See just what we thought of this service; TorGuard VPN Review
TorGuard is a no-logs VPN provider based in the United States. The company offers 3,000-plus VPN servers in over 50 countries, a proxy service, encrypted email, and optional dedicated IP addresses for streaming. We thoroughly reviewed TorGuard to see how it compares to other VPNs in terms of performance, speed, cost, design, and more. Take a look at our findings below.
What We Like
- 3,000-plus servers in 55 countries
- Unlimited bandwidth over gigabit connections
- Works with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android
- Features OpenVPN and military grade AES 256-bit encryption
- Comes with a seven-day money-back guarantee
- Mix and match their VPN, proxy, and e-mail services
What We Don’t Like
- Costs extra to stream Netflix with a streaming bundle
- Lowest streaming bundle price is $10.16/month, paid annually
- Fresh dedicated IPs are non-refundable
- Lacks Double VPN or Tor
- One of the company’s servers was breached in early 2018
In October 2019, TorGuard confirmed an expired internal private key was exposed in September 2017. This allowed hackers unauthorized access to one of its servers. However, the company assured users that the compromised server was removed in early 2018, customer data was not exposed, and the problem has been corrected. Due to this, we have revised our original star rating to take this circumstance into account, even though it is still a reputable service that many use and recommend.
Setup Process: Straightforward
We found the TorGuard installation process to be straightforward and simple. To get started, go to the TorGuard site and download the appropriate software for your computer or device. Start the installer and follow the step-by-step instructions. During installation, TorGuard will request administrative permission to complete the setup process. The good news is, there are no additional configuration files to download, and there are no additional steps required to get the VPN working.
TorGuard’s interface feels cryptic, especially if you’ve never used a VPN before. To select a server, click on the Select Server button at the top of the screen. This action will bring up a list of servers you can choose from. However, this only works if you’re disconnected from the VPN first (you can’t choose a server while connected).
On the server list, there’s Sort button at the top, but aside from Alphabetical sorting, the sort criteria are a bit murky. Also, there’s no option to pick the best server, as you can find with other VPN services. You do have options to choose the VPN protocol (OpenVPN, etc.) port, and cipher (encryption). But in most cases, these options are best left to their default settings. Overall, the interface is functional, but not user-friendly or intuitive.
Compared to other VPNs we tested, the time it takes to connect and disconnect to a VPN server is noticeable. This can be a drawback if you need to switch servers frequently.
Once connected, we found that page load times are average, and we were able to stream videos on YouTube without latency or buffering. We were able to achieve a maximum downstream speed of 179 Mbps using our 1 Gbps connection, which is fairly middle of the road for VPN services that we’ve tested.
Meanwhile, both Netflix and Amazon Prime detected the use of a VPN proxy using a US server with the regular VPN service. To get around this, you need to purchase a dedicated IP address with Torguard’s streaming bundle.
Compared to other VPNs we tested, the time it takes to connect and disconnect to a VPN server is noticeable.
Streaming: Dedicated IP addresses at a cost
Torguard offers dedicated IP addresses that can be used to access Netflix and other streaming services. This can help get around the VPN proxy error mentioned earlier, but it will cost you an additional $9.99 a month if you’re on the monthly plan.
With other VPNs providing access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services as part of their base prices, we believe this is an unnecessary expense that you shouldn’t have to pay for.
Torguard is a stated no-logs VPN within the jurisdiction of the United States. That means it operates within the 5-Eyes Alliance, which can enforce the gathering and sharing of surveillance data with other alliance countries. This makes TorGuard’s jurisdiction a less than ideal choice when compared to other providers that are out of reach of the 5, 9, or 14-Eyes Alliances.
However, regarding keeping logs, TorGuard states that they “Absolutely not — never have and never will!” Theoretically, this means if a government agency were to request data logs from TorGuard, there would be none to hand over.
If they published transparency reports, or had independent audits of their practices, we would feel more comfortable recommending the service.
Security Features: Standard fare
TorGuard offers a range of strong security protocols including OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, Wireguard, SSTP, IKEv2. The software comes pre-configured to protect your data with 256-bit AES encryption, leak blocking, a kill switch, and stealth VPN access (which OpenVPN obfuscation, stunnel, and shadowsocks).
TorGuard’s list of security features include:
- OpenVPN with 256-bit AES encryption: A military-grade encryption standard used by governments and anyone that needs to protect highly sensitive data.
