Turbo VPN Review
Updated · Sep 26, 2022
Best for: Basic online protection and streaming
Turbo VPN is a decently popular VPN option that offers free and paid services, available on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. We tried out the free version to see what the hype is all about.
To be fair, Turbo VPN owes its popularity to the fact that it costs nothing and it has unlimited bandwidth. That can undoubtedly sound appetizing to the less picky users.
And that’s a problem.
When it comes to internet security, we all need to be picky! Many users have already pointed out in their Turbo VPN reviews that it offers only the most basic protection and content unblocking. You even have to pay for a kill switch.
For this Turbo VPN review, we explored the software in-depth, to see all of its flaws and advantages.
Turbo VPN Features
Turbo VPN offers you the watered-down standard set of features you’d expect from any virtual private network service. It includes:
Unlimited bandwidth, available on the Turbo VPN free plan, usually gets users’ attention.
This can be very useful if you:
- Spend a lot of time switching between potentially unsafe public networks
- Binge exotic Netflix shows, which is a hobby that eats a lot of data
- Want to avoid bandwidth throttling from your ISP
Bandwidth throttling occurs when your ISP intentionally curbs your internet speed.
So, what does Turbo VPN do in such a situation?
It effectively hides your activity from your ISP’s prying eyes and saves you from their meddling.
So, unlimited bandwidth won’t only be handy when you’re out and about, but when you’re home, too.
What started as an infamous free VPN mobile app is now a cross-platform service, available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. As of now, there’s no available browser extension.
We have to say that the feature availability across them is chaotic. For example, you can only get split tunneling on Turbo VPN Android.
Trying to piece together what kind of features Turbo VPN even offers is a recipe for a headache. The info is at times even contradictory.
in the Mac version, it’s made clear that you get to use the kill switch only if you upgrade to premium.
On the other hand, Turbo VPN for Windows is much vaguer about the benefits of the premium plan. It also doesn’t mention anything about a kill switch.
Five Simultaneous Connections
As part of its paid plan, Turbo VPN lets you connect up to five devices at once. This is a good deal for those of you that have many gadgets and family members.
We’ve expected Turbo VPN for PC to have a kill switch — the last line in combating network vulnerability.
If your connection to the VPN server drops, so will all your defenses. At that moment, the kill switch will automatically disconnect your internet and keep your identity and IP information protected.
That’s why kill switches are essential when it comes to ensuring your internet privacy. Sadly, Turbo VPN makes it hard to use them! Even finding out if a kill switch is an included feature is tough.
So, once you get past all the needless obfuscation, you find out that a kill switch is only included in the premium plan. That said, if you want Turbo VPN and premium security, give the paid plan a try.
Split tunneling lets you choose which apps to encrypt and which to let through normally. Usually, when using a VPN, you are encrypting everything.
This option, however, lets you have two connections - your “normal” open connection and your VPN-protected one. This can be handy if you want to improve your internet speed or if you want to have access to LAN without having to disconnect your VPN.
But, here’s the catch:
This feature is exclusive for the Turbo VPN Android app, weirdly enough. Why it’s not available on other platforms is beyond us.
Turbo VPN Advanced Features
Well, this is a bit awkward.
Still, let’s have a look.
Connect on Startup
This little feature is self-explanatory: Turbo VPN for PC runs automatically on startup. As with all similar options, it can be a time-saver or sometimes plain annoying.
Another time-saving feature! Turbo VPN lets you automatically connect to the last server you used.
Turbo VPN Servers and Locations
According to the website, Turbo VPN has 21 000+ servers in 45+ countries — if you subscribe. When you launch Turbo on Windows, it says 22000+! In the App Store preview, it says 10 000+ for Turbo VPN iOS.
So, which is it? Now, other Turbo VPN reviews point out to those numbers being highly unlikely.
We’ve also come to the same conclusion.
Free Turbo users can pick from seven countries:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Inclusivity-wise, it’s not a great selection, but it’s passable. We also browsed through the VIP section of countries available for the premium plan.
