ExpressVPN, headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, is renowned for its lightning-fast speeds, robust security features, and expansive server network. It has long been a trusted choice among users seeking to surf the internet with maximum privacy and minimum restrictions.
On the other hand, Betternet is a free VPN service based in the United States, offering user-friendly applications and reasonable security. However, does it hold up against a premium provider like ExpressVPN? Let’s find out.
This article aims to compare ExpressVPN and Betternet across nine critical factors: security and encryption, no-log policy & jurisdiction, server network, streaming, torrenting, compatibility and ease of use, pricing, and customer support. These factors serve as a comprehensive gauge to determine the overall performance of each VPN service.
Security and Encryption
One of the primary functions of a VPN is to protect your online data from prying eyes. This section will delve into the security measures and encryption techniques employed by ExpressVPN and Betternet.
Security and encryption form the backbone of any VPN service. Encryption scrambles your data into an unreadable format, while security protocols dictate how data is transferred between your device and the VPN server. A robust VPN should ideally offer AES 256-bit encryption (considered the gold standard in encryption) and multiple security protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec.
Comparison of the Security Features and Encryption Methods of ExpressVPN and Betternet
ExpressVPN utilizes AES 256-bit encryption, which is the highest level of encryption currently available. It supports multiple protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and its proprietary Lightway protocol, promising superior speed and security. Furthermore, it offers features like kill switch, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and split tunneling for enhanced safety.
Betternet uses 128-bit AES encryption with its free version, while the premium version offers the more secure 256-bit encryption. It supports OpenVPN and IPSec, but lacks advanced security features such as a kill switch or leak protection.
|Encryption||AES 256-bit||AES 128-bit (Free), AES 256-bit (Premium)|
|Protocols||OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, Lightway||OpenVPN, IPSec|
The table clearly indicates that ExpressVPN outshines Betternet in terms of security and encryption. It offers superior encryption, a wider range of protocols, and additional security features that Betternet lacks.
Pros and Cons for Each VPN in Terms of Security and Encryption
Pros: Utilizes the strongest available encryption, supports multiple protocols, includes a kill switch and leak protection.
Cons: Some users might find the variety of protocols overwhelming.
Pros: Simple to use, the premium version offers AES 256-bit encryption.
Cons: Free version only provides 128-bit encryption, lacks a kill switch, and leak protection.
Conclusion on Which VPN Provides Better Security and Encryption
Given the stark differences in their offerings, ExpressVPN clearly stands out as the winner in terms of security and encryption. It provides top-notch encryption, supports a variety of protocols, and offers advanced features that are missing in Betternet, making it a more secure option. Remember, when it comes to online security, it’s always better to choose the strongest protection available.
No-log Policy & Jurisdiction
Maintaining your privacy while you’re online is crucial, and that’s where a VPN’s no-log policy and its jurisdiction play a significant role.
Explanation of No-log Policies and Jurisdiction and Why They’re Important
A no-log policy means that your VPN provider will not record your internet activity. This includes details like your IP addresses, browsing history, used bandwidth, session information, connection timestamps, and network traffic. In essence, a strict no-log policy ensures that even if your VPN provider is compelled to hand over data, there’s simply nothing to give.
Jurisdiction, on the other hand, refers to the legal environment in which the VPN company operates. Some countries have invasive laws that can compel companies to share user data with government agencies. Therefore, the location of the VPN company is critical.
Comparison of ExpressVPN and Betternet’s No-log Policies and Their Jurisdictions
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a location renowned for its strong privacy laws. It follows a strict no-log policy, which means they do not keep any activity or connection logs. This policy has been independently audited and verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands||United States|
|No-log Policy||Yes (audited and verified)||Partial (collects some anonymous data)|
The comparison table reflects that ExpressVPN operates under a more privacy-friendly jurisdiction and has a verified no-log policy, while Betternet’s location and partial logging practice might raise some eyebrows.
Pros and Cons for Each VPN Based on Their No-log Policy and Jurisdiction
Pros: Located in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, follows a strict no-log policy that has been independently audited and verified.
Cons: Some users might be skeptical about the veracity of third-party audits.
Cons: Based in the US, a part of the Five Eyes alliance; does collect some data.
Conclusion on Which VPN Has a Better No-log Policy and Jurisdiction
Given the evidence at hand, ExpressVPN outperforms Betternet regarding no-log policy and jurisdiction. Its audited and verified no-log policy, coupled with its privacy-friendly jurisdiction, provides a stronger assurance of privacy compared to Betternet. However, the decision will largely depend on the level of privacy you’re seeking from your VPN provider.
