This time around I reviewed Buffered VPN to see how they did in terms of connection speed, customer service, and overall value.
- works on just about everything
- unlimited bandwidth
- fast customer service
- low monthly rates
- great connection speed
- no live support
- small network of servers
Overall Score: 78/100
Even though they don’t have a live support option, and their network is still relatively small, Buffered VPN is a growing company that puts their customers first, and offers a connection every bit fast enough to handle everything from downloading music to streaming videos online.
To get Buffered VPN – sign up here.
Our other recommend VPN is express. Read our full expressvpn review here.
These days it seems that for every app that makes our lives easier, there’s an added risk to our privacy. All of that convenience comes at a steep cost, and more often than not, we pay the price in the security of our own personal information.
So online banking, shopping, scheduling, communication – is it worth the risk? Who exactly can see what you do online? How secure are you really on public networks, and how easy is it to hack your connection?
I’m afraid the answers to these questions aren’t good. Though app developers are constantly working to stay a step ahead of the cyber-criminal community, the security measures in place to protect your personal information are constantly being tested, and honestly, your information is only as secure as the network you’re on.
It’s easy to let paranoia set in – stories about the NSA and internet censorship definitely make it tempting to go live in a cave somewhere and never touch a tablet again, but yea, there’s definitely an easier way to make sure you don’t get nabbed by credit card fraud or government surveillance.
VPNs offer an easy fix to the issues of online privacy and information security, providing you with an encrypted connection on any network, and making everything you do online impossible to trace back to you. They also have the added benefit of unblocking websites on restricted networks.
In this review, we’ll check out Buffered VPN, and see what kind of perks their particular service has to offer. I’ll explain what to look for in a VPN, and what all the technical mumbo jumbo really means. Let’s check out Buffered VPN.
Will Buffered VPN Work on My Operating System?
Before you get too crazy with the credit card numbers, you’ll want to see whether a VPN is going to be worth the money. The first question you need to ask yourself is, is it going to work on your devices?
Most VPNs allow you to connect one account to multiple devices, so make sure it works with everything you access the internet on. Buffered VPN is available on most major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS, so you can use it interchangeably on all of your devices.
Rating: 5/5 – Works on everything
What Kind of Features Does Buffered VPN Have?
These basic features are a few things you’ll want to take a look at before you commit to a VPN service plan. Make sure you get what you need for both a secure and fast connection, and protect yourself from getting ripped off.
Feature #1: Multiple Connections
This feature refers to the number of devices you can connect to your account with a VPN. Most people have at least a computer and a mobile device, whether it be a smartphone or tablet, so make sure your service plan covers enough devices, or you may be saddled with extra fees.
Buffered VPN includes five connections per account, so you can actually use one subscription on several devices at one, without paying additional fees.
Rating: 5/5 – Five connections per account
Feature #2: Money Back Guarantee
Since VPNs are completely online services, it’s nice to know whether or not you’re going to be able to get your money back if it doesn’t work out. Typically I look for at least a seven day money back guarantee when I sign up for a VPN, and that includes issues with customer service – not just technical problems.
Buffered VPN actually has a pretty impressive refund policy. With this company, you can get your money back within 30 days for any reason, whether it be a technical or service issue.
Rating: 5/5 – 30-day guarantee
Feature #3: Number of Servers
The number of servers a VPN has in their network can greatly impact the quality of your connection, so make sure the one you choose has at least 50 server locations. This makes it more likely that you’ll have a faster connection.
Buffered VPN offers a network of 34 servers, but surprisingly their small network doesn’t seem to adversely affect their connection quality. When I used this one, I had no issues getting a fast connection – it seems like they have more than enough servers for their current customer base, and their staff informs me they even have plans to expand in the future.
Rating: 4/5 – Small but effective network
Feature #4: Referral Program
This isn’t a really common feature, but it’s a nice one to have if you can find a VPN that has one. Some companies will actually reward customers with free or discounted service when they send new business their way.
Despite Buffered VPN offering just about every other feature in the book, they unfortunately don’t have a referral program, so if you want to score some freebies, you’re out of luck for the time being.
