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
CyberGhost’s mission is to provide technology that everyone can use to ensure their online privacy and security. Therefore, they offer both a free and paid VPN service. To their credit, both the free and paid service will allow you to surf anonymously, unblock selected censored websites, and protect your online Wi-Fi traffic. Though we will focus on the paid service, we will also examine the features and limitations of the free account.
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 one month, six months, and one year terms. A single month of their service will cost you $11.99. Like most privacy service providers, they give discounts on longer term plans. Therefore, 6 months costs $4.99 per month. However, if you want the best deal, you should sign up for the CyberGhost exclusive 1 year plan. The price is just $2.75 per month which is a savings of 77% 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 1000 servers and 44+ 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.
CyberGhost Free VPN Features
This list shows the difference in features between paid and free VPN access. The free VPN service includes:
- Custom apps – Access to only a few of features available with CyberGhost custom software.
- Smart use profiles – Free users can access a subset of usage profiles with limited control.
- Server network – Low lever access to selected servers in only 14 countries.
- Protocols – You cannot connect to their service using native L2TP-IPSec and PPTP protocols.
- Connections – Only one device can be connected to the CyberGhost VPN network at a time.
- Speed – Free users only get access to slower speed severs.
- Extra Features – No use of extra features.
In addition to these lesser features, free users have some other limitations:
- Waiting times – If you connect to the CyberGhost VPN free service, you will be queued and have to wait for a free slot before you can use the service.
- Upgrade ads – While using the free service, every 120 minutes a CyberGhost ad will be displayed.
- Forced disconnection: After 3 hours of continuous surfing you will be disconnected from their VPN service and must reconnect.
Free Trial and Guarantee
As we have previously stated, Cyberghost offers a free version of the VPN service for everyone so there is no reason for them to have a free trial. Despite this, they offer a 7-day free trial of their full service for users of their mobile applications for iOS and Android. During this period you can test the full features and speed of these applications on the CyberGhost network.
In addition, they offer a 30-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 30 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.
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 1180 servers in 59 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, 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, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, 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
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 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.
The CyberGhost Windows Client
Installing CyberGhost on Windows
After you download the setup file to your computer from the CyberGhost website, you need to run it to begin the installation process. This will open a warning that a program wants to make changes to your machine. Allow it to and you will see the CyberGhost license screen. Accept the license agreement and click “Next” to continue the installation setup.
Choose the directory that you want to install CyberGhost 6 to and then select “Next”. The installation of the client software will then complete. After this, the software will prompt you to install the virtual network adapter.
After this adapter installs the client will open for the first time in free service mode.
Using the CyberGhost Free Service
You will see a screen to upgrade the service with one of the latest specials. This is an example of the type of ads you will see about every 120 minutes of service use.
Closing this ad will display the main dashboard for the CyberGhost free service. This dashboard contains six tiles but only three are usable by free users: Surf anonymously, Unblock basic websites, and Protect Wi-Fi. We will take a brief look at each of these before we log into the paid service just to get a feel for the free service.
CyberGhost Free Service: Surf Anonymously
Only two aspects of surfing anonymously can be changed by CyberGhost free VPN users: Launch options and Choose country. The other features are not available to free users and clicking on one will prompt an upgrade screen.
Launch options let you decide if and how you want to automatically open the default browser after connecting to a VPN server. You can open it in normal or incognito/safe mode. Safe mode is best for privacy.
The second choice is the country that you want to connect to. The client will choose one for you if it is set to “Automatic”. In the free version, you can also choose between the following countries to connect to:
Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States.
After you make your choices, click the “Start anonymous surfing” button to connect to the CyberGhost network. Before the connection is made, you will be queued for an open network slot.
You can see that the queue also presents you with an opportunity to upgrade your service. Once the queue times out, the connection to your VPN server will complete. We will discuss the elements of the CyberGhost connection screen when we examine the paid service.
To disconnect from the CyberGhost network, click on “Stop anonymous surfing”. This will return you to the main dashboard. You can then make a new connection.
