Sometimes, the contenders in our VPN comparisons are top in their respective classes, intensely battling for the title of the best (speaking of which, here are our ) That’s not the case here, in the matchup between StrongVPN and Betternet. One of these VPNs we thought was good in its individual review and the other we quite disliked, so this is hardly a prize fight. Still, we want to know how VPNs in the same general weight class perform, so this should be quite a show. Welcome to our StrongVPN Vs Betternet comparison!
StrongVPN boasts of high levels of encryption, describing itself as ‘military grade’. They’ve also been around for ages, with a founding date of 1994. They’re based in the USA but have taken measures to deal with privacy issues. Betternet is better known for providing an unlimited free VPN service. They use an innovative ad-supported model to fund such a generous offer, although in our free VPN comparison we weren’t big fans of the offering. Here we’re comparing Betternet Premium, which has a traditional pricing model.
Both VPNs will be matched up to our standard set of eight criteria, as detailed in this table.
|Device Support||Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Routers.||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox.|
|Prominent Features||Easy to use, Extremely fast, Variety of VPN protocols.||Basic VPN features, IP hiding, Location hiding.|
|Server Network||650+ servers in 20+ countries.||10 countries covered.|
|Logging Policy||No user activity logs.||Some session logs.|
|Encryption||256-bit encryption, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, SSTP, PPTP.||AES-128 and AES-256.|
|Speed||Above average.||Below average.|
|Number of Devices||Up to 10 devices.||Up to 5 devices.|
Next, here’s another table presenting scores for individual aspects of these two services. This should help you to identify potentially problematic spots. Take a look.
|Installation & Setup||10/10||3/10|
|Ease of Use||10/10||7/10|
|Security & Privacy||9/10||1/10|
Still wondering which of these two is the better choice for you? OK, let’s get our hands dirty and compare them in detail. Keep on reading our StrongVPN Vs Betternet comparison.
StrongVPN vs Betternet – The Ultimate Comparison
We will start our StrongVPN Vs Betternet comparison by taking a look at different aspects of each service. We’ll start with supported devices, and we’ll end with pricing plans for each service. Let’s begin.
Depending on your needs, you need to know which devices a VPN supports. Ideally, your chosen VPN should natively support all of the currently popular desktop and mobile operating systems.
- StrongVPN: You can use this VPN provider on a huge variety of devices. There are native clients for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and more. However, the best thing here is that StrongVPN supports the OpenVPN protocol. This means installing this VPN on a router is a possibility. On top of all of this, you can use StrongVPN on up to 10 devices, which is a rare thing among today’s VPNs.
- Betternet: Betternet is oriented towards native apps since OpenVPN isn’t part of its offer. However, you can also install it on some Web browsers. You can install this VPN provider on your Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Even though all of these apps are polished, they can’t beat what StrongVPN offers.
Winner: StrongVPN and Betternet both only cover mainstream devices natively, but the former also has OpenVPN for third-party clients.
Installation & Setup
Do you only want to use a VPN on your computer, or your smartphone? Did you think about installing a VPN on a router, and protecting your entire household? Here’s what you need to know.
- StrongVPN: The first impression one gets of a VPN starts the very moment when you register and install the client. When it comes to StrongVPN, everything was easy-peasy. We didn’t even have to log in to get the software and it downloaded in seconds thanks to its small size. Installing the Windows client was just the usual wizardly experience.
- Betternet: Betternet, on the other hand, proved to be a real pain. When you go to their site, they only really mention the free service. You are only made aware of the premium option once you actually have the client installed and run it for the first time. It is from there that you can pay to become a premium user. Then, you have to wait for an activation email before the client can be switched to the premium mode. This proved to be a major hassle since, for some reason, the emails just weren’t coming. The codes are only valid for two hours, but like clockwork, they arrived after they had already expired. The whole experience sucked.
Winner: We had a really terrible experience with Betternet. StrongVPN provided a highly streamlined process, which makes is the winner here.
Aside from counting on encryption and keeping your personal data safe, it’s wise to know about other prominent features. So, we’ll discuss that in our StrongVPN Vs Betternet comparison as well.
- StrongVPN: StrongVPN’s list of features would not stand out from the majority of VPNs, but next to BetterVPN it looks overly generous. Both VPNs, of course, provide basic functionality such as IP hiding and encryption, but StrongVPN has much higher levels of encryption and includes a kill switch option. Also, it’s worth noting that StrongVPN provides plenty of different VPN protocols, optimized for different uses. All in all, this VPN is above average, even though it doesn’t have an ad-blocker or antimalware tool.
- Betternet: This is a very barebones VPN. It connects you to remote servers and it encrypts your connection. That’s pretty much it. You can’t really fine-tune your experience or switch between different VPN protocols. It’s easy to use but it’s oversimplified.
Winner: StrongVPN’s average feature list easily beats out the barebones Betternet offering.
Ease of Use
While some users like a challenge, not everyone is up for battling technical terms. Therefore, it’s of the highest importance for a VPN to be as user-friendly as possible.
