TorGuard VPN is an excellent VPN service that protects your web traffic and offers a host of add-ons to complete the package. Its impressive distribution of servers makes it well worth a look, but some may be turned off by the app's appearance. If that's not an issue for you, TorGuard will serve you well.
What Is a VPN?
A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a VPN server. Your web traffic travels through that tunnel, meaning that anyone snooping around, even on the same network as you, won't see a thing. A VPN can also help protect your privacy, that's important now that ISPs can sell your data. ISPs have enormous insight into your online activities—but not when you use a VPN.
A VPN is an essential tool for when you're traveling or using that shifty, unsecured public Wi-Fi network at the local coffee shop becuase it can secure those unsecure networks. A VPN also makes it harder to identify you online by hiding your true IP address, which can be used to determine your geographic location. Activists and journalists frequently use VPN services to get around government censors so they can communicate with the outside world.
Pricing and Features
Despite its name, TorGuard is not related to the Tor Project, the digital labyrinth of proxies designed to help people stay anonymous online. Instead, the "Tor" in the name actually refers to BitTorrent, and the service aims to help users maintain their privacy while torrenting. It should be no surprise that P2P and torrenting are allowed on TorGuard. For a long time, this was a rarity among VPN services, but no longer. All of the top-rated VPNs I have reviewed now allow file sharing, though some limit its use to specific servers. Among heavy competition, TorGuard remains one of the best VPNs for BitTorrent.
If you are looking for Tor and not BitTorrent, I recommend the Tor Browser. This specially modified version of Firefox makes getting online with Tor trivial. NordVPN notably includes an option to route your VPN traffic through Tor as well, for even more protection.
Like most VPN companies, TorGuard offers several different pricing tiers: $9.99 a month, $19.99 every three months, $29.99 every six months, $59.99 per year, or $99.99 every two years. A subscription allows you to connect five devices to TorGuard, and you can add up to 200 more devices for $1.00 per device per month using a handy slider. Five connections is average for VPN companies, but TorGuard has the best process for adding more device connections. That said, NordVPN offers six connections and CyberGhost VPN offers seven, while Windscribe VPN and Avira Phantom VPN have no limit on the number of connections.
The current average price of a top-rated VPN service is about $10.30, meaning that TorGuard is a good deal right out of the box. NordVPN ($3.49 Per Month at NordVPN) costs more, at $11.99 per month, but it boasts excellent features and an enormous server network, making it more than worth the extra cost. Private Internet Access is another excellent product at the astonishingly low price of $6.95 per month.
If price is your biggest issue, consider trying one of the worthy free VPN services available. ProtonVPN has an excellent free subscription tier that limits the number of available servers but has no data limit. Its paid tiers are also very affordable, making it one of the most flexible services I have reviewed.
In addition to its core product, TorGuard offers add-ons that will especially appeal to frequent BitTorrent users. These include static, dedicated IP addresses in the US or UK for $7.99 a month, and DDoS protected IP addresses in Romania for $11.99 per month. You can also purchase access to the company's 10Gbit network for an additional $19.99 per month. Few other companies offer these kinds of options.
You should have no trouble finding a way to pay for your subscription to TorGuard, as the website boasts numerous payment options. These include the expected major credit cards, cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, PayPal, Paymentwall, and prepaid gift cards for various well-known brands. This last one is a bit obscure, but it basically means you can use a prepaid gift card, like a Starbucks card, to purchase your VPN subscription. Using cryptocurrency or a gift card for which you paid cash has the advantages of being totally anonymous, equivalent to a cash transaction.
There's more than one way to create an encrypted tunnel via VPN. My preferred method uses the OpenVPN protocol, which is known for being fast and reliable. It's also open-source, so you can rest assured that its code has been picked over for vulnerabilities.
TorGuard supports numerous VPN protocols including OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, and IPSec. TorGuard also supports so-called "Stealth" VPN protocols, which use SSL VPN in order to prevent an entity from blocking the VPN traffic. These include OpenVPN Stealth, ShadowSocks, Stunnel, and AnyConnect (also known as OpenConnect).
Other companies provide tools to prevent VPN blocking similar to Stealth VPN, albeit with different names. TunnelBear ($4.99 Per Month at TunnelBear) and Golden Frog VyprVPN, as well as others, offer similar features. A TorGuard representative told me that customers can double up their Stealth protection by connecting via OpenVPN Stealth or OpenConnect and then use ShadowSocks or Stunnel to defeat deep packet inspection that could be used to block VPN use. Most people probably won't take advantage of this, but it's great that TorGuard makes such efforts to ensure its users can protect themselves and their data.
Servers and Server Locations
When I review a VPN service, I look at where its servers are located. The more geographic options available, the more choice you have if you want to spoof your location. A robust geographic distribution also means that you're more likely to find a nearby server when traveling, and a nearby server means lower latency and better performance.
TorGuard currently offers VPN servers in over 53 countries. These are fairly well distributed across the Americas, Asia, and Europe. I am happy to see that TorGuard has servers in India, and several servers across Africa and the Middle East, as these areas are often ignored by other VPN services. Notably, TorGuard also has servers in China, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam, countries that are known for their repressive internet policies.
TorGuard's server distribution compares well with that of the competition. NordVPN, for example, covers 62 countries, Golden Frog VyprVPN boasts 64 countries, and Private Internet Access only 33. ExpressVPN, however, has an excellent distribution of servers across 94 countries, including many regions underserved by VPNs.
VPN companies spin servers up and down to meet demand, so the number of servers is partly dependent on the number of users. Still, more servers is probably better, as it means you're less likely to encounter an overcrowded server that has poor performance as a result. TorGuard has greatly expanded its server offering, and it now boasts more than 3,000 servers. That puts it up there with Private Internet Access ($8.45/Month at Private Internet Access) , CyberGhost, and ExpressVPN, all of which have broken the 3,000-server mark. NordVPN still leads the pack in sheer size, now supporting more than 5,200 servers.
Some consumers worry about VPN companies using virtual servers. These are software-defined servers, meaning that a single hardware server can run several virtual servers on it. These virtual servers can be configured to appear to be in different locations than where they are truly located. That's a problem if you're concerned about where your data is headed, and if you want to avoid specific geographic regions. I don't think virtual servers are necessarily bad, however. A company can use them to serve dangerous regions by having the physical machine in a more secure location. It's a nonissue with TorGuard, as a representative told me that the company does not use virtual servers.
Your Privacy With TorGuard
That last point is something echoed by many VPN companies, which is why it's important to know where these companies are located and under what legal jurisdiction they operate. Some countries have more privacy-friendly laws than others, after all. The company behind TorGuard is VPNetworks LLC, which is located in the US and operates under US legal jurisdiction. Some people prefer companies based outside the US, as it may pose an obstacle to investigation by law enforcement.
Some VPN companies have begun publishing comprehensive audits to assure customers that the company is operating in good faith and securing their data. TorGuard representatives tell me the company is "constantly auditing and improving the security and privacy of our network and services," but did not indicate that any public audits were forthcoming. NordVPN recently published an audit of its no-log policy, and TunnelBear has committed to publishing annual audits of its operation. TorGuard has also not participated in the Center for Democracy and Technology's VPN questionnaire, but provided me with much of the same information.
Hands On With TorGuard
In my testing, I installed TorGuard's software on a Lenovo ThinkPad T460s laptop running Windows 10.
The TorGuard client installed quickly and easily, though it's not exactly a thrill to behold. The app is minimal, looking a bit more like a mobile app than something I'd expect on a desktop computer. It's entirely fine, but is starting to show its age. There are none of the cute bears featured in TunnelBear, or the cheeky donkeys from Hide My Ass. It doesn't even have a map interface, which is a staple of many VPN apps. Even Private Internet Access has shed its clunky old app and launched a slick new experience.
Instead of showing a map or recommending servers for particular activities, TorGuard just has a list of servers. That's fine, but again, it isn't very friendly to new users. Neither are the arcane options on the app's primary window. The average user is probably not going to mess with these, but networking pros will no doubt appreciate having these options front and center. A link at the bottom of the app opens a window filled with even more byzantine options.
The company tells me that it's more focused on cross-platform support than a fancy client. That's a commendable goal, but many other VPN services manage to have excellent (even fancy) clients across all platforms. Aside from looks, I feel like the TorGuard app is likely to be confusing for new VPN users. ProtonVPN ($8/Month at ProtonVPN) , for example, balances technical excellence and design with aplomb.
TorGuard offers a Kill Switch list that automatically quits any applications on the list, should the VPN connection be interrupted. It's a safety measure ensuring that none of your information is transmitted through an unencrypted connection. You can either type the name of an application to add to the list or select it from the comprehensive (if difficult-to-read) list of currently running programs.
If a VPN leaks your IP address or your DNS requests, it's not doing a very good job of protecting you. In my testing, I found that TorGuard successfully hid my IP address and ISP from the outside world. Using the aptly named DNS Leak Test tool, I confirmed that TorGuard also does not leak DNS information.
TorGuard and Netflix
Many streaming services take a dim view of VPNs. That's because you can use a VPN to spoof your location and access content that's not intended for your particular geographic region.
While connected to a nearby New York VPN server, I was unable to view any content on Netflix. Of course, that might change at a moment's notice, which is true even for VPNs that worked with Netflix in my testing.
TorGuard offers a series of services devoted to anonymity and privacy online. In addition to its basic VPN service, TorGuard also sells Anonymous Torrent Proxy for $5.95 per month; Anonymous Email for $6.95 per month; and the Privacy Bundle, which includes both Proxy and VPN support, for $11.54 a month.
If you are tempted to get the Anonymous Proxy service instead of the VPN service because it is cheaper, know that the proxy is designed to filter only BitTorrent traffic, while the VPN service protects everything you do online. If you are seeding torrents or grabbing a torrent, the proxy makes sure no one sees your actual IP address. Your web browsing and other online activity, however, is not included.
TorGuard also blocks ads at the network level. That's a useful perk, and one that has thankfully become more common among VPN services.
Speed and Performance
Using a VPN is always going to have a negative impact on your internet speeds. To get a sense of how much, I run a series of tests using the Ookla speed test tool. (Note that Ookla is owned by PCMag's publisher, Ziff Davis.) Do read my feature on how I test VPNs for more of the gritty details.
In my testing, I found that TorGuard increased latency by 66.7 percent, reduced upload speeds by 75.5 percent, and reduced download speeds by 81.8 percent. These are good results, and all under the median average for each category. You can see how TorGuard compares in the chart below with the top ten performers among the over 30 services we tested.
For now, the fastest VPN I've yet tested is HideIPVPN. Despite that service's excellent performance, I don't recommend choosing a VPN service solely on speed-test results. For one thing, my tests are just a snapshot, and networks are very finicky things. For another, I think it's more important to consider value, experience, and security.
TorGuard on Other Platforms
TorGuard offers apps for Android, iPhone, Linux, macOS, and Windows. I highly recommend using a client app where possible, since it's far easier to set up, and it gives you access to all the features a VPN service offers. TorGuard also offers proxy plugins for Firefox and Safari. These will make your browser traffic appear to come from somewhere else, but won't use the encryption found with a VPN.
You can also purchase a router preconfigured with TorGuard software, which will provide VPN protection for every device on your network. That includes smart devices, such as fridges, that can't run VPN software on their own. A router uses only one of your simultaneous connections, but the traffic of everything that connects through it is protected when the VPN is running. TorGuard also has streaming devices preconfigured to work with its VPN service. These include the Amazon Fire Stick and the NVidia Shield TV 4K.
Feeling the Change of the Guard
TorGuard has a lot going for it: a reasonable entry-level price; a collection of subscription add-ons to customize your security experience; and a large, geographically diverse collection of servers. This VPN service does a lot right, and it gets a high score for doing so. What holds it back is its client, which has remained serviceable but clunky.
I still recommend my Editors' Choice winners: NordVPN with its enormous collection of servers, Private Internet Access with its low price, ProtonVPN with its flexible pricing, and TunnelBear VPN with its adorable bears.
TorGuard is hugely configurable and has some uniquely powerful options, but it's not built for ease of use, and you'll need to be an expert to really take advantage of the service.
