Detailed BTGuard Review 2018:
If you are looking for a simple VPN solution that is clean and easy to use, BTGuard might be the one. They don’t boast a user-friendly interface – actually, the interface is extremely simple without any bells or whistles – but they do offer high speed and security. So you might say that, even if they lack a certain appeal, they do have the features that matter the most.
First of all, you should know that BTGuard was launched in 2008 and the provider is located in Canada, Toronto. The main purpose was to unite P2P communities and the main focus is on users who enjoy this type of file sharing. In this BTGuard review we will critically analyze all the features so that you can easily decide and make your decision.
Pricing plans & Packages
Keeping true with the idea of simplicity, BTGuard only promotes two account types:
Bittorrent Proxy for $6.95 per month
This package will offer the possibility to access geographically restricted sites and you can surf anonymously, but it will not take care of your online security and privacy (no encryption). However, it’s perfect for people who just want to access sites like Netflix or Hulu. The plan is delivered with a uTorrent client setup and works with BitTorrent proxy service. However, it’s not mandatory to use it as is – you can use it on another client but you’ll have to do the settings manually.
The package is divided into various payment options: for 3 months ($19.95), for 6 months ($34.95), and for 12 months ($59.95). Basically, the longer you make the subscription for, the larger the discount.
VPN for $9.95 per month
This BTGuard review contains facts and real time information after tests and trials by our expert team. While it’s not one of the most popular VPN solutions out there, BTGuard solution is quite interesting. As mentioned before, you shouldn’t expect more than the basic services and the only security protocols are OpenVPN and PPTP. However, it performs well and the speed is quite high.
Just like with the Proxy package, you have the possibility to select the 3 months ($29.75), 6 months ($49.95), or 12 months ($89.95) package.
The accepted payment methods are Bitcoin and PayPal which are widely accessible.
Money Back Guarantee
Most VPN solutions that are serious about their clients won’t offer a trial period. However, they do offer a Money Back Guarantee period so you can have the time to test things out. With BTGuard the situation is a bit different as they will offer neither. The only way to test it out is to pay for one month for the package you are interested in.
Speed Performance Of BtGuard
If you ever used a VPN solution, then you know it takes a toll on your regular connection speed. This happens because your traffic has to go through an encrypted tunnel before it reaches your computer – this way you are protected and no one can take a peek at your data.
The difference in this case is made by how much it will affect your speed. For instance, some solutions will slow down your speed with up to 50 or 60% which is quite annoying. With BTGuard you will get 70% of your fastest connection meaning that you won’t actually feel the difference.
However, there seem to be some stability issues as there are several reports online mentioning lost connection. Sadly, the BTGuard client doesn’t have a failsafe that will stop the connection if the VPN is down. This leaves you open and it may be a downside, especially if you are concerned with your privacy.
On the plus side, the download speed is unlimited and their network includes 10 Gbit servers.
BTGuard is fairly simple and the use of the OpenVPN protocol allows it to be compatible with a series of devices. Thus, you can run it on:
- MAC OS X
- Routers that run Tomato or DD-WRT
- Chrome OS
However, for mobile devices there is no app so you will have to do the configuration manually. The same goes with routers.
BTGuard may be small but it packs quite a punch when it comes to features. For instance, here are some of the most important ones:
- Simple interface without any bells or whistles which makes the app light and easy to understand
- The level of encryption is quite powerful: 256-bit AES encryption
- If you value your privacy you get the chance to pay with Bitcoin
- They are based in Canada where there is no law saying they should store traffic logs
- Servers are based in 3 main locations in the world: Singapore, Netherlands and Canada
- The proxy package comes as a pre-configured setup for uTorrent users
- Due to the OpenVPN protocol it is widely compatible
- The VPN solution is equipped with PPTP and OpenVPN protocols
- Your speed is not restricted by the company, just by the encryption
- Also, you get unlimited downloads
Server Spread and VPN location:
BTGuard has powerful servers in the important locations of the world: Singapore, Amsterdam (Netherlands), and Toronto (Canada). This allows them global access and their multiple 10Gbit lines allow them to give users full speed.
