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Touch VPN is best known for being a free VPN that can be turned on with a single click – hence the name. But it seems that recently they added premium plans which can be unlocked on the mobile app. Other than that, it’s not very functional, and there are serious security and privacy concerns. I see it as just another deeply flawed attempt from Hotspot Shield developers AnchorFree (now known as Pango) at cashing in on the booming VPN market. I’ll have a look at what information is available about Touch VPN, what features it provides, and on what platforms it’s available. Read on to learn all the gory details.
|Logs||Logs some user information|
|Price and plans||Free and premium – 9.98€/month|
|Locations||30+ countries, 5,900 servers|
|VPN protocols||HydraVPN, OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP|
Touch VPN is owned by Pango Inc., a US company, which puts it under the Five Eyes jurisdiction. They’ve also decided to obfuscate as many details about their product as they could. There is absolutely no important information on their official website – it only mentions the number of available servers and countries and what platforms they support. But if you’d like to know what their encryption standards are then you’re out of luck.
You can find Touch VPN on some app stores online, which offer lengthier, but equally unhelpful information. They mention strong SSL encryption as a big security feature, but SSL is the bare minimum that websites need to be considered secure. VPNs need to do significantly better than that.
Once you install the mobile app, however, you can see that the app does give you some more protocol options:
Touch VPN also has no kill switch. So, if you encounter an unstable VPN connection that’s prone to drops, it might not be a good idea to opt for this product as you stand the risk of revealing your real IP address. That’s just the beginning, too: there’s no sign that Touch VPN has DNS leak protection, handles IPv6, or has any sort of bonus features like multi-hop or a stealth protocol.
One positive aspect of Touch VPN is that you can use their apps without creating an account. This lets you reduce the amount of personally identifiable information that Touch VPN will collect about you.
In general, Touch VPN is very inconsistent when it comes to features across different platforms. These disparities will be addressed later in this Touch VPN review.
In short: Yes
And information collected while using the service, such as:
And of course, they get information from third parties about you if you log in with a different account like Google or Facebook. All of this is used to personalize your experience and improve their service.
Touch VPN has incredibly slow download speeds. I ran my tests in the Netherlands and the USA with a baseline speed of 100Mbps, and although the upload speed in the nearby Netherlands (70Mbps) was considerably better than in the USA (50Mbps), it was still a fairly significant drop.
If it’s speed you are after, Touch VPN will not work for you.
One of the few things that are mentioned on the Touch VPN website is the number of servers and countries they cover – 5,900 servers in 90+ countries. That would be almost impressive – if it were true. The desktop app an underwhelming amount of 27 countries to choose from, while the chrome extension has a meager amount of 7 countries. The mobile app has 18 countries to choose from in the free version, with 9 additional countries locked behind the premium version.
Perhaps I’m being too nitpicky because they do mention 30+ servers in a larger font and the 90+ in a smaller print, but that is still misleading and should not be tolerated. And let us not gloss over the fact that Russian servers are available – which only confirms that your data is being logged.
Touch VPN is available on:
The desktop app for Touch VPN, which I have tested on Windows 10, has way fewer features than the extension, however, it does come with a greater selection of countries to choose from. You can just connect to the default location by simply clicking the “Connect” button, but the app doesn’t tell what country that is. Not a huge problem, but an inconvenience regardless. There’s also no option to log in – which is pretty strange if you have a premium account.
After using the app for a while it stopped connecting to any country. There were no prompts or error messages to tell me what was wrong. Restarting the computer or reinstalling the app did not help, yet it started working again the next day. This brings their claims of unlimited access into question.
Once you open up the mobile app it becomes abundantly clear that this where all the effort of the developers is going. There are plenty of features, you can choose different encryption protocols, and you can even upgrade to one of their premium plans. The protocols are:
It has a similar feature to the extension of where you can choose which apps will receive a secured connection and which ones will be excluded from the VPN. Additionally, the app has a bigger selection of countries to choose from – similar to the desktop app.
This is where you will notice that Touch VPN actually has a premium plan, which is very expensive compared to most VPNs. It is 9.98€/month when paying monthly, or 69.99€ for a one year plan.
The mobile version of Touch VPN seems to be the most solid version, but a VPN should be multi-purpose and not confined to just one type of device – especially if you’re offering a premium version.
I decided to test out the extension of Touch VPN on Google Chrome. It has an impressive rating of 4.6 from over 70,000 votes in the Chrome web store and a staggering amount of over 5,000,000 users. The description is quite extensive about the supposed benefits of the app. The installation process is simple and straightforward.
After installation, I tapped the address bar icon and a simple console appeared. I then got the option to choose our virtual location in the US, Canada, France, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. You can also just click the Connect button, which chooses an automatic location.
The hamburger menu in the top left corner lets you tweak your experience a bit more. You can either log in with your account or continue to use the extension anonymously. It also allows you to choose what domains should be excluded from the secure connection if it’s on. Alternatively – you can choose what domains should be secured by default. A pretty nifty feature, yet you can’t control which servers it connects to by default so there’s definitely room for improvement.
Generally, VPNs choose the server closest to you, but Touch VPN seems to choose servers at random, which makes it a bit useless.
Touch VPN will not unblock Netflix
It hardly comes as a surprise, but Touch VPN will not unblock Netflix for you, and that’s that. The same goes for most of the other streaming platforms. You’ll be better off choosing something from our list of VPNs for Netflix instead.
P2P traffic seems to be blocked on the Touch VPN network, so I think it’s fair to say that Touch VPN is not recommended for torrenting. As mentioned, there’s no kill switch, and the rest of the details regarding security features are murky. A better list of options can be found in our article about VPNs for torrenting.
Although it seems doubtful, you might be able to use Touch VPN in China. This is even despite the lack of a stealth protocol to bypass the advanced censorship measures employed by this country.
Unfortunately, Touch VPN logs just about everything, and their poor security are more than enough reason to give it a miss, especially if you take into consideration the high stakes of using a VPN in China.
You may be safe if you’re only trying to access some western services and not speak any ill will about China, but even that might not be worth the risk.
Even though Touch VPN is no longer a 100% free service, their only means of communication remains through email or via apps.
I sent them two emails on the Android and PC apps and patiently waited for a response. Unfortunately, I was still waiting for a reply more than 24 hours later.
Touch VPN does have a Zendesk customer support website, which you can find out about on the Google Chrome webstore, but not on their own barren wasteland of a website. It’s not even helpful though as the tiny amount of articles has not been updated for about two years.
And if you ever get the crazy idea to use Touch VPN for watching a live stream of some geo-restricted event – remember that there will be no live chat option in your time of urgent need.
It is very likely that premium members get priority treatment when contacting customer support so keep that in mind if you’re using the free version.
Touch VPN used to be just another one of many free VPN services with questionable quality and poor performance. Now they have the audacity to ask for a ridiculous amount of money for a premium version that just unlocks some extra countries on mobile, but does absolutely nothing on PC. The only redeeming factor about this VPN is that you can use it anonymously, but we all know that you don’t get anything for free without strings attached.
If you have anything to add about this VPN then please do not hesitate and let me know by leaving a comment.
To conclude this Touch VPN review, there’s absolutely no reason why anyone should be using this terrible tool, and shame on Pango for feeding such garbage to consumers. If you’re looking for a good VPN, simply choose one of the leading VPN providers.
No, Touch VPN is not safe. Touch VPN shares some data about users and does not provide enough technical details about the product to be considered completely safe.
No, Touch VPN is not Chinese. Touch VPN is owned by Pango Inc., a US company.
Touch VPN can be used for free indefinitely, but it also has a premium version.