One of the most well-known VPN service providers in our crosshairs is CyberGhost. So, we had to give it the attention it deserved by writing an honest review about its capabilities after we test the service thoroughly, as we did for other services, too.
We mentioned on our website that we try to be fair whenever we handpick the VPN provider we’re going to focus on in our articles, but the order we pick them in should have little to no influence on how high we place them in our ranks.
Read the following article to find out how well CyberGhost VPN did in our tests, what you should expect from it, and how it can protect your data from the prying eyes of third-parties that want to seize it.
We understand that this is what might fall under the “long, tedious reads” category, and we certainly aren’t aiming to waste your time. As a matter of fact, we want to provide you with only useful facts, so here’s what we’re going to do. We’ve left a table of content below so that you can skip directly to parts that interest you most. No questions asked, just click the chapter you want to know more about, and everybody’s happy.
- Background check
- 14 Eyes alliances
- Terms of service analysis
- Transparency reporting
- Intro to the CyberGhost VPN service
- Advanced features
- Register first, get the app after
- The power of the dashboard
- Scanning for malware
- Installing the app
- Using CyberGhost for the first time
- An attempt at multiple usage modes
- Keeping it simple is the key sometimes
- The actual configuration section
- The mighty list of servers you can use
- Unlocking various services with CyberGhost
- Stream unlimited
- Torrenting, Tor, and split-tunneling
- Playing online games with CyberGhost running in the background
- Using CyberGhost in China
- The Privacy Hub
- Preparing the tests and tools
- Freshly baked security test results
- Speed test results
- Free trial – a ray of light
- All about the money
- The importance of using a paid VPN service
First thing first, CyberGhost was founded in the year of 2011 by a team that consisted of 55 members in Bucharest, Romania. It has a remarkable number of users; on their website, they claim an outstanding amount of more than twenty million users are relying on their privacy protection services as we speak.
Currently, we noticed that the number of team members that are currently involved in the well-being of the project and development as well is 69; two crew members are canine, but we’re not sure whether they fall into the 69 or not. They all have strong IT backgrounds and are based in Romania and Germany as well.
The German members are mostly responsible for software development. According to CyberGhost’s website, they strongly support civil rights and are fighting for a free society as well as an uncensored Internet culture. Also, they were the first ones in the industry to publish a transparency report.
14 Eyes alliances
In case you are not familiar with the concept, the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes alliances are agreements between countries when it comes to sharing data collected about Internet users. In short, this means that if the websites or services you are using are based in one of those countries, the data they collect can be stored and shared with other governments in case you do something illegal.
Thankfully, CyberGhost is based in Romania, which is not part of the 5, 9, or 14 Eyes alliances. While this doesn’t necessarily mean they do not collect information about you behind your back, it’s at least a good indicator in terms of how willing they are to share your data with other agencies.
Terms of service analysis
You know how each service (whether VPN or not) has a series of pieces of information that you simply can’t get your head around? Yes, those pesky documents that have “agreement,” “policy,” “terms of service,” and such other terms embedded in their names, that’s what we’re talking about, the ones that you always skip for some reason.
Well, it turns out that those documents are pretty important, and for a good reason. They can indicate to you whether or not a company has some fishy business running in the background, and you can easily spot them in agreements where the company/product is responsible for nothing, and you’re to blame for anything that might go wrong, for instance. Caught your attention yet?
We also agree that some of these documents are written in a sophisticated, formal manner, to make you yawn prematurely and abandon any intention to go through them entirely. That’s why we’re extracting the essentials and bringing them back to you. You’re welcome.
