Touch VPN is a free VPN with unlimited bandwidth, which is very unusual. It’s understandably popular, with over 10 million downloads on Android and a seemingly very high user rating. Does it really deliver? We find out.
- Very fast
- Free versions
- Easy to use
- Full access torrenting
- Netflix in 6 countries
- Lots of logs
- Very intrusive
- Data shared with third-parties
- Ads on mobiles
- US location
- No kill switch
- Low number of servers
- No Netflix
Speed & Expectations
To measure speed, we tested the 3 main speed indicators:
- Download speed: The rate at which data is transferred from the server to your device. This is measured in megabytes per second (mbps) and a higher number is better.
- Upload speed: The rate at which data is transferred to the server from your device. This is also measured in megabytes per second (mbps) and a higher number is better.
- Ping (or latency): Tested by “pinging” the server, it’s the amount of time it takes for it to receive and process your request. This is measured in milliseconds (ms) and a lower number is better.
First we ran a baseline test using a default 100mbps internet connection in Chicago, IL.
Then we tested various Touch VPN servers across the globe.
We ran each test 5 times to increase reliability.
These are the results of our baseline test:
So the average baseline score was:
- Download: 77.9mbps
- Upload: 17.4mbps
- Ping: 10ms
Next we ran our tests on a Touch VPN United States server:
US averages of the 5 different speed tests were:
- Download: 86mbps (10.3% faster)
- Upload: 14mbps (19.7% slower)
- Ping: 9.4ms (6% shorter)
(You would expect these to give the fastest results since we’re performing the tests in the US).
Next we tested Europe:
Europe’s averages were:
- Download: 85.2mbps (9.3% faster)
- Upload: 10.3mbps (41.1% slower)
- Ping: 9.6ms (4% shorter)
Asia’s averages were:
- Download: 84.8mbps (8.8% faster)
- Upload: 8.8mbps (49.4% slower)
- Ping: 9.8ms (2% shorter)
Sadly, Touch VPN doesn’t have any South American or African servers to test.
We also compared these results against the average of other VPN tests. How does Touch VPN measure up?
First up, let’s take a look at download speeds:
|AVG Secure VPN||-56%||-87%||-69%||-75%||-68%|
Download speeds were the fastest we’ve ever tested by a long shot. There was around a 10% speed increase in all regions, which is unheard of.
Next, how did upload speeds compare?
|AVG Secure VPN||-19%||-58%||-75%||-80%||-77%|
In contrast, upload speeds were below average in all regions.
And finally latency:
|AVG Secure VPN||1021%||1111%||2419%||3560%||3336%|
Like downloads, latency was record-breaking, with slightly faster latency speeds in all regions. Touch is definitely doing something different.
Touch VPN has well above average speeds overall, with super fast latency and downloads, both faster than without the VPN. This is extremely, extremely unusual and it makes you question how Touch can achieve this. By contrast, uploads were below average.
Performance & Features
In this section we look at the key features all VPNs have and see how Ra4w matches up.
Number of servers: 30
How many active servers are available to connect to across all countries, regardless of their physical location.
This is an extremely small server network. It’s definitely not competing with the big guns with thousands of servers.
Number of countries: 27
How many countries the total number of servers cover, regardless of how many are located in a single country.
Again this is very low. However, it’s very diverse including 4 in Asia, 2 in South America, Mexico, and even 1 in Russia, which is unusual.
Number of connections allowed: Unlimited/5
How many devices can be connected to a server (or number of servers) based on a single VPN account or subscription.
With the free versions, you can obviously install it on as many platforms as you like. With premium versions, you have 5 connections, which is average in the industry.
Torrenting allowed: Yes.
Touch allows torrenting on all their servers, which is excellent.
Kill switch available: No.
Whether the VPN software can disable your connection to the network in the event you disconnect from the VPN server. This prevents your IP address from being exposed.
Touch VPN doesn’t have any kill switch capabilities.
Performance and Features (Summary)
Touch VPN has a very small server network with no kill switch, but it’s got free versions and they allow torrenting on all servers. The countries included, though low in number, are also very diverse.
Privacy & Security
Is Touch VPN secure and trustworthy?
