Most of the 50 million downloads across the globe of this mobile-only VPN are through the free system, so there must be more pros than cons if you consider these statistics. Or are there? Let’s take a look.
All of us have had an experience with free VPNs. Some are good while others lack security or performance. Some even go as far as to sell your data to other companies but look no further as this Turbo VPN review will give you a clear indication of whether this VPN is an exception to the rule.
Turbo VPN offers a free unlimited VPN service, although we recommend paying a few bucks for the full experience ($2.99 a month if you go for a yearly plan).
Turbo VPN is available for mobile only, which means you’ll need to supplement with an additional service for your computer needs if you decide to use it. However, if you are solely looking for a VPN for your smartphone or tablet, this can be a good option. The speed might not win the race, but you do not need to worry about leaks or viruses. Turbo VPN also works with Netflix, torrenting and browsing from China.
As well as looking at the security and performance features of the app, this Turbo VPN review will also take a closer look at whether it works in China, whether it can be used to access Netflix, whether it’s easy to use, how much it costs, and what the customer support is like. Read on to get our full opinion.
Is Turbo VPN safe to use?
Usually, free VPNs lack in the security department but Turbo VPN is kept up to date thanks to a large community that is watching each other’s backs.
They use OpenVPN which is open source – a fact that makes this camaraderie possible. This is combined with AES-256 encryption, which is up to government standards. AES-256 is used by top-secret agencies such as the NSA, FBI, and CIA. This encryption protocol features the highest security and has proven itself to be uncrackable, even by the most intelligent, modern supercomputers.
So, it is safe to say that your personal information is encrypted at all times thanks to the bulletproof VPN tunnel that Turbo VPN provides. Most would argue that you could still encounter a threat with a DNS leak, but thankfully you don’t need to worry about that either.
However, Turbo VPN doesn’t offer a kill switch that essentially gives users extra protection. A kill switch is like a second layer or protection and it is really necessary to defend your tunnel against leaks. That’s because the kill switch will shut down a session immediately when a leak occurs and this will protect your information from being exposed. In actual fact, a kill switch is a fantastic tool and Turbo VPN users are missing out on this.
It doesn’t matter how fantastic a VPN is, if your VPN tunnel encounters a leak, it becomes utterly useless. There are two types of leaks:
- DNS leaks occur when the VPN tunnel is sidestepped which results in your IP being exposed to the ISP (Internet Service Provider).
- WebRTC leaks occur when the VPN tunnel is influenced by the application programming interface (API’s) that are associated by the particular WebRTC project.
It’s almost like a brilliant idea gone horrendously wrong. The common goal of any VPN is to hide your IP at all times and after three tests, we can assure you that Turbo VPN passed with no leaks detected.
Usually, it’s important to run a virus test to make sure that the software doesn’t carry dodgy threats, but because Turbo VPN is mobile-only, this particular test was not applicable.
Turbo VPN logging policy
In the world we live in, privacy has become incredibly important. This is why when shopping around for a VPN service, it’s essential to understand the company’s logging policy.
Servers are expensive and companies need to make money somehow if they offer a free VPN service. This means that many of these companies are selling your personal information to advertisers. All of them will tout that they aren’t logging your personal data but when you take a look at their privacy policies, you will know exactly how far from the truth this is.
Furthermore, you can’t really do anything about this because you ticked the “Terms and conditions” box when you signed up for the free or paid service. To add to this, you probably don’t read the small print anyway… but maybe you should.
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 them with a load 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, we realized that they might have been referring to the childhood tale “The Tortoise and the Hare'” because the browsing experience with the Turbo VPN was a bit sluggish.
It is a well-known fact that all VPN’s slow you down a tad (this is the price you pay for anonymous browsing), but it shouldn’t bring your experience to a standstill. Our usual speed tests have a benchmark of 97 Mbps as download speed and 53 Mbps as upload speed. We then connect to various servers and do a re-test. Sadly, the EU test didn’t really perform as it should have while the US speed test was a bit faster.
How to download and install it
When we tried the VPN app on an iPad, we first found it in the iOS App Store. The download was quick so we could get started quickly.
The app is user-friendly and easy to follow, and after we gave it all of the necessary permissions, of which there were loads, we had to verify with a fingerprint. We were impressed initially because we were connected in only one second, but it didn’t give us the option of choosing a preferred server.
Instead, it connected to whichever server was the fastest. Then we realized that we needed to use their internal browser and it became clear how they actually make money – there were ads, loads of them.
It got the better of us so we signed up for the VIP plan. The ads went away but then the time-outs started to happen.
How to use Turbo VPN
Turbo VPN is so simple to use that it can be set up and enjoyed by novices, making it a good choice for those who are new to the wonderful world of online streaming.
When you click the “Connect” button, you will automatically be connected to the fastest server, which is fantastic if you happen to be someone who prefers a plug and play option.
When you are done setting up, you simply click the red button and after another ad has played, the connection will close automatically.
Sadly, there’s not a lot of functionality on the Turbo VPN app which is, once again, great for newbies as they don’t need to fret about protocol tweaking and anything that is even slightly technologically advanced. However, this can be a frustration for seasoned VPN users. As they say, “You can’t have it all”.
