CyberGhost Review

Verdict

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.

Pros

  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear no-logging policy
  • Excellent streaming performance
  • Extended subscriptions are excellent value

Cons

  • High monthly subscription fees

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £55.08
  • £10.29/month, £55.08/year, £74.10/two years and £75.60/three years
  • Connect up to seven devices
  • Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
  • 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.

CyberGhost VPN

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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 a double arrow icon at its 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 that 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. An annual subscription is, at £55.08, 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?

A screenshot of CyberGhost running on Windows 10.

CyberGhost – Performance

Endpoints/VPN UK Netherlands United States
CyberGhost HTTP 118.48Mbps 100.08Mbps 82.16Mbps
CyberGhost FTP 147.63Mbps 101.73Mbps n/a

This month, CyberGhost put in a conspicuously improved performance via our recently set up high-speed test servers. We got HTTP transfer speeds of 14.81MB/s (118.48Mbps) in the UK, 12.51MB/s from Dutch endpoints and an excellent 10.27MB/s from US endpoints – more than double the top US speed it achieved last month.

As usual, we were unable to maintain an FTP connection with CyberGhost’s US endpoints, but transfers from UK endpoints were impressively fast, at 18.5MB/s. The Dutch endpoint clocked in at 12.7MB/s.

CyberGhost is currently a good choice for streaming TV fans. As usual, Shudder’s and Crunchyroll’s services in the US 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. Last month’s connection issues to CyberGhost’s usually reliable Netflix US streaming endpoint server have been resolved, and it’s one of relatively few VPN providers that still reliably works for streaming Crunchyroll from the US following a recent crack-down.

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

Verdict

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 good, despite a slight dip in the Netherlands throughput during our test period. US speeds were particularly impressive. However, Private Internet Access and ExpressVPN were both faster across the board. But, as the latter is quite a bit more expensive and the former isn’t much cop at streaming, CyberGhost is definitely occupying a useful niche here, and it is currently very competitive against audited rival NordVPN.

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 rivals.

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