Our recent CyberGhost VPN review found a rising contender in the world of privacy service providers. The recent release of the latest version of their custom applications, improved security updates, and modernization of their website makes it easier for everyone to connect and use their VPN network regardless of your technical knowledge. If you are looking for a VPN service to help protect your online privacy and secure all of your Internet traffic, CyberGhost could be the one for you.
Pricing and Special Offers
Like many top providers, CyberGhost has simplified their VPN service to one package. They market it using different terms. No matter which you choose, you will have access to all the features offered by CyberGhost.
The plans provided by CyberGhost include 1 month, 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years. A single month of their service will cost you $12.99. Like most privacy service providers, they give discounts on longer term plans. Therefore, 1 year costs $5.99 per month. However, if you want the best deal, you should sign up for the CyberGhost exclusive 3 year promotion. The price is just $2.75 per month which is a savings of 79% off.
You can pay for the CyberGhost VPN service using credit cards. They accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and others like depending on your location. You can also pay using PayPal if you like to keep all of your online purchases in a central location to make them easier to manage. Other methods of payment are also available from some locations. These include PayNearMe, wire transfers, and checks or money orders.
CyberGhost Paid VPN Service Features
Your paid subscription to the CyberGhost VPN service will provide you with the following features.
- Custom apps – Access to all features of the CyberGhost custom software for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS and Android.
- Smart use profiles – Subscribers have access to a wide range of usage profiles (these will be explained in detail later of our review).
- Encryption – All of your Internet traffic will be secured using 256-bit AES encryption.
- Logging policy – Absolutely no logs will be kept of any of your online activities.
- Server network – Priority access and the ability to connect to over 2750 servers and 60+ countries worldwide.
- Protocols – You can connect to their service using OpenVPN and IKEv2, as well as native L2TP-IPSec and PPTP protocols.
- Connections – Up to seven simultaneous devices can be connected to the CyberGhost VPN network.
- Speed – CyberGhost subscribers get access to exclusive higher speed network servers (these can be up to five times faster than their free counterparts).
- Extra Features – Ad and tracker blocking to guard against Internet fingerprinting, malware blocking, compression, and forced HTTPS.
Risk Free 45-Day Money Back Guarantee
CyberGhost offers a 45-day full money back guarantee for those who want to test the speed and features of their paid VPN service. This means you can sign-up and test all of the features of their privacy network without risk. CyberGhost sells exclusively through resellers to separate your payment data from their VPN service.
Therefore, you have two options for collecting your refund. First, you could contact the reseller that you purchased CyberGhost from (e.g. cleverbridge) with your purchase receipt information and ask for a refund. Else, you can contact the CyberGhost support team via your online account management to receive your refund. Refunds must be requested within 45 days of your purchase date.
Refunds of sales not from Cleverbridge (box versions, Bitcoin resellers, real-world resellers, and so on) are not handled directly by CyberGhost. Therefore, you will need to contact your respective reseller to clarify any refund.
Where is CyberGhost Located?
CyberGhost started in 2004 as part of a group of software products from a German publishing company. The software crawled, organized, and created a nice interface for free proxy services and allowed customers to choose the one they wanted. This along with speed tools led them to realize that existing proxies were slow, hard to manage, and prime targets for hackers.
Out of this grew the idea to create a standalone product with its own secure infrastructure to solve these problems. In 2011, Robert Knapp raised $114,000 from investors and moved to Bucharest, Romania. He used two considerations in choosing this location to found his startup privacy company, CyberGhost.
First, he observed that many tech firms had teams there. Thus, he thought they could put together a “rockstar” team. After relocating, he found that this was indeed true. He discovered that the people were not only technically proficient but also had a great work ethic. Also due to their small local market, Romanian technologists develop an early global perspective which suited his global aspirations for CyberGhost.
Second, he discovered that the cost overhead in Bucharest was lower than one of the more common tech locations like London or Silicon Valley. This, he reasoned, would allow CyberGhost more time to grow and expand. Thus providing it the best chance of success.
History has shown that this was the right choice for CyberGhost. Over 10 million people have used their Internet privacy service for a variety of reasons. These reasons include overcoming censorship, securing Wi-Fi connections, accessing unrestricted streaming media, and others. Earlier this year CyberGhost was sold to Crossrider, an Israeli online distribution, and digital product company for over 10.8 million dollars.
