CyberGhost offers great online privacy, thousands of servers with excellent international coverage, and feature-rich user-friendly software - all at a price that's hard to beat. With quick connection speeds to back everything up, anyone looking for a top-tier VPN provider need look no further.
- Zero logging for maximum privacy
- Excellent server distribution with nearly 9700 servers in 91 countries
- Very fast connection speeds
- Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Allows P2P torrenting
- Long 45-day money-back guarantee
- Parent company with a questionable reputation
- Convoluted manual OpenVPN setup
- Doesn't work from China
CyberGhost is one of the largest and most popular VPN providers in the market. It boasts a vast server network, stellar security, and reliable Netflix-unblocking powers.
But is CyberGhost really all that? Let’s find out!
In this CyberGhost review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about this VPN – the pros, the cons, and the fine print.
Read on to learn about this provider’s:
- Key functions and perks
- Privacy features
- Data safety and protection
- Server network size and quality
- Customer service
- Pricing and discounts
- … and more!
CyberGhost is a premium VPN service founded in 2011.
The company operates as CyberGhost S.A. and is based in Bucharest, Romania. Though Romania is in the European Union, it’s a relatively privacy-friendly country. It has no mandatory data logging laws or connection to international surveillance networks.
In 2017, previous owner German tech entrepreneur Rober Knapp sold CyberGhost. The buyer was Israeli-based Kape Technologies – a company with a checkered past.
CyberGhost’s main claim to fame is exceptional transparency and privacy-minded design. It was the first VPN to release a transparency report. The report disclosed all requests for users’ data it has received and its responses to those requests in a public document.
What started as a yearly release has now become quarterly. You can see the latest CyberGhost Transparency Report on the provider’s website.
CyberGhost is a reliable VPN and comes with several handy features that make it one of the best VPN choices around.
Here are all the essential details that stood out to me:
WireGuard is the future of VPN protocols. It’s leaner, and it’s faster.
WireGuard’s entire codebase is around 4,000 lines. That’s significantly less than other protocol choices and means blazing-fast connection speeds.
That speed does not, however, come at the expense of security. WireGuard is just as safe (if not safer) than OpenVPN or other common protocols.
The project is also open-source. Anyone can read through the code (a much easier task when it’s just 4,000 lines) and spot potential issues.
So why isn’t WireGuard everywhere?
It’s very new – the stable release only came out in 2019 – and comes with a few technical caveats. Many VPN providers still haven’t fully embraced WireGuard – there are more established options that have worked well for years.
CyberGhost isn’t one of these providers, which is a great thing.
CyberGhost has WireGuard available for all devices. I highly recommend switching to this protocol for just about any use case.
CyberGhost’s kill switch is a blessing and a curse. Let’s start with the good news:
A kill switch protects you from accidental data leaks.
When it is active, and the VPN gets disconnected (which can happen any time), your internet connection drops. That prevents unencrypted information from leaving your device.
You’ll immediately notice you’re offline, go to the VPN app and reconnect, returning to safe and private browsing.
CyberGhost has a kill switch for both mobile and desktop, while most providers only have it on the PC (if at all). This is good news since kill switches are such an essential security tool. Or is it?
Yes, there’s a catch:
You can’t turn off the CyberGhost kill switch.
If your connection is choppy (which can often happen on a mobile), you’ll constantly connect and disconnect as the internet goes away. That can get super annoying and force you to turn off the VPN completely. I’ve certainly gone down that path more than once.
So that is the “curse” part.
Still, apart from this specific scenario, a kill switch on all devices is a great thing. It keeps your browsing safe and private – that’s especially important with sensitive data or on public networks.
Kudos to CyberGhost for including it.
CyberGhost and Netflix
Many of us get a VPN to watch geo-blocked content – e.g., Netflix from other countries. But streaming platforms know about this workaround, and they actively block (or try to block) VPN traffic to prevent it.
Luckily, CyberGhost is a Netflix-unblocking beast.
It works with tons of other streaming services, too. There are dedicated servers for streaming. Optimized for blazing-fast speeds, they also add extra layers of protection against the VPN blocks.
CyberGhost works well with all Netflix libraries. It even unlocks notoriously hard-to-crack platforms like the BBC iPlayer.
And if you experience any problems, CyberGhost has you covered. They’re quick at detecting issues and generally fix them within the day. Sometimes, though, I have seen some platforms take upward of a week to start working again.
Torrenting and P2P
CyberGhost is a P2P-friendly provider for safe torrenting.
Not all VPNs allow peer-to-peer, but this one does. And it has torrenting-optimized servers for optimal download and upload speeds, too.
Go to the “for torrenting” tab to choose the best one based on load and distance.
There is one exception to CyberGhost’s P2P friendliness, though:
Torrenting isn’t allowed on any Australian servers. Aussies must connect to a New Zealand server instead. That means slightly slower downloads and increased chances of server overload – New Zealand has fewer server options than Australia.
Does CyberGhost Work In China
The internet in China is heavily censored and monitored by the government. If you want access to social media or Western news outlets, you’d have to break through layers of technological and legal limitations. You need to get past the notorious Great Firewall of China.
