CyberGhost is a well-rounded VPN with fast speeds, user-friendly apps and a wide range of security features. It allows torrenting and it unblocks US Netflix and BBC iPlayer. CyberGhost logs some anonymous connection data, and its Mac and iOS apps need improving, but overall CyberGhost is a great budget VPN.
Cyberghost is a popular Romania-based VPN provider with over 10 million users. In this review, we put the service through our in-depth testing process to find out how safe it really is.
We found that CyberGhost VPN is fast, secure, and easy to use. It provides access to more than 6,500 servers across 89 countries, support for P2P file-sharing and simple custom clients for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Fire OS.
The VPN comes with dedicated servers for streaming that consistently unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. It provides strong encryption using OpenVPN with the AES-256 cipher and comes with a reliable VPN kill switch called Secure Connect.
CyberGhost also offers a range of additional security features including DNS leak protection, a malware blocker, and split tunneling. 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 – one of the longest we’ve ever seen.
Our testing for this CyberGhost VPN review did identify some issues that could affect performance and privacy. Its mobile apps have limited features, international speeds are inconsistent, and the VPN does not work in highly-censored countries like China.
Though it does collect some aggregated logs, CyberGhost is a solid, user-friendly VPN that works to hide your IP address, unblock region-restricted content and torrent safely. In other words, it’s a great VPN for casual users in 2020.
CyberGhost Pros & Cons
CyberGhost 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|
Is CyberGhost Safe to Use?
Logging & Jurisdiction
CyberGhost logs the following data:
- Account information
- Logins of anonymous accounts per day
- Connections attempts
- Successful connections
- Country of origin
Some of the most popular VPNs on the market collect aggregated connection logs and CyberGhost is no different. This means it collects a limited amount of information about your connection and ensures that this data is anonymized and impossible to trace back to specific users.
This information is deleted after 24 hours and the monthly sum is deleted at the end of every month.
Most importantly, CyberGhost does not keep any logs of user activity or personal data, including your real IP address, assigned server, or browsing history.
CyberGhost also collects some hardware information from the devices you use to make sure you’re within your subscription’s simultaneous device limit. This information includes:
- Bios lD
- Bios date
- Video ID
- CPU ID
- Base ID
- Computer username
CyberGhost commissioned an independent audit to verify its security practices in 2012, but we’d like to see a new, updated audit for its logging policy. The company has changed ownership since this initial inspection and a third-party assessment goes a long way in establishing trust.
Where is CyberGhost Based?
It’s important to know where a VPN is based in order to understand which legal jurisdiction it operates under. This will affect the data sharing and retention laws the company is subject to.
Cyberghost is incorporated as CyberGhost S.A. in Bucharest, Romania and operates under Romanian law. This means it is outside of the Five, Nine, and 14 Eyes alliances.
Romania is part of the EU, which has aggressive data-retention and sharing agreements in place between member states. However, Romania is the only member state to have successfully said “no” to these invasive requirements.
In 2009, the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) rejected EU legislation that would force companies to keep digital records of their customers, declaring it “an unconstitutional violation of Romanian citizens’ rights to privacy.”
The court referred to a ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) ruling in 1978 which declared that “taking surveillance measures without adequate and sufficient safeguards can lead to destroying democracy on the grounds of defending it.”
This makes Romania a safe VPN jurisdiction and a rare bastion of privacy among European nations. Even if it did succumb to EU demands, CyberGhost doesn’t collect any personally identifiable information from its users and therefore has no way to comply with legal requests for data.
In other words, when it comes to logging and jurisdiction you can trust CyberGhost with your online privacy.
Who Owns CyberGhost?
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 methods was to bundle 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). This form of ad injection is not only intrusive but, if misused, is potentially unsafe. In fact, some developers may have used Crossriders’ capabilities for malicious purposes.
Here is a list of Crossrider adware, and below is a screenshot from a Malwarebytes report:
The resulting controversies led Crossider to shut its ad and development platforms in 2016, and in 2018 the company changed its name to Kape Technologies. Its CEO, Ido Erlichmann, was open about the fact that this name change was to distance itself from the “strong association to the past activities of the company.”
