TorGuard vs Private Internet Access (PIA): which VPN is better?
TorGuard VPN and Private Internet Access are two evenly-matched VPN providers. Both offer plenty of servers, have good speeds, and protect users with advanced security. But which VPN is ultimately better?
Despite being similar on paper, there are bound to be some differences between the two VPNs. So we’ve conducted a series of thorough tests to dive into the details and compare the features, speed, streaming, security, value for money, and other factors of the two VPNs.
Spoiler warning: Private Internet Access VPN wins! But that’s not the entire story – read on to get the full lowdown on why we chose Private Internet Access as the best VPN in this comparison review.
TorGuard vs Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access stats are far more impressive (30,000+ servers in 84 countries) compared to TorGuard VPN’s 3,000+ servers in 50 countries. While TorGuard VPN unblocked YouTube only, PIA also effortlessly accessed Netflix and Hulu. Private Internet Access also gives you more simultaneous connections and is almost half the price of its competitor. Taking all this into account, Private Internet Access provides better value for the money you pay.
|Private Internet Access||TorGuard|
|🥇 Overall rank:||#13 out of #40||#20 out of #40|
|🖥️ Servers:||30,000+ servers in 84 countries||3,000+ servers in 50 countries|
|📖 No logs policy:||No logs||No logs|
|💵 Pricing:||From $1.98/month||from $4.00/month|
|🔥 Coupons:||PIA coupon 83% OFF||TorGuard coupon 50% OFF|
|🔒 VPN protocols:||Wireguard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec||WireGuard, OpenVPN, OpenConnect|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, YouTube, Hulu||Youtube|
|🖥️ Platforms:||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, Opera||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS|
|📥 Simultaneous connections:||Unlimited||8|
|💁🏻 Support:||Knowledge base, tickets, live chat||Ticket, email, support center|
Netflix and streaming performance
|Platform||Private Internet Access||TorGuard|
|Netflix||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Hulu||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|YouTube||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Amazon Prime Video||❌ No||❌ No|
|BBC iPlayer||❌ No||❌ No|
While neither of the services could go on the list of the best streaming VPNs, Private Internet Access VPN is capable of bypassing geo-restrictions on more streaming platforms than TorGuard VPN.
Starting from Private Internet Access VPN, it easily unblocks Netflix US and Hulu with its US servers. It can be slow at times, but we still accessed both sites. It’s also able to unblock geo-restricted YouTube videos. That said, Private Internet Access VPN didn't bypass geo-blocks on BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video.
On the other hand, TorGuard VPN performs much worse. We consistently failed to access Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or even Amazon Prime Video. The only service we could watch was YouTube. However, TorGuard VPN does offer dedicated streaming servers, which could fare better, but you have to pay a considerable extra fee ($21.98/month).
Plans & pricing
Like with most VPNs, the prices of both TorGuard VPN and Private Internet Access VPN depend on the billing term you choose. The longer you purchase the service for, the less per month you’ll have to pay.
|Plan||Private Internet Access||TorGuard|
|Get PIA Discounts||Get VPN Discounts|
In any case, Private Internet Access VPN offers much better value for the money you pay. While TorGuard VPN is cheaper in terms of short-term options, Private Internet Access VPN is a better pick for long-term deals. Its one-year deal is only $3.33/month, while TorGuard VPN is $4.00/month. Private Internet Access also offers a two-year plan for only $1.98/month.
Private Internet Access VPN also offers 10 simultaneous connections compared to TorGuard VPN’s 8 device connections, so it’s better for sharing with your family.
In terms of refunds, Private Internet Access VPN provides the standard 30-day money-back guarantee window. Meanwhile, TorGuard VPN only gives you 7-days to claim a refund should you change your mind.
One factor in TorGuard VPN’s favor is the free trial, but don’t get too excited yet – signing up for this is a strangely convoluted process. To qualify for the free version, you have to join a different VPN provider and then send TorGuard VPN proof of your last bill. Once this has been checked, TorGuard VPN will permit access to its 7-day free trial.
TorGuard vs Private Internet Access: which is more secure?
|Private Internet Access||TorGuard|
|Encryption||AES-256 and ChaCha20||AES-256|
|A member of the 5-Eyes, 9-Eyes, or 14-Eyes Alliance||Yes||Yes|
|No-logs policy||Audited||Not audited|
|DNS leak protection||No||Yes|
Like all top VPNs, TorGuard VPN and Private Internet Access protect their users with robust security capable of warding off digital threats. Features like AES-256 encryption and a kill switch are a given, but which provider goes the extra mile?
