TorGuard VPN: Affordable and Robust
PC Magazine|October 2021
REVIEWS/SOFTWARE&APPS
MAX EDDY

TorGuard VPN

PROS Affordable. Numerous servers spread across the globe. Offers a minimum of eight simultaneous connections. Highly customizable subscriptions.

CONS Few additional privacy features. Vague privacy policy. No public audits.

BOTTOM LINE TorGuard VPN can help protect your privacy online with its robust network of servers and support for the latest VPN technology, but the company could stand to be more transparent with its customers.

A VPN’s most basic function is to protect your data and privacy by routing your web traffic through an encrypted connection to a distant server. TorGuard VPN, however, has never been just a basic VPN service. Rather, it provides a robust network of servers, numerous advanced network options, and a bewildering variety of account options that let you tailor your experience just so. But TorGuard lacks the additional privacy features offered by competitors, and its flexibility sometimes comes at the price of clarity and transparency.

PRICING

Despite its name, TorGuard is not related to the Tor Project, the digital labyrinth of proxies designed to help people stay anonymous online. If you’re looking for that Tor, check out the Tor Browser. TorGuard styles itself as a one-stop privacy shop offering an anonymous proxy (included with the VPN, naturally), PrivateMail secure email, and routers preconfigured to work with TorGuard VPN. We focus on the VPN offerings for this review, but even there, it gets complicated.

TorGuard is unusual among VPN companies in that it embraces a flexible but highly arcane pricing model. There are three packages, with different plans in each: Anonymous VPN, Streaming Bundle, VPN+Private Mail Bundles, and Business VPN. The Anonymous VPN Package has three plans: Anonymous VPN, Anonymous VPN Pro, and Anonymous VPN Pro 3 Years. All three grant access to all of TorGuard’s servers and place no restrictions on speed or bandwidth. Other features, such as apps, browser extensions, VPN protocols, and access to the Shadowsocks proxy, are also available across all three.

If all this sounds overwhelming, that’s because it is— and the design of TorGuard VPN’s website doesn’t help. No consumer security app should be this difficult to sign up for.

The Anonymous VPN plan costs $9.99 per month, $19.99 per quarter, $29.99 every six months, $59.99 annually, or $99.99 every two years. It provides eight simultaneous connections, which is more than the average of five simultaneous connections offered by other companies. TorGuard’s base tier will likely meet most household’s needs, but Avira Phantom VPN, Encrypt.me VPN, Ghostery Midnight, IPVanish VPN, Surfshark VPN, and Windscribe VPN place no restrictions on the number of simultaneous connections.

This tier’s price is comparable to those of competitors, which charge an average of $10.11 per month (among the VPNs we’ve reviewed). The average annual subscription costs $70.06, making TorGuard a compelling value proposition at either length. That said, we strongly recommend using either a free subscription or taking out a short-term subscription at first to test the service and ensure it works with all the sites and services you need.

The Anonymous VPN Pro plan raises the number of simultaneous connections to 12, plus throws in a dedicated IP address, access to a high-speed 10GB network, and additional ports for port forwarding. It starts at $12.99 per month and goes up to $119.00 per year. Anonymous VPN Pro 3 Year has all the same features and costs $89.99 every three years.

While TorGuard charges a below-average price, some competitors go even lower. A limited ProtonVPN account starts at $5 per month, and Mullvad only charges a flat fee of €5 per month ($5.87 at the time of this writing). A few VPN companies offer free subscription tiers. You can use Hotspot Shield or TunnelBear for free—if you stay under 500MB per day and per month, respectively. ProtonVPN has the best free tier we’ve yet seen, as it places no bandwidth restrictions on users.

You should have no trouble finding a way to pay for your subscription to TorGuard, as the website boasts numerous payment options. These include the expected major credit cards, Amazon Pay, and PayPal. You can also use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Paymentwall, and prepaid gift cards for various well-known brands. Using cryptocurrency or a gift card for which you paid cash has the advantages of being totally anonymous as if you had made a cash transaction.

WHAT YOU GET (AND DON’T)

While TorGuard does provide basic VPN protection, it doesn’t offer many additional privacy tools. Some VPNs include multi-hop VPN connections that route your traffic through more than one VPN server, making it harder to track and intercept; TorGuard does not.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PC MAGAZINEView All

THE HOTTEST TECH TOYS FOR KIDS

From a build-it-yourself space station to a portable storyteller to Harry Potter’s Hedwig, here are the 2021 tech toys that’ll bring the kids in your life a ton of fun

4 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2021

MicrosoftOneDrive Is Ditching Windows 7, 8, and 8.1

The cloud storage platform will drop support for older versions of Windows in early 2022.

1 min read
PC Magazine
December 2021

THE BEST PRODUCTS OF 2021

You need only one list this holiday season when you’re buying tech gifts. Here’s PCMag’s annual collection of the 101 most exceptional products tested and rated by our experts in the past year.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
December 2021

Facebook Shuts Down Its Facial-Recognition System

Facebook doesn’t point to a single incident that prompted the decision, but it comes as facial-recognition systems (and the social network in general) have come under fire.

2 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2021

SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium (for PC): Rich Fighting Game

Potent pocket fighting on PC

6 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2021

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model (Late 2021): Perennial Gaming Favorite

Faster CPU, better webcam bolster the beloved Blade 15

9 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2021

HP Chromebook x2 (2021): A Clever Combination

The best Chrome OS detachable of 2018 returns strong B

7 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2021

Beats Fit Pro: Solid ANC

A bass-heavy alternative to the AirPods Pro

9 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2021

Apple iPhone 13: A Battery-Life Beast

The Apple iPhone 13 is a battery-life beast, with far greater longevity than previous midrange smartphones.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
November 2021

HOW TO USE SNAP LAYOUTS IN WINDOWS 11

Windows 11 may be better known for its centered taskbar and rounded window borders, but the new Snap Layouts feature (sometimes also called Snap Assist) might be a more useful UI innovation. Windows, as its name implies, has long been excellent at managing and rearranging program windows, but Snap Layouts elevate the operating system (OS) to the next level.

4 mins read
PC Magazine
November 2021