What Is The Best VPN for Turkey in 2020?

NordVPN is the best VPN available for protecting your in-country internet activities while within the privacy-unfriendly borders of Turkey. The service provides top-notch protection for your online activities and your personal information.

NordVPN Logo

  • Special Mode to Hide VPN Usage
  • Top-Notch Privacy Protection
  • Fast Connection Speeds
  • hashtagExcellent Customer Support

The provider owns the fastest connection speeds on this list, while also providing optimal privacy protections and customer support. Their price isn’t bad, either.

Internet Freedom in Turkey

Internet penetration in Turkey currently sits at around 58.4% of the country. Internet speeds vary from 8 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps, depending on the location and Internet Service Provider (ISP). The 1,000 Mbps speeds are limited to certain areas in 12 Turkish cities.

Freedom House reports that internet freedom in the country “sharply” declined in 2017, due to the repeated suspension of telecoms and social media access.

From June 2016 to May 2017, these key internet-related developments took place in Turkey:

  • Internet access for 12 million users in the Kurdish-majority southeastern region of the country was restricted following protests over the removal of 28 mayors in the area.
  • Access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube was disrupted numerous times in the aftermath of terrorist attacks.
  • Wikipedia was permanently banned due to its articles about Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Freedom House awarded Turkey an aggregate 2017 Freedom Score of 66/100 (0 = Most Free, 100 = Least Free).

Top 5 Best VPNs for Use in Turkey

Provider

Price

Link

1

NordVPN Logo

per month

Read Review

2

IPVanish

per month

Read Review

3

ExpressVPN Logo

per month

Read Review

4

Vypr VPN

per month

Read Review

5

VPN Unlimited

per month

Read Review

Why You Need a VPN in Turkey

Internet freedom in Turkey sharply declined during 2017, as the government repeatedly suspended telecommunication networks and sharply restricted social media access. In addition, sweeping arrests for political speech online were also reported.

In this section of the article, I’ll provide a look at the deterioration of internet freedom in Turkey, explain what types of content are being blocked and allowed, and what types of criminal or civil penalties a user could face in the country.

1

Outlawed Content

Turkish authorities continued to increase their lockdown on content in the country during 2017. The government blocked or throttled many websites, social networks and instant messaging services during times of domestic stress.

Blocking is continuing to increase in Turkey, as website-blocking tracking service Engelliweb found that over 114,000 websites were inaccessible from inside the country.

Over 90% of the blocked sites were blocked due to “obscenity,” which can include any site with sexual keywords in the domain. Many were related to LGBT issues. Websites that are deemed to be defamatory of Islam are blocked out of hand.

Blocking of news sites showed a significant uptick during the period, particularly those that boasted editorial policies that didn’t follow the government’s media narrative.

The Turkish government has made use of defamation charges to prosecute their critics, as defaming a public official carries a 1-year sentence, and insulting the Turkish President carries a 1- to 4-year prison sentence upon conviction.

The country’s anti-terrorism law includes penalties for spreading propaganda for terrorist organizations, with a penalty of 1 to 5 years in prison. The country has a rather broad definition of terrorism, so the law can be used against those who are simply critical of the Turkish government.

2

Voice Over IP

Voice over IP (VoIP) service is not actively blocked in Turkey. However, the government there is known to block websites and services in times of domestic upheaval, so this could be hit or miss.

As VoIP is an internet-related service, it’s subject to the same privacy concerns as any online service.

3

Social Media

The Turkish government has repeatedly blocked access to popular social media sites and private messaging services on security grounds.

Access to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and WhatsApp have all been temporarily suspended at one time or another. As mentioned above, access to Wikipedia has been permanently blocked.

When the social networks are available, you can assume that the government is closely monitoring posts and comments.

4

Torrenting

The Turkish government does block file sharing sites, such as The Pirate Bay, that host copyrighted materials.

5

Government Surveillance

Although the Turkish constitution says everyone has a right to freedom of communication and secrecy of communication, it doesn’t work out that way in the country.

