StrongVPN can trace its roots all the way back to 1994, when the founders of the firm, then known as Smart Technologies LLC and based in South Lake Tahoe, California, began selling personal computers. Later on, they decided to grow their company and began providing dial-up internet access, dedicated servers, and colocation services to its customers. Moving forward in time a few more years, in 2005, they debuted their Virtual Private Network service, and in 2019, J2 Global purchased StrongVPN.
More than 950 servers are spread out over more than 30 countries and 59 cities in addition to 59,500 accessible IP addresses. StrongVPN is compatible with all of the major VPN protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, IPSec, and IKEv2. It provides a no-logs policy and employs AES encryption with 256 bits of key length. Additionally, it provides safety and security when using public WiFi networks, and it is equipped with a kill button for added convenience. Having said all of that, StrongVPN is a trustworthy virtual private network (VPN), and as such, it may be utilised even when you are in China. In addition, it enables torrenting and P2P activity so long as it does not violate any copyrights and is conducted in accordance with the laws of your country.
StrongVPN has speeds that are excellent for streaming content but are just decent when it comes to gaming. It is able to successfully unblock a number of services, including Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and Peacock; but, it is unable to properly unblock BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video. You have the option of selecting a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that best meets your requirements if this is a deal-breaker for you.
It is compatible with devices running Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, as well as routers, Fire TV, Kodi, Linux, Ubuntu, and a number of other operating systems. Additionally, you may use it to play video games on a PlayStation, Nintendo, or Xbox console. Aside from that, it is really simple to set up, and the applications can be installed on any device with relative ease. If you have any issues, you may get in touch with their customer support team using the 24/7 live chat, email, and the ticketing system. Their customer support team is very responsive and pleasant.
There are yearly and monthly subscription plans that begin with a low price for the first year or month of use and gradually increase to a greater price after that; however, the first price is always significantly lower. However, there is not a free trial that may be taken advantage of. Only the yearly plan comes with a money-back guarantee that lasts for the full thirty days. In addition, a SmartDNS service known as StrongDNS is included in every StrongVPN membership at no additional cost. In addition to that, each subscription comes with a free 250 GB of cloud storage space provided by SugarSync, which is an excellent benefit for anyone who would like to use it. There is a wide variety of payment options accessible, including support for the most popular credit cards, Bitcoin, PayPal, and Alipay.
Short on Time? Bottom Line First!
Excellent for streaming.
StrongVPN unlocked Netflix UK/US, Disney+, Hulu, and other services on all of the servers I tried. To see the results of my streaming tests, go to the streaming section.
Fast enough for long-distance streaming.
I got amazing streaming speeds while connecting to European servers with nearly no buffering, but I was also pleased with the speeds at further distances with no lag. For further details, see my speed test results.
Provides customer service around the clock.
When I tested StrongVPN’s live chat support, I received very rapid, pleasant, and useful responses. My encounter with them is seen below.
A moderate network.
StrongVPN provides over 950 servers in over 30 countries and 59 locations, as well as around 60,000 IP addresses. A more in-depth server network study is provided below.
Is fully compatible with all major devices.
StrongVPN works on and offers native applications for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and Chrome OS. See the table below for additional information about StrongVPN’s device compatibility.
StrongVPN employs one of the highest levels of encryption – AES 256-bit – making it extremely secure. More information on this issue may be found in the security section.
Strict no-logs policy in place.
StrongVPN respects your privacy and does not log any of your activities when connected to their VPN servers. Go straight to the privacy area.
No free trial.
StrongVPN does not provide a free trial, however they do have a 30-day money-back guarantee with the yearly plan.
StrongVPN Review -- Features
Streaming — Unblocks Most Platforms Including Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+
Whenever I used StrongVPN, regardless of which server I connected to, I was able to watch content quickly and without any issues. First, I tried unblocking Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock, and HBO Max on three different US servers (Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York), and all of them worked without a hitch. When I initially started streaming, the picture quality wasn’t the best because these servers are located quite a distance from where I actually am. However, as I continued to watch the video, the clarity of the image improved.
The streaming was smooth and delightful across all three of the UK servers that I tried (Canterbury, Manchester, and London), and there was no discernible buffering during playback. In addition, I attempted to connect to many servers located in Europe, Australia, and Asia. Some of these servers were located in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Serbia, Melbourne, and Singapore. On these servers, I was likewise successful in streaming material from all of the previously stated services, with the exception of HBO Max, which is only accessible to users in the United States. Since the Europe servers are physically closer to me than the other server locations I tested, the streaming quality and speed were noticeably superior when compared to those of the other, more distant server regions.
