Turbo VPN review: A free VPN that could, nevertheless, be too expensive

Ali Qamar Last updated: September 21, 2022 Read time: 17 minutes Disclosure
Facts checked by Abeerah Hashim

A free VPN can be too expensive if it doesn't really protect your privacy, exposes your data to its commercial partners, or is under the authority of a government such as China. All these things make TurboVPN a VPN to avoid at all costs.

The Google Play store shows four million reviews for Turbo VPN. That’s no small feat, and it’s even more significant when you realize that the app is rated with 4.5 stars. So this is a virtual private network (VPN) with an extensive user base in the Android ecosystem at least. That alone makes it worth it to write an honest review of Turbo VPN. And that’s what you’ll get in this article.

If you know some of my other writing for this site, you’ll know that ExpressVPN is always my first choice whenever I need VPN services. However, my unbiased review of Turbo VPN will give you all the relevant information you need to know about this VPN service so you can decide if this is the vendor you need.

Turbo VPN is headquartered in Singapore and China. Singapore is one of the leading tech hubs in Asia, of course, as is China. But the latter country is openly hostile towards VPNs, so it’s a bit surprising that a VPN as successful as Turbo VPN is located there.

The provider’s claim to fame is closely associated with its free service. So yes, you can use Turbo VPN for free if you choose, but hold your horses: free VPNs are awful news most of the time. Free VPNs have to pay their bills somehow, and if you’re going to use one, it’s vital to make sure that they won’t fulfill their obligations by turning you into their selling product (more on that later). This is why it matters to understand a free VPN business model before you join it.

As I dug into Turbo VPN’s world, I found a few things I didn’t like at all. Having no customer service whatsoever available doesn’t help my confidence either. Overall, I find using Turbo VPN a scary proposition, to say the least. Because I don’t consider the lack of fees an advantage for VPN networks, I find it hard to understand why those four and a half million users in Google Play chose Turbo VPN over a genuinely excellent service such as ExpressVPN. But keep reading; answers are on the way.

Turbo VPN key data at a glance

Data cap Fair usage policy
Speed 41Mbps (my base speed was 100Mbps)
Logging policy Intrusive logging
Data leaks No
Jurisdiction Five-Eyes member
Servers 21,000+
IP addresses Not disclosed
Countries 45+
US Netflix No
Torrenting No
Works in China No
Support Email & Online Resource Only
Official Website https://turbovpn.com/

Turbo VPN’s pricing

TurboVPN pricing

I mentioned already that Turbo VPN is mainly used and known as a free VPN, so the VIP package available is easily ignored. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing when you see that the monthly fee is 11.99 USD (which is higher than the market standard, if you pay just one more dollar, you can get ExpressVPN or NordVPN that are vastly superior).

If you go for the yearly plan and pay 35.99 USD in a single installment, your monthly cost will be 2.99 USD. That’s reasonable, but the fact remains that there is more bang for your buck elsewhere in the industry, even at that pricing level.

There’s one payment method available only: Google Play App Store. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It facilitates unsubscribing or canceling your membership if you wish, but it also means that you can’t pay with Bitcoin (an obligatory option for anonymity enthusiasts) or Paymentwall.

While I never endorse free VPNs, I wouldn’t suggest that you pay for a Turbo VPN subscription either. And you’ll see why if you read the rest of this text.

Its infamous free service

Turbo VPN’s free option has no limitations, and it’s pretty impressive. Moreover, it’s a valuable option for users worldwide who need access to information or services they couldn’t get otherwise.

Free VPNs are not the best privacy or anonymity tool for sure, but if you live in a country with a volatile or oppressive political environment, they can be priceless resources to access otherwise forbidden news sources, apps, social media, and other things. So there is merit in Turbo VPN free service as an emergency tool. But even in that context, you’d be better off using a premium VPN if you can.

Turbo VPN and video streaming services

TurboVPN streaming

An increasingly popular use case for VPN services is unblocking Netflix and other streaming services. You’ll get access to a different content selection if you can make the vendor think you’re connecting from another country.