Account InformationNo
Browsing ActivityNo
Date of Last ConnectionNo
Device InformationYes
DNS QueriesNo
Individual Bandwidth UsageYes
Individual Connection TimestampsYes
Number of Simultaneous ConnectionsNo
Originating IP AddressYes
VPN Server IPNo
VPN Server LocationNo

You can read Betternet’s full privacy policy on its website.

Betternet collects enough data to compromise your online anonymity. The service permanently logs your ISP, originating location, and VPN connection timestamps. All of this taken together can be used to identify you.

Your real IP address is logged by Betternet, but only for the duration of the VPN session. Although this can’t be used to identify you, we’d still prefer if Betternet didn’t log IP addresses at all.

None of this stops Betternet from using your IP address more generally, specifically for determining your approximate geographical location.

This is a concerning misuse of users’ IP addresses and we’re not sure how it assist in the functioning of the VPN service.

We’d feel less concerned about Betternet’s ambiguous privacy policy if we were presented with real-world evidence of its procedure, such as an independent audit of its logging practices or regularly published transparency reports.

In the meantime, there are far better and private free VPNs available, that won’t log your IP address.

Privacy-Unfriendly US Jurisdiction

Betternet is operated by Betternet LLC Inc., a part of the Aura group, which also owns a host of other VPN services, including:

  • Hexatech
  • Hotspot Shield
  • Touch VPN
  • VPN In Touch
  • VPN 360

Betternet LLC Inc. is incorporated in California, USA, which is part of the Five-Eyes international intelligence-sharing alliance. It’s also subject to intrusive surveillance laws.

All of Aura’s VPN products share the same privacy and logging policy, but the group hasn’t had the smoothest run during the past few years.

For example, Hotspot Shield was embroiled in various past controversies. One of them involved the VPN injecting advertising cookies in users’ web browsers. You can read more about this in our Hotspot Shield review.

While the allegations didn’t mention Betternet, it’s worth remembering Betternet uses the same privacy policy, proprietary VPN protocol technology, and infrastructure as Hotspot Shield.

These issues have since been resolved and the Aura privacy policy rewritten, but it certainly damaged trust in the company at the time.

One saving grace is that Betternet Free doesn’t require you to make an account before using it. This means you don’t have to hand them personal information like a phone number or email address.

Betternet Controversy

Betternet hasn’t escaped all controversy though.

A 2016 academic report on VPNs revealed that Betternet’s Android app was riddled with malware and embedded tracking libraries. Betternet never publicly addressed this.

Security & Technical Features

Betternet lacks advanced security features

How is this calculated?

A secure VPN must offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a working kill switch.

To calculate this rating, we also factor in additional security settings and features.

While they use industry standard AES-256 encryption, Betternet's apps lack a kill switch or other vital security features. They also sometimes leaks DNS information.

Ranked #53 out of 65 VPNs for Security & Technical Features

ProtocolsAvailable in Betternet VPN
EncryptionAvailable in Betternet VPN
SecurityAvailable in Betternet VPN
DNS Leak BlockingNo
First-party DNSNo
IPv6 Leak BlockingNo
Supports TCP Port 443No
VPN Kill SwitchNo
WebRTC Leak BlockingNo
Advanced FeaturesAvailable in Betternet VPN
Ad BlockerNo
Dedicated IPNo
Double VPNNo
Smart DNSNo
Split TunnelingNo
Static IPNo
Tor over VPN ServerNo
Tracker BlockerNo

Betternet uses industry-standard AES-128 and AES-256 ciphers to encrypt traffic, but that’s where the positives end. Its privacy policy is questionable and there aren’t any security extras included – not even a kill switch to protect your identity in case of a sudden connection drop. In short, Betternet is not a safe or trustworthy VPN.

Our tests detected no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks when the “Prevent IP Leaks” setting was toggled on, but switching it off caused Betternet to expose DNS requests to our ISP.