On first glance, this seems like a strange fit since Crossrider is associated with digital advertising. On further analysis, they are also interested in adding to their digital products to become a global player in Internet privacy. Crossrider is also interested in helping startups expand globally by sharing their immense resources. To this end, they have initiated two innovative startup hubs: Tel-Aviv and Bucharest.
Robert Knapp explained that this devotion startups and to global expansion is why he decided that selling to Crossrider was the right choice for CyberGhost. These were goals that he also shared and working with their management staff would allow him to grow and learn personally as a leader. He is going to stay on as CEO of CyberGhost and maintain its headquarters in Romania with the same dedication to your Internet privacy and security.
Provider Network and Server Locations
CyberGhost operates a moderately sized VPN service. Their full network consists of over 3000 servers in 60+ countries. These are spread across six continents. To improve the performance of their network, CyberGhost has multiple locations with many servers in popular countries. These countries include Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and others. A full listing of their current server locations follows:
- Africa – Kenya, South Africa
- Asia – India, Israel, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam
- Europe – Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom
- Oceania – Australia, New Zealand
- North America – Canada, United States
- South America – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica
The server page on their website will let you see the full extent of the CyberGhost VPN network. Clicking on a location on their server map will show the total number of servers in that country. This page also contains an interactive table with a list of countries, the number of servers in each country, and the current users online. This table can be expanded to show this same information for individual servers in their network.
The CyberGhost network consists of both physical and virtual servers. This means that each physical machine in their network contains multiple network cards to create virtual servers. This is illustrated by the server naming convention used by CyberGhost. Each server name is prefixed by the server location, followed by the machine locator and then the virtual server designation as follows: location-machine locator-virtual server number.
CyberGhost allows Torrent traffic on servers in many of its locations. The full list of countries that they allow P2P traffic on includes the following:
Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
This is over half of the countries on their VPN network. Therefore torrent users should be able to find a server with good performance for all of their needs.
Your Privacy and CyberGhost
CyberGhost has an unequivocal company policy: the strongest observance of data protection and uncompromising protection of the user privacy. Therefore, the user’s personal data is not monitored, recorded, logged or stored.
We collect and store only the data needed to operate the service. In order to improve the quality of the service, we store data such as the utilization degree of the servers. However, we do not store statistical data, which can be linked to a user account. Also, we do not store data on who had used which server and when.
In addition to being a true no-logging VPN provider, CyberGhost also only offers their privacy service through resellers and does not process payment information for their subscribers. They only store an anonymous User ID, an encoded password, your activation key, and the start and end dates for your subscription.
How Secure Is Your Online Traffic?
CyberGhost uses the OpenVPN protocol for its custom software for Windows, Mac OS X, and Android. This is used by many of the best VPN providers and widely believed to be one of the best VPN protocols available today. Recent audits of the OpenVPN protocol by OSTIF and QuarksLab have allowed them to fix or clarify some deficits found in it. Overall, these audits have shown that OpenVPN is still one of the safest VPN protocols.
CyberGhost implements their OpenVPN by initiating a secure TLS session over the control channel with 2,048-bit RSA keys and using it to exchange cipher and HMAC keys to protect the data channel. This initial control channel TLS handshake uses AES-256. Their implementation also supports Perfect Forward Secrecy with keys regenerated every sixty minutes. Each user has a unique key and certificate signed by their CA. They do not use static pre-shared keys or tls-auth. The data channel packets are now being verified with an HMAC-SHA256 algorithm.
Their iOS app is protected using IKEv2 with AES 256-bit encryption. This is a secure protocol which uses IPSec for its security. It is widely regarded as a good choice for mobile devices because it supports Mobility and Multi-homing (MOBIKE). This allows the service to remain connected when switching networks. It also aids in automatically reconnecting to the VPN service when a connection drops.
With these protocols and proper implementation of their respective algorithms, you can be assured that your Internet traffic will be properly encrypted while using the CyberGhost VPN network. This will give you peace of mind that your online activities are secured from prying eyes.
