BTGuard VPN Review
Trying to protect your privacy and security when you browse the Internet? You need a VPN (Virtual Private Network). You might find it hard to choose a VPN since quite a few VPN providers operate in a crowded and competitive market. BTGuard VPN is one of them. Netcrawled LLC, a Canadian company owns and operates this service.
VPNs often make impressive claims about their products and services. They promise to offer privacy, security, speed, access to geo-restricted streaming services, secure access to P2P/torrenting sites, and compatibility. You would also expect great customer support and a reasonable price.
We keep these yardsticks in mind when we review VPNs, and we did that when reviewing BTGuard too. Does this VPN meet your requirements? Should you buy a subscription? You can find answers to these questions in this review. Read on.
Note: BTGuard also provides a proxy service. The company claims to offer anonymous and optimized access to P2P/torrenting sites like BitTorrent. In fact, the letters “BT” in “BTGuard” stand for BitTorrent. A proxy service isn’t a VPN though. In this review, we focus on the BTGuard VPN.
What features do you get with BTGuard?
You would want a VPN to provide valuable features, therefore, let’s first review what BTGuard VPN offers.
Your privacy with BTGuard
You probably prioritize privacy, and that’s a key reason for you to explore VPNs. If a VPN successfully masks your IP address, encrypts Internet traffic, and follows a “zero-logs” policy, then it can protect your privacy.
When you buy a BTGuard VPN subscription, you need to provide your email address. You need to create a username and password. BTGuard keeps this amount of personal information, and the company secures it.
The company promises to use your personal information to provide its services to you. BTGuard doesn’t sell, rent, or transfer your personal information. The company processes this information per applicable laws. We don’t see any privacy risks from this.
BTGuard accepts payment via Bitcoin. This offers a relatively anonymous payment mode.
BTGuard is subject to the jurisdiction of Canada. Canada is a part of the “5 Eyes” coalition of countries that conduct mass surveillance. It’s not the ideal place for a privacy-focused VPN, however, BTGuard doesn’t keep logs. This mitigates privacy risks.
We find that BTGuard follows an effective “no logs” policy. We also note that the company collects very minimal personal information and processes it securely. This VPN can protect your privacy.
Is your data secure with BTGuard VPN?
You want a VPN since you probably take security seriously while browsing the Internet. You need a VPN that supports secure VPN protocols, offers robust encryption, prevents data leaks, and offers advanced security features.
BTGuard VPN supports OpenVPN, the most secure VPN protocol. This VPN protocol doesn’t have any known security vulnerabilities. While BTGuard also supports PPTP, this VPN protocol has security vulnerabilities. We recommend you use OpenVPN.
BTGuard doesn’t offer a kill switch, which is a disadvantage. A kill switch in a VPN blocks the Internet connection when the VPN connection terminates unexpectedly. This keeps hackers at bay even when the VPN connection drops suddenly. All leading VPNs offer this feature. BTGuard VPN falls short of our expectations in this regard.
BTGuard VPN offers basic security features. However, we don’t see BTGuard offering any other advanced security features. Most leading VPNs offer several advanced security features. BTGuard lags behind its competitors in this regard.
Where are the servers of BTGuard VPN located?
You want a fast VPN. VPNs encrypt Internet traffic. This slows down the connection, upload, and download speeds. If you need to connect to a server far from where you are, that will further slow you down. If a VPN has enough servers in all key geographies, then it can offer good speed. It should invest in high-quality infrastructure too.
BTGuard VPN has servers in 3 locations only. These are as follows:
· Toronto, Canada;
· Amsterdam, Netherlands;
That’s a small server network. It also covers only a few geographies. BTGuard invests in high-quality infrastructure. However, the small server network results in slow speed. If you want good speed, then you should explore other leading VPNs with large server networks.
What devices are supported by BTGuard?
You need a VPN that supports the different kinds of devices with you. BTGuard supports a wide range of platforms. Among desktops, it supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. This VPN supports Chromebook too.
BTGuard supports Android and iOS among mobile platforms. This VPN supports DD-WRT and Tomato routers.
While it’s great to have a VPN that supports such a wide range of platforms, BTGuard doesn’t offer any custom VPN apps. You need to use its manual configuration guides to set up a VPN connection on your device. That’s not as user-friendly as custom VPN apps that allow you to connect with just one click.