Part of China’s internet restrictions also include cracking down on non-licensed VPNs – a.k.a. the VPNs that let you access banned websites.
Most premium Western VPNs like CyberGhost fall in this category. They don’t log information. They also don’t restrict your internet – so the Chinese government doesn’t want you to use them.
A good VPN for China will hide that it’s a virtual private network through obfuscated servers.
Obfuscation works like a VPN for your VPN. It doesn’t look like you’re rerouting or encrypting traffic at all from the outside.
Unfortunately, CyberGhost doesn’t run any obfuscated servers. This means onlookers can always tell if you’re using a VPN. Yes, your traffic is encrypted and secured. But this could still get you in trouble if the country has banned that type of software.
So, because it lacks server obfuscation, CyberGhost is not the best option here. It struggles to get through the Great Firewall. NordVPN is a far better choice for China (as are several other competing services).
For that same reason, CyberGhost is also not ideal for other countries with heavy internet censorship laws – e.g., Iran or UAE.
CyberGhost is one of the most generous VPN providers for multiple concurrent connections. You can install and run the client on up to seven different devices at the same time.
Most other providers only offer five or six connections max.
You can also set up CyberGhost on your router if you want unlimited safe connections. It’s supported and lets you secure traffic at the source.
Privacy and Security
VPNs are, above all, tools for protecting ourselves online. It doesn’t matter how fast or user-friendly a service is. If their approach isn’t safety and privacy first, they’re not worth our time.
How does CyberGhost fare?
Very well. Let’s break it down:
CyberGhost was founded in Romania and still operates there. Recently, it was acquired by Israeli company Kape Technologies.
Local Romanian law doesn’t enforce data logging or give access to authorities.
This means that CyberGhost is based away from the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes. That said, Israel has in the past collaborated with some of the Eyes – something to be aware of.
“When using the CyberGhost VPN, we are NOT storing connection logs, meaning that we DON’T have any logs tied to your IP address, connection timestamp or session duration.”
CyberGhost does collect some personal information – your name, address, e-mail address, username, and payment information for purchasing the service. However, none of this is used for logging:
“This information is collected for proper administration of your account and/or subscription and to offer you customer support and, to the extent you so choose, to provide you with our newsletter and occasional promotional offers.”
The service also collects some aggregated weblogs, but none contain personally identifiable data.
Encryption is an essential aspect of a virtual private network.
CyberGhost secures traffic with 256-bit encryption. It’s the strongest type of AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) protection. This military-grade protection would take billions of years to break, even using supercomputers.
CyberGhost uses this high-grade encryption exclusively across all apps and devices. Since AES has never been broken, I’d say that is a pretty good choice on their part.
VPN protocols describe the exact steps to take for encrypting traffic.
Currently, OpenVPN is the most popular option. It’s open-source, secure, and very well-established.
However, the new big thing seems to be WireGuard. Leaner, faster, and incredibly secure, WireGuard looks like the logical successor to OpenVPN.
Not many VPN providers run it because it’s still very new.
CyberGhost does have WireGuard and offers it to desktop and mobile users alike. I almost always pick WireGuard.
That said, CyberGhost also offers TCP and UDP OpenVPN, and IKEv2, both of which are secure and fast running.
VPN security goes beyond encryption and no-logs. You also want a provider that doesn’t accidentally leak your IP. That’s super important if you’re going to keep your online activities private.
A DNS leak means your ISP can see your DNS requests, even though you’re using a VPN service. If the ISP has access to this, they know:
(a) What sites you visit.
(b) That you’re using a VPN to conceal your activity.
It’s a security flaw that exposes at least some of your online activities – one of the things a VPN is supposed to hide.
Thankfully CyberGhost is DNS leaks-free. After running the service through several tests, I couldn’t see a single trace of my original IP.
So on this front (and all other security-related issues), the provider gets top marks.
CyberGhost Server Locations
CyberGhost has one of the largest server networks in the VPN space.
There are 30 CyberGhost countries with virtual servers. And the vast majority of the hardware is P2P optimized.
Thanks to its vast server network, CyberGhost has no problem virtually getting you into most countries – no matter where in the world you are.
VPNs encrypt all your traffic, route it through a server, and then decrypt the reply you get. The whole process takes time and will always negatively impact your internet connection.
Some providers do a much better job than others of keeping the slow down to a minimum. How does CyberGhost do in this respect?
Depending on where you connect, download speeds stay consistently above 80 Mbps and often go over 90 Mbps, too. Uploads come in at an average of 84.8 Mbps and a 103.1 Mbps best.
The one glaring exception here was Australia. There, the downloads were under 40 Mbps, and uploads were just 6.61 Mbps.
Still, these are solid speeds and plenty fast for any high-bandwidth activities. Netflix advises 25 Mbps for 4k streaming, and Zoom only needs up to 3 Mbps. Even competitive gaming is doable with 25 Mbps. These are all download requirements.
