CyberGhost VPN Review: is it really that good?
With a total rating of nearly 5.0 stars on Trustpilot after 11,500+ reviews, CyberGhost is a VPN (virtual private network) provider whose popularity continues to grow. The company has over 15 years of experience in the VPN world, offers competitive rates that are below other VPN services’, and provides users with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. Here, we’ll see just how CyberGhost stacks up to our expectations.
Our “What is a VPN?” page can help you learn more about how virtual private networks work.
The main idea is that online users desire privacy and protection from the intrusion of hackers, corporate entities, and marketers. You may want to keep your browsing and internet usage history private or even get around geo-blocked streaming services. For example, places in Europe may block certain shows that are available in the United States. In that case, you could use a VPN to disguise your IP address and get around the block. VPNs are all about privacy, security, and a free internet.
CyberGhost excels in virtually all areas of VPN service. There are some minor quibbles, but it is a solid choice for anyone looking for a virtual private network. Both beginners and veterans of VPNs can make use of CyberGhost, though some aspects may require a bit of experience to understand.
Pros & Cons
Below, we’ve collected our list of some of the best features at CyberGhost and some of the downsides. Use this as a way to gauge whether this is the right VPN for your specific needs.
- CyberGhost allows for up to 7 devices simultaneously, which is a generous offering
- Three-year subscription is on the low end of pricing among VPNs
- One-click solution that automatically connects you to the best available server
- Free trial
- Excellent at unblocking streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and more
- Large number of available servers
- Works with:
- Free trial requires a “waiting room” queue, which can be hundreds of users long
- Some reported issues with the Windows client kill switch
- While it shines for laptop and PCs, mobile versions are a bit pedestrian
CyberGhost offers a free trial as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee. During the free trial, however, you must wait in a queue of other users testing out the service, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. Still, a money-back guarantee is appreciated.
If you decide to subscribe to CyberGhost on a monthly basis, you’ll pay near the top end of the industry’s prices: $12.99/month. But the VPN clearly incentivizes long-term use, with plans for year-long or three-year-long increments having as low as $2.75 per month prices. For reference, that’s almost bottom of the barrel in prices across the VPN spectrum. It represents excellent value.
3 Years$225Per Month
BEST VALUE 3 Years + 3 Months Billed $87.75 every 3 yearsSave 82%
CyberGhost also occasionally offers special prices on a limited-time basis. Usually, though, it does this by taking away its three-year plan while the special runs.
Performance is one of the first factors users ask about when selecting a VPN. Since the concept is all about privacy and encryption, and since it requires you to “bounce around” to different servers around the world, speeds can be an issue for some VPN services. That said, CyberGhost performs well, in the 240 Mbps range. This isn’t exactly leading the charge (for example, NordVPN can get over 300 in some instances), but it is comfortably in the top half of VPN services out there.
You shouldn’t have to worry about super laggy rates when using CyberGhost.
CyberGhost has an impressive array of more than 6,700 servers spread out in more than 90 countries around the globe. Not only is this good for keeping your true location and personal information private, but it also helps to get around potentially blocked services. Some streaming sites or online social media outlets may block material in specific regions. As a champion of a free internet for all, CyberGhost’s many servers means you can connect to those sites from a server in a country in which that material is not blocked.
At more than 6,700 servers, CyberGhost is up there with the largest VPNs.
|Number of servers||Over 6,700 servers|
|Top download speed reached||70Mbps|
|Server locations||Across 90 countries|
|Simultaneous Connections||Up to 7|
Functionality is often a huge issue with certain VPNs. Creators sometimes assume a certain level of computer proficiency in their users, and this can lead to clunky, not very intuitive user interfaces. CyberGhost avoids this problem by having a sleek, simple-to-use interface with a tab in the corner for added functionality. That way, you can use a virtually one-click method to connect right to the best available server, or you can fiddle with the features yourself.
The client works on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. If you choose to go the more complex route, you can build your own list of favorite server locations, have CyberGhost automatically connect certain apps to certain servers, and even select sites that won’t get the VPN treatment. You may want to do the latter, for instance, if there is a specific streaming site that is blocked in other countries but available in your native land.
The CyberGhost client is available for a wide variety of apps, though the desktop and laptop versions are where it truly shines. Still, it is compatible with iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, and various game consoles.
CyberGhost’s Android app is a bit more fleshed out than its iOS counterpart. While both have options for saving WiFi networks for future protection, Android has a host of other features. One of our favorites is split tunneling, which allows you to decide what sites and apps will be under the VPN protection and which ones will go through your regular internet service provider.
- English (US)
- English (UK)
- English (AU)
CyberGhost has some of the strictest, most explicit no-logs policies in the industry. A no-logs policy is a guarantee that your internet usage data will not be tracked, shared, stored, or logged. It means that you are truly anonymous when using the VPN, and it’s one of the primary reasons for the existence of VPNs in the first place.
