TorGuard Review

Lets begin this review with a look at the services TorGuard offers.  They have a VPN service to protect your complete privacy by encrypting all of your internet traffic and sending it through a secure tunnel for those who want total anonymity.  The also have a BitTorrent proxy that will let you anonymously BitTorrent in private by encrypting only torrent traffic, and an encrypted email service based on PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) which will stop others from snooping through your email.

TorGuard

Pricing and Special Offers

TorGuard provides a number of services including VPN, proxy, and encrypted email. Let us take a closer look at at of these.

Anonymous VPN Service

TorGuard’s primary privacy service is their Anonymous VPN.  With over 1200 servers in 42 different countries, their VPN will help you keep anonymous when browsing the internet no matter where you happen to be in the world.  It has no bandwidth limits so you can use it all you want without worry.  You can use it on up to five simultaneous devices so you should have no trouble using it on all the devices that you want.  Additionally, you can use it on your router which will give encrypted access to all the devices attached to it with a single connection.  Finally, they offer a free 10 MB encrypted email account with all VPN subscriptions.

They cover not only the common protocols like PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and OpenVPN, but also many more specialized ones like SSTP and IKEv2.  The TorGuard service has  stealth VPN to overcome firewalls like those found in China and Iran.  They give you one free TG Viscosity software license. Finally, as you might expect, the TorGuard VPN is extremely P2P and torrent friendly.

TorGuard VPN pricing

As you can see above, TorGuard markets their VPN as a single offering using four different subscription term lengths.  The term lengths include one month, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually.  They offer increasing discounts on longer term plans.  The plans start out at $9.99 a month but you can get a year of their service for just $59.99.  This works out to just $4.99 a month which is almost like getting 6 months of their Anonymous VPN service for free.

TorGuard accepts over 80 payment options including Bitcoin, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal.  They also make it easy to pay with cash from anywhere in the world by accepting payments from Union Pay, Alipay, Paysafecard, CashU, Bank Transfer, WebMoney, iDeal, Boleto and others.  Additionally, they take gift cards from Subway, CVS, Burger King, Dollar General and Circle K in the USA and Canada.  As you can see, they have many ways to pay for their services and many of them will allow you a higher degree of  anonymity.

Anonymous BitTorrent Proxy

In addition to their primary offering, TorGuard also has an proxy service for those who wish to only anonymize their torrent activity.  It too includes unlimited bandwidth so you can enjoy it without usage concerns.  Their proxy supports most popular torrent clients like uTorrent, qBitTorrent, vuse, Deluge, and many others.  It includes software which is easy to install on any OS including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.  You can have up to five simultaneous connections using over 200 IPs.  Their proxy includes SOCKS5 AND HTTP support and works with any OS.  It will let you route any program that supports proxy through servers in eight different countries including Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US.

TorGuard proxy pricing

TorGuard’s Anonymous Torrent proxy is marketed similarly to the VPN service as a single package with four different term lengths. You can get a month of their proxy for $5.95 and a year for $46.95.  This means you can enjoy their Anonymous Proxy from just $3.91 a month which is like getting four months free.

Anonymous Email Service

Finally, TorGuard offers an encrypted email service to help to completely protect your valuable messages from prying ISPs and other eyes.  Their paid plans offer unlimited offshore email storage.  They use the OpenPGP (Open Pretty Good Privacy) which is commonly believed to be unbreakable by brute force.  Basically it encrypts the email you send using a public key but the email can only be decrypted using the private key of the user it is sent to.  This lets you exchange messages securely with anyone whose email also supports OpenPGP.

TorGuard email pricing

Similarly to its other offerings, TorGuard’s Anonymous Email comes in term plans.  You can subscribe to a month of secure email for $6.95 or get a year of the service for $49.95.  This works out to just $4.16 a month.  In addition to the paid service, they provide a complementary 10 MB secure email account with their VPN subscriptions.

Risk Free Trial Period

Although TorGuard does not offer a free trial for any of their services, they do have a 7-day complete satisfaction guarantee.  This gives you ample time to review the service.  If you are not 100% satisfied with the TorGuard.net VPN, proxy, or email service, they will gladly refund your payment if the request is made within seven days of the purchase date and you have not exceeded 10 GB of usage.  No refunds will be offered after seven days.  Refunds will be made in US dollars at the current exchange rate for those who pay by Bitcoin.

