CyberGhost Review (2020) – A Reliable and User-friendly VPN
CyberGhost is a well-known VPN provider that mainly focuses on the user-friendliness of its software and apps. This VPN provider was originally founded in Romania in 2011 and quickly made a name for itself as one of the best free VPN providers worldwide. Since then, CyberGhost has turned into a paid service, and they’re still doing very well – perhaps even better than before. Case in point: they have a user-base of about 30 million people worldwide.
CyberGhost consists of two teams: one in Romania and one in Germany. The service is intended to enable consumers to use the internet freely and anonymously. CyberGhost is an avid supporter of human rights such as privacy, a free society, and uncensored internet. They strongly promote these values in everything they do.
As a VPN with strong encryption, CyberGhost is very user-friendly and fairly fast. A subscription isn’t expensive and they offer a remarkably long 45-day money-back guarantee. Installing CyberGhost is easy and you can use their service on up to seven devices at the same time. This is ideal when you want to install a VPN on all of your devices, including your laptop, Smart TV, smartphone, Chromecast, and tablet.
- Simultaneous connections: 7
- Operating systems: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
- Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP
- Logging policy: No logs
- Servers: 5900+ servers in 90 countries
- Price: From $2.75 a month
- Money-back guarantee: 45 days
Speed – How fast is CyberGhost?
Speed is very important when you’re looking for a good VPN. You don’t want to wait ages for the newest episode of your favorite series to load, nor do you want your internet to slow down the moment you turn on your VPN. We tested CyberGhost by performing speed tests and using the service for our daily internet activities. You’ll find the results below.
Speed test results CyberGhost
Here are the results of the speed tests we did on our internet connection while using different CyberGhost servers. For reference, we first tested the speed of our ‘naked’ WiFi connection without a VPN. The speeds your connection reaches, may differ based on your location, internet provider, and other factors. To give you an accurate idea of the possible speed changes CyberGhost might cause, we will compare all results with those of our ‘bare’ connection.
Speed without a VPN (Speedtest.net):
These are the results of our regular internet connection tested on speedtest.net without using a VPN. We’ll use these to compare all other results to.
Speed with a local server (Speedtest.net):
These are the result of a speedtest.net test executed while we were connected to the fastest CyberGhost VPN server in our home country. As you can see, the ping is still the same, but the down- and uploading speeds have decreased almost by half.
Speed with a USA server (Speedtest.net):
Our connection managed the following results when we tested the speed of the fastest CyberGhost server in the US. The ping skyrocketed, but the download speed is similar to the speeds we measured for the local server. This is quite impressive, as a (steep) drop in download speed when connecting to a faraway VPN server (our office is located in the Netherlands, hence the distance) is very common. CyberGhost’s US servers therefore appear to perform really well for European users.
Speed during daily use
CyberGhost’s servers performed relatively well in our speed tests. To make sure this provider actually does a good job, we also tested it during our daily use. It manages perfectly adequate speeds for regular use of the internet, browsing, streaming, downloading and even playing online games. In other words, CyberGhost is more than suitable for the majority of internet users out there.
During our regular browser, we weren’t able to notice any differences in speed when CyberGhost was activated, which is exactly what you want from a VPN. We could check our email, visit websites, and work on our own website without noticing any increased loading times or lags. During the streaming of videos on, for instance, YouTube or Netflix we didn’t notice even a slight change when using CyberGhost.
We were able to download files without noticeable loss of speed. Moreover, downloading torrents went well. CyberGhost has a separate button you can turn on when you’re planning on downloading. When you do this, you’ll get maximum protection and will be able to see your downloading speed as well as how much you’ve downloaded.
It was only during online gaming that we detected a small difference in speed. The online game we tested, performed perfectly well without a VPN, but showed some lag when CyberGhost was turned on. A casual gamer will probably hardly notice the difference, but die-hard gamers might find the lag bothersome and realise it does make a difference.
Conclusion speed CyberGhost
Our conclusion concerning the speed of CyberGhost is as follows:
- CyberGhost is a VPN with fairly good speeds.
- The speed tests show that CyberGhost affects the downloading and uploading speeds up to a certain degree.
- We did not notice any differences in speed when browsing, downloading, or streaming. However, online gaming with CyberGhost did go noticeably slower than without.
Safety – How secure is CyberGhost?
