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TorGuard Review | ProPrivacy
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DDWRT Tomato OpenWRT Asuswrt-Merlin
Bare metal or virtual servers
TorGuard servers are located in 50+ countries. That gives subscribers plenty of choices and allows them to unblock almost any content from around the world. In addition, it means that no matter where users are located, TorGuard will have a server near to them (for getting better connection speeds).
TorGuard allows subscribers to use five simultaneous connections. However, users can purchase more for the very reasonable rate of $1.00 per month (per additional connection to the VPN). This is an excellent option that allows people to cover as many devices as they wish (and is fantastic for families who have a lot of devices that they need to protect).
A kill switch is available on the OS X and Windows platforms but not the mobile versions of the client. Similarly, Domain Name System (DNS) leak protection is available on Windows and OS X. It can be toggled on and off in the software.
Stealth connections for bypassing firewalls (like the Great Firewall of China) are also available on all of TorGuard’s VPN plans. Furthermore, there is an ad-blocker and malware blocker that can be toggled on and off in the software.
TorGuard permits P2P downloading on all shared servers. So if torrenting is important to you, TorGuard is perfect (the Tor in the name is there because of its focus on BitTorrenting, as opposed to any affiliation to the Tor Project). For more information, see our best VPN for torrent sites.
TorGuard provides a basic proxy service with 200 servers in eight countries for those who don’t need a full VPN service. This cheaper option will provide some privacy, but will not provide the level of security that a VPN does. However, it is ideal for unblocking geo-restricted content and P2P file-sharing (for which it is optimized).
Anonymous Email Service
TorGuard has an anonymous email service with four different plans, the cheapest of which is $6.95 per month. Note that you do get a free version of the anonymous email service when you sign up to one of the VPN plans. The free plan provides 10mb of offshore email storage and you can use it on any OS. This is a useful, free bolt-on service for VPN subscribers that is well worth taking advantage of.
Paid plans to the anonymous email service come with 30GB encrypted storage with desktop sync apps for Windows, iOS, and Android. G/PGP Email Encryption, Tasks/Notes/Calendar, POP3/IMAP support, File Storage, Email filtering, Address book, and more.
Dedicated IPs for Streaming
For people who want to stream US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer - and other streaming services - the basic VPN plans will not be enough.
Once you have subscribed it is necessary to also get a Dedicated Streaming IPs plan. The good news is that users can use a discount code (TGLifetime50) to vastly reduce the cost of a yearly subscription with a dedicated IP. Using the code it is possible to get a year's worth of dedicated streaming IP for just $27.50. However, if you want to pay for a dedicated IP for the UK's iPlayer and for US Netflix you will need to pay for both, which we consider pretty pricey.
TorGuard also offers a premium 'Residential IP VPN service'. The provider leases legacy residential IP addresses directly from big ISPs in the US and UK, giving the appearance that users are connecting using a standard residential IP address. The provider says this makes it virtually impossible for a website or third party service to determine if a user is tunneling through a known VPN provider.
Speed and Performance
Hover your mouse on the graph below to see up-to-date speed results for the fastest VPNs on the market
Speed tests for TorGuard were conducted using our scientific (server-based) speed test system. In the chart below you will see the averages across all four of the servers that we test: Hong Kong, Australia, the UK, and the US.
As you can see from the graph, TorGuard performs relatively well when compared to other premium VPNs. Download speeds for the months of October and November averaged 28.7 Mbps with burst speeds of 114.6 Mbps. Those speeds are great considering the price of an annual subscription.
I decided to lake a look at each of the servers individually to see how they behaved. I discovered that the UK server performed slightly lower than average with average download speeds of 23.9 Mbps. Despite this slightly slower average, speeds were good enough for streaming in HD - which is great.
The good news for TorGuard subscribers is that the VPN's connection speeds have been improving lately. This is a good sign and shows that the service is investing in better servers and infrastructure.
IPv4 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?
ProPrivacy.com SpeedTest (average)
I tested TorGuard for IP leaks using ipleak.net. The good news is that I detected no IP leaks, no DNS leaks, and no WebRTC leaks. Torguard uses its own DNS resolvers by default. However, subscribers can choose from the following DNS options in TorGuard app settings: Level3, Google, OpenDNS, Cloudflare, Quad9, or TorGuard Ad Blocking DNS. This is a nice addition to the service, but for privacy and security reasons we generally recommend sticking to TorGuard's own DNS servers.
