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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.
Overall, we like CyberGhost's interface. Unlike many other VPN services, the entire list of global servers and locations are available on one screen. Even better, the left-hand column allows you to view and organize servers in a way that makes 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.
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.
Running CyberGhost, we found web pages loaded quickly and we could stream videos from Amazon Prime and YouTube with zero latency and buffering. However, Netflix detected the use of a VPN proxy, even when using a server optimized for Netflix in the U.S. Also, CyberGhost interfered with a cloud backup (iDrive) that we tried to run. We had to disconnect from the VPN and use a different VPN server to get the backup to work. While other users may have different experiences, these are two drawbacks we noticed right away.
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.
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 drawback is 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.
Smart Rules is a CyberGhost feature that helps you automatically start your privacy protection across a range of devices. Options include auto-connecting the VPN on startup and setting custom hotspot actions depending on the network.
CyberGhost supports torrenting, with 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 U.S., 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 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 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 U.S. 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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