CyberGhost is a great and easy to use VPN. It's also fast, safe and cheap. It unblocks US Netflix, and allows torrenting on its user-friendly apps. It has good security features, and doesn't log user activity. But, it doesn't unblock BBC iPlayer, and it won't beat strict web censorship.
CyberGhost is a popular Romania-based VPN provider with over 10 million users. In this CyberGhost review you’ll learn that it’s a fast, secure, and easy to use VPN service.
The VPN service has a network of 6,700+ servers across 90 countries. It has even built streaming-specific servers that unblock US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video.
It also supports P2P file-sharing on user-friendly apps that keep you safe through the secure OpenVPN protocol and AES-256 traffic encryption.
All of this comes for the cheap price of $2.75 per month on a three-year plan. You can also take advantage of a one-day free trial, and a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
In this CyberGhost VPN review we’ll also discuss the service’s drawbacks. We’ll focus on the limited features of its mobile apps, and its inconsistent long-distance speeds. We’ll also cover how it doesn’t work in highly-censored countries like China.
Let’s begin the full review by looking at the VPN’s main advantages and disadvantages.
CyberGhost VPN Pros & Cons
CyberGhost VPN Key Summary
|Logging Policy||Anonymous Server Usage Data|
|Jurisdiction||Romania (EU Member)|
|IP Addresses||Not disclosed|
|Works in China||No|
|Support||24/7 Live Chat|
|Cheapest Price||$2.75/mo over 3 years|
One-day free trial and 45-day refund guarantee
Pricing & Free Trial
CyberGhost VPN Coupon
CyberGhost VPN Pricing Plan
CyberGhost is a very affordable VPN. There are monthly, annual, two-year and three-year subscription plans available. As usual, the longer plans come at a heavily-discounted price.
The monthly plan costs $12.99, slightly higher than other top-tier VPNs like NordVPN or IPVanish. It’s also above the industry average of $10-12 per month.
At its cheapest, CyberGhost costs just $2.75 per month on a 3-year subscription plan. It’s billed $99 upfront, but you get 79% off the standard monthly price.
This is excellent value for money, and CyberGhost is regularly rated as one of the best cheap VPNs.
US$12.99/moBilled $12.99 each month
US$5.99/moBilled $71.88 every 12 months
US$2.75/moBilled $99.00 every 3 years
All plans have 45-day money-back guarantee
Payment & Refund Options
CyberGhost accepts payment via Bitcoin, Cash, Credit Card, and PayPal.
This is a good range of payment options, similar to most leading VPN services.
The ability to pay with cash and cryptocurrency will appeal to the most privacy-conscious users. Cash payments are limited to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria where resellers like Amazon, MediaMarkt, and Saturn process cash transactions.
You can’t pay for CyberGhost with Paysafe cards, AliPay, or UnionPay.
Long Money-back guarantee
CyberGhost offers a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee on subscription plans longer than a year. On the month-by-month plan, the refund guarantee is of 14 days.
Request a refund before the 14 or 45 days are up and you’ll get your money back within 5-10 working days. Remember, it’s a “no questions asked” refund promise, with no hidden catches or restrictions.
Genuine 24hr Free Trial
CyberGhost no longer has a free version, but it does offer a one-day free trial that doesn’t require payment details.
On mobile devices, the free trial lasts seven days. It’s not the longest of free trials, but it’s still one of the best available.
CyberGhost streams US Netflix and allows P2P traffic
Streaming & Torrenting
CyberGhost is an excellent VPN for streaming.
It works with US Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and many more platforms.
There are dedicated servers for specific streaming platforms clearly labeled within each app. There are also streaming servers for Canada, Germany, France, Poland, Brazil, and more.
All these streaming servers regularly change IP address to bypass the blocks set by websites like Netflix.
Streaming US Netflix
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 equally unblock the British, French and German Netflix libraries.
Does CyberGhost work with BBC iPlayer?
We also tested all UK servers to see if they unblock BBC iPlayer. While it used to work in the past, sadly CyberGhost no longer works with BBC iPlayer.
BBC iPlayer’s VPN ban is notoriously hard to beat. Most VPNs will struggle to bypass the geo-blocks from time to time. To stream the BBC’s video service, use a VPN that still works.
Is CyberGhost a Good Choice for Torrenting?
CyberGhost is a safe VPN to torrent files anonymously. It’s fast, has a sensible logging policy, and offers P2P-optimized servers on all its apps.
