CyberGhost Review

 CyberGhost logo
  • Raiting: 8.0 / 10
  • Pricing (monthly): $12.99
  • Pricing (Half yearly): $38.34 (equivalent to $6.39 per month)
  • Pricing (Two Yearly): $58.50 including two free months (equivalent to $2.25 per month)
  • Simultaneous Connection: 7
  • Server Locations: 91 Countries
  • Jurisdiction: Romania (EU)
  • Can be used on:
  • Can unblock:

CyberGhost is a premium VPN service based within the European Union in Bucharest, Romania. It claims to offer the 'Fastest VPN Available on the Market' with its use of the WireGuard protocol. Users have the option to use the OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPsec protocols. It offers servers that are optimized for media streaming, torrenting, or maximum download speed. The iOS user interface includes a list of the streaming optimized servers, displaying a summary of which server is recommended for which streaming service.

Its main selling features are its claimed high speeds and no-logging policy. It offers subscribers unlimited bandwidth for up to seven simultaneously connected devices, and the company claims never to throttle speeds.

While the service provider is within the EU and subject to GDPR, the local data protection laws do not currently require data logging and retention. It claims that it does not collect connection logs or traffic data, so user privacy should be guaranteed while using the service.

Subscriptions can be taken out monthly, half-yearly, yearly, or two-yearly, depending on the payment method. Confusingly, subscribing through the iOS app offers a one-year subscription with a higher equivalent monthly fee than subscribing for six months through the website. The best deal available was the two-year subscription through the website that included additional free months and a heavy discount. With this discount, the basic service cost is competitive with comparable popular premium VPN service providers. Payment options were relatively limited, and it was noted that US subscribers were offered payment options that were not available to UK subscribers.

The standard subscription includes the CyberGhost ID Guard, a breach check service, and the third-party Boxcryptor Cloud Security service for no additional fee. In addition, a few bolt-on services are available. A security suite package costs £1/month and includes the third-party Intego Antivirus software plus the PrivacyGuard and Security Updater services for Windows systems. There is also a Premium Password Manager available for £1/month, and users can choose to have a dedicated IP address for an additional £3.20/month.

The VPN apps support the most popular devices and platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. There are also browser extensions available for Chrome and Firefox. The service also supports the manual configuration of Smart TV and streaming devices (Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Apple TV) and popular games consoles (PlayStation and Xbox). Guides for router configuration are also available for any device that supports OpenVPN, IPsec, PPTP, or L2TP/IPsec.

The VPN apps have very limited configuration options. For example, the iOS app has no Kill Switch setting or split tunneling capability to exclude specific apps from using the VPN connection.

Accessibility to most streaming services such as Disney+ and Netflix are reasonably reliable for users looking for legitimate access to these services while maintaining browsing history privacy. However, the service's website reports issues accessing HBO Max, HBO Now, Netflix France, and the UK's ITV and Channel 4.The CyberGhost service terms of use do not permit or encourage its use for illegal purposes..

Pros & Cons of CyberGhost

  • The CyberGhost service supports a wide array of devices, operating systems, and browsers. This includes guides for manual installation on smart TVs, game consoles, and routers.
  • A short free trial of the CyberGhost service is available for all platforms, and the subscription fee has a generous money-back guarantee in the event of dissatisfaction.
  • The subscription fee for the CyberGhost service covers the simultaneous use of up to seven different devices.
  • The CyberGhost subscription fee can be paid using several different methods including anonymous payment methods.
  • The CyberGhost subscription includes the addition for competitively priced add-on services.
  • The CyberGhost service includes comprehensive guides and live chat support available for all platforms.
  • The subscription fees for the CyberGhost service vary depending on which platform is used to sign up, and the discount offered for a long-term commitment changed daily. Check all the available options before committing.
  • The application has few configuration options that vary by installation and uses a fixed encryption algorithm.
  • The CyberGhost service is built around the WireGuard protocol which has privacy limitations due to the nature of its assignment of IP addresses.
  • Not all available servers support P2P protocols; in some cases, this is to block torrent traffic.
  • Important VPN features such as Split Tunneling are not available on all supported devices and operating systems. This limitation is not clearly displayed on the website.
  • Access to the CyberGhost service cannot be configured to use multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • The CyberGhost service has known issues accessing streaming services.
  • The CyberGhost service does not include the ability to route traffic through multiple VPN servers to provide additional protection.
  • The CyberGhost website collects and shares information with third parties.
Screenshot of the iOS app main screen.

Using CyberGhost

The CyberGhost application supports a wide range of target devices and operating systems. The iOS application is straightforward to install, but configuration options are minimal. The features available vary significantly by host OS. For example, important functions like split tunneling are not available on all supported devices.

Applications are available for Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS. Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox. Manual configuration guides are available for smart TVs and streaming devices, popular gaming consoles, and routers. For this review, the iOS app was installed on an iPad and evaluated.

The interface is clean and simple, with connectivity status indicated with the color of a central button and the presence of VPN server connection information.

The main display includes a button to choose the best location. The specific criteria for how the recommended server is determined is not provided but appears to be based on geographic closeness.

Switching to a different server was reasonably easy. A list showing recommended streaming servers or all servers can be pulled up to choose an alternate server. The list is by country, where multiple locations are available within a country, then these appear when that country is selected.

