Features and Pricing Summary:
Network: Servers in 43+ countries
Software: Win, Mac, iOS, Android
Refund Policy: 7 day guarantee
Retail Price: $9.99 a month
Discount Price: Save 50% Off
Welcome to our review of TorGuard VPN service. TorGuard has been around since 2012, and they offer other services as well as VPN, but for the sake of this review, we will only discuss the VPN portion. As you can see, they have quite a bit of exposure, and are known to be a favorite of people that engage in p2p activity. They have some good features, but we will speak of pricing first.
Pricing and Discounts
When choosing a VPN provider, often times price is a factor. However, a VPN does not have to be expensive to be effective. TorGuard offers 4 pricing plans for their service, as shown below. A month of their service is $9.99. Three months of their service is $19.99, which drops the price to $6.66 a month. Their semi-annual plan is $29.99 for six months, bringing the price to $4.99 a month. Their longest service plan is $59.99 for a year, but the price stays at $4.99 a month.
TorGuard offers over 80 payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin. We are glad to see Bitcoin offered as an option. Bitcoin is nice because it provides an extra layer of anonymity. For new members, TorGuard offers a 7 day money back guarantee.
The number of special features can be another factor used in choosing a VPN provider. TorGuard has some good features, so we will look at them now.
First of all, we really like the app kill and kill switch features. App kill allows specific applications to be stopped if the connection drops. If you have apps that need to run through a VPN, you can type in the name under the App Kill tab. The kill switch feature, if enabled, will “kill” your internet connection if the VPN drops, thus leaving you still secure. Otherwise you run the risk of your personal data being vulnerable. Other features include the ability to change your level of encryption, proxy setup, and the ability to write your own scripts and execute them. Though some of this may be advanced, TorGuard works quite well for the normal user, because of their straight forward interface. There is another interesting feature, and that is with the number of connections. They allow up to 5 simultaneous connections on the same account, but then have the option to purchase additional connections at the rate of $1 each. That kind of connection handling is rare, if it is even offered by competitors.
In talking to TorGuard support, we learned that they manage servers in 43 different countries. However, there is conflicting data on their site. Some references say 41, other say 42, and a third one states 43. Also, we usually display a graphic that shows the servers by name, location, or both. Short of picking your flag out of the image on the home page, or checking server status after you have an account, we were not able to find a list of these servers. You may not need access to that many servers, but having the option is very nice.
Features and locations are pointless without good connection speeds. If using a VPN causes your internet to be extremely slow, streaming video or live events from other countries can be difficult. Because of encryption, some speed loss is expected. The acceptable range is between a 10%-25% loss of speed. The image below shows our TorGuard test.
As you can see, our speed difference shows a 17% loss, which is still within acceptable levels. You would find it difficult to tell the difference between the two speeds while viewing, but with the encryption, a file would download a bit slower. For our test, we used the AES-256 bit encryption on the OpenVPN (UDP) protocol, because it provides good security and speed.
Security and Privacy
VPN services provide security through encrypted protocols. Every protocol has their own algorithms used in providing data encryption. With TorGuard, you have a few options. The choices they provide are OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), L2TP, PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv2. SSTP is very secure, but it is only available on Windows machines. IKEv2 is a good mobile protocol that can also be used. However, the best protocol to use is OpenVPN (UDP) whenever possible. As we just mentioned, that is because it provides the perfect mix of speed and security.
TorGuard offers various support options including a toll free number, live chat feature, knowledge base, forums, and even video guides to help you get set up. As we would expect, the staff is very knowledgeable, courteous, and quick to answer questions. We are pleased to see so many methods of support. No matter the problem, they will be there to help.
With TorGuard, there is software available for the following operating systems.
- Mac OS X
In addition to those, there are setup guides to walk you through setting up the service on many different devices including routers. If there is a problem, their support channels will help you.
Signing up for TorGuard is very easy. Simply hit the “buy VPN” button and select your plan. No matter which entry point you choose, you can select whichever term of service you wish. After doing so, go to checkout and select your method of payment. Be aware that if you pick the credit card option, the amount of information you are required to enter is much more than the other options. Normally though, you only have to enter in an email address and password like in the image below. Once you pay for the account, you will have immediate access.
How to Use TorGuard for Desktop
We mentioned earlier that you don’t have to be technical to use TorGuard, and that is because their client is very straight forward. For our demonstration, we will use their Windows client to show how easy it is.
- After downloading and launching the client, you will see a console that looks like this. If you are satisfied with the server that is there, just hit the connect button. Otherwise, go to the next step.
- The red arrow shows the 3 dots where you change your server. If you want to set any of the settings we spoke of earlier, the green arrow points to where those are located. Once you are happy with your server, protocol and encryption level, hit the connect button at the bottom.
- Now, you see the button at the bottom change to the wording “Disconnect”. Of course, that means you are connected.
- Proceed with any activities you had in mind, and enjoy.
How to Use TorGuard for Mobile
In these instructions, we will use the Android operating system, but TorGuard offers how-to guides for iOS and support channels as well. We will give the abbreviated version here, for more in depth instructions, check their website.
- Before you install, you need to go to Google Play and install the OpenVPN settings. From there, make sure that all the prerequisites are green.
- After doing that, go back to Google Play, download the TorGuard Android app, and install.
- Now, you can connect. Choose your sever location, as shown by the second portion of the image.
- Enter your user name (email address you signed up with) and password, and hit the login button.
- Enjoy. If you want to change servers, just disconnect and repeat the steps.
Favorite features of TorGuard:
- Simple interface
- Strict no logs policy
- Multiple setup guides for many different devices
- Great 24 hour support including live chat
- 5 simultaneous connections with the ability to add more
- Money back guarantee
Thoughts to improve TorGuard:
- Provide accurate server list
- Clearly separate other services and pricing plans
Finally, TorGuard provides a no nonsense client that is easy to use. Given the name, you could assume it is geared toward the individuals that like to engage in p2p. That is correct, but it’s simplicity is great for other users as well. Whether your goal is to secure your data, circumvent geo-restrictions, or even engage in torrenting (p2p) activity, Torguard provides a good service at a reasonable price. We love the 5 simultaneous connections with the ability to add more, and the 7 day money back guarantee they offer to their new members. That provides you plenty of time to test the service.