Government surveillance, limitations on encryption and anonymity, as well as the bulk retention of user data are all serious concerns in Turkey.

Leaked emails revealed a contract between Turkish security forces and an Italian surveillance software vendor for the use of the company’s spyware software. The country’s 2016 coup has increased surveillance, with almost 70,000 social media accounts put under surveillance during 2017.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must store data related to their customers’ online activities for a period of one year. In addition to companies that supply connections to homes and businesses, ISPs are defined as any entity that provides an internet connection for a fee, such as an internet café, or for a period of time, such as a hotel.

6

Streaming Sites

Netflix is available in Turkey but is censored, and the content is limited to that which is licensed for viewing in the country. For this reason, the content will most assuredly be different from that of a visitor’s home country.

Hulu is restricted to the United States and Japan, while U.K.-based BBC iPlayer is restricted to United Kingdom viewers.

7

Legality of VPNs

While VPN usage in Turkey hasn’t been officially declared illegal, the government has blocked a large number of VPNs, making it tougher to free up your access to blocked sites and services.

The providers listed in this top 5 list have all informed me that their VPN service works at the time of this article. Of course, this can change at any time.

8

Other

Online gambling is prohibited in Turkey, with the exception of websites owned by the state-owned IDDAA sports betting company.

Turkey does take measures to prevent gamblers from accessing foreign online casinos, which include hefty fines ranging from 100,000 to 500,000 Turkish lira ($23,453.00 to $117,263.00 USD). Yeah, that’s quite a gamble.

How a VPN Protects Your Internet Usage in Turkey

Turkish internet users that are searching for a way to protect their online activities from the increasingly strict national government, ISPs and that suspicious-looking fellow at the internet café that closes his laptop whenever anyone comes near, can find their options to be limited.

Not all VPNs work inside Turkish borders, and the providers that do work can be a hit or miss thing, as the VPN providers and government seem to be engaged in an ongoing game of Marco Polo.

The providers in my top 5 list all work inside Turkey, at least at the time of this writing.

A VPN helps protect your online activities by encrypting the information sent and received by your device, protecting it from being observed by third parties.

A VPN also helps in opening up blocked content, such as that actively blocked by the Turkish government, by making it appear that a user’s internet connection is coming from a location other than the user’s actual location.

Choosing the Best VPN for Turkey

When considering a VPN for use in Turkey, the most important factor is whether or not the VPN works from inside Turkish borders. The providers that are included in my top 5 list for this article all currently work while inside Turkey.

In addition, you’ll want to find a provider that does a good job of hiding your VPN activity, protecting your privacy, slowing your internet connection as little as possible and providing wide-ranging global server coverage.

In this section, I’ll explain each service category, tell you why the category is an important consideration and offer a look at how well each provider performs in each category.

1

Special Mode to Hide VPN Usage

Some of the VPN providers in this article offer a special mode that is designed to make it tougher to detect that a VPN is being used to access the internet. While each provider calls the feature by a different name, they all work to make your VPN usage tougher to detect and block.

The providers below are listed alphabetically, with a check mark or “X” to denote if a mode to hide VPN usage is offered by the company.

2

Privacy

Privacy is always one of the most important features of VPN service. However, in a restrictive country like Turkey, it takes on even more importance.

A VPN provider should ideally be located in a privacy-friendly country, keep no logs of any type related to your online travels and protect your payment information by offering privacy-protecting payment methods, like Bitcoin.

The list below is sorted according to the privacy protections offered by the provider, best protections to worst.

3

Connection Speed

Connection speed directly affects a user’s satisfaction with their online experience. This is especially true for video and gaming fans who might be located in a country like Turkey, where the available bandwidth can vary from location to location.

When I test a VPN’s connection speeds, I do the following:

  • I test my ISP-provided connection speed.
  • I connect to each provider, then test the connection speed again.
  • I repeat the test, for each individual provider, on multiple days, at various times of day.
  • hashtagI compare the average VPN speed to the ISP speed to calculate the average speed.

