Virtual private networks (VPN) extend a private (i.e., encrypted) network tunnel across a public network. This secure way of transferring data enables users to send and receive sensitive data across shared or public networks as if their devices were directly connected to the private network.
Applications running over a VPN connection benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.
There are many CyberGhost reviews on the web, yet most are somewhat one-sided, focusing either on the positives or the negatives.
Here I paid for the service and exhaustively tested its functions, speed, security, and privacy. I noted down all the issues I encountered, highlighted its strengths, and compared the price of CyberGhost and other top VPN providers.
What is CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN is an easy to use VPN service. I tried it for a few days, and the first impression was rather good.
For starters, you can download CyberGhost free version and test it for a 24-hour trial. It is easy to install and simple to use.
Naturally, the first thing to check is if it works. I connected it to different servers, in different countries, and it worked like a charm.
The owner of the service raised some eyebrows, though.
Crossrider, (now Kape Technology) belongs to the Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, who was sentenced to 9 months in prison in 1996 for “grave deceit, bribery, and insider trading”, after being found guilty of manipulating bond prices in Israel in 1994.
Not ideal but the VPN performs reassuringly enough, as you’ll soon find out in this CyberGhost review.
Check out what the hard-cold data shows.
CyberGhost Essentials – Speed, Security, Privacy
Both security and speed are essential for a quality VPN experience, while the importance of real privacy can hardly be overstated. Let’s see how CyberGhost fairs in these domains.
One of the first things you’ll notice after installing CyberGhost is the time needed to connect to the VPN. It can take almost a minute to connect to a remote location with a broadband speed of 100Mbps. If you have a slower internet connection, it can get really annoying.
Otherwise, once the tunnel is created, the speed of the servers is good if they are relatively near to your location. During the tests, Germany and France had the fastest CyberGhost servers. I did some testing from Bulgaria and got good speeds from the servers in Europe and the US.
I had less luck with more remote locations like Australia, or Korea (and Asia as a whole.)
Overall, it is not the fastest VPN out there, but it is good enough.
Videos run smoothly, and the streaming services buffer well.
Torrent downloading is okay, of course depending on the server you use. There are a few dedicated servers, optimized for torrenting and streaming.
In other CyberGhost reviews, written just a few months ago, the number of available servers hovers around 2000. Right now you have at your disposal over 3000 (3,112 as of 29 January 2019) servers spread across 60 countries, which is pretty impressive.
CyberGhost protects against DNS leaks, IPv6 leaks, and port forwarding leaks. It can also force HTTPS protocol on sites that support it.
The kill switch is automatic and if the VPN connection drops for some reason it blocks the internet traffic. You can continue browsing without VPN protection or wait for it to be restored. You can also add exceptions to your VPN client and access them over a regular, unencrypted connection.
To finish this impressive security suite, you receive the CyberGhost WiFi Protection, a simple tool to encrypt your wireless internet connection. You get it automatically when connecting to a server of the private network.
CyberGhost was developed and created in Germany, but the company later moved to Romania, which is good for users seeking privacy, because there aren’t mandatory data retention laws. There is a small problem with the owner, who is registered in the UK, but CyberGhost’s official position is that the company runs as a standalone organization based in Romania, subject to Romanian law.
The good news is that it doesn’t log user behavior, so no connection logs can be tied to an individual user. Naturally, when connected to a CyberGhost server your IP is automatically substituted by a VPN IP address.
In some end user CyberGhost reviews, I found concerns about privacy and they are justified, to an extent.
The company has a no-log policy, but it uses your email address and anything else voluntary shared when registering.
This doesn`t exactly mean that the company will call the authorities to inform them about your activities, but for sure it’s something you need to know before installing and using the software. CyberGhost is willing to share personal information and is open about it.
CyberGhost is a VPN service with many merits beyond the obvious ones – speed and security.
Easy installation, easy to use, user-friendly interface
It takes less than 5 minutes to install the software, find your way around it, and connect to a server. It is highly suitable for first-time VPN users.
Cheaper than most of the VPN providers
At 5.25$ a month for a year it is below the mid-range for premium VPN providers. You can order a 2 or 3-year plan and save even more. Also, you could find a CyberGhost coupon online from time to time, when there is a promo-campaign.
Allows up to 7 devices connected with one account
You can connect simultaneously up to 7 devices to your account, running one of the following OS: Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux.
