Last update: 11.16.2018
When you’re a torrent freak and have a “Hallelujah!” moment. Read our TorGuard review to learn more!
“For the hundredth time: No, we have nothing to do with Tor,” representatives of VPNetworks LLC may be explaining their name choice for the thousandth time. No wonder why this is the first answer in their FAQ, too. In reality, the name has everything to do with BitTorrent and torrenting.
But TorGuard is much more than just a secure and private channel for torrent users. This is one of the faster and the most secure VPN services available on the market today.
TorGuard boasts a robust VPN server fleet of 3,000+ servers in 50+ countries, which puts its network among the greatest. Allegedly, this server list doesn’t have any Virtual Private Servers, which implies better speeds and more transparent locations.
Although the apps may seem a bit unfriendly at first (with all those cryptic settings to choose from), if you stick with TorGuard, you will find that this VPN offers great security, privacy, and strong features. Whatever your reasons may be for using a VPN service, we are certain that TorGuard is one of the best choices on the market today. And that’s quite a feat because the competition in the VPN top 10 is intense!
Read the rest of our TorGuard review to learn more.
Security & Privacy: Is TorGuard safe to use?
TorGuard, “the BitTorrent guardian,” is operated by a US company, VPNetworks LLC (with the parent company, VPNetworks LTD, LLC, located in Nevis (in the Caribbean)). Do these facts make TorGuard safe to use? Let’s see the details.
Gmail privacy issue may affect TorGuard VPN
TorGuard uses Gmail as their mail service – we find this problematic. According to a WSJ report, Gmail has serious privacy issues related to giving third-party app developers access to users’ private emails. This is not the most severe issue (because several things have to happen for this to be the case), but it bears mentioning. Some users are relying on VPN services to protect themselves from repressive governments or worse. For these sensitive users, VPNs that use Gmail should be a worry.
If you want to learn which other VPN providers may be affected and how this may pose a threat to you personally, please click here to read our whole report.
Your privacy – how secure is it?
“TorGuard does not collect or log any data from its Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Proxy services.”
So far so good, but we’ve been around the proverbial block a few times, and we know that all too often continuing the tedium of reading the Policy will lead to striking revelations. Anyway, in this case, the above claim seems more or less true. There’s only the caveat that users are allowed to sign up using personal information, such as their name, for example. If you’re not sure whether that’s a good idea, this next line should clear it up nicely for you:
“No data is ever provided to a third party unless required to do so by law.”
So, here’s the deal with VPN providers registered in the US (which is a Five Eyes country): they can be forced by law to provide user data or monitor users, whereas the Five Eyes agreement means the information can even go out of the country. And, as you can see, TorGuard even states as much in their official legalese. You don’t want to find yourself in any such situation, so we urge you to withhold as much personal information as possible!
TorGuard offers premium security and privacy features that will be appealing to more than just BitTorrent users. The VPN automatically disables IPv6 and blocks any potential DNS or WebRTC leaks (even though some bug-related leaks have been reported in the past). This VPN also has a kill switch to make sure that no sensitive information leaks in case of a connection drop.
All the main VPN protocols are supported: OpenVPN, SSTP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec. In addition to these, TorGuard also provides you with the Stealth VPN feature to bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). This feature is extremely useful in censorship-freak countries like China. It applies SSL VPN in order to prevent any entities from blocking your VPN traffic. Stealth VPN uses the following protocols: OpenVPN Stealth, ShadowSocks, STunnel, and OpenConnect.
TorGuard claim that they have no virtual servers, i.e., there are no fake locations.
This is important when you don’t want to end up sending sensitive information through a server in some not-so-privacy-friendly country.
To recap our TorGuard review so far: enemies of the state, beware! Your shenanigans may not be protected. Otherwise, you should be just fine–this is one of the best VPN services on the market and comes with relatively good speeds.
When you’re choosing a VPN, apart from the security and privacy factors, you’re most likely interested in the download and upload speeds you can expect. Although there isn’t necessarily a direct correlation between the number of servers and speeds, with 3000+ servers in 50+ countries TorGuard offers good speeds. This, of course, depends on several factors. So, you may experience better or worse speeds too.
For our TorGuard review, we ran some speed tests through locations spread out over the world. This was our baseline speed before we launched TorGuard:
Let’s see what we found with the VPN on:
New York (OpenVPN/TCP)
New York (OpenVPN/UDP)
As you can see, we tested the OpenVPN tunnel with both TCP and UDP since there are indeed differences. In general, the UDP protocol is supposed to be the faster as it has no error correction feature like TCP has. Therefore, TCP is more reliable, but at the price of speed.
Since the other major protocol, OpenConnect, is said to be faster than OpenVPN, we had to check that out too. This is what we found:
It’s quite clear that in the OpenConnect case, the TCP and UDP speed differences weren’t too consistent. For some locations, one, for other locations, the other proved faster. However, faster doesn’t always mean better, right?