First let’s look at the technical aspects:
Protocols/Encryption: OpenVPN, IPSec and HydraVPN protocol with SSL
Touch VPN uses OpenVPN, which is generally regarded as the best in terms of security and speed, as it’s open-source.
Great news so far.
You can even choose between UDP and TCP on the app.
IPSec is used for Macs.
They also offer ‘HydraVPN’ as an alternative, however it’s extremely unclear what this is. It’s definitely a custom protocol invented by Touch, but with no explanation. For this reason I’d stay clear.
However, it doesn’t appear to use AES encryption, which is worrying.
DNS leaks: None found.
IP leaks: None found.
WebRTC leaks: None.
Jurisdiction: California, USA. Most VPN users balk at any US location, what with the NSA seemingly snooping on your data, it’s data sharing agreements with 13 other countries, and it’s secret subpoenas. It seems to love serving AnchorFree with these in particular.
Logging policy: A lot of logs
It’s extremely long and wordy, and they even have 2 policies, which they say should be read in conjunction with each other. Talk about confusing.
We’ve summed it up for you, and it’s not good.
They collect everything they can get their hands on it seems.
- Payment details including name and address
- Email address and phone number
- Session times and duration
- Device information – device names, IP addresses, browser type, device type and settings, OS, internet service provider, carrier name, signal strength
- Approximate location based on IP address
- Diagnostic information, including urls
- Anything you share when you contact support, etc
- Domains accessed, but they say this is anonymised
- IP addresses for advertising purposes
On top of this, they also “collect information about how you interact with our services.” Extremely vague and worrying.
But it’s not over.
They may then share all this information:
- ‘For collaborating with others’
- With ‘trusted’ third parties and partners for things like analytics and advertising.
- With members of the cybersecurity industry for ‘security threat research’
- “to enforce and administer our agreements with customers and users.”
So basically, whoever they like.
Also, they let business partners put tracking technologies inside the VPN, to collect device information.
Finally, when you leave, they basically say they can keep your data as long as they like.
It doesn’t make great reading.
The only thing they don’t collect is identifying browsing history, although there are a few vague clauses which may contradict this.
Basically, AnchorFree are the owners of a few VPN services are notorious for this. They offer free versions and just farm your data out, as most free VPNs do.
Shockingly, they do have a transparency report. They seem to receive a heck of a lot of data requests – 92 in 2017 and 56 in 2018, mostly from the US but also other 14-eyes countries.
However, they say they weren’t able to provide authorities with any user data. This just really doesn’t add up, considering the amount of data they keep on users.
Unsurprisingly, they don’t have any kind of independent audit. So we’ll have to take their word for it. Would you trust them?
Privacy and Security Summary
Touch VPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, but with inferior SSL encryption and their own custom protocol alternative. However, there were no leaks.
Unfortunately, they’re based in the US and have a terrible logging policy which logs and tracks everything except browsing history (and even that is questionable), and shares it with a lot of third parties.
This section looks at the following aspects:
- Overall UI/UX
Geo-spoofing streaming services is a great benefit of using a VPN, but many struggle to trick Netflix and like nowadays. Let’s see how Touch VPN fares.
- Netflix: Detected. Netflix didn’t work on any servers, even the US which it claims works.
- Hulu: Detected. Unfortunately, Hulu was also blocked.
- YouTube: Undetected. YouTube worked fine on all servers.
- Kodi: Undetected. Kodi worked fine with Touch.
Is Touch VPN compatible with most devices?
We tested everything from Tor, iOS devices, Android devices, Smart TV’s, Amazon Firestick, Mac, Windows, to routers:
- Tor browser: Supported. Tor works fine in conjunction with Touch.
- iOS (iPad, iPhone): Supported. Touch VPN has a fully-functioning iOS app.
- Android: Supported. Same for Android.
- Smart TV’s: Not Supported.
- Amazon Firestick: Not Supported.
- Windows: Supported. Touch has a Windows app, though unusually it’s accessed via the Windows store.
- Mac: Supported. Touch has a Mac app.
- Routers: Not Supported.
The Windows app had to be installed through the Windows store.