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TorGuard Network and Server Locations

TorGuard has over 1250 servers in 42+ countries all over the world.  All of their servers have gigabit or better port speeds and they support port forwarding.  To take advantage of their port forwarding, simply make a request to open your port on the location of your choice.  You can then manage the port from your account.

CountriesServersProtocolsLog Policy
431200+OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, IPsec, SSTPNo Logs

A list of the countries and cities that they have VPN servers in includes the following:

  • Africa
    • Egypt, Cairo; Saudi Arabia, Riyadh; South Africa, Johannesburg; Tunisia, Tunis; Turkey, Istanbul
  • Asia
    • China, Beijing (Stealth); Hong Kong, Hong Kong; India, New Delhi; Japan, Tokyo (Stealth); Singapore, Singapore (Stealth); Korea, Republic of Incheon; Malaysia, Kuala Lumur; Vietnam, Binh Thanh
  • Europe
    • Belgium, Roosdaal; Czech Republic, Prague; Denmark, Lyngby; Finland, Helsinki; France, Paris
    • Germany: Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremburg
    • Greece, Athens, Hungary, Budapest; Iceland, Reykjavic; Ireland, Waterford; Italy, Milan; Latvia, Riga; Luxembourg, Steinsel; Moldova, Chisinau; the Netherlands, Amsterdam (Stealth); Norway, Oslo; Poland, Gdynia; Portugal, Porto; Romania, Bucharest
    • Russian Federation: Moscow, Saint Petersburg
    • Spain, Valencia;
    • Sweden: Hudiksvall, Stockholm
    • Switzerland, Zurich
    • United Kingdom, Hampshire, London (Stealth)
    • Ukraine, Kremenchuk
  • North America
    • United States:  Asia Optimized (Stealth), Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles (Stealth),  Miami, New Jersey,  New York, Phoenix, Seattle
    • Canada: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver
  • Oceana
    • Australia, Melbourne, Sydney
    • Indonesia, Jakarta; New Zealand, Auckland
  • South/Central America
    • Mexico, Mexico City; Panama, Panama City; Costa Rica, Sane Jose; Brazil, Sao Paulo

These servers support a wide range of applications including downloading torrents, high speed streaming, and secure and anonymous web browsing.  While downloading torrent files will work on most servers, some are not optimized for P2P and some are reserved for streaming services.  Therefore for the best performance, it is recommended that downloading torrents and P2P be made from the following locations:

  • Canada; Costa Rica; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Finland; Iceland; Indonesia; Luxembourg; Malasia; Mexico; Moldova; Netherlands; Norway; Panama; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Sweden; Switzerland; Tunisia; Turkey

Privacy and Security

TorGuard has a No Log privacy policy.  They do not log any usage information from either their VPN or Proxy subscribers.  They separate their payment information system from the other services that they offer. They do not share information with third parties about their network or its users.  Their stand on your personal privacy is summarized by the following excerpts from their privacy policy.

TorGuard.net does not store or log any traffic or usage from its Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Proxy.

TorGuard collects personally identifiable information from Users through online forms for ordering products and services. We may also collect information about how Users use our Web site, for example, by tracking the number of unique views received by the pages of the Web site or the domains from which Users originate. We use “cookies” to track how Users use our Web site

At no time will TorGuard’s database of users ever be sold to any entity for the purpose of marketing or mailing lists. Personal information will not be sold or otherwise transferred to our business partners without your prior consent, except that we will disclose the information we collect to third parties when, in our good faith judgment, we are obligated to do so under applicable laws.

Their privacy policy, as well as, the fact that you can use many payment options that will allow you a higher degree of anonymity illustrate TorGuard’s commitment to your personal privacy.

As for the security of your internet information and browsing habits, TorGuard has that covered as well.  They offer a wide range of protocols including OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, and IKEv2 to encrypt all of your online traffic and keep all of your online transactions from prying eyes.  Servers in their VPN network use the OpenVPN protocol with one of the following four encryption ciphers by default:

  • Standard Blowfish (BF) CBC
  • AES 128-bit CBC
  • AES 256-bit CBC
  • “Stealth” (obfsproxy for OpenVPN)

OpenVPN is a very secure and versatile protocol which now has support for most types of devices.  L2TP/IPsec is an excellent choice for mobile devices because most natively support it and make is easy to configure although it can be a little slower that some other protocols.  Also, because PPTP has widespread platform support, is easy to set up, and fast because of its low level encryption, it is a popular choice for streaming media where security may not be your greatest concern.

