StrongVPN Review

StrongVPN claims to be the best VPN service for secure connections. It has a global network of 650 plus servers in over 20 different countries. The servers offer unlimited bandwidth with over 59,500 IP addresses (dedicated and shared). StrongVPN supports a simultaneous connection of up to 5 devices. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome OS, Amazon TV, and routers.

StrongVPN Review 2018

Introduction

Internet freedom is slowly being taken away by the government and regimes across the globe. This has led to censorship and even content companies imposing geo-restrictions on their content. This has made it hard for individuals to access social media, information sites and a lot of basic internet functionalities. To avoid this, you need a VPN.

Why StrongVPN?

As its name suggests, StrongVPN aims to keep everything strong especially privacy and security. By taking care of these two important entities, StrongVPN  helps you navigate the entire internet by letting you bypass restrictions and gain access to millions of contents. In a nutshell, StrongVPN will help you reclaim your online freedom without too much hassle.

Pricing and Plans

Unlike most VPNs, StrongVPN offers its service in 2 pricing plans which provide the same VPN experience with a 30-day money-back guarantee on each. StrongVPN also offers various ways in which payment can be made. They include: PayPal, Alipay and all major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. It’s sad that StrongVPN is no longer supporting anonymous payment methods such as cryptocurrency. Luckily, there are still some VPN providers that support cryptocurrency payments (e.g. NordVPN). Below are the Strong VPN pricing plans:

1-month Plan

  • $10.00 billed monthly.

12-months Plan

  • $5.83/month, $69.99 billed every 12 months.
  • This is the most economical plan, and it saves you 42%.

StrongVPN Features

Security and privacy

StrongVPN offers strong levels of security and privacy. Below are the details:

  • OpenVPN encryption – StrongVPN uses one of the best encryption algorithms and protocols available in the industry: the OpenVPN which uses the Advanced Encryption Standard cipher with a 256-bit key space. This encryption algorithm is unbreakable. StrongVPN also uses other protocols too although they are not as strong as OpenVPN, but they offer great speeds with the exception of IKEv2. OpenVPN ensures strong security, reliability, and faster speeds. Coupling it with the obfuscation feature that scrambles your encrypted traffic and makes it look normal to VPN watchdogs, StrongVPN bypasses lots of restrictions and censorships across the world.
  • Private DNS and DNS leak protection– StrongVPN manages its DNS which is strong enough to unblock geo-restrictedcontent. It also offers DNS leak protection on its servers hence no worry of privacy risks.
  • Zero logs– Besides strong encryptions that ensure you are always protected, StrongVPN does not keep logs or track any activities that you do on the internet.
  • Kill switch– StrongVPN has a kill switch, and when it’s in use, it will block all internet traffic from leaving your device when the VPN connection drops. This ensures that your privacy is intact as no connection leaks are available to prying eyes.

Other features

  • Best Available Location option.
  • Dynamic and shared IP.
  • P2P services.

Speed

StrongVPN owns, manages and optimizes its network of servers to deliver faster speeds while browsing securely. This means you avoid throttling and get speeds suitable for streaming and general surfing.

Strong VPN Speed Test

We tested four StrongVPN servers over 50Mbps connections, and the speeds were amazing as shown below. Even the furthest servers in Australia (has the highest value of ping) yielded a recommendable download speed. The only hiccup is that the upload speeds are not as high as the download speeds.  You may not experience the same speeds as what is shown below since VPN connection speeds can vary depending on a number of variables such as server location, overloads, and encryption involved.

According to what we found out from our speed tests, if your online activities involve more uploads than downloads, StrongVPN might not be a suitable candidate for the job. StrongVPN is more suited for activities such as streaming, torrenting and even online gaming.

Australia

New York

Germany

Sweden

StrongVPN – Company and Jurisdiction

According to their website, StrongVPN (owned by Strong Technology, LLC) began as a small company in South Lake Tahoe, California by selling PCs. The company then advanced to offering dial-up internet services for the local area, and soon after that, it ventured into offering dedicated servers and co-location services. Their VPN service was launched in 2005, and it has been in the industry ever since with its mission “we aim to deliver honest VPN security to keep people safe and private online.

From the company information, StrongVPN is based in the US, and that’s not good for privacy minded people. This is because the US is part of the 5, 9 and 14 Eyes Alliances. This means that the government institutions such as FBI and other foreign spying agencies are allowed to keep tabs on individuals and companies located in the US. Also, the US jurisdiction can also compel a company located in the US to give out information and online activities of an individual of interest.

StrongVPN Customer Support

StrongVPN offers support through a 24/7 live chat, an email system and an extensive knowledge base made up of setup guides, troubleshooting guides and an FAQ. The articles in the knowledge base can answer most of the queries.

We contacted StrongVPN customer support via a live chat to simply ask if the company has an app for iOS devices. Customer support rep was really responsive, and in less than 60 sec they joined the online chat and responded to my question. StrongVPN also implements a queue system, depending on your position, you might get a faster response or wait a little bit longer. Technical questions take up a long time to answer as the rep needs to connect to the technical team.

