TorGuard vs. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Comparison & Test Results 2018

TorGuard

VS

PIA logo

Users in search of a VPN provider that offers above-average global server coverage, U.S. Netflix access and top-notch customer support will find TorGuard to be an attractive, if lesser-known, option among VPN providers.

TorGuard

The provider also provides excellent encryption, a generous number of simultaneous connections and BitTorrent support.


Users looking for a value-priced Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider that offers fast connection speeds, top-notch privacy protections and P2P file sharing support will find
Private Internet Access (PIA) to be an attractive option.

PIA logo

The provider also offers app support for all of the major computing platforms, but lacks wide-ranging global server coverage. 


How to Choose a VPN

It’s time for another faceoff between VPN providers, and this battle will feature TorGuard and Private Internet Access (PIA).

In this article, I’ll go over the 10 most important categories to consider when making a VPN-buying decision. I will then:

  1. Explain why each category is important.
  2. Share how well each provider performs in each category.
  3. Declare a winner for each one, awarding them 1 point.
  4. Tally the overall scores and name an overall winner.

By the end, you should be well-informed enough to decide which VPN provider best fits your unique needs.

Note: Each service category is worth a single point. However, since the connection speed category is split into 2 rankings (domestic and international), each speed test is worth 0.5 points.

Connection Speed

Have you seen the internet-connected oven? It’s just the latest in what seems to be a never-ending parade of new, internet-connected devices.

No matter which connected devices you use, a fast connection is a must-have.

When testing the connection speeds of the two VPN providers in a faceoff, I connect to the first provider via a U.S. server, test the connection speed using Speedtest.net, and then disconnect. Next, I connect to one of the provider’s U.K. servers and repeat the connection speed test. I then immediately do the same for the second provider.

Please note that I use a gigabit fiber connection to the internet, so your raw speeds may vary.

1

Domestic Connection Speeds (U.S.)

This test is designed to provide an example of the types of connection speeds a user might expect when connected to a VPN server located inside their own country. (In my case, that would be a U.S.-based server.)

Connection Speed Winner (Domestic): Private Internet Access


Provider

VPN DL Speed

Link

1

PIA logo

121.3 Mbps

2

TorGuard

114.9 Mbps

2

International Connection Speeds (U.S. to U.K.)

This test offers an approximation as to what type of connection speeds a user can expect when connecting to a VPN server located in another country. (I use a server based in the U.K.)

Connection Speed Winner (International): Private Internet Access


Provider

VPN DL Speed

Link

1

PIA logo

57.1 Mbps

2

TorGuard

37.2 Mbps

Privacy

When it comes to the internet, there are very few places that can be termed “safe.” No matter where you go, your ISP is keeping watch, recording your travels to sell them to advertisers - let's not even get started about what black hat hackers would like to do with your personal information.

When considering any VPN provider, take a close look at the following privacy-related factors:

  • Does the provider’s home country respect online privacy?
  • Does the provider keep logs recording their users’ online travels?
  • Does the provider accept cryptocurrencies or other types of private payments?

Although Private Internet Access is located in the United States, where they could legally save logs related to their users’ online activities, they choose not to. The provider accepts Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency for their fine services.

TorGuard is also based in the U.S., but they too refuse to save logs related to their customers’ activities. TorGuard happily accepts Bitcoin and merchant gift card balances as privacy-enhancing payments.

Privacy Winner: It’s a Tie!


Provider

Privacy Ranking

Link

1

TorGuard

2

PIA logo

Pricing

Both of our competitors should prove attractive to users in search of a reasonably priced VPN provider that still offers an above-average level of service.

Private Internet Access asks a mere $3.33 per month (payable at $39.95 per year) for their annual plan. Opting for PIA’s month-to-month option will run you $6.95 per month. If long term relationships don’t bug you, then a 2-year subscription is available for the low, low price of $2.91 per month.

TorGuard’s asking price is $9.99 per month if you opt for the provider’s monthly plan, and drops to $5.00 per month (payable at $59.99 per year) for an annual subscription. A 2-year subscription comes in at $4.17 per month (payable at $99.99 every 2 years).

Pricing Winner: Private Internet Access

Provider

Monthly Price

(Annual Subscription)

Month-to-Month Price

Money-Back Guarantee Period

Link

PIA logo

$3.33

$6.95

7 Days

TorGuard

$5.00

$9.99

7 Days

Global Server Coverage

Comprehensive global server coverage is the key VPN feature that will unblock content from around the world, which might normally be blocked in your area.

TorGuard has 3,000+ servers stationed in 50+ countries.

