StrongVPN Review - UPDATED Apr. 2017
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.
StrongVPN provides its clients with custom software for all the major operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. Downloading the appropriate client is fairly easy – all you have to do is visit their website, click ‘Setup’ in the main menu, and choose the operation system you use. When it comes to the iOS and Android app, you can also download them from the iTunes Store or Google Play. StrongVPN also offers manual setups for Android, iOS, Linux, Tomato routers, Chrome OS, and DD-WRT routers.
As soon as you sign up for an account, you will receive an email with your username and password. You should use these to connect to StrongVPN’s servers.
The Windows client is pretty straightforward and easy to navigate, which means that even users with little technical knowledge can make the most of StrongVPN’s service. You can choose between three protocols and select your preferred server location. Once you have done that, you can start browsing the Internet privately and securely.
Performance and Reliability
When it comes to speed, StrongVPN does well. If there weren’t for some inconsistencies between connections to different servers (even between those located relatively close to each other, for instance in Western Europe), we’d say it’s actually doing great.
StrongVPN uses a dedicated Windows and iOS client that is fairly simple to use and rather reliable. The setup is quick and easy and so is changing server locations.
As mentioned above, StrongVPN has custom software clients for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Mac users can also opt for a licensed Viscosity app that is offered for free upon registration. Windows users can choose a generic OpenVPN client instead of the StrongVPN one, should they so desire.
This service is also compatible with Android and Linux.
StrongVPN has 238 PTPP servers in 43 cities in 21 countries and 368 OpenVPN servers in 44 cities in 21 countries. As far as the coverage goes, this is pretty good. There are certainly 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.
Security and Privacy
StrongVPN is very clear about not storing any user logs. As previously mentioned, they collect some basic personal information but you can ensure maximum privacy by using Bitcoin.
If you are interested in torrenting, you will be happy to know that StrongVPN supports and even encourages P2P file-sharing.
StrongVPN provides you with 256-bit encryption, which is the strongest encryption, so you don’t have to worry about a thing while accessing blocked websites or downloading media.
Customer support is one of the best things about StrongVPN. Their website has a pretty extensive FAQ for frequently asked questions and a separate page just for billing. You will also find detailed setup instructions on the site. The entire FAQ section is available in English, Chinese, Russian and Spanish.
If you don’t find your answers there, you can always head to the customer support. The support staff is available literally around the clock, all year round. There is no actual chat window, and you have to fill in a form instead. However, the staff always gets back to you almost instantly, and they are very polite, helpful and patient. They also speak all four of the languages available on the website and offer remote setup assistance. You can contact StrongVPN staff via social media too (Facebook and Twitter) and expect to get an answer withing minutes.
StrongVPN used to be a bit expensive and they must have faced a lot of criticism for the prices of their plans since they cut them down significantly. Before, you could choose between lite, standard, deluxe and premium plans. The minimum subscription period was three months and it was pretty complicated to figure out which package you actually want and need. The things are way simpler now with just two payment plans – there is a monthly plan, which costs $10 per month, and a yearly plan, paid once a year, at $5.83 per month. Both plans include the exact same features and options. There is also a 5-day money back guarantee.
- Big, reliable, high-profile company
- Great customer support
- No logs kept
- Low prices
- Could use more servers
- 5-day money back guarantee