CyberGhost VPN started off as a free VPN and it quickly became one of the most popular VPN services.
It currently has 1 million subscribers and its popularity keeps growing, but how does it compare to other top VPN providers?
There was only one way to find out, so we went to work and looked under the hood of each of its apps. As a result, you’ll learn everything you need to know about CyberGhost in this review, including:
- Is it safe and is it legal?
- Does it really work?
- Is it still free?
- Does it work with Netflix?
- Is torrenting & P2P allowed?
We also investigated the past controversies surrounding CyberGhost’s parent company to determine if this is a VPN you should use or not. Keep reading our CyberGhost review to see what we found out.
CyberGhost Pros & Cons
CyberGhost Key Summary
|Top Download Speed||87Mbps|
|Logging Policy||No Logs|
|IP, DNS or WebRTC Leaks||No|
|Jurisdiction||Romania (EU Member)|
|Works in China||No|
|Support||24/7 Live Chat|
|Cheapest Price||$2.75/mo over 3 years|
CyberGhost is without a doubt an impressive VPN, but there are a few drawbacks that you need to know about in more detail.
To begin, lets take a closer look at the company behind it.
About & Logging Policy
Who is CyberGhost?
CyberGhost VPN was first launched by Robert Knapp in 2011 who founded the Romanian company CyberGhost SA. In 2017, CyberGhost SA was acquired by an Isreali company called Crossrider for €9.2 million (~$10 million).
Crossrider then changed its name to Kape Technologies in 2018, and acquired the VPN service ZenMate.
After undergoing some research into the company’s history, we discovered some unsavoury secrets: Crossrider was a company previously known for infecting devices with malware and adware.
More so, according to a 2015 report by Forbes, the majority stakeholder in Crossrider was billionaire Teddy Sagi, a businessman who founded gambling software company, Playtech, but who was also convicted in Israel of fraud and bribery in 1996.
Even stranger, Crossrider’s founder and CEO until 2016, Koby Menachemi, was a member of the Israeli Intelligence Corps Unit 8200, described by the Financial Times as “the foremost technical intelligence agency in the world.”
Since then, CEO Ido Erlichman decided to rename the company Kape Technologies to distance itself from the “strong association to the past activities of the company.”
Even the CEO of CyberGhost, Robert Knapp, admitted to a potential conflict of interest when he said: “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.”
It’s a shame Crossrider was engaged in suspicious activities in the past, but it’s clear that CyberGhost is a privacy-focused VPN service, and we’ve seen no evidence of it being otherwise.
Being headquartered in Romania may seem less than ideal, since Romania is part of the EU which has aggressive data-retention and sharing agreements in place with other nations.
However, Romania is the only EU nation to have successfully said ‘no’ to data retention laws, deeming it unconstitutional despite EU pressure. This makes it a small privacy retreat and probably explains why CyberGhost isn’t the only VPN based there.
Even if Romania did begin to bow to EU demands, we’re not concerned given that CyberGhost doesn’t collect any personally identifiable connection data.
You can trust CyberGhost with your online privacy.
This is a list of all the anonymous information that CyberGhost collects (taken from its logging policy):
“CyberGhost VPN records the log-in of an anonymous account for statistical purposes. We do this once a day (all other log-ins will be ignored) and sum up each daily log-in for one month. The daily log-in data will be deleted after 24 hours, the monthly sum at the end of each month.”
CyberGhost claims that this data is the bare minimum required to keep its VPN service running optimally.
The logging policy makes it clear that no personally identifiable data is collected and therefore nothing is stored on CyberGhost’s servers that could be used to identify you, should anyone ever seize its servers.
Speed & Reliability
Very fast speeds, especially for same-country connections
CyberGhost will match almost any VPN service for fast download and upload speeds, but what it sometimes lacks is consistency.
Its same-country (for example, London to London) connection speeds are impressive and reliable, but users connecting to international servers may suffer a drop-off in speed, with ping times also increasing.
Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server.
Before using CyberGhost:
When connected to CyberGhost:
Download speed without CyberGhost: 92 Mbps
Download speed with CyberGhost: 87 Mbps
Our download speed loss when CyberGhost is running: 6%
We put all the VPN apps through our rigorous speed testing process to determine the average speeds for multiple locations across the globe. These are the average speeds you can expect:
- USA: 51Mpbs (download) & 41Mbps (upload)
- Germany: 78Mbps (download) & 74Mbps (upload)
- Singapore: 28Mpbs (download) & 15Mbps (upload)
- Australia: 32Mbps (download) & 7Mbps (upload)
6,200 servers around the world
CyberGhost’s VPN servers cover the whole world, with great server coverage in Europe and North America.
A choice of over 6,200 servers is paired with a similar number of IP addresses.
6,200 servers is a very good number, and one of the highest server counts on the market.
Similarly to IPVanish, CyberGhost also owns all of its DNS servers meaning that it doesn’t rely on rented servers to provide its service.