The company emphatically states that it does not record any data about its users’ usage, does not know which user is using which server at any time, and does not have a record of users’ original IP addresses. While these are great promises, and while CyberGhost also has a transparency report on its website that documents requests from governments and businesses for user data (and CyberGhost’s refusal to provide that data), it still has not undergone an independent audit.
Some VPNs provide users with split tunneling abilities. This means the user can select which apps or devices will use the VPN and which will not. In other words, the user splits their devices or apps between which go through the VPN “tunnel” and use other servers and which use their original internet service provider.
CyberGhost offers split tunneling even on its Android mobile version. This is a great bonus, but we were a bit surprised that it was not available on iOS.
CyberGhost uses AES 256-bit encryption. If you’re not familiar with encryption, it suffices to say that this is among the most secure forms of encryption available, and it is used by most VPNs. Your information is encrypted using a 256-bit long encryption key, and that key would take hackers literally millions of years to crack by brute force using the fastest computers currently available. In short, your information is exceedingly safe with AES 256-bit encryption.
CyberGhost has dedicated extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers, but it can also be run on Linux-based browsers. Extensions are useful because you can configure them to run whenever you boot up your browser, and they are extremely user-friendly. Why is that important? Well, most of us would like more privacy and security surrounding our internet browsing activity, right?
An effective kill switch is necessary to help you know that you are always safe. It is essentially a program that immediately cuts off your access to the internet if your connection to the VPN server is severed. This way, you don’t switch to a non-VPN server (like your usual one) and continue to browse the internet while your data is unprotected. CyberGhost has an effective kill switch.
A minor quibble here. We have heard that the kill switch sometimes acts up on the Windows client in very specific circumstances (i.e. if you are unable to connect to the server initially, the client may still tell you that the kill switch is enabled, since it hasn’t had the opportunity to cut off access). This can be an issue, but as long as you confirm that you initially connect to a VPN server, your kill switch should work very well.
RAM-disk mode is a new trend among VPNs. Instead of basing data storage on hard-drives, where it remains even despite a no-logs policy until the hard-drive is erased, RAM-disk VPNs store the data in RAM. This data is only held until the server gets rebooted (and this happens a LOT with VPNs). In other words, RAM-disk mode is a way to keep your activity and information even safer. Unfortunately, only a few VPNs currently offer this service, and CyberGhost is not one of them.
CyberGhost is officially headquartered in Bucharest, Romania. This is outside the notorious “14 Eyes” surveillance alliance that includes the United States. In Romania, there are fewer laws restricting the use of VPNs, and more emphasis on digital freedom, so the company can stand by its anti-log policies and keep its users’ information private. If it were located in other areas that are inside the 14 Eyes or other surveillance alliances, it might be forced to turn over information about its user base.
This VPN can be set up on routers, Raspberry Pi devices, Sat-Receivers, and Synology NAS. Routers that use CyberGhost make use of OpenVPN protocols, which requires DD-WRT firmware. There are extensive how-to guides on CyberGhost’s website regarding how to set up your own router with the necessary firmware. Also, FlashRouters is partnered with the VPN to provide its privacy app.
While CyberGhost has some of the most intense anti-log language regarding its policies, encryption methods, and security protocols, we didn’t find evidence that it has undergone an external audit. We hope it does in the future, as more VPNs are turning to outside agencies to confirm no-log policies and other privacy measures. This helps boost trust in the company and would show that CyberGhost is really as dedicated to the free, private use of the internet as it proclaims.
Lightway is a protocol developed by ExpressVPN. Right now, it is not supported by CyberGhost and CyberGhost’s VPN does not run Lightway. Instead, CyberGhost runs OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols.
How to install
Setup for CyberGhost is a mixed bag. On one hand, it is mostly successful at keeping things simple for the average user. However, those who want some extended control over their devices may run into a complex set up system that trades simplicity for security. When setting up a router, for instance, you may need the OpenVPN files. That requires you to log into your CyberGhost account, create a device profile, select features you want to be activated, and continue to make selections on everything from the country you want to target to the creation of a username and unique password. It can be a lot of work, but it is designed to ensure that the files you download are super-secure.
Most users, however, will simply download the client in the usual way and go through the easy-to-use step-by-step installation process.
Customer service at CyberGhost is an around-the-clock offering. You can live chat with a team member, email or call support staff, and find significantly in-depth resources on the company’s website. One issue we had with this is that the online resources are written at a bit of a professional level.
If you are having trouble with the VPN, chances are good that you aren’t experienced with these services anyway. Resources that use industry terms and jargon can simply add to your confusion. Still, it’s not that big of a deal when you consider that live chat and around-the-clock customer support is available.
Streaming and Torrenting
Many users get a VPN service specifically for streaming purposes. As we’ve said, VPNs like CyberGhost are useful for unblocking content that is kept from you simply because of where you live. In this category, CyberGhost stands out well. It successfully unblocks streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more.
Torrenting is the transfer of files and data between an audience of users. It’s based on peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer technology like BitTorrent. Since some of CyberGhost’s servers are in countries where torrenting is officially illegal, not all of its servers are available for torrenting. However, it seems to have plenty of torrenting options if that is what you’re after, and it helpfully displays a list of which servers are available for P2P purposes.