Betternet leak test results

Betternet’s leak test results when “Prevent IP Leaks” is switched on. There are no leaks.

The ‘Prevent IP leaks’ feature is switched on by default, but considering the main point of a VPN is to protect your privacy and prevent personal data from being exposed – we don’t see why this option is present at all.

Betternet's settings menu

The Chrome extension is even worse: we found it suffered from both WebRTC and DNS leaks, regardless of how you configure the settings.

In terms of advanced features, there is a domain whitelister you can use to route select websites outside of the VPN tunnel, but this doesn’t make up for the lack of basic security tools.

Security researchers also found malware and tracking libraries embedded in the Android app.

Betternet uses the same proprietary connection protocol as the other VPN services in the Aura group: Hydra. Unfortunately, there’s no technical information about the protocol available.

However, the website’s FAQs go some way to reassure us that Catapult Hydra doesn’t affect security:

“It is important to note that our proprietary protocol is focused only on the performance of the VPN data transport, while using standard encryption with perfect forward secrecy.”

Overall, Betternet is not a particularly safe or secure VPN service. It uses standard encryption but fails to provide essential security features such as a VPN kill switch or effective leak protection.


Fast Speeds on a US-US Connection

How is this calculated?

We calculate the VPN’s speed rating using our download speeds, upload speeds, and ping (latency) measurements.

We regularly test the VPN’s local and international speeds using a dedicated 100Mbps internet connection in New York, USA.

We recorded an average download speed loss of 7% when connecting to Betternet Free's US Server. As its US server is the only server location available to free users, we were unable to conduct any long-distance speed tests. As a result, Betternet Free's speed score is capped at 0.9.

Ranked #57 out of 65 VPNs for Speed

We calculated Betternet’s speed score by measuring the speed of the connection between our location and Betternet’s US server. As free users are limited to the US server, we were unable to carry out any international speed tests.

Here’s a table showing Betternet Free’s speed test results:

As shown above, our download speeds decreased from a baseline of 100Mbps to 93Mbps — a 7% speed loss.

This is more than fast enough for bandwidth-intensive activities, including 4K streaming, online gaming, and torrenting.

However, we can’t guarantee that Betternet will be as fast for users outside of the US.


No Netflix or iPlayer and slow, throttled speeds

How is this calculated?

This rating is calculated by how many different streaming services and regional content libraries the VPN can unblock, and how consistently it can access them.

We test access to Netflix, Disney+, Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more platforms on a weekly basis.

Betternet Free doesn't work with any premium streaming services. In our tests it wasn't able to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer or other services like Disney+. It can only stream some geoblocked content on YouTube and Vimeo.

Ranked #63 out of 65 VPNs for Streaming

In addition to Betternet’s unreliable speeds, the free app doesn’t reliably work with popular streaming services. This is true for many similar free services, including popular VPN apps like Touch VPN.

Only the best VPNs for streaming can bypass the aggressive VPN blocks put in place by the biggest content platforms.

We have been able to watch US Netflix on occasion, but it’s almost always blocked, bringing up the familiar proxy error message:

Screen that Netflix displays when it detects a VPN or proxy service

Netflix and other streaming sites actively block VPN traffic and most free VPNs don’t put resources into getting around the blocks.

There are no free UK servers so it’s impossible to watch BBC iPlayer, which requires a British IP address.


P2P is blocked on all servers

How is this calculated?

This rating is determined by the VPN’s torrenting speeds, the percentage of servers that allow P2P file sharing, the service’s privacy and trustworthiness, and useful settings like port forwarding.

For speed specifically, we calculate the VPN’s average download bitrate using our bespoke torrenting setup.

While Betternet claims to allow torrenting, we found P2P torrenting is blocked during our tests. The service also lacks the minimal logging policy and kill switch required for torrenting.