All connection speed tests are performed using the Speedtest website.

The rankings are sorted in order of fastest speeds to slowest.

4

Kill Switch

A kill switch helps to protect the privacy of your online activities by automatically disconnecting your internet connection if you lose connection with your VPN provider’s servers.

Since this feature is a simple “yes” or “no” feature, the providers in the list below are sorted alphabetically, with a simple “Y/N” note to indicate if the provider offers kill switch protection.

5

Other Factors to Consider

Customer Support

Customer support is the one VPN feature I hope you never get a chance to try. Unfortunately, the chances are good that you’ll need to communicate with your VPN provider’s support staff at some point, even if it’s just with a billing question.

Always look for a VPN provider that offers comprehensive support. Support offerings should include live support chat, a self-service support library and a trouble ticket submission system.

In the list below, the providers are ranked according to their performance in the support category, best support to worst.

Price

While there may be a few “one percenters” visiting this website (and if you are, don’t forget to visit our gift shop), I’m betting most if us here are on a budget – or, at the very least, don’t like to spend more than we need to on anything.

Keep the following in mind when researching price: a low price isn’t necessarily a good value, and a premium price doesn’t guarantee premium service.

Along with a VPN provider’s pricing, take a look at the services they offer. Make sure they’re not cutting a corner here and there just to offer a “deal.”

Visit the website of any service you’re considering in order to view their latest pricing. Most VPN services periodically offer promotional pricing that can greatly reduce your subscription costs. Keep in mind, though, that these promotions may require you to subscribe for a longer period of time than usual.

If you’re not willing or able to pay for an extended period of VPN service in one lump sum, you can opt for a month-to-month subscription. However, you will pay more for your service over time if you decide to take this route.

The price list below is ranked from lowest price to highest.

Global Server Coverage

Global server coverage is an important consideration if you’re planning on using your VPN of choice to unblock website, streaming and gaming content, or other services that are blocked within Turkish borders. (Just because you’d walk a mile for a Camel doesn’t mean you should have to travel very far to watch your favorite movies or TV shows.)

The map below is a top-notch illustration of optimal global server coverage.

VPN Global Server Coverage

Multi-Platform Support

It’s an always-connected world, and many of us own more than one connected device. That’s why multi-platform support is an important consideration. Look for a provider that offers apps or setup instructions for as many of your favorite devices as is possible.

The rankings below are ranked according to the number of devices they offer support for, most support to least.

The Best VPNs to Use in Turkey

 

#1 – NordVPN

NordVPN Site Features

PROS

  • checkSpecial Mode to Hide VPN Usage
  • checkTop-Notch Privacy Protections
  • checkFastest Connections on This List
  • checkComprehensive Customer Service

CONS

  • Merely Average Global Server Coverage
  • Also Merely Average Multi-Platform Support

1

Special Mode to Hide VPN Usage

NordVPN’s optional “Double VPN” coverage routes a user’s connection through twin VPN servers, further obfuscating their original IP address, while doubly encrypting their traffic. This provides excellent protection against governments that block content or monitor their online activities.

Kill switch protection is also offered by the provider.

2

Privacy

NordVPN’s location in Panama allows it to skip the whole “keeping logs” thing. Panama doesn’t require VPNs to keep track of their users’ online antics, and NordVPN is okay with that.

The provider is also cool with privacy-friendly payment methods, happily listing Bitcoin as a payment option.

3

Connection Speed

NordVPN is the fastest provider on this list, with the virtual radar gun showing speed readings at 92% as fast as my ISP-provided speeds. That means you won’t be waiting forever for the fun to begin.

4

Customer Support

Customer support from this provider isn’t missing a trick, with a support library, a trouble ticket system and live support chat all making the scene.

Fast and informed replies are the rule with this provider, and the support library is always handy when you feel like doing a bit of digging on your own.

5

Price

NordVPN doesn’t require a high fee in return for its services, asking only a $5.75-per-month (payable as $69.00 annually) tariff. That’s a reasonable fee for the top-notch speeds, privacy protections and customer support you receive in return.

NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6

Global Server Coverage

3,348 servers stationed in 60 countries. That’s not the best in business, but it still makes for some pretty good coverage.

7

Multi-Platform Support

Apps for macOS, Windows, iOS and Android devices means this provider covers the popular platforms. They also offer app support for DD-WRT routers, as well as instructions for using the service with Windows Phone, Linux, Raspberry Pi and other popular devices.

8

Verdict

NordVPN offers the best all-around feature list among the providers on this list, coming in at the top of the list in the connection speed, privacy and customer support categories. In addition, the provider offers added protection for your VPN connection with its Double VPN protection.

All of this is delivered for a reasonable price. NordVPN gets the blue ribbon this time around.

 

#2 – IPVanish

IPVanish VPN

PROS

  • checkExcellent Privacy Protections
  • checkGood Connection Speeds
  • checkFirst-Rate Customer Support

CONS

  • No Special Mode to Hide VPN Usage
  • 2nd-Priciest VPN in This Roundup

1

Special Mode to Hide VPN Usage

IPVanish does not offer a special mode to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN, but it does provide kill switch protection to keep your online activities from being exposed.

2

Privacy

The United States isn’t the most privacy-friendly country around these days, but IPVanish doesn’t let a little thing like that keep them from protecting your online and payment privacy.

The provider keeps no logs whatsoever related to your online activities; plus, they accept Bitcoin for subscription payments, so you’re covered all around.

3

Connection Speed

IPVanish provides a fat pipe for your Turkish internet travels, delivering an average of 88% of the bandwidth I see from my ISP pipe. (Sorry, I guess I have Turkish tobacco on my mind?)

4

Customer Support

The IPVanish support department boasts only two support options, consisting of a trouble ticket tracking system and a support library. No live support chat to found here.

That said, I found that my trouble tickets always got prompt attention, and there were plenty of answers handy in the support library.

5

Price

IPVanish doesn’t offer the best deal on this list, but it’s not the worst either. At $6.49 per month (payable at $77.99 annually), the provider’s going rate is worth it.

6

Global Server Coverage

I guess IPVanish’s global server coverage of 1,000 servers located in 60 countries around the world isn’t outstanding, but it’s serviceable and should be up to most users’ needs.

Check the IPVanish server coverage map for more information.

7

Multi-Platform Support

Native app support for the Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV, Windows Phone, Linux and Chromebook platforms are all present and accounted for at IPVanish. So, all but the most exotic of computer platforms are covered.

8

Verdict

IPVanish offers attractive coverage for your Turkish online adventures, with fast, kill switch-protected connections, great privacy coverage and adequate global server coverage.

They do lack a bit in the customer service category, but their reasonable pricing might make some users overlook that.

 

#3 – ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Site Features

PROS

  • checkOverall Privacy Protections
  • checkGreat Global Server Coverage

CONS

  • 2nd-Slowest Connection Speeds
  • Priciest Provider in the Top 5

1

Special Mode to Hide VPN Usage

ExpressVPN doesn’t provide a special mode to hide your VPN usage. However, it does offer kill switch protection to prevent your online activities from being laid bare.

2

Privacy

ExpressVPN’s home base is located in the British Virgin Islands, where the government doesn’t require VPNs to save records related to their customers’ online antics. No user logs of any kind are to be found on this provider’s servers.

Customers who want to keep their payment information under wraps can use Bitcoin to protect their transaction.

3

Connection Speed

ExpressVPN delivers encrypted connection speeds coming in, on average, at 80% of my ISP-provided figures. Depending on your normal bandwidth, this provider should be up to whatever you’ve got in mind.

4

Customer Support

Customer support shines at this provider, with live support, a trouble ticket system and a support library. You’ll be pleased with ExpressVPN’s level of support.

5

Price

With a going rate of $8.32 per month (payable at $99.95 annually), ExpressVPN is the highest-priced provider on this list. However, you won’t feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick if you decide to subscribe to this VPN service.

