A countless number of review sites have reviewed BTGuard Virtual Private Network before.
But this is the one you want to read because it will hit all aspects of this VPN service provider.
Let’s start from the beginning:
BTGuard didn’t get any prominence in the industry until TorrentFreak endorsed it on TorrentFreak.com.
And how have things changed since then?
We mean that in a negative way in case you are wondering.
Because even though TorrentFreak thinks it is a great service, consumers don’t.
And that’s all that matters.
Many customers of BTGuard have complained about poor connection speeds along with unstable VPN connections.
Some old reviewers hold that BTGuard VPN is a fast VPN service but again, we have to go with what we have today.
Not what we had yesterday.
And that’s why we still have to give weight to the huge number of complaints that have come against BTGuard.
Of course, this is not the introduction you wanted to read.
But as we all say in Nolan’s Batman, this is the introduction you deserve.
Money is valuable and you shouldn’t waste it on products that don’t deliver the goods.
We’re not saying BTGuard doesn’t deliver the goods.
You will have to read the full review in order to find that out.
Right now you need to another little interesting bit about BTGuard VPN:
Various media reports in the media revealed that BTGuard VPN actually stored passwords of its users in plain text files.
The company also made the mistake of emailing these passwords without encrypting them to its customers.
What’s wrong with that?
First of all, it is absolutely terrible of a VPN service to do that.
VPN services are all about privacy protection and online security.
In other words, it has to make sure its customer’s data is safe.
This failure from BTGuard VPN shows that you should discard any old BTGuard VPN reviews.
But this is the real world we’re talking about there.
And hence all services including VPNs deserve a second chance.
That is why we have brought you this comprehensive BTGuard VPN review.
Let’s just summarize our thoughts about the latest version of BTGuard VPN:
It is awful.
BTGuard VPN is also overpriced.
And it can’t compete with other VPN services based on what it offers right now.
Because there are many VPN services that provide better quality service at the same price if not lower.
Let’s get into the full BTGuard VPN review.
BTGuard VPN follows the industry trend in this department and offers new users two subscription plans.
Users can pay for both of the plans either monthly or yearly.
The yearly subscription comes with a 25 percent discount.
The first subscription plan from BTGuard VPN is basically a proxy service.
It is primarily for users who want to use a lot of BitTorrent technology.
You might have noticed it already but the BT in BTGuard VPN stands for BitTorrent.
Anyway, on to the next subscription plan.
The second subscription plan is actually the full VPN service from BTGuard VPN.
As mentioned before, this plan is mostly aimed at users who want to download a lot of files but want to do so anonymously.
How does it achieve that?
BTGuard VPN provides users with a proxy IP address (or Internet Protocol address).
Users can then use this IP address in place of their real IP address.
And hence make themselves anonymous.
As you can probably imagine, the proxy IP address feature is an immensely important feature for users who want to protect their privacy and identity from hackers and spying agencies.
This type of anonymity is also very useful in protecting users from other peer-to-peer, or P2P, users on the same network.
BTGuard VPN also provides the regular encryption for all its users.
This allows users to bypass any throttling efforts from their internet service providers.
The BTGuard VPN also makes it easier for users to set the service up by offerings a neat version of uTorrent (the BitTorrent client) which is preconfigured with the required settings.
BTGuard VPN also provides instructions to new users on how to manually configure some of the other torrent clients available in the market today.
And it also lists the proxy servers users are supposed to use with them.
In short, the BitTorrent Proxy version of BTGuard VPN is more than enough to hide anyone’s identity while he or she is online engaging in file-sharing.
Right now, you might be wondering:
This is the price section, why are we talking about “some” of the service’s features?
Well, we did that to say the following line:
The BitTorrent Proxy version of BTGuard VPN is very expensive at $6.95 per month.
We know many VPN service providers who offer their services for much else and provide a full VPN service rather than just a proxy service.
Besides, no one in their right minds would want to use a proxy service instead of a VPN service.
With that said, let’s come to BTGuard VPN next package which is the BTGuard VPN Service proper.
BTGuard VPN Service
This is the full version of what BTGuard VPN offers to all its users.
It costs around $9.95 per month.
If you pay up for a period of three years you get a five percent discount and only have to pay $27.95 for the duration of three months.
Increase your subscription period to six months and you only have to pay $49.95 because BTGuard VPN will give you a 15 percent discount.
The best value package is, without a doubt, the yearly package.
If you commit to BTGuard VPN for a period of twelve months then the company will give you 25 percent off from the regular price.
As a result, you only have to pay $89.95 for the whole year.
All three of the paid-VPN subscription plans are identical.
They are identical in terms of the service they offer.
What we mean is that all three BTGuard VPN paid VPN plans offer unrestricted access to the internet.
