TorGuard VPN review: Serviceable speeds and the right privacy promises
- 09 November, 2020 22:30
TorGuard in brief:
P2P allowed: Yes
Business location: Florida
Number of servers: 3,000+
Number of country locations: 46
VPN protocol: OpenVPN (default)
Data encryption: AES-128-GCM (default)
Data authentication: SHA-256
TorGuard is a no-nonsense VPN service. You won’t find a ton of extra features. There are no double VPN connections, specialized TOR over VPN connections, or anything like that. It’s a straight-up VPN connection over OpenVPN, WireGuard, or OpenConnect, with 46 country options on OpenVPN to choose from.
TorGuard (that’s “Tor” as in “torrents”) makes the right privacy promises, doesn’t cost too much, and is pretty simple to use. You might even forget you’re using it, which is perhaps the best advantage of all.
Note: This review is part of our best VPNs roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.
Features and services
TorGuard uses a single-panel app with all the pertinent settings right up front, including server location, VPN protocol (dubbed Tunnel Type), several port options along with the version of SHA you’d like to use for authentication, and the encryption cipher for the actual data.
If you don’t touch anything, TorGuard will select all of these settings for you. In some cases during our testing it selected a port with SHA1, but you can change that if you’d rather use SHA-256 or SHA-512. AES-128-GCM is the default encryption cipher, but you can bump that up to AES-256-GCM if you like.
Choosing a new location is just a question of hitting Select Server underneath the current location, and then selecting your specific location from the list. TorGuard doesn’t provide any ping times on this list, though you can filter the list by Usage. This list also shows which servers support WireGuard. That may have been helpful at some point, but now all of the company’s servers appear to support the new VPN protocol.
Settings options are pretty straightforward. There’s an AppKill feature that lets you set a list of specific applications you don’t want hitting the internet when the VPN disconnects. TorGuard also has a more generic kill switch to shut down all connectivity on your computer if the VPN connection drops. You can find this feature under More Settings > Network > Seamless reconnect > Kill Switch.
TorGuard will also let you customize your DNS servers, and set the minimum TLS version to use (the default at this writing was 1.3).
There are also proxy settings if you want to obfuscate the fact that you’re using OpenVPN when behind a firewall, or if you simply want to hide the fact that you’re using OpenVPN as a matter of principle.
For our speed tests we left everything as is. We didn’t change the VPN protocol to WireGuard or anything else. We just let the VPN do its thing, as that’s the practice of most users.
In our tests, using multiple locations over several days, we found that TorGuard maintained just shy of 30 percent of the base speed. That puts it in the mid-range for speed, and it means it should be acceptable for most use cases. The speeds in Asia were surprisingly good, which could help anyone looking to connect to a game server or video service in that region of the world.
We also tested TorGuard against Netflix, as this is an advertised feature and we had no trouble unblocking overseas versions of the video service.
Privacy, anonymity, and trust
TorGuard is run by VPNetworks LLC under a holding company called Data Protection Services LLC based in Florida, with Benjamin Van Pelt listed as a “Managing Member.” VanPelt lists himself as the CEO of both VPNetworks and TorGuard on LinkedIn.
TorGuard accepts payments via credit card and several manners of cryptocurrency, including direct wallet transfers.
Pricing and conclusion
TorGuard offers a few different packages, including the standard Anonymous VPN (the product we’re reviewing here), a streaming bundle, and a VPN service for businesses.
We’ll skip the business package, but if you’re interested, you can learn more about it on TorGuard’s website. The Anonymous VPN is priced at $60 for a year, $30 for six months, $20 for a quarter year, or $10 on a month-to-month basis. Both the six- and 12-month packages break down to $5 per month.
The Anonymous VPN supports up to eight simultaneous connections, but there’s also a Pro option with 12 simultaneous connections, one dedicated IP address, and a larger set of ports for forwarding. The Pro version is $120 per year, $60 for six months, $35 per quarter, or $13 per month.
If that wasn’t enough there’s also an upgrade to VPN Pro that adds a free GLi Mini Router at a cost of $80 per year.
Finally, there’s the streaming bundle option, which costs $122 per year, $62 for six months, $42 per quarter, or $22 per month.
The big difference between the streaming bundle and the standard VPNs is that with the streaming bundle you get two IP addresses for streaming.
TorGuard is a good VPN. It’s not going to amaze you, but the price is right, it’s simple to use, and it won’t get in your way.
Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.