StrongVPN has a rich history and has been in the IT industry for almost 20 years. The company started in 1994 in South Lake Tahoe by selling personal computers. It has come a long way since then and it currently offers one of the most popular VPN services.
- 500+ servers in 22 countries
- 7 day money back guarantee
- Excellent customer support service with 24/7 live chat
- High compatibility on numerous platforms
- Zero log policy
- Provides anonymity
- Good online security with secure protocols & encryption
- Good overall performance
- Expensive pricing plans
- Encourages to use less secure PPTP protocol
- Limited server switches in a given month
- Known to have aggressive policy against torrent & P2P sharing
- No free trial
Pricing and Plans
StrongVPN offers three different packages for its users, each with slight variations in prices, features and servers available. The three packages are called lite, special, and deluxe; one the homepage you can choose from the most popular deals among the three packages.
However, the pricing plans are on the expensive side and if you do choose one of the popular packages, they only come with low level security. Also, choosing between the three packages can be a tedious and complicated task so allow us to break each of the packages down for you.
The lite package offered by StrongVPN is available with servers located in only one location, USA which consists of 262 servers. The number of server switches allowed in this package is a maximum of 25 per month.
With the lite package, you can choose the protocols between PPTP and OpenVPN protocols, each with their own pricing options as listed below.
- PPTP 1 month plan $7.95 per month
- PPTP 3 month plan $7.00 per month ($21 total amount)
- PPTP 6 month plan $6.66 per month ($40 total amount)
- PPTP 1 year plan $6.25 per month ($75 total amount)
- OpenVPN 1 month plan $11.95 per month
- OpenVPN 3 month plan $10.00 per month ($30 total amount)
- OpenVPN 6 month plan $9.50 per month ($57 total amount)
- OpenVPN 1 year plan $7.50 per month ($90 total amount)
The defining feature of special package is that you can choose both OpenVPN and PPTP protocols in the same pricing plan. The special package also allows you wider pool of servers located across different locations.
If you select packages with either PPTP or OpenVPN, you get 313 servers from four locations including USA, UK, Netherlands, and Canada. But, if you select the OpenVPN + PPTP package, you get servers from 22 different countries.
However, with this package, you get lower number of server switches. There are only 15 switches allowed per month. Special package comes in three different sizes:
- PPTP 1 year plan $4.58 per month ($55 total amount)
- OpenVPN 1 year plan $7.00 per month ($85 total amount)
- OpenVPN + PPTP 1 month account $34.95 per month.
The deluxe package comes with PPTP and OpenVPN protocols and offers 392 servers located across 21 different countries. The number of switches between servers allowed is 25 per month, same as lite package.
There are further 8 pricing plans offered within deluxe package and here they are:
- PPTP 1 month plan $16.95 per month.
- PPTP 3 month plan $15.00 per month ($45 total amount)
- PPTP 6 month plan $14.16 per month ($85 total amount)
- PPTP 1 year plan $12.91 per month ($155 total amount)
- OpenVPN 1 month plan $21.95 per month
- OpenVPN 3 month plan $20.00 per month ($60 total amount)
- OpenVPN 6 month plan $19.00 per month ($144 total amount)
- OpenVPN 1 year plan $17.50 per month ($210 total amount)
Unique Selling Proposition
The unique selling proposition that we uncovered in the StrongVPN review is its excellent customer support and high attention to detail to every aspect.
The customer support service is among the best compared to other providers in the industry. The service utilizes numerous methods to reach its users and resolve their problem (see section below).
The other factor that caught our eye about StrongVPN was its attention to detail. Every element of the service is well thought out and provides users with in-depth information and options. From the different pricing plans, setup guides, to different additional services, you can see StrongVPN’s long standing experience in the IT industry.
StrongVPN offers over 500 different servers located across 22 different locations. However, the number of servers and choice of locations are highly dependent on the pricing plan you select. As described earlier, you can avail all 22 servers in the Special Package by selecting the OpenVPN + PPTP plan.
There are certain restrictions on the switches that you can make in a month. Strong VPN does not allow users to freely jump between its 500+ servers. There is a cap on the number of switches that be made between different servers in a given month.
The allowed switches are based on the package you subscribe to. The lite and deluxe packages allow 25 switches per month while special package allows 15 switches per month. New users get +3 extra switches within first 2 weeks of purchase.
The extra 3 switches are only a one time gig and will not be offered once you renew the package. Strong VPN does offer additional switches if the prescribed switches are less for a user. These extra switches come at additional cost:
- 10 switches for $5 per month
- 20 switches for $10 per month
- 30 switches for $15 per month
In our StrongVPN review, we tested the performance of the service using speed tests. The test was initially conducted without any VPN connect and following results were obtained:
Next, the test was repeated but this time with StrongVPN connected to Washington DC, USA server. Following results were obtained:
The overall results were good as there was a slight drop in downloading speeds while little variation was observed in upload speeds. We further tested the service by accessing different geo restricted streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, and BBC iPlayer, and experienced fast online streaming performance.
StrongVPN utilizes different methods to handle customer queries. The channels used include live chat, support desk, forums and blogs, and FAQ section.
StrongVPN provides a full list of supervisors, technical support team, and other customer support members through the ‘Contact Us’ page. The profile of each staff member, along with their areas of expertise, languages they speak, Skype ID and the time they will come online can be accessed from this page.
