Singapore-based Turbo VPN promises a lot, but does it deliver on its claims?
To find out, I tested out the free version of the app in hopes of seeing improved speeds, reliable connectivity, and a better browsing experience. However, was it worth it? Did Turbo VPN come to my rescue and allow me to browse everything that I wanted?
Spoiler Alert: No, it didn't. You might think that an app with 300 million downloads must be good, right? Well, wrong! While the app was easy to use and had a clean user interface, the constant ads annoyed me. Not to mention, I discovered malware in the Windows app which poses a security threat.
Turbo VPN also has apps for iOS and Android. However, the experience was just mediocre as it doesn’t allow many servers on the free version. Other than that, the permissions it requested were not anything to worry about, and you can get the Turbo VPN app from its homepage.
To find out more about how the app fared in my testing, read the guide below and make sure to keep everything in mind before investing your time in Turbo VPN. If you don't like it, there are a lot of other better VPNs you can choose from.
Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
- Great for unblocking some streaming sites. Turbo VPN came through and unblocked HBO Max and Hulu without any hassle. However, it wasn’t the same with other streaming sites.
- Excellent if you just want to mask your IP, not built for privacy or security. It promises to keep your data safe while browsing. However, my testing results showed data leaks and questionable logging policies.
- Has a decent free trial period. You can take a look at the pricing section to find out the difference between the free and the paid version.
- Too slow for gaming. This makes the gaming experience choppy, and I recommend you look somewhere else. You can see my gaming results below.
- Available on all platforms. It works on Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. The apps' overall performance is great, with a smooth user interface.
- Multiple simultaneous connections. You can use Turbo VPN on up to 5 at the same time.
- 21,000 servers in 47 countries. The VPN has fewer servers on the free version. You can see their performance test results here.
- There’s no kill switch on the desktop app. This makes the app unsafe to use. There are some subtle differences between each version of the app.
- It doesn’t allow torrenting. Turbo VPN says it will ban your account if you use the VPN for P2P. logs your data, and it doesn’t allow torrenting as it has no P2P-friendly servers.
- Turbo VPN is easy to set up and install. You can take a look at the quick process here.
Turbo VPN Features — Updated in February 2023
Money Back Guarantee
Does VPN keep logs?
Number of servers
Number of devices per license
Based in country
Streaming — Unblocks HBO Max, Hulu, and Funimation
Turbo VPN performed really well with some websites and suffered disaster with others. It worked for streaming HBO Max, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Funimation. However, the free version quickly showed its limitations when I opened up Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It can be installed on the Amazon Fire TV Stick, so I was disappointed it couldn’t access Prime Video.
I tried streaming shows from BBC iPlayer and Fox but couldn’t because the app kept crashing. Netflix India worked as usual because that’s where I’m from. However, Netflix Netherlands, UK, and Canada weren’t working.
|Amazon Prime Video
Unblocked: HBO Max and Funimation
To my surprise, HBO Max worked. I did not expect Turbo VPN to work with HBO Max as it didn’t with Disney+ or Netflix. As soon as I connected Turbo VPN, changed my IP to a US location, and refreshed the HBO Max page, it loaded up.
I was able to unblock HBO Max with Turbo VPN
I tried streaming Game of Thrones, and everything worked smoothly. There were no hiccups, and the streaming quality was excellent.
The next streaming site that surprised me was Funimation. I’m an avid anime fan and love a lot of shows, from the classic One Piece to newer titles such as The Rising of the Shield Hero. I clicked on an episode of My Hero Academia, and it worked seamlessly without any hiccups. The streaming felt quick, and the quality was brilliant.
Turbo VPN also unblocks Funimation
Turbo VPN also helped me unblock some other streaming platforms, such as Crunchyroll, Hulu, VRV, Peacock TV, and many more. These sites are already readily available in many countries, so it wasn’t a hard task.
This is where all the good things end, unfortunately. My other streaming tests were just disappointing.
Blocked By: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, ESPN, FuboTV, and Disney+
I was led to believe that Turbo VPN can unblock these sites because the iOS and desktop apps have “specialized streaming servers” that allow you to bypass geo-block restrictions. However, they are only available to Premium users.
Turbo VPN has a selection of streaming-specific servers
This was the biggest disappointment for me. Netflix seemed to work perfectly fine at first. However, when I took a closer look, it was just loading my local library. However, when I tried looking for The Wonderful: Stories from the Space Station (which is only available on Netflix US), it wasn’t available. You can still access your local shows and movies if you happen to be connected to Turbo VPN, but it can't unblock content from other regions.
It turns out that Turbo VPN requires you to have the VIP or the Premium subscription to watch shows from Netflix US. This is a big disadvantage and takes off a lot of points from it.
Turbo VPN shouldn’t be your first choice for streaming Netflix as it is not supported in the free version and is locked behind a pay gate. Instead, we recommend you check out the list of VPNs that work with Netflix.
