NordVPN and TorGuard are both popular VPNs on the market today. They both have their fans and hordes of satisfied customers. But is one objectively better than the other? Does one offer a lot more value than the other? That’s what you’ll find out in this NordVPN vs TorGuard comparison.
Below we present to you a head-to-head comparison of these two powerful VPNs. We’ll be looking at how they compare, one against the other, in these eight categories:
- Company background and jurisdiction
- Speed tests
- Streaming and Torrenting
- Security and Encryption
- Prices & Refunds
By the time we finish evaluating all these categories, you’ll have everything you need to know to choose between NordVPN and TorGuard. So let’s do it.
Company background check and jurisdiction
When people talk about using a VPN, we tend to think that our online activities are hidden from everyone. But never forget that your VPN does have the potential to see what you do online. While we think most VPN services are honest and do their best to protect your privacy, some have been caught breaking their own “no logs” policies. Case in point: IPVanish, a US-based VPN service, was found to be logging users for the FBI while claiming to be a “no logs” VPN.
This means the history and integrity of the company that runs a VPN is crucial to the actual value of that VPN. So let’s see what we can discover about the companies behind these two VPNs.
NordVPN background and jurisdiction
NordVPN and other Nord security products all fall under the NordSec brand. The parent company for NordVPN is Tefincom. The company was established in 2012 and are veterans of the VPN market. But that’s not all. They are rolling out other security solutions, including NordPass, a secure password manager. They have also released NordLocker, which is an encryption tool and secure cloud storage solution all in one.
NordVPN is produced by a global team that is strategically incorporated in Panama. From the beginning, NordVPN was a strictly no-logs VPN service – and they have been audited twice to confirm those claims. Panama lines up with this policy because it is an excellent jurisdiction for a privacy-centric business. The country of Panama is not a member of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or the 14 Eyes intelligence alliances, and has no mandatory data logging and retention laws that could force them to spy on their users.
In short, NordVPN has a very good reputation, is a verified no-logs VPN provider, and is based in a good location. We have no problem recommending their products.
TorGuard background and jurisdiction
VPNetworks LLC is the parent company of the TorGuard VPN. Digging a little deeper, we learned that VPNetworks LLC is part of a holding company named Data Protection Services LLC. This holding company owns TorGuard VPN, Private-Email, and PrivateRouter, a company that sells VPN routers that work with TorGuard.
So where are these companies based? VPNetworks LLC and Data Protection Services LLC are both based in the United States, — specifically in Orlando, Florida. Interestingly, in 2013 it seems that TorGuard moved offshore from the USA to Nevis, West Indies. However, more recently, the company moved back to the USA.
The decision to operate TorGuard VPN in the United States (under US law) is a massive drawback. Here’s why:
- The US government operates a far-reaching surveillance network and is a member of the Five Eyes surveillance network.
- US government agencies can force VPN services to log their users, while also hitting them with gag orders that prevent any disclosure. This has happened at least three times before with IPVanish, Lavabit, and also RiseUp.
- The laws in the US are only getting worse for privacy-focused businesses, with recent calls to force encryption backdoors.
In short, the United States is one of the worst jurisdictions in the world to operate a VPN. This puts TorGuard users at more risk than VPNs operating in safe jurisdictions.
Company background check and jurisdiction winner: NordVPN
NordVPN vs TorGuard speed tests
The speed of a VPN is extremely important. All VPNs slow down your connection to some extent, but some VPNs affect performance more than others. So let’s see who comes out on top in TorGuard vs NordVPN speed tests.
Note: All tests were performed on a 500 Mbps connection from our location in the United States.
First, we tested both VPNs using their servers in locations throughout the United States.
Test 1: Los Angeles
TorGuard speeds with a server in Los Angeles: 266 Mbps
At over 200 Mbps, this is a pretty good speed test result from TorGuard. Can NordVPN do better?
NordVPN speeds with a Los Angeles server: 304 Mbps
At over 300 Mbps, these are excellent speeds from NordVPN. And with this location, NordVPN is faster than TorGuard by about 38 Mbps.
Test 2: Seattle
TorGuard server in Seattle: 202 Mbps
Again, not too bad, but also not phenomenal results from TorGuard.
NordVPN server in Seattle: 445 Mbps
No, that is not a typo. On our 500 Mbps connection, NordVPN delivered over 445 Mbps. That’s the fastest VPN we have tested so far. And note that NordVPN also recorded a ping of 24 ms for this test. With pings this low, both TorGuard and NordVPN would both work if you need a VPN for gaming with low latency.
Test 3: New York
TorGuard server in New York: 116 Mbps
So far, this is the slowest TorGuard server we have tested. Let’s see how NordVPN compares.
NordVPN server in New York: 280 Mbps
NordVPN is more than twice as fast as TorGuard for the New York server location – another excellent result.
