StrongVPN (review) is still a relatively unknown company, despite having been in business twice as long as most of their rivals.
This fact, in and of itself, should be enough to get most potential customers to pause.
After all, if a corporation has been practicing its craft and optimizing its product for longer than its competition, you’d expect that product to be almost twice as good, right?
Well, as you are about to determine, this is not always the case.
Although StrongVPN has significantly improved its services since I last reviewed them, there are still several outstanding issues that will prevent you from joining their customer base.
To help you create an informed, data-driven decision, I’ll review StrongVPN in great detail. Going over everything from its speed to customer service, unique features, and compatibility in an effort to answer the question:
“Is StrongVPN really that Strong?”.
|OVERALL RANK:||#28 out of 78 VPNs|
|USABILITY:||Easy to use|
|LOG FILES:||No Logging Policy|
|LOCATIONS:||26 countries, 650 servers|
|SUPPORT:||Quick, Helpful Service|
|TORRENTING:||P2P & Torrenting Allowed|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||256-bit AES, OpenVPN, and others|
|COST:||$10/mo or $5.83/mo (yearly)|
Background & Features
Founded in 2005 under the umbrella of Strong Technology LLC., Strong VPN is based in one of the oldest (and coolest) locations of a US-based tech company, Lake Tahoe.
This quiet, quaint little town on the Nevada-California border is probably the last place you’d just hope to look for a bustling VPN startup.
However, the StrongVPN team. They are launching PCs, dial-up Internet access, and VPN servers from their scenic headquarters for over 20 years.
With 688 servers spread across 26 countries, StrongVPN’s server base isn’t the most important I’ve seen, but it should give you plenty of options (although, as you’ll see later, this isn’t really the case).
Its services are compatible with most major devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Google Chrome. They also provide their customers with an in-depth help center where they will find detailed instructions to repair StrongVPN with a home router. The VPN is also TOR compliant if you want that extra protection.
StrongVPN allows its clients to connect using all major protocols, including OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, and SSTP.
They also have a built-in kill switch app.
Finally, the VPN allows 12 simultaneous connections.
So far, things are looking pretty good.
But let’s dive into the pros and cons of StrongVPN to determine if their service lives up to its name.
Works with Netflix (For Now)
Netflix has been cracking down on VPNs, proxies, and unblockers with an intensity that has shocked and infuriated its international community.
Despite protests and complaints from the general public, Netflix has stood firm on the ban and has even taken steps to strengthen the security of its software in the hopes of eliminating all potential unlockers loopholes.
Since 2016, its IT department has defeated the efforts of several of the strongest and most famous VPN companies on the market.
With these facts in mind, I had foolishly assumed that my efforts to stream Netflix using StrongVPN services would end in this …
After all, StrongVPN was one of the worst VPNs I’d ever tasted the last time I checked.
So it was a shock once it was not only ready to stream Netflix from a US-based server, but it used to be ready to do so with no actual buffer time or delay.
Considering the percentage of other VPNs that are unable to reactivate Netflix compatibility, this is usually an important point for StrongVPN.
Quick, Helpful Customer Service
I am rarely ready to include customer service in the “Pros” section of a VPN review.
Especially when I’m reviewing a VPN provider that doesn’t offer live support for their clients.
However, I’m happy to mention that StrongVPN hits the spot when it comes to customer support.
While reviewing their services, I made the decision to submit an (admittedly) fabricated support ticket around 4:25 p.m.
I went back to my regularly scheduled browsing and assumed I would not receive a response until I checked my email the next morning.
I was surprised once I opened my inbox about half an hour later and found the following message.
While I didn’t suffer from any “worthy customer service” issues while reviewing StrongVPN, I used to be impressed by the quick reaction time and professionalism shown by their support team.
To ensure the accuracy of this review, I searched online for other third-party reviews and customer complaints around their support team and surprisingly found nothing.
Well done StrongVPN… well done indeed.
Strong AES-256 Encryption and StrongDNS
143 million …
That is the number of citizens who suffered the Equifax breach, one of the most important security breaches in the history of cyber terrorism.
Right now, your Social Security number, driver’s registration number, name, home address, phone number, and more could be in the hands of Equifax hackers, making you susceptible to fraud and fraud. fraud. (If you are concerned that your personal data may be affected, click here to find out what to do.)
While it is not yet clear exactly how the hackers breached the systems, we do know that they exploited a flaw during a tool called Apache Strut that is employed by a good number of government organizations and large corporations, including Equifax.
Beyond the sheer volume of people affected, what makes this hack so concerning is that a cybersecurity arm of the US Department of Homeland Security, US-CERT, “identified and disclosed” the flaw in March of 2017.
This means that the Apache Struts security team had almost four months to fix the problem, and while they reportedly took steps to fix the flaw and minimize the security risk, their efforts were at best inadequate.
The consequences of these attacks remain to be seen, however, people around the world are beginning to understand how real the threat of cyberterrorism is. Inherently, are beginning to take steps to optimize their online safety and put their lives to the test. of hackers.
One of the most important measures anyone can think of to improve their privacy online is (obviously) getting and using a VPN.
However, not all VPNs are made equally and many of them have serious security flaws that ruin the service.
Fortunately, StrongVPN uses one of the most advanced (albeit common) encryption standards known.
StrongVPN, known as Advanced Encryption Standard or AES, uses equivalent encryption used by the CIA, FBI, and NSA.
This means that you can simply rest easy knowing that your personal data is protected. even if you are on a public Wi-Fi network, you are safe and your IP address is completely hidden.