Ranked #57 out of 65 VPNs for Torrenting

Betternet’s FAQs state that it currently supports torrenting on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. Our tests have always found P2P traffic to be blocked, though.

Simply put, Betternet is not a good free VPN for anonymous torrenting. Even if it allowed P2P traffic, Betternet is not an ideal VPN for P2P users.

Firstly, the unreliable speeds quickly become a hassle, particularly if you’re located far away from the free US VPN servers.

Secondly, Betternet’s logging policy and the lack of a VPN kill switch is a problem for safe torrenting.

Server Locations

Only one server option available: US

How is this calculated?

The key factor for calculating this rating is the global spread and coverage of the VPN’s server network.

We also consider the total number of servers, the number of city-level servers, and the number of IP addresses available.

Betternet's free service only offers users the ability to connect to a server in the US, despite promising ten servers on its website. There is no city level selection, either.

Ranked #62 out of 65 VPNs for Server Locations

Globe with a blue flag
Image of a city landscape
Image of a pink marker
Not Disclosed IP Addresses

Betternet’s free VPN limits users to just one country: the US.

The app is rather misleading about this, too. The Betternet website mentions 10 server countries, including the UK, Germany, and Hong Kong. But, if you try connecting to these countries from the app, you’ll be asked to upgrade to a premium plan.

That may be fine if it’s only US content you need access to but, if not, you’ll need to try another VPN with more options.

Just be aware that Betternet doesn’t allow you to choose a particular state or city within the US.

If you upgrade to Betternet’s premium subscription you can access 72 countries and 26 US cities.

It costs $11.99 per month, or $2.99 a month if you subscribe to a yearly plan, and you can use the service on up to five devices at once.

Bypassing Web Censorship

No obfuscation technology and blocked in China

How is this calculated?

We routinely test if the VPN can bypass strict internet restrictions in China using our remote-access server in Shanghai.

Other important factors we consider include obfuscation technologies and the availability of servers in neighboring countries (for faster connections).

Betternet is blocked in China, and cannot beat the country's censorship. It could work in other censored regions, though.

Ranked #40 out of 65 VPNs for Bypassing Web Censorship

If you need a VPN for bypassing censorship in China, Betternet definitely shouldn’t be your first choice (or even your 20th).

As a free user you can only connect to VPN servers in the US, which would bring your speeds down to halt.

Betternet doesn’t come with any additional obfuscation tools to overcome aggressive Chinese Firewall blocks, either, so you likely won’t even be able to connect. When we tried to connect from our Shanghai server, we found we couldn’t use Betternet to beat China’s censors.

Most free VPNs aren’t suited to working in China, or other high-censorship countries like Iran and the UAE.

You can find out which VPNs work in China right here.

Device & OS Compatibility

Basic desktop and mobile apps only

How is this rated?

A high-quality VPN should maintain functional, fully-featured applications and browser extensions for as many platforms and devices as possible.

Our ‘Device & OS Compatibility’ assessment contributes to the Ease of Use rating.

Betternet is offered on four platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It also has a browser extension for Chrome. There isn’t a router app available, though.


  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. iOS
  4. Android

Betternet comes with custom VPN apps for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices.

You can’t use it with Linux, routers, or any other devices like game consoles or streaming boxes (like Amazon Fire TV).

Betternet doesn’t allow for manual configuration, either, so the native VPN apps are all you get.

Browser Extensions

  1. Chrome

Betternet does come with a browser extension for Google Chrome, but there are no add-ons available for Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Opera.

While the Chrome extension does encrypt browser traffic, you should take note that all other apps outside your web browser will be left unprotected.

Unlike the main desktop and mobile VPN apps, the browser extension comes allows you to connect to servers in multiple countries:

  • Canada
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands
  • Russia

But don’t rush to download the Chrome extension. In fact, it suffers from two different types of security flaws: WebRTC leaks and DNS leaks.

Betternet leak test results

We connected to a server in the Netherlands, but Betternet’s Chrome browser extension leaked both WebRTC and DNS requests.