Even 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.”
Since the CyberGhost acquisition, Kape Technologies has aimed to become “the first global privacy and security company.” It has also gone on to acquire popular VPN services Private Internet Access and ZenMate.
While Crossrider didn’t always put user privacy first, both Kape and CyberGhost have made a dedicated effort to protect user privacy, and there is nothing to suggest that CyberGhost cannot be trusted.
CyberGhost Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & More
Streaming & Torrenting
CyberGhost is an excellent VPN for streaming. It works with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime and plenty of other streaming services. There are dedicated servers for streaming on all platforms and specialist servers for locations including Canada, Germany, France, Poland, Brazil, and more.
CyberGhost is so successful at unblocking region-restricted content because it comes with the Smart DNS tool. This feature doesn’t just change your IP address, it also changes the DNS server that your traffic is routed through. You can find out how to configure Smart DNS on CyberGhost’s support website.
CyberGhost’s apps make watching Netflix, YouTube, or BBC iPlayer easy by highlighting the server locations that support the streaming services you need. There are plenty of locations on offer and its speeds are fast enough for HD-quality content.
The VPN’s dedicated streaming servers also change their IP address regularly to avoid the blocks put in place by websites like Netflix. You can search for the streaming service you’d like in CyberGhost’s search bar and then simply choose the location you want from the drop-down list.
We tested CyberGhost to see if it works with Netflix on all of its apps. We connected to the United States server from our physical location in London and were able to access US Netflix without an issue.
We found that CyberGhost was slow to load when first connected, but once loaded it streamed without interruption for the movie’s duration.
We also tested CyberGhost on a UK server to see if it unblocks BBC iPlayer. We were disappointed to find that the VPN failed to unblock BBC iPlayer on our first try, though we were successful on our second attempt.
Streaming services like BBC iPlayer are notoriously difficult to unblock and almost all VPN services will struggle from time to time. Fortunately, CyberGhost successfully unblocks BBC iPlayer in the majority of cases. If you come across a server that doesn’t work, simply connect to a different UK server and try again.
Support is also available if you’re having difficulties streaming. We asked a representative why BBC iPlayer might be blocked and got a helpful response via live chat almost immediately:
CyberGhost also has a custom app for Fire TV Stick and works to unblock Disney+.
Overall, Cyberghost consistently and reliably unblocks regional restrictions on a wide selection of streaming services. For this reason, we recommend Cyberghost as one of the best VPNs for streaming. If you’re looking for a simple VPN to unblock Netflix, Disney+ or BBC iPlayer, CyberGhost is a good choice.
Is CyberGhost a Good Choice for Torrenting?
CyberGhost is also a great VPN if you’re looking to stay safe while torrenting. It offers fast speeds, a sensible logging policy and P2P-optimized servers on all platforms, which means you can retain performance while hiding your IP address and activity from your ISP.
The app shows you how many users are connected to each server which allows you to choose the least congested location to maximise your upload and download speeds. There’s also an effective VPN kill switch that will protect your data from leaking if your connection drops.
CyberGhost makes finding the right server for torrenting easy. Simply choose the “for torrenting” tab and you’ll be shown a list of servers that have been optimized for P2P activity.
While many VPNs shy away from actively promoting the ability to torrent on their servers, CyberGhost is much more upfront about it. It’s clear that the service has invested a great deal into making torrenting an easy and seamless experience.
The app comes with a malicious URL filter by default which keeps you safe while P2P seeding. Cyberghost has also developed NoSpy servers which are independently operated and held to the highest standards of security.
It’s not all positive, though – P2P traffic is not allowed on Australian servers which could significantly reduce the speeds of users in that area. Cyberghost also occasionally blocks P2P protocols on certain servers to help reduce congestion or comply with laws in countries like Russia, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong.
The VPN doesn’t permit port forwarding for privacy reasons, which would allow you to manually configure your NAT firewall to improve P2P connections. CyberGhost is a torrent-friendly VPN so port forwarding isn’t a necessity, but advanced users may be disappointed.
