Owners of desktop computers might not even know about this product, but for mobile users, Turbo VPN is a go-to service. Yes, it is only available on mobile devices, but it already has 50+ million downloads on Google Play. And, with a 4.6/5 rating (ranked by over two million people), it is a highly popular VPN. However, the question still stands: is Turbo VPN as impressive as the rating suggests, or not?
With Turbo VPN, the users get access to a network of 26 servers, located in 15 countries around the world. Compared to ExpressVPN (3000+ servers, 94 countries) and NordVPN (over 5000 servers), this is a very modest line-up. The list of supported platforms is also quite limited: only iOS and Android devices are covered. You’ll need Android 4.1/higher or iOS 9.3/higher to launch the app.
The paid plans offer protection for up to five connections (versus one single device with the free plan). The bad news is – you won’t be able to protect a Win- or Mac-run system. Streaming devices (like Kodi, for example) are also not supported, which means you’ll only be able to protect five Smartphones (or other mobile gadgets).
What Do You Get With Turbo VPN?
- Above-average security
- OpenVPN with AES 256-bit encryption
- Full support of P2P traffic
- Unblocks Netflix on VIP servers
- Protection for up to five devices
- Unlimited bandwidth
- User-friendly, easy to use
- Only works on Android and iOS
- Below-average connection speeds
- The free version is very limited
- Dozens adds with Turbo VPN Free
- A less-than-transparent logging policy
- No support on the website (phone/email support on Facebook)
- The HQ is located in China
Most users think that mobile devices don’t need security, but they’re actually wrong. Thankfully, with 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN (the most popular protocol), Turbo VPN will be able to protect you well. It’s important to note that you’ll get the same level of security with the free and the paid editions. Unlimited bandwidth is a big pro; P2P support and the friendly interface are also worth mentioning.
As for the cons, this is a mobile-exclusive service; plus, for some reason, customer support is not available on the website. And, private users won’t appreciate the Chinese jurisdiction (read more about it further in this Turbo VPN review). Finally, connection speeds leave a lot to be desired; but, for a mobile VPN, it’s still decent.
Privacy and Security
When talking about security of a VPN, encryption is a crucial element. The more advanced the encryption protocols are, the more secure your connection through a Virtual Private Network will be. Currently, AES 256-bit is the most advanced encryption; over the years, it has proved to be impenetrable. World governments and big-time corporations use AES to protect their sensitive data.
Turbo VPN fully supports this 256-bit encryption, which means you’ll be well-protected. As for the protocols, it works with OpenVPN, a highly popular and user-friendly option. So, is Turbo VPN safe, is it on par with the best of the best? Yes, in terms of security, this VPN is right there among the leaders.
Sadly, you won’t find any advanced features, including kill switch and split tunneling. Kill switch is a critical feature for any VPN, as it cuts your current connection the moment the VPN servers are down. The thing is – when the VPN is off, it’s not encrypting your traffic anymore, and hackers/governmental agencies can access it without any limitations. That’s why a kill switch shuts down the network: no connection, no problems.
Split tunneling, in turn, is an excellent feature that allows you to hand-pick which programs should be protected by the VPN. This is handy when you don’t want the entire OS to be under its wing and only need the browser’s traffic to be secured.
For a free product, Turbo VPN offers more than most rivals on the market, but these two features would’ve been an excellent addition.
Turbo VPN Logging Policy
Logging is always a bad thing, no matter how much of your online activity a VPN logs. And, as a general rule, free products tend to abuse their own policies a lot. To stay afloat and to keep their services free, many companies sell user data to third companies (advertisers, mostly). Turbo VPN’s official website openly states that they keep logs and share user info with third parties.
As for the jurisdiction, China doesn’t belong to any surveillance alliances (like Five Eyes). But what does that mean for regular users: is this a pro or a con? Well, China isn’t a particularly privacy-friendly country: they have the Great Firewall that blocks access to YouTube, Google, and several social media. Furthermore, they “control” every single VPN, and when caught using a non-approved VPN, you’ll face hefty charges.
The bottom line is – it’s impossible to know exactly how much regulation the government implements. If you’re a private person and put anonymity above everything else, Turbo VPN won’t be the right choice for you. True, the USA also has strict online privacy laws, but, at least, they don’t block social media!
The official website claims that this VPN is incredibly fast and stable. However, with only 25 servers at your disposal, it’s evident that the experience won’t be nearly as good. Of all the VPNs we tested over the last couple of years, Turbo VPN is one of the worst ones regarding performance. The best offers on the market – ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and others – only have a minor negative effect on the connection speed.
Sadly, Turbo VPN is much worse, and the drop in speed can reach 99%! Yes, the fans of speed and stability won’t appreciate this at all. Let us go ahead and take a closer look at our test results to see exactly how bad thing are. We conducted these tests from our American office, which is why the US servers showed better results.
Turbo VPN Speed
Our original download speed was 100MB; the upload speed was 55MB. We picked several servers in the US and the EU and tested them multiple times so that the average numbers were as accurate as possible.
