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Why You Should Avoid Touch VPN on Chrome

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Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society. Read full bio

Touch VPN is a popular freemium VPN service with millions of users. This guide provides a detailed overview of the Touch VPN Chrome extension, including why it doesn’t work properly, its invasive logging policy, and how to completely uninstall the extension from your device

VPN extensions installed on Chrome browser

As of July 2022, the Touch VPN Chrome extension has been downloaded over 7 million times from the Google Chrome Web Store.

Despite its popularity, the extension is simply not safe to use, nor is it very effective. Touch VPN Chrome collects far too much of your personal data, and it doesn’t assign you the correct IP address.

This is in line with the findings from our full Touch VPN review, which found that the VPN’s desktop application stores your real IP address, throttles your connection speeds, and can’t access any streaming services.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using Touch VPN with Chrome. We’ll explain why the Touch VPN Chrome extension isn’t working, why it should be avoided, and how to remove it from your device.

EXPERT TIP: The fastest and most secure VPN browser extension we’ve tested is ExpressVPN. It’s equipped with industry leading encryption and can unblock up to 10 Netflix regions.

Does Touch VPN Work on Chrome?

The Touch VPN Chrome extension is free to download from the Chrome Web Store. It will work to encrypt your browser traffic, but that’s it. It’s a lightweight browser extension that does not work to access Netflix, block ads, or assign you the correct IP address.

It offers just eight server locations, with only three of them outside of Europe. Frustratingly, the IP address you are assigned rarely matches the server location you select in the Chrome extension.

EXAMPLE: We were assigned a French IP multiple times when connecting to the Netherlands server.

Touch VPN's limited server network on its Chrome extension

Touch VPN’s Chrome extension has very limited server coverage.

When selecting a US server location, we frequently found ourselves with a German or Dutch IP address. In our testing, we were also assigned IP addresses from locations that are not advertised within the extension.

This means you’re likely to end up with an IP address location that’s completely different from the server location you’ve selected.

During our testing, the extension’s advanced features also varied in performance. The Ad blocker, Tracker blocker, and Cookie blocker were only able to block 50% of the most common advertisement and analytic services.

The percentage of ads Touch VPN's ad block feature can block on Chrome

Touch VPN lags behind standard ad blockers on Chrome.

Conventional ad blockers like uBlock Origin score 91%, which makes this a very poor result.

EXPERT ADVICE: If you’re looking for a VPN that blocks ads, try out Private Internet Access. Its built-in MACE ad blocker was able to block over 80% of ads and 100% of analytic trackers in our tests.

Why You Shouldn't Use Touch VPN with Google Chrome

Touch VPN isn’t just ineffective on Chrome, it’s also a risk to your privacy and security.

Though it will encrypt your traffic, our testing found that Touch VPN logs your real IP address, the domains you connect to, and the duration of your session. The chrome extension’s speeds are reasonably fast, but it won’t work to access Netflix or even assign you the right IP address.

The extension itself is basic, and the misspelled labels are representative of the lack of effort invested in the software.

The main menu of Touch VPN's Chrome extension

The Chrome extension features multiple misspellings and oversights.

Put simply, we don’t recommend using Touch VPN on any browser or platform, including Chrome.

In this section, we’ll explain the reasons why Touch VPN is unsafe to use with Google Chrome and in general.

Skip to the next section if you’d rather learn how to uninstall Touch VPN from Chrome, or take a look at our recommendations for alternative VPNs that are safer than Touch VPN on Chrome.

1. Intrusive Logging Policy

SUMMARY

Touch VPN’s Chrome extension collects the following information from users:

  • IP address (allegedly deleted after each session)
  • The duration of VPN sessions
  • The bandwidth used
  • The domains accessed (anonymized and aggregated)
  • Device hashes
  • Internet service provider
  • Information about your carrier

Touch VPN is part of the Aura group, which also owns Hotspot Shield and Betternet, as well as a range of other cybersecurity products. The company is based in the US, which means it’s subject to several intrusive privacy laws and the Five-Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance.

The Aura group’s general privacy policy is one of the worst we’ve seen. It collects your real IP address, approximate geographic location, and Internet Service Provider (ISP).

However, Aura also provides a separate policy for its VPN products, where it assures readers:

“Aura does not record your VPN browsing activities in any way that can be associated back to you.”

This extends to your IP address, which Aura states is only collected during an active VPN connection and deleted once the session is over.

However, this is immediately undermined by the following section, which states that your IP address will still be recorded to protect against fraud, derive your approximate location, find servers near to you, and attribute advertisements:

Touch VPN's policy on logging and using IP Addresses

Touch VPN will store your real IP address.

If Aura or Touch VPN is using your IP address for any of the reasons listed above, then it must be storing it beyond the VPN session.

Furthermore, your approximate geographic location taken in combination with your ISP is potentially identifiable information – even if your IP address isn’t stored.

This is particularly troubling when combined with Aura’s policy on law enforcement. The policy reveals that Aura will share your personal data if “required to do so by applicable law.”