StrongVPN DNS Leak Test

We ran a series of test to determine how well StrongVPN protects the connection and were pleased to see that our IP address and ISP were not identified, hence there were no DNS leaks (screenshot below refers to our test which was conducted in Estonia).

StrongVPN Logging Policies

Logging policies greatly determine how external factors such as jurisdiction influence the privacy of a VPN. Being located in the US, StrongVPN raises a red flag. This is because the government and other agencies can force it to give out retained user data. And also, it’s easy for the government to pursue infringers in the US soil than those in abroad. For instance, watchdogs can note down IP addresses that are used in torrenting (Torrenting clients always show IP addresses, and that’s why it’s advisable to use a VPN).
After noting the IPs, they then track them to their owners. In our case, they will knock at StrongVPN’s doorstep. But StrongVPN does not collect or log any user traffic: it’s a zero-logging VPN. This means even if its hit by a court order that follows the law, it will comply but it will have nothing to give: you can’t give what you don’t have.

However, StrongVPN collects some data and details at account setup:

To subscribe to our Services, we’ll need some basic information from you. When you create an account, we require the following limited information from users in order to process payments:

An email address
A payment method

Users who sign up for our Service using credit card will also be asked to provide:

A full name
A credit card
A billing address

If you really consider your privacy, you should avoid giving out the stated information. This can be done by using a one-click disposable email and also using supported payment methods that don’t involve paying with a credit card. Also, you shouldn’t worry as this information is useless to legal matters without your online activities attached.

Usability

StrongVPN is among the few good VPNs whose apps possess a minimalistic interface which is great since it makes StrongVPN straightforward and easy to use. The apps also offer user-friendly visual guides and a server map.

StrongVPN Apps

Getting started with StrongVPN custom apps is a simple and straightforward task. For instance, after you have made the payment, you will receive an email containing your username and password. After that, all you ought to do is download your suitable client, install it and finally log in. In any case, you get stuck along the way, StrongVPN offers detailed step by step guides in its help center to help you through the process.

Each of its apps features the same non-intuitive but improved user interface but with everything easily accessible. After logging in, in desktop clients, the main screen/layout displays your current IP address, time elapsed, location and a connect button at the bottom of the screen. At the center, there’s a server map. Settings can be accessed via a cog/gear wheel at the top right section of the screen. The settings menu is divided into five tabs: Options, Protocol, Information, Diagnostics, and Updates. The mobile app is similar except the Settings menu has no five tabs.

Does StrongVPN Unblock Netflix?

Recently, apart from providing streaming services, Netflix started a crackdownon VPNs, proxies, and other un-blockers used to access Netflix. This move led to a number of VPNs being blocked from accessing the service. Even reputable VPNs didn’t escape the crackdown.

Luckily, StrongVPN is still able to unblock Netflix, and with its speeds, you will experience a buffer free streaming with great video quality. We tested a number of US servers, and we were able to unblock Netflix successfully. Since Netflix has not withdrawn its crackdown, some servers may not work. If you connect to a US server and unfortunately you are hit with “…Something went wrong message,” connect to another server and try your luck.

Netflix US is the best because it has the most extensive catalog of movies and TV shows. Apart from Netflix, StrongVPN is also capable of gaining access to other streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and Hulu.

StrongVPN and Torrenting?

StrongVPN supports P2P file sharing, and this means torrenting is allowed. P2P enables users to access content that’s not available on other sites because users upload the majority of the content. With a strict zero log policy, you are assured that your torrenting activities remain anonymous. But tread cautiously if what you are planning to torrent material that’s protected by copyrights especially if you are in countries that have strict copyright protection laws.

In its terms of policy, StrongVPN has stated that “It is our policy to terminate in appropriate circumstances the accounts of subscribers who infringe the copyrights of others. You may not upload, download, post, publish, transmit, reproduce, or distribute in any way, files, material, information, software or other material obtained through the System that is protected by copyright or other proprietary right or derivative works with respect there to, without obtaining permission of the copyright owner or other right holder.

Conclusion

StrongVPN is a reliable VPN service for security and privacy. With its infrastructure, excellent customer service, speeds, and other features, StrongVPN delivers an excellent VPN experience. Despite being located in the US, StrongVPN won’t give out your details since it’s a zero-logging VPN. Its high speed servers and the ability to unblock US Netflix and other streaming services ensure you will have a good online streaming experience. Its strong encryptions and obfuscation abilities guarantee that you beat censorships and reclaim your digital freedom around the world.

7 Total Score
Good VPN provider but with limitations

StrongVPN is a reliable VPN service for security and privacy. With its infrastructure, good customer service, speeds and other features, StrongVPN delivers an excellent VPN experience. Downside is that it can be slow at times and it's a little pricy.

PROS
  • No logs
  • Strong security and privacy levels
  • Streams Netflix US
  • Great customer support
  • Works in China
  • P2P allowed
CONS
  • Located in the US
User Rating: 4 (3 votes)