Finding Betternet not working properly or at all may drag you down into a dark pit of frustration. But when this VPN is not working reliably, it’s not only about the fact that Betternet keeps disconnecting.
While these problems can be rather annoying and frustrating, the bigger threat is that you may become a victim of IP or DNS leaks. Faulty leak protection and no kill switch could prove disastrous – that’s why the best bet to solve your Betternet connection and leak issues might be to seek alternative service, i.e., check NordVPN review.
Join us now to find out why it’s not a good idea to use either the free VPN or the premium version of Betternet if you want to feel safe online.
Betternet not connecting
This major issue may not relate to your online security and privacy, but can be rather annoying and frustrating nonetheless. Both the Betternet free VPN and the premium service can suffer from this problem: Betternet not connecting.
One of the main issues with Betternet VPN is that their server fleet is very small. They only have 17 servers in 10 countries, which is some of the worst coverage on the market today. Now, add the 38 or so million users eager to connect to these servers and you can probably already see why you may find your Betternet not connecting even after several attempts.
The truth is, Windows and Mac free VPN users can only connect to American (7) servers by default. So when you hit the Connect button on your app, an optimal server is automatically chosen for you. But do you think 7 servers can actually serve tens of millions of free VPN users without a hitch?
Of course, the premium version claims to provide better speeds and more reliable connections. But having 17 server locations in 10 countries altogether, no matter how optimized and dedicated they are, is not comparable to thousands of servers around the globe (which is what some top VPN services offer).
So, most likely you will have similar issues with Betternet not connecting, regardless of which version you are using.
The premium VPN may have fewer issues but definitely not zero.
If you visit the Help Center on the official website, you will find that the latest issues are still related to Betternet not connecting (with titles like “Can’t connect” for all main clients – Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS). It’s not a good sign when VPNs need to have such posts. It is certainly a recurring issue for Betternet VPN.
Whenever you can’t connect, there are two things you can do. First, you can click the Connect button again and again, or choose a different location (if you are a premium or trial user). Second, go for a more reliable VPN service with a bigger server fleet covering more of the world.
But connecting is only part of the problem – another aspect of Betternet not working properly is that even if you manage to connect to a server without any issue, your connection is likely to drop quite often.
Betternet connection drops
When it comes to Betternet connection drops, we have found that the Chrome client is the worst. Basically, you need to keep checking whether the extension is working or not because, for all you know, since Betternet keeps disconnecting, it may have just dropped your connection minutes ago and you are browsing the web all “naked.” This might not be simply annoying or disruptive, but also quite dangerous.
What about the Firefox extension, you ask? Well, how should we put it… er… it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. There used to be a proxy that was a pain to set up and it didn’t even work properly, but you cannot find it anymore. All related links on the official website are broken. (This is a message to the developer team to update the broken links, please!)
Of course, the same connection drops do not leave any of the other Betternet clients alone. Imagine trying to stream a video and it keeps freezing or lagging because your connection drops. Or, as you are just about to hit that all-headshot ace, your internet connection disappears, just like that. Pretty annoying, right?
Since this VPN has no kill switch, the risk that Betternet keeps disconnecting can become ever more dangerous. Once there is no VPN tunnel for applications like your browser to use, your system will automatically try to connect as is. In this case, you will be connecting directly via your ISP (Internet Service Provider), which is the last thing you want when you are accessing geo-restricted websites in a censorship-freak country like China. This is a direct path linking back to your physical address and incriminating you in whatever you were doing online. We don’t just mean illegal stuff either.
If you are a political or environmental activist, or someone fighting for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, you need to forget about using Betternet VPN. The same goes for hackers and investigative journalists – this is your stay-out-of-jail card right here.
What can you do if Betternet keeps disconnecting? Well, you can always try to connect to another server, i.e., change the location to see if you are better off. Then, you may want to check out what the official website says about your Betternet client not connecting, and even that may only help you in certain cases. Finally, it may be best to choose another VPN software.
Betternet VPN leaks
We have already mentioned the one word nobody wants to hear when talking about VPN services: leaks. Well, Betternet VPN leaks are not a rare thing to find. In fact, tests indicate that this service can leak IPv4, IPv6, and DNS queries as well. What does this mean? Basically, if you were a “bad boy” (or girl), your ISP (and, consequently other prying eyes, like government authorities) may just find out about it.
