StrongVPN is very easy to use, and the speeds are reliable and good enough for most users. If you are new to VPNs then StrongVPN is a good choice.
StrongVPN is a versatile service that’s very user friendly, even for beginners. It bypasses China’s Great Firewall, unblocks a handful of popular streaming services, and offers the security and privacy necessary to torrent with peace of mind.
It’s not a top performer in most categories, but it’s a solid all-rounder for the price.
StrongVPN is also one of the only VPNs to support the Wireguard protocol. Every subscription comes with SugarSync, a cloud backup service.
By the end of this review, you would have learned why StrongVPN is one of the best VPN services in terms of, pricing, unblocks, devices it can be used on, features, speed and performance, privacy and security, encryption, etc.
I have laid out this review in a simple, concise and easy to understand format that even a 10-year old can follow along. I will be discussing StrongVPN under the following sub-headings.
- About StrongVPN (Overview)
- Compatible Devices
- Features of StrongVPN
- Speed and Performance
- Price (Free or Paid version)
- Privacy and Security
- Pros and Cons
1.About StrongVPN (Overview)
StrongVPN is one of the most popular VPN services around, especially in the United States, where it is based. It’s huge and has a giant customer base, largely due to its great reliability.
However, we can’t help but wonder, considering some of the drawbacks of StrongVPN, whether the ever-increasing number of customers has more to do with the fact they’re a big brand than with their actual qualities.
Keep reading our objective StrongVPN review to learn more about their service.
Nowadays it is one of the oldest providers and has even created a DNS service, too, fittingly named StrongDNS.
Its network offers up a good number of locations with hundreds of servers to connect to, but their business is mostly centered around providing VPN access to restricted content that is only available in the USA, which explains why there are almost as many servers in America as in the rest of the world.
Nonetheless, the name of the company wasn’t an arbitrary choice as it focuses on providing strong, high-quality VPN connections.
To achieve this it has several security features including top notch encryption, a kill switch, several VPN protocols and much more, all packed and nicely arranged in a user-friendly client.
2. Compatible Devices
StrongVPN has great device support that keeps up with the newest OS releases and still pays attention to less popular options.
Windows versions 10 through to XP and Microsoft Surface/Windows RT are all supported, while Apple fans can install StrongVPN on macOS and iOS mobile devices.
In addition, Android phones and tablets aren’t forgotten, nor is Windows Phone and other operating systems like Chromium OS/Google Chrome OS, Ubuntu Linux, Kodi and much more.
The maximum number of connections under the same account is five but users can extend this number by configuring the VPN on DD-WRT, Tomato, Sabai and other routers.
It should be noted that while more popular platforms like Windows, Android, macOS, Linux and iOS come with their own respective native clients or apps, the rest usually require manual setup.
StrongVPN provides many extensive guides for different setups, that are even divided based on the desired safety protocol.
3. Features of StrongVPN
StrongVPN has 950 PTPP servers in 47 cities in 30PLUS countries. As far as the coverage goes, this is pretty good.
There are certain providers with better geographical coverage but Strong VPN’s network seems large enough to maintain good speeds and service levels.
Customers have a choice between OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPsec and SSTP protocols, with encryption up to 2048-bit. PPTP addresses are dynamic and OpenVPN addresses are static.
StrongVPN is supported on all major platforms and operating systems, from Windows and Windows Mobile to Mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux, Symbian, Chromium OS, Bada and a number of routers.
You can also get a pre-configured, flashed router in which case all your devices will be covered with one subscription. As for the client, as we already mentioned, there is custom software for Windows and Mac, and other platforms can use a generic OpenVPN client, which, however, needs to be configured.
StrongVPN does not put any kind of limitation on your bandwidth, which is today pretty much the standard in the VPN business.
The same goes for unlimited server switching you can change servers as much as you like free of charge.
The company does not monitor or log your traffic, meaning the information on the websites you visit, the files you download or upload and your general activity records remain absolutely private.
They do collect account information but this is nothing unusual for a VPN provider (you will have to provide your name, email address, and billing information).
However, bear in mind that StrongVPN accepts Bitcoin, which means you have the option to stay as anonymous as possible.
As for the customer support, it is offered through live chat and e-mail support 24/7 all year around.
