TorGuard Review

TorGuard is a security-focused VPN that will protect you if you can figure out how to use it. Though it gets a lot right, using its outdated UI is a chore at the best of times and we don't recommend it to people looking for a stress-free user experience, as you can read our full TorGuard review.

By Jacob RoachDeputy Editor
— Last Updated: 09 Oct'19
2019-10-09T07:55:44+00:00
Table of ContentsRating
Features
80%
Good
Pricing
65%
Decent
User Friendliness
70%
Decent
Speed
80%
Good
Security
85%
Very Good
Privacy
90%
Excellent
Streaming Performance
60%
Fair
Server Locations
85%
Very Good
Customer Service
90%
Excellent
User Reviews & Comments

Good
Starts from $ 500 per month
best-VPN-reviews

TorGuard is a virtual private network we took kindly to in our last testing. In our previous TorGuard review, we praised its customizability, fast speed and reasonable price point, weighing all of this against its dated and complex interface. Although its customizability and speed is still intact, the interface is showing its age now more than ever. 

With updates rolling out from VyprVPN (two VPNs we criticized for usability, as you can see in our Private Internet Access review and VyprVPN review), TorGuard is falling behind. 

TorGuard is difficult to use, and compared to services like CyberGhost — which beautifully balances advanced options with usability — it looks like a subpar option, at best. 

In this updated TorGuard review, we’re going to see if it still deserves a spot on our best VPN list. As we did before, we’ll evaluate TorGuard point-for-point across features, pricing, user-friendliness, speed, security, privacy, streaming performance, server locations and customer support  before giving our verdict.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Highly customizable
  • Fast in certain locations
  • Inexpensive
  • Can access Netflix
  • App kill
  • Kill switch
  • Support for custom scripts

Weaknesses:

  • Difficult to use
  • No split tunneling
  • No free trial
  • Limited money-back guarantee
  • Blocked by Hulu, Amazon & BBC iPlayer

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Features

80% - Good

One of TorGuard’s strengths is flexibility, which comes at the cost of accessibility, as you can see in the “user-friendliness” section below. Even so, there’s no denying the features packed into the application, no matter how dated their presentation may be. 

The essentials are accounted for, including a kill switch, options to automatically launch on startup and to automatically connect when launched. Although we shouldn’t have to mention these features — we consider them “essential,” after all — some services skip out on them (read our CactusVPN review for an example). 

That’s not what’s impressive about TorGuard in the features department, though. In addition to the essentials, you’re also given multiple customization options, including the ability to change your cipher, add custom scripts and set up a stealth proxy. With these features, techies can make TorGuard their own, but that’s reserved just for techies. 

Like AirVPN, TorGuard isn’t accessible (read our AirVPN review for more on that service). The interface is dated, but more than that, the features are complex and irrelevant for most people. Although the idea of adding custom scripts to run after connecting is appealing to those who know what they’re doing, it’s not entirely necessary or practical. 

We’d trade these goodies for better DNS handling, for example, rather than the laundry list of options TorGuard presents now. It’s good to have settings, but seeing how many of them are irrelevant or only for advanced users, TorGuard could trim some fat and, in the process, make room for relevant features. 

That said, TorGuard has some useful additions, including app kill. In the settings, you can specify certain apps that will abide by the kill switch, meaning they will be terminated if your connection to the remote server is lost. For example, if you want to browse the web while protecting your torrenting application, you could add it to the app kill list.

Although similar to split tunneling, app kill isn’t the same thing. Unfortunately, TorGuard doesn’t have split-tunneling functionality, which allows you to send some traffic through the VPN tunnel while other traffic uses your normal connection. If you use an online backup service, such as Backblaze, split tunneling is essential (read our Backblaze review).

TorGuard Features Overview

Starts from$ 500per month

General

Payment methods
PayPal, Credit card
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections
5
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
Refund period
7 days
Worldwide server amount
3000+
Desktop OSes
Windows, MacOS, Linux
Mobile OSes
Android, iOS
Browser extensions
Chrome, Firefox
Can be installed on routers

Streaming

Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
Can access Amazon Prime Video

Security

Encryption types
128-AES, 256-AES
VPN protocols available
OpenVPN, OpenConnect
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included

Support

Live Chat
office hours
Email support
24/7
Phone support
office hours
User forum
Knowledgebase

Pricing

65% - Decent

TorGuard is cheaper than most leading VPNs available, though its limited timeframe means it can’t compete with the multi-year offerings of NordVPN (read our NordVPN review). It also claims there’s a “seven-day free trial,” which isn’t true. We’ll get into that later in this section.

