StrongVPN Review

StrongVPN

  • Pricing

    From $5.83 / month
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • Android
    • Mac
    • iOS
  • Features

    • Torrenting
    • Netflix
    • Livechat
    • Money-back Guarantee
ProPrivacy.com Score 7.2 out of 10
Visit Site

Summary

StrongVPN is a VPN provider based in the USA. Founded in 2005, the VPN company has evolved quickly - now finding itself under control of the successful CDN firm StackPath. StrongVPN is a service suited to all platforms, that provides extremely good connection speeds. Add to this its ability to unblock services like Netflix, Prime, and Hulu and you have a service that most people will enjoy for streaming. The customer service department is one of the best that we have ever come across. Also, when purchased annually, this service is pretty good value for money. Perhaps the only drawback of this service is that it only has a killswitch for Windows. This means, if you intend to do anything sensitive such as P2P downloading this is, for the time being, a Windows-only service. 

VPN Stats

  • Simultaneous connections 12
  • Countries 26
  • ProPrivacy.com SpeedTest (average) 64.68Mbit/s
  • Jurisdiction US

Alternative VPN Choices for You

From $3.49 / month
ProPrivacy.com Score 10 out of 10
Visit Site Read review
From $6.67 / month
ProPrivacy.com Score 9.1 out of 10
Visit Site Read review
From $2.75 / month
ProPrivacy.com Score 10 out of 10
Visit Site Read review

Price

Since we last reviewed StrongVPN, it has streamlined its plans. The firm now advertises just a monthly and yearly package. In our opinion, the monthly plan is a touch on the pricey side. However, for Windows users, in particular, the cost of the yearly subscription is competitive.

StrongVPN throws in a smart DNS feature for free with all its plans, which is a nice addition for those looking to be able to unblock a lot of content.

Subscribers are given a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means that anybody can subscribe and change their mind. Payment can be made via debit card, credit card, American Express, PayPal, and Alipay. However, no cryptocurrencies are currently accepted. 

Features

StrongVPN NordVPN ExpressVPN
Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux

  • No limitations or restrictions

  • Zero logs

  • Killswitch (windows only)

  • Smart DNS service

  • 12 Simultaneous devices

  • Unblock Netflix US

  • Router support for many models

  • Strong OpenVPN encryption

  • Fast connection speeds

  • Beta WireGuard protocol

Visit StrongVPN »

Unblock Netflix?

StrongVPN NordVPN ExpressVPN
Netflix
iPlayer

During our tests, we discovered that StrongVPN is able to unblock a number of highly sought after streaming services including Netflix US. We also got into the UK Netflix without a problem. However, it, unfortunately, does not manage to unlock the UK's BBC iPlayer. So, if this is a concern, look elsewhere.

StrongVPN also got us into ABC.com and NBC.com successfully. We were also able to access Channel 4's on-demand service from the UK.

Speed and Performance

We test VPNs using a server-based, scientific speed test system. Our proprietary system is one of a kind within the VPN comparison market and it permits consumers to get an accurate snapshot of what to expect regarding VPN performance. Our system tests StrongVPN three times a day, and the results show that it is a fast VPN more than capable of providing speeds good enough for streaming high-quality 4K video. Its connection speeds also put StrongVPN in the elite category of VPNs that can cope with data-intensive tasks such as gaming. 

StrongVPN download speeds

To test StrongVPN for privacy we checked for both IPv4 and IPv6 leaks using a Virtual Machine on Windows. We tested using an incognito window to ensure there were no cache problems. Our tests revealed no IPv4 leaks, or IPv4 WebRTC leaks. Results revealed that StrongVPN does indeed handle DNS requests with its own servers.

However, unfortunately, the VPN does suffer from IPv6 WebRTC leaks. This means that you will need to completely disable IPv6 to use this VPN successfully for privacy purposes. To be fair, StrongVPN admits this is the case, and once IPv6 is disabled the VPN does work like a charm. This is something you must watch out for - but is not necessarily a deal breaker as it is very easy to disable IPv6.