You can trust your data is safe when a VPN operates with RAM-only servers. They’re built in a way that your data gets erased after every reboot. This protects against security breaches and confirms that your data isn’t being collected or stored.
The good news is that both Private Internet Access VPN and TorGuard VPN use RAM-only servers. Neither of the providers will ever keep your information, nor can it be stolen, as the servers are regularly wiped.
TorGuard VPN and Private Internet Access protect you with the gold-standard AES-256 encryption. Trusted by banks, governments, and the military, not even brute-force attacks can penetrate its defenses.
However, both providers also give you the option of selecting AES-128 level encryption. This is useful if you’re using a low-spec device as it uses less resources and is faster.
Here’s the tricky part – Private Internet Access and TorGuard VPN are both based in the US, a key nation in the 5-Eyes alliance initiative. The United States has a notoriously intrusive stance on privacy issues. In theory, authorities could demand to see user data.
That is undoubtedly a concern, but luckily, both VPNs we’re reviewing today have RAM-only servers that are routinely wiped. So even if the US government does request user info, there would be nothing to hand over.
Private Internet Access VPN and TorGuard VPN have strict no-logging policies, but only Private Internet Access VPN backs this up with an independent audit. Third-party audits involve an outside body thoroughly checking the policies of a specific VPN, and Private Internet Access was proven to not log or store user data. Hopefully, TorGuard VPN will follow suit and put its service to the test soon, but currently, we can only go on its word.
TorGuard vs PIA: speed comparison
In case you didn’t know, no matter what VPN you use – it can slightly slow down your Internet. That’s because it reroutes your traffic into a remote server, which always leads to a decrease in speeds.
However, the best VPNs use advanced tunneling protocols to improve performance and render slowdown as minimal as possible. The premier protocol on the market is WireGuard (or its modern variations), and it's used by both Private Internet Access and TorGuard VPN.
So, to compare both provider’s speeds, we conducted some tests on a selection of servers to see which was faster:
- Baseline: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
|WireGuard (Download/Upload speed)||Private Internet Access||TorGuard|
|US||110 Mbps/168 Mbps||272Mbps/239 Mbps|
|UK||140 Mbps/222 Mbps||217Mbps/275 Mbps|
|Switzerland||294 Mbps/254 Mbps||292Mbps/271 Mbps|
TorGuard VPN is generally faster than Private Internet Access VPN. That’s not to say it's perfect, as we did encounter some connection issues along the way. But overall, it’s a faster VPN.
TorGuard VPN managed to retain around 86% of initial connection speeds. Meanwhile, Private Internet Access retained only around 60% of initial speeds on average.
However, Private Internet Access has thousands more servers. And the best way to get a faster connection while using a VPN is by picking a server that’s closest to your location. So depending on where you live, you may get more options with Private Internet Access.
Aside from the basics, a premium VPN will include useful features to make it worth the download. Let’s look at what kind of benefits you can expect with Private Internet Access and TorGuard VPN.
If you want to keep some apps off the VPN connection (like your local work email client), split tunneling is the feature you’re looking for. This clever setting enables you to choose which apps you want to run through the VPN – and which don’t.
Private Internet Access provides split tunneling on Android, Linux, macOS, and Windows, but TorGuard VPN only has the feature on its Android app.
If you’d like an extra level of privacy when using a VPN, a proxy will redirect your connection to a new location. If you ever find your VPN is being blocked by a firewall, a proxy is the quick solution.
Private Internet Access gives you the Shadowsocks and SOCKS5 proxies, TorGuard VPN includes the latter and a super-secure Stealth proxy which disguises your VPN use as regular traffic.
Port forwarding is an advanced VPN feature for remotely connecting to other devices. It’s useful for torrenting and setting up gaming servers.
Both Torguard VPN and Private Internet Access offer this feature, but you need a bit of tech knowhow to use it. It’s also worth noting that PIA’s was slightly harder to configure than TorGuard VPN.
Ad blockers are handy features that improve your online activity by banishing annoying adverts and pop-ups.
Private Internet Access’s ad-blocker is called MACE. It blocks DNS, so banners and adverts will be a thing of the past. It even works on YouTube adverts. MACE also works as a general protection suite, as it blocks malicious websites.
TorGuard VPN’s ad blocker is the same. It’s a DNS-blocking tool that will get rid of irritating adverts online.
With a reliable kill switch switched on, your anonymity is safe when you’re on unstable connections, like public wifi.
TorGuard VPN’s built-in kill switch instantly turns your Internet connection off if the VPN unexpectedly crashes. This VPN also has an App Kill feature which allows you to customize which apps you want to be killed if your VPN connection drops.