StrongVPN provides a 100% money back guarantee, which means you can get your money back if you are unhappy with their service.
Unfortunately, this guarantee is only good for a 5-day period, which is considerably shorter than what most other VPN providers offer their potential clients.
Still, five days is a decent enough period to test out their services and determine whether StrongVPN is the right choice for you.
4. Speed and Performance
When you stay close to home, StrongVPN is one of the fastest VPN providers around. Mediocre performance internationally means your mileage will vary, though.
|Location:||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|Unprotected (St. Louis)||8||175.49||10.66|
|Tel Aviv, Israel||175||24.41||2.31|
It’s clear that some locations are better optimized than others, which is never a good thing when there are so many choices for tunneling.
Surprisingly, StrongVPN’s recommended server was the best performer out of the locations we sampled.
In most cases, the recommended server comes close, but there are faster options. Though the initial jump in latency is high, the download speed stayed close to our unprotected score.
The odd man out is the server in Tel Aviv, Israel, which annihilated our speed. During testing, we expected the server in Hong Kong to perform similarly there’s often a gradient in speed so we were surprised when it didn’t.
Hong Kong’s strong performance is a testament to that location, but not to StrongVPN’s network.
Inconsistency is the key here. Mixing good and bad performance is never a good thing. It translates to frustrating moments when trying to nail down a server.
5. Price (Free or Paid version)
There are only two options and on the one hand this couldn’t be any more straightforward, but on the other hand the lack of an intermediary plan restricts potential customers that might not want either a month-to-month or annual subscription.
The monthly option costs $10, which is rather pricey even if it does come without any restrictions on the service.
Therefore the only other option is billed at $69.99 every year, which represents a much happier cost of $5.83 per month.
This is a more competitive price, not only because it represents a 42% saving but also because it is in line with the charges from many competitors.
But yet again, it’s too bad that customers have to decide whether to opt for purchasing an overpriced monthly program or become stuck with a subscription they may not need or want for a whole year.
A semiannual or even quarterly plan would be the perfect way to fill this gap, though StrongVPN at least offers a coupon that makes both plans 20% cheaper.
All purchases include a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is frustratingly the only way of trialing the StrongVPN service.
Customers will still have to pay in advance but an entire month of risk-free testing should be enough to figure out if this is the VPN service that suits their needs. Payment methods include major credit cards and alternative methods such as PayPal, Bitcoin, and Alipay.
6. Privacy and Security
While StrongVPN might not have lived up to its name when it comes to its VPN connections, this is a different story for privacy protection.
First of all, there are four types of encryption available, with AES-256-CBC being the strongest and most popular one.
All major protocols are available, too, from the unsafe PPTP to the slower but safer IKEv2, though the standard protocol OpenVPN is also available on TCP or UDP.
This third option also presents users with different ports to choose from and it’s also possible to enable the scramble feature to obfuscate traffic and bypass network sensors that can detect VPNs.
Moreover, StrongVPN is a tier 1 VPN provider, which means it owns and operates all of its servers, so when it says it is not recording or storing “web traffic data, including websites visited and files downloaded” then it can be trusted.
It does, however, log connection timestamps and the duration of a VPN session, along with the amount of bandwidth used.
7. Pros and Cons
- Simple, easy to use client and apps
- Worldwide VPN network
- Good speeds
- Protocol choice and other editable features
- Good customer service
- DNS leaks
- Only monthly and annual plans
The experience that the company has gained over the years has taught them that providing extensive security features and letting people alter their settings to customize each connection with different protocols is the best choice to ensure the software suits every kind of user.
However, it’s disappointing that the same provider that cares so much about VPN protocols, encryption levels and other important security features suffers so badly from DNS leaks.
And this only made worse when considering the good speeds that it offers as it’s a pity that many users may not even experience them since they will be immediately put off by the provider’s unsecure connections.
The absence of a free trial is noticeable, too, but that’s not nearly as unfortunate as lacking an intermediary plan between its overpriced monthly option and another more reasonably priced plan that requires a contract for an entire year.
The offer of a coupon to reduce the cost of either of its plans rectifies this problem and helps to make StrongVPN more worthy of attention.
This brings us to the end. Hope I left nothing out?
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