Very rarely does one see a VPN that is based in China, but TurboVPN is an exception to this rule. And that is not just the only thing peculiar about this VPN service.
TurboVPN has both, paid and free versions, but the latter is more popular with its user base. Downloads of TurboVPN have crossed the 50 million mark on just the Google Play Store, but is this incredibly popular free VPN any good or is it just another gimmicky, unsafe service out of the thousands that popular app stores these days?
Free VPNs are generally quite unsafe and nearly all of them cant match the level of service offered by the top paid services, so as a rule of thumb, I generally don’t recommend free services.
And that’s exactly why I am a bit skeptical whenever I see a free service gain so much popularity. Is it duping people and harming their interests or is it really the free VPN service that everyone should have on their devices?
In this TurboVPN review, I am going to settle these issues by giving an unbiased and objective analysis of each aspect of this popular free VPN service and decided whether or not its worthy of being recommended:
TurboVPN Security Review
Free VPNs don’t conventionally offer the best security apparatus to its users. Neither the tools are in line with industry standards nor are they quite transparent with what they do.
TurboVPN, however, is an exception to this, at least in some areas.
Let’s go over each one of TurboVPN’s security aspects in detail to find out more:
TurboVPN Encryption and Protocol Review
The industry standard for encryption of VPN connections is the AES-256 Encryption standard, which is so secure that it’s used by government and military agencies. All top VPNs offer this encryption standard for securing user data while in transit through VPN connections.
Speaking of transit, top VPNs also offer OpenVPN protocol as a secure tunneling protocol option, since it’s the most secure out of all the protocols available out there because its open source and most of its security flaws get patched up quite quickly due to this.
And TurboVPN offers them both to their users. Whether you use their free or paid versions, you can rest assured that you will be secured by AES-256 military-grade encryption and OpenVPN protocol support, keeping your connection as private as it the ones protected by top providers.
DNS Leak Protection
Generally, whenever I’ve reviewed free apps that only work on mobile based OS devices, I’ve found them to be vulnerable in protecting your real IP.
These free providers either suffer from leaks that bypass their VPN powered connections thus suffering from DNS leaks or they don’t work enough to ensure that WebRTC APIs work smoothly and don’t bypass the encrypted connection resulting in a WebRTC leak.
TurboVPN doesn’t suffer from either as became evident when I ran it through multiple standard tests we generally conduct to ascertain a VPN’s leak-proof capabilities.
WebRTC and HTTP Request Leaks:
IPv4/IPv6 and Torrent IP Leaks
- https://ipleak.net/ (Clear)
- https://ipx.ac/run/ (Clear)
Not even a single leak was detected and if TurboVPN was not sharing data with third parties and neither would have been located in China, I would have declared it to be the best free VPN out there due to the powerful security it offers on its VPN connection.
TurboVPN Logging Policy Review
When we undertook a review on the logging policies across the VPN industry lately, we found that an overwhelming majority of providers are not honest with their users on how much data they keep, for how long do they keep it and how they intend to use it.
A VPN shouldn’t keep any type of logs, not even seemingly harmless ones like connection timestamps or bandwidth data if its to be considered fully secure.
After a good first impression with the powerful encryption and protocol support, I was hoping that TurboVPN would not be logging user data to a very high extent.
They are clear with what kind of info they exactly log but, it the part about sharing the information they obtain from users that caused alarm.
TurboVPN can offer your data to entities ranging from third-party vendors to even government agencies, making it an incredibly unsafe service as far as data security is concerned. Don’t be alarmed if you get targeted ads that match the activities you conducted while being connected to the service, because they allow this to happen.
TurboVPN Jurisdiction Review
Due to its draconian internet censorship laws and that notorious internet firewall, VPNs are used to access the free internet when someone is in China.
But TurboVPN is itself based in China, which is surprising as well as a problematic proposition.
That’s because the Chinese authoritarian regime doesn’t like VPNs as they don’t allow the government to enforce its internet restrictions. Any VPN operating out of the territory will be government regulated by law and the authorities can demand it to gag data any time it’s required.
China isn’t a part of any data sharing alliance like 5 or 14 Eyes, but its own draconian data retention laws make it a more dangerous jurisdiction than others.
One more interesting thing that I still can’t wrap my head around is that TurboVPN is based in China, but it’s a service that’s primarily available on just app stores like iOS and Google Play store, both of which cannot have VPN apps in China.
How is TurboVPN managing this is still a big question but the provider never answered this query from me?
This is mostly known as a free service but there are some major nuisances in the free version of this VPN.
Firstly, you will seriously get a lot of ads that can be very frustrating. From dating services to food discounts, TurboVPN spares nothing when bombarding your internet experience.
Netflix won’t work in the free version either and you cant even jump servers that often, with the possibility of the app forcing you to use a certain server or even changing it on its own.
So what do you need to get around all of these issues?
Get the paid version!
Ok, so what are the pricing plans available?
TurboVPN’s Pricing Plans:
- Monthly Subscription: $11.99/month billed once
- Yearly Subscription: $2.99/month ($35.88 billed once)
The monthly payment plan is priced prohibitively.
$12 for such limited features? Not a good plan to go for seriously.
Now coming to TurboVPN’s yearly subscription plan which is priced at a relatively cheap $2.99/month.
But for the same price tag, you can get a subscription to providers likes Surfshark or NordVPN, both of which are top notch VPN services that offer a lot more than what TurboVPN affords you.
NordVPN offers 5300+ servers while TurboVPN doesn’t even reach the 30 server mark.
Surfshark has live chat support but TurboVPN doesn’t even have that or email support.
