Anyone who is a bit more knowledgeable about VPNs will tell you that US-based providers are probably not the best options to choose from. Yet that rarely dissuades people from using these services as long as they have all the necessary anonymity features.
Two such VPN providers are TorGuard and PIA (Private Internet Access). Although based in the USA (a member of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance), they are well known in the industry and have loyal fanbases around the world. They provide a great variety of features for security, anonymity, torrenting, or streaming.
On the surface, these two VPNs seem indistinguishable from each other. But that could not be further from the truth. As they say, the devil is in the details.
So where exactly do they diverge? Let’s have a look at all the relevant aspects of these providers to figure out what makes them so different.
PIA vs. TorGuard: specifications
Private Internet Access has the largest server network on the market. More precisely, it comes with thousands of servers in 84+ countries. It also implements the strongest VPN protocol, WireGuard, and offers amazing streaming capabilities.
On the other hand, TorGuard has 3000+ servers in 48+ countries. Like PIA, it uses the WireGuard protocol and provides decent speeds.
However, both VPN providers are located in the USA, which creates doubt among users. Still, PIA is the winner of our Private Internet Access vs. TorGuard comparison. Stay with us to find out why.
|⭐Our rating||8.1 ⭐||8.1 ⭐|
|💸Current offer||Get PIA 83% OFF!||Get TorGuard 50% off|
|💰Price starts from||$2.03/month||$3.89/month|
|💳Money-back guarantee||30 days||7 days|
|📖No-logs policy||Independently-audited||Not audited|
|🌐Servers||Thousands of servers in 84+ countries||3000+ servers in 48+ countries|
|🔒VPN protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, OpenConnect|
|🍿 Streaming||Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV||Netflix US|
|🖥️Platforms||All major OS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, routers, Smart TV, browsers||All major OS, routers|
PIA vs TorGuard: pricing
|Plans and payments||TorGuard||PIA|
|Free version||Yes, 30-day if you cancel your current VPN||No|
|Free trial||Yes, 7-day||Yes|
|Money-back guarantee||7 days||30 days|
|Payment options||Credit card, PayPal, Stripe, Bitcoin, Litecoin, CoinPayments, Paymentwall, gift card||Credit card, PayPal, cryptocurrencies|
Even though TorGuard has more pricing options to choose from, Private Internet Access offers fairer prices overall and a better refund policy. As for TorGuard, you’ll have to buy add-ons if you want it to be fully functional.
PIA offers a free trial as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee. Also, it has some pretty affordable plans, so let’s check them out:
- $11.95/month for one month
- $3.33/month for a year
- $2.03/month for three years
You can also get a dedicated IP address for $5.00/month. The available location choices are the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, and Australia.
If you go for PIA, you will be able to use your credit card and PayPal. In addition, you can also enjoy anonymous payments, as the provider accepts Bitcoin.
Compared to PIA, TorGuard doesn’t offer a free trial and has a very short money-back guarantee. In other words, you have only 7 days to test its services. However, it comes with various plans. Let’s have a look:
|Billing cycle||1 month||3 months||6 months||12 months||24 months||36 months|
|Anonymous VPN||$9.99/month||$19.99 or $6.66/month||$29.99 or $4.99/month||$59.99 or $4.99/month||$99.99 or $4.17/month||$139.99 or $3.89/month|
|Anonymous VPN Pro||$12.99/month||$34.99 or $11.66/month||$69.99 or $11.66/month||$119.00 or $9.92/month||$178.98 or $7.50/month||$249.99 or $6.94/month|
TorGuard offers several add-ons:
- Dedicated Regular IP. For $7.99/month, users can purchase a dedicated IP in one of 31 countries.
- Dedicated Streaming IP. For $7.99/month, there’s also an option to get a streaming IP meant specifically for bypassing geo-blocks in a particular country. It covers 12 countries, including the US, the UK, Japan, Canada, etc.
- Dedicated Residential IP. For $13.99/month, these are special IP addresses whitelisted with major US streaming services and ISP services. The available options are Los Angeles, Dallas, Illinois, and Tampa.
- Additional Addons. Those interested can purchase Wi-Fi adapters, routers, and dedicated VPN instances.
Regarding payment methods, TorGuard allows you to make a purchase with credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies. As a result, you can also have total anonymity.
To have a smooth and uninterrupted VPN experience, you need to find a provider with consistent and fast connections. So, TorGuard gets a point in this round.
PIA uses strong VPN protocols like WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2, and it has an impressive server fleet. As a result, you will get amazing speeds, and it works well even over long distances.
On the other hand, TorGuard implements the WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenConnect protocols. Although the service has a smaller server network, it facilitates impressive speeds as well, even better than what PIA can offer.