If you stick to the recommended list of servers then CyberGhost works well for torrenting. Overall, it’s a simple and straightforward way to anonymize your torrenting activities and download files safely.
How Fast Is CyberGhost?
Speed & Reliability
CyberGhost is a fast VPN with an average download speed of 83Mbps on local connections. It is slower on long-distance connections and often lacks consistency. Overall, CyberGhost’s speeds are around average – it’s fast enough to browse, stream, and torrent without issue, but it can’t compete with some of its fastest competitors including ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access.
We recorded high ping times while using CyberGhost. This refers to the delay you get when connecting to another server. This is important to take into account if you’re looking to use a VPN for gaming: with a high ping rate you’re likely to get more lag.
CyberGhost also offers a data compression feature that compresses images and other large files to reduce your data usage and improve your load times.
We use Ookla’s speed test tool with the OpenVPN protocol to keep our speed tests fair and consistent. You can read more about our speed-testing methodology here.
As part of our review, we tested CyberGhost on a local server and several international servers to find out how it affected our connection speeds. You can see the results of our speed testing below.
Local Speed Test Results
Before using CyberGhost:
When connected to CyberGhost:
We measured our connection speeds before and after connecting to a CyberGhost s server in London, close to our physical location. We measured a percentage speed loss of just 3% — an incredibly fast result. This is the type of performance you can expect if you’re connecting to a US server from within the US.
We tested CyberGhost’s local connection speeds by connecting to a UK server from our location in London. CyberGhost delivered very acceptable speeds on a nearby server, averaging around 83Mbps on our 93Mbps fiber broadband network. This is a percentage speed loss of just 10%.
This is an impressive result that compares well to some of the fastest VPNs on the market. It’s more than fast enough to browse, stream, or torrent without seeing any significant drop in performance. However, services like Private Internet Access and HideMyAss recorded speed losses of just 3%.
You can expect to see similar results when connecting to a CyberGhost server near your physical location.
Long-Distance Speed Tests
We tested CyberGhost’s speeds when connected to international servers including Germany, US, Singapore, and Australia. We found that CyberGhost’s speeds were much more inconsistent when connected to servers farther from our physical location.
It’s natural for your speeds to drop when connecting to a distant server because your data has further to travel. By these standards, CyberGhost still delivered reasonable results: we measured an average download speed of 17Mbps when connecting to the US and 28Mbps when connecting to a server in Singapore.
You can find the full results of our long-distance speed tests below:
- US: 17Mpbs (download) & 54Mbps (upload) – 74% speed loss
- Germany: 87Mbps (download) & 91Mbps (upload) – 7% speed loss
- Singapore: 28Mpbs (download) & 24Mbps (upload) – 70% speed loss
- Australia: 11Mbps (download) & 16Mbps (upload) – 88% speed loss
We recorded a percentage speed loss of 74% when connected to a US server, which is much slower than some competing providers. Australia managed just 11Mbps while Singapore delivered an impressive 28Mbps.
Overall, CyberGhost’s local speeds are fast but it lacks consistency on long-distance connections. If finding the fastest VPN is your main priority, we’d recommend choosing an alternative provider.
How Fast is CyberGhost Compared to Other VPNs?
You’ve already seen the results of our manual testing – now you can see the latest results for CyberGhost VPN from our custom VPN speed testing tool.
The graph below compares CyberGhost’s average loss of internet speed to other popular VPNs while running on our New York server.
Speed tests run automatically four times per day. Test connection speeds are capped at 100Mbps to recreate a typical home internet connection.
This chart shows the average speed loss experienced by the VPN each week when compared to using a normal 100Mbps internet connection with no VPN at all – the lower the percentage the better.
You can check results as far back as the past four weeks – that way you can get a good impression of how reliable CyberGhost is, not just how fast it can be.
This test is performed by our automated testing tool that runs constantly, seven days a week, to deliver up-to-date and consistent results from all over the world. There’s no human bias, and no relying on third-party websites. We own all the servers and infrastructure that we test with, and report the results exactly as we find them.
