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StrongVPN review

StrongVPN offers easy-to-use apps and good speeds

Strongvpn
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

StrongVPN is a solid VPN service with all the industry-standard features and then some. While it doesn't provide the breadth of servers or offer as many features as some of the leading brands, it offers decent performance, streaming and browsing on a large number of devices at the same time, as well as mobile support.

For

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 12 simultaneous connections
  • Unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+
  • 250GB SugarSync storage

Against

  • Below average WireGuard speeds
  • Can't unblock BBC iPlayer

Tom's Guide Verdict

StrongVPN is a solid VPN service with all the industry-standard features and then some. While it doesn't provide the breadth of servers or offer as many features as some of the leading brands, it offers decent performance, streaming and browsing on a large number of devices at the same time, as well as mobile support.

Pros

  • + 30-day money-back guarantee
  • + 12 simultaneous connections
  • + Unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+
  • + 250GB SugarSync storage

Cons

  • - Below average WireGuard speeds
  • - Can't unblock BBC iPlayer

StrongVPN is certainly one of the best VPN providers out there right now and that's thanks to a continual growth as a company since it started in 2005.

If you want a VPN that specializes in working across a broad range of devices then this could be the option for you. Not only will this let you run connections on 12 devices simultaneously, but it also has apps for a huge range of gadgets.

Another big appeal here is simplicity. Right from the company's website you'll notice how clear and straightforward everything is. That makes this a good choice for anyone new to the world of VPNs.

The server number might not be the highest, nor the speeds the very fastest, but with tight security and that all important Netflix unblocking, this VPN ticks a lot of the right boxes.

Read on to find out everything you need to know in this StrongVPN review.

Strongvpn review - devices

(Image credit: Future)

StrongVPN on paper

Client platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, DDWRT, macOS, GLiNet routers, Android TV.
Supported protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP and WireGuard
No. of servers: 950+
No. of countries: 35+
Country of registration: USA
Payment options: Credit cards, PayPal, Alipay
Real name necessary? No
Encryption protocol: WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2. L2TP, SSTP
Data usage: Unlimited
Bandwidth usage: Unlimited
Max. no. of simultaneously connected devices: 12
Customer support: Email, live chat, phone
Privacy policy: No logging

How much does StrongVPN cost?

As we’d expect, StrongVPN’s pricing structure is pretty down-to-earth. There are two plans to choose from – one month, and one year.

Go for the single-month option and you have the freedom to opt out whenever you need but that will cost you with a rate of $10.99 per month. 

Commit for a longer period and you stand to make a saving equivalent to paying $3.66 per month for that first year. You pay for that up front at $43.99, then for each year after that it's $79.99.

A nice bit of added value comes in the form of a free 250GB plan with cloud storage provider SugarSync. This is the same as what IPVanish used to offer, and if you’ll use it, it’s definitely worth considering.

There’s no VPN free trial, but all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test the service thoroughly before committing – and payments can be made via major credit cards, PayPal, and Alipay.

How private and secure is StrongVPN?

StrongVPN provides good basic privacy thanks to the use of industry-standard 256-bit encryption. Connecting is performed through OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, and SSTP protocols, as well as the speedy WireGuard. This relatively new protocol was introduced with the goal of having different protocols’ best features assembled into one.

It provides faster speeds than OpenVPN, increases performance, requires less computational resources than IPSec, is arguably more secure than other protocols, and is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android clients.

An additional safety feature traditionally used by VPN providers is a kill switch, and StrongVPN has one as well. When turned on, a kill switch will jump in whenever the VPN connection drops, effectively blocking your Internet connection so no data is leaked.

StrongVPN calls itself a ‘zero-logging VPN’, which means it will never track or store your data and browsing activities while connected to its service. It only collects the information necessary for account creation which it promises not to sell to third parties.

Unfortunately, this is as much detail as we get in the Privacy Policy, and there has been no independent audit of these no-logging claims. Since other VPN providers are starting to open their doors to independent auditors, it would do well for StrongVPN to do the same.

This would mean a lot for people concerned about the physical location of the StrongVPN headquarters – the United States, a country whose government is known for anything but keeping its nose out of people’s online activities.

How fast is StrongVPN?

Connection speeds are almost as important as the privacy and security of a service, and this is where many users’ minds will be made up. We tested StrongVPN on two 1Gbps connections – US and UK – and used a number of speed testing sites and services to judge exactly what the VPN can deliver. 

