Buffered VPN was started by three friends (two of which are expats) in Budapest, Hungary.
From those humble beginnings though, Buffered VPN has already shot out of the gates to reach most major countries around the world, while racking up some positive reviews and sentiments from top media publications.
Let’s take a look at how Buffered grew so big, so quickly, and whether they can live up to the hype.
Buffered VPN Review (Summary)
|LOG FILES:||Some Logging|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat|
|EASE OF USE:||Average|
|PLATFORMS:||Win, Mac, Android, iOS|
Buffered VPN Quick Hits
Buffered VPN was originally started by three friends who weren’t happy with the VPN service in Hungary. So it makes sense that they have a strong European presence now, reaching many of the top capitals along the continent.
They currently reach 37 different countries worldwide in all, with representation in South America (Brazil), Asia (Singapore and Korea), Oceania (New Zealand), Africa (South Africa). There’s also a location in Turkey that straddles the border between Europe and the Middle East.
Buffered is available on all major devices and operating systems, including Windows, Apple, Linux, and Android.
They allow five simultaneous connections ‘out-of-the-box’, which is among the most across VPN providers we’ve reviewed so far. But you can also set it up with a router. So don’t make me spell it out for you… (set-up Buffered on your router and connect as many devices as you’d like with zero limitations).
They offer unlimited server switching and bandwidth, so you should never experience any performance throttling or lagging.
Want to test them out, but still a little hesitant?
Don’t worry. They offer a free 30-day money back guarantee. So if you were REALLY frugal, you can simply pony up a few bucks for the monthly plan, give them a spin for a full four weeks, and still get your money back in unsatisfied for any reason.
Available Protocols (OpenVPN)
MOST VPN providers will give you an array of available protocols to choose from.
Even though, MOST people, shouldn’t. They should just default to the OpenVPN protocol because it’s the most sophisticated, safe, and speedy one available for the majority of users.
Buffered VPN is not most companies. And that’s what we love about them.
Because they ONLY offer OpenVPN.
Which makes your job as a consumer easy. They’ve just removed all the complexity typically required.
The Layer-to-Tunnel Protocol (L2TP) was originally created in the late nineties to help work with VPN providers. So today it’s still used on older machines or those running outdated software that may not be compatible with newer standards.
It’s not even freaking secure!
Sure, it’ll create a tunneled connection. So it looks and seems like you’re safe. But your connection ain’t even encrypted.
Another industry stalwart, the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), was also originally developed in the nineties, however this time with Microsoft’s help.
If there are two words in the English language that should immediately place the fear of God in you, it’s the “nineties” and “Microsoft”. (Internet Explorer ring a bell?)
Wikipedia calls PPTP – and this is a direct quote so you die-hard Microsoft fans (those exist?!) don’t think I’m just picking on them – “obsolete”!
Because it’s been broken more times than a Tijuana… well, let’s just say A LOT (gotta keep this PG-rated).
So even though it’s technically, reportedly, “encrypted” (heavy on the air quotes), it’s literally only a matter of time before someone motivated enough has access to all of your data.
How long is it…?
I’m so glad you asked
Less than a day.
In other words, it takes just about the same amount of time for someone to break PPTP as it does for you to go back-and-forth over deciding whether to use a VPN or not (just sign up already).
PPTP hasn’t been safe, like, forever. Bruce Schneier, Chief Technology Officer at Resilient and Harvard Berkman Center fellow, broke it around fifteen+ years ago with a few other researchers.
And that’s a big problem considering many small and medium-sized business use it to protect their own (and their clients) sensitive data.
OpenVPN, however, is based on the same SSL certificate technology you use daily when connecting to Google, Facebook, or any other mega-website.
How big of a deal is that?
Google just recently said they will now start discouraging users when attempting to connect to an unsecured (or SSL-less) website.
OpenVPN’s provide a similarly encrypted connecting that won’t allow hackers, ‘sniffers’, or anyone else to pick up on what’s being transmitted back-and-forth.
It combines top-notch strength and security, with performance and fast browsing speeds.
All while using the most sophisticated encryption method on the planet.
A “dictionary attack” is named such because it starts with the letter, “A”.
From there, it cycles through the entire alphabet, one letter, and digit at a time.
When it reaches “Z”, it starts over. But this time, there’s two digits: “AA”.
This process is repeated ad nauseam. And lightening fast; powered by programs to work in fractions of a second. That way a hacker can gain access before you even know what hit you.
Modern encryption methods, just like ancient ones used back in the days of Greece, Rome, and SPARTA!, all come down to math at the end of the day.
Hackers and code crackers will use these trial-and-error ‘brute force’ methods to literally guess which combination of letters you’re using as a password. Add a few numbers to that and it gets harder. Add a few special characters and it again gets even tougher.
The reason is because you’ve just exponentially increased the number of combinations required.
The more combinations, the harder it is to crack.
For example, one of the reasons PPTP sucks (as a protocol) is because there’s a way you can get it down to a single 50-bit key that protects everything you hold near and dear.
‘Single’ and ‘50’ gives you a clue to how many combinations it’s going to take to eventually crack. And today? That only takes a few hours.
(That is unless the hacker didn’t just successfully guess your dog, Fluffy’s, name first.)