WebRTC leaks expose your true IP address, and DNS leaks mean that your ISP (and anyone sniffing traffic between you and the DNS provider) can see all the websites that you’re visiting.

Ease of Use

Simple apps that lack utility

How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the user-friendliness and intuitiveness of setting up and regularly using the VPN.

We also factor in customization settings, as well as device and OS compatibility (see section above).

Betternet's apps are easy to use and install on all platforms, but they lack utility, features, and customization.

Ranked #56 out of 65 VPNs for Ease of Use

How to Install & Set Up Betternet VPN

Betternet’s custom VPN apps for desktop and mobile devices are really easy to install and use.

It’s a case of downloading the relevant file from the website, clicking through a couple of installation prompts, and hitting ‘Connect’.

There aren’t really any settings to play with.

The virtual locations list is a little misleading as free users can’t use any of them. If you click on one, the app will prompt you to upgrade to the paid plan.

Within the settings menu, you can choose to ‘reconnect automatically’ or just connect on ‘unsafe WiFi hotspots’.

There’s also the ‘Prevent IP leak’ setting, which we’d recommend you leave on for obvious reasons.

Screenshot of Betternet's browser extension

The Betternet browser extension for Google Chrome is easy to set up.

Click through to the Chrome Web Store from Betternet’s website, and select ‘Add to Chrome.’

You’ll need to accept the permissions before you can add the extension to your browser.

Betternet’s extension is just as easy to use as the desktop app. There’s a connect button and a list of server locations to choose from – that’s pretty much it.

All that said, we don’t recommend downloading the extension as it leaks WebRTC and DNS requests, putting your personal data at risk.

Customer Support

Some FAQs are available but no email support

How is this calculated?

This rating is based on our assessment of the VPN’s:

  • Live chat support
  • Email support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all these support options, and they often vary in quality and response times.

Betternet doesn’t provide any customer support for free users outside of the Help Center, which includes some basic FAQs and troubleshooting tips. These aren't all up to date, though.

Ranked #61 out of 65 VPNs for Customer Support

Customer SupportAvailable in Betternet VPN
24/7 Email SupportNo
24/7 Live Chat SupportNo
Email Support via Online FormNo
Live Chat SupportNo
Online ResourcesYes
Tutorial VideosNo

The FAQs are fairly well organized, with sections for each supported device, but some are out of date and display incorrect information.

If you do try to email support without a premium subscription you’ll receive a short reply saying: “Sorry but we can’t respond personally.”

If you’re struggling with any issues, you’re pretty much on your own.

The Bottom Line

We don't recommend using Betternet

We do not recommend installing and using Betternet VPN. It isn’t a particularly safe or private VPN service, let alone a reliable one.

Our speeds were throttled within an hour of use, and you can only connect to one server location (the US).

Betternet’s browser extension for Google Chrome is particularly bad, suffering from not only DNS leaks, but WebRTC leaks too. It’s definitely one to avoid.

Instead of using Betternet, use one of the safe free VPN alternatives listed below.

EXPERT ADVICE: Betternet isn’t safe to use, and it’s limited by a 500MB daily usage cap. We recommend using a fast, safe and cheap VPN like Private Internet Access.

PIA VPN is very fast, secure and it even unblocks content platforms like Netflix and Disney+. Try PIA VPN risk-free for 30 days.

Alternatives to Betternet VPN

Proton VPN logo

Proton VPN


If you’re looking for another free VPN with unlimited data, Proton VPN is a great choice. It’s safe, secure, and private. There are three locations to choose from and the speeds are pretty fast, too. Read Proton VPN review




While Windscribe caps free user data to 10GB a month, it provides servers in 10 different countries, and allows you to drill down to city level in some of them, too. You can also use Windscribe Free to protect P2P traffic securely and safely. Read Windscribe review

User Reviews for Betternet VPN

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