TorGuard is a virtual private network (VPN) we took to kindly 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. TorGuard seems to have taken our criticism for usability positively and decided to spruce up its app, website and features.
- TorGuard is a VPN that provides all the standard features and a host of advanced options, some of which may be irrelevant, especially for beginners.
- TorGuard is fast enough to support all internet activities, including web browsing and torrenting.
- TorGuard’s speeds can support buffering-free streaming, but this means nothing because it doesn’t get into most streaming platforms; it gets into Netflix just fine, though, if that’s all you need.
- TorGuard’s Android, Windows, Mac and Linux clients are unintuitive, but the iOS app and browser extensions are user-friendly and easy to use.
The last time we reviewed TorGuard, it was difficult to use, and compared to VPN services like ExpressVPN — which beautifully balances advanced options with usability — it looked like a subpar option, at best. So, have the latest upgrades improved TorGuard’s user experience? Does TorGuard now deserve a spot on our best VPN list?
In this updated TorGuard VPN review, we’ll put TorGuard through the wringer to determine how the upgrades have changed its usability and performance. 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.
If you’d rather skip to the conclusion, you can head over to our ExpressVPN review. Although TorGuard gets a lot right, it’s no match for ExpressVPN.
TorGuard is good enough if you need a VPN to unblock geo-restricted websites and content. It’s also great for torrenting via a SOCKS5 proxy but doesn’t cut it when it comes to streaming.
TorGuard isn’t free — it costs $4.99/month on the annual plan.
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.
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 8
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, regional payment systems, WebMoney
- : 5
- : Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, Crypto Currencies, PayPal (via Paddle)
- : 6
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 10
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 7
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Highly customizable with custom scripts
- Can access Netflix
- App kill & kill switch
- Difficult to use
- No split tunneling
- No free trial & limited money-back guarantee
- Blocked by Hulu, Amazon & BBC iPlayer
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.
TorGuard ticks all the boxes for commonplace features, including a kill switch, options to automatically launch on startup and automatically connect when launched. Beyond that, there are multiple options for techies who want to make TorGuard their own. For example, well-versed VPN users can change the encryption protocol, add custom scripts and set up a stealth proxy (shadowsocks).
Trading Necessity for Complexity
The VPN service presents a laundry list of options, but many are irrelevant or reserved only for advanced users. We would gladly trade some of these goodies like adding custom scripts for better usability for more necessary or practical features.
Besides, TorGuard has put vital features like split tunneling on the backburner. Since it doesn’t have a split tunneling feature, you can’t split your traffic to send some of it through the VPN tunnel and the rest via a normal connection. If you use an online backup service, such as Backblaze (read our Backblaze review), split tunneling is essential.
On the bright side, though, TorGuard has some valuable features, including a kill switch. The network kill switch, which you can enable in the “network” tab, blocks all internet connectivity when you disconnect the VPN. In doing so, it ensures that your internet traffic is always secured and encrypted, even when the VPN is accidentally disconnected.
Although similar to network kill switch, TorGuard’s second kill switch feature — app kill — isn’t the same. In principle, the app kill allows you to specify 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.
TorGuard Features Overview
|Payment methods||PayPal, Credit card|
|Supports split tunneling|
|Free trial available|
|Worldwide server amount||3000+ Servers in 50+ Countries|
|Desktop OSes||Windows, MacOS, Linux|
|Mobile OSes||Android, iOS|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox|
|Can be installed on routers|
|Can access Netflix US|
|Can access BBC iPlayer|
|Can access Hulu|
|Can access Amazon Prime Video|
|VPN protocols available||OpenVPN, OpenConnect, Stunnel, WireGuard|
|Enabled at device startup|
|Passed DNS leak test|
|Malware/ad blocker included|
|Live Chat||office hours|
TorGuard has a complex pricing structure that includes three broad tiers further divided into different plans. Namely, these are Anonymous VPN, Business VPN and streaming bundle.
