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TorGuard Review

For a solid encryption and P2P file sharing TorGuard offers a very good product with extremely fast speeds in the U.S. It also offers plenty of features for security buffs. However, having a U.S.-based operation can make the strictest privacy enthusiasts think twice about signing up.


Based in the United States, TorGuard is a popular VPN service that, to the surprise of some, is not actually related to the well-known Tor browser. It offers servers in 51 countries, though experienced users may wish it had more features and beginners might prefer better customer service. With that said, TorGuard is fast, which is a huge plus for most users.


Pricing and Plans

TorGuard offers a variety of plans at middle-of-the-road prices. On the plus side, TorGuard offers a seven-day trial period, letting users try out the service for free. The basic anonymous proxy plan is $5.95 per month and includes access to SOCKS5 (Socket Secure), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), SSH (Secure Shell), and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). There's also access to more than 2,000 IPs in more than 50 countries, along with unlimited bandwidth.

Likely the most popular option is the anonymous VPN plan, which runs at $9.99 per month. TorGuard claims that this OpenConnect SSL-based VPN is the fastest VPN protocol on the Internet. Subscribers get access to a stealth proxy and five simultaneous connections. Around-the-clock support (24/7; 365 days) is also offered, but good luck getting an actual human on the phone. You're much better off communicating through email.

An anonymous email plan is available for $6.95 per month and includes unlimited mail storage at an offshore location, secure email deletion, forward secrecy, two-factor authorization, and protection against MITM (man-in-the-middle) attacks. Meanwhile, the privacy bundle is available for $11.54 a month and includes anonymous VPN and proxy access, offering maximum privacy.

While all these plans are a bit more pricey than the average competitor, TorGuard does offer discounts if you choose to bill your account quarterly, semi-annually, annually, or biennially. Additionally, you can pay with pretty much anything, including PayPal, a credit card, gift card, and Bitcoin.


Features

TorGuard includes five simultaneous connections to start with, and you can add on additional connections for $1 per month each. This makes it convenient for connecting multiple devices, especially for a family. Like we mentioned before, you can pony up for the anonymous email plan or the basic anonymous proxy plan. The VPN service offers more security than the latter, but the anonymous proxy is handy if you're looking to unblock P2P file sharing and geo-restricted content.

More than 50 servers are available, letting you choose one closer to your actual location in order to boost speeds. A stealth connection lets you bypass firewalls, and a kill switch is available for OS X and Windows, which stops you from leaking data to their Internet service provider. For a bit of added protection, you can also turn on a malware blocker and ad blocker.


Tests

TorGuard showed no signs of DNS server leakage and reported pretty good speeds for its connection. However, you can try different servers around the country (and world) to try and boost connection speeds.

Testing on mobile

TorGuard offers a simple, yet fast mobile client for users on the go. While not rich with features, its connection is fast for iOS, iPad, and Android. However, some users have expressed connection problems with the mobile client for iOS.


Privacy

For many users, privacy stands above all else when they're looking for a VPN option, and for good reason. Unfortunately, TorGuard is registered to Nevis in the Caribbean and falls under U.S. Jurisdiction. This means that, potentially, the federal government could issue warrants for the collection of information—a possibility that is not perhaps not so far-fetched due to the current administration's policies. This is a risk with any VPN rooted in the U.S. and its territories. With that said, TorGuard states that it keeps no connection or usage logs.

TorGuard's privacy policy is long, confusing, and meticulously assembled to absolve TorGuard from any situation that you could probably conceive. Clearly, this is done with TorGuard's best interests in mind, and probably because it is based in a U.S. territory. Make sure to read over the privacy policy closely before making a purchase.


Security

The default encryption that TorGuard used for a time was Blowfish-128, which is not known to be top-of-the-line. Fortunately, you can now use a much better AES-256 encryption, which provides much more security for those looking to bypass firewalls. Also, TorGuard offers various levels of encryption so that you can choose your own level of security, in case there are any connection problems.


Website Blocking

The available stealth connection is a great tool for bypassing firewalls and unblocking websites. However, what's most useful about TorGuard is the fact that it has more than 50 servers located around the globe. This is very handy for anyone looking to access geo-restricted content.


Final Thoughts

For a solid encryption and P2P file sharing TorGuard offers a very good product with extremely fast speeds in the U.S. It also offers plenty of features for security buffs. However, having a U.S.-based operation can make the strictest privacy enthusiasts think twice about signing up.

3.6

Pros:

  • More than 50 servers across the globe
  • Ad blocking on a network level
  • Allows BitTorrent and P2P
  • Strong encryption and protocol options

Cons:

  • Phone support is automated
  • Nebulous privacy policy
  • Need separate SmartDNS provider