As one of the best VPN services, CyberGhost is always sprucing up its system to remain ahead of online security and privacy threats. Since our last CyberGhost VPN review, this VPN has added a password manager tool and introduced a token-based system for dedicated IPs. However, our VPN speed comparison reveals slower speeds than the competition.
- CyberGhost’s easy-to-use apps come packed with an array of advanced customizability features like smart rules.
- CyberGhost is a very secure service and will make sure that not even your internet service provider, hacker or surveillance agency can monitor your traffic. It’s one of the best VPNs for Google Fiber.
- CyberGhost offers affordable long-term plans, plus a generous 45-day money-back guarantee (14 days on the monthly plan).
The VPN has retained its excellent desktop client, wealth of features and the large server network. To further cement its spot on our best VPN list, CyberGhost has improved its streaming performance (which was a weakness in our previous review).
In this review, we’ll also reveal the subtle changes that CyberGhost has made in terms of speed, security, server network, pricing and more to help you make an informed buying decision.
06/12/2022 Facts checked
Rewrote this review. CyberGhost has added a password manager tool to its arsenal, and introduced a token-based system for dedicated IPs to keep users truly anonymous.
Updated the review to reflect accurate speed testing.
09/28/2022 Facts checked
Updated the review to include the independent audit by Deloitte.
CyberGhost VPN Review Video
CyberGhost is a virtual private network owned by Kape Technologies — the company that also owns ExpressVPN, ZenMate and Private Internet Access. Like all VPNs, it encrypts your internet traffic to keep your data safe, and it can make it seem as if you are in another location to access geographically blocked content.
NordVPN and CyberGhost are powerful services in their own rights. However, NordVPN has an edge over CyberGhost VPN, thanks to a better feature set, which includes a double-hop VPN and dark web monitoring, as well as faster and more consistent speeds.
No, CyberGhost can’t be tracked. The VPN uses robust VPN protocols in unison with the virtually unbreakable AES-256 encryption to keep your traffic safe.
No, CyberGhost isn’t a virus, though its parent company has a bit of a checkered past regarding adware.
CyberGhost is a safe and secure VPN, and is one of the best VPNs you can use.
CyberGhost Review: Alternatives
Average speedDownload Speed91 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency6 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, PaymentWall
- : 5
Average speedDownload Speed90 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency5 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash
- : 6
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 5
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 8
Average speedDownload Speed88 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency4 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 10
Strengths & Weaknesses
- User-friendly desktop app
- VPN automation features
- Streaming, gaming & torrenting servers
- Dedicated IP addresses
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Slow download speeds
- Concerning parent company
CyberGhost is a top-shelf service, and as you’d expect, it comes with a roster of useful VPN features.
CyberGhost VPN App: Platform Support
Besides the native apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS, CyberGhost has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. You can also use it on Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV and Apple TV or set it up on a router to protect all your home devices.
CyberGhost’s Basic Features
CyberGhost comes with an automatic kill switch that cuts your internet traffic when the VPN connection drops. You can turn the kill switch on or off on the desktop apps, though we recommend always leaving it on. The kill switch is enabled by default on mobile apps, with no option to turn it off.
In addition, CyberGhost has a split tunneling feature that’s labeled as “exceptions” under the smart rules tab on Windows and Mac. This is URL-based split tunneling, meaning it lets you select websites that shouldn’t use the VPN tunnel. On the other hand, mobile apps support app-based split tunneling only.
CyberGhost’s Advanced Features
CyberGhost VPN is fitted out with an impressive suite of advanced tools. The content blocker blocks intrusive ads, trackers and URLs used for malware. We discuss how this feature works in the security section.
The standout advanced feature is “smart rules.” This is a set of automation features that let you configure how the app behaves under different circumstances. For example, you can set the CyberGhost app to connect to a specific server upon launching, or open a designated app such as a web browser when it establishes a connection.
Alternatively, you can configure CyberGhost to automatically connect when you open certain apps. Even better, smart rules let you configure it to launch when it detects a new secured or unsecured WiFi network.