TorGuard vs Private Internet Access: 14-Day Speed Average
|TorGuard||Private Internet Access|
|Download Speed||251 Mbps||131 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||233 Mbps||195 Mbps|
|Download Speed||469 Mbps||127 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||425 Mbps||271 Mbps|
|Download Speed||657 Mbps||262 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||593 Mbps||483 Mbps|
PIA vs TorGuard: which is more secure?
|Logging||No-logs policy||Independently-audited and court-proven no-logs|
|Leak protection||DNS, IPv6, WebRTC||DNS, IPv6, WebRTC|
The next round of our PIA vs. TorGuard comparison is privacy. In this round, Private Internet Access is the winner. This VPN is great if you prioritize your safety, as it has some really amazing security features. However, TorGuard is not far behind either. Let’s see which features they share:
- AES-256 encryption
- Kill switch
- IP and DNS leak protection
- No-logs policies
However, PIA takes the lead by having an independently audited no-logs policy that has been proven in court. Moreover, it runs the whole server fleet on RAM-only servers, which is a guarantee the provider doesn’t log your data.
Unfortunately, both VPN providers belong to the USA. This is a bit of a drawback as the US is part of the 5-Eyes Alliance and is known for its surveillance practices. More precisely, your online activities can be exposed to the DMCA and NSA, which is not a very pleasant experience.
And while PIA mitigates the unfavourable jurisdiction with a robust no-logs policy and RAM-only hardware, TorGuard doesn’t go the extra mile.
Despite being part of the 5-Eyes Alliance, TorGuard and PIA have no-logs policies that verify your safety and ensure they won’t collect personal data.
TorGuard comes with a simple no-logs policy, while PIA has an independently audited, plus court-proven policy. As such, PIA has essentially proven that they don’t collect any information, while TorGuard hasn’t.
|Owns all servers||No||No|
When we talk about speed and fastest VPN providers, first we need to have a look at the number and spread of VPN servers. It affects what kind of foreign content you can access and how likely are the servers to be congested.
When it comes to server coverage, these two providers are in quite different situations. TorGuard boasts 3000+ servers in 48+ countries globally, while PIA darts ahead by having almost 29300+ servers in 84+ countries. Another key difference from TorGuard is that all of their servers are physical
This makes PIA the clear winner when it comes to server count and coverage.
|Smart DNS||❌No||✅Smart DNS|
|Ad & malware blocker||✅Yes||✅PIA MACE|
|Split tunneling||✅Yes (iOS)||✅Bypass VPN|
When speaking about additional features, we think about something that further enhances your VPN journey and provides better performance. Unsurprisingly, this round of our TorGuard vs. PIA comparison ends with PIA being better feature-wise.
If you’ve ever found yourselves in a situation where your VPN wasn’t working on a particular device, you can now forget that issue. Thanks to the Smart DNS feature, you can now use your VPN on any device.
Only Private Internet Access employs Smart DNS, providing you with unrestricted VPN usage on devices that don’t support this software natively. Meanwhile, TorGuard lacks it, limiting its use only to devices officially supported by this provider.
Ad & malware blocker
The ad & malware blocker is crucial for disabling adware and preventing you from visiting websites known for hosting malware.Both VPNs have an ad & malware blocker.
You can find PIA’s package under the name PIA MACE. It blocks advertisements on the DNS level and is available on mobile and desktop clients. Furthermore, the tool disables user trackers and warns you if the website you’re trying to visit is suspicious.
TorGuard offers Ad Blocking DNS. It also blocks adware via DNS filtering. The tool is available on Windows, macOS, and iOS devices.
Split tunneling lets you choose which apps can use the VPN and which ones cannot. As a result, you will decrease the load on the VPN and avoid any disruptions.Both providers come with this feature. The key difference is that while PIA offers it on Windows, macOS, Android, and Linux, TorGuard only has it on iOS.
Both services offer specialty servers for different needs. TorGuard comes with:
- Dedicated IP. For those who have purchased dedicated IPs in certain countries.
- Stealth. These use Shadowsocks to bypass firewalls.
- ObsTCP. Obfuscates VPN traffic, letting you use the VPN in internet-restrictive countries like China, Iran, and such.
- Port 443. Provides extra security as traffic transmitted through this port is encrypted.
And Private Internet Access comes with:
- Obfuscated servers. A must-have if you want to bypass online censorship and VPN blocks. This is because these servers mask VPN traffic as regular HTTPS traffic, which usually does a great job of circumventing Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).
- Streaming servers. For easier geo-block bypassing and better streaming performance.