The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6

Global Server Coverage

1,500+ servers spread out well among 94 countries means ExpressVPN will provide plenty of content-unblocking power, literally opening up a world of content to Turkish internet users.

7

Multi-Platform Support

All of the most popular platforms are supported by ExpressVPN, with apps for the Windows, Android, macOS and iOS platforms present and accounted for. Chrome, Firefox and Safari browser users can protect their browsing sessions with a handy browser extension.

Plus, there is protection available for select models of routers.

8

Verdict

ExpressVPN is the high-priced spread among the providers in this top 5, but the services it provides in return add up to an excellent value. Top-notch customer support, great privacy coverage and wide-ranging global server coverage? It’s all there for you!

 

#4 – VyprVPN

VyprVPN Site

PROS

  • checkSpecial Mode to Hide VPN Usage
  • checkAll-Around Customer Support
  • checkSolid Value for the Money

CONS

  • Privacy Protections Could Be Better
  • Slowest Connection Speeds on This List

1

Special Mode to Hide VPN Usage

VyprVPN’s proprietary Chameleon VPN protection sits on top of the OpenVPN protocol, ensuring your VPN usage can’t be detected via the popular deep packet inspection (DPI) method of detecting VPN usage.

Basically, Chameleon adds an additional layer of security by encrypting your already-encrypted data.

VyprVPN also provides kill switch protection.

2

Privacy

VyprVPN sags a bit in the privacy category. Even though the provider is located in Switzerland, which has no data retention requirements for VPN providers, it still retains information about their users’ VPN sessions.

The logs don’t contain any info about their customers’ actual activities, such as websites visited or files downloaded. They do contain a user’s real IP address, their VPN IP address, the starting and ending times of their sessions, and how much data was used during the session.

As far as sharing the data they save, VyprVPN doesn’t have a record of doing that, so you probably don’t have to worry about them sharing anything with the Turks.

The provider also lacks any privacy-protecting subscription payment options.

3

Connection Speed

VyprVPN is lacking in the speed category, with a mere 55% of my usual speeds. However, that might be enough for your needs, especially if the provider’s Chameleon protection is something that’s of value to you.

4

Customer Support

VyprVPN has things covered in the customer support department, with live support chat, a trouble ticket submission form and a support library.

Replies came quickly to every support question I submitted, and the support library was a great asset for do-it-yourself support sessions.

5

Price

This provider’s monthly rate of $5.00 (payable at an annual rate of $60.00) earns it a spot as the 2nd-cheapest provider on the list.

The provider offers a 3-day money-back guarantee.

6

Global Server Coverage

700+ servers, strategically located in over 65 countries, all add up to an excellent list of possibilities for unblocking your longed-for content.

7

Multi-Platform Support

This provider supplies native apps for the Windows, Mac, iOS and Android platforms. Router apps are also available from VyprVPN.

8

Verdict

VyprVPN snagged the 4th spot this time around, mostly due to its Chameleon VPN protection, great customer support and top-notch global server coverage. Better privacy protections and faster connections would have aided its cause.

 

#5 – VPN Unlimited

VPN Unlimited

PROS

  • checkProvides Special Mode to Hide VPN Usage
  • checkFast Connection Speeds
  • checkLow-Price Leader This Time

CONS

  • Privacy Isn’t Quite Top-Notch
  • Global Server Coverage Could Be Better

1

Special Mode to Hide VPN Usage

VPN Unlimited offers their own custom mode to protect your VPN connection from being detected. The provider’s “KeepSolid Wise” technology makes use of the OpenVPN protocol and the TCP 443 and UDP 33434 ports, making their VPN extremely tough to detect or block.

However, they do not provide a kill switch.

2

Privacy

VPN Unlimited’s operations may be based in both the United States and the United Kingdom, where online privacy is frowned upon, but they still don’t keep any logs related to where a user visits or what they download.

However, they do record how much data is used, which devices were used to access the service, and the date and time of the user’s session.

Bitcoin is available as a privacy-friendly payment option.

 

3

Connection Speed

This provider delivers average protected connection speeds that come in at 84% as fast as my unprotected speeds. That’s fast by anyone’s measurements.

4

Customer Support

VPN Unlimited may be missing live support chat, but it always provided quick and accurate answers to my trouble tickets, and its FAQ/support library area was always good for a quick bit of info.

5

Price

VPN Unlimited is the low-price leader this time around, asking a mere $4.17 per month. (You’ll pay $49.99 per year.) That’s a reasonable rate for protection like this.

Check the company’s website for current pricing.

VPN Unlimited offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.

6

Global Server Coverage

VPN Unlimited has 400+ high-speed servers located in 51 countries all over the world. While not the best around, their server coverage should do a good job of unblocking content.

7

Multi-Platform Support

This provider has all of the major platforms covered, including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux and Windows Phone. Firefox and Chrome users can protect their browser sessions with a handy browser extension.

8

Verdict

VPN Unlimited may have landed in 5th place in this roundup, but its Keepsolid Wise protection protects your VPN usage from detection, which is a valuable asset. In addition, its fast connections, decent global server coverage and low price all add up to a viable option for budget-minded users.

If it had better customer support and privacy protection, it would have ranked higher on the list.

Getting the Most Out of Your VPN in Turkey

Before enjoying your newfound internet freedom, why not take a look at a few ways to optimize your VPN connection?

Step #1 – Install and Test Your VPN Before Entering Turkey

When preparing for a visit to a restrictive country like Turkey, purchase, install and test your VPN subscription before entering the country’s borders. That will ensure you’ll be able to keep your internet activities on the down-low.

Step #2 – Install and Use the Tor Browser (Optional)

The Tor Browser has an off-and-on record as far as working in Turkey goes, but it’s still a valuable tool in your privacy arsenal.

Tor Browser Image

Tor adds an additional layer of anonymity to your browser traffic by routing it through a volunteer network of thousands of Tor users. This helps to obfuscate your real IP address and location, making it tougher to track your online activity back to your device.

For more information or to download the Tor Browser, visit the Tor Project website.

Step #3 – Connect Directly to Your Router via an Ethernet Cable (Optional)

This step is entirely optional, and may not even be feasible, depending on where you use your device. However, if it is possible to connect your device directly to your local router by using an Ethernet cable, you will reap improved performance.

Ethernet port

I’m aware that not many connected devices boast an Ethernet port as part of their standard features these days, but you can likely find an Ethernet adapter for your device on Amazon or at your local computer store. (Those are still a thing, right?)

Step #4 – Manually Select a VPN Server

If you’re looking to access streaming or gaming content, or another type of service that’s normally blocked in your area, take the time to manually select the location of your VPN server. This will definitely improve your chances of accessing that blocked content you’re longing for.

ExpressVPN ConnectedExpressVPN Location Options

Step #5 – Test Your Connection Speed and Location

Once you’re connected to your VPN provider, take a beat and test the speed and location of your VPN connection.

Visit the Speedtest website and test your upload and download speed. You’ll also see the location that the VPN has assigned to you.

If your connection speeds or the location aren’t what you expected, disconnect from the VPN, reconnect and test until everything is up to par.

Speed Test

My Final Verdict

Any of the providers we’ve discussed here will do a great job of protecting your Turkish internet activities. However, only one provider is the top turkey. (You had to be expecting that, right?)

NordVPN delivers super-fast connections, as well as great privacy protection and customer support. Its wide-ranging global server coverage provides plenty of content-unlocking options. Plus, the provider’s asking price is quite reasonable.

Top 5 Best VPNs for Use in Turkey

Provider

Price

Link

1

NordVPN Logo

per month

Read Review

2

IPVanish

per month

Read Review

3

ExpressVPN Logo

per month

Read Review

4

Vypr VPN

per month

Read Review

5

VPN Unlimited

per month

Read Review

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