CyberGhost review

CyberGhost is rated 7th out of 78 VPNs on TheBestVPN.com

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CyberGhost is a Romanian-based VPN provider.

They’ve been around for seven years, were acquired just a few years back, and have continued to grow into one of the largest VPN providers.

They pack all of the features you’d come to expect, such as AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN (along with other optional tunneling protocols like IPSec).

Their pricing structure is also quite cheap, very similar to NordVPN.

Here are all of the pros and cons we’ve discovered after multiple rounds of testing.

CyberGhostVPN Overview

OVERALL RANK:#7 out of 78 VPNs
USABILITY:Easy to use, supports all major protocols
LOG FILES:No Logging Policy
LOCATIONS:30 countries, 3747 servers
SUPPORT:24/7 Live Chat
TORRENTING:Torrenting Discouraged
NETFLIX:Yes 2/5
ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:AES-256 , OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec
COST:$2.50/mo
OFFICIAL WEBSITE:www.cyberghostvpn.com

CyberGhost Pros :-

1. Located in Romania (out of 14 eyes)

Founded in 2011 and operated by a 55-person team located in Bucharest, Romania, CyberGhost (recently acquired by Robert Knapp and Crossrider Limited) currently boasts over 15-million users, which is an admittedly-impressive statistic.

This also means that they are outside 14 Eyes, too, meaning your data (if they had any) wouldn’t be shared with intelligence agencies from other countries around the world.

2. All Essential Features Available

  • Hiding IP: Yes
  • Kill-switch: Yes
  • Max devices: 7
  • Total servers: 3,999 (last verified on 24th of July, 2019)
  • Total countries: 60 (last verified on 24th of July, 2019)

CyberGhost is VPN software that hides your IP, encrypts and anonymizes your Internet activity, as well as keeps you secure whenever you’re using Wi-Fi.

Their network spans 60 different countries and contains a whopping 3,999 server locations across the United States, European Union, UK, and Asia (although their presence in Asia is admittedly sparse with only a handful of servers in Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore).

Their VPN service is compatible with a lot of devices, including:

  • Windows
  • Android
  • Mac
  • iOS
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • fireTV

If you know what you are doing, CyberGhost also allows their users to set up a custom connection with their Linux devices or routers (yes, you can connect them to your router).

In addition, CyberGhost supports all major protocols including OpenVPN, L2TP, and IPSec. So you’re looking at best-in-class, AES-256 encryption standards to keep all of your devices safe and secure.

3. Strict No-Logging Policy

Many VPN providers advertise “zero logging.” Yet, when you dig into the fine print buried in their Terms of Service, you realize just how far from the truth this claim is.

Many VPN companies do log your data, and while it is typically for the benign purpose of improving their services, one of the biggest reasons to invest in a VPN is to limit intrusions on your privacy.

Which doesn’t exactly work if the intrusive third party happens to be your own VPN provider.

Luckily, CyberGhost doesn’t waiver on their logging policy.

Here’s what they have to say on their website:

Image from: https://www.cyberghostvpn.com/en_US/privacypolicy

4. No Leaks Detected

There’s a lot to love about CyberGhost. If you were to make a checklist of everything you want out of a VPN, CyberGhost has ALL of them.

No info is logged. Their Romanian jurisdiction protects users. Netflix works. As does torrenting. It’s even compatible with TOR and other proxy services.

When we tried this program out, we loved it. There’s a reason it’s listed as number seven on our list of the top VPNs in the world.

The cherry on top of an already-impressive sundae of awesomeness is the fact that this is an airtight leak-free system.

We put CyberGhost through the ringer on several occasions and we found that our original IP was completely protected.

We also ran a test on CyberGhost’s installation software, to make sure it wasn’t sneaking any viruses onto our system.

Thankfully, it too was completely clean.

5. Great User Experience and Easy Installation

CyberGhost’s ease of use is excellent.

