We have decided to do a BTGuard Review even though they are a much smaller VPN provider. They have pretty good privacy though so that made us give them a closer look. Founded in 2008, BTGuard is a well known VPN service provider located in Toronto, Canada. The company has focused its main strength in bringing together peer-to-peer communities online, into its magical fold. Having a tagline “Anonymous BitTorrent Services,’’ BTGuard largely centers on the needs of BitTorrent users who enjoy having peer-to-peer file sharing and avoid being legally bothered for copyright issues.
BTGuard might appear to be an abbreviation of BitTorrent Guard which however is not true as no VPN provider would focus exclusively on one website. BTGuard provides anonymous and secure internet access to its users, thereby protecting the individual identity and sensitive personal information on the internet.
BTGuard Free Trial
During our BTGuard Review we found that they unfortunately do not offer a free trial to its users. So, if you wish to use BTGuard’s BitTorrent Proxy or VPN, you’ll have to pay for it. In addition, there is nothing like money back claim as well with BTGuard software.
Interface and setup
How to Set Up BTGuard
BTGuard has one-click installation process, but you can do it manually, since it works in all BitTorrent clients that support SOCKS5 Proxy — not those that are only supported by BTGuard’s installer. It will also give you a good idea of what BTGuard exactly does, so if you happen to run into problems, you will have a better sense of how to fix it.
Step One: Create an account
We started our review by creating an account at BTGuard.com.
There are two packages available. You can either download Bit torrent proxy VPN a classic package for torrent freaks at a cost of $6.95. The other option is the VPN download to safeguard privacy at a cost of $ 9.95 per month.
On clicking ‘‘join,’’ we were redirected to subscribe either Bittorent proxy or VPN.
BTGuard supports a diversity of payment methods. You can use Credit card/ debit card, PayPal and also Bitcoin.
We opted to pay via PayPal.
Step Two: Configure Your Client
The next step is to open up your preferred torrent client, either VPN or Bittorent Proxy service. Afterwards, download and install the client for your operating system. After installation, you’ll have access to an easy and user-friendly interface that’s easy to use.
BTGuard does not have its own customized VPN client; instead, it relies on OpenVPN software, which is used by its users. Downloading and installing OpenVPN is not difficult as it is explained by the provider, step by step. However, users would prefer to have a better VPN client rather than an open source, because of its expensive monthly fees, $9.95.
And, what’s the difference between a proxy and VPN?
A Proxy and VPN may offer many similar benefits. They both provide a connection tunnel between your computer and third party servers with optional encryption. When combined with zero-logging policy, they can both be anonymous.
One major difference is that a Proxy normally protects a small number of individual programs, protocols and applications while a VPN will make your entire internet connection anonymous.
BTGuard Proxy for instance only routes bittorrent traffic through secure anonymous proxy service, while your other entire programs, such as web browser will just use your usual internet connection.
So, this depends on your preference. Go for what you feel will work best for you!
Step Three: Check if it’s working
To ensure it’s working, you can go to whatismyipaddress.com. This website can show you your IP address, and double-check it to the IP of your client, which will show whether the BTGuard is working appropriately. Afterward, return to your browser and click on the Refresh button under “Check IP” tab. If it is the same as the browser IP — then your proxy is not working, and you’ll have to double-check all of the above mentioned settings. If it shows a different IP, from a different country like Canada or Germany, then BTGuard software is successfully tunneling all your traffic.
Step Four: Enable Encryption (optional)
If you want extra security, you’ll want to encrypt all the traffic. Most clients have the feature built-in. For instance, go to Preferences > BitTorrent and search for the section of “Protocol Encryption”. For the outgoing connection, change it to Forced encryption, and uncheck the box written “Allow incoming legacy connections”. From there, you’ll be good to go
If your client does not support encryption, BTGuard does offer an encryption service. Just go to the Encryption page and download the software, then install it.
