CyberGhost was founded in 2011 as a VPN provider. They are among the fastest growing VPN’s in the industry and have a heavy focus on server selection, affordability and ease of use. It boasts a decent network, but there are some cracks in its armor.
At the end of this CyberGhost review, we will see how good an option it can be.
With full support for Tor, and based beyond any 14-eyes jurisdiction, CyberGhost may be one of the most secure VPN solutions available. With first-class security, it provides a number of the finest privacy options.
Plans and Pricing
CyberGhost offers a wide range of payment options. You get the standard credit card along with PayPal, and Bitcoin, and cash, too.
|3-Years||$2.75||Billed as $99 every 3-years|
|2-Years||$3.69||Billed as $88.56 every 2-years|
|1-Year||$5.99||Billed as $71.88 every year|
CyberGhost’s 45-day money-back guarantee can be used on plans longer than 1-year, but for the monthly option you get 14 days. Unlike some VPN providers, this is a “no questions asked” policy.
To get a refund, you do need to go where the sale was made. If it was a third-party site, then that is where you will need to go to claim.
If not, you can go direct to the website to claim from the company itself.
CyberGhost used to offer a free version. However, since the introduction of the long money-back guarantee, there is no free VPN option.
CyberGhost offers AES 256-BIT encryption with an RSA key of 2048-BIT and MD5 for HMAC authentication.
The default protocol is OpenVPN, which is the same as most of the class-leading providers. You can however manually change this to L2TP or PPTP.
CyberGhost uses the perfect forward secrecy as an added security precaution. There is here a random-generated private key.
This will change whenever you log in to protect your on-line history in the event that your connection is somehow compromised.
The CyberGhost service by default uses its own private DNS servers. This may be changed to alternatives if you want, from the settings menu.
Client applications prevent DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leaks. At first installation, IPv6 is turned off by default. This means that you cannot leak any IPv6 traffic, unless you turn on IPv6 through the settings.
One thing to note is, although there were no leaks, most of the test results were showing we were using a VPN. This can cause problems in some cases (streaming), but for some reason as you will see, it didn’t pose a problem.
As privacy is such a major concern, there are some questions about CyberGhost’s behavior. In 2017, the service was sold to an Israeli company called Crossrider.
They are known for hiding adware and malware in software installation packages. They do this to monetize their services.
There is a kill switch that will stop the software you are suing from accessing the internet if you lose your VPN connection. This one area prevents any web leaks.
CyberGhost states that it does not keep records of user information or activity. They clearly state on their site that they don’t monitor, track or keep records of anything.
There has been some problems with the claim in the past. An early issue related to a root certificate being installed when you use certain privacy features questions the company’s claim that it doesn’t track user activity.
CyberGhost has addressed these issues directly and reported that they have been resolved in later releases of its software.
Although this problem may no longer exist, there is still some concern about the Web site trackers they use to monitor Web site activity.
CyberGhost now shows unrivaled openness and a willingness to involve the public on security and privacy issues in their zero log policy. This is not common among VPN providers.
Although there are still some concerns about their links to installing adware, and adding their own tracking scripts, it could take a few years for them to clear their name entirely.
Ease of Use
CyberGhost supports up to 7 simultaneous connections.
There is support for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android and iOS.
It can now be installed on routers, and there are detailed configuration guides how you can do this. There is also support for Android TV, and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, as well as Linux, Raspberry Pi and others.
CyberGhost passes their signing up process with flying colors. All you do is head to their web page and hit the yellow button that says, “Get it for $2.75/ mo.”
One you go to the next screen, you select your plan of choice. Once you have chosen, you then select the payment option you are going to use.
A larger box opens where it shows details of your order, and to activate your account, you add your email in the box provided.
You are then presented with the payment details section. This will vary depending on your payment choice.
You will receive an email with your details and your download link. Your username, password, and special key will be created automatically once you have created your account. Be sure to store your special key safely as there’s no way you can reset your account/password if you lose it.
CyberGhost VPN focuses on ease of use, and here it really shows. The client apps are well laid out, and it is a breeze to navigate. They have made everything from installing the clients to selecting one of their VPN servers easy.
Once you are logged in, you are presented with the services you require. The options include:
- Surfing anonymously
- Unblocking streaming services
- Protecting my Wi-Fi or internet connection
- Downloading torrents anonymously
- Unblocking websites
Once you get the hang of it, the server that CyberGhost selects may not be the most optimum. You can manually select another, which is better for your purpose.
The layout is clean and navigation is so easy that almost anyone can use the software.
When you are ready to be connected, you have two choices: you can either select a server yourself or let CyberGhost connect to the best server available.
This will nearly certainly be the server that is closest to your location. Therefore, if you are using the VPN to avoid geo-blocks, you will need to choose a server manually.
There are many features in the CyberGhost service
With its automated HTTPS redirection feature, your connection must connect to the most secure version of each website you are visiting. This prevents you accidentally falling into insecure sites and phishing frauds.
This is useful on cell phones or other mobile devices because the mobile users don’t have the chance to install third party browser extensions.
Websites track your on-line behavior so that they can deliver targeted ads or other content that will work in their favor.
