StrongVPN recently overhauled its service. Now equipped with a spiffy user interface, StrongVPN hopes to capture a slice of the expanding VPN market. Let’s see if they’ve done enough to warrant your attention.
Netflix Test: Netflix and chill away!
We tried connecting to Netflix on several servers and each one enabled us to stream Netflix – huzzah! We were also able to use BBC iPlayer without a hitch.
While we didn’t run into any trouble accessing Netflix, there’s no guarantee that all servers will work.
If you decide to pick up StrongVPN for Netflix access and do run into trouble, we suggest contacting customer support.
Refund Policy: Peace of mind for 30 days
While StrongVPN does limit you to a month or yearly plan, they do provide a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is unconditional.
So if there’s anything you don’t like about their service, you can get a full refund and be on your merry way.
Payment Methods: Pay with anything except Bitcoin
StrongVPN’s payment options include major credit cards, PayPal, Alipay, and ApplePay.
No, you can’t use Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to purchase StrongVPN.
That’s surprising, given the number of other options on offer here.
Many other VPN companies do allow cryptocurrency payments, as doing so provides an added layer of privacy. We’re scratching our heads wondering why StrongVPN has decided against offering crypto payment options.
Maybe it’s too risky in their eyes, who knows.
Device Compatibility: Install StrongVPN on just about anything
StrongVPN is compatible with most major devices:
- Routers (ASUS, Sabai, Tomato, OSDD-WRT, Mikrotik)
- Amazon Kindle
- Google Chrome OS
What’s even better is that StrongVPN supports up to five simultaneous connections.
Pretty handy if you’re using several of the above-listed devices!
StrongVPN even sells routers preloaded with their VPN. Way to go the extra mile, StrongVPN. Routers come with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, so keep your shipping box in case the router doesn’t work out.
Sign Up Process: Easy as 1-2-3
Signing up for StrongVPN is easy. Navigating the website is not.
The website’s top menu will disappear depending on the page you’ve landed on. Why? Why is this happening? User interfaces, especially for VPNs, should be intuitive and easy to follow.
Looks like StrongVPN’s web designer missed the memo.
Signing up for StrongVPN is far simpler. After paying, we received an email with our login information, including a temporary password.
Product Interface: Simply stunning
Installing StrongVPN is as simple as you can imagine. We didn’t even have to restart after installation.
The VPN’s user interface is crisp and modern. The options menu is intuitive, making it easy to navigate.
The server selection is defaulted to “Best Available” but you can easily change this in the server menu.
Servers are organized by country and city. You can filter through either category.
We wish StrongVPN displayed just how crowded the servers are, along with server latency. It would be a welcome convenience, making it easier to choose a server without being told no when you discover it’s full.
Here’s a look at their options and protocol menus:
The mobile client provides a similarly seamless experience.
The StrongVPN’s notification tab on mobile lets you know that you’re connected, your speed, and how much data you’ve both uploaded and downloaded.
Too bad that information isn’t part of the desktop client.
Customer Support: We’ll do it live!
StrongVPN’s support is close to first-rate.
Live chat responded quickly. If representatives were too busy, we were shown our position in the queue.
Our wait time for chat support never exceeded 10 minutes, and once we connected with a representative they responded quickly.
To test them, we threw some technical questions their way. They connected us with someone from the tech department who quickly satisfied our questions.
Product Documentation: Simple, straightforward, easy to use
StrongVPN’s help section is designed for ease of use.
Each section is straightforward and organized well.
Logging Policy: There’s a forest here, which means no logging! (Excuse our poor joke..)
StrongVPN claims it does not log or collect any data from its customers.
Keep in mind that, although no data is logged, StrongVPN does not recommend P2P. More on this below.
IP and DNS Leak Test: Ship-shape! No leaks!
We put StrongVPN to the test to see if there were any IP or DNS leaks. We’re happy to report that the VPN passed our tests.
StrongDNS: A VPN-lite offering
An additional product that StrongVPN offers is StrongDNS, which already comes as a feature when you subscribe to StrongVPN.