As you can see, CyberGhost is slower and less consistent than some of the other major competitors. In the observable time frame, CyberGhost’s peak record was over 80Mbps but it’s had a very noticeable drop as low as 65Mbps in recent days. CyberGhost is a cheaper service than many of these competitor VPNs, so a lesser performance isn’t unexpected, but Surfshark is a similarly priced service performing very well.
6,500+ Servers in 89 Countries
Cyberghost offers an impressively large network of over 6,500 VPN servers located in 89 countries, which is more than most of its competitors.
There are 111 city-level locations within these countries – one of the highest server counts on the market. This means users have a great variety of locations to choose from for high speeds and great performance across the globe.
We’d like to see more servers available in Asia and Africa where so many users turn to VPNs to bypass internet restrictions imposed by the government. There are currently 23 CyberGhost servers in Asia and six in Africa.
City-level connections are available in the following countries:
CyberGhost recently doubled its total number of servers in Australia to 78, which is a very strong number. It also added new servers in New Zealand, with 13 in Auckland alone. This is great news for CyberGhost users in that part of the world.
You can find the full server list on CyberGhost’s website, where it helpfully highlights which servers support torrenting and which locations are virtual or physical.
You can choose a server from the drop-down list at the bottom of the app, or allow CyberGhost to automatically connect you to the nearest server location. This allows you to surf anonymously in just a few seconds.
The CyberGhost VPN client also shows you server load, which is helpful if you want to optimize performance. A higher server load percentage means the server is congested and you’re unlikely to get optimal speeds.
CyberGhost did have a problem with overpopulated servers in the past, but the service has expanded its capacity considerably. It’s now rare for a server to reach over 50% in load, so it’s unlikely you’ll experience any performance issues due to congestion.
What types of servers does CyberGhost offer?
CyberGhost offers different types of server that are optimized for certain activities. These server types include:
- P2P Optimized
- Streaming Optimized
- Static IP Address
- NoSpy Servers
Ordinarily, the IP address you’re given by a VPN is dynamic, which means it’s randomly assigned every time you connect. By contrast, a static IP address server will assign you the same IP address every time you connect. This can help unblock geo-restricted content as your traffic patterns will look more like ‘normal’ web traffic.
CyberGhost promotes the use of ‘static shared IPs’ for privacy. If every user connected to a server shares the same IP address, it’s almost impossible to trace any activity back to a specific user.
NoSpy servers are also available as an optional extra. Described as “the ultimate privacy guarantee” by CyberGhost, these servers are built and maintained by a dedicated team of CyberGhost staff in a private data center at the company’s Romanian headquarters. They use premium hardware, dedicated uplinks and come with bigger bandwidth for better speeds.
Unfortunately, there are no servers designed specifically for use with the Tor Browser. We’d also like to see CyberGhost offer a multi-hop server option, sometimes called Double VPN. This feature adds another layer of encryption to your connection and is offered by competing services like NordVPN and VPN.ac.
Overall, CyberGhost offers a good selection of server types and locations that are easy to find and use within the app’s interface.
Does CyberGhost Use Virtual Server Locations?
CyberGhost marks 58 out of its 89 server locations as “physically located.” These servers are guaranteed to exist as a physical machine within the country you’re connecting to.
The remaining 31 servers are virtual server locations. This means the IP address of the server matches the country you have chosen to connect to, even though the server is physically located in another country.
Virtual server locations can help ensure your connection is fast, secure, and reliable, and can often provide access to countries in which it is difficult to locate a physical server. However, they can impact performance if the physical machine is further from your real location than you expect.
Fortunately, CyberGhost is somewhat transparent about which of its server locations are virtual. This allows users to avoid using servers with virtual locations if they have concerns over privacy and performance.
However, we would also like to see CyberGhost disclose the actual physical location of these servers – where are the Algerian servers actually located? ExpressVPN, for example, makes explicit which country’s IP address you will receive and the server’s true physical location. This additional transparency enables users to make informed decisions over how a specific virtual server location might impact their privacy and performance.
There is also the question of ownership. Many VPN companies choose to rent servers from data centers instead of owning them outright. While this helps reduce operational costs, it adds another party that’s responsible for the privacy and security of your data.
