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3,800-plus servers in 60 countries
Intuitive and easy-to-use interface
Ability to whitelist certain websites or apps from VPN
Features OpenVPN and military grade AES 256-bit encryption
Comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee
To get the lowest price of $2.75/month, you must pay for three years
Some minor issues when streaming U.S. Netflix and performing a routine cloud backup
Lacks double VPN
CyberGhost is a no-logs VPN offering fast performance, a smartly designed, easy-to-use interface, and NoSpy servers based in Romania — well out of the jurisdiction of the 5-, 9-, and 14-Eyes Alliance countries.
CyberGhost is a Romania-based VPN provider that aims to make you a "ghost" on the web. Founded in Bucharest in 2011, CyberGhost offers more than 3,800 servers across 60 countries. We gave CyberGhost a test run to determine how easy it is to set up, how the interface works, and how it well it performs under everyday use such as web browsing and streaming. Read on to see our findings.
We found the CyberGhost installation process to be pretty straightforward and easy. To get started, go to the CyberGhost website and download the appropriate software for your device. If you're just trying things out, you can get a free 24-hour trial with no credit card required.
During installation, CyberGhost will request permission to install a VPN profile, a VPN configuration, and administrative permission to enable keychain access. To speed things up, you can set keychain access to Always Allow (otherwise the service will prompt you every-time you log in). Once all permissions are granted, the installer will complete the setup and you're good to use the service.
We're big fans of CyberGhost's clean interface. Unlike many other VPN services that make it difficult to drill down into server lists, the entire list of global servers and locations are available on one screen here. Even better, the left-hand column allows you to view and organize servers in a number of ways that just make sense.
You can view All servers by country, servers for downloading or streaming, and a custom list of your Favorites, which is handy. CyberGhost also labels servers for specific streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, ESPN, YouTube, and more. There's also a Best Location selector, which chooses the best server for you based on your location. Even total novices will find CyberGhost easy and intuitive to use.
CyberGhost acquitted itself well during our tests, with only a handful of issues. We started by testing speed and found that CyberGhost is fairly middle of the road in terms of connection speeds. We were able to achieve a maximum downstream transfer speed of 149.28 Mbps with our 1 Gbps connection, which is plenty fast enough for most use.
We found CyberGhost to work fine for most tasks, including streaming video through sites like YouTube and CNN, browsing the web, and sending email. CyberGhost did interfere with a cloud backup that we tried to run through iDrive, which required us to disconnect from the VPN and reconnect. While other users may have different experiences, that was the one main performance drawback that we noticed.
CyberGhost permits up to seven simultaneous connections across any type of supported device under one service plan. This is more than what you might find with other VPN services and can be handy if you have a lot of different devices to connect.
CyberGhost offers good performance, a well-designed interface, and enhanced NoSpy servers based in Romania.
CyberGhost prides itself on its crowdfunded NoSpy data center in Romania, which has been running since December 2014 and features a dedicated generator with 99.99 percent uptime.
According to CyberGhost, NoSpy servers “integrate super high premium hardware with a dedicated uplink” for faster speeds and performance. The NoSpy servers are engineered to be faster than CyberGhost's regular VPN servers and come with greater bandwidth for data-intensive activities. However, if you wish to use the NoSpy network, you'll have to pay extra for it.
We were able to stream Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix through US-based servers, and BBC iPlayer through UK servers using CyberGhost's dedicated streaming servers. We were unable to get through to Netflix using UK-based servers though, and also had no luck loading Netflix through Japanese servers.
We tested CyberGhost's streaming coverage twice, with a couple months between, and the first test went a little different. The first test saw Amazon and Hulu working, but Netflix detected the use of a VPN proxy.
What this shows is that CyberGhost is that services like Netflix do detect and block CyberGhost's servers, but CyberGhost is committed to working around that roadblock.
CyberGhost is a stated no-logs VPN that operates in Romania, a country that doesn’t enforce data gathering or surveillance. CyberGhost states “they're unable to comply with requests, even if they are legally binding.” To support this statement, CyberGhost provides a "Yearly Transparency Report" to anyone who wishes to download it. The report contains details about legal requests directed towards the company, including DMCA complaints, police requests, and malware activity flags.
One red flag is the fact that the company's new owner Kape, formerly Crossrider1, appears to have a history of producing adware.
From the CyberGhost website: “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.”
CyberGhost offers the highly touted OpenVPN protocol over UDP/TCP, as well as L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. OpenVPN is considered one of the best VPN protocol available today, known for its ability to slip around firewalls, routers, and HTTP proxy servers.
CyberGhost’s list of security features include:
CyberGhost offers a split-tunneling feature for Android users. The feature allows you to select which apps use the VPN tunnel, and which apps use the service provided by your local ISP (which can be faster and more convenient but offers no encryption). For example, you might want to use split-tunneling to protect some connections with the VPN, but leave other connections off the VPN, such as local business websites or food delivery services.
CyberGhost supports torrenting, but they impose some country-specific restrictions. If you wish to torrent using CyberGhost, you can choose a P2P-compatible server in the server list. Because of legal issues, torrenting is not permitted in servers located in the US, Russia, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong (China). Furthermore, it's a violation of CyberGhost's policies to download copyrighted content — just something to bear in mind.
CyberGhost does include a built-in ad blocker, but it doesn't work at the DNS level. Instead of filtering DNS requests, this ad blocker looks at your traffic and modifies requests to specific domains. This is less transparent and less effective than blocking at the DNS level, and it only works on HTTP content.
CyberGhost provides a live chat feature that allows you to receive help from a customer support agent through a web-based chat system. This provides real-time support that is absent from a lot of VPNs, although it is worth noting that this is the only option they provide. If you prefer to just send an email, that doesn't appear to be an option.
CyberGhost is on par with other major VPN providers, offering prices as low as $2.75/month for a three-year plan. Currently, CyberGhost offers three payment plans: $9.99/month for one month, $5.99/month for one year, and $2.75/month for three years. The three-year plan works out to 9 cents per day, but you must pay for it upfront.
How does CyberGhost compare to the popular NordVPN service? Both services offer OpenVPN, the most secure VPN protocol available today. Both have well-designed and easy-to-use interfaces. But in some respects, the similarities stop there.
For starters, we had problems performing basic tasks with CyberGhost, including streaming US Netflix and performing a routine cloud backup. Conversely, we had no problems with NordVPN — it worked seamlessly across the board.
NordVPN also has enhanced security features, such as Double VPN or Tor (The Onion Router), which are not available with CyberGhost. As for pricing, the services are similar: NordVPN is $2.99/month for three years and CyberGhost is $2.75/month for three years. When it comes to functionality and performance, however, NordVPN is the clear winner and well worth the slightly higher cost.
Our final verdict is that CyberGhost may work fine for you, depending on your needs. However, there are other VPN services which offer similar or better performance, extra security features, and greater functionality in the same price range. If you're looking for a VPN to handle your privacy, web browsing, and streaming needs, you may want to shop around.
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