- Accessing, downloading, installing and/or using CyberGhost VPN counts as your acceptance of and agreement with the terms of the agreement, so if you don’t agree with any of the conditions, you must stop using the service immediately;
- CyberGhost VPN is a service that’s offered by the CyberGhost S.A. (or simply CyberGhost), Romania;
- You are granted a non-exclusive, personal, non-transferable, revocable and limited license to use the CyberGhost VPN service;
- You are not allowed to assign, sublicense or transfer the license that has been granted to you by CyberGhost;
- You must agree that you will use CyberGhost VPN for your security and privacy needs, but in full compliance with all laws and regulations, whether local, state, national or international;
- You are not allowed to prevent others from using CyberGhost VPN, use CyberGhost VPN to commit fraud or any other inappropriate or illegal actions or use it in any way that violates the agreement, or authorize or encourage any third parties to do so;
- You must understand that although CyberGhost VPN can help you cloak your IP address and protect your privacy, it shouldn’t be seen as an antivirus or antimalware tool;
- CyberGhost states that no data that might interfere with your personal data is stored within CyberGhost VPN and that no personal data is collected or used in order to make CyberGhost VPN available;
- You must understand that CyberGhost can modify the CyberGhost VPN service by adding or removing certain features at its own discretion;
- You must agree to receive updates and upgrades from time to time, so CyberGhost VPN can be enhanced and further developed;
- You must understand that CyberGhost VPN cooperates with third parties for various reasons such as payment or data processing;
- CyberGhost disclaims all representations and warranties for goods, software, content or services that you may obtain from third parties;
- You are solely responsible for keeping your password safe and handling your user data;
- It is recommended that you change your password on a regular basis;
- It is recommended that you don’t share your credentials with third parties;
- You are solely responsible for what happens on your account or for activities related to your account in case you decide to transfer it to third parties;
- Upon registration, you will receive a PUK (Personal Unblock Key), which you might want to jot down someplace safe, since it’s the only way of recovering an account that you lost your password for;
- You are not allowed to disassemble, translate, decompile, reverse engineer, transform, extract or reconstruct any CyberGhost VPN portion, or let any third party do that;
- You are not allowed to change, alter or modify CyberGhost VPN, as well as resell, publish, broadcast, transmit, transfer, pledge, distribute, communicate, sublicense or share CyberGhost VPN;
- You are not allowed to use CyberGhost VPN to build a service or a product that competes with this service;
- You are not allowed to use CyberGhost VPN to transmit, store or upload any questionable material, such as child pornography, copyrighted material, defamatory content and the such;
- You are not allowed to disrupt, damage, disable or impair the functionality of CyberGhost VPN;
- You are not allowed to even attempt to gain unauthorized access to CyberGhost VPN or any networks that are connected to it;
- You are not allowed to engage in any activity that might resemble hacking while you’re connected to the CyberGhost VPN service;
- If you are caught breaking any term or condition listed above, your account might get suspended or permanently terminated;
That being said, we’ve put together the most important parts of this policy so that you can read and understand them in an effective, more convenient manner. Right from the start, we found out what is possibly the most important part of this document:
CyberGhost has an unequivocal company policy: the strongest observance of data protection and uncompromising protection of the user privacy. Therefore, 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.
Data that CyberGhost collects from you
- Your name;
- Your address;
- Your email address;
- Your username;
- Your payment information;
- Website usage information such as IP address (anonymized) and approximate location (country);
- Your transaction information;
- What items did you buy;
- What price you paid;
- What billing method you used;
- Partial credit card information;
- Chargeback requests;
- Canceled orders;
CyberGhost claims that the data mentioned above is in no way associated with any kind of activity that you engage in while connected to the CyberGhost VPN tunnel. According to CyberGhost, your activity while connected to the service is not logged, recorded or stored at all.
Anonymous data collected by CyberGhost
- Data related to the browser you’re using;
- Whether you access the website via mobile or desktop devices;
- General properties and metadata;
- Your Operating System version;
- Your preferred language;
- The date and time of your visit;
- The referring website;
- Your preferences in CyberGhost’s website during your visit;
Again, CyberGhost claims that this non-personal data is only collected for internal monitoring, analytics, and improvement of their services and is not associated with your personal information or linked to it.
Additionally, Non-personal Data does not include any information about the activity performed by the user inside the CyberGhost VPN tunnel, such as your browsing history, web content accessed, destinations of VPN traffic, DNS queries, and IP addresses.