It took me a grand total of about 5 minutes to install, launch, and use CyberGhost on my Windows device. And based on feedback from other users, this experience is pretty consistent regardless of the device you are using.

You can sign up for an account without having to pay for anything upfront. Once you do, you’ll be taken to a dashboard like the one pictured below:

Note that in the upper left-hand corner it says “inactive.” That means no CyberGhost subscription has been purchased.

To get started, click on the yellow button on the right marked “Get CyberGhost VPN.”

This is where you select the subscription and term to get started. (We’ll explore these pricing plans in more detail towards the end of this review.)

After selecting a plan, it will take you to the payment options selection menu:

You can use a credit card, PayPal, or, if you want a fully anonymous experience, go for Bitcoin.

Next, you’ll see one more screen confirming all of your information. Click on the green button on the right-hand side that says “Buy Now” to get going.

The software will start downloading immediately. I had no issues whatsoever, and it was successfully installed on my computer in under one minute.

Once I entered my username and password, the system logged me in, but I was not yet connected to the service.

You can choose a server from the drop-down list on the bottom, or allow CyberGhost to automatically connect you with its best server location. This allows you to be surfing anonymously in just a few seconds.

If you want to switch servers, just click on the yellow arrow in the lower left-hand corner. That will open up a server menu like this:

From there, you can select a new server from the full list or zero-in on servers that are specifically designed for torrenting and streaming.

The layout of the app is crisp and clean. Things are so clearly spelled out that even your grandparents could use it.

CyberGhost even has a feature that allows users to automatically launch a secured private browser with only the click of a button.

A great experience overall.

6. Compatible with TOR (and most other proxies)

The Orion Router (or TOR) is an anonymous network that relays your data through various servers so it’s virtually impossible to see who you are or where you’re from.

Depending on the country from which you are surfing, the ability to layer your VPN with the TOR network can, quite literally, be a lifesaver.

Fortunately, CyberGhost VPN is TOR compatible.

This allows users to get as close to total anonymity as possible and is a huge bonus for any VPN users located in countries with strict censorship laws.

7. Safe for Torrenting & Works with Netflix

Torrenting

While many VPNs shy away from actively promoting the ability to torrent/P2P on their servers (hint: TunnelBear), CyberGhost is not among them.

Not only does CyberGhost allow torrenting, but it’s also one of their main selling points.

Once you’ve launched CyberGhost, you can click on the yellow servers menu on the left of the client:

That will open the full server menu. Once there, you’ll note that on the left-hand side there is an option labeled “For Torrenting.” Click on that to see all of CyberGhost’s P2P optimized servers:

Double click on the server you want to use, and torrent to your heart’s delight.

Much to their credit, CyberGhost has done everything in their power to make torrenting easy and seamless.

Netflix Unblocking Feature

Cyberghost has dedicated a unique streaming server that keeps changing its IP address whenever Netflix tries to crack it down.

I used it and it worked. I also confirmed that by having a quick chat with their customer representative:

First, I pulled up CyberGhost’s streaming servers and looked for those that were optimized for Netflix:

To make life easier, if you type “Netflix” into the search bar, it will find those four servers for you and you won’t have to go looking through the entire list:

The first two servers I checked were the United Kingdom and United States. Both worked perfectly. Unfortunately, I was less successful with the other two. Netflix is constantly upping its game in its quest to block VPNs, but I was happy to see that at least half of these servers were still functional.

Cyberghost servers unblocking Netflix:

  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Cyberghost servers blocked by Netflix:

  • Germany
  • France

8. Seven Device Connection Limit

CyberGhost used to only offer a one-device connection limit, even for some premium users, prior to their purchase by Robert Knapp and Crossrider Limited.

Thankfully, that was one of the first positive changes they made. Most of the VPNs we’ve reviewed will allow at least three simultaneous.

Initially, CyberGhost bumped up their connection number to five, which was a huge improvement.

