Top Level Overview
Based from the United States, TorGuard provides a VPN service with a variety of security protocols, an abundance of servers and great customer service. And it’s logless!
Really, how? I’ll tell you shortly…
TorGuard has 3000 servers in upwards of 50 countries, which includes the regions of Central America, South America, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East and Asia.
This extensive international presence and large server count make it very attractive if you’re looking to connect to a multitude of servers in a given day, or from a variety of different locations depending on your location.
Customer service is on the button too: There’s 24/7 live support, in addition to a ticketing email system. In fact, they are so keen to speak with you, the Live Chat option pops up on every visit to the website. I kind of like this; it is very much ‘assistance oriented.’
TorGuard, like a few of the other big players, no longer offers a free trial period for interested customers, which is frustrating to me. To replace the free trial though, they offer a week-long money-back guarantee instead.
That said, their offering is very strong and it is easy to see how their reputation might trump the need for a free trial.
Let’s get into it…
TorGuard offers four different plans, and unless you solely want anonymous email or a ton of anonymous IP addresses (proxy) you’ll probably be looking at the VPN package.
Do note though: You can use HTTP/HTTPS proxies with VPN without issues. Using both socks5 and VPN might slow things down and cause issues, or it might work out fine. If using both socks5 and VPN together you must connect VPN to a torrent optmized location.
- Anonymous Proxy Plan is $5.95 per month and includes: unlimited speeds and bandwidth, SOCKS5/SSH/HTTP/SSL, secure surfing, 2000+ IPs in 50+ countries and 24/7, 365 Support.
- Anonymous VPN Plan is $9.99 per month and it includes: unlimited speeds, unlimited bandwidth, 5 simultaneous connection allowance, OpenVPN/SSTP/L2TP/IPsec, TorGuard Stealth Proxy, 1600+ servers in 50+ countries and 24/7/365 support.
- Anonymous Email Plan is $6.95 per month and includes: unlimited mail storage, secure G/PGP encryption, MITM attack protection, offshore email storage, two factor authentication, no header IP disclosure and Perfect Forward Secrecy.
- Privacy Bundle is $11.54 per month and it includes unlimited speed and bandwidth, VPN pro access, SOCKS5/SSH proxy access, HTTP/SSL proxy access, 1600+ servers and free 24/7/365 support.
As you can see, there’s a variety of options with TorGuard, but all are running on the slightly pricey side. This may be a dealbreaker for some, but TorGuard’s extensive options are impressive and can deliver.
5 simultaneous devices is generous and much appreciated (I need 3), but defiantly required considering $9.99 is at the higher end of the industry monthly charge. That said, for families of 3 or more this provides a viable option: think 3 phones, a tablet and home computer.
Unlimited bandwidth is a given, too. I don’t expect less – so take that off the tick list 🙂
There is a Kill Switch. Hoorah! So you won’t be left exposed when your VPN cuts out without your knowledge. Make sure you leave it on at all times, especially in public places.
One interesting feature is the Openconnect SSL based VPN feature, which is arguably faster than Open VPN. It was originally written as an open source replacement for Cisco’s proprietary AnyConnect SSL but has been adopted by some companies and tricked out, somewhat.
I’m not too fussed over it if I’m honest. It’s a nice thing to have and play around with but a bit like a spoiler on a hot hatch: it might give you a slight bit of extra speed at 110 kmph but overall you won’t notice much improvement.
Torrentors will appreciate the extra bytes, I’m sure.
And that’s the deal here…
As you may have already guessed from the company’s name, TorGuard is especially geared towards those interested in anonymous torrenting.
As a result, they’ve optimized their client for use with BitTorrent clients with SOCKS5 proxies. Additionally, they provide over 200 proxy IPs in as many as six countries to ensure that your information and web traffic is totally anonymous.
If you use Piratebay.org, etc., this is the VPN for you.
Typically they encrypt at the standard 256-AES with a 2048 handshake. But additionally, there’s a new security protocol, “Stealth Proxy”, which allows a user to choose from 10 servers (a mix of Japanese and US based) encrypted by SOCKS5.
This provides a sort of doubly encrypted AES 256 wall. Indeed, this double encryption has been helpful for those based in China, so you know it’s got muscle power.
On TorGuard you can still use 128 AES if you want faster speeds, and even 128 Blowfish. For me, it’s 256 all the way; this girl don’t mess around when it comes to security. They offer the following options:
- AES-256: The TorGuard VPN app defaults to AES-256 which we suggest using for the highest levels of security. While this encryption option offers the best data privacy, it may cause a slight speed loss for some users.
