TorGuard (which, despite its name, actually has nothing to do with TOR or the deep web) is a VPN lauded for its substantial server network and powerful torrenting support. But with such a wide range of options when it comes to internet privacy, is TorGuard really the best option?
The following review will serve as a complete guide to the VPN.
Server Speeds & Network
Using a VPN automatically decreases your internet speed. This is due to the VPN adding multiple extra steps to how your devices get online.
TorGuard claims to offer ultra-fast speeds due to their large server network.
Is this claim true? Sort of. Testing by multiple sources has shown that drops in download speed are rarely big enough to warrant concern, but in some specific cases (such as when using tunnelling protocols, excluding WireGuard), TorGuard refused connections altogether.
This is a problem that, to our knowledge, no other VPN has had (at least to such a degree).
If you’re looking for a VPN and don’t intend on using any other protocols, TorGuard’s speeds are occasionally the highest on the market. But if your requirements are a little more advanced, this might not be the VPN for you.
It goes without saying that if you’re using a VPN, privacy is your utmost priority. A shady provider could end up with a huge amount of insights into what you do online, and could use that information in unethical ways.
They are adamant that their only revenue comes from subscription sales, and they make no money from selling user data.
While we have no reason to believe any of this isn’t true, it’s worth noting that unlike some other VPN companies, TorGuard does not publish audits for its customers. Other companies use these audits in order to reassure their customers of their privacy.
As well as not publishing audit results, TorGuard also doesn’t provide transparency reports, or a warrant canary.
While publicly published audits and transparency reports are rarely completely accurate, they do show that a company is prioritizing their customers’ concerns in regards to privacy.
Generally, TorGuard doesn’t do a very good job of detailing how they protect their customers’ privacy. Considering the vast amounts of valuable data VPNs could potentially be handling, a company merely saying what they don’t do isn’t really good enough.
Other companies, like Mullvad VPN, are far more transparent about their operations. Without evidence to back up their claims, we wouldn’t blame users for not simply trusting TorGuard’s vague statements regarding customer privacy.
Regardless, though, TorGuard does have some handy features when it comes to protecting your privacy. These include built-in DNS and IPv6 leak protection and an STunnel obfuscation feature.
This helps users hide that they are using a VPN, and is ideal for avoiding censorship and bypassing VPN bans.
TorGuard also gives users a lot of freedom when it comes to encryption, giving you full control over your preferred encryption method and protocol.
TorGuard can be downloaded for Mac, Windows, iOS, Linux, and Android. There are also browser extensions available for Chrome and Firefox.
For the Windows version (and the assumption is that each version is mostly the same) you can use the default settings for the least hassle, but there are also some expert-level options that are quite out of the ordinary, like choosing which TAP driver you want to install.
This won’t apply to most users, so may cause confusion, but simply clicking ‘Next’ should get you where you need to go.
Upon first opening the application, users are often given a very poorly written warning dialogue box, alerting users that “setting the DNS… ‘at application start’… ‘while establishing VPN connection’ is not recommended and will be removed in the near future.
Please disable them selecting ‘None’ and keep only the selection… “when VPN is connected”’. As we said… yeah. As dialogue boxes go, it really couldn’t be any more poorly written or displayed.
When picking your location, there is a range of options to help your choice be as specific as possible. Filters like continent, distance from the user, and how often you’ve used a location are very helpful in allowing the user to get the most out of their connection.
One of TorGuard’s strengths is its wide array of features. These include 55 countries, over 3000 servers, 5 simultaneous connections, torrenting, an anonymous IP address, and OpenVPN, PPTP, iKEV2, IPsec, and SSTP protocols.
OpenVPN tends to be the most recommended, but if you do want to switch to another, it’s easily done.
As well as this, you can use AES-256 encryption. When it comes to strong protection, this is the industry standard. Other options are also available, but 256 is probably your safest option.
In order to avoid having to turn off and on your VPN every time you use the internet, TorGuard has the option to have your internet turned off completely whenever TorGuard isn’t running.
The ‘Tor’ in the name refers to one of TorGuard’s strengths: torrenting. This VPN supports person to person file sharing on every server within its network. TorGuard VPN is the most recommended for efficient torrenting, but there are other options available.
TorGuard is compatible with uTorrent, BitTorrent, qBittorrent, Vuze, and many more.
Port forwarding is also supported. This feature can improve the transfer rate of the files you are torrenting.
Value For Money
TorGuard’s prices are higher than a lot of VPN providers, but with so many features on offer, they’re fairly reasonable.
Some features, though- important ones- require additional fees in order to unlock access to them. One example of this is if you want to use a TorGuard IP address to stream on a site like Netflix, this will mean another fee that you’ll have to pay monthly.
Other add-on services include support for more simultaneous devices, access to a 10-Gbit network, as well as dedicated IPs for streaming and sports.
There are three services available to buy, including the Proxy service, the VPN service, and the Email service. There is also a bundle that includes all three.
- The VPN service includes unlimited speeds, unlimited bandwidth, up to 5 simultaneous connections, OpenVPN/SSTP/L2TP/IPsec, OpenConnect SSL based VPN, TorGuard Stealth Proxy, over 3000 servers in more than 50 countries, free 24/7 support, and no logs are kept.
- The Email services includes unlimited mail storage, secure G/PGP encryption, MITM attack protection, offshore email storage, two-factor authorization, no header IP disclosure, perfect forward secrecy, secure email deletion, and no logs are kept.
- The bundle includes every feature of all three services, as well as anonymous VPN access and anonymous PROXY access.
With all of these services, there are different lengths of subscription plans, and the longer the plan, the more money you’ll save. Each plan comes with a 7-day money back guarantee, and if you do request a refund, your money is usually refunded within a few hours.
When it comes to customer support, TorGuard excels. Not only are there email tickets and a toll-free phone number, but you also have access to 24/7 live chat support. The representatives of the live chat tend to respond within just a few minutes, and the team is knowledgeable and friendly.
Most of your queries will be answered by the live chat team, but if your problem is a little more complicated, you’ll probably have to open an email ticket. This will allow you to include as many details as you need, and attach screenshots as well.
In terms of UX, there’s plenty of room for improvement here. The app’s interface is very vague when it comes to selecting a server. There’s no indication of which server will be the fastest for the user, and there’s also no auto select feature.
It at first also seems like you are required to log in every single time you connect to a server, but there is a ‘remember my information’ option, albeit quite hidden. The app is also reasonably buggy compared to competing services.
Overall, TorGuard definitely has lots of potential, and there are a lot of useful features on offer.
However, it can be a little too buggy for comfort, and the additional charges for services you would’ve hoped would be part of the original price are quite steep- especially considering the original price is quite steep in the first place.
As impressive as the customer support may be, there’s only so much they can do if you’re facing regular issues, and for some users this can unfortunately often be the case with TorGuard.
Until the multiple issues are addressed (or the price gets lower!), we can’t recommend TorGuard that highly over other VPNs.