Editor's Note: What immediately follows is a rundown of the latest changes and additions since this review was last updated.
- The service now has over 5900 servers in 90 countries. (January 2020)
- CyberGhost stopped supporting PPTP and L2TP protocols. (January 2020)
- The service now has over 6050 servers in 87 countries. (February 2020)
- Linux app was updated and the new app has WireGuard support. (February 2020)
- The number of servers increased to over 7100. (March 2020)
CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN service founded in 2011. It has grown quickly over time, and now has teams in Romania and Germany with more than 30 million users globally.
It gives users access to an enormous network of more than 6,200 servers in over 90 countries. These servers are optimized for various purposes. Most of them will allow you access to geographically restricted websites, apps, and streaming services, for instance Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, Telegram, Spotify, WhatsApp, Viber, various localized versions of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll, Hulu, Disney+, ESPN, CBS, YouTube Premium, and more.
Other servers facilitate anonymous, safe, and fast exchange of large files via torrenting clients from anywhere in the world.
Native clients are equipped with lots of interesting and useful features, such as preventing trackers, ads, and malicious websites from ever reaching your device, an automated HTTPS redirect option, as well as a speed booster.
With one account, you can use up to 7 devices at the same time. This coverage can be further extended by setting up the service on a supported router (the list is available on the website) or buying one with a built-in CyberGhost VPN client from its partners.
Plans and pricing
CyberGhost’s platform is available under four pricing models. The most expensive is the monthly plan at $12.99, followed by the 1-year plan with a price tag of $5.99 ($71.88 billed every 12 months). The 2-year plan costs $3.69 per month ($88.56 billed every 2 years), while the most affordable is the 3-year plan at only $2.75 per month ($99.00 billed every 3 years), making it one of the cheapest in the industry.
An additional $5.00 per month will get you an optional dedicated IP. For an extra $4.99, you can also get access to the so-called NoSpy server system with premium software and hardware, dedicated uplink, and better speeds. They’re entirely owned by the provider and situated in Romania, outside the reach of the 5-Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance.
Payment is possible using credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin. The subscriptions come with the very generous, no-questions-asked 45-day money-back guarantee, except the 1-month plan which has a 14-day money-back guarantee for practical reasons.
The Windows and Mac apps come with a 1-day free trial that allows you to test the service out, although this may not be enough. The Android app also has a 7-day free trial. If you sign up and select a subscription via iOS, you will not be charged for the first 7 days and you have to cancel the subscription if you wish to keep your money.
Privacy and logging
This VPN vendor uses industry-standard tools to protect your sensitive information. These include the military-grade 256-AES encryption and the familiar set of transfer protocols - OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. Furthermore, CyberGhost safeguards your privacy against IPv6, Port Forwarding, and DNS leaks.
Having a kill switch is a mandatory part of a truly complete VPN experience, and CyberGhost has it. It is an important safety measure that will ‘kill’ your entire Internet access in case the VPN connection has been compromised. This protects all your private data from becoming exposed to nosy third parties. CyberGhost’s kill switch is always on and cannot be turned off.
Another practical and common feature in CyberGhost’s Android app is split tunneling. It allows you to select the apps you want to leave on your regular Internet connection while the VPN is on for all others.
‘The only way to secure your data is not to store it’ - is the motto of the company’s chairman Robert Knapp and it perfectly encapsulates CyberGhost’s no-logs policy. It states that the provider will not store any real IP addresses, used servers, traffic data, login/logout times, or any information sent through a CyberGhost server. The only information that is temporarily stored (for 24 hours) is the number of logins per day for statistical purposes.
Some VPN providers are going out of their way to show how serious their dedication to privacy is, opening their premises to independent auditors to confirm their no-logging claims. CyberGhost is yet to do this, although it does issue yearly transparency reports, listing the DMCA complaints, malware activity flags, and police requests for data it got.
CyberGhost provides native apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV, while Firefox and Chrome browsers are covered with extensions. These are all very easy to set up and run. The provider is also compatible with a wide range of other platforms, including Chrome OS, Synology NAS, Raspberry Pi, smart TVs, game consoles, routers, and so on.
CyberGhost’s otherwise superior speeds when connecting to local UK and US servers can get a bit less satisfactory for servers in some more exotic locations. For example, they can even diminish to 3Mbps in Vietnam and 1Mbps in Indonesia. Performance can be improved with tools like Data Compression that compresses images and other elements to reduce traffic.
Using the service is a piece of cake but if you run into any trouble, make sure to visit the company’s help center and get familiarized with the FAQs, guides, and troubleshooting. More reading material is available on CyberGhost’s blog called Privacy Hub.
If you still need assistance, customer support agents are one click away via live chat on the website, 24/7. They speak English, German, French, and Romanian. Additional communication options include email and filing a ticket.
CyberGhost is an excellent VPN provider that has you covered whatever your needs are, be it security, solid speeds, unblocking geo-restricted services and games, torrenting, and more. It doesn’t like to throw flashy epithets around but it offers quite a complete VPN experience. There are areas of service that could use some improvement but nothing major.