BTGuard provides detailed guides for using the OpenVPN client and configuring a VPN connection. We have reviewed all of these guides, and we find them helpful. OpenVPN is easy to use.
However, leading VPNs offer user-friendly custom apps for most of the platforms that they support. BTGuard lags behind them in this regard. Many VPN users aren’t tech-savvy and they find custom VPN apps useful. They might find it hard to manually configure a VPN connection despite using a detailed guide.
BTGuard allows 1 connection at a time only. That’s more restrictive than most of the leading VPNs. Of course, you can configure a VPN connection on your router. You can then connect all your devices to the router. This technically counts as one VPN connection only. However, configuring a VPN connection on a router requires advanced skills.
We are happy to see that BTGuard supports many platforms. It doesn’t provide custom VPN apps though, which is a disadvantage.
Can BTGuard VPN unblock streaming services?
Popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer impose geo-restrictions on their content. They do this due to their business reasons, however, many subscribers want to bypass such geo-restrictions. Many Internet users look for VPNs for this reason.
However, these streaming services know that. They identify and block VPNs aggressively. Many VPNs can’t unblock these streaming services, and BTGuard can’t do that either. If you want a VPN that consistently unblocks these streaming services, then you need to explore other leading VPNs.
Does BTGuard allow torrenting?
BTGuard focuses on making P2P/torrenting easier for users. We can’t recommend this VPN for P2P/torrenting though.
Before we explain the reasons, let’s explain the positive aspects of BTGuard VPN for P2P/torrenting. These are as follows:
Many countries ban P2P/torrenting. Even in countries that allow them, you can get into copyrights issues. You should check applicable laws before you access P2P/torrenting. However, these laws can be complex. You might inadvertently get into legal troubles. To avoid this, you need a VPN that follows a “zero-logs” policy. BTGuard VPN meets this yardstick.
BTGuard VPN doesn’t impose any bandwidth restrictions for P2P/torrenting.
We don’t find this VPN suitable for P2P/torrenting due to the following reasons:
You need a VPN that offers a kill switch. Hackers regularly target users of P2P/torrenting sites. You need a way to keep them at bay even if the VPN connection drops suddenly. A kill switch helps you with this. BTGuard VPN doesn’t offer a kill switch.
While BTGuard VPN claims to make P2P/torrenting easy for uses, it doesn’t offer good speed.
Look for a VPN that follows a “no logs” policy, offers a kill switch, and provides good speed for P2P/torrenting.
How much does BTGuard VPN cost?
BTGuard displays two sets of pricing plans on its website, and one of them is for its proxy service. Since we are reviewing its VPN service, we are focusing on the VPN pricing plan.
BTGuard offers the following billing frequencies for a VPN subscription:
Monthly: You pay $9.95 per month.
3-months: You pay $27.95 for 3 months, therefore, you pay 5% less than the monthly billing option.
6-months: BTGuard VPN charges you $49.95 for 6 months. This gives you a 15% discount over the monthly billing option.
Yearly: The BTGuard VPN yearly billing option gives you a 25% discount over the monthly billing option. You pay $89.95 for a year.
You can pay for a subscription using PayPal. BTGuard accepts popular credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. This VPN also accepts Bitcoin.
BTGuard VPN doesn’t offer a free trial. You can’t get any refund either. We find that BTGuard VPN is expensive for its products and services. You can find more comprehensive VPNs for less.
The pros and cons of BTGuard VPN
Let’s weigh the pros and cons of BTGuard VPN. This VPN offers the following advantages:
· It follows a “zero-logs” policy and protects your privacy.
· BTGuard VPN supports OpenVPN, the most secure VPN protocol. It also offers AES-256 encryption, which is the strongest encryption that you can find.
· This VPN supports a wide range of platforms including all key platforms. It supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and routers.
· BTGuard VPN provides very good documentation.
This VPN has a few disadvantages too, which are as follows:
· It doesn’t offer a kill switch and other advanced security features.
· This VPN has a small server network, therefore, you might experience slow speed.
· It doesn’t offer custom VPN apps for any of the platforms that it supports.
· BTGuard VPN allows 1 connection at a time only.
· BTGuard VPN can’t unlock popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
· Since it doesn’t offer a kill switch, this VPN isn’t a good choice for P2P/torrenting.
· BTGuard VPN doesn’t offer live chat support.
· This VPN is expensive.
· It doesn’t offer a free trial.
