TorGuard Review (2019)

TorGuard Highlights

  • Country: USA
  • Logging:  No (Traffic), No (Connection),  No (IP address)
  • Bypass VPN Block (DPI): SSH/Stunnel/OpenConnect/StealthVPN/StealthProxy
  • Pricing: $4.99 (per month)
  • Allows P2P/ Torrent: Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: 5 (possibility to add more)
  • Live Chat Support: Yes
  • Custom clients/apps: Yes
  • Alternative website: N/A
  • Trustpilot rating: 4 out of 5 (91 users)

My First Impressions

TorGuard is a VPN service provider, active since 2012, and based in Orlando, Florida. The name “TorGuard” stands for Torrent Guard, meaning that the VPN serivce protects your torrent downloads. 
 
 
TorGuard has a well-built website, with live chat support, but lacks multi-language feature. Similar to other providers, you can find a lot of information about the provider on the website, what particularly draw my attention was the TorGuard forum, which only selected VPN providers offer. 

Does TorGuard keep logs?

There are two types VPN providers, some explain in which logs they keep and which they do not, whereas other providers state that they do not keep logs, but do not give detailed information. TorGuard belongs to the latter group, and only claims that they do not keep any types of logs. To be sure, I contacted live chat support, to which the agent responded “We must stress that, we never did, do not, will never keep any kinds of logs = NO  LOGS ARE KEPT, not for maintenance,  or for nothing, not for a millisecond”.

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TorGuard Logging Policy

To sum up, we can conclude that TorGuard does not keep:

  • traffic logs (i.e. user activity)
  • IP address
  • connection logs (i.e. bandwidth, timestamps)
The information that TorGuard keeps is shown below.
TorGuard information collected

Does TorGuard bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and similar firewalls?

Countries like China, Iran, Turkey and Russia implement firewalls that block access to VPN services. As an example, China uses the Great Wall of China (GFW) system to block most VPNs and proxies. Some VPN providers offer extra protocols, often called StealthVPN or anti-DPI protocols, that help users to bypass VPN blocks and access free internet.

TorGuard offers their own “Stealth VPN” (OpenVPN TCP on port 4443), WireGuard, OpenConnect, SSH Tunnel, SSL VPN via Stunnel and Stealth Proxy (ShadowProxy). Sometimes SOCKS5 proxy can also evade DPI, but since the proxy lacks encryption, I will not mention as anti-DPI. 

Stealth VPN definition given by TorGuard:

Stealth VPN makes VPN use look like normal internet traffic. With Stealth VPN, we hide the use of OpenVPN by stripping away headers that include information about VPN encryption. We wrap and obfuscate the header in SSL/TLS encryption and reroute traffic through a typical HTTPs port. By hiding normal OpenVPN headers with obfuscation, and rerouting the port number, TorGuard Stealth VPN allows VPN use where VPN technology is typically blocked or restricted. TorGuard Stealth VPN looks ordinary, but it’s anything but ordinary.

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TorGuard anti-DPI protocols

Testing TorGuard

As usual, I test the VPN on Windows 7 PC and an Android phone running Android 6.0.1. I am testing on an ADSL internet provided by the local telecom company and cellular internet provided by our local mobile operator. 

Windows Test

The first test started with the custom software of TorGuard, which includes StealthVPN, Stunnel, OpenConnect and Stealth Proxy as anti-DPI protocols. I also checked the standard OpenVPN, and as expected it did not connect. The StealthVPN did not disappoint. Even though, there were connection problems on some servers, StealthVPN could bypass the firewall. A big disappointment came from other anti-DPI protocols, since Stunnel, OpenConnect and StealthProxy failed the test. Whereas OpenConnect in the custom app was not efficient, OpenConnect protocol on AnyConnect app worked like a charm. Another huge disappointment was WireGuard, the famous newcomer. At the beginning of 2019, WireGuard worked on both mobile network and wifi connections in my country, however, then the government blocked it on cellular networks. WireGuard still works in my country only on the wireless connection, if the server IP is not already blocked. I guess the reason TorGuard‘s WireGuard does not work in my country is the IP blocks by the ISP.

