CyberGhost Review

CyberGhost now boasts a new-look interface and features a VPN kill switch that's built in as standard. But how does it perform against the competition in terms of speed and pricing?

Verdict

CyberGhost is one of the better performing and now better-looking and easier to use VPNs out there. In terms of performance, it can't quite match the likes of NordVPN or KeepSolid, but it has improved significantly since our last round of testing.

Pros

  • Large number of servers
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Provides international access to Netflix and iPlayer

Cons

  • Poor performance in speed tests
  • Relatively expensive unless you buy a two or three-year subscription

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £55.08
  • £10.29 per month
  • Connect up to 7 devices
  • £55.08 per year
  • Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec
  • £74.10 per two years
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
  • £75.60 per three years
  • Clear information on connecting other devices without dedicated clients

What is CyberGhost?

CyberGhost’s VPN service aims to serve both privacy-conscious users and those who want to watch streaming video services in other countries. It has recently updated its client with a sleeker user interface that’s less heavily influenced by the Windows Metro UI.

Related: Best VPN

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 a double-arrow icon at its left-hand side, a larger display opens up to provide access to further options.

These include a full 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. This includes such actions as whether it starts and connects when you log into Windows, automatically launches selected applications upon connection, how it behaves when it detects that you’ve connected to an unknown Wi-Fi network, and 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 that stops all internet traffic if your VPN connection fails, CyberGhost’s is automatic and permanently enabled.

A handful of additional settings, including the connection protocol its OpenVPN driver uses and options to protect against DNS leaks – on default – and disable incompatible IPv6 connections can be found in a settings tab at the very bottom.

If you buy a three-year subscription, it works out to an inexpensive £2.10 a month. An annual subscription costs £55.08, and is around what you’d expect for a good quality VPN service, although its £10.29 monthly subscription is a little steep. There’s a seven-day free trial if you want to try out the service at no cost.

Related: What is a VPN?

A screenshot of CyberGhost running on Windows 10.

CyberGhost – Performance

CyberGhost returned to form in out latest round of speed tests, with HTTP transfer speeds of 8.43MB/sec (67.44Mbps) in the UK, 7.67MB/sec (61.36Mbps) from Dutch endpoints, and much faster 5.18MB/sec (41.44Mbps) from US endpoints. Although this US throughput speed was still slower than our latest average, it’s fast enough to make for very responsive web browsing, smooth streaming and reasonably quick downloads.

We were unable to maintain an FTP connection to CyberGhost’s US endpoints, but transfers from UK and Netherlands endpoints came in at 7.77 MB/sec (62.16Mbps) and 8.52 MB/sec (68.16Mbps) respectively.

CyberGhost is a pretty good choice for streaming TV fans. As usual, Shudder and Crunchyroll’s US services didn’t throw up any trouble, and we were able to consistently stream content from Netflix in the US and BBC iPlayer in the UK using dedicated endpoints. However, All 4 proved to be a tough nut to crack; we were unable to use it during this round of testing.

Why buy CyberGhost?

CyberGhost itself is based in Romania, where EU data retention laws have been declared unconstitutional. As such, it doesn’t log or store identifying data such as your IP address. If you need of an extra layer of anonymity you can pay for your CyberGhost subscription in bitcoin, or track down a boxed edition – these are can be found in the UK but most appear to be intended for sale in Germany.

Sign up: CyberGhost

Verdict

CyberGhost is rather expensive if you opt for a monthly subscription online, but its annual pricing is decent and its longer-term subscriptions offer good value. The new interface is clear and easy to use, and dedicated endpoints cater to users of the most popular online streaming services.

Although we’re pleased to see a return to form in its performance, it didn’t do as well in our streaming tests as BullGuard or NordVPN; nor is it as consistently quick as KeepSolid VPN Unlimited or Kaspersky Secure Connection.

The accuracy of CyberGhost’s no-logging policy hasn’t been proven in court or by an external audit to date.

Score


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