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Although its name has nothing to do with Tor but everything to do with torrenting, TorGuard aims to be much more than just a secure and private channel for torrent users.
I decided to find out if really offers the great security, privacy, and strong features that many reviewers think make TorGuard one of the best choices in the industry today.
There’s a number of important questions about TorGuard I’ll be looking at in my review. Is TorGuard safe to use? Is it fast? Is it good at unblocking Netflix? And, of course, is TorGuard great for torrenting?
I’ll try to find the answers to these questions and more to determine if TorGuard is as strong a contender for the top of so many “Best of” lists as people think it is.
Is TorGuard safe?
TorGuard offers premium security and privacy features that will appeal to more than just BitTorrent users. If not for TorGuard’s privacy-unfriendly location, such a security feature arsenal would put most other VPNs to shame. Location aside, however, TorGuard is a very safe VPN to use.
Encryption and tunneling protocols of TorGuard
TorGuard boasts AES-256 encryption – the unbreakable military-grade cipher utilized by banks, top-notch cybersec tools, and militaries around the world. It’s the industry-standard encryption used by all upper-echelon VPNs today.
When it comes to tunneling protocols, TorGuard offers the following:
- OpenVPN TCP
- OpenVPN UDP
This is an outstanding variety of available tunneling protocols on offer, with solid choices (including the cutting-edge WireGuard protocol) for all segments of the VPN userbase.
That said, make sure to avoid using the SSTP protocol unless you really know what you’re doing. SSTP is an old and easily breakable protocol that should only be used under very few circumstances.
Does TorGuard has a kill switch
TorGuard offers a reliable kill switch. This feature will make sure that no sensitive information leaks by disconnecting you from your network in case your VPN connection drops.
I tested the TorGuard kill switch on the Windows app and it did not disappoint – the feature immediately killed my network connection each time I disconnected TorGuard.
No IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks
TorGuard offers effective IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection – I tested it by using the IPleak.net tool and it found no leaks whatsoever.
As you can see, my test clearly shows that TorGuard is a leak-free VPN service.
Privacy-unfriendly location: the USA
TorGuard is based in the privacy-unfriendly United States, which is one of the founders of the Five Eyes global surveillance alliance. This is a red flag for anyone using VPNs for situations that demand an extremely high level of online privacy, such as political activism and investigative journalism.
Fortunately, TorGuard is as serious about your anonymity as it is about its online security features. Thanks to their strict no-logs policy, the provider shouldn’t be able to share any useful data with the authorities even if forced. That said, if you’re a journalist, activist, or whistleblower, going with a VPN based outside any intelligence alliances would be your best bet.
No activity logs
“TorGuard does not collect or log any data from its Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Proxy services.”
So far, so good. There’s only the caveat that users are allowed to sign up using personal information. If you’re not sure whether that’s a good idea, this next line should clear it up for you:
“No data is ever provided to a third party unless required to do so by law.”
As you can see, you should think twice before doing anything too illegal when using TorGuard. And I’m not talking torrenting here.
While TorGuard’s no-logs policy will protect you from having your communications logs handed over to the authorities, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where government agencies are checking your TorGuard account details for your real name and address. So, I’d recommend you withhold as much personal information as possible.
Other technical features of TorGuard
As a provider geared towards anonymizing your torrenting activities, TorGuard offers the following advanced security and privacy features.
- IPv6 is automatically disabled to block any potential DNS or WebRTC leaks
- Stealth VPN feature to bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) in censorship-heavy countries like China
- No virtual servers to ensure your data won’t travel through a server in some privacy-unfriendly country (apart from the US)
To sum up my impressions regarding TorGuard’s security 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.
Speed: is TorGuard fast?
I ran my TorGuard speed tests over the OpenVPN/UDP protocol tunnel and were pleasantly surprised with the results. While not the king of speed, the service delivered a good performance across the board.
This was my baseline speed before I launched TorGuard:
…And this is what I found with the VPN on:
New York, US
Latency: 117 ms
Download: 34 Mbps
Upload: 77 Mbps
Latency: 46 ms
Download: 54 Mbps
Upload: 57 Mbps
Latency: 327 ms
Download: 27 Mbps
Upload: 76 Mbps
To put these results into context, I tested a few other VPN services at the exact same time. TorGuard’s speeds seem to put it into the group of fastest 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.
Yes, speed tests vary and can seem inconsistent, but I can conclude that TorGuard connections are overall fast.
Yes, it probably does. This VPN is definitely equipped with some powerful apps and extensions. Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS are supported, including some extras – proxy browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, as well as routers pre-configured with the TorGuard software.
TorGuard desktop apps: Windows, macOS, and Linux
Once you choose your desktop platform, installing TorGuard is very simple. Using it, however, might take some getting used to.
The main screen and the whole VPN app are not the epitomes of user-friendliness. There are no recommended servers based on the lowest latency or load. This can be quite off-putting for beginner VPN users.
On the other hand, TorGuard can be the best for more serious and advanced VPN users, since it offers loads of settings and options to tweak.
This is way more than most top VPN apps display on their main screen. 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:
Certainly, a sort of paradise for the more tech-savvy users to customize the hell out of this VPN.
In general, I’ve found that TorGoard’s VPN apps can be difficult for novices, but they do have a lot to offer.
Speaking of apps, TorGuard’s Mac app is just as secure as the Windows version. That’s actually not that common in the VPN industry, as many VPN providers release clients on macOS that are less secure than their PC counterparts in more ways than one.
