NordVPN is a premium Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider with an expanded selection of security and privacy tools. While it started as a standalone product, now it’s a leading service setting industry standards in its wake.
In comparison, StrongVPN has been around for a longer time since 2005 but remains relatively small both userbase and feature-wise. In 2021, it combined forces with Encrypt.me to expand its VPN services and features. Does it mean that this veteran is going to dethrone our current champion?
We will compare NordVPN vs StrongVPN to see where each provider excels. Maybe NordVPN finally has a worthy competitor?
NordVPN vs StrongVPN comparison highlights
|Our rating||9.6 ⭐||6.6 ⭐|
|Current offer||Get NordVPN 57% OFF!||Get StrongVPN 63% OFF!|
|Price starts from||$3.49/month||$8.32/month|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|No-logs policy||Independently-audited||Not audited|
|Servers||5400+ servers in 60+ countries||950+ servers in 30+ countries|
|VPN protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|Streaming||Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more||Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more|
Without fast & proper connectivity, you’re bound to run into performance issues detrimental to your overall experience. What’s the point of using a VPN if it just slows everything down and doesn’t let you enjoy the things you want?
With NordVPN, this won’t be an issue, thanks to the next-gen NordLynx tunneling protocol. It’s an enhanced version of the commonly-used WireGuard, currently the best protocol for ensuring incredible speeds. Essentially, you’re guaranteed quick connections, HD video quality, virtually no buffering, and fast download times.
StrongVPN utilizes the aforementioned WireGuard protocol, which is lightweight and offers excellent connectivity. This will work just as well as NordLynx but will be a tad bit slower. If speed is your top priority, check out the fastest VPN providers.
The crucial difference here is that NordVPN’s tunneling protocol fixes WireGuard’s known privacy concerns. Inherently, it has to store some user data on its servers. NordLynx eliminates this with the double NAT system, which assigns you a new random IP address every time you connect and doesn’t share your actual one with the VPN server.
Want to see how well the best VPN providers perform regarding connectivity? Visit our VPN speed test for more information.
|All physical servers||Yes||Yes|
|Own all servers||No||Yes|
NordVPN utilizes a sizable network – 5400+ servers in 60+ countries. Most of them let you connect all over North America and Europe, but other regions also have more than enough options. All hardware is located in the country you’re connecting to, meaning you can expect excellent performance. Another big plus is that all hardware is RAM-only, so no information is stored on the hard drives. This means no data is collected and retrieval of it is impossible.
StrongVPN, on the other hand, is smaller, with only 950+ servers in 30+ countries. Most of the connections are located in North America and Europe, but there are fewer places to connect compared to NordVPN. This provider makes up for its modest network by having bare-metal servers, serviced by its own staff. The elimination of potential third-party meddling greatly increases your security.
|Free trial||7 days on the Google Play Store||N/A|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Payment options||Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, cash||Credit card, Paypal, Alipay|
Both NordVPN and StrongVPN offer your typical VPN pricing structure – a monthly subscription that comes at full price and discounted annual plans. NordVPN has a two-year plan and a 7-day free trial version you can download via an Android device. StrongVPN’s lengthiest plan is the annual one, and they don’t have any trial versions, but all their subscriptions come with 250GB of SugarSync Secure Storage.
While StrongVPN offers slightly cheaper deals, NordVPN has them beat by having a cheaper two-year plan than their annual subscription. Of course, both include a 30-day money-back guarantee if customers are dissatisfied with the services.
You can pick from nine NordVPN subscription plans:
- Standard for 1 month– $11.99
- Standard for 1 year – $4.99/month
- Standard for 2 years – $3.29/month
- Plus for 1 month – $12.96
- Plus for 1 year – $5.69/month
- Plus for 2 years – $3.99/month
- Complete for 1 month – $13.99
- Complete for 1 year – $6.99/month
- Complete for 2 years – $5.29/month
The Complete plan comes with additional perks such as a cross-platform password manager, a data breach scanner, and 1 TB of encrypted cloud storage. The Plus tier includes the same features, minus cloud storage, and the Standard subscription doesn’t have any of these. Of course, applying a NordVPN coupon might also save you some money on any of the plans.
While there is no free NordVPN app to take advantage of, a 7-day free trial version is available to those with access to the Google Play Store. It has a complete set of features, and you can use it with other devices. For an additional one-time fee, you can also purchase a dedicated IP address, which will eliminate the hassle of having shared IPs.
This provider accepts all conventional payment methods – credit cards, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and ACH Transfer. There’s an option to pay for the subscription with cryptocurrencies to maintain the utmost anonymity. You can also find hard copies of NordVPN subscriptions that you can pay for with cash if you live in a supported region.
You can pick from two StrongVPN subscription plans:
- $10.99 for a month
- $3.66/month for a year
The lengthier subscription offers a significant 67% discount, while the monthly one is more expensive. Either way, both plans have the same features, and the provider bundles them together with 250GB of free cloud storage. Using VPN discount codes might also prove fruitful for those looking for cheaper deals.