The size and distribution of a VPN’s server network can significantly influence its performance. Let’s compare the server networks of ExpressVPN and Betternet.
A. Importance of Server Network Size and Distribution
A broad server network is advantageous for two main reasons: speed and content access. More servers mean less server load, which translates to faster connections. Additionally, having servers in various countries allows you to bypass geographical restrictions and access more diverse content.
B. Comparison of the Server Networks of ExpressVPN and Betternet
ExpressVPN boasts a vast network of more than 3000 servers spread across 94 countries. This wide distribution ensures speedy connections and a broad range of content access for its users.
Betternet has far fewer servers — only around 50, and they’re spread across 10 countries. The limited server count and geographic distribution could impact speed and content accessibility.
|Server Count||Over 3000||Around 50|
ExpressVPN’s vast server network overshadows Betternet’s modest offering, as seen in the comparison table above.
Pros and Cons for Each VPN Based on Server Network
Pros: Extensive server network spread across a large number of countries, ensures high speed and wide content accessibility.
Cons: Some servers may not offer consistent performance.
Pros: Easy to connect as there are fewer servers to choose from.
Cons: Limited server count and geographic coverage may affect speed and ability to unblock content.
Conclusion on Which VPN Has a Better Server Network
Considering the significant difference in their server networks, ExpressVPN is the clear winner in this category. Its vast server network across a large number of countries ensures fast connection speeds and the ability to access geographically restricted content, giving it a considerable edge over Betternet.
So far, ExpressVPN has taken the lead in our comparison. However, there are more aspects to look at before we draw any conclusions. Stay tuned for the upcoming sections to see how these VPNs fare on streaming, torrenting, compatibility, pricing, and customer support.
Geographic restrictions on content exist due to licensing agreements between content producers and distributors. By using a VPN, users can effectively “change” their location to one where the content is available, allowing them to access it regardless of their actual physical location. It’s important to note that the ability of a VPN to bypass these restrictions can vary significantly between providers, with some being more effective than others.
Comparison of the Streaming Capabilities of ExpressVPN and Betternet
ExpressVPN is widely known for its streaming capabilities. With its vast server network, it can effectively unblock major streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. Users typically report high-quality, buffer-free streaming experiences.
Betternet, on the other hand, has a less robust performance when it comes to streaming. With its limited server network, unblocking geo-restricted content is more challenging. Some users have reported success in accessing Netflix, but performance can be inconsistent, and access to other platforms is more limited.
|Amazon Prime Video||Yes||No|
As the table indicates, ExpressVPN provides significantly better access to major streaming services than Betternet.
Pros and Cons for Each VPN in Terms of Streaming Capabilities
Pros: Consistently unblocks a wide range of streaming platforms with high-quality streams. Cons: High-quality streaming might require a more stable and faster internet connection.
Pros: Free version might be sufficient for users with limited streaming needs. Cons: Limited access to streaming platforms and inconsistent performance.
Conclusion on Which VPN Offers Better Streaming Capabilities
Given the significant differences in their abilities to access streaming content, ExpressVPN is the clear winner for streaming. Its reliable access to a wide range of streaming platforms makes it an excellent choice for movie and TV lovers around the world.
Another common use for VPNs is torrenting. The right VPN can ensure your privacy and safety while you download and share files.
When you’re torrenting, your IP address is visible to all the members of the torrent swarm, which can be a privacy concern. Some might worry about their ISP throttling their bandwidth if they detect torrenting, or even legal issues if the content being torrented infringes on copyright laws. A VPN can hide your IP address, making your torrenting activity anonymous.
Comparison of the Torrenting Capabilities of ExpressVPN and Betternet
ExpressVPN is highly regarded for torrenting due to its fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and robust security features. All servers in their network support P2P activity, and they also provide a kill switch feature (Network Lock), ensuring your IP address is not exposed if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.
Betternet allows torrenting, but its capabilities are significantly limited. The free version has slow speeds and limited data, which isn’t ideal for large downloads. Furthermore, it lacks a kill switch feature, posing a risk if the VPN connection drops.
|Data Limit||Unlimited||Limited on Free Version|
From the table, it’s evident that ExpressVPN offers better features for torrenting compared to Betternet.