Unblocked: Netflix UK/US, Disney+, Hulu, Peacock, HBO Max, and More
StrongVPN is capable of unblocking a variety of platforms. Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Peacock, and HBO Max were the ones that I tested and was able to effectively unblock. On the website for StrongVPN, additional streaming services that are compatible with this virtual private network (VPN) are listed. Some of these services are ABC, Channel 4, Crunchyroll, Fire TV, IPTV, ITV, Kodi, SkyGo, Spotify, TVPlayer, and YouTube.
Blocked on: Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer
Amazon Prime Video and the BBC iPlayer are both inaccessible while using StrongVPN. I attempted to watch Amazon Prime Video on the New York server, but a notice informed me that in order to access their material, I needed to disconnect my VPN connection first. As a result, StrongVPN was unable to circumvent the stringent geographical limitations imposed by Amazon Prime Video.
When I asked their customer care if I could use StrongVPN with BBC iPlayer, they informed me that BBC is attempting to prohibit VPN companies. As a result, they suggested that I use the StrongDNS service in order to access BBC material. StrongDNS is included at no additional cost with both of StrongVPN’s subscription options. If, on the other hand, you want to use simply their StrongDNS without subscribing to their VPN service, you may create a second StrongDNS account and test it out for free for a week. This option is available to you even if you don’t want to utilise their VPN service.
Speeds — Consistently Faster Than Average Speeds
StrongVPN has excellent download and upload speeds in general, making it ideal for streaming; but, while connecting to long-distance servers, I did notice a slight delay when loading webpages. Nevertheless, it wasn’t something really significant. The most time I had to wait for a website to load was anywhere between 5 and 7 seconds.
You can view some of the results of the speed tests that I ran using StrongVPN on several servers down below, starting with the server that was geographically closest to me and moving further and further away. You can see the speed I had before joining to StrongVPN in the first photo, the speed I had while connected to StrongVPN’s best available server in the second picture, and the speed I had when connected to one of the European servers in Amsterdam, Netherlands in the third picture.
I have included in the second photo the speeds that I obtained with StrongVPN when connected to some of the other servers that I tried, such as those located in Toronto, Chicago, Singapore, and Melbourne.
My speed test results show that the ping time steadily rose when I connected to servers that were more and further apart; nonetheless, there was no notable change or loss in the download or upload rates when I used StrongVPN.
In addition, I tested StrongVPN on the server located in Seattle, United States using three different protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. The results showed that the changes in speed while utilising each of these protocols were negligible
StrongVPN Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming?
The speeds offered by StrongVPN are suitable for gaming, however if you connect to a server located in a far-flung location, you can experience some lag because of the higher ping. In spite of the fact that my ping was 97 milliseconds, I was able to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Steam while connecting to the “Best Available” server, and I did not have any notable lag during my gameplay. It’s quite probable that this happened because the connection was rock solid.
The speed results that I received when gaming with StrongVPN definitely won’t satisfy professional gamers or folks who prefer gaming on a regular basis because I am neither a professional nor a frequent player. Having said that, there are other excellent virtual private networks (VPNs) for gaming that you may use if you want speeds that are quicker than these.
Server Network — Average in Size Compared to Other VPNs
StrongVPN is a respectable provider since it offers connections from over 950 servers located in more than 30 countries and 59 locations. More importantly, it provides dependable connections on its servers and provides 59,500 IP addresses. This indicates that at any one time, at least 59,500 users are able to utilise StrongVPN’s services concurrently. In addition, if the IP addresses are shared, then StrongVPN may accommodate over 59,500 users at the same time. However, download speeds may suffer if a shared IP address is used by a number of different users at the same time. Having said that, taking into mind the enormous amount of IP addresses, regardless of how many users they have on their platform as a whole, there will almost certainly always be an IP address that is free for you to utilise.
On the website of StrongVPN, you can find a lot of information about the services they offer, including a list of all of the countries and cities in which their servers are located. This will allow you to determine whether or not it will be a good choice for you even before you purchase a plan from them.
There are also multi-city servers accessible in a few countries, including the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, France, and Australia. The ability to select from among a greater number of servers inside a single city is one of the benefits of having access to multi-city servers. Therefore, in the event that one or more of the servers from a city that you have chosen are not functioning, you have the option of attempting to use the servers from a different city located within the same nation. For instance, in the United States, there are servers accessible in 15 different places. Therefore, if you want to unblock US streaming video, there are plenty of servers from which to pick. If you have access to a greater number of servers, you will likely experience improved speeds when streaming, gaming, torrenting, and surfing the internet. StrongVPN features a function called “Best Available” location that allows you to bypass having to manually select a server location. This feature will select the server that is geographically closest to you and is experiencing the least amount of traffic at the moment.
