TorGuard VPN Review

A highly customizable, privacy-focused VPN with Pentagon-grade security chops? We had to test it.

TorGuard VPN logo
SecureScore™: 8.7 / 10 This rating is derived from our editorial team's research, hands-on product testing, and customer surveys.
Derek Prall https://www.safehome.org/author/derek-prall/
8.7 SecureScore™
Value
8.3
Features & Technology
9.2
Ease Of Use
7.9
Reliability
8.8
Network Speeds
8.7
Private Web Browsing
9.2
Data & Identity Protection
8.5
SecureScore™
8.7

The internet you and I know is just a fragment of what’s out there. Lurking right under the web’s surface is a whole parallel world teeming with child abusers and groomers,1 data thieves and grifters. Another word for that place is the “dark web,” accessible only by special software called Tor, aka the Onion Router.

The problem is, while we may never venture down into the dark web’s depths, the dark web has a funny way of oozing up onto our devices if we’re not careful. One bad click is all it takes.

TorGuard VPN has nothing to do with Tor or the dark web. It’s a sophisticated tool for protecting us against the very real threats posed by the dark web. TorGuard isn’t cheap — plans start at $9.99 per month — and the apps can take some getting used to, but it’s one of the most secure VPNs on the market with a  virtual cornucopia of premium features.

All of which meant I had my work cut out for me when I decided to test all of TorGuard VPN’s apps to find out how well they actually protected my data, how fast and easy they were to use, and how TorGuard’s pricing options compared to the competition.

Did You Know? TorGuard’s engineering team operates out of the Netherlands and Germany, but its headquarters are in Orlando, Florida.

TorGuard VPN at a Glance

TorGuard VPN takes data privacy very seriously.

TorGuard VPN takes data privacy very seriously.

First things first: TorGuard VPN is feature-heavy. Pro-level users will absolutely love it, but total beginners may feel a bit overwhelmed. There’s a workaround, though, so keep reading.

Whichever camp you’re in, TorGuard VPN promises a lot of security and delivers in spades. With over 3,000 secure servers in 47 countries, you’ll probably never find yourself crowded out of your favorite server either. If you do, you can always upgrade to a Pro plan, which gives you your own dedicated IP address for four bucks more a month.

Speaking of plans, TorGuard’s Standard plan runs $9.99, which isn’t bargain-bin cheap, but it’s not bad considering all the protection you get. Before we dive deep into TorGuard’s security features, let’s take a closer look at the two main subscription options.

Pro Tip: Dedicated IPs? Secure servers? Protocols? Snowed under by the lingo? Read our updated 2023 VPN buyer’s guide for a quick walk-through of VPN terminology and how those weird words help protect your internet connections.

TorGuard VPN Pros and Cons

PROS
  • Easy setup
  • Well-built, highly configurable apps
  • Fast speeds
  • Doesn’t keep logs
  • Up to 12 connected devices

CONS
  • A little pricey
  • No split tunneling on Mac desktop app
  • Can be intimidating for beginners

TorGuard VPN Pricing and Options

Plan -> Standard Pro
Monthly $9.99 $12.99

TorGuard wasn’t running any fire sales in the weeks I tested its products. I couldn’t find any discounts for committing to a yearly or multiyear subscription either. Many of the best VPNs offer them and TorGuard has offered them in the past, but for now $9.99 per month is the best it gets.

When I sat down with the fine print, I could see that TorGuard’s Standard and Pro subscriptions were pretty much the same in terms of their core features. The only difference I found, besides pricing, was that the Pro plan came with a dedicated IP address and 12 (versus eight) simultaneously connected devices. Both device limits are generous compared to the industry standard of five or six.

A dedicated IP for $3.99 isn’t bad either, but it probably needs a few words of explanation.

Dedicated Versus Shared IPs: One of the ways streaming services know you’re using a VPN is if a hundred other users are all sharing the same IP address. If they suss you out, they may lock you out and you’ll have to try again from another server. That can be annoying, especially if it’s 10 p.m. and all you want to do is veg out watching your favorite Netflix series. A dedicated VPN gives you a static address that’s yours alone, making it tougher for websites to know you’re using a VPN.

Is a dedicated IP address worth $3.99 per month extra? I went with the Standard plan, but your needs may differ. If you’re working remotely and accessing a company network, for example, you’ll almost definitely get the boot if you log in from a bunch of different IPs. You can scoop up some excellent VPNs for $3.99 or even less. IPVanish plans hit the bullseye at $3.99 per month. Two-year Surfshark subscriptions cost just $2.05 per month!

Otherwise, TorGuard’s costs fall in line with other premium, privacy-focused VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. If you’re considering a Nord subscription, which I highly recommend, our NordVPN buyer’s guide is a good place to start.

FYI: Pricing VPNs can get tricky because many of them offer the first two or three years at a sort of honeymoon rate. Most VPNs have you paying more once the honeymoon’s over.

