This BTGuard review takes a look at a small VPN service which is run out of Canada. It comes with the tagline “Anonymous BitTorrent services,” which is a bold claim, although not impossible.
If this is its main selling point, it can leave you wondering what else they have under the hood and is it a good option for torrenting lovers as the company claims.
- Strong encryption levels
- Good overall security
- Allows P2P sharing (torrenting)
- Unlimited bandwidth – no restrictions – 10Gbit servers
- Easy to use
- Accepts Bitcoin
- No money back guarantee
- No free trial
- Only has BGGuard servers in only 3 countries
- Poor customer support
- Some logging
- Based in Canada (5-eyes)
Plans and Pricing
BTGuard comes with two plans which are in effect two different services. One is for anonymous Bittorrent through Vuze and uTorrent, while the other is for full system protection.
- 1 month: $6.95
- 3 months: $19.95 – 5% reduction
- 6 months: $34.95 – 15% reduction
- 12 months: $59.95 – 25% reduction
Full VPN Service
- 1 Month: $9.95
- 3 months: $27.95 – 5% reduction
- 6 months: $49.95 – 15% reduction
- 12 months: $89.95 – 25% reduction
Payment options include credit card, debit card, PayPal, and BitCoin. BTGuard offers no refund of any sort, and although they used to offer a free trial, this is no longer the case.
The BTGuard VPN supports OpenVPN, PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) protocols. PPTP is almost obsolete, so it isn’t much use as it is highly vulnerable.
BTGuard VPN offers 256-bit AES, which is an acquired taste among the international intelligence agencies
Like any VPN service, BTGuard delivers the same statement regarding logging. They do retain some data but knowing what data they retain isn’t easy to find out. This is worrying because they are based in a 5-eyes country.
Ease of Use
This VPN service allows the software to be supported on as many devices as you wish, but, there is a restriction, it can only be used on one device at once. One problem with this is that the VPN service can detect more than one device connection attempt.
If the company sees these attempts, they hold it in their rights to terminate your account because you are breaching their terms and conditions.
- Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10,
- Linux, and Ubuntu.
- Compatible with both Android and iOS
- Tomato and DD-WRT routers.
One thing that is vital to know is the VPN doesn’t have any client apps. All services need configuring manually. Because of this, there is nothing you can download and install, and tweak settings to your liking.
Signing up for the service is straightforward enough, and the only details you need to supply are a username, password twice (once to confirm), email address, and then select your billing option before hitting the continue button.
Because there are no apps. The VPN service has to be configured through the setup procedure for the open source OpenVPN.
When setting up, you need to install the OpenVPN software along with the configuration files.
After this, it is a matter of clicking on the pre-configured configuration file which extracts and copies the content to the OpenVPN config file.
Setting up the service may be as easy as running a batch file to merge the config files. But once this has been done, there is no server choice or anything else you can do.
BTGuard doesn’t really have any standout features, it even lacks standard features such as a kills switch, and client software.
The closest thing they have as a standout feature is VPN lifeguard. This can be downloaded directly from the site, and if your connection breaks, you can run this, and it will automatically try and reconnect your VPN.
It is much easier when you have client software to use for these things, or at least customer support which does answer.
BTGuard extensions are available for Chrome.
While the owner of BTGuard, NetCrawled LLC touts they are in favor of torrenting, they don’t support it very well with their network.
They only have three server locations to cover the globe. These being Canada, Amsterdam, and the Netherlands.
While they offer unlimited download speeds on 10Gbit connections, these can quickly become bogged down by users of peer to peer downloads.
During testing, speeds dropped off considerably because of the physical distance between servers. This was using the BTGuard proxy which should have been faster but to no avail.
Customer service is next to nothing, and even if you use the ticket system (via email), it can be hard work getting a decent response.
Such is their lack of wanting contact with customers, in their help section, BT Guard says to just let your account run out instead of contacting them to cancel it. PayPal is a little different though.
Netflix doesn’t work point blank.
BTGuard was developed with torrenting in mind. Plus, it is in their name (BT), not only do they allow it, they encourage it.
This is why they offer the torrenting proxy as a service, although, this proxy service just hides your connection in certain circumstances, for full coverage, you need to pay more.
This torrent privacy service appears to do all they can to stop users receiving copyright infringement notices, but that’s as far as they go. For out and out privacy and security, users are at the hands of the company.
Some reviews do say the service has IP address leaks, but we didn’t see any which was one thing they do right.
But, as they have no clients, a network which only has three locations, and not to mention the overpriced service where you can just use it on one device at once.
It is hard to recommend this VPN because you can get more features for less money, and that is from VPN’s that are not even top tier.