We contacted a CyberGhost representative and asked if the company owns all of its servers. We were told that the company has “total control over all [its] servers.” While it’s unclear to what extent CyberGhost actually owns its infrastructure, it’s reassuring to know that the company has full control over how its servers are managed and operated.
It’s fairly common for a VPN provider to rent its server infrastructure. That said, a well-maintained and first-party-owned server list can be a great benefit to privacy. If you’re interested in a VPN that owns its entire server network, you can read our reviews of VyprVPN and IPVanish.
Is CyberGhost Secure?
Encryption & 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 a safe and secure VPN. It effectively hides your IP address and uses industry-standard security features including strong 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch and protection from IP and DNS leaks.
The OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols are used to establish a connection with the VPN server, and there is also a choice between TCP and UDP connections. OpenVPN is the industry-leading encryption protocol that provides the best balance between performance and privacy.
CyberGhost also comes with an impressive range of advanced security features including leak protection, a malware blocker, automated HTTPS redirection, an online tracking blocker and split tunneling. All of these additional features are included in just one CyberGhost subscription, which is great value for money. The service recently stopped supporting the outdated PPTP and L2TP protocols. Cyberghost’s decision to remove these potential vulnerabilities is an encouraging demonstration of the company’s commitment to security.
Authentication is established through the SHA256 hashing algorithm and perfect forward secrecy is achieved via an ECDH-4096 key exchange. In short, CyberGhost offers the strongest level of encryption available.
A VPN kill switch is provided that will protect your data in case your internet connection drops. While Windows users get the option to turn this feature on or off, the Mac version is enabled by default and is referred to as Secure Connect.
The “force HTTPS” function helps you avoid insecure websites that aren’t protected by HTTPS. This is a useful addition to CyberGhost’s security suite that isn’t available with many similar VPN services. You can find out more about the risks of HTTP websites in our guide to WiFi security.
Split tunneling is offered on CyberGhost’s Windows and Android apps under the label “use exceptions.” This feature lets you decide which websites and services you want to route through the encrypted VPN tunnel and which you don’t. Disappointingly, it’s not available on CyberGhost’s MacOS client.
While secure, CyberGhost’s mobile and MacOS apps have significantly less advanced security features than its Windows client. Changing protocols on Mac requires additional software, and it’s not possible on mobile at all.
The number of customization options is also severely limited on the MacOS client – there are no toggles for using TCP instead of UDP, enabling DNS leak protection, disabling IPv6 connections or turning on the VPN kill switch. We’ll cover the user experience of CyberGhost’s mac apps in detail later on in this review.
Overall, CyberGhost is a very secure VPN with industry-leading encryption, leak protection, and a good selection of advanced features. However, we’d like to see improvements to the custom security settings available on MacOS and mobile clients.
Data Leaks, Trackers & Permissions
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 found that all of CyberGhost’s apps are free from IP, WebRTC and DNS leaks, which means you can trust them to keep your true IP address hidden and your downloads private.We also tested the privacy and security of CyberGhost by running it through the εxodus tool, which creates reports on the trackers and permissions present in Android apps.
CyberGhost’s Android app contains mostly standard trackers that are used to monitor how users interact with the app and respond to issues like crashes. These trackers include:
- Google Analytics
- Google CrashLytics
- Google Firebase Analytics
- Google Tag Manager
To put this result into context, CyberGhost contains seven trackers while leading competitors like ExpressVPN have just two. Some of the worst VPNs on the market have up to 28, while services like AstrillVPN have none.
CyberGhost’s permissions are more concerning. The app has the ability to access your location via your GPS and network information, a permission that is considered ‘dangerous’ or ‘special’ according to Google’s protection levels. While this isn’t uncommon, it would be reassuring for the company to report how it accesses this information without storing it.
Finally, we ran the CyberGhost installation software through a malware test to make sure it didn’t contain any viruses. The software came back completely clean, as you can see from the screenshot below.
CyberGhost’s Security Breach
There are one or two security issues with CyberGhost, past and present, that are worth highlighting .
In March 2019, CyberGhost suffered a security breach at the hands of cybercriminals. 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, which is reassuring.