To put all these results in context, we tested a few other VPN services at the exact same time. TorGuard’s speed seems to belong to the group of faster VPNs. If the raw numbers don’t look impressive, it has more to do with the time of day when the tests were conducted and other external factors. Generally, however, the speeds are consistent with our general observations.
Even if you were to connect to a faraway server, you wouldn’t feel much discomfort while streaming HD videos or watching your favorite shows on Netflix/Hulu. Sure, speed tests vary and can seem inconsistent, but we conclude that TorGuard connections are overall very fast!
How to download and install it
We went through the download and installation process for this TorGuard review – it can be confusing at times. There are two ways to download TorGuard from their website. Interestingly, there is no dedicated download menu. Instead, you need to scroll down to the footer and click either the Downloads link in the Support/Help section or the VPN Software link in the VPN Services section.
If you click the Downloads link, you end up on the Downloads page, where you can click the Download button next to your client of choice. If you click the VPN Software link, first, you will be redirected to a general VPN Software page, where you will click on your platform. Then, however, you will end up on the same Downloads.
Installing TorGuard is very simple. Just follow the steps of the installation wizard and you should be done in a minute.
Purchasing a plan may take a bit longer since you need to go through all the options like your billing cycle, the number of devices, using a shared (free) or dedicated IP (extra cost), and other things. You need to make sure you know what you are investing in, so you should carefully read every word.
How to use TorGuard
Even if you have no account yet, you can launch the TorGuard client, which will open with a “too much information” type of screen (especially when compared to the more user-friendly apps, such as Avast VPN or ZenMate).
There are no recommended servers based on the lowest latency or load – nada. This is quite off-putting for beginner VPN users and for those who would simply go with a recommended server choice to spoof their IP address.
Of course, when you try to connect to a server without logging into your TorGuard account, the login screen will come up. Sorry, no free VPN today. Although you can always try to go for the 7-day money-back guarantee if you want to try this premium VPN service for free.
The main screen and the whole VPN app (all platforms included) are not reflections of user-friendliness. As a matter of fact, TorGuard VPN could be the best for more serious and advanced VPN users, since it offers loads of settings and options to tweak.
The basic options on the main screen are:
- Select Server… (button)
- Tunnel Type: OpenVPN or OpenConnect
- Protocol: UDP or TCP
- Port / Auth: Auto, 995 (SHA1), 4443 (SHA256) | Stealth, and so on
- Cipher: AES-256-GCM, Blowfish-CBC, AES-256-CBC, etc.
- STunnel enabled (checkbox)
- Auto connect at TorGuard launch (checkbox)
- More Settings… (link)
- Connect (button)
- Sign Up for an Account here! (link)
This is way more than most top VPN apps display on their main screen. Yet we miss, for example, the global map to choose locations from (like the ones TunnelBear and NordVPN offer), as well as default or recommended options, the lack of which can be a bit disappointing for novices.
If these settings are not enough to quench your appetite, you can click the More Settings… link and help yourself to the dozens of settings and options the following tabs offer you:
Certainly, a sort of paradise for the more tech-savvy users to customize the hell out of this VPN.
By default, TorGuard VPN offers you the Singapore server. If that is where you want to connect, it is enough for you to click the Connect button at the bottom. If you would like to choose a different server, click the Select Server… button and choose from the drop-down list. Then press the Connect button to get connected to the server. It’s as simple as that.
When you want to change your spoofed location, first, you need to press the Disconnect button and then select another location.
In general, our TorGuard review has found that this VPN app could be a bit difficult for novices to make the best of, but it does have a lot to offer.
TorGuard for Netflix
Are you looking for the best VPN for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and other media streaming services? Well, we have bad news and good news for you.
The bad news is that TorGuard for Netflix may not be the best choice because most of its servers have already been blocked by the most rigorous media streaming centers. Therefore, it may take some trial and error to find a working server. Most of the time you will see this error message:
However – and this is the good news – we have found that the US – Atlanta server location manages to bypass Netflix’ detection. We can’t claim that the speed we experienced was mindblowing, but it was still just about enough for the seamless HD streaming of Netflix US TV shows. This is what the Netflix speed test showed:
Unfortunately, we were unlucky when trying to access Netflix UK and Netflix JP. This is where most VPN providers fail due to the shared static IP addresses they offer for streaming. What’s more, our attempt to watch BBC iPlayer shows also turned south with this error message:
Nevertheless, some of these issues can be circumvented by purchasing a TorGuard dedicated IP address for $7.99 per month, which can enable you to access all your favorite US streaming services (the dedicated IP address is US only), including Netflix. Please note that other premium VPN services like NordVPN or ExpressVPN can unblock Netflix without the extra cost of a dedicated IP.
TorGuard for Torrenting
BitTorrent seeders and leechers, listen closely! Why? Because you may have just found your VPN for torrenting. According to our TorGuard review, this is one of the fastest and safest, and thus, one of the best VPN services you can find today for P2P file-sharing and torrenting.
