First of all, we would like to mention the Windows clients for multiple reasons. First, because we conducted all our tests on them, and secondly – yes, there are two of them, at least for the moment. Buffered VPN is currently in the process of developing a new version of their client.
But first, in with the old. The Windows desktop client is of a more simpler design, but it gets the job done. There is a built-in download test, network check and several connection options to speak of. You can get on a VPN network on TCP, UDP and four different ports by default, all of which are interchangeable; they are available in every combination. Additionally, there is a port finder in the client, allowing you to add multiple new gateways to connect with. However, there is a problem with this old version: it does not seem to handle OpenVPN-based connections (the only kind available) too well. We encountered related connection errors during and at the moment of the start of data transfer as well. Our general experience was that countries with the most default bandwidth – like the Netherlands – ran the best on the legacy client. Still, because of these inconsistencies, we already advise you to download the beta software instead.
Speaking of which, in with the new! The beta client is much more stable than the – dare we say – outdated version. It is similarly well-equipped with features. Next to reliability, the main difference is the looks. It is less crowded and is much easier to navigate yourself.
We must also commend the official website for the same reason; simply by scrolling down on the main page, you are provided with most necessary info. Our only very minor dissatisfaction was that while you are logged in, you cannot view your payment options in advance on the pricing page, while you can if you are logged off. Considering that most companies go to lengths to hide such information from potential customers (thereby forcing them to create a PayPal account in the last minute, for example), you are still very well off.
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You can connect to over 28 different countries with Buffered VPN. Apparently all of them have one server available, except the United States, which hosts two. Sadly, it is not signaled whether or not you are automatically connected to a different server if there are multiple available for one country; you can only select the destination on the connection screen.
Speed tests were decent, though; despite using the most taxing type of encryption – OpenVPN – we got good results. Therefore, judging from the overall user experience, the only weak (but soon to be better) point is the client itself. Once the new beta version goes live, there should not be any problems that prevent you from a great VPN experience.
Currently, the only type of encryption available for Buffered VPN is OpenVPN. For some, this might be less favorable, since it reduces connection speeds. However, it is the safest by far, and as you can observe above, there is not much decline going on as far as the quickness of the VPN connection goes. Nevertheless, Buffered VPN’s zero logs policy is what’s most important here, so there is nothing to worry about with regards to privacy.
OS, Device Support
In terms of device support, Buffered VPN has sufficient selection. For desktop operating systems, you have the client for Windows 7, 8 and XP, while Windows XP and Vista are also supported. Linux is also part of the roster, along with Mac OS X. Mobile devices include Android and iOS, a standard pair. The rest are the following: pfSense, and for routers both Tomato and DD-WRT, which is very good. For Tomato, the software’s Shibby variant is similarly welcome at Buffered VPN. Overall, there is nothing too out of the ordinary here; we consider this an average device support in terms of numbers.
Buffered VPN is a bit more expensive than usual. There are three plans on sale, each providing the same, total experience. The other sad thing we had make amends with (our emotional health is just fine, thank you) is the complete lack of a free trial. This means that you must make a purchase to even try Buffered VPN out. Luckily, you have a full month of refund time. The base monthly package costs $12.99. Half a year is 23% off, with $9.99 per month ($59.94). Sadly, this is the standard price for monthly plans elsewhere. Buffered VPN’s best offer has a 36% discount attached to it, resulting in a monthly $8.25 ($99.00) price. A company comparable to these numbers is ExpressVPN, which is one of the best around. Buffered VPN does not hit that ceiling, so we think your spent money is a bit less efficient here.
Your payment options include PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
First and foremost, it is important to state that on the official website, there are two separate sections reserved for customer service. The “support” button takes you to the knowledgebase. It contains an extended FAQ that as a rare example also deals with more complicated problems and you can also find setup tutorials here, which contain some troubleshooting as well nevertheless. The “contact” button is what takes you to actual methods of writing to the company. The easiest way to do this is by filling out the form presented to you there, but social media is also a good opportunity to ask for help. Facebook is mostly reserved for news, but Buffered VPN’s Twitter page is often greeted with replies. As yet another possibility, you can also read the blog of the organization. Overall, we found the quality of customer service to be satisfactory.
Buffered VPN is a company that is not far away from becoming a big name. In theory, they have everything necessary to achieve this. The beta client is already promising, and perhaps most importantly; connection speeds hold up great, despite the strain OpenVPN puts on them via encryption. Their server network has all the essential locations and a large enough choice of other destinations for you to choose from, ensuring that you’ll always have a location with good speed. They don’t keep any logs, and their Hungarian roots and company headquarters in Gibraltar are good news since both of these don’t have such restrictive laws. Buffered’s support team is a good bunch of people who know their stuff, so you can count on them for getting help with any specifics you want to enquire about. You’re guaranteed to enjoy a positive VPN experience with Buffered VPN as the company is continuously growing its service.
- Great speeds
- New client
- Customer serivce
- 30-day refund
- A bit expensive
- No free trial