- Expert-level configurability
- Large network
- Unblocks Netflix
- Live chat support
- Intimidating for beginners
- Clumsy app interface
- Poor support website
- Couldn't unblock iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+
Despite the name and the privacy angle, TorGuard has nothing to do with the Tor Project. Instead it's a company which offers a range of privacy-related products, including an anonymous VPN plan for protecting your privacy while using torrents (which is where the "Tor" comes from).
Product specifications are good, with a choice of 3,000+ servers in 68 locations across 55 countries, OpenVPN/SSTP/L2TP/IPsec protocol support with multiple stealth options to avoid VPN blocking (OpenVPN obfuscation, Stunnel, OpenConnect, and Shadowsocks), custom apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, and setup instructions for Linux, routers and more.
Features include WireGuard support on some servers, and support for connecting up to eight devices simultaneously.
Prices are reasonable at $9.99 a month, $6.66 on its quarterly plan, or $5 per month on both its 6-month and annual plans. That's not bad, but there's scope for saving a lot of money elsewhere. Sign up for a year with TorGuard and you'll pay $59.99 upfront, for instance; sign up for two years at Surfshark and you're asked for $47.76.
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TorGuard excels at add-ons, with options including streaming and residential IPs for multiple countries and US states, potentially allowing you to unblock just about anything in your destination country, for an extra $7.99 a month.
An upgrade to TorGuard's 10Gbit 'Premium Network' is also available for $7.99 a month.
There's a '7-day free trial', but it's not quite like any other trial we've seen.
To get it, you must 'email your recent VPN bill from your current provider', so that excludes VPN newcomers, and perhaps means you are giving away more information than you'd like. The company then says it will 'verify' your bill: what? How?
If you get the free week, and cancel your old VPN, and email 'proof' of the cancellation to TorGuard, and they verify that, you'll also get 30 days free on any VPN plan.
That's certainly more generous than most, but we'd prefer something simpler and less intrusive, even if it's just, say, a free 3-day trial for everyone.
If you do decide to sign up, there's support for paying via card, Bitcoin, gift cards, and many other payment types via Paymentwall (but not PayPal, unfortunately).
A money-back guarantee offers a little protection, but only for 7 days.
TorGuard's extensive settings make it difficult for first-time users to configure this VPN to be both private and secure
Privacy and logging
Is it true, though? We've no idea. And as TorGuard hasn't put itself through any form of public audit, we're left to trust that the company is telling it like it is.
The technical side of the service is more interesting, at least for experienced users who can figure out how to use the more advanced features. Multiple stealth and obfuscation technologies aim to get you connected, even in countries which detect and block regular VPNs. You're able to take manual control of your encryption algorithm, port and authentication method (AES-256, various CBC and GCM algorithms, SHA1, SHA256, SHA512.) Built-in blocking of WebRTC and IPv6 leaks prevents you giving away clues to your identity, and a kill switch blocks internet access if the VPN drops.
There are plenty of other options which could help, if you're willing to spend time setting them up. The Windows client can automatically launch a program when the VPN connects, for instance, and close it when it disconnects, ensuring everything it does online is always protected.
The key here is probably the user's knowledge and experience. If you understand everything TorGuard has to offer, you'll be able to set it up to deliver excellent privacy and security. The service won't help you much by default, though, so network novices might get better results from much simpler apps with a very few settings they might actually understand (global kill switch, DNS leak protection, auto-connect when accessing insecure networks).
Paying for TorGuard wasn't as easy as we expected, sadly
We began our TorGuard experience by signing up for the monthly plan. As there's no longer any support for PayPal, we opted for card payment, but then had to provide our name, address and phone number.
Handing over our cash proved more difficult than expected, too. 'Your order has been flagged as potentially high risk and therefore it has been held for manual review!', the site complained. Okay, we had a web proxy enabled – so we turned that off, but received the same error.
We checked our payment form. TorGuard uses your account details to fill in some of the payment details, including the billing address, and we realized there was a single character error in our postcode. That can't be edited in the payment form, so we had to switch to another page, edit and save our account details, and try again. Oops: same error.
We checked the details again. The website doesn't format credit card numbers or other information (instead of xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx, you see xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx), so it's easier to make a mistake. We were left to manually add a separator to the expiry date, too, but should we be doing that? We tried entering 0721 instead of 07/21: same error.
Okay, browser issue? We switched from Chrome to Edge: same error. Was it a card problem – maybe our bank was worried about these repeated failures? Tried another card: same error. Though we noticed something else interesting – TorGuard automatically remembers the last used credit card details (apart from the CVV number), and we couldn't see any way to prevent that.
(The company says it doesn't store the full credit card details – it only displays the last four digits, the full data is held by the payment processor – but we would still like some notification of this during the signup process, and maybe an option not to store the details at all.)
Finally, we thought – try another payment provider. Instead of choosing TorGuard's default 'credit card' option, we opted for Paymentwall, and entered all the same details. An invoice appeared, we choose the Pay option, and – it worked, immediately. Hooray!
We don't know exactly why this proved to be so difficult, or how many of our hassles were entirely down to TorGuard (though its clumsy payment process and shopping cart didn't help). But if you run into a similar problem while paying by card, try the same thing, switch payment providers, and it just might help.
TorGuard allows you to change its VPN protocol and the encryption used
After finally managing to sign up, we were able to access TorGuard's Download page. This included links and setup instructions for the Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android apps, as well as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
We took the Windows option, downloading, installing and launching the client in a few seconds.
TorGuard doesn't have an 'automatic' option where the client selects your nearest location on its own, which is probably why it chose Chicago as our default location, even though we were in the UK.
The client's location picker does a reasonable job of making up for this. Although it looks like a simple list of countries, you can filter it by continent, or sort by distance from you, or how often you've used each location, a simple and effective way to view your favorite servers. There are some smart ideas here, although there's still room for improvement (there's no actual Favorites system, for instance).
The cluttered interface might confuse newbies, too, with all kinds of intimidating options displayed upfront, such as: Tunnel Type, Port/Auth, Cipher, an 'STunnel enabled' switch and more.
Tapping Connect got us a Windows User Account Control message complaining that 'Windows Defender Firewall has blocked some features of this app.' That's easily fixed – just click 'Allow Access' and it doesn't appear again – but it might confuse newcomers, and it really shouldn't be necessary. Most apps set up permissions and maybe firewall rules during installation, ensuring users aren't prompted later.
Once you're online, the client connected to our chosen server and displayed even more technical details (HMAC, PFS/TLS, protocol, cipher, and both local and remote IPs.) It's great to have some status information, but this is probably going to intimidate the VPN novice, and even experts may feel they don't need to see all this information, all of the time.
This is presented in a clumsy way, too. With most VPN apps, when you click Connect, you stay on the same screen, and often you can browse other locations, maybe change settings, while you're connected. With this client, when you connect, you're taken to an entirely different status screen, and can't do anything else until you've manually disconnected. This isn't difficult to figure out – you'll understand within seconds – but it's still not as comfortable to use as the average VPN app.
For all its interface shortcomings, the TorGuard client does have one major compensation, for experts at least: a hugely comprehensive Settings dialog with more low-level tweaks, options and customizations than we've seen anywhere else.
TorGuard gives you a great deal of control over DNS settings
Many VPN apps will automatically assign their own DNS servers when they connect, for instance, but TorGuard gives you so much more control. You're able to use multiple alternative DNS providers (Cloudflare, OpenDNS, Level3, Google, Quad9) while you're connected, change them at other points (when the application starts, while the VPN connects), add custom nameservers as required, refresh the local DNS cache when connected, or save and recover the DNS state of your VPN session.
The client can run scripts before and after connecting, and after disconnecting. This could be handy for launching programs you only want to run when the VPN is active, or perhaps to clean up after it's closed (delete cookies or your internet history).
Experienced users will be able to tweak TorGuard's settings to their liking
The advanced features continue with WebRTC and IPv6 leak prevention, and the ability to choose the network interface TorGuard will block as part of its kill switch (very useful if you've more than one). It's all hugely configurable, and could be ideal for experts who need to tailor the service for tricky network situations.
TorGuard's mobile apps are similar to the Windows client. The interface looks much the same, they have a lot of technical tweaks, but are clearly targeted more at experts than VPN newcomers.
The apps do include a few more usability features, though. The iOS app hasn't been updated in a long time (233 days, as we write), but the last release included a Favorites system, automatic connection when you access insecure networks, the ability to display your VPN location on a map, and Siri shortcuts for easier connecting (and disconnecting).
TorGuard's Android app gets more attention (it is only 10 days since the last release), and that's also resolving some of the Windows issues. Connecting doesn't take you to an entirely separate status screen any more, for instance; you can now view and change VPN properties, even when connected.
TorGuard still can't match most VPNs for usability, then, but it's encouraging to see that the company is heading in the right direction, and hopefully we'll see more improvements soon.
Our in-depth TorGuard testing began with a look at the Windows client kill switch. Or, at least, that was the idea. It turned out to be much more difficult than we expected.
Should we check the 'arm killswitches after first successful connection' setting, we wondered? An 'App Kill' tab enables specifying processes to kill if the connection drops – is that what we need?
The best option turned out to be a 'Manage Interface State' option which allows for choosing the network interfaces to be blocked if the VPN drops. That's flexible, but can be confusing, as there may be multiple interfaces and it's not easy to identify the ones you need.
It's possible to tell the client to connect or disconnect all interfaces, but this took a long time, and the client regularly asked us to enable or disable interfaces manually. (Fortunately, that was never necessary. We just waited and the client sorted itself out eventually.)
Once we connected, the kill switch was effective, blocking our internet access whenever we closed the connection. But the client was slow to react, sometimes taking 15-20 seconds to warn us that it had kicked in, and overall, we've seen far more straightforward kill switches elsewhere.
We used TestMy.net to measure TorGuard's real-world performance
We measured TorGuard performance from two places, using a 75Mbps connection in the UK, and a superfast 600Mbps line in the US.
Connecting to our nearest server from the UK gave us download speeds of a solid 68-70Mbps. That's only around 4-8% down on our regular speeds, as much as we could expect from any VPN.
TorGuard's US results were very disappointing by comparison, with download speeds ranging from 20-50Mbps.
That's a surprise. Results were very inconsistent during our last review (our four tests returned median speeds of 100Mbps, 163Mbps, 176Mbps and 403Mbps) but they were still far better than what we achieved this time.
We ran our tests at the end of March 2020, in the early days of coronavirus lockdown, so it's possible that additional internet traffic had some effect on the results.
That seems unlikely to be a complete explanation, because other VPNs we've reviewed in the past few days have performed far, far better. For example, Speedify's four recent tests ranged from 275Mbps to 400Mbps.
But because the current circumstances are so exceptional, and maybe short term, and we can't be entirely sure of the effects, we're not going to cut TorGuard's rating in the way we might have done normally.
TorGuard did successfully allow us to unblock Netflix in the US, but failed with some other services
The TorGuard VPN website is very confident about its unblocking abilities, claiming that it allows you to 'connect to any location in the world and experience content without any restrictions.' Is that the reality, or marketing spin? Let's find out…
YouTube is probably the easiest service to access, so we weren't surprised to see TorGuard enable streaming of US-only YouTube content.
BBC iPlayer is always more of a challenge, and sure enough, its VPN detection blocked all our viewing attempts. Experience content without 'any' restrictions? Guess not.
US Amazon Prime Video blocked us, too. And we had no success with Disney+, either, although it wasn't clear exactly why. The site didn't warn that we were using a VPN, it just refused to display the login or specific movie pages until we disconnected.
These aren't good results, but TorGuard ended on a broadly positive note, allowing us to view US-only Netflix content on one of the three servers we tried.
If unblocking websites is a priority, buying one of TorGuard's dedicated residential IPs should resolve the problem, hopefully forever (no-one else will use the IP, so it's unlikely it'll be spotted). It's an effective solution, but also an expensive one at $7.99 a month – you could buy another VPN service for much less, if you're willing to sign up for a year.
TorGuard offers several types of support for users experiencing issues
If you're baffled by TorGuard's complexities then you could head off to the support site, where you'll find a knowledgebase, video guides, a user forum, and more.
Explore these sections, though, and you'll discover that they don't match the level of help you might see elsewhere. The knowledgebase is more about technical how-to type articles than general VPN guidance (the most popular article is apparently 'How to setup a SOCKS Proxy in uTorrent/BitTorrent On Windows'). Furthermore, forum questions might not be answered for days, the video guides section has seen only two additions in the past three years, and even they were more about marketing than helping you use the service.
