Turbo VPN Review: How to Put it to a Good Use?
Turbo VPN is a VPN service under the Chinese jurisdiction for Android and iOS-based mobile devices.
It’s a free VPN with the freemium pricing policy (i.e. it has a free plan and an unlimited “VIP” plan).
In this review, I will give you unbiased information about this provider. I have looked at the functions of Turbo VPN, conducted all the necessary tests and analyzed real user reviews.
What does Turbo VPN’s free plan have to offer?
Are those functions enough for common and complex tasks?
How to put it to good use?
I’ll give a comprehensive answer to these and other questions.
For your convenience, here’s a navigation menu for quick section access:
- Turbo VPN: Functions
- Turbo VPN: Pros
- Turbo VPN: Cons
- Peculiarities of use
- Plans & Prices
- Information about the owner company
- Top 3 Alternatives
Turbo VPN: Functions
Free VPN Rating
Paid VPN Rating
Paid version only
- Obfuscation of the IP and the URLs of the websites you visit
- Site unblocking
- Reliable traffic encryption
- Bypassing VPN blocks (paid subscription only)
- OpenVPN and IPsec protocols
- No IP leaks
Extra functions and unavailable possibilities:
- Torrenting doesn’t work
- Netflix works only with the paid version
- No Kill Switch function
Turbo VPN is mostly suited for solving simple tasks with its basic functions. However, according to user comments, its paid version can bypass the Great Firewall.
A Reddit post about using Turbo VPN in China
This alone is pretty great because very few VPNs are optimized for China.
I have tested all functions of both free and “VIP” versions of Turbo VPN and will tell you about the test results in the Pros and Cons sections.
Turbo VPN: Pros
The choice of locations
On Android, there is a choice of 8 servers in 7 countries for the free plan:
US, CA, UK, DE, NL, IN, SG.
It is more than most free VPNs offer. For one, Opera VPN has only 3 countries.
On iOS, you can’t choose a VPN server on the free plan and have to connect automatically. For me, it was the UK all the time.
18 countries are available for the paid “VIP” plan: US, CA, UK, AU, NL, DE, ES, IT, SE, FI, FR, JP, KR, SG, HK, IN, RU, BR (on both platforms).
Speed tests showed good results compared to other free VPNs on both free and paid servers.
For example, a German server ran at the speed of 27 Mbps, while the same location with VPNBook showed only 7Mbps.
DE: Downloading 27Mbps, Uploading 20Mbps
But this speed was the fastest I could get. If you’re after really high speeds, you’ll be better off choosing one of the fastest VPN providers.
Unblocking geo-restricted video content with the premium plan
Despite testing Turbo VPN as a free VPN first and foremost, I have to mention the ability to bypass the geo-restrictions of Netflix, BBC, Sky Go, TF1 (FR), and Fox with the help of dedicated servers available for iPhone and iPad users.
Thus, you can use the paid subscription to unblock Netflix and other streaming services.
Before you buy, though, I recommend that you check out our best VPNs for Netflix rating.
And that’s it for the pros. Now I will move on to the cons of Turbo VPN, which, just like any other free VPN, it has a few.
Turbo VPN: Cons
No apps for Windows and macOS, no manual settings
Turbo VPN has only two apps—one for Android and one for iOS (iPhone and iPad). There are no other ways of using it.
The official website consists of one page only and is there just to give some info. There are no sections that tell you how to tweak Turbo VPN’s settings. Therefore, it is impossible to use it on Linux, routers or nonstandard devices.
For me, it’s definitely a minus, as good VPNs have apps for every platform.
OpenVPN often isn’t able to connect
While testing the OpenVPN protocol, I often had to look for a server to connect to. This process could sometimes take as long as 5 minutes and more!
The error you get when connecting to free servers
I noticed no consistency here: one day, I wasn’t able to connect to one server and the next day - to another.
Most often, I had to connect to a UK server, as it was available more frequently than the others.
IPsec, on the other hand, worked flawlessly, and I managed to connect to any of the 8 servers quickly.
However, I prefer OpenVPN to it, so long reconnections were a big problem for me.
Biased ratings in Google Play and Apple App Store
Can you give an app an objective rating right after installing it? That’s right, you can’t.