Unfortunately, there is no free StrongVPN trial version, so the only option to test out these services is to subscribe. Furthermore, the 30-day money-back guarantee only applies to the annual plan, meaning that you could lose out on some money if you end up not liking them.
The registration process is quick and easy, and this VPN accepts most standard payment options. But there is a notable lack of anonymous payment methods, which is not great for privacy-conscious people.
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP|
|Security features||Double VPN, Onion over VPN, SOCKS5 proxy, Kill Switch, Invisibility on LAN, Threat Protection, CyberSec, Obfuscated servers, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, split tunneling||DNS and IPv6 leak protection, Kill Switch, split tunneling (for Android)|
Both services include the standard security features expected of VPNs. You get essentials like AES-256 encryption to keep data unseen, a kill switch to disconnect from the internet if the VPN drops, split tunneling to choose which traffic gets encrypted, etc.
Still, NordVPN offers substantially more features to keep yourself and your devices safe. Double encryption, malware protection, obfuscated servers, and other bonus tools are handy for hiding your IP address, securing connections, and preventing malware attacks. Compared to them, StrongVPN is just bare-bones, so where security is concerned, NordVPN is the clear winner.
NordVPN security features
For detailed explanations of all available options, check out our in-depth NordVPN review. For now, let’s go over some of the more important features you get with a NordVPN subscription:
- Threat Protection. This nifty tool prevents you from visiting risky websites, scans downloads for malware, and blocks all ads & website trackers. It also works when you’re not connected to a VPN server. Keep in mind that this feature is still in beta version.
- Obfuscated servers. Generally known as StealthVPN, this is especially handy for regions with restricted internet access. Some countries like China use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to detect & block VPN traffic. Obfuscated servers make your VPN connection undetectable, allowing you to bypass even the Great Firewall of China.
- Double VPN. It lets you connect to two VPN servers instead of one, encrypting your traffic twice for double the protection. It comes at the cost of performance, so keep that in mind before enabling it.
- Dark Web Monitor. It periodically checks whether the email associated with your NordVPN account has been leaked. You’ll get a notification if it does – all that’s left to do is change the passwords of compromised accounts.
StrongVPN security features
While StrongVPN is an old-timer in the industry, it still lacks lots of additional security measures to keep yourself safe. If you want a deeper look into these options, read our StrongVPN review.
- IPv6 and DNS Leak Blocking. It ensures your IP address stays hidden from prying eyes and that your online activities aren’t exposed through DNS requests.
- Split tunneling. This tool allows you to secure only some parts of your connection. You can, for example, use the split to protect torrenting and streaming while you continue to browse like usual. Take note that this feature is available for Androids.
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy|
|Anonymous payment||Cryptocurrencies, cash||No|
Even when it comes to privacy, StrongVPN can’t seem to keep up with NordVPN, although it does try. First off, StrongVPN is based in the US, a founding member of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance. The United States is one of the least privacy-friendly countries and has laws in place that allow the government to demand surveillance data from companies without your permission.
If forced to hand over sensitive information, they will have to comply with the laws. On the other hand, StrongVPN doesn’t collect any data about you, including basic connection metadata (timestamps, connected servers, consumed bandwidth, etc.). In this case, tying down any activity to a specific user is impossible. Keep in mind, though, that no one has audited the no-logs policy to see if StrongVPN truly doesn’t gather your information.
As for NordVPN, it operates from privacy-friendly Panama, far from anyone that wants to put their grubby hands on your sensitive data. Even if foreign powers request this kind of information, they can deny it.
Speaking of no-logs policies, an independent third-party – PwC Switzerland – has audited NordVPN to check if it’s true. Two audits were performed in 2018 and 2020, and both came to the same conclusion – this provider doesn’t stalk its users.
Lastly, NordVPN allows purchasing the VPN anonymously for those that need to keep this a secret. StrongVPN doesn’t.
|Major dedicated apps||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux|
|Other dedicated apps||Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick||Amazon Fire TV Stick|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge||Chrome|
|Manual setup||Routers, firewalls, NAS||Routers|
A proper VPN should cover all the devices you want to keep secure. In the NordVPN vs StrongVPN debate, both are almost evenly matched. And yet, the former has a slight upper hand.
When talking about apps, these services have dedicated software compatible with popular platforms – Windows, Android, Linux, Mac, iOS. They even work on the Amazon Fire TV Stick, a widely used home entertainment device. The Nord team wins out, though, as it offers support for Android TV. The same can be said for browser extensions. While both have a tool for Chrome, only NordVPN offers one for Firefox as well.
If you don’t want to worry about forgetting to connect to a VPN, it’s crucial to set up a VPN on your router. Thankfully, you can do it with either. Doing so will also cover other devices that use the same Wi-Fi but are not compatible with the VPN, making them secure from hackers.
For those wanting to protect all their devices, StrongVPN includes twelve simultaneous connections. NordVPN allows six connections per account, a smaller number, but has more compatible applications and extension options.
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||No|
It’s no secret that most people subscribe to VPNs for streaming. It’s frustrating when you can’t watch that highly-anticipated show because it’s not available in your country, and these services are here to fix this. VPNs bypass various geo-blocks by changing your IP, unlocking all kinds of different libraries on your favorite entertainment platforms.