There is unlimited bandwidth and you get to use a total of three VPN servers.
Apart from that, BTGuard VPN doesn’t really have that many features to talk about.
In fact, we think it doesn’t have many features at all.
Most of its features come due to the fact it uses a third-party VPN software application.
Subscribers must use that third-party software application to make use of the service and connect to a VPN.
Let’s explain that part in more detail.
BTGuard VPN doesn’t have a VPN client of its own.
So, it uses OpenVPN client for offering its VPN service.
OpenVPN is an open source VPN client and it is a pretty good one at that.
And since OpenVPN is such an established piece of VPN software and otherwise, this provides BTGuard VPN the perfect opportunity to allow customers a reliable VPN service.
Albeit only with three servers.
But again, the OpenVPN app is highly developed because of its open source nature.
It also provides Domain Name System, or DNS, leak protection.
Though it is really hard to test that because BTGuard VPN .ovpn files are a pain to work with.
But you can still test it out with an older version of OpenVPN.
The older version of OpenVPN doesn’t have DNS leak protection through.
As mentioned before BTGuard VPN is different from other best VPN service providers.
Most of the best VPN service providers have custom-built, dedicated VPN apps for all major platforms.
They also have advanced features such as a kill switch along with auto connect.
This allows them to provide more protection to their users.
Because of these features, whenever the VPN connection drops, these type of VPN apps disconnect the user from the internet.
Hence, Elite VPN service providers protect users even when there is no internet.
But you don’t get any of that with BTGuard VPN.
We’ve already mentioned it uses the OpenVPN app.
The OpenVPN app though sturdy does not have many advanced features.
But it is free.
BTGuard VPN is not.
In fact, BTGuard VPN is expensive.
And to know that BTGuard VPN doesn’t even have a dedicated VPN app is frustrating.
How in the world can a VPN service cost users so much money when:
- It doesn’t have a VPN app
- It only has three server location
- And doesn’t have any advanced features?
What About Protocols?
BTGuard VPN offers two protocols as far as access to the company’s servers is concerned.
We highly recommend that you should never use PPTP.
Because it is not secure.
Experts have proven that so we don’t need to go into the details of why.
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is dead.
Besides, when you have the OpenVPN protocol available why would you want to connect to anything else.
OpenVPN is the best protocol and the most secure.
Of course, BTGuard VPN doesn’t really have an app so you’ll have to use the OpenVPN software application to take advantage of the OpenVPN protocol.
BTGuard VPN literally has nothing going for it in this category.
It is based in Canada.
You know what that means right?
That means it is probably the worst place for a VPN service because this country has close to no data privacy laws.
Canada has passed multiple privacy invading laws in the last couple of years.
This makes it far from the ideal place for a VPN service provider to work in.
Moreover, Canada has also signed the Five Eyes; the intelligence sharing agreement.
According to official sources, BTGuard VPN does not keep any logs.
That is great.
Except that BTGuard VPN itself says that it keeps some form of personal information in its records that helps in billing processes.
The company will only do so if the subscriber himself or herself will give permission.
Here is the problem:
If BTGuard VPN is a zero-log policy VPN service provider then it shouldn’t matter if the user gives it permission to share data or not.
It shouldn’t have any in the first place.
This means BTGuard VPN is hiding something.
It probably keeps some form of connection logs.
In short, BTGuard VPN probably keeps usage logs.
What About Encryption?
As mentioned before, BTGuard VPN leaves the encryption duties to PPTP and OpenVPN.
PPTP isn’t great so there is no point in discussing its characteristics.
OpenVPN is indeed great.
So let’s discuss its encryption technologies.
BTGuard VPN uses blowfish-128 bit cipher on its data channel and keyed-hash message authentication code, or HMAC, Secure Hash Algorithm 1, or SHA1, for data authentication.
We can’t say that is a great setup.
But it matters little.
Because hackers can’t get to the data channel before they break into the control channel.
First hackers have to go through the Transport Layer Security connection.
Only then can they begin to work on the data channel.
So BTGuard VPN average data channel encryption isn’t really under threat even if hackers try to hack a particular user.
What about the TLS connection then?
It is encrypted with Advanced Encryption Standard, an AES-256 bit along with RSA 1028 bit handshake.
The TLS connection also comes with perfect forward secrecy thanks to the Diffie-Hellman Exchange.
But we’re living in the 21st century.
Now, encryption technologies such as RSA-1028 bit are not strong enough.
What does that mean for BTGuard VPN?
It means its encryption technologies are not up to the mark.
OpenVPN is a pretty secure protocol and many top VPN service providers have shown how to protect users with it.
And hence we come to the same conclusion in this category as well:
BTGuard VPN is too expensive what for what it offers.
What does it offer?
