Assguard is a new VPN platform that provides its services to various types of users, depending on their preferences and VPN requirements - be it access to geo-blocked content, torrenting, extra encryption, ad blocking, online tracking blocking, IP address masking, additional security, and more.
There are only two subscription options - 1-month at $7.99/month and 12-month at $4.99/month ($59.99 billed every 12 months). You can only pay via credit/debit cards, Google Play, or Apple Pay.
Assguard has a 3-day free trial and a 14-day refund guarantee on Windows PC subscriptions purchased via Stripe (credit/debit cards). If you purchased via an app store, you can ask for a refund there.
Under one account, users can protect up to 6 devices at the same time, and can even manage them (link/unlink them from your account) in your client area on the Assguard website.
Assguard may have a nice presentation and good-looking apps, but it has a lot of work to do before it can stand shoulder to shoulder with some of today’s major VPNs. For example, it’s more expensive than CyberGhost, Surfshark, or NordVPN, as all three offer longer subscriptions with more discounts, not to mention more advanced platforms. If, however, you’d rather spend more money but get your hands on a truly elite VPN service, then ExpressVPN should be your platform of choice.
Accessing today’s popular streaming platforms can be a challenge in some regions, be it in terms of their specific localized libraries or entirely. Assguard can break through these barriers and allow anyone, anywhere to watch geographically restricted content on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Disney+, and more, freely and securely. As long as the app works for them.
About the company
MacPaw Networks LLC is the company running Assguard VPN and it is located in London, the United Kingdom. It provides access to up to 50 servers in 15 countries, including in South Africa, Japan, Egypt, Australia, Israel, Georgia, and others.
Privacy and encryption
To keep your sensitive data protected from snoopers, Assguard states that it deploys the super-strong “AES-256-CBC algorithm for OpenVPN connection”. Additionally, “IKEv2/IPSec ciphers used to generate Phase1 keys are AES-256-GCM for encryption, coupled with SHA2-384 to ensure integrity, combined with PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy) using 3072-bit Diffie-Hellman keys”.
Torrenting and P2P traffic are not just supported, but the platform also provides you with a specialized torrenting option with P2P-optimized servers inside the apps themselves, to enable fast and secure file exchange.
Assguard asserts it has a zero-logs policy - assuring your activities while using its services “are not monitored, recorded, logged, stored, or passed to any third party”. It adds that it doesn’t store “connection session information, traffic logs, IP addresses or other data”.
However, it does collect a certain amount of information, including connection timestamps, your device ID, whether you have successfully established a VPN connection on a particular day, to which VPN location, and from which country/ISP, in order to provide technical support. It also aggregates the sum of data transferred to detect suspicious behavior, as well as “minimal usage statistics” to maintain the quality of its service.
Assguard has simple and intuitive apps for iOS, Android, and Windows, while one for Mac is currently in the works.
The iOS app has a rating of 4.2 stars (out of 5) from 141 users. It was last updated on August 14, 2020, with some connection stability improvements and known issues fixes. Its Android counterpart has a somewhat poorer rating - 3.7 stars as judged by 660 users, out of 100,000+ that have installed it. The app was last updated on October 23, 2020.
If you need assistance with installing and using the platform, you can check out its rather modest FAQ section or join its community on the website where you can ask questions directly. It is also possible to reach customer support via online chat or email. We tested the email route and received a response quite quickly - in less than 20 minutes.
Speed and experience
Assguard is a very simple VPN platform to master, but it is plagued with problems. Its Windows app may sometimes take forever to start, often hangs unresponsive, and at times fails to even start. We had to uninstall and install it repeatedly to try and resolve these problems, with different rates of success. The mobile app wasn’t even supported by the smartphone we used for testing.
However, the apps themselves are designed in a very intuitive way - dividing servers and VPN options into “shortcuts” or “modes” according to their purpose. For instance, the “Torrent Securely” option is ideal for torrenting and P2P traffic, “Watch US Netflix” allows you to access your desired US Netflix content that is otherwise unavailable in your region, “Encrypt Connection” focuses on the best possible privacy protection, while the “Country Picker” allows you to simply select which country you want to connect to, regardless of the purpose for using a VPN. Unfortunately, you cannot run multiple shortcuts at once.
Upon testing, we found that download speeds vary a lot depending on the location. When connecting to a server in The Netherlands, we got an amazing 40.62Mbps on an 80Mbps testing connection, but only 8Mbps on a server in Switzerland. We expected the speeds for the United States to be lower, but not this much - a measly 1.68Mbps. Australia had similar results - 1.60Mbps.
Assguard would be an excellent VPN option for private browsing, torrenting, and streaming if it wasn’t for some of the problems that keep it from success, such as app glitches, low server count, poor speeds, and the lack of subscription options. Due to these issues, a top performer such as ExpressVPN is surely a better choice. But overall, Assguard might have a bright future if it addresses the said problems.
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