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CyberGhost Review

CyberGhost has been one of our favorite VPNs for a few years now, and after this latest update of our CyberGhost review we see no reason to bump it off that list. It's pretty fast, gets into Netflix and is downright cheap, to boot. Read all the details here.

Jacob Roach
By Jacob Roach (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2020-07-07T09:06:18+00:00
(Editor)
Starts from $ 275 per month
Save 79 % (All Plans)
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CyberGhost VPN is a favorite here at Cloudwards.net, offering a service that’s worthy of our best VPN guide and at a budget price. Although the VPN misses in a few areas, CyberGhost can still go up against the best of them and come out unscathed. In this updated CyberGhost review, we’re going to take another look at the service to see if it’s still up to par. 

We signed up for an account incognito to judge its features, pricing, security, privacy, speed and more. From creating an account to getting connected, we ran CyberGhost through the wringer to see if it’s the right VPN for you. 

For most people, the answer is yes. Although there are some small problems, CyberGhost puts most other VPN providers to shame. You also don’t have to take our word for it, thankfully. CyberGhost offers a one-day free trial as well as 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can try out the service yourself.

CyberGhost Video Review


Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Easy to use
  • Dedicated servers for streaming & torrenting
  • Inexpensive
  • No-logs policy
  • VPN automation features
  • Highly secure
  • Unlocks streaming services
  • Useful privacy features

Weaknesses:

  • A little slow
  • IKEv2 enabled by default

Alternatives for CyberGhost

  1. 1
    • PayPal, Credit card
    • 7 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  2. 2
    • PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin
    • 5 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. 3
    • Credit card
    • 6 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  4. 4
    • PayPal, Credit card
    • 5 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  5. 5
    • PayPal, Credit card
    • 10 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy

Features

90 % – Excellent

CyberGhost is stuffed to the brim with features. Although the VPN service lacks some of the goodies seen with NordVPN and Surfshark, the list is still impressive (read our Surfshark review). From automating your VPN experience to protecting your torrenting, CyberGhost includes a feature for just about everything.  

Starting with the essentials, CyberGhost includes a kill switch that will automatically block your internet connection if the VPN fails. Unfortunately, the kill switch is universal for your full connection. You can’t set the kill switch on specific applications, like you can with Astrill (read our Astrill review). 

Other security features include DNS leak protection — more on that in the “security” section below — and forced IPv4. There’s also a setting to allow CyberGhost to choose a port when using OpenVPN. This setting is especially useful on hotel and airport WiFi, which is why CyberGhost ranks among the best VPNs for travelers.

cyberghost-features

CyberGhost VPN also includes a form of split tunneling, though not in the same way as PureVPN (read our PureVPN review). The split tunneling is focused solely on your browser, so you can choose which websites use the VPN tunnel and which don’t. We would’ve liked to see split tunneling for applications, too. 

The use case for applications is much broader. For instance, you may want to run your torrent client through the VPN while leaving your online backup unaffected. The use case for browsers is much more limited. You could secure your connection to one website and leave another unprotected, but that doesn’t have nearly as many practical uses as application split tunneling. 

Torrenting and Streaming Servers

CyberGhost has always split up its servers based on their purpose, and the most recent iteration is no different. In the app, you can choose to browse all servers or browse servers specifically for streaming or torrenting. Although you can use these locations for general browsing, they’re built with those purposes in mind. 

cyberghost-torrenting-servers

We don’t know what CyberGhost has going on behind the scenes to mark some servers as “for torrenting” or “for streaming.” The latter category shows the specific streaming service that the server is optimized for. However, torrenting locations seem to have no difference from normal ones, at least in the application. 

Although we don’t mind some locations being segmented out, CyberGhost could’ve done more with this system. For example, NordVPN has Double-VPN and VPN-over-Tor servers available for maximum security on torrents (read our NordVPN review). That’s something we would’ve liked to see from CyberGhost. 

New Features in CyberGhost 7

As we’ll get into in the “user-friendliness” section below, CyberGhost has made a lot of changes from its version 6. In addition to a totally redesigned interface, there are a handful of extras packed into the new app that will keep your browser free of ads and aid in online privacy outside of using the VPN.