Test 4: United Kingdom
Lastly, we also tested servers in the United Kingdom. This is a popular location for those needing a UK VPN due to eroding privacy laws in that region.
TorGuard server in UK: 152 Mbps
These results aren’t, horrible, but they also are not impressive. Now let’s see if NordVPN is faster than TorGuard.
NordVPN server in UK: 295 Mbps
As you can see, using a NordVPN server in the UK gave us much better results than with TorGuard. Indeed, in this particular test, NordVPN was almost twice as fast as TorGuard. This is why we rate NordVPN as one of the best UK VPNs with excellent speeds.
Why is NordVPN so much faster than TorGuard?
We tested NordVPN using its NordLynx protocol. NordLynx is NordVPN’s custom implementation of the WireGuard VPN protocol, which is much faster than the current industry-standard OpenVPN protocol. In our OpenVPN vs WireGuard speed tests, WireGuard was on average 58% faster than OpenVPN.
TorGuard also claims to support WireGuard. Unfortunately, we had problems with both our Windows and Mac test machines when we tried to activate TorGuard’s WireGuard protocol. On both machines we encountered SSL Handshake Failure errors whenever we tried to connect using WireGuard.
These errors were observed on two different computers, physically located thousands of miles apart, running two different operating systems, and connecting to two different sets of TorGuard servers. We have to conclude the problem was on TorGuard’s end.
We have also found WireGuard to give NordVPN a significant performance advantage in other speed tests, as you can see in the NordVPN vs IPVanish comparison. This was also the case in the Surfshark vs ExpressVPN, with Surfshark now supporting the WireGuard VPN protocol and coming out on top.
Speed test winner: NordVPN
Features comparison: Is NordVPN or TorGuard best?
TorGuard is a feature-rich VPN, so this should be a good category for them.
TorGuard supports a ton of VPN protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, IPSec. They also support several stealth protocols: OpenVPN Stealth, ShadowSocks, Stunnel, and AnyConnect (a.k.a. OpenConnect). The stealth VPN options are useful if you need a VPN for Dubai and UAE, where VPNs are routinely blocked. And as noted above, TorGuard officially supports WireGuard, but it simply did not work in our tests.
On the encryption front, TorGuard offers AES-128, AES-256, Blowfish, and ChaCha20.
If you have a lot of users to support (or run a lot of connected devices yourself), you’ll be happy to hear that TorGuard supports 8 simultaneous connections, which is more than NordVPN.
TorGuard has a large network, with over 3,000 VPN servers in 50+ countries. This includes countries that are often not supported by other VPN services such as Moldova and the UAE. While this is a smaller server network than NordVPN, it is still pretty good.
Just like with NordVPN, TorGuard provides apps for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, and Android. These VPN clients (apps) offer a huge range of options, which is great if you are a VPN expert and want detailed control over every aspect of your VPNs functionality. That said, we think that casual or first-time VPN users will be confused by the plethora of settings and options available in these clients.
Like NordVPN, TorGuard offers browser extensions for both Firefox and Chrome.
Now let’s see what features NordVPN brings to the contest.
NordVPN offers a ton of advanced features. They offer all the same apps and browser extensions that TorGuard does. Additionally, this is a great VPN for Firestick and Fire TV with a dedicated app, while also offering support for Raspberry Pi. A NordVPN client also comes preinstalled on the Vilfo VPN router.
NordVPN apps use OpenVPN with AES 256 encryption, or NordLynx (WireGuard). From a user experience standpoint, NordVPN apps are more user-friendly than TorGuard. The layout is cleaner, while still giving you easy access to all important features and preferences.
Another impressive aspect of NordVPN is their network of servers. They have over 5,200 servers in 60 countries worldwide. One of the benefits of this huge network is their ability to provide users with a set of specialty servers for many different use cases:
- Numerous P2P servers optimized for torrenting
- Censorship-defeating obfuscated servers, which work well if you need a VPN for China
- Extra secure Double-VPN servers that pass your traffic through two VPN servers, one after the other
Yet another great feature is CyberSec. This feature blocks ads and trackers as well as malware and phishing domains. This makes it one of the best VPNs with ad blocking. Enabling CyberSec will also improve performance, especially on mobile, with ads and trackers that normally eat up bandwidth.
Both TorGuard and NordVPN offer dedicated IP VPN add-ons.
With TorGuard, extra features will cost you…
One major drawback of TorGuard VPN is that add-ons and additional features, including streaming, all cost extra. These are listed as different “bundles” that you’ll need to add on to the base price of the VPN. This is a huge drawback for people who need a good VPN for streaming.
Unlike TorGuard, NordVPN includes all features and streaming support in the same base price, with no extra fees.
