While a sizable portion of the industry has criticized Buffered VPN’s monthly price, there is no denying that the brand, despite not having an enormous server park, has the goods to satisfy most VPN users in the community.
Buffered VPN users can enjoy a very attentive customer service without the brand having a live chat feature; a highly versatile service without top end speeds, and a very secure VPN without a true no-logging policy. It is funny how companies work sometimes.
In the end, the pros will outweigh the cons and make Buffered VPN a very good VPN service, without truly approaching elite status. And that’s OK: not every brand has to be the best for it to be effective and to have a large user community.
In this article, we will discuss most of Buffered VPN’s traits and offerings, including exciting Netflix compatibility, torrenting allowance, unlimited server switching and speeds, and 256-bit encryption.
Buffered VPN isn’t exactly a cheap VPN provider, and there is no denying that fact. The monthly plan checks in at $12.99, which is higher than some of the elite brands in the industry, most of them clearly better than the currently reviewed company. However, that doesn’t mean that Buffered VPN is bad by any means.
If you are set on Buffered as your VPN for the long term, you can save some bucks if you purchase the yearly plan. The payment is made annually, and the cost is $79. The monthly average comes down to $6.59.
Amazingly, the cost can go even lower if you select Buffered VPN’s two year plan: the cost is only $99, billed every 24 months, and the average is $4.12 per 30 days. You would end up saving 68 percent, or $212.
All plans include access to Buffered VPN software, 24/7 customer support, 256-bit encryption, unlimited speeds and bandwidth. The payment methods include all the major credit cards (Visa, Master, American Express, Discover), PayPal and Bitcoin.
Interface and Ease of Use
Buffered VPN is, thankfully, very easy to install, set up, and use on all devices and platforms, which is a very convenient scenario for beginners in the VPN world. It doesn’t lack in features, but even still, it finds a way of keeping them simple, easily accessible, and well organized.
The Windows app is especially easy to use. The user just needs to launch it, connect to one of the 42 server locations it provides, and voila! The encryption is now activated.
After the user has established the connection, he/she can see the speed measurement and the IP address that Buffered provides. The interface provides an option to rate the service and connection quality.
Buffered VPN likes to keep things simple, and the interface is, therefore, very basic: the user can pick a custom port, switch between TCP and UDP, and enable options such as a kill switch and automatic launch.
If you are an experienced VPN user that need lots of options and advanced configurations, then Buffered VPN will fall short of expectations. However, for the average user, it works just fine and simplicity is a plus, not a weakness.
The mobile app is a little more complicated because it will require the user to download the OpenVPN app first and then go to the Buffered page to download the installation files. It isn’t too hard, in fact, but is not as straightforward as the Windows client
Buffered VP lets users connect to 42 countries around the world. The server count is not specified on the website; but overall, the amount of nations is high but not elite, especially for an expensive service.
With Buffered VPN, virtually all continents are covered: North America and South America; Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. Here is a list of all the nations in which Buffered VPN has servers in:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and Viet Nam.
Buffered VPN is not the best brand for privacy, as it keeps some connection and user information. However, they explain all about it in a very thorough privacy statement, in which they go into detail about their policies.
They have Gibraltar jurisdiction, which is a British territory, and that may cause some concern around people that may think Buffered VPN may have to comply with British law enforcement. However, they clarify that they don’t have to share anything with Gibraltar government authorities.
According to the document, “every time you visit our site (this does not include the usage of our VPN client software) we will automatically collect the following information:
technical information, including the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform;
information about your visit, including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL), clickstream to, through and from our site (including date and time), products you viewed or searched for, page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), methods used to browse away from the page.”
If you decide to download and install the VPN on your device, Buffered will also collect more information. As per the document:
“With the software and configuration files we provide we may collect information from you which may include but is not limited to your devices identifiers, including unique identifiers, operating system’s version, language, IP addresses, network information, user information on the operating system, routing tables, DNS server addresses, other filesystem information.”
The brand does state that the collected information:
“is only used for troubleshooting purposes.” In addition, the user “can opt out of this collection in the desktop client by disabling the ‘Report operational errors’ option in the “Settings” menu. When using third-party client software this information is not collected by us.”
Multiplatform compatibility: Buffered VPN is compatible with the most widely used platforms, devices, and operating systems, including desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux) and mobile (Android, iOS) options.