StrongVPN runs its own servers, so there is no need to worry about any involvement from a third party. This makes the service even more reliable. In addition, it provides a SmartDNS service known as StrongDNS, which you may utilise to conceal your actual location in order to bypass geo-restrictions placed on the material you wish to access. It is important to keep in mind that a SmartDNS does not offer the same level of protection that a VPN service offers because it does not come equipped with all of the same security features. In contrast to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a SmartDNS won’t encrypt your data, but it won’t slow down your connection either. Additionally, according to the information that I discovered in the Frequently Asked Questions section of StrongVPN’s website, it is not recommended to use StrongVPN and StrongDNS simultaneously on the same device and network because it is possible that you will lose some functionality when using specific websites.
Security — Military-Grade Encryption
StrongVPN offers the highest possible level of security. As a result of the use of military-grade AES 256-bit encryption in conjunction with perfect forward secrecy, it is able to be classified as one of the most secure virtual private networks (VPNs). There are several different protocols from which you may pick, including
WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP, and IPSec are the protocols that are supported.
WireGuard is a new protocol that is recognised as being among the quickest available and will not slow down your connections in any way. As a result of the fact that it is actually quicker than the already well-established OpenVPN protocol, it is an excellent choice. Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android are the supported operating systems for WireGuard.
OpenVPN is an extremely well-known VPN protocol that is also regarded as being among the most secure of them all. StrongVPN includes the Scramble function on both TCP and UDP connections, which masks all of your OpenVPN traffic. It also enables TCP and UDP connections on multiple ports, which makes it compatible with a variety of routers. The TCP connection is often a little bit slower in comparison to the UDP connection, which is significantly quicker. Windows, macOS, and Android are all supported platforms for OpenVPN.
IKEv2 is the protocol that StrongVPN recommends its users to utilise the most, particularly for use on mobile devices. This protocol is both quick and safe, and it gives you the ability to immediately reconnect to StrongVPN whenever you go from using mobile data to connecting to a WiFi network, or vice versa. IKEv2 is downloadable for use on several platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
The security provided by SSTP is practically on par with that offered by OpenVPN, and it is unquestionably superior than that offered by either IPSec or L2TP. The traffic that travels between StrongVPN and the StrongVPN server of your choice is encrypted using SSTP. It is only downloadable for Microsoft Windows.
StrongVPN continues to provide compatibility for outdated protocols such as IPSec and L2TP. Individually, they do not offer the highest level of protection; nevertheless, when combined, they offer a level of protection that is noticeably superior. Both IPSec and L2TP are accessible for use on macOS and iOS, whereas macOS users may use L2TP with Windows.
StrongVPN includes an advice on their website regarding the kind of protocol that should be utilised while connecting specific devices. This is incredibly beneficial for someone who doesn’t really know that much about protocols so that they can make a choice that would match their device the most effectively.
StrongVPN provides an additional layer of protection in the form of a kill switch function. This feature will instantly deactivate your internet connection in the event that the VPN connection is lost for any reason. Because of this feature, even if anything like that does occur, your IP address and other data will not be revealed, making it an excellent addition to your security features. The kill switch function is exclusive to the macOS and Windows client applications offered by StrongVPN.
You can choose which apps on your device you want to use with StrongVPN and which ones you want to use without it if you use the split tunnelling feature that StrongVPN offers on its Android app. This feature basically means that you can choose which apps you want to use with StrongVPN and which ones you want to use without it.
StrongVPN operates its own DNS servers and provides a SmartDNS service that is called StrongDNS. StrongDNS can be used for accessing geo-restricted content despite the fact that with it, you can only change your actual location and lacks all of the security features that are provided by a VPN service. StrongVPN operates its own DNS servers.
Last but not least, I carried out leak tests, and the results showed that neither of the servers I examined included any DNS, WebRTC, or IP leaks.
Privacy — Strict Zero-Logs Policy
On the bright side, they make care to state that they do not sell the personal information of their customers to third parties that they cooperate with such as ReliableHosting, ZenDesk, SendGrid, and others. This is a positive aspect of their business.
In addition, there is a brief provision in the agreement that addresses data retention. In this provision, the company does not specify for how long it will store your personal information; rather, it merely states that it reserves the right to do so for as long as it deems necessary. In the event that there are certain legal issues, the data retention period may be the same length of time as the legal procedures that are involved.