45-days money back guarantee
CyberGhost might have a single day for trial but gives a generous 45-day guarantee for new subscribers.
You also can refer your friends and get 45 more days free for each person who purchases the software (up to 3 referrals per user). Your referrals will get 45 days free too.
Works fine with Netflix
With CyberGhost Netflix streaming isn’t a problem. The VPN successfully bypasses all geo restrictions and allows access to your favorite shows from around the world. That’s not as easy as many VPN providers make it seem, as Netflix actively seeks ways to prevent VPNs and proxies from accessing its content.
If streaming is not your thing but P2P file sharing is, this VPN service provider has you covered. You can access your preferred tracker and safely get the desired torrent – CyberGhost encourages the activity and delivers excellent speed to facilitate any peer-to-peer connection you want. This ties in nicely with the next point in the list.
Out of the 14 Eyes
Romania isn’t part of 14 countries that share information about their citizens’ online behavior. VPNs located there don’t have the legal grounds to spy on you or share information about the sites you visit and what you do there.
Good and friendly support, excellent chat service 24/7
While preparing this CyberGhost Review I spent half a day talking with a tech support agent via the live chat option. He was very helpful and his responses came only seconds after the question. And most importantly, they were helpful, so thumbs up to the support team.
If you have any questions you can choose between the site`s Help/FAQ section, the ticket system and the site’s chat function. CyberGhost has a very friendly technical team who won’t keep you waiting for more than a few seconds.
Many useful extra features
The CyberGhost Chrome and Firefox extensions are very handy, but the service has many more things to offer.
You can block ads, videos, malicious websites, block online tracking and redirect every site to HTTPS. Also, you can improve your internet speed by compressing the data of the websites you visit.
As good as it is, CyberGhost is not without flaws. Neither is particularly glaring, even though some CyberGhost reviews I saw on Reddit almost made me think otherwise before checking the service myself.
Still, the shortcomings must be mentioned.
Not the fastest VPN
I lost between 20% and 40% of network speed using servers in Europe and the U.S. While that drop is to be expected by any VPN, the 80%-90% drop from the more distant servers (Asia, Australia) is unacceptable.
Minor privacy concerns
Although the company has no logging policy, some of your personal data is stored on third-party servers, which is far from ideal.
CyberGhost isn’t the cheapest VPN provider out there but certainly isn’t that expensive either. If you compare Torguard vs Cyberghost for example, Cyberghost is almost twice cheaper (9.95$ vs 5.25$).
Compared to NordVPN (6.99$/mo for the 12-month plan), ExpressVPN (8.32$/mo when prepaid for a year) or Perfect Privacy (11.50$/mo), it is actually quite affordable. It is in the middle class in terms of pricing. You can buy CyberGhost for 5.25$ a month when paid annually. You can also download the free trial and test it for 24 hours.
Generally, this is a great value for money because of the functionality, features, and security of this particular VPN provider.
CyberGhost Payment Options
You can choose between debit or credit card, PayPal and bitcoin payments.
There is a 45-day money back guarantee and a no questions asked policy. A minor deterrent is the fact that the free trial lasts only for 24 hours, but the generous money back policy compensates it nicely.
Do I Recommend CyberGhost?
Overall, I am pleased with the Cyberghost VPN. It is safe, works well for browsing, torrenting, and streaming. The speed is not bad either, and you get a wide array of servers worldwide.
On top of the low price, you will receive a good piece of software, which does what it says. Additionally, you get helpful and timely support. This VPN can also successfully bypass any streaming service geo-restrictions and also allows you to download torrents from otherwise forbidden sites.
My final judgment is a resounding yes. I do recommend CyberGhost.
Q: How much does Cyberghost cost?
A: Like many online services, the more you prepay, the better the offer. CyberGhost offers three billing plans – one month (12.99$), six months (7.99$/mo) and 12 months (5.25$/mo), which makes it rather cheap. Not the cheapest VPN service out there, but still quite affordable, as long as you like what you are getting for the money. Cyberghost does offer discounts on occasion as well.
Right now, for example, there is a Cyberghost VPN promotion – the New Year Special, and you can save 79% off the yearly plan and get 6 more months for the same price (18 months total). Before that there was a Christmas promotion, so you can probably expect more good offers in the future. Choose the right time to purchase, depending on how much time you want to use it, and you can score a sweet deal for yourself. So if you decide to purchase the software for a longer period, I suggest you wait for a while, because sooner or later a promotion will take place.
