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Today we’ll be comparing two of the best VPNs available – TorGuard vs NordVPN. Both are constantly found among the Top 5 in various tech and cybersecurity websites, and both have armies of fans who can tell you one of them is a no-brainer while the other one is a piece of dung.
We put this comparison into the hands of someone who is not a fan of either of these to see where one fares better than the other and what the overall result is after summing up key points like security, speed, streaming, torrenting, working in China, ease of use, support, and, price.
Finally, we want to emphasize again that “Tor” in TorGuard is frequently mistaken as a reference to the Tor network, but actually it’s an abbreviation of “torrent”.
NordVPN is registered in Panama – a clear winner when it comes to data retention policies and general outlook on data privacy. TorGuard belongs to the US – a 5 eyes country with a history of privacy offences and the right (under certain circumstances) to request personal data from any company in the US. While TorGuard happens to be such a company, you should not worry too much – they seem to have a sound no logging policy.
However, this year we revealed that TorGuard uses Gmail as their mail service which not the safest one when it comes to making sure your information is kept away from the third parties. As Google revealed that some third-party developers can access your email, this poses a potential threat to anyone using TorGuard.
TorGuard automatically disables IPv6 while also blocking potential DNS/WebRTC leaks. It supports OpenVPN, SSTP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec protocols. NordVPN also has the same anti-leak features, as well as additional PPTP protocol.
When it comes to additional security features, TorGuard vs NordVPN ends with the latter winning the round: Double VPN (double encryption, sacrifices speed), Tor over VPN (top level encryption, sacrifices even more speed), and CyberSec (for blocking suspicious websites and third-party scripts) is something TorGuard is yet to find an answer for. Even though it’s much better than a Windows Firewall, we’re still not sure about CyberSec. But the first two are definitely great features when you have to be absolutely sure your data doesn’t end up in the hands of some curious uncle named Sam.
TorGuard has a Stealth VPN feature, allowing to bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), which comes handy if you’re in China or any other country with heavy restrictions. NordVPN has its own tool, called Obfuscated servers, serving the same purpose.
Finally, TorGuard claims to have no virtual servers – a crucial point if you don’t want your data to end up in a country which has full rights to check it. NordVPN doesn’t make this claim and refuses to enter the ring for this round of TorGuard vs NordVPN.
TorGuard vs NordVPN – which one is the Lord of Security?
Our conclusion is that NordVPN is a narrow winner. Way back in 2017, Comparitech checked major VPNs and found that both NordVPN and TorGuard had a temporary triggered IP traffic leak on Mac. TorGuard results for Windows were not available, but it showed a persistent triggered WebRTC leak on Mac, meaning if the leak is triggered, it will persist.
Sure, NordVPN is yet to make a claim they don’t have any virtual servers. But while this is questioned, we must acknowledge that TorGuard is staying in the US right now, with no plans of moving to a more privacy-friendly location, while NordVPN is under Panama jurisdiction.
Speed and performance
TorGuard boasts a solid 3000+ servers (none of them are virtual) in 50+ countries while NordVPN has more 5400+ servers in 59 countries. But which one is the pound-for-pound winner of TorGuard vs NordVPN speed bout?
As you may know, these numbers do not always determine the speed for every location and all circumstances. You should test them yourself to see if you get desirable results.
NordVPN vs TorGuard: 14-Day Speed Average
|Download Speed||1,137 Mbps||873 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,089 Mbps||753 Mbps|
|Download Speed||1,092 Mbps||427 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,263 Mbps||692 Mbps|
|Download Speed||1,282 Mbps||1,290 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,193 Mbps||1,272 Mbps|
TorGuard vs NordVPN – which one is the Master of Speed and Performance?
This round of TorGuard vs NordVPN ends in a draw, but we again remind you to do a speed test for yourself before publicly condemning us. And if your results are different – make sure you share them in the comment section below.
Ease of Use and Support
NordVPN user experience
NordVPN is very user friendly – easy to download, install, and use. When you click the “Quick connect” button, you are automatically connected to the fastest available server. This is probably where most of the users will stop, though there are more features for those interested in creating a list of favorite servers, finding specialty servers for torrenting, or tinkering with other settings.
Windows and Mac versions are both great. The mobile versions offer the same functionality, and we were pleasantly surprised by the updated iOS which has turned from a lackluster to a blockbuster! What is more, you also have Chrome and Firefox browsing extensions that act like HTTP proxies.
