The benefits of connecting to the internet through a VPN are undeniable. Our data is vulnerable to online threats of all kind, from malware to phishing attacks, identity theft and many other dangers. We are even more exposed when we go online using public WiFi networks, which pose even more safety concerns.
But in addition to offering protection and anonymity on the internet, VPNs can do a lot more for us: they can help us torrent in peace, knowing that our real IP is hidden from prying eyes and they help us access restricted content such as websites, games and streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.)
Choosing a reliable VPN is not easy though, with such a wide variety at hand. There are some general guidelines you should follow, which can make your job considerably easier, regardless of the reasons why you want to use a VPN. Here are the main factors to consider:
- Available number of servers; the more, the better; major providers have thousands of servers available; the location of the servers is also important; they should be spread all over the world, in as many countries/cities as possible
- Security features; these are of paramount importance because security is the number one priority when you are using a VPN; you should look for a VPN service that offers strong encryption, several protocols to choose from and as many protection tools as possible; DNS leak protection, a kill-switch feature are always useful
- Fast servers; VPNs are known to generally slow down your connection because of all the tunnel your data goes through before you can gain access to the website you want; but that speed can drop insignificantly or be annoyingly noticeable; speed tests are very useful in determining how good a VPN is, performance-wise
- Torrenting policy, if you use torrents
- The ability to unlock restricted content; the restriction may apply to a game, a streaming service, social media platforms or any other website; bypassing Netflix censorship is usually a big selling point for a VPN
- How many simultaneous devices are allowed per single account? The average is 5, but there are VPN providers that allow up to 7, 8 or even an unlimited number of devices
- Customer support reliability
CyberGhost is a VPN provider with over 8 years of experience in the industry. The service was launched by a company based in Bucharest, Romania and is currently owned by the Crossrider Group.
CyberGhost VPN is one of the most powerful VPNs on the market and among the best rated ones in the industry. Best Review Guide placed CyberGhost VPN on the 3rd position, surpassed only by NordVPN and ExpressVPN. There are various reasons why this VPN ranks so well: it has a very large number of servers all around the world (over 5,500), it can unlock blocked content, it is secure, it allows torrenting and much more.
- It is user-friendly
- It has solid security features
- It has a strict no-log policy
- It offers unlimited bandwidth
- It allows up to 7 simultaneous connections per single account, which is above the industry average of 4
- It is fast
- It can unlock geo-restricted content
- It allows torrenting and has dedicated servers for it
- It offers apps for all the common devices
- It has thousands of servers to choose from
- It has several protocols available
- Generous money-back guarantee (45-day money back)
- They could use some improvements when it comes to customer support; answers could me more complex and helpful;
- The free trial is only available for 24 hours for Windows and Macs
CyberGhost VPN is based in Romania and is one of the best rated VPNs available right now. This VPN checks all the important boxes when it comes to security, privacy, torrenting policy, the ability to unlock restricted content, speed, number of servers, features, user-friendliness and so on. CyberGhost has over 5,500 servers spread all over the world and it is one of the fewest VPNs out there; this one can actually increase your connection speed, rather than slowing it down, as it is the case with most virtual private networks.
One of the most important qualities you look for in a virtual private network is security. It is important to be able to surf the internet without constantly being afraid that your identity and data are exposed and easy targets for all kinds of online threats. There are a lot of internet threats out there, such as ID theft, phishing scams, email spam, credit card fraud and many more. VPNs are very useful regardless of the device you are using to connect to the internet. All reputable VPN providers offer dedicated apps for all the common devices, so you should be covered whether you are on macOS, Windows, Android or iOS.
When you connect through a virtual private network, you can securely and remotely connect to a private network, using a public network. The VPN is what creates a safe connection between your device and a private server in whatever location you choose (most reputable providers offer thousands of servers worldwide) and encrypts your data using strong encryption protocols (OpenVPN, IPSec and so on). This way, by using that server, you mask your online activities and preserve your anonymity. Your browsing activity, location, files and so on, will remain protected from prying eyes. This is especially important when you are connecting to the internet through public WiFi networks for instance, which are not that safe.
CyberGhost has solid security features. It uses AES 256-bit military-grade encryption every time and has several protocols available (OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec). This way you make sure you stay anonymous at all times. AES is short for Advanced Encryption Standard and this security measure is US National Institute of Standards and Technology certified. It is so efficient that it is used even by governments and the military. Bottom line, the 256-bit encryption used by CyberGhost is pretty much uncrackable.
In addition to this bulletproof encryption, CyberGhost also uses other security tools such as a kill-switch feature, DNS and IP leak protection.
Another useful thing about this VPN (security-wise) is that it is compatible with the Tor browser. Tor is a web browser similar to Google Chrome and the like, but it is safer. Tor stands for ‘The Onion Router’ and it is called like that because it covers your data in several layers of encryption, which keeps it more protected. Tor redirects your traffic to its network of servers before getting you to where you want to go.