One Month
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 5 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
Three Months
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 5 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
3-months plan $ 6.66/ month
$19.99 billed every 3 month
Six Months
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 5 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
6-months plan $ 5.00/ month
$29.99 billed every 6 month
One Year
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 5 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
1-year plan $ 5.00/ month
$59.99 billed every year

The monthly plan is solid, around $2 to $3 cheaper than other leading services. CyberGhost, for example, costs $12.99 per month (though, as you can see in our CyberGhost review, it comes with two more simultaneous connections). It’s a far cry from Astrill’s astronomically high monthly rate (read our Astrill review), but it’s still not the best price we’ve seen. 

Windscribe, for example, allows you to build your own plan based on the locations you want, bringing the monthly price down to only a few dollars (read our Windscribe review). If you want all the locations, like you get with TorGuard, the rate is still $1 cheaper. 

In most cases, though, the monthly rate is bad. We always recommend going for the longest duration possible, as it brings the cost per month down to only a few dollars. That’s not possible with TorGuard, though. It offers up to a year, which brings the monthly rate to around $5. 

Although inexpensive, you can get your monthly rate down to around $3 while getting more simultaneous connections by purchasing a triennial subscription with CyberGhost or NordVPN

If you want more connections, TorGuard sells them at $1 apiece. It also offers streaming IP addresses in various locations for $7.99 per month each. Considering that services like NordVPN, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, Windscribe and countless others include streaming IP addresses in the base plan, the slightly cheaper monthly rate doesn’t look as attractive. 

As for payment, TorGuard accepts the usual suite, including PayPal, credit cards and bitcoin, along with multiple other cryptocurrencies.

TorGuard Free “Trial”

Plastered across TorGuard’s website, you’ll find badges for a “seven-day free trial,” but that’s a bit misleading: clicking on those badges will bring you to a page for the otherwise unadvertised “fresh start” plan, which lets you trade in your current VPN subscription for one with TorGuard. There’s no trial for new users, so we don’t blame consumers for feeling like they’ve been led up the garden path by these badges. We feel the same way.

A “fresh start” means you get a free week to try TorGuard out (the “trial”) and if you then cancel your old plan and email proof, you get another month of TorGuard for free. It’s a novel approach, though we’re not sure getting a free month of TorGuard is reward or punishment.

If you don’t already have a VPN subscription, TorGuard has a seven-day money-back guarantee. You’ll still have to put your card on record, and you’ll still be charged when you check out. 

You can cancel in the first week to receive a refund, but that’s lackluster, at best. Most services offer a month to receive a refund — read our VPNArea review for just one example — making TorGuard’s refund period unimpressive. That’s ignoring the fact that TorGuard is mincing words with its liberal use of the word “trial” and, in the process, blatantly lying on its website.

User Friendliness

70% - Decent

TorGuard’s checkout is easy to get through, even if the website is a little overbearing. There are multiple services available, including business email and a proxy (read our most secure email providers and VPN vs. proxy vs. Tor guides for more on those services). No matter where you are, though, you can always click the “join now” button to go straight to the VPN checkout. 

The checkout page is simple, requesting that you choose a billing cycle, any dedicated IP addresses and any streaming IP addresses. Despite the “free trial” claim, TorGuard makes it clear on the checkout page what you’ll be paying each month, as well as what is due when you sign up. The money-back guarantee isn’t clarified, though. 

Lastly, you’ll need to enter your payment information. If you’re paying with a credit card, you’ll need to enter billing information, but there’s also an option to turn off recurring payments. Although billing information is needed for, well, billing, we’ve seen other VPNs use a more privacy-centric checkout process (read our Mullvad review for more on that).  

After confirming payment, you’ll be redirected to a download page, which includes setup instructions for all of the platforms TorGuard supports, with images accompanying each step. 

