Today's Best Tech Deals
Picked by Macworld's Editors
Top Deals On Great Products
Picked by Techconnect's Editors
There aren’t that many VPN services that offer multiple packages with different services, but TorGuard from Florida-based Data Protection Services LLC does. In addition to a straightforward VPN service, TorGuard offers a business-grade package, and a streaming bundle. The parent company also offers an encrypted email service called Private-Mail, which is included in TorGuard’s business packages.
Note: This review is part of our best VPNs roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.
For this review we had access to the regular VPN service. As for the name, the “Tor” in TorGuard has nothing to do with the TOR (The Onion Router) project, and instead refers to “torrents and guarding one’s privacy when using BitTorrent,” as the service explains on its website.
TorGuard: Security, software, servers, and speed
TorGuard doesn’t list its team on its website, but a quick search of LinkedIn shows the CEO is Benjamin Van Pelt, who is based in Orlando.
TorGuard offers WireGuard as one of its protocol options, but good old OpenVPN is still the default. There’s a third option as well, OpenConnect. In addition, TorGuard supports STunnel, L2TP, and IPSec. The latter two aren’t a part of the desktop app for Mac, but they are supported by the servers.
For OpenVPN, TorGuard uses AES-128-GCM as the default for data encryption, though you can choose AES-256-GCM if you like.
The software offers a single-panel view for a mobile-app look. The key options—including the protocol, authentication, and cipher—have drop-down choices on the main panel.
There’s also a Select Server...button on the top that lets you choose from any of the more than 60 regional locations across TorGuard’s 47 country options. There are filters at the top of the country list to let you choose alphabetically, by proximity to your location, or by relative usage.
There isn’t any direct information about the number of users or capacity of each server, their ping times, or anything like that. The list does, however, indicate any locations that support WireGuard, which is all of them at this point.
TorGuard offers a lot of preferences options, but the only one of note for most users will be the internet kill switch under More Settings... > Network > Seamless reconnect > Kill Switch. As with other services, if you enable this option TorGuard will block all connectivity should your VPN connection drop. There’s also an App Kill tab in the settings that tells TorGuard to automatically cease activity for specific applications if the VPN disconnects.
As we mentioned earlier, TorGuard offers 47 country options, with more than 3,000 servers in its network. In our tests, TorGuard’s speeds were average, resulting in nearly 27 percent of the non-VPN download speed across five country locations and multiple days of testing. TorGuard’s strengths were in the places you’d expect them—such as North America, Europe, and the UK—while the weaker speeds came from Asia and Australia.
TorGuard is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. There are also browser extensions for Firefox and Safari.
There are three packages to choose from. The first of which is the Anonymous VPN package priced at $10 per month, $20 every three months, $30 for half a year, or $60 for a full year. The latter two options work out to about $5 per month. This package includes eight simultaneous connections, an anonymous proxy service, and the usual VPN services including the browser extensions, the aforementioned protocols, ad and malware blocking, and so on.
There's also a Pro tier for the Anonymous VPN that supports up to 12 simultaneous connections, adds one dedicated IP address, and includes more ports for forwarding options. Anonymous VPN Pro costs $120 for a year, $60 for half a year, $35 every three months, or $13 per month.
The Business package has three tiers, including Starter, which supports 10 users, 10 email accounts, and three dedicated IPs for $70 per month. The small business package ups the cost to $110 per month for 15 users and email accounts, and five IPs. Then there’s the medium package for $170 per month, with 20 users and email accounts and 10 dedicated IPs. Business accounts also include a dedicated account manager, as well as support for the IKEv2 and SSTP protocols.
Finally, we have the Streaming Bundle for $22 per month, $42 every three months, $62 for six months, or $122 per year. The Streaming Bundle includes all the benefits of the VPN service plus two free dedicated streaming IP addresses.
TorGuard accepts payments via credit card, Amazon Pay, and a number of options for cryptocurrencies including direct wallet transfer.
TorGuard is fine. It makes the right privacy promises, the application is usable and easy to follow, and the speeds have their strengths and weaknesses where you’d expect. It’s serviceable, but it doesn’t stand out as an original service save for its different service packages, which might be of interest to some.
Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.
TorGuard offers features well-tailored for those with privacy concerns, but its tiered pricing scheme and basic user interface make it a hard sell for less tech-savvy types.
- Accepts cryptocurrencies
- Peer-to-peer file-transfer friendly
- Option for static IP usage for streaming region locked content
- Supports WireGuard
- Average speeds
- No significant extra features