|Price||$69.99 (On 1-Year Plan)|
|Servers||950+ in 20+ countries|
|Works in China||Yes|
|Compatibility||Windows, Android, Apple, Desktop|
Looking at some of StrongVPN’s ratings on review sites may give off the impression that it is an excellent VPN provider. But in actuality, it falls severely short in several key areas.
The service offers users the ability to unblock Netflix and all other major streaming platforms. Similarly, it also has a valuable feature of giving users seamless access to and from China. However, that is where the positives end.
I found the service to be useless as far as P2P sharing goes. Additionally, it turns out that it may have used some extremely unethical methods to boost its reputation online. However, the definitive nail in the coffin was the fact that it’s based out of the US. Despite claiming otherwise, the service keeps logs on its users’ activities. Hence, users would be better off using a service like PureVPN that guarantees complete anonymity online for users at some of the most affordable rates.
- Jurisdiction: Where Does StrongVPN Operate from?
- Security: Is StrongVPN a Safe Option?
- Leaks: Does StrongVPN Leak Your WebRTC/DNS/IP Address?
- Servers: How Many Servers Does StrongVPN Have?
- Streaming: Does StrongVPN Unblock Netflix?
- Speed: Does StrongVPN Have Speedy Servers?
- Compatibility: Can I Use Encrypt. Me On All Devices?
- Pricing: Is Encrypt. Me Affordable?
- Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say About StrongVPN?
Jurisdiction: Where Does StrongVPN Operate From?
StrongVPN is based out of the United States. For a VPN provider, this is probably the worst country to be operating from.
The United States has a mammoth slew of state and federal laws that enable data retention by more than a dozen law enforcement agencies. This is all in addition to the fact that the United States is the de facto leader of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance.
Users can be easily spied on by government agencies with legal immunity while there have been multiple cases of US-based VPNs bowing to pressure to share info on their users’ activities.
Security: Is StrongVPN a Safe Option?
No, the service is not safe to use in my opinion. I find its contentious jurisdiction to be a little too big a red flag to ignore. Additionally, its deceptive logging policy is the final straw for me.
Deceptive Logging Policy
The service claims that it does not store any form of logs. However, I find it hard to believe considering the immense pressure that all corporations operating within the United States have to face in terms of monitoring their users’ activities.
Upon a closer look at the service’s privacy, the service final relents by saying that the service does indeed store the emails, names, billing info, and usage history of all users. While most of this info is related to the transactions that users make when buying the service, it does fall in line with the service’s claims of being “no-logs”.
Encryption & Protocols
I found StrongVPN’s security measures to be on par with the industry standard. It offers users security via the 256-bit encryption. As far as encryptions are concerned, this is the strongest option available in the market.
Additionally, users will also be able to choose between PPTP, L2TP/SSTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and Wireguard tunneling protocols to further their online security.
StrongVPN Virus Test
I carried out a virus test to be sure that there were no potential malware files that could infect users when they download the clients. Here are the results from that test:
As users can see, no viruses or malware should worry users.
Leaks: Does StrongVPN Leak WebRTC/DNS/IP Address?
A VPN is supposed to keep your identity safe and anonymous online. Hence, I carried out several leaks tests to know whether the service left my IP, DNS, or WebRTC exposed at any point or not. Here are the results.
As users can see, none of my actual IP, DNS, or WebRTC was exposed.
Servers: How Many Servers Does StrongVPN Have?
StrongVPN can offer users access to nearly 950 servers spread across 20+ countries. However, it is important to mention that most of these servers are within the US, meaning they won’t be of any use to users that want to evade online surveillance from US authorities.
Does StrongVPN Support Torrenting?
Surprisingly, the service makes no mention of torrenting anywhere on its digital platform. I scoured the FAQs section and other online forums but there is little to no info about the extent or even the existence of its support for P2P sharing.
I tried using its servers to download a couple of torrents and saw no progress. Hence, it is safe to assume that StrongVPN does not support torrents at all.
Does StrongVPN Work in China?
Yes, surprisingly it has a server in the Mainland of China. This means that it can unblock a lot of restricted content from within the country.
China’s increased digital censorship means that VPNs are regular targets of frequent crackdowns. This makes a VPN that can work in China an incredibly important service. Only a few VPNs continue to function properly within the country.
Similarly, Chinese expats rely on these VPNs to give them continued access to geo-restricted content inaccessible from anywhere else other than China.
Streaming: Does StrongVPN Unblock Netflix?
I found its support for Netflix to be quite impressive. Few VPNs can unblock Netflix with such ease. This is probably the one area where its numerous US servers come in handy. However, it was able to unblock Netflix through most of its other servers as well.
Speed: Does StrongVPN Have Speedy Servers?
I did not want my initial suspicions about the service to cloud my judgment about StrongVPN’s speed. Hence, I carried out the standard speed test on 5 random servers in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the Netherlands on a 100Mbps connection.
