CyberGhost VPN Review

CyberGhost is a well-known name in the VPN sphere – and it is a service that does everything right. Its latest software is easy to use and offers a wealth of awesome features for gaining privacy both at home and on public WiFi.

In this CyberGhost VPN review, we have taken an in-depth look at the security features, speed and performance, and the apps for each platform. We found it to be a versatile service able to unblock highly desirable streaming services like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer.

Overall, we consider CyberGhost to be a superb service that offers real value-for-money. Read on to find out why!

Our Score
5 / 5
Readers' Rating
4.5 / 5
Pricing
$2.25/mo - $13.47/mo
Simultaneous connections
7
Server Locations
112 countries
Jurisdiction
Romania
ProPrivacy.com SpeedTest (average)
63.92 Mbps
Available on:
Works with:
Visit CyberGhost VPN

4 User Reviews

Brett F (TrustPilot)
on 2020-07-22 08:11:21.
Overall score: 5
First-class, five start performance!! CyberGhost is the first VPN I've used that actively switches routing when difficulties are encountered in the connection. Intelligent VPN routing is an amazing feature, and it makes CyberGhost worth every penny.
Harold Alley Jr (TrustPilot)
on 2020-07-21 09:28:30.
Overall score: 5
CyberGhost, in my testing, simply gives the fastest throughput I’ve yet to see from any VPN I’ve tested. I haven’t even mentioned their no tracking, and no logs policy. That combined with their vast number of server’s located throughout the world means you can truly customize your browsing, and p2p activities without the fear of losing your privacy.
Mike Chen
on 2020-07-08 13:53:58.
Overall score: 5
Great service - connects really fast and lets me watch Netflix US without any messing about. Hardly notice it's there.
Show All User Reviews

Leave a Review - Step 1

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Leave a Review - Step 2

Please tell us in more detail about this product

Speed
Customer Service
Unblocking
Country Choices
Ease of Use

Leave a Review - Step 3

Thanks for your review!

Does CyberGhost unblock Netflix?

Amazon Prime
Netflix
iPlayer
Hulu
Disney+

This is the question we're asked more than any other about VPNs – and yes, CyberGhost can unblock Netflix US, UK, Germany and Japan. You'll be able to connect to specially optimized servers that unblock over 35 popular streaming services. These include Fox Sports in Brazil, Comedy Central, YouTube in various countries, Netflix in various countries, hulu, and many more. It even unblocks Disney+ from anywhere in the world, despite its US-only availability at launch.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost has been hit-and-miss with BBC iPlayer. The provider could previously access the British platform, but now struggles, and has become unreliable.

See CyberGhost VPNs Black Friday deals

Get Black Friday VPN deals

Does CyberGhost VPN allow torrenting?

Torrenting is another major use case for VPNs. Anyone familiar with the BitTorrent protocol will know that it exposes your IP address when torrenting files. A fast VPN protects your privacy; however, many VPNs don't allow torrenting traffic on their network. We were pleased that CyberGhost has several servers specifically optimized for torrenting.

I tested these servers using uTorrent to download a few files, and CyberGhost worked flawlessly.

Speed & Performance: How fast is CyberGhost VPN?

Speed

A weighted average download speed of 44.2 Mbits/s puts CyberGhost VPN at the lower end of our results table, which is a little unfair since the competition around that speed mark is very fierce. Less than a Mbit/s or two separates a lot of providers here.

CyberGhost Speed

Again, it's not at the top of our list, but CyberGhost VPN's max burst speed result of 658.5 Mbit/s means that if you connect to a server in the same continent as yourself, then you'll see minimal slowdown on even the fastest home internet connection.

DNS lookup and connection times are similarly middle-of-the-road, which these days means they are still pretty fast!

Performance & features

Total servers 6987
Simultaneous connections 7
Split Tunneling
Server Locations 112

With over 5,700 servers in over 90 countries, you are never going to be short of a handy server to connect to! And this figure is all the more impressive when you consider the fact that all these servers are bare-metal single occupancy machines which are firmly under the control of CyberGhost’s staff.

Allowing up to seven devices to connect at once is generous. 

“Connection features”

The CyberGhost VPN clients offer a number of special “connection” features. Block ads, Block Malicious Websites, and Block Online Traffic use DNS blocklists to protect your device from various threats.

CyberGhost windows app

Automated HTTPS is basically an implementation of the famous open source HTTPS Everywhere browser add, which ensures a secure HTTPS connection is established if the domain supports HTTPS on any level.

Data compression reduces your bandwidth usage and can therefore be useful (depending on what you download), but it should be noted that many VPN services enable data compression by default without feeling the need to mention it.

“Smart rules”

“Smart rules” cover a number of features that are available in some of CyberGhost VPN apps, but not others.

