After conducting extensive tests on CyberGhost's security, speeds, and privacy claims, I must say I have come away rather impressed.
I always make sure my VPN reviews are thorough, so I even enlisted the help of a research team based in countries with strict internet censorship like China, to see how CyberGhost performs in those challenging circumstances. And that's the only negative I can find here, it doesn't work well in China (if at all).
But CyberGhost has so much more to offer, including excellent security features that ensure your online activities are safe and secure.
I found their streaming and torrenting features to be among the best -providing fast and reliable access to content that can be difficult to access with other VPNs. And after carefully reviewing their privacy practices and company history, I am satisfied with the level of protection CyberGhost provides here.
What are the downsides?
Of course, no VPN is perfect, and CyberGhost has a few areas that could be improved. Again to confirm, it doesn't work well in China, which might be a deal-breaker for some users. And I noticed that the desktop and mobile apps aren't consistent with each other, which was a bit frustrating.
That being said, I believe that CyberGhost offers one of the best VPN experiences available, especially considering its affordable price point.
And if you're not completely satisfied with the service, you can always take advantage of their 45-day money-back guarantee (this is longer than most other companies). There's not really much to lose.
CyberGhost must wonder what they’re doing wrong. Most VPN review websites place them third or fourth in their list of the “top 5 VPNs” – in other words, it’s good but not as good as others, they’ll say. Very rarely does CyberGhost appear as the number one “best VPN” pick – and I wanted to find out why.
Because, on the surface at least, CyberGhost looks like a great VPN. It has loads of security features, it’s affordable plus torrenting & streaming is easy. But is it one of the top VPNs? Let’s find out.
Positives & Negatives of CyberGhost
|🔓 Unblocks 35+ streaming platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+.||🚫 Hard to connect to China or other censorship-rich countries.|
|🚀 Delivers excellent speeds for streaming, torrenting, and gaming.||🤔 App and browser extensions can be a bit confusing.|
|🌎 Impressive network of 9736+ servers in 91 countries.||🐢 Not as fast as some other VPNs, like NordVPN.|
|🔒 Top-notch privacy features, including advanced encryption, automatic kill switch|
|🙈 Strict zero-logs policy, based in Romania, which has strong privacy laws.|
|📱 Native apps for Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac, and more|
|💰 Excellent value for money, can use Bitcoin, 45-day money-back guarantee.|
If you’re short on time then here’s my quick rundown of the benefits and disadvantages:
- Brilliant at streaming. Unblock 35+ streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+, so you won’t miss your favorite episodes or movies. I tested each streaming service and was able to access them all. More details below.
- It also has an impressive network of servers: 9,736 servers in 91 countries. However, I must point out that connecting within China and other censored countries can be unreliable or even impossible. That being said, the overall network is well-distributed, making it easy to find a server that works.
- CyberGhost excels at privacy. Advanced encryption, automated kill switch, split tunnelling, leak prevention, and ad blocking are included. I was astonished by how successfully every security element protected me online.
- One of the best features of CyberGhost is its strict zero-logs policy. Combine with being based in Romania, which is outside the 5/9/14 Eyes countries, you’re getting strong protection here.
- CyberGhost has native apps for Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac and has developed free browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. The user interface is intuitive and easy to use and we loved the layout.
- Last but not least, CyberGhost offers excellent value for money. You can pay anonymously in cryptocurrencies or cash, and there’s even a hidden discount available to get you the lowest prices. If you’re not satisfied with the service, you can easily get your money back within 45 days by contacting customer support.
- Difficult or impossible to connect to China or other censorship-rich countries.
- The app and browser extensions can be a bit confusing.
- It’s not that fast compared to, say, NordVPN, and if you’re using multiple devices it may make sense to get a faster VPN.
History of CyberGhost
CyberGhost is headquartered in Romania, and it is no coincidence that this is an excellent location for privacy, since the country isn’t a part of the 14 Eyes Alliance. That “Alliance” allows countries to share data about their citizens, but since Romania isn’t a part of it, CyberGhost doesn’t have any obligation to store or share any information with any government, making it a safer option for your data. 🙂
However, CyberGhost while run from Romania, is actually owned by Kape Technologies, a cybersecurity company based in the UK.
While Kape Technologies previously worked in mobile ad and browser extension development under the name Crossrider, the company has since shifted its focus to VPNs, including ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and ZenMate. They also own a few ‘rival’ VPN review websites like VPNMentor…
Just a quick note to add that VPN Hound isn’t owned by a VPN company and this helps us to remain completely honest and unbiased.