Here are the results:
Compatibility: Can I Use StrongVPN On All Devices?
Users will be glad to know that there is complete support for Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS as well as for all major Routers. Additionally, users will find detailed setup guides in the resources section of the website making it easy for them to properly set up the service on the device of their choice.
Considering how the service supports multi-logins on 12 devices at once, users will never have to be without a proper VPN on any of their devices.
Pricing: Is StrongVPN Affordable?
As far as price is concerned, StrongVPN is by no means the most flexible option I’ve come across. For instance, there are only two payment plans that users can opt for. The Monthly and the Yearly one.
- Monthly ($10.00 per month)
- Yearly ($69.99 per year)
StrongVPN Refund Policy
The service offers a complete 30-Day Money-back guarantee. In my experience, this is the standard industry time frame for users to judge whether the service is up to the mark for their needs or not.
StrongVPN Payment Methods
Users can pay for any of the above-mentioned plans using their VISA/Mastercard credit cards as well as through DISCOVER and American Express cards. The service also supports payments made via Ali Pay and PayPal.
However, I was disappointed to see that there is no support for either debit cards or cryptocurrencies. This means that users are left without the option to pay while keeping their financial transactions completely anonymous online.
Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say about StrongVPN?
I have found Trustpilot and Reddit to be great indicators of what the other users of any VPN service think about it. Since each users’ experience is different and unique, I believe it is important to incorporate those experiences in this review. Hence, here’s what I found out about StrongVPN on these two platforms as well as what I think of its customer support.
StrongVPN Trustpilot Review
I honestly wasn’t expecting such a highly positive rating for StrongVPN. Users find the service to be an extraordinary provider that far exceeds their initial expectations from the service.
The service enjoys a tremendous 4.7/5 stars on Trustpilot thanks to 1718 reviews. What left me in further awe of the service was the 85% reviews rating it as Excellent and a further 10% as Great. I should mention here that there some other more well-known VPNs that don’t enjoy such numbers on the platforms. That should be enough for users to get an idea of how “strong” its reputation is among its users.
However, this felt just a little too good to be true. Hence, I looked over at some of the reviews and it turns out the users giving these reviews have only ever given one review; StrongVPN. This would indicate that StrongVPN may have engaged in the practice of barraging review sites with fake reviews to boost its rating. There is no objective way to prove this, so I decided to see what the more unabridged review platform i.e. Reddit had to say.
StrongVPN Reddit Review
As I expected, it was a different story on Reddit. The Reddit community known for their brash and no-nonsense attitude towards all subjects discussed, especially ones related to privacy were much more cynical in their appraisal of the VPN provider.
Users pointed out how the service initially works wonders, but its allure stats fading away after a while. It seems this is a classic case of bait-and-switch that a lot of VPNs go to get their users to opt for lengthier payment plans.
My suspicions were further corroborated when users talked of how the service becomes next to useless after a couple of months. A VPN that engages in such unethical practices cannot guarantee the safety of its users by any means.
StrongVPN Customer Support
Despite evidence of some negative practices being at play on review sites by the service, I found its customer support to be good enough. For example, the service provides users the coveted 24/7 live chat support that I value highly. It ensures that users can rely on the service to promptly solve their issues without any delays.
Some other important features as far as its customer support goes include an email, Tickets and setup guides. All of these are detailed and are meant to address some of the peculiar and distinct issues that a user might encounter at any moment during their use of the service.
Lastly, the FAQ section could be a little more detailed. It is designed to answer some of the most basic questions a user might have. I assume this is because a detailed question is meant to be asked and answered via the tickets or email support.
Despite some positives, StrongVPN has several major flaws that are too hard for me to ignore. While it has a combination of secure encryptions and protocols in addition to the invaluable Chinese server, it is also based out of the US.
For users concerned about their privacy, it is one of the least safe locations for a VPN to be based out of. Similarly, it offers no support for P2P sharing, further fueling my suspicion that it does keep tabs on its users’ activities.
On the other hand, PureVPN is a provider well-known in the service for its commitment towards customer privacy as well as being based out of Hong Kong, making it one of the safest options out there.
Do I Recommend StrongVPN?
No, StrongVPN would not be a recommended VPN service. There are a lot of reasons why I would strongly advise users to avoid StrongVPN.
While the service does follow the industry-standard encryptions & protocols in addition to unblocking Netflix and all other major streaming services, I believe a VPN’s primary purpose is to mask a users’ connection. Due to an unsafe jurisdiction and several data retention laws, it is near impossible for StrongVPN to fulfill that purpose.
Additionally, I found evidence of users complaining of drop-in service quality after a few months in their service and some shady practices by StrongVPN itself to hide these complaints. Hence, users would be better off opting for a service like PureVPN that not only keeps them safe and secure online but does so at the most affordable and flexible payment plans available on the market.