A goalkeeping error from Aldershot's Jamie Young gifted Torquay the victory.
Young let a harmless-looking shot from Lee Mansell slip between his legs and into the net as the Gulls maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign.
The Shots piled on the pressure and nearly equalised through Peter Vincenti but his back-post header hit the post.
Danny Hylton and Aaron Brown also missed chances for the hosts when well-placed, as Torquay held on for the win that takes them up to fourth position.
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Aldershot manager Dean Holdsworth told BBC Surrey:
"I'm shocked. If that was a boxing match, it would have been stopped in the second round.
"One uncharacteristic error has cost us - But if we we play like that till the end of the season with an end product, we'll be in good shape.
"It's two games, it's not a bad run or anything like that. It's just that we could do with something falling for us, or someone taking that extra bit of composure in front of goal, and that'll come."
Torquay United manager Martin Ling told BBC Radio Devon:
"It was ugly, horrible, not a great display at all on the ball but it was dogged and we stuck at it.
"We need to pass the ball better if I'm going to be critical, which I am, and I said to them after the game that it was an ugly performance.
"Sometimes in football you take what you're given and today we were probably given something we probably didn't deserve on performance."