While some internet users seek the services of a VPN for online privacy and security, others do so to access geographically restricted websites. But, there are also people who use a VPN just for torrenting. If you need a VPN for the same reason, continue reading.
Established in 2008, BTGuard is based in Canada and is specifically designed to allow file sharing through Bittorrent. The service is available as both a proxy and VPN, and the fact that its main focus is on enabling anonymous torrenting makes it an interesting find.
Is My Privacy Protected with BTGuard VPN?
As mentioned, BTGuard is based in Canada, a country that is not really famous for data privacy. With the many invasive laws that are in existence in the country, this certainly wouldn’t be any user’s first choice when it comes to the location of their VPN service provider.
The again, when it comes to privacy, BTGuard states that it doesn’t keep any records of usage. The company particularly mentions that it doesn’t “ collect your internet protocol (IP) address or customer usage ”. The statement of the VPN’s no log policy ends there, without any further detailed explanations of the issue, which should be a priority for a service that offers privacy in exchange for money.
Moving on to information sharing with third parties, BTGuard mentions that they “ do not sell, trade or rent your personal information to other companies ”, which sounds good. However, the company also states that the information they do collect, could be actually shared after identifying the purposes for the same, but there is no mention about what those purposes might be. It is also given that the company will retain users’ information as long as needed “ for the fulfillment of those purposes ”.
How Much is BTGuard VPN? Is There a Free Trial?
Since BTGuard offers both proxy and VPN services, the pricing differs depending on the service you choose. For the company’s Bittorrent Proxy service, you can choose to pay an amount of $6.95 per month, $19.95 for 3 months, $34.95 for 6 months, or $59.95 for 12 months.
On the other hand, for the VPN service, your monthly charge would be $9.95, $27.95 for 3 months, $49.95 for 6 months, and $89.95 for 12 months.
Though the pricing seems quite reasonable when compared to what many other VPN services charge their users, there is neither a free trial nor a money back guarantee offered by BTGuard, which is disappointing. Also with the limited number of features it offers, which are shown below, this VPN could be considered even as a bit pricy.
When it comes to payment methods, the service accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, and also Bitcoin.
BTGuard VPN Speed Test
BTGuard’s network of servers are located only in three locations around the world: Singapore, Netherlands, and Canada. As you would be aware, the number of VPN servers operated by a VPN service plays a major role in determining the speeds you get to enjoy when using the service. The fact that this VPN service has such limited servers can hugely impact speeds.
Another reason that could influence speeds is the servers’ geographical distance from your location. Regardless, we weren’t able to enjoy top speeds from any of the VPN’s servers, which is a huge downfall considering the fact that allowing Bittorrent usage is BTGuard’s main focus.
This means that you will require a lot of patience when trying to download something using this VPN provider, so we advise to be prepared for this. In addition, we were also able to detect DNS leaks when using the BTGuard, which again is not ideal for a VPN service.
How is Customer Service at BTGuard VPN?
Customer support offered by BTGuard is just basic. You can contact the team only by submitting a ticket, for which you should have an account with the service. The response time is anywhere between one and three days, which certainly isn’t appealing. With most VPN services offering a wide range of customer support features, from live chats to phone support and more, this lack of proper support from this service, even after charging as much as many other providers, is a big minus.
Though there is a knowledge base, setup instructions, and FAQs section, nothing seems comprehensive, nor helpful. If we have to compare, their customer support features are probably among the worse we have encountered from VPN service providers.
The BTGuard website didn’t really impress us much. With everything in black, the design seemed quite unprofessional and the layout wasn’t any better. But, some users may like the flashy look. Although it’s unappealing, what really matters, of course, is whether the service can deliver, and not necessarily the looks.
The signup process is pretty simple. You need to enter a username, password, your email address, and choose a plan and your preferred payment method to subscribe for the service. The addition of Bitcoin as a payment method will be highly appreciated by many users. Another positive aspect is that it allows numerous simultaneous connections.
The VPN or proxy service works with Windows, Mac, Linux, μ Torrent, Bittorrent, and Vuze.
When it comes to protocols, BTGuard supports only two: PPTP and OpenVPN. We all know that PPTP is the least secure of all the VPN protocols. But on the other hand, the good news is that they compensate by using an OpenVPN protocol as well, which is regarded as one of the most secure protocols in the industry.
The downside, as mentioned before, were the leaks, the lack of servers, and the speed. Other than that, there isn’t a lot to be discussed about the service in terms of the features it offers.
Is BTGuard VPN Safe?
BTGuard support PPTP and OpenVPN protocols, and implements 256-bit AES encryption to both of them, which is considered military grade encryption in the VPN industry. Therefore, the service does well in terms of security. However, as discussed earlier, we did detect DNS leaks when using the VPN, which is a downfall.
Despite operating in the industry for years, BTGuard wasn’t able to offer a lot of features, at least not as much as we expected to see. If you decide on buying their VPN, you need to make sure you are satisfied with an average quality in terms of service. However, there were things that we liked, meaning that it’s not all that bad. For example, the fact it uses OpenVPN protocol in a 2-in-1 option (proxy and VPN), and also offers more simultaneous connection, is a great start. With all being said, there isn’t much to discuss further about this service provider.