How does CyberGhost collect personal data
- Registration forms;
How does CyberGhost collect non-personal data
- Through the website;
- Through the service;
Why does CyberGhost collect your data
- To improve their service and personalize your CyberGhost VPN user experience;
- To administrate the CyberGhost website and business in a proper manner;
- To ensure the performance of the contract between you and CyberGhost;
- For scientific research, fraud detection and/or prevention and improvement of the CyberGhost VPN service;
- To send you notifications regarding new services or changes in the CyberGhost VPN service;
- To send you communications related to the service or technical ones;
- To enforce the terms and conditions of the Terms of Service;
- For customer analytics;
Through our strict no-logs-policy, we ensure that we do NOT track user traffic performed inside the CyberGhost VPN tunnel such as: browsing history, traffic destination, search preferences, data content, IP addresses or DNS queries. Therefore:
- We do NOT know at any time which user ever accessed a particular website or service
- We do NOT know which user was connected to our CyberGhost VPN service at any given time or which CyberGhost VPN server IP they used
- We do NOT know the set of original IP addresses of a user’s computer
CyberGhost is 100% committed to the no-logs-policy and we do not store them. Logs can easily link actions back to you, and thus at no time can CyberGhost release such logs, as we don’t collect any logs.
We mentioned above that CyberGhost were the first ones in the industry to publish a transparency report that consisted of various information, meant to show everyone the requests that have been made to the company regarding certain privacy claims.
The requests are grouped in three major categories so that you can access them in a quicker, more intuitive way. The categories are DMCA, Malware Activity, and Police requests.
The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaints are usually related to law firms that represent companies such as Sony Pictures, Paramount, and similar other ones. They indicate that some copyrighted materials have been shared via CyberGhost IP addresses.
The Malware Activity complaints are received from parties who detect attacks from CyberGhost IP addresses or receive spams from them. Such attacks or spam examples are automated emails, DDoS attacks, Botnets, scams, and even log-in attempts.
The police requests are last in this list, and they are quite self-explanatory. Law enforcement agencies send requests for IPs that are linked to various investigations. Such complaints are often received by data centers and sent to CyberGhost.
If you want to learn more about these reports and even perform a bit of research on your own, you can easily access and download them here.
Intro to the CyberGhost VPN service
Unlike other similar services, CyberGhost doesn’t have VPN included in its name in order to make a statement. The name itself is quite catchy and pretty suggestive, so that including “VPN” in the description of the service is redundant, if not entirely pointless.
At a first look on their website, the features they encompass in this VPN service are an automatic kill switch (we’ll discuss it later), high speed (to be decided), unlimited bandwidth, over 7,100 servers, DNS and IP leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption, as well as OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols.
The service can be used on various devices, including Windows computers (desktops and laptops alike), Android devices, macOS, iPhones, iPads. Also, Linux and other devices such as routers can be used with CyberGhost.
Register first, get the app after
So you want to join the CyberGhost VPN army, but you don’t know how to start? That’s alright, we’ve got you covered. First thing’s first, you’ll need an account. We’ll walk you through the whole account registration process, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
- Go to CyberGhost VPN;
- Click the “Get it for $2.75/mo” or “Get CyberGhost VPN” button
- Select the subscription plan of your choice from the newly opened page;
- Choose the payment option you prefer;
- Type your email address required to create your account;
- Hit the “Buy Now” button;
- Confirm the payment;
You’re done! You are now the proud owner of a CyberGhost VPN account! What now? Well, you need to download the application to your computer, don’t you?
After you do that, you can simply scroll to the bottom of the website and navigate to any of the links from the “Apps” category or use the “The Apps” combo menu at the top of the page, which lets you access the software components depending on the device you’re interested in.
After you select the device you want to deploy CyberGhost on, you’ll see two fairly large buttons on the page: one that redirects you to a purchase page, and another that lets you retrieve the application on your device. Some devices lack download links, but there’s an App Store or Google Play link that you can use. For the moment, there’s a 7-day trial for iOS devices and a 1-day trial for Android devices.
For some devices such as the Amazon Fire TV and Android TV, you won’t receive direct download links. Instead, you’re presented with instructions on how you can deploy the application on the devices specified above.
The power of the dashboard
Once you register a CyberGhost account, you can log into it and be redirected to your personal dashboard, which is a place where you can perform several account management operations.
Once you’re there, you’ll be able to access an overview of your account, which includes details about the plan type, the number of active devices, and the number of maximum devices that can be used from the same account.
On the left side of the window, you’ll see the various categories through which you can navigate by simply clicking them. The “My Devices” section enables you to see the number of devices you’ve associated CyberGhost with, along with some extra details about each, such as the platform you’re using it on and the date you added that specific device.
If you want to add, edit, or remove any of the devices, click one of the icons at the bottom of the page accordingly.
