TorGuard vs. NordVPN - 2019's Honest Comparison
VPNs come in all kinds of shapes and colors, and it takes a truly incredible service to stand out from the crowd. NordVPN and TorGuard are both popular names in the VPN industry, but as expected, each has its strengths and weaknesses.
TorGuard advertises itself as an ANONYMOUS VPN service, and its security and privacy are top-notch. That said, I was more enamored with NordVPN thanks to its impressive performance in many of the categories I tested.
In this TorGuard vs. NordVPN matchup, I will examine the two services and show you how they compare.
First, here is a quick overview of the two VPN service providers.
|Rating||4.1 of 5||4.8 of 5 |
|Price||View Best Price||View Best Price|
|Logging Policy||No Logging Policy||Zero-logs Policy|
|Servers & Countries||3000+ Servers in 50+ Countries||5200+ Servers in 59 Countries|
|Torrenting / P2P||Yes||Yes|
|Customer Support||24/7 Live Chat + Email||24/7 Live Chat + Email|
|Simultaneous Connections||8 Devices||6 Devices|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Routers||Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Amazon Fire TV / Firestick, Router|
|Visit:||Go with TorGuard||Go with NordVPN|
My Rating Criteria
While TorGuard and NordVPN have a lot in common, they do possess several distinguishing features. To find out how the two stack up, I considered the following key aspects.
Safety – Encryption, Protocols, & Logging Policy
If your VPN can’t keep you safe and secure online, then you might as well not use it.
As such, it’s vital to analyze a VPN’s security and privacy features before opting in.
AES 256-bit with OpenVPN protocol remains the gold standard in VPN encryption.
That said, there are other protocols such as IKEv2 and L2TP/IPsec, which are much faster, albeit slightly less secure.
Security aside, I’ll also be looking at TorGuard’s and NordVPN’s jurisdiction and trustworthiness.
Speed & Reliability
Regardless of the provider, your VPN will slow down your internet connection.
This often because of data encryption and routing.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to put up with a VPN that saps your entire bandwidth.
In fact, multiple providers out there can guarantee high-speed connections.
But how do TorGuard and NordVPN perform?
Keep reading to find out.
Global Server Distribution
If you are looking to circumvent censorship and geo-restrictions, this might as well be your most important consideration.
Yes, a high number of servers is excellent, but to access restricted media, you will need a VPN that has servers in a country where that particular content is available.
Ease of Use & Customer Experience
A good VPN should be easy to set up and use.
This means it should come with a ready-to-use custom VPN app for your device.
Support should also be easily accessible in case you run into any challenges with the service.
Value for Money
So, instead of simply opting for the most affordable option between TorGuard and NordVPN, be sure to consider each service’s value for money.
TorGuard vs. NordVPN: Features & Comparison
Security – Encryption, Protocols, & Features
When it comes to security, NordVPN and TorGuard largely offer similar security features.
Both use AES 256-bit encryption to encrypt your data and come with OpenVPN as the default protocol. Other shared security features include:
- DNS Leak Protection
- Built-in kill switch
- Perfect forward secrecy
- Ad and malware blocker
However, these are just basic features, which are now standard in the VPN industry.
Both NordVPN and TorGuard punch beyond that, and there are a few key features that one has, and the other doesn’t.
I was particularly impressed with NordVPN’s security features, in particular, Double VPN, which sends your internet traffic through two servers, encrypting it twice. The service also offers Tor over VPN (Onion over VPN), giving users an extra layer of protection.
On their part, TorGuard has a broader range of protocols, including PPTP and SSTP.
However, I would advise sticking to OpenVPN if security is important to you.
Again, do not let the ‘Tor’ in TorGuard mislead you into believing that the service offers double encryption via the onion network.
I’ll let the provider do the explaining.
What a bummer!
Jurisdiction & Logging Policy
TorGuard and NordVPN have decent logging policies. In fact, both are very transparent about their service.
Likewise, TorGuard claims to not collect or log any activity or connection data from its VPN or proxy services.
Well, that’s until you factor in their respective jurisdictions.
TorGuard is located in the United States, which is not a privacy-friendly jurisdiction.
The US has mandatory data retention laws and is a core part of the 5 EYES, 9 EYES, and 14 EYES intelligence-sharing alliances.
NordVPN, on the other hand, is based in Panama. Being a non-fourteen eye jurisdiction, Panama does not require any data storage.
Global Server Coverage
A vast server network gives you better chances of bypassing internet restrictions and accessing geo-blocked or censored content.
Here NordVPN leads TorGuard in both VPN locations and the total number of servers.
Currently, the provider has 5200+ in 59 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, India, and the Middle East.
TorGuard does not lag far behind. With the service, you get access to 3000+ servers in 50+ countries across the world.
Both services offer dedicated IP servers, something which may prove attractive if you are a streaming fan looking to access geo-restricted sites.
Speed & Performance
When choosing a VPN, speed is probably one of the most vital considerations.
So, to find out how NordVPN and TorGuard fair, I conducted a series of speed tests using different servers and locations.
