CyberGhost has been a crowd favourite with VPN users for years. It is known to pack in plenty of useful features, and offer a reasonable price to go with it.
From first looks, it appears simple in design and is geared to new subscribers or individuals who want a one-click operation for most of their daily tasks.
The company is based in Romania and was founded in 2011. Since then, there has been a rocky past, and the old owners Crossrider were known to keep logs and had associations with the 5-eyes, 9-eyes and the 14-eyes coalitions. Now, there is a name change, and the new owners are Kape technologies.
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If this makes a difference to their logging practices, our CyberGhost VPN review will find out. Aside from these dark clouds hanging over the head of this VPN, it is one of the more reliable VPN’s to protect a user while online.
- Cyberghost Pricing
- Key Features
- How Good is CyberGhost VPN?
- Privacy and Security
- Ease of Use
- Advanced Features
- Performance and Servers
- Is This VPN Service for You?
There are plenty of security features to keep subscribers safe as they go about their online activities. With a kill switch, streaming support for Netflix and other streaming services, and their zero-logging policy.
The VPN network is a decent size and covers many of the main countries. Cyberghost server speed was one of the primary concerns with old versions of the service, so we will conduct a full speed test and see if the changes go deep, or are superficial.
We check all the pricing in this CyberGhost review and check out the CyberGhost free options that may be available. There are a couple, but not all of them may suit every user, and the 45-day money-back guarantee may be a better option.
We will dive deep and review CyberGhost version 7 to see if things are improved in all areas, or it is just a gloss over of the previous features.
Read on and find out all the nitty-gritty regarding this renowned VPN provider, and if it can deliver a richer and safer online experience.
There have been quite a few changes in the purchase structure of what CyberGhost offers. Now, there are only three tie-in periods for the VPN. Along with this, there are changes on their money-back guarantee, and the same isn’t available across the board.
In summary, here is the pricing structure of Cyber Ghost, and everything else you need to know about payments.
- 1-Year: There is a limited time offer, which runs out soon; nevertheless, there was a Black Friday sale, and now it is a holiday sale. Perhaps there will be a New Year sale soon? This plan offers a 79% discount, and you pay only $2.75 for the first twelve months. This is a one-off billing of $33, and it will revert to the regular price of $66 after one year.
- 6-Months: When you compare prices for other VPN services, this plan begins to fall in line with the competition. However, the price at present is taking into consideration the sale offer. The costs for the 6-month plan is $4.99 and billed as $29.94. Once this is over, the price reverts to the regular price of $59.88 once the period is over.
- 1-Month: There is no offer on the monthly plan, and this just comes with the regular price of $12.99 per month. In comparison to many other providers, this is on the more expensive side.
On the monthly plan, there is a 14-day refund, and it is the 6-month and the annual subscription that comes with the 45-day money-back guarantee.
Some other VPNs will wish to fix the issue before offering a refund. Cyberghost says they have no such demands and do not care:
- If you cancel a recurring payment or not
- If you are a prior free trial user
- The number of VPN server connections you make
- The amount of time you are connected
- The amount of bandwidth you use
- The number of devices you try CyberGhost on
All subscribers need to do is contact their customer service and say they want to cancel.
When signing up, users can have dedicated IP addresses ($5 per month).
Payment options are not the most varied but should be sufficient for the majority of subscribers. You can pay with a credit card, PayPal and Bitcoin.
Is CyberGhost VPN Free?
It isn’t a free service, and there is no free version of the service. However, CyberGhost 7 now offers a free trial as well as the money-back guarantee.
For the Windows client and Mac OS on desktops, you have a huge 1-day free trial. This doesn’t give you long to test all the features, yet it should be long enough to test the speeds from your location in Australia. This can make or break any online experience if you find speeds are insufficient.
When you look at mobile devices, there is a difference in the free trial offering from the VPN, CyberGhost offers a 7-day free trial for both iOS and Android.
The timing here does offer enough chance to run through all the servers CyberGhost has for the most common uses that meet user’s needs.
No matter which free offering a user tries, it isn’t cut down, and there is access to all the services and features on offer.
You can see a countdown timer that displays how long the free trial has to remain. To the side, there is also an option to upgrade, unless you don’t wish to carry on.
Since the previous CyberGhost review and their service update in-between. Some things remain the same such as the number of simultaneous devices you can use, while other things see a massive change.
The VPN network from CyberGhost is now radically larger than it was previously. The company now has 5922 servers in 111 locations.
This is quite impressive and pushes it much higher up the level of VPN than where it sat before. What is most impressive is they now cover 89 countries, which is a big jump from 60 countries.