CyberGhost’s tracking blocker will scan the website you are currently visiting for any tracking code and then blocks it.
This enables you to browse the internet in an anonymous manner without your activity being tracked.
In the Smart Rules screen, you can personalize your protection by setting a set of connection rules. A prime example of this is you can set up a rule to connect automatically at system startup.
Tor is also fully supported with CyberGhost. This anonymous network will relay your data through multiple servers, so it is practically impossible to tell who you are, or where you are coming from.
This can be a lifesaver for people in not so pleasant countries, or the ultimate in on-line privacy.
There is a built-in an ad blocker, though it isn’t enabled by default. You can navigate to the connection settings and activate it. This will keep you from being bombarded with ads as you surf the Internet.
Another more than welcome feature is the malware blocker. A good portion of websites you visit may have harmful files or viruses.
CyberGhost’s malware blocker scans every website that you visit against a database of unsafe sites. This enables the app to sift and block malicious websites before they damage your system or device.
An added feature is the NoSpy servers. These are specialized servers, which are located in the private Romanian data center of the company. The servers were built and are supported by a team of dedicated CyberGhost staff.
These NoSpy servers provide premium hardware, dedicated uplinks and more bandwidth to improve speed. This will keep users even more secure and are ideal for greater protection during torrenting.
CyberGhost also offers one nifty feature for mobile users. This is the use of data compression. With this, they will compress images and other data as a way to reduce bandwidth. This can make all the difference for mobile devices and users who have slower internet connections.
There are browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox. The company touts how good these are when installed in your browser; however, in reality they are not great for unblocking streaming sites.
They are neither as secure as the full app, and you can only select from a set number of locations.
They may be useful in a pinch, but, even if it is a free service, they don’t deliver that many benefits. Most of what they deliver is the chance to surf anonymously.
The CyberGhost network comprises more than 3,745 servers and spans 60 countries. The locations they cover are the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Asia. The Asian coverage is on the thin side with a handful of servers in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The CyberGhost VPN has been tried in different speed tests with servers all over the world. However, the overall performance was not very good.
The tests were conducted with nearby servers in Europe, where the average was about 60 Mbps from a 100 Mbps Internet connection.
CyberGhost speeds to a server in the Netherlands was a little over 50 Mbps. A US server (New York) as a benchmark dropped speeds to less than 40 Mbps.
After some other tests with servers in different locations, the results were similar. Servers located farther away from base were clearly slower and, depending on your location, would have a noticeable bearing on results.
Although there was a significant drop in download speed, this did not affect torrent or streaming downloads, all of which were buffer-free.
When they were previously reviewed, CyberGhost support was not the best at all. It’s nice to say they now offer great support. They have also now added live chat to their customer service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Users can also utilize the email ticketing system.
Chat support appeared to work well, and they connected with a representative in a few minutes. The staff were helpful and knew all the answers to questions.
You can access the chat support directly on the website in the bottom right corner.
In addition to chat support, the CyberGhost website also provides several guides, troubleshooting resources, FAQs and its support ticket system.
This can be one of the most significant tests for any VPN company. In the case of CyberGhost and Netflix, it was a surprise.
The company has a dedicated unique streaming server, which continues to change the IP address whenever it appears Netflix is trying to blacklist that particular IP address.
In testing, this worked easily, and for end users, there is not anything that they really notice differently.
It makes a change to say that a VPN easily avoids Netflix geo-restrictions. One thing to keep in mind is that if there is a time when you can’t connect through this server, it may be the case of switching to another server in the US, and the connection problem should disappear.
Looking at other streaming services, Hulu was accessible just like HBO Go, and the BBC iPlayer was playing. However, this caused a couple of errors, but again a quick server change solved the problem.
One of the second most requested features by any VPN to support is torrenting. Many VPN’s are unwilling to promote the capability of torrenting, however, CyberGhost is not among them.
CyberGhost not only supports torrenting, but also is one of its major selling points.
The service ensures that there are no IP address leaks from torrent swarms, and the customer provides a dedicated torrent profile.
Users can view how many other users are using the servers at any given time, so if your connection begins to decline, you can easily access one of the other servers that is dealing with fewer users.
This means you can get better download speeds. CyberGhost also offers port forwarding so you can safely upload files from your own system.
To make sure you are in the right mode, you will see a box in the lower left corner of the interface.
This is called “Ghost Downloads”. This function downloads torrents using non-locatable servers that you select automatically.
Of course, you can change it in the previous steps, if your speed is suffering from high numbers of users.
CyberGhost is very different to what it used to be. Now it delivers top levels of security and privacy, and with a much improved customer support service.
This takes it up a couple of levels, especially considering it bypasses geo-restrictions easily and promotes P2P file sharing.
However, there are still many areas where it can improve to lift it above many other VPN providers.
It is a close call, and this VPN provider does offer some unique features many other services don’t offer.
With a very affordable price, it is a good option for users who are looking for security more than anything else is.
It is a simple service, which can take some of the hard work out of using a VPN for new users. For the more experienced, there may be too much hand holding, and not enough flexibility.
CyberGhost is a solid service, delivers privacy, and features which are near to the best you can get.