Users who don’t want to heavily invest in StrongVPN can opt to use StrongDNS.
While StrongDNS doesn’t offer the same anonymity and privacy as a VPN it does provide at least a minimal level of protection. Think of it as a sort of VPN-lite.
StrongDNS is worth checking out if it has the features you want in terms of security, circumventing throttling, and Open Internet.
Encryption and Protocols: Standard range of encryption
StrongVPN offers a standard list of security protocols:
- IKEv2 protocols
Thanks to AES 256-bit encryption, it’s safe to say that StrongVPN keeps you sufficiently safe.
So far, StrongVPN has had no issues with any government or the law in general. As far as we know StrongVPN has done their part to protect users.
Kill Switch: Yes, but only if you’re on Windows or MacOS
StrongVPN features a kill switch, but only for Windows and MacOS. You’ll have to be careful if you choose to use StrongVPN with other devices.
You can avoid issues altogether if you decide to setup StrongVPN with your router.
StrongVPN: Neutral Points
VPN Speed: Middle of the road
We had to find out just how fast StrongVPN is so we conducted a test. What did we find? Our speed tests ran at 70% to 80% of normal (read: non-VPN) speeds. Not bad… not bad at all.
We obtained the best results testing in the United States, and the worst results in Asia.
That makes sense; most of StrongVPN’s servers are distributed throughout North America.
Overall, SpeedVPN’s speed performance is somewhere in the middle. It didn’t significantly hamper our usage and kept up enough with our needs.
Servers and Locations: 650+ servers in over 20 countries
StrongVPN features a small selection of servers spread across the United States, Europe, and Asia. You can see each server’s VPN type (static or dynamic) and speeds by visiting the server listing page.
You read that right: unlike most competitors, StrongVPN host their own speed tests for each server. That means you can test your connection to a StrongVPN server without ever signing up. This feature, we’re a little bit in love with.
While the company isn’t sporting a wide array of servers, the speed test feature makes up for it, a little bit at least. Giving potential customers the opportunity to test a VPN before purchasing is always welcome in our eyes.
Torrenting Policy: You can, but StrongVPN don’t want to know
StrongVPN states that they do not have a logging policy, but they don’t exactly want users to torrent.
The policy was confirmed by StrongVPN’s support team:
There’s also a section dedicated to their DMCA and copyright policy.
That means it’s probably best not to use StrongVPN for torrenting. Unless it’s perfectly legal, of course. Because you don’t want to violate StrongVPN’s policies and put yourself at risk.
Still, it sounds like while they don’t actively track or support torrenting, it’s also not like they’re preventing you from doing so; in essence, it sounds like they’re covering their own butt, which is fair enough.
Jurisdiction: Eyes, eyes everywhere
As mentioned, StrongVPN is an American based company. This means they’re part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
Clearly, something to be worried about when signing up for a VPN.
StrongVPN doesn’t have any outstanding cases against them at the moment, and hopefully, it stays that way.
Pricing & Plans: Only two choices
StrongVPN offers two plans: 1 month or 12 months.
That’s right. There’s no middle-of-the-road plan. How unusual.
The lack of something like a 6-month option means you stuck between either one single month and a year. The monthly plan isn’t exactly the cheapest offering either, at $10 per month.
And the 12-month plan is a fairly big investment ($69.99) if you’re not completely satisfied with the VPN. Then again, it is a 42% discount!
StrongVPN as a Business
StrongVPN’s “About Us” page is more transparent than the competition.
They’re a small company from South Lake Tahoe, California. They incorporated back in 1994 but they didn’t enter the VPN business until 2005.
StrongVPN even features a “Meet the Team” section. It’s clear they’re not afraid to be identified with their work.
Overall, StrongVPN is a strong (excuse the pun) VPN offering.
The package is cheap if you choose to buy a year-long subscription. The speeds aren’t mind-blowingly fast, and the server choice could be better. However, Netflix is unblocked, and customer support is top-tier.
Still, shop around; the VPN market is ultra-competitive, and it’s highly likely you’ll be able to find something that’s cheaper, better, or a combination of both.