CyberGhost is a VPN that has become one of the most popular VPNs around, but is still somehow underrated.a VPN that has become one of the most popular VPNs around, but is still somehow underrated.
Wait—how popular are we talking about here?
Okay, so pretty popular. As in, tens of millions of people worldwide.
How on earth can it be underrated?
Well, this is where I come in.
See, this isn’t my first time testing CyberGhost. I tested it months ago and was stunned by a lot of positive attributes.
In the time since then, I saw a lot of reviews that failed to appreciate some of the cooler aspects of CyberGhost, or had different test results than mine.
So I’ve tried it again, this time even MORE thoroughly. And you know what?
It’s still UNDERRATED. Not perfect, but a lot better than it gets credited for.
And here’s the best way I can show you:
Performance is important for just about every VPN user, regardless of what it is you want to use your VPN for.
Interestingly, this is an area I often see CyberGhost get criticized for. So I’ll just jump in with my results.
Speed tests are a relatively reliable way of seeing how much a VPN affects your internet speed.
In this test, I was working in one of my favorite cafés. I made the mistake of going on a Sunday—so it was FULL of people.
The speeds were never great at the café to begin with, and all the people there were using bandwidth.
So here’s what the speeds were WITHOUT the CyberGhost enabled:
And this is what my speeds were when I enabled the VPN:
Yeah, the speeds aren’t super high…but COMPARED to the “normal” speeds in my favorite café, and CyberGhost BARELY affected speeds.
Now, I understand you might want to set the bar a little higher. I’ve also tested CyberGhost on my home’s wifi, which is considerably faster.
Here’s what my normal speeds at home are:
And here’s how CyberGhost went on my home WiFi:
And because my router is cheap and my WiFi was being spotty at the time, I did a second test with CyberGhost on thirty seconds later, just to double check:
Definitely, this is MUCH better.
The truth is that my speed tests with CyberGhost RARELY disappoint.
Both in my regular day-to-day usage and in my more formal speed testing, CyberGhost is CONSISTENTLY one of the FASTEST VPNs that I use.
So far, so good. But that’s just me using servers pretty close to home.
What if I want to access another country’s Netflix?
In this example, I decided I hypothetically wanted to access German Netflix. So I connected to the best server for the job:
And logged onto Netflix:
It worked out just fine.
Although I can’t guarantee this will always be the case, I was able to access Netflix from multiple other countries—including the United States.
Not only was I able to get in, but playback was fine, with minimal interruptiosn.
There’s something else CyberGhost is GREAT for:
CyberGhost places a lot of focus on being able to torrent, as well as stream.
So using one of CyberGhost’s file-sharing-optimized servers, I grabbed an ebook while in my favorite café, using slow internet:
And it worked wonderfully!
As long as you pick a torrent-optimized server that’s close to you, you’ll you can reliably file-share without needing too much time.
To be honest, even though CyberGhost has a good reputation, I still think it’s UNDER rated on its performance.
And that’s because:
CyberGhost is EASILY one of the BEST-PERFORMING VPNs that I’ve tested, across the board—for normal browsing, watching videos online, streaming content, or file sharing.
So far, things are looking great for CyberGhost.
And you know what?
They’re about to get better. Take a look:
Ease of Use
Ease of use is important.
Most VPNs are really easy to use. After all, VPN software is essentially simple from the user’s end—you either activate the VPN or you don’t. You choose from servers. That’s 80% of it.
So when I look at ease of use in a VPN, here’s what I’m really looking at:
Does the software allow users to MAKE GOOD USE of the VPNs capabilities, EASILY? And especially…EFFICIENTLY?
In my opinion, this is one of CyberGhost’s greatest strengths AND one of its big shortcomings:
The software lets you make FULL use of CyberGhost’s features WITHOUT being overbearing.
BUT, although the software itself is great, the number of features and settings are automatically overbearing to a lot of users.
I’ll start with the basics.
This is what CyberGhost’s software’s “home”/default view looks like:
It’s pretty normal—the default view basically gives you an “on” switch.
But what I like is that CyberGhost’s home page adds INFORMATION:
You can view your server’s IP, location, and the time you’ve been connected.
And you can do this:
By clicking the little stats button in the lower right, you can view a LOT of detail about your usage with your current server.
This is SUPER UNIQUE.
Now, let me be honest: do I care about having this information? Is it really important to me?
But, it’s just COOL. And of course, some people may find it incredibly useful.
Anyway, from the “home” page you can also open some quick options:
You can also request a support ticket through the little chat icon in the top right, next to the settings icon, but I’ll get to that later.
Now, here’s where the CyberGhost interface REALLY gets cool:
Notice how the earlier screenshots had a little yellow button featuring a couple arrows on the left side.
Clicking that expands the app. It’ll expand to whatever page you used last—in this case, it opened up to the settings page.
