Update December 2016. VPNGhost is no more. Its website and Facebook page are down, and ProPrivacy.com has received the following communication from one of its co-founders:
VPNGhost – The truth:
I feel as though its only fair that I inform users why VPNGhost has dissolved. I was an original co founder of VPNGhost. When we started gaining lots of users, “Casper” decided that revenue is more important than UX. I did not agree, after a few arguments over the reliability of the service I was basically cut off my own website so I could not access any accounts or anything. I lost full control of the website and the outcome was the terrible money scam rogue vpn. I would like to personally appoligize to all users for any inconvience “Casper” may have caused you. It was beyond my control and if it were up to me the site would still be going at full functionality I left it with. The truth is, “Casper” is money hungry and never cared about the service or the users to begin with, even now. So my due dilligance is to share this with you.
Public information on “Casper”
Dexter David Tross
1 587 585 9095
16 Spring Haven Close Airdrie T4B 0B5
VPNGhost is a burgeoning provider that appears to have the basics of stealth, performance and user-friendliness down. With server locations on the upswing, and highly competitive pricing, coupled with a seemingly reverential attitude toward privacy, we're excited to see VPNGhost's further development.
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Pricing & Plans
VPNGhost is available in three price levels, starting at $4 per month, and rising to scale at $9.75 for a half-year's subscription, or $17.50 for a whole 12 months. An interesting bit is that no plan differs in the included features, just the price and length of commitment, which brings up a crucial matter: there are categorically no refunds once subscribed to a plan after you've paid (regardless of payment method), as clearly stated in the VPNGhost Terms of Service.
Sure, the lack of a refund policy or free plan to try things out might be a deterrent to begin with for many potential users, and that could be understandable. That said, Support was more than adequate and will be covered in the relevant section.
On the other circuitous note worth bearing in mind, however, all three plan options are on the lower scale of pricing in the wider VPN market, which is essentially great, if the service is worth the monetary value in practice, which we'll comprehensively discuss further below. You may pay through PayPal, BitCoin, and impressively Litecoin.
VPNGhost's server list gives you 16 choices overall, with Amsterdam, London, and the Swiss servers each having a twin. P2P is acceptable, but only on the dedicated two Swiss servers. Unfortunately, there aren't yet any servers in Africa or South America, but updates are forthcoming. The company is registered in Alberta, Canada, under Ghost INC.
For the benefit of the wider userbase, evidently VPHGhost subscribe to the - 'don't drop martial law on everyone, for one individual's indiscretions' - principle of transparency in more than one way.
They consistently inform their customers, and whoever's paying attention to any action taken against their service, commonly in the form of DMCA notices. Simultaneous connections of up to two devices per servers are happily allowed, as seen in the Pricing section.
Security & Privacy
VPNGhost don't leave the security matter to chance, using a 4096 DH Key, 256-Bit AES encryption, and a quite robust SHA-512 for data authentication - all over the OpenVPN protocol - which we couldn't be more impressed with. IP addresses are shared. Though the assertion that no logs are kept in any way, shape, or form, is the most pleasing thing to hear (it is worth noting that many providers also make this claim falsely, though nothing leads directly to that idea in this particular case).
While Canada might, unfortunately, part of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance (the other three being the US, UK, AUS, and NZ), the following quote from support succinctly outlines VPNGhost's commitment to user confidentiality and reaffirms their position in one go.
"We do not data-log whatsoever. We don't even log IP addresses through our website, the only information we take from our user-base is the payment information that is automatically taken when purchasing (which can be removed at any time by users requests). With that being said, we simply do not have any data to disclose to any legal or corporate authority."
VPNGhost website accessibility using Tor, and using the Bitcoin or Litecoin payment methods previously mentioned should theoretically secure you from all but the most dedicated and highest level adversaries (think government).
Meanwhile, the client are is just as efficiently laid out, with information about your services, billing, support, and VPNGhost's server status all shifting to a left-hand sidebar. A handy line in the red denotes your (erased) IP address and location while News alerts run on the bottom portion of the screen and can be scrolled down through quite conveniently.
Support wasn't only adequate - it was excellent. Both interactions, with Casper and Phantom, respectively, left me pleased with their courteous attitude and thorough professionalism. Due to geographical mismatches (which you may or may not experience), we were unable to communicate much through LiveChat. However, the email interactions we had were light and cut effectively at the heart of my issues at the time.
It would be good to see a more detailed and illustrated FAQ section, and perhaps a user forum for an unstymied exchange of ideas, versus one-on-one support exchanges.
In line with the messages you saw in the Facebook update previously shown, VPNGhost use their FB and Twitter accounts to keep users abreast of service outages or updates, and useful, privacy related articles.
Signup is limited to just an email (and credit card if that's your payment method) - that's it. Therefore, near-perfect anonymity is possible when registering for and using the service.
The VPNGhost Windows VPN client
Users will, unfortunately, have to make do with using the OpenVPN GUI for now, as VPNGhost don't yet have their bespoke client active, though, it is in the works.
Performance (Speed, DNS, WebRTC and IPv6 Tests)
Speedtest were run on our 30 Mbps test connection, while connected to UK, NL, and US servers - the former two of which were tested against a London server, the latter New York. Testmy.net is where you may do the same speedtesting, whether using a VPN, or just for general curiosity purposes.
Speeds averaged nicely in the medium 10-12 Mbps DL range during testing, with US servers half that amount, though spikes were nonexistent - the VPNGhost OpenVPN software ran like a literal ghost in the background, while streaming videos and playlists concurrent with writing this review.
What's most impressive, is the service working exactly as advertised, DNS leak free. Checks were performed using ipleak.net and test-ipv6.com and never came back showing the IP address of the test device. Do yourself a favor and check periodically, as some DNS leaks can be caused from forces outside of provider control, and likely catch you unawares.
VPNGhost plan to release a bespoke VPN client on Windows and Mac - eventually rolling out counterparts for iOS, and Android. DNS leak protection will be built into the software, hopefully along with a killswitch and auto start-up to keep your connection under wraps and intrusion-free at all times.
Other/ Free Services
VPNGhost graciously provide a free proxy server (located in the Netherlands), for those looking for geo-spoofing, and/or minimal privacy benefits (compared to a VPN, which includes encryption), while engaging in online activities.
VPNGhost Review Conclusion
- NO logging
- Forthright Business Model
- Reasonable Pricing
- P2P allowed On Swiss Servers
- Free Proxy
- Sleek Website
I wasn’t so sure about
- Limited Knowledgebase
- Lack of a User Forum
- No Bespoke Client
Overall impressions of using VPNGhost were a few small steps aways from fabulous, which is likely a matter of time's passing to bridge the gap with updates. Add a dedicated VPN client to the reliability, unintrusive, and overall transparent business model, and you may well have a juggernaut of a service, provided the evolution goes as has been intimated. What's altogether more pertinent, is that the current state of VPNghosts service is still above the much of the competition save the very elite, give them a try to find out.