|CyberGhost offers excellent online privacy, thousands of servers with good country coverage, and user-friendly software and terms at a price that's hard to beat. With quick connection speeds to back it all up, anyone looking for a top-tier VPN provider need look no further.|
- True zero logging for maximum privacy
- Excellent server distribution with over 3600 servers in 60 countries
- Fast connection speeds
- Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Allows P2P torrenting
- Long 45-day money back guarantee
- Expensive if you pay monthly (very affordable if you don't)
- Performance could be better in a few countries
- macOS client missing some features
I'm never sure what sort of performance to expect from CyberGhost. Unlike just about every other VPN service, they don't make any big claims of being the fastest provider around.
Could this be a quiet admission performance is not their strong suit? Not exactly.
With one notable exception (Australia), my CyberGhost speeds tests show their servers can more than hold their own. In fact, they're right up there with some of the other best performing VPN services.
This didn't always use to be the case. CyberGhost did once have a reputation for being a bit of a slog. But with the recent release of version 7 of their software and some significant network upgrades, this is now one VPN provider to be reckoned with.
Before we talk specifics, please remember that I intentionally test with an internet connection that is much faster than what any VPN provider can match (hence the large discrepancy in speeds between the VPN and no VPN tests). I do so to get the best possible numbers for each server, ones that are not capped by my own internet's speed limits.
In other words, the speeds you see are the maximums you can expect. They may be limited by your own connection. So, if my test shows a speed of 100 Mbps and your internet can only do 60 Mbps, somewhere in the 50 Mbps range is what you'll likely get.
Now, back to the results.
With the exception mentioned above of Australia, CyberGhost's download speeds are consistently upwards of 80 Mbps. For a VPN, that's very fast indeed. And while the Australia results don't break any records, performance is certainly good enough even for HD-quality streaming.
Uploads fare a little worse. But, for the most part, they're still blazing. Australia is again quite slow, as is North America (both the US and Canada). So, if upload performance in those regions matters to you much, another provider may be in order (I again refer you to my fastest VPNs list). In all other cases, absolutely CyberGhost delivers.
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About CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost has been around since 2011, which makes them one of the more established VPN providers. Based out of Romania, they pride themselves on being big supporters of uncensored internet culture and freedom (a claim which they back by their excellent zero logging policy). And with over 20 million users across the globe, CyberGhost is clearly doing something right.
Privacy and Security
- We do NOT know at any time which user ever accessed a particular website or service
- We do NOT know which user was connected to our CyberGhost VPN service at any given time or which CyberGhost VPN server IP they used
- We do NOT know the set of original IP addresses of a user’s computer
Unlike many other providers who claim zero logging, CyberGhost doesn't even log any anonymous data. We're talking about things like connection timestamps and duration or bandwidth usage, typically stored and used for network maintenance.
As already mentioned, CyberGhost calls Romania home. Since it's a country widely regarded as very privacy friendly, that's a good thing. Despite being in the EU, Romania is not part of any intelligence sharing collaboration such as Five Eyes, Nine Eyes or Fourteen Eyes. This lack of cooperation means CyberGhost is out of the reach of the FBI, NSA, GCHQ and any other western intelligence agency you can think of (not that they collect data they can hand over in the first place).
During the signup process, the only piece of personal information required is an email address (and you can easily use a dummy account for this purpose). The service is payable for anonymously by using Bitcoin (though, of course, credit cards and PayPal are also accepted).
The encryption standards used by CyberGhost are as strong as they get. By default, we're talking OpenVPN with an AES-256-CBC cipher and SHA256 hash authentication for the data channel, an AES-256 cipher, RSA-4096 key encryption and SHA384 hash authentication for the control channel, and ECDH-4096 key exchange for forward secrecy. If you're not sure what any of this means, the gist is you can be assured no one will be decrypting your data (we're talking military grade encryption levels here). Other supported protocols include L2TP-IPsec and PPTP.
My tests have also shown no DNS, IP or WebRTC leaks. These all appear to be effectively prevented by the client.
All major platforms support the CyberGhost client software, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. While there is no specific software for these, CyberGhost is also easy to set up on Kodi, Linux, and many routers.
Feature-wise, everything you'd expect to be there is there, from a kill switch function to the ability to override DNS servers. Other notable features include the ability to exclude specific website from using the VPN, random port selection, unsecured WiFi protection and split tunneling (more on the latter two a little later).
CyberGhost also expands beyond the realm of pure VPN functionality by offering an ad-blocker, malicious website protection, and data compression. I'm not sure how well it works in practice but in theory, the latter may be able to reduce your mobile data usage costs slightly. All these features are off by default but are toggleable from the client with the click of a button.
My one pet-peeve with CyberGhost (and they're not the only VPN provider to do this), is how drastically different the Windows and macOS clients are. The macOS client is also missing a couple of features, including split tunneling and WiFi protection. Neither is a deal breaker, at least in my book, but it is something of which to be aware. On the flip side, I do actually find the Mac software a little less obtrusive and more intuitive to use.
CyberGhost's service allows up to seven simultaneous connections. Every VPN provider has this type of restriction (mostly to protect their infrastructure from abuse), and the limit set by CyberGhost is one of the best around. If you intend on using multiple devices at the same time, this is definitely something to consider.
P2P is allowed, but only on specific servers (clearly marked in the client). There are no bandwidth restrictions.
While I've heard mixed reviews about CyberGhost's customer support, I have not had any issues with them. Support can be reached 24/7 via live chat, and for more in-depth questions, there also is an email/ticketing system. Live chat is even available in German and French, though only during select times of the day.
For those hoping to take the service for a test drive first, CyberGhost does offer an industry leading 45-day money back guarantee. That should give you plenty of time to evaluate and decide if this VPN is right for you.
The number of servers a VPN provider runs is often a good indicator of a service's robustness. For many users, it can also be a significant deciding factor. In the server department, CyberGhost does not disappoint. At the time of this writing, they offer 3605 servers in 60 countries.
Only a handful of providers have more servers, though the 60 supported countries fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. Still, for most people that should be plenty. I indeed found the CyberGhost VPN server list more than adequate.