Virtual Private Network (VPN) has been around for decades but when Edward Snowden decided to become a whistleblower in 2013 and exposed the surveillance that has been done by the government for years, there was a sudden influx of people who wanted to have a secure and private internet connection.
To accommodate the increasing demand, many VPN companies started to appear. They offered similar services at first but as time went by, many more features have been added to appeal to a much broader audience.
One such company is TurboVPN. As more people now own a smartphone than a regular computer, they decide to capitalize on that trend and focus their attention on the mobile market.
Established in 2018, TurboVPN is a Singapore-based VPN service that worked under a parent company called Innovative Connecting CO., Ltd. It is not unusual for a VPN company to do business and set up a headquarters in a country with strong privacy laws, like Singapore, despite originated from a different country.
Whether that was the case for TurboVPN is remains unclear. One reviewer said that they are a Chinese company, while their official social media account shows a strong bias towards India, even when as far as urging people to vote for the winner of an Indian version of reality TV, Big Boss, using their VPN service in one of their tweets.
So once again, the origin country remains unclear. But for now, the most important thing is that they are indeed working under a strict Singapore law.
There's not much information about the founding members or even the staff of the company either, other than "they began with a small team". That statement is taken from their official Facebook and Twitter account, by the way, no such information is available on both the TurboVPN and Innovative Connecting CO., Ltd. official website.
industry, NordVPN, only has a tenth of that number.
So what are the features that make them so highly regarded by their customer?
- Price. TurboVPN is a free VPN service with an option to join paid plans later on. Of course, there are several limitations with the free plan, like only a single device could connect at any given time with nine servers to choose from and display ads that ranging from acceptable to annoying. However, that much is to be expected from a free service.
The paid plans will boost those numbers but the price is quite steep, about US$10 per month. The yearly plans offer a pretty good discount but the overall price tag is still higher than the industry standard of around US$5 per month. They do offer a 7-day trial for the premium services, but you need to subscribe first and if you forget to cancel the plan before the trial ends, then they will automatically bill you.
- Speed. TurboVPN has a feature called a smart location, which means they will automatically choose the best location for you. The speed is quite decent when I use this option and the connection is quite stable as well. On the contrary, when I manually pick the servers, the speed is way lower and it keeps disconnecting every so often.
- Anonymity. TurboVPN uses OpenVPN and IPsec protocols to mask your identity, which is a great protocol and the standard of the industry. They also have a zero logs policy that coupled with the fact that they are based in a country with a strict privacy law should give you peace of mind in terms of anonymity.
They will also share that information to, among others, vendors and service providers and if required by law or if there's a request from the government.
- Security and Protection. TurboVPN uses Military-grade AES 128-bit encryption with additional protection for DNS leaks and also a kill switch protocol and split tunneling. Though the encryption is not as advance as the AES 256-bit used by most of its competitors, TurboVPN still packed decent security and protection for your everyday needs.
- Ease of use. TurboVPN has a simple and straightforward user interface that is not only easy to use but also looks quite nice. Upon opening the app, you will be presented with a button that will immediately connect you to the best VPN servers for you. All happened in less than a minute. You could also easily change the server to your preferred locations whenever you want.
- Accessibility. TurboVPN claims that they have over 10000 servers in more than 50 locations. But they never mentioned how much of those abundance servers are actually real, physical servers instead of virtual servers. Also, my app only showed me around 30 locations instead of the 50 locations that they advertised.
Other than android/iOS apps, they also have software for both Windows and macOS. It does what it's supposed to do but you can clearly feel that it just an emulated version of the smartphone app. The earlier version of the Windows client even asks you to install an android emulator first, then proceed just like you would in a regular android phone. So it's better to just stick with the app instead.
- No Torrent. TurboVPN forbids the use of the P2P network through their connection. They even explicitly said that they will ban your account if they found out you break the rules.
- Lack of support. There's no way to contact TurboVPN through its official website. Thankfully the website of their parent company, Innovative Connecting CO., Ltd., has a contact form, telephone number, and an email address from Gmail. There's also a different email address listed on their Google Playstore's page.
They also seem to reply to comments from the Playstore quite often, although most of them look like a template reply. They also have a brief FAQ page on their official website but it only contains bare-bone information on some basic questions.
For a very basic need, TurboVPN would do what you ask from it. But there are too many downside and risk involved for me to recommend it. The lack of transparency, support, and expensive plans are what concern me the most.
If you want a free VPN, then you'd be better of to use a reputable service like ProtonVPN. But if you want an all-around great VPN with affordable price, then I highly recommend NordVPN for you.