CyberGhost has a malware blocker as well and it checks all the websites you go to for any potential threats, filtering the risky ones and blocking them.
CyberGhost offers several encryption protocols. OpenVPN is one of them, which is among the most versatile ones available and an open source one. This protocol works on pretty much all the platforms and it is also compatible with routers.
IKEv2 is another protocol used by CyberGhost. This protocol was created by Microsoft and Cisco and it is compatible with both Windows and iOS devices. It is one of the best protocols to use with your mobile device, because it can reconnect easily and fast during network switches. This protocol becomes even more impenetrable when used with the IPSec protocol.
Another reliable combination used by CyberGhost is L2TP/IPSec. The first one is an upgrade to the outdated PPTP and L2F, also developed by Microsoft and Cisco. The L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnel Protocols) is usually paired with IPSec protocol.
Logs and privacy
Privacy is another plus for CyberGhost. One of the main reasons why we connect through a VPN is to be able to preserve our anonymity when we are surfing the web, when we are using torrents and so on. As stated on its website, this VPN has a ‘strict no logs policy’. That means that CyberGhost doesn’t store data about your browsing activities.
This VPN gives you an anonymous ID when you sign up for the service and you can’t be tracked through your payment details either. There are some standard logs kept but nothing personal, just some about your connection attempts and things like that. The fact that the VPN is based in Romania is a great advantage, as well, because Romania is not a member of any surveillance alliance, so it doesn’t have the obligation to collaborate with the authorities.
The kill-switch feature is a standard one when it comes to VPNs and all reputable providers offer it. The kill-switch feature has the purpose of protecting you from any potential threats and from being exposed on the internet. You can find this feature in VPN providers such as ExpressVPN, PureVPN, IPVanish, VyprVPN, Private Internet Access and many more. CyberGhost is among those who offer this useful tool. The kill switch feature can be automatic or manual; the latter means you have to manually turn the feature on and off from the Settings. CyberGhost offers an automatic kill switch tool. This feature works by disconnecting you from the internet in case your VPN connection drops for any reasons. You will be reconnected to the internet only after the VPN connection is reestablished. This way, you don’t risk having your IP address exposed and your data hacked, so you can still maintain your anonymity.
Speed and network
One of the biggest selling points of CyberGhost is its impressive speed. All VPNs are put through serious performance tests by specialized websites and they are rated accordingly. So far, CyberGhost has managed to keep its high rank when it comes to speed results. The best results were registered on their European servers (well over 70 Mbps) but their US servers also go up to approximately 700Mbps. Most VPNs are known to slow down your connection, because you first have to connect to their servers and only then go to your preferred website. But it is not the case with CyberGhost. In some cases, this VPN has even increased the connection speeds.
The lowest speeds are of course registered on the servers that are the furthest from your actual location. When judging a VPN’s speed, you also have to consider the overall quality of your connection speed. That speed can vary depending on various factors: your country, your location in that country, your ISP, the infrastructure in your area, the allowed traffic and so on.
CyberGhost has a great feature that can boost your load time. The feature is called ‘data compression’ and it compresses your images and etc., thus minimizing your internet usage.
Tests show an average speed of 75 Mbps for downloads for most locations. There were servers tested from all over the world, including North America, Europe and Asia. When you are connecting to servers from the US, you can even stream in 4K.
Some servers even registered download speeds higher than 90 Mbps.
The most disappointing areas were servers from South America and Indonesia. Australia also proved to be slower.
Overall, CyberGhost is among the top providers when it comes to speed, but it is surpassed by ExpressVPN.
When it comes to available servers, CyberGhost really shines. This VPN has over 5,500 servers worldwide and covers most of the globe. CyberGhost currently has servers in 81 countries and 103 locations and has dedicated servers for Netflix, torrenting and so on. The website is so well organized and comprehensive that you can find a list with the servers that can unlock different streaming services. You’ve got the name of the service in the left and the country where you’ll find servers that can unlock it. For instance:
- Netflix FR, DE, UK, US – France, Germany, UK, United States
- HBO Now – United States
- Amazon Prime – United States
- BBC iPlayer – United Kingdom
- CBC – Canada
- Eurosport – United Kingdom and so on
There are over 30 streaming services that can be bypassed with CyberGhost and you can also unlock websites that are geo-restricted, such as Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Tinder, Spotify, Pandora and more.
If you are a sports fan, you can also grant access to the Champions League, Europa League, LaLiga, Tour de France, La Vuelta, UFC, PlayOffs and other restricted sporting events around the world.
There’s also a list with all the available servers in all the countries and cities:
- Argentina – 1 city, 10 servers
- Australia – 3 cities, 104 servers
- France – 2 cities, 418 servers
- Mexico – 1 city, 40 servers
- Netherlands – 1 city, 226 servers
- United Kingdom – 3 cities, 750 servers
- United States – 11 cities, 1,112 servers
All the CyberGhost servers support their available protocols (OpenVPN, iKEv2, L2TP/IPSec) and they all use 256-bit AES encryption. All the servers are accessible from all the common device, whether you are using a Mac device, a Windows one, a iOS or an Android mobile device, Linux or routers.
