Access to US Netflix and Five Other Regions
CyberGhost is a good streaming VPN, able to unblock six Netflix libraries, Disney+, and Hulu through its dedicated servers. However, it's not always reliable; it only accesses BBC iPlayer and HBO Max intermittently.
CyberGhost is a very good VPN for streaming. It works with US Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
There are clearly-labeled dedicated servers for specific content platforms. There are even optimized streaming servers for websites in Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, and Poland.
All these streaming servers regularly change IP address to bypass the blocks set by websites like Netflix.
Streams Six Netflix Libraries
We easily unblocked US Netflix on all CyberGhost apps connecting to the US Netflix server.
The Netflix website loaded slowly at first. But, once fully loaded, it streamed an entire movie without buffering.
CyberGhost can also unblock the British, French, German, Italian, and Japanese Netflix libraries. This is very respectable, although it’s not competing with the likes of Windscribe (42 libraries) or PrivateVPN (32).
You can also stream Netflix through CyberGhost’s dedicated Fire TV Stick app. And the VPN’s Smart DNS tool lets you do the same on smart TVs.
CyberGhost’s Issues with BBC iPlayer
We tested CyberGhost’s UK servers to see if it works with BBC iPlayer. While it used to work reliably in the past, sadly CyberGhost is currently very inconsistent with BBC iPlayer.
BBC iPlayer’s VPN ban is notoriously hard to beat. Most VPNs struggle to bypass the geo-blocks from time to time.
To stream the BBC’s video on demand service, choose from this list of iPlayer VPNs that work more consistently.
Works well with Disney+, Not as Well with DAZN, Hulu or HBO
CyberGhost can stream Disney+ through its dedicated US and Italy servers.
If you select an Italian server, you can also access Disney+ Star content even with a US Disney+ account. This is the international equivalent of movies and shows included in a Hulu subscription.
However, CyberGhost is less effective streaming DAZN, Hulu, or HBO Max from abroad. The dedicated Hulu server was detected as a proxy, and the HBO Max server sometimes doesn’t load the website.
Slow Torrenting Speeds
CyberGhost has P2P-optimized servers, a kill switch, and a good logging policy, making it a safe choice for torrenting. But its average bitrate is much slower than the competitors and there's no port-forwarding or P2P servers in Australia. CyberGhost works for torrenting, but there are better VPNs available.
CyberGhost VPN is a safe choice to torrent files anonymously. It’s secure, has a sensible logging policy, and P2P-optimized servers on all its apps.
The VPN’s main issue is that P2P speeds have slowed down recently.
In our VPN torrenting tests, we measured an average bitrate of 6.5MiB/s, much slower than Astrill’s 16.7MiB/s and ProtonVPN’s 16MiB/s.
On the plus side, the VPN’s built-in IP and DNS leak protection worked well in our leak tests.
Finding the right server for torrenting is easy. Click on the “for downloading” tab and you’ll see a list of servers optimized for P2P traffic.
CyberGhost shows you every server’s load percentage. Choose the least congested one to maximize upload and download speeds.
For additional privacy, there are also NoSpy servers available. These are owned and managed by CyberGhost. There are no third parties involved, and so there’s less security risk.
For peace of mind, enable the VPN kill switch to prevent IP address leaks from unexpected connection drops.
No P2P on Australian Servers
Another downside of the VPN service is that P2P traffic is not allowed on Australia servers.
This can significantly reduce torrent speeds for users in Australia, which should connect to the nearby New Zealand servers.
Occasionally, the VPN blocks P2P protocols on certain servers to reduce congestion. Or to comply with specific laws in countries like Russia, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong.
No Port Forwarding
For privacy reasons, there is no port forwarding setting on CyberGhost.
Port forwarding isn’t essential for torrenting, but it allows faster seeding (file uploads) and bypasses blocks from your router’s NAT Firewall.
Fast Speeds on Nearby VPN Servers
Speed & Reliability
CyberGhost's speeds are more than fast enough for almost any online activity. It's particularly fast on same-country connections. Unfortunately, it doesn't compete with the fastest VPNs out there, particularly when it comes to international connections and ping, so gamers should avoid.