Whilst performing our BTGuard review we found that they earn a high rank in security. By default, they use 256-bit OpenVPN connection for fully encrypted browsing and claim that they do not perform logging at all. BTGuard offers end-to-end security for your emailing, torrenting, VOIP and FTP sessions without compromising on your privacy. The company also secures your P2P and browsing sessions at Wi-Fi hotspots which are mostly vulnerable to security infringement.
A few years back, people claimed there were several worrying careless security practices with the company’s software. Most thought that BTGuard stored customers’ passwords in plain text files and in a few cases even e-mailing the files to their customers.
It was later discovered that the service only stores passwords, usernames and e-mail addresses for its own reference. It has servers located in many different regions worldwide to help customers remain anonymous while using BTGuard.
Under no legal rule, BTGuard does not keep track of the internet usage or logs of the IP addresses of the users. The official word is that they don’t collect any records “No records of usage stored”.
BTGuard say that they’re committed to protecting users’ privacy. They have a transparent and solid policy regarding collecting data, communicating with users, and use of their information. Users details aren’t disclosed or sold to any unrelated third party sites, and are only used to deliver news regarding their products and services to the software users.
On average, speeds fall no lower than 70% of the best download speed depending on the server distance. Some of the furthest servers mostly show further decreases. Connection is more or less stable but you may experience periods of lost connections. With all said, there are lots of reports online about users who experienced stability and speed issues.
Generally, it’s advisable that you try out the service and decide. Unfortunately, BTGuard offers no money back guarantee or trial period, nor can you trust their customer service.
As far as compatibility is concerned, the service does not compromise on support for different laptop and desktop operating systems. BTGuard is compatible with Linux, Windows OS, and Mac OS X; it also supports Vuze, Utorrent, and bittorrent.
- Microsoft Windows
- Apple Mac OSX
- Apple iOS (Manual Configuration, No app)
- Android (Manual Configuration, No app)
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Accepts Bitcoin
- No traffic or data logs stored
- Servers based in Singapore, Netherlands and Canada
- Pre-configured Proxy for uTorrent users
- Wide compatibility
- VPN includes PPTP and OpenVPN protocols
- Unrestricted speeds and Unlimited downloads
Plans and Pricing
Basically, BTGuard has two plans you can choose from.
- BitTorrent Proxy: costs $6.95 per month. If you would like to pay for 3 months, it will cost you only $19.95, 6 months plan is available for $34.95, and 12 months for $59.95. This plan comes with auTorrent client setup to work with BitTorrent proxy service. It does not provide an encrypted connection, but it hides your IP when you are downloading from a Bittorrent cloud. You can use this service as well, with other clients, but it requires you configure them manually.
- VPN: costs $9.95 per month. This plan offers OpenVPN and PPTP. It’s a slightly basic service compared to a few other providers, but it performs very well. You can either choose a month for $9.95, 3 months for $27.95, or even 6 months for $49,95, and 12 months for $89.95.
You can pay with Bitcoin or PayPal.
During our review of BTGuard we found that they set the bar in terms of customer support; for all the wrong reasons. BTGuard system for receiving requests is a basic ticket system done through e-mail. A lot of customers complain that they get ignored when they enter requests. The lucky ones to get an answer are always pointed to an FAQ which is unhelpful and convoluted. The customer service is laughably terrible that most users think the company may be nothing but a scam. Many users say that they aren’t even getting a confirmation message for their tickets. It makes you wonder!
The positives for our BTGuard review are that they offer a great service for torrent downloading and there is no logging policy. You can opt for the plan that adapts to your needs, enabling you to make sure that your details aren’t monitored (VPN) or that you can mask your IP effectively to access downloading services. One main concern is that their prices are too high, especially considering that other proxy providers give you access to a wide range of selection of locations and plans that offer complete protection for less amount. Before selecting the company as your preferred service provider, bear in BTGuard limitations.
Also the fact that they only have servers in Canada, Singapore and Netherlands is a really big draw back. This means you are very limited for options to connect to and be more anonymous which is especially important for those wanting to use it along with Tor to browse the Darkweb.
I believe there are better VPN services around. You should check out the top 5 on the VPN Review Chart, they will give you a much better service, speed, features and security than BTGuard.