Unlimited bandwidth: While some other VPN brands may cap usage in the form of GB per month or day, there are no such limits with Buffered VPN. Customers can enjoy it with no download restrictions.
30-Day money-back guarantee: If the user is not satisfied with Buffered VPN service, he/she can ask for a refund and all parties will be happy.
Top-end encryption: Buffered VPN protects user content with the always reliable 256-bit encryption, so no external agents can spy on people’s traffic.
Knowledgeable customer support: Although there is no live chat window, Buffered VPN’s customer support staff is very attentive and there are loads of helpful articles available, about every VPN-related subject.
Torrenting allowance: Those that want to engage in P2P file-sharing activities are allowed to do so while using Buffered VPN, with no hassle or hidden clauses.
Five simultaneous devices allowed: You can connect up to five different devices at the same time under a Buffered VPN account, a perfect setting for a small home network, or to protect all you have from prying eyes.
Easy to use interface: As you have seen by now, Buffered VPN’s design and user interface are extremely friendly and straightforward. The app is perfect for beginners and standard VPN users.
Netflix-friendly: You can unblock the American Netflix region with ease, thanks to Buffered VPN, which is a feat that not every VPN brand can brag about.
Kill-switch: In the event of a VPN connection loss, it is best to have an automatic tool that disables your Internet so you don’t send and receive unencrypted data. Buffered VPN’s kill switch does just that.
There are several protocols to choose from with Buffered VPN, including OpenVPN. The other offered alternatives are IPSec, PPTP & L2TP.
OpenVPN is by far the most capable protocol out there. The encryption information is as follows: AES-256 for data encryption, SHA1 for keyed-hash message authentication code (HMAC) authentication, and RSA 2048 for a handshake. Blowfish (BF) 256 cipher and SHA1 secure the data channel.
Despite the notorious absence of a live chat feature, Buffered VPN manages to offer solutions to nearly all people’s problems and issues with the service, and in a timely manner, too. The times of response are usually quick on all channels.
For starters, there are several tutorials and support files about how to install Buffered VPN on several platforms and devices. There is also the required Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section in the website.
It has other useful links, such as We’re Here to Help, Support & Troubleshooting, Setup Tutorials, VPN Knowledgebase, What is a VPN? Internet Glossary, Online Privacy Guide, Online Scam Almanac, Privacy & Security Articles, a blog, and Contact Us.
There is also the option to contact the customer support department through a support ticket, which you will create in the website. After you provide your email address and your issue, the staff will shortly get back to you.
Imagine hiring a VPN service and spending several bucks per month (or even worse, on an annual basis, if that is the plan you chose) and finding out that you don’t like it, or you are not entirely satisfied.
Thankfully, Buffered VPN allows you to have the option to ask for your money back after a period of 30 days, which is more than enough time to test the features and offerings before making a decision about whether to keep using the service or not.
However, there is a slight catch: any refund will be only made if you haven’t surpassed 100 sessions (or 10 hours of sessions) or 10GB of bandwidth. So, keep close tabs on your usage before asking for your money back.
Speed and Performance
There is no denying that speed is one of the primary factors that people take into account when evaluating a VPN. No one wants to use one that will severely affect the ability to browse, stream, torrent, play games, or perform other activities online.
Overall, Buffered VPN speeds are a little uninspiring. Of course, the rates will depend on several variables, such as the user’s network connection, location, device, and more. However, our test doesn’t put Buffered in a privileged position when compared to other VPNs.
Connections to US and European servers (the two most widely used server locations) were underwhelming, with high ping and low download and upload speeds. Buffered VPN isn’t the slowest VPN out there by any means, but it could improve its rates.
One thing you can be sure about: when it comes to DNS leaks, there are none to speak of, so that should be one less worry on your mind.
Buffered VPN is compatible with the most common platforms and operating devices: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and even routers, although they need to be DD-WRT or Tomato-based.
In conclusion, Buffered VPN’s reputation is somewhat damaged by its price tag. While it is certainly expensive (at least in the monthly package; there are several enticing discounts for long-term plans), the brand’s encryption is reliable, the company is sincere about its logging policy, it is Netflix and torrent-friendly, and has servers in 42 nations.
However, if you are looking for high-end speeds or a true no-logging VPN, we recommend looking at another direction.