Are you considering buying a StrongVPN plan?
StrongVPN is one of the oldest vpn companies in existence today.
If you are considering purchasing a vpn service for your internet use, you might have come across StrongVPN.
Having been founded in 2005, StrongVPN has really improved their services over the years to match some of the premium vpn providers today.
But what has really improved?
Even though they’ve been in this industry for 15 years… they don’t have much to show in terms of a huge customer base.
In this StrongVPN review, we are going to look at the StrongVPN pros and cons.
By the time you finish reading this StrongVPN review in 2020, I hope to have helped you decide whether StrongVPN is the vpn for you or whether you should look elsewhere for a better vpn.
If you are not convinced yet, I will also suggest a few StrongVPN alternatives at the end of this review that I think you should check out too.
To begin this StrongVPN review, let’s have a quick summary of what I found out.
StrongVPN is a vpn company, founded in 2005, based in the USA.
It has 950 servers based in 30 different countries that enable you to unblock streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, download torrent files and bypass China’s firewall.
|Streaming||Netflix, Hulu, Amazon|
Let’s now have a more in depth review of StrongVPN.
At the time of writing this StrongVPN review, StrongVPN has a total of 87,000 IP addresses and 950 vpn servers located in 30 different countries.
While the IP count is great, the total server count aint.
As if that is not enough, their servers are concentrated in North America and Europe… poor distribution.
Or better put, StrongVPN is one of the best servers for US and Europe.
With no server in Africa or the Middle East, and just a few in Asia… StrongVPN targets mostly users from Europe… because according to statistics, the percentage of Americans that use vpns is very low.
In fact, the greatest percentage of vpn users are from Asia.
StrongVPN could do better in terms of expanding their server network and distribution.
So you want to access Netflix US but you don’t live in the US, right?
Yeah… will you be able to watch tv shows destined for the American audience?
Let’s find out…
According the recent research, the biggest percentage of people who use vpns do so in order to access geo restricted entertainment content.
And since online streaming platforms like Netflix offer some of the best entertainment content online… it’s rightfully so that you’d ask whether StrongVPN unblocks Netflix.
Also, let me alos mention that most people are particularly interested in Netflix US because they have the largest collection of tv shows and series.
Was I able to access Netflix with StrongVPN?
After signing into StrongVPN, I selected a vpn server based in the US and was able to stream my favorite tv series.
Contrary to other vpns where it was a hit miss scenario, all the US servers I connected were able to stream Netflix.
In addition to Netflix, I was also able to stream content from Hulu using StrongVPN..
However, when I tried to watch content on Amazon Prime Video, my vpn IP was detected and blocked.
BBC iPlayer also didn’t work at all.
StrongVPN unblocks Netflix and Hulu in the US… but not Amazon Prime Video nor iPlayer.
If you are looking for a vpn that unblocks Netflix in the US, I recommend StrongVPN.
But if you want to be able to unblock every other streaming platform, I suggest you check out ExpressVPN.
How does StrongVPN compete in connection speeds with other vpns?
I decided to test StrongVPN connection speeds in order to find out if you’ll be able to maintain great connection speeds even while on the vpn.
Here is what I found out…
Before connecting to the StrongVPN servers, I run a speed test using speedtest.net and established my download and upload speeds.
I had a download speed of 25.75Mbps and an upload speed of 5.99Mbps before connecting to StrongVPN.
I first connected to a US based server.
For the US based server, the download speeds dropped to 22.64Mbps while the upload speeds dropped to 5.75Mbps respectively.
I then connected to a UK based server and here are the connection speeds I got.
Download speeds dropped to 20.72Mbps while upload speeds dropped to 5.39Mbps respectively.
Lastly, I connected to a server based in Hong Kong and here are the results.
Download speeds dropped to 20.79Mbps while the upload speeds dropped to 5.48Mbps.
While each server I connected to experienced some drops in connection speeds, I maintained more than 80% of my orginal connection speeds for each StrongVPN server I connected to.
StrongVPN offers very great and steady connection speeds irrespective of the server location that you choose to connect to.
In fact, StrongVPN connection speeds are some of the fastest I have reviewed so far.
First of all, downloading copyrighted material in whichever format is illegal and you don’t want to be caught doing that.
There is a reason it’s copyrighted, so that the original creator can always get the right credit for their work.
Either way, never start torrenting without first connecting to a vpn or proxy server.
Your torrenting activities are transparent to your ISP and can be used against you at anytime in the future.
A vpn ensures your ISP never gets to see what you are doing online… including whether you are torrenting or not.
StrongVPN allows torrenting from any of its servers… so you don’t have to change servers everytime you want to torrent.
