Nowadays, internet restriction is commonplace across Turkey. ISPs are blacklisting websites and social media outlets that are deemed unfavourable to the current regime. With the climate of political unrest still being felt throughout the country, there has never been a better time to use a VPN.
Whether you are in Turkey on holiday or for a business trip – or indeed you live there – a virtual private network is capable of encrypting your internet traffic and maintaining your privacy, not to mention circumventing the aforementioned content restrictions.
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How to choose the best VPN service for Turkey
Local server coverage is important in terms of getting a reliable connection, although Turkish servers are fairly scarce in the VPN world, so any local servers are a definite boon. Finally, the service should provide easy-to-use clients for an overall seamless experience, and readily available customer support to resolve any potential issues.
Okay, without further ado, here are our five picks for the best VPN service for Turkey.
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Best all-round VPN
Number of servers: 850+ | Server locations: 60+ | IP addresses: 40000+ | Maximum devices supported: 5
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With three servers located in Bursa, Istanbul, and Izmir, this VPN offers solid local coverage. And IPVanish certainly impressed us on the performance front, with shorter hops being up to five times quicker than our usual download rates during testing, while long-distance results also showed a slight improvement in download speeds.
Native clients for both mobile devices and desktop PCs bristle with a wide range of settings, and the service allows unlimited P2P traffic which is great for the file-sharers out there.
The pricing is going to be an issue for some, as there are more affordable providers around. IPVanish doesn’t offer a free trial for testing purposes but there is a 7-day money-back guarantee. Of the three plans, the yearly subscription is the most affordable option. The packages available are:
Most secure VPN
Number of servers: 1118 | Server locations: 61 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 6
Five local servers (one of which is enabled for P2P action) make NordVPN the best VPN for Turkey in terms of server numbers. The provider delivered above average speeds in our tests, almost matching our normal (non-VPN) rates. The overall number of servers across the globe is a definite bonus, too.
NordVPN’s software supports a number of mobile and desktop platforms and different devices, and it’s feature-packed yet easy-to-use, catering to both basic and advanced users. The Panama-based service is P2P-friendly and supports six simultaneous connections.
The service excels on the security front. It offers a customisable kill switch, dedicated IP, DNS leak blocking, Onion support for extra security, and a double encryption feature with select servers (sadly, not for any Turkey-based ones). There is a clear and strict no log policy meaning this firm does not monitor, store or record any logs on its users’ activities.
The monthly billing is quite expensive, so your best bet is the rather affordable two-year plan. You can test the service through a 3-day free trial which is hidden away on the website, rather oddly – find it here. All plans include a 30-day ‘no-hassle’ money-back guarantee. The packages available are:
- [$11.95 a month] 1-month
- [$7.00 a month] 6-months - $42.00
- [$5.75 a month] 1-year - $69.00
- [$3.29 a month] 2-years - $79.00
Number of servers: 700+ | Server locations: 70+ | IP addresses: 200,000+ | Maximum devices supported: 3-5
This VPN operates its own network, which certainly helps when it comes to achieving blazing speeds. Indeed, in our performance tests, we witnessed speeds which were more than double our usual download rates with the VPN turned off. The server count is also at the upper end of the scale with 700+ servers in more than 70 locations around the world. VyprVPN has one server on Turkish soil, based in Istanbul.
The provider offers tons of apps for different platforms and devices benefiting from a largely intuitive interface and an impressively user-friendly nature. Strong security chops include the proprietary Chameleon protocol which helps to avoid deep packet inspection and prevent VPN blocking.
VyprVPN offers a free 3-day trial which is definitely a good thing as this provider doesn’t allow refunds of any kind. Paid subscriptions don’t provide much choice, and the monthly billing is pretty pricey. Your best option is the Premium plan billed annually, as it includes all of the advanced features (such as the Chameleon protocol). The packages available are:
- Basic: $9.95 monthly or $5.00 per month billed annually
- Premium: $12.95 monthly or $6.67 per month billed annually
Best VPN for desktop PCs
Number of servers: 1000+ | Server locations: 145 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 3
ExpressVPN offers some local servers in Turkey, although it doesn’t specify how many. During performance testing, we found our speeds were solid enough, and decent over longer distance connections too. The 1,000+ server count in 94 countries guarantees a lot of connection choices.
ExpressVPN offers streamlined and high-quality desktop clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, as well as Chrome and Firefox extensions. A bundle of apps for mobile devices round off an impressive collection of client software.
The commercial plans start off on the pricey side, and indeed the monthly plan is one of the most expensive out there. The service’s ‘no-hassle money-back guarantee’ eases the pain a bit as you are able to try the full package without any restrictions for up to 30 days. Considering there is no free plan or trial, this will certainly come in handy. As usual, the yearly subscription is the go-to option (you also get three months for free). The packages available are:
- [$12.95 a month] 1-month
- [$9.99 a month] 6-months - $59.95
- [$6.66 a month] 15-months [3 free months] - $99.95
Best balance of price and performance
Number of servers: 250+ | Server locations: 100+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
This Singapore-based VPN provider has two servers in Turkey. The service worked very well for us, delivering some impressive speeds that were on par with our normal download rates without a VPN. Ivacy doesn’t have a particularly broad server coverage compared to some providers, but with a presence in 50 countries, it’ll do just fine – and as mentioned it does have Turkish servers.
The Windows client is cleverly designed so users can simply pick what they will be doing with the VPN – i.e. streaming, torrenting, unblocking content – and use preset options to optimise performance for that particular task. This obviously keeps things very simple for beginners to the VPN world, but there are also some advanced options for those who need them.
Ivacy’s mobile offerings aren’t as impressive, though, being overly basic and outdated. The service is torrent-friendly with optimised servers, and it allows unlimited bandwidth usage.
Security-wise, PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, OpenVPN and IKEv2 security protocols are in place with 256-bit encryption. Additional features include a kill switch, split tunnelling, Secure DNS and IPv6 leak protection. There’s no logging or monitoring of online activities, or recording of any session data. The only personal data stored is your email address.
There are three pricing plans on offer here. It’s important to note that while there is a 7-day money-back guarantee, it’s only valid if you’ve connected fewer than 30 times or used less than 7GB of bandwidth. In terms of affordability, the two-year plan is the clear winner by far – considering that it’s hardly any more expensive than buying six months. The packages available are: