BitTorrentGuard — aka BTGuard — is a VPN and BitTorrent proxy provider. It is specifically designed for P2P fans at a time when most tiptoe around the subject of torrenting. You can use it on as many computers as you like without worrying about bandwidth, which is great for file sharing. Another significant aspect of the VPN is that its speeds are consistent. However, it does have some drawbacks.
First, how safe can it be for torrenting or any other activity with no kill switch?
Second, because of the low number of servers, its streaming capabilities are minimal and unable to compete with others in the market.
Instead, I recommend you try one of these secure, good-value VPNs.
Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
- Not the best choice for streaming. Due to its low server count, I could only access Netflix Canada and Netflix Netherlands. Jump to my streaming tests.
- Only has 1,000 servers in 3 countries. The VPN only has servers in Canada, Singapore, and the Netherlands, so you can’t unblock US content. Find out about BitTorrentVPN’s server network.
- Reasonably fast and consistent, but not good enough for gaming. While the VPN boasts unlimited bandwidth, speeds are inadequate for gaming. See my full-speed test results here.
- No special security features. The VPN has issues with OpenVPN and doesn’t benefit from its advanced security. Click here to find out more about the VPN’s security.
- Problematic installation. I failed to configure OpenVPN and had problems connecting to PPTP. Here is how I set up BTGuard VPN.
- Expensive. Given the VPN’s limited features, its prices are not enticing. Check out its plans here.
- BTGuard is designed for torrenting with P2P-friendly servers. Learn more about torrenting with BTGuard VPN here.
- It allows unlimited device connections from one location at a time. More on its device connections here.
- Poor customer support. BTGuard has no live chat, and its ticketing system doesn’t work. Read about my experience with its support.
BTGuard VPN Features — Updated in January 20228.3
|📝 Does VPN keep logs?||Partially|
|🖥 Number of servers||1000|
|💻 Number of devices per license||1|
|🛡 Kill switch||No|
|🗺 Based in country||Canada|
|📥 Supports torrenting||Yes|
BTGuard VPN can’t unblock geo-restricted content on most major platforms. It only has servers in Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore, so you can only watch content available in these countries.
Unblocked: Netflix Canada, Netflix Netherlands
I was able to watch shows on Netflix Canada and Netflix Netherlands. The VPN proved able to bypass Netflix’s strict geoblocking technology.
I enjoyed watching Workin’ Moms on Netflix Canada without performance issues.
Similarly, on the Netherlands server, I watched the Dutch comedy Toon.
Blocked By: Netflix Singapore, Netflix US, Netflix UK, Hulu, Kodi, HBOMax, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer
Without US and UK servers, you can’t stream content on Netflix US/UK, Hulu, HBOMax, or BBC iPlayer.
Kodi, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ also failed to work despite having libraries in the VPN’s server countries.
Even though BTGuard VPN offers servers in Singapore, I could not unblock Netflix Singapore. When I tried to determine why, I found that my IP address was located in the Netherlands instead of Singapore. This raised doubts about the trustworthiness of the VPN’s claims regarding its server locations since it looked like it was defaulting to a Netherland’s server regardless of the server I chose. You can read more about that here.
The VPN’s speeds are reasonably fast and consistent on all its servers. The provider prides itself on unlimited bandwidth. With unlimited bandwidth, you should be able to surf, download, and live stream at the same time without any slowdown because there’s no limit to your data usage.
I first ran a speed test without the VPN and then compared the results to different servers with the VPN on:
Because the data is traveling a long way, you can expect some speed loss when using a VPN due to geographical distance to the servers.
However, I experienced very little speed loss compared to my normal connection.
My download speed results on the VPN’s long-distance servers ranged from 10.09 on the Netherlands server to 11.91 Mbps on the Singapore server, my normal speed being 11.85 Mbps.
The percentage loss ranged from 2.5% to 15%, which is in the normal range. The average download speed across servers was 11.18 Mbps and the average upload speed 0.7 Mbps.
Are BTGuard VPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? No
My speeds were not fast enough for gaming. The average ping from my tests was 159. Ideally, gamers typically need pings in the 50–100 ms range.