In the “connection features” tab, you have the option to force HTTPS in your browser, block online trackers, block malicious websites, compress website data and block online ads.  For the most part, these features work well. We’re particularly fond of the “data compression” and “HTTPS everywhere” features. 

cyberghost-connection-settings

However, some are lesser versions of other software. For instance, CyberGhost can block harmful websites, but that doesn’t protect you from malicious downloads or browser-based attacks through trusted URLs. It’s a nice feature to have, but a dedicated, secure antivirus does a much better job. 

Smart Rules

In addition to connection features, CyberGhost 7 also has a list of “smart rules” that you can specify in the application. Essentially, these rules allow you to automate various aspects of the VPN outside of connecting when your computer starts (though that’s included, too). 

The startup settings let you choose if CyberGhost should launch when your computer boots up, as well as what location it should connect to and if you want an app to launch after a connection is made. That’s par for the course with most elite VPNs, but CyberGhost goes a step further. You can also update based on your WiFi network and specific applications. 

cyberghost-smart-rules

For example, you can tell CyberGhost to automatically connect when you use a WiFi network it doesn’t recognize or when you launch Chrome (read our Google Chrome review). These automation settings don’t fundamentally change how CyberGhost functions as a VPN, though they go a long way in helping ease of use. 

CyberGhost Features Overview

  • General

    • PayPal, Credit card
    • Accepts cryptocurrency
    • 7 Simultaneous connections
    • Supports split tunneling
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • 1 day Free trial available
    • 45 days Refund period
    • 6,100+ Worldwide server amount
    • Windows, MacOS, Linux
    • Android, iOS
    • Chrome, Firefox
    • Can be installed on routers
  • Streaming

    • Can access Netflix US
    • Can access BBC iPlayer
    • Can access Hulu
    • Can access Amazon Prime Video
  • Security

    • 256-AES
    • OpenVPN, IKEv2
    • Enabled at device startup
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
    • Passed DNS leak test
    • Killswitch available
    • Malware/ad blocker included
  • Support

    • 24/7 Live Chat
    • 24/7 Email support
    • Phone support
    • User forum
    • Knowledgebase

Pricing

98 % – Excellent

CyberGhost is one of the cheapest VPNs around, but only if you subscribe for a long period. The monthly rate is abysmal. Although not as expensive as Astrill or Hide.me, CyberGhost’s monthly price is even higher than ExpressVPN’s (read our Hide.me review). If you want to subscribe to CyberGhost, the longer, the better.  

  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 7 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
1-year plan $ 5.99/ month
$71.88 billed every year
Save 54 %
2-year plan $ 3.69/ month
$88.56 billed every 2 years
Save 72 %
3-year plan $ 2.75/ month
$99.00 billed every 3 years
Save 79 %

For $13 per month, CyberGhost is worth it, but the price isn’t ideal. Thankfully, you can save big by buying a few years upfront. The price gradually drops as the duration gets longer. One year is less than half the price of a normal monthly subscription. If you go for three years, the monthly price drops to less than $3 per month.

No matter which duration you choose, you’ll be able to keep up to seven devices protected. However, seven is your maximum number of devices on your account, no matter if you’re actively using all of them or not. 

Although all VPNs implement a simultaneous connection limit, you’re usually able to download the application on as many devices as you want. Given that, we would’ve liked some way to add additional devices to your account if you need them, like TorGuard offers (though, as you can see in our TorGuard review, that service has its own problems). 

The only add-on CyberGhost offers is a dedicated IP, which you can purchase for New York, Chicago, London, Paris, Frankfurt or Montreal. At $5 per month, though, it’s not the best deal. 

As for payment, CyberGhost accepts credit cards, PayPal and bitcoin. Although these are the standard options for a VPN, we would’ve like some regional payment options and, even more so, a cash option (read our Mullvad review for a VPN that accepts cash). Still, CyberGhost offers anonymous payment with bitcoin, so we can’t complain too much. 

Does CyberGhost Have a Free Trial?

If you’re on the fence, CyberGhost offers a free trial — as well as a generous money-back guarantee — so you can try it out for yourself. The free trial is very limited, allowing you to use the desktop app for one day, or the mobile app for a week. You don’t need to put a credit card on record, though, so the trial is risk free.

However, we’d recommend actually buying CyberGhost to test it out, considering the VPN has an excellent refund policy. If you buy a year or more, you have a full 45 days to change your mind, which is more than what you’ll get with just about every other VPN around. 

There’s a big caveat when it comes to the monthly subscription, though. If you purchase a month, you have only two weeks to change your mind. Considering that three of its four plans offer 45-day refunds, this policy is just confusing. Although we appreciate the extra time on long-term subscriptions, we would much prefer a flat month-long refund policy across all durations. Read our piece on how to get a CyberGhost refund.

