One of the most popular ‘Free' VPN apps has mysteriously disappeared from the Google Play Store.
TurboVPN which up until recently had over 10 million installs and over 1 million feedback reviews has completely vanished from Google's Android app store.
The app was first noticed as missing at the start of June but as yet the company behind TurboVPN has so far made no announcement about the strange disappearance.
TurboVPN vanishes off the face of the earth
We contacted TurboVPN via their listed Gmail contact address and posted on their Facebook account to query as to what has happened. As yet we have received no response.
There have also been no posts regarding the situation on any of TurboVPN's social media accounts even though a handful of users have already questioned what has happened to the popular free VPN app.
TurboVPN's own website is unusually quiet too with no mention of the anomaly and the Google Play Store link for the app returns an unknown result.
The situation is even more puzzling because the app appears to also have gone from Apple's iOS app store with a message stating “The item you've requested is not currently available in the U.S. store”.
Shady Chinese company behind the Free VPN
Free VPN services are never something we recommend because there has to be a way for the service to be funded. If you're not paying for the service then they're paying for it some other way.
This could be by selling your personal data or even by a government agency actually running the service as a way of vacuuming up large amounts of data about users who opt to use VPN services.
TurboVPN is one of the most recommended Free VPN providers across the internet and it's not surprising to see so. There seems to be few limits on the service and the adverts are sparse. Based on this, one has to question the motive behind the service.
Through our research we've discovered that the TurboVPN app is produced by a Chinese company but there are very few clues as to who actually makes it.
The twisted tale of TurboVPN's true owners
The official TurboVPN website domain “turbovpn.co” is registered to a “BeiJing shuming printing” which simply gives it's details as Bejing and the country code CN for China.
The “allconnected.co” site seems to be a site for a Google App called “SpeedTest Master” which is still available and gives a company name of ALL Connected Co., Ltd.
ALL Connected Co., Ltd has registered various trademarks including Turbo VPN, Freenet VPN, Super VPN Master and Robot VPN. They also have a further app on the Amazon app store called “Snap VPN-free vpn proxy”.
The contact email “[email protected]” for “SpeedTest Master” is also listed at the “Snap VPN-free vpn proxy” which unsurprisingly has a scary list of app permissions required.
Various Privacy Policies alongside the TurboVPN one for the above mentioned names are also available on the “allconnected.co” website.
A VPN service out of China is strange enough
China isn't known for its liking of VPN service. In fact, they've jailed citizens simply for selling access to VPN services. The fact TurboVPN is created in China is one that should concern you.
The now defunct Google Play store page for TurboVPN did state “For policy reason, this service can not be used in China. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.” but one has to question why a Chinese company would be, on the face of it, giving away free VPN access to all and sundry outside China only.
I can only surmise that TurboVPN's intentions are less than honourable and the unannounced removal from the app store should be a major concern for any user who has used or is using TurboVPN's services.
My advice, if you've got TurboVPN installed on your device, uninstall it at the earliest opportunity.
If you're looking for a reliable VPN service then check out our Best VPN Services for 2018 guide.