A major VPN provider with teams in Romania and Germany, CyberGhost currently caters to over 10 million users who utilize its 6,700+ servers in 90 countries across the world. There are many reasons why this service is so popular – user-friendly clients for all the major platforms, a bunch of advanced options and extras, and support for up to seven simultaneous connections on specific devices.
The apps are all very easy to set up – just download the installer of your choice from the website or the app store the website redirects you to, follow the steps, and you’re done. Regardless of the platform, the console is clean and lightweight. For example, the Windows client only gives you a simple interface featuring a Connect button, your connection status, and a location picker list. Other options are neatly and conveniently organized into the right-hand panel you can access when you require so. The location list, which shows all the servers, along with their distance and current load, can be filtered according to your specific needs, i.e. torrenting or streaming.
In addition to having native clients for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, users can install CyberGhost manually on other platforms. These include gaming consoles, smart TVs, even routers. The support for routers depends on the devices’ firmware and whether they support one of the native protocols – OpenVPN, PPTP, IPSec, or L2TP/IPSec. The setup process here is a bit more complex than for a major platform, but you’ll get there easily with the help of the manual installation guides on the vendor’s website.
CyberGhost isn’t only about the core VPN functionality. With it, you’re also getting an effective blocker of ads, trackers, and malicious URLs, optional data compression to reduce wastage of your money on mobile data, and more. Also, you can also ask for your own Dedicated IP.
Plans & pricing
Some of CyberGhost’s subscription plans are among the cheapest in the industry, although it doesn’t seem like it when you check the price of its monthly contract – $12.99. However, opt for a longer commitment, say, a yearly one, and the price will drop to an equivalent of $3.99/month. Going further, the 2-year plan drops to $3.49/month, while the 3-year plan is priced at $2.25/month and you get extra three months as well. You can pay for your subscription of choice using credit cards, PayPal, or Bitcoin.
CyberGhost is one of the rare VPN providers that still offer a free trial in its true form – simply downloading and using the app, without paying and having to cancel your account within a certain period. However, its free trials are limited and their policies somewhat complicated. If you download its Windows app, for example, CyberGhost will give you only 24 hours to see if you like it, and you’re not even getting access to all of its options, like the specialized streaming connections. The iOS trial is a bit more relaxed, letting you use it for up to seven days. You only need to sign up via your iOS device. As for the Android trial, there are no strings attached – no need to sign up, and you can use it for seven days.
That said, CyberGhost has one of the ultimately most generous money-back guarantees in the industry: all customers can request a refund within 45 days after payment if things don’t work as they should.
Privacy & logging
The provider’s apps offer IPv6 and DNS leak protection and rely on IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols, as well as the most recent WireGuard protocol (only on Linux for now). There’s also an efficient kill switch mechanism which blocks your entire Internet access if the VPN connection shuts down.
Some of CyberGhost’s extras expand its privacy capabilities. For instance, the automated HTTPS redirection protects you against unsecured connections on various websites. The Windows and iOS clients also offer an option to define the client’s behavior when connecting to unknown networks. The Windows app allows you to set the rules for specific apps, add websites that can bypass the VPN, and more. The Android app allows you to do that for apps.
In terms of the no-logs policy, the provider is very serious about it – firmly stating it has “no idea about your traffic data such as browsing history, traffic destination, data content, and search preferences” and that none of this is ever monitored, logged, recorded or stored by CyberGhost. The company also states it doesn’t store connection logs, so it won’t have “any logs connected to your IP address, connection timestamp or session duration.” This means it will not know when you accessed a specific website or service, which user was connected to its VPN service at any time, which VPN service you used, or your original IP address.
All this is backed up by a Transparency Report where every three months CyberGhost lists all the requests for logs it has received and failed to comply as it simply had no data to deliver. These include legal requests from DMCA and police, as well as malware activity flags.
Although all this sounds convincing and the Transparency Report is certainly welcome, it still lacks the persuading power of inviting a third-party auditor to analyze the platform and give an outsider’s opinion on these claims, as some other VPN companies have already done.
VOD & torrents
While some VPN services may struggle with bypassing the blocks imposed by various popular streaming services (ahem, Netflix and BBC iPlayer), this doesn’t seem to be a problem for CyberGhost. Thanks to its specialized streaming servers in various relevant locations, you can view whatever you want – be it US Netflix, its localized Japanese version, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and more.
Torrenters will also love CyberGhost as it proudly boasts its torrenting support. You even get a list of specialized servers recommended for such purposes.
A large website-based collection of helpful articles, troubleshooting, and FAQs is there for you if you ever require any assistance, regardless of your platform. That said, it has to be noted that the support section has some flaws, like poor organization and outdated or limited content.
If the web knowledgebase fails to resolve your questions or concerns, you can direct those to a customer support agent, available through live chat and email.
While it doesn’t match the likes of ExpressVPN, CyberGhost is a worthwhile VPN platform that offers plenty for an acceptable price. You’re getting a capable platform, able to effectively hide your presence online, get you through geographical blocks and access the likes of Netflix US and BBC iPlayer, and with plenty of intuitive functionalities.