In 2016, CyberGhost was criticised for installing root certificates on desktop and mobile apps as part of its ad blocker software. This was a huge security risk that allowed for the decryption of HTTPS traffic.
CyberGhost’s ad-blocking feature is also a controversial feature. Instead of filtering adverts and malicious content through DNS requests like the majority of VPN ad-blocking software, CyberGhost’s ad-blocker actually inspects 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, and it also means that the ad-blocker only works with HTTP websites as it cannot access the content of encrypted HTTPS connections.
CyberGhost no longer installs a root certificate, but it still uses the same intrusive method to filter traffic.
While there has been a significant amount of controversy surrounding CyberGhost’s root certificate and the possibility that its “zero-logging” policy is not actually upheld, CyberGhost is overall a secure VPN service. We’d like to see the custom security settings on mobile and MacOS clients improved and the ad-blocking feature amended or disabled.
CyberGhost is Compatible with Every Major Platform
Platforms & Devices
CyberGhost comes with custom clients for Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS. It has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox and is also compatible with Android TV, Linux, Routers, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and FireTV.
Installation on almost every platform is incredibly easy, making CyberGhost one of the most widely compatible VPN services available.
The only device CyberGhost doesn’t work with is Chromebook, and there is some variability between the features available on each platform. We’ll cover these differences in detail in the next section of this review.
The service has a simultaneous device limit of seven devices, which is slightly above the industry standard of five. If you run out of device slots you can simply log out of a device on the CyberGhost website in order to use a new one.
CyberGhost is also compatible with Raspberry Pi, Synology NAS, and VU+ Solo 2. These require manual workarounds to install, but there are helpful setup guides available on the CyberGhost website.
You’ll also find setup guides for routers on the support website. CyberGhost is a great choice if you’re interested in setting up a VPN router; it’s available on DD-WRT, TomatoUSB and Merlin-Built routers. This will allow you to bypass the service’s simultaneous device limit and protect your entire network.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
Most VPN providers do not offer native applications for Xbox, Playstation, or other games consoles. Instead, you can install the VPN software on your router to encrypt and re-route the traffic of every device connected to your network.
We recommend CyberGhost as one of the best VPNs for gaming because you can easily install it on your router. It has a large server list and good speeds – ideal circumstances for gamers. You’ll unlock access to geo-restricted content, prevent ISP throttling and bypass any unwarranted IP bans.
CyberGhost’s Smart DNS feature can be configured on gaming consoles and its website gives you configuration guides on how to do this for:
CyberGhost also comes with a dedicated Amazon Fire TV Stick app, which is an impressive additional feature that not many other VPN services can offer. To use it with Apple TV, you’ll have to install the client software on your router. Put simply, if you’re looking to unblock content on your TV, CyberGhost is a good option.
CyberGhost’s browser extensions are available to install on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. They are entirely free and work to effectively hide your IP address and unblock geo-restricted content.
However, these VPN browser extensions are much more limited compared to CyberGhost’s full VPN service. There is no kill switch and you can only access eight servers in four countries including Germany, The Netherlands, Romania, and the United States. This is substantially less diverse than the paid app, but it’s not bad for a complimentary service.
It’s also important to remember that VPN browser extensions do not provide the same level of protection as VPN apps. Extensions will only protect your browser traffic, while VPN applications will encrypt all of the data travelling to and from your device.
Here’s a table that details all of the differences between CyberGhost’s browser extensions and full VPN applications:
CyberGhost’s full VPN subscription comes with a lot more benefits, but as browser extensions go these are worth considering.
Does CyberGhost Work in China?
CyberGhost’s no-logs policy and excellent AES 256-bit encryption are ideal for bypassing restrictions in heavily-censored countries. There are also 23 server locations in Asia including China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore.
However, CyberGhost does not provide obfuscation technology. Obfuscation disguises your VPN traffic so it appears as ‘normal’ browsing. This helps bypass blocks and evade authorities in countries where VPN usage is restricted or illegal.
For this reason, we do not recommend using CyberGhost in a heavily-censored country like China, Iran, Turkey, or UAE. CyberGhost itself warns against using its service in this fashion, especially where VPNs are illegal.