- : Unlimited GB
- : 5
- : Unlimited GB
- : 5
- : Unlimited GB
- : 5
- : Unlimited GB
- : 5
Anonymous VPN Package
The Anonymous VPN package comes with three pricing plans: Anonymous VPN, Anonymous VPN Pro and Anonymous VPN + free routers. The three plans offer similar features, like access to over 3,000 servers, unlimited bandwidth, malware and ad blocker and access to a stealth proxy (shadowsocks).
However, the plans differ in that the Anonymous VPN base plan allows eight simultaneous connections. On the other hand, the Pro plan and Anonymous VPN + free router provide 12 simultaneous connections– which is more than most VPNs offer. Still, it’s not the best in an era where some providers like Avira Phantom are removing the restriction entirely.
The base plan costs $9.99 per month, which is $3 cheaper than other VPNs. For example, CyberGhost costs $12.99 per month, as you can see in our CyberGhost review. You can bring the price down to less than $5 per month if you choose to be billed semi-annually or annually.
If you choose the streaming bundle, you still get access to the Anonymous VPN features. On top of that, you get two free streaming IPs in countries with the most popular streaming channels, such as the U.S. and UK. According to TorGuard, the streaming IP addresses are unique in that they can never be blocked by streaming services.
The bundle costs $21.98 per month, but you can bring the cost down to $10.20 per month if you go for the annual plan. Considering ExpressVPN, NordVPN (read our NordVPN review), CyberGhost, Windscribe (read our Windscribe review) and countless other VPNs include streaming IP addresses in the base plan, TorGuard’s streaming bundle doesn’t look as attractive.
TorGuard offers Business VPN pricing plans for businesses that want secure corporate data access. Pricing starts at $32.99 per month for five users and goes all the way up to $169 per month for 20 users. Depending on the plan, you get a user portal, 5-20 email accounts, 1-10 dedicated IP addresses, data leak blocking and unlimited bandwidth.
TorGuard Free “Trial”
Plastered across TorGuard’s website, you’ll find badges for a “seven-day free trial,” but that’s a bit misleading. When you click on those badges, it will bring you to a page for the otherwise unadvertised “fresh start” plan.
A “fresh start” means you get a free week to try TorGuard out (the “trial”) when you trade in your current VPN subscription for one with TorGuard. If you cancel your old plan and email proof, you get another month of TorGuard for free.
For users who don’t already have a VPN subscription, TorGuard has a seven-day money-back guarantee. You can cancel in the first week to receive a refund, but that’s lackluster, at best. Most services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee (read our VPNArea review for just one example), making TorGuard’s refund period unimpressive.
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.
Checking out is a cinch. All you need to do is select your product group and add your account details (email address, new password, name and billing address). Lastly, choose a payment option and hit the “checkout” button. TorGuard accepts payments via PayPal, credit cards, Amazon Pay, bitcoin, CoinPayments, Paymentwall and gift card.
After confirming payment, you’ll be redirected to a download page, where you can download the apps for Windows, Mac and Linux devices. Even better, there are direct links to iOS and Android apps’ download pages, as well as to TorGuard extensions for Firefox and Chrome.
TorGuard Windows Client
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. The app didn’t appear automatically on the taskbar, despite us choosing to launch the app after installation. We had to click the TorGuard shortcut on the desktop to fire up the Windows client.
We expected TorGuard to have redesigned the Windows client, but our hopes were dashed when we first opened the app. Nothing much has changed: the Windows client is still as unintuitive as ever, which is disappointing. You can read our Mozilla VPN review for a VPN with a super easy-to-use UI.
TorGuard’s UI displays a few options, including the server you’re connected to, VPN protocol, connect button and an option to auto-connect on app launch. The options don’t cram up the UI, but the way they’re laid out makes it look old-fashioned.
Upon launch, TorGuard’s Windows client auto-selects a server for you. If the default server option isn’t favorable, click the “select server” button to pick a location of choice. When we clicked the “connect” button, TorGuard didn’t connect right away. Instead, it prompted us to enter login credentials (email and password), but not before attempting to connect and, in the process, blocking our internet connection.