CyberGhost’s speeds are fast enough to browse, stream, and torrent without issue.
The VPN is fast on local connections, but slower on long-distance connections. It sometimes also lacks speed stability.
We tested CyberGhost’s local speeds by connecting from our test London server to a nearby UK server.
Here are the results from our local speed tests:
Local Speed Test results before using CyberGhost VPN:
- Download Speed: 100Mbps
- Upload Speed: 99Mbps
- Ping: 3ms
Local Speed Test results with CyberGhost VPN:
Download speed loss when CyberGhost VPN is running: 11%
This is a very good result, similar to rival VPNs like ExpressVPN and IPVanish.
Long-Distance Speed Tests
We also connected to international servers in Germany, US, Singapore, and Australia. Sadly, CyberGhost VPN’s long-distance speeds were much more inconsistent.
While CyberGhost still delivered reasonable results, it lags the current fastest VPNs we’ve reviewed.
Below are the full results of our CyberGhost long-distance speed tests:
- US (New York):
- Download: 26Mbps
- Upload: 59Mbps
- Download: 66Mbps
- Upload: 92Mbps
- Download: 14Mbps
- Upload: 45Mbps
- Download: 8Mbps
- Upload: 35Mbps
As you can see above, we suffered a 74% speed loss connecting to a US server, which is much slower than other top-tier services like NordVPN and Private Internet Access.
Connecting to servers in Australia and Singapore wasn’t much better, either.
Comparing CyberGhost’s Speed Against Other VPNs
In addition to our manual tests, we also record VPN speeds using our bespoke VPN speed test tool.
Speed tests run automatically four times per day. Test connection speeds are capped at 100Mbps to recreate a typical home internet connection.
The graph below compares CyberGhost’s average internet speed loss to other popular VPNs on our New York server.
Results go back eight weeks, giving you a good idea of CyberGhost’s speed and stability.
Clearly, CyberGhost is slower and less consistent than rival VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Sadly, this has been the trend since the start of the year.
The Longest Refund Guarantee You'll Find
Price & Value for Money
For long term VPN users, CyberGhost offers great value for money. At $2.25 on its best price deal, it's one of the best cheap VPNs you can buy. There are cheaper VPNs still, some going as low as $2.00 per month. But for CyberGhost's top-tier service its pricing is more than reasonable.
CyberGhost is a very affordable VPN. It offers monthly, annual, two-year, and three-year subscription plans. As usual, the longer plans come at a heavily-discounted price.
US$12.99/moBilled $12.99 each month
US$5.99/moBilled $71.88 every 12 months
US$2.25/moBilled $99.00 every 3 years
All plans have 45-day money-back guarantee
At its cheapest, CyberGhost costs just $2.25 per month on a 3-year subscription plan. It’s billed $87.75 upfront, which is 83% off the standard monthly price.
This is excellent value for money. So much so we rate CyberGhost as one this year’s best cheap VPNs.
The monthly plan costs $12.99, slightly higher than other one-month plans from top-rated VPNs like NordVPN or IPVanish. It’s also above the industry average of $10-12 per month.
Payment & Refund Options
CyberGhost accepts payment via these methods:
This is a good range of payment options, similar to most leading VPN services.
The ability to pay with cryptocurrency will appeal to the most privacy-conscious users.
Cash payments are limited to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria where retailers like Amazon, MediaMarkt, and Saturn process cash transactions.
You can’t pay for CyberGhost with Paysafe cards, AliPay, or UnionPay.
45-day Money-Back Guarantee
CyberGhost offers a 45-day money-back guarantee on subscription plans longer than a year. This is the longest refund guarantee on the market. On the monthly plan, the refund guarantee is only 14 days, though.
Refund requests are processed within 5-10 working days. It’s a “no questions asked” refund promise so there are no hidden catches or restrictions.
Genuine One-Day Free Trial
CyberGhost no longer has a free version, but it does offer a one-day free trial that doesn’t require upfront payment details. On mobile devices, the free trial lasts seven days.