CyberGhost Free Service: Unblock Basic Websites
Selecting the “Unblock basic websites” tile will open a Window displaying all of the social media sites that you can connect to with the free VPN service. Selecting Google and pressing the play button on it led us to the following result.
First, we were queued again to wait for a slot. After a few minutes the following screen was displayed.
It appears that no servers are available to connect at this time due the popularity of Google. Otherwise, this would have opened the Google website.
CyberGhost Free Service: Protect Wi-Fi
Selecting the “Protect Wi-Fi” tile results in the following screen. The only thing free users can control is the action for your current network. Options include Ask, Always protect, Never protect, and Disconnect at known Wi-Fi.
After you make your choice, click on “Start Wi-Fi protection”. This will queue you to a server. When it times out, you will be connected to your server. All of your Wi-Fi traffic is now protected.
Clicking “Stop protection” will disconnect you from the CyberGhost network and return you to the dashboard.
CyberGhost Windows Client Settings
The settings that control how the CyberGhost Windows client works are divided into six categories. These categories are as follows:
- General – Startup options and language choice.
- Exceptions – Hosts to exempt from the CyberGhost tunnel.
- Proxy – Create an HTTP or SOCKS5 proxy.
- Connection – Settings to change connection parameters.
- Wi-Fi – Control how known and unknown Wi-Fi networks are treated.
- App protection – Set apps that will always use the VPN service.
- Startup – Setting both of these options will establish your anonymity when you open Windows.
- Automatically run the CyberGhost client when Windows opens.
- Run the chosen profile when the client starts up. You can choose between Surf anonymously, Torrent anonymously, Unblock basic websites, and Choose my server. The profile will be run with the last valid settings which will let you create a custom defined connection.
- Install Beta updates – This could destabilize your system so it is better to not set it.
- Language – Change the language used by the client (requires client restart).
- Info – This displays the current version number.
Internet addresses entered here will not be tunneled or encrypted by the CyberGhost service. You can add the entries as URLs or IP addresses if your know them. Things like mail servers, security servers, or FTP servers make good candidates for this. Click “Add exception” to add entries to the list. Highlight an existing selection and click “Remove selection” to delete an entry. You can also try to auto detect your mail server. The client must be restarted for these changes to take effect.
This setting will allow you to set up an HTTP or SOCKS5 proxy to use with the CyberGhost VPN service. The proxy choices are as follows:
- None – No settings (all greyed out).
- SOCKS5 – Enter the “Address”, “Port”, and credentials if needed (“User name”, and “Password”).
- HTTP – Enter the “Address”, “Port”, and credentials if needed (“User name”, and “Password”). You may also need to enter the authentication type (Basic or Microsoft)
These three settings change some technical aspects of the CyberGhost VPN network connections. They include the following:
- Use CyberGhost DNS servers – Setting this can help you avoid monitoring of DNS requests from outside sources.
- Use TCP – Set this if your connection is unstable or you suspect blocking or throttling by your ISP. The extra error checking provides a more stable but slower connection.
- Use random port – Makes it harder to block CyberGhost connections.
Repairing the network adapter can allow you to solve VPN issues without having to reload the client.
These settings allow you to determine how the client treats known and unknown Wi-Fi networks. The setting for unknown Wi-Fi networks includes:
- Ask – Setting this will prompt you to choose when an unknown Wi-Fi is detected.
- Never protect – If you set this, you will have to manually connect to any unknown Wi-Fi.
- Always protect – This setting will always automatically create a “Protect Wi-Fi” profile for any unknown Wi-Fi.
The choices for known Wi-Fi networks are slightly different than unknown ones. They are as follows:
- Never protect – This is similar to the unknown case. If set, you have to manually connect to CyberGhost to protect.
- Ask – Setting this will prompt you to choose when this network is detected.
- Always protect – If set and the network is detected it will connect using the last profile and its settings.
- Disconnect at known Wi-Fi – Disconnect any connections if this network is detected.
This will allow you to add apps to always run connected to the CyberGhost network using the chosen profile. First, “Enable app protection”. Clicking on “Add app” will open a Windows directory search that you can use to select the executable for the app you want to protect. Next, choose the connection profile that you want to protect the app with: Surf anonymously, Torrent anonymously, Unblock basic websites, and Choose my server. To remove an app from the list select it and then click “Remove selection”. Changes will not occur until the client is restarted.