The VPN also comes with built-in IP and DNS leak protection, which worked well in our tests.
Finding the right server for torrenting is easy. Click on the “for torrenting” tab, and you’ll see a list of servers optimized for P2P traffic.
Each VPN app shows you how many users are connected to each server. Choose the least congested one, to maximize upload and download speeds.
While many VPNs shy away from mentioning P2P on their servers, CyberGhost is much more upfront about it. It’s clear that the service values its file-sharing customers.
For additional privacy, there are also NoSpy servers that you can use. These are owned and managed by the company.
For peace of mind, make sure the VPN kill switch is enabled to prevent IP address leaks, if the VPN connection drops.
No P2P on Australian servers
One of the downsides of the VPN service is that P2P traffic is not allowed on Australia servers. This can significantly reduce torrent speeds for users in Australia. Those users should connect to the New Zealand servers, instead.
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.
For completely unrestricted torrenting on all servers, considering using these torrent VPNs instead.
No Port Forwarding
For privacy reasons, there isn’t a port forwarding setting on CyberGhost, meaning you can’t seed torrent files with the VPN service.
Fast speeds on nearby VPN servers
Speed & Reliability
Overall, 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.
If you need to connect to far away locations, our analysis of ExpressVPN’s speeds will help you see why ExpressVPN is better for you.
We also recorded high ping times, which resulted some lag. When used CyberGhost to game online, the experience wasn’t optimal. A VPN optimized for gaming is better suited for a lag-free experience.
The VPN service also offers a data compression feature that compresses images and other large files. This tool reduces your data usage and improves your load times.
Local Speed Test Results
Before using CyberGhost VPN:
When connected to CyberGhost VPN:
We tested CyberGhost’s local speeds by connecting to a UK server from our test London server.
We saw very good results, averaging 89Mbps on our 100Mbps fiber line. This is a percentage speed loss of just 11%.
You can expect to see similar results when connecting to a CyberGhost server near your physical location.
Long-Distance Speed Tests
We also connected to international servers in Germany, US, Singapore, and Australia. Sadly, long-distance speeds were much more inconsistent.
It’s natural for VPN speeds to drop connecting to distant servers since your data has further to travel.
CyberGhost still delivered reasonable results, but it still lags the fastest VPNs.
You can find the full results of our long-distance speed tests below:
- US: 26Mpbs (download) & 59Mbps (upload) – 74% speed loss
- Germany: 66Mbps (download) & 92Mbps (upload) – 7% speed loss
- Singapore: 14Mpbs (download) & 45Mbps (upload) – 70% speed loss
- Australia: 8Mbps (download) & 35Mbps (upload) – 88% speed loss
We suffered a speed loss of 74% connecting to a US server, which is much slower than other top-tier services.
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. This has been the trend over the last few months, but we hope speeds will start improving again soon.
CyberGhost’s apps are easy to install and use
Ease of Use
How to Install & Set Up CyberGhost VPN
How to Connect to a Server with CyberGhost
CyberGhost is a light and simple service with a well-designed, intuitive interface across all apps. It’s easy to use and set up, and it’s got almost all the advanced features an expert user may need. This makes it a great VPN for beginners and experienced users alike.
There are differences in features and user experience across apps, though. For example, advanced users may be disappointed by the limited custom settings on the MacOS app.
In this section, we’ll go through the differences between each of CyberGhost’s native applications in detail.
Desktop (Windows and Mac) Clients
In terms of design, there’s little difference between the Windows and MacOS clients. 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.
While you can also filter by country, you can’t by city. This means you have to scroll through country servers until you reach your desired city. In a country like the US, which has so many servers, this can take some time.
The Connection Features menu contains 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 on Windows. Here you can choose to launch the VPN on startup, change network preferences, or enable split tunneling.
While both apps look good, the MacOS client has much fewer customization options than the Windows version.
It’s disappointing there is no OpenVPN option on MacOS. 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.
These are some key features absent from CyberGhost’s Mac client:
- Using OpenVPN TCP instead of UDP
- Using a random port to connect
- Blocking IPv6 traffic
- Disabling DNS leak protection
- Disabling kill switch (enabled by default)
Mobile (iOS and Android) Apps
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 much longer list of features. Unlike the desktop clients, both mobile apps use WireGuard as the default protocol.
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.