For now? A weak encryption technology.
What About The Official Website?
Unlikes its actual VPN service, the official BTGuard VPN website is slick.
It makes use of plenty of Flash animation to improve the overall experience.
But ultimately all it does is try to take the user away from the fact that it is not a decent VPN service.
BTGuard VPN has a black logo and a dark themed website.
The overall design gives a clear indication that BTGuard VPN employee professionals to do that job and create a good brand image.
But that’s only true as far as the homepage is concerned.
Perform a couple of clicks and you’ll find out that most of it is just a facade.
It is just a clever way to take advantage of new/naive customers.
You can clearly see evidence of that if you try to visit the FAQ and support pages.
They look ugly.
Sometimes we think that BTGuard VPN just wants to rob people off their money and nothing else.
Of course, not all VPN services are good or even decent.
But that doesn’t mean bad VPN services have to become thieves too.
The official website also has very little information on BTGuard VPN features.
That’s probably because it doesn’t have any.
But what is shown on the official website is more or less accurate.
Top VPN service providers do a lot more.
They have dedicated blogs which apprise customers and potential users with the latest developments in the VPN industry.
Sometimes they also talk about ways to increase user privacy.
The thing is, top VPN service providers are invested in the user AND their business.
Hence they try to keep their subscribers well informed about the latest happenings in the VPN industry.
BTGuard VPN only cares about business.
Or scam business?
We will not say that.
Right now, BTGuard VPN is as basic a VPN service that you are likely to come across.
The full VPN service from BTGuard VPN offers the following servers to all its subscribers in the following locations,
You guess it right.
BTGuard VPN only offers three servers.
As you can probably tell by yourself, that number of servers is horribly low.
And with the prices BTGuard VPN is charging, it is outright fraud.
Besides, it doesn’t have any servers in important locations such as the US or the UK and many other strategically important places around the globe.
BTGuard VPN charges its customers insane prices.
Its subscription packages cost more than even some of the best VPN service providers in the market today.
And for that money, it gives you three serves which is atrociously limited.
At this point in time, we’re finding it hard to not label BTGuard VPN as a rip off company.
But we’ll wait will the conclusion section of this BTGuard VPN review to confirm that.
For now, the most you need to know is that BTGuard VPN only has three locations for its servers.
These locations/countries are as follows,
Why do we say that locations such as these are not very useful?
We say that because these places don’t have any unlocking value.
To put it another way, you can’t switch your location to Singapore to watch BBC iPlayer.
For that, you need a VPN server located in the UK.
You can’t watch US Netflix either because BTGuard VPN doesn’t have a US server.
With that said, of course, some people will want to use these three locations.
To them we say, that’s alright.
BTGuard VPN is a fairly rudimentary VPN service when it comes to customer support as well.
The only way you can contact its staff via a ticket-based email system.
We’ll mention here, again, that BTGuard VPN is not an economical VPN service.
It is expensive.
But it doesn’t provide anything that we usually associate with expensive VPN service providers.
Most of the best VPN service providers offer live chat and 24-7 customer support.
But BTGuard VPN doesn’t.
While top VPN service providers take a few hours to respond to your query, BTGuard VPN says on its website that users should allow for three days for a response.
Some reviewers have reported that the service’s ticketing system even gives errors which is unheard of if we’re talking about mildly good VPN service providers.
In other words, don’t expect them to respond to you if you happen to send them a query.
BTGuard VPN customer support is lazy and unprofessional.
But it doesn’t care.
It just wants to charge you an exorbitant price for a very poor, borderline-fraud, VPN service.
Installation And User Interface
Probably the one thing BTGuard VPN does right is the signup process form.
And it makes sense.
It does want your money so, might as well, make it easy right?
You only need an email address along with some payment details to sign up for the service.
It accepts PayPal along with credit card and debit card as its payment options.
Just recently the company also added Bitcoin as a payment method which is great if you want more anonymity.
AS far as the VPN app goes, we say that the OpenVPN 2.4.1 and above have excellent features.
Because OpenVPN app can now protect users against DNS leaks (including IPv6, that is Internet Protocol version 6).
The new OpenVPN also protects users against WebRTC leaks (WebRTC standards for Web Real-Time Communication).
In other words, the OpenVPN VPN app can hold its own against some above-average dedicated VPN apps.
But BTGuard VPN doesn’t even take advantage of that.
Because even if you install OpenVPN correctly and configure its TAP driver properly, BTGuard VPN would not connect.
You can try to reinstall the whole thing again and BTGuard VPN is likely to not work even then.
That is, if you’re using the latest version of OpenVPN app.
If you install the older version then BTGuard VPN is likely to work.
Look for version 220.127.116.111 or earlier ones.