Safety is one of the most important features of a VPN. The whole reason behind getting a VPN is that you don’t want your personal information to end up on the street. Also, you wouldn’t want a VPN service to keep logs of your online activities (this has happened with some providers that were exposed when they helped law enforcement find hackers that used their services). CyberGhost is a provider that values online anonymity, privacy and free use of the internet. For this reason, they have taken measures to protect your personal data online.
Every now and again, CyberGhost brings out a ‘transparency report’ in which they note how often organizations like the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) or the police ask for user-data and how they respond to these requests. They stress that they do not give any information to third parties. The graph below shows how often they get requests for personal user-data and who makes these requests. The graph displays the number of requests in 2015.
Below you can find information on the encryption protocols CyberGhost offers, what their logging policy is, and all other privacy related measures CyberGhost has taken.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
CyberGhost has to be recognized as one of the VPN providers that has managed to successfully implement the new European privacy standards, as outlined in the GDPR. While many VPN providers have failed to adequately update their privacy policies in order to conform to the 2018 European legislation, CyberGhost sets an example by almost reaching perfect compliance. The company was audited and the results indicated that:
- Who is collecting said data.
- What data is being collected.
- That there is a legal mandate for the collection of such data.
- How the collected data is being used.
- How long the collected data is stored.
- What rights the user has.
- Where the user could file a potential complaint
All in all, CyberGhost has presented itself as a conscientious and responsible VPN provider that takes into account the legal particularities of different users across the globe.
CyberGhost has splendid protection with its 256-bit AES encryption. This is a type of encryption that is generally considered to be of the highest standard. CyberGhost has OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols. The OpenVPN protocol is the strongest. L2TP-IPsec and PPTP are less safe than the OpenVPN but can produce higher speeds. We would advise to use the OpenVPN protocol as a standard.
Logging and privacy
CyberGhost has a no-logs policy. This does not mean that they do not collect any data whatsoever. They save some information about your user-behavior. CyberGhost explains that this is to improve their services and level of anonymity. For instance, when you log in, CyberGhost remembers that you have used their service that day. This information is anonymous and only saved for one day. They also keep track of how often you use their service every month. They count the number of days their subscriber uses their application every month. So they will end up with the information that someone has used their application 25 out of 30 days, for example. They won’t know who this is and the information is wiped every month.
On the subject of keeping these minimal logs, CyberGhost says the following:
“Because we are running a business and need to know if our customers actually use our service. BUT IT’S NONE OF OUR BUSINESS TO KNOW HOW THEY USE IT. Again: We neither log content nor visited websites nor IP addresses nor any communication!”
CyberGhost does not keep traffic logs, IP logs, or timestamps. In general you could say they have a good logging policy. Thus, even though they keep minimal anonymized information, their logging policy does not pose a great risk to your privacy.
What information does CyberGhost need?
To create an account with CyberGhost you need to give them an account name and create a password. If you want to make sure that this can’t be traced back to you, you can make them completely random. Your password is encrypted and isn’t visible to CyberGhost. CyberGhost assigns a serial number to your account so they can remember what user-privileges you have. They stress that none of this information can be traced back to you, except when you use your full name as an account name of course.
It also depends on the method of payment whether or not your personal data is exposed. In the case of CyberGhost the payment is made through a third party, Cleverbridge. Since this goes through them, CyberGhost has no access to your payment information. CleverBridge is a company with a good reputation concerning privacy.
Conclusion safety CyberGhost
Our tests and research show the following things about the safety of CyberGhost:
- All in all, CyberGhost provides above average safety and privacy for its users.
- CyberGhost does not share or sell any user-information to third parties like the DMCA or the police.
- CyberGhost uses strong AES 256-bit encryption.
- You can choose from several protocols with CyberGhost.
- CyberGhost does keep some information about your use of their service. However, this info, according to CyberGhost, solely concerns the frequency with which you use their service, not what you use it for.
- CyberGhost does not collect traffic logs, IP logs, or timestamps.
Usability – How user-friendly is CyberGhost?
CyberGhost excels at user-friendliness. They were one of the first premium VPN providers to adopt an interface with a completely new look for desktop (which they introduced with CyberGhost 7). The software is very easy to navigate and you’ll be protected by this VPN in no-time.
Below you’ll find out everything you need to know about the CyberGhost website and installation process. After that, you can read about the user-friendliness of their app, its price, and the different methods of payment offered. Finally, we’ll report on their customer service.