- StrongVPN: StrongVPN isn’t the most difficult VPN client to use, but it is one of the least pleasant. First of all, it looks rather old-fashioned and basic. It really stands out like a sore thumb on a modern computer. That aside, it has some clunky quirks that sometimes really surprised us. The biggest problem is the idiotic wizard-based server selection system that you have to slog through every time you want to change servers.
- Betternet: From a pure usability perspective, Betternet is much, well, better. The client is very simple, there aren’t many buttons or menus. As such, it’s easy to use. At the same time, it doesn’t really give you any control, so take that the way you want to.
Winner: Betternet wins the ease of use crown with a friendly application that has very little functionality and therefore little to go wrong.
If you plan on using media streaming services, your best bet is to use servers found in the USA. So, let’s take a look at what StrongVPN and Betternet have to offer.
- StrongVPN: StrongVPN claims to have 650 servers, which is OK but not the most we’ve seen. However, about two-thirds of these will only work on the PPTP protocol, which is obsolete and insecure. The rest run on a modern OpenVPN implementation and are fine, but for anyone who cares about privacy that’s a big issue. These servers are spread over 22 countries and 44 locations.
- Betternet: In the case of Betternet, we have no idea how many servers they have. We couldn’t find the information anywhere on their site. They have a massive user base of about 38 million, which suggests a sizable network, but all we know if that they only have 10 countries listed in the client. The good news is that only one of those hosts the hordes of free users, the bad news is that the server in question is in the USA. So unless you don’t care about spoofing a US location, you’re going to be in the crowd.
Winner: What can we say – both server networks are equally unappealing in their number and quality – but StrongVPN comes out as the winner here.
All those fancy features don’t mean a thing if a VPN doesn’t perform well. This is perhaps the most important segment in our StrongVPN Vs Betternet comparison.
- StrongVPN: This VPN is being advertised as the fastest VPN on Earth. This is why we felt very excited to test it out. During our tests, StrongVPN performed admirably. Servers that were close to our location performance with barely noticeable throttling. Even highly remote servers managed to provide a pleasurable experience. The only negative thing here is that this VPN’s performance varies. It depends on how many people are using one server at the same time – but you should still be happy with its performance.
- Betternet: We won’t spend too many sentences on Betternet here. We’ll say that this VPN provides one of the most limiting experiences since it throttles your Web connection in a big way. We understand that this might happen if you’re using free of charge. However, there’s no excuse to offer such a bad performance to paying customers.
Winner: StrongVPN is light years ahead of Betternet, in terms of performance. In fact, this is one of the best-performing VPNs out there.
Security & Privacy
Before signing up for a subscription, you must know how your personal data is handled. Here’s what kinds of security features you can expect.
- StrongVPN: As you read above, most StrongVPN servers seem to run on the outdated PPTP protocol. Fine for preventing casual snooping, but anyone who wants to see your information can do it with some effort. Still, if you stick to the OpenVPN servers and make use of the killswitch function and strong encryption options, you’re going to be OK.
- Betternet: Betternet, on the other hand, is not OK. The connection was terribly unstable, we never knew which protocol we were actually using and there’s no kill switch. That’s a recipe for disaster. Even worse, the Android app has at times been found to contain malware. Not a ringing endorsement of Betternet, we tell you.
Winner: StrongVPN has a major concern, but it is still miles ahead here.
When things go wrong (and they most certainly will at some point), you’ll be happy to have a strong support team. Here’s what to expect.
- StrongVPN: StrongVPN has caught a lot of flack in reviews over the years for less than stellar customer service, but when we reviewed it we found a snappy and friendly live chat service, good email support and plenty of well-written material.
- Betternet: Somehow, despite costing more than StrongVPN, Betternet lacks live chat. Premium users are meant to get priority when it comes to email support. We don’t know how long free users have to wait, but we waited hours for a reply related to a serious billing issue before getting any attention.
Winner: StrongVPN has live chat, well-written content and more. Betternet doesn’t stand a chance here.
The last segment in our StrongVPN Vs Betternet comparison is all about pricing. Keep on reading.
- StrongVPN: If you decide to pay on a monthly basis, you’ll need to pay $10.00 each month. If you decide to go for its annual subscription, the price goes down to just $5.83 per month. This definitely seems like a good deal – especially since there’s a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Betternet: This VPN provider will cost you $11.99 per month and $35.99 for its annual plan (which means $2.99 per month). However, this seems like a high price considering that Betternet is a barebones VPN service. On top of that, the price of this service depends on from which device you buy it from. For example, iOS and Android App Stores will sell you the annual subscription for $71.99 per year. Quite strange, right?
Winner: Betternet is clearly an overpriced service. You can’t even compare it to StrongVPN.
StrongVPN Vs Betternet: Which One to Pick?
StrongVPN is not the best VPN our there. At the same time, we could not say it’s all that bad either. However, with just a little improvement here and there, it could stand shoulder to shoulder with the big names. Betternet, on the other hand, feels like an insult, given its price, wonky technology, and absent support. As we said in our individual review, we’d only consider it if it were a dollar a month and even then we wouldn’t enjoy it.
So, make sure to check out StrongVPN on your own. We are sure you’ll be happy with what this VPN offers.