Additionally they support some less common protocols like SSTP and IKEv2 which many providers do not.  SSTP is a very secure protocol for Windows users can bypass most firewalls which makes it ideal for stealth applications.  Finally they offer support for IKEv2 which is an excellent protocol for mobile devices because it is secure, more stable (because of its ability to auto-reconnect quickly), and faster than all the other protocols except OpenVPN.  They also let you block WebRTC and IPv6 leaks.

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Hands-On Testing

No review would be complete without hands-on testing.  I would like to start by saying that TorGuard performed well in our speed test.  TorGuard has custom clients for Windows, Mac and Linux.  Additionally, they have custom apps for iOS, Android, and the Chrome Web Browser.  This makes it easy for almost anyone to use their service no matter their OS of choice. You can download the software for Windows and Mac directly from their website. The “Getting Started” page which is accessed by clicking on its link in the site footer has tabs to install the Torguard Lite client on Linux (Debian/Ubuntu), Windows, and Mac.  It also has tabs for the latest iOS and Android apps with links to their respective stores.  The TorGuard Proxy app can be downloaded from the Chrome web store.

Connecting from Windows

TorGuard has a custom client for Windows that will let you easily connect to any server in their network using the OpenVPN protocol. Their TorGuard Lite client has a very simple GUI and makes it very easy for users to connect to any VPN server in their network. No technical knowledge is necessary to begin using their VPN to secure and anonymize all of your internet transactions. When you first start the client, it will welcome you to TorGuard and ask you to accept their TOS.

TorGuard Lite for Windows

After you accept the TOS and click next, you will see a connection screen similar to the first screen shown in the image above.  This screen shows the following information:

  • Server country/city – Currently selected server (Canada/Calgary in the above example)
    • Selecting the ellipses will bring up the server selection list as shown on the center screen above.
  • Protocol – UDP or TCP; selected from the list box
  • Server cipher – The encryption algorithm used by the currently selected server
  • Connection status –  Connected/Disconnected
  • Autoconnect on launch – Checkbox which lets you choose a server to auto-connect to on client startup
  • More Settings – Opens the settings screen shown below
  • Connect Button – Connects you to your chosen server

Once you have selected a server, you then select your protocol (UDP/TCP).  You then click the connect button.

On the next screen, enter the username and password that you used to sign into your TorGuard account area.  Unless you want to retype your credentials everytime you change servers, select the “Remember Credentials” checkbox.  Next, click the login button. The connection status (shown above-right) will change stages as it connects :  Auth >> Get_Config >> Assign IP >> Connected.  Afterward, the “Public IP” will show “Verified” if you have successfully connected to the TorGuard VPN server.  The above-right screenshot shows a successful connection to a “Stealth” server in the UK.

TorGuard Lite Windows Settings

The first image above shows the App Kill tab.  It will allow you to select individual applications to stop if the VPN loses connection.  It has a checkbox to quickly activate or deactivate it and a test button to see if it is working with your application. You can manually type the program path or use the select button to browse through it.  You can also save and cancel changes to your settings.

The second image above shows the Scripts tab.  It allows you to run scripts (batch files).  It has a checkbox to turn script execution on/off.  You can choose to run scripts before connection, after connection, and after disconnect.  You can manually type the script path or use the select button to browse through it.  TorGuard provides scripts for the following on their website:  Internet Connection Killswitch, Launch App on Connect, Set Static DNS, and Launch Website on Connect.  Finally, you can also save and cancel changes to your settings.

The third image shows the Network tab.  It has checkboxes to prevent the WebRTC leak, the IPv6 leak, and manage the internet kill switch network connection.  Finally, you can also save and cancel changes to your settings.  In addition to their custom VPN client, TorGuard also has well-illustrated guides to manually configure Windows for PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN GUI, and SSTP.  They also have a guide to setup and enable TG Viscosity to use their service.

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Connect with the Mac Client

Just like the Windows custom software, the TorGuard client for Mac can be downloaded from their website.  They make it one-click easy to download and install.  It has the same features as their Windows client.  The Mac software provides the same ease of use for Mac users as the Windows client does for its users.  TorGuard Lite is not compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.8 and below.  In addition to their custom VPN client, TorGuard also has well-illustrated guides to manually configure Mac OS X for PPTP and L2TP/IPsec.  They also have a Mac OS X guide to setup and enable TG Viscosity to use their service.  Once again, your membership comes with one free TG Viscosity software license.  You can buy extra licenses for one dollar a month each.

