Touch VPN Review

Touch VPN logo

Touch VPN is a “freemium” VPN product and the Google Play Store shows 10 million+ Touch VPN downloads with a 4.3 out of 5-star rating. Freemium means that there is a free version and then you can upgrade the service to get better benefits like escaping ads for a monthly fee. It is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. It also has extensions for Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Google Chrome.

Formerly AnchorFree, Pango Inc. currently offers Touch VPN as one of two VPN products to the community. The other one is their well-known flagship, Hotspot Shield. There is a saying that there is no free lunch. In other words, there is always a cost to free products. While the cost is not monetary, you pay by the company selling your information to make a profit. That makes us wary of Touch VPN. However, we will do our best in this to show you how it operates and test the key metrics in our review. That way, you can see how it holds up against VPNs, and if it is a good choice. Keep in mind that we are going to discuss the free version for the sake of this review. They also offer a premium version of the service.

About the Company

As we mentioned, Pango, Inc. created this VPN. They formerly went by the name AnchorFree and all of their products are under the umbrella of a company called Aura. Since 2005, the company has made a name for itself during the Arab Spring of 2010. They offer something they call “Hydra technology” and 60% of the world’s reputable security companies utilize their software. The company itself has received a number of accolades and awards. While that is great, their free services do not offer the same kinds of benefits or protection that others speak well about.

Pricing

Touch VPN pricing

Touch VPN offers both free and premium accounts. However, there is no way that we found to upgrade from the Windows version. You can, however, find that information in the Mac and both mobile apps. As you can see in the image, 1 month costs $9.98 a month, while a year of the service is $69.99. To purchase either one, Touch VPN processes the payment directly through the Google Play Store or Apple Pay. We find the price to be on the high side of the scale, when comparing it to the features offered by other providers.

Is Touch VPN Safe to Use?

Privacy is one of the big issues with any VPN company you use and their jurisdiction. Touch VPN and and their parent companies are American. That means any information falls under US law. Since the United States is one of the “14-eyes countries,” any information can be shared with 13 other governments. Additionally, Touch VPN collects and sells your data to 3rd party advertisers and others. There is quite a bit to read there, but we suggest you look at their privacy policy. Consider you’re purpose for using a VPN when deciding whether or not Touch VPN is a safe option.

Features and Usage

As far as features go, there are none to speak of in the Windows version. The app seems to be missing the functionality and choice of the Mac or mobile apps. The Windows version is a simple connect and go. In the images below, you can see that once you download the software, you simply open the app and select the country or you can connect to the default server. If you are wondering if you can engage in torrent behavior with this VPN, the answer is no. They do not allow that kind of activity on their servers.

Windows VPN client

Android and iOS Versions

For the mobile versions, there are more features. After you install it, you will see the screens below. From the main screen at the far left, you click on the three horizontal lines in the top left hand corner. By doing so, you will pull up the middle screen. You can change the protocol to OpenVPN UDP, TCP, or their Catapult “HydraVPN” by hitting the header that says “settings”. Note, the last protocol is one that they license to many different companies.

Touch VPN Android app

VPN Server Locations

Touch VPN does not offer as many server locations as some of the other VPNs we have reviewed. Whether you pay for the premium version or get a free account, you only have 27 server options, with 18 available for free users. Since it has more than 10 million downloads, that means everyone is on those options. Unfortunately, the locations are only specific to the country so you can’t select a specific city. In the list below, we will show you the options and mention if they are free or premium. Those are:

  • Argentina – Premium
  • Australia – Premium
  • Brazil – Premium
  • Canada – Free
  • Czechia – Free
  • Denmark – Free
  • France – Free
  • Germany – Free
  • Hong Kong – Premium
  • India – Premium
  • Indonesia – Premium
  • Ireland – Free
  • Italy – Free
  • United States – Free

  • Japan – Premium
  • Mexico – Premium
  • Netherlands – Free
  • Norway – Free
  • Romania – Free
  • Russia – Free
  • Singapore – Premium
  • Spain – Free
  • Sweden – Free
  • Switzerland – Free
  • Turkey – Free
  • Ukraine – Free
  • United Kingdom – Free

Location wise, Touch VPN offers surprisingly few servers for the number of downloads they have for the mobile apps. They do not mention how many servers they have at each location but we would imagine they are running virtual servers to support the large user base.

Hands-On Testing

There are several different types of tests we look at to help us determine how Touch VPN performs and how well they compare to others. Those are speed tests, DNS leak tests, and streaming tests for Netflix and BBC iPlayer. We will perform 4 tests in total.

Touch VPN Speed Test

We are not surprised to see the download speeds are slow on the free servers. As you can see in the image below, we experienced close to a 90% drop in speed. Clearly, they cap their speeds to a certain amount or the servers are too crowded. We normally see a drop in performance of around 25% for the overhead of encryption. The 90% loss in speed is poor in comparison with most the VPNs we have tested.

Touch VPN speed test

DNS Leak Test

We are pleased to see that you can use OpenVPN or HydraVPN protocols. We’re not as familiar with Catapult HdraVPN but OpenVPN is very secure. However, we ran into issues when performing a DNS leak test on Windows. We went to dnsleaktest.com to test how Touch VPN performed. Ideally, you make a request to the website and the VPN comes back with one result. If it comes back with more, your DNS is leaking and you are vulnerable. As you can see in this image, the DNS leaks for Touch VPN.

DNS leak test

Netflix and BBC Streaming Tests

The last tests we perform are to see if the VPN will unblock popular streaming services like Netflix and the BBC. This time, we were surprised to see that we were able to connect to a different Netflix region. In this case, we chose France to connect to. As you can see in the image below, we were able to view French Netflix content with Touch VPN.

Netflix test

We were not quite so lucky when it comes to the BBC test. When we tried to use BBC iPlayer, the site quickly detected that we were not actually located in the United Kingdom. This is not uncommon as a number of VPNs fail to unblock popular streaming services. You can see our guide for unblocking BBC iPlayer if you need a VPN to help access the site.

Customer Service

As far as support goes, this one is limited. Touch VPN does not seem to provide any type of support beyond an email ticketing system. They do not make it clear if you get better support for the paid version, but they do mention it. Perhaps they give you a different email address that helps you get through the line more quickly. There is no phone number, knowledge base, forum, or live chat feature. Just hope that you do not have issues setting up and need a quick answer.

Touch VPN Review: Final Thoughts

While Touch VPN is not as well known as its sister VPN service, Hotspot Shield, the free version works very much the same. The premium version of this one has a higher cost than many of the trusted services. Considering that the trend is a lower price for more security, $9.98 a month is a bit steep for the limited network and features. In the tests we performed above, a majority of them were not favorable. However, we will take a look at the pros of the service and things they can improve on.

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
  • Web extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge
  • Will switch zones on Netflix

Things to Improve

  • Slow speeds
  • Small network
  • DNS leaks
  • Frequent ads
  • Unable to unblock BBC
  • Premium account pricing
  • No live chat support

As you can see, Touch VPN does not have enough going for it for us to recommend the service. It might be alright if you are looking for a way to watch other regions of Netflix, at least until you use up the 3 GB of free bandwidth per month. The bottom line is, there is quite a bit of room for improvement with this VPN. Until they address some or all of these issues, there are better options to choose from.

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