- AES-128: This is the fastest option available for most users and should be the first choice if download speed and data privacy is a top priority.
- Blowfish: TorGuard will continue to offer Blowfish on all servers, although for faster speeds and improved security we recommend using AES-128 whenever possible.
Security & Privacy
You’re probably on the edge of your seat wondering why the hell people would use TorGuard if it is based in the US-CI-A (see what I did there, ha!).
Well actually it is based on the tiny Caribbean island of Nevis. Though this poses a bit of an issue of security and privacy, TorGuard does NOT keep logs of any kind. They don’t even log connection details, which I find to be a rare phenomenon in the VPN world.
They do keep billing details on file, however, which you could bypass using fake details or paying with bitcoin if you needed to.
Speaking to their CEO recently at a security conference, I quizzed him on the location. He was quick to point out that they keep nothing so there is nothing to share. He also said that if authorities pressured them to start logging they would happily up sticks and leave.
This is definitely heartening.
We don’t share any information with anyone regarding our network or its users and won’t even consider communicating with a 3rd party unless they’ve first obtained adequate representation within our legal jurisdiction. Only in the event of an official court ordered ruling would we be forced to hand over blank hard drives. There’s nothing to hand over but an operating system. ( No Logs).
Speaking to black hatters at a recent SEO conference, I found many using TorGuard too. This kind of reassured me as to the safety of this VPN provider, as I know these guys do not f*** around when it comes to anonymity.
Users can also select from a variety of privacy proxies, based on security and speed priority. These include BF, AES 128 and AES 25.
In addition, TorGuard offers a built in, application specific Kill Switch that will run on all programs (Windows, Mac, Linux). This will protect you in the event of a VPN failure when the connection drops out. Without this, you would be exposed for the dropout duration.
This feature is definitely one of my favorites as I’m always using public networks and like to feel secure at all times.
Speed & Performance
Speeds with TorGuard are great to be frank, though I did notice that there was some variable speeds on 256 AES. Using Blowfish the speeds blew me away, but I ain’t staying on that for too long. So I stepped up to 128 AES and there wasn’t much difference, still quick.
Using AES 256 bit encryption yielded slower speeds that suffered nearly 1.2 mbps, which can be significant if you’re trying to download or watch something in HD.
This is all standard stuff really.
All in all, I noticed that US, Canadian and (surprisingly) Romanian servers were all pretty speedy. I never really had extended lag times though, so I’m more than satisfied overall.
I really like that that TorGuard’s customer support is 24/7/365 and oriented through a Live Chat system. They are even there on Christmas Day; damn, get a life already!
You can also submit a query through their email ticket system, which will take a bit longer and may also yield a more comprehensive response. I always find staff very courteous and helpful.
TorGuard offers no free trial (boo!) but they do offer a 7-day, no quibble money-back guarantee. The money back period is generous, but the lack of a free trial isn’t as I’m a big fan of “try before you buy!”
Signing Up & Getting Started
Provide your name, email, billing address and a password and it’s all go. For those who are uncomfortable doing so, you can just enter fake details because TorGuard allows you to pay with Bitcoin, which is cool for those who don’t even want payment details on file. They also allow you to pay with all major credit cards, programs like PayPal, Altcoins, Alipay, CashU and gift cards – another good privacy option.
Afterward, you’ll receive an email to download and launch the client, which can be run through Viscosity or TorGuard’s VPN lite client. The lite client offers built in features like WebRTC, DNS and IPV6 protection and a kill switch- all fantastic for increased security and privacy.
TorGuard Review Conclusion
TorGuard is speedy and secure . It has great security protocols, which you can even downgrade to gain more speed (defaults to 256 AES).
It is truly logless too. It would have to be or their main customer base (torrent users) wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.
I have to say that it’s all a bit technical for the average VPN user. Most people wouldn’t know the difference between the pricing plans based on the jargon and might shy away on that fact.
The reason for this is that by and large it is aimed at those who use torrent clients, those who need anonymous email, and those who might want 2000 IP addresses a month to work (spam…ahem) from.
The monthly price is at the higher end of the industry average, though the 5 device connection kind of makes it worth it, as does the Kill Switch and ridiculous amount of servers and global coverage. You will never be short of somewhere to connect to, that’s for sure.
- Great speeds
- A range of security protocols to choose from
- 50+ country server locations
- 3000 servers
- Kill Switch
- IPV6 protection
- VPN plan price is on the higher side
- Too technical for the average VPN user.