If you want to protect your privacy or simply unblock geo-restricted websites on your Windows PC, you might choose Betternet for Windows. You may want to do so for a couple of reasons. First off, Betternet VPN has a forever free version. Second, you may not be so concerned about your online privacy after all.
It may sound like a good deal when you consider joining a family of 38+ million Betternet users. However, we advise you to do your research properly before investing your money into this VPN service. Unfortunately, the premium version is not any safer, although, it does offer more server locations, faster speeds, and multiple simultaneous connections.
Without further ado, we are here to uncover the Betternet for Windows client and see all the necessary details.
What Betternet for Windows has to offer
To be quite frank, Betternet VPN is the one VPN on the market that has the least to offer. Not, of course, when it comes to statistics like the number of users. As a matter of fact, this service has attracted over 38 million users from all around the world, as claimed by the official website. Betternet also says to have 1 Petabyte daily internet traffic via its very small VPN fleet. But it is also “mentioned 100,000 times a day on social media channels”; so, the numbers are certainly showing that Betternet must have a lot to offer.
Let’s make a clean breast of it. Whatever lies beneath the surface may not be as impressive and pretty, to say the least.
The real face of Betternet for Windows:
- Based in Canada, a Five Eyes country: surveillance warning!
- Collects and may share logs and personal information
- Third-party tracking libraries: to trace users and their online habits
- IP and DNS leaks
- No kill switch
- 17 VPN servers in 10 countries (premium version only!)
- Speeds ranging from very low to relatively good, seasoned with connection drops: if you manage to connect to a VPN server at all (mainly free version issue)
- No Netflix or BBC iPlayer support
- No clear information about the VPN protocols used, but probably OpenVPN with AES-256 encryption (based on a 2-year-old blog post)
- Very clear information about how Betternet is free
Well, to be honest, this is not the kind of list you want to see if you want online anonymity and a reliable VPN service for all your needs.
Nevertheless, you might be one of the 38 million users who still consider Betternet for Windows to spoof your IP address and access geo-blocked web content.
How to download and install it
It doesn’t take a scientist to download the Betternet for Windows client. All you need to do is visit the official website and choose the right client (Windows) from the Platforms menu. Now, press the Get the App or the Download Betternet button on the page, and, in a few seconds, you can start installing your VPN software.
The installation cannot get any easier. Basically, you have to click Install, and, after a few moments, press Finish. We told you, not a brain surgery, right? From this angle, Betternet VPN is more than ideal for novice VPN users.
How to use Betternet VNP for Windows
Before you could use your Betternet for Windows app, a pop-up window appears when you run this VPN for the first time. You are offered to start a 7-day trial if you click the designated button. In order to use this VPN for free, you need to close this window by clicking the X button in the top right corner.
However, if you decide to go for the 7-day premium trial, you are taken to the Free Trial webpage where you have to fill out a form with your Credit Card details and email address to activate your account.
What are the main differences between the free and premium version? Well, first of all, in the free version, you can only use one server location, the United States, you are allowed only one device at a time, you get worse speeds, and no proper support.
The premium Betternet for Windows client offers 17 server locations, which is still ridiculous, 5 simultaneous connections, more reliable VPN connections, and better speeds. Well, we tried to run some tests to see if the older results still hold but kept failing after none of the main internet speed tester sites could load while using Betternet. Strangely enough, our Google search to find other speed testers also failed to load.
In any case, this VPN has almost useless speeds sometimes, whichever version you use. You can, of course, hang in there and wait for your connection to drop any moment if you can connect at all. Sometimes loading a website like YouTube could take ages depending on which server you are using. But, in all fairness, you may well be able to stream HD videos without any major freeze.
Due to the number of Betternet VPN users, you may not be able to connect at times. But even if you get lucky, chances are your speeds will just contribute to your hair loss.
On a more positive note – not that it really counts in our book in this case –, Betternet for Windows is very intuitive and minimalistic. Most likely, your grandparents could use it without driving you up the wall with a stream of questions. That is certainly a big plus for a VPN solution.
After you launch your chosen version, you basically need to click the Connect button on the main screen to get connected to an optimal server. In the case of the free VPN, this is going to be one of the 7 American servers. If you are using the premium version, you can also click the Select Virtual Location link to, well, select the virtual location from the 10 countries offered on the next screen. If you want to abort a connection, simply press the Disconnect button.
To be honest, this is all there is to it. Simple? Hell, yeah. Anonymous enough? Well, it depends. Just kidding, of course, it is not anonymous enough as it seems to leak all over the place and also logs too much, not to mention the third-party tracking libraries and data sharing in the background.
Betternet VPN doesn’t offer too much space for customization. Apart from some very basic settings, including Prevent IP leak (which doesn’t seem to work always) and automatically turning on Betternet when connecting to a public WiFi, there is nothing you could tweak. The nightmare of advanced VPN users, for sure. But, then again, they would give a wide berth to this service anyway.
Why use Betternet for Windows
After all this cold shower we still need to remain impartial and as neutral as possible. The latter is really hard when it comes to such a low-quality product on the security front, to be frank. But, it’s nothing personal, Betternet team, no hard feelings. Why use Betternet for Windows? This question just keeps haunting us in our nightmares.
Truth be told, you can’t use Betternet for Netflix or BBC iPlayer either; at least, we failed every time we tried. Even if by some magic you could bypass the rigorous VPN detection of geo-restricted video streaming centers, your connection speed might abort your mission. And, we didn’t even mention the most annoying connection drops. Then again, it is also possible that you will be totally fine watching your favorite BBC TV show while sipping on a glass of wine somewhere in the Caribbean.
So, how can you take advantage of the Betternet for Windows app? If you don’t mind that your true IP address might leak or might be traced back to you personally while using this VPN software, you can try to:
- Fake your virtual location
- Access geo-restricted content
- Stream videos if your location is near one of the premium servers and is not overcrowded
Well, that’s about it. Actually, we should dedicate a separate section to why you shouldn’t use Betternet for Windows, come to think of it. But, we hope you catch our drift anyway.
Betternet for Windows: pricing
This is yet another area – apart from the ease of use – where Betternet VPN can excel. First off, it has a free forever version, which is hard to surpass. Second, the premium pricing plans are very tempting, too. Well, apart from the 1-month rate:
- 1-year plan: $2.99/month
- 6-month plan: $3.99/month
- 1-month plan: $11.99/month
While the monthly plan is among the most expensive top premium VPN solutions, the rest of the pricing seems very low, even if not necessarily the cheapest on the market. Still, before you rush to subscribe, you may want to consider what you get for this low price and if it is really worth it. Interestingly, these prices are not promoted on the website apart from an FAQ page in the Help Center. You can find them in your app, too.
You also need to be very careful with the supposed 30-day money-back guarantee because it may be tricky. You had better read the refund policy word for word.
How to cancel your Betternet for Windows subscription
If you started your 7-day trial, there is a good chance you won’t want to purchase this VPN software past the trial. Therefore, it is vital that you remember to cancel your premium Betternet for Windows subscription.
Open your VPN app and click the 3-Bar icon to display the menu screen. Select and press the Contact Us button. Now, click Something Else to open your email client to send an email request to the Support Team. You are supposed to get a reply within 24 hours about the cancellation of your Betternet for Windows premium subscription.