The countries with the most servers are:
- US (1,045)
- Germany (684)
- France (440)
- UK (677)
- Netherlands (218)
- Canada (239)
At city-level, CyberGhost covers 11 different US locations, and 3 locations in Australia, Canada, Germany and the UK. There are 2 locations in France, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.
Streaming & Torrenting
Great for Netflix, torrenting and more
CyberGhost provides many dedicated Netflix servers, which is great. They are very easy to find in the app and we’ve never had any issues streaming Netflix in the US, UK, France and Germany (the four Netflix libraries CyberGhost unblocks).CyberGhost also has its own dedicated BBC iPlayer servers, which worked very well in our tests. It’s no surprise that CyberGhost is our highest-recommended VPN for BBC iPlayer.But that’s not all. You can also successfully stream:
- Amazon Prime Video
- Sling TV
- Now TV
- PlayStation Vue
CyberGhost is also a good choice for torrenting, although P2P traffic is not allowed on its Australian servers. Torrenting was also restricted on US servers until recently, but that’s no longer the case.
If you’re worried CyberGhost isn’t safe enough, don’t.
It won’t log your activity, it has a VPN kill switch and when we checked for IP and DNS leaks, we found none. Basically, it will keep your true IP address hidden and your downloads private.
You can also use CyberGhost to stream Kodi, but not via a Fire TV Stick.
No good for highly censored countries
We can’t recommend using CyberGhost in high censorship countries, as it simply can’t guarantee to bypass aggressive web censors.
Unfortunately the apps don’t have the obfuscation tools that make ExpressVPN and VyprVPN better at beating online censorship in countries like China, the UAE, or Turkey.
CyberGhost even warns that you using a VPN in certain countries is forbidden and that its VPN shouldn’t be used in these nations. It does mention that workarounds for its VPN are available, but that you shouldn’t try them.
Basically, CyberGhost doesn’t want people to use its VPN in countries where VPNs are not legal.
Platforms & Devices
Compatible with popular devices, including routers
Whatever your device or operating system, CyberGhost has you covered with either a custom VPN app, or a manual workaround for you to configure your device and use the VPN with it.
CyberGhost VPN is compatible with:
You can also use it on multiple devices at once, up to 7 in total (depending on the pricing plan you’ve chosen).
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
You can also use CyberGhost’s VPN with a range of gaming consoles and streaming devices, by installing the VPN onto your home router and connecting your home devices to it.
You can also piggyback off another device, such as your laptop, that’s already running the CyberGhost VPN app.
The recent addition of a native VPN app for the Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is also a big plus.
CyberGhost has VPN browser extensions available for:
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
These extensions are entirely free but, regardless of whether or not you’re a paying customer, you can only access eight servers in four locations (2 servers each):
- United States
These VPN add-ons are only proxies though, so they will only protect your web browser traffic. We recommend you use CyberGhost’s VPN extensions with the main VPN application or VPN client at all times.
Encryption & Security
One of the best VPNs for security
DNS Leak Blocking
IPV6 Leak Blocking
VPN Kill Switch
TOR via VPN Server
Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more.
CyberGhost is an excellent choice for privacy, with one of the most advanced security suites of any VPN available today.
Changing security protocols on the Windows app is very simple, but if you want to do the same on the Mac version, it’s far less obvious. In fact, we had look up how to do it online and discovered that you can’t change it at all in app, not without downloading some software.
That’s hardly convenient.
As icing on the cake, CyberGhost release a yearly transparency report detailing the legal requests they’ve received and ignored.
Rest assured that your true location is safe and hidden with CyberGhost.
Ease of Use
Extremely easy to use
How to Install & Set Up CyberGhost
CyberGhost is still one of the easiest VPNs to use, even with all of its bells and whistles.
Menus in the apps are clearly labeled and come with helpful contextual tooltips.
There’s even a set of demonstrative videos on the CyberGhost website that show you just how simple its VPN apps are.
CyberGhost’s browser extensions couldn’t be simpler. You just have to click the icon and select a location.
24/7 live chat and extensive troubleshooting
|24/7 Live chat support||Yes|
CyberGhost’s round-the-clock live chat support agents are always friendly and responsive, usually solving our queries in a matter of minutes.
There’s a good chance you won’t ever need to use live support, though, as the online troubleshooting guides are pretty comprehensive.
This makes CyberGhost a top-level customer support experience and we can’t fault it.
Pricing & Deals
A great value VPN made very cheap with long-term plan
CyberGhost Pricing Plan
CyberGhost used to provide a free VPN service, however that is no longer the case.
At its very cheapest, CyberGhost costs $2.75 per month – a 79% saving – on a 3-year commitment that will cost you $99 upfront.
We think it’s worth the money, but if you don’t want to commit for that long then a 12-month subscription plan costs to $5.99 per month while a monthly plan will cost $12.99 per month.
