VPN Review: TorGuard VPN

Martin Gschwentner

TorGuard's name might conjure up a very famous purple onion, however, the service has nothing to do with either the network or Tor browser. Instead, the first syllable of its name refers back to the torrent file format, which has seen widespread usage in P2P downloading. Not only does the service promise to erase any traces of having engaged in such downloads, it also offers more.

What Is TorGuard VPN?

TorGuard is an American VPN service that made its market appearance in 2012 offering applications for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, as well as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. We tried out its Windows client and Android app to let you know whether TorGuard is a reliable choice in the hotly-contested VPN market.

Review

Review Score
3.6 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Customer Support
4.3 / 5
Server Network
4.0 / 5
Performance
3.3 / 5
Security and Privacy
3.3 / 5
Installation and Features
3.0 / 5

Pros and Cons

Offers plenty of settings

Solid network

Fast support

Well-performing

Clunky user interface

Has not undergone any independent security audits

Access to streaming servers costs extra

Installation and Features

You can find all available TorGuard clients, including older and beta versions, on the provider's website. It is possible to purchase pre-configured TorGuard routers or media players, such as Amazon's Firestick through PrivateRouter, or to set these up manually.

All of TorGuard's apps can be downloaded directly from its website.

TorGuard's desktop client is not going to win any beauty contests. While most other VPN services from our sample flaunt their elegant user interfaces, TorGuard's approach is more utilitarian. In its interface, you'll find a "Connection" button, a protocol selection window, and a server list, as well as options for automatically establishing a connection when launching the service.

Login data is only requested the first time you want to create a VPN tunnel:

Save your login data when you first connect so that you won't have to input it in the future.

It's possible to sort and filter servers from the list according to a number of criteria. You won't be able to mark favorites or find any information about how a particular server is performing, but, your most-used servers will be displayed in their own category.

In the server list, you can select the location you'd like to create a VPN tunnel with.

To access Settings, click on "more Settings". Tinkerers will find plenty of nice options here, however, some common features, such as split tunneling, are missing.

There are auto-start settings and a kill switch ("App Kill") for configuring which apps should automatically be closed if your VPN connection is interrupted. The ability to select specific apps is practical, since closing a torrent program is more important than a music-streaming one. Should you want a classic kill switch, this can be found in the "Network" tab.

TorGuard only comes with a handful of pre-configured features, but does offer tinkerers the ability to customize these to their preferences.

One of TorGuard's most interesting features is the ability to execute scripts before and after connections have been established. In this way, it's possible to start certain programs only after a VPN tunnel has been created and to automatically close them when you disconnect from the VPN.

Scripts allow you to set what should automatically happen before and after you've established a connection.

DNS settings are particularly extensive, making it possible to select different DNS providers or update your DNS cache whenever a connection exists.

If desired, you can purchase dedicated IP addresses, for optimizing performance. Unfortunately, this is made more complicated than necessary. During the ordering process, you can add one of these by clicking on "Configurable Options", but purchasing them later in the customer area doesn't appear to be possible.

Purchasing a dedicated IP address helps to surf faster and with added stability.

The frustration we felt when searching for the option to purchase a dedicated IP address is a nice metaphor for our experience with TorGuard. Users who are accustomed to the straightforward and intuitive interfaces of other providers will likely find TorGuard's interface a real hassle to navigate. The service caters to tinkerers who want to customize their VPN connections and don't mind taking a few extra minutes to configure all settings to their exact liking.

Unfortunately, features offered by other providers such as split tunneling, which allows you to pick and choose which services use your VPN tunnel, and which don't, or multi-hop (routing your connection through multiple servers) are nowhere to be found.

Mobile App

Like its desktop counterpart, TorGuard's smartphone app is not a work of art, but at least offers a nice selection of interesting features. Android users can take advantage of "Always On" to stay permanently connected to a VPN.

A few other features missing on the desktop also make an appearance in the mobile version, such as the ability to mark favorites, or use split tunneling ("Restricted Apps"). As the name implies, the latter operates around excluding apps from using your VPN connection.

TorGuard's smartphone app is also a bit of an eyesore.

Anyone looking for a basic VPN should avoid TorGuard. The clunky user interface is too difficult to navigate, particularly if you aren't going to use the extra settings that this accommodates. The absence of important features like split tunneling, multi-hop, or pre-configured security settings are all offered by other, more easy-to-use VPNs.

On the other hand, if you want to personalize your VPN connection, tinker with DNS settings, execute user-defined scripts, or control a super-charged kill switch, TorGuard could be right up your alley. Whatever the case, it would be nice for the service to package these features more aesthetically and intuitively.

Score: 3 / 5

Server Network

TorGuard operates more than 3,000 servers across 68 locations in 50 countries. Like most VPN providers, the majority of these are in Europe and North America, along with a smattering of servers in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Only a few are offered in South America (Brazil and Chile), Africa (South Africa), and the Middle East (Israel and UAE).