Dedicated IP Address
CyberGhost offers a dedicated IP address option, where the IP is exclusively yours and doesn’t change — meaning you get the same IP address every time you connect. That comes with added security and privacy benefits. However, in most cases, the dedicated IP is tied to your account, which creates an opportunity for authorities to track online activity back to you.
Thankfully, CyberGhost utilizes a token-based system to assign dedicated IPs. This removes the link between your account and the IP, making it difficult to trace online activities back to you. Read our best VPN with dedicated IP to learn more.
CyberGhost Features Overview
|Payment methods||PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin|
|Supports split tunneling|
|Free trial available|
|Worldwide server amount||8,035 servers in 91 countries|
|Desktop OSes||Windows, MacOS, Linux|
|Mobile OSes||Android, iOS|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox|
|Can be installed on routers|
|Can access Netflix US|
|Can access BBC iPlayer|
|Can access Hulu|
|Can access Amazon Prime Video|
|VPN protocols available||OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard|
|Enabled at device startup|
|Passed DNS leak test|
|Malware/ad blocker included|
CyberGhost offers great value for the money, especially with its long-term plans — it’s one of the few VPNs to offer a three-year plan. Plus, each CyberGhost subscription plan supports seven simultaneous VPN connections, though you can only log in a maximum of seven devices at a time.
As for payment methods, CyberGhost accepts PayPal, Bitcoin, Google Pay, Apple Pay, credit cards and debit card payments for purchases made on its website.
How Much Does CyberGhost VPN Cost?
CyberGhost costs $12.99. For comparison, that’s around the same monthly price as ExpressVPN — an expensive premium VPN. Thankfully, longer subscriptions come with a generous discount, making it one of the best cheap VPNs.
An annual subscription brings the price down to $51.48, which is about the same as Surfshark, another reliable VPN. However, if you’re looking for bang for your buck, the $2.29 per month, if you’re willing to commit to those three years.
Free Trial and Money-Back Guarantee
CyberGhost offers a one-day free trial on desktop and a seven-day trial on mobile. If that’s a short duration to try all CyberGhost’s features, you can make the most out of the money-back guarantee with premium plans. There’s a 14-day money-back guarantee for the one-month plan and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee for the extended plans.
CyberGhost now offers a password manager that lets you create, manage and store passwords. The add-on tool costs $3.49 per month, but if you pay for 12 months up front, it’s just $2 per month.
In addition, there’s the CyberGhost security suite for Windows that costs $1.29 per month on the three-year plan. The all-in-one online security solution includes an antivirus (by Intego), privacy guard and app scanner that scours devices for outdated, unfinished and vulnerable apps.
As mentioned earlier, the VPN also offers dedicated IP addresses at an extra cost. The dedicated IP price varies based on the plan you pick, with the three-year plan being the cheapest at $3.75 per month.
CyberGhost has made billing, installation and usage as straightforward as can be for VPN users, regardless of their level of tech know-how.
CyberGhost VPN Desktop App
When you first open the Windows app, you’re greeted by a sleek, no-frills user interface. CyberGhost’s UI uses a black and yellow color scheme. You can also switch between light and dark mode, depending on your preference — but this only affects the settings menus.
Beyond the aesthetics, the VPN service treads a line between being beginner-friendly while still giving seasoned users the room for advanced customizability. The UI is divided into two columns: one houses the large connection button and details about the selected server, while the other is an expandable settings column.
CyberGhost lists servers by category, so it’s easier to find an optimal server. You can filter the servers by torrenting, gaming, streaming, NoSpy servers or dedicated IP. Alternatively, you can look up a server by the country name using the search function.
What we like most is that CyberGhost indicates approximately how far each server is from your location. Plus, gaming and NoSpy servers also indicate the ping for each server location. These details help you pick a server that can deliver the best performance.
While finding an ideal server is a cinch, fine-tuning CyberGhost can be a little tricky because of its dispersed settings. Most of the top-shelf VPNs have layouts that cram all the settings options in one area. CyberGhost is different in that it has three action areas: settings, privacy settings and smart rules.