Here’s what we’ve noticed:
The US is the only country with VPN servers across multiple cities. The UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Singapore have two cities each. Obviously, the distribution could be much better.
Turbo VPN Speed
Our Turbo VPN review wouldn’t be complete without a speed test. You can always expect download speed to drop when using any VPN - but this was dramatic.
This was our starting speed:
And these are the numbers when we connected to Turbo’s servers in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The test results for the Turbo VPN free version are low. Yes, that’s a 98% drop you see for Germany and the United Kingdom. Interestingly enough, when connecting to a US server, we experienced a 93% speed drop.
It’s not unusual for VPN services to limit download speeds for their free versions. Even so, this is abysmally slow.
Turbo VPN Privacy and Jurisdiction
Turbo VPN is developed by a company based in Singapore called Innovative Connecting. Singapore technically isn’t part of the Fourteen eyes alliance, but it has close ties to it — and that is worrying.
But does Turbo VPN keep logs?
Here’s what it does, however:
- Your email address
- Data related to your version of Turbo VPN
- The success rate of VPN connections
- VPN location you’re connecting to
- The country you’re connecting from
- Your ISP
- Amount of data transferred
- Diagnostics and analytics data.
So, is Turbo VPN really safe?
Eh, not really.
It claims that this data is necessary for it to maintain its service quality. Funny — all that data and Turbo VPN is still not doing a good job.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Turbo VPN Security and Protocols
Turbo VPN promotes military-grade encryption — and not much else. The customer support team wasn’t all that helpful.
The other Turbo VPN reviews we checked didn’t really help, either. Some claim it uses 256-bit AES encryption; some say it’s AES-128, which is a tad weaker. And some, like us, simply like to leave it as undisclosed. Alright, Turbo, keep your secrets.
The provider is more transparent on the available protocols, at least. For the Turbo VPN Windows version, you have the choice of:
Android users will encounter a broader range:
Turbo VPN Leak Test Results
Everything said so far seems to paint Turbo VPN in a decidedly dodgy light. Imagine our surprise when it passed our IP and DNS leak tests. We did this test on Mozilla Firefox, with the Turbo VPN free license version.
Here’s what we found:
Before our IP and DNS leak test:
And after our IP and DNS leak test:
Hurray, Turbo VPN is leak-free! At least it got this right.
Turbo VPN and Streaming Services
So, what about that Netflix and BBC iPlayer exclusive content? Turbo VPN has a tab with special streaming VPN servers, such as:
- Netflix (the US and Japan)
Sadly, they’re all premium-only, so we couldn’t test them with our free license. We tried to unblock BBC iPlayer via the two available UK servers and failed.
According to Turbo VPN reviews from premium users, however, the tool can unlock most of the streaming services. Still, they have pointed out some connection issues. So, premium service doesn’t necessarily mean stable service.
How Good Is Turbo VPN for Torrenting?
Turbo VPN didn’t allow any torrenting in earlier versions. It used to block your account, but not anymore!
Turbo has relaxed its torrenting policy, and it’s completely allowed now. It doesn’t have any dedicated servers for P2P sharing, though.
Of course, we had to test this for our Turbo VPN review. We did so with the trusty qBittorrent.
We watched our download speed plummet. It was a bit like a car crash — you couldn’t look away. A 90% speed drop is a thing to behold, indeed.
One more thing:
Can Turbo VPN Bypass Geo Blocks?
There is a lot of contradictory info floating around on the net regarding Turbo VPN battling censorship in China. That’s why we’ve contacted customer support (again) to clear the air. Their answer was short and carefully phrased — they can’t guarantee service in certain parts of China.
We’ll take that as a “no,” then.
Honestly, we could’ve guessed it. Turbo VPN doesn’t have any obfuscated VPN features that allow you to slip under the radar of firewalls and network administrators.
To sum up:
Does Turbo VPN work against geo-restrictions?
The Great Firewall of China wins this round.
Ease of Use
As expected, Turbo VPN is straightforward.
Here’s a quick rundown.