Using CyberGhost VPN as a Paid Member
First sign into the CyberGhost client by selecting login from the menu at the top of the dashboard. Once the login screen opens, enter in your “User name” and “Password” and click “OK”. All tiles and features of the service will then be accessible. These are the profiles that you can connect to:
- Surf anonymously – Yellow
- Unblock streaming – Orange
- Protect Wi-Fi – Light blue
- Torrent anonymously – Purple
- Unblock basic websites – Blue
- Choose my server – Violet
Each usage profile and the screens and icons associated with it are color-coded to match which makes it easy to see which one you are using.
Using the Surf Anonymously Profile
We discussed the browser launch options when we looked at surfing anonymously using the free service earlier in our CyberGhost VPN review. Basically, we can choose not to open a browser, open the default browser normally, or open the default browser in safe mode for greater privacy.
The paid service lets us choose from all of the countries that CyberGhost has servers in or let it choose a country for us by choosing “Automatic”. Either way, the client will choose the specific server for us. You can make multiple profiles by choosing different countries to connect to. You can then connect to these with a single click. Your latest profile will always be used by the settings setups.
In addition to these choices, paid accounts have access to extra features. These include the following:
- Block malicious websites – This can help protect you while surfing the Web by detecting and blocking potentially dangerous websites.
- Block ads – Blocking ads can allow your web pages to load quicker and be easier to read.
- Block online tracking – This keeps trackers from watching your Internet habits and developing an online profile for you. This will increase your Internet privacy.
- Data compression – This should be left off unless you are using a mobile connection which charges for data like a cellular network.
- Automated HTTPS redirect – This can provide you with better privacy and security by allowing you end-to-end encryption.
- Extra speed – Paid subscribers have access to higher speed servers. This setting is always on for paid users and off for free users.
Once you have set up the features that you want for your “Surf anonymous” profile, click “Start anonymous surfing” to connect to the CyberGhost VPN network with it. You will first see a connecting screen as the profile is implemented for your connection.
After a short time, the connected screen will be displayed. This screen shows the location of the server that you are connected to and your new virtual IP address. It also shows the time you have been connected. It says you are currently protected so that you have no doubt. Below this is a list of all of the profile features of your current connection. In this case our connection is blocking malicious websites, blocking ads, blocking online trackers, using automated HTTPS redirect, hiding your IP, using extra speed servers, using the OpenVPN protocol with AES 256-bit data encryption, and no logs are being stored.
Scrolling the center of the screen by clicking on the left or right arrows will show you the number of malicious websites avoided (0), ads blocked (206), and trackers blocked (6) since you started your session. Scrolling one more time will show your download speed, downloaded amount (MB), and the maximum speed (MB/s). Clicking on “Stop anonymous surfing” will return you to the main profile screen.
Using the Unblock Streaming Profile
Selecting the orange “Unblock streaming” tile will open the screen that displays all of the streaming media sites that the CyberGhost service can currently unblock. This current list includes the following websites:
BBC, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Youtube Red, 7TV, Canal+, CBS, Comedy Central, ESPN, Eurosport, Fox, MTV, NBC, Pandora, Sky.go, Spotify, TF1, Youtube, Zattoo, and ZDF Mediathek
This list may change from time to time as the sites block CyberGhost and it in turn figures out how to unblock them again. Unblocking streaming media sites is a cat-and-mouse game.
Clicking on one of these sites will allow you to select the country that you want to unblock the service in, as Amazon Prime does, and then open the website for the service. If only one country is available to stream the media then it will open the respective streaming media website directly. We tested the Netflix profile and some of the other profiles and were happy with the results. We were able to watch movies and shows from all of the sites that we visited. Clicking on “Stop Netflix” will return you to the dashboard.
Using the Protect Wi-Fi Profile
The default options are the same as for a known network in the settings that we previously examined. These include Ask, Never protect, Always protect, and Disconnect at known Wi-Fi. These were discussed in the Wi-Fi settings if you want to see the result of choosing each. Also, the extra features are the same as those used in the Surfing Anonymously Profile. Clicking on “Start Wi-Fi protection” will connect using the profile.