C. Pros and Cons for Each VPN in Terms of Torrenting Capabilities
Pros: Offers fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and a kill switch feature, which are ideal for torrenting. Cons: A premium VPN, which might not be suitable for users looking for free alternatives.
Pros: Allows torrenting and could suffice for light, infrequent torrenting needs. Cons: The free version has slow speeds and limited data. No kill switch.
Conclusion on Which VPN is Better for Torrenting
Given its fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, strong security, and the presence of a kill switch feature, ExpressVPN comes out as the preferred choice for torrenting. Betternet falls short in these areas, making it less suitable for heavy torrent users.
Now that we’ve compared their streaming and torrenting capabilities, let’s move on to assessing their compatibility, ease of use, pricing, and customer support. Stay tuned!
Compatibility and Ease of Use
When choosing a VPN, it’s essential to consider whether the service is compatible with your devices and whether it’s user-friendly. Having a VPN that works across multiple platforms and devices while providing an intuitive interface contributes significantly to user experience.
Having a VPN that supports a wide range of devices ensures that you can maintain your privacy and security across all your devices, be it your computer, smartphone, tablet, or even smart TV. Furthermore, an intuitive and user-friendly interface can make it easy to connect to the VPN, change settings, and select servers, even for users who aren’t tech-savvy.
Comparison of the Compatibility and Ease of Use of ExpressVPN and Betternet
ExpressVPN offers apps for a wide range of devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and even routers. It also offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. The interface across these platforms is clean and intuitive, making it easy for users to connect to the VPN, change settings, and choose servers.
Betternet also supports multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, but it doesn’t have support for Linux or routers. Its interface is straightforward, but the options for changing settings or choosing specific servers are more limited, especially on the free version.
|Browser Extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge||Chrome|
Based on the table, ExpressVPN supports a wider range of devices than Betternet.
Pros and Cons for Each VPN Based on Compatibility and Ease of Use
Pros: Supports a wide range of devices, provides intuitive apps and extensions. Cons: Fewer simultaneous connections compared to some other VPNs.
Pros: Simple interface that’s easy to use for beginners. Cons: Limited support for different platforms and fewer options in the interface.
Conclusion on Which VPN is More Compatible and Easier to Use
Considering its extensive device compatibility and user-friendly interface, ExpressVPN stands out as the more compatible and easier-to-use VPN in comparison to Betternet.
The cost of a VPN service plays a crucial role in decision-making for most users. It’s a delicate balance between finding a service that provides quality features and one that doesn’t break the bank.
While it’s tempting to opt for free or low-cost VPNs, it’s essential to consider the trade-off between cost and quality. Free or cheap VPNs often have limitations in terms of speed, data limits, server options, security features, and privacy policies. It’s also worth considering that running a VPN service costs money, and if a service is free, they may be making money in other ways, such as selling user data.
Comparison of the Pricing Plans of ExpressVPN and Betternet
ExpressVPN is a premium VPN service, and its pricing reflects that. It offers three pricing plans:
- 1-month plan at $12.95/month
- 6-month plan at $9.99/month
- 12-month plan at $8.32/month
ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans.
Betternet offers both a free version and a premium version. The free version is supported by ads and has limited features. The premium version removes the ads and limitations, and it has two pricing plans:
- 1-month plan at $11.99/month
- 12-month plan at $2.99/month
Betternet also has a 7-day free trial for its premium version.
|6-month plan||$9.99/month||Not Available|
|Free Trial||No||7 days|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days||No|
As shown in the table, Betternet offers a more affordable long-term plan and a free version, while ExpressVPN is more expensive but provides a money-back guarantee.
Pros and Cons for Each VPN Based on Pricing
Pros: Provides premium features that justify its higher price, 30-day money-back guarantee. Cons: More expensive than many other VPN services.
Pros: Offers a free version and a more affordable long-term plan. Cons: The free version is ad-supported and has limited features, no money-back guarantee.
Conclusion on Which VPN Offers Better Value for Money
When considering the balance between cost and the quality of service, ExpressVPN offers better value for money despite its higher price. Its robust feature set, extensive server network, and excellent performance justify its cost. However, for users on a tight budget or with basic VPN needs, Betternet’s free version or more affordable premium plan may be sufficient.
When it comes to VPNs or any tech product, having reliable customer support is critical. In the event of any issues or queries, it’s important to have a helpful and responsive support team on standby.
