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One of the most well-documented rivalries in the VPN industry is the one between TorGuard vs NordVPN. The VPN world is competitive and only the best services rise to the top. Which is why it would be wise to dissect these two companies and have a closer look at what makes them different, yet also successful.
NordVPN has 5100+ servers in 60+ locations, while TorGuard has 3000+ servers in 50+ locations. Both are using the WireGuard tunneling protocol to achieve lightning-fast speeds, although NordVPN has upgraded it to their proprietary NordLynx protocol. Both use AES-256 encryption, have internet kill switches, and can be used effectively for unblocking streaming content.
I’ll start off with a basic overview of how well their servers perform in terms of speed and coverage. Next, I’ll have a look at the variety of price tags that these apps have and whether they offer the necessary security features to warrant those prices.
It’s also important to have a closer look at the privacy practices of each company and how trustworthy they are.
Finally, I’ll look into some practical applications of these VPNs when it comes to torrenting, unblocking restrictions in other countries, and how well their customer support operates.
After a side-by-side comparison, it should become clear which of these VPNs is the right fit for you. Let’s start off with a brief overview.
|“Best for” nominee||Best with dedicated IP, Best according to Reddit, Best for Austria||Best overall, Best for Netflix, Best for P2P, Best for China|
|Price starts from||$4.17/month||$3.30/month|
|Review||TorGuard review||NordVPN review|
Speed and servers comparison
Both of these providers have embraced the WireGuard tunneling protocol (NordVPN has created their own version called NordLynx) to achieve tremendous connection speeds. That’s why we’ll have a look at their speeds with our in-house speed testing tool. It shows accurate, relevant, and up-to-date information.
NordVPN vs TorGuard: 14-Day Speed Average
|Download Speed||1,628 Mbps||772 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,578 Mbps||903 Mbps|
|Download Speed||1,404 Mbps||811 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,199 Mbps||732 Mbps|
|Download Speed||545 Mbps||614 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,159 Mbps||1,090 Mbps|
|Physical servers||Not all||Yes|
|Owns all servers||No||Not all|
|RAM-only servers||No||Not all|
|P2P servers||All||Not all|
TorGuard boasts a solid 3000+ servers in 50+ countries while NordVPN has 5100+ servers in 60+ countries. NordVPN also doesn’t use any virtual servers and all of their standard servers are RAM-only. Meanwhile, TorGuard relies on some virtual servers and has not implemented RAM-only technology into their server infrastructure.
But which one is the pound-for-pound winner of the TorGuard vs NordVPN speed bout?
Well, NordVPN is still the undisputed champion of fast connection speeds and a large number of servers allows users to connect to the most optimal location for their needs. But TorGuard is not that far behind and is still a solid choice.
|Free trial||No||7-days, for iOS, Android|
|Money-back guarantee||7 days||30 days|
|Payment options||Credit card, PayPal, Stripe, Bitcoin, Litecoin, CoinPayments, Paymentwall, gift card||Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPay|
When it comes to pricing, both of these providers are quite expensive if you want to opt for a short subscription. But the prices become considerably lower once you choose a longer subscription period. This is still quite common in the VPN industry, although some VPNs are going in another direction.
TorGuard has four pricing plans:
- $9.99 for one month
- $6.66/month for three months
- $4.99/month for six months or a year
- $4.17/month for two years
NordVPN has three pricing options:
- $11.95 for one month
- $4.92/month for one year
- $3.30/month for two years
When looking at these prices side-by-side, we can see that NordVPN is more expensive when getting a short subscription, but also cheaper with a lengthier subscription. They also offer a longer money-back guarantee than TorGuard. Additionally, NordVPN gives some users the option to try out their app for free on certain devices.
Both VPNs have a good variety of conventional and anonymous payment options which is great for regular users and privacy enthusiasts alike.