Fortunately, you can contact support agents directly via tickets, live chat and even a toll-free phone number in the US. That's better than many competitors, but it's probably not the best way to master TorGuard's features and functionality, and we'd also like to see a much better knowledgebase to help users find their way around.
TorGuard has more low-level VPN tweaks and options than just about anyone else, but the awkward interface and limited online help means most users won't find it easy to use. Still, this provider is well worth a look for power users who need way more than the VPN basics.
If you’re like most mobile users, you probably connect to the Wi-Fi at an establishment and assume it’s secure. While many wireless connections available to coffee shop customers or freelancers at a shared workspace are secure, you never really know when your privacy is at risk or even if you can access your favorite streaming sites like Netflix.
TorGuard VPN Review
VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are one of the easiest and most reliable ways to protect your online information, your identity, and even the location from where you’re working. With dozens of VPNs available, it’s difficult to know which ones have the features you’ll need.
In our TorGuard review, we take a closer look at the features that make it stand out from other VPNs, what we like and don’t like, and other important details and features to help you decide if TorGuard is the best VPN service for you.
TorGuard offers online privacy protection services, and its primary goal is to offer a variety of anonymous services to consumers such as email, proxy, routers, and a VPN.
What is TorGuard?
The company, which is based in Nevis, West Indies, has headquarters in the U.S. and launched in 2012. Although the majority of our review is focused on TorGuard’s VPN, we think that the other services offered through TorGuard are worth noting.
TorGuard’s anonymous proxy allows you to hide your real IP while you browse, ensuring that websites and ads can’t reveal your “real world” location.
TorGuard Proxy Service
The anonymous proxy also allows you to change your geo-location, which means you will never get blocked from geo-restricted content on the web. TorGuard’s proxy service also allows users to download anonymously.
Other features include up to five simultaneous connections allowed, unlimited speeds (plus bandwidth), over 3,000 Elite Proxy IPs in over 50 countries, and Chrome or Firefox extensions.
No one likes the idea of their emails getting into the hands of a stranger. TorGuard’s anonymous email service ensures that all emails stay secure. The encrypted email is also protected from Man in the Middle, or MITM, attacks.
TorGuard encrypted email service
Encryption ensures that emails cannot be altered or intercepted. TorGuard offers all the features you might expect from an email service such as a calendar or bulk import. The email service also includes 10mb of free offshore email storage and zero ads or marketing.
With dozens of VPNs on the market, it can be time-consuming and even confusing trying to determine which VPN is right for you.
TorGuard VPN Features
While everyone likes (and dislikes) different VPN features, we discuss some of the most “in-demand” features. We’ll also take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of using TorGuard’s VPN service.
One of the reasons why users like TorGuard is because there are numerous options based on specific needs. The drawback is that TorGuard is not known for being easy to use for beginners. While the app’s interface looks pretty basic and straightforward, it may be intimidating for users who aren’t tech-savvy.
TorGuard VPN Ease of Use
Before you can connect to a server, you need to select your encryption and protocol settings. This step may stop some TorGuard users from proceeding, especially if they aren’t confident in whether or not they are choosing the right information (particularly when worried about keeping information safe and secure).
Users also need to log in every time before connecting to a server. While this is an added layer of security, it can be a nuisance.
Although TorGuard has plenty of customizable settings, it may take some time and patience to customize the VPN to your meet your preferences and needs.
Whether you’re traveling overseas or working from your favorite coffee shop, your VPN needs to be reliable. Not only should your VPN stay connected without dropping you in the middle of an important download or while private browsing, but you should always feel confident that you are protected.
In numerous connection tests, TorGuard is reliable and stays connected. As with most VPNs, you always have the best connections when you connect to the nearest server, but even some of the more distant servers provided a solid connection with minimal issues of losing the connection.
TorGuard’s VPN service is designed for some of the more commonly used desktop platforms, such as Windows, Mac, and Linux, but it’s also compatible with other platforms and operating systems as well.
There are manual setup guides for iOS and Android, and you can use Viscosity for Windows or Mac. TorGuard is frequently improving and updating its platform compatibility, so check out the site for complete multi-platform details.
Although Torguard has the options for mobile, it still isn’t on our best VPN’s for iphone and android list.
Although the interface and VPN features are similar across devices, the iOS app is slightly easier to use (which may be good news for iOS users with limited tech knowledge).
When you use the VPN on your mobile device, you need to have the iOS or Android app, as well as the OpenVPN Connect app.
While more tech-advanced users have no issues with the OpenVPN Connect app, it may be intimidating to some users. TorGuard does an excellent job of walking you through the process, keep in mind that it might be a bit of a challenge or time-consuming.
As we mentioned earlier, TorGuard VPN is available as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.
Privacy, Security, and Logging
Privacy is just as essential to a VPN as reliability, and TorGuard’s main mission is to provide high-quality services while keeping users anonymous.
Privacy, Security, and Logging
TorGuard VPN keeps your actual IP address hidden, and assigns you with an anonymous IP, so your actual location will never be tracked by annoying ads, websites, or other online services. The anonymous IP means that your identity is secure, and you can browse privately regardless of where you are located or which server you use.
TorGuard also uses AES-256 encryption with SHA-512 and protocols like Stunnel and OpenVPN to ensure that your private browsing is truly secure and private.
Another TorGuard privacy feature worth mentioning is the kill switch. Having access to a kill switch is another safety measure that prevents your IP address from popping up if your connection drops.
Although you have an anonymous IP address when you’re connected with TorGuard, your real IP address could show up when you lose a connection, and it doesn’t take long for your location to be seen by strangers who could misuse your location or information.
TorGuard allows you the option to have an app kill list, which will close and protect all of the apps on your “kill list” when you disconnect from the VPN.
In several interviews and even on its FAQ page, TorGuard says that it values the privacy of all users. The company does not collect or log any data from its VPN service, which is welcome news to most consumers looking for an anonymous, private, and secure VPN.
Since TorGuard accepts various payment methods, including cryptocurrency, you can pay for the service anonymously.
It is important to note that while TorGuard values the privacy and anonymity of its users, the company headquarters are in the U.S. Although the company was established in Nevis, its headquarters is actually in Florida.
While your information is still secure and TorGuard has a strict no-logging policy, it’s important to keep in mind that your information could be gathered and shared by US government surveillance. Because of this we cannot say for sure if Torguard is a zero logs VPN.
No one wants a sluggish VPN. There are faster VPNs on the market, but Torguard’s performance is solid with decent speed. Depending on where you’re located and which server you are trying to connect to, your speed performance is likely to be different.
As with most VPNs, if you select a server that’s further away from your current location, it’s almost inevitable that you will experience a slower speed. Keep in mind that one user’s speed with TorGuard may vary greatly from another.
In one speed test, UK servers had a connection speed of 55 to 60 Mbps on a 75Mbps connection. Many European countries had similar speed performance with the exception of Latvia and Bulgaria, which were between 25 and 30 Mbps (not great, but still very usable).
Other speed tests resulted in 20 to 45 Mbps for a 75 Mbps connection throughout the U.S. Although the speed isn’t phenomenal, it isn’t terrible either. Depending on what your browsing or download needs are, you aren’t likely to notice a slower speed.
Countries in South America and Australia had some relatively slow performance speeds, but again, it all depends on where you’re connecting from in the first place.
With over 3000 servers to choose from in 50 countries, you are likely to find at least one server that will provide you with the speed performance you need and want. 3000 servers is a pretty high number and that is better than most VPN’s, other than industry leaders Nordvpn and Expressvpn.
Torrenting allows you to download files to your computer, so that you can use (or watch) them later. Often, torrenting is viewed as illegal and dangerous when you compare it to similar actions like streaming.
Regardless of your stance on torrenting, some VPNs allow it, and others don’t. Given the company’s name, you can probably guess that TorGuard supports and allows it.
However, there are many decent choices and only a handful of great ones and that is why Torguard has still not made our top 5 best VPN’s for torrenting list.
One of the biggest issues that many VPN users face is the inability to use some of their favorite streaming services, like Netflix. TorGuard VPN allows users to unblock Netflix, but it will cost you about $8 extra per month.
This is something we don’t like. We believe the best VPN’s should not have additional upsells. Check out these other choices which don’t charge you extra for Netflix.
Depending on how much you want to spend (and how much you use Netflix or other streaming sites), it may be a deal breaker when considering TorGuard VPN.
Now that we’ve reviewed some of the basic features of TorGuard VPN, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons.
A Few Pros and Cons
What We Like About TorGuard
- Decent speeds
- Strong encryption
- Kill switch
- A large number of servers
- Torrenting is allowed
- Secure and anonymous
- Unblocking Netflix costs extra
- May collect some data (even though no-logging policy)
- Slower speeds from distant servers
- Not user-friendly for users with limited tech experience
- Need 3rd party app for iOS and Android mobile devices
While we’ve already mentioned that you can unblock Netflix for an extra $8 a month, let’s take a closer look at TorGuard’s pricing to see if it’s a good investment for you.
Not sure if TorGuard is for you? You can try out the free seven-day trial.
If you are looking for a VPN for your business there are a few options which include the starter, small, medium, or enterprise plan.
TorGuard Business VPN Service
The business plans also have all the other features that are available to anonymous plans, such as multiple ciphers and blocking any known leaks.
TorGuard accepts multiple forms of payment, which include major credit cards like VISA or American Express as well as PayPal. You can also use various cryptocurrency and Payment wall or PAYGARDEN.
See our guides for buying bitcoin and choosing the right cryptocurrency exchange if you wish to pay by crypto but don’t know how to do it.
Even if you consider yourself to be tech-savvy, there are times when customer support is essential. TorGuard’s customer service is better than other VPN services.
If you need help with your VPN service or just have more questions about TorGuard’s services, you can contact customer service through email tickets and 24/7 live chat. If you live in the U.S., you also have access to its toll-free number, which is rare with many VPN providers.
TorGuard’s knowledge base is a great resource for users who don’t need to talk to customer support or would prefer to figure out an issue on their own.
Since TorGuard doesn’t rank high on “ease of use,” its customer support may make up for the challenging interface and other features.
TorGuard offers a variety of online services that are designed to keep the user anonymous and information private. While our review focused on the VPN service, we like that you can purchase an anonymous email or proxy. We also like that TorGuard offers VPN plans for individuals and businesses of all sizes.
While TorGuard has decent speeds with servers in the UK and Europe, we thought it was a little lacking in the U.S., South America, and distant areas like Australia. Despite some of the slower speeds, we still think that the performance is usable and depending on your needs, the “lag” may not even be noticeable.
Regarding TorGuard’s pricing, we like the options for individuals and businesses, but there are cheaper VPN providers that offer many of the same features and services. While we like that you can unblock Netflix with TorGuard, we don’t like that you have to pay an additional fee every month.
TorGuard’s support is a big win for us because not only is live chat support a preferred method for many users, making it available 24/7 is even better. We like that U.S. users have access to a toll-free number because sometimes it’s just easier to resolve an issue or ask a question over the phone.
Why Choose TorGuard VPN Software?
One of our favorite features about TorGuard is that it focuses on anonymity and security for all of its users. Privacy and security are important when using a VPN, especially when you travel. Our biggest issue with TorGuard is that it’s not friendly for users.
We can understand how someone with limited tech experience may be turned off from using or trying TorGuard VPN just by looking at its interface. Despite some of its advanced features (that may be intimidating for some users), we think that TorGuard makes up for it with great customer support.
TorGuard servers are located in 50+ countries. That gives subscribers plenty of choices and allows them to unblock almost any content from around the world. In addition, it means that no matter where users are located, TorGuard will have a server near to them (for getting better connection speeds).
TorGuard allows subscribers to use five simultaneous connections. However, users can purchase more for the very reasonable rate of $1.00 per month (per additional connection to the VPN). This is an excellent option that allows people to cover as many devices as they wish (and is fantastic for families who have a lot of devices that they need to protect).
A kill switch is available on the OS X and Windows platforms but not the mobile versions of the client. Similarly, Domain Name System (DNS) leak protection is available on Windows and OS X. It can be toggled on and off in the software.