There are not many other VPN providers, who can top this number of countries. Some of the VPN servers are virtual servers; however, many VPN providers carry out this practice. They do this to deliver better functionality rather than wrongly advertise countries they serve.
CyberGhost is one of the most secure VPN’s you can choose. It is deemed world-class and uses first-class encryption for protecting user’s data.
It supports various protocols, including L2PT/IPsec and PPTP. However, the most desirable option, which is set by default, is OpenVPN. Based on your usage, you have the choice between OpenVPN UDP and OpenVPN TCP protocols. UDP is the quicker of the two.
IKEv2 is the next-best protocol and one used by some devices that cannot run OpenVPN. In terms of encryption, CyberGhost offers military-grade 256-bit encryption, which protects your crucial information on the next level.
If a user wants the ultimate in anonymity and security, they can try using TOR over VPN. This double encryption is straightforward, and all you need to do is start the VPN client and then run your TOR browser.
A user may find it almost impossible for anyone to track them because their data is double encrypted in a way similar to a double-hop function. However, there is a dramatic drop in speeds when they connect using these methods.
Many VPN companies use their DNS servers as a means of adding an extra bit of security. CyberGhost has two guaranteed censorship-free DNS servers (subject to change without notice).
You can force clients to use these to increase your security by enabling ‘Force CyberGhost DNS Server’ in the extended settings. If you don’t want these to change for the rest of your device, you can leave it up to the client to do so automatically as you start it and close it after use.
The primary DNS is in the USA and the secondary in the UK. The use of these may be more for bypassing geo-restrictions than to add more security.
There is a wide choice, and when checking the website, the company has broken the devices into sections.
- Desktops: Windows and macOS. Linux has support through a command-line interface.
- Mobile Apps: Android and iOS have full support. Not forgetting the free trial available.
- TV Apps: Amazon FireStick, FireTV and Android TV’s
- Routers and More: Routers will need configuration. Other devices include Raspberry Pi, Synology NAS, Chrome OS, and others.
Version 7 of CyberGhost is compatible with all the devices listed here.
Subscribers still have 7- devices simultaneously connecting if they wish. Installing the service on a router can act as one device; this can then protect a home network. You can also set Windows 10 laptops to act as a connection point. This allows more devices to connect through internet sharing.
Some of the newer features that VPN’s are adding to make them stand out are features that can stop targeted ads and preventing malware installation.
How Good is CyberGhost VPN?
With all the protocols in place and the high levels of encryption, CyberGhost does a good job to keep things safe and secure. Their malware and ad-blocker are ways they can enhance this service,
Enable the option to ‘Block Malicious Sites’ in the settings and the malware blocker checks every site you visit. These are then checked against a massive database of known sites that pose threats. Doing this can stop these threats from reaching your device before action is taken.
The ad-blocker stops the ads from being shown. In testing for this CyberGhost VPN review, it was clear these features were a welcome addition, yet they were not performing as well as standalone browser extensions.
The ad-blocker, for instance, will not work on HTTPS websites, and though it performs on Windows, Mac and iOS, it can do with some more improvement.
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Privacy and Security
The primary purpose of any VPN is to ensure online privacy. A quality VPN must use the latest encryption and protection methods.
CyberGhost is based in Romania, beyond the reach of the fourteen Eyes coalition.
Nevertheless, CyberGhost’s security; was called into question following its acquisition by Kape Technologies, an Israeli advertising technology business.
They were suspected of hiding malware software packages. Consumers feared CyberGhost’s new parent company would compromise their security, and if they can trust them.
Is CyberGhost safe to use?
This was back in history, and now the company takes things seriously. We saw the protocols in use are more than enough to stop any prying eyes from watching any user’s online activities. Add to this, the use of a kill switch, and there will be no IP leaks if the VPN connection drops.
Additionally, using the CyberGhost DNS servers, there shouldn’t be any man in the middle attacks.
These are just a couple of things that make this VPN service one of the most secure. To top this, and to reassure every user, there is an annual transparency report.
By doing this, the previous accusations of malware ought to be negated, and now they are an open, trustworthy VPN provider by showing complete transparency.
Many other VPN services are also carrying out these external audits to assure every user; there is nothing to hide.
Concerning logging, the company claims they are a zero-logging company. If this weren’t true, then these audits would bring this to the service.
Many VPN’s claim they offer this, where in fact, they do retain things, as CyberGhost used to. Now, they see how important this aspect of any VPN company is, and they adhere to their strict zero-logging policy.