Users can purchase TorGuard on a number of different payment plans. The first is a proxy service costing $5.95 per month. It allows subscribers to use Socket Secure (SOCKS5) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)/Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) proxy on five devices. Subscribers can use the proxy service to access any torrent client. In addition, the proxy service provides access to 200+ proxy Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, in eight countries. Access isn’t restricted on either usage or bandwidth.
If a proxy service isn't your cup of tea, you can buy the full premium VPN service for $9.99 per month ($11.54 if purchased in a bundle with the proxy service thrown in). Those prices reduce substantially if you commit for a longer period of time: $20.97 quarterly, or $64.00 annually (which works out at just $5 per month).
All of the plans provide the same level of service, which is much less confusing than many VPNs. The only difference is that TorGuard rewards subscribers for committing for longer periods of time.
Subscribers can also opt to pay for a dedicated IP address and port forwarding. These services are pretty expensive: $7.99 per month, $18.99 per quarter, $36.99 per six months, or $54.99 per year. However, users can use the discount code "TGLifetime50" to get their VPN subscription and a dedicated IP for streaming at half price. This will reduce the cost of a yearly VPN with a single dedicated IP to just $57.50 (which is an extremely good price).
Payments are accepted by credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin or a vast number of other online payment methods. TorGuard offers more payment options than just about any other VPN. TorGuard also offers a number of anonymous crypto payment methods including Monero. They also accept Bitcoin and Litecoin payments through BTCpay (for added privacy compared to BitPay). TorGuard was the very first VPN provider to begin accepting Bitcoin and Litecoin Lightning Network payments in early 2018.
Money back guarantee
Also great: TorGuard provides a seven-day money-back guarantee, so you can test the service completely risk-free. However, that guarantee is not available to anyone that pays with cryptocurrencies. In addition, TorGuard does not offer a refund to customers who opt to get a dedicated IP. These are condition worth bearing in mind - if you want to avoid disappointment.
Ease of Use
Signing up to TorGuard is nice and easy. To sign up with a credit card users will need to hand over an email address, full name, billing address, and password. However, people can use false information and bitcoins to pay, thus protecting themselves further with a layer of anonymity at the subscription stage.
Subscribers have a huge amount of payment options: Visa, Amex, Mastercard, Discover, PayPal, Altcoins, Alipay, CashU, PaySafeCard, gift cards and Bitcoin (which is by far the best for anonymity). TorGuard sends out an email that explains how to get started once the customer has subscribed.
Once subscribed, consumers can log in to the members' area and download the client that they need. The clients download quickly and install with great ease. Once installed it is just a case of running the software, logging in, selecting your preferred encryption options, and connecting to a server.
The TorGuard Windows VPN Client
Despite being simple and uncluttered, TorGuard's client has all the necessary pro-features you would expect from a top-end VPN service.
A kill switch stops users from leaking data to their Internet Service Provider (ISP) by making all data pass through the VPN tunnel by default (when applied). In addition, there is built-in Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), DNS, and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) protection that can all be toggled on and off in settings. What's more, TorGuard has now added Stunnel (obfuscated servers) to its desktop clients (both Windows and Mac)
Subscribers can connect using either Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP). UDP is better for streaming as it is faster. Subscribers can select the level of encryption they desire - we suggest that you opt for AES-256 as this is the most secure option (and is now available on all TorGuard servers).
Connecting to TorGuard's servers is extremely easy - just choose a server location and click Connect. The VPN takes around twenty seconds to connect and makes it clear when a connection has been established.
TorGuard is also available on Android, iOS, OS X, and Linux. It has custom apps for mobile devices. TorGuard VPN also sells flashed routers and has guides for flashing DD-WRT and Tomato routers with its software (for connecting with OpenVPN), along with Boxee routers (PPTP only). This is a great addition, and it is nice to see a pre-flashed router on sale.
I downloaded and used the Android platform. Despite the fact that it is a lot more minimal than the Windows software, it did work with no problems. Connection speeds were the same as the ones we encountered on the Windows client. OpenVPN is available from within the client, and users can change the encryption settings and select up to AES 256 with 512 SHA (which is an extremely robust form of encryption).
Unfortunately, there is no killswitch on Android. What's more; I did not encounter any DNS leaks when using the Android client and I TorGuard told me that the client includes DNS leak protection. Also excellent: Torguard has added Stunnel (obfuscated servers) to the Android client. This allows people to conceal their VPN use from the ISP and lets them get around Firewalls in countries like China and Iran.
The iOS app only provides IPsec or IKEv2 encryption. Thus, to connect using OpenVPN you will need to use the third party OpenVPN Connect App. The good news is that TorGuard has guides to help you get this set up.
