TorGuard VPN Review: The Best Option For Torrenting?
TorGuard. TOR …. Guard. It has something to do with the Tor browser, right?
Wrong. TorGuard stands for “Torrent Guard.”
They were one of the first service providers who specialized in private torrenting. Back then, this was a game-changer, because most others throttled the bandwidth or altogether blocked P2P (Peer to Peer) connections.
In this TorGuard VPN review, we’ll look at their Netflix compatibility, server speeds, reliability, torrenting, security, bypassing censorship, e.t.c. All to find out how good they are and how they compare with other popular VPNs, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
But more on that below...
If you’re not satisfied with the performance, you’ll be able to get a full refund in the first seven days of using their services.
We made sure to test if these claims are real, and were able to get a full refund after a few days of using their VPN.
With TorGuard, you’ll be able to use it on five devices simultaneously. Essentially, you can share the login details with a friend and save some money (be careful though, because it’s not allowed.)
Although by default TorGuard isn’t too cheap, when using a discount code, the price is slashed in half. Thus, making them one of the most affordable options out there.
With the ‘TGLifetime50’ 50% discount code, you’ll get TorGuard for only $2.50 per month.
Yep. TorGuard is the best VPN if you’re planning on using it for torrenting.
We’ve tested A LOT of different VPNs, and TorGuard had the fastest download speeds. With their free SOCKS5 proxy and by following this uTorrent setup guide, we managed to increase our download speeds by 4% (usually, you’d see a 30-50% speed loss.)
TorGuard is pretty good with bypassing censorship. By utilizing uncommon tunneling protocols and advanced configurations, it has managed to remain undetected in all highly censored countries, like China, the Middle East, Vietnam, and others.
That said, we wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, because enabling these protocols requires some tech knowledge. You’ll have to follow setup tutorials and download additional files from their site.
Our tests revealed 10-30% speed losses for short-distance VPN connections and 30-70% for long distance ones, which is far from being the fastest VPN out there.
That said, these speeds are still good enough for the average user.
And by using their SOCKS5 proxy for uTorrent, you shouldn’t experience any speed losses.
If you plan on watching Netflix, expect to pay an additional $54.99 per year for a dedicated streaming proxy.
Most other providers offer servers that work with Netflix for free, so we’re not big fans of this additional payment.
So if you’re planning on watching Netflix, we’d suggest going with ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Speed and reliability
Take a look at this screenshot below and see if you notice any bold claims...
Did you notice the ‘Fastest VPN Protocol on the net’? Well, we did.
We’ve seen similar claims by IPVanish (which actually turned out to be correct), so we were quite skeptical at first.
To determine the winner, we performed several speed tests to see how fast they’d perform.
Speed results without a VPN
First, we measured our regular connection without a VPN. On average, our download speed was 15 - 25 Mbps.
Next, we connected to different servers and compared the download speeds.
Speed results with TorGuard from Europe
From Germany, our download speed was 14.26 Mbps.
From Sweden, our download speed was 18.11 Mbps.
From the United Kingdom, our download speed was 10.37 Mbps.
The industry average is around 10-30% speed losses for close-distance connections.
TorGuard performed in this 10-30% range. Overall, the speeds were pretty stable and didn’t fall below 10 Mbps.
Speed results with TorGuard from the U.S.
From New Jersey, our download speed was 9.40 Mbps.
From New York, our download speed was 8.45 Mbps.
From San Francisco, our download speed was 8.34 Mbps.
For Europe - U.S. connections, we’d say that the industry standard is somewhere around 20-40% speed losses.
With TorGuard the results were pretty consistent. We couldn’t get a reading above 10 Mbps, but they didn’t go below 8 Mbps. So on average, it performed with 30-50% speed losses from the U.S. servers.
Speed results with TorGuard from Asia
From Hong Kong, our download speed was 6.97 Mbps.
From Japan, our download speed was 8.34 Mbps.
From Singapore, our download speed was 11.88 Mbps.
It’s not uncommon to see 30-70% speed losses for Europe - Asia VPN connections. TorGuard was spot on in this 30-70% range.