Q: How does CyberGhost VPN work?
A: It creates a virtual private network (VPN) through strong encryption, which keeps your data secure when communicating within the CyberGhost network. You will receive a new IP, that can’t be used to identify you or to spy on you.
Just like Mystique’s (from the X-men) power, the VPN shapeshifts you in the virtual world. You can still do everything you were doing as before, but the difference is that no one else knows it is you. From the moment you connect to any server, you receive a different identity.
Q: Where is CyberGhost located?
A: It is located in Bucharest, Romania. Its developers are mainly based in Germany, but the service runs from the Balkan country. In 2009 the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) declared that these Romanian laws which implemented the EU Data Retention Directive were an unconstitutional violation of Romanian citizens’ rights to privacy and private correspondence. The CCR held that the legislation was a clear infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, and which were disproportionate to the laws’ purposes. The court was especially critical of how the legislation amounted to a “presumption of guilt” on the part of any citizen whose data had been retained – this the court found especially objectionable.
Q: Does CyberGhost keep logs?
A: No. The company states it has strict no logging policy. The only data it stores comes from you during your registration process. Any activity conducted while using the CyberGhost network remains anonymous and is not recorded anywhere. Co-founder and chairman, Robert Knapp states that “The only way to secure your data is not to store it.” In 2011 the company was the first one in the VPN industry that published a Transparency Report. It publishes a new one every year since then.
Q: Is CyberGhost safe?
A: Yes, it is. Operating in Romania, it puts CyberGhost outside of the 14 Eyes program, which means that agencies and government structures can’t simply go into the company’s office, demanding information about your online activities, or ask other countries to do it. The program offers an automatic kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, DNS and IP leak protection, and a wide range of protocols – OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec, and PPTP.
Q: What is CyberGhost Pro and is it very different?
A: Of course I had to test the CyberGhost vs CyberGhost Pro version of the software.
Here you can see tab-by-tab of the user’s interface to see the differences.
I preferred the interface of the CyberGhost 7 instead of the PRO version. I guess it is nicer for mobile devices (although I tested the software for mobiles as well), but it didn’t appeal to me.
There you have the servers you can connect to, and on the left there is a list of servers for streaming and torrenting.
And before you ask, yes, because some servers were specially optimized for the purpose by CyberGhost, Netflix works nicely. We also have some nice features in the “Connection features” tab.
You can block ads (or rather try to), but it’s kind of a hit and miss. It DOES block the YouTube commercials before the video, and the ones inside it. It also works for the popup pages.
But it does not block everything. You still get some of the ads, banners, and popups as before.
I used CyberGhost with all of its protections/blockers turned on and they worked fine for the most part. There are some different opinions on the HTTPS redirection on the web, and it redirected every site over HTTPS.
You can also stop malicious websites. For this CyberGhost review, I tested a few and, luckily, didn’t have any problems I turned the malicious page blocker on and tried to enter some shady pages (took the URL list from http://www.malwaredomains.com). With the protection turned on I couldn`t enter most of them.
In “My Account”, naturally, you can manage your account details. You can view or change your plan, see your active devices, and add new ones.
Here is a nice touch. You can have up to 7 devices on your account. You can install CyberGhost on Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, Amazon Fire, and Linux.
All in all, whichever CyberGhost version you choose, you will get good service and support.
Q: How to Install CyberGhost VPN on Firestick?
A: The installation is pretty easy. You simply have to download the app from the Amazon Appstore and send it to your chosen Firestick. It should be directly installed and you can find the icon on your TV. If it’s not there, it should be in your Amazon cloud space. You can click the icon there and it will be installed automatically. You can also automatically protect wi-fi networks with CyberGhost for Amazon Fire TV/Fire Stick, or you can adjust specific reactions to known Wi-Fi networks.
Q: Does CyberGhost Work in China?
A: CyberGhost is banned from China`s ISP. You can still install and use it, at your own risk. China has a VPN ban since March 31, 2018, and using one is illegal and may be prosecuted by the law. So, officially, no, you cannot use it even though it will probably work. Unofficially, though, using a VPN in this country seems to be an entirely different matter. At least if you listen to actual people who’ve used one. Many CyberGhost reviews recommend it for use in China, because it does a good job in bypassing blocks, censorship, and helps to browse anonymously in the country, but the truth is it never officially worked there or in the UAE.