  • WiFi protection (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS) – detects when you connect to an unknown network and can automatically turn on your VPN, ask what to do, or never protect, as you specify.
  • Exceptions (Windows, Android, iOS) – also known as split-tunneling, this feature allows you to exclude some websites from the VPN. This is very useful, for example, if you usually connect to a VPN server overseas but wish to connect to local versions of some websites without disconnecting the VPN.
  • App protection (Windows, Android) – auto-launches CyberGhost and automatically connects to a specified server whenever you open named apps. So you could set this up to auto-connect to the US Netflix server every time you open the Netflix app.

Leak tests

ProPrivacy.com SpeedTest (average) 63.92
ProPrivacy.com SpeedTest (max/burst) 556.2
IPv6 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?
IPv4 leak detected?

I encountered no leak problems with the macOS client, although I have detected WebRTC and IPv6 leaks in the Windows client. In the Windows client settings, you can disable IPv6 to fix this, although I can’t for life of me think why IPv6 is not disabled by default.

The CLI Linux app provides no DNS or WebRTC leak protection.

Please see our Complete guide to IP leak protection for information on this subject.

Privacy & Security

Bare Metal Servers?
Self-hosted DNS
Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)

Jurisdiction

CyberGhost is a Romanian company which is now owned by Kape Technologies.

Romania is generally considered to be privacy-friendly.  Romanian courts struck down the EU Data Retention Directive on constitutional grounds long before it was declared illegal by the European Court of Justice. It is also not a 14-Eyes spying alliance nation and has no known ties to the NSA.

According to its TOS, “the relationship between you and KAPE shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England.” The UK is a founding member of the NSA-led Five Eyes spying alliance and home to some of the most extreme mass surveillance legislation ever enacted. 

Logs

“When using the CyberGhost VPN, the user's traffic data such as browsing history, traffic destination, data content, and search preferences are not monitored, recorded, logged or stored by the Company. More than this, when using the CyberGhost VPN, we are not storing connection logs, meaning that we don't have any logs tied to your IP address, connection timestamp or session duration.”

So CyberGhost VPN easily qualifies as no logs VPN, although some aggregate metadata is sent anonymously to third-party services (MixPanel) for trend analysis.

More concerning is that CyberGhost VPN performs a considerable amount of web tracking on visits to its site, which it shares with a number of third parties (although I didn’t spot any Google Analytics trackers). This kind of tracking has no effect on the privacy of VPN sessions, though,

Technical security

The Windows app uses the IKEv2 protocol by default, although you can switch to OpenVPN or IPsec. The Android app uses OpenVPN, while the macOS iOS apps uses IKEv2. CyberGhost uses the following OpenVPN settings:

Data channel: an AES-256-CBC cipher with SHA-256 hash authentication.

Control channel: an AES-256 cipher, RSA-4096 key encryption, and SHA384 hash authentication. Perfect forward secrecy is provided by an ECDH-4096 key exchange.

This is a very strong setup. And as already mentioned, CyberGhost VPN uses 100% bare metal servers, which is great news for privacy.

I recommend disabling WebRTC at the browser level as this is the only 100% guaranteed solution to WebRTC leaks, although CyberGhost’s apps prevented all forms of IP leaks, anyway. I do wish, however, that IPv6 was disabled in Windows by default.

Controversies

Under its previous name of Crossrider, Kape Technologies garnered an unsavory reputation as a malware merchant, a past that Kape has been keen to distance itself from:

“The decision to rename the company… was due to the strong association to the past activities of the company as well as the need to enhance the consumer-facing brand for the business.”

Kape’s largest shareholder, Teddy Sagi is a controversial figure who was named in the Panama papers. Also somewhat concerning are reports of past connections between Crossrider and Unit 8200, “the Israeli equivalent of the NSA or GCHQ.”

CyberGhost VPN has reached out to us on this point and is keen to stress that it is a Romanian company, operating under Romanian jurisdiction. Also that it publishes a transparency report.

What about the apps?

You can sign-up for an account on the CyberGhost website or take advantage of the card-free 24-hour free trial first. This trial can seem a little elusive – sometimes it's advertised, sometimes it's not. However, a quick Google search should point you in the right direction.

Clicking on the free trial for macOS can also lead to a Windows .exe file being downloaded, requiring you to chase through the CyberGhost VPN help pages to find a .pkg download for macOS.

If you already have an account (you can sign-up via the Android or iOS apps), or once you've tracked down the Windows or macOS free trial download, the entire process is simple.

CyberGhost VPN has custom apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and Android TV/ Amazon Fire TV. It also offers a command-line (CLI) app for Linux and free browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. It provides manual setup guides for a range of other devices such as DD-WRT and Tomato routers, Raspberry Pi, and Chromebook.

The Windows client

CyberGhost offers some simple guides when you start the client for the first time. These cover surfing "anonymously," torrenting and streaming.