TorGuard VPN: Purchasing a Plan

TorGuard accepts crypto payments, if your crypto is still worth anything.

TorGuard accepts crypto payments, if your crypto is still worth anything.

Getting from payment to a fully operational VPN with TorGuard was one of the quickest, most seamless processes I’ve ever experienced with a VPN. I wasn’t thrilled that TorGuard needed my name and physical address to process my payment. In its privacy policy, it says it’s to prevent fraud. I’m honestly not sure how, but you can’t win ’em all!

I paid for my TorGuard subscription with a Visa, but there were other options, such as crypto and TorGuard gift cards, just in case Uncle Bud gives you some digital privacy this year.

All in all, purchasing my TorGuard Standard plan couldn’t have been simpler or faster. Now it was time for the fun part: downloading and firing up my app.

Did You Know? Bitcoin transactions aren’t totally anonymous. Forget about the FBI rooting through public blockchain ledgers. If your Bitcoin wallet is connected to your bank account, your crypto transactions aren’t hidden.

TorGuard VPN: Getting Started

TorGuard’s apps run the gamut, except for a Safari browser extension.

TorGuard’s apps run the gamut, except for a Safari browser extension.

As you can see from the screenshot above, TorGuard has an app for whatever device you’re using. The only software missing from the list is a Safari browser extension. (Browser extensions, as the name suggests, let you use your VPN from within your browser.) I downloaded the Mac desktop app. Less than a minute later, I was browsing securely.

From payment to login, TorGuard had me up and running in under five minutes.

From payment to login, TorGuard had me up and running in under five minutes.

Pro Tip: If you’re on a Mac and using Firefox or Chrome, TorGuard’s browser extension can help you do one thing the desktop app can’t: split your VPN tunnel. Split tunneling allows you to exclude any websites that don’t like VPNs, such as banks and streaming services from your tunnel while browsing securely.

TorGuard VPN: Behind the Mac Dashboard

TorGuard’s super slick iOS app works on desktops and laptops.

TorGuard’s super slick iOS app works on desktops and laptops.

I mentioned that TorGuard’s full arsenal of security features may put off novice users. Well, guess what? If you’re running the latest Mac OS, you can download the iOS app instead of the more advanced desktop app. It’ll run on your desktop and it’s a snap to use — almost as easy as VyprVPN, another privacy-focused VPN we like a lot around here. (Check out my full VyprVPN review for a walk-through.)

But if you want to unleash TorGuard’s full privacy power on cybercriminals and the snoop patrol at your internet service provider, you’ll want to stick with the desktop app. Here’s a quick crash course that beginners will be able to follow too.

Connecting

Press the heart and you can save your favorite TorGuard VPN connections for later.

Press the heart and you can save your favorite TorGuard VPN connections for later.

To connect to my VPN, I found a location I wanted to test and hit the big, orange button. As a rule of thumb, the closer you are to the server you’re connecting to, the less of a hit your download and upload speeds will take.

After connecting almost instantaneously, I clicked on the hamburger menu on the left to see what my connection looked like under the hood.

TorGuard hid my actual IP address.

TorGuard hid my actual IP address.

TorGuard gave me plenty of connection data, but the info I was looking for was my protocol (at the top in green) and my remote IP (at the bottom). Protocols are basically our VPN’s operating instructions.

WireGuard is TorGuard’s default protocol — and the fastest protocol out there — but I had a choice of standard alternatives in case I was experiencing wonky speeds, including an ironclad stealth option for outsmarting nosy streaming services and governments with strict censorship laws.

The remote IP, on the other hand, was my public-facing IP, or the address the outside world, including my ISP, will see when they look. According to TorGuard, I was good to go. My data was flowing through TorGuard’s secure server, not my local IP. (Of course, I didn’t take their word for it. Read on for my test results in the privacy section.)

FYI: Stealth protocols obfuscate our internet traffic so it blends in with normal traffic, confusing internet filters out to stop it.

Important Features

Toggling on TorGuard’s auto-connect feature made sure my VPN connected even if I forgot to.

Toggling on TorGuard’s auto-connect feature made sure my VPN connected even if I forgot to.

Autoconnect

If you’ve ever settled into a hotel or airport and started up your laptop without flipping on your VPN, autoconnect, which does it for you, will come in very handy. I always toggle this option on.

I also opted to get a push notification whenever I quit my VPN, just in case I did it by accident. If you’re curious, it works. I got the following warning.

TorGuard alerted me when I tried to quit the app while my VPN was still connected.

TorGuard alerted me when I tried to quit the app while my VPN was still connected.

For Extra Security

TorGuard’s kill switch is a killer.

TorGuard’s kill switch is a killer.