Although it’s not the most attractive page — the font doesn’t match the rest of the website and the images flash on and off screen — we like seeing a setup page immediately after checkout. 

TorGuard Windows Application

We installed the TorGuard application on a Windows 10 machine, and although the installation went off without a hitch, we hit a snag when opening the application. After installing, you can launch the TorGuard app right away, which will boot you into a UI that shows your tunneling protocol, cipher, server and more. 

A server is also chosen by default, but we recommend changing it. For instance, TorGuard set us up with the Dallas, Texas, location, despite the fact that it also has a Chicago data center and we were testing out of St. Louis, Missouri. 

All of the server options are followed with a large “connect” button, which we clicked right away. We couldn’t connect, though. TorGuard took us to a login page, but not before attempting to connect and, in the process, blocking our internet connection. Hilariously, the detailed setup page doesn’t make mention of logging in to your account. 

It’s a small issue, but one that requires only a quick fix. Booting you to a login page right away would make starting the application easier. Furthermore, the only way to log in is to hit the “connect” button because there isn’t a login button in the application. 

After logging in, though, you’ll be connected right away. While connected, TorGuard will display your connection time, protocol, cipher, speed, IP address and more. It allows you to verify your IP address by clicking “verified.” Doing so will open a browser with TorGuard’s IP address checker. 

You can’t do anything else while connected, though. Everything is locked during your session except for the “disconnect” button. We can understand why — configuring a lot of settings requires reconnecting — but it’s nevertheless annoying. The process of disconnecting just to look at the server screen becomes frustrating quickly. 

Back on the disconnected page, there are a number of things you can configure without opening the settings. For those who don’t know what they’re doing, it’s best to leave everything the way it is. 

However, if you’re comfortable poking around, you can change your transport protocol between UDP and TCP, select the cipher you want to use and choose the port. You can also tick a checkbox to auto-connect when you launch TorGuard. 

The settings, accessed through the “more settings” button, are a continuation of what’s seen on the main screen. TorGuard has no problem getting in the weeds, allowing you to configure advanced DNS settings, set up OpenVPN with your minimum TLS version (read more about that in our SSL vs. TLS guide) and input scripts to run. 

Although it’s a playground for techies who know what they’re doing, TorGuard is wildly inaccessible for newcomers. We’ve seen form and functionality meet plenty of times before, including when testing Private Internet Access, so there’s no reason TorGuard can’t follow suit. 

There’s an abundance of options, and that’s a good thing, but the options need to be more thoughtfully laid out. For instance, the settings screen automatically launches to the “proxy” tab, which is the fourth in line. 

Additionally, simple settings — such as hiding the application in the system tray — are mixed in with more advanced ones. Many of these settings could easily be reserved for some sort of advanced screen.

TorGuard Chrome Extension

Along with your subscription, TorGuard offers a Chrome and Firefox extension. We tried installing it on Opera, though, which is a Chromium-based browser, and it took just fine (read our Opera review). Although it looks similar to other VPN extensions — read our PureVPN review for an example — it’s not the same.

The extension is a SSL/TLS proxy, not a separate way to control the VPN from your browser. Although that’s not inherently a bad thing, TorGuard literally calls the extension “TorGuard VPN extension” in the Chrome Web Store. It’s not a VPN, just like a money-back guarantee isn’t a free trial. 

Despite the unclear naming, the extension is worth installing, though more so for the additional features than the proxy. With the extension, you can block ads, geo-fake your location and set up URLs that are excluded from the proxy. You can also use it in conjunction with the VPN for a pseudo double-hop connection.

Speed

80% - Good

For all of its problems, TorGuard is fast, earning a coveted spot at the top of our fastest VPN guide. However, as we pointed out in that guide, it’s fast when you’re looking at averages. When looking at individual servers, TorGuard isn’t as impressive. Some locations are fine while others are abysmal. 

Before getting to our individual results, here’s how we tested it: We ran our unprotected connection through speedtest.net, then tried five locations with an encrypted one, starting with the recommended one and moving geographically further away. All of our testing was done using OpenVPN with TCP as the tunneling protocol. We left the cipher on default, as well, at AES-256-GCM. 