Scanning for malware
We all know how eager you are (admit it) to install CyberGhost VPN on your computer and jump right into the action, but if you’re a responsible computer user like we are, you’d maybe like to see what VirusTotal has to say about it.
Meaning that you’ll go to the VirusTotal website, upload the CyberGhost VPN installer executable and wait for the scan to complete. You can take a look at our results (and screenshot) to see that CyberGhost VPN is indeed clean (except for one teeny-tiny trigger) and that there’s no need to worry about it carrying some destructive malware code.
Installing the app
In this review, we’re going to talk about deploying this VPN service on a Windows computer (our trustworthy laptop) since installing it on other devices can be pretty specific, and a broad range of VPN users have Windows as their operating system. However, you can install this service on any device you want, as long as you can find it among the supported ones on their website.
It is worth mentioning that CyberGhost provides you with support for up to seven devices that can use its VPN services at the same time, without any restrictions.
So here we go: the setup process is not complicated, can be accomplished by virtually any user that might attempt to do so, since the lack of advanced configuration steps and its built-in wizard make installing it a breeze.
After launching the setup file, you have to grant it Administrator rights to run as it should, then accept the Terms and Conditions, which consist of General Business Terms for CyberGhost VPN Service and the Service description, and prices of CyberGhost VPN.
The setup then proceeds automatically, without requiring any additional assistance on your side. Even the TAP driver that needs to be available on your computer gets deployed automatically. In terms of setup intuitiveness and user-friendliness, CyberGhost ranks high. The version we’ve installed on our computer is 188.8.131.5237.
Using CyberGhost for the first time
Well, you’ve installed it, now it’s time to actually put it to work. After the setup process is completed, the app is launched automatically and displayed in the bottom-right corner of your screen, spawning its main window from the depths of the system tray.
It doesn’t feel intrusive at all since you can minimize its interface to tray, forget that it’s there and continue your work. We almost forgot: when you first launch the application, you’ll be asked to log in to your account by typing the required username and password.
After taking all these steps, you’re finally free to start protecting your privacy. Here’s what you can do: either press the big power button in the center of the main screen (you’ll be connected to the best server location) or choose the server first and then press the button – your choice.
An attempt at multiple usage modes
As you might’ve discovered with other similar applications, certain VPN service providers get very creative when it comes to new ways of making the VPNs more accessible, and even more attractive.
One of these ways is tailoring the service according to the user profile or, more important, letting users customize their experience based on what activity they plan on having online at a particular moment.
CyberGhost also tries to provide users with this type of service, but the list of activities is quite short: you can adapt your online security to streaming and torrenting by choosing the servers from the designated categories.
Doing so can be accomplished easily by extending the main window (use the double-arrow button), selecting the “For torrenting” or “For streaming” categories, and then picking a server from those lists as you see fit. Although it’s a good thing they offer this service, a little more variety wouldn’t hurt anyone.
It is a popular trend that has caught up to a lot of privacy protection services to add various extra features to the application so that users can customize the way their connection acts whenever they use it.
In this scenario, CyberGhost is no exception, as it provides the end-users with a bunch of additional features next to the ones that are absolutely vital to the VPN services it offers.
The first one we’re going to discuss is the “Block Ads” feature that can be activated from the “Connection features” section in the side menu of the app. As you probably already guessed, this tool is designed to filter intrusive ads from ruining your browsing experience. As a result, web pages might load faster, your connection can be more secure (since ad services often distribute malware), and, for mobile data connections, it might actually save you some money (less content to load = less mobile data used).
The second and third ones fall in the same spectrum as the first, since they’re meant to help you block malicious websites and online tracking. There’s no need to get into details since they’re pretty self-explanatory.
The “Automated HTTPS Redirect” feature switches to HTTPS whenever you’re browsing if the target website supports it. This adds more security to your online activity, since using encrypted HTTPS is definitely more secure than the unencrypted HTTP alternative.
Last but not least, “Data Compression” reduces traffic by compressing web content and images. The benefit of using such an option is strictly money-saving because, as mentioned above, less content to load equals fewer data transferred.
Keeping it simple is the key sometimes
Unlike other VPNs, CyberGhost doesn’t rely on complicated configuration sections and doesn’t let you break the app by wrongfully adjusting it.
The app keeps it really simple. However, if you’re unsure about modifying some of the parameters, it would be better to either leave them as they are or at least do some research before attempting to tamper with them.