Disney+ has the same issue as Netflix. Turbo VPN locks Disney+ using its “special servers” that require a payment. However, it didn’t stop me from trying it out once, and I went and loaded up the webpage. To my surprise, Disney+ loaded up. I was happy to see that it did, and I quickly clicked on the login button to watch some Loki episodes.
However, this led me to a blank page, and the login page never loaded up. I tried refreshing it, clearing the browser cache, and everything else that you can think of. But, it doesn’t work, and all you will see is a black screen.
Disney+ wouldn’t load while I was connected to Turbo VPN
If you need a VPN that can stream shows from Disney+, I recommend checking the list of the best VPNs for Disney+.
Amazon Prime Video had the same problem as Netflix with Turbo VPN. It lets me access local shows but doesn’t allow me to view any geo-blocked content.
When I tried Hotstar, I couldn’t even load the homepage. It got stuck on a blank screen with tabs for movies, as shown in the screenshot above. I tried everything but to no avail.
I couldn’t load Hotstar with Turbo VPN either
If you want to stream content from any of these sites, I recommend staying far away from Turbo VPN. It might look like an attractive package at first, but it doesn’t work well.
Speeds — A Disappointing 90% Loss
The name Turbo suggests that you would have blazing fast speeds, right? Wrong!
With VPNs, loss in download and upload speeds is expected due to the encryption, but this is excessive. I tried to compare all the available servers but couldn't as the app kept on crashing, so I could only test the Singapore and US servers. Turbo VPN dropped my download and upload speeds by a tonne.
Since Turbo VPN has fewer servers than other VPNs, it makes sense that your data transfer speeds decrease significantly.
You need a speedy internet connection to stream all content in HD and play games without a hitch. So, if you don’t have great speeds, then forget about streaming in HD with this VPN.
For reference, here are my standard speeds without the VPN connected: 94 Mbps download, and 59 Mbps upload with a ping of only 4ms is very respectable. My download and upload speeds dropped to 17 Mbps and 6 Mbps, respectively, when I connected to the Singapore server. Not to mention the ping went up a considerable amount to 535ms. This is a loss of 70% on download speeds and a staggering loss of 90% on upload speeds.
I lost up to 90% of my speed with Turbo VPN
I ran a test with the US server, and I saw my speeds drop down to 3.11 Mbps for downloads and 9.61 Mbps for uploads. This is a loss of more than 90% on the download speed and more than 80% on upload speed. In fact, the ping went up to 336ms, which makes this a whole lot worse. Hence, I wouldn’t recommend you use TurboVPN if you’re looking for a fast connection.
Are Turbo VPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? No
Looking to get a fast VPN for gaming? Turbo VPN caught your eye as it promises a faster gaming experience? Well, I won’t blame you for thinking so, as it did hook me too.
I measured three things during my speed tests:
- Download speed — This is the rate at which you can download character models, maps, and other vital information for playing the game. Higher download speed will also help you have accurate timing when a player attacks you.
- Upload speed — Another critical aspect of gaming. This is how you can upload specific game data to the servers, which helps when you do something in-game or attack a player.
- Ping — A higher ping means you will suffer from lag, and a lower ping means you will have a smooth experience while playing the game.
Turbo VPN is not good for playing any online games. It decreases your download and upload speeds considerably, and it increases your ping. However, I gave it a shot, and let me tell you — it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
I ran Overwatch without Turbo VPN connected and set a baseline. I was hovering around 12-20ms ping, depending on the map. This delivers a pretty good gaming experience, and anything similar would be a great thing.
When I connected to the VPN and ran the game, I immediately noticed lag and the 300-400ms ping clearly. This is not at all good if you’re playing an online FPS title. If you need an excellent gaming VPN, I recommend you check out the list of the best VPNs for gaming.
My games lagged when using Turbo VPN
Server Network — Small With Mediocre Connection
Turbo VPN claims to have 21,000 servers across 47 countries. The number of servers you can actually access depends on the version of the app you’re using. If you’re on macOS or iOS, then TurboVPN only connects to the fastest nearby servers. You can only choose servers on the Android and Windows apps.
The server-to-country ratio is also an essential factor to look at when choosing a VPN. More server locations mean faster connection speeds. However, if your VPN has more servers but twice as many users, you will have slower internet speeds. Hence, it would be best to look for VPNs with many servers in multiple locations. This way, you will have better speeds with every server connection.
Some popular VPNs out there also support virtual servers, which essentially allows the service provider to cover more ground with fewer physical server locations in place. Turbo VPN does not advertise any virtual servers, and I did not get a clear answer out of the customer support if it has any.
Here is a list of all the TurboVPN VIP servers:
However, if you are using the free trial version of the app, you will be limited to a few servers depending on your device. Here is a complete list of available servers for all your devices:
Fastest nearby servers only (can connect with US, UK, India, Germany, Singapore servers)
Fastest nearby servers only (can connect with US, UK, India, Germany, Singapore servers)
Security — Lousy With Disappointing Features
Turbo VPN is not great for security. It claims to have a lot of features, but I won’t trust it with my essential data.