Stealth connections for bypassing firewalls (like the Great Firewall of China) are also available on all of TorGuard’s VPN plans. Furthermore, there is an ad-blocker and malware blocker that can be toggled on and off in the software.
TorGuard permits P2P downloading on all shared servers. So if torrenting is important to you, TorGuard is perfect (the Tor in the name is there because of its focus on BitTorrenting, as opposed to any affiliation to the Tor Project). For more information, see our best VPN for torrent sites.
TorGuard provides a basic proxy service with 200 servers in eight countries for those who don’t need a full VPN service. This cheaper option will provide some privacy, but will not provide the level of security that a VPN does. However, it is ideal for unblocking geo-restricted content and P2P file-sharing (for which it is optimized).
Anonymous Email Service
TorGuard has an anonymous email service with four different plans, the cheapest of which is $6.95 per month. Note that you do get a free version of the anonymous email service when you sign up to one of the VPN plans. The free plan provides 10mb of offshore email storage and you can use it on any OS. This is a useful, free bolt-on service for VPN subscribers that is well worth taking advantage of.
Paid plans to the anonymous email service come with 30GB encrypted storage with desktop sync apps for Windows, iOS, and Android. G/PGP Email Encryption, Tasks/Notes/Calendar, POP3/IMAP support, File Storage, Email filtering, Address book, and more.
Dedicated IPs for Streaming
For people who want to stream US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer - and other streaming services - the basic VPN plans will not be enough.
Once you have subscribed it is necessary to also get a Dedicated Streaming IPs plan. The good news is that users can use a discount code (TGLifetime50) to vastly reduce the cost of a yearly subscription with a dedicated IP. Using the code it is possible to get a year's worth of dedicated streaming IP for just $27.50. However, if you want to pay for a dedicated IP for the UK's iPlayer and for US Netflix you will need to pay for both, which we consider pretty pricey.
TorGuard also offers a premium 'Residential IP VPN service'. The provider leases legacy residential IP addresses directly from big ISPs in the US and UK, giving the appearance that users are connecting using a standard residential IP address. The provider says this makes it virtually impossible for a website or third party service to determine if a user is tunneling through a known VPN provider.
Speed and Performance
Hover your mouse on the graph below to see up-to-date speed results for the fastest VPNs on the market
Speed tests for TorGuard were conducted using our scientific (server-based) speed test system. In the chart below you will see the averages across all four of the servers that we test: Hong Kong, Australia, the UK, and the US.
As you can see from the graph, TorGuard performs relatively well when compared to other premium VPNs. Download speeds for the months of October and November averaged 28.7 Mbps with burst speeds of 114.6 Mbps. Those speeds are great considering the price of an annual subscription.
I decided to lake a look at each of the servers individually to see how they behaved. I discovered that the UK server performed slightly lower than average with average download speeds of 23.9 Mbps. Despite this slightly slower average, speeds were good enough for streaming in HD - which is great.
The good news for TorGuard subscribers is that the VPN's connection speeds have been improving lately. This is a good sign and shows that the service is investing in better servers and infrastructure.
|IPv4 leak detected?|
|WebRTC leak detected?|
|ProPrivacy.com SpeedTest (average)||N/A|
I tested TorGuard for IP leaks using ipleak.net. The good news is that I detected no IP leaks, no DNS leaks, and no WebRTC leaks. Torguard uses its own DNS resolvers by default. However, subscribers can choose from the following DNS options in TorGuard app settings: Level3, Google, OpenDNS, Cloudflare, Quad9, or TorGuard Ad Blocking DNS. This is a nice addition to the service, but for privacy and security reasons we generally recommend sticking to TorGuard's own DNS servers.
Users can purchase TorGuard on a number of different payment plans. The first is a proxy service costing $5.95 per month. It allows subscribers to use Socket Secure (SOCKS5) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)/Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) proxy on five devices. Subscribers can use the proxy service to access any torrent client. In addition, the proxy service provides access to 200+ proxy Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, in eight countries. Access isn’t restricted on either usage or bandwidth.
If a proxy service isn't your cup of tea, you can buy the full premium VPN service for $9.99 per month ($11.54 if purchased in a bundle with the proxy service thrown in). Those prices reduce substantially if you commit for a longer period of time: $20.97 quarterly, or $64.00 annually (which works out at just $5 per month).
All of the plans provide the same level of service, which is much less confusing than many VPNs. The only difference is that TorGuard rewards subscribers for committing for longer periods of time.
Subscribers can also opt to pay for a dedicated IP address and port forwarding. These services are pretty expensive: $7.99 per month, $18.99 per quarter, $36.99 per six months, or $54.99 per year. However, users can use the discount code "TGLifetime50" to get their VPN subscription and a dedicated IP for streaming at half price. This will reduce the cost of a yearly VPN with a single dedicated IP to just $57.50 (which is an extremely good price).
Payments are accepted by credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin or a vast number of other online payment methods. TorGuard offers more payment options than just about any other VPN. TorGuard also offers a number of anonymous crypto payment methods including Monero. They also accept Bitcoin and Litecoin payments through BTCpay (for added privacy compared to BitPay). TorGuard was the very first VPN provider to begin accepting Bitcoin and Litecoin Lightning Network payments in early 2018.
Money back guarantee
Also great: TorGuard provides a seven-day money-back guarantee, so you can test the service completely risk-free. However, that guarantee is not available to anyone that pays with cryptocurrencies. In addition, TorGuard does not offer a refund to customers who opt to get a dedicated IP. These are condition worth bearing in mind - if you want to avoid disappointment.
Ease of Use
Signing up to TorGuard is nice and easy. To sign up with a credit card users will need to hand over an email address, full name, billing address, and password. However, people can use false information and bitcoins to pay, thus protecting themselves further with a layer of anonymity at the subscription stage.
Subscribers have a huge amount of payment options: Visa, Amex, Mastercard, Discover, PayPal, Altcoins, Alipay, CashU, PaySafeCard, gift cards and Bitcoin (which is by far the best for anonymity). TorGuard sends out an email that explains how to get started once the customer has subscribed.
Once subscribed, consumers can log in to the members' area and download the client that they need. The clients download quickly and install with great ease. Once installed it is just a case of running the software, logging in, selecting your preferred encryption options, and connecting to a server.
The TorGuard Windows VPN Client
Despite being simple and uncluttered, TorGuard's client has all the necessary pro-features you would expect from a top-end VPN service.
A kill switch stops users from leaking data to their Internet Service Provider (ISP) by making all data pass through the VPN tunnel by default (when applied). In addition, there is built-in Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), DNS, and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) protection that can all be toggled on and off in settings. What's more, TorGuard has now added Stunnel (obfuscated servers) to its desktop clients (both Windows and Mac)
Subscribers can connect using either Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP). UDP is better for streaming as it is faster. Subscribers can select the level of encryption they desire - we suggest that you opt for AES-256 as this is the most secure option (and is now available on all TorGuard servers).
Connecting to TorGuard's servers is extremely easy - just choose a server location and click Connect. The VPN takes around twenty seconds to connect and makes it clear when a connection has been established.
TorGuard is also available on Android, iOS, OS X, and Linux. It has custom apps for mobile devices. TorGuard VPN also sells flashed routers and has guides for flashing DD-WRT and Tomato routers with its software (for connecting with OpenVPN), along with Boxee routers (PPTP only). This is a great addition, and it is nice to see a pre-flashed router on sale.
I downloaded and used the Android platform. Despite the fact that it is a lot more minimal than the Windows software, it did work with no problems. Connection speeds were the same as the ones we encountered on the Windows client. OpenVPN is available from within the client, and users can change the encryption settings and select up to AES 256 with 512 SHA (which is an extremely robust form of encryption).
Unfortunately, there is no killswitch on Android. What's more; I did not encounter any DNS leaks when using the Android client and I TorGuard told me that the client includes DNS leak protection. Also excellent: Torguard has added Stunnel (obfuscated servers) to the Android client. This allows people to conceal their VPN use from the ISP and lets them get around Firewalls in countries like China and Iran.
The iOS app only provides IPsec or IKEv2 encryption. Thus, to connect using OpenVPN you will need to use the third party OpenVPN Connect App. The good news is that TorGuard has guides to help you get this set up.
Unfortunately, there is no killswitch on iOS. However, it does implement DNS leak protection.
TorGuard is one of the only VPN providers that provides a VPN client app with a Graphic User Interface (GUI) for all distros of Linux. This makes TorGuard an excellent option for Linux users.
The main extra service available on TorGuard is its anonymous email account. This is available for various costs but comes free with a VPN subscription. The free version gives access to 10mb of encrypted email storage. You can use it on any OS.
|Money-back guarantee length||7|
Customer support on TorGuard is handled via a 24/7 chat service on its website. If for any reason the live chat seems to be off - navigate to the "Get TorGuard Now" page - where the live chat is always available.
The live chat is a superb resource that allows both potential subscribers and customers to ask questions about the service. The representatives are highly engaging, knowledgeable, and friendly. In addition, they communicate quickly and have all the links they need at their fingertips. The result is that they can quickly advise users on how to solve problems, and can link them to guides to help get the job done.
In addition, subscribers can use a ticket system to ask questions, which TorGuard answers via email. I wanted to ask some highly technical questions about the encryption, so contacted them via the ticket system. I received an answer in under 24 hours from their tech team, who told me everything I needed to know about any recent improvements to the service.
TorGuard also provides setup guides and tutorials to help people set up everything from flashed routers to OpenVPN using third-party apps. Furthermore, the website has subsections for each different platform, so that users can get the guides that apply to them.
Privacy and Security
|IPv6 leak protection|
|WebRTC leak protection|
TorGuard is a US registered company. This means that, in theory, the US government could issue warrants and gag orders forcing TorGuard to comply with investigations without informing its subscribers. Sadly, this is true of all US-based firms, which is why the US is considered an iffy place in terms of privacy.
This is what TorGuard has to say about falling under US jurisdiction:
“Our legal representation at the moment is comfortable with the current corporate structuring in the US however we wouldn’t hesitate to move all assets internationally should the ground shift beneath our feet. All of the main billing infrastructure, authentication servers, and engineering staff are already located internationally.”
|Other protocols||Shadowsocks, Stunnel, SSH tunneling, OpenConnect/AnyConnect, SSL Proxy|
All platforms can connect to TorGuard using OpenVPN (our recommended protocol). However, OpenVPN is only native in Windows and OS X. On iOS, Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) and Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKeV2) are provided by default, and you have to install OpenVPN Connect to use OpenVPN. On Android, it is necessary to use third-party OpenVPN software (available on Google Play Store). Although this is a bit of a pain, the reality is that third-party OpenVPN software is free, secure and very easy to install.
Subscribers also get to choose between Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) if they wish to (by connecting with Viscosity). However, we would recommend that you stay away from PPTP as it is not secure anymore - so the official client with built-in OpenVPN is perfect. What I really love about this service is that subscribers can choose between a lot of different OpenVPN encryption strengths:
TorGuard also provides the option of enabling a “stealth proxy” (found in TG lite app>more settings>proxy>TorGuard Stealth Proxy). Users can select from either five Japanese or five US servers, which are connected to via an encrypted SOCKS5 proxy tunnel. This adds a second layer of AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption. This option is great for people wanting to bypass firewalls like the Great Firewall of China.
This is what TorGuard has to say about offering various levels of encryption on the platform:
“When you say there are known vulnerabilities to BF – CBC, one might assume that it is completely broken. This is not the case (yet), and if there was any supporting evidence of this we would remove the option from our software. By adding multiple encryption options to ALL OpenVPN servers (BF CBC, AES128, AES 256), this will allow the user to make their own choice on connection security.”
The VPN.ac scandal
Two years ago, VPN.ac accused TorGuard of stealing its code. Although some people might not see this as a problem, the issue (according to VPN.ac) was that TorGuard had not copied the code correctly and had left consumers with security vulnerabilities. TorGuard denied that it had done anything wrong on purpose, claiming that a third-party developer had passed the issue on to it.
According to TorGuard, the problem was fixed very quickly and the TorGuard platform has been completely secure since the vulnerability was patched up. In addition, TorGuard now runs all of its servers. Thus, there is nothing for subscribers to worry about when using TorGuard's clients.
TorGuard's OpenVPN encryption options are formidable. Subscribers get a service that provides some of the highest levels of encryption on the market, with the option to drop down to nothing for tasks that don't require as much privacy. This gives consumers a huge amount of choice, allowing them to use the service in different ways at different times, which is fantastic.
Although it is slightly pricey for a one-month subscription, it is in line with the top-end of the VPN market, and prices are much more reasonable on a yearly basis. An impressive VPN service.
TorGuard offers its clients a whole host of privacy options, including smart DNS proxies, shared IP addresses, and dedicated IP addresses. In this TorGuard review, we’re going to examine if this company is truly able to deliver what it promises and provide privacy and anonymous browsing for its customers.
Can TorGuard Be Trusted?
Payment data is used to manage client sign-ups, payments, and cancellations. That being said, they promise that private data like credit card numbers are not stored.
They say that Apache Web server logs are regularly purged. However, this sounds a little vague. What does regularly mean? Once today, once a week, once a year?
TorGuard makes the best use of modern technology with the goal of keeping your data safe. One way it does this is by supporting a number of VPN protocols, including:
Experienced users may see the need to switch between protocols. However, most will do best by sticking to the industry standard of OpenVPN.
TorGuard offers AES – 256 encryption. This is the standard used by governments and security organizations around the world when wanting to encrypt confidential or private information.
TorGuard comes with secure DNS servers as well as a built in DNS and IPv6 leak protection feature. This adds another layer of security. The built-in kill switch gives you the ability to automatically disconnect from the Internet when TorGuard is not running. This means you won’t have to worry about accidentally forgetting to turn on your VPN.
TorGuard allows you to protect Android, Mac, Windows, and iOS devices. You can also use this service on DD – WRT and Tomato routers. It doesn’t matter where the traffic is coming from, you are able to protect yourself using TorGuard.
TorGuard has a pricing plan that is pretty much straightforward. For $9.99 you can purchase a monthly plan and increment your way up to a yearly plan that is $59.99. As you’d expect, purchasing the yearly plan will be the most economical option.
One subscription will allow you to connect five devices to the service. You are able to add additional devices for one dollar per device per month. Being able to connect five devices with one subscription is pretty much par for the course with paid VPN services. TorGuard does have the best prices for adding additional device connections.
There are some other add-ons that you can purchase, including a static dedicated IP address, a DDoS protected IP address in the country of Romania, as well as residential IP addresses within the United States.
TorGuard is not the cheapest VPN service out there, but it also is not the most expensive. What is nice is that they do promise a seven day money back guarantee.
We do feel it’s worth mentioning that on their landing page, they offer a seven day free trial. We tried to sign up for the free trial and did not see any way to do so. So we used to their live chat to ask about the trial. We were told that it’s not a seven day free trial but instead a seven day money back guarantee. We were then encouraged to purchase the product and told we would like it.
Not wanting to pay for something and not get our money back, we inquired how long it would take for us to get a refund if we canceled the product. The reply was a request for us to open a ticket.
Needless to say, that interaction did not fill us with confidence.
TorGuard accepts a number of different payment types, including all major credit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrency, as well as a number of store gift cards.
TorGuard And Torrenting
TorGuard at its heart is a service that was made for torrenting. Some VPN services will charge extra for their customers to get access to torrent servers. TorGuard keeps things simple by offering unlimited bandwidth and unlimited usage across their network. They keep zero records of what happens on their torrent VPNs and proxy servers. This means customers have the assurance that they can download in complete privacy.
TorGuard is a great option for people who want to keep “big brother” at bay or for those were just concerned about preventing the ISP from throttling their bandwith.
Will Netflix Work with TorGuard?
There is a constant war between Netflix and VPNs. People from around the world want access to the coveted US Netflix streaming content. When you first use TorGuard to try to access Netflix, you will likely be greeted with the dreaded Netflix error screen.
This is because TorGuard realized that trying to fight against Netflix’s consistent blocking of shared IP’s was an almost unwinnable battle. It was something that they could not keep up with. So they came up with an ingenious workaround. Instead of offering its users shared IP’s, they started to provide their users dedicated streaming IP’s for the sole purpose of getting around Netflix geo blocking. Since you get a dedicated IP address that only you use, the chances of that IP address becoming blacklisted are little to none.
Of course, you do have to pay a little extra each month for a dedicated IP address, but this may be the exact solution you are looking for, especially if the whole reason why you are getting a VPN is to get access to geo restricted streaming content like Netflix.
Where are TorGuard’s Servers Located?
One thing we look at when reviewing VPN providers is a number of servers they have available. Obviously, the more servers that are available, the better chance you have of finding one that’s not very crowded, giving you a little bit more bandwidth.
TorGuard has more than 3,000 servers and can boast a robust geographic distribution. This means that if you’re traveling around the world, it is going to be easier for you to find a server with lower latency and improved performance. We were pleased to note that TorGuard had servers in Africa, the Middle East, and India.
The Speed tests were performed using a 50 Mbps fiber connection with the strongest cipher AES-256/HMAC SHA512/RSA-2048. The US VPN server was tested using the New York-based test server, and the UK and Netherlands VPN servers were tested using the UK-based server.
As the graphs show, the VPN did good on speed, especially since the strongest encryption settings were used.
TorGuard shows some promise. It has a relatively entry-level price and a number of add-ons that allow you to customize your experience. There are a number of available servers, and the VPN is optimized for torrenting.
We will say that the support and customer service seems to be of high quality. When we asked questions about pricing, we received an almost immediate answer. All in all, TorGuard is an above average VPN that has some growing left to do, so we’re giving them 3.5 stars out of 5.
While a few of you might be satisfied with a VPN like TorGuard, we can’t blame you if still want to looking around. Luckily, we’ve got a few recommendations that are practically the gold standard that every other company is striving for.
TorGuard is best known for its large server network and strong torrenting support.
Is TorGuard really privacy-friendly? How does TorGuard perform in other areas, such as streaming?
We tested TorGuard’s VPN service across a number of categories to find out its strengths and weaknesses.
TorGuard’s best features include robust security, a built-in adblocker, P2P support, a strict no-logs policy, responsive customer service, and the ability to bypass tough censorship without being detected.
TorGuard can unblock Netflix, but only if you pay an additional monthly fee to purchase a dedicated IP address. If you’re looking for a VPN for Netflix, we recommend NordVPN instead. It’s fast enough to stream in UHD, and you don’t need to purchase any add-ons to stream.
Other downsides include below-average connection speeds and an interface that isn’t very user-friendly.
Streaming – Does TorGuard Work with Netflix?
When we first tried to access Netflix while connected to TorGuard, we were blocked by Netflix’s VPN ban on each server that we tried.
However, we soon realized that TorGuard can unblock Netflix. It just can’t do so with a standard VPN subscription.
If you want access to streaming services, you have to purchase a dedicated TorGuard streaming IP address for an additional monthly fee.
Dedicated streaming IPs are offered in the US and the UK. The dedicated streaming IPs can successfully access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and BBC iPlayer.
TorGuard claims that if you purchase a streaming IP and are still unable to access your desired streaming content, you can contact customer support to receive access to a new unblocked IP address.
Server Network and Speeds
TorGuard has a very large server network of 3,000+ servers in 68 locations across 55 countries.
A larger server network is typically good news for connection speeds, and the website claims that TorGuard is the “fastest VPN and Proxy Network powered by 3K+ Gigabit Servers with unmetered bandwidth”.
Before connecting to TorGuard’s network, our base speed was 60 Mbps.
We can compare our starting speed with the connection speeds that we got while connected to TorGuard to see whether the VPN slowed us down.
Unfortunately, we weren’t very impressed with the results, in spite of TorGuard’s large server network.
All five servers that we tested in the US gave us download speeds of under 10 Mbps, which is pretty bad compared to our starting speed.
Our speeds with TorGuard’s UK servers were around 20 Mbps, which is better but still not ideal.
Our speeds across the world in Hong Kong were all the way down to around 5 Mbps.
We had high expectations for TorGuard’s speeds because of their large server network, but overall we were disappointed by TorGuard’s relatively low speeds across the board.
The one positive is that we found the connections to be stable and reliable over time, without large jumps and dips in speed.
Is TorGuard Good for Torrenting?
Torrenting is one of TorGuard’s strengths. The “Tor” in the provider’s name actually refers to torrents, which goes to show that secure torrenting is a core part of TorGuard’s service.
TorGuard supports P2P file sharing on all servers in its large network. The provider recommends using the TorGuard VPN for the most secure torrenting, but if you are looking for a more lightweight option, you can also use the proxy service to torrent with the SOCKS5 proxy.
TorGuard claims to be fully compatible with BitTorrent, uTorrent, Vuze, qBittorrent, and more.
TorGuard also supports port forwarding, which can improve your torrenting file transfer rate.
Security – Is TorGuard Safe?
TorGuard protects your privacy with some robust security. The VPN masks your IP address and protects your data with secure encryption.
The service has built-in DNS and IPv6 leak protection, as well as an STunnel obfuscation feature that helps to hide the fact that you are using a VPN. The STunnel feature is great for escaping tough censorship and bypassing VPN bans.
TorGuard also offers an automatic kill switch, which will keep your data secure even if your VPN connection unexpectedly drops.
In addition to a master kill switch, TorGuard allows you to set up an app kill list. This will immediately close all apps on the list when the VPN disconnects.
We did not detect any DNS leaks while connected to TorGuard.
TorGuard gives you a lot of freedom to choose your preferred encryption method and secure protocol.
The most secure option available is AES 256-bit encryption, but you can also choose to use the faster but slightly less secure AES 128-bit or Blowfish 128-bit encryption.
TorGuard supports multiple security protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and OpenConnect VPN, which is a fast protocol that disguises your VPN traffic to look like normal SSL traffic.
Does TorGuard Keep Logs?
TorGuard takes a strong stance on privacy. The provider promises not to collect or log any data of any kind from its VPN or proxy services.
When you provide TorGuard with your email or other contact information as part of payment or troubleshooting, they claim that this information is only ever used for correspondence.
You also are never required to provide them with identifying information. Although TorGuard claims not to store private payment information like credit cards, the best way to ensure your anonymity is to pay with Bitcoin, which TorGuard accepts.
The downside is that TorGuard is based in the US, which is one of the founding members of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance.
This means that TorGuard falls under US jurisdiction and data retention laws, and any information gathered by US government surveillance can be shared with other countries.
Does TorGuard Have an Adblocker?
TorGuard does offer a built-in adblocker as part of the VPN service, although enabling the adblocker in the settings can be a little confusing.
Within the advanced menu, if you navigate to the DNS settings, under “Use these nameservers” you can find an option that says “- when VPN is connected”.
Select “Ad blocking DNS” from the drop-down list. After you save the settings, the adblocker is enabled.
When we tested the adblocker on several websites, the VPN was successfully able to block all advertisements that we encountered.
Does TorGuard Work in China?
TorGuard includes several built-in features that make the VPN a great choice for use in China.
The VPN’s stealth feature, which TorGuard calls STunnel, is optimized to bypass Deep Packet Inspections (DPI) and hide your VPN use. This allows you to fly under the radar of the Great Firewall of China.
In addition to TorGuard’s STunnel feature, the OpenConnect protocol is also good for bypassing censorship and VPN bans by disguising your traffic to look like regular SSL traffic.
Price and value for money
TorGuard charges a bit more than average, but on the surface the cost is still reasonable for what the service has to offer.
However, things get expensive when you consider that some important services must be purchased as an add-on.
For example, if you want to use one of TorGuard’s streaming IP addresses to access Netflix, you will have to pay a hefty monthly fee in addition to the basic subscription cost.
You are given a lot of freedom to customize your service package. Although this review is about the VPN, TorGuard actually offers three distinct services: a proxy, a VPN, and an email service. You can also purchase bundles that include all three services.
With each of these services, you can choose from several different-length subscription plans. As is typical, discounts are offered on longer plans, making them more affordable.
As previously mentioned, you have the option to choose from several add-on services with your VPN subscription.
These add-on services include support for additional simultaneous devices, access to a premium 10-Gbit network, and dedicated IP addresses for streaming, sports, and regular use.
All plans come with a 7-day money-back guarantee. When we requested a refund to test out the guarantee, we received a full refund within two hours of submitting the request.
TorGuard also technically offers a free trial as part of their Fresh Start discount, but you have to jump through some hoops to gain access.
