Touch VPN is an extremely untrustworthy free VPN and we’d advise you to think twice before using it. The Windows app is currently unavailable to download so we were forced to test on the Chrome extension – performance is very good but comes at the cost of your privacy. Streaming fans will want to steer clear as Netflix and BBC iPlayer are currently blocked, and torrenters will be disappointed to hear that P2P activity isn’t permitted on any servers. Apps are available for MacOS, iOS and Android, and are easy to set up and use.
Touch VPN offers the most basic encryption (SSL) and utilizes the least secure VPN protocol (PPTP). It logs everything you do online, including the amount of time you spend on each individual webpage, and links all of this information back to your true IP address, which completely defeats the point of using a VPN in the first place. Customer support on the website is non-existent, but we did receive a basic response via email. One to avoid.
Speed & Reliability
Touch VPN’s performance in our speed tests was pretty good, but this is mostly due to the fact that we were forced to test on the Chrome extension as the Windows app was unavailable to download.
Downloads were very impressive on local connections, peaking at 98Mbps in the UK (we test from London) and averaging around 95Mbps across the rest of Europe. You can also expect speeds of up to 53Mbps connecting out to the US and 77Mbps to Canada, which is more than quick enough to stream in buffer-free HD and download multiple files without breaking a sweat. We weren’t able to test longer distance connections but believe these would likely be just as good.
Touch VPN really lets itself down when it comes to latency – the lowest ping time we found in our tests was a very laggy 20ms in France, with the UK servers coming in at a ridiculous 82ms. Speeds like this are no good for keen gamers, as they’ll lead to noticeable input lag – there are providers out there offering a much slicker experience, such as IPVanish.
Touch VPN performed very inconsistently, with huge variations in results from one test to another, even on the same server location. We also found that it kept trying to connect to servers in Russia, which is pretty concerning, so be sure you’re definitely connected to the right country before you begin browsing.
Uploads are much the same as downloads, peaking at 95Mbps in France and hovering around 90Mbps throughout Europe. There was quite a significant drop when it came to connecting to the US, but still acceptable at 32Mbps. Torrenters need to look into other options though, as P2P activity isn’t permitted on any of Touch VPN’s servers.
Overall we were impressed with Touch VPN’s performance, but this does of course come with the huge caveat that using the Chrome extension will only encrypt your browser traffic, and nothing else. There are better options out there for gamers and P2P users though.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
The amount of server locations you’ll have access to while using Touch VPN will depend on the device you download it on. Windows users have the most choice, but as that app doesn’t appear to be currently available, the next best selection is available on Android. Even then, there aren’t many to choose from, but thankfully most popular locations are covered.
If you’re planning on mainly using Touch VPN on Android, you can choose from servers in Australia, Hong Kong, India and Singapore, as well as the US and most of Europe. Users in South America and Africa will want to look elsewhere, as currently there’s no coverage whatsoever in these regions. If you’re just planning on using the Chrome extension, you’re limited to a choice of seven countries – Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, UK and the US.
If you’re located in Western Europe or the US and mainly plan on using Touch VPN to connect locally, your needs are most likely going to be covered. Users in Asia, South America or Africa might want to look into providers offering more depth of choice, such as HideMyAss! offering a choice of 190 countries.
Platforms & Devices
Touch VPN only offers custom apps for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android, plus a browser extension for Google Chrome. Unfortunately, despite the Windows app still existing in the Microsoft Store, it’s not possible to download it at this time, so if you want to protect a PC you’ll be limited to using the Chrome extension.
There are no manual workarounds for other devices so you can’t install Touch VPN at router level, nor can you use it with any games consoles or streaming devices. The website boldly states that “no technical knowledge is required”, therefore there are no installation or setup guides to speak of – thankfully the process is so simple that you shouldn’t need them.
Streaming & Torrenting
Steer clear of Touch VPN if you’re looking for easy access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer or any other popular streaming sites. There are no locations optimized for streaming so you’re limited to the US and UK servers, neither of which are currently working – in all of our tests we were greeted with the dreaded error message. If being able to stream is important to you, we’d recommend opting for a provider with dedicated servers for this purpose, such as PrivateVPN.
We would also advise torrenters to avoid Touch VPN, due to the fact that P2P activity isn’t supported on any of its servers. Even if it were permitted, we still wouldn’t recommend it at all, thanks to a very sketchy logging policy, lack of any sort of advanced privacy features and jurisdiction in the privacy-unfriendly US.
