Turbo VPN Review (2019) - Stay Away From This Chinese VPN
Turbo VPN is a China-based, mobile-only service that enjoys a lot of popularity on Android and iOS. Considering the domicile of this particular service (and the fact that it only runs on mobile devices) that may stop a lot of you in your tracks right now. If so: we recommend an alternative provider based in a country less hostile towards privacy like NordVPN.
That’s mostly because of the free version, and it’s no surprise. Few providers out there give you unlimited bandwidth and 9 servers in 8 countries with no strings attached. Well, aside from the annoying ads.
Turbo VPN also has a paid VIP plan, which cleans up the interface from advertising and boosts the network to 29 servers in 15 countries. And that’s not all.
At first glance, this service seems like a great pick for mobile users. But how does it fare in a detailed test? Join us as we explore Turbo VPN and see if it’s worth using on your phone or tablet.
Streaming – Does Turbo VPN Work with Netflix?
Due to advanced detection and extensive blocking from streaming sites, many VPNs are unable to access platforms like Netflix.
In order to watch your favorite content successfully, you need a serious provider. Turbo VPN appears to be one of those, thanks to its special streaming servers.
You have options for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Fox, and more. Unfortunately, these servers are locked behind the VIP plan, so you’re out of luck if you were hoping for free access.
The good news is the premium servers work well enough for unblocking and streaming. That said, Turbo VPN shouldn’t be your first choice for Netflix, due to serious issues with server uptime and customer support. More on that below.
Speed Test – How Fast Is Turbo VPN?
From its name alone, you’d expect Turbo VPN to deliver some awesome speeds. But advertising is often different from actual results – so we put this service to the test.
For reference, here’s our speed without a VPN:
First off, we checked the “fastest server” option, which connected us to the U.K.:
Not impressive. A 50% decrease in download speed isn’t what you want to see – especially if your connection isn’t anything special in the first place.
Next up, we selected the Netherlands server manually from the list. The result was much better:
Every VPN will slow you down, but 20% (download) is an acceptable drop. Further tests on this server gave similar results.
The U.S. New York server made a terrible first impression:
We suspected the 95% decrease in download was due to server overload. So we gave it another try a few hours later:
A much better result, and a little surprising. The U.S. speed tests were the fastest overall for us, even though our test location was in Europe.
Sadly, that wasn’t the case for long – when we tried again during peak U.S. hours, it was another sluggish experience.
During the tests, we also noticed a major issue. Manually selecting servers was promptly followed by a connection crash.
We tried checking for updates and even reinstalling the VPN, but the problem persisted.
In short, two big takeaways here. One, Turbo VPN can be fast on empty servers, but its tiny network doesn’t handle intensive traffic very well. Two, you basically have to use the quick-connect feature to avoid any sudden drops.
Choosing a server by yourself quickly turns into a headache – even worse, you’re putting your privacy at risk.
Is Turbo VPN Good for Torrenting?
Turbo VPN is a mobile-only service, so we didn’t expect much value for torrenting fans.
We were right.
In fact, using Turbo VPN together with BitTorrent is strictly forbidden:
It could be explained a little better, but you get the idea. Avoid torrenting with this VPN, or you’ll get into trouble.
Security – Is Turbo VPN Safe?
When it comes to protecting your data, Turbo VPN is a mixed bag. If we had one word to describe the security here, it would be “misleading.”
Does Turbo VPN Keep Logs?
Turbo VPN advertises itself as a no-logs service. This isn’t true.
That’s probably because it explains very carefully the data this VPN logs. And it’s a lot:
As you can see, Turbo VPN collects all kinds of user info, making it the exact opposite of a true no-logs service.
The jurisdiction isn’t any better, either.
China isn’t part of the Fourteen Eyes surveillance alliance, meaning you’re safe from government spying in the Western world. But China itself is notorious for its extensive privacy violations.
Is it a good idea to trade one problem for another? Not really. In the end, Turbo VPN will collect sensitive data on you, and share it with numerous third parties – including the Chinese government.
If you’re a privacy-conscious individual, you’ll be much better off with a legitimate zero-logs VPN.
Turbo VPN’s Security Features
Turbo VPN will disappoint those looking for advanced security features – because there aren’t any.
It’s worth noting that we didn’t detect any IP or DNS leaks during our tests. However, without a kill switch or custom DNS settings, this VPN can’t guarantee your security at all times. Anti-malware and adblocking are other sorely missed features.
What’s more, Turbo VPN is only reliable when you use the “fastest server” option. Without a kill switch, your traffic can easily be exposed once the connection is interrupted. Given Turbo VPN’s uptime issues with manual servers, it’s only a matter of time before this happens.
Does Turbo VPN Work in China?
Turbo VPN isn’t available in China. This is explicitly mentioned in the service descriptions on Google Play and App Store:
Not surprising. Turbo VPN is most likely approved by the Chinese government, like any other China-based VPN. Bypassing the Great Firewall is one of the things they don’t want you to do, so it’s understandable why this VPN can’t be used for that purpose.
Turbo VPN’s Paid Version – Worth It?
Going VIP with Turbo VPN has its perks. You get access to all the special streaming servers, along with extra connections and an ad-free interface:
These are all great upgrades over the free version. But there’s one more thing to consider.
Sadly, this is where Turbo VPN’s paid plan lost all appeal for us. There’s no mild way to put it – the VIP package is ridiculously overpriced.
It’s in the same range as leading providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. You really can’t compare Turbo VPN to these services, or any of our top 10 VPNs, for that matter.
From Turbo VPN’s price tag, you’d expect thousands of servers, plenty of features, and support for all major platforms. Instead, you get a mobile-only VPN with just 29 servers, average speeds, and no special settings.
There’s also the stability problem, which isn’t solved with the VIP plan.
Overall, paying premium money for a barebones service such as Turbo VPN isn’t something we’d recommend.
Does Turbo VPN Have a Free Trial?
You can get a full taste of Turbo VPN for free with its seven-day VIP trial.
Unfortunately, you’ll also need to make a subscription in order to redeem it.
If you don’t want to get charged after the trial period ends, you need to remember when you signed up for it. Then, once it’s about to expire, you’ll have to cancel manually.
And you’d better do that in time, because Turbo VPN doesn’t have the most favorable refund policy around.
Turbo VPN’s Refund Policy
Turbo VPN doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. From the FAQ:
This is another drawback. Usually, we’d be fine with just the one-week free trial. The only problem is, it isn’t exactly free. Users shouldn’t have to make a mental note of when they started their VPN test period, and Turbo VPN doesn’t make it any easier for them.
Is Turbo VPN Compatible with My Device?
Since it’s available only for mobile systems, Turbo VPN has limited platform support. If you aren’t running Android or iOS, you’re out of luck.
The free service can be installed on as many devices as you want. You don’t need any authentication to use the VPN, so there aren’t any device caps.
The VIP plan gives you ad-free clients and 20 extra servers on up to five devices at once. This is standard for most paid services. All in all, not bad.
This is one of Turbo VPN’s strong sides.
It uses AES-256 encryption, which is considered bulletproof. What’s more, you get the OpenVPN and IPSec protocols.
OpenVPN is the industry standard protocol, offering a great balance of security and speed. IPSec provides excellent protection and performance for iOS devices.
On the Android app, we could choose between both protocols – such variety is always welcome.
Turbo VPN Customer Service
Turbo VPN claims (in less than perfect English) to provide 24/7 customer support. Looking at the website, you may even get the impression that live chat is available:
The reality is a polar opposite.
There’s no live chat or dedicated ticket system. Turbo VPN does leave an email address for “feedback,” but the overall impression here isn’t good.
The customer support ad mentions “automated and artificial customer service.” We aren’t sure whether this means no help from actual human beings, or it’s just more broken English.
You can also find Turbo VPN on Facebook. However, expect little more than an auto-reply.
Helpful and responsive support is a clear indicator that a VPN provider cares about you as a customer. From what we’ve seen, Turbo VPN isn’t too interested in providing users with quality assistance.
Let’s start with the usual first step – the Turbo VPN website.
Skipping the website visit and going straight to Google Play/App Store is a much better move. We downloaded and installed the Android version. The entire process lasted less than a minute. Great!
The VPN app is simple and intuitive, but the ads can be very frustrating. They were predictable enough, but sometimes we got videos with sound – let’s just say we didn’t appreciate them too much.
You connect the VPN with a single tap. The “fastest server” option is set as default, but you can switch to a server of your choice with ease:
The Faster Servers tab is where you’ll find all the VIP locations, including the special streaming servers:
As for settings, you don’t get much:
Having the choice between the OpenVPN and IPSec protocols is nice, as is the auto-connect feature. But this menu would look much better if it had extra DNS settings and a kill switch.
Overall, Turbo VPN isn’t too bad when it comes to the user experience. However, once you add the non-existent customer support and severe uptime issues, things quickly take a bad turn.
Turbo VPN is all about simple protection. Its free version is one of the best, offering much more than the competition.
That said, the price of the VIP package definitely doesn’t reflect the added value. Power users will be better off taking their money elsewhere.
Last but not least, we need to mention this again – the connectivity issues with manual server selection are a huge drawback. We know we aren’t the only ones with this problem.
Multiple other reviews, as well as Google Play and App Store users, have brought this up. Turbo VPN absolutely needs to fix this – until then, you can do much better if you want to pay for a solid, stable VPN.
We recommend checking out NordVPN if you’re looking for a huge server roster, top-shelf reliability, and robust protection.
If blazing speeds and effortless streaming are your top priorities, ExpressVPN is another excellent pick.
|Number of countries with servers||1|
|Does VPN keep logs?||No|
|Does VPN include a kill switch?||No|
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Turbo VPN is easy to download and use, even for beginners.
You can launch the app as soon as it’s installed on your mobile device. It configures itself automatically, making for a hassle-free experience.
With easy access to the servers and no real settings, one tap is all it takes to protect your data. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on what you need out of your VPN.
Turbo VPN is mainly advertised as a free service, but it also has a paid version. You can subscribe through the app.
The VIP plan isn’t cheap at all – especially for a mobile-only VPN. You can pay for it on a monthly or yearly basis. The annual plan has a nice discount, making it much easier on your wallet.
Turbo VPN uses the payment methods of Google Play and App Store, meaning you’ll have to use your Google/Apple wallet, or include the costs in your mobile operator bill. Overall, payment isn’t flexible at all, and alternatives such as Bitcoin are out of the question.
Turbo VPN wasn’t the most reliable VPN during our tests.
It worked fine when we let the app pick servers automatically, but manual selection always led to the VPN disconnecting. Other users have been reporting similar issues for a while.
Sadly, if you’re looking for answers to this and other questions, customer support won’t help you much. Without live chat and an official ticket system, Turbo VPN doesn’t offer any real assistance.
Your best bets are the “feedback” email and the Facebook page, but it seems the answers are fully automated. If you want real-time help from actual experts, you won’t find it here.
- 100% free
- Unlimited data usage
- Fast and reliable internet connection
- Unblocks geo-restricted content
- Simple user-friendly interface
- Choice of 5 servers
- Get started with Turbo VPN now