User-Friendliness

95 % – Excellent

CyberGhost comes into its own once you start using it. It’s not as streamlined as ExpressVPN or as settings-dense as AirVPN, instead striking a middle ground between usability and functionality. Out of all the changes from CyberGhost to 6 to 7, the overhauled interface is the most important one. 

Let’s start with signing up, though. There are no questions about where to go to purchase a subscription. CyberGhost always seems to be running a deal of some sort, with buttons blasting the discount at multiple points across the site. After entering some basic information and your payment method, you’ll be redirected to the web dashboard. 

cyberghost-web-dashboard

In most cases, it’s safe to ignore these web portals, but you’ll want to pay attention to CyberGhost’s. As mentioned in the “pricing” section above, you have to register a device to your account in order to use it, and the web dashboard is where that happens. 

The web dashboard also serves as a hub for all of CyberGhost’s installers, in addition to offering a few settings, such as what DNS servers you want to use. 

How to Use CyberGhost

Once you register your device and download the application, you can get connected right away. The CyberGhost Windows client launches in the tray, and it’ll remain there if you want it to. However, unlike PIA, you can dismount the app from your tray by dragging it to a different section of your screen (read our PIA review).

cyberghost-tray-application

This view is very similar to ExpressVPN’s, simply showing the server you’re connected to and a large “on” switch. Outside of having some basic settings and your favorite servers, that’s all you can do with the tray application. CyberGhost comes into its own once you expand it, which you can do by clicking the yellow arrow next to the server. 

cyberghost-expanded-view

Once expanded, you can view all of the servers in CyberGhost’s network, browse the streaming and torrenting servers, configure settings and enable connection features. CyberGhost even goes as far as to display the load and distance of each server relative to your location, making it easy to pick the best one for you. 

If you don’t want to pick, you can always double-click on the country you want to connect to, and CyberGhost will do the heavy lifting. Unlike some other VPN providers, you can easily switch between locations without needing to disconnect, too (read our VPNArea review for a service that can’t). 

Out of all the VPN services we’ve tested, there are few as easy to use as CyberGhost. Although not as streamlined as ExpressVPN, CyberGhost combines full functionality and accessibility into a single application, which is an impressive feat. 

Speed

85 % – Very Good

CyberGhost is a fast VPN, even earning a nod in our fastest VPN guide. However, it’s not fast in the same way as, say, ExpressVPN (read our ExpressVPN review). While ExpressVPN can stay fast no matter where you’re tunneling or what protocol you’re using, CyberGhost has some specific requirements. 

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected846020.54
Chicago (best location)
15
69.43
20.47
New York
42
85.04
18.68
Netherlands
112
32.2
14.68
Switzerland
126
25.03
14.38
Japan
180
77.33
14.35
Average
95
57.81
16.51

We’ll get into how to squeeze the most performance out of CyberGhost in a minute. For now, let’s break down some numbers. With an unprotected download speed of 460Mbps, we never reached above 100Mbps with CyberGhost when using OpenVPN. That’s a significant drop, though we’ve found that faster connections usually have more of a loss compared to slower ones. 

In choosing locations to compare, we had the option to pick the servers ourselves, but we let CyberGhost select the specific server for each spot. The only exception was the location in New York, and it shows. We manually selected a server in New York to compare it to the Chicago location, which CyberGhost recommended out of the gate. 

It seems CyberGhost favors latency over load. When selecting our New York location, we filtered the servers by load, choosing the one with the least. 

Unsurprisingly, that location became our top performer, despite having a higher latency than the CyberGhost recommended location. That’s a relative shift, though. Latency was good across locations, which is why CyberGhost made our best VPN for gaming guide. 

What we can gather is that it’s best to pick a specific CyberGhost server rather than letting the app choose. That way, you can get the most performance out of the service when using OpenVPN. If you’re OK using IKEv2, though, CyberGhost is fairly quick across the board. 

How We Ran Our CyberGhost Speed Tests

As with all of our VPN reviews, we ran our speed tests using OpenVPN with UDP as the transport protocol. Although OpenVPN isn’t always the fastest choice, it’s universal among nearly all VPNs, so that’s what we use to compare providers. As we saw with CyberGhost, the protocol makes all the difference. 