You can’t use the optimized streaming servers, which is a shame. But you can test everything else.
It’s not the longest, but it’s still one of the best free trials available.
A Private and Safe VPN Service
Logging Policy & Jurisdiction
CyberGhost logs connection data of its users. That sounds bad, but this information is limited, anonymized, and aggregated. Crucially, your online activity cannot be traced back to you and no identifiable information is retained. This isn't strict zero-logs policy, but it's a perfectly safe one.
This anonymous connection data is aggregated, anonymized, and cannot be traced back to you.
CyberGhost logs the following data:
- Account information
- Logins of anonymous accounts per day
- Connection attempts
- Successful connections
- Country of origin
Many popular VPNs collect aggregated connection logs, and CyberGhost is no different. While the service is very private, read our Private Internet Access review if you’re after a 100% no-logs VPN.
In any case, CyberGhost VPN does not keep logs of user web activity. It won’t log your real IP address, the servers you used, or your web browsing history.
CyberGhost’s Transparency Reports
CyberGhost publishes an annual transparency report listing the number of legal requests and DMCA complaints it receives.
The company also commissioned an independent audit on its security practices in 2012. The security audit came back clean. We now want to see an updated audit for the VPN’s logging policy.
CyberGhost is Based in Romania
Cyberghost is incorporated as CyberGhost S.A. in Bucharest, Romania.
It’s in the EU, which has aggressive data-retention and sharing agreements between nations. But, Romania is the only EU member state to have successfully said “no” to the data-sharing requirements.
In any event, CyberGhost doesn’t collect any personal web logs therefore has no web data to hand over to authorities.
CyberGhost was released in 2011 as a free VPN by German tech entrepreneur Robert Knapp. In 2017, Crossrider Group acquired the VPN company.
Crossrider operated mobile ad platforms and a browser extension development platform. The latter allowed developers to create cross-browser add-ons and monetize them through ad injection techniques.
One of these techniques bundles a ‘Crossrider’ adware PUP (potentially unwanted program) with other software. Once installed, the PUP would serve unwanted advertisements via an internet user’s web browser(s).
Ad injection is not only intrusive but, if misused, potentially unsafe. Some developers may have in fact abused Crossriders’ capabilities for malicious purposes.
Below is a screenshot from a Malwarebytes report into Crossrider PUPs:
Kape’s Commitment to Privacy
Crossider shut its ad platforms in 2016, prior to acquiring CyberGhost. The company then re-branded to Kape Technologies in 2018.
Since 2017, the company has focused on global privacy and security activities. Following CyberGhost, Kape also acquired popular VPN services Private Internet Access and ZenMate.
Crossrider may have not always put user privacy first, but Kape has made a dedicated effort to do so. From our perspective, CyberGhost can be trusted.
Secure and Extensive Server Network
CyberGhost has servers in 91 countries, which is a lot. It is one of the largest VPN networks on the market. Its a mix of physically located and virtual servers, providing the best of both worlds, and its NoSpy servers are handled by CyberGhost directly.
Cyberghost has a vast network of 7,400 VPN servers located in 91 countries. Currently, only PIA VPN counts more servers.
There are servers in 114 locations, giving users a great choice of locations around the world.
As with many other VPN services, serer coverage in Asia and Africa is limited. There are currently 23 CyberGhost servers in Asia, but only six in Africa.
CyberGhost’s City-level Choice
City-level choice is available in the following countries:
- South Africa
The total number of servers in Australia recently increased to 239. The service also added new servers in New Zealand, with 13 in Auckland alone.
CyberGhost’s server list highlights which servers support P2P traffic. It also marks which server locations are virtual or physical.
The desktop apps display server loads, helpful to find less congested servers. It’s rare to see server loads over 50%, so you’re unlikely to experience slow speeds due to congestion.
CyberGhost’s Varied Choice of Servers
In addition to typical VPN servers, CyberGhost offers several other server types, optimized for certain activities.
