Our Take: StrongVPN is a user-friendly VPN that delivers solidly on the fundamentals, provides plenty of device connections and sets itself apart with the deployment of the robust, high-speed WireGuard VPN protocol. The fact that its kill switch feature only works in Windows environments may lead non-Windows users to prefer other options, and it has occasional issues with inconsistent performance, but otherwise it appears to be a well-made VPN.
StrongVPN is a solid, if a bit feature-light, VPN notable for incorporating access to the next-generation WireGuard protocol. It’s generally considered a good VPN choice for beginning users. This review will look at how the current version of this VPN performs and what it delivers.
Pros & Cons of StrongVPN
|What We Like and What We Don’t|
Key Features of StrongVPN
Working out the best VPN for you involves sorting out plenty of claims about tools and features from the companies competing in this space. We cut through the noise by evaluating providers like StrongVPN based on four key features:
- Security and privacy are crucial, being the core mission of a VPN service.
- Server coverage, the distribution and number of servers in the VPN’s network, is important for consistent and efficient connections.
- Performance is always something of a trade-off when using a VPN, but the best VPNs will have a minimal impact on your system’s performance, making it possible to stream, game and hold video calls smoothly and without interruptions.
- The price of a VPN service’s various plans determine, along with the features and functionality it offers, its value.
Security & Privacy
Any modern VPN should encrypt its password vaults with the most up-to-date standard, which is 256-bit AES encryption: a species of encryption that can’t be brute-forced hacked in any practical span of time no matter how much computing power is brought to bear. It provides a reliable kill switch that disconnects internet traffic if the VPN is disabled, and it offers obfuscation — disguising your VPN traffic as normal HTTP traffic — via a tool called Scramble. StrongVPN meets this industry standard, and while it employs standard OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP and L2TP protocols, it also offers access to a next-generation protocol called WebGuard, which is an experimental protocol designed to be both robust and lightweight and that adds a further layer of modern encryption. StrongVPN is one of the few VPN services that offers access to this protocol across Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS alike.
While StrongVPN is easy to use, it doesn’t provide a lot of the extra features that are common on more popular VPN services, it can be a chore to set up the 250 GB of SugarSync cloud storage the service promises, and perhaps most importantly, the kill switch only functions on its Windows client. It’s reasonably secure and doesn’t have any known major security and privacy issues, and while it does set itself apart with WireGuard protocol access, it’s worth keeping in mind that this protocol is still experimental.
StrongVPN offers a moderate-sized network with just over 950 servers in 59 cities across 35 countries. It lays claim to being the “best streaming VPN” and reliably unblocks a wide range of streaming services and media sites in most of the countries where its services are sited. These include U.S.-only YouTube content, Netflix in both the United States and Japan, Disney+ and Amazon Prime, ABC and HBO, Hulu and Sky Go. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, it doesn’t seem to be able to unblock BBC iPlayer, and it doesn’t unblock Canadian, French or British versions of Netflix.
Some VPN services offer added extras like optimized or dedicated servers for added performance support, but nothing of this nature is apparent in StrongVPN’s server coverage. The big remaining question is to what extent this server network delivers on performance.
One of StrongVPN’s distinguishing features is that it offers a dozen simultaneous connections to the network, more than any single user is liable to need. There are no monthly data limits or bandwidth throttling, and the StrongVPN server network enjoys a reputation for high speeds, especially when employing the WireGuard protocol. However, performance isn’t always consistent. At times, it seems that key nodes in the relatively small server network can get overloaded, however, and at such times performance can grow much spottier, with speed reductions anywhere from 60% to as high as 95% (which would effectively slow any internet service to a crawl). But these inconsistencies aren’t the rule, and on the whole, StrongVPN tends to perform well on speed tests. However, it’s not easy to tell when and on which servers problems might crop up.
StrongVPN offers paid plans for individual VPN users at $10 per month or on 12-month plans for $70 (around $5.83 per month). It doesn’t offer plans for business teams, which are handled by a partner called Encrypt.me. It doesn’t offer a free trial either, although it does provide a 30-day money-back guarantee. Given the number of connections it offers, unlimited data, ease of use, that it performs decently on core VPN features and that it provides access to the next-gen WireGuard protocol, this is pretty fair value for money. However, the limitations in its feature set, the fact that its kill switch only works on Windows, its lack of third-party auditing and its occasionally inconsistent performance might lead some users to prefer more sophisticated VPN solutions.
|StrongVPN Plans & Pricing|
|12-Month Subscription||$70 ($5.83/month)|
What Customers Are Saying
StrongVPN enjoys a solid reputation with customers, especially in countries behind strong online firewalls: “I live in a country were many of the online and VOIP services are heavily blocked with [a] strong firewall. I have been using StrongVPN service for more than 17 years . . . Amazing service, great speed, they deliver what they’ve promised with, excellent customer service and above all great value for price . . . they have a new protocol to connect to the VPN called Wireguard. My current internet speed is 550 Mbps and with my VPN connect the speed i am getting is 460 Mbps.”
|Customer Support||24/7 Live Chat|
|Platform/Browser Compatibility||Chrome, Firefox|
|Server Coverage||950+ Servers in 35 Countries|
|Number of Devices||12|
|Streaming Services||Netflix (US and Japan), Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime, ABC, Sky Go, HBO, Hulu, Disney+|
|Security Encryption||256-bit AES|
|Kill Switch||Yes (Windows only)|
|Website||Learn more at StrongVPN|