Features winner: NordVPN
Streaming and Torrenting: TorGuard vs NordVPN
Both TorGuard and NordVPN support streaming and torrenting. But there are some differences in the ways that they do so, which make one of them the clear winner for anyone who sees streaming and torrenting as an important part of their VPN use.
Streaming: NordVPN compared to TorGuard
If you intend to use your VPN for streaming media from sites around the world, you aren’t alone. Millions of people use VPNs to get access streaming libraries around the world. But only a few VPNs are good at defeating the geo-blocking technology employed by more and more services.
NordVPN – Right now, we consider NordVPN to be the best VPN for Netflix for three main reasons:
- It supports 15+ Netflix regional libraries, including all of the most popular locations, such as the US, UK, Germany, France, and more.
- It works on a very consistent basis (no downtime).
- You will have very fast speeds, which allows you to stream HD quality without any buffering or interruptions.
Below we are streaming US Netflix through a NordVPN server:
TorGuard – TorGuard takes a different approach to streaming. The basic service is actually pretty mediocre for streaming. If you want good streaming performance from this VPN, you need to pay for a special streaming IP address, ideally near or in the country where the servers for the streaming content you want are located.
Even worse, each streaming IP address costs an additional $7.99 per month. This massively drives up the price of a TorGuard subscription. In other words, you will be restricted to streaming in only one dedicated location.
Adding to the fun, streaming IP addresses can only be used for streaming or general web browsing. There is no torrenting allowed on these IPs! While this may work fine if you need a good VPN for Hulu and other streaming services, the added cost is a serious drawback.
Unless you have lots of money to burn, we advise you to avoid TorGuard if streaming is important.
NordVPN is easily the winner when it comes to streaming.
Torrenting: Is TorGuard or NordVPN best?
Torrenting requires different characteristics than streaming, so maybe TorGuard can gain ground in this category. For downloading torrents, the most important characteristics are fast speeds and reliable leak protection.
- NordVPN is perhaps the fastest VPN in the world and provides excellent protection against leaks. We recently rated it the best VPN for torrenting.
- TorGuard is slower than NordVPN, but this may change once their WireGuard implementation is working smoothly, but for now, they literally can’t keep up.
NordVPN beats TorGuard when it comes to torrenting too.
Streaming and Torrenting winner: NordVPN
Security and Encryption comparison
Security and encryption are supremely important for a VPN, and happily, both services are secure and use strong encryption.
NordVPN and TorGuard have comparable levels of encryption:
- TorGuard: AES-128, AES-256, Blowfish, and ChaCha20 ciphers
- NordVPN: AES-256 and ChaCha20 ciphers
While TorGuard gives you more options, using AES-256 with OpenVPN, and ChaCha20 with WireGuard or NordLynx will give excellent results under most any circumstances. We’ll call this sub-category a tie.
NordVPN has undergone the following third-party audits:
- An audit of their no-logs policy, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland.
- A more-recent, in-depth audit of their no-logs policy on regular, obfuscated, Double VPN, and P2P servers. This audit was also conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
- An app and infrastructure security audit conducted by VerSprite.
TorGuard has not had any third-party audits that we know of.
NordVPN has the edge here.
VPN server security
NordVPN now runs all servers in RAM-disk mode without any hard drives. Removing hard drives from VPN servers eliminates a large security risk. There have been several cases in the past where a VPN has had a server seized by local authorities looking for evidence of a crime, such as the case with ExpressVPN. Going diskless eliminates this problem since a diskless server loses all its data the moment it loses power.
Additionally, NordVPN is in the process of deploying colocated (self-owned) servers for their entire network. This will replace all rental servers and give NordVPN full control over all hardware.
As far as we can ascertain, TorGuard does not run any of its servers in diskless mode. While most VPNs do not do this, with exceptions such as NordVPN and Surfshark, there is nothing wrong with TorGuard not doing so. However, the simple fact that NordVPN has done so is enough to give them the win this section of the security category. Additionally, TorGuard uses only rental servers and not colocated servers.
Security winner: While TorGuard tied NordVPN when it comes to the strength of their encryption, NordVPN’s independent security audits and server security give it the win in this category.
Privacy: TorGuard vs NordVPN
That was security. Now is the time to talk about privacy. Which VPN will protect your privacy better?
Both TorGuard and NordVPN have good, no-logs policies. But there are other factors to consider.
TorGuard – Unfortunately, TorGuard has one big strike against it when it comes to user privacy. While the service is a no-log service, it is also bound to obey the laws of the United States. And those laws are not the friend of anyone who values their privacy. Here are a few examples of cases where the US government has forced privacy-related companies to violate the privacy of their users:
- IPVanish was forced to log users for the FBI
- Riseup, which was both an email service and a VPN, was forced to log user data for the FBI
- Lavabit was ordered by the US government to turn over encryption keys that would allow the government to read user emails and private data.