In our StrongVPN review, we were pleased to see the live chat feature and were impressed with the excellent support provided by the service. The live chat feature is available around the clock, 24/7, 365 days a year.
The live chat feature automatically prompts when you access StrongVPN website. In testing the feature, we inquired about the VPN service and it’s affect on streaming speeds and quality. We got a quick response with all the details relating to the query.
StrongVPN live chat gets full marks in responsiveness to different queries as the performance was very good.
The support desk can be accessed from the contact us page of StrongVPN. There are various options that are available on the support center; you can open support tickets regarding your problem, get hold of setup instructions, go through articles in the knowledgebase, conduct speeds tests, and use other troubleshooting tools.
Forums & Blogs
There are different forums and blogs available on the company’s website. Blogs are helpful in staying updated with latest VPN and tech industry news. You can also interact with other users in various forums; ask questions, help others out, or leave your suggestion.
StrongVPN provides support through FAQ section to its users. The FAQ section consists of general questions about the service along with question relating to speed, pre-sales, and technical questions. Users can attain basic information about StrongVPN using the FAQ section.
In our StrongVPN review, the payment methods that we came across included credit/debit cards, BitCoin, and PayPal. These are some of the commonly used payment options and StrongVPN does a good job in incorporating them.
Perhaps there is room for further improvement in this area as more payment options can be added to the list. However, for the time being the current payment merchants are sufficient for customer around the world to purchase the service.
One of the strong points about StrongVPN is its high compatibility on different devices and operating systems. StrongVPN has its own software for Windows and Mac OS; it is also has separate apps for iOS and Android devices.
The service can be configured on different routers and handheld devices as well. It even provides its own line of routers as additional services.
In our StrongVPN review, we were pleased with the detailed setup guides and tutorials provided. The tutorials and setup instructions can be accessed from the Setup page on StrongVPN’s website. There are separate setup instructions for PPTP/L2TP/SSTP protocols and separate instructions for OpenVPN protocol.
The StrongVPN software and app can also be downloaded from this page. Using the step by step instructions, you can easily setup the service on your chosen platform. The service can also be configured manually, if you don’t wish to use the software.
Protocols and Encryption
There are four different protocols offered by StrongVPN, including OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and SSTP. In the PPTP package, L2TP and SSTP protocols are included and you can choose amongst these protocols if you prefer higher security level.
The encryption levels range from 128 bit to the highly secure 256 bit AES encryption. These encryption levels and protocols will keep your data safe from hackers, spammers, surveillance agencies and other cyber-goons lurking over the internet. The level of encryption depends on the protocol that you select.
- PPTP: 128bit MPPE
- L2TP: 56bit 3DES (three 56-bit keys)
- SSTP: 256bit AES-CBC
OpenVPN comes with varying encryption levels and you can choose the one that works best for you:
- 128bit AES-CBC
- 128bit BF-CBC
- 192bit AES-CBC
- 256bit AES-CBC
It explicitly states that StrongVPN does not record the websites visited, files downloaded and other activities performed by the user while using the VPN service.
The information that is collected by StrongVPN when users connect to its VPN service includes the duration of the connection, time, date, and location where the connection was made, and the total bandwidth used during the session.
DCMA & Copyright Infringement Policy
StrongVPN has been noted for being notorious over monitoring torrent downloads and P2P file sharing, and aggressive in blocking users’ account due to copyright infringement. Many users have also reported in the past that their account where terminated or blocked due downloading torrents.
Currently StrongVPN does not offer any free trials to its users. In our StrongVPN review, we did try to push our case for obtaining a free trial only for few hours to test the service but all efforts were lost in vein. StrongVPN was very stubborn and kept on pondering its 7 day money back guarantee to try the service.
Considering the multitude of packages offered by StrongVPN, there should be a free trial offered it the users so that they can test the service and select the appropriate package.
But it looks like that we would have to live without a free trial for now and utilize the 7 day money back guarantee to evaluate the VPN service.
In addition to the VPN service, StrongVPN also offers certain additional services. These include VPN routers and a DNS service.
The VPN routers are useful for anyone that requires VPN connection on multiple devices such as Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV and other similar devices. StrongVPN bundles a yearly VPN package with the router and ships to your location.
StrongVPN also offers the additional service of smart DNS. Using the smart DNS service, you can access different geo restricted websites and enjoy fast online streaming. StrongDNS comes with a 7 day free trial and prices start at $5 for a monthly package to $50 for a yearly package.
However, with the smart DNS additional service, your data is not encrypted and your identity remains visible. So if you rank online security higher than online streaming, you are better off with a VPN service.
To sum everything up, StrongVPN has years of experience in the IT industry and has paid extensive attention to detail in every aspect. In our StrongVPN review, we were pleased with the overall performance and impressive customer support service.
However, the service does provide high online security against different threats over the internet through secure protocols and encryption levels.
So if you plan to use a StrongVPN service, our advise would be to plan ahead, go through different pricing packages, select the one that would work best for you and use the 7 day money back guarantee period to fully test the service.
StrongVPN Review Package Plans:
StrongVPN Review has three different packages based on the length of subscription. These packages are as follows:
One Month Package
Three Month Package
One Year Package