CyberGhost offers online chat support which is available Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (GMT+2). Issues not solved through chat will be handled through email. We were informed that email request would be answered as fast as possible but in no more than 48 hours.
Most of our questions were answered within chat in just a few minutes. The support person informed us that he was unsure of one of the more technical questions that we posed but would look into it and get back to us by email. Additionally, we received an answer to our unanswered question within two hours by email. We were impressed with both the knowledge of their support staff and the response we received through email.
In addition to these, Cyberghost also has a well-designed help page with four different sections. The first of these provides access to guides to install their service on a variety of devices with various protocols that they support. Next is a section devoted to troubleshooting many issues. There is also an extensive FAQ database covering a number of general and technical questions. The last section shows the latest announcements involving service issues and updates.
Finally, CyberGhost maintains an updated media presence on a number of social media sites. These include Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others.
CyberGhost Hands-On Testing
You must have a CyberGhost VPN account to use their service. This is easiest way to create an account is to subscribe to a Premium account. Else, creating an account takes just a few steps:
- First select “My account” from the main menu at the top of their homepage.
- Once the login screen opens, click on the account creation link.
- Create a “Username” and “Password” for your account.
- Save or print your PUK generated ID so the staff can recover your account if necessary.
- Verify your account through the supplied email link.
Once your account has been verified, you can download and install the appropriate software for your device. After authenticating your account with the app, you can begin using the CyberGhost VPN service.
Downloading CyberGhost VPN Apps
CyberGhost has developed custom software for Windows, Mac OS X, Android and iOS devices. The minimum OS specs for these are as follows:
- Windows client – the Microsoft.NET framework with Windows 7 (32/64-bit), Windows 7 Starter, Windows 8 (32/64 Bit), Windows 8.1 (32/64 Bit), or Windows 10
- Mac OS X app – Mac OS X 10.7 or newer
- iOS app – iOS 9 and higher
- Android app – Android 4.0 and up
Links to install the custom software for Windows or Mac OS X to your device can be found in the “Installation section” of their respective guides on the CyberGhost website help/support page. Clicking on these links will allow you to download the setup file to your computer.
You can then run this file to install the CyberGhost VPN to your PC or Mac OS X system.
The links to install the mobile apps on your device can be found by clicking on the site main menu. The button for iOS will take you to the iTunes store. Once there, you can install CyberGhost VPN for iOS to your iPhone or iPad. The button for Android will take you to the Google Play store where you can install the app on your smartphone or tablet.
Let’s start by taking a closer look CyberGhost for Windows (CyberGhost Windows Setup Guide):
The CyberGhost VPN Windows client is easy to download and install. It has a basic menu and some advanced features to increase your security and privacy but these require no technical expertise to take advantage of. Their software also makes it easy to handle Wi-Fi hotspots and includes an automatic kill switch to protect you from accidental loss of VPN connections.
You can connect to a fast VPN server for general surfing with just a single click. Additionally, two or three clicks will have you protected from anywhere in the world regardless of your technical knowledge. The windows client also allows you to access VPN servers for P2P and streaming just as easily.
Let’s move over to CyberGhost for Mac (CyberGhost Mac Setup Guide):
The CyberGhost VPN Mac client is easy to download, setup, and install. It walks you step-by-step through the process. It has a small menu which allows you to set some basic startup parameters to ensure that you are connected to the VPN service from the time you open your Mac. Additionally, it supports some advanced server-side features to increase your overall security and privacy while utilizing the CyberGhost VPN service. These are simple toggles that anyone can use regardless of their technical expertise.
Their software also makes it easy to handle Wi-Fi hotspots and includes an automatic kill switch to protect you from accidental loss of VPN connections. You can connect to a fast VPN server for general surfing with just a single click. Additionally, two or three clicks connects you to anywhere in the CyberGhost VPN network and protects all of your Internet traffic. The Mac app also allows you to access VPN servers optimized for file downloads and streaming media with just a couple of clicks.
Not to forget mobile users, let’s start with CyberGhost for iOS (CyberGhost iOS Setup Guide):
The CyberGhost VPN Android app for iOS can be downloaded and installed by tapping on a link to the iTunes store from their website. Like most mobile apps, it is easy for to download, install, and open. Simply verify your account credentials and start protecting your iPhone from anywhere.