When you choose a privacy service in the US, you put your data at risk.
TorGuard has not undergone any audits to verify its privacy claims about “no logs” policies.
NordVPN – In comparison to TorGuard, NordVPN is in a much better jurisdiction. Panama is one of the best places in the world for privacy-focused businesses.
NordVPN has now completed two privacy-centric audits that verified the no-logs policies.
Privacy winner: NordVPN
Prices and refunds comparison
Let’s see how these two compare when it comes to pricing.
TorGuard pricing – TorGuard now gives you three variants on their basic plan: Anonymous VPN, Anonymous VPN Pro, and Anonymous VPN + FREE Router, in addition to numerous options and add-ons that further increase the price. We have already explained how this pricing system is confusing at best, but now we’ll show you why.
First, you need to select which VPN package you want. Then you need to choose your billing cycle. Finally, you’ll need to check the “Available Addons” section to see if you need any of the additional price elements such as a streaming IP address. For the basic plan, TorGuard billing starts at $9.99 per month (Monthly plan). Their six-month plan runs $5.00 per month, and the one-year plan likewise goes for $5.00 per month.
The cheapest price on TorGuard VPN is $4.16 per month with the two-year plan. Even the cheapest plan, with no added options, is more expensive than NordVPN.
Note: Most VPNs do not offer complex pricing with different add-on options. The two biggest VPNs, NordVPN and ExpressVPN, have standard prices that include all features.
NordVPN pricing – This is much less complex than TorGuard pricing. While NordVPN doesn’t offer all the add-ons to the basic product, they do now offer subscriptions to their NordPass and NordLocker services when you sign up for the VPN. Putting the additional products aside, NordVPN is a good cheap VPN with prices coming out ahead of TorGuard.
One big benefit of NordVPN is that they are offering a discounted two-year subscription. The savings here are indeed significant, dropping the price down to only $3.30 per month. Here are the discounted prices:
When you consider the streaming support that comes standard with all NordVPN plans, it’s easy to see how it comes out on top in this category.
TorGuard and NordVPN refund policies
Does NordVPN or TorGuard offer the best refund policy?
TorGuard offers a somewhat confusing 7-day refund policy with numerous exceptions we discovered:
- “Dedicated IP’s, Streaming or Residential IP’s are excluded from the refund”
- “Refunds can be denied within the 7 day period in certain cases.”
- “Gift cards and Crypto Payments cannot be refunded”
In comparison, NordVPN comes out much better with the refund policy. NordVPN gives you a 30 day money-back guarantee on all plans, without all of these exceptions we see with TorGuard.
NordVPN clearly has better prices and a much better refund policy.
Price and Refund Winner: NordVPN
Value: Is TorGuard or NordVPN best?
Figuring out the value of a particular item can be tricky. A large part of it comes down to your specific needs. For example, if you need streaming media support, that boosts the value of NordVPN relative to TorGuard.
At the same time, there are some characteristics that are important to virtually all VPN users. We want a fast VPN that is secure and protects our privacy.
While both VPNs are secure, NordVPN is much faster than TorGuard. And TorGuard’s location in the United States entails much more risk of being forced to spy on their users than NordVPN’s location in Panama.
Unless you are a highly technical user with very specific needs NordVPN offers much greater value than TorGuard. This is especially true when comparing the baseline VPN packages, without add-ons. NordVPN simply offers more features, more support for streaming, and much better speeds, all at a lower price with a better refund window.
Value winner: NordVPN
Conclusion: NordVPN wins
As far as the testing goes, NordVPN clearly comes out ahead of TorGuard in all categories. Here is a summary of our TorGuard vs Nord tests:
- Company background and jurisdiction: NordVPN
- Speed tests: NordVPN
- Features: NordVPN
- Streaming and Torrenting: NordVPN
- Security and Encryption: NordVPN
- Privacy: NordVPN
- Price and Refund: NordVPN
- Value: NordVPN
This doesn’t mean that TorGuard is a bad VPN. In a competition against most VPNs, TorGuard would do pretty well. But in this comparison, TorGuard went up against one of the top VPNs in the world.
It’s tough to recommend TorGuard given all the issues we found. You can read more about it in the TorGuard review if you’re on the fence. But at the end of the day, there are simply many other great VPNs to choose from that are operating in a safe privacy jurisdiction.
Returning to NordVPN, if you want to give this VPN a try, be sure to grab the best deal with the coupon below. And remember you have 30 days to cancel for a hassle-free 100% refund.
That’s all for now. You can see our other VPN comparisons here.
Have you used either NordVPN or TorGuard VPN? If so, share your experience below in the comments to help others.
This NordVPN vs TorGuard comparison was last updated on November 4, 2021 with new info and test results.