The CyberGhost website
The CyberGhost website is a fairly standard VPN website. On their homepage, you’ll find information about CyberGhost’s features, reviews by users, the different plans, and a list of reasons you might want to use a VPN. The website is structured, pleasing to the eye, and available in several languages. On other parts of the site, you’ll find more detailed information about CyberGhost.
At the top of your screen, there’s a small section containing your IP address, location, ISP, and status. This is meant to show how much websites know about you when you visit them. CyberGhost shows you this information to illustrate how important it is to use a VPN to protect your data. This is a common practice on many VPN websites.
The account overview page is very self-explanatory. It contains the following five tabs: “my devices”, “my extensions”, “my subscriptions”, “my settings” and “support”. Under these tabs, you’ll find information about your subscription and your devices. Moreover, you’ll find information on how to install their app on different types of devices.
Installing CyberGhost is a piece of cake. They offer an app for most operating systems and devices that you can download and install in no-time. Simply get a subscription on the CyberGhost website and click on your device to install the correct software. You can install CyberGhost by following these steps:
- Choose a CyberGhost subscription that fits your needs on the CyberGhost website.
- Go through the payment procedure by filling out the necessary information.
- Download CyberGhost.
- Log in with your account data.
- Select the service you wish to use on the CyberGhost dashboard.
- Change the settings according to your personal preference and choose a location.
- Turn on CyberGhost. You are now protected online!
This is the standard way of installing CyberGhost on a device. You’ll have to download software on your laptop or PC instead of an app for your smartphone or tablet. The interface looks slightly different on different devices as well. For example, the options ‘Torrent Anonymously’ and ‘Unblock Basic Websites’ don’t appear on the mobile app. However, this doesn’t make the software any less usable.
CyberGhost’s appearance and ease of use
CyberGhost has very user-friendly software. If you’ve never used a VPN before, CyberGhost will comfortably guide you through all its options and features. The interface is very much in tune with the different reasons people have for using a VPN. The software looks very clean and professional. Finally, the app on your smartphone is easy to turn on and off.
CyberGhost puts a lot of time and energy into the user-friendliness of their applications. Because of this, CyberGhost is a delight for daily VPN-users.
Pricing and methods of payment
CyberGhost is reasonably priced and has different subscription plans. The monthly fee is considerably lower when you subscribe to their services for a longer period of time. A monthly plan is $12,99 per month, a subscription for one year is $5,99 a month, a two-year plan is only $3,69 a month. Finally, a three-year plan will cost you as little as $2,75 a month.
Every CyberGhost subscription comes with a 45 days money-back guarantee. The guarantee and related refunds are handled by the same company they outsource any payments to: Cleverbridge. However, you can also contact CyberGhost directly to settle this. The 45 days money-back guarantee makes CyberGhost a VPN you can easily test before fully committing to a (long-term) subscription.
You can choose between the following payment options:
- Credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and other options depending on the country you live in)
- Other options that are unique to specific countries
There are different ways to get in touch with the CyberGhost customer support team. If you press the feedback button in either the app or the desktop program, a screenshot will be made, which you can send to CyberGhost. This way they will be able to see what the problem is.
CyberGhost also offers a large database of manuals and frequently asked questions. Most of the time, you’ll be able to find an answer to your question there.
Finally, they also offer a chat service. When you open the chat window, you’re asked to fill out your name and email, so they can send the results of the conversation to your email. We tested their chat service by asking some questions. They responded quickly and politely and were able to answer our questions more than adequately.
They offer costumer support in English, German, and French. If you aren’t proficient in any of those languages, it could be slightly more difficult to find an answer to your question.
Conclusion usability CyberGhost
After using CyberGhost, we can conclude the following things about their user-friendliness:
- CyberGhost is a user-friendly VPN with a pleasing and clear appearance.
- The mobile apps and desktop software are clear and easy-to-use.
- Creating an account and installing the applications is easy and works intuitively for all devices and operating systems.
- CyberGhost offers many different payment methods.
- CyberGhost has a 45 days money-back guarantee.
- The customer support-team at CyberGhost is easy to reach and very helpful.
Server network CyberGhost
CyberGhost has a very large network with over 5900 servers in 90 different countries. The majority of servers are located in countries with lots of CyberGhost users. In this section we’ll tell you everything you need to know about CyberGhost’s servers.