The Touch VPN Chrome extension provides a link to the same Aura privacy policy. This means your personal data is not secure when using Touch VPN on Chrome.

2. Does Not Unblock Any Major Streaming Services

Touch VPN’s failure to assign you the correct IP address and geolocation on Chrome means accessing international Netflix libraries is impossible.

Screenshot of Touch VPN's Chrome extension failing to access Netflix

Touch VPN’s Chrome extension can’t access Netflix, even with the right IP address.

Streaming services like Netflix often restrict their content by region. For example, an American IP address is required to access the US Netflix library. A VPN or VPN browser extension can bypass this by assigning you the IP address of your chosen region.

This isn’t possible on Touch VPN’s Chrome extension, as it will frequently assign you the wrong IP address.

In fact, Touch VPN Chrome failed to access any major streaming service in our testing.

On the rare occasions we were assigned the correct IP, we still couldn’t access any Netflix libraries.

EXPERT TIP: If streaming is a priority for you then try out ExpressVPN. Its browser extension reliably unblocks US Netflix as well as nine other international libraries.

3. Poor Privacy, but Dependable Encryption

Despite advertising outdated SSL encryption, Touch VPN’s Chrome extension uses the OpenVPN TCP protocol encapsulated in TLS encryption. These are both effective and trusted forms of encryption that will keep your data safe.

We tested this by individually inspecting each data packet leaving our device when Touch VPN’s Chrome extension was enabled.

Wireshark encryption results for Touch VPN's Chrome extension

Touch VPN’s Chrome extension encrypted all our traffic using the TCP protocol.

Each data packet we analyzed displayed several lines of unintelligible symbols, proving that our traffic was encrypted. Without encryption, the URLs of any websites we’ve visited would appear unaltered.

We can’t fault Touch VPN’s Chrome extension here, but this level of encryption is pointless if your personal data is also being logged by the service.

4. Fast Connection Speeds on Nearby Servers

We tested our download and upload speeds before and after enabling the Touch VPN Chrome extension. In our tests, the browser extension barely impacted our browsing speeds when connected to nearby servers.

Here are our full speed test results:

NOTE: All of our speed tests were carried out from our office in London, UK.

On short-distance connections from the UK to Germany, we experienced a speed loss of less than 2%. This is very fast but not unusual for a VPN browser extension, which tends to be faster than full VPN applications.

Our longer distance connection to Canada resulted in a respectable speed loss of 29%, and our ping remained below the 100ms threshold.

With speeds this fast, you shouldn’t notice any disruption to your online activity when using Touch VPN on Chrome.

We were unable to test our connection speeds to the Netherlands and the US as the Chrome extension didn’t assign us the correct IP address.

How to Uninstall Touch VPN from Chrome

If you already have Touch VPN installed on your Chrome browser then we strongly recommend uninstalling it and installing a safe free VPN for Chrome instead.

You can do this by clicking on the Extensions shortcut on the Google toolbar and selecting the hamburger menu next to Touch VPN. Finally select ‘Remove from Chrome’ to complete the process.

If you don’t have the Extensions shortcut on your Chrome browser, follow the steps below.

To remove the Touch VPN extension from Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Select the hamburger menu in the top-right corner of the browser.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Navigate to Extensions in the bottom-left corner of the webpage.
  5. Go to Touch VPN – Secure and unlimited VPN proxy in your extensions list.
  6. Select Remove and then Remove again when the prompt appears.

What to Do If Touch VPN Chrome Isn't Working

The Touch VPN Chrome extension rarely assigns you the correct IP address. In our testing, it took us up to 10 attempts to get an IP address that matched our selected geo-location.

Screenshot of Touch VPN's Chrome extension assigning the wrong IP address

Touch VPN’s Chrome extension won’t assign you the correct IP address.

Consequently, Touch VPN won’t work to spoof your online location, including accessing geo-restricted content.

Screenshot of Touch VPN's Chrome extension failing to unblock BBC iPlayer

Touch VPN can’t access any streaming services on Chrome.

Even when given the correct IP address, the Touch VPN Chrome extension lacks the sophistication to bypass Netflix, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer’s VPN blocks.

There aren’t any available solutions for fixing Touch VPN on Chrome. Even if there were, we’re not comfortable recommending a service that collects and logs your personal data.

The only safe solution to Touch VPN not working on Chrome is to uninstall the Chrome extension and replace it with a safe alternative.

3 Safe Alternatives to Touch VPN on Chrome

Touch VPN isn’t private enough to be installed on Chrome, and it doesn’t work to spoof your location or access geo-restricted content either.

There are much safer free VPN extensions for Chrome available that will effectively spoof your location, encrypt your data, and access US Netflix.

Here’s how Touch VPN’s Chrome extension compares to the top-rated VPN extensions for Chrome:

EXPERT TIP: The best extension for Chrome is ExpressVPN. It’s fast, secure, and unlocks 10 Netflix libraries. You can also try it out for free for 30 days.

1. CyberGhost: The #1 Free VPN Extension for Chrome

CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs we’ve reviewed and its Chrome Extension is a great choice for your browser.