As far as Linux, TorGuard has an app for Linux users as well, which is a real rarity and a pleasure to see. While it has to be set up manually, you get a full GUI with full-fledged functionality with the OpenVPN protocol.
TorGuard mobile apps: Android, and iOS (iPhone/iPad)
The Android and iOS apps for TorGuard are almost as feature-rich as the desktop versions. TorGuard even has an in-built kill switch both on Android and iOS, dubbed the “Always-On VPN” feature. That’s another plus for TorGuard in terms of multiplatform support.
You can get the TorGuard Android app from Google Play or download it directly as an APK package file from TorGuard.net, while the iOS app is available on the App Store.
TorGuard browser extensions: Chrome and Firefox
TorGuard offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
These are by no means full-ledged apps and are just simple proxy extensions. That said, they’ll give you an ability to quickly change your IP address, as well as block annoying ads and trackers.
Other platforms for TorGuard
TorGuard also offers flashed routers with the VPN pre-installed, as well as instruction guides for flashing routers with its software. This means you can buy a router straight from TorGuard and have your entire network protected, without the need to install the software yourself.
However, users will multiple devices but no router will miss apps for smart TVs or game consoles. Sure, you can configure TorGuard for Apple TV or Chromebook manually, but that’s not entirely what I have in mind by “extra apps.”
Using TorGuard for Netflix and other streaming services
Unfortunately, TorGuard is not the best choice for streamers. This is because the most rigorous media streaming centers have already blocked the majority of its servers. Therefore, it may take some trial and error to find a working server.
Most of the time, you’ll be looking at this error message:
However – and this is the good news – I’ve found that the US Atlanta server managed to bypass Netflix’s detection.
Unfortunately, I was unlucky when trying to access Netflix UK and Netflix JP. What’s more, my attempt to watch BBC iPlayer shows also turned south with this error message:
Nevertheless, you can circumvent some of these issues by purchasing a dedicated IP address, although that won’t be cheap. For $7.99 per month, you can access all your favorite US streaming services, including Netflix. And if you need another IP in a different country, consider choosing the Streaming Bundle for $21.98 per month that will include Proxy, VPN, Email, and two streaming IPs in the US, UK, or Japan.
Does TorGuard support torrenting?
Yes, TorGuard supports torrenting on most servers.
BitTorrent seeders and leechers, listen closely: you may have just found your VPN for torrenting. TorGuard 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.
However, if you’re looking for a VPN with more versatility for less money, you should also check out our other Best VPN Services List.
Does TorGuard work in China?
Yes, it is likely that TorGuard works in China.
This VPN used to have servers in mainland China to help local users access blocked content. However, they had to remove these local servers earlier this year as it was becoming ever more difficult to maintain user privacy.
Nonetheless, this does not mean they have let their 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 servers.
If you’re planning to travel to China or are located there, their website provides useful information about how to connect to TorGuard VPN in China.
Support: TorGuard live chat, email support, and toll-free phone number
TorGuard features very comprehensive customer support. There are plenty of avenues to have your TorGuard problems solved, including a live chat (sadly not 24/7), an extensive FAQ section, a Knowledgebase for self-help guides and articles, community forums, email support tickets, and a 24/7 toll-free phone number (only in the US).
TorGuard’s live support is fast and effective, but the issue is catching them during their working hours. You can contact the live chat support on the website by clicking the Chat now pop-up button, the Questions? section in the footer of the official website, or just load the website and wait for a support agent to contact you automatically.
If you have an account, you can also submit a support ticket. For this, you’ll have to click the Submit Ticket link in the Support/Help section of the footer. Although they state a general 24-hour response time, TorGuard support may surprise you and send you an answer within the hour.
Pricing: is TorGuard worth your money?
TorGuard offers a number of plans with a 7-day no questions asked money-back guarantee:
- 1-month plan: $9.99/month
- 3-month plan: $6.66/month
- 6-month plan: $4.99/month
- 12-month plan: $4.99/month
- 24-month plan: $4.17/month
These prices are very similar to TunnelBear’s. However, in this case, you get way more for the cost, starting with 8 simultaneous connections.
TorGuard also offers several extra options for you, including regular Dedicated IPs, Streaming IPs, Sports IPs, and Residential IPs. These will cost you each an extra $7.99 monthly. If you need more than one IP, getting a Streaming Bundle for $21.98/month that includes proxy, VPN, email, and two IPs would be cheaper.
If you already have a VPN subscription with another provider and send them your last bill, you’ll get a 7-day free trial to convince you that TorGuard is the winner of the two. What’s more, if you cancel your old subscription and send proof via email, you’ll get an entire month free.
TorGuard offers plenty of payment options. You can use a credit card, Stripe, PayPal, Bitcoin, Litecoin, CoinPayments, Paymentwall, or a gift card.
Overall, TorGuard offers good value for your money and is definitely worth considering. However, the purchase procedure and subscription plans could be confusing for beginners.
Should you get TorGuard?
I like TorGuard VPN, even if it operates under US jurisdiction. It’s pretty fast, offers a great variety of protocols and other important security and privacy features. And it all comes at a reasonable price.
Of course, if you’re a first-timer, you may find its apps a bit difficult to use with all the settings and options. If you have any technical issues, you can always contact their excellent live chat support, but if you’re outside of the US, it might be difficult due to different time zones.
All in all, I can conclude by stating that TorGuard is definitely a great VPN service. The only people I can’t recommend this to are clueless newbies and those who are of interest to the governments of the Fourteen Eyes country group.