If you are currently subscribed to a different VPN service, you can send TorGuard a copy of your most recent VPN bill. TorGuard will then provide you with a 7-day free trial.
If you then email TorGuard proof that you have cancelled your old service, they will give you 30 days free on any TorGuard subscription plan.
We would have rather seen a traditional free trial and a longer money-back guarantee, but it’s still something.
Is TorGuard Compatible with my Device?
TorGuard is compatible with the following devices:
- Router (DD-WRT and Tomato)
TorGuard’s VPN is also available as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.
Features and interface are similar across devices. The main difference is the iOS app, which we actually found to have a much more attractive and user-friendly interface than the other dedicated apps.
The downside for both Android and iOS devices is that OpenVPN connections can’t be created through the TorGuard app. Instead, you must manually configure a connection through third-party software.
On the bright side, there are easy-to-follow instructions available on the TorGuard website to set up OpenVPN connections on mobile devices.
TorGuard provides its subscribers with the ability to connect to up to 5 simultaneous devices with each subscription.
You also have the option to pay a small fee for each additional simultaneous connection, which is useful.
TorGuard Customer Service
Customer service is a strong area for TorGuard. There are three main channels for getting in touch with customer service: 24/7 live chat, email tickets, and a toll-free phone number (only available in the US).
We had a pleasant experience with the 24/7 live chat support. Within five minutes of reaching out with a question, a representative responded to us. Our questions were fully answered by the knowledgeable support team.
The live chat is definitely the best way to get a response, but for in-depth technical questions you may be asked to open a ticket instead so that you can include more details and screenshots, if applicable.
TorGuard has some room for improvement when it comes to creating a smooth user experience.
The TorGuard app’s interface is stripped-back and overwhelming at the same time. The main screen asks you to select your encryption and protocol settings before connecting to a server.
The server selection menu has neither an auto select feature nor any indication of which servers are the fastest.
However, you can sort servers by their proximity to your physical location, as well as by region.
One annoying feature is the need to log in every time you connect to a server. While there is an option to remember your login information, it took us a few times of logging in manually before we noticed this setting.
In terms of advanced settings, the app offers no guidance so it can be challenging to understand what many of the options will do even if you are an experienced VPN user. You can see this in the earlier example about the adblocker feature.
Even on the app’s main screen, it was unclear to us what the STunnel setting would do until we reached out to customer support for information.
We like that TorGuard gives you a lot of freedom to customize your settings, but it feels like some amount of user-friendliness was sacrificed in the process.
It’s possible to provide a large number of advanced settings in an intuitive and user-friendly way, but unfortunately TorGuard missed the mark for us.
TorGuard has some great strengths. The VPN is privacy-friendly, and its robust security features give you a lot of freedom to customize your experience. TorGuard can bypass tough censorship even in China, and also offers great torrenting support.
The main downside is that you have to purchase a dedicated IP address for an additional monthly fee if you want to stream Netflix.
On the other hand, we weren’t impressed with TorGuard’s speeds despite its large server network, and the interface leaves much to be desired. We also would like to see better streaming support included in the basic VPN service rather than as a pricey add-on feature.
Orlando-based TorGuard provides a range of privacy protecting offerings, from an anonymous proxy service to anonymous email. In regards to virtual private networks, TorGuard has two products it promotes, a VPN and a streaming bundle that includes its VPN service. To make an apples-to-apples comparison with competitors’ like-priced offerings, we downloaded TorGuard’s VPN and put it to the test, but left its streaming product for another time. With all its various options, is TorGuard 2020’s best VPN for gaming or Netflix? Only tests can tell.
Design and Features
With access to more than 3,000 servers across 50 countries worldwide, TorGuard isn’t the most well-connected VPN on the market, but it's highly customizable to let users make the most of what it offers. Allowing up to eight devices to connect to the service simultaneously, it supports Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS, with native programs for each of the platforms. TorGuard advertises having browser extensions for Firefox and Safari, though in reality it doesn’t support Apple’s browser – though it does have a plugin for Chrome.
Though we didn’t specifically review TorGuard’s streaming bundle, it’s worth explaining here what the additional service offers over the regular VPN service. TorGuard’s website lists the features of both offerings on their own pages, but a side-by-side comparison shows that there’s only a few added perks to upgrading to the streaming bundle, specifically “Multiple GCM and CBC ciphers,” “x2 FREE Dedicated Streaming IP’s,” and a “FREE Socks5 Proxy Tunnel.” If there are more or different features than just these, it is not readily apparent. It’s worth noting that services that compete with TorGuard’s VPN in features and price give their users multiple ciphers and access to Socks5. TorGuard’s streaming bundle costs more than twice the price of its VPN service.
TorGuard’s desktop app is a fairly simple design, but it belies the need for some fairly high-level understanding of how and why to use a VPN. Down the bottom, there’s a “connect” button, which when pressed does as advertised. Above the connect button, there’s a series of drop-down menus that let users configure the VPN, including tunnel and protocol types, cipher and port configurations, and server selection. At the bottom, there’s a “more settings” link that springboards a preferences menu that provides even deeper personalization, such as displaying warnings, the ability to quit specific apps when the VPN disconnects, the ability to run scripts prompted by the VPN, and more.
On its website, TorGuard calls itself the “fastest VPN protocol on the net.” We put TorGuard to the test by taking the average of speed tests on SpeedOf.Me, measuring download and upload rates in both the afternoon and evening. In addition, we evaluated TorGuard’s responsiveness by taking an average of the ping response from the servers of several online multiplayer games – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, and League of Legends – to see if TorGuard is the best gaming VPN. After all that spec-gathering, we played the games while running TorGuard, and streamed some movies to see if it is the best VPN for Netflix.
The numbers don’t back TorGuard’s boast: Whether it was upload, download, or ping response, the VPN didn’t match up favorably against the other eight services we tested at the same time. In the afternoon and evening, TorGuard’s download speeds were among the worst we measured in any VPN. Upload speeds were similarly poor, and its ping response times were much higher than measurements we took while not running a VPN. In terms of latency, TorGuard performed in the bottom quarter of our results. While it is certainly possible that TorGuard could be configured to perform better, it’s worth noting that we benchmarked it the same way we tested its competitors, the way that many users would operate a VPN: We pressed “connect” and documented the results.
Playing Counter-Strike while using TorGuard wasn’t ideal. In free first-person shooters, there’s generally two kinds of players – the quick and the dead – and with TorGuard’s latency issues on the Counter-Strike servers, we were consistently the latter. Poor download and upload speeds, as well as slow ping responsiveness also haunted our Fortnite sessions – but we did get to watch our teammates play a lot after we died.
TorGuard handled League of Legends much better than the running-and-gunning titles, so gamers that opt for this VPN can take some solace there. When we tested TorGuard with streaming video, Netflix worked just fine, whether we streamed it from a U.S.-based server or from a Swiss one, which is good for users who want to use the service to skirt copyright boundary restrictions.
TorGuard’s VPN, like others on the market, offers a seven-day free trial and variable pricing depending on how long you’re willing to subscribe. A monthly subscription to TorGuard’s VPN costs $9.99. To bring the price down to $6.66 per month, users can get a quarterly TorGuard VPN subscription for $19.99. Six months of TorGuard costs $29.99, or $4.99 per month. And subscribers who want a year of TorGuard will pay $59.99 annually, which also breaks out to $4.99, so no discount from a half-year of the service, but you are locked in for an additional six months – not a great business decision.
In addition, TorGuard’s streaming bundle costs twice the price of its VPN (whether its monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually), even though – as mentioned above – it offers just a couple more features, and frankly ones that are already part of competitors base product. And curiously, TorGuard’s lower-priced ($5.95 per month) proxy product actually costs the same as its VPN when you try to subscribe to it. This is just one of many inconsistencies noted on TorGuard’s rather sloppy website.
Though it packs plenty of user-adjustable options, TorGuard lacks the smart settings of other VPNs, which may have caused it to underperform in our testing. Regardless, odd pricing for its product, which tries to upsell a streaming bundle that’s twice the cost and has features equal to competing VPNs, makes TorGuard difficult to recommend. Don’t count it out in the future – there’s much to improve in this product – but for now, don’t invest in it either.
TorGuard is a virtual private network we took kindly to in our last testing. In our previous TorGuard review, we praised its customizability, fast speed and reasonable price point, weighing all of this against its dated and complex interface. Although its customizability and speed is still intact, the interface is showing its age now more than ever.
With updates rolling out from VyprVPN (two VPNs we criticized for usability, as you can see in our Private Internet Access review and VyprVPN review), TorGuard is falling behind.
TorGuard is difficult to use, and compared to services like CyberGhost — which beautifully balances advanced options with usability — it looks like a subpar option, at best.
In this updated TorGuard review, we’re going to see if it still deserves a spot on our best VPN list. As we did before, we’ll evaluate TorGuard point-for-point across features, pricing, user-friendliness, speed, security, privacy, streaming performance, server locations and customer support before giving our verdict.
If you’d rather skip the nonsense, head to our ExpressVPN review. Although TorGuard gets a lot right, it’s no match for ExpressVPN.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Highly customizable
- Fast in certain locations
- Can access Netflix
- App kill
- Kill switch
- Support for custom scripts
- Difficult to use
- No split tunneling
- No free trial
- Limited money-back guarantee
- Blocked by Hulu, Amazon & BBC iPlayer
Alternatives for TorGuard
One of TorGuard’s strengths is flexibility, which comes at the cost of accessibility, as you can see in the “user-friendliness” section below. Even so, there’s no denying the features packed into the application, no matter how dated their presentation may be.
The essentials are accounted for, including a kill switch, options to automatically launch on startup and to automatically connect when launched. Although we shouldn’t have to mention these features — we consider them “essential,” after all — some services skip out on them .
That’s not what’s impressive about TorGuard in the features department, though. In addition to the essentials, you’re also given multiple customization options, including the ability to change your cipher, add custom scripts and set up a stealth proxy. With these features, techies can make TorGuard their own, but that’s reserved just for techies.
Like AirVPN, TorGuard isn’t accessible. The interface is dated, but more than that, the features are complex and irrelevant for most people. Although the idea of adding custom scripts to run after connecting is appealing to those who know what they’re doing, it’s not entirely necessary or practical.
We’d trade these goodies for better DNS handling, for example, rather than the laundry list of options TorGuard presents now. It’s good to have settings, but seeing how many of them are irrelevant or only for advanced users, TorGuard could trim some fat and, in the process, make room for relevant features.
That said, TorGuard has some useful additions, including app kill. In the settings, you can specify certain apps that will abide by the kill switch, meaning they will be terminated if your connection to the remote server is lost. For example, if you want to browse the web while protecting your torrenting application, you could add it to the app kill list.
Although similar to split tunneling, app kill isn’t the same thing. Unfortunately, TorGuard doesn’t have split-tunneling functionality, which allows you to send some traffic through the VPN tunnel while other traffic uses your normal connection. If you use an online backup service, such as Backblaze, split tunneling is essential .
TorGuard Features Overview
Starts from$ 500per month
PayPal, Credit card
Worldwide server amount
Windows, MacOS, Linux
Can be installed on routers
Can access Amazon Prime Video
VPN protocols available
Enabled at device startup
Malware/ad blocker included
TorGuard is cheaper than most leading VPNs available, though its limited timeframe means it can’t compete with the multi-year offerings of NordVPN . It also claims there’s a “seven-day free trial,” which isn’t true. We’ll get into that later in this section.
The monthly plan is solid, around $2 to $3 cheaper than other leading services. CyberGhost, for example, costs $12.99 per month (though, as you can see in our CyberGhost review, it comes with two more simultaneous connections). It’s a far cry from Astrill’s astronomically high monthly rate , but it’s still not the best price we’ve seen.
Windscribe, for example, allows you to build your own plan based on the locations you want, bringing the monthly price down to only a few dollars. If you want all the locations, like you get with TorGuard, the rate is still $1 cheaper.
In most cases, though, the monthly rate is bad. We always recommend going for the longest duration possible, as it brings the cost per month down to only a few dollars. That’s not possible with TorGuard, though. It offers up to a year, which brings the monthly rate to around $5.
Although inexpensive, you can get your monthly rate down to around $3 while getting more simultaneous connections by purchasing a triennial subscription with CyberGhost or NordVPN.
