This free mobile-only VPN has 50 million downloads across the globe. It must be pretty good, right? Well, not so fast!
Turbo VPN offers a free, mobile only, unlimited VPN service. If you are looking for a VPN for your smartphone and don’t really care much about privacy, this might not be such a bad choice. The speed isn’t amazing, but at least you don’t need to worry about leaks or viruses. Turbo VPN also unblocks Netflix (only paid VIP servers) and allows torrenting, which is more than can be said about most app store VPNs.
With that said, if your needs are not so basic – give this one a pass. Our Turbo VPN review will show you why.
Like most free VPNs, Turbo VPN is lacking in the security department. Here is a list of Turbo VPN security features:
- A secure tunneling protocol: OpenVPN
- Solid AES-256 encryption
These are the bare bones of what’s needed for a protected online experience. However, there’s quite a lot missing, particularly in comparison to top VPN services.
Turbo VPN doesn’t offer a kill switch, which is necessary to protect from leaks if your VPN connection breaks (although users can rely on Android’s native Always-on VPN feature). There are also no advanced DNS leak protection measures, a “stealth protocol” for users in repressive countries, multi-hop, or Tor integration.
While we didn’t find any egregious leaks using online tests, we would still not bet our lives on such a skeletal VPN service.
Does Turbo VPN keep logs?
Yes, yes it does
As a free service, Turbo VPN is financed through advertising. This requires them to collect user data and share it with third-parties. The app was developed by Innovative Connecting – a Singapore company and thus functioning within the context of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance (Singapore is a partner).
If you go to the “Use of Personal Data” section, you will see that you are essentially giving them permission to use your personal info as they wish. And, if you want to sign up and enjoy the VIP service, you are required to provide quite a bit of personal data.
Speed and performance
On the official website, Turbo VPN states that it connects you with the speed of a hare. So we had to test this theory out for ourselves.
Sadly, the browsing experience turned out to be a bit sluggish. While all VPNs slow you down a tad (this is the price you pay for anonymous browsing), they shouldn’t bring your experience to a standstill. With Turbo VPN, we saw speed drops of over 50% in nearby locations, which isn’t good enough.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
Turbo VPN is a mobile-only service. To be more specific, it has custom apps for:
You’ll find the former on the Google Play store, while the latter awaits you on the App Store. The client is user-friendly and easy to follow – initially, we were impressed, but soon noticed that the app doesn’t let us choose a preferred server and is generally low on features.
When you click the Connect button, you will automatically be connected to the fastest server. This makes the app very user-friendly, but very inflexible. If you want to unlock some online resource, you’ll have to get the paid version.
Turbo VPN forces you to use their internal browser, which is where you get all the annoying ads.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
The good news is that installing Turbo VPN on your mobile will let you access Netflix US. The bad news is that streaming Netflix is only possible on the VIP servers, which are not available for users of the free version.
Streaming Netflix is only possible on the VIP servers, which are not available for users of the free version
The same goes for all other streaming platforms (although it would be an overstatement to claim you’ll be able to unlock everything if you pay for Turbo VPN). Not being able to choose the VPN server nullifies the unblocking capabilities of this service.
P2P and torrenting
Turbo VPN doesn’t choke your bandwidth or try to deter you from torrenting, but it is important to realize that most people use torrents on their desktops. Being a mobile VPN, Turbo VPN has limited utility for P2P.
Even if that weren’t the case, we would argue against using Turbo VPN for torrenting because the service has no kill switch feature – something that is quite important for secure P2P use.
Check out our list of Best VPNs for Torrenting.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
As per the Turbo VPN app listing on Google Play:
For policy reason, this service can not be used in China. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
This doesn’t disqualify Turbo VPN from use in other censorious countries – Iran, Turkey, Russia, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, etc. However, as we have already established, Turbo VPN is not known for its bulletproof security. As such, you should only use it if you can deal with the repercussions.
Moreover, the service lacks features like “stealth mode” to bypass advanced censorship efforts, particularly those based on Deep Packet Inspection.
Check out our list of Best VPNs for China.
Almost every reputable VPN system offers 24/7 support whether it is via email, chat, or a hotline.
Well, Turbo VPN offers none of these options.
If you go to the Turbo VPN website, you won’t find any support option – only one page with vague information about the product. You get the feeling that they really don’t want to hear from you.
It’s safe to say that Turbo VPN is severely lacking in the customer support department.
Turbo VPN is a free service funded through ads, but there’s also a paid option with some more advanced features. This includes the ability to use VIP servers and thus stream Netflix, for example.
Here’s what a Turbo VPN subscription will cost you:
- 1-month plan: $11.99
- 1-year plan: $35.88 ($2.99/month)
If you compare Turbo VPN to NordVPN, for example, there is no contest. NordVPN gives you protection on all your devices, access to more than 5000+ servers and great connection speeds. The price is more or less the same.
Turbo VPN offers new users a 7-day free trial which is great to test the waters, but you need to remember to cancel the trial or else they will automatically deduct the funds from your account.
And, because it is only available on mobile through Google Play or the iOS App Store, only your debit or credit card can be used as a payment method – there’s no PayPal, crypto or cash.
Almost every product has its pros and cons – Turbo VPN is no exception. Yet the cons here greatly outweigh the pros. As a free VPN, Turbo is quite feeble, whereas as a paid service, it doesn’t hold a candle to the competition.
If you insist on using a free VPN service, then you should check our list of best free VPN services on the market.