As with any technology product, things can occasionally go wrong, and when they do, it’s important to know that you can rely on the customer support team to help you resolve your issues. Additionally, if you’re new to VPNs, you might have a lot of questions, so a knowledgeable customer service team can be a significant asset.
Comparison of the Customer Support Offered by ExpressVPN and Betternet
ExpressVPN is known for its excellent customer support. It offers 24/7 live chat support on its website, and the support team is well-trained and quick to respond. You can also reach out to them through email. In addition, ExpressVPN has an extensive library of helpful guides and tutorials on its website.
Betternet offers support through a ticketing system, which may not be as immediate as live chat but can still be effective. The response time is usually within a day. There’s also an FAQ section on their website, but it’s not as comprehensive as ExpressVPN’s resources.
|FAQ & Guides||Extensive||Limited|
The comparison table above illustrates the key differences in customer support between ExpressVPN and Betternet.
Pros and Cons for Each VPN in Terms of Customer Support
Pros: 24/7 live chat support, responsive and helpful team, extensive online resources. Cons: No ticket system for non-urgent, complex queries.
Pros: Support through a ticketing system. Cons: No live chat or email support, limited online resources.
Conclusion on Which VPN Provides Better Customer Support
Considering the availability of 24/7 live chat support and extensive online resources, ExpressVPN is the clear winner in terms of customer support. This access to real-time assistance can be invaluable in troubleshooting issues quickly and efficiently.
We’ve compared ExpressVPN and Betternet across various essential factors. Each of these VPNs has its strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice depends on your specific needs and priorities.
Recap of the Main Points of Comparison
Here’s a quick summary of our comparison:
- Security and Encryption: ExpressVPN offers more robust security features and uses superior encryption protocols compared to Betternet.
- No-Log Policy & Jurisdiction: ExpressVPN has a clear no-log policy and operates from a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, giving it an edge over Betternet.
- Server Network: With its wide server network across numerous countries, ExpressVPN outperforms Betternet in this regard.
- Streaming: Both VPNs are capable of bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming platforms, but ExpressVPN supports a broader range of platforms.
- Torrenting: While both VPNs support torrenting, ExpressVPN’s superior speed and security features make it a better choice.
- Compatibility and Ease of Use: ExpressVPN supports a wider range of devices and offers a more intuitive interface than Betternet.
- Pricing: While Betternet offers a free version and cheaper long-term plans, ExpressVPN provides better value for money with its robust feature set.
- Customer Support: ExpressVPN offers superior customer support, including 24/7 live chat support, which Betternet lacks.
B. Overall Comparison Table (ExpressVPN vs Betternet)
|Security and Encryption||Winner|
|No-Log Policy & Jurisdiction||Winner|
|Compatibility & Ease of Use||Winner|
As we can see from the overall comparison table, ExpressVPN emerges as the winner in most categories.
Final Thoughts on the Better VPN Based on the Analyzed Factors
Based on our analysis, ExpressVPN is the overall better VPN service, offering superior security, extensive global coverage, robust streaming and torrenting capabilities, and excellent customer support. Its ease of use across various platforms also makes it a strong contender for both novice and experienced VPN users.
However, if you’re on a tight budget or your VPN needs are basic, Betternet’s free version or cheaper premium plans may be a viable option.
Personal Recommendations and Considerations for Potential Users
When choosing a VPN, it’s important to consider your specific needs and priorities. If privacy and security are your primary concerns, ExpressVPN is the better choice. If cost is your main consideration, Betternet may be suitable, but remember, it’s always crucial to balance cost with the quality and reliability of the service.
ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free version. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try the service risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you can request a full refund within the 30-day period.
On the other hand, Betternet does offer a free version of its service. However, the free version comes with limitations such as fewer server locations, slower speeds, and frequent ads.
Both VPNs are capable of bypassing geo-restrictions on various streaming platforms. However, ExpressVPN is generally more reliable in this regard, thanks to its faster speeds and wider server coverage. ExpressVPN consistently works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and many other platforms.
Yes, both VPNs are safe to use. However, ExpressVPN offers more robust security features, including 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. It also operates under a strict no-log policy. Betternet also uses secure encryption but its security features are not as extensive as those of ExpressVPN.
While speed can depend on various factors like your location, the server’s location, your internet service provider, and more, ExpressVPN generally offers faster speeds compared to Betternet.
ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that consistently works in China. As for Betternet, it’s less reliable for bypassing China’s internet restrictions.