VPN or Virtual Private Network adds a layer of security to protect your digital privacy and hide your internet footprints at the same time. When connected to VPN (CyberGhost VPN), your internet traffic is encrypted and passes through remote servers, thus making it nearly impossible for anyone to track your IP address.
We cannot stress enough on the fact that VPN is a must-have tool if you want to secure your digital privacy. There are many VPNs available that you can use, but like every other thing, VPNs too have their pros and cons. Let’s have a look at what CyberGhost, a popular VPN has to offer to its users. In this CyberGhost VPN review, we have described the various aspects of the VPN to analyze its prowess.
CyberGhost VPN Review 2019
CyberGhost traces its origins to Bucharest, Romania, and was founded in 2011. CyberGhost claims to have over 30 million users, and the first in the industry to publish a transparency report. Today, its team is composed of over 70 IT professionals, who are based both in Romania and in Germany.
CyberGhost has seen important changes recently, with the service having been acquired by Crossrider, a UK-based Israeli company. This raised concerns among users since changes in ownership location could in some instances have an impact on VPN providers’ privacy policies
CyberGhost VPN is a great choice for Netflix and combined with the great features that CyberGhost VPN offers, is a major selling point. In this CyberGhost VPN review, we will take a closer look at the VPN and see how it stacks up among its competitors.
Pros and Cons of CyberGhost VPN
====> Free service tier
====> Easy setup and simple to use
====> Small system footprint
====> Accepts Bitcoin for subscription payment
====> AES 256-bit encryption
====> Unlimited use
====> Excellent pricing options
====> Speed can vary greatly from connection to connection
====> Doesn’t work reliably in China
====> Live chat not available 24/7
====> Relatively highly priced
What is CyberGhost VPN?
CyberGhost VPN offers you protection from the prying eyes of the bad guys while also allowing access to websites and services that might not normally be available in your area. In addition, CyberGhost supplies anonymous connections to torrent servers, special features that allow efficient connections to streaming services and more.
One great thing about CyberGhost is that, in addition to their paid service (which is reasonably priced), they also offer a free VPN service. While lacking in the premium features provided by the paid tiers, CyberGhost’s free VPN service might be all the average, occasional user needs.
Security & Privacy
Security: CyberGhost scores really well when it comes to security. The VPN offers military-grade 256-bit AES encryption with a 2048-bit RSA key, which is the best available on the market right now. It has also upgraded from HMAC MD5 for hash authentication to the more secure HMAC SHA-2, which is the standard recommended by the OSTIF OpenVPN Audit.
To further enhance security, CyberGhost makes use of Perfect Forward Secrecy. This is a feature used to create a new private encryption key for every session, something that significantly reduces the risks of somebody hacking into your connection.
CyberGhost offers three protocols to its users: OpenVPN, L2TP, and IKEv2. These are the protocols frequently used today, and older protocols like SSTP, SSL, and SSH are not supported. Among the three available protocols, OpenVPN is recommended due to its good balance of security and speeds. In case you only need little security and highest speeds, you can make use of the L2TP and IKEv2 protocols.
As for the IP addresses, CyberGhost uses shared IP addresses, which helps improve anonymity. Users on the same server always have the same public IP. CyberGhost tells me they have a total of 3,700+ IP addresses
Privacy: Being based in Romania is a great plus for CyberGhost VPN, as this places it beyond the reach of the UK, Canadian, and US data retention policies. It’s also outside the “14-eyes” group of countries that share internet intelligence.
Romania is fairly lax regarding its data retention rules. The Romanian constitutional court actually revoked its data retention law in 2014. A new retention law was drafted in October 2015, and it aims to protect user privacy by preventing the collection of data by law enforcement groups. This provides CyberGhost VPN with a perfect environment to implement their Zero Logs policy.
The VPN explicitly states that it does not log user activity, although minimal connection records are usually kept. From the CyberGhost VPN website:
To further boost your privacy and anonymity, CyberGhost allows you to pay for the VPN service using Bitcoin. In addition, don’t need to use your email during the sign-up, since you only need a username and password to get started. Beware of using the same username as your social media accounts, as that can easily expose you.
