As far as brand recognition goes, TorGuard is one of the most recognizable names in the VPN game, but does exposure equal quality? That’s what this comprehensive review is here to answer.
TorGuard VPN Performance
TorGuard boasts one of the largest VPN server networks out there, with over 3,000 servers spanning more than 50 countries to choose from. Meaning finding a server that’s not overloaded with user requests is a rather simple task at any point in the day.
On the downside, it’s unfortunate that TorGuard VPN locks dedicated streaming servers behind an extra paywall. That’s right, the basic tier prices won’t get you through to that country-specific Netflix or Amazon Prime Video library. It’s not that there’s an industry standard among VPN when it comes to streaming – quite the contrary, in fact – but this lack of Netflix and other on-demand video support is disappointing at best and a dealbreaker at worst, depending on where your priorities lie.
Things are a bit better when it comes to torrenting via TorGuard; its P2P servers are accessible on all subscription tiers and they even play nicely with port forwarding, as well as some well-known desktop and mobile clients such as uTorrent.
Unfortunately, none of those things matter if you can’t get decent speeds and in our experience, rerouting Internet requests through TorGuard VPN’s servers tended to result in 40-50% performance drop-offs quite regularly. That’s borderline acceptable for a service that costs as much as TorGuard VPN does, but more on that later.
TorGuard VPN Privacy & Security
TorGuard comes packed with every bell and whistle you’d expect from a 21st-century virtual private network solution. End-to-end encryption with 256-bit AES keys, dynamic IP obfuscation, the already mentioned port forwarding support, NAT firewall integration, ad blocking, anti-tracking services, it’s all there, whether you know what to do with it or not.
The company running the well-known service also has an equally well-known logging policy – there is no user logs of any kind being stored on its servers at any point. This is the bare minimum one should expect from a trustworthy VPN provider these days, but you could say the same of ensuring your VPN isn’t headquartered in a potentially problematic jurisdiction – like the United States. Unfortunately, that happens to be the case.
TorGuard VPN Warrant Canary
Making matters even worse is the fact that the company offers no warrant canary of any kind. Ok, that’s actually rather debatable, assuming TorGuard isn’t lying about its no-logging policy (which would be a really stupid thing to do and isn’t remotely feasible). After all, it’s difficult to comply with data requests if you have no data to speak of.
Then again, we’re talking about a U.S.-based firm here, and those sometimes happen to get caught up in real-time surveillance after being compelled to do so by American authorities. Our in-depth look at the legality of VPNs goes into this issue much deeper but suffice it to say that the lack of warrant canary support of any kind is not a good look for TorGuard, no-logging policy or not.
TorGuard VPN Ease of Use
It’s not a surprise that one of the most popular VPN solutions out there is also one of the easiest to use. TorGuard should also be commended for being one of the rare few VPN providers who understand the importance of design consistency. Whether you’re using its Android app, iOS port, Windows original, a client for some other OS, or a combination of those, the interfaces never change and getting to where you want to be is a breeze.
TorGuard VPN Pricing
TorGuard is available at a pretty standard rate of $9.99 per month, assuming you don’t want to sign up for longer commitments. The company does its best to tempt you with a 50% discount on yearly subscriptions, though pulling the plug on one would certainly be easier if there was a straightforward path toward trying the VPN yourself.
As it turns out, TorGuard does offer a week-long free trial, but there’s a pretty big catch thrown into the mix. Instead of just letting you on its network for a few days to experience how it handles things (you know, like pretty much every other VPN provider does), the company wants you to get in touch with its aggressive sales department, email them a copy of your last VPN bill, wait for them to verify it, whatever that even means, and then receive login info.
Doesn’t sound very private, you say? No worries, TorGuard VPN will actually extend that week-long trial period to a full month after you also email them proof you canceled your previous VPN service. If these reviews of ours had a self-awareness category, TorGuard would score exactly zero.
TorGuard VPN Review Summary
Given how popular it is, a skeptical person would expect TorGuard VPN to be much worse for one’s privacy and security. That’s not the case and in most aspects, this is a pretty decent option if you’re looking for a general-purpose VPN and don’t care about geographical restrictions enforced by on-demand video platforms. Still, its frankly ridiculous trial requirements, unimpressive speeds, and run-of-the-mill pricing do leave something to be desired. As always, however, whether any of those things are a dealbreaker or not will depend on one’s personal preferences and requirements.
BSN’s TorGuard VPN Review has been written by Dominik Bosnjak, a long-time VPN-user-turned-advocate who spends more time scrutinizing VPN Providers on a daily basis than he’d like to admit. When he isn’t writing VPN Guides and covering general Tech News, he’s probably spending time with his dog, video games, or both. Fun fact: the Shih Tzu in question is the only remaining creature in Dominik’s life who hasn’t told him they’re sick of him talking about Best VPN practices and government-sponsored erosion of digital privacy which made using the Internet less convenient over the years. He occasionally dabbles in video editing, Wall Street memes, and demonstrating a remarkable lack of guitar-playing ability. If you want more tidbit-sized rants about any of those things, you can find him on Twitter @dddominikk.
The overall score doesn’t represent an average of all individual ratings but a weighted average which values Performance as 33%, Privacy & Security as 33%, Ease of Use as 12%, and Pricing as 22% of the final figure. It’s meant to standardize our reviews by giving more weight to the attributes we value the most in VPNs (speed, privacy, and security) without completely disregarding the rest. Naturally, much like any other review out there, the starting points/ratings are still inherently subjective to a particular reviewer’s experience.