Let’s look at all the list of protocols that it uses:
Turbo VPN has several protocols to choose from
- IKEv2/IPSec – IKEv2 protects your security by establishing the SA or the Security Association attribute with the help of IPSec. It performed well in my tests, but it is pretty average.
- L2TP/IPSec – Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol or L2TP is nothing new and delivers a similar performance to the IKEv2 protocol.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) – OpenVPN is an open-source protocol that’s constantly assessed by professionals, making it one of the most secure protocols. It also delivered the best performance, and hence, I recommend using this.
- SSR (Android) – Scalable Source Routing or the SSR is a wireless routing protocol for unstructured networks. It runs on mobile ad hoc networks, mesh networks, or sensor networks. Hence, it is only available on the Android version of the TurboVPN app.
- ISSR (Android) – ISSR or the Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat Protocol was designed as a reliable and speedy connection protocol. However, I didn’t notice any difference in the connection speeds or reliability compared to the other protocols.
Turbo VPN also comes with a kill switch for the Android app. However, it is only accessible if you have the VIP version. Hence, it is a huge deal breaker as most other “free” VPNs come with a reliable kill switch. The Android app also comes with split tunneling.
It uses AES-256 encryption, which is the most secure so far. If you’re on the OpenVPN protocol, you are running the AES-256 encryption, but the others are still on the AES-128 encryption.
Turbo VPN has no leaks
I also did a leak test using IPleak.net, and the results were good. I had no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks on Turbo VPN.
I decided to test it further and scan it through the VirusTotal tool. These results were very concerning to see — the Windows installer had malware built-in. This Backdoor Agent malware allows your PC to be virtually controlled by someone else, and hence, it poses a great risk for your system.
The VirusTotal test indicated that Turbo VPN’s app contains malware
Privacy — Risky and Untrustworthy
- Name, address, phone number, etc.
- Payment details
- Activity logs (browsing history, DNS queries)
- Connection logs (IP address, timestamp)
However, Turbo VPN does collect:
- Your email address
- Any information you give away when contacting Turbo VPN directly
- Connection-related data (VPN location, your country, your ISP)
This is already more than what it needs to function properly, and with worrying links to China, the VPN service starts to look even shadier. Turbo VPN was developed by Innovative Connecting, owned by the entrepreneur Danian Chen, who is also responsible for other free VPNs.
I recommend you stay away from Turbo VPN if you value data privacy the most.
Torrenting — Doesn’t Work
BitTorrent and other P2P clients won’t work with Turbo VPN. In fact, it says it will block you from torrenting. Instead, I recommend checking out this list of the best VPNs for torrenting.
You need a good VPN for torrenting that keeps you safe and doesn't leak your IP to others in your swarm. Even if it didn’t ban torrenting, its lack of a kill switch makes Turbo VPN unsafe to use. It also lacks port forwarding, which comes in handy for torrenting.
We don’t condone illegal activities, so you should comply with the laws and regulations of your country.
Turbo VPN will block you for using BitTorrent
Does Turbo VPN Work in China? No
No surprises here. Some VPNs work in China, but the Great Firewall blocks Turbo VPN.
Turbo VPN doesn’t work in China
Turbo VPN is available in some other censored countries, such as Iran, Turkey, Russia, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. However, I don’t recommend using it if you’re browsing from any of these countries as the security isn’t strong enough to protect you.
Simultaneous Device Connections — Connect up to 5 Devices
Turbo VPN lets you connect 5 devices at the same time on a single subscription. This should be enough for all your devices, including a desktop PC, laptop, tablet, and phone.
I tested to see if you would have any performance reduction while using multiple devices. The results were identical to if you were using the VPN with only one connected device.
Device Compatibility — Available on All Major Platforms
This is where Turbo VPN shines — it has apps for almost every platform. The Windows and Android apps allow you to select the servers while the iOS and macOS apps only connect to the fastest nearby server. You can download the Turbo VPN app from their webpage.
Note: You can install TurboVPN on your Amazon Fire TV Stick and other Android-based streaming sticks. However, it doesn't have any browser extensions.
To be honest, the Windows app is hideous. The UI looks like something from 2000, and the amount of ads it packs in is just annoying. I’m also not fond of the constant reminder to upgrade to VIP as it doesn’t let you do your work without a pop-up.
Not to mention, the app crashed 4 times while I was testing it, and it made me lose some necessary data I was working on. So, it’s safe to say I’m not fond of the Windows app.
Turbo VPN’s Windows app is very outdated-looking
The Android app looks decent. It has a smooth UI and works quickly without any errors. However, it doesn’t have a lot of free servers to connect to. For some unknown reason, Turbo VPN has two different Android apps — the standard Turbo VPN app and a lite version with some cut-down servers and security.
I recommend sticking with the regular app as it is better, but it still has the same annoying ad experience as the lite one.
Turbo VPN’s mobile app is very simplistic