But we’re happy to report that, as of September of 2018, CyberGhost has increased their limit even further to seven devices — regardless of the plan that you are using.

This is a welcomed improvement that opens up many doors for the average user.

9. Live Chat Customer Service

Good customer service is hard to find in the VPN world.

It shouldn’t be. It’s not necessarily that difficult or anything. But the vast majority are (1) slooooooooooow or (2) terrible or (3) both.

So, when one actually crosses that line into excellence, it’s worth heaping hefty loads of praise upon them.

Buckle up, because I’m about to start heaping.

When we first reviewed CyberGhost, it’s fair to say that we weren’t huge fans of their customer support system. It was glitchy and borderline unusable. We gave them some tough, but fair criticism.

Well, it looks like they were listening.

CyberGhost has made some recent advancements in this field and it pays off in droves. For starters, they’ve added live chat.

Not like takes-one-hour-to-respond live chat. But fast, instantaneous messaging.

Anyone needing help needs to just click on the chat box in the lower right-hand corner of their screen.

Clicking there opens up the chat box, where you enter your name, email address, and topic.

The service connects quickly. There is a virtual queue, but I was in the first position instantly. A CyberGhost representative quickly came onto the service and we started talking.

I asked about torrenting services and which servers TOR could be used on:

The response was speedy and informative. No copy-and-paste answer like we’ve received from a few others. I even tried tripping them up, asking about a bunch of different services in sequence, like unblocking Netflix streaming.

Razvan handled each deftly. When we finished, he said goodbye and disconnected. Then, I immediately got an email from CyberGhost upon disconnecting with a full transcript of the chat session.

There’s nothing to criticize here. It was an epic home run.

Bravo, CyberGhost. You’re on a different level here.

CyberGhost Cons :-

1. Questionable Parent Company

As with any product on the market, you have to look up the company behind a VPN so you know just what to expect.

CyberGhost was sold to Kape Technologies (formerly known as Crossrider Plc), an Isreali based ad tech company infamous for creating and distributing Malware.

It didn’t take me long to find articles warning the public about the malware still being spread by Kape Technologies. Malwarebytes even posted an article on how to remove a Crossrider malware. Clearly, you can’t trust this company with your data.

This irony was not lost on CyberGhost itself. After the buyout, CyberGhost’s CEO himself admitted that both companies had opposing goals.

CyberGhost seeks to protect user data and privacy as a VPN. Crossrider seeks to gain user data to make money as an ad tech company.

Ironic, right?

I also found out that the re-branding from Crossrider to Kape Technologies was actually a very sneaky move. Kape CEO Ido Erlichman actually admitted that the decision to re-brand was due to “the strong association to the past activities of the company”.

Long story short, CyberGhost’s parent company can’t be trusted — and they know it.

2. Not the Fastest VPN

Whenever you are in the market for a ‘Budget VPN’ you can and should expect to suffer through some slower download and upload times.

Here’s our benchmark (without VPN connection):

Unfortunately for CyberGhost, unless you are using a free service, you should never have to deal with speeds that are this slow.

US Server (New York)

  • Ping: 189ms.
  • Download: 18.41 Mbps.
  • Upload: 7.12 Mbps.

EU Server (Amsterdam)

  • Ping: 41ms.
  • Download:51.10 Mbps.
  • Upload: 21.10 Mbps.

Asia Server (Hong Kong)

  • Ping: 299ms.
  • Download: 4.00Mbps.
  • Upload: 4.07 Mbps.

UK Server (London)

  • Ping: 69ms.
  • Download: 5.63 Mbps.
  • Upload: 15.65 Mbps.

In short, while CyberGhost speeds are nothing to brag about.

They’re surely faster than some other paid VPNs such as PureVPN. But our recommended ExpressVPN is nearly 2x times faster!

When it comes to speed, they are ranked somewhere in the middle of the pack.