· BTGuard VPN doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee.
A few quick facts about BTGuard VPN
We now summarize a few quick facts about BTGuard VPN, which are as follows:
· Netcrawled LLC, a Canadian company owns and operates BTGuard VPN. This VPN is subject to the jurisdiction of Canada.
· BTGuard VPN follows a “no logs” policy.
· This VPN supports the secure OpenVPN protocol. It also supports AES-256 encryption, which is military-grade.
· BTGuard VPN doesn’t provide a kill switch or other advanced security features.
· This VPN maintains servers in 3 countries only, and users might experience slow speed.
· BTGuard VPN supports all key platforms, however, it doesn’t offer any custom VPN apps.
· This VPN can’t unblock geo-restricted streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
· While this VPN allows P2P/torrenting, it’s not the best choice for this. That’s because of the lack of a kill switch.
· BTGuard VPN doesn’t offer a free trial.
· This VPN doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee.
· It allows 1 connection only at a time.
· BTGuard VPN doesn’t offer live chat support.
Is BTGuard VPN easy to use?
Most VPN users want an easy-to-use VPN, and you probably want that too. VPNs that offer custom VPN apps, excellent documentation, and easy-to-use website can qualify as user-friendly VPNs.
BTGuard VPN offers an easy-to-use website. Not everyone might find it elegant, however, it provides all the information that you need. You will find the process to buy a VPN subscription easy.
As we have stated, BTGuard VPN doesn’t provide custom VPN apps for any of the platforms it supports. You need to follow its guides and configure a VPN connection manually. BTGuard provides manual configuration guides for all the platforms it supports. It provides them for both OpenVPN and PPTP, the two VPN protocols that it supports.
BTGuard provides quality-documentation. You can easily find its documentation. We find that BTGuard is reasonably easy-to-use. However, the lack of custom VPN apps is a disadvantage.
The customer service at BTGuard VPN
When we evaluate VPNs, we consider customer service a key yardstick. You need a VPN provider to offer good documentation. This should include guides, FAQs, troubleshooting guides, etc. You should be able to contact its customer support team easily. The customer support team should respond promptly with useful information.
BTGuard VPN provides very good documentation. The company offers easy-to-use manual configuration guides. It also provides a searchable knowledge base on its website. We found the documentation quite useful.
You need to create a support ticket to contact the BTGuard VPN customer support team. The company doesn’t offer live chat support.
We find that BTGuard VPN has reasonable customer support capabilities. However, it charges as premium VPNs do. It should offer live chat and email support too. All leading VPNs provide that, and BTGuard VPN lags behind them in this regard.
Where is BTGuard VPN based?
Netcrawled LLC, a Canadian company owns and operates the BTGuard VPN service. Therefore, this VPN is subject to the jurisdiction of Canada. Canada is a member of the “5 Eyes” coalition, and countries in this coalition conduct mass surveillance.
We don’t consider this an ideal scenario. However, BT Guard doesn’t log the online activities of its users. This mitigates privacy risks.
Does BTGuard VPN keep any logs of your activity?
Technical security at BTGuard VPN
BTGuard uses AES-256, which is the strongest encryption. This VPN can prevent IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. However, BTGuard VPN doesn’t offer a kill switch. We don’t see it offering any other advanced security features either.
This VPN offers basic security features only. Leading VPNs offer several advanced security features, and BTGuard lags behind in this aspect.
The short conclusion of our review
BTGuard VPN can protect your privacy, thanks to its “no logs” policy. This VPN supports OpenVPN, the most secure VPN protocol. It offers AES-256 encryption, which is the strongest that you find. However, it doesn’t offer a kill switch. This VPN has servers in only 3 countries, and you can expect a slow speed.
BTGuard VPN supports a wide range of platforms including all key platforms. However, it doesn’t offer any custom VPN apps. It allows only 1 connection at a time. You can’t use this VPN to unblock Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. While it allows P2P/torrenting, we don’t recommend you use it for this purpose. The lack of a kill switch makes this VPN unsuitable for P2P/torrenting.
BTGuard offers very good documentation. It provides ticket-based support, however, it doesn’t offer live chat support. For the features it offers, BTGuard VPN is expensive. It doesn’t offer a free trial. This VPN doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee.
We don’t recommend you buy a BTGuard VPN subscription. You can find a more comprehensive VPN for less.