Strong VPN is a US-based VPN service provider operated by Strong Technology LLC, a company headquartered in South Lake Tahoe, California. It is associated with the sites Reliablehosting.com and StrongDNS.com. Strongvpn is arguably one of the major VPN solutions worldwide, with servers in dozens of cities in various countries. It supports different security protocols and is also notable for its 24/7 technical support.
Strong VPN Overview
While doing this review, we initially thought that, similar to OverPlay VPN, Strongvpn offers two packages: StrongDNS and StrongVPN. However, StrongDNS turns out to be a different service with its own website. The StrongVPN site only offers the StrongVPN package. If you want to get StrongDNS only, you can go to the StrongDNS website. It costs cheaper and has a free trial period.
StrongDNS is meant for simply bypassing censorship and enabling access to restricted websites or content. StrongDNS does not involve encryption and the hiding of your online activity tracks but it comes with the benefit of security from DNS hijacking. StrongVPN, on the other hand, employs encryption and is designed to mask your IP address. It affords protection against spying by ISPs or other parties. It can also be used as a protection from cybercriminals.
StrongVPN automatically comes with StrongDNS. If you get StrongVPN, you will also be getting all the functions or features that come with StrongDNS.
No Free Trial But with 5-Day Money Back Guarantee
Unfortunately, if you are looking for a VPN solutions provider that provides a free trial period, Strong VPN may not be the best option. It only has a 5-day money-back guarantee, which means that you will still have to pay for the service before you can use it. The problem with money-back guarantees is that it may take some time for your refund to be processed and given to you.
Some may consider this 5-day money back guarantee as a free trial period but for this Strong VPN review, we prefer setting clear distinctions. Just like how trialware and shareware work, a free trial should not involve payments or deposits. Not many VPN companies—even those that maintain a “no questions asked” policy—promptly refund their customers when they say they are not satisfied.
Strong VPN Setup and Interface
Setting up Strong VPN on your device should be a quick and easy process. You can use Strong VPN by getting its client or by manually setting everything up. Either way, the process shouldn’t be difficult.
If you choose the client route, you have to download the client from the site. You can download and install the client in your device even if you haven’t paid for a Strong VPN account yet. Installing the Strong VPN client is similar to how you would install most other applications in your computer. Just follow the installation wizard and you should be able to complete the process in less than 5 minutes.
Like the interface of most other VPN clients, the first screen you will see once you launch the client is the login screen. You need to enter your email address and password so you can access the different functions and features of the client.
The Strong VPN client looks simple and highly intuitive. It is just a small window with a number of buttons, links, and dropdown lists. You should be able to figure out how to go about with it unless you are a complete newbie to VPN clients. The screen shows your current IP address (not your real IP address but the address of the server you are using), status (Connected/Disconnected), and dropdown lists from which you can select your server, location, and preferred protocol.
It’s as simple as that. You can quickly switch to a new server whenever you want or change the protocol you are using for the connection. Don’t forget to click on the Connect button, though, everytime you modify the server or protocol.
Strong VPN Security
Strong VPN supports the PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IPSec, and OpenVPN protocols. It guarantees complete online security. This VPN service assures users of secure connections by implementing encrypted traffic, and the protection of a virtual firewall. Encryption is from 128-bit to 2048-bit, depending on the protocol selected.
Strong VPN claims that it delivers fast connections without sacrificing security. The VPN software is claimed to be of military grade. It encrypts all data from start to finish. This means protection from ISP monitoring or tracking, targeted advertisements, and other parties that attempt to look into your online activities. It has a network of more than 550 servers in 45 cities in 23 countries.
In relation to the strong security measures employed by Strong VPN, this VPN service provider also guarantees privacy with its zero logs policy. The internet traffic of all users are not being recorded or there are no logs maintained for the online activities of Strong VPN users. As such, if ever there are investigations and Strong VPN is compelled by law to reveal information about its users, there will be nothing to show.
It can be argued that Strong VPN is good enough for ordinary users who just want to bypass throttles imposed by ISPs, speed limits, and region restrictions (of certain websites). It’s not a great option, though, for those who want a VPN service to use with the Tor browser to access and buy/sell on darknet markets.
Strong VPN Speed
Strong VPN advertises fast connection speeds and we are glad to report in this review that it’s not a bluff. There’s no significant speed reduction in using this VPN service as compared to not using any VPN. After doing a test for a few servers in different continents, it’s safe to say that Strong VPN is at least comparable to the speeds other VPN solutions deliver.
If you can stream video without pauses with your broadband plan sans VPN, you are most likely going to experience around the same kind of performance as you use Strong VPN. The speed reduction due to encryption is very minimal and shouldn’t interfere with your online activities unless you have a really slow internet connection.
