Straight up, it's one of the better clients out there in terms of customer support, value, functionality and what they say about their privacy and security. Unfortunately, they have a controversy in their past that raises questions about whether this is a VPN provider that you can really trust.
With over 1600 servers across 43 countries, TorGuard are doing pretty well for themselves. They are cool with peer-to-peeer filesharing, so all of the torrenters can rejoice. Although they allow it, they ask that users only use a group of a dozen or so servers in order to free the other one up for streaming and faster browsing. TorGuard also have specialised stealth servers for users who live in places where the internet is controlled, such as China. They also allow up to five devices to be connected at the same time. While OpenVPN is generally the safest and best protocol for customers to use, TorGuard also offer PPTP and L2TP/IPsec.
The website for TorGuard is modern and easy to use. Information is easily available and they have a live chat box in the corner. It's convenient if you are looking for help, but slightly annoying if you hate pop-ups. They also have a blog that is updated regularly with information about their product as well as relevant privacy and security news.
Plans and Pricing
TorGuard offer several different products and packages. They offer the Anonymous Proxy for $5.95 per month, Anonymous VPN for $9.95 each month, Anonymous Email for $6.95 every month, while a bundle that includes the above three works out to $11.54 each month. There are small discounts if you sign up for their products for a longer period of time. TorGuard offer a one week money back guarantee on their products, so you can try them out without too much of a risk. They also accept Bitcoin for payment, so if you want to, you can keep all of your details to yourself and be truly anonymous.
TorGuard's customer support is fantastic. They have a range of helpful articles as well as setup guides to help you with any sticking points. These are all very informative and give step-by step instructions on how to get things done. There is a forum on the website where you can discuss the product and any issues with other users, or even look over past discussions for information. The forums cover industry news, tutorials, a place to talk about the service and more.
Their live chat is a very helpful tool to get any information that you need almost instantly. It seems to be constantly available and at most it took me a minute to get a response. The staff were all very knowledgeable and helpful. My favourite was wearing a vest in his display picture, which just screams professionalism and great service. TorGuard also offer ticket support if you need it, so they really have all bases covered.
Privacy and Security
TorGuard are based on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean. Although it is technically within the jurisdiction of US copyright law, the management of TorGuard seem pretty committed to circumventing any possible enforcement. All of their servers, engineering staff and billing infrastructure are already based internationally, while they are willing to move their assets as well if their current commitment to privacy and security is undermined by law enforcement. If they are truly committed, this is great for users, but the testing grounds will be when or if they are pressured, and what their response will be. For the moment, all we have is their word and it's up to the individual whether they believe it or not. Either way, it's still better than many providers who are willing to rat out their users at the lightest federal pressure.
Another good thing about TorGuard is that they keep no logs at all. Not even connection logs. If you pay with Bitcoin, you're essentially untraceable if you use their service properly. On the technical security side of things, TorGuard offer OpenVPN with BF-CBC, AES-128 or AES-256 on all of their servers.
One thing that can't go unmentioned is the TorGuard VPN.ac debacle. I won't take sides or delve too much into it, but in 2015, VPN.ac came out saying that TorGuard had copied the code of VPN.ac's GEO-API servers for their chrome extension. They asserted that not only did TorGuard steal, but they did it in such a way that left their own users vulnerable to security breaches. TorGuard blamed the whole situation on a third party and said that it was fixed within a few hours. At the moment, it seems that everything has been fixed and they now use their own servers. Whether you believe the claims or the severity is up to you and your own research. Is a company who (through oversight or malicious intent) stole another companies code and implemented it in an insecure fashion, one that you would trust your privacy and security to?
If you use Bitcoin, you can set up an account with completely false information and keep your identity secure. If you use a credit card or Paypal, you will have to give up your name, address, email and password. They also accept Alipay, gift cards, CashU and Altcoins. Once you make your payment, you will receive an email with further instructions.
You have two choices with the client. You can either use their own TorGuardVPN Lite or Viscosity. Their own client is stripped back and runs with ease. They offer a killswitch, which is great, as well as DNS, Web RTC and IPV6 protection. It's generally best to use their UDP connection, but TCP is also an option. Viscosity offers L2TP and PPTP as well as OpenVPN, which TorGuardVPN Lite uses.
We tested out the speeds and here's what we got:
|No VPN||UK Server||NL Server|
|Download Speed (Mb/s)||17||16||10|
|Upload Speed (Mb/s)||12||2||1|
The speeds were all reasonable, with not too much to complain about. Connection times were very fast, although as expected, they did slow down the further away that you were from the server.
It aced our WebRTC and DNS Leak tests, while it also hid our IPV6 address.
You're in luck if you operate OSX, Android or Linux, because you can simply use the TorGuardVPN Lite client. The Viscosity client is available on both Windows and OSX. If you use iOS, Ubuntu, Boxee or DD-WRT, you will have to use one of their manual guides to set up the protocol.
In general, this is one of the best clients out there. It's price is fine, they don't keep any logs and allow you to pay anonymously. They are cool with torrenting and offer what is generally pretty good security and privacy. The only big problem comes from the VPN.ac controversy. If they did steal code from another company and use it in a way that made users vulnerable, is TorGuard a company that you can trust? For users who are concerned about their security, trust is everything.
Are you a TorGuard user? Leave a TorGuard review below with your thoughts on the service, and help others out when making their decision.