The interface was very simple and elegant.
Everything is red when not connected, and turns to green once connected. Simple.
A couple of data stats are shown, including time connected.
You can quick connect by just clicking the connect button, and it will automatically select your location, but it doesn’t seem to be very good at it. Ours didn’t connect to a server that was remotely close.
The server list is a very tiny pop-up, which isn’t ideal.
It’s not even listed in alphabetical order, which makes it even harder to scroll through.
It’s easy to switch servers though, without having to disconnect first.
Unfortunately, there’s no disconnect button, so if there’s an issue connecting it gets stuck. We rarely found connection issues though.
The strange thing about the Windows app is there’s literally no settings.
The mobile app is pretty different.
Installation was easy through the usual app store, with no registration required.
It shows a few welcome screens, one assuring you there is ‘no logging’.
However, when you first launch it, it asks you to ‘Secure your app’.
It then forces you go to ‘Usage Information Access’ on your phone and turn this on. This means it can track all the other apps you’re using, plus your network provider.
To be clear, I’ve never seen this before with a VPN.
The initial screen is clean-looking and attractive.
You can quick-connect just by clicking the connect button. However, it picked a server extremely far away from us, so I’m not sure how that works out as ‘best choice’.
Once connected, the screen completely changes to a cluttered mess.
These are full of personalised ads, and additional ‘features’ such as ‘improve your apps speed’ and ‘improve bandwidth’.
These are extremely intrusive, allowing Touch to access, monitor and change all areas of your phone.
Full-screen ads also appear everytime you disconnect, which run for 5 seconds before you can close them.
Touch does show some connection stats in both number and graph format.
The server list is a very simple pop-up, in alphabetical order by country. Cities are not shown.
As you can see, some countries are blocked off for Premium users only, which is annoying as the Windows version is all-access.
We found no connection issues, with fast connection times.
There’s a few more settings than you might expect with such a basic app.
You can choose your protocol between OpenVPN UDP or TCP, or their custom Hydra protocol (not recommended).
There’s no kill switch or auto-connect settings, but you can turn it off when the phone goes to sleep, presumably to save battery. It can also notify you when you connect to an unprotected wifi.
In addition, split tunneling is also available, which is very handy on mobiles.
Touch has no Netflix or Hulu access, and only basic compatibility with no router or smart device support. The Windows app easy to use but ultra-basic with no settings. The Android app was a cluttered mess full of ads and intrusive tracking. It did have a few settings though, including protocol choice and split tunneling.
Pricing & Refunds
Touch VPN has a complicated pricing strategy that is app-dependent.
Confusingly, this isn’t explained anywhere on the website.
The Windows and Mac versions are free and fully-functioning with no ads.
However, the mobile apps have both a free and paid version. The free version has ads, and 9 servers are off-limits. It claims to be slower too.
The premium version is $8.48 for the 1 month plan or $5.08 for the yearly plan. This is definitely above average, particularly for the monthly price.
For these you have to pay through your mobile’s app store, which for Android is only card or Paypal. No crypto.
This also means subscriptions are handled through them, rather than Touch.
There’s a 7-day trial, which is nice.
However, Touch definitely doesn’t seem to have any kind of refund policy.
In fact Touch’s terms of service looks extremely out of date or not even relevant to their product.
For example, it says it’s “free of charge, but you can make a donation to the development of our Services. The amount of the donation does not affect the quality of services provided.”
Desktop versions are free, ad-free and unlimited, but mobiles have ads and are restricted unless you pay for them. Prices are above average. There’s a 7-day trial but no money-back guarantees. Payments are via the app stores with no crypto.
Touch VPN only offer email support, though happily at least it’s 24/7.
They took 4 hours to respond, which isn’t isn’t too bad.
Their answers were kind of strange, however.
They started off by explaining how the VPN works, a question I didn’t even ask. This is obviously aimed at people who don’t have a clue what a VPN is (‘our app doesn’t not provide internet by itself’).
They kept providing information I didn’t ask about, which is rare as normally we don’t get enough information.
For example, when I asked if there was a kill switch, they replied no but listed a whole lot of other features Touch had.
