TorGuard VPN review

TorGuard VPN review

In its March 2019 review, Australian PCMag website called TorGuard “a solid VPN service with better than average performance”. TorGuard owner company was incorporated in 2012 in Nevis, a small Caribbean island. Right off the bat TorGuard stand out with its a la carte options. When you buy any plan (month, year, three years) you can pick extra options most suited for your needs – want a dedicated Bulgarian IP? That’s $15.98 a month. How about a Latvian, Luxembourg or Ireland IP?

Features

  • A la carte option purchase
  • 10 Gbit premium network
  • DDoS-protected IP
  • Support for OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, SOCKS5 and PPTP
  • DNS/IPV6/WebRTC leak blocking
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • OpenVPN obfuscation, Stunnel, OpenConnect, and Shadowsocks
  • 7-day refund period
  • Safari and Firefox browser extensions
  • Cross-platform compatible
  • OpenPGP e-mail encryption
  • TorGuard Stealth VPN to bypass VPN blocks and DPI firewalls

Privacy

hough the name implies the company is linked to Tor browser, that’s not the case. Rather, TorGuard donates to Tor Project but is otherwise an independent company.

TorGuard states in the privacy policy on its website that it collects:

  • Apache webserver logs
  • temporary affiliate cookies
  • Google analytics data (anonymized)
  • payment information
  • contact data for support purposes
  • e-mails sent to the company

However, the company states that there’s no VPN or proxy data gathered or logged at any time. When registered users provide personal data, it is only used to prevent abuse and fraud; this data can be modified or removed upon request to the TorGuard data controller.

As a jurisdiction, Nevis has strong protections for assets and securities when it comes to offshore companies.

It appears TorGuard does value protecting itself over customers. The TorGuard website features a DMCA section, where it invites everyone who suspects copyright infringement of contacting it, with the user then having to reply to the supposed copyright claim. This does not instill confidence; as soon as trouble arises, TorGuard users are likely to be left circling the drain.

Compatibility

TorGuard VPN is compatible with all major programs using the BitTorrent algorithm, such as Vuze, qBitTorrent and others. Once you sign up for an account and download the client you have a pretty good tutorial for all apps. You will have a step-by-step tutorial on how to install and configure the clients.

TorGuard is available on all major platforms, including:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • iOS
  • Android

TorGuard also supports VPN routers like DDWRT, Tomato, and pfsense firewalls.

Support

TorGuard website provides a whole host of useful articles covering all their product categories. You can learn how to set up routers, manage credentials and more. The knowledge base is comprehensive and easy to navigate. If you happen to get stuck there is also a 24/7 phone line and an online chat which at the time of testing was not available and we had to create a support ticket. The time to respond to the support request, however, was super fast and gets maximum marks for the responsiveness.

Tutorials include email encryption/decryption, creating a PGP key and so on. However, some articles seem outdated and the screenshots look like taken years ago. On TorGuard Youtube channel the last had a video uploaded 8 months ago, at the start of 2019.

Installation and app usage

In most cases, installing TorGuard is easy and effortless. However, users complain about not being to install TorGuard on Windows 10 due to broken OpenVPN TAP Adapter. TAP is a virtual network kernel interface crucial for OpenVPN.

It seems Kaspersky and Malwarebytes antiviruses are the biggest troublemakers when it comes to installing TorGuard, so try uninstalling them completely before TorGuard installation.

Other than that, installation is simple and painless. The only exception is installing it on routers, which you might do using a tutorial. In all cases, TorGuard UI is intuitive and functional. Where you can get a bit stuck or confused is during the purchase process. For starters, TorGuard has not gone the usual month, Year, three-year plan, instead they offer Month, Quarterly, semi-annually and annually billed plans. Comparing to competition makes it a bit harder and requires you to calculate the monthly prices yourself. Once you pick your pricing plan you move on to the a la carte section that can overwhelm an everyday user who just wants a simple VPN to cover the tracks online.

TorGuard signup process

You can add a regular Dedicated IP for 7.99 and you have 13 other options you can add to your purchase. For a newbie, this is way too much and can be a bit confusing. Plus, the explanations have a typo in them 😛

TorGuard additional options

Things don’t get easier from that. Once you confirm your order you are presented with the invoice but no big shiny Complete Purchase etc button to pay. You have to find a Paypal logo at the top corner and click on that. So TorGuard definitely needs to review its user flow in the signup process to make it more user-friendly.

Security and speed

In the section “Proxy vs VPN” on its website, TorGuard explains the trade-offs between the two bundles. In essence, Proxy is set up from within an application but VPN works for all applications on a device.

Proxy encrypts traffic using SSH tunnel for just that one program but VPN gives you military-grade encryption on all devices and in all programs using the VPN. That same page promises “fast speeds” when using the proxy but also states VPN provides a gigabit connection.