3. Third-Party Reviews Are Historically Pretty Rough

I decided to dig through some of the recent reviews on Reddit and Quora to make sure we were just seeing a one-sided experience. According to most sources (who were not motivated by a handsome commissions check), my experience was pretty standard.

For example…

Here’s another one.

There were some reviews that had a more positive outlook on CyberGhost’s services, however, the majority of them were clearly submitted by individuals with an obvious lack of experience with VPN providers.

4. Alleged Security Concerns

The final problem that I found with CyberGhost is an alleged security concern that has popped up since early 2016.

While there has been a significant amount of controversy surrounding CyberGhost’s root certificates and the possibility that their “No Logging” policy is not actually upheld, so far, my findings on this topic have been inconclusive.

Most of the issues that have surfaced were quickly resolved or explained away by the CyberGhost team.

While I don’t have any real reasons to suspect CyberGhost of foul play or believe that there have been any breaches in their privacy agreement, there were simply too many allegations to let this particular point slide.

CyberGhost Pricing & Quick Facts

CyberGhost offers a true month-to-month plan for $12.99.month. The best way to save, though, is to commit to one of their long-term options.

Their 3 years package cost is ultra-low: $2.50/month for three-year commitment. This places them among the cheapest options in the marketplace.

  • Monthly: $12.99 per month ($155.88 per year)
  • 1 Year: $5.99 per month ($71.88 per year)
  • 3 Years: $2.75 per month ($99 every 3 years)

They also offer a wide array of payment methods. You get the standard debit and credit options, PayPal, and BitPay, and cash, too.

While this might be a bit extreme for most users, this feature can come in handy for users who are concerned about the anonymity of their transaction. (For example, individuals purchasing CyberGhost in a country with censorship laws and VPN restrictions.)

CyberGhost’s money-back guarantee is pretty self-explanatory, too.

You have 45 days after signup to terminate and get your money back if you choose plans longer than a year, and 14 days if you choose the monthly option. It’s a “no questions asked” policy for all their products. So we love that they stand behind what they’re selling.

They’ll even stick to this when your “ISP is blocking VPN connections,” for example. So it’s not even their fault that the VPN isn’t working for you. They’ll still provide the refund.

You can get a refund by going through CyberGhost.com (if that’s where your purchase was made).

Otherwise, go back to the individual reseller if you used one of them (like Digital River/Shareit). Understandably, they don’t have any control over reseller transactions, so they should be able to help you directly. You might just want to clarify if they’re matching CyberGhost’s “no questions asked,” or if they have their own refund policy that overrides it.

  • No logging: Yes.
  • Ease of the VPN software: Singing up and using the app is fairly simple and straightforward.
  • Hidden fees & clauses: None.
  • Upsells: No upsells.
  • Instant access after payment: Yes.
  • DNS leaks: None.
  • Jurisdiction: Romania.
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, IPSec, PPTP & L2TP.
  • Kill-switch: Yes.

Do I Recommend CyberGhost?

Yes.

To be honest, we weren’t as high on this service just a few months ago. But it seems that in the past few months, CyberGhost has turned things around.

They responded to constructive feedback and have completely turned some aspects around. The live chat and customer service experience we had was like night and day from before.

CyberGhost was always a solid VPN choice. It’s strict no-logging policy and Romanian jurisdiction keep your information safe and secure. If provides all of the essential functions of a VPN with a great user experience.

Plus, it’s a leak-free system that works with Netflix, TOR, and torrenting services.

Upping their connections to seven simultaneous devices was a breath of fresh air, too.

There are a few question marks around their historical performance. Some users have had negative experiences. There might be some alleged security concerns.

Overall, if you want to be safe, you’d be better off with NordVPN (ranked #1st), Surfshark (ranked #2nd) or ExpressVPN (ranked #3rd) in our Best VPN Guide.

P.S. I’m always interested in user-reviews so if you’ve used CyberGhost before, leave a review! Let us know if you’re experience matched ours.

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