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TorGuard Review 2021 – How Good Is This VPN Really?

In the face of increasing cyber threats, internet restrictions and privacy issues escalated by enemies of internet freedom, virtual private networks (or VPNs) are becoming exceedingly important accessories to our daily lives. If you’re looking for total web anonymity and an open internet without restriction, TorGuard is one of the best VPNs to choose from on the market.

TorGuard is a United States-based VPN service primarily designed with torrent/P2P users in mind. The company does not keep logs, has decent speed and offers military-grade encryption across all its platforms. It also comes with pre-configured free torrent clients that are compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS X, Ubuntu and Linux.

TorGuard Homepage Image Screenshot

The following review will cover everything this service has to offer. We’ll discuss its security capabilities, logging policies, speed, prices, customer service, and more.

According to our tests, this VPN provider has not reached the same standard as the industry leader, IPVanish.

Features

An image featuring information about the TorGuard Anonymous VPN service

TorGuard provides an anonymous BitTorrent proxy service that supports SOCKS5 for users on peer-to-peer networks. The company also enables PPTP, 256-bit OpenVPN and LT2P security protocols and has pre-configured torrent clients for all major operating systems.

TorGuard’s VPN service offers unlimited bandwidth and speeds, unlimited server switching and up to eight simultaneous connections per account. The company has more than 3,000 servers in over 52 countries, in addition to strong military-grade encryption across all platforms.

Also, TorGuard’s anonymous email service guarantees you total secrecy on the web. It supports PGP encryption, offers unlimited mail storage complete with an offshore storage facility, and protects against man-in-the-middle attacks. It has customized mobile features such as calendars and completely obscures your device’s IP address.

Note:

Despite its name, TorGuard doesn’t have any relation to The Tor Project, developers of the popular Tor browser and network.

In the following TorGuard review, we’ll cover all of the features this service provider has to offer. But we want to start by mentioning its tools to prevent VPN blocking—mainly OpenVPN obfuscation along with Shadowsocks, OpenConnect and Stunnel. The company now has custom-built applications for all major platforms and even sells VPN routers. You can find instructions for the installation of these devices on TorGuard’s website.

But in terms of offering you something new that no other VPN service offers, there isn’t much to talk about. TorGuard has made significant strides in offering a more comprehensive WireGuard protocol via its desktop and mobile apps. Now it supports WireGuard on Linux, macOS and Windows. It also offers its own WireGuard protocol on iOS and Android applications.

An image featuring a person holding out their hand with a plus sign representing features concept

TorGuard is also popular for its add-ons, which can boost the service’s streaming capabilities. It even offers residential IP addresses for several countries, including the U.S. Such IPs are great for customers who want to unblock anything and everything at all times. You will have to pay a small sum of money on top of your subscription, though.

Pay the company around $7.99 per month on top of your VPN subscription and you can access its 10 Gbit premium network. It is faster than the regular network and offers, according to TorGuard, consistently great performance in terms of speed when you connect to servers in Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. However, the company cautions that each user would have a different experience with the premium network and may not get better speeds when compared to the company’s standard VPN network because of the inherently chaotic nature of the internet and the client-side setup.

TorGuard offers a seven-day free trial to new users. According to this page on its website, TorGuard will offer a 30-day free trial to users who already have a VPN subscription with another service provider—as long as they cancel their current subscription and send TorGuard the email address they used for the other service.

However, since TorGuard wants you to send proof you canceled service from your current provider, you can potentially expose more personal information.

TorGuard says it will verify if the information you have sent is legitimate. However, it doesn’t go into details about how it would verify your account. As mentioned above, cancel your old subscription and then send TorGuard the proof, and then if TorGuard is able to verify that, you get the 30 days of free TorGuard VPN. You can use any plan as a part of the free trial.

While that does seem generous, TorGuard should consider employing less-intrusive methods to give people a 30-day free trial of their service. Not to mention, the current procedure is also pretty bothersome.

Either way, you can take advantage of TorGuard’s seven-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the service within the allotted time period.

Servers

TorGuard server locations

It is important to consider the availability of VPN servers before deciding on a VPN provider. Having many VPN servers in strategic locations enables you to unblock restricted sites and bypass geo-restrictions in many parts of the world.

For instance, to unblock Netflix, HBO or Hulu from outside the U.S., you need a VPN provider with U.S.-based servers. Providers with very few VPN servers may also impact your connection speed due to traffic congestion on their servers.