NordVPN, as always, doesn’t disappoint by granting you access to BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney+, and other popular streaming websites. It also unlocks several Netflix regional libraries instead of just the US one, making it one of the best VPNs for Netflix.
The SmartPlay feature, an upgraded version of Smart DNS, allows circumventing any regional restrictions without missing out on encryption, too. Coupled with a broad server network and NordLynx, it guarantees a broad reach with crisp 4K quality videos and no buffering.
StrongVPN also unlocks the platforms mentioned above, but its Netflix options are limited to the US region only. Sadly, there are no dedicated servers for streaming, so you shouldn’t expect this VPN to unblock everything you need.
To add salt to injury, there are issues when trying to connect to BBC iPlayer, and it’s often unavailable. You can circumvent this by using SmartDNS which bypasses geo-locks, but it doesn’t encrypt your traffic, exposing your activities to your ISP.
If unlocking this British streaming platform is your top priority, check our list of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer.
Torrenting and P2P
|Allowed on||All servers + dedicated P2P servers||All servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||N/A|
|Split tunneling||Yes (Windows, Android, Android TV)||Yes (Android)|
Both services allow P2P on all their servers, but your experience with each is bound to differ. NordVPN comes out on top yet again, as expected from the service considered the best VPN for torrenting by many.
Besides having dedicated P2P servers, this provider includes the handy SOCKS5 proxy tool, which helps secure torrenting. Just like split tunneling, it allows you to run the VPN only with a specific browser or app – in this case, your torrent client.
You can get better download speeds by connecting to another server and continue browsing the web in your original region completely unaffected. This has its downside, of course, as the SOCKS5 proxy doesn’t encrypt this traffic, leaving your activities visible.
Alternatively, you can also use split tunneling to achieve this, but StrongVPN has this feature available only for Android devices. Unfortunately, both services lack port forwarding.
|Works in China||Yes||Yes|
|Stealth VPN||Yes (Obfuscated servers)||No|
|Tor over VPN||Yes (Onion over VPN)||No|
When it comes to bypassing the Great Firewall of China and censorship in general, NordVPN continues to reign supreme. It’s all thanks to two crucial features, so let’s start with them.
NordVPN has obfuscated servers specifically designed to mask the fact that you’re using a VPN. It’s easier to sneak past the DPI hounds if they can’t even detect your presence in the first place. Onion over VPN takes everything a step further by combining your VPN connection with the Tor network. It sends traffic through multiple nodes via the Tor browser when connected, making it almost impossible to track you back.
Although StrongVPN can vault over the metaphorical wall, it tends to underperform. Technically, it should allow users to circumvent severe restrictions thanks to the Scramble feature of OpenVPN, which does the same as obfuscated servers. But with the somewhat limited server choice and China actively banning VPN ports, it doesn’t always pull through.
The Chinese government has been cracking down on these services for years, so you might have to resort to using the best VPNs for China to remain connected. If you’re going on a trip there, download these apps before entering this country’s territory, as most VPN websites are unavailable.
|24/7 live chat||Yes||Yes|
Whenever something stops working, or you can’t connect, it’s good to have people that can help you ASAP. A trusted VPN should include customer support agents you can contact any time of the day.
In this category, both NordVPN and StrongVPN offer top-quality customer service. Have a time-sensitive issue? 24/7 live chat has your back. Need answers to some general questions? Write them an email or find what you’re looking for in the extensive knowledge bases.
Best VPN by category
|Speed and servers||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Total wins||8 out of 9||0 out of 9|
NordVPN vs StrongVPN – which is better?
In the end, StrongVPN wasn’t able to topple the long-standing champion. In itself, this service isn’t bad – it’s fast, it bypasses geo-blocks, allows P2P traffic, has excellent customer support and great device compatibility. The problem is that it’s located in a country that isn’t privacy-friendly and is bare-bones feature-wise. It will suffice if you need a simple VPN to use in public, change your IP address or want to share an account with a friend with six devices each.
Meanwhile, NordVPN offers so much more in each category. You get a whole roster of security features, an expansive network to tap into, the fastest speeds for torrenting & streaming, and so on. It’s also based in Panama, a country where your privacy is actually respected. It easily remains the best VPN service overall – StrongVPN had no chance.
Is StrongVPN good?
No, StrongVPN is average. It offers essential VPN features like a kill switch, military-grade encryption, etc., but it isn’t as robust as compared to the best VPNs. This provider is primarily suitable for the basics.
Is StrongVPN better than NordVPN?
No, StrongVPN is far behind NordVPN. It offers only the basic security & privacy features, hasn’t had any independent audits to check if its no-logs policy is valid, and is based in the US. In the categories that matter to users, such as streaming, P2P, NordVPN is far superior.
What is the best VPN?
NordVPN is the best VPN currently available. It has a wide range of features that ensure you stay anonymous and secure, has an independently-audited no-logs policy, extensive bare-metal server list, fastest speeds, malware protection tools, and more.