The country and server are chosen by the CyberGhost software. You can see that the connected screen is very similar to that of the surf anonymously one. The difference is that all of your Wi-Fi traffic is secured in this case, not just your browsing activity. Clicking on “Stop Protection” will return you to the usage profile dashboard.
Using the Torrenting Anonymously Profile
The “Torrent Anonymously” profile creates a connection with the best settings to increase your speed and protect your privacy. For this reason, it sets the “Block malicious websites” and “Extra Speed” features. “Block online tracking” is turned off since some Torrent software uses trackers.
The CyberGhost software automatically connects to a P2P compatible server. It also removes HTTPS requests to remain compatible with download managers that do not support this protocol.
Once you have chosen your profile features, click “Start anonymous torrenting” to complete the connection to the CyberGhost network. The connection screen informs you that your downloads are protected. It also shows you the current connection speed, maximum speed, and total amount downloaded. Similarly to the surf profile, you can scroll to see the VPN server and virtual IP address assigned by the profile. Click “Stop anonymous torrenting” to return to the profile dashboard.
Using the Unblock Basic Websites Profile
The profile “Unblock Basic Websites” connects automatically to a server outside your home country to provide access to censored or blocked social media and international news sites like Facebook, Google, Euronews, CNN, etc. It is optimized for maximum anonymity and simplicity. A click on the respective button for a website connects you to the CyberGhost VPN network and then opens the chosen site in your default browser.
The sites that you can single-click unblock with the profile are:
Google, Facebook, WikiLeaks, CNN, Instagram, Euronews, Twitter, WordPress, Booking.com, and Wikipedia.
The client opened the Google site in Germany when we tested the profile with a single click on the Google button. Other sites were equally easy to unblock. Click “Stop unblocking” to return to the profiles window.
Using the Choose My Server Profile
The last CyberGhost profile that we want to examine is the one that lets you choose your own VPN server to connect to. Clicking on this profile tile will open a list of all of the servers that you can connect to. This list can be filtered in various ways to make it easier for you to select the server that you need. The categories that they can be filtered into follow:
- All servers (the default) – Shows a full alphabetical list of all countries and servers.
- Most empty – Selecting one of these servers can lead to faster connections since the load on each is less, thus each user can have a higher percentage of the bandwidth speed.
- Most crowded – Choosing one of these servers could slow down your connection but it will increase your privacy because more users will be using the same IP address as you.
- Fastest servers – A list of the fastest server in each country from your location.
- Nospy servers – This is a group of servers in Romania that are completely controlled by CyberGhost.
- Torrent servers – A list of all of the available Torrent servers.
Countries can be expanded in these lists to allow you to choose individual servers. Each server shows user load percentage, whether Torrents are allowed, and ping values. You can create a group of your favorite servers by clicking on the star to the right of the server name. The star will turn yellow and the server will be added to your favorites group.
After you select a server, the “Connect” button will become usable. Selecting “Extra features” will let you customize your server profile even more. Once you have finished you server profile, click “Connect” on either window to finish connecting to the CyberGhost network.
The CyberGhost connection screen will display all of the features used by your connection. Scrolling this screen will show you other profile features like the number of ads and trackers blocked or the download parameters.
Using the One-Click Interface
The last thing that we want to look at is the one-click connection interface. It can be accessed by clicking on the CyberGhost icon in the system tray. This interface will let you connect to a VPN server with just a single click. What is more, you can click on any previously used profile shown here and reconnect using that profile with just a single click.
The CyberGhost client for Windows is one of the most intuitive VPN connection interfaces that we have seen to date. It makes it easy for everyone to connect to their VPN network by predicting their needs and allowing them to fulfill them with just a few clicks. Little technical knowledge is required to use it to secure your online usage and privacy.