The main display does not list previous servers used or provide a useful world map, but users can create a list of favorite servers to speed up choosing locations.

The service supports a global network with less bias towards the US as its competitors. The application offers connections through 7,400 VPN servers located in 91 countries. It has options for 11 different locations in the US, 2 in Australia, 3 in the UK, and 3 in Canada. There are options for most major European countries, good support across Asia, and 6 locations across Africa.

The service includes servers optimized for streaming services, and for each server lists which specific services it is optimized to access. However, the service's website reports issues accessing several services, including HBO Max, HBO Now, Netflix France, and the UK's ITV and Channel 4. This transparency is great, but the limitations are not good for users looking to access these services anonymously.

The VPN service includes an automatic Kill Switch function if the VPN connection drops, which blocks the internet connection to prevent data leakage. However, this feature is not configurable for the iOS app evaluated.

Some supported platforms include a split tunnelling function that allows users to choose which specific applications or websites do not connect via the VPN, connecting directly via the ISP server. The network traffic encryption uses AES-256, not configurable by the user.

CyberGhost includes the option for dedicated static or dynamic IP addresses as an add-on service to the standard product subscription.

Screenshot of the iOS app showing recommended servers for streaming.

Payments Accepted by CyberGhost

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CyberGhost Speeds

CyberGhost VPN Server Locations Download Upload
United Kingdon 110.13 Mbit 60.27 Mbit
Australia 23.24 Mbit 11.69 Mbit
Taiwan 217.49 Mbit 13.91 Mbit
South Africa 38.26 Mbit 8.36 Mbit
California, USA 222.27 Mbit 11.74 Mbit
New York, USA 94.86 Mbit 25.83 Mbit
Germany 246.1 Mbit 62.73 Mbit
Spain 242.2 Mbit 131.09 Mbit
Brazil 73.23 Mbit 8.3 Mbit
Philippines 201.78 Mbit 7.3 Mbit

Logging Policy and Privacy of CyberGhost

CyberGhost states that it operates a no-logging policy to ensure the privacy and anonymity of its subscribers. There are no details on how this is achieved technologically, just the claim that no connection logs or traffic data are collected or retained. The applications do have an option to collect anonymized analytics data for performance monitoring and fault diagnostics. Still, on the iOS app, the option to disable this function is one of the few configuration settings available.

CyberGhost is headquartered in Bucharest, Romania, a country with currently no data retention laws. However, Romania is a member of the European Union (EU) and is subject to GDPR. The local laws that implement data protection are under the scrutiny of EU regulators due to the deviations from these regulations.

Subscriber account and contact information are stored, comprising email address, associated payment information, and details of the devices that have been used to access the CyberGhost service. Interestingly, the payment information is exclusively held by third-party payment processing providers and not CyberGhost itself. The email address and device information are also used when online support functions are accessed. Therefore, total anonymity can only be achieved if the subscriber can provide a non-attributable email address and use an anonymous payment method.

Visitors to the website are presented with non-persistent cookies that manage the current session. In addition, Google Analytics and AdWords cookies are used, including some persistent cookies for third-party behavioral tracking. The use of these cookies is covered in the privacy policy for the website. This policy states that third parties have access to aggregated usage data.

Supported Devices and Operating Systems by CyberGhost


Windows

Linux

Apple

Android

Apple-iOS

Chrome

Firefox

Playstation

Xbox

Apple-TV

Platforms that can be Unblocked by using CyberGhost


Netflix

Disney Plus

Sky Go

Amazon Prime Video

BBC
Screenshot of the live chat support for the iOS App.

Verdict / Conclusion

CyberGhost is a reasonably priced premium service that offers good network speeds over connections through servers distributed in over ninety countries worldwide. It achieves good connection speeds by using the lightweight WireGuard protocol, designed for security rather than privacy. Coupled with its headquarters within an EU country and so subject to local implementation of GDPR, this raises questions over the levels of privacy the service offers, particularly in the long term should Romania's data protection laws be brought into line with other EU countries. It's also worth noting the CyberGhost is owned by the same company as Private Internet Access (PIA).

Costs are reduced if the two-year subscription is taken through the website. The price includes heavy discounting and free months, but the deal offered changes daily, so savvy users should watch prices to find the best deal. Subscription through the iOS app was seen to be significantly more expensive.

The CyberGhost service claims to operate a no-logging policy but without independent audit or transparency in the technology used to implement this. It retains limited subscriber information that, combined with the acceptance of anonymous payment methods, means that if connection logs are not kept for WireGuard, it is relatively straightforward to set up and operate an entirely anonymous VPN connection for users seeking privacy.

The CyberGhost iOS application was simple to install and set up due to the limited options available. CyberGhost has minimal configuration options and security features, and not all supported devices have all these options available.

Creating an account was straightforward. The unavailability of key features and questions over technical privacy controls lets down the service.

Tests for anonymously accessing geo-locked content were generally positive, with no issues encountered other than those declared on the status page of the website. Overall, the observed network speeds were good, and the service was seen to support access to the most popular online streaming services. The library of user guides and online support was good, and the live chat feature was available on the iOS app.