What we have been missing for so long was custom apps for router and Linux. Now we finally have the latter and while it lacks GUI, it is still a huge upgrade over manual configuration. It doesn’t mean NordVPN doesn’t support routers if there’s no app for them, but you will have to check VPN’s website for instructions.
TorGuard user experience
We started experiencing problems right after we entered their website. It showed us 5 different products – Anonymous VPN, Anonymous Proxy, Business VPN, Email, Routers and a call to action button – “Get TorGuard Now”. Turns out Anonymous VPN is the actual VPN we’re discussing here, but you will not see this name anywhere after installing (which we were able to do without any issues).
The user journey begins in a straightforward way – you select a server by the location (option to filter by continent), and then it becomes less straightforward as you get to choose quite a few Advanced options, like the Protocol, Port / Authentication, and Cipher. Seeing how NordVPN manages without this, you might wonder why TorGuard decided that an everyday user wants to switch from AES-256-GCM to AES-256-CBC when both are military-grade ciphers.
The situation doesn’t change much after you connect – you see things like Protocol, Cipher, HMAC, PFS / TLS which most of the time doesn’t change anything for you. Connection time might be relevant if your internet price is calculated on an hourly basis and the actual amount of data uploaded/downloaded is shown in the bottom left corner – it’s in grey on black, so don’t be surprised that you didn’t see it before.
Another thing we found annoying about TorGuard was that you cannot browse servers while connected – you have to disconnect first and select another one. So this means you’re either offline during that time or exposed to potential cyber-attacks and 14 prying eyes.
Live Chat Support
Most NordVPN users would agree that they’re getting one of the best 24/7 live chat support services. We’ve tried it ourselves with some imaginary problems and had a very positive experience – all answers were detailed and clear. If the problem required more research, they got back at us within a reasonable timeframe.
TorGuard also boasts a 24/7 live chat which is a must for a top-level VPN. Our test has also shown their quick reaction time, clear answers and polite attitude. Therefore there is no clear winner here in the TorGuard vs NordVPN bout.
Other types of Support
Since TorGuard probably understands their client software is not the most user-friendly, their website’s header comes with the ‘Getting Started’ option, where you will learn about the key points of using any version of the Anonymous VPN – Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, or the Chrome/Firefox extension. Strangely, that section is the last one on their footer, kind of making it feel like putting your shoes on and then grabbing the socks. NordVPNs website and client software are intuitive and user-friendly, so it didn’t bother us that their “Getting Started” section is not even at the top of the Help page.
The rest of TorGuard’s Support options are in the footer, starting with an offer to Submit a ticket – something NordVPN has awkwardly removed from the Help section and put it in the footer’s “Contact us”. Submit a ticket will be appreciated by the advanced users who know that the problem they’ve just experienced will not be solved in a few minutes and will require some screenshots, if not attached logs. While their 24-hour reply deadline sounded good, we were surprised by an even faster response rate to our placebo issue.
After this come TorGuard’s Setup Guides – there are many different versions with different requirements. Luckily, every Anonymous VPN Setup Tutorial is laid out in a clear manner, with helpful screenshots. Sadly, Proxy and Static DNS tutorials are not there – you can see two tables with nothing to click.
TorGuard’s Knowledge base is pretty similar to NordVPN’s Help page but we liked the latter much better. It starts with a search bar and doesn’t overwhelm the user with multiple links and options. And even when both websites give TOP 5 questions, NordVPN’s presentation is better due to the overall design.
TorGuard also has an active Forum with users posting specific questions and feature suggestions. The 1st of 57 pages covered questions from the last 3 weeks. Most of them had multiple answers and it seems to take less than a day to get one, provided your question is well-formulated. NordVPN has no Forum but it’s doubtful the users need one since live chat support is working so well.
TorGuard also has an FAQ but when the number of questions is more than 10 and they are not categorized, it probably loses attractiveness in comparison to the live chat. Therefore, we didn’t cry when we couldn’t find NordVPNs FAQ in the first few attempts – it turns out it’s also not in the Help section.
Finally, TorGuard boasts a toll-free number, something NordVPN doesn’t have. But at the moment, the phone line works in the US only, so it’s not much of an advantage over the competitor in this TorGuard vs NordVPN fight – there probably aren’t many cases when you would end up with a need of a VPN and no mobile or Wi-Fi internet around you.