Private Internet Access has 3,522+ servers located in 33 countries.

Global Server Coverage Winner: TorGuard


Provider

Server Count

Countries

Link

1

TorGuard

1,250+

43+

2

PIA logo

3,467+

30

 Multi-Platform Support

It’s a connected world, and I’m betting that the vast majority of my readers own more than one connected device. Laptops, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and more all mean that the more platforms your VPN provider supports, the better your all-around protection will be.

Private Internet Access offers apps for the Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Linux platforms. The provider also offers support for a variety of routers, which brings the tally to 8 supported platforms. Extensions are available for the Opera, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

TorGuard’s app support includes devices on the Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux platforms, as well as many brands of routers, equaling 6 supported platforms. Extensions for the Firefox and Chrome browsers are also available.

Multi-Platform Support Winner: Private Internet Access


Provider

# Platforms Supported

Browser Extensions?

Link

1

PIA logo

8

check-circle-o

2

TorGuard

6

check-circle-o

Netflix Access

Traveling the globe is a great way to spend your free time. However, no matter where you go, you’ll still long for a bit of home. How about a nice Netflix binge while you’re soaking your sore feet after sightseeing?

TorGuard does provide access to Netflix. However, if you don’t spring for a $7.99-per-month “dedicated streaming IP” add-on, Netflix access is less than reliable.

PIA doesn’t offer access to Netflix content at all.

Netflix Access Winner​: TorGuard


Provider

Netflix Access?

Link

1

TorGuard
check-circle-o

2

PIA logo
times-circle-o

Customer Support

Think of customer support as being like your AAA Roadside Assistance membership. Sure, you never want to have to use it, but you’re darned glad it’s there when you do need it.

TorGuard provides 24/7 live support chat, a trouble ticket tracking system and an easy-to-search knowledge base.

Private Internet Access lacks live support chat. However, the provider does offer a searchable knowledge base, a trouble ticket tracking system, and a “Guides” section to, well, guide PIA customers through installing and using their VPN connection.

Customer Support Winner: TorGuard


Provider

Customer Support Star Rating

Link

1

TorGuard

2

PIA logo

Encryption

Users who are looking for a VPN simply to protect their online travels from prying eyes should pay close attention to the encryption any potential VPN provider offers.

TorGuard protects its users’ connections using AES-256 encryption and uses OpenVPN with TCP or UDP, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP and IKEv2 protocols.

Private Internet Access uses AES-256 encryption via OpenVPN with L2TP+PSK and PPTP protocols.

Encryption Winner: TorGuard


Provider

Encryption Methods

Link

1

TorGuard

AES-256 encryption, using OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, PPTP, SSTP, L2TP/IPsec and iKEV2

2

PIA logo

AES-256 encryption, using OpenVPN, L2TP+PSK and PPTP

 Simultaneous Connections

Whether you’re a business owner or the head of a large family, you’re going to appreciate a VPN provider that allows a generous number of devices to connect simultaneously on one login.

PIA allows up to 5 simultaneous connections.

TorGuard also allows 5 simultaneous logins using the same account.

Simultaneous Connections Winner: It’s a Tie!


Provider

# of Simultaneous Connections Allowed

Link

1

TorGuard

5

2

PIA logo

5

BitTorrent Support

P2P/BitTorrent is arguably the most popular way to share files on the internet today.

P2P is widely used by businesses and individuals to legally share files. However, some users also employ it to share copyrighted content, such as music and movies. This has led many ISPs to block file sharing on their networks.

TorGuard allows P2P activity on all of its servers, located in 50+ countries.

Private Internet Access allows P2P activity on every one of their servers, in all 33 countries.

BitTorrenting Winner: TorGuard


Provider

# of Countries Where VPN Allows BitTorrent Access

Link

1

TorGuard

43+ (All Countries)

2

PIA logo

30

Final Score


Provider

# of Categories Won

Ties

Link

1

TorGuard

5

2

2

PIA logo

2

2

Winner: TorGuard!

TorGuard edged out Private Internet Access this time around. The two providers fought tooth and nail, and the lead changed a few times, but TorGuard pulled ahead just before the finish line.

TorGuard

TorGuard was tops when it came to global server coverage, Netflix access, customer support, encryption and BitTorrent support.

Private Internet Access fared best in both connection speed tests. It also had the lowest price and the best multi-platform support.

The providers tied in the privacy and simultaneous connections challenges.

TorGuard scored a 5-3-2 victory this time around, thanks in part to its above-average global server coverage and comprehensive customer support. Users should appreciate its high levels of encryption and BitTorrent access.