I would like to highlight some features of the TorGuard Windows custom app, it offers a choice of encryption methods and ports, kill switch per app, WebRTC, IP and DNS leak prevention, custom DNS, proxy and dedicated IP configurations. Also, the Android app has similar features.

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TorGuard: StealthVPN and OpenConnect passed
torguard_wintest_failed
TorGuard: Stunnel, OpenConnect, StealthProxy failed

Android Test

I performed similar tests on my Android device. TorGuard has a feature-rich app, which includes StealthVPN, StealthProxy and Stunnel. As expected, standard OpenVPN failed to bypass the VPN blocking firewall. Next, I tested StealthVPN, Stunnel, StealthProxy on the TorGuard app, and OpenConnect protocol on OpenConnect and AnyConnect apps. The results were good, with most of the anti-DPI protocols passing the tests, except for StealthProxy. And last, as it was on Windows WireGuard failed the tests on Android.

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TorGuard Android test

To sum up, in the tests TorGuard managed to bypass the deep packet inspection in my country on Windows (StealthVPN, OpenConnect) and Android platforms (StealthVPN, Stunnel, OpenConnect)

If you are not sure whether TorGuard VPN will work in your country, you can try the conditional 7-day free trial. The condition is to provide a payment confirmation bill from another VPN provider. I sent a one-year-old email as a “bill”, which was still accepted by TorGuard.

Is TorGuard affordable?

TorGuard offers three different VPN plans: Anonymous Proxy, Anonymous VPN, Anonymous Email; plus the Privacy Bundle VPN plan that includes the proxy, VPN and Email plans. As we focus on anti-DPI protocols, only Anonymous VPN and Privacy Bundle will be analyzed. Annual pricing of Anonymous VPN and Privacy Bundle are $59.99 and $64.17, respectively. By default TorGuard allows up to 5 simultaneous connections (it is possible to add up to 200 connections for an extra fee), which means you will be paying $1 or $1.07 per device per month. 

 

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TorGuard Pricing

TorGuard VPN accepts major credit/debit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Gift Cards and over 120 payment options that supported by PaymentWall (WebMoney, QIWI, Sofort, MOBIAMO, AliPay, UnionPay etc.)

TorGuard offers a 7 day free trial on the condition that you send a bill from your current VPN provider. Also, there is a 7-day money-back-guarantee, except for dedicated-IP payments, in case you are not happy with their service.

 

What features are offered by TorGuard?

– Supported Platforms

TorGuard supports Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, with standalone softwares for the platforms and Chrome/Firefox extensions. Also, the VPN can be configured on selected routers. The VPN provider adds extra features like kill switch, ad-blocking, malware blocking, dedicated IP and leak protection.

 

– Supported Protocols

TorGuard VPN offers OpenVPN/PPTP/L2TP/IPsec/SSTP, SSH tunnel, Stunnel, WireGuard and OpenConnect protocols, besides HTTP, SOCKS5 and ShadowProxy proxies.

– Number of Servers

TorGuard provides VPN services with over 66 servers in 51 countries. In addition, TorGuard offers dedicated IP addresses for an extra fee.

Lastly, TorGuard got a good rating on Simple VPN Comparison Table. Scores are good on most of the categories except for Privacy, in which it got the lowest score as TorGuard is based in a Five Eyes Country

Wanna check other VPNs? Head over to the VPN Comparison Table, and find the best VPN that fits you.

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TorGuard Features

Conclusion

What I liked:

  • No logs kept (traffic, IP address, connection)
  • SSH tunnel, Stunnel, OpenConnect, Stealth VPN, and Stealth Proxy (anti-DPI)
  • Pricing, $1 per device per month
  • Torrents/P2P allowed
  • Bitcoin accepted
  • Up to 200 simultaneous connections for extra fee
  • Kill switch, add block, dedicated IP, leak protection

What I didn’t like:

  • Maybe being based in a Five Eyes country
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