Encryption & Security
There’s no way we can recommend Touch VPN to anybody who takes their online privacy seriously. True, it’s one of the first free providers we’ve come across that’s actually willing to disclose the VPN protocol it uses, but PPTP has been proven to be insecure and is very easy to crack. Encryption is via SSL, an outdated cipher that’s nowhere near as secure as our preferred OpenVPN.
There are also barely any additional security features to speak of, which is disappointing. The lack of VPN kill switch means that if the VPN connection were to drop for any reason, your true IP address would be visible to any potential hackers, snoopers and even your ISP. It’s also not clear who owns Touch VPN’s servers – it’s unlikely that it operates its own, therefore your web traffic is most likely being routed through less secure servers owned by a third party like Google.
We were pleasantly surprised to see a WebRTC blocker and ad/malware blockers integrated in the app, but there’s unfortunately no way of knowing how effective these are. While we really appreciate the level of honesty and transparency demonstrated by Touch VPN regarding encryption and security, the reality is that the methods they use are outdated and far more insecure than those offered by paid VPN providers.
- WebRTC Leak Blocking
- Ad Blocker
Touch VPN is no good if you’re mainly going to be connecting out from China or any other highly-censored country. Not only do the apps run on PPTP, the least secure VPN protocol there is, but there are also no additional obfuscation tools to hide the fact you’re using a VPN. This makes it incredibly easy for your web traffic to be detected and blocked by censors, leaving you unable to access restricted content.
Even if by some remote chance you were able to bypass the Great Firewall, Touch VPN’s lack of advanced security features really puts your privacy at risk. The ridiculously intrusive logging policy means that all of your online activity is monitored and stored, meaning it’s barely an improvement on not even using a VPN in the first place. If unrestricted internet access in countries such as China is crucial, we’d recommend a provider that offers a solid set of obfuscation tools, such as NordVPN.
- Your IP address and browser type
- Any webpages you visit and time spent on those pages
- Access times and dates
- Unique device identifier (mobile number if connecting from mobile phone)
This essentially means that Touch VPN knows everything that you do online and can trace this back to you as an individual. The whole point of your connection being ‘encrypted’ is that your online activity is supposed to remain private, so the fact that this provider is aware of every website you visit is a huge concern, and totally defeats the object of using a VPN at all. It’s up there with some of the most intrusive logging policies we’ve ever seen – totally unacceptable.
Even more concerning is the fact that Touch VPN admits it will “share your personal information and other information in special cases if we have good reason to believe that it is necessary”, which is the last thing you want to hear from a VPN provider. It then goes on to say that it ‘cannot guarantee’ that its systems will be ‘absolutely safe’, which is once again extremely concerning. You should not use a product that is so transparent about its willingness to hand over your data to third parties.
Ease of Use
When you’re connected to the VPN, you’re presented with a series of stats relating to your speed, bandwidth consumed, and the number of sites unblocked. These appear to be wildly inaccurate so we’d take them with a pinch of salt. There’s also a series of blockers you can enable/disable, including an ad blocker, cookie blocker and WebRTC blocker.
Clicking on the burger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top left-hand corner of the app will take you to the main menu. The only sort of configurable option you have here is to exclude certain websites from the VPN connection, kind of like a split tunneling feature. This means that if you wish to route certain traffic outside of the VPN tunnel, you can do so, potentially leading to even quicker speeds.
Getting started with Touch VPN is incredibly quick and simple. All you have to do is go to the ‘Download’ section of the website and click on the relevant link. As we discovered during our tests, the app isn’t currently available to download on Windows, but all the other platforms appear to be working.
We really like that you don’t have to include an email address or any other personal details to begin using the app (on Chrome, at least), making the installation process ridiculously fast. On the website, Touch VPN promises it’ll take you no longer than three minutes – in reality, it took us less than one.
When we first looked at the ‘support’ offered on Touch VPN’s website, we thought it was some kind of practical joke. There are absolutely no online resources to speak of and there appears to be some sort of glitch in the FAQs section, which has resulted in each of the questions having the same, irrelevant duplicate answer. Touch VPN states that the apps are so easy to install it doesn’t need to provide any setup guides, but these would have been very welcome, especially considering there was no way of downloading the Windows app from the Microsoft Store.
The Bottom Line
- Decent speeds on Chrome extension
- User-friendly software
- No email address required on signup
- Uses least secure VPN protocol (PPTP)
- Ridiculously intrusive logging policy
- Torrenting not permitted on any servers
- No advanced privacy features such as kill switch
- Lack of customer support on website