These server types include:
- P2P Optimized
- Streaming Optimized
- Static IP Address
- Token-based Dedicated IP
Static IP Addresses
Usually, VPN apps assign dynamic IP addresses. This means you are given a random IP each time you connect.
By contrast, a static IP address server assigns you the same IP address every time you connect. This can improve accessing geo-restricted web content, as traffic patterns will appear more ‘normal.’ But, using the same IP address carries some privacy risks.
Dedicated IP Addresses
To get around the privacy risks of static IP addresses, CyberGhost developed a token-based dedicated IP system.
The system is made for internet users who want to use the same IP address, but are also privacy conscious. When you redeem a token, CyberGhost won’t know its details. Therefore, it can’t link your account to any specific IP address.
These token-based dedicated IPs do cost extra, and are only available in the below locations:
- Canada (Montreal)
- France (Paris)
- Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt)
- UK (London, Manchester)
- US (Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York)
NoSpy servers are also an optional extra. These servers are owned by CyberGhost in a private data center in Romania.
The VPN’s NoSpy servers use top-shelf hardware, dedicated uplinks and come with bigger bandwidth for better speeds.
No Multi-hop Servers
CyberGhost lacks multi-hop (or double VPN) servers, which route your traffic through two VPN servers, adding a further security layer. Read more about multi-hop servers in our NordVPN review, or in our Surfshark evaluation.
Virtual Server Locations
CyberGhost marks 60 out of its 114 server locations as “physically located.” These servers are physical machines in the country you’re connecting to.
The remaining 50 are virtual server locations. These servers assign the IP address of a specific country, but are physically located elsewhere.
Virtual server locations can provide access to countries in which it’s difficult to obtain a physical server. However, speeds can be slower if the physical machine is much further away from your real location.
We want to see CyberGhost disclose the actual physical location of its virtual servers. For example, ExpressVPN lists the real physical locations of its virtual servers.
While CyberGhost owns some of its servers, it also operates third-party ones, which is fairly common among VPN companies.
Good Privacy and Security Features
Security & Features
CyberGhost comes with strong security credentials, including the best protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a bunch of leak protection tools and blockers. It's not quite as advanced as NordVPN, but it does a good job encrypting data and hiding your online activity.
There is no doubt that CyberGhost is a secure VPN. It protects your web traffic with 256-bit encryption, and masks your IP address effectively.
Your IP is never exposed thanks to a kill switch and IP and DNS leak protection.
Fast and Secure VPN Protocols
CyberGhost’s apps use WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols. For OpenVPN, you also have a choice between TCP and UDP connections.
Recently, the VPN service removed the insecure PPTP and L2TP protocols. More proof of the company’s ongoing commitment to security.
To protect your data, the VPN hashes web traffic using the SHA256 authentication. And, perfect forward secrecy is achieved via an ECDH-4096 key exchange.
Wide Range of Security Tools
In addition to built-in IP leak protection, there is an impressive range of advanced security features.
There’s a malicious URL filter to block malware, automated HTTPS redirection, an online tracking blocker, and split tunneling. All of these features are included in the standard CyberGhost subscription.
The “force HTTPS” function redirects insecure URLs to HTTPS versions. Not many VPN services offer this feature.
Split tunneling is available on the Windows and Android apps. This lets you pick the applications to put through the VPN connection. It’s currently not available on CyberGhost’s MacOS client.
CyberGhost’s mobile and Mac apps are secure, but they have less security features than the Windows client. We’ll cover these in detail later on in this review.
CyberGhost’s Private Browser
CyberGhost has also developed its own free Private Browser that runs off DuckDuckGo. It has a built-in proxy extension, an ad and malware blocker, and a one-click deletion of browsing data.
IP and DNS Leak Tests
VPN security isn’t just about the strength of encryption available. We also tested CyberGhost’s apps for data leaks, tracking scripts, and intrusive permissions.
We used our VPN leak test tool to confirm all CyberGhost’s apps are free from IP, WebRTC and DNS leaks.
You can therefore trust the VPN service to keep your true IP address hidden and your downloads private.
Android Permission Analysis
We also ran the VPN apps through the εxodus tool, which reports on the trackers and permissions present in Android apps.
