StrongVPN has been in existence since 2006. Starting out as a computer business back in 1994, it started offering internet services the following year. Operating out of California, it has grow into a very large network that it is today. Comprised of over 60 employees, they have an impressive rooster of expert developers and engineers in Linux, Mac and Windows. They also specialty is high bandwidth fiber optic networks, having been providing internet services for almost 2 decades, it’s safe to say they understand how the internet works from the bottom on up.
StrongVPN offers the all the common bells and whistles you would expect from a VPN security service such as access to blocked websites, privacy and removal from ISP bandwidth throttling. You can use OpenVPN for the highest rate of security, or you can pick PPTP/L2TP/SSTP protocols as the entry level VPN service. Both services are priced differently and we will touch on that later.
Unlike many VPN providers, StrongVPN does not offer unlimited server switching, depending your package, you will be limited to 15 to 30 free server switches per month. They operate a large network of over 450 servers available in 19 countries, however once again, depending on your location and the package you pick, you can be limited to only a few of those unless you opt for having the most expensive package. They also offer their own routers for purchase.
Having to pay premium price for OpenVPN is already a downside in our books, but StrongVPN has a strong following that undeniably proves they offer a quality product. Encryption starts at 128 and can go up to 2048-bit. Such a high encryption would slow down a connection considerably and is rarely ever used. We suggest 256-bit for strongest and 128-bit is ok as a minimum. However, if you do not pick OpenVPN, we cannot say the security is as good as it should be.
Operating out of the US, StrongVPN complies with authorities and DMCA takedowns. If you plan on downloading and uploading files on Bittorrent, StrongVPN is probably not the safest option. When asked if Peer-2-Peer Bittorrent was allowed and anonymous, this is what they had to say;
“When connected to the VPN all data is encrypted. We do not monitor anything, like what sites you visit, downloads, etc. When you connect to a bitorrent, all IP’s that are part of the “swarm” can be recorded. That is what the anti-piracy companies do. They record the IP’s, look up who owns them and send us the DMCA complaint. We do not give out your info to the anti-piracy companies. We just notify you as required by law. We are required to take actions on your account, and we do not recommend that you run torrent software while on our service. Multiple DMCA offenses will result in suspension, or even cancellation of your account.”
However, if what you are looking for is reputable protection and anonymity in the conformity of law, StrongVPN has a long track record of happy customers. Having decades of network experience and proving high quality VPN services since 2006, they remain a good choice for many. As far as illegal activity, it is hard to say how much StrongVPN will really log.
Speed & Stability:
StrongVPN offers fast and consistent speeds. Due to limited server switches, this becomes important. Mixed reviews can be found about StrongVPN’s speed. Like always, many factors of server performance and location come into play. Places like China, Malaysia and Russia have for a long time raved about StrongVPN. These places have for a long time had a lack of secure and fast VPN services readily available. Reviews remain positive to this day. Other locations including US have reported very slow speeds many times, and for those reasons we would call their speeds good, but not great.
StrongVPN regularly maintains and updates their server list, continuously growing and remaining a leader in the field. Their server updates can be found on the homepage, although nothing new for 2014, the last quarter of 2013 had multiple updates and additions worldwide. They also have an impressive amount of followers, good reviews and social media presence. There is forum that does not see too much activity but has remained active and full of information provided by their community.
The cost plans offered by StrongVPN is probably where they lose the most points. Depending your location, they will offer you small to full packages for your needs, from 3 Month packages starting at $21 to Yearly packages starting at $55.
This does not sound like much, but it is for entry level PPTP protocol VPN with very little features and servers. Anyone wanting to use a larger list of servers or OpenVPN is looking at 3month packages for $45-to $65 dollars or yearly packages from $90 to $210. In our books, PPTP does not cut it, it has been exploited and should be phased out.
We would say the average cost would probably be $90/year for someone looking for good security and access to more than one single server. StrongVPN comes in higher than most of the competition, and picking a plan quickly becomes confusing. There are lots of in between options not listed here that we advise you to take into consideration. Although confusing, more options do allow advanced users to have more control over what services he/she wishes to pay for.
Live help available 24hours a day 365 days a year. Chat response times are very fast and you can also contact them through web form email. The site is full of information, detailed package info, but as we mentioned it can confuse a new buyer very quickly. Upon visiting the site, a chat representative will be available to help and guide pick the best service for the user’s location and needs. Online Forum and blog regularly updated with the latest security news.