Hands On With TorGuard

In my testing, I installed TorGuard’s software on a Lenovo ThinkPad T460s laptop running Windows 10.

The TorGuard client installed quickly and easily, though it’s not exactly a thrill to behold. The app is minimal, looking a bit more like a mobile app than something I’d expect on a desktop computer. It’s entirely fine, but is starting to show its age. There are none of the cute bears featured in TunnelBear, or the cheeky donkeys from Hide My Ass. It doesn’t even have a map interface, which is a staple of many VPN apps. Even Private Internet Access has shed its clunky old app and launched a slick new experience.

Instead of showing a map or recommending servers for particular activities, TorGuard just has a list of servers. That’s fine, but again, it isn’t very friendly to new users. Neither are the arcane options on the app’s primary window. The average user is probably not going to mess with these, but networking pros will no doubt appreciate having these options front and center. A link at the bottom of the app opens a window filled with even more byzantine options.

The company tells me that it’s more focused on cross-platform support than a fancy client. That’s a commendable goal, but many other VPN services manage to have excellent (even fancy) clients across all platforms. Aside from looks, I feel like the TorGuard app is likely to be confusing for new VPN users. ProtonVPN, for example, balances technical excellence and design with aplomb.

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TorGuard offers a Kill Switch list that automatically quits any applications on the list, should the VPN connection be interrupted. It’s a safety measure ensuring that none of your information is transmitted through an unencrypted connection. You can either type the name of an application to add to the list or select it from the comprehensive (if difficult-to-read) list of currently running programs.

If a VPN leaks your IP address or your DNS requests, it’s not doing a very good job of protecting you. In my testing, I found that TorGuard successfully hid my IP address and ISP from the outside world. Using the aptly named DNS Leak Test tool, I confirmed that TorGuard also does not leak DNS information.