In the side menu, you can access the connection features that we’ve talked about earlier. These can be easily used since all you have to do is to toggle them on or off.
The next big thing you’ll notice is the “Smart rules” section that’s divided into three smaller categories: “Startup Rules,” “Wi-Fi Protection,” and “Exceptions.” The first one lets you adjust startup behavior such as launching the app on system startup, automatically connect, and also launch another app after CyberGhost establishes a connection.
The “Wi-Fi Protection” category lets you set actions for new encrypted and open Wi-Fi connections, as well as for known ones. Finally, the “Exceptions” tab enables you to exclude certain websites from the VPN tunnel. However, you should be aware that if you do that, CyberGhost will switch to OpenVPN as the default protocol.
The actual configuration section
Although the ones we talked about are still settings that can be configured, the real “Settings” menu can be accessed from the same side menu, only way lower than the other ones. Actually, it’s at the bottom of the menu.
You’ll probably be (pleasantly) surprised to notice that this menu is minimalistic, as in you’re not presented with a huge variety of options you can configure. It is only possible to adjust general settings and parameters that are tightly related to your connection.
In the first category, you can only change the default language, see the version of the app, and reset all settings to their default value. It’s nice to know that you can always revert to the way things were in case something gets damaged somehow.
The “Connection” tab is where things get a bit more real, but not too real. Here it’s possible to choose your favorite VPN protocol, or just leave it on auto mode, use TCP instead of UDP, use a random port to connect, enable the DNS leak protection, disable the IPv6 connections when connected to the VPN, and even repair the virtual network card.
Most of the settings can be used by simply enabling or disabling them as you see fit, but there are some cases where you need to use a combo menu to select your favorite value. Either way, things are heavily simplified so that you can enjoy your VPN protection without even acknowledging the clockworks.
The mighty list of servers you can use
Alright, maybe CyberGhost might not have the strongest game when it comes to servers, locations, and the like, but, according to their website, they are constantly expanding their server park so that it includes more and more servers.
Unlike other services (most of them so far), CyberGhost doesn’t organize their servers by region but lets you see them all together on their “Servers Overview” section on the website. At this moment, they cover 90 countries with 7,100 servers online.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1||25||Yes||Yes|
|Hong Kong SAR China||1||106||Yes||Yes|
|Isle of Man||1||72||Yes||Yes|
|Macau SAR China||1||48||Yes||No|
|United Arab Emirates||1||72||Yes||No|
The list places CyberGhost VPN among the top players regarding the number of servers and locations covered. Still, you are also highly encouraged to send them feedback regarding missing countries and the reason why you think they should be added to that list. How they treat their feedback is a whole other story.
Also, it is worth mentioning that on their website, they display the total number of users who are connected to their services at the same time. If you want to get more into detail, you can view a detailed list of servers for each country along with the number of users who are connected to each one of them.
Unlocking various services with CyberGhost
As stated before, CyberGhost offers a multi-usage mode that you can turn to in case you want to simplify the way you’re using this VPN service. What this mode does is letting you choose action so that it can select the best server for that situation.
This VPN provider can unlock numerous services, and all you have to do is simply select a server and connect to it. Depending on the country you chose, some services might suddenly become available for you, or the other way around if you choose a location subjected to censorship.
Stream unlimited content
Furthermore, you can use CyberGhost to access a wide variety of streaming services. All you have to do is open the side menu from the main window of the app. On the left side of the screen, you’ll be able to see the list of usage modes mentioned above.
From there, all you have to do to access your favorite streaming service is to navigate to the “For Streaming” section, then choose a server from the extensive list. You can even add servers to your list of favorites so that you can access them much faster whenever needed.
You’ll notice that each server is, in fact, a location. Under the location name, you’ll see an “Optimized for x” description, where “x” can be a streaming service, including but not limited to: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Crunchyroll, ZDF, Globo, YouTube Red, BBC Two, Fox Sport, Canal +, Comedy Central, Channel 4, NBC, Pandora, CBS, Spotify, Telegram, RTL, MTV, Amazon Prime, BBC One, SkyGo, ORF, and Player.pl.
