Turbo VPN is a mobile-only system based out of China.
The Virtual Private Network has over 50 million downloads worldwide, with most using the free version.
We’ve already had a few run-ins with free VPNs. Not many of them good.
Some either lack security, suffer poor performance, or even log and sell your data to third parties.
We’re going to find out in this Turbo VPN review if they suffer from the same flaws. Or if they’re the exception to the rule.
Turbo VPN Overview
|26 countries, 30 servers
|Blocks Netflix USA
|Free or $11.99/month, $2.99/year
Turbo VPN Pros
Hoxx VPN, another ‘freebie,’ was one of the worst VPNs we’ve reviewed.
Thankfully, Turbo VPN doesn’t suffer the same fate.
For starters, they seem to take security more seriously than most free VPNs, which often account to no more than a proxy service. They also provide a leak-free experience, meaning your private data will stay safe and sound even when connected to public wi-fi.
There are servers that work with Netflix, and offer up available torrenting ones, too.
Here’s the full list.
1. Top of the Line Protocols and Encryption
Most free VPNs tend to skimp out on security measures.
But that’s not the case with Turbo VPN.
For starters, they use the best-in-class OpenVPN tunneling protocol. It’s an open sourced system, so it’s kept up to date by a vast community watching each other’s backs.
Paired with OpenVPN is government-level AES-256 encryption.
When government agencies like the FBI, CIA, and NSA want to encrypt their data, AES-256 is what they’re using. It’s been proven uncrackable by modern supercomputers.
An impenetrable VPN tunnel like this ensures your information is safe and sound.
The only threat to your anonymous web browsing experience at this point would be a DNS or WebRTC leak.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about those, either.
2. No Leaks Detected
Leaks can undo even the best VPNs.
It doesn’t matter if they work flawlessly with Netflix or have a strict no-logging policy. If your tunnel sprung a leak, the VPN is essentially useless.
Leaks occur in two major forms.
First, there are DNS leaks, in which your VPN tunnel is bypassed, exposing your original IP to the Internet Service Provider.
The other common leak is a WebRTC leak. This time, APIs associated with the WebRTC project interfere with a VPN tunnel. WebRTC leaks are a perfect example of a good concept gone wrong.
You can see how dangerous leaks are to a secure browsing experience. That’s why we put all of the VPNs that we review under a strenuous testing process to ensure that they will continue to hide your IP.
Turbo VPN was put through three different tests, and I’m happy to report that it passed all of them.
- IPLeak.net – Passed
- browserleaks.com/webrtc – Passed
- perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest – Passed
Ordinarily, our VPNs also go through a virus test to ensure that their installation software is not carrying any malicious cyber threats. However, since Turbo VPN is a mobile-only application, this test was not applicable.
3. Works With Netflix on VIP Servers
Netflix shares China’s hatred of VPNs.
The only difference is that the Chinese government actually allows some VPNs to operate. (More on this later in the Cons section.)
Netflix used to be one of the primary reasons to own a VPN in the first place.
Netflix content is geo-locked, meaning that it is based on your geographic location, so being able to use a VPN to ‘trick’ Netflix into thinking that you were accessing the web from another country was a perfect way to unblock everything.
It didn’t take long before Netflix caught on, though.
And today, they deploy a VPN-detection software so sophisticated that very few VPNs have the ability to bypass it.
When you do manage to find a VPN that works with Netflix? Hold on tight.
Turbo VPN offers good and bad news for Netflix seekers.
I’ll give you the good news first.
Turbo VPN does work with Netflix on a few choice servers.
Now, the bad news.
None of the free servers work with Netflix. You’d have to use one of the paid VIP servers. Turbo goes as far as to mark which servers are specifically “Netflix Servers.”
So yes, you can use Netflix with Turbo VPN. But not for free, unfortunately.
4. No Torrenting Censorship
Torrenting connects you to other users to download large files piece by piece. It’s fast and easy.
But it can also be incredibly risky.
By definition, you’re opening up your system to other users. Not all of them might share your same good intentions.
Cybercriminals have started to use popular torrenting sites to launch attacks.
