Buffered VPN Review – How Good is Good Enough?

Buffered VPN is a “new” service provider that’s currently sweeping the market. Reviews for this VPN range from good to bad, and it seems like the past year has been a year of updates for Buffered‘s tech team. Now that the VPN provider has settled down with the tweaks and changes, we thought it was time to test out Buffered VPN for ourselves and see if it’s worth the expensive price tag. Read on for The VPN Guru’s full and unbiased Buffered VPN review.


Buffered VPN Review - How Good is Good Enough?

Buffered VPN Review – How Good is Good Enough?

Buffered VPN – VPN Overview

Pros

  • Fast internet speeds
  • Transparent privacy statement
  • Unblock Netflix
  • User-friendly apps and website
  • Live Chat Support
  • 5 Simultaneous Device Connections
  • Firewall based killswitch

Cons

  • Expensive subscription
  • Only uses OpenVPN protocol
  • Headquartered in Hungary, operated in Gibralter
  • Some data logs
  • Limitations on Refund Policy

Pricing and Accounts

Buffered VPN offers 3 different pricing plans for the same service: A monthly plan, a bi-annual plan, and an annual plan.

Buffered VPN - Pricing Plan

The first thing you might notice is that the plan is expensive. It’s as expensive (a little more even) as ExpressVPN, which is considered the best VPN service provider out there. For a new VPN provider, the fees don’t really match what’s on offer. The plans are as follows:

  • Monthly: $12.99 /month.
  • Bi-Annually: $9.99 /month (Billed as $59.94 every 6 months)
  • Annually: $7.62/month (Billed as $99.00 every 12 months.)

The annual plan comes with a free month with every new subscription.

As for your account, you’d be able to use it with up to 5 simultaneous connections.

Payment Options

Buffered VPN has 3 standard payment options:

  • Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express)
  • PayPal
  • Bitcoin

Considering the versatility most top-tier providers have for their payment options, Buffered VPN doesn’t do much in this department. Other than Bitcoin, there are no anonymous methods of payments accepted by Buffered.

Servers and Locations

Buffered VPN doesn’t have a lot of servers compared to other VPN options.  The servers cover 46 countries, shown below:

Buffered VPN - Server List

As you can see, most of the servers are located in Europe, but there is decent coverage around the world. Perhaps, in the future, we can see a few more servers in South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Privacy and Security

Buffered VPN – Privacy

Buffered VPN is headquartered in Hungary, which means they fall under the EU’s data retention laws. They operate out of Gibralter, though, which is a British Overseas Territory. This could be a little problematic, as a court order can force Buffered to hand over any kept data on their users, and they do fall under UK jurisdiction. Buffered has been transparent enough to state that it shares aggregated data with advertisers and business partners, but if you read their privacy statement you’ll know that they give their users total control on what happens with the stored data.

The good thing is that Buffered doesn’t actually store its data in Gibralter or Hungary, they store it in the Netherlands.

To  remove consent on sharing your data, you should:

Go to App settings on your Buffered App > General Settings > Contribute to app development > toggle off “Report Operational Errors”.

Buffered VPN – Security

One thing I will hand Buffered is their commitment to security. They use 256-bit Blowfish encryption, which has yet to be broken, to encrypt all of your data. As for their VPN protocols, Buffered VPN only offers an OpenVPN option.

This isn’t bad if you’re only considering security, as OpenVPN is the standard protocol that should be used by all VPNs.

VPN Apps

Buffered offers the standard VPN apps for:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android
  • iOS

Because Buffered uses OpenVPN exclusively, it’s configurability on devices that don’t have native VPN apps is easy. Buffered even offers a list of handy guides to help you set up your VPN on:

  • pfSense
  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Fire TV/ Fire TV Stick
  • Kindle Fire
  • Tomato-Enabled Routers
  • DD-WRT Routers
  • Linux

Speed and Support

Speed

Depending on your internet connection, Buffered VPN actually has very good internet speeds. In fact, Buffered constantly optimizes their servers to provide the highest speeds possible for a VPN. Since their servers are constantly used for P2P sharing and torrenting, speed and server reliability are a high priority for Buffered.

Support

Buffered VPN took their time building up a customer support team they can be proud of. When they first started out, they offered a wide range of tutorials, guides, and informative blogs to help out their user base. Now, Buffered has a live chat option.

I tested out their live chat and was pleasantly surprised. Not only was it clear that I was talking to a real person, I was happy to see that the chat agents (I tried it out more than once) knew Buffered’s policies very well. I asked a variety of questions related to the way Buffered works and the laws/policies it follows, all of which were answered promptly and in a very helpful manner.

Refund Policy

Buffered have a 30-day refund policy, which I feel should be a requirement for all VPNs. However, unlike some of its competitors, the refund policy is not “no questions asked”.

There are a few requirements you have to meet before being eligible for their refund:

  • The request for a refund should be done within the first 30 days of your subscription.
  • You shouldn’t have exceeded 100 sessions using Buffered
  • If you’ve used Buffered for more than 10 hours, you’re not eligible for the refund.
  • You shouldn’t have exceeded 10 GB of bandwidth using Buffered
  • You haven’t breached their ToS or Privacy Statement

Another contingency that you should be aware of, and this one’s for iOS users only: If you get the Buffered subscription through their iOS app, you are not eligible for Buffered’s refund policy. You are, however, eligible for Apple’s 14-day refund policy.

Extra Features

I wouldn’t exactly call Buffered VPN a feature’s heavy provider, but it does have some nice additions here and there:

  • A Firewall Killswitch
  • A built-in Speed Test
  • Unblock Netflix (for now)
  • Port Discovery

The kill switch is a feature that should be included in all VPNs, but sadly, isn’t. This makes sure that if your connection drops, your data is still secure. The built-in speed test is an unusual yet handy tool that lets you test out the speeds of your chosen server. Port discovery scans WiFi connections for open ports, allowing you to use public WiFi in hotels, airports, and restaurants without having to ask for the password.

As for Buffered’s ability to unblock Netflix, that depends on the server you connect to and on whether or not Netflix caught on to Buffered’s IPs or not. The newer the VPN is, usually, the more likely it can unblock Netflix at the beginning. Time will tell if Buffered VPN will continue to provide this service.

Buffered VPN – The Verdict

Buffered VPN is an expensive VPN, considering it doesn’t offer the users as much as the other VPNs within that price range do. When comparing it to another expensive provider, ExpressVPN, Buffered falls short on the features it offers, the servers it has, the data it collects, and its refund policy. Had Buffered been a little cheaper, I would have suggested trying it out. However, even though it’s a good VPN overall, the price really isn’t worth it.

That being said, if the price is no concern to you, Buffered VPN isn’t that bad. It does a solid job of keeping your traffic secure and private and does a good job with granting you access to geo-blocked content. In case you aren’t all that convinced with what this VPN provider has to offer, check out our top Buffered VPN alternatives.

Buffered VPN
  • VPN Apps
  • Support
  • Speed
  • Server Location
  • Security & Privacy

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