CyberGhost VPN Review
- Low cost 3-year plan
- Zero usage logs
- Kill switch to disconnect internet if VPN connection is broken
- Automatic VPN enablement for wifi
- Based out of Romania, a country with no data retention laws
- AES-256 cipher for military-grade encryption
- DNS and IP leak protections
- Downloads speeds as fast as 80Mbps
- Allows P2P torrenting
- Unblocks most streaming services
- User friendly Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android clients
- Over 3,000 servers on every continent and every major subcontinent.
- No questions asked 45-day money back guarantee
- 24/7 live chat support
- Responds on social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus
- Formerly a mediocre VPN service
- Separate setup instructions for Linux
- Minimal logging records only one login per day which is then erased after 24 hours
- Based in EU, which could create regulations issues down the road
P2P torrenting is allowed by CyberGhost and the company even offers servers specific to its usage. On that same note, CyberGhost has a slew of servers dedicated to unblock content from most particular streaming services. The country selection is truly worldwide, with a reasonable presence on every continent. Finally, the speeds are some of the best among VPN services. Expect average speeds exceeding 50Mbps. We strongly recommend the 2-year plan from CyberGhost before demand leads to increased prices for this top notch VPN service.
Privacy and Security
Like every VPN that's worth owning, CyberGhost uses an AES-256 cipher for their OpenVPN encryption. This is what is known as military-grade encryption and is basically the standard now. The company is based out of Romania, which does not mandate any data retention laws. That gives this VPN the freedom to, well, not retain data. Still, Romania is part of the EU. It's not an issue now, but it's something to keep in mind if regulations are ever forced on country members.
There's also a number of other features CyberGhost employs to keep their user's data from being compromised. First, a kill switch is available to shut off internet usage if the VPN connection ever drops. Second, DNS and IP leak protection ensures none of your personal connection details is exposed while browsing or using the internet. Finally, CyberGhost uses perfect forward secrecy to add another layer of security. For those unfamiliar, it essentially assigns a new session key each for each usage. Usually a single master key is used, which means hacking into that grants access to spy on several more computers. This isn't a risk you run with CyberGhost VPN.
CyberGhost VPN's logging policy is close to perfect. They don't record any usage data and on the connection side, it's strong nod towards privacy. Unlike other VPNs who state "zero logs" and still record IPs or bandwidth, CyberGhost only records the first daily log-in for each user. This data is then wiped every 24 hours. This is recorded only so that CyberGhost can use this data to run their business better and does nothing to compromise their users.
This is a lightning fast VPN service, whether you're in the United States, Europe, or Asia. Expect consistent speeds on the order of 60Mbps in North America and Western Europe and around 30Mbps elsewhere. Some tests resulted in downloads as fast as 75Mbps! Ping times were around 4ms on average and connection times were in the single digits of seconds. This puts CyberGhost in the upper echelon of download speeds along with IPVanish. Torrenters, streamers, and gamers alike can all come together to appreciate the lightning fast speeds and response rates of CyberGhost VPN.
CyberGhost offers access to over 3,000 servers across 45 countries. This may not seem like a lot compared to some VPNs (though it's certainly more than a lot of others too). However, the company uses these in a very intelligent manner. Servers are available in basically all major markets, including underserved areas such as Eastern Asia, Middle East, Africa, South America, and Central America. For the vast majority of travelers, CyberGhost should fit the bill just fine.
Ease and Usability
Getting started with CyberGhost requires pretty minimal information. The sign-up process is quick, painless, and they even accept Bitcoin. Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS clients feel user friendly and are intuitive to navigate. Linux takes some extra configuration steps. CyberGhost VPN can also be used with a router to cover your entire home network. The company also offers tutorials for using the VPN service with OpenELEC/Kodi.
There are some nice user friendly features that I appreciate with CyberGhost. All VPNs can protect you when using a public wifi, but CyberGhost offers an option to enable VPNs automatically when connecting to a new wifi network. In addition to allowing P2P torrenting, CyberGhost even offers torrent specific servers to maximize speeds. They also offer servers specific to streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and YouTube. Users can even enable the VPN for only specific apps. These are all nice value adds that sum up to a "one size fits all" VPN.
I can only say good things about CyberGhost's support staff. They're helpful, knowledgeable, and available 24/7 via live chat support. They also respond on Twitter, Facebook, and even Google Plus. Their help center could be more user friendly, but that's a nitpicky complaint.
At prices averaging under $3/month on a 2-year plan, there's no question that CyberGhost VPN is one of the best deals on the market today. The monthly rate of $10.99 is pretty standard, but it's hard to recommend because CyberGhost has such a great 30-day guarantee. The company offers a no questions ask refund policy for any customer within their first 30 days of usage. The best course of action is clearly for customers to sign up for the 2-year plan and refund if service is poor. From our experience, this won't be the case but sometimes niche issues do arise. Overall, CyberGhost is selling a premium product for value prices. It's simply a great deal.
By now you've probably read all of this and are thinking "what's the catch?". You pay for what you get so why is CyberGhost so cheap yet so feature packed? The answer is that CyberGhost is changing gears and making a splash to recover from poor branding in the past. Up until relatively recently, CyberGhost had pushed their free product to then encourage customers to sign up for their premium package. The truth is that neither was really up to par. Reviewers discouraged the VPN's usage and customers complained (followed by presumably leaving the service).
In order to entice customers, new and old, to return CyberGhost has made some huge changes since 2016. Their product is now one of the best in the industry, but they understand there's users see risk in trying it instead of going with one of the old stalwarts like NordVPN or IPVanish. Thus, they're offering a great product at a much lower cost than the competition. I don't expect this to last past 2018 so I would certainly encourage jumping in sooner than later.