Torrenting, Tor, and split-tunneling
Given the fact that CyberGhost offers a separate list of servers dedicated to torrenting, it should be obvious that the service encourages P2P traffic and does not impose any limitations in this regard. You can choose from a variety of servers in multiple locations across the world, and, as you would expect, these servers are designed to maximize download speeds. This means that you should see very small differences when turning on the VPN in terms of torrent speeds, which is great news if you are looking for a VPN specifically for this purpose.
As far as Tor is concerned, CyberGhost does not explicitly offer any special functions relating to Onion routing, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t support it. In essence, nothing is stopping you from using a Tor node together with CyberGhost. On the other hand, we recommend you to connect to a CyberGhost server before the Tor node since this increases your anonymity and keeps you safer. It should also be noted that you will suffer significant speed and latency penalties while doing this, given the fact that your traffic has to be rerouted multiple times in the process.
In terms of split-tunneling, CyberGhost offers you this possibility as well, although it is not quite the same as in other VPN apps. Thus, you can whitelist certain websites and allow them to bypass the VPN server, but you cannot do the same for regular apps on your computer. However, you can tell CyberGhost to automatically connect to a server whenever you open certain apps, which is kind of a reverse split-tunneling ability.
Playing online games with CyberGhost running in the background
If you are wondering whether it’s possible to enjoy online video games while CyberGhost is running in the background, the answer is definitely yes. As you can see from our speed results down below, the pings are very good across all continents, which means that your experience won’t be affected dramatically while playing your favorite games.
Not only that, but the fact that the pings are so low means that you can also access geo-restricted servers without taking a significant latency hit in the process, which allows you to check up on US servers from Europe, or vice-versa. Besides, the download and upload speeds are great as well, so there won’t be any bandwidth issues either when it comes to loading content or downloading patches.
Using CyberGhost in China
Unfortunately, CyberGhost is just one of those VPNs that do not work in China at the moment, no matter how much effort you put into configuring it. Hence, if you are trying to find a VPN to help you bypass the Great Firewall, CyberGhost is definitely not the answer.
On the other hand, things could change in the future, and it would be nice to see this issue resolved at some point, given the fact that CyberGhost offers a great service in every other regard.
The Privacy Hub
Recently, the team behind this project has released an extensive collection of security-related articles, a knowledge base if you want, called the CyberGhost Privacy Hub.
It’s more of an attempt to educate VPN users, rookies and professionals alike, but also let them keep in touch with the latest developments in cybersecurity and remain up to date with the most recent changes in the product they’re using (i.e., CyberGhost).
The categories that can be browsed include “Privacy & Security,” “Access Web Content,” “VPN & Freedom,” and “Product Updates.” You can subscribe to their newsletter from the same page.
Preparing the tests and tools
Not a single VPN service ever will receive special treatment regarding our tests. That is because we value honesty and transparency, and we need to keep you informed of the potential risks you’re subjecting yourself to whenever you decide to use one VPN service over another.
Whenever testing a VPN service, we’re considering two things: “Is it safe?” and “Is it fast?”, especially in that order. We believe that no matter how fast a VPN service is, it is pointless to use it in the first place if it’s not secure and your data leaks, since the main purpose of a VPN is to provide you with online privacy and security.
Therefore, we’re going to focus more on the security side of things a great deal, then see what can be done about the speed. It’s only fair that way.
It is worth mentioning that the tools we’re going to use for CyberGhost VPN are the same as the ones we’re using for other services as well. Security-wise, we rely on the services that we’ve mentioned in this article, since they proved to be reliable throughout our reviews.
We highly encourage you to bring your own results into play. If you’re a CyberGhost user and want to see if our results are accurate, please check our results and compare them to yours. More so, leave us your feedback regarding the matter.
Freshly baked security test results
Alright, it hasn’t been long now, but the test results just got in! As we use to, we’re going to post our findings so that you can analyze them and even compare them to yours.
The overall result of these security tests is a positive one: CyberGhost is capable of keeping your stuff private by preventing any solid leak from happening on their watch. Kudos for that.
Speed test results
We’ve covered security, now let’s see how high CyberGhost can rank in a speed test. As before, we’re going to choose a bunch of servers and run speed tests on each one, then compare them to one another.
Distance is a crucial parameter when we’re talking about connection speed, so we will try to pick servers that are not exactly close to each other.