Security and speed features are spread across pricing packages. If you opt for the more expensive ones, you’ll get multiple GCM and CBC ciphers and NAT firewall to ensure nobody knows what you’re doing online. There is ad and malware blocking too.

The Stealth Proxy/VPN feature provided by TorGuard boasts being able to bypass the Great China Firewall or any other firewall that uses Deep Packet Inspection to scrutinize web traffic.

Netflix and torrenting

TorGuard offers two options for torrenting: VPN client app and SOCKS5. With the former, all outbound web traffic is made unreadable and with the latter, an anonymous shared IP is used to conceal who you are.

You can choose a specific geographic location to watch geo-blocked streaming services, such as Netflix. To the server, you will appear as just another Florida/New York etc. user, no matter where you are in the world. Keep an eye for out “residential” and “streaming IP” features; they are specifically designed to work with services such as Netflix.

Speed test

TorGuard promises blazing fast speeds and in general, they are. The one location that surprised us during the tests was the one we expected to be the fastest. Connecting to Finland (from Estonia) gave us 57% drop for the best results. at times we saw even worse numbers. This is pretty unusual for a server this close and hopefully, this was temporary peak time and the number of connections caused the low speeds.

Finland server test

All the other tests showed great speeds that surpassed some competing VPN providers with NY, USA performing above average with just a 60% drop and LA averaging around 50% drop in download speeds.

TorGuard NY server
TorGuard LA server

Hong Kong as the testing server in Asia was also above average in terms of download speeds peaking at 37Mbps which translates into 59% drop from the baseline.

TorGuard Hong Kong server

Denmark, as the usual pick for our speed tests, also performed well and was consistently fast.

TorGuard Denmark server

Torrenting is fast with TorGuard and although they don´t have dedicated p2p optimized servers all of them are suited for p2p traffic. Our test was using the Finnish server that surprisingly worked very well despite the controversial speed test we did a few minutes earlier. Downloads dropped from 5.5 – 7.6Mbps to a steady 2.7-3Mbps.

TorGuard torrent speed test

Pricing

TorGuard comes in five pre-made bundles with some common basic features but different pricing and extras. All five bundles guarantee 100% privacy with no logs kept.

Anonymous Proxy and Anonymous VPN feature unlimited bandwidth, unlimited speed and over 3,000 IPs in over 50 countries with up to 8 simultaneous connections. You’ll also be getting SOCKS5 + HTTP/SSL Proxy Support. Prices are $5.95 and $9.99 respectively. Anonymous Email lets you encrypt your messages and sent files with OpenPGP and AES256 encryption to prevent pesky email providers from scanning what you do in their service (Google in Gmail), features up to 100GB email storage, 100GB cloud storage, 20 email aliases, 10 email addresses, custom email signatures, iOS/Android app and IMAP, POP3, SMTP support. The price ranges from free for basic to $64.95 for Business Pro. Streaming Bundle includes all three other plans: Anonymous Proxy, VPN and Email plus two dedicated streaming IP addresses for $21.98 a month.

In summary, TorGuard is a great service for those who want to really customize their VPN service or just start up a business online using their Business VPN plan that features up to 30 dedicated VPN addresses, over 100 email addresses, dedicated account manager and over 50 users per account for $69 a month.

TorGuard accepts payments in all bank cards, cryptocurrency and gift cards. Use promo code MASH50 during checkout for a 50% off the basic package (doesn’t reduce the cost of add-ons).

Pros and cons

Pros
  • • Plenty of flexible plans
  • • A la carte addon purchase
  • • Over 3,000 servers in over 50 countries
  • • 7 day refund
  • • Free email option
  • • Specialized business option
Cons
  • Complicated signup process
  • Varied results in speed tests
  • No 24/7 chat support

Verdict

TorGuard may not be as fleshed out as other VPN services but it does have a whole host of features aimed at business people trying to start an online enterprise. The custom Business Pro package is unique and unlike anything, we’ve seen in any other VPN provider.

The TorGuard website also sells pre-flashed routers, webcam covers, remote support plans and gift cards.

It’s clear TorGuard has tried to focus on making money by prioritizing people wanting to build an online source of income. There are features for gamers, streamers and torrent users too, but they’re just an afterthought.

If you’re trying to make a secure business empire online, TorGuard is your choice. For everything else, there’s a better VPN provider out there that`s more user-friendly and suited for your everyday needs.

VPN feature comparison TorGuard Private Internet Access NordVPN
Jurisdiction Nevis US Panama
Independent audit No No Yes
Cheapest plan $5.95/month $3.33/month $2.99/month
Netflix compatible Yes Yes Yes
Dedicated torrent P2P servers Yes Yes No

Privacy features
Security
Speed
Ease of Use
Price
Average

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