NordVPN has an app for Firestick, Windows, Mac and even router support apart from its mobile apps, but TurboVPN will only offer apps for mobile-based platforms.
This is a no-brainer seriously.
The features that you get in TurboVPN’s paid version are nice like Netflix unblocking and an ads-free experience but when you can get that and so much more at the same cost by subscribing to far better providers, I don’t believe that buying TurboVPN’s subscription would be a good choice as far as value is concerned.
TurboVPN Free Trial & Payment Method Review
7 Days, That’s the period for which you can get your refund back if you buy TurboVPN’s subscription.
Its not a lot if you compare it with the industry standard 30-day refund period offered by other providers like PureVPN, ExpressVPN and Surfshark among others.
TurboVPN also has no other payment options other than you paying for its plans through the Google Play or the iOS app stores, so you will have to process your refund through these stores.
No credit card, No Paypal and not even cryptos are supported by TurboVPN. And since there is no form of support available, you will not be able to contact TurboVPN if you cannot get your refund back.
Pretty unfriendly trial and payment policies in my opinion.
The provider offers two different types of server parks. One for the free users and the other for the paid version.
In the free version, you get a total of 8 servers in places like Canada, Germany, India, USA, UK, Netherlands & Singapore.
The paid version, on the other hand, has 26 servers with special ones for unblocking streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc.
The number of servers is too less, but let’s come back to this point in a bit.
In the free version, the VPN will often force you to go on a specific server instead of letting you choose a server of your choice, which is not an issue I have encountered at any other VPN so far.
The connection time to servers is good, but unless you have the paid version, more often than not, the app will dictate a server for you.
And like I said earlier, for the same price you can get a subscription to a VPN like NordVPN which offers over 5300 servers.
TurboVPN’s server park is no match for such huge server parks offered elsewhere and that too for the same price.
If you use the free version, the options are good, but the paid version needs a lot of growth before it can come anywhere close to matching best VPNs out there.
The provider does work with Netflix, but not on the free version.
On TurboVPN’s app, you can see specific servers demarcated as “Netflix Servers”, but you can only use them if you use the paid version.
And this makes sense too, since unblocking Netflix is an incredibly difficult undertaking since this popular streaming sites has enforced a VPN ban.
Due to this ban, a VPN has to constantly change IPs that it uses to bypass the geo-restrictions on Netflix, faster than the streaming giant can blacklist them. This can take up a hefty amount of financial resources, so no provider can afford to give this functionality in its free version.
Still, TurboVPN gets a thumbs up from me for being able to unblock Netflix US.
TurboVPN Torrenting Review
I went ahead and checked whether they choke your speeds or do anything that dissuades you from the activity on this service.
I found nothing as my Torrenting went perfectly fine. The speeds were slow, but that’s the case with the VPN on any activity and not just Torrenting. And the provider doesn’t leak your IP in any manner
Now I searched not just their site but the whole of their apps to check whether they say anything against users indulging in Torrenting activities.
And I came across this:
The provider has explicitly mentioned that you cannot use BitTorrent on its service or you stand the risk of getting your account banned, which makes me add one more negative to TurboVPN i.e. its not Torrenting friendly at all.
ted by the provider.
TurboVPN Speed Test
From the face of it, TurboVPN appeared like a VPN that wouldn’t disappoint us on the speed front at least.
After all, it’s named “Turbo”. But does it speeds contradict its name of what!
The speeds were not just average, they were abysmal with some servers even going to the extent of making me encounter a speed loss of more than 90% in upload speeds and 70% in download speeds.
Here is the speed test result from its server in San Francisco, USA:
- Ping: 94 Ms
- Download Speeds: 6.12 Mbps
- Upload Speeds: 3.85 Mbps
- Base Speed without VPN: 48 Mbps
The speeds were barely enough to afford me a basic viewing experience on Netflix (the Netflix servers had the same level of speeds as well), and apart from general browsing, TurboVPN’s speed isn’t cut out for performing any special task like streaming, Torrenting, etc.
Offering apps for only mobile devices i.e. Android and iOS, TurboVPN limits its compatibility considerably.
Most VPNs, at the very least, offer apps for these 4 popular OS including Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. TurboVPN has no support for desktop devices. It doesn’t even offer setup files so you can make the service work on desktop devices manually.
The apps are well designed and easy to navigate. They don’t lag or crash which is a very good thing as stability of the app is crucial towards determining security, especially when the VPN doesn’t offer a safety valve like kill switch to terminate internet connectivity if the app fails or the VPN connection fails.
With no live chat support or even email support, TurboVPN leaves you high and dry as a user.
Whether you need technical assistance, ask for a refund or just even pose general queries, you have no place to talk to the guys at TurboVPN.
Even their social media handles don’t respond.
All they have is a sort of a FAQ section which offers some answers, but if you compare it with a repository that a provider like PureVPN offers, then it just pales in comparison.
TurboVPN has a lot going right for it like Netflix unblocking, no DNS or WebRTC leaks, easy to use and lightweight Android & iOS apps among others.
But the negatives outweigh the positives by a whopping margin.
TurboVPN shares data with third parties, is based in China, has too few servers, doesn’t offer support through chat or email among other glaring problems that are too big to ignore.
I don’t recommend this service as far the issues on the security front are not fixed urgently at the very least like logging and jurisdiction.
There are many other areas this VPN will need to work relentlessly too like server count, speeds etc. before it can compete with powerhouses like ExpressVPN, but for starters the security needs a big overhaul otherwise, this VPN will remain popular with only those who go on app stores and don’t really read VPN reviews or even don’t do their research and just download any service on their phones as long as its free.