However, it's worth noting that using a VPN does not guarantee true anonymity – your VPN provider will always know who you are and what you real IP address is (although this is a no-logs VPN so it remains true that they are not keeping any records whatsoever). That aside, the guides provide a simple newbie-friendly explanation of how to use the VPN.

CyberGhost Windows Client

CyberGhost VPN has definitely upped the game with its CG7 client in terms of aesthetics. It looks good and is easy to navigate. You can let the app choose a nearby server for you, or you can expand the app to access the full interface. 

From here you can select a country or individual server within a country based on distance and load. You can also select servers that have been optimized for torrenting and streaming.

CyberGhost servers list on windows

The Windows VPN app features every “Connection feature” and Smart rule” on offer. By default, the CyberGhost uses the OpenVPN protocol, but you can choose from IKEv2 or L2TP/IPsec, too.

OpenVPN users can switch from UDP to TCP, which is useful for evading moderate VPN blocks. The client offers a random port scanning feature to OpenVPN users, which can be used to evade more casual VPN blocks.

IPv4 DNS leak protection and a kill-switch are enabled by default, though IPv6 connections are not blocked – the reasons for this are unclear. As already noted, IPv6 should be disabled in Settings to prevent IPv6 leaks in Windows.

We ran tests on CyberGhost's kill-switch and discovered that it works at the system firewall level. This is good, meaning that even if the VPN client and OpenVPN daemon crash, your IP address will not be exposed.

The macOS client

As should be clear from screenshots earlier in this article, the macOS client is very similar to the Windows one. A system-level kill-switch and effective IPv4 and IPv6 DNS leak protection are sensibly baked-in, rather than being a user-configurable option.

The Mac VPN app uses IKEv2. All “connection features” are present and correct, although the only “smart rule” available is WiFi protection.

The Android app

The Android VPN app uses OpenVPN and, similar to its Windows siblings, supports TCP and random port selection. It also supports all “Connection features,” plus the WiFi Protection and Exceptions “Smart rules.”

CyberGhost VPN connected

There is no user-selectable kill-switch setting, but CyberGhost VPN tells us that a kill-switch is built-in.

There is no kill-switch, although Android 7+ comes with a built-in kill-switch that works with any VPN app.

The iOS app

Unsurprisingly, the iOS VPN app looks very similar to the Android app. Under the hood, it opts for the IKEv2 protocol rather than OpenVPN. This is totally fine; IKEv2 is widely considered to be secure and even has performance advantages over OpenVPN.

“Connection features” and most “Smart rules” are not present in the iOS app, although WiFi Protection and a built-in kill-switch are.

Linux

CyberGhost’s Command-line Linux VPN client is little more than the open-source OpenVPN client pre-configured to use CyberGhost’s servers. This does, however, provide real convenience over downloading and running the .ovpn files manually.

The client is available for Ubuntu and Fedora, and appears to be optimized for different versions of those distros. The DEB and RPM packages should work on any systems that support those distribution formats, though.

Browser add-ons

The VPNs browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome are available for free to everyone, and having a CyberGhost account does not improve their functionality. There are only four proxy server locations available: Germany, Netherlands, Romania, and the United States.

CyberGhost browser addons

They are simple HTTPS proxies. As such, they will spoof your location and protect your data with HTTPS encryption at the click of a button. They do not provide any WebRTC protection, however.

Customer Service

Free Trial Length 1
Free Trial
Money-back Guarantee
24-hour support
Live chat
Money-back guarantee length 45

The CyberGhost site hosts extensive setup guides that cover a variety of topics – from setting up the client, troubleshooting streaming issues and help with protocol usage. An FAQ is also available, as well as a dedicated Troubleshooting page, and CyberGhost even has its own blog that reports on the latest news from the privacy sphere.

For more direct assistance, email and 24/7 live chat are available in English, German, French and Romanian, and the team responded quickly, fielding all questions I asked of it.

Pricing

As you might expect, CyberGhost offers a steep reduction in price when purchasing long-term subscriptions, making it a cheap VPN for anyone looking for a long term subscription. Otherwise, the plans are identical. There is a 1-day free trial on offer, though finding it on the website can be tricky. A very generous 45-day VPN money-back guarantee is available when you subscribe for 6 or 18 months, too.

CyberGhost VPN accepts payment via credit/debit card, PayPal, or direct debit. Additional payment options may be available depending on your country of residence. Those looking for privacy can pay for this VPN in Bitcoin, although remember that no matter how anonymously you pay a VPN company will know your real IP address.

Payments are processed by third party services such as Cleverbridge, Stripe, and PayPal. Bitcoin payments are processed by BitPay.

Supported Payment Platforms

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal

Features

CyberGhost is a well-rounded provider – so let’s take a look at exactly what you’re getting in your subscription.