Although NordVPN is a bit pricier when getting shorter subscriptions, it provides more safety nets for the buyer in the form of a free trial and a longer money-back guarantee. These things allow users to get a better sense of the VPN without committing too much at first. And once you’ve decided that NordVPN is the right choice for you, the longer subscriptions are actually cheaper. Thus, these benefits make NordVPN the winner in this category.
|Protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, OpenConnect||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|Kill switch||Internet and app-level kill switch||Internet kill switch, app kill switch|
|DNS and IP leaks||No leaks||No leaks|
|Security features||Split tunneling (Android), StealthVPN, Ad & malware blocker, SOCKS5 proxy, Shadowsocks, port forwarding||Split tunneling (Windows, Android), Double VPN, Tor over VPN, CyberSec, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, DNS and IPv6 leak protection|
There are a lot of similarities between these two in the area of security. For starters, they both use military-grade AES-256 encryption. It has become a standard in the privacy and security industry and is a reasonable expectation from users.
Secondly, both have utilized the WireGuard tunneling protocol. However, NordVPN has upgraded it a bit and turned it into their proprietary NordLynx protocol. However, NordVPN does not have the L2TP/IPSec and OpenConnect protocols that TorGuard has.
Both providers have a kill switch feature, which is an essential part of security. The VPNs also didn’t suffer from any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks during my tests. The main differences start to crop-up once we have a closer look at the additional security features that these VPNs provide.
First, let’s have a look at NordVPN. It has Double VPN for extra encryption, Onion over VPN for added safety through integration with the Tor network, and CyberSec (which blocks malware and phishing sites). For torrenting – a free SOCKS5 proxy, split tunneling on Android and Windows, and Obfuscated servers against censorship heavy countries.
And what about TorGuard? It has split tunneling on Android devices, StealthVPN against DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), ad and malware blocking, port forwarding, a SOCKS5 proxy, and Shadowsocks.
If you’re looking for the most secure VPN out of these two, you might be stuck between a rock and a hard place because both of these providers are solid options.
|Logging||No-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy|
|Anonymous payment||Cryptocurrencies, gift cards||Cryptocurrencies|
NordVPN is registered in Panama – a clear privacy winner thanks to their lack of data retention laws. TorGuard belongs to a US company. This is a Five Eyes country with a history of privacy offenses and the right (under certain circumstances) to request personal data from any company in the US. While TorGuard happens to be such a company, they seem to have a sound no-logging policy, so perhaps there isn’t much to worry about.
Compatibility with devices
|Major dedicated apps||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android|
|Other dedicated apps||Fire TV & Fire Stick||Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge||Chrome, Firefox, Edge|
|Manual setup||Routers, Chromebook, Raspberry Pi, NAS||Routers, firewalls, NAS, Raspberry Pi|
These two providers have been in the industry for quite a long time, so it’s not surprising that they have a lot of similarities and are compatible with a great deal of devices.
Both have apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. They also have browser extensions available for Chrome, Firefox, and the now-Chromium-based Edge browser. Another similarity is their support for Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick, as well as the option to manually set up routers with their OpenVPN configuration files.
Finally, it’s time to mention the few differences. Firstly, a single TorGuard subscription can be used to connect 8 different devices simultaneously. On the other hand, NordVPN has a dedicated application for Android TV, but you can only connect 6 devices at the same time.
Since NordVPN is cheaper, it’s natural that it supports fewer simultaneous connections. At the same time, it supports a wider array of devices and the apps are uniform and easy to use. This makes NordVPN the superior choice for compatibility.
Netflix and other streaming platforms
|Other Netflix libraries||No||Yes|
According to our extensive testing, NordVPN is currently the best VPN for Netflix and never had any serious issues with Netflix streaming. In addition to that, it works well with BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services.
TorGuard is also fairly good for streaming, but it’s only capable of unblocking Netflix US and other platforms. It also lacks any kind of smart DNS feature.
For an extra price, both VPNs offer dedicated IPs for streaming, which are very unlikely to be blocked. With TorGuard it costs an extra $7.99/month for the dedicated IP, while with NordVPN it costs $5.83/month.