But remember to turn the kill switch on so that anytime your connection drops and your vpn disconnects… your torrent clients stops until the vpn reconnects.
This way you’ll ensure there is no leak of your real IP address.
While torrenting, I was able to do so with great speeds… just like I experienced with normal browsing.
Add to this the fact that StrongVPN does not keep logs, as you’ll see below, and your torrenting is completely private and anonymous.
So you don’t need to worry about safety while torrenting with StrongVPN.
If you are looking for a vpn that supports anonymous torrenting, StrongVPN is great for that.
What is StrongVPN no logs policy?
A vpn no logs policy is usually the center of concern because most people who use a vpn want to stay anonymous online.
They want to stop the government or ISPs from spying on their internet activities.
But after sometime, vpn users realized that apart from protecting yourself from the government, you now also need to protect yourself from the vpns too.
It emerged that while vpns make you invisible to your ISP, they keep your internet usage logs for other purposes.
StrongVPN is based in the USA, not great for privacy.
How about keeping logs.
First, if you sign up for StrongVPN using a credit card, they’ll also require and store your billing address… remember billing addresses include your street number.
Even though they used to offer it, StrongVPN dropped support for crypto payments, so there are no anonymous payment methods.
In case you pay with PayPal or AliPay, your billing address won’t beed needed.
They also don’t log the websites that you visit.
Usually, it is this kind of information that can be used to identify you and track you down with a copyright violation lawsuit.
It’s great they don’t keep it.
So, on the surface look of it, StrongVPN is a great vpn if you want complete privacy and anonymity online.
However, vpn companies are a crafty lot, I would love to see a third party security firm conduct an independent audit of StrongVPN servers and software to establish if there’s more than meets the eye.
Besides, just saying “we don’t store your data” is not good enough in 2020.
We know that for every vpn to work seamlessly they need to store some information… StrongVPN should come out clear on what they keep and what they don’t.
Coz we know they must be keeping something.
To make this even more interesting, when I tried to signup for StrongVPN, I was blocked from checking out and making my payment because I was using a vpn.
They demanded that I disconnect my vpn before making a purchase.
Why do they care about my real IP address? Unless they want to log it… right?
Encryption and Data Encryption
Being secure online starts with the encryption that your vpn uses to transmit your data.
If the encryption technology is bullet proof you can be rest assured that your traffic cannot be hijacked and decrypted.
You want to worry about this especially if you do transactions online and don’t want your credit card details landing into the hands of a hacker through packet sniffing.
When writing this StrongVPN review, I established that StrongVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption technology.
It is a very powerful encryption that has never been cracked and has posed as an impossible to crack algorithm.
In addition to this encryption, StrongVPN also supports some of the latest vpn connection protocols.
Apart from OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP & L2TP/IPSec, StrongVPN also supports a rather new protocol called WireGuard.
WireGuard provides a blend of security and speed.
Each protocol is best adapted to different platforms and purposes so you can switch between protocols in the settings as you see fit.
For example, while OpenVPN is great for Android devices, IKEv2 is best for iOS.
StrongVPN is pretty much at par with other premium vpns when it comes to encryption and vpn protocols.
In order to have an ad free browsing experience you’ll need a vpn with ad blocking capabilities.
While ads are a great way for websites to make money, some video ads are usually very intrusive… if not annoying.
These are the ads that start to play on the bottom right or bottom left corner of your screen, often without audio and without your permission.
Will you be able to block these ads with StrongVPN?
Currently, StrongVPN does not have an ad blocker that can block any ads on any website you visit.
If you really want to disable ads through a vpn, then you should look into other vpns like NordVPN that actually provide ad blockers.
Some applications and online services are very security conscious.
Take an example of your backing app… they’ll definitely block you out or ask for additional verification whenever you try to login using a strange IP address.
Especially when that IP address belongs to a different country…
Whenever you connect to a vpn, you are always assigned a new IP address so it will keep changing.
In that case, it would be great if you had a dedicated or static IP address that you can whitelist in your apps… a dedicated or static IP means anytime you connect to the internet with your vpn, you’ll also be using the same IP address.
A dedicated IP might also be necessary if you want to, say, connect to your home security camera feed.
So, does StrongVPN have dedicated IPs?
At the time of writing this StrongVPN review, StrongVPN does NOT provide any dedicated or static IPs.
Otherwise, if you don’t need a static IP… stay put.
How about a kill switch?
Does StrongVPN have an automatic internet kill switch?
A kill switch will block your internet access anytime your vpn app disconnects from the server.