For our own comparison, we also ran some tests using the “automatic selection” option for protocol, which, based on our results, we suspect is IKEv2. These speeds were much faster, with locations like Switzerland reaching more than 100Mbps on the download end of things. 

If you’re in a low-risk country, we recommend IKEv2 for speed. If you’re concerned about security, though, OpenVPN is still your best bet.

However, it’s not like OpenVPN is vastly slower across the board. Some locations were fairly close in terms of download speed, and almost identical in terms of latency and upload. For the most part, OpenVPN is secure and fast, but if you’re having trouble with a specific location, switching to IKEv2 may help. 

Security

95 % – Excellent

CyberGhost offers the best in VPN security, pairing OpenVPN with AES-256 encryption (read our description of encryption for more on that). The VPN doesn’t come that way out of the box, though. CyberGhost uses IKEv2 by default, at least in the U.S., presumably to achieve faster speeds. You can see the differences between IKEv2 and OpenVPN in our VPN protocol breakdown

cyberghost-security-settings

We can’t confirm that IKEv2 is the default around the world, though. CyberGhost has an “automatic selection” option enabled out of the box, which for us meant IKEv2. It’s possible, however, that OpenVPN is the protocol of choice in high-risk countries like China. Regardless, it’s best to switch over to OpenVPN manually. 

Outside of the protocol settings, you can enable DNS leak protection and block IPv6 connections, but that’s it. We would’ve liked to see some sort of encapsulated OpenVPN protocol, like VyprVPN offers, especially if you’re connecting in a high-risk country (read our VyprVPN review to learn about that). Unfortunately, CyberGhost offers nothing of the sort.  

With the DNS leak protection enabled, we ran a series of leak tests for DNS, IP and WebRTC, and CyberGhost came back clean on all fronts. Unfortunately, there aren’t any DNS settings in the application. However, you can specify what DNS servers you want to use through the web interface.  

In fairness, our security complaints are nitpicks. CyberGhost is a highly secure VPN that’s more than capable of keeping your browsing data protected. Our issues are present, but they don’t influence the overall security of the service in any significant way. As long as you can pop over to OpenVPN in the settings, you’ll be fine. 

Privacy

90 % – Excellent

CyberGhost has a very in-depth privacy policy, though it makes the critical details clear at the top. Rather than simply saying it’s a “no-logs” service, CyberGhost outlines what, specifically, it doesn’t collect at the top. That way, you don’t have to sift through all the legal jargon to know you’re protected. We still did, though, and sure enough, CyberGhost is telling the truth at the top. 

In short, CyberGhost knows nothing about you. All aspects of your internet connection are private, including your IP address, browsing history, browsing duration and destination IP address. CyberGhost doesn’t even have your payment information on record. That’s handled exclusively through third-party payment processors. 

As far as your use of the VPN, CyberGhost has nothing. If a government agency came knocking, the most they’d be able to prove is that you subscribed to the VPN service, and even that proof would require also getting your payment information from the third-party processor. 

That’s using the VPN. CyberGhost collects some data when you sign up for an account and use its site. That includes your address, name and email address. This information isn’t sold or shared with anyone else, and it couldn’t be tied to your use of the service (CyberGhost has nothing on record on that front). Still, we’ve seen VPNs get by with less personal information. 

In the worst-case scenario, someone could see — at most — that you’re subscribed to CyberGhost, along with your email address and physical address. That’s much better than IPVanish and Buffered VPN, though still not ideal. It’s even more concerning considering that CyberGhost is based in Romania. 

Romania is similar to the U.S. when it comes to internet censorship, having slightly restricted speech, web surveillance and torrenting restrictions. Still, it’s not part of any major intelligence group, and it has some solid privacy legislation on the books, so Romania is a better choice for CyberGhost’s location than most countries. 

Streaming Performance

95 % – Excellent

We encountered some streaming issues with CyberGhost, but not in the way you might expect. After all, CyberGhost is one of the best streaming VPNs around. We started with the streaming servers, using the server optimized for the platform we were trying to access, if available.

That posed some problems, though. We were able to access Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video, but the connection would often fail before the stream loaded (though no proxy errors, thankfully).

When choosing our server manually, the streaming experience was much better, showcasing why CyberGhost made it onto our best VPN for Hulu and Amazon Prime Video guides.