Worldwide, they collaborate with providers like:
- Deutsch Telekom
- Global Crossings
- NTT Communications
- Cogent Communications
BTGuard Client Software & Apps
First, you should know that BTGuard doesn’t provide their own client for any of the compatible devices. However, this is not an impediment since the setup is very simple.
To set up with BTGuard, you first have to register on their site. The registration process is simple and short (max 5 minutes). You only need a valid email address and a method of payment. You also have to select the type of account you want (VPN or Proxy). Once you select the period and the method of payment, you will be presented with the necessary guidelines for installation.
We decided to test the VPN solution on Windows and this is what we’ll describe below.
The first step is downloading and installing the OpenVPN client for your OS. This is available online for free and all you have to do is just ‘download and install’. Once this is completed, you will have to download the configuration files for your OS – these are provided by BTGuard as a zip archive. This archive must be extracted to a specific folder (C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\Config) for the connection to work.
After this step is also complete, you will have to run the OpenVPN client by using the double click action. The software will open and you can find its icon in the icon tray (in Windows). Right-click the icon and choose Connect out of the contextual menu. To connect you will be prompted to introduce your BTGuard credentials (username and password you used to create the account). And that’s it! You are connected to the BTGuard VPN solution.
The icon in the icon tray will stay green for as long as the connection is active so you might want to sneak a peek from time to time and check if everything is going smoothly (remember – no failsafe).
If you want to enforce encryption (in the cases when privacy is important) there is one more step to take before you can navigate. For this, go to Preferences → BitTorrent and find the Protocol Encryption section. Change the outgoing connection to ‘Forced encryption’ and uncheck the ‘Allow incoming legacy connections’.
If you can’t find these settings in the OpenVPN client, you can implement the solution offered by BTGuard on their Encryption page.
The website is pretty straightforward with a simple interface and some information about the product. The black and red theme is interesting but it’s a bit difficult on the eye. Otherwise you will find the need-to-know information on the first page and links to other important sections.
All in all, just like the software, the site is clean and transparent. However, the Support section is a bit less user-friendly but you can still find the required information. In the tutorial section you will have to click on the icon of the OS you’re using to get the information and the FAQ section looks more like a forum than an area destined to offer information.
The default level of security is a 256-bit AES OpenVPN connection which will keep your traffic away from any prying eyes. You also get end-to-end security for torrent connection, FTP sessions, emails, and VOIP (Skype sessions for instance) so you can be sure your private activity remains private. Even more, you will be able to connect in public places as BTGuard also protects your browsing when it comes to Wi-Fi spots in cafés and other locals.
However, the encryption is only valid if you take the VPN package. With the Proxy package, there is no encryption, you just get to be anonymous online but anyone interested can tap into your traffic data. The Proxy package is recommended only for users who are interested in accessing streaming services that are not available in their country. Otherwise, the VPN package is the best choice.
In the past, there were rumors that BTGuard stored passwords and other personal information in text form which is a complete violation of their users’ trust. Also, they were accused that they sell personal information to third parties but all these allegations were solved. Nowadays they are better organized and things are more transparent.
Sadly the customer service is a big minus for BTGuard. The only way to get in contact is via their ticket system. This could still work if they would reply on time but many users have complained that it takes days to receive an answer. There are even users who don’t get an answer at all.
However, those who receive an answer are usually guided towards the FAQ section so you should check that out before trying to get in touch.
In our opinion, for a company that wants to grow, this is extremely unprofessional. A company that doesn’t have a powerful customer support service can be seen as a scam and will lose their customers’ trust with such behavior.
This being said, BTGuard goes great as a solution for personal computers where you don’t need the hassle of an advanced software client.