The Betterspot is a compact router with a built-in VPN. This means that all devices connected to the internet via the Betterspot benefit from the advantages of using a VPN. The Betterspot comes courtesy of VPN provider Betternet, and so is configured to use the Betternet VPN service. As we see in this Betterspot, it also functions as a Tor router.
Betterspot was partially funded via a successful Indiegogo campaign. In total, $306,479 was raised, although much of this was raised via “another platform.” This included a Kickstarter campaign. This final amount represents 363% funding.
Is Betterspot VPN router secure?
The Hexa Protocol is a proprietary VPN protocol that has been developed by the same company that owns Betternet. It is marketed as a separate VPN product, with apps for iOS and Android, under the brand name Hexatech.
The difference between Betternet and Hexatech is that Betternet uses traditional VPN protocols such as OpenVPN, while Hexatech uses the Hexa protocol.
Betterspot claims that the Hexa protocol is specifically designed to run on mobile devices, that it “offers an ultra fast speed and reliable security to the users,” and that it is “blockproof.”
I can find no third party information on this protocol, so all we have is the developer’s word on these things. When it comes to security I would trust the tried and tested open source OpenVPN way more than this otherwise-unknown proprietary protocol.
Betterspot through Tor
In addition to acting as a VPN router, the Betterspot can act as a Tor router. Please see my Tor Network Review for an in-depth discussion on this anonymity network. To cut a long story short, Tor is much more anonymous than VPN will ever be, but at the price of general internet usability.
It is important to note that using Tor through the Betterspot router is not as secure or anonymous as using Tor through the Tor Browser. This is because the Tor Browser has been hardened against a variety of security threats in a way that your regular browser almost certainly has not been.
The Tor network is free, and can be accessed via the Betterspot without the need for a subscription.
Is Betterspot VPN router fast?
All tests were performed using my UK 50 Mbps/3 Mbps fiber connection. For a comparison with the results I achieved using the Betterspot, and those I achieved using the Betternet software client, please see my Betternet Review.
Tor speeds are almost entirely dependent on the random network of nodes from around the world that the Tor connection creates (which changes every few minutes). This means that these speed tests are no reflection on the Betterspot.
The Betterspot does not have a powerful processor or the latest high-speed Wi-Fi technology. For most people, this will make it unsuitable for use as a general-purpose home router. Simply put, if you want a VPN router that does not severely impact your Wi-Fi and internet performance, then you will not find it in this price range or in this form factor.
The Betterspot’s compact form factor does, however, make the device useful as a travel router. It can protect your Wi-Fi connection and bypass internet censorship with plug-and-play ease. Your connection will not the fastest in the world, but then again it rarely is when away from home.
The stylish mobile app really does make it easy to setup and deploy the Betterspot. And your connection should still be fast enough to surf the internet, send emails, and so forth without much noticeable slowdown. It is also a sturdily-built device.
Although its use-case is somewhat limited, I like the Betterspot, and can see myself using it while traveling.