All available servers can be found listed on TorGuard's website.

Even though the number of countries serviced by TorGuard is less impressive than the size of its network, the latter is still decent.

Score: 4 / 5

Performance

The speed of all VPNs which we tested was evaluated using a server in Europe with a 1 GB/s connection. We assessed random TorGuard servers in the US and Germany at different times of the day to more accurately gauge their speeds and performance. More information concerning our methodology can be found in our VPN speed test.

The table below shows the average results from the last 365 days, arranged in order of download and upload speed (descending).

With a download speed of 166.5 MB/s and an upload speed of 16.3 MB/s, TorGuard took a very respectable sixth place in our speed test.

The chart below shows TorGuard's average speeds over the past months.

Our surfing experience with TorGuard was also solid. As soon as a connection was established, we could rely on it. We didn't have to complete any annoying captchas, a moderately common VPN side effect. It took a few seconds longer than usual to create connections owing to a conflict between our drivers and the protocols we had selected. When closing a VPN tunnel, the program froze for a few moments as well.

We didn't have any success watching foreign content on any video streaming platforms. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and the BBC's iPlayer all ferreted out our VPN tunnel. Likely, the dedicated streaming IPs which must be purchased separately, perform better, but plenty of other VPNs allowed us to access streaming content with their regular subscriptions.

Similarly, as we were unable to create a connection from China, the service also doesn't seem to be any help in circumventing the "Great Firewall."

In sum, TorGuard offers good speeds as well as stable and reliable connections. At the same time, the inability to stream foreign content (without subscription add-ons) or circumvent the "Great Firewall" were both disappointing.

Score: 3.3 / 5

Security and Privacy

While a number of other VPN providers are located in countries like Panama or the British Virgin Islands, making it possible for them to ignore court orders from abroad, TorGuard is located in the United States, which isn't ideal for a VPN. Concretely, this means that user data can be demanded by the government or authorities, and must be furnished. So long as no user data is collected, or an absolute minimum, this is less of an issue.

In its privacy policy, the company states "TorGuard does not collect or log any data from its Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Proxy services." It also offers a "No-Logs" guarantee, but can we trust it? Unfortunately, TorGuard has yet to undergo an independent security audit to put its promises to the test. Since "No-Logs" VPNs have been caught out in the past sharing data with authorities, we remain skeptical.

With that said, TorGuard scores owing to its bountiful configuration options and integrated protection against IPv6 and WebRTC leaks. As might be expected, the provider waltzed through our VPN leak tests (IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC).

We were unable to identify any leaks during testing.

In terms of VPN protocols, TorGuard supports WireGuard, the fastest and most secure protocol available, as well as OpenVPN and OpenConnect. Beyond that, you'll also be afforded quite a few more options for encryption (AES 256, AES 128), authentication, and ports than other providers offer.

TorGuard allows users to take security into their own hands.

In terms of security, TorGuard is as good or as bad as you make it. The service doesn't come with any standard or default security options, meaning that less-experienced users will likely be overwhelmed with all of the settings. For the more experienced, the ability to fine-tune connection security is certainly welcome.

The only glaring negative is the absence of an independent security audit, as we like to see every VPN provider offer this.

Score: 3.3 / 5

Customer Support

TorGuard's website offers a relatively comprehensive help area with FAQs, a knowledge base, YouTube tutorials, and a forum. For a more human touch, support tickets and a live chat are also offered.

The provider promises 24/7 support, however, their live chat isn't always online. We spent an entire Friday afternoon waiting for the live chat to come online, without anything to show for it. Oddly enough, on the same day, our support ticket was answered within an hour.

The help center provides a nice selection of support content.

Overall, TorGuard did alright in terms of support thanks to its well-equipped help center and fast response times. Our only complaint is that more transparency (or honesty?) would be nice regarding the live chat. Of course, we don't expect support to immediately respond at 1:42 AM on a Sunday morning, but Friday afternoon should be covered.

Score: 4.3 / 5

Pricing

TorGuard's pricing system is about as clunky as its apps, owing to the variety of packages on offer, each of which has different add-ons and features. In general, three subscriptions are available: Anonymous VPN, Streaming Bundle, and Business VPN. While assessing the service, there was also a Black Friday Bundle, even though Black Friday had come and gone a few months earlier.

It's possible to choose from additional options within each package, such as Anonymous VPN Pro, which includes a dedicated IP address. Add-ons can be purchased individually. The amount you pay for a package or bundle, depends entirely upon the length of your contract (monthly, quarterly, half-year, yearly, 2-year, or 3-year).

