BTGuard (review) is owned & operated by Netcrawled LLC, which is based in Canada.
They report that their server network consists of only three servers located in three countries.
One thing is quite evident from the start with BTGuard. They’re a torrent VPN service. BitTorrent is represented by the “BT” in BTGuard. As a result, the majority of your consumer focus is directed there.
But that’s not all this product does. It is a complete VPN that protects all your internet activity.
Is BTGuard really safe thanks not only to torrent, but also anonymously online experience?
Find out how they fared during this BTGuard VPN review.
BTGuard VPN Overview
|OVERALL RANK:||#65 out of 78 VPNs|
|USABILITY:||Easy and simple to use|
|LOG FILES:||Grey Area|
|LOCATIONS:||3 countries, 3 servers|
|NETFLIX:||Blocks Netflix USA|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||256-Bit AES; OpenVPN, PPTP|
There are a couple of things that I love about this VPN.
They assist in masking your public IP address by redirecting your signal to a server in a different country.
It will tunnel your connection to the Internet using the next-generation OpenVPN protocol while protecting it with AES 256-bit encryption.
They are, first and foremost, torrent VPN. Also great.
And finally, the installation process was straightforward and led to a hassle-free hands-on test.
Let’s dig deeper.
Strong Encryption and Protocols
The security of a VPN comes down to a couple of factors:
- VPN protocols
- IP leaks
When it comes to encryption, BTGuard uses the simplest of the simplest. The 256-bit AES encryption they need is the best. To put it in perspective, this is often equivalent encryption used by the FBI and the CIA.
No known supercomputer has been remotely on the verge of figuring it out. So your information is almost impenetrable.
BTGuard also gives you the option to choose between OpenVPN and PPTP tunneling protocol when tunneling your internet signal.
OpenVPN is the most recent advancement in VPN technology. For VPN protocols, it is the industry standard.
However, some older computers or systems have difficulties with OpenVPN. And there are some problems when working on iOS platforms. That is why it is good that BTGuard offers a second option.
PPTP, on the other hand, is an out-of-date tunneling technology. That is to say, you should avoid it if at all feasible. Especially if security is an issue.
Downloading Torrents Is Allowed and Encouraged
BTGuard was created to download torrents.
It is mentioned everywhere on their website.
Torrenting is the process of downloading large files at high speeds by connecting with other users’ computers.
However, there is a security problem there.
Because you are also allowing strangers to access your computer. This is why you almost always want to double your security when downloading torrents.
Unfortunately, not all VPNs work well.
Many ban torrents entirely. Or they banish you to just a couple of overcrowded and backward servers.
BTGuard not only accepts it but also encourages it on all the servers they need.
(Which, technically speaking, isn’t tons. We’ll save it for the Cons section below, though.)
It’s Simple to Put on and Utilize
Our practical test with this product went well. The installation was very simple.
OpenVPN installations are sometimes a bit chaotic at times. you have to download both the OpenVPN software and the configuration files for the merchandise you are using unless they need a ready-to-use application.
This usually involves tons of extraction and copying. But BTGuard made the method super simple.
Once the configuration file was downloaded, I only had to click on it once. The system automatically extracted the files and copied them to the OpenVPN configuration folder on my behalf.
Seriously, my grandmother could have done this.
When I was able to move forward, I right-clicked on the OpenVPN icon and was pleased to make sure they provide an option that automatically connects you to your server faster. I chose that and went to the races.
My web browsing experience was smooth and efficient. It used to be ready to seamlessly stream a YouTube video.
Unfortunately, both Netflix and Hulu blocked my access. We will also touch on it below.
Overall though, this VPN software was a joy to use for the most part.
Unlimited torrent downloading is awesome. IP leaks and activity logs are not.
BTGuard also takes an ax at internet speeds and is restricted in terms of servers and device support.
Their customer service is excellent in theory. Non-existent in execution.
Let’s take off the curtains and show him all the ugly things.
Some Records of Private Information
Registration defeats the purpose of a VPN.
Anonymous web browsing is merely private when there is no record of who you are and what you are doing.
That is where we discovered all the buried metaphorical bodies. We have already discovered a minimum of 26 VPNs, which “don’t log in”, they actually do.
Like most VPNs, BTGuard states on its official website (https://btguard.com/) that “no usage logs are stored.”
That might be enough for some. But we all know better.
While they confirm that they are not withholding your IP address or usage information, they are withholding various of your personal data.
The fact that you do not know what information they are holding is somewhat concerning. Is it just my email address? My Mastercard number? My name? Do you speak to? Phone number? Bank records? Browsing history? Downloaded files?
As stated on its knowledge base page, BTGuard also keeps track of how much bandwidth you are simply using.
Torrent, by itself, is often resource-intensive. Also, the very fact that they will give (and give) your information to government entities is concerning (considering the reason why most people use torrents in the first place).
Canadian Jurisdiction (5 Eyes Alliance)
Netcrawled LLC is Canadian. This places BTGuard directly under the jurisdiction of the 5 Eyes surveillance alliance.
This was initially a World War II espionage pact involving Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and so the United States, pledging that each nation’s information would be shared with the others.
Since then, they have expanded to incorporate another nine nations to bring their total to 14.
So if for any reason the Canadian government wanted your information, the law would require BTGuard to release it. Those data could and would be shared with the four opposing founding countries. Then another nine at the top.
IP Leaks Detected
IP leaks are precisely what their name suggests.
They are mistakes that discover your personal IP address, exposing your true location and private information in the eyes of your ISP.
The most prevalent leaks are DNS and WebRTC. They are the VPN’s kiss of doom.