Although there are concerns over the association with the 14-eyes, with no logs in retention, and Romania not requiring any company to divulge information, and can rest easy because CyberGhost has nothing to hand over.
One area that may catch a user’s attention is the section on GDPR compliance. It may be one of the reasons there has been such an overhaul of the service. If companies don’t comply with the GDPR, then they can face massive fines.
In the case of a VPN, it is better to clean up your act, rather than relocate; as this is obvious, something isn’t right. Customer reviews also praise the security of the company as it is now.
Ease of Use
When users first start the process of signing up, it is better to do this directly from the website. Scattered around the web are fake ads that offer more than the discount CyberGhost currently offers.
Another thing to note is that any users who sign-up and pay through Apple will need to go through Apple in the case of a refund. Users are better going direct so they know the 45-day money-back guarantee will be in force with no issues.
On the main homepage, there is a countdown timer running for the Christmas sale. If this reaches zero, it begins again.
- Click on the yellow ‘Get it Now – $33/year’ button to access the plan page.
- The 12-month plan is selected by default. This is coloured, while the others are black and white.
- Select the option you require and scroll down for the payment options.
- Choose one, and then you are taken to the appropriate payment provider.
- Once you select one, you will need to add your email address for verification.
Once you pay, you then receive your welcome email. From here, you can download CyberGhost version 7. For mobile devices, you can download these from the Google Play Store, or the Apple Store depending on your device.
If you make a Google search for CyberGhost Windows free trial, you can download the free version directly. This allows you the 24 hours, and the chance to upgrade directly from inside the app.
Setup and User Interface
New users may not spot the differences in the user interface, although everything is still accessible as it always was.
Now you have the main client interface with the image of a yellow ghost and either VPN connected or VPN not connected underneath.
Below this, it has the server, and with the One-click connect, it will connect to the best server in the particular country chosen. The new fresh and simple design is pleasing on the eye, and simple for new users.
To select servers, there is a yellow arrow, which expands or minimises a side window. Click this and you can see ‘All’ servers in the virtual private network. On this large area, you get to see the ping, distance from connection, and the server load percentage. You can click the star to favourite that server.
To the side of this is a settings menu, which relates to each activity. You can filter through favourites, all servers, for torrenting, for streaming, connection features and smart rules. Toward the bottom is ‘My Account’ and more settings icon.
Smart rules enable users to create personal privacy triggers, start-up rules and what you want the VPN to do on public Wi-Fi networks
Advanced settings include:
- Block ads
- Block malicious websites
- Block online tracking
- Automated HTTPS redirect
- Data compression
When you start the client, you can either manually change a server. You can let the app decide; which is the best for the country, or the desired activity.
There are some new features, yet these are expansions of what was already there; and more of an enhancement.
Users can enable the kill switch with ease, so they are safe that their IP address will not face exposure in the event CyberGhost loses the connection.
With this comes the ad-blocker, malicious website blocker and the anti-malware blocker. Added to these is the prevent tracking, which is a useful addition because more sites want to know your online activities.
With this, you can have the VPN auto-start, which should be there already. One of the most significant changes being on the Wi-Fi front.
If the VPN notices you are entering an encrypted Wi-Fi network, you can set it what to do. When you enter open Wi-Fi hotspots, you can add the action as a separate rule.
There are the known Wi-Fi networks, and rather than just a blanket setting, you can set this for each hot spot you enter.
Moving on from this is more device-dependent. The client can be set to open an app by default when you start a connection. A good example is your browser. You open the client, and the browser will open up and already have protection.
One other final feature is split tunnelling. This allows you to set some programs, which default to passing traffic through the VPN while others pass via the regular route. Users can carry out watching YouTube or playing games while more identity sensitive apps run in the background such as downloading a torrent file.
There are two free browser extensions available from CyberGhost. These protect Chrome and Firefox.
Users who wish to bypass restrictions can do so using the CyberGhost proxy. Therefore, if it is streaming or blocked content, then it is easy. With this comes some great online security, so hackers and snoopers won’t be a bother.
Like the full client, once you connect, your connection is encrypted. Your IP address is hidden from view, and you are given another in its place.
There is unlimited bandwidth available so that you won’t face restrictions on your connection. This couples with the blockchain-generated extension to deliver the best chance to stay out of sight while browsing.
However, with both browser extensions, there are limitations in comparison to the full paid for client.
Wi-Fi connections are secure for the browser; there is no kill switch, no customer support, and there is no multiple protocol support. While the full client has access to over 5,900 servers in 89 countries, the browser extensions can access eight servers in four countries. United States, Germany, Romania, and the Netherlands all have two accessible servers.