TorGuard vs NordVPN – which one is the Champion of Ease of Use and Support?
NordVPN is a clear Champion of Ease of Use. The design of their website and software is high-end compared to TorGuard, which seems to be stuck somewhere in the 2000s when using a VPN was only for the tech-savvy.
With NordVPN, changing your protocol from UDP to TCP is possible only after opening the Advanced settings menu while in TorGuard it’s one of the first things you can set before connecting. And while NordVPN might not offer so many options for advanced users, it’s still a better choice in terms of ease of use compared to TorGuard.
TorGuard, on the other hand, is a less clear but still a Champion of Support. While both VPNs have great live chat support, TorGuard offers Toll-free calls in the US – a feature NordVPN lacks. We could punish TorGuard for their clumsy Knowledge Base and FAQ, but most users will not be checking them anyway.
So in the end, we proclaim that this round of TorGuard vs NordVPN ends without a Champion of Ease of Use and Support. We are sure to repeat this battle in the future, so stay tuned!
Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Kodi and other streaming options
NordVPN currently is the Nr 1 VPN for Netflix but TorGuard is also in the Top 5. NordVPN 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. Both VPNs offer (for an extra price) dedicated IPs for streaming, which is very unlikely to be blocked. The sad part about using TorGuard is you will have to pay extra $7.99/month for the dedicated IP in order to go from blocked to very unlikely to be blocked while paying $5.83/month to NordVPN is optional.
As for Kodi, NordVPN also happens to be at the top. It’s compatible with Kodi devices, offers top-notch security, speed, and anti-geo-blocking. As for TorGuard, it happens to be just one step behind, mainly because of its US jurisdiction.
TorGuard vs NordVPN – which one is the King of Streaming?
Although both VPNs offer great streaming options, it’s easy to crown NordVPN as the true King because TorGuard requires dedicated IPs and is asking to pay extra for this feature. After learning about this, many fans abandoned their idol and secretly switched sides for the rest of TorGuard vs NordVPN match.
Torrenting and P2P
Both VPNs are great for torrenting. In fact, they are amongst the Top 3 VPNs for torrenting.
A measure NordVPN has taken to make server selection more efficient is specialization. One example is their decision to provide P2P and torrenting servers instead of allowing it on every server – this means even better speed for the user.
While TorGuard doesn’t offer P2P-specific servers, the speed and security are still good enough. Also, if the only thing you need is torrenting, you can take TorGuard’s Anonymous Proxy – a cheaper option that will be enough to share files. Again, we must point out that TorGuard is registered in the US and it has also had issues with using Gmail as their mail service, but that’s not something you should worry too much about.
TorGuard vs NordVPN – which one is the Captain of Torrenting?
The parrot lands on NordVPN’s shoulder – it’s an omen! The crew is cheering while TorGuard silently disappears into the crowd. But he’s not angry nor sad. He is smiling, as he knows he will easily find another ship to command.
China and other restricted countries
China and Russia are two countries where using a VPN not approved by the government can leave you with a fine worth more than two grand. So choosing the right one is crucial because, of course, none of the best VPNs are on the whitelist.
TorGuard has a Stealth VPN feature, allowing to bypass Deep Packet Inspections (DPI), 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 use a modified version of OpenVPN to avoid DPI. It works on Windows, Mac, and Android but currently lacks iOS support. Yet the additional encryption features, such as Double VPN or Tor over VPN, make NordVPN probably the best choice in cases when you need the best possible security to access or deliver some seriously sensitive content in China (or any other restricted country, such as Russia, Turkey, Iran, or India).
TorGuard vs NordVPN – which one is the Emperor of China?
If the TorGuard vs NordVPN bout was happening in China under iOS rules, TorGuard would probably beat the crap out of NordVPN. But if it’s not the case – you should go for NordVPN – it is the true Emperor of China, who seems to have captured the throne for the rest of Time. Long live the Emperor! Wansui, wansui, wansui!
Recently, NordVPN has dropped their special 3yr plan at $2.75/month and switched it for a 2yr one for $3.71 a month, which is still considered a steal. But it’s not easy to get as it is only available on special occasions or via affiliates.
Therefore, you might want to think about of these three plans depending on your willingness to commit long-term:
- $11.95/month (1 month plan)
- $9.00/month (6-month plan)
- $4.92/month (1 year plan, save 41% or $60/year)
All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and you can pay them with various credit cards, cryptocurrencies, and other methods like AliPay, or WebMoney. Your account will work on 6 different devices simultaneously, which should be more than enough for your personal needs.
