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BTGuard VPN Review 2022 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying

Author Image Olga Kousi
Olga Kousi | Cybersecurity Researcher
Updated on 10th January 2022

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.

Try BTGuard VPN Now!

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Get BTGuard VPN Today!

BTGuard VPN Features — Updated in January 2022

8.3
💸 Price 7.5USD/month
📝 Does VPN keep logs? Partially
🖥 Number of servers 1000
💻 Number of devices per license 1
🛡 Kill switch No
🗺 Based in country Canada
🛠 Support Knowledgebase
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — Unable to Unblock Geo-Restricted Content

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.

Screenshot of show Workin' Moms on Neftlix Canada

Watching Workin’ Moms on BTGuard VPN’s Canada server

Similarly, on the Netherlands server, I watched the Dutch comedy Toon.

Screenshot of Dutch comedy show Toon on Netflix Netherlands

I enjoyed an episode of Toon on Netflix Netherlands while using BTGuard VPN

Stream With BTGuard VPN!

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.

Screenshot of black empty error page when logging in to Disney+

Trying to login to Disney+ on the VPN’s Canada server led me to a black empty page

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.

Watch Shows With BTGuard VPN!

Speeds — Consistent Speeds Worldwide

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:

Compilation of screenshots showing speed test results across different servers

I did not experience any significant speed loss while using BTGuard VPN

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.

Get BTGuard VPN Today!

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.

Screenshot of Sims 3 online game

I experienced delays while playing The Sims 3 online on the VPN

Server Network — Robust but Tiny Server Network

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.

Connect to BTGuard VPN

Security — Average Features and Failed Leak Tests

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.

Screenshot of malware test results

I did not find malware when scanning the OpenVPN file

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.

Screenshot of IP and DNS leak test results

My IP and DNS leak tests on BTGuard’s Netherlands server failed

Encrypt Your Data With BTGuard!

Privacy — Not Privacy-Centered

BTGuard has a short privacy policy, and it is based in a country that collects and shares data. That does not give me confidence that it will protect my privacy.

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.”

Screenshot of BTGuard VPN's privacy policy page

The VPN’s website features a page dedicated to its privacy policy

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.

Protect Your Privacy With BTGuard VPN

Torrenting — Unlimited Torrenting

BTGuard VPN allows unlimited torrenting. I was satisfied with the speeds as I downloaded a movie in the public domain using uTorrent.

Screenshot of uTorrent download using BTGuard VPN

I had no speed issues using BTGuard VPN to download files on 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.

Download With BTGuard VPN!

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.

Screenshot of ticket sent to BTGuard VPN's customer support asking if the VPN worked China

BTGuard VPN’s customer support never responded to my question

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.

Bypass Censorship With BTGuard

Simultaneous Device Connections — Unlimited From 1 Location At a Time

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.

Screenshot of a page from BTGuard's Knowledge Base regarding the number of simultaneous device connections it allows

Make sure you use BTGuard from one location at a time

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.

Connect To BTGuard VPN Today

Ease of Use

8.8

Device Compatibility — Support via OpenVPN

The VPN does not have its native app, but you can use it on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You just have to manually download the OpenVPN app for the device you are using.

Therefore, any compatibility features one would mention are, essentially, OpenVPN’s.

My research suggests that OpenVPN can be tricky to use if you’re a beginner.

Use BTGuard VPN On Your OS

Set-Up & Installation — Problematic Installation

The set-up was far from straightforward. I failed to install OpenVPN and had difficulties connecting via PPTP on my Windows 10 computer.

The provider recommends trying both PPTP and OpenVPN to see which one works better for you.

Installing OpenVPN 2.4.1 on Windows 10 didn’t work for me, as the configuration files wouldn't open after download. The older version of OpenVPN also failed to launch on Windows 10 and Mac. That could be a system issue rather than an issue with the software, but I haven’t received a response from OpenVPN’s support, so I continued to try PPTP.

BTGuard’s instructions for connecting via PPTP were simple enough, but after installation, I kept getting an error message that “A connection to remote computer could not be established”. I looked through the VPN’s support guides but did not find a solution, so I messaged customer support to no avail. In the end, I managed to find an answer on another page online.

Pro tip: To solve this issue, go to Device Manager and, under Network Adapters, uninstall all adapters starting with WAN Miniport. Once you've uninstalled all of them, select "Scan for Hardware Changes," and those adapters will reinstall automatically without restarting. That will get your VPN to work.

Here is how to install the VPN step-by-step on Windows and Android:

For Android:

Set-up Instructions Method 1

  1. Download and install OpenVPN for Android by Arne Schwabe.
  2. Open a browser on your Android device and Download the Configuration Files and unzip the files.
  3. Open OpenVPN for Android and tap on the bottom right icon to import.
  4. Browse to the folder where the configuration files are located. Tap on the server you wish to connect to and hit Select.
  5. Tap on the Save icon in the bottom right corner.
  6. Tap on the Settings icon.
  7. Hit Basic
  8. Fill in your Username and Password.
  9. Tap on Select... next to CA certificate, then browse to the folder where the configuration files are located. Tap on btguard.ca.crt and hit Select.
  10. Hit the back button until you're back at the main page.