And as you can see, the settings are super easy to toggle.
Now, you can expand it even further if you want to know what the icons in the left mean:
Stuff gets really USEFUL when you start accessing those different tabs.
For example: remember when I was streaming and torrenting earlier?
I did that by heading over to those respective tabs and picking out the best server.
How did I know what the best server was?
This isn’t just a list of servers that are good for streaming.
It’s a list of servers AND locations that are good for streaming SPECIFIC SERVICES.
Now, it’s true SOME VPNs do this—but not many. And none of them do this as well as CyberGhost, or offer AS MANY different optimized servers as CyberGhost does.
It’s pretty much the same situation with servers optimized for torrents:
But it’s even better:
Notice that CyberGhost tells you how many users are active, plus its distance from you and load percent.
Clicking either the distance or load headings will re-organize by highest or lowest distances/load percentages.
So you can EASILY figure out which servers are best for your goal.
It’s pretty similar for the “all servers” tab:
Except you can expand any of the countries listed to view their FULL list.
You can favorite any of the servers you like the most for certain activities so they’re easily accessible.
You can also take advantage of CyberGhost’s other features using the settings tab (which I briefly showed you) and connection features tabs, but I’ll save those for the next section.
The short version is that CyberGhost clearly makes it EASY for you to have a lot of CHOICE over its server network and features, which is GREAT.
A quick word or two on the installation process:
It’s easy. The only thing I didn’t like was the terms and conditions are too long—I’m always put-off when this happens with VPNs:
But other than that, it’s very easy and QUICK to install and set up:
So far, everything is fine. Except…there is ONE issue that affects user-friendliness:
While the software is overall easy, the sheer amount of options become burdensome.
You can control your security and connection settings in TOO MANY different ways. There are TOO MANY pages. Here’s what I mean:
- Connection features
- Smart rules > Startup Rules
- Smart rules > Wi-Fi Protection
- Smart rules > Exceptions
- Smart rules > App Protection
- Settings > General
- Settings > Connection
So it takes a while to get used to.
But if you’re not used to the app, even if you’re a generally advanced VPN user, it’s very easy to forget which feature or setting is on which page.
Other than that though, I do think CyberGhost is generally easy to use.
It has a lot to offer, so ease of use in this case means having a lot of buttons in the application itself.
And while this means it’s LESS SIMPLE than a lot of other VPN software, it’s the best compromise I’ve seen a VPN make between flexibility and user control.
And even if you’re a total newbie to VPN tech, you can figure it out—it’s not much more complicated than email, Instagram, or your browser.
You don’t NEED to use every setting, and the basics are easy.
So far then, CyberGhost is KILLING it.
Things are about to get more complicated:
Pricing and Features
Pricing and features—an area where CyberGhost meets both flaws and additional strengths.
Let’s just get right to it.
Here’s what you’d be investing:
I have mixed feelings.
And that’s because there are some good and not-so-good points about CyberGhost’s pricing.
The three-year deal is a MAJOR bargain. The two-year deal? Also pretty good, though I personally think it could be a little lower if you’re committing to two years.
The yearly price is on the pricier side, as is the monthly price.
Now, as far as the question of whether the prices are WORTH IT goes—I think the answer is pretty clear.
Not to spoil anything too much, but CyberGhost’s higher prices are definitely reasonable considering how strong of a VPN CyberGhost is.
But understandably, not everyone needs all of CyberGhost’s strengths, and some people would rather pay less for a VPN.
And in that case, CyberGhost is not really a budget option, unfortunately.
Now, for actually PAYING for CyberGhost:
You’re a little limited.
Yeah, it’s great that you can pay with PayPal or Bitcoin, but people who want more anonymous or flexible options will be disappointed by the lack of other payment methods.
Now, let’s turn into what you “get” for CyberGhost’s prices.
Here are the basics:
All pricing plans have the same features and performance levels. You get unlimited bandwidth, unlimited server switching, and the gold standard of internet encryption (256-bit).
You can also use CyberGhost on multiple devices:
In fact, a single account covers up to 7 devices, more than the typical 5, so that’s great.
AND, CyberGhost works a TON of different platforms:
As far as “bigger” features go, you’ve already seen quite a bit from the previous sections.
Yes, CyberGhost has servers specialized for torrenting and streaming, plus general-use servers all over the place.
But how big is this network?
3,733 servers. This is definitely one of the LARGEST server counts of any VPN service.
Admittedly…one might expect some more countries would be available, considering the number of servers and CyberGhost’s prices.
But the truth is that 60 countries still puts it on the higher end—and this also means you get a lot more options per country.
There are some features that are becoming more and more common in VPN software, but which aren’t exactly basic yet.
CyberGhost has a LOT of those.
For example, the software comes with a built-in ad-block.