A VPN helps to protect you from such attacks, hiding your information from prying eyes while also keeping you safe from any legal ramifications.
Turbo VPN does nothing to dissuade you from torrenting while using their services, nor do they choke your bandwidth. However, it should be noted that most users torrent via their desktop computer or laptop and Turbo VPN is only available on mobile devices.
Turbo VPN Cons
Turbo VPN is nowhere near as bad as some of the other free VPNs we’ve reviewed.
They’re even better than some paid ones, too.
But they’re also a far cry from the upper echelon like ExpressVPN.
A slow connection speed and questionable logging policies start off a plethora of problematic issues.
Turbo suffers from being a mobile-only application, as most modern VPN users want protection while surfing the web on their computer, streaming device, and gaming console as well.
An extremely limited server park and non-existent customer support round out this list of cons.
Let’s jump into the bad.
1. Questionable Logging Policy
Logging is always a deal breaker.
That includes logging of all shapes and sizes.
Logging is an area in which many free VPN services fail our review. And it makes sense when you think about it.
“When the product is free, you’re the product,” so goes the old saying.
All companies have to make money. Servers aren’t cheap. So a lot of free VPNs make their money by selling your personal information to advertisers.
The claim is that they collect minimal personal info which is good.
However, it then goes on to read:
They plan on sharing your information on third-party services and other service providers. This is not good in any way.
While it’s not the worst logging policy we’ve seen, there’s more than enough here to make me nervous.
2. Chinese Jurisdiction
A Chinese homebase puts them well outside the extended 14-Eyes Alliance.
This agreement basically allows countries around the world to spy on each other’s users, and then share the findings with virtually half the developed world, including:
- The United States
- The United Kingdom
- New Zealand
If they’re in China, and outside this agreement, that’s great… right?
Well, yes and no.
It’s true they don’t have to worry about any of those countries.
But let’s not forget:
China isn’t exactly known for their support of privacy.
They’re notoriously strict on internet censorship, going so far as to create what is known as the Great Firewall to prevent access to certain foreign websites. The Chinese government blocks access to sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, and more.
And guess what?
Each VPN in their country is regulated by the Chinese government. Any Chinese citizen caught using a VPN that is not approved by the government can face stiff legal action, including a hefty fine.
So you’d be right to be skeptical. Odds are that their government will know a lot more about your VPN use than you think they do.
3. Slow Speeds
Turbo repeatedly states on their official website that the product connects you with the speed of “a hare.” Seriously. Check out this speedy bunny:
It was only after testing their service did we realize that they were referring to the part of the Tortoise and the Hare story when the hare is lounging about doing nothing.
Because browsing with this VPN connected put me at a standstill.
Every VPN will slow you down a bit. It’s part of what you give up for an anonymous browsing experience.
But the best of the best will only take your performance level down a little bit, to the point where you’d hardly even notice.
That wasn’t the case here.
We start with a benchmark download speed of 97 Mbps and an upload speed of 53 Mbps for all of our speed tests.
Then, we connect to different servers and re-test. The EU one didn’t start off well:
EU Speed Test:
- Download: 6.31 Mbps (93% Slower Than 97 Mbps Benchmark)
- Upload: 0.18 Mbps (99.6% Slower Than 53 Mbps Benchmark)
Our US test fared slightly better, but not by much.
US Speed Test
- Download: 11.7 Mbps (87.9% Slower Than 97 Mbps Benchmark)
- Upload: 17.7 Mbps (66.6% Slower Than 53 Mbps Benchmark)
Turbo VPN is clearly not a name that you’ll see on our list of the fastest VPNs.
The combined download score of only 18.01 Mbps puts them in the bottom five at the 71st place.
4. Limited Device Support
Turbo VPN is available on mobile only. You can’t even use it on your computer.
Yes, mobile internet usage is on the rise.
But what about all of the other devices in your house?
A mobile-only VPN forces you to go find (and pay) for another VPN company to protect your computers, televisions, or gaming consoles.
It makes more sense to simply pay for one product that will protect all of these devices in one fell swoop.
5. Small Server Park, No Kill Switch
VIP members of Turbo VPN can choose between a growing server park of 26 servers.