Download: 12MB (80% slower)
Upload: 18MB (65% slower)
Download: 7MB (90% slower)
Upload: 0.5MB (99.4% slower)
No Leaks Detected
This is important: when there are “leaks” in a secure Virtual Private Network’s tunnel that beats the purpose of even using a VPN in the first places. Leaks allow third parties to take sneak peeks of your actions online, and anonymity is the #1 task of any VPN.
Good news: Turbo VPN comes with DNS leaks protection, and it works flawlessly. Our team conducted several tests using different techniques, and the results came back negative (there were no leaks).
We tested this service on IPLeak.net, Perfect-privacy.com, and Browserleaks.com. These are some of the best sites where you can check a VPN’s ability to protect users from any leaks.
Torrenting and Streaming
Turbo VPN is a mobile-oriented service, and most users don’t download torrents or watch Netflix/HBO shows on a mobile gadget. Still, we had to check whether this VPN is a good pick for that or not.
Why would you need a Virtual Private Network when torrenting? First of all, hackers/cybercriminals “hang around” popular torrenting sites and set up traps for regular users. As mentioned, a VPN encrypts user’s traffic, thus making it untraceable online.
Secondly, in many countries, torrenting is illegal. So, if you don’t want any problems with the authorities, connecting to a VPN server and changing your IP will be enough to stay out of trouble. Turbo VPN doesn’t do any bandwidth throttling; but, there aren’t dedicated P2P servers for optimal performance.
Things aren’t as good with streaming. To get access to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, and other popular streaming platforms, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version. There are even distinctive “markings” that show which servers can work with Netflix and other services. It’s a pity that the free users won’t be able to do any streaming, but, since many paid VPNs fail at this, Turbo VPN is still a good pick.
How Much Does Turbo VPN Cost?
- 1-Week plan: $9.99
- 1-Month plan: $11.99
- 3-Month plan: $23.99
- 1-Year plan: $35.99
Pricing is very steep, especially for an average mobile-only VPN. Thankfully, there’s a 7-day free trial; it allows you to check the product thoroughly and decide whether you like it or not. We have to warn you, however, that unless you cancel an automatically assigned subscription, the VPN will charge you the second the trial is over.
The free edition is, of course, 100% charge-free, but it does come with a list of limitations. Furthermore, to stay secure, you’ll need to use the company’s browser (it’s built into the VPN). This browser is quite annoying and “attacks” the user with numerous ads. During our test, it felt like Turbo VPN was trying to force the users to switch from the free edition to one of the available plans.
As for the payment options, the list is very short: only credit and debit cards can be used to pay for Turbo VPN. That’s because it only has apps for iOS and Android. Yes, forget about cash, PayPal, digital currency, and cryptocurrency. Overall, the pricing policy is one of the least attractive sides of this VPN, and it doesn’t look like the situation is going to change any time soon.
Strangely enough, you won’t find any form of customer support on Turbo VPN official website. At the same time, if you click on the “F” icon in the top right corner, you’ll be redirected to the company’s Facebook page. There, they provide a phone number that can be used to contact support agents. Plus, there’s an email that can be used as some sort of a ticketing system.
Finally, there’s a link to the Facebook Messenger, and it can also be used to get a hold of the Turbo VPN support. While we were hoping for a Live Chat, and the Messenger isn’t nearly as quick and helpful, it’s better than nothing.
At the same time, it looks like the company uses automated messages to answer questions. And, it takes this bot more than 24 hours to respond (it’s the same for both free and paid users).
Do We Recommend Turbo VPN?
The short answer is no, we don’t, because Turbo VPN’s cons outweigh the pros. First of all, the paid version is overpriced, and it doesn’t offer nearly as many features as the industry leaders. Secondly, you won’t be able to use it on a desktop computer (running on Windows, MacOS, or Linux) and modern-day devices like Firestick and Fire TV.
Still, both the free and the paid versions are lagging behind the competition. We don’t recommend this VPN to an average iPhone or Android user. The following list includes several worthy alternatives to consider. While they are not perfect, you will have a better experience in streaming, torrenting, and browsing the web anonymously.
Turbo VPN Alternatives
If you’re looking for something better, TunnelBear and ProtonVPN will be excellent alternatives. They’re both available for free and offer more features, better performance, and transparent privacy policies. TunnelBear has a monthly limit (500MB), and long-term connections aren’t particularly stable. On the other hand, it is highly secure, private, and is compatible both with mobile and desktop devices.
ProtonVPN, in turn, offers bullet-proof encryption and a kill switch, provides professional support, and, above all, offers unlimited bandwidth, which is rare among free products. In many regards, this is the best free VPN on the market right now.
And if you’re looking for the best value for money, take a good look at PureVPN. While it’s not free, the 1-year plan will only cost you 3.33 dollars a month. The pros include protection for five simultaneous connections, 24/7 support (including a live chat), and blazing speeds. It has apps for Mac, Win, and, of course, mobile platforms.
Add an impressive server network (2000+ servers to pick from) and features like kill switch and split tunneling, and you’ll get a bargain. Compared to Turbo VPN, PureVPN is significantly better and won’t cost you much in the long run.