It’s currently the only free Chrome Extension that can unblock US Netflix.

Using CyberGhost's Chrome extension to unblock US Netflix

You’re restricted to 720p video quality when using CyberGhost’s Chrome extension.

Its speeds aren’t the fastest on Chrome so you may find that your Netflix title takes a few minutes to load. Considering that no other free Chrome extension can unblock US Netflix, we think this is a small price to pay.

CyberGhost’s Chrome extension doesn’t come with any data caps, so you can stream for as long as you want.

Despite being described as a proxy on the Chrome store, the browser extension will encrypt your traffic with the reliable OpenVPN TCP protocol. It’s also backed by CyberGhost’s watertight logging policy so you can be sure that your personal data is kept private and secure.

We would like to see some features added to the Chrome extension. There’s no WebRTC blocker and you can only connect to four servers.

However, if you’re just looking to stay anonymous online, keep your browser traffic secure, and watch US Netflix, then CyberGhost’s free VPN extension is the perfect choice.

2. HideMyAss: Fast, Secure & Privacy-Friendly

HideMyAss’ Chrome extension is free, easy to use, and doesn’t come with any data restrictions.

You can connect to VPN servers in five different locations: France, Germany, The Netherlands, UK, and US.

Although it isn’t advertised anywhere, the HideMyAss Chrome extension keeps your data secure with the reliable OpenVPN TCP protocol. There’s also an in-built WebRTC blocking feature which adds a welcome layer of security.

The Auto Hide feature is a convenient upgrade too: it automatically connects you to a VPN server whenever you access a website you’ve chosen previously.

The service has a watertight logging policy too, ensuring that your web activity will remain hidden from everyone, including HMA.

HideMyAss’ Chrome extension collects the following information:

  • Date of connection: this includes timestamps but not an exact time.
  • Amount of data used during your session: this data is rounded to the nearest hundred hundred MB.

Despite success in the past, HMA cannot unblock a single Netflix library. Although, this isn’t a problem exclusive to HMA. CyberGhost is the only free Chrome extension that can reliably unblock US Netflix.

SUMMARY: HMA is a great lightweight option for Chrome. Your browsing is kept safe and secure without compromising your connection speeds.

3. Windscribe: Great for Streaming, but Not Encrypted

Windscribe does not offer a full VPN extension on Chrome like HideMyAss. Instead, it operates as a proxy. This means it can spoof your online location but it cannot encrypt your traffic.

Despite this drawback, Windscribe is an excellent free VPN extension for Chrome. You can choose up to 11 server locations, with city level choice in the US and Canada.

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • UK
  • US
Screenshot of Windscribe's Chrome extension unblocking UK Netflix

We were able to stream UK Netflix in high quality without any buffering.

Although it can’t unlock US Netflix, Windscribe’s Chrome extension can access UK Netflix. You can also use Windscribe’s US servers to access Disney +, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video.

We were also able to unlock DAZN libraries in Canada and Germany.

You are restricted to a 10GB data limit when using the free service, but you can add an extra 5GB by tweeting about Windscribe. Log into your account on the Windscribe website and select Tweet 4 Data to increase your limit.

Is Touch VPN Also Dangerous on Firefox?

We strongly recommend that you do not install Touch VPN on Firefox.

The description for the Touch VPN Firefox add-on is identical to its counterpart on the Google Chrome store, including the same Aura privacy policy. This means that Touch VPN will collect and log your personal data on Firefox.

Screenshot of Touch VPN's Firefox privacy policy

Touch VPN uses the same intrusive privacy policy on Firefox.

In our testing, we were also unable to load a single webpage with the Firefox extension active, making simple browsing tasks impossible. For safer alternatives, take a look at our top-rated VPNs for Firefox.

How to Use Touch VPN on Chrome

If you already have Touch VPN installed on your browser, we recommend you uninstall it immediately.

Your personal data, including your real IP address, is continually being collected when you use Touch VPN on Chrome.

If your online privacy and security isn’t a priority for you, we still don’t suggest using Touch VPN on Chrome as it doesn’t work properly. The extension rarely assigns you the correct IP address making accessing geo-restricted content impossible.

Is Touch VPN a Good VPN?

The full version of Touch VPN isn’t any better than its Chrome extension, and suffers from many of the same problems.

Touch VPN is tied to the same privacy policy as its browser extension, which means it collects your IP address and approximate location.

Touch VPN’s intrusive logging policy and US-based jurisdiction means we’re not comfortable recommending it for torrenting either.

Ironically, the Touch VPN app is less secure than the Chrome extension, using the outdated and dangerous PPTP protocol. It’s rare to see a browser extension provide stronger security than its VPN counterpart.

It’s also not a great VPN for streaming. In the testing for our full Touch VPN review, it was unable to unblock a single streaming service.

We strongly recommend you avoid Touch VPN on all platforms.

About the Author


  • Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

    Callum Tennent

    Callum Tennent oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his VPN advice has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society. Read full bio