These are available for free, and with no need for an account.
Performance and Servers
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When conducting speed tests, there were a couple of ways it could be done. Rather than let the app select the server location, we chose to select a VPN server manually. In theory, it would deliver the worst-case scenario of the performance.
CyberGhost claims to have blazing fast servers, and this is a claim that almost every VPN provider makes.
With over 5,900 servers (Almost the same as NordVPN) in so many countries, you would like to think they cover everywhere sufficiently. Remote regions can be the worst affected, and nearly any VPN review around Europe and the USA delivers good results.
Asia, Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, need to see download times that relate to them.
How Fast is CyberGhost VPN?
Although not openly advertised, CyberGhost has some NoSpy servers. These are located in a separate data centre. This can enhance privacy, yet they also claim to deliver faster speeds for users.
These servers are not global and are based in Romania. This is still a far way to some remote regions, so increasing speeds through the nearest server doesn’t ring true.
On the regular network, we saw the same. Network speeds are still not quick in comparison to other providers.
Like other reviews, it was the case of testing around Europe. A US server dropped speeds from around 20 Mbps, to under 7 Megabytes per second.
European servers fared a little better but were still showing plenty of drop off in speeds.
The crucial speeds are what you can expect from the USA or Europe to Australia. Only tests for American servers were conducted, as this is where the majority of streaming services sit.
To make a comparison, we let the app choose the connection in this instance. The download speed was around 10 Mbps, which was excellent considering. However, selecting a manual one saw this drop more.
The surprise was when selecting one of their US streaming servers. The speed tests showed slightly worse results and were probably down to the number of users and server load. Yet, when testing streaming, they were still sufficient for playback without stuttering, albeit not at the highest quality.
One thing to note here is under regular use, CyberGhost version 7 has a data compression feature. Using this will compress images and other online elements to speed up transfers. In use, this may be better on mobile devices in a bid to keep data usage to a minimum.
In summary, CyberGhost delivers the same sort of decent speeds it always has, yet they aren’t groundbreaking or the blazing speeds they claim in some regions.
When anyone looks at a VPN, they can see how good the company is, by how well its customer support is performing. This isn’t just how they react and respond to customers, but also the amount of information they offer for one of their subscribers to learn more and figure things out for themselves.
Luckily, with the introduction of version seven, customer support got an update. Now with plenty of guides and FAQ’s pages, although they could be a few more. These are in-depth and walk subscribers through each of the steps in whatever they are doing.
The live chat option is accessed through the CyberGhost support box at the bottom of the screen. Here you can type a question, or click the live chat button to carry on speaking to a representative.
Chat support staff are helpful, although they may not answer the question directly on the first go. It is also possible to use the ticketing system if your query is in-depth and needs more response.
VPN’s are used for many reasons, yet accessing overseas content is on the rise as the number-one use. Luckily, CyberGhost doesn’t just succeed at doing this; they include dedicated servers for this very purpose.
To access this, all you need to do is click on the mode in the client, and you are all ready to go for the desired streaming service you wish to access.
Like other top VPN’s, the company sees this as the main use and is doing all it can. Other countries have specific streaming servers, and second in popularity to US Netflix is the BBC iPlayer.
Suitable for Torrenting
CyberGhost has its servers for P2P file sharing in various regions. This is as easy as the streaming side of things and each of the servers is highlighted, which are P2P compliant. You can also select the torrenting filter, which will show all the P2P servers.
Works in China?
There are plenty of visitors to China; who still need access to many of the sites and services that are blocked from this part of the world.
CyberGhost shows a mixed bag when it comes to use in China. However, for the most, if you have your VPN already installed before heading behind the Great Firewall of China. There is a good chance you can connect to your desired service.
There may be issues stemming from the fact they use virtual servers, and if this is the case here, then it may be a quick chat with customer service to find out a solution that is blocking access..
Is This VPN Service for You?
As a guide, it is pretty hard to recommend any specific VPN to any person unless you know their full-needs. However, if you are recommending a VPN to a particular group of individuals, then it can be more straightforward.
Australia is one of the most remote areas in the world, and it happens one of the most popular pastimes for people is accessing geo-blocked content from abroad, or downloading a few torrent files here and there.
If anyone wants a good secure VPN to keep their identity private, then CyberGhost ranks among the top ones tested for doing so.
If anyone does more than any casual file sharing and content streaming, then they may feel underwhelmed with the speeds of the network.
Files that take ages to download and buffering while watching the latest episode of Eastenders, or the latest show on Netflix. These do not do anything to enhance your online experience; especially if you know, you can use another VPN that does deliver.