Some answers weren’t very accurate, either. For example when I asked about servers, they said they had ‘around 30 locations’. First, locations aren’t necessarily the same as servers, and anyway ‘around 30’ isn’t really good enough.
When I asked about Netflix access they said “Yes, we have the option to watch and streaming video content from Netflix, Hulu and multiple other websites.”
Extremely vague and implying Netflix and Hulu works, when it clearly doesn’t.
However, some of their answers were accurate and straight-to-the-point regarding protocols, encryption and device compatibility.
In terms of the knowledgebase, first up the FAQ on their main page simply doesn’t work. There’s a list of key questions, but the dropdowns don’t function.
The main website tells you literally nothing about the VPN, not even the price.
Fortunately there is a separate knowledgebase too, but it’s extremely poor.
First up, it’s badly organized.
The 3 main categories are ‘can’t access’, ‘iOS’, and ‘can’t connect’.
Not very helpful.
There’s a list of a few recent articles, and that’s it.
You have to use the search bar to find what you want.
It turns out there only seems to be about 5 articles available on the entire thing, including 1 article about Netflix.
Touch VPN has average 24/7 email support, though some of the answers weren’t accurate. The knowledgebase is extremely disappointing with only about 5 articles, and the website also has next to no information about the VPN.
What Do Other Reviewers Say?
What does the rest of the internet have to say about Touch VPN? Here’s a summary of other reviews.
All agreed that the server network was disappointingly small.
Speed results were mixed. Many said it was fast, with US-UK speeds of at least 50mbps on a 75mbps connection. However, some said it was slow, particularly on the Android App, reporting speeds of just 5mbps on a US-UK connection, or 25 mbps on a local server.
They were also extremely worried about Touch’s US location with this being the case.
However, some downplayed the logging policy, for example one said it’s not for people looking for completely anonymity, and your data isn’t shared without your consent. Another said that at least Touch admit they share your data, unlike some other free VPNs.
Unlike us, shockingly most found many DNS leaks with the Windows app, saying it appeared to have no DNS leak protection. One found IP leaks as well.
Like us none found any Netflix access, though one said BBC iPlayer worked on the Windows version.
Unlike us most liked the mobile interface, saying it was better-looking and more streamlined than the Windows app. They also liked the Android settings and additional features like enhancing battery life, but didn’t like the constant ads and harassing for a review.
One also said they seem to be using fake servers as the IP address showed a different country to the supposed server location.
One said the reviews on the app stores were also dubious, such as many duplicate reviews.
However, they liked that the desktop versions were completely free with no registration required, no ads and unlimited bandwidth. This is quite unusual.
In terms of support, most agreed there was no information on the website which was suspicious, and their social media wasn’t updated, giving the appearance of an abandoned VPN.
One said support didn’t respond to them in over 24 hours. Another said they take a while to get back, but are friendly and helpful when they do, and it’s justifiable since it’s a free service.
In fact many reviews were under the impression Touch was completely free, with no premium offering, which was strange.
What Do Other Reviewers Say (Summary)
Ratings varied wildly from poor to excellent. They generally liked the free version with unlimited bandwidth, ease of use and speeds, but didn’t like the logging policy, US location, small server network, and leaks.
Touch VPN is another scam offering from AnchorFree, sneaking into people’s lives under the guise of a ‘free, no-logs, no registration’ approach.
Understandably, the masses respond, but Touch actually ruthlessly intrudes on your devices, mines your data and shares this with countless third-parties you have no idea about.
Cruelly, they seem to aim their audience at complete beginners who would be easily fooled.
The fact that it offers Premium versions at above average prices is laughable, when they’re obviously already profiting from your data. Apart from speeds, which are frankly so good they’re suspicious, Touch is below average in most areas.
We definitely wouldn’t recommend this and give it a rating of 1 out of 5.
Read More VPN Reviews
- Hide.me VPN Review (2019): Awesome But Expensive
- Perfect Privacy VPN Review (2019): Has It Got Complacent?
- Goose VPN Review (2019): Nice, But Is It Good Value?
- Touch VPN Review (2019): Why You Should Steer Clear
- Ra4w VPN Review (2019): What Are They Thinking?