How fast is TorGuard?
As mentioned earlier, TorGuard has stated that they offer the “fastest VPN protocol on the net,” which, based on our tests, just isn’t true.
It performed no better than most other services. Don’t get us wrong, they’re not slow either, but they’re definitely not the fastest.
When compared with others, TorGuard performed slightly better than NordVPN (which got over 90% losses from Asian servers), and somewhat similar to CyberGhost.
The fastest VPN on the market - IPVanish - performed without any speed losses even on long-distance connections. And if TorGuard wants to beat them, they got a long way to go…
Is TorGuard reliable?
To find out how reliable it is, we measured how consistent the average speeds were at different times of the day while watching Netflix, torrenting, or just browsing the web.
And right from the get-go, we did find that the speed readings were a bit inconsistent. This was especially true from the Asian servers, where sometimes we’d get 20+ Mbps speeds, and after a few seconds, they wouldn’t go above 5 Mbps.
But other than that, we had no issues with European servers and almost all U.S. servers. We’d say that they don't offer the most reliable servers out there, but they’re not bad either.
How often is TorGuard down?
Our research revealed that this service hasn't had any significant downtime issues in the last seven years. Sometimes their servers might get blocked in China, or their app might experience some technical problems, but the issues are usually sorted pretty quickly.
So with TorGuard, you shouldn’t expect any downtime, which is good.
Is TorGuard safe?
It offers its users the ability to dial up (or down) the VPN encryption and security, which is nice. If you configure everything at the maximum, their VPN is secured up to the highest standards, so the connection becomes incredibly safe.
You’ll be able to switch between OpenVPN TCP/UDP, PPTP, IPsec, and OpenConnect TCP/UDP tunneling protocols.
By default, you’ll be able to switch only between OpenVPN and OpenConnect tunneling protocols through the app. If you want to use IPSec or PPTP, you’ll have to follow their dedicated setup guides.
They offer AES 128-bit and AES 256-bit encryption. Both methods are incredibly safe and basically unhackable.
The 256-bit version is more secure but also slower than the 128-bit version. Some consider the 256-bit version an overkill, which is why we like that TorGuard allows you to select which one you’d prefer.
Most other VPNs just use the slower 256-bit encryption and call it a day.
Essentially, the STunnel will add an additional SSL layer for OpenVPN connections. With this option enabled, you’ll have a more secure connection, so ISPs and firewalls will have a harder time detecting that you’re using a VPN.
For instance, if you’d use it in China, the Great Firewall of China couldn’t detect that you’re using a VPN, and you could access all websites normally.
No IPV4, IPV6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks
Some VPNs are improperly configured, which result in DNS, IPV4 and IPV6 leaks. These leaks will reveal your personal information even when you’re connected through an encrypted VPN.
To see if TorGuard is properly configured, we performed several leak tests. And after a few, we didn’t find any leaks, which is good.
Although the test results show that our information might be leaking, it actually wasn’t right. The ‘leaking’ IP addresses were different from our actual network addresses, so no private information was shown.
Our real DNS addresses were located in Australia, but with the VPN turned on, they changed to the UK and the Netherlands.
24/7 live chat support
So the good thing is that they offer 24/7 live chat support. Some other providers don’t have a live chat altogether and only offer a ticket support system. Often tickets take a while to respond and, in general, are inefficient.
We wanted to see how good their support is, so we contacted them about a possible refund after five days of using their services. You can see how the conversation went.
The operator responded in seconds and didn’t try to get us to stay, as opposed to most other services. We submitted a ticket, and got the refund sent to our PayPal account just a few minutes after, no questions asked.
So not only is their support fast to respond and polite but also their refund system works. Two thumbs up for that.
Device compatibility and apps
They have apps for the most common devices and operating systems:
You’ll also find browser extensions for:
And setup tutorials and tools for:
If you have a custom device that’s not yet covered, you can ask around in the forums.
When it comes to user experience, we think that TorGuard has heaps to learn from its competitors.