Torrenting and P2P
|Allowed on||All servers||All servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||Yes|
|Split tunneling||Android only||Yes (Windows, Android)|
Both VPNs are great for torrenting. They allow P2P traffic on all of their servers, but NordVPN also has specialized servers for this purpose, which will grant you better download and upload speeds. The duo also gives access to a SOCKS5 proxy.
The first key difference here is split tunneling. TorGuard has this feature only on their Android app, while NordVPN has it on the Android and Windows versions.
The second difference is port forwarding. This one is only available for TorGuard users and is a neat feature for torrenting enthusiasts. However, P2P servers and split tunneling on Windows are great benefits for the user, making NordVPN one of the best VPNs for torrenting.
China and other restricted countries
|Works in China||Yes||Yes|
|Tor over VPN||No||Yes (Onion over VPN)|
China and Russia are two countries where using a VPN is not approved by the government. So choosing the right one is crucial because none of the best VPNs are on the whitelist.
TorGuard has a Stealth VPN feature, allowing it to bypass DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), which helps if you’re in China. It should be enough if you’re traveling or staying there for an extended period.
NordVPN has its own feature called Obfuscated servers, which also uses a modified version of OpenVPN to avoid DPI.
Yet the additional encryption features, such as Double VPN or Onion over VPN, make NordVPN the better choice in cases when you need the best possible security to access or deliver sensitive content in China (or any other restricted country, such as Russia, Turkey, Iran, or India).
TorGuard vs NordVPN video review
Customer support comparison
VPNs need good customer support because issues will inevitably arise when using such versatile software. And time is of the essence too, whether you need a quick solution to unblock a live stream or troubleshoot some issue with censorship.
Instead of parroting once again about the similarities between the two, I’ll instead start off with the main difference, which is 24/7 support. This is crucial for any VPN because of the reasons I mentioned above. Understandably, having around-the-clock support can be difficult to achieve, but this is exactly the kind of feature that differentiates a good VPN from a great one. This is why NordVPN is the undisputed winner of customer support.
Still, it’s important to mention that both services were swift and helpful in their responses to my inquiries. And they provide plenty of guides on various topics to assist you in troubleshooting issues yourself.
Comparison by category
|Speed and servers||Loses❌||Wins✔️|
|Total wins||0 out of 9||8 out of 9|
NordVPN vs TorGuard – who is the winner?
Even though this matchup between TorGuard vs NordVPN has been very exciting to follow, the results are leaning towards one clear victor. It was by no means an easy victory, but when the rivals are such titans, every misstep matters.
In the case of TorGuard, their main issue is being based in the US. It’s not the worst place to be in for a VPN, but it definitely does not inspire confidence. Their pricing is also not great, but it comes with a lot of security features and compatibility across many devices. And they have essential features for torrenting securely.
In the opposing corner, NordVPN has shown no signs of slowing down in terms of connectivity, server coverage, or security features. Their Panamanian location is also a great secret weapon of theirs against TorGuard. Additionally, streaming is something this service excels at. Both services are good at getting around geo-restrictions and censorship, yet NordVPN comes out on top with some extra features.
Whatever your reasons for getting a VPN are, I hope that this comparison will clear some things up for you.
If you found this comparison helpful, let me know by leaving a comment!
Is TorGuard a good VPN?
TorGuard is a fairly well-rounded VPN, offering good connection speeds thanks to WireGuard. It also has plenty of essential security features, such as a kill switch, ad and malware blocker, and StealthVPN. Finally, TorGuard can be used for streaming with a dedicated IP.
Does TorGuard log?
TorGuard is based in the US, which isn’t known for respecting individual privacy. Still, TorGuard claims that they do not keep any logs. However, a third-party audit would give some validity to these claims.
Is NordVPN worth it 2021?
NordVPN has improved tremendously over the years. They’ve added new features, expanded their server infrastructure, and maintained their position as one of the fastest VPNs in the market. It is definitely worth getting.
Is NordVPN good for streaming?
Thanks to its SmartPlay feature, NordVPN is an excellent choice for streaming. It can unlock many different Netflix libraries and other streaming platforms, such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and much more.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.