When the VPN tunnel is totally bypassed and your personal IP is broadcast, DNS leaks occur. When APIs undo your VPN’s work, WebRTC leaks occur.
We put every VPN we review through a radical six-part testing process.
And we are glad we did it with BTGuard.
Because while the first five of the six tests passed, leaks were detected in the sixth.
- https://ipleak.net/ – Passed
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip – Passed
- https://ipx.ac/run – Passed
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc – Passed
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ – Failed
- https://dnsleak.com – Passed
Because DNS leaks were found, we have no choice but to question the security of BTGuard.
As you will see in the image above, we should always use NL IP, but it also shows EE (Estonia), which is our true physical location. Not so anonymous, huh?
We also run its installation files through VirusTotal.com.
One of the tests revealed the presence of Trojan malware…
Take it with caution because VirusTotal is not that accurate. However, if you see a list of 2 or 3 viruses, you should be concerned.
Slows Internet Speed by up to 85%
Speed is often a huge issue when it comes to VPN. Sacrificing a little speed for safety is not unpleasant. In most cases, it is well worth it.
However, when slowing down begins to require a performance shift away, a problem arises.
Every VPN we review receives an equivalent test. We connect to servers within the EU and US and measure their speed loss.
In this case, BTGuard does not have a server within the US, so we substitute one in its range in Canada instead.
Things did not start well.
The EU test revealed significant reductions in download and upload speeds.
EU Speed Test
- Ping: 34 ms
- Download: 14.37 Mbps (85% Slower Than 97 Mbps Benchmark)
- Upload: 20.17 Mbps (79% Slower Than 53 Mbps Benchmark)
The Canadian test fared a little better. But overall, the speeds still fell outside the acceptable stall ranges.
CA Speed Test
- Ping: 133 ms
- Download: 10.85 Mbps (79% Slower Than 97 Mbps Benchmark)
- Upload: 16.27 Mbps (69% Slower Than 53 Mbps Benchmark)
In terms of speed, BTGuard comes in at number 68 out of 78 VPNs we’ve tested.
Doesn’t Work With Netflix
VPNs and Netflix were a perfect match until a couple of years ago.
So Netflix got really mad. Or, actually, your licensee partners did.
The content streaming giant has since begun to retaliate against VPNs, unleashing one of the world’s most sophisticated VPN detection programs within the process.
While some VPNs can still connect to Netflix, the majority have trouble.
BTGuard is one of them.
We tested all three BTGuard servers and none worked with Netflix.
You can assume that other streaming platforms, like Hulu, will give you trouble too.
Limited Device Support
BTGuard can only be used on a personal computer. there is no mobile functionality and it is not compatible with routers, smart devices, or game consoles.
The only silver lining is that it supports a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
And they allow unlimited connections, which is great. Many VPNs limit the number of connections you will have at one time.
But the mere fact that it doesn’t just work on the other device is frustrating.
And as a security measure to stop the abuse, if they see that your account has been signed in from multiple different locations, they will terminate it for breach of terms.
I understand this is often to prevent one person from purchasing the service and sharing it with 10 friends. But doesn’t it also defeat the goal of connecting with multiple devices?
While many modern VPNs have a built-in kill switch, BTGuard does not.
This is a safety feature that will disconnect your connection if your anonymity is jeopardized by a leak. As we’ve seen, this is something that would be provided at your leaking service.
Small Server Park
I can’t help but think that this product would be so much better with a larger server park.
There are only three servers available. These servers are in Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore, respectively.
The problem with just three servers is twofold:
- If they are too far from your physical location, your performance speed will suffer.
- And if all your clients are fighting for an equivalent overloaded server, performance speeds will suffer again.
So there’s a reasonably logical reason why we saw terrible speeds across the board.
Customer Support Did Not Work
BTGuard does not offer a chatbot or contact form.
Rather, there is a ticket submission system where you will make an inquiry and address it right there at the location.
Sounds useful, right?
You would think so … but that was not the case in our experience.
I selected VPN Support and decided to submit a problem. I used to be impressed because as I was writing, the system was isolating keywords and trying to provide me with knowledge domain posts that could address my concerns.
I wrote down my questions and hit send, being able to measure how long it took me to receive an answer.
Uh oh …
I came across this red screen of doom. I tried another 3 times to submit an equivalent ticket, and each time I was faced with this error message.
Thinking that it might have been a short-lived problem, I tried again repeatedly over the next two days. whenever I used to come across an equivalent message.
So while this was an excellent idea in concept, it fails miserably in execution. Outside of a couple of FAQ-type articles within the knowledge domain, BTGuard has no customer service to speak of.
BTGuard Cost, Plans, & Payment Methods
The characteristics of the BTGuard plan are exactly the same.
The only difference in your tiered pricing is based on the degree of commitment you are willing to form. the full year will give you a 25% discount, otherwise the monthly will cost you $ 9.95 per month.
That’s a steep price for a VPN with just three servers.
It is by no means competitive with most of the major players in the market. However, it is priced at or near the top of the market.
On the plus side, they accept Bitcoin, along with standard credit, debit, and PayPal.
Do I Recommend BTGuard?
Unfortunately, we don’t.
Any registration makes us uncomfortable when it comes to a VPN. So from the beginning, we were skeptical.
Their server park is ridiculously small. and therefore the lack of device options limits them even more.
I admit it: I am selfish. I would like a lot of options from a contemporary VPN. Especially when you pay the best price.
If you’re just looking for torrents, maybe this is often the VPN for you. Their website only focuses on torrents, therefore the remaining features of a VPN sometimes want an added bonus.
But the customer service debacle was an aggravation for me. I can’t bear not being able to access help once I need it.
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