As for additional perks, PIA includes SOCKS5 proxy and port forwarding. And TorGuard offers Scripts, OpenVPN Proxy, SOCKS5 proxy, and port forwarding.
Netflix and streaming comparison
|Other Netflix libraries||❌No||❌No|
|Amazon Prime Video||❌No||❌No|
Streaming is the next aspect we’ve explored. We tried to unblock different streaming platforms with both VPNs to get the most reliable result. After very close results, we concluded that PIA is again the winner, although it’s not the best streaming VPN out there.
Both VPNs can bypass the Netflix VPN detection. With that said, you need to keep in mind that this may not always work and not with all the servers. It’s most likely that you’ll only stream Netflix US. However, that’s the only thing TorGuard can unblock. It had trouble gaining access to other US-only streaming platforms, not to mention foreign services.
Private Internet access additionally managed to unblock Hulu and YouTube TV, but not much else.
|Major dedicated apps||Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android||Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android|
|Other dedicated apps||–||–|
|Browser extensions||Chrome (and other Chromium-based browsers), Firefox||Chrome (and other Chromium-based browsers), Firefox|
|Manual setup||Routers||Routers, consoles, smart TVs|
At first sight, we thought that we would have a tie. However, PIA supports more devices and offers unlimited simultaneous connections. That’s why the winner of this PIA vs. TorGuard comparison round is Private Internet Access.
Both services have dedicated apps for Windows and macOS. The providers stick to simplistic designs, making them easy to interact with.
TorGuard’s clients are full with lots of settings you can toggle, which, unfortunately, makes them clunky. And although they’re pretty simple design-wise, the features are thrown about here and there haphazardly. It’s definitely aimed towards advanced users, as there are lots of things you can toggle that don’t have any explanations of what they do.
Meanwhile, PIA is very straightforward. The clients have the same level of security no matter what OS you’re running them on. And the features are identical as well, meaning no users get snubbed.
If you tend to use your VPN on your phone, you can go for whichever provider you like more. This is because PIA and TorGuard come with Android and iOS apps.
TorGuard offers split tunneling, LAN bypass, and dedicated IPs for Android, but you can’t tweak them. And the iOS client lacks features altogether, apart from the Ad Blocking DNS tool.
Again, PIA keeps its mobile applications uniform.
|Allowed on||✅All servers||✅All servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||✅Yes||✅Yes|
|Split tunneling||✅Yes (iOS)||✅Yes (Windows and macOS)|
Another area where these two services are almost identical is torrenting. Both TorGuard and Private Internet Access can be used for torrenting and other P2P file-sharing. They also provide the necessary safeguards and extra features.
But TorGuard seems to be slow at implementing split tunneling for desktop users. This is a serious hindrance considering that PIA has the feature on desktop already. At least they both provide subscribers with a SOCKS5 proxy and port forwarding for boosting downloads and uploads.
However, the minor advantage that TorGuard gets is because of the faster and more reliable download and upload speeds. This is crucial for a smooth torrenting process.
|Works in China||✅Yes||✅Yes|
|Stealth VPN||✅Yes (StealthVPN)||✅Yes (Obfuscation and Shadowsocks)|
|Tor over VPN||❌No||❌No|
As for China, both providers have features for dealing with the Great Firewall of China. Private Internet Access has Obfuscation and Shadowsocks, a proxy and StealthVPN combo that lets users bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). TorGuard has Stealth VPN, which is meant to mask VPN traffic and make it look like regular HTTPS traffic.
Neither of these VPNs really excel at circumventing such heavy censorship, but they won’t leave you completely in the dark either. As such, they are tied in this category.
|24/7 live chat||❌No||❌No|
|Phone line||✅Yes (US-only)||❌No|
It looks like we end our TorGuard vs. PIA comparison with a win for TorGuard. Both lack a 24/7 live chat support option, but at least you can get a hold of an agent via email. And there are extensive knowledgebases if you need detailed guides and some troubleshooting guidance. However, TorGuard takes the lead by offering a phone live, albeit it’s for US subscribers only.
TorGuard vs PIA – which is better?
|Total wins||3 out of 10||6 out of 10|
Our Private Internet Access vs. TorGuard comparison has been one of the closest ones we’ve ever had. However, after long and thorough testing, we’ve got the winner. PIA is the clear winner as it comes with better speeds, a larger server network, and better streaming capabilities. Overall, this VPN has everything you may need.
Is PIA better than TorGuard?
Yes, it is. PIA is slightly better than TorGuard because it has an extensive server fleet, faster speeds, superb streaming and torrenting capabilities, and is slightly more affordable.
Which is faster – PIA or TorGuard?
TorGuard is faster than PIA. This can mainly be attributed to the great implementation of the WireGuard tunneling protocol.