The older version of OpenVPN app is stable but it doesn’t have all those features we just mentioned above.
And it is sad.
With the older version of OpenVPN, you can expect plenty of ip leaks.
To check them out for yourself, you can go to websites like ipleak.net.
The company has some serious problems with .ovpn files.
Of course, you can always ask their support staff about why the service does not work with the newer version of OpenVPN.
Don’t expect a response though.
Once you install the OpenVPN software, then you must also download the BTGuard VPN .ovpn files from the official website.
You can find those in the download area of the official website.
After you download them, you must extract them.
And then you need to import them to the OpenVPN app.
There is an import feature in the app to help you with that.
Or you can just go to program files, and then to OpenVPN, and then to config if you are using Windows.
The process is simple but not easy.
In such a situation, a decent VPN service provider would guide the users on how to get its service to work.
Not BTGuard VPN.
However, one you get the .vpn files and configure them and install the OpenVPN app, then the matter of VPN connection is really easy.
Just perform a right click on the OpenVPN app icon on your desktop and run it as administrator.
Then right-click on a VPN server and hit connect.
After doing that, the app will ask you for a username and password.
So, you should go ahead and comply.
After the installation process is finished and you have connected to a VPN server, you should see the OpenVPN system tray icon.
If you right-click this system tray icon that appears in the bottom right corner of your screen if you’re using Windows, then you can access more options.
You can also use the Connect button in the smartphone app.
When you connect to a VPN server successfully, the icon will turn to green.
This is an indication that everything is working fine.
Again, don’t forget to use ipleak.net to test DNS leaks.
BTGuard VPN doesn’t have its own VPN app.
It requires the user to make use of OpenVPN software app, which is a third-party software, to connect to its three servers.
You can download the OpenVPN app fairly easily.
Because it is available on Google Play Store if you want the Android version.
If you want the Mac version or want to run BTGuard VPN service on an iOS device, then you can via iTunes.
For Windows, you’ll have to download the official OpenVPN app from the OpenVPN website.
Thankfully, you don’t have to search for any of the links mentioned above since BTGuard VPN provides them to you on its official website.
Right now, you should remember that BTGuard VPN doesn’t have any dedicated apps.
So we can’t say much about BTGuard VPN compatibility features.
It uses the open source OpenVPN app and consequently gets to use all its features.
Testing BTGuard VPN is a chore because it regularly DOES NOT WANT to connect.
To correctly test a VPN service provider you must test it multiple times and then average out the results.
You should also change servers on each test.
The best way is to first perform a test via the US server, then the UK server and then a server from another country (of your choice).
But you can’t do that in BTGuard VPN case because it doesn’t have any servers in those countries.
To bypass this problem, you can use the Canada server as the BTGuard server and test it with a US test server.
Test Singapore from a Singapore test server.
And then use a UK test server to TEST the VPN server in Netherlands.
You should always expect some speed drop because data has to travel some extra miles when you use a VPN service.
BTGuard VPN is slow.
It causes massive speed drops.
And it does that on all its servers.
Of course, we are saying that even when we know that VPN service providers to decrease speeds.
But even speaking relatively, BTGuard VPN is slow.
Expect DNS and WebRTC leaks if you are using an older version of OpenVPN app with BTGuard VPN.
If you want to know which services we look to testing purposes, then these are the two sites we regularly relate too while we research VPN services,
- Takes advantage of OpenVPN encryption methods
- Has a proxy service
- No dedicated VPN apps
- Low number of VPN servers
- Insanely expensive for what it offers
- Uses OpenVPN handshake which is weak
- Non-existent customer support
- Doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer or Netflix
BTGuard VPN has a lot of experience under its belt.
But it doesn’t take advantage of it.
It is based in Canada but doesn’t do the country any justice because of its low quality.
If we’re talking about respectable VPN service providers, then BTGuard VPN isn’t it.
It fails to connect on a regular basis.
Moreover, its website is only as good as getting the customers to pay for a crappy VPN service.
Did we mention that BTGuard VPN is expensive?
And is not worth the money?
The best VPN service providers offer more than 50 countries for VPN server location and connection.
BTGuard VPN has three.
Which is poor.
Couple that with a poor encryption technology along with zero dedicated apps, and you have a VPN service who has no idea what it is doing.
As far as compatibility options go, BTGuard VPN doesn’t have any.
Because it doesn’t have any apps.
So the question of compatibility doesn’t even make sense.
On the other hand, it’s customer support does nothing differently.
In other words, it too is poor.
BTGuard VPN is probably the worst VPN service in the market today.
And we don’t recommend BTGuard VPN to anyone.
If you’re serious about online protection then give IPVanish a try.
It is our highest ranked VPN service.
Go here to read its full review.[rwp-review id=”0″]