Rating: 0/5 – No referral program
Feature #5: Data Logging
Data logging is the practice of storing user’s browsing information, like your internet history, but it’s sometimes done by internet service providers, and in rare cases, VPN companies.
Buffered VPN is very clear on their site – there is absolutely no activity logging of any kind when you use their service. You can be as anonymous as you want, without ever having to worry about your activity being traced back to you.
Rating: 5/5 – Truly private browsing
Feature #6: Bandwidth
This category refers to the data transfer rate allowed by the VPN. If there’s a limit of any kind on your bandwidth, it means that some services may not run as fast as others. With all of their service plans, Buffered VPN includes completely unlimited bandwidth.
Rating: 5/5 – Unlimited bandwidth
How Secure Is It?
With a VPN you’re getting an encrypted connection, so make sure the one you choose is truly up to the task of protecting your data from hackers and government surveillance.
There are two basic strengths of encryption, 128 and 256 bit. The latter of the two is the strongest, and the standard for encryption that is used by the US military. Of course, the stronger the better, but it’s also nice if the VPN you choose allows you to determine the security protocol.
Encryption, while great for security purposes, can sometimes slow down your connection, leaving you without the speed you need for things like streaming Netflix or downloading music. Ask if you can adjust the security settings to optimize your connection.
Buffered VPN not only uses the most secure encryption standard around, but they also give you the option to choose the security protocol in their easy to use software dashboard. You can choose to optimize your connection for speed or security, while still compromising little of either.
Rating: 5/5 – Excellent security protocols
What’s the Set Up Process Like?
Setting up a VPN should always be as easy as downloading and installing a program. If you have to manually configure a connection, sorry buddy, you’re working too hard.
Most VPNs just have a simple download and install setup procedure, and many even include tutorials for specialized setup on gaming systems and home internet routers.
I installed Buffered VPN on my MacBook, and I was thrilled to see it was one of the good ones. Just go to the downloads section on your account dashboard on their site, and choose the program that’s compatible with your system. Once downloaded, run the installation, and you’re ready to roll.
Rating: 5/5 – Super easy setup
Is it Easy to Use?
Once you get a VPN installed, you’re ready to start protecting your connection and accessing blocked content. In theory, this should be as simple as logging in, choosing a server, and clicking ‘connect’.
With Buffered, it was exactly that simple. Their software dashboard is clean and to the point, with a drop down menu for security protocols, and of course server locations. Just choose one of each, hit connect, and in seconds you’re in business.
Rating: 5/5 – Great VPN for beginners
One thing that really irks me about some VPNs is that they require you to have two separate sets of login credentials for their software and accessing account details on their site – as if you don’t have enough to remember.
With Buffered VPN, the same information that you use to login to their site is used to login to their software, so it’s easy to remember your information. And of course, you can set your account to ‘remember me’ on privately used devices to speed the process up.
With primitive VPN programs, switching servers is a whole big thing. Seriously, it involves pulling codes out of compressed files, adding them to your connection settings – just no fun, and it takes like ten minutes to do.
I’m a fan of a nifty little drop down menu myself, and that’s how Buffered VPN is set up. If you want to try your luck on a different server, just disconnect, pick a new one from their menu, and reconnect. Boom, done, in about 10 seconds.
What If I Need Help?
Really great customer service is something that gets kind of lost with online services. A lot of times, people don’t even consider what will happen if they actually need to get in touch with someone, until they’re stuck without help over a holiday weekend.
The biggest thing in this category is definitely availability. If you can’t reach their customer service when you really need their help, you could be stuck waiting a while to get things back up and running again.
I contacted Buffered VPN to learn more about their customer support availability, and unfortunately at this time, they only have round the clock customer service for their email system. However, this company is always growing and expanding, and they do hope to implement a 24/7 live chat feature in the near future.
Rating: 5/5 – 24/7 Email support
This category refers to the ways you can get in touch with a customer service team. Generally most companies offer at least email support, which is great, but ideally you want there to be a live option, like chat or phone support too.
