In the vast sea of VPN providers, Buffered VPN stands out as a pleasant surprise with its high speed performance and its intuitive design.
The subscription is a bit pricey, especially if you choose the monthly plan; still, the majority of users agree that Buffered VPN offers top notch service.
Buffered VPN is a company based in two locations—Gibraltar (Buffer LIMITED) and Hungary (Buffer Kft.). Being stationed in Gibraltar is quite convenient, because it frees the company from any data retention laws. The company is also out of the focus of the Five Eyes agreement, which is also something users appreciate very much.
Now, as you may know, the more servers a company has, the speed is higher, which means—better user experience. However, Buffered VPN only has 44 server locations worldwide; how is it then possible that people seem quite happy with its speed? Let’s find out!
As mentioned, Buffered VPN has 44 server locations around the globe including the United States, Sweden, Australia, Iceland, India, Netherlands, South Africa, Canada, Turkey, and other nations. The list is not too impressive, especially in comparison to other VPN providers. (For example, IPVanish has their servers in 60 different countries.)
However, the servers are strategically spread across all continents, which means that people around the world can use VPN services to access geo-restricted content online.
Buffered VPN also allows P2P sharing, enabling users to download files via torrent.
In order to download and install Buffered VPN for Windows, first, you will have to select your subscription plan, enter your credentials and select your payment method.
To download the app on your iPhone, all you have to do is go to the App Store, enter Buffered VPN in the search bar and download the app. You can use the service eight hours for free every month.
In this section, you can add a server to your favorites list and rate the connection.
At this point, even if you had any doubts, the speed may pleasantly surprise you. In the Tools section, you can test the bandwidth, and at the bottom of the screen, you can disconnect from the server.
If you go back to the home screen and click on the three parallel lines at the top right (otherwise known as Options), you’ll see there are nine options to choose from (About, Refer a Friend, Account, Notifications, Test Firewall, Settings, Privacy Statement, Contact Us, and Logout).
By using the Refer a Friend option, you can earn 30 days of premium membership for you and for the person who has signed up with the link you shared with them. Simply copy the referral link and send it directly to your friends, or share it on Facebook or Twitter.
In the Account section, you can find some basic information regarding your username, the date you joined and the subscription plan you’ve chosen.
You can also check your notifications…
…or perform the firewall test.
The Settings section is a bit more detailed—here, you can enable or disable automatic port selection, and turn on/off auto login and auto connect. If your app shows some errors or bugs, you can report it to the development team.
By clicking the Contact us button, you’ll be redirected to the company’s website.
At the bottom of the screen, you can find a logout button.
Our overall impression is that the Buffered VPN interface is simple yet well-designed, which makes the app intuitive and easy to use.
Probably one of the most important features of a VPN service is encryption. Buffered VPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, granting you safety and privacy while surfing the internet.
Not surprisingly, the same protocol is used by the National Security Agency and other government agencies. The company uses 256-bit encryption.
Also, the service does not keep usage logs; although, it does record connection logs such as your IP address, connection time and the duration of the connection.
A good thing to know is that after 30 days, all of this data will be deleted.
The company claims that all user data is stored in the Netherlands, but it is legally protected by Gibraltar.
Auto connect is a great feature if you want to save time and avoid the entire connecting procedure whenever you want to use the app.
By enabling this option, the app will always reconnect to the last server you’ve used.
The kill switch option is designed to keep you protected by disconnecting you from the internet when you suddenly lose connection to the server. Keep in mind that the mobile version of the app does not have this feature.
Another feature available only for the desktop version of Buffered VPN is port discovery. It allows you to connect to the password-protected Wi-Fi without knowing the password. To use this feature, you have to go to the Settings/Test Firewall panel.
The mobile version of Buffered VPN works well on the iPhone operating system. We were able to use all apps without any significant issues; and even though the service operates in the background, it doesn’t affect the performance. In fact, it is considered one of the fastest VPNs on the market, and even ideal for HD streaming.
Buffered VPN is especially proud of its customer service, which is available 24/7 via live chat. They also use a ticket-submission system and are very responsive. If you decide to send them an email, the team will reply within a couple of minutes.
Therefore, if you experience any issues regarding the service or the app itself, customer service is available around the clock and, according to users’ reports, they’re actually quite competent and helpful.
The process of installing the Buffered VPN app for iOS devices is quite simple and straightforward. All you have to do is go to the App Store and type Buffered VPN into the search bar. Simply click on the app and it will start downloading to your device.
Once the process is completed, sign up by entering your username, email address and password.
If you already have an account, you can log in with your old credentials.
If you opt for the desktop version of the app, however, you will have to go to the company’s website, click the Get Buffered button and fill the form.
Only after this you will be allowed to download the app.
Buffered VPN is compatible with the following devices:
The app can be installed on as many devices as you need, but it can be used on only five devices simultaneously.
The company offers three subscription plans—monthly, annual and bi-annual.
The cheapest option is to sign up for the annual plan, at $7.62 per month. The monthly cost for the bi-annual plan is $9.99, while the monthly plan will cost you $12.99. Also, within the annual plan, you will get one extra month for free, which might be appealing to you.
You can pay via PayPal, Visa, Discover, American Express, MasterCard and Diners Club, plus there’s also an option to pay in Bitcoins, which users find especially convenient.
The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not pleased with the service.
The majority of Buffered VPN users are quite pleased with the service. However, the question remains—is it worth the money?
According to users’ reviews, these are some of the biggest flaws of Buffered VPN: Some clients have reported certain issues when trying to create an account. A number of issues are also recorded when users tried to use the app with BBC’s iPlayer.
Another frequent user complaint until recently was the absence of a live chat feature. But, this problem has been resolved in the meantime.
What are the Alternatives
If you are not pleased with Buffered VPN for whatever reason, consider some of the following alternatives:
Most of these listed VPN services provide more server locations than Buffered VPN (Private VPN operates on 1,200 servers worldwide), some have better payment plans and some have different features.
It all depends on your priorities, needs and preferences.
Pros and Cons
|Responsive customer support||Mobile versions do not have a kill switch|
|Kill switch||The price might be too high|
|Unlimited server switch||The company saves connection logs for 30 days|
|Simple user interface|
|30-day money-back guarantee|
|Port scanning feature|
|Unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer|
|Allows P2P file sharing|
The Bottom Line
The overall conclusion about Buffered VPN is that it’s a solid VPN service offering all the features you need to browse the web safely and privately, including kill switch, port scanning and auto connect.
However, certain features such as the kill switch are only available for desktop users. So, again, it depends on your preferences and what you intend to use the VPN for.