Setup Instructions Method 2

  1. Download and install OpenVPN Connect.
  2. Open a browser on your Android device and Download the Configuration Files (They are different than in Method 1) and unzip the files.
  3. Open OpenVPN Connect and tap on the top right icon to import.
  4. Tap on Import Profile from SD card.
  5. Browse to the folder where the configuration files are located. Tap on the server you wish to connect to and hit Select.
  6. Fill in your Username and Password.

For Windows:

  1. Download the OpenVPN Installation Program.
  2. Double-click openvpn-install-2.4.0-I602.exe. Hit Next, Continue, and confirm.
  3. Download the OpenVPN BTGuard configuration executable file.
  4. Open openvpn_auto_config.exe.
  5. Click on Ok.
  6. Go to C:Program FilesOpenVPNConfig.

Install BTGuard VPN Today

Compare BTGuard VPN With The Top Alternative VPNs

9.9
9.5
9.3
9.3

Pricing

6.0
12 Months
$7.5 /month
6 Months
$8.33 /month
1 Month
$9.95 /month

BTGuard VPN is overpriced and not worth the money. There are cheaper or even free VPN options offering better features.

There is no money-back guarantee, refund, or free trial is problematic. You have to commit to an expensive plan without knowing if it is worth it.

BTGuard VPN offers 2 plans: BTProxy and VPN. BTProxy costs $7.50/month/month and VPN $9.95/month. You get discounts for subscribing for 3 months (5% off), 6 months (15% off), or a year, which is the best value package at a 1 discount.

You can pay by PayPal, credit card, or Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency is excellent if you are concerned with privacy.

Get BTGuard VPN’s Today!

Reliability & Support

8.5

BTGuard’s customer support is sub-par. Typically, expensive VPNs offer 24/7 support, but BTGuard doesn’t provide a live chat feature.

To get help with problems, you need to submit a ticket. The ticketing page is easy to use. Users can contact either sales, VPN support, or billing when submitting a ticket, and the process is simple. The problem is that you do not get a reply, which is unacceptable.

However, the ‘Knowledgebase’ section on the VPN’s support page is decent. It contains questions about subscriptions, technical issues, and recently updated articles.

Try BTGuard VPN Now

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict

BTGuard VPN is not worth it. Its price is outrageous, given it does not meet the requirements for a decent VPN.

The VPN’s speeds are ok, but this is not enough. Its security is less-than-basic, its privacy questionable, and its set-up problematic. BTGuard targets torrent fans but lacks features that allow safe downloading.

There are plenty of other VPN providers who provide better service for less.

FAQs on BTGuard VPN

Is BTGuard VPN safe?

BTGuard is relatively safe but offers no special security features. It failed DNS leak tests.

Can BTGuard VPN unblock Netflix?

The VPN cannot unblock Netflix as it doesn’t have servers in the US.

Will BTGuard VPN slow my speeds down?

BTGuard VPN won't slow your speeds down. Its speeds are consistent on all its servers.

Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 0
Mobile app : Y
Number of devices per license : 1
VPN Plans: www.btguard.com

BTGuard VPN User Reviews

4.9
Based on 7 reviews in 2 languages
Anonymous
Works for me for years - 10
Anonymous

Not sure why seen so much bad feedback here. Using BTGuard for more than 8 years. I ran into problems about 3 times. Figured out it was a software upgrade. Following their setup instructions for PCs/Linux phones works.

E.P.
Great Service and Value VPN. - 10
E.P.

I used BTGuard for about 4 years with no issues and very professional service! You need to understand that BTGuard will NOT support unethical action, and nowhere in the service contract for the BTGuard service plan(s) does it state they will . So if you have technical issues while trying to accomplish an unethical act, they will not even respond or get involved in your unethical actions willingly, for the simple reason is that they do NOT desire to be an accessory to your unethical action(s). So don't expect Sales or Tech. Support for that. Yes they advertise that you can achieve anonymous torrenting, However, that does not imply unethical torrenting. The only issue I have with VPN service providers is that there is no real definitive way to know if they are actually allowing access to your VPN communications to a third party. The bottom line is, if you are involved in unethical activities, do not expect support from honest company's.

Ben Leeth
Take The Money And Run! - 2
Ben Leeth

Used BTGuard for a few years with really no issues. However, I ran into an issue about a month ago. Have opened tickets through support and sales with no luck. I even tried calling them to no avail. I even informed my CC company and they can't seem to get in touch with them. I just want to inform people to not use BTGuard and hope this review helps someone in the future. -2 stars!

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