Therefore, we have these results:
|Location||Internet Speed||Latency||Upload Speed||Downloaded||Uploaded|
|U.S.A.||230 Mbps||135 ms||145 ms||22 Mbps||230 MB||40 MB|
|Austria||310 Mbps||76 ms||210 ms||21 Mbps||530 MB||80 MB|
|Brazil||39 Mbps||262 ms||265 ms||17 Mbps||100 MB||70 MB|
|Hong Kong||16 Mbps||231 ms||236 ms||4.4 Mbps||50 MB||30 MB|
|South Africa||28 Mbps||203 ms||210 ms||17 Mbps||90 MB||40 MB|
|New Zealand||37 Mbps||356 ms||358 ms||18 Mbps||70 MB||70 MB|
As you can see, CyberGhost managed to be pretty speedy across the board, and especially when it comes to USA and Europe servers.
Free trial – a ray of light
A big plus for this VPN service provider is that, unlike its competitors, it offers you a free trial to test its services before deciding to purchase a subscription plan that you can use on the long run. For the moment, there’s a 7-day trial for iOS devices and a 1-day trial for Android devices.
More so, if you’re not entirely satisfied with what CyberGhost has to offer after you’ve already paid for a subscription plan, it is possible to get your money back, since they offer you a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Most competitors offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and no trial. From this point of view, CyberGhost is clearly in a dominant position, as it provides a reasonable trial length and an extended timeframe for requesting a refund.
All about the money
Now that we’ve covered the trial and how you can get your money back in case you’re not convinced about their services, it is time to discuss the subscription plans we’ve so much mentioned earlier.
The most popular plan in on offer is a three-year plan that costs $99, billed every three years. Therefore, if you wanted to calculate the monthly costs of using CyberGhost, you would only pay $2.75 per month.
|Plan type||1 Month Plan||1 Year Plan||2 Years Plan||3 Years Plan (plus 2 free months)|
$71.88 billed every year
$88.56 billed every two years
$99 billed every three years
|Features||Automatic Kill Switch
Highest possible speed
Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
Access to over 7100 servers worldwide
DNS and IP Leak Protection
Strict No Logs Policy
256-bit AES Encryption
OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols
Simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices
Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers
Friendly support: chat or email
45-day money-back guarantee
Additionally, there is also the option of paying in EUR if you happen to be in a country that uses this currency. The prices are equivalent, which means that you don’t have to pay more for the same services, which is definitely a nice touch. On the other hand, it depends on the balance between USD and EUR, so one may be more expensive than the other when the conversion is made.
The importance of using a paid VPN service
Some people believe that using a free service should be a common practice, regardless of what profile that service is. In some fields, that might be a perfectly valid point. However, with VPN and other security-related solutions, such as antivirus or firewalls, relying on a paid solution is of vital importance.
You may be asking yourself why, so we will briefly explain that to you. Being a VPN service provider involves that you have multiple servers in various locations that you need to administrate as efficiently as possible. Customer support is also necessary if you want to earn popularity and respect among other players in the industry.
Some VPNs offer their services freely but don’t be fooled into thinking that their revenue is zero: they just don’t charge you directly for using their services. Their incomes are mostly based on advertisements or selling your data to whoever bids the highest amount. And we all know that more often than not, commercials come with malware.
So it’s pretty much your choice: do you want your data to reach unwanted hands, or do you want to protect it as much as possible by sparing a modest amount of money every once in a while.
To wrap things up, we found CyberGhost VPN to be an application that can be installed easily on your Windows computer (and probably other devices as well), configured without stressing yourself too much, and used just as easily, thanks to its minimalistic interface and highly intuitive controls.
Regarding speed and reliability, the application didn’t score high among other VPN services since it yielded fairly average speed values on various servers. Switching servers also gave us some headache, since some connections needed the “Repair virtual network card” feature, while some of them didn’t work at all.
Their subscription plans aren’t expensive at all, especially if you opt for the longer one (which comes with a huge discount), and, on top of that, you also get a 7-day trial along with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
+ Can be easily installed on the target device; (5)
+ No leaks during our security tests; (5)
+ 45-day money-back guarantee; (5)
+ Trial period; (4)
+ Inexpensive subscription plans; (4)
+ Zero-logging policy reinforced by Romanian jurisdiction; (5)
– Some connections can be unstable; (2)
CyberGhost receives a 4.28/5 rating.