As mentioned, Strong VPN offers two packages: StrongDNS and StrongVPN. In a way, this is a good thing for consumers as it provides choices for consumers which can lead to cost efficiency. Some may just want something for bypass censorship or access restricted content so they can go for the less expensive StrongDNS package. Those who want encryption and complete privacy or anonymity when accessing websites can pick StrongVPN for a slightly higher price.
Strong VPN provides an easy to use way to remove barriers to accessing freely accessible content online and be free from prying ISPs or other entities that could be tracking your online activities. It comes with an intuitive client for desktop and mobile devices It can even be used in routers.
Strongvpn has a quite good list of features. These features, however, aren’t that different from what other VPN providers are offering. The following are some of the most notable features worth considering as you compare this VPN to others:
- Support for PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IPSec, and OpenVPN protocols
- Maintains over 550 servers in 45 cities in 23 countries
- 5 concurrent connections for all accounts
- Software is free to download and can be used in multiple devices
- Automatic setup application for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS
- Up to 2048-bit encryption
- 24/7 technical and billing support
- 5-day money-back guarantee
- Supports bitcoin payments
Two features that stand out here are the number of concurrent or simultaneous connections and the support for bitcoin payments. These should have been included in the features listed on the homepage. We had to revisit this Strong VPN review after realizing that we mistakenly wrote that Strong VPN does not support simultaneous connections and bitcoin payments.
StrongVPN works for a variety of devices. There are clients for devices that run Windows, Mac OS X, Android, some routers, and other operating systems.
- The StrongVPN for Windows is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10.
- The Mac OS X client works for the Yosemite, Sierra, and El Capitan versions.
- For iOS, the OS versions supported are iOS 9 and 10.
- For Android devices, your device needs to have at least Android 4 or Jelly Bean.
However, you don’t really need the client to be able to use Strong VPN. You can just do a manual setup. There’s a multitude of tutorials on how to set up Strong VPN manually in the Strong VPN website, the Setup page in particular (link is on the header). You can do the manual setup for Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Microsoft Surface or Windows RT, Linux (Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora), Amazon Kindle, Bada (old Samsung smartphones), HP Web OS, and Chromium OS or the Google Chrome OS.
You may also use Strong VPN with DD-WRT, TomatoUSB, Sabai Router OS, and Mikrotik RouterOS routers. Some of the specific router models supported are as follows:
- Asus RT-AC56U
- Asus RT-N66U
- Netgear Nighthawk R7000
- LinkSys E2500
- Netgear WNR3500L
You can find detailed tutorials for manually setting up Strong VPN on routers in the StrongVPN website (Setup page).
Pricing, Promotions, and Checkout
StrongVPN is available for $10 per month or $5.83 per month for a one-year plan. Obviously, you will be paying a lower monthly rate if you subscribe for a long-term plan. However, if you just want a solution for bypassing censorship or region/country restrictions in websites, you can just get StrongDNS.
As mentioned earlier, StrongVPN already comes with the functions and features of StrongDNS. If you just need StrongDNS, you can get it separately for $5 per month or $4.17 per month if you get the year-long subscription.
StrongVPN has a 50% OFF promo. You can avail of this using the codes in the site’s 50%OFF page.
You may also encounter other promos as you proceed with the checkout process. During our review, we got a prompt for a 20% discount on the first billing cycle.
In lieu of the usual Sign Up Now or Register button, Strong VPN has “Join Now” buttons you can click if you are ready to proceed with your payment. You will be asked for your email address to process your payment. Strong VPN supports three payment methods. These are credit card (Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Discover), PayPal, and Bitcoin. You will get the login details for your account after your payment is confirmed.
Strong VPN Support
Go the Support page on the Strong VPN website to find the different options for support available. There’s a contact form on the page through which you can send an email to Strong VPN’s support team. Be sure to enter your correct email address so you can get the response. You can also contact Strong VPN through its official Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn accounts. The links are on the header and footer portions of the site. Strong VPN’s website says it provides 24/7 billing and technical support.
Before contacting Strong VPN, though, consider going over the sets of answers to frequently asked questions and VPN setup instructions on the Support page. Your question may have already been answered there. You can also go to Strong VPN’s online support forum for discussions on various issues and problems about using this VPN service.
Strongvpn may not be the best VPN solution around but it’s definitely worth considering. It has an intuitive client for computers and mobile devices. The pricing is competitive. In terms of security, privacy, and speed, Strong VPN does not fall behind other competing premium VPN services. This VPN service has enough features to attract users. The 24/7 customer support system and support for bitcoin payments are also plus points. It’s far from perfect though. It does not have as many server locations as others major VPN services, particularly in the southern hemisphere (Australia, Africa, and South America in particular).