Buffered Review

Pros

  • Speed: The internet speeds we observed during our tests are impressive. It is one of the fastest VPN services that we got a chance to review. However, it can be tough to find the fastest server when the user launches the client for the first time. There is no automatic selection option, and the user needs to choose the server manually.
  • Customer Support: They have a 24/7 customer support service, and they are quick to respond and provide clear and concise information. The customer service adds to the whole user experience and helps the user to get familiar with the product.

Cons

  • User Interface: The client does not provide the user a lot of options to choose from. The servers are not categorized in any way, and the user needs to select them manually. Other than the country name, the user gets no information about the server to which he/she is connected.
  • Fewer Protocols: Buffered VPN uses only OpenVPN protocol. The argument that it is a safer protocol, can’t be satisfactory. Why not have the option to choose from so many protocols available out there.

Website: Visit Official Site

Overview

Home Screen After Logging In!

Buffered VPN is based in Gibraltar-a British overseas territory, and they operate from Budapest. It is just the first sentence of the review, and things have already started looking a bit complicated. Gibraltar is a UK territory, and the English common laws are applicable there, but Gibraltar is a self-governing territory, and the Supreme Court of Gibraltar can override these laws.

Let us not forget that the UK is one of the 5-Eyes countries and we can’t be sure if this product can act as a buffer between the 5-Eyes intelligence network and the user’s privacy. The product itself is not very exciting, and there is a room for improvement in every aspect.

The interface is way too simple, split tunneling is missing, only one protocol is in use, they don’t tell the number of servers in the network, and a lot many issues presented themselves when we started reviewing this product.

However, there were some areas, such as speed and customer support, where the product managed to impress us, and we will be talking about them also in this review.

Servers

VPN Servers as Mentioned on the site

The number of servers typically shows strength of the product in many ways. Often they offer many servers because the company has many users, but it also mean a user may have many options to choose from!

At the time of reviewing this product, they have 37 server locations. They have not mentioned the actual or approximate number of servers on their website.

When we contacted them to know the number of servers in their network, they said it is classified information. We find this very strange as almost all the VPN service providers proudly showcase the number of servers they have in their network.

They said all the servers support P2P sharing and there are no specific servers for P2P or streaming.

There is no way to know the number of servers in a particular country and all that the user can do is select the country, and the client connects the user to the network.

There was no grouping of servers in any way whatsoever, and this is one of the most significant shortcomings of this product.

The user needs to connect to servers manually, and if he/she wants to connect to the fastest server available, then the trial and error method is going to consume some time for sure.

Streaming can be a big issue on such a platform. They said that user could connect to a server located in the country to bypass the geo-restrictions, but it was not sufficient for a lot of cases. At the time of review of this product, Buffered VPN provided access only to Netflix USA.

Bandwidth and Speed

They claim that they don’t cap the bandwidth available for the user in any way. The internet speed, on the other hand, is limited only by the kind of server in the connection or the physical distance of the user from the server.

However, they have not discussed anything about the capacity of the servers on the website, which makes us wonder what bandwidth will be available at the disposal of the user.

Instead of making claims of having ‘ultrafast’ servers, they should have mentioned if the servers are 1 Gbps servers or 10 Gbps ones. It seems they are deliberately not being specific about such information.

Privacy Policy

The provider claims of having a no logging policy and that no traffic data are stored by them. They maintain logs of the transactions which generally include name, address and email address of the user.

The provider also keeps a log of exchanges between the user and the provider, which can be emails or the chats with customer service executive. The user can see what data the VPN provider stores, on the official website of the company.

There is again some information stored when a person visits their website such as URL and other such information, which is generally used for analytics purpose.

However, they collect information about user’s IP address, operating system’s version, DNS server addresses, etc. which they say is for troubleshooting purpose only.

The user can opt to not give this information by turning it off from the ‘Settings’ menu.

The privacy policy of Buffered VPN seems reasonable and transparent. However, they could have thrown more light on their relations with third-parties and exchange of information with them.

Connection Time Analysis

Trial No.Time to establish a connection (in seconds)
Average Time Required
In Seconds
5.81
18.06
25.15
34.82
47.91
54.4
64.71
78.85
84.52
95.39
104.35

We give credit where it is due, and we appreciate the fact that Buffered VPN is staying true to its claims of being a fast VPN, even when it comes to connection time.

An average connection time of just 5.8 seconds is respectable, and we hardly faced any difficulties connecting to the network. It takes only a click and a few seconds to get the VPN protection on the client.

Speed Test

Buffered Speed Test Before and After

Finding the fastest server can be a bit irritating task on this client, but once the user gets connected to the optimum server, he/she can expect high-speed outputs.

