In recent years, the risks that internet users face when it comes to privacy and security have become evident. Your online activities could be monitored by government agencies, intercepted by malicious hackers and tracked by companies looking to use your information for their own benefit. In addition, there is no real freedom to access content since many websites and applications are restricted due to censorship, or geographical blocks. Fortunately, there is a way to secure your online traffic and bypass the restrictions that prevent you from accessing the content that you want. A VPN gives you the best of both worlds as it encrypts your data to avoid that third parties can see what you are up to and it also allows you to evade restrictions and enjoy online freedom from anywhere in the world.
There are several VPN services available, including free options that help you to enjoy some of the benefits of this technology. One of the providers that allows users to protect their data and defeat restrictions is Betternet. This Canadian VPN gives you the possibility of surfing internet with added security and flexibility. However, it is important to note that while free services can be convenient, they can have some limitations. After all, running and maintaining a VPN network can be costly, which is why in order to get stronger security and more features, you would need to opt for a free service. Nevertheless, if you are after a free and efficient solution, there’s no harm in giving Betternet a try. We will take a closer look at Betternet, so that you know what you can expect from this VPN service.
Privacy and Security
In general, free VPN services don’t exactly stand out for the level of security that they offer. However, Betternet protects your online traffic with solid encryption. They offer OpenVPN, which is known as a highly secure protocol and thanks to the AES-256 encryption, your data will be safeguarded from online attacks and snooping. If you want a faster performance, you can choose IPSec with 128-bit AES, which still provides good protection but it is also convenient for streaming or gaming. The use of shared IPs is another feature that will allow you to enhance your security and privacy online. Thanks to this option, it will be practically impossible to trace activity back to a specific user.
You will also be glad to know that Betternet doesn’t keep logs of your online activities so your conversations, browsing history and other information will not be monitored, or saved. While they keep some connection logs (such as the duration of your connection), this information is only intended for troubleshooting and maintenance and it is deleted after a while. One thing that privacy conscious users should note is that since Betternet is based in Canada, it falls within the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance. It is also important to mention the fact that Betternet relies on third-party advertisement to be able to offers its service. This is one of the ways in which they can offer a free solution, but unfortunately it means that the advertisers may get access your cookies.
While Betternet works with Windows and it offers anti-DNS leaks protection, its is mainly known for providing high quality mobile apps. Android and iOS users can enjoy a simple, free and effective option to bypass online restrictions. The software offers an auto-reconnect function that will automatically connect you to the VPN in case the connection failed. As previously mentioned, Betternet has a popular free solution, but users can upgrade to a paid service for $4.99 per month and if you pay for a year of service in advance, you would end up paying just $2.50 per month. The advantage of the paid version is that it gives you access to servers in more locations. The free version focuses on location in the US, but the paid option lets you connect to servers in United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Netherlands and other countries.
Another benefit is that there are no ads and although the free version keeps ads to the minimum, many users may prefer not to have to deal with ads at all. Besides, as we noted earlier on, these ads may compromise your privacy. It is also worth mentioning that other ways in which Betternet ensures that it can continue providing a free service, include offering sponsored apps, for which they get a commission if you install them. Although in general, the service is fairly basic and it doesn’t include advanced features, it is easy to use and unlike most free services, it allows P2P. They are committed to deal with DMCA takedown notices internally, without putting their customers’ privacy at risk. The speeds are usually decent, but if you want to use the service for downloading content, it is advisable to opt for the Premium service as the servers are less congested and provide faster performance.
In the website, you will find a detailed FAQ section, a community forum and a Help Center that provides useful information to address most issues. Alternatively, you can contact them via ticket. The responses are usually fast and provide details that will solve your query effectively. Betternet also has presence in social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, giving customers additional options to reach out to the support team.
Betternet is a convenient solution to enjoy security and versatility when you connect to internet. The free service is an ideal solution for newbies and for anyone who can’t, or doesn’t want to commit to a paid subscription. It is great to see that the free service supports OpenVPN and IPSec, as well as different types of encryption. The fact that Betternet is transparent about the way in which the service is funded should also be highlighted. Their logging policy is also clear and gives customers the information needed to decide is they want to put their privacy in Betternet’s hands. The paid version offers access to servers in 10 countries and it is better for tasks that require faster performance, but if you want a simple way to secure your online connection and unlock services and websites, the free service does a very good job.