China is a country that really seeks to isolate itself online. With one of the strongest internet restrictions today, residents have very few opportunities to view foreign content. The “Great Firewall of China” is a term that unifies the many counteractive measures employed by the country. This article is about the comparison of two Virtual Private Network (VPN) companies that seek to remedy the need of those who still wish to connect elsewhere. 12VPN and StrongVPN both report that they are indeed able to sneak through the Firewall of China. Thus, we will now examine what they have to offer as VPN services themselves.
|Countries||US, UK, GE, FR, ES, TR, JP, IS, SE...||US, UK, NL, CA,SE, RU, RO, DE, IT...|
|Bandwidth||Up to 1000Mbps||Unlimited|
|# Connected Devices||3||5|
|Extra Services||NAT Firewall||StrongDNS|
|1 Month Plan||n/a||$10/mo|
|3 Months Plan||$12.95/mo ($38.85)||n/a|
|6 Months Plan||$9.99/mo ($59.94)||n/a|
|1 Year Plan||$8.25/mo ($99)||$5.83/mo ($69.99)|
|Money-Back Guarantee||14 days||30 days|
12VPN is not just a VPN service. Next to that, you can also employ the services of the company’s smart routing technology. This is essentially a type of smart DNS proxy, specified for routers. But, our main focus is on the VPN. It appears that this is actually a legitimate connection to and from China, as among the websites you can unblock, domains such as YouKu are listed. Also, their slogan “Access blocked websites in China” is just a bit ambiguous. What this means is that you can access websites that are blocked in China while residing in China, and that you can access sites that are only available through a Chinese IP address.
It seems that 12VPN does its job efficiently; every user shares the same IP address. This is usually a disadvantage, but we presume evading the Chinese Firewall is quite important to them, and a shared IP is easier to change if needed. Because of this though, expect some inconsistencies when using the network of 12VPN.
Another rare thing about them is that you can only switch between servers a limited number of times. Not the best prospects for a VPN, in our opinion. Prices are also a bit dodgy, as they are worse than average, and the value you get for your money is also worse than average. We can only hope that StrongVPN does not build on the desperation of Chinese residents, who really seek connections outside.
To sum up, we would only recommend 12VPN for tryout. There are too many questions marks for StrongVPN that do not create enough credibility, at least for us. Connection speeds are awesome, but the illogical emphasis on PPTP, privacy issues and the sub-par prices just create unwanted tension. 12VPN is a better case, in our opinion. Next to the VPN itself, you have other safety options you can explore and even use together, for a more protected online connection. Also, they really focus on the Chinese market, while StrongVPN seeks to have presence elsewhere, too. Thus, if you are interested in Chinese connections – in and out – then take a closer look at 12VPN.