Reportedly, one minor issue is that it doesn’t always work with BBC iPlayer, but we’re willing to cut it a break there.
Torrenting is also a common reason for getting a VPN. While it is often of dubious legality, depending on where you live, torrenting is a way for a network of users to share and download files between them. Most of UltraVPN’s servers are conducive to torrenting.
Gaming and Consoles
Gaming is another huge area of interest for many VPN users. CyberGhost is among the most popular gaming VPNs, with clients specifically designed for consoles like:
- PlayStation 4
- PlayStation 5
- Xbox One
- Xbox 360
- Xbox Series X
Using a VPN for gaming purposes adds an extra layer of protection. Other users, players, hackers, and companies can’t tell where you are, so your personal information is safe. CyberGhost can also be used for desktop gaming, and you may want to use it if you need to connect to a gaming server that is outside your native country.
Desktop and Laptops
The desktop and laptop clients are where CyberGhost butters its bread. The interface can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, depending on your needs. Useful information is displayed, such as server locations, favorites, which servers use P2P file sharing, and more. It also offers data compression for images and other storage-consuming data.
On the desktop and laptop versions of CyberGhost, users can also get a dedicated IP address. This is a bit different from normal VPN offerings. It keeps your information safe, but you may not want to use it in all cases, since websites will be able to recognize you as a repeat visitor due to having the same dedicated IP address.
CyberGhost runs on the most popular browsers, including:
If you use those two browsers, you can download a free extension that allows you to connect to the VPN service at will. This means you can browse the internet anonymously, avoid geo-blocks, and have all the benefits of the VPN at the simple touch of a button.
Mobile and Tablets
Since CyberGhost allows for up to 7 devices on the same account, it can be especially useful for your mobile and tablet devices. Whether gaming on an iPad or Kindle Fire or using your smartphone to access the internet, CyberGhost can help you remain anonymous, safe, and secure against online attacks. It also helps stop the overreach of companies trying to collect your data so that they can advertise to you.
Currently, both iOS and Android users can download CyberGhost. However, we found that the iOS version is a little more trimmed and offers fewer features than the Android version.
CyberGhost advertises its usability on various routers and similar devices, including:
- Raspberry Pi
- Synology NAS
Configuring your router can be a bit complicated, however. You need to make sure that your router can run the appropriate protocols, such as IPSec, OpenVPN, or L2TP. To that end, though, the CyberGhost customer service department is a useful resource. There are plenty of how-to explanations on its website, and its around-the-clock availability for live chat assistance means you’ll never have to just “wing it.”
CyberGhost is the real deal. It boasts an impressively large network of available servers, takes security seriously, has strong language in its policies regarding privacy measures, is headquartered outside of a 14 Eyes surveillance state, and offers a complete array of features. While its month-to-month pricing structure is at the high end for VPNs, it’s worth the money. Plus, it clearly incentivizes long-term subscriptions, with its year-long and three-year subscription packages prices at extremely low monthly rates.
On the other hand, there are some minor issues with the VPN. It hasn’t been audited by an external agency as far as we can tell, which means all of its strong language about privacy is just that: language. Without an audit to back it up, users may distrust the company’s boasts about no-log policies and various security measures. Plus, some of its more in-depth features require a working knowledge of VPNs that many users may find confusing.
However, none of the negatives outweigh the positives here. We recommend CyberGhost as a solid VPN that is among the top VPN companies available.
Is CyberGhost free?
A: CyberGhost is not free. It offers a free trial, but that only allows access to the product for a day and requires you to wait in a queue of other users testing out the client. Its month-to-month subscription is nearly $13.00, which is on the high end of the industry average. However, long-term commitments like year-long or three-year subscriptions have significantly lower monthly rates than many of CyberGhost’s competitors. If you aren’t happy with the service, you can get your money back within 45 days of purchase as well, which is one of the more generous guarantees on the market.
Is CyberGhost safe?
CyberGhost uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is extraordinarily safe and would take even the world’s fastest computer millions of years to brute force. It also uses OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols to keep your data safe. To help ensure your confidence in its safety features, the company also has an automatic kill switch that immediately removes you from the internet if you become vulnerable.
Is CyberGhost good for torrenting?
Torrenting is of questionable legality in many countries, like the United States. One way users get around these laws is by doing the torrenting on servers in torrent-friendly countries by way of a VPN. CyberGhost has many servers specifically dedicated to P2P sharing, and the interface marks these as such. While not all of its over 6,700 servers allow torrenting, the ones that do are clearly marked and easy to connect to.
Is CyberGhost legal?
Yes, it is legal to use a VPN like CyberGhost. Some countries, however, have laws that regulate how you are supposed to use the VPN (for example, laws against torrenting). While VPNs like CyberGhost are legal to subscribe to and pay for and use, you can still engage in illegal internet activity through a VPN. This should not be a turnoff, however, because people can just as easily engage in illegal activity through their own internet service provider’s server.