The CyberGhost VPN Android App
Installing the app
Installing the CyberGhost VPN Android app is easy. Simply, open the CyberGhost VPN website on your device. Tap on the “Google Play” button. This will take you to the Google Play store where you can “Install” and “Open” the app to your device. You can then take advantage of the 7-day free trial for Android
The CyberGhost VPN Android Profiles
The app will open with its default profile “Wi-Fi Auto-Protect”. This is the profile available to free users. Swiping on the screen will show you the other three profiles available to paid accounts. These include “Secured streaming”, “Surf anonymously”, and “Choose my server”. We will examine each of these connection profiles.
Using a Wi-Fi Auto-Protect Profile
The first profile will help you to protect yourself from third parties at your local Wi-Fi hotspot. Tapping “Options” will open a screen to set up this profile. The actions you can take when you encounter new Wi-Fi networks include ask, automatically connect to the CyberGhost network, stop automatically, or do nothing. It is probably a good idea to always connect when using new networks.
You can also choose to block trackers and malicious websites to increase your privacy and security. The first time you connect to the CyberGhost service, you will see a screen to allow it to establish a VPN on your device. You must allow this to use their service. You may also see some feedback screens while using the trial and the free service.
Once you are satisfied with your profile setup, tap “Start” to use it to protect your chosen Wi-Fi. This connection will show the name of the protected network and the time you have been protected. Swiping left will show your current server and virtual IP address, the settings that are active with this connection, the trackers blocked, and any malicious sites avoided.
Using a Secured Streaming Profile
You can use this profile to connect to some of the most popular streaming media providers in the world. Tap “Start” on this screen to open the list of sites that you can unblock. These include Netflix, BBC, Amazon Prime, and others. The complete list of all of the services follows:
BBC, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Youtube Red, 7TV, Canal+, CBS, Comedy Central, ESPN, Eurosport, Fox, MTV, NBC, Pandora, Sky.go, Spotify, TF1, Youtube, Zattoo, and ZDF Mediathek
Tapping on one of these sites will unblock it on your Android device. You must choose the location that you want first. Then the site will be unblocked.
Tapping on the 7TV resulted in the following connection after tapping on Germany. Note that 7TV is open in its own screen. You can also see the session length, server, virtual IP address, and other features in the connection by swiping on the screen.
The third purpose profile lets you surf anonymously. It allows you to select the country that you want to connect to. You can also set tracker and malicious website blocking. If you are on a network that charges for data, you can choose to compress website content to lower your costs. Selecting Austria led to the following connection.
As with the other profiles you can see all the features of the connection by swiping on the screen.
Choosing your own server is the last profile available on the Android app. This is useful if you want control over your connection. For instance, if you want to connect to a server that allows torrents. It also lets you see the user load on the server so you can choose one based on that.
To create a connection, first set up the features that you want to use as we did when creating the other profiles. Tap on “Country” to open the list of countries. Then select the country that you want to select a server in. This will open a list of cities and servers that you can connect to. Choose one to complete the profile and finish connecting to the CyberGhost VPN network.
This is a connection to one of the Zurich servers. As with the other profiles, swiping will show you all of the details of the current connection.
The Android app for CyberGhost is easy to install. It has four built-in profiles that paid subscribers can use to simplify connections to the VPN. The primary security is built into the connections which makes it easy for non-technical users to connect to the CyberGhost network and secure their mobile traffic.
CyberGhost VPN Speed Test
We ran our speed test for CyberGhost using the “Choose my server” profile 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 69.51 Mb/s to 54.94 Mb/s. This is a drop of about 20% to a server in Atlanta, Ga. This is an acceptable loss for the peace of mind that their higher strength encryption brings us. Furthermore, it is on par with other premium 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 1100 servers in 44+ 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 OpenVPN protocol with AES 256-bit encryption. OpenVPN is used by many premium providers and believed to be the best VPN protocol by many. Their iOS app 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.
- Profiles to simplify connecting to their network for non-technical users.
- 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 30-day money back guarantee.
Ideas to improve the service:
- Reduce the number of steps required to sign up for a paid account.
- Upgrade Mac OS X app to support profiles.
- 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 30-day money back guarantee and a 7-day free trial of their mobile apps. Try their service out for yourself and see if it is right for you. If you like it, you can sign up for unlimited access from just $2.75 per month.