Features and Pricing Summary:
Network: Servers in 28 countries
Software: Windows, Mac, Linux
Refund Policy: 30 day guarantee
Retail Price: $12.99 a month
Discount Price: 36% off
Welcome to our review of the Buffered VPN service. This provider is a relatively new player to the market, but the client and the website seem very polished and well put together. We will put this service through it’s paces and go over the features, but in the meantime, we will talk about pricing.
Pricing and Discounts
Buffered’s pricing plan is straight forward, and they offer three different plans. For a month of service, their price is $12.99. The next plan is $59.94 for six months, which brings the price down to $9.99 a month. Finally, the best savings is for a year of service at $99.00, so their monthly price drops to $8.25.
The service accepts the standard methods of payment, including some of our favorites. For credit cards, they accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. Additionally, they accept payments from PayPal. The last one is great if you want another way to manage your subscription. Also, Buffered offers their new members a very generous 30 day money back guarantee.
When deciding on VPN providers, often times the features may come in to play. Buffered offers some good benefits, but most are fairly standard. That said, many will not use advanced features anyway. To access these features, go to the bottom of the console and look for connection options. The first feature to talk about is their TCP/UDP switch, as shown by the red arrow. If you have an unstable connection, you can switch to OpenVPN (TCP). Whereas UDP will always be faster, there is no guarantee the information will get to it’s destination. With OpenVPN (TCP), the data will verify that it is getting to it’s intended location, but that is at the cost of speed. Another good feature is their ability to change the port you use. That is just perfect if you have some of your ports blocked. The last one is the firewall test, which is where the blue arrow points. That test will tell you what ports are open. Of course, there are a few other features like auto login, and auto connect to the last used location, but those are pretty standard. There may be some that we have missed, but that should give you a nice overview of the choices available to you. We have found that most people do not alter settings much.
Buffered has a fair number of servers you may connect to. In the image below, you see the 28 different countries that they offer servers in.
As you can see, Buffered has servers in countries you would expect, and even some that you would not. Plus, they offer servers on the east and west coast of the US. You may not need access to that many servers, but having the option is nice.
If you are interested in streaming live content or downloading things quickly, speed can be a factor in your VPN decision. Naturally, you can expect some speed loss because of the encryption used. Up to a 25% speed loss is considered normal and acceptable when running speed tests. In the one that we ran below, you can see the differences in speed and ping rate (delay).
As you can see, we came up with a very minimal 7% reduction in speed. That is well within the acceptable range. Though we are not showing them here, other speed tests we have run have produced good results.
Security and Privacy
Buffered makes it’s privacy and security easy to follow. They only support OpenVPN encrypted by using 128-bit Blowfish. The AES method of encryption is more popular, but Blowfish offers more key possibilities. In other words, both are considered to be an acceptable means of encryption. Buffered has a no log policy for individual activities on the network.
Buffered offers several methods for support. Those are through their knowledge base, emails, and tutorials/setup guides. According to the website, email is available 24/7, but it is unknown what the turn around time is for answering questions.
When you choose a provider, you want to make sure that your favorite device is supported. Buffered offers specific clients for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Additionally, there are setup guides for various routers, Android, and iOS operating systems. If you have further questions, the support team will be happy to assist you.
Sign Up Process
Obtaining security should not be hard, and Buffered makes it easy to sign up for their service. After selecting a plan, simply enter the user name, email, and password as you see in the image below.
Now, just select the method of payment that you wish to use and you are ready to start. We are glad to see that they need very little information to get started. Some providers ask for more information, and some ask for less. Of course, you may need to enter more information based on what payment method you choose.
How to Use Buffered for Desktop
Buffered’s client is straight forward, and relatively easy to use. Gone are the days when security had to be complex. In the images below, we will show you how easy it is to get started and protect your privacy. Here, we are using the Windows client, but the Mac client should be fairly similar. After downloading and installing the software, launch the client.
- Enter in your user name and password, then click the next button.
- Choose one of the 28 countries in the list you see here. Again, you may change some of the settings by going to connection options at the bottom or the other options as we showed earlier.
- Click the server you chose.
- Enjoy the benefits of using a VPN for whatever goals you have in mind.
That is all there is to it. If you are using a Mac, you can expect a similar experience. They also offer an older version of the client for Linux users. If you run in to issues during the setup process, Buffered’s support channels will be helpful to you.
How to Use Buffered for Mobile
Typically, we like to see mobile software for Android, iOS, or both. Unfortunately, Buffered only offers setup guides for these mobile devices. The setup guides are very thorough, and are located in their tutorial section. Just as before, if you have problems with setting up your mobile device using Buffered, the support team will be glad to help.
Favorite features of Buffered:
- 30 day money back guarantee
- No logs policy
- Easy to use client
- Servers in 28 countries
- Good speeds
Thoughts to make Buffered better:
- Add mobile clients
- Add more support channels
- Continue to expand the network
In conclusion, Buffered is a solid service that offers good speeds consistently. The only things we could think of adding, are mobile clients and more support channels. In comparison to other providers, their pricing is competitive, especially if you get a year of service. We love their straight forward client, and their very generous 30 day money back guarantee that they offer to new members. That will give you more than enough time to test their service.