Everything - the website, forums, and the apps look like they were made by developers, instead of designers. However, with enough patience, eventually, you’ll get used to the 2000’s design and get to know what’s where.
Right from the start, the website was hard to navigate through.
Once you go to the ‘purchase section,’ you’ll be presented with a lot of options to choose from. You’re really not explained to what everything means, so you’ll have to hack your way through using your own common sense.
When you select everything and go through the payment process, you’ll be redirected to this page, where you can download the app installer.
The installation process wasn’t too straightforward either...
For instance, when installing the app, you’re presented with the following choices. You’re not really told what these options mean, so you’ll have to either trust that these options won’t install anything unnecessary on your PC or Google what they do by yourself. (Hovering the mouse over these options didn’t do anything.)
Eventually, we got everything installed and the app was working. Instead of the usual 2-5 minute signup process, this one took around 15 minutes.
App ease of use
You can see the Windows (left) and Android (right) apps over here:
We’re not big fans of the design, but everything works as it should be.
If you’re new, you can leave all the options as they are, and just click ‘connect’ to activate the VPN.
If not, you can customize the most important options without going into the settings. Here you’ll be able to select the encryption strength, the handshake key, the tunneling protocol, enable the STunnel, and choose the location.
Settings and customization
When you first open up the settings, they’re a bit overwhelming at first. We haven’t seen so many options in any other VPN up to this point, which is useful if you’re an advanced user.
Under ‘General,’ you can set up how TorGuard starts up and behaves.
And under the ‘network’ tab, you’ll be able to set up how the VPN behaves when connected over a network. You can set up if you need leak protection, or change the DNS settings, which is useful for those who use the VPN for very specific situations.
Locations and servers
Although TorGuard isn’t even close in popularity to the most popular options out there - ExpressVPN and NordVPN, they offer a similar amount of servers.
All combined, it offers a fleet of 3000+ servers in 55 countries. To compare, ExpressVPN offers 3000+ servers and NordVPN 5000+ servers (both have over 20x more traffic than TorGuard)
This means that you’ll have a large enough pool of different IP's, which are less likely to be blacklisted.
TorGuard offers dedicated IPs
Some users may need a dedicated IP because:
Not many VPNs offer dedicated IP’s, which is why we’re excited to hear that TorGuard does.
For an additional $54.99 per year, you’ll be able to choose a dedicated IP from a list of 42 different countries. For comparison, NordVPN offers its dedicated IP’s for $70 per year and only in a few countries.
Is TorGuard good for torrenting?
We already knew people use TorGuard mainly for torrenting. And to be honest, we didn’t understand why.
There are other VPNs, that, in addition to working good with torrents, also work with Netflix, are cheaper, and easier to use. (For instance, Surfshark.)
But when we tested TorGuard’s torrent speeds for ourselves, everything became crystal-clear...
With other services, you can expect at least a 10-30% speed loss, if not more. However, with TorGuard, our speeds were even higher than without a VPN. So yes, TorGuard isn’t just good for torrenting, it’s actually the best out of all VPNs that we’ve tested.
Testing TorGuard’s torrent speeds
You can use TorGuard with torrents in two ways:
We tested both ways to see which one is faster. You can see the results over here:
With a VPN connection, our download speeds decreased by 54%. And through the SOCKS5 connection, our speeds increased by 4%.
Clearly, the SOCKS5 connection is the winner. Setting it up with uTorrent was quite easy by following this guide.
Is TorGuard good for Netflix?
No, it isn’t good for Netflix, and here’s why:
To use Netflix, you’ll have to buy a dedicated streaming IP in addition to the VPN, which costs $54.99 per year. Even if you use the 50% discount code, together with the $59.99 per year VPN subscription, the total cost is $4.79 per month. There are Netflix compatible VPNs available for $1.99 per month…
Anyway, just to be sure, we tested the regular U.S. servers for Netflix compatibility.
Out of five servers that we tested, all five returned the following error:
We didn’t purchase the additional streaming proxy for $54.99, but we read that most of the times it’s working.
