Touch VPN is unique in its ability to provide high-speed connections for free. Most free VPNs don't have high-speed connections, or they severely limit your bandwidth, and some are slow with limited bandwidth. It may seem like a no-win situation, but a handful of the free VPNs out there trying to provide the same service as paid versions.
However, our chief concerns when selecting a VPN are privacy, security, speed, and affordability. As you’ll learn in the sections below, Touch VPN is faster than most free VPNs, but it fails in every other category. In the end, we gave Touch VPN one of the lowest ratings we’ve had to give a VPN. Read on to learn why Touch VPN lost several stars and get our opinion on the overall service.
We’re kind of torn on this one since we like the high speed and the free price tag, but we see some problems as well. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of Touch VPN before we dig deeper and breakdown their services and features. The most significant things we want to break down include:
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Overall Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0
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What We Like About Touch VPN
When listing the best things about Touch VPN, the price tag is clearly a winning feature. That said, we know free usually comes with some restrictions or just doesn't perform well. Touch VPN makes us feel a little better because they offer a paid version as well for some devices. By providing a paid version, it makes users feel like the free version is a trial.
Admittedly, we were skeptical and had some reservations. Once we dug deeper, we found that the service was a high-performance VPN. It offers speeds that rival many popular paid VPN services. If you can connect to a nearby server, expect your internet speed to drop about 30 percent when you use the VPN. That’s the same standard we use to measure paid VPN services.
Touch VPN offers unlimited bandwidth which is almost unheard of in the free VPN realm. That means you can use their high-speed, free VPN as much as you want and it’s truly free. You don’t have to worry about starting a download and streaming a movie and running out of data right before the download finishes or the movie gets to the good part.
The Firefox and Chrome plugins worked well. They aren't pretty, but they are intuitive and try to help you make some decisions about your next steps. For instance, if you have multiple browser tabs open and click on the Touch VPN button, it gives you the option to use the VPN with the current tab or refresh all the tabs, so they’ll use the service as well. That’s a feature missing from many of the VPNs we see.
Overall, we liked the look and feel of the apps and plugins. The design is simple, but nothing is hard to find. However, you’ll need to do some digging to find out what some of the settings are for and how to change them. That said, we liked the overall look and didn’t find many problems with the user interface or dialog boxes. If you forced us to choose, the Android app is the best-looking version.
We Found Some Problems with Touch VPN
We like free, primarily when it performs well and gives us free bandwidth. However, it's unclear what the actual cost of using the VPN might be if we chose to get rid of the ads and use a paid version. At the time of this writing, the iOS version had an ad-free option you could enable by paying $29.99 a year. That's reasonable, and it should fit more budgets.
However, the Android version is riddled with ads, and there's no option to disable them. The website didn't offer us much more information, and their customer service email never responded to our questions about the VPN prices to remove the ads. The apps for Windows and Mac don’t have ads, so that’s the best news we have about the ads.
We checked the Google Play Store, and it appears the app offers in-app purchases that range from $9.99 to $69.99 which we assume is the monthly or yearly costs to remove the ads. However, we were unable to confirm that, so we have to consider the only public pricing guide is the fee for a yearly subscription that comes with the iOS app.
From what we can tell, Touch VPN got purchased by the company that owns Hotspot Shield. The lack of information on the website and poorly maintained social media accounts. It's possible it got acquired, and the new owners plan to absorb the resources or expand it as a free VPN to promote their paid services. However, that's all speculation, and we don't have any evidence to back it up.
We tested the plugin version of Touch VPN in Firefox and Chrome to see how they performed and if they were riddled with ads. The plugin got excellent reviews in the Mozilla and Chrome stores, but some of the reviews were duplicates. That's not a red flag, but it should make you're wary of anything you read about the plugin there.