Location:Ping (ms)Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)
Unprotected (St. Louis)
884.2822.01
Dallas (recommended)4863.5117.7
Chicago4264.212
London2793.120.64
Tokyo29622.4818.89
Sydney44511.6814.51

As you can see above, there’s a solid amount of inconsistency between locations, unlike the fastest VPN we’ve reviewed, ExpressVPN (read our ExpressVPN review). The recommended location in Dallas was quick, maintaining most of our download and upload speed, though the Chicago location was faster overall. 

The London location was unusable, slowing our download rate to less than five percent of our original speed. Sydney showed similar issues. Despite having a faster download speed than London, the latency was much higher, making TorGuard unsuitable for our best VPN for gaming list when jumping abroad. If you’re staying close to home, it’s still a solid choice, though. 

TorGuard can be a fast performer, but if you chose the wrong server, it’s unusable. Although we’ve seen other services with a similar issue — NordVPN, for example — we’ve never seen it on this scale. You’ll have to hunt around to find the right location.   

Security

85% - Very Good

TorGuard has a lot of security options, but that doesn’t inherently make it more secure. That said, it falls in line with the rest of the market. Out of the box, it uses OpenVPN, with TCP as the transport protocol and AES-256-GCM as the default cipher. If you want to learn more about AES, be sure to read our description of encryption

That’s the best bundle of specs, as far as VPN security goes. Although TorGuard gives you the option to change the cipher — and even go without one — it’s not for the sake of security. Rather, you can change your cipher to increase your speed. You can learn about why that makes a difference in our VPN protocol breakdown

As for VPN protocols, TorGuard supports OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP, stunnel, OpenConnect and a standard HTTP or HTTPS proxy. However, you won’t find all of those options in the application. Rather, you can choose between OpenVPN or OpenConnect and enable stunnel. 

L2TP, IPSec and PPTP must be configured manually, which isn’t a big deal, as these  protocols are really only suitable for niche applications and, sometimes, mobile devices. Proxy connections are made through the browser extension but not the local application. In short, TorGuard has options, but it’s best to leave everything as is. 

As far as the security in practice, we tested TorGuard for DNS leaks, IP leaks and WebRTC. It came back clean on all accounts, even across multiple locations.

Privacy

90% - Excellent

TorGuard doesn’t talk much about privacy, which is surprising. We’ve seen the same “no logs” song and dance from multiple providers, for them only to be caught doing the exact thing they said they weren’t (read our IPVanish review and BufferedVPN review for a couple examples). TorGuard doesn’t have those claims plastered across its website. 

Rather, a single, bolded line in the privacy policy is dedicated to the VPN service: “TorGuard does not collect or log any data from its Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Proxy services.” However, that doesn’t mean the personal information that you’ve provided disappears.  

If you pay with a credit card, TorGuard requires that you enter your billing information, which you’d be forgiven for writing off as a necessary evil. It doesn’t seem that’s why the information is collected, though, seeing as we paid with a virtual credit card not registered to the name or billing address we entered. 

Below the bolded “no logs” claim is a section of smaller text that says TorGuard stores this personal information privately, but will share this information if “required to do so by law.” If you’re paying with PayPal, your billing information is still stored through PayPal, and most cryptocurrency exchanges require billing information, too. 

All of that is made even more concerning by the fact that TorGuard is based in the States. However, TorGuard says you can request to delete this information, but doesn’t make it clear if it will delete your account in the process. 

TorGuard doesn’t seem to be up to anything too shady, but the lack of clarification in the privacy policy is worth paying attention to.

Streaming Performance

60% - Fair

TorGuard was able to break into Netflix during our testing, though it still missed a spot on our best VPN for Netflix list. It’s not too surprising that it can break through, through, considering Netflix is a key selling point for most VPNs. 

As for the other streaming services we tested — Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and BBC iPlayer — TorGuard failed, no matter how many servers we tried. Perhaps the dedicated streaming IPs would help with breaking into these platforms, but we’ve gone on about our issues with those enough. 

Although we like the access to Netflix, it’s not the most important platform. Netflix is available in most counties and easily accessible, whereas Amazon has a wildly different library depending on location, and Hulu and iPlayer are restricted to certain regions: the U.S. and UK, respectively. 