Unfortunately, there is no killswitch on iOS. However, it does implement DNS leak protection.
TorGuard is one of the only VPN providers that provides a VPN client app with a Graphic User Interface (GUI) for all distros of Linux. This makes TorGuard an excellent option for Linux users.
The main extra service available on TorGuard is its anonymous email account. This is available for various costs but comes free with a VPN subscription. The free version gives access to 10mb of encrypted email storage. You can use it on any OS.
Money-back guarantee length
Customer support on TorGuard is handled via a 24/7 chat service on its website. If for any reason the live chat seems to be off - navigate to the "Get TorGuard Now" page - where the live chat is always available.
The live chat is a superb resource that allows both potential subscribers and customers to ask questions about the service. The representatives are highly engaging, knowledgeable, and friendly. In addition, they communicate quickly and have all the links they need at their fingertips. The result is that they can quickly advise users on how to solve problems, and can link them to guides to help get the job done.
In addition, subscribers can use a ticket system to ask questions, which TorGuard answers via email. I wanted to ask some highly technical questions about the encryption, so contacted them via the ticket system. I received an answer in under 24 hours from their tech team, who told me everything I needed to know about any recent improvements to the service.
TorGuard also provides setup guides and tutorials to help people set up everything from flashed routers to OpenVPN using third-party apps. Furthermore, the website has subsections for each different platform, so that users can get the guides that apply to them.
Privacy and Security
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection
TorGuard is a US registered company. This means that, in theory, the US government could issue warrants and gag orders forcing TorGuard to comply with investigations without informing its subscribers. Sadly, this is true of all US-based firms, which is why the US is considered an iffy place in terms of privacy.
This is what TorGuard has to say about falling under US jurisdiction:
“Our legal representation at the moment is comfortable with the current corporate structuring in the US however we wouldn’t hesitate to move all assets internationally should the ground shift beneath our feet. All of the main billing infrastructure, authentication servers, and engineering staff are already located internationally.”
Shadowsocks, Stunnel, SSH tunneling, OpenConnect/AnyConnect, SSL Proxy
All platforms can connect to TorGuard using OpenVPN (our recommended protocol). However, OpenVPN is only native in Windows and OS X. On iOS, Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) and Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKeV2) are provided by default, and you have to install OpenVPN Connect to use OpenVPN. On Android, it is necessary to use third-party OpenVPN software (available on Google Play Store). Although this is a bit of a pain, the reality is that third-party OpenVPN software is free, secure and very easy to install.
Subscribers also get to choose between Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) if they wish to (by connecting with Viscosity). However, we would recommend that you stay away from PPTP as it is not secure anymore - so the official client with built-in OpenVPN is perfect. What I really love about this service is that subscribers can choose between a lot of different OpenVPN encryption strengths:
TorGuard also provides the option of enabling a “stealth proxy” (found in TG lite app>more settings>proxy>TorGuard Stealth Proxy). Users can select from either five Japanese or five US servers, which are connected to via an encrypted SOCKS5 proxy tunnel. This adds a second layer of AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption. This option is great for people wanting to bypass firewalls like the Great Firewall of China.
This is what TorGuard has to say about offering various levels of encryption on the platform:
“When you say there are known vulnerabilities to BF – CBC, one might assume that it is completely broken. This is not the case (yet), and if there was any supporting evidence of this we would remove the option from our software. By adding multiple encryption options to ALL OpenVPN servers (BF CBC, AES128, AES 256), this will allow the user to make their own choice on connection security.”
The VPN.ac scandal
Two years ago, VPN.ac accused TorGuard of stealing its code. Although some people might not see this as a problem, the issue (according to VPN.ac) was that TorGuard had not copied the code correctly and had left consumers with security vulnerabilities. TorGuard denied that it had done anything wrong on purpose, claiming that a third-party developer had passed the issue on to it.
According to TorGuard, the problem was fixed very quickly and the TorGuard platform has been completely secure since the vulnerability was patched up. In addition, TorGuard now runs all of its servers. Thus, there is nothing for subscribers to worry about when using TorGuard's clients.
TorGuard's OpenVPN encryption options are formidable. Subscribers get a service that provides some of the highest levels of encryption on the market, with the option to drop down to nothing for tasks that don't require as much privacy. This gives consumers a huge amount of choice, allowing them to use the service in different ways at different times, which is fantastic.
Although it is slightly pricey for a one-month subscription, it is in line with the top-end of the VPN market, and prices are much more reasonable on a yearly basis. An impressive VPN service.