It has a small menu that lets you monitor your account, Wi-Fi network connections, and create support feedback and work tickets. No technical expertise is needed to connect to the CyberGhost VPN service and begin protecting all of your mobile traffic. Their app also makes it easy to handle Wi-Fi hotspots connections by letting you automatically protect them. Its use of IKEv2/IPsec which supports Mobike makes it fast and easy to recover your lost of VPN connections. You can connect to a fast VPN server for most Internet surfing with just a single tap. Additionally, two or three taps will have you streaming media or using your Favorite VPN server from everywhere.
Last but certainly not least, let’s examine CyberGhost for Android (CyberGhost Android Setup Guide):
The CyberGhost VPN Android app can be downloaded and installed by tapping on a link to the Google Play store from their website. Like most mobile apps, it is easy for to download and install. It has a small menu but like its Windows counterpart includes some advanced features to increase your security and privacy. These require no technical expertise to apply and can increase your VPN performance.
Their app also makes it easy to handle Wi-Fi hotspots and automatically protects all of your mobile Internet traffic. Mobike allows it to quickly recover you lost of VPN connections quickly. You can connect to a fast VPN server for general surfing with just a single tap. Additionally, two or three taps will have you streaming media from your favorite service.
CyberGhost VPN Speed Test
We ran our speed test for CyberGhost by selecting countries from the “All servers list” because it is the closest to that of other VPN providers for comparison purposes. We were happy with their results. The speed of their VPN network was good. Like all VPN services, there was some loss in connection speed. However, it was not as large as we thought it would be since CyberGhost uses 256-bit encryption for all of their connection profiles.
As you can see from the images above, the encrypted connection lowered our base ISP download speed from 133.93 Mb/s to 127.11 Mb/s. This is a drop of about 5% to a server in Atlanta, Ga. That’s excellent performance and a fair trade off for the peace of mind that their higher strength encryption brings us. Furthermore, it is on par and in most cases faster than other leading VPN providers.
CyberGhost has been in the privacy business since 2004. They started their VPN network in Romania in 2011. Their headquarters remains there today. Their current network consists of over 2750 servers in 60+ countries. They have multiple servers in popular countries like Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and others. They do not log any information from their users VPN sessions. Their service is P2P and Torrent friendly. Finally, they have both a free and a paid VPN service
CyberGhost has custom software apps for Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS. These apps are easy to install and use. Recently, they have introduced the idea of smart software that predicts what users want. It then presents them with solutions. They have implemented these into their Windows client and mobile apps by means of profiles for different purposes. First they predict what these purposes might be, then they provide simplified profiles that connect users to their VPN network with these purposes in mind.
Their Windows, Mac OS X, and Android apps use the IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols with AES 256-bit encryption. OpenVPN is used by many premium providers and believed to be the best VPN protocol by many. Their software also uses IKEv2 for its MOBIKE support with AES-256. MOBIKE makes IKEv2 a great choice for multi-homed devices like the iPhone because it makes it easier to reconnect to the VPN if the connection is accidentally dropped. It also allows the VPN service to stay connected when switching Wi-Fi hotspots or transferring from your home network to your cellular provider.
CyberGhost has a well-designed website with an extensive help page containing guides to use their service with a variety of devices. It also has troubleshooting information for many problems. They support begins with Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (GMT+2) online chat. They also have a large FAQ database and an email ticketing system.
What we liked most about the service:
- They have clients for Windows and Mac OS X.
- CyberGhost has mobile apps for iOS and Android.
- No logs are kept for their VPN users.
- Their software makes it easy for non-technical users to use their service.
- You can connect on up to seven simultaneous devices.
- Included kill switches in their custom software.
- They have other advanced features like exceptions, secure DNS protection, and IPv6 leak protection.
- CyberGhost provides a Free VPN service to those who need it.
- They have a 45-day money back guarantee.
Ideas to improve the service:
- Reduce the number of steps required to sign up for a paid account.
- Increase chat hours to 24/7.
CyberGhost has expanded their network to include six continents. They have servers in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America. Their VPN service has good performance. They offer a 45-day money back guarantee which is the best in the industry. Try their service out for yourself and see if it is right for you. If you like it, you can enjoy unlimited access from just $2.75 per month.