- DNS leak protection: TorGuard automatically protects against DNS, IPV6, and WebRTC leaks. This helps your DNS requests from being seen by your ISP (internet service provider).
- KillSwitch: This feature is designed to block all Internet traffic if your VPN connection unexpectedly drops for any reason.
- OpenVPN obfuscation: By enabling VPN traffic to appear like normal “https” traffic, the VPN can be used in places that would normally restrict it.
- Stunnel: Another VPN obfuscation tactic that works by routing VPN traffic through a TLS/SSL tunnel, which is difficult to differentiate from regular “https” traffic.
- Shadowsocks: Shadowsocks is another layer of security and anonymization via a second encrypted tunnel.
TorGuard excels in their ability to let you mix and match packages. Along with their regular and streaming VPN packages, you can also tack on a secure proxy and/or encrypted e-mail service. The proxy service provides anonymous SSL, HTTP and Sock 5 proxies in over 50 countries, although only the SSL proxy is encrypted.
If you’re after private e-mail, TorGuard’s encrypted e-mail service offers OpenPGP encryption and man in the middle (MITM) attack protection to keep your communications private.
Besides their personal VPN service and proxy, TorGuard offers enhanced features for business users. With their business packages, you can have accounts with up to 50 or more VPN users, 100 or more e-mail accounts, and a dedicated VPN Management Portal and 24/7 account manager.
Torrenting: It’s in the name
The name TorGuard is a nod to privacy when using bitorrent, so it should support torrenting—and it does. With TorGuard, you can torrent on all their VPN service packages using unlimited bandwidth at no extra cost.
TorGuard states that their Netherlands, Canada, Romania, Swiss, and Russia VPN endpoints are optimized for the best torrent experience, offering full support for ports and UDP traffic. You can also use TorGuard’s proxy service to torrent, but only the SSL proxy is encrypted.
Ad Blocking: Built-in ad blocker
TorGuard includes a DNS-level ad blocker, which means prevents malware and overzealous ad trackers from gleaning information about your system or connection. The way it works is that TorGuard maintains a list of ad trackers and other suspicious and malicious actors. Requests to those services are then rerouted to your local machine. The result is that ads aren’t displayed, and ad trackers never even receive requests.
Customer Service: Email ticket system
TorGuard provides an email-based ticket system for customer service and support. This asynchronous system allows you to file a request for help, after which you have to wait for the next available agent to respond via email. There is no option to send a direct email outside the ticket system, and there are no live chat options.
TorGuard is more expensive than other premium providers on the market today. For example, a monthly plan is $9.99/month, or $4.99/month paid annually. The problem is, you can’t stream Netflix for this price—you need to purchase the streaming bundle. The streaming bundle featuring dedicated IP addresses will cost you $21.98 month or $121.98 annually (this works out to $10.16/month). When you consider that you can unlock Netflix using other VPN providers for a fraction of that price, it’s not a good value in this regard.
Competition: TorGuard vs NordVPN
How does TorGuard stand up to the popular NordVPN service? Both services offer OpenVPN, the most secure VPN protocol available today. In terms of performance, NordVPN outpaces TorGuard in connection times, page load time, and the ability to unlock streaming sites such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
NordVPN also offers enhanced security features, such as Double VPN or Tor (The Onion Router), which are not available in TorGuard.
On the other hand, you can tack on a proxy or email to your VPN service with TorGuard. In terms of pricing, NordVPN is the clear winner, offering plans as low as $3.49/month for a three-year plan. TorGuard will cost you $4.99 month for their basic VPN service, and $10.16/month for the streaming bundle (both paid annually).
TorGuard may work well for you, especially if you’re looking to mix different services such as a VPN, proxy, and private e-mail. However, there are other VPN services which offer better performance, the ability to stream Netflix at no extra cost, and additional security features at a lower price. Our final verdict is that if you’re after a VPN mainly for web browsing and streaming, you should skip this one and shop around.
Similar Products We’ve Reviewed:
- Product Name: Torguard
- Price: $9.99
- Speed (Fastest Observed): 179 Mbps (Tested on a 1Gbps connection)
- Operating Systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
- Devices: Five devices at a time
- Server Locations: 20 Countries
- Number of Servers200+
- Streaming: Yes, requires extra purchase
- Torrenting: Yes, includes kill switch
- Encryption: AES 256-bit OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, Wireguard, SSTP, IKEv2
- Logging: No, but no transparency reports
- Jurisdiction: United States