Note:

TorGuard is one of the few companies with over 3,000 servers distributed across more the 50 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands, Canada, Romania, Switzerland and Russia, to name a few. They allow you unlimited server switching to use thousands of their virtual IP addresses to conceal your identity on the internet.

The fact that it offers so many servers in the U.S. and European Union means that you should have no trouble experiencing the internet as people living in these regions do.

Security Protocols

When it comes to choosing a VPN, virtual tunneling technology (known as VPN protocols) is a key selling point. VPN providers that employ sophisticated virtual tunneling technology coupled with strong encryption are always preferred by VPN subscribers, and rightly so—one should always take this seriously.

Security-wise, TorGuard supports the following protocols:

  • WireGuard
  • OpenVPN
  • PPTP
  • L2TP
  • IKEV2
  • Cisco IPSec
  • SSTP
  • SSH

These are the most sought-after internet security standards worldwide. In addition, TorGuard offers its customs SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies for total privacy on the web.

TorGuard also ranked high in our charts for the level of encryption employed across its platforms.

The company offers different levels of encryption, starting from 128-bit up to 1024-bit encryption. By default, TorGuard offers 256-bit encryption in all devices, except where OpenVPN is not supported and a lower 128-bit P2PT encryption is used.

Logging and Privacy Policy

An image featuring a person using his laptop with cool features in front of it representing logging and privacy policy concept

Before subscribing to a VPN, carefully go through the privacy agreement and understand the provider’s logging policy. Some VPN providers keep logs of your web activities, and such information could be handed over to law enforcement agents on demand. The fact that you’re using a VPN means you want to browse the web anonymously, free of anyone who can watch over your activities—whether it be a cybercriminal, a third-party advertiser or surveillance entities like the National Security Agency. It’s important to choose a VPN provider that does not keep logs and has no history of collaboration with the authorities.

TorGuard does not keep logs or track your online activities on any of their platforms. The only personal information TorGuard keeps is your name, email address and other details you provide during sign up. This implies even a legitimate court order to hand in users’ logs is useless because the data does not exist in the first place. One thing worth stating here is, the company doesn’t have a history of collaborating with authorities or creating backdoor access in their databases.

We already know that the vast majority of VPN services in the market today have picture-perfect privacy policy documents. And sure enough, TorGuard says that it does not log or collect any data via its VPN or proxy services. But the real question is: How much of the privacy policy page tells the truth?

There is no way for us or any other publication to know if TorGuard is telling the truth. And the only way to know if TorGuard or any other VPN service is being truthful about its logging policies is for the product to undergo an independent public audit. And since TorGuard hasn’t done that, we will just have to trust its word for now unless they prove otherwise.

Note:

TorGuard does offer plenty of options for enhancing the privacy of its users, especially if the user has some knowledge about basic privacy terms. TorGuard comes with a good number of obfuscation and stealth options that help users get connected no matter where they are.

These tools should work even in countries that block VPN services or keep a strict eye on VPN traffic. The first of these privacy tools is the encryption algorithm that TorGuard allows you to choose. You can also choose the authentication method and port number.

Furthermore, you get to avail yourself options for changing the authentication method. You can use AES 256-bit along with SHA 512-bit, SHA 256-bit, SHA1 and GCM/CBC algorithms.

To further protect user privacy, TorGuard provides built-in protection from DNS, IPV6 and WebRTC leaks. There is also a kill switch feature that disconnects your computer/device from the internet if it detects a drop in your VPN connection.

Again, to avail most of the options available for protecting your privacy, you will first need to understand the terms or spend some time with the app itself and set privacy options according to your own preferences.

TorGuard also tries to enhance privacy protections by offering a feature in the Windows client where the VPN app launches automatically once the user opens up a specific app. Then, it closes itself automatically once the user closes the specific app. That ensures perfect privacy without a click of a single button. But we’ll mention it for the third time, your own knowledge of how privacy tools work and your experience with them will count for a lot.

TorGuard can protect your privacy pretty well if you know how to take advantage of all available privacy tools and set them up. If you are looking for help, you won’t get much. And that is where beginner VPN users may move away from TorGuard since many other elite VPNs offer a much simpler and streamlined VPN experience.

Pricing and Packages

TorGuard subscription prices

TorGuard offers four subscription packages: BitTorrent Anonymous VPN, Business VPN, Streaming Bundle and Anonymous Email.