The Android app contains mostly standard trackers used to monitor usability. This allows the company to quickly respond to serious bugs and crashes.
These trackers include:
- Google Analytics
- Google CrashLytics
- Google Firebase Analytics
- Google Tag Manager
Lets put the above results into context. CyberGhost contains seven trackers while some of the worst VPNs have up to 28.
On the flip side, ExpressVPN and Astrill have two and zero, respectively.
Some of the Android permissions we found in CyberGhost’s Android app are a little concerning.
They have the ability to access your location via your GPS and network information. This permission is considered ‘dangerous’ or ‘special’ according to Google’s protection levels.
But this isn’t uncommon, and CyberGhost clarified to us that users are asked to grant access to this information only when using the Wi-Fi protection feature. If you refuse, it will still work.
Virus and Malware Checks
Finally, we ran the CyberGhost installer through a malware test to ensure it doesn’t contain viruses.
The software came back completely clean, as you can see from the screenshot below.
Typeform-Related Security Breach
There is a security “incident” worth highlighting.
In March 2019, CyberGhost suffered a security breach at the hands of cyber criminals.
The impact was minimal, with just 20 email addresses and 14 CyberGhost usernames exposed.
CyberGhost was very transparent about the incident, and reacted quickly to inform the affected users of the breach.
Doesn’t Work in China
CyberGhost has no obfuscation technology, so it's incapable of bypassing strict censorship in countries like China. It's also unreliable in Russia and the UAE. But there are reports of success in Turkey.
CyberGhost doesn’t work in heavily-censored countries like China, Iran, and the UAE. This is partly because it doesn’t come with obfuscation technology.
Obfuscation disguises VPN traffic to make it appear like ‘normal’ browsing to web censors. This helps bypass internet blocks in countries where VPN usage is restricted or illegal.
Surprisingly, the VPN service has recently started working again in Turkey.
Regardless, there are VPNs better that still work in China.
User-friendly Apps with Easy Setup
Ease of Use
One of CyberGhost's strengths is how easy to use and understand it is. It's a light and simple VPN, designed to be as idiot-proof as possible. We've experienced some minor bugs over the many years we've been testing it, but this is a minority experience.
How to Install & Set Up CyberGhost VPN
How to Connect to a Server with CyberGhost
As you can see from the video above, CyberGhost’s apps are well-designed, with intuitive interfaces.
In the section below, we’ll go through the similarities and differences of CyberGhost’s native applications in detail.
Desktop Clients: Windows & Mac
Design-wise, the Windows and MacOS clients are very similar. A simple interface shows your connection status, a list of locations, and a large connect button.
The right-hand panel houses a ton of functionality. There’s a list of servers with their distance and server load, as well as a ‘favorites’ section. Plus, you can easily filter servers to find those optimized for streaming or torrenting.
CyberGhost has developed a helpful search bar tool to filter its large network by country and by city. This means that you no longer have to scroll through country servers until you reach your desired city.
The Connection Features menu contains additional tools such as ad and tracker blocking, HTTPS redirection, and data compression. The latter reduces the size of images and files to improve speed performance.
There are further options in the Smart Rules menu. Here you can choose to launch the VPN on startup, change network preferences. On Windows and Android you can enable split tunneling, too.
It’s disappointing there is no OpenVPN option on MacOS. While WireGuard is a worthy replacement, we still like to see the user given the option.
Because there’s no OpenVPN on Mac, there’s no random port to connection option, either. To use OpenVPN, instead of IKEv2 or WireGuard, you have to use external software like Tunnelblick.
You can find full instructions on configuring OpenVPN for Mac here.
Mobile Apps: Android & iOS
CyberGhost’s iOS app is far simpler than the desktop clients.
It has a relatively basic interface, and barely any customization settings. The Android app is similarly designed but has a longer list of features due to the limitations imposed on iOS devices by Apple.
On iOS, there are options for a dedicated IP, domain fronting, and a connection checker. On Android, there’s additional options for split tunneling, an ad and tracker blocker, and protection against malicious websites.