Torrenting — Allowed on All Servers
All servers in the StrongVPN network support the BitTorrent and P2P file-sharing protocols. Note, however, that the act of torrenting content that is protected by copyright is against the law, whilst the act of torrenting content that is not protected by copyright is not against the law. You should verify the laws and regulations of your nation before engaging in this activity since torrenting in general is illegal in several countries. If you live in one of these countries, you should not engage in this activity.
It is also logical why torrenting is not mentioned anywhere on the StrongVPN website, given that the service does not support it. Torrenting is a sensitive topic for virtual private networks (VPNs), as its intended function is often misinterpreted and abused by users, which can lead to legal complications.
Even if torrenting is not mentioned anywhere on the StrongVPN website, the company’s Terms of Service make it clear that users who make unauthorised use of content that is protected by intellectual property rights will have their accounts closed. In addition to that, if you go to their site and look for the link labelled Policies at the bottom of the page, you’ll see that they have a policy that specifically addresses this problem.
Does StrongVPN Work in China?
The answer is yes; you may use StrongVPN in China. It gets beyond China’s Great Firewall, but you should be aware that using virtual private networks (VPNs) in China that aren’t sanctioned by the government is against the law. However, no foreign visitors have been fined, blacklisted, or pursued for using a virtual private network (VPN) while they are in China as of yet. StrongVPN, on the other hand, includes an OpenVPN obfuscation function known as Scramble, which you may use to further enhance your level of privacy and security. This function hides the fact that you are using a virtual private network (VPN), making it more difficult for heavily controlled nations like China to determine whether or not you are using one. Remember to sign up for a StrongVPN membership and install the version of the software that is compatible with your devices well in advance of your trip to China. The StrongVPN website and mobile applications are both prohibited in China.
Simultaneous Device Connections — Up To 12 at Once
StrongVPN permits simultaneous connections from up to 12 devices with a single subscription, which means that the service is essentially limitless for the vast majority of customers. In light of this, you should know that StrongVPN provides protection and safety across all of the devices in your house, even if you use all of them at the same time.
Device Compatibility — Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and More
StrongVPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, FireTV, and ChromeOS thanks to its built-in applications. Additionally, it is compatible with Linux, Ubuntu, Kodi, Amazon Kindle, HP webOS, Nokia Maemo, Nokia Symbian, Synology NAS, and routers; however, it does not have native applications for any of these platforms.
On the other hand, you can find comprehensive guidelines that walk you through the installation process for each of them on the StrongVPN website. You may gain access to these configuration tips by selecting the VPN Apps link that is situated toward the bottom of the homepage of this website.
If you do not wish to deal with the extensive manual setup procedures required for various models, you have the option of purchasing a StrongVPN router that has already been packed with the necessary software. You may select the preconfigured StrongVPN router that appeals to you the most from the available options on the website, and then have it delivered directly to your house. After that, there are only a few steps left to take in order to connect your new router, and once that is done, you will be able to protect all non-native devices, such as Apple TVs, Android TVs, Smart TVs, Roku, Boxee, and gaming consoles like PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox, as described in the Frequently Asked Questions section of their website.
In addition, the browser extension offered by this VPN is only compatible with Chrome; it is not available for use with Safari, Firefox, Edge, Opera, or any other browsers. In addition, StrongVPN is one of the VPNs that are compatible with Tor, so you may use it if you want an extra layer of protection.
StrongVPN Review -- Ease Of Use
Set-Up & Installation — Quite Easy and User-Friendly
I installed StrongVPN on both my Windows computer and my Android-based mobile device. Installing the applications on any of the smartphones was a pretty simple process. It took me little more than a few mouse clicks, and I was good to go in under a minute.
On the StrongVPN website, you’ll find detailed connection guidelines along with screenshots for each native and non-native device that the service supports. This means that even if you don’t have a lot of experience with technology, you’ll have no trouble setting up your VPN connection.
Additionally, the applications were quite simple and easy to understand and operate. You may download the StrongVPN app for Windows from the company’s website, and you can get the StrongVPN app for Android from the Play Store. Both the Windows version and the Android version of the software feature an identical user experience, in which you are welcomed by a map of the planet.
Right away, you’ll see that your actual location is shown alongside two buttons; one of these buttons will take you to the “Best Available” location, while the other will allow you to connect to the server. If you select “Best Available,” the server that is geographically closest to you will be the one that is used. However, if you want to access other servers, you can click on the “Best Available” button instead of the “Connect” button, and it will take you to a list of all the other servers that are available, from which you can make your selection.