Privacy and security

StrongVPN NordVPN ExpressVPN
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee

Being based in the US is not great for privacy. The US is the home of the NSA and the CIA and the US enforces warrants and gag orders that can force firms to give up data about users and keep it a secret for an undefined length of time. Despite this drawback, StrongVPN is a service that advertises a strong no logs policy. That means the VPN is storing no logs whatsoever about the data that passes through its servers. 

Where encryption is concerned, this VPN provides a choice of protocols. IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN are available using its various apps. Our recommended protocol is OpenVPN, and this is available on both desktop versions and Android. We checked StrongVPN's OpenVPN implementation to ensure it is strong enough to protect subscriber's data from attacks. We found that its encryption implementation exceeds our minimum requirements for privacy and security, meaning that this VPN is secure.

AES 256 cipher with an RSA-2048 handshake, and SHA-1 (HMAC) for hash authentication. I was not able to ascertain whether Perfect Forward Secrecy is implemented. On the whole, this encryption is more than robust enough for most people.

On the other hand, a VPN is only securing your data as long as the VPN is connected and because a killswitch is only available on Windows, this VPN may not be suitable for everybody. In addition, IPv6 must be disabled to use this VPN securely.

User Experience

The Website

The StrongVPN website is useful, however, it lacks important data concerning its encryption implementation standards. Its FAQ section is useful but only provides the bare necessities. The good news is that StrongVPN does have a 24/7 live chat window on its website. I found its agents to be extremely helpful. However, the tech department was only available during the week.

Subscribing is easy, and when talking to live chat they are able to link you to a lot of useful information that is buried within the site. Good overall.

The Process

Signing up is easy and you are not asked to provide a lot of data. This is good and if you sign up with a burner email you can get a subscription with a great amount of privacy. Sadly, cryptocurrencies are not available. One thing worth noting is that when you first download the client it automatically assigns you to a "home" server. This server is PPTP, an outdated form of encryption that we do not recommend. For this reason, the first thing you could do after installing StrongVPN is to change its encryption settings in the client's options.

The StrongVPN Windows VPN Client

This is StrongVPN's best client, and we would argue that StrongVPN is much better for Windows users than consumers using any other Operating System. OpenVPN is available, the software is easy to use, and it is fully featured with IPv4 DNS leak protection and a killswitch. VPN obfuscation is also available via a feature called scramble. StrongVPN told me that this feature sets the VPN to TCP over port 443 (to disguise OpenVPN traffic as regular HTTP). 

Other Platforms

StrongVPN also has apps is available for Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. Manual setup instructions are also available for all of these platforms. Linux, Ubuntu, and Chromium OS operating systems can also integrate the StrongVPN service via a manual installation of a third-party OpenVPN client. You can also access the VPN from routers running DD-WRT, Tomato, and Sabai router operating systems.

A killswitch is not available on any of these platforms, which rules StrongVPN for torrenting on Mac, Android, and iOS. However, if streaming and unblocking content is your main desire then this VPN is reliable on all platforms.

WireGuard

Wireguard is a next-generation open-source VPN protocol that has been designed to be both robust and lightweight. It implements stealth by default and is based on a number of robust modern cryptographic primitives.  Few VPNs have started providing access to WireGuard but StrongVPN is currently trialing it in Beta.

We decided to test StrongVPN’s implementation of the WireGuard protocol to see how it performs. Subscribers who want to use WireGuard must log in to the website on a specific page. From there, users can select the platform they require a WireGuard client for. This will forward them to the WireGuard website to install the third party client. 

We downloaded the Android client to give it a test run - because it is easy to set up using a QR code. However, it is possible to set it up for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS if you prefer. 

To get started we selected the location of the server we wanted to connect to (London). We tested WireGuard on an IPv4 connection because an IPv6 implementation is not yet available. 

