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CyberGhost Review

Rank #11
Ryan Glenn portrait
Ryan Glenn | VPN Expert
Updated November 1, 2020

CyberGhost is a popular VPN service that boosts over 30 million users. I ran an abdunce of tests to see how well it really performs. In this deep dive review, we will answer those questiions from security, geoblocking, speed, streaming, and more.

What's in this Review?

Highlights
Pros and Cons
About
Privacy
Security
Server Locations
Streaming & Torrenting
Speed
Censorship
Ease of use
Pricing
Verdict

Highlights

Server Size
6446+

Server Locations
90 Countries, 112 locations

VPN protocol and Encryption
OpenVPN Protocol; AES-256 bit Encryption

App Compatibility
Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Fire TV

Router Compatibility
Yes, installing the VPN on a compatible router is recommended to secure all devices without the need for downloading an app on each device or worrying about simultaneous device limitations. This is great for gaming consoles, smart TVs, and streaming devices.

Streaming
Unblocks popular streaming platforms including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and more

Logging Policy
Strict Zero Logging Policy

Support
24/7 Live Support

Pros
  • Strong security and military grade encryptio (256-bit AES)
  • Does not log any personal data
  • Great for streaming with dedicated servers
  • Huge server network
  • Torrenting P2P available
  • VPN apps of range of platforms
  • Strong 24/7 customer support
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
Cons
  • Speeds lag behind top competitors
  • Not reccommended for heavily censored countries like China, Iran, Turkey, or UAE
  • Split tunneling only for Android
  • No double encryption or port forwarding
  • limited features on Mac

About CyberGhost

CyberGhost founded by Robert Knapp, a German-based tech entrepreneur. In 2017, Kape Technologies acquired CyberGhost for EUR 2.9 million ($3.19 million est.). Kape Technologies, formerly known as Crossrider an Israeli company, has a shady past:

CrossRider is a potentially unwanted application (PUP) that can modify the user's homepage and install additional bundled software. This malware often comes from non-official sources of applications rather than the official source.

Crossrider’s advertising and browser extension platforms allowed software developers to create and monetize apps and browser add-ons through aggressive ad injection, or ‘adware’. Futhermore, Crossrider’s adware has been found affecting not only Windows but Macs as well in a unique way:

A new variant of the Crossrider adware has been spotted that is infecting Macs in a unique way. For the most part, this variant is still quite ordinary, doing some of the same old things that we’ve been seeing for years in Mac adware. However, the use of a configuration profile introduces a unique new method for maintaining persistence.

Controversies led Crossider to shut its ad and development platforms in 2016, and in 2018 the company changed its name to Kape Technologies. Kape Technologies has been open about the fact that this name change was to distance itself from the strong association to the past activities of the company.

With the CyberGhost acquisition, Kape Technologies has shifted to proving dedicated effort to protect user privacy, a complete turnaround.

Ironically CyberGhost focused on privacy and security from day one while Crossrider started out as a company that distributed browser extensions and developed ad tech products. Quite the opposite of what we did.

Now Kape Technologies has gone on to acquire popular VPN services Private Internet Access and ZenMate.

With the more than questionable past, ultimately your decision to trust Cyberghost depends on your level of comfort. In the following section we will dive into their logging policy to understand what information they collect.

Privacy

CyberGhost is headquartered in the Bucharest, Romania, this is ideal for location for a VPN provider as countries like Romania, Panama, the British Virgin Islands are known for not sharing intelligence with other countries which makes it a private haven. Because CyberGhost is based in Romania, they are not required whatsoever to share any information or report storage of data. This is great as they are not part of the the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes surveillance alliances. On the contrary countries like the US, UK, and Australia share their info

Zero logging policy

CyberGhost does not track any personally identifiable activity logs. This means all your data, browsing, and web traffic remains hidden and are not stored or logged anywhere.

Here is what CyberGhost does collect:
  • Account information provided on signup
  • Logins of anonymous accounts per day
  • Connections attempts/successful connections
Our mission at CyberGhost VPN is to build the right tools for you, so your privacy can have a future. And every day, we turn more than 30 million people from all over the world digitally invisible. And it’s a responsibility we take very seriously.
CyberGhost Privacy Policy

Even though they ensure a no log policy, they do keep track of some hardware logs mainly to track simutaneous devices, however this is not stated in their logging policy.

CyberGhost device tracking

In 2012, Cyberghost commissioned an independent audit to verify its security practices but this audit is outdated especially with the new ownership.

Security and Encryption

How secure is CyberGhost?

CyberGhost uses AES 256-bitencryption algorithm to hide your data. It’s the same encryption standard adopted by many government agencies and used by security experts worldwide to protect classified information.

AES-256, which has a key length of 256 bits, supports the largest bit size and is practically unbreakable by brute force based on current computing power, making it the strongest encryption standard.

256-bit keys means 2^256 or 1.1 x 10^77 possible combinations. That’s 115,​792,​089,​237,​316,​195,​423,​570,​985,​008,​687,​907,​853,​269,​984,​665,​640,​560,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000 combinations! A brute-force attack on a 256-bit keyspace is simply infeasible, even if all the world’s most powerful supercomputers ran for as long as the universe has existed so far, billions and billions of times over.
Protocols

CyberGhost offers a variety of protocols OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec, PPTP and WireGuard(Beta). It is defaulted to automatic and recommended as CyberGhost will determine the best protocol to use. OpenVPN is the industry leading encryption protocol that provides the best balance between performance and privacy.

WireGuard is a new public protocol that is still in the early stages but with the potential to be faster than OpenVPN. Top VPNs will look to add this protocol as it progresses so it is good to see CyberGhost adapt this early on.