CyberGhost has a 45-day money-back guarantee in place, which is one of the longest we’ve come across, but it only applies to subscriptions of six months or longer – one-month subscriptions have a 14-day refund guarantee.
There are no hidden catches or restrictions. If you want your money back then CyberGhost will refund you in 5-10 working days.
To get a refund, simply contact CyberGhost support (live chat or email) and request a refund before the 45-days are up. You may be asked to fill in a short survey.
CyberGhost also offers a one-day free trial (or seven days for mobile devices).
The free trial grants you the full VPN experience with no personal or payment details asked for. A handy pop-up will remind you of your remaining runtime every time you use the VPN service.
CyberGhost accepts a range of payment options including most major credit cards, PayPal and Bitcoin.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t currently accept any other international options like Alipay or UnionPay.
The Bottom Line
Do We Recommend CyberGhost?
We do, 100%, despite some of the past controversies surrounding its parent company.
The CyberGhost VPN apps tick a lot of boxes, and if you’re looking for a fast and private VPN on a budget, then look no further.
CyberGhost isn’t perfect, and some of its limitations may lead you to look at the alternatives below instead, but for 99% of users we’re confident it’ll keep you happy.
Alternatives to CyberGhost
ExpressVPN is our top-rated VPN, providing unrestricted streaming and torrenting on all servers, with automatic protocol selection on all its custom VPN apps. Read ExpressVPN review
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Excellent service fully satisfified.
Most competitive price. Nice looking and easy to use software. Stays connected for as long as i need it to be (24h without any trouble). Beeing able to connect to Netflix USA is a great bonus, and other dedicated streaming and torrent download possibilities, etc etc ...
Good but could be better
The tabs that display all countries and servers should be sorted by speed/bandwidth rather than just distance as distance doesn't guarantee good speed... also the mobile app has no tabs for torrenting at all for some reason and that is a shame...
Very Satisfied with CyberGhostVerified Customer
Excellent experience: Apps are easy to use, really intuitive. The apps are available for multiple platforms, and are stable. I also like how it will recommend to turn on CyberGhost when it detects I'm connecting to municipal WiFi (or the guest network at work). There are lots of VPN servers to choose from, or you can just click one button to let it default to the best ones near you. The connections are FAST, which has been really good for moving lots of large files. Don't be spooked by the name, everything about the CyberGhost customer experience has been top notch so far. Based on all this, I've decided to go 'all in' for a multi-year commitment because the pricing on a year or longer is very reasonable. Totally worth it.
Very happy with this serviceVerified Customer
This is a great service I have loved using this offering. I have used Cyber Ghost in the UK, Australia and South Africa and it works ever so well.
Everything ok but why not Netflix for NLVerified Customer
I like it, but why not Netflix for the Netherlands in the streaming? The 2e place from your customers coming from Holland.....please look for it.
Good Ghosting!Verified Customer
I've found Cyberghost to be a user friendly and cost effective VPN with good customer service. I've been using it for nearly a year. Well done guys!
Issues on Mac. Can't get refund
Some weeks ago, Cyberghost stopped working on my Mac. I texted with customer service and was told by "Niko" that the product has problems on Macs and he couldn't help. I paid for a year of service and my subscription ends mid-January, 2019, so I asked for a pro-rated refund. He told me that was not possible as my subscription was due to expire anyway. I told him I had paid for 12 months of service but only got 10, so I should get a sixth of my payment back. He told me my request was "declined." This is not an honest way to treat your customers. If you can't provide the service they paid for, then you should refund them. I will certainly not be using CyberGhost again and cannot recommend the product to anyone.
During 18 months I was very happy with Cyberghost VPN. Always available and quick download all around the world if you choose the country correctly with the right time zone. The 2 last month I was a little bit disappointed because the VPN never connected and when it was the connexion was very slow. I was in version 5.5 and the client always says it was the last update. A week ago when sending an email to the support I saw that there was a new version 7.1. I installed it and it was again an happiness. It 's better that before, even faster with connexion and with downloading. I will extend the subscription for years. Thanks.
Reliable VPN ServiceVerified Customer
Straightforward reliable service. Tried a few VPN's before settling on CyberGhost. The app works well on my iPhone, MacBook and fire tv.
very useful toolVerified Customer
I live and work in Russia, so it is a good tool. It allows me for example to browse linkedin without problems or to check websites geoip configurations.
Enjoyable and Easy to UseVerified Customer
CyberGhost is the first VPN serviced I have used, and it's easy to operate and manage. I have it installed on a laptop, two phones and a fire stick. It's handy to have as I live abroad and CG allows me to read news articles and watch videos originating from my home country that I wouldn't normally get to see while living away. Very happy chaps and ladies!
Two Month experienceVerified Customer
The client and the service working properly. Sometimes need to connect again or choose another sever. I tested the connection for dns and IP leak, no leak. Speed for streaming and usuall surfing is fine.