TorGuard is one of the few, truly outstanding VPN services that focuses heavily on personal privacy and server performance.
Every now and again, we come across a particularly impressive VPN that seems to tick all the right boxes. In this review, we explain why TorGuard is so popular among its users and how it can protect your online privacy, hide your internet traffic and unblock restricted content.
TorGuard for Torrenting
Without any kind of encryption, your IP address and internet traffic is fully visible to your ISP and that includes your torrent data, which major ISPs in countries like the United States and UK are particularly sensitive about. The reason for this is growing pressure on governments from copyright lobbyists who primarily represent movie and record industries, but also software and book publishers. This has resulted in tightened controls on P2P traffic, affecting nearly all major internet service providers.
The most recent and arguably biggest example is the 6 strikes law launched not too long ago in USA, which allows all ISPs to throttle and subsequently disconnect your internet connection. In addition, you face receiving countdown warning letters regarding your P2P activity – a policy that applies even if you weren’t downloading unauthorized content. In the UK, similar laws have long been implemented in addition to ISPs vigorously blocking both popular and small torrent websites. Needless to say, if ISPs have the ability to monitor your torrent traffic, they certainly have full view of the rest of your browsing and chat history.
Few VPN providers show this much dedication to P2P anonymity and if you are a regular user of BitTorrent services, TorGuard offers one of the best methods for hiding your torrents. One of the two main packages is the Anonymous Proxy, created specifically to scramble any data coming in or out of your P2P client:
The proxy is among the top of its kind, offering users gigabit+ speeds, unlimited bandwidth and 40+ anonymous proxy IP addresses located in 4 countries. Setting the proxy up is easily done through your P2P client’s preferences or by installing the proxy client, through which you get to choose your torrent client for. Torguard’s free torrent IP checker app lets you run a simple test to check if your IP has changed and the proxy is working without issues. There is also UDP support on all socks5 proxy servers
TorGuard VPN software
One of the very handy things about virtual private networking is that it gives you the ability to change your geographic location and like all good providers, TorGuard has an abundance of servers and countries to choose from. The first main benefit of connecting to a VPN is that all of your internet traffic becomes encrypted and thus undetectable to your ISP and of course, for you this means full anonymity. Unlike the proxy, TorGuard VPN service routes all of the incoming and outgoing data on your computer or mobile device, making it impossible for anyone to monitor any of your online activity, including browsing, emails, Skype and, of course – torrents. The second upside is the ability to change your IP location, which is essential to have if your favourite content or applications are blocked in your region. This is useful if you want to gain access to services such as Netflix USA or BBC iPlayer from outside of the United States or the United Kingdom respectively.
(TorGuard OpenVPN client for Windows)
By all means, security varies with each VPN protocol, that’s why we were pleased to see that TorGuard offered their own client that connects you over OpenVPN by default, bearing in mind that this is one of the most secure protocols around and we haven’t yet come across another company that includes OpenVPN on their custom software. The app is small in size, therefore downloads and installs very quickly. Once installed, it runs unobtrusively in the background.
Good VPN performance comes down to speed and stability and, as we always do, we did the hard work for you by testing out several TorGuard VPN servers across different countries to give you an idea of what you can expect in your region. Using the fastest PPTP protocol, we connected to Canada, Netherlands, Romania and Japan and these are the results that we got:
1. Toronto, Canada
We reached 4.85Mb/s in download speed while connected to the servers in Toronto, Canada. Not the fastest trans-atlantic result that we’ve ever achieved, though we must note that we’re a long distance away from this server and it is optimized for use in North America. If you are connecting out of USA or Canada, your speed results will display much higher than this:
2. Dronten, Netherlands
Like the server above, this is another P2P-optimized endpoint that you can use comfortably for torrents. As we are much closer to this server, the numbers did returned justice with just under 22Mb/s download speed and it’s not far off our usual internet connection which normally peaks at 30Mb/s . This is the type of server we recommend selecting when transferring torrents from a European country.
3. Bucharest, Romania
TorGuard has a ton of servers dedicated for P2P and we just wanted to show you another example of a fast server through which you can download torrents anonymously. With an average of 17Mb/s you can be sure that your torrents never get throttled and are fully hidden from unwanted monitoring.
4. Tokyo, Japan
We don’t normally test out Japan-based servers, because know to expect significantly slower speeds compared to our normal internet connection. However, we recently started noticing more and more requests for Japanese IP addresses in order to unblock Japan-only content, therefore we tested TorGuard’s Tokyo server to show you that it’s fully functional and will not pose problems in unblocking sites and streaming content. As we’ve mentioned before, the closer you are – the faster the speed; and we happen to be very far.
One of the more recent additions to the service is the “Stealth VPN“. TorGuard’s Stealth VPN is a privacy tool that lets you bypass deep packet inspection (DPI) firewalls that are put in place in certain countries to block or throttle VPN connection. This option is particularly useful if you are located in China, Iran and the UAE. Stealth VPN is designed to appear as regular HTTPS traffic, which makes it virtually impossible to identify as a virtual private network connection.
PGP Encrypted Emailing
Another interesting feature that we wanted to briefly mention is TorGuard’s add-on G/PGP Email encryption service. The feature is accessible from any browser and works on both mobile and desktop devices. With G/PGP encryption and MITM protection your email gets safeguarded and protected from any third party attacks. This is a useful feature for those who frequently exchange work/business emails and are constantly on-the-go.
TorGuard Smart DNS is an individual service suited specifically for unblocking US and UK-only content. The tool allows you to easily bypass website blocks, providing access to services like Netflix, iPlayer and Spotify. Much like a VPN, the Smart DNS will require a simple reconfiguration of your DNS settings, changing your real IP address and enabling you to watch your favourite TV shows or channels from anywhere in the world. Unlike a VPN, however, you won’t suffer any loss of speed in the process, which means your streams can buffer without interruptions to your original bandwidth. It won’t, however encrypt your traffic like a VPN, so if you’re looking for privacy, then it would be better to opt for their virtual private network plan.
If you want full privacy and control over your internet access, TorGuard is a provider not to be overlooked. With unlimited data transfer, good connection speeds (including on servers designated for torrenting), smart OpenVPN software and multi-device compatibility, TorGuard delivered in our expectations and we can recommend this for anyone who wants to eliminate privacy concerns. Whether in a WiFi hotspot or simply surfing at home, it’s always good to protect your data with VPN, regardless of how you browse the web. TorGuard gets our thumbs up.
- BitTorrent Proxy and VPN services
- Anonymous IP addresses
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Up to 5 simultaneous connection per account
- Free PGP encrypted webmail
- Multi platform support (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android)
- PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN and SSTP protocols
- Includes custom OpenVPN and BitTorrent Proxy clients
- Compatible with uTorrent, Vuze, BitTorrent, Deluge,
- Compatible with DD-WRT routers
- Multiple payment methods including Bitcoin