And some malware-blocking and anti-tracking software:
These aren’t total life-savers, and some people might prefer to have a little less built into the software, but they can be nice to have.
You can also automatically redirect sites to their HTTPS versions (the more secure versions) and compress elements of certain pages to conserve data.
Again, I understand that many people will feel this is TOO much to have on a VPN app.
But I think it’s GREAT. Especially because:
You can easily turn them off.
This is also true for the kill switch:
And for the split-tunneling feature, though CyberGhost doesn’t call it that:
And the much more advanced connection settings:
Okay, let’s slow down.
The short version here is that CyberGhost has a LOT of features.
This goes back to what I was saying earlier, about ease of use: it’s not that the software is difficult to use, but the amount of stuff you CAN do naturally adds some complications.
Having said that, there’s no arguing that CyberGhost is one of the most well-featured VPNs around.
You can control so much of your VPN experience, from equipping extra security features to customizing the software itself, to tweaking your connection settings.
So in my view, the prices are definitely worth it—as long as you’re into having so much control.
Naturally, some people will find this is simply way beyond what they need out of a VPN, so it really depends on your tastes.
So far, CyberGhost is definitely killing it. But we’re not done yet:
Customer support is always important, but if we’re going to be honest with ourselves…not every VPN needs it equally.
CyberGhost, however, offers so much that it NEEDS to have good customer support—at least so users can make the most of the software.
CyberGhost basically has two kinds of support:
You can either view information on the website itself, or you can contact customer support directly.
As far as the on-site info goes:
As you can see, there are a few categories.
Announcements can be important but usually aren’t too big a deal, at least when it comes to dealing with problems or questions.
The FAQs are great for beginners mostly, but even more advanced users might find them helpful to tweaking a certain option.
Actually, the FAQ section REALLY impressed me—most VPNs have short FAQ sections with only a few questions and answers.
CyberGhost, in contrast, had dozens, and all split up between different topics.
The troubleshooter articles are a little more niche and for specific problems, rather than general questions.
There aren’t as many of these as there are FAQs, but it’s still more built-out than a lot of other platforms would be.
And the guides?
Almost every platform is covered in-depth, with lots of articles included not just for basic set-up, but software optimization.
So the end result is that CyberGhost has one of the BEST repositories of on-site information that I’ve ever seen in a VPN.
Onto the other half of customer support: contacting representatives.
One way you can do that is by going onto your CyberGhost account in a browser and getting to the support page, which I showed you earlier.
If you’re using the app, you can also do this:
While it’s nice to have the feature contained within the app, it’s not a live chat—so it’s basically a ticket request.
And you’ll still have to use your browser to access the replies.
I’ve found the ticket system works pretty well—responses come RELATIVELY quickly and are helpful.
It’s a similar story with the live chat:
It took a minute for the representative to join the chat, which was fast. But after an initial greeting, the representative didn’t respond for a while.
Turns out that’s because they were writing a detailed reply:
And in the end, I’d rather wait 5 minutes for a detailed reply than one minute for an upsell—which is what a lot of other companies do.
So in conclusion, CyberGhost’s customer support is overall pretty strong.
The main strength is the on-site information and resources, but representatives are also very helpful.
If you’ve been paying attention so far, you know that CyberGhost, aside from some flaws here and there, is doing really well in a lot of areas.
But this next area is always what gets otherwise-great VPNS:
Security and Privacy
It seems counter-intuitive that security and privacy is where VPNs fail—since that’s what they’re supposed to be great at.
That’s what they’re for improving, in fact.
But the truth is a lot of VPNs have shady policies with loopholes or take shortcuts that leave you more vulnerable than advertised.
Even the best VPNs will not be PERFECTLY secure or private—so we’re really shooting for the best bet.
You’ve already seen a lot of security stuff through the previous sections.
For example, you’ve seen all the settings that block malware, ads, or tracking. That’s definitely a PLUS for security and privacy.
The ability to switch between protocols? Standard, but essential.
And remember that you can control SO MUCH about your connection settings:
Plus switch to HTTPS versions of sites, handle split tunneling, activate DNS and IPv6 leak protection, etc, etc.
Some of these settings are basic, some are more advanced, but the good news is the basic ones are activated by default.
For example, here’s the kill switch:
Which some people might find annoying, but from a security standpoint, it’s pretty cool.
The more advanced stuff, again, will require your tinkering.
CyberGhost also offers this, a great option for those who want to enhance their privacy:
NoSpy servers offer additional protection beyond the default plan.
At a glance:
But this is also one of the CyberGhost things I have mixed feelings about.
On one hand: it’s really too bad that the normal servers aren’t independently operated by default.
So unless you’re paying extra, you lose some transparency and security gets a little more ambiguous—as some third parties will be involved in handling the servers you use.
On the other hand: at least you have the OPTION of getting access to these secure servers, and it’s not a huge price increase.