After selecting a server and clicking the “Connect” button, you will be able to view the newly allocated IP address, the amount of time that has passed, and the new location that is visible. If at any time you decide you want to disconnect, all you have to do is click the red button labelled “Disconnect.”
StrongVPN -- Pricing
$ 10.99/per month
$ 3.66/per month
Only monthly and annual subscription plans are available to customers through StrongVPN. Both plans provide a free cloud storage space in the amount of 250 GB for SugarSync, which helps to keep the overall cost low. This is especially true if you anticipate making use of the cloud storage space. The initial monthly or annual payment is significantly less expensive compared to subsequent payments made under the plan. The transaction may be completed using any of the major credit cards, PayPal or Alipay, and if you wish to remain anonymous throughout the transaction, you can do so by paying with bitcoin.
StrongVPN does not offer a free trial version of their service, which is unfortunate. However, if you select the yearly plan, you are eligible for a refund of your payment if you change your mind during the first 30 days. You have to get in touch with them within the first thirty days after completing your purchase if you want to be considered for their money-back promise. They also indicate in their Terms of Service that if you purchase a subscription through the App Store or iTunes, the terms under which you are eligible for a refund are determined by Apple. Despite the fact that you will be required to make an initial payment for the yearly plan, StrongVPN does not impose any limits or limitations on the features that you are able to use during the time in which you are eligible for a refund. Because it states that the processing of refunds might take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours on their website, you should not be concerned if you do not immediately receive your money after seeking a refund. StrongVPN provides dependable live chat service that is available around the clock, so if for any reason you still don’t receive your money returned after one or two days, you may contact them at any time and get assistance.
StrongVPN -- Reliability & Support
I reached out to StrongVPN using their live chat support, and I was provided with a response that was both rapid and helpful. They not only responded to my inquiry by letting me know whether or not I am able to use StrongVPN to stream video from BBC iPlayer, but they also provided me with extra information that was relevant to my inquiry. As a result, I felt really content with the response that I was given. I highly recommend taking advantage of their live chat assistance if you have any queries for them because it is open around the clock. You won’t have to wait more than a few seconds to hear back from actual individuals who are able to provide you with information from three different departments: sales, billing, and technical support.
You may also get in touch with StrongVPN using its online ticketing system, in addition to the live chat assistance it provides. You may merely submit your query and wait for an email answer. Additionally, they provide a wealth of information on their services on both the website in general as well as in the frequently asked questions section, which are formatted similarly to mini blog entries.
StrongVPN -- Final Verdict
StrongVPN is great for streaming without buffering, but if you want to stream content from BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime Video, you’d be better off with another VPN because StrongVPN does not unblock these streaming platforms. If you want to stream content from Amazon Prime Video or BBC iPlayer, use StrongVPN. Despite this, it is perfectly capable of unblocking services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock, and a great many more.
When you take into account that both the monthly and the yearly membership come with free StrongDNS and 250GB of cloud storage from SugarSync, the price per month and per year is pretty reasonable. If they had included a free trial option, then more individuals would have been able to test out the product before deciding whether or not to subscribe to it. People who don’t want to spend money on virtual private networks (VPNs) that they haven’t tried before or are unsure about would have found this method to be more accessible. However, they do provide a free trial of their StrongDNS service for a period of 7 days.
In compared to those of other VPNs, the size of the server network provided by this VPN is around par, but the connections are dependable. Depending on how close you are to the server you pick, the speeds range anywhere from above average to very fast. It is risk-free and risk-free, and it offers live chat help with courteous and knowledgeable people around the clock.
The programmes provided by StrongVPN may be quickly set up, and their user interfaces are both clear and minimalistic. Their website is loaded with information on the services they provide, and of course, there are step-by-step connection tutorials for any devices that are compatible with their platform, regardless of whether or not they are native to the platform.
StrongVPN Review Conclusion
- StrongVPN and StrongDNS in one pack
- Excellent for streaming
- Working in China with a strict no-logs policy
- Step-by-step connection instructions
- Their website has a wealth of information and supports all main devices.
- Customer service that is both helpful and nice
- It provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
FAQs on StrongVPN
Is StrongVPN safe to use?
Yes, StrongVPN is secure since it does not store any consumer data, according to a rigorous zero-logs policy.
Is StrongVPN capable of unblocking Netflix?
Yes, StrongVPN can unblock Netflix and allow you to view your favourite episodes without buffering.
Will StrongVPN reduce my internet speed?
In a nutshell, no. StrongVPN will not drastically slow down your speeds. I completed a lot of speed testing, and the results may be seen in the speeds section above.