Why You Can Trust VPN Hound We're completely independent from any VPN provider or company. We've spent thousands of hours curating and hand-testing all the big & small VPN services, and have been doing so since 2018.
Total hours testing:
Funds spent on testing:
At a glance: CyberGhost vs free VPNs
|Features||CyberGhost VPN||Free VPNs|
|Unblocks streaming platforms||✅ Yes||❌ No or limited|
|Server network||9736 servers in 91 countries||Limited servers in a few countries|
|Security and privacy||Advanced encryption, automatic kill switch, split tunneling, leak protection, ad blocker, strict zero-logs policy, based in Romania with strong privacy laws||Basic encryption, no-logs policy not always true, based in countries with questionable privacy laws|
|Native apps||Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac, and more||Only available on some platforms|
|Value for money||On balance, great||Free, but VERY limited features|
CyberGhost’s 1-month plan is priced at $12.99, which is a pretty average if a little high price for monthly recurring VPN subscription. Also, it’s important to note that this plan has a shorter money-back guarantee policy of 14 days, compared to the 45-day money-back guarantee policy for all other plans.
Here’s a list showing the prices for 1-month plans for other, competing VPNs:
As you can see, the prices for 1-month plans are fairly similar across most popular VPN companies. The real value and price competiton comes when you upgrade to a longer plan – think 1 year, 2 year or for the best value, 3 year plans are now avaialble with some companies.
What about a free trial?
Like a refreshing breeze on a hot summer day, CyberGhost VPN offers a unique approach to free trials. Unlike other premium VPN providers, which typically only offer trials in the form of a money-back guarantee, CyberGhost offers a free trial that doesn’t require payment information upfront. Additionally, this VPN provider offers a money-back guarantee that varies from 14 to 45 days, depending on the plan’s length.
With ample time to try out the service, you can make an informed decision about whether or not CyberGhost is the right fit for you.
So, is there a free version?
But free VPNs are rarely actually ‘free’ anyway, and I seriously recommend that you DO NOT use them if you value your security.
How do I download / start CyberGhost?
On Windows or desktop:
- Visit the CyberGhost website and create an account
- Download the CyberGhost VPN app for Windows from the website
- Run the downloaded installation file
- Follow the installation wizard prompts to install the app
- Launch the CyberGhost VPN app from the Start menu
- Log in with your CyberGhost account credentials
- Select a server location and click “Connect”
- Your connection will now be secured with CyberGhost VPN
How many servers does CyberGhost have?
In terms of coverage, CyberGhost VPN boasts one of the largest fleets among VPN providers, with approximately 9700 servers in 91 countries. This puts CyberGhost ahead of the likes of NordVPN and PureVPN by some way.
|🌎 Number of Countries||📡 Number of Servers|
Moreover, CyberGhost’s servers are located in 45 European countries, making it the region with the best coverage. The Americas take the second spot with servers in 12 countries. CyberGhost’s large fleet allows them to provide coverage in areas that are often underserved by VPNs, such as Africa.
However, it’s important to note that some of CyberGhost’s servers are virtual and not physically located in thee country. This is the case with servers in Argentina, Portugal, Indonesia, and Egypt, among others.
What is a Virtual server, you ask? Well, they are a common tool used by some VPN providers to offer faster and more reliable connections, especially in remote areas where physical servers are not available. They also enable VPN providers to operate in countries where VPNs are banned or susceptible to government interference.
This can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to access content that’s geo-restricted or need a fast connection for online gaming or streaming.
While virtual servers can be beneficial in many ways, they can lead to lower ping rates and slower download speeds if the physical machine is further away from your location than the server you want to connect to. This can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to access content that’s geo-restricted or need a fast connection for online gaming or streaming.
I didn’t notice much of a slowdown at all with virtual servers though, except when I was trying to connect to China – more on that below.
So all in all, CyberGhost’s impressive server fleet is one of its strongest points.
Does CyberGhost VPN work in China?
When I contacted CyberGhost support to ask if their VPN works in China, their response was surprisingly simple – yes, it’s supported in China just like any other country. All I needed to do was register with a valid email address and a password to use the CyberGhost app there… Hmm…
However, as someone who has experienced the Great Firewall of China firsthand, I was skeptical. I remembered when I tried to use SurfShark funnily enough during my trip to China a few years ago, and guess what, it didn’t work at all.
In the end, I decided to test it out for myself. And it worked, eventually. But it was incredibly slow and almost unusable.
I’ve since tested it on-and-off and it’s the same story. So if you’re in China, I would probably look at another provider first.
How fast is CyberGhost?
The first test I did involved the WireGuard tunneling protocol. The VPN Hound tests reveal that CyberGhost seem to be dropping the ball on this one, strangely, with the average download speed plummeting by nearly 69% over the course of the tests. Ouch!
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the average upload rates were even worse, with a whopping 72% reduction compared to the baseline. Yikes! We’re not sure if this is due to poor WireGuard implementation or some other funky monkey business, but one thing’s for sure – CyberGhost’s WireGuard tunneling is certainly no speed demon, unlike NordVPN or Surfshark.
According to our tests, IKEv2 performed better than WireGuard in terms of both download and upload speeds. WireGuard is supposed to be the fastest VPN protocol out there, so this is quite the plot twist.
But wait, there’s more…
OpenVPN (UDP) even managed to edge out WireGuard in terms of upload speeds – by a hair, but still! Overall though, OpenVPN was slower than the other two protocols.
It’s not all that surprising, considering that OpenVPN is the oldest and most popular tunneling protocol out there. But let’s be real, its speeds have never been anything to write home about.
Results & Analysis
So as you can see, CyberGhost VPN isn’t the fastest VPN.
Or to be polite about it, it’s safe to say that CyberGhost VPN falls on the slower side of the speed spectrum, especially when compared to the lightning-fast performance of NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
You could argue that CyberGhost’s speeds are sufficient for most everyday tasks and usage cases, but they’re not exactly breaking any land speed records.
When it comes to protocols, I strongly recommend sticking with IKEv2, as WireGuard’s performance still leaves something to be desired – at least for the time being.
|Avg. Download Speed||~70 Mbps||~115 Mbps||~135 Mbps|
|Avg. Upload Speed||~25 Mbps||~75 Mbps||~65 Mbps|
Streaming tests: Netflix & Hulu
When it comes to unblocking streaming platforms, CyberGhost VPN is an excellent choice. I tested CyberGhost’s ability to unblock various streaming platforms, including Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and geo-blocked YouTube videos.
When I used CyberGhost’s specialized server for Netflix, it unblocked the US library on the first try. However, I did experience some slowness when searching for content, but once the show started, there were no issues. This may have been an issue on Netflix’s end, rather than CyberGhost’s.
I was also able to easily access and stream content on HBO Max, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video with CyberGhost. BBC iPlayer also worked without any errors, but I had to switch to a streaming server optimized for BBC iPlayer. The same can be said for geo-blocked You Tube videos.
How fast can I download?
In terms of connection speeds, CyberGhost’s performance is quite average (more on this later). When I tested the download speeds while downloading a Linux installation image, the average download speed was 9.3 Mb/s when connected to a server in the UK and 6.5 Mb/s when connected to the US.
While these speeds may not be the fastest, they are still comparable to what other VPNs, like Surfshark, offer. So, overall, CyberGhost is still a good VPN to use for torrenting. You can rest assured that you ronline activities will be protected, even if the download speeds are not the fastest.
Specialized Servers: How they work
CyberGhost VPN provides a range of server types that are meant to cater to specific tasks, offering a notable advantage over other VPN providers.
These are often called “specialized servers” and are tailored to optimize performance for things like torrenting, streaming, or gaming. The inclusion of this feature in the CG platform is a welcome addition, and the user interface has been given a lot of thought clear. It’s user-friendly for both experienced and less tech-savvy VPN users, so this versatility and ease-of-use enhance the overall user experience of CyberGhost VPN.
CyberGhost VPN also offers some really cool servers that are optimized for torrenting – they call them “downloading servers”. These servers work amazingly well with P2P clients like uTorrent, and they are located in countries where torrenting is allowed. That means you can enjoy lightning-fast download speeds without any fear of getting caught.
The best part is, CyberGhost makes it super easy to find these servers. You can filter them out by checking their load, and even get an estimate of their distance from your location. By comparison, some VPN providers like Surfshark don’t provide any way of sorting specialized servers.
So can I stream on Twitch?
Streaming, gaming, and torrenting are all some of the more popular online activities and they consume shedloads of bandwidth too. CyberGhost VPN understands this and has tailored its server offerings to cater to these needs.
If you’re a big streaming fan, CyberGhost’s dedicated streaming servers are perfect for accessing geo-restricted content including Netflix. Simply choose the server intended for the streaming platform you want to use, and you’re good to go! Switching between different streaming platforms is a breeze as well since the server list is easy to navigate.
Gamers will love CyberGhost’s gaming servers. These servers offer the lowest latency possible, which means you’ll have a faster reaction time during your online games. With low latency, you’ll be less likely to experience lag, which can be a game-changer (pun intended) during competitive matches.
Can I torrent with CyberGhost?