The interface has a simple design. On the left side, you have the tabs with global and special streaming servers. In the top right corner is the settings cog. Connecting to your chosen server is as easy as clicking on the carrot in the middle. Yes, really — you need to click on the carrot.
The Android version looks almost exactly like Turbo VPN for Windows, plus the additional features like split tunneling and additional tunneling protocols.
All in all, we think that Turbo VPN owes its ease of use to the fact that it’s a stripped-down service. It’s hard to get lost when you don’t have that many options to choose from in the first place.
We’ve contacted the customer support multiple times via email and live chat.
Some of our questions went unanswered; some were answered almost immediately. Turbo’s support ignored all of our emails, and live chat worked out only half the time. But when it worked, the agent was quick, with a response time of two minutes.
Customer service that only responds sometimes isn’t exactly ideal.
The FAQ section is also barely informative. It mainly offers basic account and subscription instructions and answers to questions like “How does Turbo VPN work.”
A decent knowledge base could fix these problems, but Turbo VPN doesn’t have one. There is only a useless blog section with generic posts about what VPNs are good for.
Turbo VPN Price
Turbo’s main allure is its free plan, but there is a paid plan, too.
As of now, there is no free trial for Windows. You can try out the seven-day free trial for Android and Mac or the three-day option for Turbo VPN for iPhone. The only problem is you need to remember to cancel it manually. Otherwise, you will get charged.
These are the pricing options for Turbo VPN:
- One month — $11.99/month
- Six months — $6.67/month, billed $39.99 every six months
- 12 months — $5.00/month, billed $59.99 annually
- 24 months — $4.17/month, billed $99.99 biannually
At the time of writing of this Turbo VPN review, there is a discount.
Here’s the truth.
The tool is severely overpriced, considering its lack of security features, sluggish speed, and overall shady service. Stick to the free plan if you insist on using this solution.
Another one of our concerns is the lack of info as to what the paid plan brings you. Turbo’s only promise is that you get better speeds, more VPN servers, and no ads. The info has to be more specific than that. It’s only when you dig around that you find out about the five simultaneous connections and kill switches.
Finally, there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Turbo VPN Review - Verdict
In all honesty, we had a hard time finding something genuinely positive to write about Turbo. Here are our final thoughts on it — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Turbo’s shining moment is the free version. If you really need a VPN, this is still better than nothing.
Another good thing is the unlimited bandwidth that comes with it. The biggest positive surprise was that Turbo is IP and DNS leak-free, according to our tests.
Now, for the bad part.
We had to do a lot of detective work for this Turbo VPN review. The lack of transparency is the first thing we’d like to point out. Users need to know precisely what kind of protection to expect from a VPN service. The only thing Turbo VPN lets you know up-front is that it’s free.
The lack of additional Turbo VPN security features also really stuck out to us. We’re not even talking about anything too fancy - we mean essential stuff like a kill switch, which is subscription locked.
Finally, let’s talk about speed. Now that we’ve fully speed-tested the free version of Turbo VPN, we find the hare design ironic. It also makes torrenting a painfully slow affair.
So, there you have it.
The cons of using Turbo VPN greatly outweigh the pros.
Is Turbo VPN trustworthy?
No. We can’t vouch for Turbo because their “no-logs” policy actually means:
- Keeping a lot of user data
- Sharing it with third-party advertising partners
- Divulging it to the authorities if asked to.
Is Turbo VPN illegal?
Using VPNs is mostly legal. Some countries do restrict such services, though, so check the local laws before downloading Turbo VPN.
Does Turbo VPN hide IP address?
Yes, Turbo hides your IP address. And it does so without any IP and DNS leaks, according to the tests we did for our Turbo VPN review.
Why is Turbo VPN used?
To be honest, people gravitate to Turbo VPN mostly because it’s free and very easy to use. Its functionality is minimal, though. Apart from IP masking, the free plan doesn’t offer anything worth your time.
Selma is a content writer with a love for all things nerdy by day and an internet archaeologist that likes to dig up obscurities by night. Mostly she's trying to balance between many obsessions. Right now, it's bass playing and reading hard sci-fi about vampires in outer space - next week, who knows.
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