However, TorGuard doesn’t even guarantee that the streaming proxy will work for Netflix, and in that case, you’ll have to buy a new one. That’s why we wouldn’t recommend getting it if you’re planning on watching Netflix. Instead, go for ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Does TorGuard work in China and other censored countries?
Yes, it works there and is actually pretty good at being undetected.
To bypass the censorship, you can connect through a stealth proxy, enable the STunnel, or change your tunneling protocol to OpenConnect or AnyConnect. Switching to Anyconnect will be the most effective option.
That said, the setup may not be that simple and will require some setup tutorials. For those who are not that confident about their skills, it’s better to use a different VPN for censorship, like ExpressVPN or NordVPN, which work flawlessly right from the get-go.
Where is TorGuard VPN based in (jurisdiction)?
VPNetworks LLC, other known as TorGuard VPN, is located in the USA.
For a provider, USA isn’t the ideal location. That’s because the USA is a member of the 14 eyes alliance (a group of 14 countries who share their intelligence data.) So if, for instance, UK authorities would request data about TorGuard’s users, they should comply.
A much more ideal place would be somewhere private and unreachable, like Switzerland, Panama, the Cayman Islands, or The British Virgin Islands.
That said, all hope isn’t lost because TorGuard doesn’t collect too much data about their users in the first place.
TorGuard’s ‘No logs’ policy
They state that no information is collected about how their clients use the VPN - no timestamps, IP’s, accessed sites, e.t.c.
So if the U.S. or any other member of the 14 eyes alliance requested data about their users, TorGuard wouldn’t have anything meaningful. They could only confirm that you indeed are using their VPN, but not exactly how.
Need some proof? Here’s a screenshot from their website:
So would we recommend TorGuard for those who need complete privacy?
Yes, we would, because, in addition to their ‘no logs’ policy, their security standards are also pretty advanced. With TorGuard, you should be well protected - from hackers AND intelligence agencies.
Here are some other features that come with TorGuard.
With the built-in kill switch, you will be able to remain private even when you’re not connected to the VPN.
This feature makes sure that all incoming and outgoing traffic is blocked when you’re disconnected from the VPN. By enabling the kill switch, your real IP will remain hidden.
Built-in ad blocker
It also has a built-in, free-to-use ad blocker.
To enable it, go to settings, and under ‘network,’ select the ‘Ad Blocking DNS’. Once you save the DNS settings, the ad blocker will be enabled.
We tested how well the ad-blocker works by visiting forbes.com with and without the DNS setting enabled.
You can see the results in the screenshot down below:
The ads failed to load, and we were left with weird-looking blank spaces where the ads used to be. Although it didn’t work perfectly, it blocked 95% of the ads, which is nice.
Pricing and discounts
You can get TorGuard starting from $5 per month (for a yearly subscription) without any discount codes.
For comparison, NordVPN starts at $2.99 per month, CyberGhost at $2.75 per month, and ExpressVPN at $8.32 per month. Not the most expensive option, but not the cheapest either.
50% discount code for all subscriptions. And also renewals.
If you use the discount code ‘TGLifetime50’, you’ll get 50% off all subscriptions and future renewals.
With the price slashed in half, TorGuard is available for $2.50 per month for the yearly subscription, and $4.99 per month for the monthly subscription.
This makes their prices quite appealing.
For TorGuard, you’ll be able to pay with the following methods:
If you’re looking to stay anonymous, we’d suggest registering with an anonymous email and paying with Bitcoin.
Our final verdict: How good is TorGuard VPN?
We'd like to conclude our TorGuard VPN review by saying that this isn't for everyone.
They’re not friendly for people who are new to VPNs, you won’t be able to watch Netflix with them (at least, not without paying extra,) and their servers aren’t the fastest ones out there.
That said, we still think that they are great for a specific group of people. If you understand a thing or two about VPNs and aren’t afraid of configuring the app, they’ll be the best option for torrenting and bypassing censorship.
And above all, with the 50% discount code, you’ll pay less than you would for most other VPNs. You can get them starting from $2.50 per month, which is considered very affordable.