Both mobile apps use WireGuard as the default protocol, but the Android app also has OpenVPN. Read our WireGuard vs OpenVPN comparison to learn more about the differences between them.
The iOS app connects to your nearest server by default, or you can choose a specific server location. Tapping a location will display the server load, and you can save locations to a Favorites list.
Both mobile apps give you the option to adjust settings for specific networks. This way the VPN will know how to behave at home, school or work, or on public WiFi.
Smart DNS for Improved Compatibility
Platforms & Devices
CyberGhost is available on the most popular platforms and devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can also use it on Android TV, Linux, or manually install it on your router for home-wide protection. Useful browser extensions can be installed for Chrome and Firefox, too.
CyberGhost has custom apps for the following devices:
You can also use it on Android TV and home routers. And there are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
The setup on almost every platform is straightforward. CyberGhost is in fact one of the most widely compatible VPN services available.
Compatible with Routers
CyberGhost VPN is compatible with Raspberry Pi, Synology NAS, and VU+ Solo 2 routers. There are helpful guides on the CyberGhost website to manually setup the VPN on these routers.
The VPN also works on DD-WRT, TomatoUSB and Merlin-Built routers.
Seven Simultaneous Connections
The service has a simultaneous connection limit of seven devices, above the industry standard of five. For unlimited connections, set CyberGhost VPN at router level.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
CyberGhost also caters to users of the following consoles and devices:
The Fire TV Stick is particularly well-designed. This is ideal for unblocking streaming apps, and for watching Kodi streams anonymously on Fire TV devices.
The VPN has also built a good Smart DNS tool to use the VPN on devices such as Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation, and Xbox.
CyberGhost’s browser extensions are available for:
These extensions are entirely free, hide your IP address, and unblock geo-restricted content.
However, these VPN browser extensions are very limited compared to CyberGhost’s full VPN service.
The add-ons only access eight servers in four countries: Germany, The Netherlands, Romania, and the United States. This is fine for a free add-on, but substantially inferior to the paid apps.
Unlike ExpressVPN, CyberGhost’s browser extensions are proxies, not VPNs. Extensions only protect browser traffic, and not all your device’s web connections.
Here’s a table that details all the differences between CyberGhost’s browser extensions and full VPN applications:
Well-informed 24/7 Customer Support
We cannot fault CyberGhost support – it's excellent. You can email the company with enquiries and requests for assistance or get immediate responses by using the 24/7 live chat customer support. We've always found the experience helpful and polite.
|24/7 Live chat support||Yes|
|24/7 Email support||Yes|
CyberGhost offers excellent customer service. With 24/7 live chat and email support, and detailed online resources, you’ll find solutions to most issues.
You can access live chat in the bottom-right corner of the CyberGhost website. Type in your problem and related support posts will pop up. If you still can’t resolve your issue, you can always chat with a live agent.
The live agents respond promptly and usually answer question in seconds:
The agents are well-informed and the online resources are available in English, French, German, and Romanian.
CyberGhost Gets the Job Done
The Bottom Line
CyberGhost is a reliable VPN service that offers almost everything a typical VPN user needs.
It unblocks US Netflix and five more international libraries, supports anonymous torrenting, and provides strong internet security.
The company has a large network of servers and a wide selection of security features. Its apps are simple to use, there is a generous money-back guarantee, alongside excellent customer support.
The price is also very reasonable, with some great discounts on longer subscriptions.
There are areas for improvement, though. It’s speeds are inconsistent and some of its streaming servers aren’t working. Also, it doesn’t work in China and in other authoritarian nations.
If you’re looking for a VPN to stream US Netflix or simply hide your IP address, CyberGhost is an excellent choice.
Additional research by David Hughes
Alternatives to CyberGhost VPN
Whatever shortcomings CyberGhost VPN has ExpressVPN doesn't. It's more expensive, but it is the the best VPN overall. We think the upgrade is worth the price. Read ExpressVPN review
It's difficult to get cheaper than CyberGhost, but NordVPN is an affordable alternative that's more reliable and better for streaming. Read NordVPN review