Although we can’t confirm this, we assume the load on the streaming servers is fairly high, as switching to a server with less of a load solved our issues. The streaming servers work, based on our testing. However, if you’re experiencing issues with them, it’s probably best to select a server manually.

CyberGhost With Netflix

The only exception was Netflix. Even with the streaming server, we were able to break into the platform easily, making CyberGhost an excellent VPN for watching Netflix. Maybe Netflix has more sophisticated video compression, or maybe it was just dumb luck. Either way, we encountered no issues with Netflix, no matter if we picked our own server or used the one optimized for the platform.

Server Locations

100 % – Excellent

Since our last time reviewing CyberGhost, it has been hard at work expanding its server network. There are now more than 6,100 servers in the network — exactly 6,174 at the time of writing — spread across 112 locations in 89 countries. That’s more than NordVPN’s network and even nips at the heels of HideMyAss.

Not all of those locations are real, though. CyberGhost bolsters its network with virtual servers, which is becoming increasingly common for VPNs. Thankfully, the virtual servers are only in very remote locations like the Bahamas and Greenland. The vast majority of servers in CyberGhost’s network are physical.

If there isn’t a server in a location you want — an unlikely scenario, but possible — you can request a new location on CyberGhost’s server status page. Also on the server status page, CyberGhost offers a tool to find the best server for your location, which includes a step where you can specify if you’re trying to unlock a specific streaming platform.

Customer Service

90 % – Excellent

You’ll want to keep a tab on CyberGhost’s web portal, not only to add new devices, but also to access its customer support area. There, you can quickly send a message to the CyberGhost support team and browse popular articles from the knowledgebase. 

cyberghost-dashboard-support

Clicking on the “more articles” button will, annoyingly, bring you to the FAQ page rather than the full support portal, though you can quickly tab back to the full knowledgebase. There, you’ll find everything from setup guides to troubleshooting articles to announcements. CyberGhost’s breadth of customer support documentation is, frankly, staggering. 

cyberghost-knowledgebase

After a minute or so of inactivity, a live chat blurb will pop up on the bottom-right corner of the screen. Live chat is great for basic questions, as is the case with most live chat services. Thankfully, CyberGhost also offers 24/7 email support in English, German, French and Romanian. You can reach out over email using the contact form in the web dashboard. 

Overall, CyberGhost offers what we want out of a VPN service when it comes to customer service. The direct support options work, but the self-help resources are where CyberGhost shines. There’s a slew of detailed articles for nearly every platform, no matter if you’re using the Windows, Mac, iOS or Android client. 

The Verdict

CyberGhost sits among an elite tier of VPNs, able to go toe-to-toe with services like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Although it has a few minor issues, those are easy to overlook given CyberGhost’s price, features and security. If you’re looking for a VPN that does it all, CyberGhost is a safe bet. 

We recommend taking the one-day trial for a spin to see how you like it. Let us know about your experience in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading. 

CyberGhost FAQ

  • Is Using CyberGhost Safe?

    Yes, CyberGhost is safe. The VPN supports OpenVPN with AES-256 encryption, making your data nearly impossible to crack. Furthermore, CyberGhost has a no-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t record your browsing data or IP addresses.

  • Is CyberGhost VPN Free?

    No, CyberGhost is not free. There’s a one-day free trial so you can see how you like the service, as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee. A subscription runs anywhere between $2.75 to $12.99 per month, depending on the duration you purchase.

  • Is CyberGhost a Virus?

    No, CyberGhost is not a virus. CyberGhost is a virtual private network service that encrypts your internet traffic while you’re browsing.

  • What Is the Use of CyberGhost?

    CyberGhost is a virtual private network that encrypts your internet traffic in real time. The VPN can also spoof your location while doing so. You can use CyberGhost to unblock websites in restricted countries or simply to maintain your online privacy.

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2 thoughts on “CyberGhost”

  1. streaming to be improved ,Number of servers in France + US must be increased to beat the Netflix geolocalization

    Reply
  2. I bought a 89$ three-year plan for Cyberghost 10 months ago. It was clear that it was a 3-years deal. But 10 months later, what do I see, they take 89 more bucks from my credit card. What the hell??? Not even a year? I e-mailed them a week ago to ask explanations + a refund — no answer! They are a fraudulent company. You can get a good VPN out there for much cheaper – even free. And they probably won’t keep spamming illegal payments off your credit card which you trustfully shared with them! That’s a 1-star rating, would be 0 star if it was possible. I’m not done with them.

    Reply
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