Test of TorGuard – Part 1

torguardlogo

I decided it was time to get serious about getting serious, so I investigated TorGuard’s site today to find out about them.

TorGuard provides these anonymity services:

  1. A proxy service.
  2. A VPN service.
  3. An email service.

TorGuard is not associated with the official Tor project, but they do donate to Tor according to their web site. The main purpose of TorGuard is to protect your online identity while using torrents. The only time I use torrents is when I download them from archive.org for old radio shows and television shows from the 50’s and 60’s. I was more interested in secure browsing and access to email.

A nice feature of their website is that a chat window comes up right away asking if you need help. I thought, “why not?” An assistant named “Steve” was online and helped me decide what product I needed. Although I don’t use torrents much, he advised me to get the VPN service, which is pretty reasonable at $19.95 for three months. They advertise the speed and bandwidth as unlimited. I went ahead and got the VPN Pro service. One caveat is that when I tried to pay using PayPal, it didn’t work. Steve was still in the chat window and told me they’d been having trouble with PayPal all day, so I used a credit card which eventually worked.

The installation was so simple I didn’t realize I had it working. Once you pay, you get directed to a download screen which gets you the VPN client, and it already has your license key embedded in it, but you can download your license key separately. The VPN client lets you choose which country you want to connect to. This is so you can watch blocked content that is restricted to a particular country. I haven’t tested that yet, so I connected to the Dallas, TX end point. Here is what the client looks like when it’s running:

2015-12-01 03_42_11-Program Manager

How does it work? I’ve been using it to watch YouTube videos for the past three hours, and I’ve noticed no speed issues. I use Thunderbird as my email client, and I have a Hotmail account. Hotmail noticed I was not logging in from my usual IP address, so I had to verify it was me. That told me that the VPN connection is active for all traffic to and from the Internet.

I’m going to use this regularly, and I’ll report back on how it’s working.

P.S. TorGuard also sells pre-configured routers with VPN tunnels built in. Ultimately that’s the best solution, but for now the soft VPN is working great.