If you want more connections, TorGuard sells them at $1 apiece. It also offers streaming IP addresses in various locations for $7.99 per month each. Considering that services like NordVPN, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, Windscribe and countless others include streaming IP addresses in the base plan, the slightly cheaper monthly rate doesn’t look as attractive.
As for payment, TorGuard accepts the usual suite, including PayPal, credit cards and bitcoin, along with multiple other cryptocurrencies.
TorGuard Free “Trial”
Plastered across TorGuard’s website, you’ll find badges for a “seven-day free trial,” but that’s a bit misleading: clicking on those badges will bring you to a page for the otherwise unadvertised “fresh start” plan, which lets you trade in your current VPN subscription for one with TorGuard. There’s no trial for new users, so we don’t blame consumers for feeling like they’ve been led up the garden path by these badges. We feel the same way.
A “fresh start” means you get a free week to try TorGuard out (the “trial”) and if you then cancel your old plan and email proof, you get another month of TorGuard for free. It’s a novel approach, though we’re not sure getting a free month of TorGuard is reward or punishment.
If you don’t already have a VPN subscription, TorGuard has a seven-day money-back guarantee. You’ll still have to put your card on record, and you’ll still be charged when you check out.
You can cancel in the first week to receive a refund, but that’s lackluster, at best. Most services offer a month to receive a refund making TorGuard’s refund period unimpressive. That’s ignoring the fact that TorGuard is mincing words with its liberal use of the word “trial” and, in the process, blatantly lying on its website.
TorGuard’s checkout is easy to get through, even if the website is a little overbearing. There are multiple services available, including business email and a proxy . Tor guides for more on those services). No matter where you are, though, you can always click the “join now” button to go straight to the VPN checkout.
The checkout page is simple, requesting that you choose a billing cycle, any dedicated IP addresses and any streaming IP addresses. Despite the “free trial” claim, TorGuard makes it clear on the checkout page what you’ll be paying each month, as well as what is due when you sign up. The money-back guarantee isn’t clarified, though.
Lastly, you’ll need to enter your payment information. If you’re paying with a credit card, you’ll need to enter billing information, but there’s also an option to turn off recurring payments. Although billing information is needed for, well, billing, we’ve seen other VPNs use a more privacy-centric checkout process .
After confirming payment, you’ll be redirected to a download page, which includes setup instructions for all of the platforms TorGuard supports, with images accompanying each step.
Although it’s not the most attractive page — the font doesn’t match the rest of the website and the images flash on and off screen — we like seeing a setup page immediately after checkout.
TorGuard Windows Application
We installed the TorGuard application on a Windows 10 machine, and although the installation went off without a hitch, we hit a snag when opening the application. After installing, you can launch the TorGuard app right away, which will boot you into a UI that shows your tunneling protocol, cipher, server and more.
A server is also chosen by default, but we recommend changing it. For instance, TorGuard set us up with the Dallas, Texas, location, despite the fact that it also has a Chicago data center and we were testing out of St. Louis, Missouri.
All of the server options are followed with a large “connect” button, which we clicked right away. We couldn’t connect, though. TorGuard took us to a login page, but not before attempting to connect and, in the process, blocking our internet connection. Hilariously, the detailed setup page doesn’t make mention of logging in to your account.
It’s a small issue, but one that requires only a quick fix. Booting you to a login page right away would make starting the application easier. Furthermore, the only way to log in is to hit the “connect” button because there isn’t a login button in the application.
After logging in, though, you’ll be connected right away. While connected, TorGuard will display your connection time, protocol, cipher, speed, IP address and more. It allows you to verify your IP address by clicking “verified.” Doing so will open a browser with TorGuard’s IP address checker.
You can’t do anything else while connected, though. Everything is locked during your session except for the “disconnect” button. We can understand why — configuring a lot of settings requires reconnecting — but it’s nevertheless annoying. The process of disconnecting just to look at the server screen becomes frustrating quickly.
Back on the disconnected page, there are a number of things you can configure without opening the settings. For those who don’t know what they’re doing, it’s best to leave everything the way it is.
However, if you’re comfortable poking around, you can change your transport protocol between UDP and TCP, select the cipher you want to use and choose the port. You can also tick a checkbox to auto-connect when you launch TorGuard.
The settings, accessed through the “more settings” button, are a continuation of what’s seen on the main screen. TorGuard has no problem getting in the weeds, allowing you to configure advanced DNS settings, set up OpenVPN with your minimum TLS version and input scripts to run.
Although it’s a playground for techies who know what they’re doing, TorGuard is wildly inaccessible for newcomers. We’ve seen form and functionality meet plenty of times before, including when testing Private Internet Access, so there’s no reason TorGuard can’t follow suit.
There’s an abundance of options, and that’s a good thing, but the options need to be more thoughtfully laid out. For instance, the settings screen automatically launches to the “proxy” tab, which is the fourth in line.
Additionally, simple settings — such as hiding the application in the system tray — are mixed in with more advanced ones. Many of these settings could easily be reserved for some sort of advanced screen.
TorGuard Chrome Extension
Along with your subscription, TorGuard offers a Chrome and Firefox extension. We tried installing it on Opera, though, which is a Chromium-based browser, and it took just fine. Although it looks similar to other VPN extensions — read our PureVPN review for an example — it’s not the same.
The extension is a SSL/TLS proxy, not a separate way to control the VPN from your browser. Although that’s not inherently a bad thing, TorGuard literally calls the extension “TorGuard VPN extension” in the Chrome Web Store. It’s not a VPN, just like a money-back guarantee isn’t a free trial.
Despite the unclear naming, the extension is worth installing, though more so for the additional features than the proxy. With the extension, you can block ads, geo-fake your location and set up URLs that are excluded from the proxy. You can also use it in conjunction with the VPN for a pseudo double-hop connection.
For all of its problems, TorGuard is fast, earning a coveted spot at the top of our fastest VPN guide. However, as we pointed out in that guide, it’s fast when you’re looking at averages. When looking at individual servers, TorGuard isn’t as impressive. Some locations are fine while others are abysmal.
Before getting to our individual results, here’s how we tested it: We ran our unprotected connection through speedtest.net, then tried five locations with an encrypted one, starting with the recommended one and moving geographically further away. All of our testing was done using OpenVPN, and we left the cipher on default, at AES-256-GCM.
|Location:||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|Unprotected (St. Louis)||8||84.28||22.01|
As you can see above, there’s a solid amount of inconsistency between locations, unlike the fastest VPN we’ve reviewed, ExpressVPN. The recommended location in Dallas was quick, maintaining most of our download and upload speed, though the Chicago location was faster overall.
The London location was unusable, slowing our download rate to less than five percent of our original speed. Sydney showed similar issues. Despite having a faster download speed than London, the latency was much higher, making TorGuard unsuitable for our best VPN for gaming list when jumping abroad. If you’re staying close to home, it’s still a solid choice, though.
TorGuard can be a fast performer, but if you chose the wrong server, it’s unusable. Although we’ve seen other services with a similar issue — NordVPN, for example — we’ve never seen it on this scale. You’ll have to hunt around to find the right location.
TorGuard has a lot of security options, but that doesn’t inherently make it more secure. That said, it falls in line with the rest of the market. Out of the box, it uses OpenVPN, with TCP as the transport protocol and AES-256-GCM as the default cipher. If you want to learn more about AES, be sure to read our description of encryption.
That’s the best bundle of specs, as far as VPN security goes. Although TorGuard gives you the option to change the cipher — and even go without one — it’s not for the sake of security. Rather, you can change your cipher to increase your speed. You can learn about why that makes a difference in our VPN protocol breakdown.
As for VPN protocols, TorGuard supports OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP, stunnel, OpenConnect and a standard HTTP or HTTPS proxy. However, you won’t find all of those options in the application. Rather, you can choose between OpenVPN or OpenConnect and enable stunnel.
L2TP, IPSec and PPTP must be configured manually, which isn’t a big deal, as these protocols are really only suitable for niche applications and, sometimes, mobile devices. Proxy connections are made through the browser extension but not the local application. In short, TorGuard has options, but it’s best to leave everything as is.
As far as the security in practice, we tested TorGuard for DNS leaks, IP leaks and WebRTC. It came back clean on all accounts, even across multiple locations.
TorGuard doesn’t talk much about privacy, which is surprising. We’ve seen the same “no logs” song and dance from multiple providers, for them only to be caught doing the exact thing they said they weren’t. TorGuard doesn’t have those claims plastered across its website.
If you pay with a credit card, TorGuard requires that you enter your billing information, which you’d be forgiven for writing off as a necessary evil. It doesn’t seem that’s why the information is collected, though, seeing as we paid with a virtual credit card not registered to the name or billing address we entered.
Below the bolded “no logs” claim is a section of smaller text that says TorGuard stores this personal information privately, but will share this information if “required to do so by law.” If you’re paying with PayPal, your billing information is still stored through PayPal, and most cryptocurrency exchanges require billing information, too.
All of that is made even more concerning by the fact that TorGuard is based in the States. However, TorGuard says you can request to delete this information, but doesn’t make it clear if it will delete your account in the process.
TorGuard was able to break into Netflix during our testing, though it still missed a spot on our best VPN for Netflix list. It’s not too surprising that it can break through, through, considering Netflix is a key selling point for most VPNs.
As for the other streaming services we tested — Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and BBC iPlayer — TorGuard failed, no matter how many servers we tried. Perhaps the dedicated streaming IPs would help with breaking into these platforms, but we’ve gone on about our issues with those enough.
Although we like the access to Netflix, it’s not the most important platform. Netflix is available in most counties and easily accessible, whereas Amazon has a wildly different library depending on location, and Hulu and iPlayer are restricted to certain regions: the U.S. and UK, respectively.
If you’re interested in breaking through the geoblocks, be sure to checkout our best VPN for Amazon Prime Video, best VPN for Hulu and best VPN for BBC iPlayer guides.
TorGuard has more than 3000 servers spread across 68 locations in 55 countries. Although the network is massive — rivaling the likes of NordVPN — it only provides 68 data center options in the application. As mentioned in the “pricing” section above, you can expand the list with residential IP addresses, which should help with gaining access to streaming platforms.
The spread of locations is solid, with most of them focused in the U.S. and Europe. However, a handful are in other areas, including nine locations in the Asia-Pacific region and six locations spread throughout Africa and the Middle East.
The Middle East is a generally underserved location with VPNs, so even though there are only a handful of locations, we’re happy to see TorGuard represent that area.
TorGuard doesn’t have as many locations as HideMyAss, though few VPNs do, as you can read in our HideMyAss review. Even so, we’re happy with the spread and options. Despite that, this section isn’t all positive.
We understand spending extra for a dedicated IP address, however, charging for streaming locations isn’t okay. One of the main uses for a VPN is streaming — read our best VPN for streaming guide for more on that — and most other services include streaming locations for free. TorGuard not only charges for them, but charges nearly the monthly rate for a single location.
Although the usability issues in the application didn’t give us much hope for customer service, TorGuard makes it simple to find support. Around the website, a small bubble in the screen’s bottom-right corner will ask if you need help. Clicking it will open a live chat, which runs around the clock. When we reached out, a representative got back to us in a few minutes.
Most problems can be solved on your own, though. The blue bar at the top of the website that displays your IP address also has a “support” button, and clicking on it will bring you to the support hub. There, you’ll find contact links, the community forum, the FAQ and the full knowledgebase.
Everything is shockingly easy to get around, which is a nice change of pace after using the application for a while. Furthermore, the support hub is filled with content, providing tutorials, clarifications and more.
There are plenty of contact options, though. Live chat is the most convenient way to get ahold of TorGuard, but the depth of knowledge is limited. If you need help with a more complex issue, you can call or email TorGuard around the clock.
TorGuard is a service that’s best summarized as “just okay.” The speed is good, as long as you can pick a decent server, and the price isn’t bad. However, even with that, it’s hard to ignore the dated usability. For around the same price, there are other options that do the same thing, but better.
It has some unique features, and if those sound interesting to you, then it’s worth a shot.
What do you think of TorGuard? Do you plan on taking advantage of its “free trial”? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.
What Is TorGuard?
TorGuard is a virtual private network service that also offers business VPNs, email and proxy services. Its VPN service includes unlimited bandwidth and access to more than 3,000 servers in more than 50 countries.