Number of servers and locations
At this moment, CyberGhost has over 5900 servers in 90 different countries. They have at least four servers (but often many more) in every country. In France they have over 400 servers, about 600 in Germany and the UK, and the U.S. counts over 1100 servers. Especially in countries with a lot of servers, it won’t be hard to find a fast server to bypass geographical restrictions.
Apart from their regular VPN servers, CyberGhost also offers servers that are specifically suitable for streaming services. You’ll get access to these servers by clicking on the “Unblock Streaming” button. You’ll find several different popular streaming services in the menu that appears. Click on one of them, and CyberGhost will connect you to one of the servers that works with that particular service. For this reason, CyberGhost is very user-friendly for streamers.
You can find an overview of all current CyberGhost server locations in the table below:
|Country||Server locations||Number of servers|
|Australia||Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney||104|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Travnik||10|
|Canada||Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver||235|
|Costa Rica||San Jose||10|
|Germany||Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt||593|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong||106|
|Isle of Man||Douglas||24|
|Macao SAR of China||Macau||48|
|South Africa||Cape Town||10|
|United Kingdom||Berkshire, London, Manchester||685|
|United States||Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington||1139|
|Vietnam||Ho Chi Minh City||10|
Dedicated IP address
CyberGhost now also offers dedicated IP addresses. There are several reasons why people like to use a dedicated IP. Normally, one single IP address corresponding to a VPN server is used by many people at the same time (namely all users of that server at that particular moment). Streaming services like Netflix can block an IP address if they notice a lot of people are using it at the same time. This might indicate that these people are using a VPN or proxy server. A dedicated IP is only used by one person, thus making it harder for (streaming) services and websites to detect your VPN. This means the chances of your IP address being blocked by a streaming service are significantly smaller.
Some online games and banks will also check whether your account switches IP addresses a lot. Since this looks suspicious, those companies might then start taking extra steps to verify whether you really are who you say you are. If you want to use a VPN and avoid these questions, you can use a dedicated IP address so you always have the same IP when going online without it revealing too much about you and your location.
Conclusion server network CyberGhost
After researching the servers CyberGhost has to offer, we have come to the following conclusions:
- CyberGhost has an excellent server network with over 5900 servers in 90 countries.
- CyberGhost offers several types of servers, some of which are especially tailored to streaming and will give you access to your favorite streaming services.
- CyberGhost offers dedicated IP addresses.
Apart from the standard VPN options, CyberGhost has some additional features. For example, CyberGhost can be used to block ads, online tracking, and malicious websites. Moreover, they offer a service that will compress your data, giving you quicker loading times. This also means you’ll use up less data while you’re browsing. With another additional service, they’ll automatically redirect you to the https://-version of a website, if there is one. This way you can make sure you do not visit any unprotected websites.
Finally, CyberGhost also offers a kill switch. If you lose your connection with the VPN server, the kill switch will make sure your entire connection to the internet is terminated. Normally, you would automatically connect to the internet again, which would leave your data exposed. The kill switch makes sure you won’t expose sensitive information when you happen to lose your connection to CyberGhost’s servers. Apart from all these options, CyberGhost also works with Netflix and torrents, as we’ll be talking about in the remainder of this section.
CyberGhost and Netflix
CyberGhost has servers that can unblock the Netflix content available in any country you’d like. Not all CyberGhost servers work with Netflix, but they make sure to always have some working Netflix-servers. This means you can always watch Netflix USA whilst using CyberGhost. If you notice Netflix isn’t working properly, you can usually fix this by switching to another server.
CyberGhost and torrents
CyberGhost also has an additional option for torrents. Your connection is established through the regular VPN servers, but the screen will show your download speed and how much you have downloaded with their service.
Conclusion – Our experience with CyberGhost
|Easy to use||Slightly questionable logging policy|
|Easy to install|
|Possibility to watch U.S. Netflix|
|Download via torrents possible|
|45 days money-back guarantee|
|Lots of choice in servers|
CyberGhost is an excellent, user-friendly VPN provider for the average user. Their user interface is clear and shows all options the average user could possibly need. If you’re looking for the very highest level of absolutely privacy-minded protection, CyberGhost might not be the best option for you. Even so, for most people, CyberGhost offers the right balance between safety and user-friendliness. Their protection is more than enough and very trustworthy. CyberGhost also has a good number of servers and is easy to use with streaming services. The provider is easy to use and offers a lot of features for a reasonable price.