Here are some of my latest notes on VPN providers:
Buffered VPN: A Fast Network But Needs To Mature
Buffered VPN is a new VPN company based in Hungary. Their claim to fame is a very fast network with servers in 31 countries. After testing this VPN, I found that it is indeed one of the faster VPN providers (comparable to ExpressVPN or IPVanish). Buffered also has a nice set of desktop apps, but no mobile apps currently available.
One big issue with this provider is a disingenuous claim that “All Plans are covered by a no-questions-asked 100% Money-Back Guarantee for your first 30 days of service.” However, upon reading the fine print in their FAQ or Terms of Service, you’ll find that “if your usage exceeds 100 sessions, 10 GB of bandwidth or 10 hours of sessions during this period, you are not eligible for a refund.” I’d suggest that Buffered be upfront about this information, especially if they are going to call it a “no questions asked” policy.
This provider does keep some limited logs for 30 days.
Buffered VPN accepts Paypal and credit cards for payment, but not does accept Bitcoin or other international payment methods.
NordVPN: Privacy in Panama
NordVPN is a reliable privacy-focused VPN based out of Panama. Being in Panama, they are not required to retain customer records, and they not part of the “14 eyes” group (i.e. countries that spy and share notes on their citizens). NordVPN has 550 servers in 48 different countries, and allows six simultaneous connections.
NordVPN offers a 30 day money-back guarantee. Additionally, a 3 day trial is available if you request it via email or live chat. They have excellent installation instructions overall, although they could be better for Linux. Performance is generally good, but it can be slow on certain servers.
Privacy features include anti-DNS leaking, Tor over VPN, “double encryption” and auto-shutdown of your Internet connection if the VPN connection breaks.
NordVPN accepts Bitcoin, Credit Cards, Paypal and other payment methods provided by Paymentwall. Note: Bitcoin subscribers cannot receive refunds.
See also our full review of NordVPN.
AirVPN: A VPN Run By Anti-Censorship Activists
AirVPN is a provider based in Italy (which is a “14 eyes” country). Created by activists, AirVPN is focused on providing VPN services for people in censored countries. The company says: “When we built our infrastructure we had in mind access from people who live in freedom of expression extremely hostile areas, where identity disclosure can lead to critical threats to physical safety and to personal freedom.” As you might expect, AirVPN spends a lot of effort making their service as anonymous as possible. They keep minimal logs, and there’s no traffic limit.
You’ll need to be somewhat technical in order to make use of some of the more advanced features of AirVPN. If you are a novice you might find the customer support a bit lacking. However, they do provide good information in their forums, which are quite active.