If you’re into torrenting, CyberGhost’s downloading servers (see above section on Specialized Servers) are optimized for P2P too.
These servers are located trypically in countries where torrenting isn’t subject to harsh sanctions, and they provide the best possible download speeds. Plus, with the server list indicating the approximate distance from your location (for speed etc), it’s easy to choose the right server for your needs.
What about Dedicated IPs?
CyberGhost VPN does now offer a dedicated IP option – this can be beneficial for folk who need to whitelist specific IPs for their websites or servers. With this, you will receive a unique IP address that is solely dedicated to you, thus ensuring that no one else is using it.
This feature can be especially useful if you need a consistent IP address for reliable streaming or seeding torrent files.
Be aware that it doesn’t provide you with much privacy. And it isn’t free either.
Prices for the dedicated IPs range from $2.50 to $5.00 per month on top of your subscription.
If you’re interested in CyberGhost’s dedicated IP feature, you can choose from a variety of countries including Switzerland, Germany, the US, Canada, Japan, France, Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the UK. Prices for the dedicated IPs range from $2.50 to $5.00 per month on top of your subscription.
Ad-blocking on CyberGhost
CyberGhost offer this with all plans but you don’t need to use it. I really didn’t see the point in it myself.
Here are the details:
- CyberGhost’s ad-block feature is like a ninja warrior in the digital realm, slicing through pesky ads that stalk you online. Or is it more like a clumsy ninja who misses some of its targets? Well, let’s just say it’s not perfect, but it’s trying its best.
- But, just like any ninja, it’s not invincible. Sometimes the bad guys get through. But hey, at least it’s constantly training to improve its skills.
The ad-block feature is available on Android, Windows, and macOS. It’s clumsy and doesn’t catch all ads. And if you’re looking for complete ad-blocking, you might want to consider a dedicated service in addition to CyberGhost. However, it’s still a good idea to turn on the feature for protection from malicious sites – some protection is better than none.
On the other hand, I found CyberGhost’s Wi-Fi Protection feature to be very convenient. You can set it up on both desktop and mobile apps to automatically launch when you connect to public WiFi. This is especially useful since public WiFi hotspots are easy targets for hackers. Plus, you have the option to choose which networks to connect to or ignore. With CyberGhost, you’re always protected, no matter what network you’re on.
What’s this about NoSpy?
As you’ve perhaps seen, there’s also the NoSpy servers feature.
NoSpy servers are like the ultimate bodyguards of CyberGhost VPN, these servers are great if you’re looking for top-notch privacy and security.
Managed entirely by CyberGhost, you won’t have to worry about any third-party peeking over your shoulder. Plus, they’re located in Romania again, in a private data center owned by CyberGhost, so they’re the perfect hideout for those looking to stay away from the eyes of prying governments. These servers come with extended bandwidth that will have you zooming through the internet in no time.
The downside is you need to join on a subscription plan for at least a year, to get access to this. Monthly subs aren’t permitted, sorry!
Encryption & Protocols
CyberGhost VPN’s security credentials are quite respectable. For one, it provides a secure and trustworthy service mainly by using AES-256 encryption. Plus it has an independently audited no-logs policy to ensure that what they say and what they do are the same. Plus, don’t forget that it’s based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, so you should be able to trust that your data isn’t being intercepted by shady governments.
But it doesn’t stop there – CyberGhost also has quite a range of additional security tools to make your browsing experience safer. And with support for the ultra-fast and secure WireGuard protocol, CyberGhost is a decent choice for anyone looking for military type security and fairly fast speeds.
In detail these security enhancements are:
- AES 256-bit encryption – to ensure your connection is secure. This type of encryption is currently unbreakable even by the most powerful computers out there.
- There are three tunneling protocols: WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN (UDP/TCP).
- WireGuard is a next-generation tunneling protocol that is both fast and secure, and it’s great to see that CyberGhost is keeping up with the trend by offering this protocol on all their applications.
- IKEv2, on the other hand, is an older protocol that provides good compatibility with most devices and works especially well on mobile devices.
- Finally, OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) is still the most popular VPN protocol, and CyberGhost lets you force TCP instead of UDP mode, which is the default.
Is there a Kill Switch?
Yes. Regular readers of VPN Hound will know that I love a kill-switch and recommend you use it, even if you’re not paranoid…
CyberGhost’s automatic kill switch is, in my opinion, a vital feature that ensures your internet connection remains safe and secure at all times.
The kill switch is available on all of their apps and will automatically pause your internet connection if the VPN experiences any disruptions. This is an essential function that prevents any leaks and ensures that your IP address and online activity remain private.