Features

One of the features CyberGhost provides is automated HTTPS redirection. CyberGhost forces sites over the secure https protocol.

They also provide an online tracking blocker. Besides your IP address websites can track your digital footprint through cookies that CyberGhost blocks so websites will not know you ever visited the website.

Another feature that CyberGhost offers is a kill switch. The kill switch is an advanced security measure, which prevents your data from leaking to the web. If your VPN connection is ever interrupted CyberGhost will immediately stop traffic from entering or leaving your device. By halting all online activity, Network Lock keeps your personal information from being exposed to your internet service provider (ISP) or other prying eyes.

The kill switch is available for both mobile and desktop users. This includes iOS, Android, Windows, and MacOS

CyberGhost offers split tunneling but only for Android. They also currently do not offer port forwarding. We wish CyberGhost offered these features that other top VPNs offer. If your hoping to find more features check out Surshark, a feature-rich VPN.

Server Locations

CyberGhost has plenty of server locations for your needs. They offer 6,000+ servers, 112 locations in 90 countries. You can select the server you want to connect based on location or by streaming platform. The servers highlight which are available for torrenting and whether they are vitual or physical servers. You can find a list of all their servers here but they also do a great job by finding the right server based on your needs.

CyberGhost server locations

Streaming

Cyberghost is excellent for streaming and does a great job of bypassing geoblocks with their Smart DNS tool. I tested many of their server locations and all had no problem acessing Netflix, one of the toughest geoblocking services. Their VPN unlocks the US, UK, France and Germany Netflix libraries.

Other streaming platforms that I had no problem with:

They also do a great job by finding the right server based on your needs, you can select what kind of streming service you want to connect to:

CyberGhost servers for streaming
Torrenting

As mentioned CyberGhost is good for torrenting and they specify which servers to use. Their torrenting servers allow P2P traffic optimized. For torrenting, the Kill switch feature is nice to have the extra security. Make sure the kill switch is enabled in the VPN app. We also found CyberGhost works great with Kodi. We tested this and found no issues.

Speed test results

CyberGhost has decent local speeds but plenty enough for 4K streaming, however, it is not the fastest VPN and lags a bit behing top competitors. We notcied the connection times could be a bit faster however this may depend on the server location. We conducted a speed test, first by testing local speeds from New York and secondly international speeds. We tested 4 international server locations which are UK, Australia, Japan, and Canada.

We capped our speeds at 100 Mbps to compare VPN results and then by calculating a % loss between our baseline and resulting speeds to understand how much the VPN affected our speeds. The starting baseline speed with no VPN for upload is 94.38 Mbps and download is 85.74 Mbps.

One thing to note when I selected a server furthest away from my location the speed slightly decreases. The longer your traffic travels the slower your speeds will be, however, the best VPNs will mitigate the effects and ideally, you won't even notice the difference at all.

Server Location Download Upload Ping
US - New York 72.05 Mbps (23.66% loss) 60.86 Mbps (29.02% loss) 18 ms
UK - London 66.50 Mbps (29.54% loss) 46.42 Mbps (45.86% loss) 77 ms
AU - Sydney 28.83 Mbps (69.45% loss) 17.46 Mbps (79.64% loss) 336 ms
JP - Tokyo 42.32 Mbps (55.16% loss) 25.30 Mbps (70.49% loss) 159 ms
CA - Toronto 67.42 Mbps (28.57% loss) 40.46 Mbps (52.81% loss) 22 ms

Geoblocking, How well does it fare in China?

Finding a VPN in China is difficult, China has tough restrictions and government surveillance. Some VPN's are not powerful enough to bypass these restrictions and are blocked from accessing VPN sites and apps. Unfortunately CyberGhost does not bypass Chinas censorship mainly because they do not have obfuscation technology. We do not reccommend CyberGhost to users that want to bypass censorship.

Ease of Use and Support

CyberGhost makes it very simple and easy to use across all platforms. It is very easy to use their interface which is consistent and very similar across platforms. The interface shares a common connection status, list of servers, and a simple connect button. We did experience a few dropped connections and bit more than we would liike to see.

Browser extensions

Browser extensions are availble for Chrome and Firefox, however the browser extensions are limited compared to the desktop and mobile apps. With the browser extensions you can only access eight countries in four countries which include Romania, United States, Germany, and Netherlands. The extensions also do not have a kill switch.

They provide FAQs, getting started guides, troubleshooting, and anouncements in their support section.

Customer Support

CyberGhost has 24/7 live chat support that is very responsive. If you ever had any problems rest assured they will be helpful as they are customer focused. You can also reach out to their slive support chat.

Pricing

CyberGhost pricing is straight forward, they offer three different plans. Each plan includes all of the features and functionality they offer so there is no upselling. They are a friendly budget VPN and you can take advantage of a longer subscription for a lower monthly fee.

Friendly payment methods including anonymity
  • credit/debit card
  • Paypal
  • Bitcoin

Verdict

7.5
Privacy & Security
Speed & Reliability
Streaming & Torrenting
Advanced Features
Usability & Support

There is a lot to like about CyberGhost, we like CyberGhost due to its military grade encryption and optimized streaming/torrenting servers. We recommend this VPN if your looking for an extra layer of security and do not need to bypass censorship in countries like China, Iran, Turkey, or UAE. See our top VPNs if your are looking for more features, faster speeds, or a trusted history.

Bottom Line

CyberGhost provides an extra layer of security with it's bullet proof encryption with dedicated servers for streaming and torrenting.
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