Depending on where you live, these “wrongdoings” might not necessarily mean illegal online activities like downloading or sharing child pornography or cyberstalking/cyberbullying someone. What if you are a journalist, working hard to unveil a nefarious government conspiracy?
If Betternet VPN leaks your IP or DNS queries, you could be found and arrested. Does that sound like a plan? We didn’t think so.
As a matter of fact, Betternet now has an IP leak protection function, which you can choose to have enabled through the Settings menu. However, it’s not doing a good job if there are still leaks, right? We do need to mention that not all clients are equally leaky, but still…
This is a good reason to uninstall Betternet VPN right away and find a reliable top premium VPN to protect yourself instead.
Betternet not working as expected
Apart from all the above-mentioned scenarios when you may find Betternet not working, it is also possible to bump into other issues. We have made a “bouquet” of these Betternet problems just for you!
Betternet speed problems
First of all, in order to be able to experience any speed at all, you need to connect to a VPN server. That is a no-brainer, right? However, with Betternet VPN, this may be challenging at times.
In any case, you’ll find a lot of complaints from users in forums about speed issues. Keeping in mind that this is a fairly relative area, we advise you to go for the 7-day premium trial to see for yourself how Betternet works for you. Investing your money before making sure that you have useable speeds would be a big mistake.
Our own tests are not too consistent either. Sometimes we can seamlessly stream HD videos from YouTube with even the free version of Betternet VPN, yet at other times we may spend 20 seconds just waiting for our webmail provider’s page to load.
Betternet support problems
For starters, why would we expect a VPN service to grant us 24/7 live chat support for free? But we do, right? And then we visit the Betternet website and look everywhere… but… there is NO live chat support available. Perhaps it makes sense – it might be quite expensive to serve approximately 38 million users? Ever thought of that? Whatever the case, there’s no live chat, period.
The best you can get is a priority support ticket, which can still take half a day. So, even if you pay $12.99/month, you can forget about proper service. This is a real drawback, particularly with how infamous Betternet VPN is for being problematic with its connections.
The Betternet China problem
Well, Betternet and China in the same sentence could mean a long and ugly jail sentence. Jokes aside, we do not recommend using this VPN to camouflage your online activities while in a restricted and censored zone, like beyond the feared Great Firewall of China.
You shouldn’t consider any of the free VPN choices, as a matter of fact. But it’s advisable to tread carefully even with premium services. Never travel to China before you arm yourself with a reliable and anonymous VPN app. And, if you are located there by choice of birth, well, you had better do your research!
When it comes to having a true no logs policy and the highest level of online privacy, we don’t believe Betternet is even in the conversation. Is Betternet not working a major issue in China? Hell, yeah! Imagine your VPN connection drops and you’re just sitting there without a kill switch. Not ideal, right? You could be identified, your online activity linked to you, and the rest is up to your imagination.
Perhaps you see a black car stopping in your driveway the moment you switch off your laptop and unplug your WiFi router. As you glance through your curtain, the feeling hits you – should’ve read our post more carefully. And then…
Betternet payment issue
After our little imaginary Chinese thriller scene, you won’t feel any better when we shed light on the fact that there is no anonymous payment method (like cryptocurrencies) available. So when you purchase Betternet VPN, you can only use your Credit or Debit Card. This makes you personally identifiable and linked to a VPN account. Knowing that this provider logs certain data and third-party advertisers can also “spy on you,” this may not be the best way to try to remain anonymous online to protect yourself or your work.
Betternet security & privacy issues
We can’t leave without the most important of all, Betternet security and privacy issues. You may be able to avoid major problems when Betternet is not working properly. However, security and privacy issues, such as IP and DNS leaks, are not ones you can or should tolerate.
While this VPN service uses OpenVPN or IKEv2 with 128 or 256-bit AES encryption, its potential to drop connections and the lack of a kill switch make it quite risky. As a matter of fact, we must mention again (and again) that the Betternet for Android client was found to be the 4th most risky app on the market because of possible malware infections and its (third-party) tracking libraries.
All in all, we consider it a privacy risk to use Betternet VPN for anything other than running its uninstaller. We can only wish you good luck with that.
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Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.