No Logs Policy
Something that has always struck me as ironic about the VPN industry is that certain VPN companies actually make your online browsing less secure.
Even though they promote a “No Logs” policy on their website, if you read the fine print. You will quickly realize that many VPNs (especially free VPNs) not only log your information and activity but then rotate. They sell to third parties and affiliates.
With issues like this becoming more prevalent, it’s more important than ever that you simply fully understand a VPN’s logging policy before making a sale.
Fortunately for StrongVPN, their registration policy passes with flying colors.
And sadly, it’s time to talk about the elephants on the corner.
Very Slow on Most Servers
Since I last reviewed StrongVPN, the company has nearly quadrupled the speeds provided by many of its servers.
So the incontrovertible fact that I still included their server speeds within the “Cons” section of this review should tell you something about how terribly slow they tend to be.
To StrongVPN’s credit, they need to vastly improve their speeds.
Almost up to the purpose where your VPN is actually usable for everyday activities.
However, considering the high price (which we’ll talk about for a minute) and its meager selection of features, things are too slow for me.
US Server (New York)
- Ping: 57ms
- Download: 38.96 Mbps
- Upload: 5.00 Mbps
EU Server (Amsterdam)
- Ping: 132ms
- Download: 9.78 Mbps
- Upload: 3.18 Mbps
Asia Server (Hong Kong)
- Ping: 245 ms
- Download: 20.10 Mbps
- Upload: 2.35 Mbps
UK Server (London)
- Ping: 122ms
- Download: 35.47 Mbps
- Upload: 4.63 Mbps
As always, take these speed tests with a grain of salt, as they simply believe in too many variables. However, since we have tested over 78 VPN services so far, we have a means that we will compare to other VPNs.
They offer unlimited bandwidth, which suggests they won’t slow you down once you torrent. But that doesn’t help much when StrongVPN is usually even slower than a proxy.
Very Outdated User-Interface
I am a fan of nostalgia.
Nothing will make me smile faster than a song from the nineties or a working model of a Windows 98 era PC.
However, there are many times in my life where I don’t want to experience homesickness in any way, shape, or form, and one of those times is when I try to protect my personal data.
Sadly, the StrongVPN interface looks and works like something from the early 2000s.
The layout and styling aren’t exactly intuitive, and things don’t get much better once you scroll to the advanced settings (hard to find).
I found the StrongVPN UI extremely frustrating, and although I was an experienced VPN user, I struggled to find and tweak the settings I wanted.
Although it wouldn’t be the worst interface you’ve come across, the StrongVPN team would definitely enjoy taking their software design into the 21st century.
Overpriced for the Services Provided
This is the part of the review where StrongVPN could have been saved.
Sure, their speeds are pretty sloppy and their interface looks like a Windows 98 thing, however, once you consider the fact that they provide high-quality customer service, Netflix compatibility, and a zero-logging policy, all of their weaknesses. They could be overlooked for the right price.
Unfortunately for StrongVPN, the value is not correct.
This is how it all falls apart.
Monthly: $10 or $120 per year
At the peak of the day, StrongVPN can be a cheap VPN trying to get away with charging premium VPN prices
Even once you select the cheapest StrongVPN package, they are still more expensive than Surfshark, PIA, NordVPN, and SaferVPN …
All of them are among our top 5 rated VPNs!
In fact, StrongVPN is only $1 per month cheaper than our top-rated service of 2018, ExpressVPN, which offers speeds 3x faster than StrongVPN and dozens of additional features.
So, as Happy Gilmore once said, “The price is wrong.”
Fortunately, you will be using various payment methods to purchase StrongVPN, such as PayPal, credit cards, and even Bitcoin for anonymous payments.
U.S. Jurisdiction Might Dissuade Some Customers
Since Edward Snowden leaked countless documents revealing what proportion of information the US government tracks and stores. Many privacy advocates have become wary of employing a VPN service located in any of the “Five Eyes” countries.
Although this is usually a legitimate concern to consider when deciding which VPN client to use, StrongVPN’s strict logging policy should help you rest easy at night …
We will only accept all valid subpoena requests that follow the letter of the law. We cannot provide information that we do not have. StrongVPN will not participate with any request that is unconstitutional.
However, as we’ve seen with HotSpot Shield and other VPNs over the years, there are no guarantees. When it comes to personal safety, I always like better to hedge my bets.
You Have to Play “Server Roulette”
One of the biggest problems I encountered with the StrongVPN service is that using their VPN is equivalent to playing Russian roulette.
What do I mean by this?
Well, unlike all other VPNs on the market, they randomly assign servers. (I guess this is often done to preserve your budget), which means that your clients basically play the lottery every time they plug in a tool.
One month you may have exceptional service that is up there with StrongVPN’s competition.
Next month, your assigned server could be so egregious that you can’t even download an easy Word document (no, I’m not exaggerating).
There is no consistency with your service or the servers it is assigned to, making StrongVPN an (almost) literal game of chance.
Do I Recommend StrongVPN?
I need to applaud the StrongVPN team.
Since I last reviewed their services, they need to improve their speeds, strengthen their customer service, and increase their money-back guarantee from 7 to 30 days.
These are some important improvements.
However … still not enough to win my endorsement.
StrongVPN has a lot going for it with its Netflix compatibility, fast customer support team, and no sign-up policy.
But considering the outrageous label, slow speeds, and frustrating interface, I just can’t give StrongVPN my stamp of approval.
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