Ping is the number of milliseconds it takes data to reach the server from you and back. The higher the ping, the more likely it is that you will experience lag which will affect your game.
I was playing The Sims 3, and each time my ping was too high, which makes for a bad gaming experience.
BTGuard has a small but fast network.
It has 10 Gbit servers which translate to great upload and download speeds. However, it has only 1,000 in 3 locations which means your traffic may be slower if you can’t find a server near you. Not only that, but the servers can also get overcrowded, which affects speed.
The servers are in Singapore, Canada, and the Netherlands. That number is very disappointing, considering competing providers offer hundreds of locations for a lot less.
Another disadvantage is that you can't easily access streaming content from other countries, as discussed in the Streaming section.
A worrying fact about the VPN’s server network was that connecting to the Singapore server kept giving me a returned IP address from the Netherlands.
BTGuard’s security is average. It lacks some basic features, and it failed my leak tests.
Still, the VPN offers the industry’s standard symmetric encryption — 256-bit AES. Symmetric encryption uses the same key to encrypt and decrypt data. Interestingly, BTGuard combines this with asymmetric RSA-1028 encryption, which uses one key to encipher and the other to decipher information. This is called hybrid cryptography, whose advantage is to give you better speeds and higher security.
BTGuard VPN offers 2 protocols: OpenVPN and PPTP.
PPTP provides weaker protection because its cipher is outdated by today’s standards. So, it’s not the best choice for if you want high security.
On the other hand, OpenVPN is renowned for military-grade security and is constantly improving, which means it will help you stay safe.
I was disappointed that there’s no kill switch. If your VPN temporarily disconnects, without a kill switch, your data will be out in the open and you won’t even know.
Before installation, I scanned the OpenVPN file on VirusTotal, and it was not flagged as having malicious software.
I wasn’t as fortunate when testing for IP and DNS leaks. If your DNS is leaking, this is a serious privacy problem. It means your ISP can see your online activities, even though you’re using a VPN. An IP leak is when your real IP address is showing despite using a service to hide it.
My results showed that my VPN was leaking since my DNS and IP pointed to my country instead of the VPN server location. I had the same results when testing this on a different browser, as your browser often causes many leaks.
Netcrawled LLC set up BTGuard VPN in 2008. It is based in Canada, which is worrying for 2 reasons. Firstly, Canada is part of the 5 Eyes Alliance which collects and shares private data. Secondly, Canada has passed many privacy-invading laws to share collected information about you with the government.
But BTGuard says it doesn’t store, trade, or rent data, including logs or IP addresses. In case it does, it will “identify the purposes for which the information is being collected.”
It also says it will share your personal information with third parties with your permission. This makes you wonder: but what data exactly would it share? The vague policy on the VPN’s website sheds no light on this.
BTGuard VPN allows unlimited torrenting. I was satisfied with the speeds as I downloaded a movie in the public domain using uTorrent.
However, due to IP and DNS leak tests, I don’t recommend it. Other P2P users in your swarm would be able to see your true location. This doesn’t make for safe torrenting.
The VPN became popular after an endorsement from TorrentFreak and is refreshingly open about the fact that it allows torrenting.
I don’t condone illegal torrenting and you should always check your country’s regulations to ensure you’re not acting against the law.
Users who can legally download torrents in their countries will enjoy the featured preconfigured version of uTorrent. That means you don’t have to deal with complicated configurations yourself, saving you time and effort.
Other VPN providers offer P2P-friendly servers for better prices. For VPNs that work well with torrents, check out these suggestions.
Does BTGuard VPN Work in China? No
BTGuard VPN doesn't work in China. China blocks OpenVPN and the VPN’s website makes no mention of the country. I contacted customer service to ask about it, but did not receive a reply.
If you are using a VPN in China to get past its Great Firewall, you need a VPN with stronger security features to bypass strict censorship measures. However, I recommend researching the country’s laws beforehand, as they are always changing.
You can connect as many devices as you want, but sharing among friends and family is not allowed. So, if BTGuard detects multiple locations simultaneously, it may shut your account down.
I had no issues connecting my Windows 10 and Mac laptops simultaneously. That’s excellent news for torrenting enthusiasts, as most VPNs allow up to 5 simultaneous connections.