The provider hasn’t rectified two issues we pointed out in our previous TorGuard VPN review. First, TorGuard doesn’t offer a login button on the Windows app, and so, the only way to log in is to hit the “connect” button. Second, the app doesn’t boot you into a login page when you first open it, which is very uncommon.
After logging in, though, you’ll be connected right away. While connected, TorGuard will display your connection time, protocol, cipher, IP address and bandwidth usage. It allows you to verify your IP address by clicking “verified.” Doing so will open a browser with TorGuard’s IP address checker.
Once you connect, the app locks all other functions except the disconnect button. In other words, you can’t change your location or tweak any of the settings unless you disconnect the app. Another thing is that the app keeps sending an on-screen notification every five minutes or so when turned off, which is annoying.
Windows Client Settings
TorGuard provides some straightforward settings that you can configure without opening the settings page. For example, it takes only a few clicks to change your transport protocol between UDP and TCP, select the cipher you want to use and choose the port.
When you click the “more settings” button, you enter a playground for techies who know what they’re doing. There’s an abundance of advanced settings like DNS configuration settings, options to set up OpenVPN with your minimum TLS version (read more about that in our SSL vs TLS guide) and input custom scripts to run. We recommend leaving everything the way it is if you’re a beginner.
TorGuard’s Browser Extensions
TorGuard offers a Chrome and Firefox extension alongside the PC and mobile apps. The extension also works flawlessly on Opera. However, you can’t install TorGuard on the Opera browser without the help of “Install Chrome Extensions” — an extension that helps you install add-ons from the Chrome Web Store.
TorGuard works just fine on Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi and Brave browsers, too. However, you have to “allow extensions from other stores” to be able to add TorGuard to Microsoft Edge.
The browser extension is an SSL/TLS proxy service, not a separate way to control the VPN from your browser. It has only a few essential functions and settings options to help you browse anonymously, block ads, add custom proxies and exclude some websites from the proxy.
More than that, TorGuard has redesigned the iOS app. The redesign has given the TorGuard client a new, modern look and significantly improved its usability. TorGuard’s Android app is still dated, though.
For all of its problems, TorGuard is fast, earning a coveted spot on our fastest VPN list. 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 offer acceptable speeds, while others are abysmal.
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. We did two speed tests. One test used the reliable OpenVPN, and the other the newly-added WireGuard protocol.
Using WireGuard Protocol
|South Africa (recommended)|
We noticed that TorGuard established connections pretty fast when using the WireGuard. This isn’t surprising, considering WireGuard is a lightweight VPN protocol. As you can see above, download speeds were consistent, but upload speeds were pretty inconsistent. Japan (Tokyo) was unusable, slowing down our upload rate to less than seven percent of the original speed.
Using OpenVPN Protocol
|South Africa (recommended)||135||2.9||2.34|
OpenVPN, on the other hand, was a bit slow when establishing a VPN connection to servers. Like WireGuard, the OpenVPN protocol showed solid consistency in download speeds, but upload speeds were inconsistent. Overall, London had the best download speed, slowing our rates by only an insignificant percentage.
All in all, TorGuard can be a fast performer, but if you chose the wrong server, it’s unusable. When using either of the VPN protocols, the ping rate increased 19 times, making TorGuard unsuitable for our best VPN for gaming list. If you’re staying close to home, it’s still a solid choice, though.
TorGuard has many 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 WireGuard with UDP as the transport protocol and ChaCha20 as the default cipher. If you want to learn more about AES, be sure to read our detailed encryption guide.
WireGuard with ChaCha20 cipher is a combination that delivers solid security and better performance on mobile apps. Be sure to check out our VPN protocol breakdown to learn more.
The good thing is that with TorGuard, you can change your bundle of security specs. It supports OpenVPN, L2TP, IPsec, PPTP, OpenConnect and a standard HTTP or HTTPS proxy. However, you won’t find all of those options in the application. Instead, you can only choose between WireGuard, OpenVPN or OpenConnect.
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.
