StrongVPN Review

StrongVPN review screenshot

Editorial Score

78%

Pros:

  • Tons of servers and IP addresses in the US/UK
  • Consistent download speeds
  • Great for unblocking streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
  • Prompt and helpful customer service
  • Intuitive mobile and desktop apps
  • Doesn't log activity usage
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Accepts Bitcoin

Cons:

  • Based out of the US, limiting privacy
  • Limited country connection options
  • Average download speeds
  • No multi-year plans

StrongVPN's best use is for unblocking content on services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and YouTube. They offer a ton of American and European servers and IP addresses, which help to bypass anti-VPN blocks. The company has improved their privacy policy and security features tremendously since we reviewed them in early 2017. In addition, they have begun allowing P2P/File Sharing traffic. It's the perfect choice for those who prefer avoiding long commitments, streaming services in the USA or UK, and want to maintain security when browsing online.


Privacy and Security

StrongVPN's privacy policy states that they keep zero logs of user activity. This is a big improvement from their old policy that recorded session data. Unfortunately, StrongVPN is based out of the USA. The USA is part of the "Five Eyes", an agreement that of five countries to share information between each other. They also form the core of the "Fourteen Eyes", sharing information even further. While StrongVPN records no information to actually provide to these governments if subpoenaed, it could create smaller issues down the line. StrongVPN does require a full name and billing address so these governments can perhaps determine a sign up period to merge with other data. This could also be a detriment to using StrongVPN long term.

As far as security goes, this VPN lives up to their name. The company employs typical bonus security features such as an internet kill switch, IPv6 leak protection, and DNS leak protection. The kill switch is perfect when you don't want to risk exposing your IP as it halts internet connections if you get disconnected from your VPN. Their latest software uses AES-256 bit encryption, SHA256 authentican, and a 2048-bit RSA key. IKEv2 connections use AES-256 bit encryption, SHA512 authentication, and 8192-bit MODP key. What these numbers translate to is encryption levels on par with military government establishments.

Speed

Connection speed is decidedly average. Expect 30-40 Mbps when downloading and connection times under 10 seconds. Relative to the service's strong points though, this is acceptable. The company allows P2P/torrenting now, but it's better usage is for streaming Netflix and Hulu. When it comes to streaming, StrongVPN's service gets the job done as well as anyone else. The connections are consistent with few very drops.

Countries

There are some positives and negatives to StrongVPN's choice of locations. They aren't in a lot of cities (46) or countries (26). Half of the cities are in the United States or United Kingdom. Across all cities, they offer 650 servers and over 150,000 IP addresses. This is why we like using StrongVPN to unblock Netflix, Hulu, and iPlayer streaming. Their servers in Hong Kong are solid choices for using to bypass China's "Great Firewall" too while still maintaining reasonable speeds. However, if you need a truly worldwide VPN service then you will find StrongVPN lacking.

Ease and Usability

Signing up and installing the software or mobile app is easy. The interface of StrongVPN's app is super intuitive. I'd be surprised if anyone ran into issues getting their VPN connection up and running. The company redesigned their desktop software in 2018 to introduce modern VPN conveniences. It's now just as easy to use as the mobile app. The only downside is that there is no server choice by type, which is becoming fairly common. StrongVPN's apps aren't the absolute best, but they're now among them.

Support

We've never encountered any reports of live chat taking very long. Most issues have been resolved promptly in our experience. Support has also been able to assist in swapping protocols when we had trouble doing so ourselves. On more technical questions, the response time can be a lot longer and live chat won't be useful. In these cases, you may need to go back and forth on email for a few days. They do try to go the extra mile when possible, exemplified by offering remote install of their VPN service.

Value

This service is neither cheap, nor expensive. The monthly option and annual option are both right in the middle compared to competitors' pricing. The privacy, usability, and city/country options range from underwhelming to bad. Support, number of servers, and average speeds scored well. So for average pricing, you get an average service. There's not a lot of value here, but it's far from a rip-off. Where StrongVPN suffers compared to the competition is the lack of a 2-year or 3-year plan that generally comes at large savings. It's still a good choice for a month to month plan or those who prefer to avoid longer commitments.

Bottom Line

This is a company that's average in a lot of respects - server speeds, price, breath of server locations, and a privacy-weak USA location. Where they excel is in support, security protocols, server technology, and easy of app use. This creates a combination that is perfect for their actual niche: encrypted streaming services online. It's one of the very few VPN services that works for unblocking Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and more. The speeds are consistently fast enough to watch high quality videos without buffering. And if that's all your looking for then this is one of the best. The service works for secure internet browsing and anonymous P2P torrenting in a pinch, but there are better options like NordVPN and CyberGhost if those are the primary needs.

RATING

Privacy
8
Speed
7.5
Countries
8
Usability
7.5
Support
9
Value
7
78%

BEST USES

  • BBC iPlayer
  • Gaming
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Sports
  • Streaming

DEVICES


Windows

Mac

Linux

iPhone

Android

Router

iPad

PROTOCOLS

  • L2TP/IPsec
  • OpenVPN
  • SSTP
  • IKEv2
  • PPTP

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Email Support
Live Chat

COUNTRIES


USA

UK

Germany

Australia

Canada

Turkey

Netherlands

Hong Kong
Show All Countries