While all this sounds great, NordVPN doesn’t advertise any free trials where you don’t need to pay first. Luckily, there is one available at free.nordvpn.com – all you need to get a 7-day full-featured trial is an email address.
Speaking of TorGuard, it offers 4 plans:
As you see from the screenshot, not only do they like having advanced settings in their app, they also like their prospective clients to do the math and see what they can save per month in bucks or percentages. So we present the plans to you the same way we did NordVPN’s for better comparison:
- $9.99/month (1 month plan)
- $6.66/month (3 month plan, save 33% or $39.92/year)
- $4.99/month (6 month plan, save 50% or $59.90/year)
- $4.99/month (1 year plan, save 50% or $59.90/year)
As we see from this strange pricing policy, there are actually 3 plans as you save the same amount with a 6 month and the annual plan. In this case, there is virtually no reason to choose the latter and risk paying for something you no longer use. TorGuard itself emphasizes the 3-month version, while NordVPN highlights the 1-year plan as their most popular. And while TorGuard offers 5 simultaneous devices compared to NordVPNs 6, it should still cover the needs of most users.
The sad part is that TorGuard rushes you to decide – no matter which plan of the Anonymous VPN you take, you will only have a 7-day money-back guarantee. The good part is that TorGuard offers even more payment options than NordVPN – in addition to credit cards, cryptocurrencies, payment walls, and CoinPayments, you can use a Paygarden Gift card from many brands, like Starbucks or Walmart.
TorGuard vs NordVPN – which one is the Viscount of Pricing?
TorGuard is cheaper by 2$/month, except the NordVPNs special 2-year plan you might stumble upon. Is that a deciding factor in this round of TorGuard vs NordVPN? Well, if you take 1 year, NordVPN would cost $84 and TorGuard would be $60, almost 30% cheaper. For a single person, especially one who is not into configuring the VPN on his own to reach some custom combination of protocols and ciphers, NordVPN will provide more bang for the buck and therefore it is named the Viscount of Pricing.
The winner of the NordVPN vs TorGuard duel
Both VPNs meet the highest standards of security and privacy and both have a strict no-logs policy, though TorGuard has been mentioned as a possible liability due to using Gmail as their email provider. TorGuard is also under US jurisdiction.
Both VPNs offer one of the best speed and performance ratings you will see, even though NordVPN has more servers in more countries. This might matter if you’re connecting from a location far away from the nearest server. So, if you’re stuck on Cape Horn after a demonstration of your yachting skills to your girlfriend didn’t go as planned, and the wind is making you so chilled that the only thing you need is Netflix, with TorGuard your nearest option would be Sao Paulo (Brasil), while NordVPN can offer you both Chilean and Argentinian servers.
Both VPNs have great live chat support, but TorGuard also offers the option to call a toll-free line, albeit in the US only.
While TorGuard’s customer service is friendly, we cannot say the same about their website’s and client’s design. While NordVPN is nice, clear, and easy to understand, TorGuard is just a black window with a bunch of settings that might fend off less-experienced VPN users.
Both VPNs are good for streaming, but to get the most out of TorGuard, you’ll have to buy a dedicated IP which costs extra.
For torrenting and P2P-sharing we would choose NordVPN, only because they have specialty servers for this (which usually is a plus for speed).
For China, we would also take NordVPN, unless you’re an iOS user.
When it comes to pricing, TorGuard is $2/month cheaper for all plans, but this is important only for bigger companies where 30% annual price difference matters. We didn’t like TorGuard giving only a 7-day money-back guarantee compared to NordVPN’s 30.
To conclude, if you are new to the industry of VPNs and want an easy-to-use, safe and fast service with great customer support – pick NordVPN. If you are an advanced user who wants to tweak settings according to his own needs and/or need a good iOS version, TorGuard is your VPN of choice. In any case, you will be happy with both options as they are easily in the TOP 5 of any VPN review site, not only ours.
If you don’t agree with us, feel free to say so in the comments section below!
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Jan is a cybersecurity and consumer protection specialist focused on investigations that help readers navigate the complex infosecurity sphere. His research and commentary has been featured in Forbes, ComputerWeekly, PC Mag, TechRadar, ZDNet, The Mirror, Entrepreneur, and many other leading publications around the world.