The Android app has many more features than the iOS one, including:
- Ad blocker
- Connection checker
- Data compression
- Dedicated IP (paid token required)
- Domain fronting
- Prevent online tracking
- Protection against malicious websites
- URL filtering
- Split tunnelling
- Use random port
One of the largest VPN server networks
Cyberghost has a vast network of 6,700+ VPN servers located in 90 countries, more than most services offer.
It also covers 112 city-level locations, which is a great level of city coverage. This means users have a great variety of locations to choose across the globe.
As with many other VPN services, serer coverage in Asia and Africa is rather limited. There are currently 23 CyberGhost servers in Asia, but only six in Africa.
City-level choice is available in the following countries:
The total number of servers in Australia recently increased to 78, which is great to see. It 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.
Within each app you can choose a server from the drop-down list. Or you can simply connect to the nearest server location. This allows you to surf anonymously in just a few seconds.
You can also see server loads in the desktop app, helpful to find less congested servers. It’s rare to see over 50% in server load, so you’re unlikely to experience slow speeds due to congestion.
Different Types of Servers
CyberGhost offers different types of server that are optimized for certain activities.
These server types include:
- P2P Optimized
- Streaming Optimized
- Static IP Address
- Token-based dedicated IP
- NoSpy Servers
Usually, VPNs assign dynamic IP addresses, randomly assigned each time you connect.
By contrast, a static IP address server will assign you the same IP address every time you connect. This can improve unblocking geo-restricted content as your traffic patterns will look more like ‘normal’ web traffic. However, there are some privacy risks if you keep using the same IP address.
To get around this privacy threat, CyberGhost developed a unique token-based dedicated IP system. It’s great for users who want to use the same IP address, but also have privacy concerns. When you redeem a token, CyberGhost won’t know its details. Therefore, it can’t link your account to any specific dedicated IP.
These anonymous dedicated IPs give you the benefits of static IP addresses with none of the privacy downsides. Token-based dedicated IPs do cost extra, though, and are only available in these 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. As described above, these servers are owned by CyberGhost in a private data center in Romania. They use top-shelf hardware, dedicated uplinks and come with bigger bandwidth for better speeds.
One feature CyberGhost lacks is multi-hop (or double VPN) servers. This feature routes your traffic through two VPN servers, adding a further layer of security. We explain more about multi-hop servers in our complete NordVPN review, and in our analysis of Surfshark VPN.
Does CyberGhost Use Virtual Server Locations?
CyberGhost marks 58 out of its 90 server locations as “physically located.” These servers are physical machines in the country you’re connecting to.
The remaining 31 servers are virtual server locations. These servers assign the IP address of a specific country, while physically located elsewhere.
Virtual server locations can help ensure your connection is fast, secure, and reliable. They can also provide access to countries, in which it’s difficult to obtain a physical server. However, they can also impact speed if the physical machine is much further away from your real location.
It’s good to see the VPN company being transparent about its virtual servers. One step further is to disclose the actual physical location of these servers. For example, ExpressVPN, lists the real physical locations of its virtual servers.
One question we still have is how many of its servers CyberGhost owns. The company told us they have “total control over all [its] servers.” From our own research, it looks like CyberGhost rents some third-party servers, which is fairly common among VPN companies.
A well-maintained and self-owned server network can be a great benefit to privacy. If you’re interested in a VPN that owns all its servers, head over to our latest VyprVPN review or our detailed IPVanish review.
CyberGhost is private and safe to use
CyberGhost logs the following data:
- Account information
- Logins of anonymous accounts per day
- Connection attempts
- Successful connections
- Country of origin
Other popular VPNs collect aggregated connection logs, and CyberGhost is no different.
This information above is deleted after 24 hours, and the monthly sum deleted every month.
No Logging of User Activity
Crucially, CyberGhost VPN does not keep logs of user activity or personal data. Your real IP address, the servers you used, or your browsing history will not be logged.
CyberGhost also collects some hardware information from the devices you use. This is done to ensure you don’t break the service’s simultaneous device limit. This information includes:
- Bios lD
- Bios date
- Video ID
- CPU ID
- Base ID
- Computer username
CyberGhost’s Transparency Reports
Despite these inaccuracies, the VPN service has taken user privacy seriously. It 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. However, we want to see a new, updated audit for its logging policy.
In summary, CyberGhost is not completely no-logs, but it’s still a very private VPN. Read our Private Internet Access review if you’re after a truly no-logs VPN.
Where is CyberGhost Based?
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 launched in 2011 as a free VPN by German tech entrepreneur Robert Knapp.
In 2017 Crossrider Group acquired the company.
