This Cyberghost review takes a look at one of the more significant known names in VPN service providers. (For our top 10 VPN reviews click here)
Since last being reviewed there are some changes in the company and their service. We will see if this raises it up the tables and makes it a viable option for Australians looking for a VPN service.
- Plenty of features in a user-friendly interface
- Now blocks ads, trackers and malicious websites
- Has a wide geographic distribution of servers
- High Security
- Supports 7 devices
- Can work out expensive
- Average connection speeds
- A limited number of servers around Asia regions
- No longer a Cyberghost Free Version
Two of the main reasons users want to use VPN’s aside from their security is bypassing blocked content. Luckily, Cyberghost Netflix still works, and the client even comes with a separate preset to achieve this. Another plus is torrenting is allowed on most of their servers.
There have been a few changes in the pricing structure of Cyberghost, and one significant difference is they no longer have free VPN software. This is replaced by a 7-day free trial. On the cost side it is now as follows:
|1 Month||$11.99||Billed monthly|
|Yearly||$4.99||Billed as $59.88 per year|
|2 Yearly||$3.79||Billed as $90.96 every 2 years|
|3 Yearly||$2.75||Billed as $99 every 3 years|
All packages come with a 30-day money back guarantee. You can easily purchase any plan using traditional payment methods: credit card or PayPal, but you can also pay anonymously with Bitcoin.
For any VPN service, this is crucial for them to bypass restrictions, and to also provide an excellent service to their users. CyberGhost has now increased their numbers to over 2800 servers in 30 countries.
Some services drop down protocol support to gain faster speeds, Luckily, this VPN isn’t one and comes with some bank-grade security to make sure all your data is safe.
Protocols supported are PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec tunnelling protocols. SHA-256 protocol for authenticating users and RSA’s 4096-bit encryption.
The DNS service is what translates the gobbledygook to names we know for web addresses or vice versa.
These DNS servers are open to everyone so there can be leaks. Cyberghost does provide their own secure DNS servers. This can be set in the client, or if you do it manually there are:
- Primary: 126.96.36.199 (located in the USA)
- Secondary: 188.8.131.52 (located in the UK)
Cyberghost supports more devices, but not as many as other alternative VPN’s. It currently supports Windows, Mac, Android and iOS which received a new update in July of this year.
For others such as Linux or routers, this can be configured, but there is no client software for these platforms.
There are also browser plugins for Chrome and Firefox, there did used to be one for Opera, but this has appeared to have fallen by the wayside.
Most clients are on Cyberghost 6, so if you have an older version, you should look to update it.
With the above significant platforms supported, there are other devices. However, the protocols used can vary. This can have a bearing on the strength of encryption you receive which is dependent on the device.
|PC||Client, L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN||Client, L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN||L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN|
|Smartphone||L2TP (Windows Phone 8.1)||Client, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP||Client, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN||L2TP, PPTP|
|Tablet||Client, L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN||Client, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP||Client, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN||L2TP, PPTP||L2TP|
|Routers||L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN|
|Raspberry Pi||L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN|
|Virtual Machines||Client, L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN||Client, L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN||Client, L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN||L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN|
Privacy and Security
Many VPN’s touts a no logging policy, but as most people know, this is purely marketing speak. To really get to know the small print should be read.
The most critical section is a company’s “Key Logging” clause.
First Cyberghost state they don’t hold personal data, and all payment data is separated from the company via resellers.
Regarding logging, they state they never log communication content or any data from websites, or IP addresses form a user’s browsing session. They also say they don’t even record the server used when it was used and for how long.
No data they have can be used to create any statistical data of any type.
They do record minor session details, but most of the top tier VPNs do this, so “is Cyberghost safe?”
They do a lot to protect users, and from changing many things from Cyberghost 5, it appears they will continue to protect users well.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is one thing Cyberghost focused on, and for the clients, it is a pretty slick design to the client software. It isn’t quite as easy as some to use, but for newbies, most things are easily accessible.
You basically have 6 tiles Surf Anonymously, Unblock Streaming, Protect Network, Torrent Anonymously, Unblock Basic Websites, and Choose My Server. For most, this is as far as you will need to go.
- Download the Cyber Ghost 7-day free trial client.
- Save your data closing all open programs.
- Start the Setup Wizard. Double click on the downloaded file
- Follow the instructions that appear after launching the Setup Wizard. It takes you through all the necessary steps.
- Once the trial expires, you have an option to purchase a subscription.
- When the trial expires, you have ‘Activate your account now.’
- Once purchased you receive a username and password
- This converts the expired trial to a paid-up subscription.
Setup and User Interface
Once you have installed your Cyberghost client (PC and Mac clients only 8.5MB in size). You will see the agreement with a software license.
With Cyberghost you get to choose your own username and password, some VPNs assign this for you. About set-up there is not much out of the box you need to configure.
You have the 6 tiles which offer different functions, select the one which matches what you want and click.
Dedicated servers for streaming which can come in handy, this is done with no drop in security. It also offers double encryption. Here authentication data is encrypted as well as the VPN data.
Protect Network, Torrent Anonymously and Choose My Server.
Browser extension can be used for Firefox and Chrome. It was previously mentioned the one for opera had vanished, although this was old news and there is now again a browser plugin available for Opera.
It should be highlighted, these plugins are no substitute for the full VPN service as the remainder of your system will be unprotected.
Performance and Servers
This is one area where Cyberghost really comes up short, They have increased the number of global servers, but network speeds are still lacklustre compared to other providers.
When speeds were tested, results showed a similar tale to many VPN’s. Because most are on the opposite side of the world, they are based in that region. A prime example being Cyberghost. UK to UK speeds were a reputable 35Mbps and connections to the United States dropped down to a usable 25Mbps.
The bad news is back home in Australia the speeds during testing plummeted to under 5Mbps. These were the same for Singapore and Hong Kong.
Cyberghost has a severe lack of VPN servers in the east, and major countries are suffering as a result.
Server numbers have now increased up to 2800, but if these aren’t in the far off regions speeds will never improve because the most optimal server is thousands of miles away. On the upside, there were no DNS leak tests discovered during extensive tests.
Customer support is better than some, but also not as good as the market leaders. They can be contacted via live chat or by email for any queries.
Although not the fastest, they did come back in a reasonable amount of time and appeared to be helpful enough.
On the website, there is also a raft of FAQ’s and plenty of guides along with a basic trouble-shooter that might help to clear any issues.
Is this the VPN service for you?
Cyberghost has improved in many aspects, it offers more than enough features including its kill switch and other features to protect a user’s privacy. However, for Australians, it might suffer too much on the speed stakes to be a viable option.
This and the fact it can be expensive, or you can find better levels of service for the same price without having to sign up for extended periods.
For users who aren’t based in Australia or any other part of the Asian region, it can be a good choice not taking cost into consideration.
For this part of the world, it might be a contender, and nothing much more than that.