OpenVPN, on the other hand, will commonly run with a 256-bit encryption. It’s used by government agencies worldwide, top security professionals, and militaries to guard the most advanced secrets imaginable.
And that’s because it’s never been broken.
It’s virtually ‘hack-proof’ because the number of possible combinations someone would have to cycle through is immense.
We’re talking rounds and rounds of guesses required. Which makes hacking it successfully, based even on today’s incredibly powerful computers, virtually impossible.
Logging (Read Through)
One of the primary benefits of running a VPN in the first place is to provide private, anonymous internet activity.
That means you can browse different websites and download stuff without someone’s watchful (judge full) eye over you.
Problem is, many times you should be worried about the specific VPN you’re using. Because some will practice their own form of ‘logging’, which monitors and records all of your activity.
So they’re purposefully, or even inadvertently, creating a digital paper trail that can come back to haunt you one day. Especially when many VPN providers acknowledge that they’ll hand over your information to government agencies if (and when) requested.
Sometimes that just includes when a user logins or out. VPN providers will use this information to monitor their own network usage to improve performance.
But many ‘free’ VPN services are among the worst; recording nearly everything you do while browsing through their servers and selling that information to the highest bidder.
Thankfully, Buffered VPN takes a strong stance on this controversial topic.
They truthfully acknowledge that only the “duration of your connect” is tracked. But they never monitor what websites you’re looking at, page content, or download activity. So none of your online traffic is monitored or recorded anywhere at any time.
Customer Support (Live Chat)
Buffered VPN offers support through detailed articles that can probably answer most of your basic questions.
However, they also provide support through 24/7 live chat so you can speak to real humans and receive help ASAP for more complex issues.
We also like to take a look through a VPN provider’s social accounts to see how friendly, receptive, and helpful they are.
For example, some might simply try to blow you off and redirect you to their other support channels ASAP (without helping or aiding your situation at all).
We were pleased to find that Buffered’s social accounts can access basic customer support information and still provide insight to customers about the status of their account.
Plans & Pricing (Not Cheap, Not Expensive)
Some VPN providers will have different plan tiers that restrict access.
For example, some might have lower-level options that limit your access to different locations or even not provide additional security measures like firewalls that are freely available on their ‘premium’ plan option.
Thankfully, Buffered VPN doesn’t play those games. Each and every feature they offer is available on ALL plans.
The only thing that changes is the price, based on how long you’d like to sign-up for when getting started. So longer-term plans will receive pricing discounts from their ‘month-to-month’ plan (which you can cancel at any time).
- Billed $12.99/mo
- You save 0%
- Billed $99.00 every 12 months
- You save 36%
- Billed $59.94 every 6 months
- You save 23%
Buffered VPN Speed Test
Their VPN client window will also helpfully provide current speeds so you can quickly get a read on performance.
However, we also wanted to conduct an independent speed test using popular third-party tools just to make sure that what they were saying is legit.
Very good! Among the best we’ve seen.
- Ping: 168ms
- Download: 51.49mb
- Upload: 35.38mb
- Ping: 40ms
- Download: 46.78mb
- Upload: 46.65mb
Asia Server (Hong Kong)
- Ping: 224ms
- Download: 36.46mb
- Upload: 16.30mb
- Ping: 45ms
- Download: 56.63mb
- Upload: 39.19mb
P.S. Always take speed tests with a grain of salt as they rely on many different variables, such as: Your network connection, your location, your computer and so on. However, since we’ve tested 18+ VPN services so far, we have an average that available which we can compare.
And there you have it.
A complete rundown of what Buffered VPN has to offer.
Don’t forget that they have a ‘no questions asked’ money back guarantee for a full 30-days. So if you’d like to give it a try, we’ll walk you through how to set it up for the first time right here.
Buffered VPN Setup
Your very first step (after creating an account of course) is to log in to your Membership area.
Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be redirected to your new Dashboard area that contains all the basic info about your account.
Look over on the left-hand side of the screen in the sidebar for the Download option. Click it, and you’ll see all available apps they offer for different operating systems and mobile devices.
Go ahead and choose which device you will be installing your new VPN client on. The installation window will come up, so go through your normal installation process for whichever device you have.
This process should only take a minute or two.
When ready, launch the new VPN client and you’ll see a little window that looks something like this:
Now simply login with your username and password you created a few minutes ago and you should be ready to set-up your first encrypted connection.
Once logged in, select a country to connect to by scrolling through their list.
You can also choose larger regions (like US West Coast) that will self-correct and optimize based on the current performance of those servers.
Here’s what it should look like when connected:
Buffered VPN is well worth the investment.
They dedicate all of their available resources behind their best-in-class 256-bit OpenVPN encryption.
What they lack in extensive network options (only 37 available countries so far), they more than make up for with performance (posting some of the best speed times we’ve seen).
Their support team is friendly and helpful. Pricing is on par with the other big boys in the market. And the entire Setup process only takes a few seconds.
If you’re seriously considering getting a VPN, sign up for Buffered’s ‘monthly’ option today for about the cost of two lattes.
And rest assured that you’ll get the full 30-day window to test them out, or else you can get your money back instantly with no questions asked.
- Simple to install and easy to run
- Stable connection speed
- A bit slow when connecting to servers