Once connected to WireGuard we tested for IP leaks using ipleak.net and found that we experienced no IP leaks, DNS leaks, or WebRTC leaks. This means that the tunnel established successfully and without problems. We were impressed by the speed with which a connection is established.  

StrongVPN leak test results

Next, we tested Wireguard speeds on a 50 Mbps Virgin Media connection in the UK. We found it to perform extremely well. There was hardly any difference between our connection with and without the VPN. This is truly impressive and definitely makes StrongVPN’s implementation of WireGuard extremely interesting indeed. 

It is worth bearing in mind that WireGuard is still considered experimental and it has not been fully audited. This means it may still be a bit premature to start using it for security purposes. However, it is nice to see commercial VPNs like Strong experimental with this well-publicized new protocol.Ten out of ten for effort.

Customer Service

StrongVPN NordVPN ExpressVPN
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee

We spoke with StrongVPN's customer support team at length and found them to be extremely helpful. At one stage we were in a live chat with two of their agents at one time, which is something we have never experienced before. The tech team was knowledgable, however, the really techy guys were only available during weekdays. Despite this we found StrongVPN to have one of the best live chat customer support teams we have ever encountered. Users can also contact StrongVPN via email if they prefer. 

Final Thoughts

StrongVPN is a service that performed well during our tests. Although you will need to disable IPv6 to ensure it has no leaks, this service does implement strong encryption and has a watertight privacy policy. Being based in the US isn't ideal, and the fact that it doesn't have a killswitch on any platform apart from Windows does limit this VPN slightly. However, if you are a Windows user this VPN is pretty good and won't break the bank if you commit for a year. 

Visit StrongVPN »

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 4+ years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, Barrons, the Scottish Herald, ThreatPost, CNET & many more. Ray is currently rated number 1 VPN authority by Agilience.com.

30 Comments

  1. Kevin Shaabani

    on February 14, 2018
    Reply

    They try to see if you are not checking your account so that they can continue to charge you. I signed up for the 1 ONE, I repeat, a ONE month service plan. I DID NOT pre-authorize recurring payments as no where on the site does it imply that the ONE month service entails automatic recurring subscription. It DOES NOT say it in the Terms either. The terms say that in a subsription service, you would agree to recurring charges. SURE, they can charge you again because you signed up for more than one month, but I CLEARLY chose the ONE month plan where it costs more (you know, because I only signed up for ONE month). What the ASBOLUTE HECK!?!??? I'm calling out StrongVPN on this one. The fact that I even have to put in the effort to contact them and cancel even thought I only signed up and paid for ONE month is absurd. Sick and tired of these companies trying to take advantage.

  2. Michael

    on August 11, 2017
    Reply

    I'm looking for good VPN which is not detected by proxy detection service like IP2Proxy. Does StrongVPN provides 'strong' anonymity so that I can use it on almost all services?

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Michael

      on August 23, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Micheal, Services such as IP2Proxy (and Netflix!) work mainly by compiling a database of all IP addresses known to belong to VPN providers, proxy servers, etc. And then blacklisting them. And there is, to be honest, very little that can be done to counter this except a provider continually refreshing its IP range. This is resource intensive. Your best bet is to find a low-profile service whose IPs have not been blacklisted.

  3. Herik

    on May 14, 2017
    Reply

    These review details are very old strongvpn had upgraded their services

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Herik

      on May 15, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Herik, Yes indeed. This review is over three years old, and StrongVPN has made major changes to its service since then. I've put a re-review on my list :).

  4. Darren Dillman

    on November 5, 2016
    Reply

    I used Strong VPN last year while in China. During that time, someone began purchasing items online with my debit card and I am now in the process of disputing the purchases. I am suspicious of Strong VPN since I have never had this happen before. I would recommend people avoid its service.

Write Your Own Comment

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

  Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.