BTGuard offers a service targeted at torrent users but is suitable to other people looking for a VPN as well. The provider offers two services: a regular VPN and a BitTorrent Proxy that is targeted at the P2P users.
The package that separates BTGuard from other VPN providers is a BitTorrent Proxy. This proxy just like a VPN allows you to bypass restrictions like geographical location, ISP, etc. However, unlike a VPN it does not provide security as the data transferred through the proxy is not encrypted. Therefore, it is possible for your ISP and other parties do see what data you are transferring. The plan costs €5.60 a month.
If not having an encrypted traffic does not cut it for you, BTGuard offers a VPN service as well. Data going through their VPN servers is secured using 256-bit encryption. VPN plan costs €2.41 more and totals €8.01 every month. That is above average VPN price. Furthermore, BTGuard does not provide any free trial thus the only way to test the service is by paying for it.
Servers of both BitTorrent Proxy and VPN are located in Netherlands, Singapore and Canada. That is really a small number of servers to choose from. It may cause trouble accessing geographically restricted content, big server loads during peak hours and big latency caused by the distance to the server. Considering that variety of servers is a an important factor when choosing a VPN provider, it is cleat that BTGuard still has a lot of work to do in improving their infrastructure.
BTGuard VPN supports two protocols: PPTP and OpenVPN. Both of these protocols use 256-bit AES encryption to secure your internet traffic from hackers that are able to infiltrate your network. It may not be the strongest encryption of all VPN providers but it should be plenty for most VPN users. Nevertheless, security fanatics should look for a stronger encryption that may reach 2048-bit and is offered by some other VPN providers.
There are a few payment options to choose from when paying for BTGuard proxy or VPN: PayPal, Credit Card and payments using bitcoin for those who like to remain anonymous. Considering how competitive VPN market is today and all the fuss about government spying citizens it is necessary to provide an option to pay using bitcoins and we are happy that BTGuard is concerned about the anonymity of their clients.
Sadly, the only option to contact customer support is through tickets. Their are two departments you may contact when having questions or issues: sales and support. While sales department may be contacted by anyone the support department that focuses on the technical issues may be contacted by their clients only as ticket requires to enter your username.
After completing the ticket form a notification appears that your message has been sent and you should receive a response in 1-3 days. Which is really discouraging considering that many VPN providers offer live and e-mail customer support 24/7.
Unfortunately, BTGuard has not released any custom software and we have to use third party applications if we want to use OpenVPN protocol. Considering the price of the VPN it should be expected that the custom software is included in the package. However, it is not the case. Using open source applications prevents deploying software updates to ensure the best client experience possible and stands in a way of promoting features that their VPN is very good at.
The most important feature that BTGuard offers and should be looked for by most people interested in VPN is that they just like our favorite provider NordVPN do not keep any logs at all. Therefore, it is near impossible to relate you to any internet activity and preserves your anonymity.
Even though there is a relative lack of servers but they use 10 Gbit lines that should ensure small losses of speed when connected to VPN server. The test we performed supplements our theories as we saw no significant changes in speed. Insignificant connection speeds is caused not only by the 10 Gbit lines but by the fact that they are using only a 256-bit encryption that is faster to perform than stronger encryption.
BTGuard is a small VPN provider that takes their client privacy very seriously. Furthermore, regardless of the cons mentioned in the review they manage to offer great speeds that has no significant influences in your experience surfing the Internet.