When looking for the best VPN service to use, what do you consider the most important feature that you cannot compromise on? In the wake of increased government ‘spying’, many Internet users today are not willing to compromise on privacy online. While almost all VPN providers claim to offer total online privacy, very few live up to their billing. That being said, Torguard has stood out as one of the very few providers that mean what they say when they claim to take users’ privacy seriously.
Here is a full review of what they offer.
Pricing and Packages
Torguard offers two pricing packages although a glance at the company’s home page might suggest that there are three packages on offer, and it can even get more confusing with the shopping cart offer of a Torrent proxy plus a VPN for the same amount as the Bittorent package. As usual, massive discounts are offered on bulk orders but the actual plans are as follows:
Bittorrent Proxy – This is a completely anonymous plan offered at $5.95 per month and it is the core service offered by Torguard, given the nature of their services. This plan is specially designed for torrent users who share files using a bittorrent client. Users are provided with detailed guides on how to setup the Bittorrent/UTorrent clients and the Vuse, in addition to other browsers, mobile devices, and Skype. If you don’t want to go through the process of configuring the client software, you may simply download a preconfigured client.
Anonymous VPN – This is the normal VPN offering that is available for $9.95 per month.
In addition to the two packages, Torguard also offers an anonymous email service with 10MB worth of storage, all free of charge. For unlimited storage, be ready to part with $5.33 per month for a 3-months plan or $4.16 per month for a yearly plan.
Security and Protocols
Torguard offers OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols. By default, the company offers 256-bit OpenVPN encryption on all accounts except for devices where OpenVPN is not supported, in which case the 128-bit PPTP is offered. This is definitely a strong point security-wise and one that helps the company score highly on security.
Also, Torguard is based out of Panama and they take full advantage of the country’s favorable laws on data retention to provide increased anonymity. Precisely, Torguard does not maintain any logs whatsoever, or even IP addresses. Thus, they would have nothing to hand over to authorities when presented with a court order.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that the company requests for some personal information at signup which may be used for promotional purposes.
Torguard has a relatively small network of servers mostly concentrated in Europe and North America. Users on the Anonymous VPN plan can access up to 30 VPN servers in 9 countries without restrictions on bandwidth usage.
Torguard has an average customer support system that comprises a ticketing system as well as live chat support that may go off-line for extended periods of time. Moreover, many users have expressed disappointment over the lack of response when they send queries through the aforesaid system.
Pros and Cons
Torguard scores highly on privacy (no logs stored), security (256-bit OpenVPN encryption offered by default), impressive connection speeds, and free anonymous email. Evidently, the company goes a long way in protecting users’ privacy, although they are not faultless in that area.
Still with privacy, users are required to provide personal details when registering and the company’s ‘terms and conditions’ state that these may be used for promotional purposes. As such, this turns out to be the company’s biggest drawback.
Overall, some of Torguard’s features and pricing plans may seem confusing at first for average users, but once you’re good to go, things work out smoothly.