Apart from the main VPN client, you can simply use the Anonymous Proxy (which is the cheaper option) for BitTorrent and uTorrent file-sharing.
TorGuard in China
China is one of the most rigorous countries in the world when it comes to censorship. As a matter of fact, similarly to Russia, only government approved VPN services can be used in China. If you were to be caught using a non-approved VPN solution, you could be fined for around $2,200 (¥ 15,000).
Our TorGuard review has found that this VPN provider used to have servers in mainland China to help local users access blocked content; however, these local servers had to be removed earlier this year as it was becoming ever more difficult to maintain user privacy and seamless VPN services.
Nonetheless, this does not mean that TorGuard has let its Chinese users down (even though the official website is also blocked in China). In fact, these users can still use the Stealth VPN feature via Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. This VPN provides useful information on its website about how to connect to TorGuard VPN in China in 2018, which is worth a read if you are planning to travel to China or are located there.
Live chat support
Our TorGuard review has found that it has a fast, effective, and “24/7/365 world-class” live chat support. This is indeed a must when it comes to top-notch VPN service providers.
You can contact the live chat support on the website by clicking the Chat now labeled pop-up header in the bottom right corner. Once the window comes up, you need to enter your name, email address, your question and click the Start the chat button.
In the footer of the official website, there is a Questions? section, where you can also open the live chat support window.
Another option is to load the website and wait for a support agent (or, at least, an automated message) to contact you automatically. In this case, the pop-up appears and the “agent” informs you that they are there to help with anything you may need.
If you have an account, you can also submit a support ticket. For this, you need to scroll down the page and click the Submit Ticket link in the Support/Help section of the footer. Although there is a general 24-hour response time given, TorGuard support may surprise you and send you the requested answer as fast as within the hour. Now, this is what we call proper customer service.
The third option for you to ask for support is by calling a toll-free phone number; however, this is only available in the US.
Apps and extensions
While we haven’t tried all of them for this TorGuard review, this VPN is definitely equipped with some powerful apps and extensions. Apart from the main platforms, such as Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, and Android, it also has Chrome and Firefox proxy browser extensions, as well as routers pre-configured with the TorGuard software.
Why is it useful to have a router with VPN? Well, it can actually provide the ultimate cybersecurity for your home. Nowadays, our home is filled with smart devices, such as TVs, heating systems, or fridges. All of them can offer third parties important information about you. With VPN set up on your router, your entire network will be encrypted, making it impossible to spy on you.
While other premium VPN services may offer browser extensions for free, TorGuard has a separate pricing plan called Anonymous Proxy.
Pricing: Complex but reasonable
TorGuard offers a number of plans for the Anonymous VPN, Anonymous Proxy, Business VPN, and Anonymous Email packages. Our main focus now is the Anonymous VPN, so here are the prices:
- 1-month plan: $9.99 per month
- 3-month plan: $19.99 ($6.66 per month)
- 6-month plan: $29.99 ($4.99 per month)
- 12-month plan: $59.99 ($4.99 per month)
You also have a 7-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind. These prices are very similar to TunnelBear’s. However, in this case, you get way more for the cost.
Good news for online privacy fans that apart from the usual credit cards and PayPal options, you also have Bitcoin and Litecoin, Alipay, Gift Card, and other alternative options for payment.
Our TorGuard review concludes that this is good value for money and worth considering, but the purchase procedure and pricing plans could be confusing for beginners.
Before you make the call, remember that you can always find special deals and offers from competitors, which may also be worth checking out.
TorGuard by Reddit
It seems that TorGuard has some serious presence on Reddit. A quick search can result in hundreds of threads and comments, which clearly shows how interested computer users and VPN fans are in this particular VPN service.
Apart from the usual comparisons like TorGuard vs NordVPN or TorGuard vs ExpressVPN, you can find comments about how to use TorGuard for Netflix US or other major streaming services, how to use TorGuard Stealth VPN, setup questions and answers, a lot of promotions for 50% off deals, payment options, and so on.
One of the most recent Reddit posts about this VPN deals with the question ‘how to use TorGuard with Netflix Japan?’
Conclusion of our TorGuard review: Impressive performance
We like TorGuard VPN even if it operates under US jurisdiction. In summary, we can say that this VPN service is relatively fast, it offers a great variety of protocols and other important security and privacy features. And this all comes at a relatively low price.
Of course, if you are a first-timer, you may find its apps a bit difficult to use with all the settings and options. Nevertheless, if you have any technical issues, you can always contact the excellent live chat support and get them sorted in a matter of minutes.
All in all, we can conclude our TorGuard review by stating that this VPN service is somewhere in the Top 10 best VPN services even if that list is already crowded. The only people we can’t recommend this to are clueless newbies and those who are of interest to the governments of the 14-eyes country group.
How about learning from VPN users like you?
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