Onto more important things:
The logging policy.
I’ve got some good news in this area:
CyberGhost is very transparent about what data it keeps, its growth, server stats, and what requests it gets from police agencies.
And its transparency also alerts us to what gets logged and what doesn’t:
Now, I do think the lack of payment options I mentioned earlier is unfortunate, as it reduces your anonymity—and registration is one of the few things that gets recorded (for obvious reasons).
But aside from that, it does seem CyberGhost keeps as few logs as possible. It’s definitely better than most VPNs.
The issue is that you still have to take it up on faith—because CyberGhost hasn’t been independently audited, at least not recently, on this end.
Now, I’ve got one last thing to cover: CyberGhost’s location.
This is important because some VPNs are located in countries that result in them being legally vulnerable to handing over data to governments, or allowing backdoors into the software.
Of course, there’s no way to be 100% secure in this area—because if an intelligence agency is dedicated to finding you, JUST using a VPN won’t be enough. Even if it’s a great VPN.
But the more risks you can lose, the better.
CyberGhost’s location is pretty good:
It’s based in both Romania and Germany, but primarily Romania.
The good news is that Romania is not part of the 5 eyes or 14 eyes alliances—global surveillance alliances, essentially.
The other good news is that data retention laws in Romania are nonexistent compared to the United States and other popular VPN home countries.
So while Romania is probably not AS safe as a tax haven, it’s DEFINITELY one of the best countries in the current list of VPN locations.
All in all, CyberGhost is not the BEST VPN for security and privacy. A few extra steps would really put me at ease.
Let’s keep a good thing going, shall we?
- GREAT performance, across the board.
- One of the BEST app setups I’ve encountered. It has the best combination of user-control and user-friendliness that I’ve seen in a VPN application.
- CyberGhost has a LOT of servers optimized for torrents and streaming, plus for extra privacy. And what’s even better is the streaming-servers are optimized for SPECIFIC streaming services.
- In general, CyberGhost has one of the highest server counts and largest server-networks I’ve ever seen on a VPN.
- Easily one of the best-featured VPNs on the market. You can control a tremendous amount of your VPN experience.
- CyberGhost is an overall transparent VPN: yearly transparency reports have been published since 2011.
- CyberGhost has excellent customer support, and especially has really strong on-site information.
- CyberGhost is located in Romania, and is thus less vulnerable to government surveillance and data retention laws.
Nothing is perfect, my friends:
- Although I love the user-interface, I often have sizing problems with the application: whenever I expand the app or try to access certain features, the window resizes and repositions to the point where it’s partially cut off. I have to reposition and resize the window manually so I can use the application. This isn’t a one-time glitch: I also had this problem when testing it in late 2018, four months ago.
- CyberGhost’s prices can be on the higher side, especially if you’re committing to a shorter period of time. It’s not a great option for people who just want a budget VPN.
- CyberGhost doesn’t offer as many countries as some other VPNs do.
- Although CyberGhost’s software is overall easy, it’s only as easy relative to a large number of features and settings. So for people who just want a simple VPN experience, CyberGhost probably offers TOO MUCH user control and customization.
- You have to pay extra to get servers that are directly managed by CyberGhost, which are more secure and transparent. A lot of default servers can involve third parties.
Conclusion: Do I Recommend CyberGhost?
I think it’s time we put everything together.
Do I recommend CyberGhost?
On the surface, it sounds like this entire review has been a list of CyberGhost’s strengths. And to an extent, it has been.
But here’s the twist:
It kind of has…too many strengths.
I know that sounds like baloney. USUALLY, it would be.
But the thing about VPNs is, they don’t need to be complicated. And in fact, MANY VPN customers want simplicity after performance.
Even people who are privacy geeks might not want all the features, and will be happy with simplicity if it means better privacy.
So in this sense, CyberGhost’s strengths are also its weaknesses.
Certainly, it’s easy to use RELATIVE to all the stuff it offers—but it still offers a lot more than most VPN customers care about.
On the other hand, it’s server switching options are NEXT LEVEL, and for that reason alone I think it’s GREAT for streaming, torrenting, or otherwise accessing web content.
In conclusion, then, I wouldn’t recommend CyberGhost to people who prioritize simplicity and/or budget pricing.
But if you are okay with spending a little more, CyberGhost is a great investment—it’s an all-around really strong VPN.
You don’t have to use all the features or settings, and CyberGhost hits a great sweet spot between user control, performance, AND privacy.
I understand if you’re still a little unsure.
My advice here is pretty simple: you can do a 24 free trial without needing a credit card, AND you can also pay for a plan and get your money back in 45 days.
Add your own review!
Have you ever tried CyberGhost before? Do you currently use it?
I’d love to hear what you think about it if this is the case!
Let me know below where you agreed or disagreed with me, and your overall impression of CyberGhost.