This happens a few times during the day, especially when your internet connection drops and reconnects… often without you even realizing it.
If your kill switch is turned on, your IP address will not be leaked when a connection drops… especially if you were torrenting.
Fortunately, StrongVPN has an inbuilt automatic internet kill switch that, when turned on, will provide you this protection.
It is available in both the desktop apps as well as mobile apps.
Split tunneling is a great feature if you want some apps to connect with your actual IP address.
This could be the case for example when running backups and don’t want a speed drop or are accessing a corporate network that is configured with your ISP IP address.
You’ll need a split tunnel to be able to exempt certain apps from tunneling their traffic through a vpn.
At the time I was writing this StrongVPN review in 2020, StrongVPN only supports split tunneling in the Android app… but that’s it.
There is no split tunneling in all other apps… which is very disappointing.
I hope they include this feature soon as it’s very important for users like me.
So if you are looking for a vpn that offers a full blown split tunneling feature, especially in the desktop apps, then I don’t recommend StrongVPN.
If you don’t care about split tunneling, then stay put. Keep it StrongVPN.
IPv6 leaks, DNS leaks and WebRTC leaks tests
Is StrongVPN able to hide both your IPv4 and IPv6 address when online?
In order to test if there were leaks in either IPv6, DNS or WebRTC I used ipleak.net while connected to a StrongVPN server.
From the screenshot above, we can see that StrongVPN directed all my traffic through an IPv4 address and so my actual IPv4 was not revealed.
It means your communication is secure whether you are using an IPv4 or an IPV6 when connected to StrongVPN.
The Tor browser is the closest you can get to complete anonymity online.
What most people don’t know, though, is that the entry node to the Tor network always see your real IP address.
So in order to guarantee complete anonymity, you need to add a vpn into the mix to hide your IP address.
Luckily, for an avid Tor user, StrongVPN completely supports Tor and works seamlessly alongside each other.
While StrongVPN hides your IP address and doesn’t keep any logs of the sites you visit, Tor ensures the sites you visit can’t recognize who you are… win win.
If you are looking for a vpn that supports Tor then I recommend StrongVPN.
Works in China?
Will StrongVPN work in China?
China has a very strong deep packet inspection (DPI) technology that powers their firewall.
It makes it very hard for vpn traffic to fly by unnoticed and blocked.
Thanks to this firewall, certain websites like Google.com are completely blocked in China, so you can’t access them while in China.
So a vpn must have very tough obfuscation technology in order to bypass the Chinese firewall and access censored content.
Because of StrongVPN obfuscation technology, you’ll be able to us StrongVPN in China without problems.
If you are looking for a vpn that you can carry with you to China, then I strongly recommend StrongVPN.
How much does it set you back to purchase a StrongVPN plan?
This is where StrongVPN chooses to embrace simplicity over complexity.
There are no countless discounts and plans here… StrongVPN only has two pricing plans:
1-month plan costs $10/month.
12-months plan costs $5.83/month, billed as $69.99.
Pay $69.99 and get 42% discount for a whole year, or let them bill you $10 every single month that passes.
I find this simplistic approach to pricing rather interesting… instead of sitting down grabbing a calculator and trying to find out which plan gives you the best bang for your buck… it’s all in front of the you: the 12-month plan.
If you are looking for a vpn that offers longer plans like 3-year subscriptions, then I suggest you look into NordVPN.
When reviewing StrongVPN, I established that they support all the major credit cards, PayPal and AliPay.
AliPal is particularly great for users from China because this vpn works very well in China.
Does StrongVPN support anonymous payment methods like cryptocurrencies.
If you read some StrongVPN reviews online you’ll see them mentioning that StrongVPN supports Bitcoin payments… generally, crypto.
Even though they used to support crypto, this is NOT the case anymore.
StrongVPN dropped support for cryptocurrencies.
And if you pay with a credit card, they also collect your billing address… this is definitely information that will identify you.
You can however, login to your StrongVPN dashboard and edit this information at anytime to something else after successfully signing up.
If you are looking for a vpn that supports crypto payments, then I don’t recommend StrongVPN.
Can StrongVPN give you your money back if you don’t like what you bought?
All premium plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee.
It means you have 30 days to test drive StrongVPN from the time of purchase and make up your mind if you want to keep it or cancel.
In order to cancel StrongVPN head over to your dashboard and fill a cancel request form and your refund is automatically processed if you are within the 30 days.
Luckily you don’t have to chat with anyone to ask for a refund… it’s an unconditional refund.
If you are returning a StrongVPN router, then you have 90 days from purchase to ask for a refund and your router has 12 months hardware warranty.