We observed a decrease of only 3% in the original speed on a particular server for some time. We connected to a lot of servers on the network in our quest to find the fastest one and a lot of them yielded speeds close to 80% of the original speed.

We have no complaints whatsoever in this section, and Buffered VPN falls in the top tier when it comes to speed on the VPN network.

Security

Let us not get carried away with the speed test performance of the client. We should not forget that the primary purpose of VPNs is to keep the user’s information safe on the internet. A good VPN product is expected to be fast as well as secure.

The client employs AES 256-bit encryption to keep the user’s data safe. It is military grade encryption and reasonably safe.

When it comes to protocols, only OpenVPN protocol is available on the client. OpenVPN is one of the more secure protocols but having other protocols available in the armory would not have hurt anyone.

This VPN service supports only IPv4, so to protect the DNS from leaking the user needs to disable IPv6 on his/her device manually. There is no ‘DNS leak protection’ or ‘IPv6 leak protection switch on the client.

There is an internet kill switch which stops the traffic in case the VPN connection drops. Things are not very exciting in this section, and they need to make a lot of updates to qualify as ‘secure’ product.

New ways to bypass security are being devised every day, and a VPN provider should be one step ahead of such strides. Buffered VPN, on the other hand, seems to be living in the past when it comes to making their network secure.

User Interface and Experience

Various Sections of UI

Alright, let us cut to the chase, there is nothing for the user to experience here. We find the interface almost dull and boring.

There is nothing for the user to play around with. The home screen shows a list of server countries, and that is it. There seems to be no emphasis on the making the app user-friendly.

The versatility can’t be seen anywhere. The VPN provider should have provided a smart-connect or quick-connect button to save the user from the hassle of going looking for the best server for him/her.

In our review, we found out that they support Netflix US only. They should have added the website and other supported websites on one tab so that the user can access these streaming websites with just a click.

When connected to the network, it displays the upload and download speeds along with the current IP address.

The user can mark a country as a favorite. Now that can be helpful in instances where user has tendency to connect to particular location more often, but there is no way to know if the VPN will connect the user to the same server again on choosing the country. 

A ‘Recent’ tab is there to help the user connect to one of the server locations he/she was previously connected to.

The options menu showcases various tabs, and it is tough to say that all of them will help the user. In the ‘Settings’ tab, the user gets a few toggle switches.

There is an option to turn on/of the automatic port selection, a toggle for the Internet kill feature, auto start, and a few more.

There is an ‘Auto connect’ switch which gave us some hope, but it connects to the most recent server instead of the optimum or the fastest server.

A lot of things could have been done with the user interface, but it seems that the provider could not have cared any less.

Platforms and Devices

Available for 5 Platforms!

Buffered VPN supports Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers. Apart from these major platforms, there was no support for other platforms.

They also don’t have any browser extensions available at the time of review of this product.

When it comes to routers, the product supports only DD-WRT and tomato enabled routers. The other way is to get a VPN router on which the user can log-in using the Buffered account credentials and use it.

The product can be used on any number of devices, but we don’t consider it that big of a pro as the platform support is so limited.

The user can use up to five devices simultaneously.

The inclusion of more platforms can add to the overall appeal of the product. But, in the form it is, we don’t think it is sufficient enough to satisfy the needs of a modern-day consumer.

Customer Support

We are so glad that finally, there is something positive to say about this product.

They have got a 24/7 live chat support. The customer support team is quick to respond and very polite in general. We are pretty much satisfied with the performance of the customer support team.

However, they don’t have the answers to all the questions. We tried knowing the number of servers, and they said that it is classified information.

We asked for the list of data processors, and the customer service person had no information about it.

Either they need to provide more access to their customer support executives, or they should try to make this a better product so that they don’t have to dodge such simple questions.

Let us talk about the FAQ page now.

It was again a disappointment, but we were not surprised at all because this has been the case with the whole product. The page is full of vague and redundant information.

Some of the questions are good on the page but, the answers barely even scratch the surface. An FAQ page is supposed to be informative, but they have not even discussed the product and its features on the page.

It seems that the person writing the content of this page was oblivious of the fact that the page is supposed to portray a clear picture of the product.

Conclusion

We can’t even consider this a full-fledged VPN system in this state and form. The shortcomings are many, and it needs to go leaps and bounds to get into our good books.

They need to make it a lot more secure by incorporating IPv6, add DNS leak protection, get some more protocols, include more platforms, get browser extensions, sort the servers and we can go on and on.

The client gave us no reason whatsoever to recommend it to anyone. It appears more like an outdated VPN with some features.

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