Crossrider was founded in 2010 and 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 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 platforms in 2016, prior to acquiring CyberGhost. The company then re-branded to Kape Technologies in 2018.
Its CEO, Ido Erlichmann, was eager to distance Kape from the controversies surrounding Crossider.
Knapp admitted to a potential conflict of interest between CyberGhost and Kape when he wrote:
“While CyberGhost focused on privacy and security from day one, Crossrider started out as a company that distributed browser extensions and developed ad tech products. Quite the opposite of what we did.”
Crossrider may have not always put user privacy first, but Kape has made a dedicated effort to do so. There is nothing to suggest that CyberGhost cannot be trusted.
Good range of privacy and security features
Encryption & Security
DNS Leak Blocking
IPV6 Leak Blocking
VPN Kill Switch
TOR via VPN Server
There is no doubt that CyberGhost is a secure VPN. It secures your web traffic with 256-bit encryption, and masks your IP address effectively.
Your IP is never exposed thanks to a kill switch (called ‘Secure Connect on the Mac app), 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 under the label “use exceptions.” 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. Changing protocols on Mac requires additional software, and it’s not possible on mobile at all. 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. This isn’t uncommon, but CyberGhost should provide more clarity on this.
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 are two security “incidents” worth highlighting.
The impact was minimal, with just 20 email addresses and 14 CyberGhost usernames exposed. While this is concerning, CyberGhost was very transparent about the incident, and reacted quickly.
Concerns about CyberGhost’s Ad Blocker
In 2016, CyberGhost was criticized for installing root certificates on desktop and mobile apps with its ad blocker. This was a huge security risk that allowed for the decryption of HTTPS traffic. This issue has now been rectified.
The ad blocker continues to be a controversial feature. It doesn’t filter adverts and malicious content through DNS requests, like most VPN ad-blocking software. CyberGhost’s ad blockerinspects and manipulates your traffic to modify your requests and avoid certain domains.
This is the equivalent of what’s called a “Man in the Middle Attack” (MitM). Modifying user traffic is not something a trustworthy VPN provider should do.
The ad-blocker only works with HTTP websites as it can’t access the content of encrypted HTTPS connections.
Easy to use VPN apps plus Smart DNS
Platforms & Devices
CyberGhost has custom apps for PC, Mac, Android and iOS.
You can also use it on Android TV, Linux, and home routers. And there are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
The setup on almost every platform is incredibly easy. CyberGhost is in fact one of the most widely compatible VPN services available.
The only device CyberGhost doesn’t work with is Chromebook, unless you use the Chrome browser extension.
Compatible with Routers
CyberGhost is compatible with Raspberry Pi, Synology NAS, VU+ Solo 2, and routers. These require a manual setup, but there are helpful setup guides available on the CyberGhost website.
The VPN also works on DD-WRT, TomatoUSB and Merlin-Built routers.
Seven connections at once
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
There’s also a good Smart DNS< tool that lets you easily use the VPN on devices such as Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation and Xbox. See how to use CyberGhost’s Smart DNS feature here.
CyberGhost’s browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox. They 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 ok for a free add-on, but substantially inferior to the paid apps.
Unlike ExpressVPN’s, CyberGhost’s browser extensions are proxies and not VPNs.
Moreover, remember that 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:
CyberGhost doesn't work in China
CyberGhost won’t work in heavily-censored countries like China, Iran, Turkey and the UAE. This is partly because it doesn’t come with obfuscation technology.
Obfuscation disguises VPN traffic to make it appear ‘normal’ browsing to web censors. This helps bypass internet blocks in countries where VPN usage is restricted or illegal.
Moreover, CyberGhost itself warns against using its service where VPNs aren’t legal.
Using a VPN in China has become increasingly difficult since the country imposed a nationwide VPN ban. Most VPNs, including premium service, don’t work well -if at all – in China.
24/7 live chat and well-informed customer support
|24/7 Live chat 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 responded promptly and answered our question in seconds:
The agents are well-informed and the online resources are available in English, French, German, and Romanian.
We highly rate CyberGhost
The Bottom Line
We recommend CyberGhost as a reliable VPN service that offers almost everything a typical VPN user needs.
It unblocks US Netflix, 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.
CyberGhost is fast on local connections, and its Windows client is highly configurable. The price is also very reasonable, with some great discounts on longer subscriptions.
There are areas for improvement, though. Its MacOS and iOS applications lack certain custom settings, and its long-distance speeds need to improve. 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.