Where Is TorGuard Based?
TorGuard is owned by VPNetworks LLC, which is based in Orlando, Florida.
How to Setup TorGuard
TorGuard can be installed on a variety of devices, including Windows 10 and macOS computers, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. Tutorials for each of these platforms are provided after checkout.
TorGuard: Security, software, servers, and speed
TorGuard claims to have 3,000 servers located in 51 countries. The company’s VPN servers support a number of connection protocols including PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec and IKEV2. If you prefer using an open source VPN client such as Tunnelblick, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. Once connected, your data will be protected by the same AES-256 encryption that the majority of other VPN providers use. TorGuard claims that their VPN service can even be used to stealthily bypass the DPI firewalls of countries like China where VPN use is blocked by the government.
The company has a strict no-logging policy, which makes it difficult (if not impossible) to track TorGuard customers down. When you add in the fact that the company’s offices are located on the Caribbean island of Nevis, which takes no part in Five, Nine, or Fourteen Eyes information sharing, TorGuard’s VPN service seems ideal for anyone interested in maintaining their complete online privacy.
Using TorGuard on macOS feels clunky. It’s a minor thing to complain about, but the company’s VPN interface feels terribly dated. When you pay a premium for service, it seems reasonable to expect a certain amount of polish to justify the expense. TorGuard’s UI simply does not provide this. For example, when starting up the app, users are presented with a number of technical options—but there’s no explanation, even with a mouseover, of these options.
The company’s VPN plan allows for five simultaneous connections. Additional connections can be had for an additional dollar per device, per month.
During testing, connecting to TorGuard’s servers resulted in the following upload/download speed reductions versus connecting to the internet without a VPN.
TorGuard’s subscription pricing can be a little bit overwhelming. In addition to VPN services, they also provide proxy server access, anonymous email subscriptions, and plans that offer all three of these services combined. If you choose the company’s $10 per month VPN package, you’ll only be greeted by more options. That $10 per month base charge can quickly jump higher if you’re not careful.
TorGuard offers the same VPN service at a quarterly cost of $20, six months for $30, a year for $60, or two years for $100. While we appreciate a deal as much as the next person, the way TorGuard presents their discounted rates is byzantine, to say the least.
You can buy other value-added options such as a DDOS protected IP address or upgrade to a 10Gb/s connection speed. TorGuard even offers a dedicated IP address in specific locations, for those attempting to stream region-locked media on a regular basis. (Note that while this particular option can make it possible to stream region-specific content with a smoother and more consistent connection, there’s no guarantee that content providers won’t find a way to block your access. Netflix in particular is very assertive about blocking VPNs.)
If you survive the process of choosing a plan, there’s no shortage of payment options. Along with the usual suspects like PayPal or a credit card, TorGuard also accepts Bitcoin, Litecoin, other cryptocurrencies via CoinPayments, Paymentwall, and even gift cards. For those wishing to remain truly anonymous online, having these options is outstanding.
TorGuard provides users with respectable connection speeds to servers in the U.K., multiple anonymous payment options, and a no-logging policy, making it ideal for those who value their privacy. However, due to its complicated pricing scheme and an unfriendly user interface, it’s not an easy recommendation for less tech-savvy types.
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TorGuard offers features well-tailored for those with privacy concerns, but its complicated pricing scheme and an unfriendly user interface make it a hard sell for less tech-savvy types.
- Multiple anonymous payment options
- Fast connection to the UK
- Peer-to-peer file-transfer friendly
- Option for static IP usage for streaming region locked content
- macOS software feels dated
- App offers no explanation of what various options on its user interface do
1. Fantastic Availability and Security
TorGuard is a Nevis, West Indies based VPN service provider. For users of the service, this is a good thing due to a combination of two factors. Firstly, TorGuard has stated plainly for all to thee that it has a strict no-logging policy.
Due to more impending VPN blockades, tighter restrictions, and governmental threats due to a China government crackdown on VPN service providers in the country, TorGuard VPN has this year decided to remove all its mainland China servers
The company offers security through OpenVPN which itself supports many types of encryption. The rule of thumb however is that as encryption levels increase, speed tends to suffer a little. The options are there for you to choose what’s best for your own use.
Encryption options range from none all the way to AES-256 bit. Normally the higher the encryption level is, the higher the impact on your connection speed will be. With a range of options, you can balance your need for speed versus security at various times.
1.1. Kill Switch Can be App-specific
Unlike some VPN service providers which offer generic kill switches, TorGuard’s kill switch is a little different. Located as an option in the app, this kill switch offers you the ability to terminate specific processes in case of a VPN connection compromise.
For example, you can choose to have the app terminate firefox.exe and bittorrent.exe if there is any drop in VPN connection, but leave all other processes running. Aside from that, you can also choose to have the app shut down your Internet connectivity completely once the TorGuard client is closed.
1.2. Extra Security Options
Even though its VPN service already offers various encryption protocols, TorGuard still recommends that you take things a step further if you want greater security.
One such method would be to route applications through a proxy. This could be SOCKS5, SSL or even a HTTP proxy – other services also available through TorGuard.
The final step the company recommends is to make use of a VPN router. Although technically this would mean all your traffic through that router would be encrypted, you can opt for double protection by connecting to the proxy or VPN through the VPN router.
Running a VPN service on your router will help you overcome the simultaneous device connection limit that most VPNs will impose. However, there IS a drawback. In almost all cases (especially for general home-use routers), doing so will slow your Internet traffic compared to if you were to run device-specific VPN apps. This is because routers are less capable of handling the data encryption needed in real-time, thus slowing your data transmission speeds.
2. Deployable on All Major Platforms
TorGuard offers apps for desktop and mobile platforms, deplorable across Microsoft, Apple and Linux devices. However, aside from that you can also install it on your router. Although the company promotes TorGuard pre-flashed VPN routers, you can set it up on most modern routers.
There might be limitations based on exactly which router you might have, TorGuard does offer a knowledge-base that accommodates manual setup for multiple devices. There are many which are supported, but just double check their knowledge base in case if you’re interested.
If you happen to be running a custom firmware such as Tomato or DD-WRT, even better as the company has prepared router setup tools for you.
3. Overcomes VPN Blockers with Stealth Mode
Although VPNs can help make your internet activity anonymous, many companies (and even some governments) have been trying to overcome this to more effectively block VPN usage. The reason they can do this is because VPN traffic often has certain characteristics – for example, the header that comes with SSL/TLS encryption.
To help overcome this issue, TorGuard has what it calls ‘stealth mode’ (the actual feature in the Windows client is called ‘sTunnel’) which strips that information out and then attempts to reroute traffic through other more usual ports. Because of that, TorGuard has been known to overcome geolocation restrictions better than others.
4. Decent Speeds
Before you read on with this section, please note that my current broadband speed is limited to a theoretical 500 Mbps, out of which I generally can get 400 to 450 Mbps depending on which servers I am connecting to.
When I first used TorGuard, their speeds were pretty decent but over time I find that it seems to have dropped a little. I noted more congestion on many servers which could be a contributing factor to this.
Before we look at the test results, here’s a baseline test to demonstrate the speeds I can get to a local server with no VPN active;
With that, let’s take a look at how TorGuard performs from five strategic locations spread across the globe;
TorGuard does not have servers on the Africa continent, so I substituted a Middle East region server for this test.
As you can see, in some cases TorGuard held relatively healthy results but fell flat in others. The surprising thing is that this has not always been the case and I can only hope that it is a temporary hiccup until they realise they need to upgrade their servers again.
5. Decent Prices & Payment Options Galore
Starting at $9.99 per month for monthly payments, TorGuard is relatively cheaply priced in its performance and feature range. Their payment plans see you paying less the longer a plan you sign up for. Right now, their best deal is an annual payment of $59.99, which translates into around barely $5 per month.
While this may not be in the dirt-cheap range, personally I feel that it’s a reasonable balance. Rather than forcing users to sign up for ridiculously long periods of time at rock-bottom prices, TorGuard offers something that sits in the middle.
While I am a fan of rock-bottom prices, there’s very little chance you’ll get me to commit to a three-year contract for anything.
Aside from that, TorGuard also has other offers that you can choose when signing up. These range from static IP addresses (some even at specific locations) and you can even increase the number of devices on your account – for a fee, of course.
But where TorGuard REALLY shines though is in its payment options. I have -never- seen a service provider have so many payment options available before. It’s true that many are now beginning to accept cryptocurrency, and these guys don’t just go the route of Bitcoin.
From what I see, their payment options include Litecoin, Blackcoin, and 22 other types of cryptocurrency. That’s in addition to the usual credit cards, PayPal, Payment Wall and even gift card options.
6. The VPN Built with P2P in Mind
While this is often difficult to prove, when TorGuard first started up they had issues working with payment providers due to their open claim to be built with P2P file sharers in mind. Many companies associate this with software piracy and other copyright violations and were leery of being associated with them.
In fact, PayPal suspended their account at first because of this, allegedly leading to TorGuard having around $2,500 in funds frozen. It was eventually sorted out, but not before there was much scrutiny on the legalities of PayPal having done this.
Today, TorGuard accepts many form of payments safely, and are still very much P2P focussed, so Torrent in peace!
As they say;
Trustworthiness is an essential quality when searching for a utorrent VPN provider. TorGuard is completely upfront about our terms and welcome customers with any of our VPN service packages to torrent, stream, and download to their heart’s content at no extra charge.
7. Stunningly Efficient and Effective Customer Service
Due to a recent bad experience I had with another service provider, I simply had to test TorGuard’s customer service. Rather than submitting a support ticket, I went directly to their customer agent on the main page of their website and tried there.
To my surprise, not only was there a response within a minute, but their front-line staff was able to help me out without having to refer me to a technical support team!
They gave quick, clear and very helpful instructions that enabled me to overcome the speed issues I was having with their South Africa servers, doubling my connection speeds. All of that was done in less than five minutes flat.
What We Didn’t Like About TorGuard VPN
1. Dated Looking Interface
As many people have commented to me before, I am a little bit of a dinosaur in the field of tech. While I admit that is true, I still have (relatively) kept up with the times and know what a simple and decent user interface looks like – and this was not it.
My first impression upon opening the TorGuard windows client was not a good one. I felt as if I were spirited back in time back to the early 2000’s when Windows was in its infancy. Perhaps not that bad, but well, that was what I felt like.
However, there is a silver lining in this cloud. Upon looking more closely into the interface, I realised that this interface held potential. Most of the ones I had used to date were significantly ‘dumbed down’ so that users could not do too much damage to themselves.
The TorGuard interface offered so many options that someone who knew what they were doing would have an awesome day. At the same time, if you didn’t know what you were doing – just hit connect and it’ll work.
2. May Require Some Technical Knowledge
I was a bit hesitant to list this as a ‘Con’ since to some who have the skills for it, TorGuard offers more options. Yet given that most people out there probably won’t, there it is. If you’re a newbie to VPNs and basic networking and security, TorGuard may seem a little daunting at first.
There are very detailed options available in the Windows application that will simply intimidate some people. If you can just overlook them and simply select your server and hit connect, you’ll be fine.
The Bottomline: Will I Pay for TorGuard VPN?
In terms of speed, stability and potential, I have to say that TorGuard ranks highly on my list of good VPNs. The one thing I was unhappy about was the interface design. If I’m honest with myself, that’s a ridiculous thing to gripe about, but there it is.
I cannot fathom a company sinking tons of money into a fantastic product yet have a look and feel like it was out of the middle ages. It’s annoying and my OCD is hitting me in waves.
What I was most happy about where the swift and stable torrent connections and speeds I obtained. I know the process probably won’t be as smooth and painless for everybody since our configurations vary, but there is that potential.
While their prices are not drop dead cheap, they aren’t what I would call top of the line either. Whether I would pay for it or not remains a coin toss – just because of the interface, but that’s just me.
If you can see past that, then it would be to your benefit and TorGuard is definitely a good choice.
- ✓ Supports all OS & devices
- ✓ Ads & malware blocking
- ✓ Unlimited speeds
- ✓ Unlimited bandwidth
- ✓ OpenVPN/SSTP/L2TP/IPsec
- ✓ Multiple GCM & CBC ciphers
- • P2P file sharing user
- • Tech-savvy user
- • Absolute privacy
- • Mac, Windows & all platforms