Not bad, but not great, either.
A year-long commitment to Turbo VPN has a comparative cost to NordVPN, our number two rated product.
Now, compare those 26 servers to Nord’s network of over 5,000 servers that are spread out over every major city in the world.
There really is no comparison.
Turbo’s VPN client also doesn’t provide a kill switch to give users an added layer of protection. A kill switch is a last line of defense against leaks. If a leak were to spring up, the kill switch would promptly shut down the session before any information was revealed.
It’s a great tool that Turbo VPN users are missing out on.
6. No Customer Support Whatsoever
The best VPN systems in the world have 24/7 live chat or email to help at a moment’s notice.
This is not one of those VPNs.
It almost seems like they don’t want to hear from you at all. There’s no support section on their website. In fact, their site is nothing more than a single page with extremely vague product information.
So I decided to try reaching out via social media to ask about the product’s features. I went to their Facebook page and sent a message.
That first response was an automated message that came instantly after my first inquiry.
The next morning my message was seen and then promptly ignored. It has now been more than 24 hours and I have received no response whatsoever.
7. Ad-Filled & Slow Hands-on Test
I tried the Turbo VPN app on my iPad.
First, I found it in the iOS App Store.
After a brief download, I got started.
I gave Turbo all of the necessary permissions (there were many) and verified with my fingerprint.
As you can see, it connected in only one second.
Very impressive initially!
Except, I could not choose my server. Instead, it was trying to connect me automatically to the fastest server, sometimes switching randomly.
That wasn’t the worst part, though.
I logged onto the Chrome app and tried a speed test. It was still registering my home IP.
Hmm. Curious. We know the leak tests came out clean.
Then, I realized that to be protected, you have to use Turbo’s internal browser.
This became problematic as the way in which Turbo makes its money became evident very quickly.
Ads, ads, and even more ads.
After everything you do, an ad pops up. It was insane. Finally, for the sake of the review, I signed up for the VIP trial.
The ads went away but I found out quickly that when I’m not automatically connecting to the fastest server, it’s almost unusable.
I tried to log onto their US Netflix server several times only to have it time out repeatedly.
All in all, it was a frustrating experience and felt like a complete waste of time.
Turbo VPN Costs, Plans, and Payment Options
Turbo VPN touts itself repeatedly as a free service, but to have any kind of flexibility and not be immediately bogged down by ads, you have to pay for their VIP service.
And it’s…ludicrously expensive.
You get up to five connections, full access to their 26 servers, and a faster connection. Also, no ads which is a huge bonus.
But that price…
It’s $11.99 per month on a month-to-month basis. That’s steep comparatively.
Sure, if you commit for a year, it’s only $2.99 per month. However, you can use our NordVPN link to get a similar price plus SO MUCH MORE. Like, protecting every device you own, access to 5,000+ servers, and lightning-fast server speeds.
Turbo VPN does offer a seven-day free trial, meaning you can get your money back, but you have to remember to cancel it or they will automatically charge you when it’s up.
And because you have to buy through either the iOS App Store or through GooglePlay, you can only use your debit or credit card on file. No other payment methods like cash, cryptocurrencies, or PayPal.
Do I Recommend Turbo VPN?
No, I do not.
Don’t get me wrong, as far as free VPNs go, this is one of the best.
That’s not saying much, though.
You can’t choose your own servers. The performance was incredibly slow. They log your activity, sell ads against your browsing data, and are only available on mobile devices.
Their paid plan does offer a few extra perks. However, those are laughable compared to the outrageously-high cost.
There’s nothing even remotely worth it about this app to justify such a price. Not when we have a list of the best VPNs, most of which have comparable costs.
If you’re planning on spending any kind of money or want to do anything more than just casually browse the web, there are much better options out there.
I recommend you check out those, instead.
1 user reviews for Turbo VPN
TurboVPN Customer Support
Hi there. I never subscribed to this service, yet they are billing my credit card. Despite many attempts to contact them I have had no luck. There are many other people out there with the same problem. There are no contacts details at all available - website, other users, nothing. Whether the service works or not, if they get your credit card - it's a sad day - you'll never get off their list.