Betternet VPN Review : Can It Be Trusted?

In a time when digital traces are permanently inscribed on the virtual world, protecting our online privacy has become critical. VPNs, or virtual private networks, encrypt our data while it travels the huge internet, keeping us safe from prying eyes. The US-based provider Betternet VPN provides both free and paid versions. However, how reliable is Betternet? Let’s examine its attributes, benefits, drawbacks, and general dependability.

Pros:

  1. Good Speeds:
    • Betternet provides decent speeds for everyday browsing and streaming.
    • However, speed consistency can be an issue, especially during peak hours.
  2. Catapult Hydra Encryption Protocol:
    • Betternet uses the Catapult Hydra protocol, which ensures secure data transmission.
    • This protocol is also employed by other reputable VPNs like Hotspot Shield.
  3. Split Tunneling:
    • Split tunneling allows you to route specific traffic through the VPN while keeping other traffic outside.
    • Useful for managing bandwidth and optimizing performance.
  4. Streaming Mode:
    • Betternet unblocks streaming services like Netflix and YouTube.
    • Great for accessing geo-restricted content.

Cons:

  1. Inconsistent Speeds:
    • While Betternet can be fast, its speeds vary significantly.
    • Some users report sluggish performance during peak times.
  2. Limited Bandwidth in Free Version:
    • The free version restricts daily bandwidth usage.
    • Suitable for occasional use but not ideal for heavy streaming or downloading.
  3. Windows-Centric Premium Features:
    • Some premium features are available only on Windows.
    • Mac and mobile users may miss out on certain functionalities.
  4. Email-Only Customer Support:
    • Betternet’s customer support is via email.
    • Live chat or phone support would be more efficient.

Is Betternet Safe?

Logging Policies:

Betternet’s logging practices have raised eyebrows. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Data Collection:
    • Betternet logs identifying information such as your IP address.
    • This data could potentially be used to trace your online activities back to you.
    • For privacy-conscious users, this is a red flag.
  • No-Logs Claims:
    • Betternet claims to have a “no-logs” policy, but their actual practices contradict this.
    • Transparency is lacking, and users should exercise caution.

Encryption and Security:

  • Betternet uses Hotspot Shield’s encryption protocols, which are generally considered secure.
  • However, the absence of a kill switch (except on Windows) is concerning.
  • A kill switch prevents data leaks if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.

Jurisdiction:

  • Betternet is based in the United States.
  • The US is part of the Five Eyes alliance, which shares intelligence data among member countries.
  • Some users prefer VPNs based in privacy-friendly jurisdictions.

Conclusion:

While not completely risk-free, Betternet VPN has several drawbacks. Consider options like NordVPN or ExpressVPN if security is your top priority. Keep in mind that your own demands and tastes determine what makes you trustworthy or not. Consider both advantages and disadvantages before selecting a VPN service.

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