In case you paid through PayPal or AliPay, your refund with reflect immediately but if you used a credit card you might have to wait upto 7 working days.
So, yes, StrongVPN offers a no-questions-asked 30-day money back guarantee.
If you are looking for a vpn that will not conduct an interview anytime you want a refund, I strongly recommend StrongVPN.
Do you get a StrongVPN free trial?
I couldn’t find any link to a free trial of StrongVPN.
Or better put, StrongVPN does NOT offer any free trials as they have stated clearly on their website.
Their reason is that most vpns that offer free trials receive traffic abuse from the freeloaders that lead to their IPs being blacklisted on most popular websites.
As soon as I read this, it made total sense.
They don’t want to keep renewing IP addresses just to keep freebie seekers happy… who are not going to buy anyway.
I think this is the reason most other vpns do not offer completely free trials… they want you to at least commit with a dollar or two.
Let’s begin by first looking at the platforms that it actually supports.
While writing this StrongVPN review, I established that StrongVPN supports a great collection of devices and platforms.
First, there are dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.
Even though it still doesn’t have an app for Linux, there are configuration guides for various Linux distros.
Apart from that, you’ll also get dedicated apps for Fire Stick TV, Android TV, Kodi, and pre configured routers.
For most devices that you want to connect with StrongVPN, you’ll either find an app or a configuration guide for it.
How many devices can you connect with StrongVPN?
While reviewing StrongVPN, one of the StrongVPN pros that I established is that you can connect upto 12 devices at once.
This is a major boost, considering most vpns stay in the ranges of 5-6 simultaneous connections.
So if you have a bigger collection of devices that you’d like to protect with your StrongVPN plan, then I recommend StrongVPN because you’ll have 12 devices.
But if you want to connect more that 12 devices, then I suggest you set up a router.
With a router, you can configure it to connect to your StrongVPN server and then add as many devices to your network as your router supports.
All devices connected to the router will be protected but StrongVPN only counts that as one connection.
Once you buy a StrongVPN you might need some help configuring or troubleshooting your router for example.
But even before you buy, you might also have some questions you’d like answered.
This is where customer support becomes really important.
Does StrongVPN offer customer support?
To begin with, StrongVPN has a collection of articles on their support websites that provide you with detailed guides on how to install and troubleshoot all the apps that they support.
Apart from the guides, StrongVPN also offers 24/7 live chat customer support.
I found the live chat the best way to get answers to your questions faster… even though for more detailed queries you should open a support ticket so that you can get responses from technical team.
From my experience, the live chat attendants are sales people and often will not be able to respond to very technical questions to your satisfaction.
One interesting this is that StrongVPN even offers phone support.
It is the first vpn service that I have seen offering phone support, apart from PrivateVPN that offers remote TeamViewer support.
At the time I was writing this StrongVPN review in 2020, the phone support is only available Mon-Fri US working hours.
So, yes, StrongVPN offers great customer support with a variety of options to choose from.
If you are looking for a vpn service with great customer support, I recommend it.
Even though StrongVPN is one of the oldest vpn companies based on the year it was founded, I still consider it a small vpn company.
- Netfilx, Hulu, Amazon
- Fast speeds
- Torrenting allowed
- Zero logs
- Kill Switch
- Works in China
- 12 devices
- Only 950 servers
- No dedicated IPs
- No ad blockers
- No Bitcoins
Contrary to what you’d expect that an old company would have more users and a wider infrastructure, it’s not the case with StrongVPN.
On the flip side, though, I find StrongVPN to be able to offer great connections speeds.
While there were speeds losses, as should be expected, I still ended up with HD quality streaming speeds.
Add that to the fact that StrongVPN can ublock both Netflix and Hulu in the US, I think most Netflix US users will like StrongVPN.
It is also interesting to note that StrongVPN allows torrenting on all its servers.
Most vpns, like PureVPN, only allow streaming in certain servers… so you have to select a torrenting dedicated server before you start your download.
However, being in the US is a rather StrongVPN con as the US can get aggressive with their data retention laws anytime.
Also, just saying “we don’t keep logs” is not good enough… I’d love to see a third party security firm conduct an independent audit of StrongVPN to establish if there is more than meets the eye.
Overall, though, I would recommend StrongVPN for you if you want a vpn for streaming Netflix US.
As for torrenting, I would recommend a vpn that’s based outside of the US.
|NordVPN||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||P2P servers||6||$ 3.49/m|
|Surfshark||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||P2P servers||Unlimited||$ 1.99/m|
|ExpressVPN||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||All servers||5||$ 8.32/m|
Have you used StrongVPN before?
Please share your experience in the comments below.