We didn’t like the permissions settings for the plugins for either browser. There's just no need for a VPN plugin to need permission to access other software on your computer or manage the settings in your browser. The Touch VPN plugin asked for much more than it should, but we chalked it up as a design flaw since many developers make the same mistake with their plugins.
The plugins and apps, except for the phone apps, don’t display ads. Some users complain that they get ads, but we didn’t see any during our tests. However, the software and plugins nag you about rating the app and sharing it on your social media accounts. So, that’s the same thing as placing ads on the screen or in the apps as far as we’re concerned.
The thing we’re interested in most from a VPN is privacy and security. However, we found that many sites known for their extensive tracking habits, like Google and Amazon, are whitelisted by Touch VPN by default. We don’t expect malicious software to make its way onto our computer when we visit these sites, but we want the VPN to stop anyone from tracking us.
Can Touch VPN Compete with Its Rivals?
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Typically, in these reviews, we include a buyer's guide or a pricing guide of some sort, but we didn’t have enough information to do that for Touch VPN. The service is free but has paid options and in-app purchases, but we couldn't nail down a set price for anything other than a year of ad-free use on your iPhone for $29.99. We can say it’s free with ads and some privacy concerns.
We suggest choosing another VPN and giving this one time to mature. There are just too many issues with it right now. If you just need a VPN to help you get around regional restrictions related to some streaming services, this VPN may do the job if you ignore the ads. If you need privacy and security, this is not the VPN you want to use.
Testing Your VPN
Just because other users get good performance from their VPN connections using Touch VPN doesn’t mean you’ll have the same results. The number of server options available is limited which means you may not get a close connection. If that happens, you may get fast speeds, or you may spend all your time watching your browser or streaming app buffering data.
To determine your internet’s speed, browse to your favorite search engine and search for “speed test.” We used Google because it provides a fast and straightforward speed test from the top of the search results. Feel free to use any speed test that you trust. Once you know how fast your internet is without using the VPN, you’re ready for the next stage of testing.
Turn on or connect to your VPN and make sure your web browser is using it for all traffic. Repeat the speed test phases and compare the VPN speeds with the non-VPN speeds. Touch VPN performs well in most tests and sometimes exceeds the benchmarks set by other popular VPNs considered high performance. You’re looking for a less than 30 percent drop in speeds when the VPN is working.
Turn the VPN or connect to a server and repeat the steps. If everything is working, you should see a different IP address. If you still see the same IP address, it may be a configuration problem, so check your settings. In our test, Touch VPN hid our IP address using the default installation options. It should work the same for you as well.
Make sure you spend some time playing around with the software or plugins to make sure it’s easy to use and doesn’t require too many steps. You should find it’s easy to use even when using the browser plugins. However, it difficult to set a default server and the software and plugins often make you choose a new one at startup, and you may have to try a few times actually to connect to a server.
Don’t skip these tests or assume the connection may get better. If you’re using the VPN as a proxy, it needs to work well and hide your IP address, or it's merely a waste of time to use it. The same goes for the speed test since speed is crucial if you want to hang on to your sanity and get anything done using your VPN.
The ads cost them a star as well. We saw a lot of ads, but some users reported full-screen ads that proved difficult to close. A few uses claimed they had to do a hard reset of their phone or computer because the ads caused their screens to lock up. Again, we found the ads annoying but small enough to stay out of the way. However, the reports of large ads from some users are worrisome.
The lack of information on the website and several smaller issues cost them their third star bringing Touch VPN to their final rating of only two stars. Hopefully, the developers seem to have stalled on improvements or abandoned the software, but we hope they are still working on it. Touch VPN has a lot of potential if they drop the ads and focus on the code instead of quick cash.
We handed out some free passes on a few minor items, so don’t assume we went into this with both barrels blazing. The idea of a free VPN with excellent speed and unlimited bandwidth was very appealing, and we wanted it to be as great as it sounded. However, it failed to make the grade, and some of the problems we found are avoidable if the developers would just read the customer reviews.
Some Final Notes
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