Kill switch

Kill switches shut down our internet connections if our VPNs fail so our actual IP addresses are never exposed. I flipped mine on. You may want to do it too. There’s nothing worse than the feeling that you’ve been at a café for hours on your laptop or phone without a VPN you thought was on, using a public connection anyone’s 10-year-old kid could break into. Incidentally, TorGuard’s kill switch was serious business. I couldn’t trick it into giving up my IP address by any of the usual means (cutting the ethernet abruptly, firewalling the app, or changing servers).

Refresh  DNS Cache

Domain name system (DNS) records are basically a history of all the sites we visit. If a cybercriminal finds a backdoor onto our devices and gets his hands on them, he can swap the real URLs for fake ones, leading us into a trap. We call this domain name spoofing. Flushing our caches regularly will make sure we’re connecting to the sites we’re looking for — so definitely leave this option checked.

Hostname lookup

Hostname lookups verify that the web addresses we type into our address bars and the sites we end up at are the same. Like DNS cache flushing, hostname lookups make it harder for hackers to meddle with our searches. My advice? Switch it on.

Did You Know? My TorGuard subscription also included an ad blocker. When I put it to the test at GitHub,2 it did pretty well, giving me a score of 84 percent. The bulk of the pests were social trackers. Amazon was the only advertiser to sneak past.

TorGuard’s ad blocker performed well under tests.

TorGuard’s ad blocker performed well under tests.

The only ads TorGuard failed to shut down were its own. Go figure.

TorGuard’s ad blocker works great except on its own website.

TorGuard’s ad blocker works great except on its own website.

TorGuard VPN: The Mobile Experience (Android)

If TorGuard’s iOS app was an exercise in simplicity, the Android app gave me the Pentagon-level security I’d found on the desktop app. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have, even for beginners. Our phones are sitting ducks when we’re out and about hopping onto all sorts of unsafe networks, so beefing up mobile security makes sense.

The biggest surprise for me was opening my mobile settings and finding one feature I’d really missed on both the iOS app and the Mac desktop app: split tunneling.

Extra Mobile Features

Split Tunneling

Splitting my VPN’s tunnel let me divide my web traffic into two streams: websites and apps that went through my VPN (most of them) and a few that didn’t.

Why is that important? Some apps — such as banking apps — don’t like VPNs. With split tunneling, I could browse securely with my VPN on and bank at the same time.

Pro Tip: When you open your TorGuard Android app, you won’t find a login prompt in the settings or menu. Just hit the connect button, which will initiate the login process.

TorGuard VPN Privacy

By now you probably get it: TorGuard is serious about security. Then again, how would I really know if I didn’t put its security to the test? Being a security nut, I ran three tests of my own.

Logging

Besides anonymized website analytics (to see how we’re using their website and apps), payment info (to receive payments), and email addresses (to keep in touch), TorGuard doesn’t collect anything. Importantly, it doesn’t log any of our activity while we’re using its apps.

TorGuard claims to have a strict no logs policy.

TorGuard claims to have a strict no logs policy.

It isn’t uncommon for VPN providers to advertise strict no-logs policies. Switzerland-based ProtonVPN has an ironclad no-logs stance, for instance. (If privacy is your thing, here’s our ProtonVPN buyer’s guide for a look at its features and pricing.)

But here’s where it gets interesting.

ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, where information-sharing treaties can’t be enforced. TorGuard, on the other hand, is headquartered in Orlando, Florida, which means, if push ever came to shove, it’d have to turn over whatever meager data it has.

I’m not saying TorGuard’s customers should be worried about the FBI breaking down its doors and confiscating its hard drives, but because it’s based in the U.S., technically TorGuard’s ironclad privacy policy would hold up as well as a Starbucks receipt in court if the FBI ever came knocking.

FYI: The consortium of countries that share user telecommunications data among themselves, ostensibly to prosecute criminals, are collectively known as the Fourteen Eyes. The countries are the U.S., the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Spain.

DNS Leaks

If my VPN is on and people can still see my IP address, that means my VPN is not hiding my activity. Here’s what TorGuard told me my public-facing IP address was.

TorGuard’s dashboard shows me exactly where my VPN is connecting from.

TorGuard’s dashboard shows me exactly where my VPN is connecting from.

And here’s what an independent test told me.

The IP address on the bottom left matches the address of TorGuard’s server above.

The IP address on the bottom left matches the address of TorGuard’s server above.

Those IP addresses match, which means TorGuard was hiding my actual IP address. Also notice that there isn’t a single additional server between my desktop and my exit site, which means my tunnel is airtight.

WebRTC Leaks

WebRTC (real-time communication) technology lets us access and stream audio and video content (YouTube, Zoom, Netflix, Skype, you name it). The absolute safest thing to do would be to live without those services, because hackers can exploit backdoors through them onto our devices. But how many of us would sacrifice video in the name of privacy? The second best thing we can do is add a top-notch VPN to our digital security arsenal that plugs those backdoors. Here’s how TorGuard’s defenses stood up to an independent test.