Here is a snapshot of the results.
Note: I conducted both tests from Europe, and my benchmark speeds were 98.76 Mbps download and 51.94 Mbps upload.
TorGuard VPN Results:
|Connected to UK server||31 ms||79.23 Mbps (-19.78%)||47.18 Mbps (-9.16%)|
|Connected to US server||97 ms||64.36 Mbps (-34.83%)||32.51 Mbps (-37.41%)|
|Connected to Hong Kong server||178 ms||33.56 Mbps (-66.02%)||12.73 Mbps (-75.49%)|
|Connected to UK server||48 ms||65.83 Mbps (-33.34%)||44.79 Mbps (-13.77%)|
|Connected to US server||126 ms||32.91 Mbps (-66.68%)||31.76 Mbps (-38.85%)|
|Connected to Hong Kong server||270 ms||10.58 Mbps (-89.29%)||9.62 Mbps (-81.48%)|
NordVPN performed significantly better across all three locations.
I found their speed reductions to be quite minimal, especially in the EU.
Likewise, TorGuard European servers were fast, but I was left unimpressed by their US connections.
Overall, NordVPN was faster than TorGuard by:
- 20% in Europe (London, UK)
- 96% in North America (New York, USA)
- 217% in Hong Kong
Torrenting: NordVPN vs. TorGuard VPN
While torrenting in itself is not illegal, downloading copyrighted material is.
And there lies the problem.
Given the nature of the internet, it can sometimes be hard to tell which content is legal to download or stream. Get caught downloading copyrighted material, and you may end faced with hefty fines or even jail time.
That’s where VPNs come in. Both TorGuard and NordVPN are good options for torrenting.
In fact, torrenting is one of the main pros of TorGuard, and they have even included it right in the name. The service offers P2P optimized servers as well as a proxy meant solely for torrenting at higher speeds.
NordVPN performs well in this category as well. Like TorGuard, the VPN comes with hundreds of servers optimized for P2P.
Both NordVPN and TorGuard support forwarding, which further protects you from hackers and snoopers hiding in torrent swarms.
Everything considered, NordVPN slightly edges TorGuard thanks to a higher number of P2P optimized servers and faster connections.
Netflix and Streaming
While most VPNs can unblock geo-restricted media on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, very few can bypass Netflix’s firewall.
NordVPN is one of those select few VPNs, and it goes about it spectacularly.
I was able to access the streaming service with the first US server I connected to.
When I tried to stream Netflix through various TorGuard servers, I kept getting the infamous proxy error message.
Streaming Error: You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of those services and try again.
I was quite disappointed, especially given that their advertised capability to unblock Netflix was one of my main reasons for purchasing the VPN. On contacting customer support, I was told I needed to purchase a dedicated streaming IP to access Netflix.
In case you are wondering, the dedicated IP costs an extra $7.99/month.
Overall, NordVPN is not only better than TorGuard but is also one of the best VPNs for streaming available.
Compatibility & Ease of Use
Both TorGuard and NordVPN are very simple to set up and use. They provide ready-to-use apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android as well as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
NordVPN also had dedicated native apps for Amazon Fire TV and Android TVs, which is a major plus for streaming fans.
Customer support is all about responsiveness, and here both services were excellent.
I contacted both providers via live chat, and both responded with a minute.
TorGuard also has a toll-free call center where you can reach them if you have any questions. Additionally, they provide an FAQ section and community forum.
NordVPN, on the other hand, does not have a call center, but they do offer an FAQ section and a Knowledge Base section where you can find setup tutorials and informative blogs.
Overall, customer support shouldn‘t be a cause for concern with TorGuard and NordVPN.
Both were much better than I had hoped for.
Cost & Value for Money
NordVPN is 186% cheaper than TorGuard VPN.
And this is even before you add in the extra cost dedicated streaming IPs that you stand to incur with TorGuard.
TorGuard VPN Price
In total, TorGuard offers only one VPN subscription plan, which is available at $9.99/mo billed monthly. There are additional packages like the Anonymous Proxy and Anonymous Email, but I’m guessing that’s not why you are here.
NordVPN is undoubtedly one of the most affordable premier VPNs in the market. The provider offers four pricing plans to choose from:
- 1-month plan at $11.95/month
- 1-year plan at $6.99/month
- 2-year plan at $4.99/month
- 3-year plan at $3.49/month
In terms of refunds, NordVPN again comes out on top.
The provider offers a 30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee on all subscription plans.
With TorGuard, you only get a 7-day refund window, and even this is not guaranteed.
According to their refund policy, they can deny money-back requests in some instances.
Taking into account the cost of each VPN and the features they offer, NordVPN offers better value for money.
My Final Verdict
NordVPN is the clear winner in this NordVPN vs. TorGuard battle.
However, this is not to mean TorGuard is a terrible service.
The VPN holds its ground nicely when it comes to user experience, server coverage, and torrenting.
That said, NordVPN is simply the better choice. It is much faster, more secure, and works better with geo-blocked services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
The location of the provider is a great detail, and it’s price and security features are hard to top.
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