There was a time when CyberGhost could bypass China’s Great Firewall, but that’s no longer the case. As of this review, it does not work in China.
Using a VPN in China has become increasingly difficult since the country imposed a nationwide ban on the technology. Now, Most VPNs do not work well in China – if at all – and even premium VPN providers can be vulnerable to issues.
If you need to find a VPN to bypass censorship and unblock websites in China, we recommend services like VyprVPN and StrongVPN. These providers offer obfuscation technology and are widely reported to work effectively in heavily-censored regions.
How much does CyberGhost cost?
CyberGhost Pricing Plan
CyberGhost is a cheap VPN. There are monthly, annual, two-year and three-year subscription plans available – as usual, the longer plans come at a heavily-discounted price. There’s a short free trial period as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee.
The annual plan costs the equivalent of $5.99 per month, which drops to $3.69 on the two-year plan. At its very cheapest, CyberGhost costs just $2.75 per month. This is available with the 3-year subscription plan, billed as $99 upfront. This saves you 79% off the standard monthly price.
This is excellent value for money, especially on the three-year subscription plan. CyberGhost is consistently rated as one of the best VPNs on the market and these prices make it one of the cheapest, too.
CyberGhost offers a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee if you choose a subscription plan longer than a year. If you opt for the monthly plan, the guarantee shortens to 14 days. It’s “no questions asked,” though, with no hidden catches or restrictions.
To get your money back simply contact CyberGhost support via live chat or email and request a refund before the 45-days are up. You’ll be refunded within 5-10 working days.
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 decent variety of payment options that is on par with the majority of leading VPN services. You can find an article explaining payment options in detail on the company’s website.
The ability to pay with cash and cryptocurrency will appeal to the most privacy-conscious users. Cash payments are limited to countries such as Germany, Switzerland, or Austria where resellers like Amazon, MediaMarkt, and Saturn can process the transaction.
You can’t pay for CyberGhost with Paysafe cards, AliPay, or UnionPay.
CyberGhost does not have a free version. If you’re looking to test out the software before you commit to a subscription, CyberGhost also offers a one-day free trial on desktop or seven days for mobile devices. This is a relatively short free trial, but we’re glad to see the option included.
The free trial grants you the full VPN experience with no personal or payment details required. A pop-up window will remind you of your remaining trial period every time you use the VPN.
Though the monthly plan is relatively expensive, CyberGhost’s annual, two-year, and three-year subscription plans are excellent value for money and incredibly cheap considering the quality of the service. The 45-day money-back guarantee and free trial period are also excellent features for beginners looking to test out the VPN software. Overall, we can’t find any fault with CyberGhost’s pricing system.
CyberGhost’s apps are easy to install and use
Ease of Use
How to Install & Set Up CyberGhost
CyberGhost is a light and simple service with a well designed, intuitive interface across all platforms. It’s easy to use and set up and it’s got almost all of the advanced features that an expert user might need. This makes it a great VPN for beginners and experienced users alike.
Advanced users might be disappointed with the limited number of custom settings available on mobile and MacOS, and there is some variability in the user experience on each platform.
In this section, we’ll go through the differences between each of CyberGhost’s native applications in detail.
In terms of design, there’s very little difference between CyberGhost’s Windows and MacOS clients. They both open with a simple interface that shows your connection status, a list of locations, and a large connect button.
There’s even a ‘best location’ button to connect you to your closest server.
The right-hand panel houses a ton of functionality: you can find a list of servers with their distance and server load, a favorites system and a filtering system so you can easily find servers optimised for streaming or torrenting. However, the search bar tool does not apply to cities, which means you have to scroll through the many servers alphabetically until you reach your desired destination. In a country like the US, which has so many servers, this can take some time.
The connection features menu allows you to enable privacy features including ad and tracker blocking, HTTP redirection, and a bonus ‘data compression’ feature that reduces the size of images and files to improve performance.
There are even more options in the ‘smart rules’ menu on Windows: you can choose to launch the app automatically on startup, change your network preferences, or enable split-tunnelling.