But that’s not what Turbo VPN thinks. Just as I finished installing their app, it asked me to rate it, and not just rate it, but by giving it the highest score:
Gentle soliciting of the highest score
This happened both on Android and iOS. I consider it a kind of manipulation and hidden review soliciting.
This window didn’t show up again after that.
Too many ads
Turbo VPN’s free version shows way too many ads. An app-blocking unskippable window pops up for 5 seconds every time you interact with the app. It happens:
- Every time you change the settings,
- Every time you try to connect,
- Every time you change a server,
- When the device is idle.
Using third-party services to show ads
It’s no secret that Turbo VPN makes money off its free users by showing them advertisements. But how does it do that?
The answer is unfortunate: by using third-party advertisement services that run their code right on the user’s device, as their ads are interactive.
Turbo VPN might have provided for all necessary levels of unauthorized data access protection and eliminated all vulnerabilities, or it might haven’t. What’s undeniable is that it allows third parties to collect its users’ data.
While testing Turbo VPN, it came to my attention that advertisers knew my location and language, judging by the contents of their ads.
This is why I recommend against using this app if you want a VPN for your privacy and security.
Peculiarities of use
In this section, I will give you some advice on how to use Turbo VPN’s free version at maximum efficiency.
1. Use IPsec on Android for easy connecting
As I mentioned earlier, Turbo VPN has difficulties connecting via OpenVPN. While testing this provider, I consistently had problems connecting to most of the servers available for the free version.
I really didn’t appreciate the constant struggle to find a working server, which took a lot of time.
I noticed, however, that I didn’t have such a problem on iOS. And since iOS doesn’t offer native support for OpenVPN and uses IPsec IKEv2 instead, I decided to try and change the protocol and enable IPsec on my Android device.
The setup you need for quick connections
And it worked! Now, I could connect to a server reliably and at once.
With that said, I recommend that you change the VPN protocol to IPsec at once after you install it on your Android.
2. Wait before closing windows with ads
If you try to close an advertisement window the moment it appears, you risk being taken to the advertiser’s site. You won’t be able to close those windows no matter what at least for 5 seconds, whereas the “close” button is really small and you can miss it easily.
But if you wait for 5 seconds, your chances of going to the advertised website by accident are much lower.
Other than these two hints, the app is fairly straightforward to use.
Plans & Prices
Turbo VPN being a freemium VPN, it has a free plan and several premium ones.
The free plan is limited in terms of speed, server locations, and functionality. It also shows you a lot of ads.
The premium “VIP” plan comes in two versions:
- $2.28/m if you buy a subscription for 12 months ($27.37/y)
- $11.70/m if you buy a subscription for a month.
Plans and prices of Turbo VPN
The twelve-month plan is pretty affordable, compared to the industry’s average prices. The one-month subscription is pricey, though.
But is it worth it to upgrade to the paid plan just to get rid of the ads and add a few locations to the server list? In my opinion, it isn’t. But in any case, take a look at our best cheap VPNs rating before making the decision.
Information about the owner company
Turbo VPN is registered in Singapore. However, it is known that it originates from China.
Innovative Connecting PTE.Ltd
Address: 38 Beach Road #29-11 South Beach Tower, Singapore, 339407
Turbo VPN’s features are not amazing. More than just that, it uses third-party services that collect your private info to show you ads. It does its damnedest with its intrusive ads to sell you its paid subscription.
On the other hand, Turbo VPN has okay speeds, is easy to install and use, and can even bypass the Great Firewall of China.
So, what is Turbo VPN a good fit for, and what for is it not?
A good fit for:
- Unblocking websites on Android and iOS (the paid version works in China)
- Torrenting on Android
- Watching Netflix on mobile devices (paid version only)
- Other tasks for mobile devices that don’t require security
Is not a good fit for:
- Desktops and Linux
- Tasks that require privacy and safety
- Tasks that require high speed
My general opinion on the service is that it’s a stagnating commercial product, the primary goal of which is luring in as many customers as possible by enticing them with free functions. The customers then have to either cope with tons of ads or upgrade to the nothing-special premium plan.
Top 3 Alternatives
NordVPN – the largest and cheapest VPN. It can be used for free in two ways.
CyberGhost VPN – a great one-size-fits-all VPN that offers a free trial and dedicated servers for anonymous torrenting and streaming.
ProtonVPN – a free VPN that allows you to use its full version for free for 7 days. Its full version provides maximum privacy and data protection.