The Anonymous VPN package priced at $9.99 per month is their main product. The package is primarily designed for BitTorrent users and comes with unlimited bandwidth and BitTorrent optimization. It offers eight simultaneous connections so you can connect all your devices.

Business VPN is the standard VPN service for businesses, priced at $32.99 per month. It comes with strong encryption and hundreds of VPN servers to route your internet traffic.

The Streaming Bundle costs $21.98 per month and grants access to the proxy, VPN and email services. As its name suggests, this option is ideal for users who enjoy using VPNs to access streaming services from outside of their home country.

Finally, TorGuard’s Anonymous Email service offers unlimited mail storage and protection against man-in-the-middle attacks at only $8.95 per month.

All TorGuard packages have monthly, quarterly and yearly plan options. The VPN company has flexible payment methods as well, including credit card, Google Checkout, PayPal, Bitcoin and OKPay.

Installation and Apps

After you have signed up for your preferred subscription plan, all you need to do is head to the Downloads section of TorGuard’s website. From there, you can find links to all the apps TorGuard offers for various platforms and operating systems. There’s also setup instructions available for new users.

If you don’t want to install a VPN app on your system now, TorGuard also offers browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome.

Most users will download the Windows client based on how widely used the operating system is. When you do so, keep in mind that you may see some advanced options during the installation process. TorGuard even gives you the option to install your preferred version of the TAP driver, if at all. But don’t be intimidated since you can always go ahead with the tried and test method of clicking “Next” until you get to “Done.” The default settings should work fine for you even if you don’t understand half of them.

As far as the Windows app itself is concerned, it is fairly conservative. The user interface is as standard as they come, and it doesn’t go out of its way to make it easy for you to connect to the server you want. The Windows app doesn’t have the automatic option that some VPNs use to automatically connect to the server that is closest to the user’s location. The app allows you to filter its list of servers by continent or distance, but it doesn’t allow you to search for a country.

Newbies might find the interface a bit cluttered as well since the app doesn’t do a good job of hiding advanced information such as cipher, tunnel enable/disable, port/auth and tunnel type. Ignoring the slightly intimidating user interface, the user only has to press the “Connect” button to actually connect to a server.

If it is the first time you are using TorGuard, your Windows Defender protection may put out a security warning. You will have to click the “Allow Access” button to make the TorGuard app work properly. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it is something you don’t often see with elite VPNs.

An image featuring the TorGuard App being connected to United States VPN

TorGuard app will take its time to connect to any server. Sometimes, protocols such as OpenConnect and/or WireGuard may not work for you, but for the most part, you’ll get a connection. The app could have done a better job of hiding information such as remote IPs, local IPs, cipher, protocol, HMAC, PFS/TLS and actually showing what the user really needs to see, including simple status information such as connection strength, load and IP address.

Note:

One other problem we encountered while using the Windows app was that it doesn’t allow you to do anything if you are connected to a server. You have to disconnect in order to go to settings or change servers or, as mentioned before, do anything. TorGuard does make up for such shortcomings by offering a detailed Settings menu with lots of customization options and privacy tools.

One other feature that very few VPNs apart from TorGuard offer is the ability to use several DNS providers such as Quad9, Google, Level3, OpenDNS and Cloudflare. You can also refresh the local DNS cache, recover your session’s DNS state, and/or save it, along with other options.

If there is a script you want to run before getting connected and after getting disconnected, then TorGuard can do that for you. The kill switch feature in the Windows client is also very configurable.

An image featuring the TorGuard Settings in the General tab

The mobile apps can compete with the desktop TorGuard app. There is an option for always-on connections, as well as a kill switch. A pause/resume feature allows users to turn the VPN on or off when they connect to a specific WiFi network or mobile service.

An image featuring the TorGuard Settings in the Network tab

As mentioned before, TorGuard will not win any awards for app usability. But it certainly would when it comes to customizing privacy tools and offering a number of different features.

Speed

An image featuring a cool speed concept with lights

Speed test results vary widely based on your internet connection, the day, the time, your current location and the server you connect to. Accordingly, just because a service is fast or slow for us doesn’t mean it will be for you as well.

With that said, our tests show that VPN TorGuard will slow down your internet connection speed by around 10% if you connect to a server in the U.S. or U.K. (on a different day, we experience download speed reduction up to 90%). It doesn’t hit the upload speed that much. During our testing, our ping time went from 2 ms to 1500 ms. So, that is something to keep in mind.