While the Windows app has an option to disable the kill switch, attempting to toggle it will result in a message indicating that it can’t be turned off. However, this isn’t really an issue for me, as it’s difficult to think of a valid reason for disabling the kill switch personally.
CyberGhost’s No-Logs policy
CyberGhost’s no-logs policy is like a black hole – once your data goes in, it’s gone forever (in a good way). The independent audit by Deloitte in September 2022 confirms that no traffic data or connection logs are being recorded.
This level of cyber-privacy is akin to disappearing into the vastness of space, leaving no trace behind. Or something like that.
As I tested CyberGhost VPN, I found the split tunneling and app protection features to pretty much exactly as expected. Firstly, with split tunneling, I was able to customize which traffic went through the VPN and which traffic used my regular internet connection. It’s like having a traffic controller for my internet traffic.
While split tunneling worked perfectly for most websites, I did encounter some issues with Amazon Prime Video. However, on my Android device, the App Split Tunnel feature worked flawlessly. It allowed me to bypass the VPN connection for specific apps, like Netflix. Given the amount of problems people have with this, it felt like having a VIP pass to a crowded event.
Unfortunately, split tunneling is not available on all platforms, which is a downside.
However, the App Protection feature more than made up for it. With App Protection, you can add specific apps to a list, and CyberGhost will automatically launch and connect when they are opened. It’s pretty nifty and hard to put into words in a review.
Overall, CyberGhost’s split tunneling and app protection features were impressive and intuitive, making it easy to customize my VPN experience.
CyberGhost Support: Is it reliable?
When it comes to customer support, CyberGhost seems to have got you covered.
How do I know this? Because by way of a test, I recently reached out to them via their 24/7 live chat about a Linux issue and was impressed with their quick response time and professionalism. Obviously, Linux is a bit arcane to many. But the agent was able to address my issue and provided relevant information to help me resolve the problem. If the issue requires more attention, they will create a ticket and get back to you with a solution.
In addition to the live chat option, CyberGhost also offers email support, guides and articles, and an extensive FAQ section. Their catalog of tutorials covers a wide range of devices, from game consoles to Kodi devices, making it an excellent resource for new VPN users. You can rest assured that CyberGhost’s customer support team will be there to assist you whenever you need it.
|VPN Provider||Trustpilot Rating|
|➡️ CyberGhost VPN||4.5/5|
Pricing & Costs
As is the case for a lot of VPNs now, it makes financial sense to sign up for 1 or even 2 years, otherwise you’re going to get charged a lot more.
Here’s an example of many 2-year plans (and prices) for some of the top VPN providers:
|Provider||Price for 2 years||Discount %||Final Price|
|➡️ CyberGhost VPN||➡️ $2.25/month||➡️ 83%||➡️ $54.00|
By comparison, if you pay for CyberGhost every month for 2 years without a discount it will cost you $311.76!
Verdict: Is CyberGhost VPN worth it?
If you’re looking for a VPN that’s like a suit of armor, then CyberGhost VPN is probably the right choice for you. The reason I’ve used that metaphor is because CyberGhost really does provide the perfect blend of protection and customization, like a well-crafted sword that fits perfectly in your hand. Kind of.
It doesn’t have as many security features as Surfshark, but its still packing a punch with features that are actually useful (if basic), such as AES-256 encryption. There’s also independent;y-audited no-logs, and additional security measures in place. All of these add up to a rather practical VPN: one that you can rest easy knowing your online identity is being made safe from prying eyes.
Its additional features like split tunneling, app protection, and automatic Wi-Fi protection make using a VPN feel like CyberGhost rather easy. Gone are the days of janky, irritating VPN logins and time outs.
And if you need to unblock content, CyberGhost has you covered here reasonably well – its dedicated or ‘specialized’ servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming ensure that you get the fastest speeds and best performance possible. Plus, its “noSpy” set of servers provide even great privacy for the truly, err, paranoid.
There are drawbacks though: it’s not as fast as other VPNs, and it’s also got a few annoying issues with both its Android and iOS apps. If you don’t use these or don’t plan to, then I’d say go for CyberGhost if you’re after a secure VPN that won’t break the bank.
Frequently Asked Questions for CyberGhost
CyberGhost VPN does offer a free trial period, but it is not a free VPN service. To use CyberGhost VPN beyond the free trial, you will need to purchase a subscription.
No, CyberGhost VPN does not keep any logs of user activity, including traffic logs, connection logs, or IP logs. In addition, they undergo annual independent security audits to ensure their privacy practices are up to industry standards.
CyberGhost VPN supports a wide range of devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and routers. They also offer browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.