If you want a free service that will allow you to stream at a reasonable speed and that is simple and uncomplicated to use, you will find many advantages to the Turbo VPN app. They have also managed to unblock Comedy Central and BBC iPlayer recently which shows their commitment towards growth.
The company is still reasonably young and it might be unfair to compare them to the bigger names in the industry. They have obviously realized that mobile compatible streaming is the way forward and have become one of the first companies to successfully offer this service to VPN users worldwide.
Sometimes you will encounter an unexpected connection drop when you are using the free service and other times you will find it reliable. So, if you find difficulties when connecting, remember that it’s free.
Turbo VPN for Netflix
Some of the most popular reasons for getting a VPN are to access services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Kodi. For this reason, this part of our Turbo VPN review is of some importance.
There’s just no point in opening your favorite streaming program and not being able to enjoy your favorite content. You don’t want to miss out on the US Netflix library because you are unable to use an American IP address, either.
The main job of a VPN is to trick platforms such as Netflix into believing that you are in a specific location, but it wasn’t long before Netflix figured this out. Netflix now deploys detection software which makes it very difficult for VPN’s to bypass, so if you get your hands on a VPN that actually works with Netflix and other streaming platforms, hold on for dear life.
The good news is that by installing the Turbo VPN on your mobile, you will be able to access Netflix. The bad news is that streaming Netflix is only possible on the VIP servers, which is a paid package.
If you consider the fact that users can choose from a small selection of 26 servers, however, it becomes clear pretty quickly that access to other favorites besides Netflix is more restrictive than what is offered by other VPN services. NordVPN, for instance, has over 5,000 servers that are found in all big cities across the globe. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on what Kodi or any other global streaming service has in store for you.
Turbo VPN for torrenting
Torrenting is brilliant in the sense that it gives you the opportunity to download enormous files bit by bit. It’s as easy as it is fast, but it can also sometimes be very risky.
The harsh reality is that you are opening up the doors of your system to other users and who knows if you share the same good intentions? This is why a decent VPN is so important. Not only does it protect you from legal issues, but it also hides your data from cybercriminals.
Turbo VPN doesn’t choke your bandwidth or deter you from torrenting, but it is important to realize that most people use torrents via their PC’s, desktops or laptops and as you should know by now, Turbo VPN is only available on a mobile platform, which might make it a little bit risky.
Does Turbo VPN work in China?
China is well-known for internet censorship and has created a Firewall to stop access to particular websites that are used daily in the Western world. The Chinese government has blocked YouTube, Facebook, Google, and Twitter among others and although VPN’s are legal, it is strictly regulated by the government.
So, guess what? If it becomes apparent that a Chinese resident is using a VPN that was not approved by the government, it will result in strict legal action and a massive fine. If you think about it, it is kind of obvious that the government will know a lot more about your VPN usage than you think, so it is understandable to be a bit skeptical, or careful at least.
So, should you use Turbo VPN in China? Our answer is NO. Not by a long shot.
Turbo VPN is based in China and is owned by a Chinese company, which means they will provide any and all of your data to the Chinese government. Need we say more?
Turbo VPN pricing
Turbo VPN proclaims to be a free service, but if you don’t want to be lambasted with unreasonable amounts of pop-up ads and would like to have flexibility, you will, unfortunately, have to pay for the VIP service.
Another unfortunate point is that it is incredibly expensive when compared to other VPN services. Yes, sure, it will give you access to Netflix but at such a hefty price tag, you might want to continue shopping around.
If you subscribe for 1 month, it will cost you $11.99, while a 12 month subscription will cost you $2.99 a month. This package includes 5 connections, a faster connection and full access to the 26 available servers. It might be reasonably priced with the 12-month subscription, but the industry is growing at a rapid speed and you’ll be able to pay less for a better option before you’ve completed your subscription.
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 the server speeds are insane. And, all of this at more or less the same price.
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 on file can be used as a payment method and not PayPal, crypto or cash. They have many small issues to tweak and I am sure they will work on them diligently, but for now, there are better options.
Almost every reputable VPN system offers 24/7 support whether it is via email, chat, social media or calls.
Well, Turbo VPN offers none of these.
When you go to their website you won’t even find a support option, only one page with vague information about their product. You get the feeling that they really don’t want to hear from you, so we decided to put it to the test.
We reached out on social media (Facebook) and asked about the features of the product. We received an automated response and waited patiently. The following morning, we followed up and although our message was seen, it was obviously ignored.
We gave up after 24 hours and still haven’t received any response. So, it is safe to say that Turbo VPN is sorely lacking in the customer support department.
Almost every product has their pros and cons. At the end of the day, you should make your final decision based on what you want out of the product or service at hand.
Would we recommend Turbo VPN? Most definitely not.
Yes, it is one of the better free VPN services but that doesn’t really say a lot. If you are accustomed to VPN services, you will find the speed to be slow. You also cannot choose your own servers and the fact that it is only available on mobile devices might make you want to choose another option.
Our recommendation would be to stay as far away as possible from this one unless you’re fine with giving away your data to a China-based tech company.
If not for its Chinese background, Turbo VPN might be a good choice for those who are new to VPNs. It’s incredibly simple and basic with no tweaking required. Combine this with the fact that it’s free, and you might have found yourself a decent mobile VPN solution to start with.
But as they say, “there’s no such thing as free lunch”, and Turbo VPN is a great example of this.