With up to seven simultaneous connections on offer, you’ll be able to keep all of your devices secure at home or on the go. Torrenters will rejoice, too, as CyberGhost has a number of dedicated P2P servers. These servers have been specifically optimized for torrenting, and the provider’s unlimited bandwidth will make downloading files a cinch.

Even if you’re not interested in torrenting, CyberGhost has a broad network of bare metal, and virtual servers – users can take their pick from more than 6,200 servers in 111 locations.

For the more security conscious, the option exists to use CyberGhost’s NoSpy servers. The NoSpy data center is based in Romania, putting it outside the reach of the 5 Eyes jurisdiction. Only CyberGhost personnel have access to these servers, which boast extended bandwidth for resource-intensive tasks and super high premium hardware in addition to a dedicated uplink. Claims of 100% anonymity should be viewed with some skepticism, though.

If you’d like to install CyberGhost on your router, you absolutely can, and you’ll be able to protect an unlimited number of devices by doing so – so long as they’re connected to the router. There are configuration guides on the CyberGhost site, and you can also purchase a range of pre-configured routers with a built-in kill-switch if you’d rather avoid the hassle.

When it comes to customer service, CyberGhost’s support team is available 24/7 via live chat or email. There are also a number of how-to guides on the provider website which cover common issues, from set up on iOS and Android to troubleshooting problems when connecting to Netflix.

Secure Dedicated IP addresses

For those who need a dedicated IP address, CyberGhost VPN is a VPN service that can provide access to these at a small extra cost. Static dedicated IPs can be rented in the US, Germany, France, UK, or Canada.

What's more, CyberGhost is the first VPN to implement an automated token system that allocates that static IP address without revealing it to CyberGhost devs.

This unique system prevents CyberGhost from knowing the IP address of the dedicated static IP, which massively increases privacy for those users. We are impressed that CyberGhost has managed to remove any ties between a user's CyberGhost VPN account and their Dedicated IP.

Would I recommend CyberGhost VPN?

CyberGhost VPN is a fully-featured and no-logs VPN service, and I think that beginners and VPN veterans alike will be able to use the service with few issues. Whilst it's not the fastest VPN out there in terms of average download speed, it is in the top half of the VPN market -you will be able to stream comfortably and play online games with friends.

The CyberGhost 7 software is elegant on all platforms, is very secure VPN, and unblocks just about everything. What's more, you'll benefit from a whole host of useful bells and whistles depending on the platform you're using it on.

The only important feature I'd like to see in the future is more robust obfuscation technology capable of defeating VPN blocks in places such as China, Egypt, and Iran. But for the vast majority of users who don’t need this, CyberGhost VPN is a highly professional service that provides almost everything a VPN could want.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

57 Comments

SeanNY
on September 8, 2019
Reply
This is probably one of the worst VPNs if you care about privacy: https://restoreprivacy.com/cyberghost/ Purchased by Israeli company run by former Israeli Group 8200 (Israel version of NSA) agent. New company is known for malware bundling, other shady tactics, also explicitly states in ToS they will turn you in if asked. Israel is like 5 eyes on sterouds, answerable to Mossad only.
Arnold McGall
on June 11, 2019
Reply
I erroneously signed up for auto-renew with Cyberghost. Some how I missed any way to turn auto-renew off. Sure enough, right on schedule, my Cyberghost subscription was renewed for another year. I contacted them via their support chat system. The only apparent way to contact them. I was told it would take 1 day to receive an email confirming my request for cancellation and a refund. And that the refund would take 5 - 10 days. I explained that that was unreasonable as it took minutes for them to charge my credit card. But it would take 5-10 days to refund the charge. The contact named Joey didn't seem to think this was extraordinary. I'm sure if someone took $66 USD out of his paycheck he would be upset too. To-date I have seen no email from Cyberghost confirming my request for a refund and cancellation of my account. Instead I got an email welcoming me to their VPN service for another year! I will contact my bank and they will reverse the charge. Thus, thwarting Cyberghost's attempt to steal money from me.
Horus
on April 29, 2019
Reply
The VPN app and the service is generally good, except the tech support. I don't think they have been trained very well as they don't seem to know what they're talking about when responding to support requests.
priv-first
on April 7, 2019
Reply
Please qualify the statement that Romania is not a 14-eyes member. As the owner of said service is based in Tel Aviv this service is Israeli owned which means that NSA and most other US-american offices most likely has very easy access to whatever they wish - even without paper trail. Nothing having even the weakest link to Israel can be trusted, Im sorry to say.
Show More Got Something to Say?

Write Your Own Comment

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

  Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

We recommend you check out one of these alternatives:

The fastest VPN we test, unblocks everything, with amazing service all round

One of the largest VPNs, voted best VPN by Reddit

Strong presence, no-logs policy