The “settings” tab has options to change protocols or MTU size, disable IPv6 connection and configure startup options. To find other vital settings, you have to click the CyberGhost icon on the top left. Just below the server categories, you’ll see “privacy settings” and “smart rules.”
The privacy settings tab is where you find the options to activate the automatic kill switch, content blocker and the DNS leak protection. On the other hand, the smart rules tab has advanced options to customize the app.
CyberGhost Mobile Apps
Mobile apps sport the familiar clean, lightweight UI of their desktop versions. However, since it’s in a portrait layout, it only includes a single column that displays a connection button and selected server. The mobile apps offer similar ease of use to the desktop apps.
In terms of the features you can tinker with, the mobile apps are stripped-down versions of the desktop apps. For example, the Android app doesn’t come with the smart rules feature. What sets them apart from the desktop apps is that they consolidate all the settings in one area. This makes it easier to find the options you need to fine-tune the service.
CyberGhost has never been the fastest VPN in the industry. Before we developed our VPN speed tests, our testing showed that CyberGhost provided OK speeds, but it can’t outperform ExpressVPN, NordVPN or Surfshark.
However, now that we have objective and daily speed data from these excellent VPNs, we can now say that CyberGhost is not exactly light-footed. Although it still delivers a decent performance, it is lightyears from being the fastest VPN.
To test VPN speeds, we run automated speed tests using a virtual remote desktop. Our internet connection is capped at 100 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads, which we believe is representative of the average internet connection in the U.S.
(Higher is better)
(Higher is better)
(Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data averaged from 09/07/22 to 10/07/22
The line graphs below represent CyberGhost’s speed performance over time when connected to OpenVPN. The bar charts farther down represent a 30-day average of the VPNs’ performance.
The results represent data from our U.S. and worldwide testing, but you can tinker with the settings to display results from any specific test region. You can also disable or enable competitors for a clearer overview.
CyberGhost VPN Speed Test Results
As you can see, CyberGhost’s worldwide download speeds are all over the place, with the worldwide averages dropping performance at least 50%, with the U.S., U.K. and Singapore servers performing the best.
Upload speed performance between server locations showed more consistency — sitting between 8 Mbps and 9 Mbps — with the exception of the Singapore server.
The latency results weren’t unexpected, with us recording higher ping for servers that are further away from the U.S. testing location.
CyberGhost VPN Speed Comparison (U.S.)
CyberGhost’s speed isn’t bad, but it’s one of the worst when compared to other top VPNs. In our U.S. tests, it had some of the slowest uploads, slowest downloads and highest ping. Additionally, its download speed and latency fluctuated significantly over the testing period.
VPN Speed Comparison (Worldwide)
Its performance was better in our worldwide testing, though still unimpressive. Its download speed in particular remained on the slower end. Latency increased significantly, but that was the case with all other VPNs as well.
Is CyberGhost VPN Good for Gaming?
For an enthralling gaming experience, you need a stable internet connection with low latency. Keep in mind that a stable connection doesn’t always mean it’s the fastest, but it does maintain acceptable gaming speeds for the duration of the gaming session.
Unfortunately, CyberGhost’s latency is inconsistent and higher than we’d like on nearby servers, meaning it’s not the best pick for gaming.
Is CyberGhost Good for Torrenting?
Torrenting requires excellent download speed — an area in which CyberGhost doesn’t perform well. However, the provider offers servers that are optimized for P2P downloads, which makes it a good option for torrenting. It’s one of the best VPNs for BitTorrent, in case that’s your go-to torrenting client.
As far as VPN security goes, two features are critical: VPN protocols and encryption standards. CyberGhost’s desktop apps offer three protocols — IKEv2, OpenVPN and WireGuard — whereas the mobile apps come with WireGuard and OpenVPN only. Read our VPN protocol guide to learn when to pick one protocol over the others.
Out of the box, desktop and mobile apps use the “automatic” protocol option. That means that they pick the most appropriate protocol based on your network. However, you can manually pick the protocol depending on what you want to achieve online.