If you’re interested in breaking through the geoblocks, be sure to checkout our best VPN for Amazon Prime Video, best VPN for Hulu and best VPN for BBC iPlayer guides.

Server Locations

85% - Very Good

TorGuard has more than 3000 servers spread across 68 locations in 55 countries. Although the network is massive — rivaling the likes of NordVPN — it only provides 68 data center options in the application. As mentioned in the “pricing” section above, you can expand the list with residential IP addresses, which should help with gaining access to streaming platforms.

The spread of locations is solid, with most of them focused in the U.S. and Europe. However, a handful are in other areas, including nine locations in the Asia-Pacific region and six locations spread throughout Africa and the Middle East. 

The Middle East is a generally underserved location with VPNs, so even though there are only a handful of locations, we’re happy to see TorGuard represent that area. 

TorGuard doesn’t have as many locations as HideMyAss, though few VPNs do, as you can read in our HideMyAss review. Even so, we’re happy with the spread and options. Despite that, this section isn’t all positive. 

We understand spending extra for a dedicated IP address, however, charging for streaming locations isn’t okay. One of the main uses for a VPN is streaming — read our best VPN for streaming guide for more on that — and most other services include streaming locations for free. TorGuard not only charges for them, but charges nearly the monthly rate for a single location.

Customer Service

90% - Excellent

Although the usability issues in the application didn’t give us much hope for customer service, TorGuard makes it simple to find support. Around the website, a small bubble in the screen’s bottom-right corner will ask if you need help. Clicking it will open a live chat, which runs around the clock. When we reached out, a representative got back to us in a few minutes. 

Most problems can be solved on your own, though. The blue bar at the top of the website that displays your IP address also has a “support” button, and clicking on it will bring you to the support hub. There, you’ll find contact links, the community forum, the FAQ and the full knowledgebase. 

Everything is shockingly easy to get around, which is a nice change of pace after using the application for a while. Furthermore, the support hub is filled with content, providing tutorials, clarifications and more. 

There are plenty of contact options, though. Live chat is the most convenient way to get ahold of TorGuard, but the depth of knowledge is limited. If you need help with a more complex issue, you can call or email TorGuard around the clock. 

The Verdict

TorGuard is a service that’s best summarized as “just okay.” The speed is good, as long as you can pick a decent server, and the price isn’t bad. However, even with that, it’s hard to ignore the dated usability. For around the same price, there are other options that do the same thing, but better. 

It has some unique features, and if those sound interesting to you, then it’s worth a shot. However, if you want to just unblock some streaming sites or protect your online privacy, it’s better to look for another option in our VPN reviews

What do you think of TorGuard? Do you plan on taking advantage of its “free trial”? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.

TorGuard FAQs

  • What Is TorGuard?

    TorGuard is a virtual private network service that also offers business VPNs, email and proxy services. Its VPN service includes unlimited bandwidth and access to more than 3,000 servers in more than 50 countries. 

  • Where Is TorGuard Based?

    TorGuard is owned by VPNetworks LLC, which is based in Orlando, Florida. 

  • How to Setup TorGuard

    TorGuard can be installed on a variety of devices, including Windows 10 and macOS computers, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. Tutorials for each of these platforms are provided after checkout. 

Torguard Review

A highly secure VPN with some usability issues.

TorGuard is a security-focused VPN that will protect you if you can figure out how to use it. Though it gets a lot right, using its outdated UI is a chore at the best of times and we don't recommend it to people looking for a stress-free user experience, as you can read our full TorGuard review.
Starts from$ 500per month
Visit Torguard

One thought on “TorGuard”

  1. TorGuard User Rating 5

    Solid service – I have used them extensively while out in the UAE and in some hotels, definitely a keeper for me.

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Torguard Review

A highly secure VPN with some usability issues.

TorGuard is a security-focused VPN that will protect you if you can figure out how to use it. Though it gets a lot right, using its outdated UI is a chore at the best of times and we don't recommend it to people looking for a stress-free user experience, as you can read our full TorGuard review.
Starts from$ 500per month
Visit Torguard
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