Buffered VPN offers a great email support system that’s fast and easy to use – I like that I can just shoot them a message right from their website. However, they don’t have any live support features at this time.
Rating: 2/5 – No live support
Customer Support Test
There’s really no way to know how effective a customer support team is going to be until you actually need some help. Luckily for you, I’ve been the guinea pig. I contacted Buffered VPN’s team twice – once during peak business hours, and again during typical “off” hours.
E-mail Support Test #1-Saturday/12:35 a.m.
I first contact Buffered VPN’s customer service late on a Saturday night. I was curious to see how fast they responded to customer service requests. They handles it well, getting back to me in under 7 hours, despite the weird time I emailed them. I got a real human being, and an answer to my question in native English.
Result: 6 hours 27 minutes
Rating: 4/5 – Professional and prompt
E-mail Support Test #2 – Sunday/3:19 p.m.
This time around I got a REALLY fast response from Buffered VPN – I had an email hit my inbox in under a minute. It was a real human being, with an excellent grasp of the English language, and they answered my questions succinctly and professionally.
Result: Under a minute
Rating: 5/5 – Super fast support during business hours
Given that Buffered VPN’s support hours are so limited; I wasn’t sure what to expect from their customer service. However, even over weekends and late at night, I got much faster responses than I was anticipating, and the help was always professional.
Overall Support Rating: 9/10 – Fast and professional support
How Fast is Buffered VPN?
VPNs tend to run just a bit slower than your standard internet connection. Encryption can slow things down a bit, so it’s really nice if you can take one for a test run before you sign up. I ran two speed tests here, one on Buffered VPN, and one with my standard internet connection.
Without Buffered VPN
With Buffered VPN
As you can see, Buffered VPN did run just a bit slower than my home network connection. Generally what we look for here is a download speed difference no greater than 2 mbps, and Buffered was just a bit over that.
When I used it, I didn’t find the connection felt much different in terms of speed than my standard one, but there was a notable difference in these speed test results.
Rating: 3.5/5 – Slightly slower connection
How Much Does Buffered VPN Cost?
The good news for shoppers is, there are so many VPN options out there that you really don’t have to look far to find a plan that’s within your budget. Even the best VPNs usually come in under $15 a month, and Buffered VPN was no exception.
Buffered VPN falls neatly into that category, and with a yearly plan that is just ludicrous in terms of savings. Forget $15 a month – you can spend less than $10 a month on their yearly plan, and still have access to the same number of connections and unlimited bandwidth.
Rating: 5/5 – Great deals on service plans
This section is just the icing on the cake – how professional and legit a company seems off the cuff. The internet is full of scams, so a business that presents themselves professionally is one that instantly climbs into the ranks in my eyes.
With Buffered VPN, the first thing I noticed was that everything on their site and in their communications was in perfect English – their staff obviously have an excellent grasp of the language, and I never once felt like I had any difficulty understanding them.
Their site is extremely transparent, with clear privacy and usage policies laid out. I also really like that these guys give clear, concise information on how their service works, so there’s no question about what you’re getting with them.
Rating: 20/20 – Professional and transparent
How Does Buffered VPN compare to the competition?
Okay, now that we’ve been through all those key features, let’s wrap things up here and see how Buffered VPN did in our review.
- works on most devices
- five connections per account
- 30-day money back guarantee
- unlimited bandwidth
- no data logging
- automatic setup
- easy to use
- top notch encryption
- 24/7 customer support
- fast customer service
- fast connection
- affordable plans
- professional, trustworthy company
- no referral program
- smaller network
- no live support
As you can see, there wasn’t much not to love with Buffered VPN. These guys always deliver a fast connection, even if it’s not completely up to par with your standard connection speed. I found that the difference was hardly noticeable, and of course, I was getting a much more secure connection.
Overall, you’re going to get great customer service, and support a company that’s turning out to be a reliable VPN that is fully customer oriented, with lots of growth and potential. There are a lot of VPN options out there, but Buffered VPN is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and is a great option for beginners.
To get Buffered VPN, sign up here: Buffered VPN