TorGuard wasn’t leaking my IP address, it was pointing to TorGuard’s server.

TorGuard wasn’t leaking my IP address, it was pointing to TorGuard’s server.

Don’t be fooled by the “potential leak” status. Leak tests sometimes spook us unnecessarily. Look closely at the IP address. It points to the same secure server that popped up in my DNS leak test: TorGuard’s.

In the end, TorGuard passed two of my tests with flying colors, which isn’t bad.

Pro Tip: If you’re concerned about logging and you’re looking for a premium VPN in the same price range as TorGuard, you may like NordVPN, which is based in Panama. Read my hands-on NordVPN review for a deep dive into Nord’s privacy features.

TorGuard VPN Performance

I’m not very speed-obsessed when it comes to VPNs. That’s partially because my base connection of almost 500 MB will have to be making a huge trip to take a noticeable hit, especially when I’m using the speed demon WireGuard protocol. The other part is TorGuard’s reputation for speed. Word was that TorGuard was leaving the competition in the proverbial dust. Here’s how TorGuard performed for me.

My speeds were just fine even with TorGuard running on top of my base connection.

My speeds were just fine even with TorGuard running on top of my base connection.

I lost about 100 MB on my local connection, a drop from 470 MB to 375 MB per second. That kind of loss didn’t bother me at all, especially since it was over Wi-Fi. I could do all the working, streaming, and torrenting I wanted with 375 MB.

My download speeds took more than a bit of a hit when connecting across the ocean, but look at those upload speeds!

My download speeds took more than a bit of a hit when connecting across the ocean, but look at those upload speeds!

I was hobbled a bit more on the transatlantic haul. But besides slower big-file downloads, I wasn’t going to experience any major interruptions to my day-to-day online activities.

FYI: WireGuard is lean (less than 4,000 lines of code3) and uses a low-loss communications protocol called UDP to burn rubber. The problem is, our ISP can detect UDP protocols and throttle them. If our ISP throttles our speed, there’s nothing even the fastest VPN on Earth can do about it.

TorGuard VPN: My Verdict

The dark web can be a fascinating place to read about, but I don’t want it touching my devices with a 10-foot pole. My VPN is that pole.

TorGuard’s $9.99 monthly fees aren’t the cheapest. Two of my favorites — Surfshark ($2.05) and IPVanish ($3.99) — are considerably cheaper. Then again, 10 bucks per month isn’t exorbitant for pro users looking for truly awesome control over airtight VPN connections. That’s not to say novices won’t be happy with TorGuard, too, as long as they follow my advice and don’t get lost in the weeds. Bypassing the desktop app and running the iOS app instead is another solid work-around.

Bottom line? As with any tech, a VPN boils down to how it feels in your hands. If you’re reading this and TorGuard sounds like the best thing since sliced bread — and in many ways it is — take it for a test drive. You have seven days to use it with a full money-back guarantee.

TorGuard VPN FAQs

Is TorGuard VPN secure?

Yes, TorGuard VPN passed all our leak tests with flying colors.

How cheap is TorGuard VPN?

TorGuard plans start at $9.99 per month, which is good value when you factor in all the protection you’re getting.

If I subscribe to a yearly plan, will TorGuard give me a discount?

No, at the moment TorGuard doesn’t offer any yearly or multiyear discounts.

How fast is TorGuard VPN?

TorGuard, running WireGuard, is quite fast. On a 470 MB base Wi-Fi connection, we ran at 370 MB.

How many devices can I use with a TorGuard VPN plan?

With the Standard plan you get eight simultaneously connected devices. With the Pro plan you get 18.

Will TorGuard VPN give me access to the Onion Browser?

No, these are two totally different services.

Citations
SafeHome.org only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Fowler, Geoffrey. (2021, Mar 24). Gatekeepers: These tech firms control what’s allowed online. Washington Post.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/03/24/online-moderation-tech-stack/

  2. Ursu, Eduard. (2021). Ad Blocker Test. Github.
    https://d3ward.github.io/toolz/adblock.html

  3. Finley, Klint. (2020, Mar 2). WireGuard Gives Linux a Faster, More Secure VPN. Wired.
    https://www.wired.com/story/wireguard-gives-linux-faster-secure-vpn/

Author  Image
Written By
Derek Prall
VPN & Identity Theft Expert

With a decade of experience as a journalist, Derek Prall has been covering cybersecurity for seven years. He has spent more than 1,000 hours researching digital privacy and has covered almost 100 topics related to VPN and identity theft protection. Previously, Derek has covered tech issues at American City & County magazine, where he won numerous national awards for his cybersecurity coverage. His areas of expertise included network security, big data analytics, and AI applications in public safety. Derek graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Communications from Furman University and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and two cats.