StrongVPN started nearly 20 years ago, in the mid-1990s, in South Lake Tahoe. The company grew beyond its initial offerings of PC assistance and into a variety of Internet hosting services. Eventually, StrongVPN branched out into collocation and dedicated hosting. Along the way, the company determined that customer service was the most important issue and figured that was the key to growth. Indeed, now StrongVPN is considered a high-caliber global provider of VPN hosting and services. The company’s headquarters have since relocated to the San Francisco area. StrongVPN is identified by its brand icon, which is of a strong steel lock, symbolizing the company’s commitment to privacy.
Business deals are made or lost on price and past customers agree that StrongVPN has some of the best prices on the market. However, their multiple plans can be confusing at times. This is because they price their plans according to special features included. For example, there are annual specials for both US and UK cities, as well as Euro-America cities. Though both of these plans have the same price, differences in PPTP and open protocols require that open servers cost an additional $35 a year. Customers can pay $85 a year for open or PPTP or just $55 for PPTP only. There are also packages for PPTP in lite (7$ a month), standard ($12 a month) and deluxe ($15 a month). For open plans, there is lite ($10 a month), standard ($15 a month), deluxe ($20 a month), and premium ($30 a month). The company also sells individual cities on a feature called “A-la Carte”. It should be noted that the difference between Lite – Standard – Deluxe and Premium packages are the amount of locations provided, there is no difference in the speeds between the locations and package type.
Though somewhat affected by the quality of plan you buy; in general the company offers 269 servers across 19 countries, 1,100 servers in their home city, as well as 9,011 IPs. Though based in California, the company actually provides worldwide access for VPN. The system works from a redundant multi-homed BPG4 system and is capable of connecting to 30 other networks. There are cities from all major states represented, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, parts of China, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France and Norway.
The StrongVPN Company offers PPTP and OpenVPN (SSL) servers. OpenVPN (SSL) servers can function as PPTP or OpenVPN, whereas PPTP servers cannot. There are more servers available for OpenVPN. PPTP offers advantages in the way of compatibility with most mobility devices. On the other hand, OpenVPN plans offer better encryption, ability to change protocols (UDP and TCP) and access to more servers and custom port selection. The system can also support graphic-heavy applications like Netflix on a PC.
StrongVPN offers excellent customer service, as least that’s what many customers say in their testimonial reviews. It’s easy to see that the company values its customers and focuses on customer-friendly policies. No wonder they started a 24-7, 365 days a year customer support system. StrongVPN is always available and they offer customer guidance through multiple channels including phone support, Skype, email, live chat, and even remote desktop. They also offer customer support in the languages of English, Russian, German, Chinese and French.
The company offers a seven-day money back offer, stating that if the client is not completely satisfied with the service, money will be refunded in full. However, beyond seven days, there is no refund applied.
The company does not specify or track any bandwidth when it comes to VPN services. There are no limits or restrictions and no traffic is monitored, meaning that P2P traffic (such as torrent traffic) is acceptable.
StrongVPN operates at one G-bits of connection speed and is considered to have some of the fastest VPN servers worldwide. The closer to the covered city (i.e. New York, London, any primary city of origin) the faster and more reliable the connection will be. Remember also that speed tests are not always accurate, since the results are intrinsically linked to the city supporting the VPN. VPN’s generally will not slow down your system. The company makes sure that all servers have a set number of accounts; when this number is reached the server is no longer available. This helps to keep things accurate and allow the greatest speed possible.
Supported devices for this system include hardware and software devices like Tomato Route, iPod, DD-WRT Router, iTouch, Nokia, Windows Mobile, Android, iPad and iPhone. It can also work with DVD or media players. The system will work on all browsers in addition to all devices, including well known programs like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari.
Supported systems include Linux, Windows (7 and Vista) and Mac OS X. All programs that are on your computer, including email clients, will be protected with this VPN plan.
The company does not offer a free trial, but stands by its unconditional seven-day money back guarantee. In order to receive a refund, the user must cancel within seven days after the first purchase. Users do not receive a free trial on any of their plans.
StrongVPN offers a distinct advantage over many competitors since users can adjust protocols, ports and encryption levels from within their customer area. Many other VPN providers are fixed ports which can’t be easily adjusted. This has shown to be important when certain countries (e.g. China) start their blocking efforts, it’s also very useful for obtaining best speeds on some Internet Service Providers. Their 24×7 online support also features technicians that specialize in DD-WRT troubleshooting, which is invaluable for customers with these types of routers.
StrongVPN is also constantly adding new servers and networks every month which they notify their customers via Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites. One nice feature about StrongVPN is their ability to offer customers a wide variety of network choices for particular high demand locations, for example United Kingdom. StrongVPN offers 7 different networks into the UK region, so if the first network you are placed on is not a fast route for your particular location its possible that another network they provide in the UK is. It should be noted that many VPN providers simply have additional servers on the same network within a particular area. Switching servers on the same network in an area is not likely to provide better speed, unless that server is overloaded. Specifics on their network selection can be found on their packages page.
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