However, while both apps are nice to look at, the MacOS client offers significantly fewer customisation options than its Windows counterpart.
Crucially, you cannot change your CyberGhost VPN protocol on MacOS. If you want to use OpenVPN instead of IKEv2 you have to use external software like Tunnelblick. This is a disappointing fault with an otherwise well-designed and functional application. You can find full instructions on configuring OpenVPN for Mac on the CyberGhost support website.
There are and important features absent on CyberGhost’s Mac client, including options for:
- Disabling VPN kill switch (enabled by default)
- Using OpenVPN TCP instead of UDP
- Using a random port to connect
- Disabling DNS leak protection
- Blocking IPv6 traffic
Overall, CyberGhost’s desktop clients are pleasantly designed, well-organized and easy to use. However, the Windows Client is much better equipped for advanced users looking to customise their settings. We’d like to see improvements to the MacOS Client in future updates to bring it up to the same level.
Android & iOS
CyberGhost’s iOS app is far simpler than the desktop clients, with a relatively basic interface and barely any customisation options. The Android app is similarly designed but has a much longer list of features on offer.
The iOS app connects to your nearest server by default and you can also choose from a list of server locations. Tapping a location will display the server load and the number of connected users, and you can save specific locations to a Favorites list.
Both apps have the option to save connection settings for networks you use regularly, so the VPN will know exactly which actions to take at home, school or work, or on public WiFi.
The Android app includes many of the additional features available on desktop, including an ad blocker, data compression, and URL filtering. Split Tunnelling is also available on Android, which allows you to choose which applications use the VPN and which don’t.
Crucially, neither of CyberGhost’s mobile applications allow you to change VPN protocol. If you want to use anything other than OpenVPN, you’ll have to switch to desktop. While OpenVPN remains our encryption protocol of choice, it is frustrating and restrictive to lack the ability to choose.
Overall, CyberGhost’s mobile apps are quite basic – especially for iOS. They’re lacking some of the core functions found with competing providers, including the ability to toggle the kill switch and choose between VPN protocols. In short, there’s plenty of room for improvement.
24/7 live chat and excellent customer support
|24/7 Live chat support||Yes|
CyberGhost’s support website contains a huge selection of articles, guides, and setup instructions to help troubleshoot connection issues and installation problems. The resources are comprehensive and easy to navigate.
There’s a feedback and reporting service in the application interface, a 24/7 email ticketing system, and 24/7 live chat support.
Live chat can be accessed in the bottom-right corner of the main CyberGhost website. Type in a search term related to your problem and you will be presented with a series of support posts to try and resolve your issue before chatting with an agent.
Live chat is available 24/7 and we found that agents responded almost immediately. Our support agent answered our question in a matter of seconds:
CyberGhost’s variety of support options and quick response time is very impressive. The agents are knowledgeable and the online resources are available in English, French, German, and Romanian.Overall, CyberGhost offers excellent customer service. With 24/7 live chat, email ticketing and a huge online knowledgebase, you’ll find solutions to any connection or installation issues in no time at all. This makes CyberGhost an excellent option for beginners that are new to using a VPN.
Do We Recommend CyberGhost?
The Bottom Line
CyberGhost is a well-rounded VPN service that offers everything a typical user needs to stay safe online. It unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer, supports safe torrenting, and provides strong overall security.
The company has a large network of servers and a wide selection of security features backed by a strong stance on privacy. Its apps are simple to use and 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 reasonable, with some great discounts on longer subscriptions.
Despite being one of the best VPNs on the market, CyberGhost still has some areas to improve. Its MacOS and iOS applications are lacking in custom settings, it doesn’t work in China and its international speeds could use improvement.
Overall, we can confidently recommend CyberGhost as a high-quality VPN for casual browsing, streaming, torrenting, and all-round online security. It’s packed with features and simple to use – all for a budget price.
CyberGhost might not be ideal for the most privacy-conscious, but if you’re looking to invest in a VPN to unblock Netflix or hide your IP address it is an excellent choice. It has all the features you need to stay safe online and they all work exactly as advertised.
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, a user-friendly experience, and fast speeds. Read ExpressVPN review