CyberGhost is rather expensive if you opt for a monthly subscription online but its annual pricing is decent and its longer-term subscriptions are very good value indeed. Its interface is clear and easy to use, and dedicated endpoints cater to streaming media enthusiasts. However, the accuracy of CyberGhost’s no-logging policy hasn’t been proven in court or by an independent audit, so those who need evidence-backed security as well as speed may want to consider some of its rivals.
- Wide range of endpoint countries
- Clear no-logging policy
- Excellent streaming performance
- Extended subscriptions are very good value
- Disappointing US connection speeds
- High monthly subscription fees
- Review Price: £55.08
- Connect up to seven devices
- Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec
- Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
- £10.29/month, £55.08/year, £74.10/two years and £75.60/three years
- Clear information on connecting other devices without dedicated clients
What is CyberGhost?
CyberGhost’s virtual private network (VPN) service aims to cater to privacy-conscious users and those who want to watch streaming video services in other countries. It has recently updated its client to look sleeker and less heavily influenced by Windows Modern UI.
Related: Best VPN 2019
CyberGhost – Features and usability
The latest version of CyberGhost’s interface defaults to a notification area pop-up window that shows either a quick connection button – and a pulldown to select the server you’ll be connecting to – or the status of your current connection.
It hides itself as soon as you move your window focus by clicking elsewhere, but if you click on the double arrow icon at the left-hand side, a larger display opens up to give you access to further options.
These include a server list covering 60 countries, and specific endpoint lists showing servers for torrenting or streaming video services such as iPlayer or Netflix. You’ll also find a Connection Features tab here, where you can enable CyberGhost’s integrated ad blocker, anti-malware filtering, anti-tracking, force HTTPs and bandwidth-saving data compression features.
A Smart Rules tab allows you to define the behaviour of the client. You can customise whether it starts and connects when you log into Windows, whether it automatically launches selected applications upon connection, how it behaves when it detects that you’ve connected to an unknown Wi-Fi network, and you can choose any exceptions whose traffic you wish to route outside the VPN connection.
You can also configure it to automatically launch when you open specific apps. While most VPN clients have an optional kill switch which stops all internet traffic if your VPN connection fails, CyberGhost’s is automatic and permanently enabled.
A handful of additional settings can be found in a Settings tab at the very bottom. These include the connection protocol its OpenVPN driver uses and options to protect against DNS leaks – on default – and disable incompatible IPv6 connections.
If you buy a three-year subscription, it works out at an inexpensive £2.10 a month. At £55.08, an annual subscription is around what you’d expect for a good-quality VPN service, but the £10.29 monthly subscription is a little steep. There’s a one-day free trial – it used to be seven days – if you want to try out the service at no cost.
Related: What is a VPN?
CyberGhost – Performance
This month, CyberGhost’s performance remained around average from European endpoints but dipped to around half that of its rivals in the U.S. – a frequent problem area for the service, although we logged much faster speeds from its U.S. servers last month.
We got HTTP transfer speeds of 110.8Mbps (13.85MB/s) in the UK, 114.48Mbps from Dutch endpoints and just 34.96Mbps from US endpoints. These are all on an extremely fast internet connection, so you may see slower performance from standard home connections.
As usual, we were unable to maintain an FTP connection with CyberGhost’s US endpoints, but transfers from UK endpoints were impressively fast, at 18.4MB/s. The Dutch endpoint clocked in at 16.7MB/s.
CyberGhost is a very good choice for streaming TV fans. As usual, Shudder’s service in the U.S. didn’t throw up any trouble and we were able to stream content from BBC iPlayer and All 4 in the UK using dedicated endpoints. CyberGhost’s Netflix U.S. streaming endpoint remains reliable.
Should I buy CyberGhost?
CyberGhost is based in Romania, where EU data retention laws have been declared unconstitutional, and it does not log or store identifying data such as your IP address. If you need an extra layer of anonymity, you can pay for your CyberGhost subscription in Bitcoin or via money order. Sadly, physical codes purchase editions no longer appear to be widely available.
Sign up: CyberGhost
CyberGhost is rather expensive if you opt for a monthly subscription online but its annual pricing is decent and its longer-term subscriptions are very good value indeed. Its interface is clear and easy to use, and dedicated endpoints cater to streaming media enthusiasts.
Its latest speed test results are usable, but unremarkable at best, while U.S. speeds are a tad low. Private Internet Access, NordVPN and ExpressVPN were all faster across the board. But, as the latter two are more expensive and the former isn’t much cop at streaming, CyberGhost definitely occupies a useful niche here.
However, the accuracy of CyberGhost’s no-logging policy hasn’t been proven in court or by an independent audit, so those who need evidence-backed security as well as speed may want to consider some of its rivals.
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