When it comes to encryption, CyberGhost uses the industry-standard AES-256 bit encryption. As you can read in our encryption guide, AES-256 is the gold standard in encryption and virtually unbreakable. There’s simply no way to brute-force attack AES-256 with today’s technology.
CyberGhost’s secure protocols and AES-256 work in unison to deliver top-notch online security. We tested the three protocols for WebRTC, IP and DNS leaks using IPlog.org and they all came out clean. We even turned off the DNS leak protection feature to simulate a worst-case scenario and still didn’t pick up any leaks.
CyberGhost Ad and Malware Blocker
As mentioned earlier, CyberGhost has a “block content” feature that blocks ads, trackers and malware. VPN ad and malware blockers such as NordVPN’s CyberSec work by filtering your internet traffic at the DNS level. In most cases this happens at the browser level, but CyberGhost’s content blocker blocks ads at network level.
Rather than block DNS requests from domains and hostnames known to serve ads, CyberGhost’s content blocker examines each server request. If it notices a code from a domain that has been flagged for pulling ads or malware, it removes it from the server request. This way, ads and malicious websites never reach your browser.
For these VPN reviews, we scan a service’s no-logs policy for sneaky fine print and blurred legal jargon that a common user might miss. We also look at the service ownership, where it’s located and whether it has been in the news lately for violating user privacy.
Does CyberGhost Keep Logs?
As we have seen with other VPN providers, CyberGhost collects user information such as email address, name, IP address, approximate location and payment details. The provider only collects this data when you use its website (crucially, not when you use the VPN itself) and it claims that this data is only used to improve service delivery and for the proper administration of your account.
While CyberGhost doesn’t associate the above data with what you do inside the VPN tunnel, it does share it with Kape Technologies’ subsidiaries. We understand the company may be obliged to do so to improve service delivery, but sharing data raises some privacy concerns.
Moreover, the vendor claims that it can disclose your personal data to protect its rights and/or comply with a court order or legal process, though this is standard practice.
Thankfully, the vendor doesn’t store connection logs associated with your IP address, session duration or connection timestamps. As a result, they can’t tell which user is connected to the VPN, the website and service you visit or your original IP, and they can’t share that data either, which is great from a privacy standpoint.
Independent Audit by Deloitte
In September 2022, CyberGhost announced that the company completed an independent audit by Deloitte, which inspected its VPN server network and management systems. To read the report, though, you need to log in to your CyberGhost account.
Deloitte looked at two things: CyberGhost’s no-logs policy statement (appendix I) and its no-logging safeguards — essentially how the company enforces the no-logs policy (appendix II).
According to Deloitte, “based on the procedures and the evidence obtained, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that CyberGhost’s configuration of IT systems and management of the supporting IT operations as of 30th of June 2022 were not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the CyberGhost’s description set out in the Appendix II.”
Where Is CyberGhost VPN Based?
CyberGhost is headquartered in Bucharest, Romania, and has offices across Europe. However, its holding company — Kape Technologies — is based in the U.K., despite its Israeli roots.
Kape Technologies: Who Owns CyberGhost VPN?
Kape Technologies used to be known as Crossrider. The company is infamous for producing a browser extension development platform bearing the same name. Unfortunately, hackers used that platform to create data-collecting adware that also became known as Crossrider, and Crossrider (the company) did nothing about it, in effect helping to spread malicious software.
In September 2016, Crossrider dropped the questionable platform and began to rebrand its business. However, even before the full transformation had happened, the company acquired CyberGhost for over $10 million. Although the acquisition seemed puzzling at the time, it probably gave Crossrider a new lease of life and marked the turning of a page for the company.
Shortly after, the company rebranded to Kape Technologies and sprung to the forefront of the online privacy world. The company has since acquired ZenMate VPN, Private Internet Access and ExpressVPN. Timo Beyel, the CTO of CyberGhost, claims CyberGhost works independently, as do representatives of all the other Kape VPNs.