Connect from iPhone or iPad

TorGuard also has an iOS app that will let you connect to their VPN service.   It is called TorGuard Anonymous VPN Service.  This is the fastest way to setup TorGuard VPN on iOS.  Follow these steps to install their service using the app.

  • First, visit the iTunes store and download the TorGuard iOS VPN app.
  • Locate the TorGuard icon and tap to launch.
  • On the first install, you will select yes when asked to approve their VPN server settings and proceed to the VPN app.
  • Tap the drop-down arrow (right screenshot in below illustration).
  • Select your VPN server location (center screenshot below).
  • Enter your TorGuard VPN username and password when prompted.  Click the checkbox to remember your credentials. (left screenshot below)
  • Select the login button. The app should now show a connected status.

TorGuard iOS App

The app requires iOS 8.0 or later.  It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The TorGuard app is optimized for iPhone 5.  In addition to their custom VPN client, TorGuard also has guides to manually configure iOS devices for PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and OpenVPN GUI and enable them to use their service.

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Connect to Android Devices

TorGuard has an app called “TorGuard VPN” for Android devices.  Follow these steps to connect your Android device to their service.

  • First, navigate to the Google Play store to download and install the app.
  • Once the app is installed, open your applications menu and tap the TorGuard icon.
  • Choose the VPN server that you want to connect to from the drop-down list and tap connect (center screenshot below).
  • Enter your VPN username and password when prompted and tap the login button.  Tap the “Remember Credentials” checkbox (left screenshot below).

You should now see a connected status and session information which means your VPN is active and all traffic is now securely tunneled through the VPN (right screenshot below).

TorGuard VPN for Android

This latest version installs with no root required on Android 4.x devices.  In addition to their custom VPN client, TorGuard also has guides to manually configure Andriod devices for PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and OpenVPN and enable them to access their VPN network.

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TorGuard Speed Test

TorGuard did well in our speed test.  The speed of their server in Miami was excellent.  You should be happy with the speed of their network for most applications based on our testing.  This test was run using the TorGuard Lite Windows client with the OpenVPN (UDP) protocol on a server using a BF cipher.

TorGuard Speed Test

As you can see there was a 10% difference in speed between the connection directly to my ISP and the connection to a server in Miami.  As expected there is some loss in connection speed but for the extra security provided by encryption, it is a fair trade-off.  With a speed of nearly 46 Mbps, you should not have any issues anonymously browsing the internet, downloading files, or streaming media from your favorite provider.

TorGuard Review: Conclusion

TorGuard has been in the privacy space for some time and has built a good reputation for the services they offer.  Their network has over 1250 gigabit+ servers in over 42 countries across the world.  Their no log policy, as well as, a clear privacy policy shows that they take their members privacy seriously.

TorGuard supports PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), SSTP, and IKEv2 protocols which makes their service compatible with most devices including Blackberry, DD-WRT routers, and even Boxee Box (PPTP only).  They have custom software for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, and the Google Chrome browser.  They also sell routers that have been pre-configured to use their service for those who are more technically challenged.

What I liked most about the service:

  • Easy to use custom software for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Apps for iOS, Android, Google Chrome browser
  • Discounted pricing for term plans on all services
  • Transparent no-log policy
  • More anonymous ways to pay such as gift cards and Bitcoin
  • Free 10 MB encrypted email account with VPN membership
  • Stealth (obfsproxy for OpenVPN) for firewall breaching
  • P2P support
  • Support for many protocols including PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN(UDP/TCP), SSTP, and IKEv2

Ideas to improve the service:

  • Better integration of their site documentation
  • Easier site navigation
  • Show the utilization percentage for each server
  • Reduce wait times on some servers

You can use the TorGuard VPN to enjoy streaming media, keep your data safe when using public wi-fi, keep your ISP from monitoring your browser habits, and overcome censorship.  Additionally, for those who want to P2P, TorGuard started from a belief that you should be able to BitTorrent in anonymity and believes that you should be able to P2P in complete privacy.  This is evidenced by their name which originated from the concept of guarding one’s privacy while using BitTorrent.  Take advantage of their 7-day guarantee and evaluate their service yourself.  If you enjoy using their VPN, you can sign up for just $5 a month.

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