CyberGhost offers all that – and more – even on its slowest servers.
Of course, these results will depend on your regular internet speed. Please remember that I test with a high-speed connection. That lets me see what the VPN is doing (rather than hitting the ISP-imposed speed cap).
Apps and Clients
CyberGhost helps you secure all your devices with a client for (pretty much) every platform:
- Desktop – Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Mobile – iOS and Android
- Browser – Chrome and Firefox
- TV – Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and other smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Chromecast)
- Console – Xbox, and Playstation
- Routers, Raspberry Pi, Synology NAS, Sat-Receivers, and more
All apps are available for download from the CyberGhost web portal. Log in, go to the Download Hub, scroll down to find your device (or devices), and click download, configure, or connect (depending on which app or extension you’re installing).
You will also see a list of your active VPN connections up top. This way, you can keep track of your devices. The list also helps you stay within your multi-connections allowance.
Are the apps any good?
Here are my thoughts:
Desktop App Test
The desktop app is likely the first VPN client most of us will download.
It’s quick to get up and to run. Logging into CyberGhost’s web portal, downloading and installing the executable, signing in, and connecting to a server took under 3 minutes.
The app is also lightweight and fast. I never experienced any slowdown, even when many other programs opened.
CyberGhost connects by default to the fastest server when you first download the desktop client. It also picks a protocol for you (for me, it used the IKEv2). But it’s easy enough to switch to WireGuard (which is my preference these days) or OpenVPN.
You can also choose your server, depending on what you need. You’ll find them sorted based on distance and server load. For gaming servers, you also see ping time.
I found the desktop app easy to navigate and delivered all the needed options. It’s a solid implementation regardless of whether you’re a “set it and forget it” type of user or want control over the nitty-gritty of your connection.
Mobile App Test
Protection on your mobile connection is just as important as protecting your desktop activities.
CyberGhost’s mobile app has a similar design and layout to the desktop program. There should be next to no learning curve as you switch from one to the other.
You get a big button for connecting to the best location. But you can also choose a server by country, server, or from your favorites.
Even with my flaky mobile internet, the time-to-connect and the speed were excellent. I didn’t notice any slowdown, even when streaming Netflix.
I have seen reports of issues with the mobile app in the past. But, this latest version seems solid, and I haven’t run into any problems when testing it out.
CyberGhost Customer Support
The golden standard in VPN customer service is 24/7 live chat support, and CyberGhost lives up to that.
In my experience, the agents were friendly and knowledgeable. They managed to resolve all my queries (some of which were admittedly fake) in a single interaction.
I’m also a fan of the CyberGhost FAQs and Knowledge Base. There are in-depth guides for virtually everything you might need help with. From understanding VPN protocols to setting up CyberGhost on your NAS device – it’s all there.
You can also check streaming functionality from the CyberGhost FAQ section. There are occasional issues with some channels, and this way, at least you know.
CyberGhost also has the most generous money-back policy of all top-tier VPN providers. You have a whopping 45 days to decide if you like the service.
If you decide to cancel, support is quick and understanding with the refund. They do not ask questions or make you jump through hoops (at least not that I’ve experienced).
Price, Value, and Discounts
CyberGhost offers excellent value for your money. It’s among the most affordable VPN providers of 2023.
The current prices are:
- 1 Month: $12.99 per month (with a reduced 14-day money-back guarantee)
- 1 Year: $4.29 per month (billed as a single $51.48 yearly payment)
- 2 Years: $2.04 per month (billed in a single $78.00 bi-yearly payment)
- 3 Years: $2.04 per month (billed in a single $89.31 three-year payment)
The above do change quite frequently and I do update this page anytime they do.
You’ll also often see extra free months promos. For example, there is a 3-month bonus for three-year subscriptions right now.
As with most subscription-based services, the longer your membership, the cheaper it will be. The multi-year plan gets you an impressive 83% discount on the monthly price.
And thanks to the 45-day money-back guarantee, the subscription is pretty much risk-free.
You can get free extra membership time for referring friends, too. Every time one of your friends gets an account after following your link, both of you get a 30-day bonus to your plan. You can gain up to 90 bonus days this way.
Finally, CyberGhost offers seven simultaneous connections on the same account. That’s more than most competitors. If you don’t plan on installing it on every single device in your house, you can consider sharing the subscription with others for extra savings.
Final CyberGhost Review Thoughts
So, what is my final CyberGhost review verdict? As you may have guessed while reading it, I can very comfortably recommend the provider.
CyberGhost performs admirably. It’s easy to navigate, fast across all apps, and the server network is enormous. You get a kill switch on all devices (with the one negative that you can’t turn it off). And WireGuard is available, too.
In almost all cases, streaming with CyberGhost works (and any issues are quickly fixed). And there are even dedicated streaming servers.
Finally, bang for the buck, this is one of the highest value providers I have reviewed. CyberGhost gives you an 83% discount on long-term subscriptions and allows seven multi-connections. You also get a 45-day money-back guarantee.
The bottom line is CyberGhost is an excellent VPN provider that everyone should check out.