CyberGhost has streaming servers dedicated to a variety of streaming services across a few countries. According to CyberGhost, these servers should deliver a better streaming experience than the regular servers, but our tests suggest otherwise.
While the HBO Max dedicated server got us into the service without a hitch, the Disney Plus server couldn’t find a way into the streaming service. When we tried the regular server (in Atlanta), it unblocked Disney Plus on the first attempt.
The story was the same for BBC iPlayer, whereas Amazon Prime Video proved a tough nut to crack for both the regular and streaming-optimized servers.
We’re pleased that CyberGhost has finally found a way around BBC iPlayer and Disney Plus geoblocks, two streaming services it couldn’t unblock in our previous review. By conquering these services, the VPN has cemented its spot on our best VPN for streaming list.
Can CyberGhost Unblock Netflix?
CyberGhost has always been one of the best VPNs for streaming Netflix, and for good reason. It has never had any problem bypassing the Netflix geoblocks. Actually, the VPN circumvents the Netflix geoblocks whether you use the regular or dedicated streaming servers across different countries.
At the time of writing, CyberGhost has over 8,000 servers in 114 locations spread across 91 countries. You’d struggle to find a VPN with a better combination of excellent server spread and high server count.
ExpressVPN — our best VPN provider — has a better spread (94 countries), but less than half CyberGhost’s server count. Private Internet Access, on the other hand, has the best server count in the industry at 35,000 servers, but these servers are spread across 84 countries.
The vast majority of CyberGhost servers are spread across 49 countries in Europe. The Asia-Pacific region has servers in over 17 countries, whereas Africa and South America have servers in six countries each. South America and the Middle East each have servers in five countries.
Virtual VPN Server Locations
Not all CyberGhost’s servers are physical; 38 server locations are virtual, meaning they aren’t located in the listed countries but still let you access content there.
Virtual servers aren’t inherently bad. In some cases, they may improve connection speeds and reduce latency, though the opposite could be true as well (read our virtual vs physical server article to learn more). They can also allow the VPN to provide IP addresses in countries that are dangerous to users without compromising their security — like in Russia and India.
CyberGhost’s Specialty Servers
Beyond the regular servers, CyberGhost offers:
- Gaming servers in four countries: Germany, U.K., U.S. and France
- Torrenting servers in over 60 countries
- Streaming serversin 20 streaming destinations around the world including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Australia
- NoSpy servers located in Romania
CyberGhost’s standout specialty servers are the NoSpy servers, which are physically located at CyberGhost’s headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, for privacy and security reasons. They are a safe bet to bypass internet censorship and one of the reasons CyberGhost is a great VPN for Russia and other restrictive regimes.
Because CyberGhost enjoys full control over the NoSpy servers, it guarantees complete anonymity. Plus, being physically located in Romania means that there are no laws obliging the provider to keep records of your data.
When you hit a snag with CyberGhost, you can find help on the large knowledgebase. This is a collection of CyberGhost’s VPN setup guides, FAQs, troubleshooting articles and company news.
The entire knowledgebase is well laid out to make it easier to find an article to solve your issue. For example, the setup guides are categorized by the operating system, plus there’s a search function to help you quickly find the right guides by keywords.
If your problem requires a human touch, you can reach out to CyberGhost via email or live chat. Live chat remains the fastest way to find help. During our testing, we contacted CyberGhost via live chat and every time, we got a response within a few minutes. Even better, the human agents seemed knowledgeable on most subjects.
Email isn’t as fast as live chat, but it’s a great channel to find help on more complex issues.
The Verdict: CyberGhost VPN Review
CyberGhost is a great VPN service that steps up to the plate in most of the areas that matter. It has excellent features, solid security and its usability is unmatched. Plus it offers affordable plans, plus generous money-back guarantees.
Streaming used to be its Achilles’ heel, but our latest results prove the performance on this front has improved considerably. However, its speeds still lag behind the competition, and the baggage of its parent company’s past throws a small shadow over its privacy.
Have you used CyberGhost before? What did you like about this service? Do you have reservations about its parent company? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.