Again, your results will differ depending on server load and the general condition of your internet connection.

Questions about TorGuard speed will always lead to questions about whether its servers (on the Windows, iOS and Android apps) work to access Netflix. The answer is, it doesn’t. But that can change at any given time. For now, there is no way to make TorGuard work with Netflix on a consistent basis, we found.

Compatibility

An image featuring the compatibility information from the TorGuard VPN

With the advancement of the Internet of Things, most devices we have in our homes and offices are internet-enabled, ranging from smart TVs to IP cameras to baby monitors. It is, therefore, necessary to consider a VPN’s device compatibility before settling on a VPN provider. Everyone wants a VPN that is compatible with most, if not all, of their devices.

Luckily, TorGuard is a one-stop-shop in terms of device compatibility. TorGuard runs smoothly on all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS X and Ubuntu. TorGuard is also compatible with all Android and iOS smartphones. The company has a VPN router store with TorGuard pre-configured devices such as Android TV boxes, Apple TV, Boxee, Buffalo, and more.

Customer Support

An image featuring the customer support information from the TorGuard VPN

Not everyone is tech-savvy, and some people may require help around computers. VPN technology could be complicated for starters, and you may need customer support assistance to set it up, resolve compatibility issues and troubleshoot network problems.

TorGuard recognizes this fact and offers around-the-clock customer support through a live chat on the website, as well as an active emailing service. The live chat is only active during typical working hours, but the email service is active throughout. All you need is to enter your name email address and your queries will be answered as soon as possible. We got a response within an hour when we tried it out.

Additionally, TorGuard has the most documented step-by-step guides on how to set up and configure their VPN clients and troubleshoot compatibility and network problems. The company provides detailed tutorials on manual configuration, which are available for subscribers in the form of downloadable videos and PDFs.

Conclusion: TorGuard VPN Review

We conclude our TorGuard VPN review after carefully analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the service. In a nutshell, TorGuard scores high in terms of strong encryption, the number of available VPN servers, support for torrent clients and P2P networks, and compatibility with many devices and operating systems.

On the downside, TorGuard VPN lacks when it comes to fast speed, user experience design and customer support availability (with limited live chat service hours).

All the same, TorGuard is an above-average VPN provider that is worth trying. Their anonymous email services and compatibility with many devices make TorGuard a good option for anyone that isn’t too big on user experience.

TorGuard Pros

  • Over 3,000 servers VPN worldwide
  • Documented installation for all major devices and operating systems
  • Offers a decent Windows client
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Supports anonymous P2P sharing
  • Affordable prices in all their packages
  • Dedicated IP address is available
  • Flexible payment methods, including Bitcoin
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • 8 simultaneous connections

TorGuard Cons

  • Does not offer OpenVPN client for iOS users
  • Speed is just above average
  • The live chat customer support is offline after typical U.S. working hours
  • Although TorGuard does not keep logs, they may collect too much private information during sign-up
  • Dedicated IP address option requires extra fee
6.3 / 10 Overall Rating by Author
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 10 Users (1 vote)
Price6.5
Features4.5
Security5.5
Help & Support6.5
Trustworthiness8.5
Speed6.5
Highlighted Pros
  • Over 3,000 servers VPN worldwide
  • Documented installation for all major devices and operating systems
  • Offers a decent Windows client
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Supports anonymous P2P sharing
  • Affordable prices in all their packages
  • Dedicated IP address is available
  • Flexible payment methods, including Bitcoin
  • 8 simultaneous connections
Highlighted Cons
  • Does not offer OpenVPN client for iOS users
  • Speed is just above average
  • The live chat customer support is offline after typical U.S. working hours
  • Although TorGuard does not keep logs, they may collect too much private information during sign-up
  • Dedicated IP address option requires extra fee
Review Summary
TorGuard Smart DNS offers a reliable alternative to VPN, when your needs are summed to unblocking geographically restricted content. With truly fast speed and unlimited bandwidth, amazing compatibility and fabulous support, TorGuard DNS is a decent choice – on the downside, there is lack of encryption or any other security option and the fact that only one device can be used at a time.
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Lawrence Mwangi Lawrence is a technology and business reporter. He has freelanced for a number of tech sites and magazines. He is a web-enthusiast, with a special interest in Online security, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. When not writing about tech he can be found in a Tennis court or on a chess board.
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