PIA’s kill switch is just as reliable – it kicks in the second your VPN connection fails.
|Private Internet Access||TorGuard|
Not many VPNs can compete with PIA's servers, and TorGuard VPN is no exception. Private Internet Access blows its rivals away with a whopping 30,000+ servers across 84 countries.
Those servers are dotted around Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australasia, and Africa. It’s a huge selection that will cover all your VPN server requirements.
To be fair on TorGuard VPN, it would fare well in a server face-off against any other VPN. Its fleet consists of 3,000 servers in 50 countries, which is very respectable.
TorGuard VPN and Private Internet Access VPN are decent VPNs for torrenting, but which provider is more suitable for it? To find the answer, let’s look at the features.
Private Internet Access supports P2P file sharing on all of its 30000 servers. You can also use Shadowsocks and SOCKS5 proxies to hide your IP address and divert traffic.
Surprisingly, despite being a relatively slower VPN, its torrent speeds were excellent. Our tests hit the 10-15 MB/s mark, so your downloads will move at pace.
TorGuard VPN also supports P2P file sharing and offers the SOCKS5 proxy. Meanwhile, its speeds varied between the 10MB/s – 6MB/s mark.
Platforms, interface, and ease of use
|TorGuard||Private Internet Access|
|Supported OS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS,|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox||Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, Opera|
|Other devices||Kodi, Android TV,Amazon Fire devices||Android TV, Fire devices|
Private Internet Access VPN and TorGuard VPN both cover the main platforms (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux) with dedicated apps. However, Private Internet access offers more browser extensions and offers 10 simultaneous connections on a single subscription – two more than TorGuard VPN.
PIA's Windows app is easy to navigate and user-friendly. The app's main dashboard shows your connection status and an on/off button.
You can also easily find other details like protocol, cipher, and encryption information. The general layout is slick and attractive. The macOS and Linux apps are mostly the same – nice to look at and simple to get around.
TorGuard VPN’s Windows, macOS, and Linux apps are also very similar. However, they’re not as easy to use as Private Internet Access and are more suited to users already familiar with VPNs. The interface is not as eye-catching and looks dated compared to Private Internet Access. There’s no visible map to show servers – you have to choose a connection from a list.
Private Internet Access and TorGuard VPN’s mobile apps are pretty similar to the desktop versions in terms of features and appearance.
Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that there are some differences between TorGuard VPN’s mobile apps. For starters, you can only use split tunneling on Android. Plus, the protocols vary depending on the OS – Android has OpenVPN and WireGuard, while iOS has OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec.
Either way, the overall experience is much more simple than with TorGuard VPN’s desktop apps.
|Private Internet Access||TorGuard|
|24/7 live chat||✅||❌|
|Articles and guides||✅||✅|
If you’re experiencing problems with your VPN, both Private Internet Access and TorGuard VPN offer multiple customer support options to give you a helping hand.
Private Internet Access offers live chat, email, and an extensive knowledge base with guides, tutorials, and FAQs.
TorGuard VPN claims to have 24/7 support, but disappointingly, there’s no live chat. This means you’ll need to raise a ticket or reach out via email. The good news is that responses are usually very swift.
TorGuard VPN also has a knowledge base with setup guides and FAQs, and a forum for fellow users to discuss the service.
TorGuard vs Private Internet Access (PIA) – which one wins?
|Ease of use||✅||❌|
Overall, Private Internet Access is a better VPN than TorGuard VPN. It’s stronger and has more features than the competitor. Plus, it boasts the largest server fleet we’ve ever seen and is the more convenient option for unblocking streaming content.
That being said, TorGuard is not a poor VPN. It offers great download and upload speed retention rates and includes all the essential security features in its packages. Plus, it even offers a free 7-day trial.
Overall, Private Internet Access wins the Private Internet Access vs TorGuard VPN comparison hands down due to its streaming capabilities, security measures, price, and more.
Best VPN deals this week:
More VPN comparisons
Which is faster – TorGuard or PIA?
TorGuard VPN is faster than Private Internet Access. Both use WireGuard to improve efficiency, but during tests, TorGuard proved to have better speed retention rates on average.
Does TorGuard have a better Android app than PIA?
No, the Android app of Private Internet Access is better than TorGuard VPN. Easier to use and with a cleaner interface, you’ll be able to navigate PIA quicker than TorGuard VPN on Android – especially if you’re new to VPNs.
Is PIA better for torrenting than TorGuard?
Yes, Private Internet Access VPN is better for torrenting than TorGuard VPN. With a wider server selection and more proxies, you’ll enjoy a superior experience with this VPN. PIA is also very fast when used for P2P file sharing.