Dedicated IP address
Although this benefit was missing until recently with CyberGhost, the VPN provider now offers dedicated IP addresses to its users. The dedicated IPs are available so far in the US, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and France.
A user-friendly interface is also an important quality to look for in any software. CyberGhost is very user-friendly, regardless of which app you are using. The VPN is easy to install, thanks to its one-click installation and so is connecting through a server. You can either use the automatic connection option and let CyberGhost choose the best server location for you or you can choose a server manually. The VPN is also customizable in terms of protocol, whitelists, port configuration and more.
Installing the VPN on your device can be done within just a few minutes, no matter what device you are using.
The CyberGhost website is very comprehensive and informative. You can find anything about this service, its features and capabilities. There are well organized sections for all the important aspects, from available products, Features and Pricing, to available servers and a consistent Support and Help section, full of product guides, FAQs and so on.
As we’ve already mentioned it, installing and launching the VPN is a very quick process, you can have it installed and running in under 5 minutes, regardless of the device you are using the VPN on.
In order to be able to connect through the VPN, you have to sign up and you can do that without paying right away. However, you will be soon after required to choose a subscription and you’ll have to go to their available plans.
User-friendliness is definitely a plus for CyberGhost. The interface is extremely straightforward, clean and well organized. You’ve got your menu in the left, with sections for Favorites, All servers, Servers for torrenting, for streaming, Connection features, Smart rules, your account and the Settings.
CyberGhost offers customers 24/7 customer support by live chat or you can submit a request using their contact form.
The live chat support is available in several languages: English, German, French and Romanian.
In addition to direct support, CyberGhost offers a comprehensive support center on its websites. There is a very solid FAQ section where you can find answers to topics of all kind: from server issues to plans and orders, privacy and anonymity, torrents, P2P and gaming and much more.
There are useful guides for all their apps and a troubleshooter.
Response times are okay with CyberGhost, although they could give more useful answers when they are being contacted. Overall though, customer support is pretty standard with this VPN provider.
CyberGhost offers unlimited bandwidth and allows up to 7 simultaneous devices on a single account.
This VPN offers split tunneling for Android devices, a whitelist for the Windows app, online tracking, data compression, an ad blocker, a block malicious websites feature.
Mobile apps and browser extensions
CyberGhost has apps for all the common devices: Windows, macOS, Linux, mobile devices such as Android-based ones and iOS.
The VPN also works on Google Chrome, Firefox, has apps for Amazon Fire Sticks and Android TVs.
The mobile apps for the CyberGhost VPN are more limited and have a much simpler interface than the desktop clients.
CyberGhost is able to unlock Netflix, including Netflix FR, Netflix DE, Netflix UK, Netflix US. You can choose among servers that are optimized for Netflix and you can find them by typing ‘Netflix’ in the search bar.
Not all VPNs allow P2P file sharing. CyberGhost has a torrenting-friendly policy and it has dedicated servers for torrenting. This VPN provider also offers NoSpy Servers, as an optional feature, which come with dedicated uplinks, premium hardware and a higher speed. These servers can offer more protection to users into torrenting.
CyberGhost can unblock Amazon Prime in the United States.
This VPN is also able to stream Hulu.
Pricing and payment methods
There are three types of plans you can choose from with CyberGhost VPN: a 1-month plan, a 1-year plan and a 2-year plan.
The 1-month plan is billed $12.99.
The 1-year plan is billed $5.99 per month.
The 2-year plan is billed 3.69 per month.
There is a generous 45-day money back guarantee, which is above the industry standard and you also get a 24-hours free trial to test the VPN. The 24 hours trial is available only for Windows and Mac devices. If you are using the VPN on Android or iOS, the trial period extends to one week.
You can also opt for add-ons such as dedicated IP, for an extra $5.5.
As for payment methods available, CyberGhost accepts credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express), PayPal and BitPay (Bitcoin).
CyberGhost has a lot going on in its favor and it is a competitive VPN service, next to major industry leaders such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, etc.
It is an affordable service, very serious about respecting its customers’ privacy and has solid security features. It uses military-grade encryption, has a strict no-log policy, it can unlock geo-restricted streaming services, websites and games and allows up to 7 devices simultaneously. It surpasses major competitors in terms of available servers, with an impressive number of 5,500+ and it is user-friendly and versatile. CyberGhost offers apps for all the common devices, including Macs, Windows PCs, Android, iOS mobile devices, routers and so on.
CyberGhost is well received and has mostly positive reviews from users and review websites. Users seem to unanimously appreciate its versatility, user-friendliness, its ability to unlock restricted content, its affordable price and fast servers.