NOTE: CyberGhost VPN records exclusively for statistical purposes non-personal data (such as for example, data regarding the utilization degree of the servers), which do not represent in any moment a danger for your anonymity.
CyberGhost Paid VPN Service Features
Your paid subscription to the CyberGhost VPN service will provide you with the following features.
Custom apps – Access to all features of the CyberGhost custom software for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS and Android.
Smart use profiles – Subscribers have access to a wide range of usage profiles (these will be explained in detail later of our review).
Connections – Up to seven simultaneous devices can be connected to the CyberGhost VPN network.
Speed – CyberGhost subscribers get access to exclusive higher speed network servers (these can be up to five times faster than their free counterparts).
Encryption – All of your Internet traffic will be secured using 256-bit AES encryption.
Logging policy – Absolutely no logs will be kept of any of your online activities.
Server network – Priority access and the ability to connect to over 2750 servers and 60+ countries worldwide.
Protocols – You can connect to their service using OpenVPN and IKEv2, as well as native L2TP-IPSec and PPTP protocols.
Extra Features – Ad and tracker blocking to guard against Internet fingerprinting, malware blocking, compression, and forced HTTPS.
Provider Network and Server Locations
CyberGhost operates a moderately sized VPN service. Their full network consists of over 3000 servers in 60+ countries. These are spread across six continents. To improve the performance of their network, CyberGhost has multiple locations with many servers in popular countries. These countries include Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and others. A full listing of their current server locations follows:
Africa – Kenya, South Africa
Asia – India, Israel, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam
Europe – Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom
Oceania – Australia, New Zealand
North America – Canada, United States
South America – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica
The server page on their website will let you see the full extent of the CyberGhost VPN network. Clicking on a location on their server map will show the total number of servers in that country. This page also contains an interactive table with a list of countries, the number of servers in each country, and the current users online. This table can be expanded to show this same information for individual servers in their network.
CyberGhost VPN Pricing & Payment
There are three plans available are:
A month plan: costs $12.99, billed at $12.99/month
A year plan: $5.99 per month, billed at $71.88
2 Year plan: $3.69 per month, billed at $88.56
3 Year plan: $2.75 per month, billed at $99
For each plan, CyberGhost gives a 45-day money-back guarantee. Unlike some VPN providers, we found that CyberGhost is very trustworthy with their guarantee. If for any reason you decide to cancel your subscription, you will get your money back! This is very useful for streaming content aficionados, as you get the opportunity to test first-hand and risk-free if the VPN can access your favourite streaming sites – before you commit to a plan.
Free Trial: CyberGhost is one of the few big names that offer a free trial of their premium VPN service. If you download their VPN client for PC or smartphone, you get a 1-day free trial period with all the premium features enabled. After your trial, you can then upgrade to a premium plan.
Payment Methods: The VPN supports quite a large range of payment options. These include the major credits, PayPal, bitcoin and even gift cards. The fact that CyberGhost supports bitcoin payment is a major benefit to maintain your anonymity since paying through bitcoin leaves no traces behind.
Supported Platforms & User Interface
CyberGhost VPN is available for almost all the platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire Stick, and Android TV. I used CyberGhost’s Windows app, Android app and iOS app and my experience with the interface was smooth. The setup process is slick, and you can get connected to the VPN within no time.
You can choose from the list of servers depending upon your requirements. The apps offer you the feature where the VPN would be automatically connected as soon as you boot up your device.
Moreover, I liked how CyberGhost chooses the best VPN server for you automatically. The one-click connect feature further contributes to the ease of usage. Overall, the user-friendliness is evident on all the platforms.
Conclusion: Is it worth it?
CyberGhost VPN is a strong contender in the list of best VPN service providers. It offers a great number of features along with dedicated servers for streaming and torrenting. For those looking forward to purchasing a VPN for bypassing geo-restrictions, CyberGhost VPN could be a good choice.
Apart from gripes like lack of phone support, 24-hour free trial and a steep difference in yearly and monthly pricing, CyberGhost VPN is an excellent VPN loaded with features and definitely worth the price if you commit for a longer duration.