We then tested speeds with multiple services including SpeedTest's website and command line app, SpeedOf.me and nPerf.

Using OpenVPN in the US, speeds reached 230-240Mbps. That’s not up there with the very fastest, but still very usable. IKEv2 speeds jumped to 260-280Mbps in the US, which is rather impressive – only beaten by ExpressVPN.

If you want to max out your speeds, though, we’d strongly suggest using the new WireGuard protocol – as this turns StrongVPN into a fast VPN, just not the fastest. In the US we got reliable speeds of around 270-300Mbps, and in the UK it hovered around the 450Mbps for just about every test. 

It's worth noting that in our testing earlier in the year both these speeds were topping closer to 600Mbps, so you may find it is faster where you are. The fastest VPN providers, like NordVPN, hit over 800Mbps – not that any people with a 100Mbps line will be able to notice that difference. 

What are StrongVPN's apps like?

StrongVPN supports a wide range of platforms. These include Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Fire TV, for which it has native clients. Plenty of other platforms are covered with manual setup guides and include Linux, Synology NAS, Kodi, Amazon Kindle, Chrome OS, as well as specific router models. You can also purchase a router with StrongVPN already installed.

The service can be used on up to 12 devices simultaneously, while the router VPN support gives you the possibility to increase this already high number to virtually unlimited. This is possible because a router counts as only one device, regardless of how many other devices are connected to it.

The Windows client offers up a small map which highlights your current location, and it displays your external IP. A single click can get you connected.

You can also use a server list to choose your location, but while it works well, there are no additional amenities such as a favorites system or ping time display.

That lack of user-friendly niceties is a running theme, too. You can’t connect to a new server without manually disconnecting first, you can’t double click on a server to quick connect, and the system tray icon doesn’t give you options to connect to any particular location. The map itself is also quite rudimentary, with no zooming or panning.

That’s not all bad, though, as everything is very simple to use. Connection times are quick, and of course, you’re likely to get decent speeds as mentioned above. You’ll also get a useful kill switch to protect you if your connection dies – and its performance is much better since our last test.

On iOS and Android, things are much the same – with a similar interface and simple features. Unfortunately neither have a kill switch (although you can always use Android’s in-built kill switch), but you’ll still get OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard support. That’s better than many competitors.

You’ll also be able to use split tunneling, which is an omission we’d love to see implemented on desktop too.

Overall, StrongVPN’s mobile apps are very usable, if not the most powerful on the market.

(Image credit: Future)

How good is StrongVPN for streaming and torrenting?

As more and more people realise what VPNs can offer when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted content, this is becoming an ever-more important section.

In our Netflix testing we had no issues, with StrongVPN accessing US Netflix from a variety of servers. It also allowed us to watch Disney+, and what’s more, Amazon Prime is available too. 

The only major service tested that wasn't accessible was the UK based BBC iPlayer, which is a shame as this would otherwise be one of the best streaming VPN options.

A number of the best services do perform slightly better (ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN and NordVPN for a start), but overall StrongVPN is rather impressive when it comes to unblocking content.

However, we’ve got no complaints when it comes to torrenting, as every one of StrongVPN’s servers is fit for P2P use.

How good is StrongVPN's customer support?

If you encounter any problems when installing and using the service, you can consult the library of articles on the help site. They are divided into groups according to the area covered, including setup guides, technical support, billing support, FAQ, and about section. The support site is searchable by keyword.

StrongVPN also has a blog, which is a good read for anyone interested in both the company and the VPN industry in general.

For all your concerns that cannot be answered by the support site, the company’s expert customer service agents are there for you, 24/7. You can reach them on live chat or submit a detailed request on the website and get a response via email in under an hour. 

A welcome addition to these common practices is the phone line which allows you to get in touch with them anytime during the company’s office hours – between 9 AM and 5 PM CT (UTC -6), Monday through Friday.

Final verdict

Although more pricing options would be highly appreciated and the fact that the provider is based in the US does raise some concerns, StrongVPN is a generally well-rounded service that opens many doors for its users – streaming geographically restricted content and torrenting on many devices, all the while boasting decent speeds. The phone support provides even more options to establish contact with the company and get speedy assistance.

Luke Edwards

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.