The entire pricing and ordering system is unnecessarily convoluted. For a clearer overview of current prices, check out the table below:

2 yearsYearlyMonthly
Pricing
Set-up fee - - -
Base price per month $4.17 $4.99 $9.99
Contract period (months) 24 12 1
Limits
Data volume unlimited unlimited unlimited
Number of Devices 8 8 8
Features
Number of servers 3,000 3,000 3,000
Number of countries 50 50 50
No server logs
P2P allowed
Tor access
Kill Switch
Protocols
OpenVPN
WireGuard
OpenVPN
WireGuard
OpenVPN
WireGuard

Payment can be made with credit cards, Amazon Pay, and even cryptocurrency or gift cards. For those who want to pay anonymously, the last two are certainly big advantages.

No trial version of TorGuard is offered, however, you can get your money back after seven days if you're not completely satisfied with the service.

Conclusion

Review Score
3.6 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Customer Support
4.3 / 5
Server Network
4.0 / 5
Performance
3.3 / 5
Security and Privacy
3.3 / 5
Installation and Features
3.0 / 5

Let's make one thing clear: TorGuard is not the best option for recreational VPN users. The usability of its boxy interface is fairly low, and its wealth of settings and options won't be appreciated by those using a VPN for everyday tasks. If you want to stream foreign content, you'll need to purchase one of the bundles that offer dedicated streaming servers, somewhat defeating the purpose of a VPN in the first place.

If none of the above has put you off too much, you'll get a VPN that includes extensive DNS options, the ability to execute user-defined scripts, and plenty of settings to tweak to your heart's content. Should you want more control over your VPN tunnel than what others offer, TorGuard's no-frills service might be just what you're after.

TorGuard VPN Test
TorGuard VPN
(6,286)
3,000+ servers in 50 countries
Many setting options
Fast customer support
Clunky user interface
No independent security audit
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
8 - 12
Protocols
2
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
50%
Discount
Code:
EXPERTE
TorGuard 2 years
$4.17
monthly price
Visit Website »
Review Score
3.6 / 5
good

Customer Reviews

To find out what users really think about TorGuard VPN, we compiled a number of reviews from validated aggregators and portals.

Customer Rating
4.4 / 5
6,286 Ratings
good
We analyzed the reviews and ratings from various portals and found 6,286 ratings with an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 .
Show sources

Alternatives

You're on the hunt for a VPN that offers lots of settings, but is more user-friendly than TorGuard? Look no further than hide.me, which combines ease of use with plenty of customization options.

Or maybe performance is more important to you, and you don't think you should have to pay on top of a subscription to stream content from abroad? NordVPN, the winner of our speed test, does all of the above, and more.

The best alternatives to TorGuard can be found here:

Best Overall 2021
NordVPN Test
NordVPN
(637,937)
5400+ servers, 60 countries
Excellent performance
No logs
6 devices simultaneously
Inexpensive 2-year package
NordVPN combines speed, user-friendliness and functionality into a coherent overall package that is also fairly affordable.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
NordVPN 2-year plan
$3.71
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Best Overall
4.7 / 5
excellent
ExpressVPN Test
ExpressVPN
(373,098)
3000+ Server
160 cities in 94 countries
Excellent performance
Saves no logs
30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN impresses with strong performance, a huge server network and excellently designed applications, but this quality also comes at a higher price.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
3
Protocols
7
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
ExpressVPN 12 Months
$8.33
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review Score
4.7 / 5
excellent
Best Value for Money
Surfshark VPN Test
Surfshark VPN
(68,806)
3200+ servers in 65 countries
Unlimited number of devices
Many apps (Linux, FireTV, ...)
Saves no logs
Very cheap on the 24-month plan
Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on the market, but besides the price also impresses with strong protection, many features and a great support with 24/7 live chat.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
Surfshark 24 months
$2.49
monthly price
Visit Website »
Get 83% Discount
Review Score
4.4 / 5
good
ProtonVPN Test
ProtonVPN
(25,728)
Strong focus on security
1200+ servers in 55 countries
Headquarters in Switzerland
Solid performance
Open Source & external audits
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
3
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
ProtonVPN Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review Score
4.3 / 5
good
HideMyAss! VPN Test
HideMyAss! VPN
(73,324)
1100+ servers
290 locations in 210 countries
7 days free trial
Excellent performance
Unreliable for streaming
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
5
Protocols
1
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
HideMyAss! 36 month
$2.99
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review Score
4.3 / 5
good
Author (German Version): Martin Gschwentner
Martin Gschwentner majored in American Studies and Media Studies in Germany, the USA and France and works as a freelance editor in Paris. He is a doctoral student at the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Paris Diderot, where he is researching the influence of money on US politics. On EXPERTE.com he writes about IT security, data protection and software for the self-employed and small businesses.
English Translator & Editor: D Bare
Other languages:
Deutsch 
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