TorGuard is one of the most trusted services in the VPN industry. It was originally created to cater to torrent enthusiasts but with time it developed into a full-blown VPN. The provider advertises itself as a secure and zero-logging service but I always take marketing slogans with a pinch of salt. Therefore, I personally decided to check if TorGuard is safe to use. Here is what I found.
Firstly, I would like to introduce the service’s strong suits:
- No-log service;
- A generous selection of encryption protocols and ciphers;
- No leaks;
- Kill switch;
- Anonymous payment methods;
Unfortunately, I also noticed something that doesn’t sit well with me:
- The 5 Eyes Jurisdiction;
- A third-party app to run OpenVPN on mobile devices
TorGuard’s Legislation and Logging Policy
TorGuard is a company based in the USA. The country doesn’t currently have mandatory data retention legislation but security-focused services may face issues of a different kind. For instance, the USA is a prominent member of a secret intelligence organization by the name of the 5 Eyes. This alliance monitors people and legal entities within its jurisdiction and even outside it. VPN providers, since their ability to collect data about users, may interest these spies.
Not only that, VPNs may become subjects of court warrants. If their clients are suspected of committing crimes, a court may order a VPN to provide any essential information it has.
Luckily for TorGuard’s users, the service doesn’t really retain any sensitive data. It keeps track of a time and date when users signed in the last time. Also, there is some bandwidth usage accounting to help with refunds but TorGuard promises to register this data only through the interface avoiding logs. In any event, the provider doesn’t monitor traffic, it is not aware of the websites you visit and it doesn’t need to know your original IP address.
TorGuard Security Features
As any reputable provider, TorGuard makes use of strong encryption. The best it can offer is OpenVPN protocol with AES-256 cipher. It is not a secret that heavy encryption may slow the connection down, so you can manually downgrade encryption to AES-128 or Blowfish-128 options. Also, you are free to choose from other security protocols comprising PPTP, L2TP, IPsec, SSTP, and iKEV2. On top of that, you can opt for a stealth proxy via SOCKS5 tunnel.
The thing I don’t like about TorGuard is that it requires third-party software to run OpenVPN on Android and iOS devices. Other providers somehow find a way to embed this option into their apps but you’ll need an extra step with TorGuard. In any case, OpenVPN Connect is a free and easy-to-use app so there should be no hardship.
The provider worked hard to weed out IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. At least, my tests didn’t detect any of those issues. Moreover, it took care of the troublesome IPv6 leakage so that you don’t have to manually disable IPv6 on your device.
Kill switch disconnection tool is also in place. It helps to secure your original IP from being seen if a connection with a VPN server fails.
The icing on the cake is numerous anonymous payment methods. You can pay for the service with Bitcoin, altcoins and more than 100 gift cards. Any of those methods will help keep your identity intact.
For those of you who want to know a little more about TorGuard, I made an honest an unbiased review.
Despite the location in the USA (the 5 Eyes country), TorGuard made everything possible to stay a safe and secure service. It doesn’t maintain logs so that no harmless files can threaten user privacy. On top of that, the provider offers flexible encryption options including golden-standard AES-256 OpenVPN. In general, TorGuard goes with a standard set of features but this is more than enough for the majority of users.