When using OpenVPN, you can choose between AES-128-GCM or AES-256-GCM block ciphers. We recommend using the AES-256-GCM cipher with OpenVPN. OpenVPN is a tried-and-tested protocol, whereas AES-256-GCM provides high data integrity and authenticated encryption speed. When you combine the two, you get the best blend of specs as far as VPN security goes.
We tested TorGuard for WebRTC, IPv6 and DNS leaks using the default specs and the OpenVPN combination. It came back clean on all accounts, even across multiple locations. That’s no surprise, though, because TorGuard offers solid options here, and we are pleased it added the WireGuard encryption option.
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 wouldn’t (read our IPVanish review and Buffered VPN review for a couple examples). TorGuard doesn’t have those claims plastered across its website.
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 even more concerning by the fact that TorGuard is in the United States. However, TorGuard says you can request to delete this information, though it doesn’t make it clear if it will delete your account in the process.
As we have seen in our speed test, TorGuard offers unlimited bandwidth and doesn’t significantly impact download speeds, which is great for streaming fans. However, speed and unlimited bandwidth come into play only if you can unblock the streaming services.
TorGuard got past the strict geo-restrictions and allowed us to access the Netflix U.S. library, though it still missed a spot on our best VPN for Netflix list. Plus, it’s not too surprising that it can unblock Netflix, considering Netflix is a key selling point for most VPNs.
We tried to unblock BBC iPlayer using the two UK servers, but TorGuard failed. The story was the same for other services we tested — Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Perhaps the dedicated streaming IPs would help break through these restrictions, but we’ve gone on about our issues with those enough.
We like that it can access Netflix, but Netflix is easily accessible in most countries, whereas Amazon Prime Video is much more restrictive with its content, depending on the location. On the other hand, Hulu and BBC iPlayer are restricted to certain regions: the U.S. and UK, respectively.
If you’re interested in breaking through geoblocking, be sure to check out our best VPN for Amazon Prime Video, best VPN for Hulu and best VPN for BBC iPlayer guides.
The last time we reviewed TorGuard VPN, its server count and spread impressed us. In fact, with over 3,000 servers spread across 68 locations in 50 countries, it doesn’t lag far behind services like NordVPN and ExpressVPN on this front. However, when you weigh it against a VPN such as Private Internet Access, which has over 30,000 servers, the number looks less impressive.
The spread of locations is solid, with most of them focused in the U.S. and Europe. However, a handful of servers are in other areas, including nine locations across 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.
It 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.
TorGuard keeps upgrading its server network in a bid to improve user experience. Part of these upgrades involve creating physical data centers in specific countries that have previously relied on virtually routed locations. For example, South Korea and South Africa now have secure physical data centers hosted within these countries, whereas they used to have only virtual ones.
The last time we reviewed TorGuard, we were pleased with the accessibility of customer service options. There was 24/7 live chat accessibility via a small bubble button in the website’s bottom-right corner. Although the live chat option is no longer available on the website, you can still contact a staff member when you submit a ticket, and their response times are very fast.
Support is also available through its knowledgebase, community forum and email support. The knowledgebase and the FAQs section cover most of the issues you may have with the VPN service. Besides that, TorGuard offers plenty of step-by-step video walkthroughs to help you solve most of the problems on your own.
We tried the ticket support channel, and we were impressed. To submit a payment inquiry, we headed over to our account and clicked “open a ticket” under the “support tab.” Next, we filled out the request form and hit the “submit” button.
The TorGuard support team got back to us in less than a minute, and we were notified via email every time the representative sent a reply, making it easy to keep the conversation flowing. The representative was knowledgeable and helped us solve the issue we had when checking out.
Overall, the available TorGuard customer support options are excellent, particularly the ticket submission system, which is super-fast. However, the support could be better if TorGuard offered phone support and live chat, both of which come in handy if you have complex yet urgent issues
TorGuard is a service that’s best summarized as “just OK.” The speed is good — as long as you can pick a decent server — and the price isn’t bad. Its usability has improved (a little), but it’s not there yet. However, the iOS app redesign has given the app a modern look and made it pretty easy to use.
What do you think of TorGuard? Do you like the new iOS app? Let us know in the comments below, and, as always, thanks for reading.