Few privacy providers offer more bang for your buck than the German and Romanian-based CyberGhost. And with a user base reaching into the eight figures, it’s hard to deny that CyberGhost has made a name for itself as a global leader in the world of online anonymity.
Since they launched in 2011, CyberGhost has amassed over 36 million users worldwide thanks, in large part, due to its competitive pricing structure. But, are the rumors true—is it really able to provide top-tier security and anonymity at a rock-bottom price point?
To answer this question and more, we got our hands on the product and gave it some thorough testing to decide whether it holds up to scrutiny. Below, we’ll walk you through everything there is to know about this product and give you the run-down on its performance, reliability, and value. This way, you can decide with confidence whether CyberGhost is right for you.
Introduction: CyberGhost 101
Located in Romania, CyberGhost is operated by a team of 55 developers and staff in Bucharest. It is one of the chief offerings of London-based Kape Technologies plc (formerly Crossrider), which acts as a holding company for several digital products.
Thanks to its location, CyberGhost is outside the purview of the 14 Eyes signals intelligence alliance, meaning that all of its data is safe from global government intelligence agencies. This group is an extension of the original Five Eyes (FVEY) alliance to include several European agencies in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Belgium.
Officially, the group is known as SIGINT Seniors Europe (SSEUR), and it is an intel-sharing coalition of some of the world’s most powerful spy and intelligence agencies.
CyberGhost is a cybersecurity SaaS company that specializes in offering virtual private network (VPN) solutions to individuals and enterprise-level customers. There are a host of important features that CyberGhost offers, including:
- Internet Protocol (IP) Hiding
- VPN Kill-Switch Capability
- Maximum Seven (7) Concurrent Devices
- 7,000+ Verified Servers
- 90 Total Countries
In other words, CyberGhost is the total package. It hides your IP, encrypts your valued data, and ensures that all your online activity is 100% anonymous. Best of all, your data is equally protected no matter whether you use Wi-Fi or a wired connection.
With thousands of servers scattered throughout 90 countries spanning East Asia, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States, CyberGhost has a massive infrastructure in place to make your data untraceable.
This is a big plus for a vpn service and something we always think is super important. If you do not get a load of different countries and data centers to choose from then your options are really limited.
If you keep an eye on the CyberGhost blog, you’ll notice they publish a quarterly transparency report. Their recent report for Q4 2022 included the following:
- In the fourth quarter of 2022, CyberGhost VPN received a total of 255,201 requests, a 47% increase compared to their last report and a 128% increase year–over–year compared to Q4 in 2021.
- The requests were broken down into three categories: Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaints, malicious activity flags, and police requests.
- The majority of these requests asked for user data, including users’ original IP addresses, and browsing histories.
- DMCA complaints made up 49.2% of all requests, an increase of 31% from their previous report.
- Malicious activity flags made up 50.7% of all requests, an increase of 67% from their previous report.
- Police requests made up 0.1% of all requests, almost doubling the number from the previous report.
- CyberGhost VPN introduced its bug bounty program and extended support for Australian streaming services.
- They also discontinued their password manager due to low traction.
CyberGhost VPN has advanced features like split tunneling and NoSpy servers, which are specifically designed for enhanced security and anonymity. Their NoSpy servers are owned and operated directly by CyberGhost, ensuring greater control and protection for users. You also can’t go wrong with their 45-day money back guarantee, they are clearly confident in the service they provide!
Now, let’s take a deep dive into CyberGhost’s many features and policies to see if it’s right for you.
Judging by the countless positive reviews floating around online for this service, it’s clear that CyberGhost ranks among the top when it comes to safe and secure VPNs. The question remains, however, whether CyberGhost’s features hold up when put to the test.
Below, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the features and perks offered by this VPN service to see if this SaaS product is the real deal.
Servers and Locations
Perhaps the main selling point of CyberGhost is the sheer volume of server locations and the vast geographical territory in which they’re hosted. At present, CyberGhost boasts the following key statistics regarding server volume:
- 7,000 Unique Server Addresses (Approximate)
- 111 Cities
- 90 Countries
When you use CyberGhost’s services, you can rest assured knowing that your data is being transported and masked across the entire globe. However, most of its servers are clustered in hotspots within North America and the European Union.
CyberGhost also has dedicated NoSpy servers, which are fully maintained and run by the CyberGhost team to exclude any risk that third-party providers could be spying on your traffic data.
For every server hosted by CyberGhost, there is an equal number of unique IP addresses—this makes it easier to keep your personal data hidden from prying eyes.
CyberGhost’s server specs hold muster when compared to some of its main competitors. This is especially true when you consider that CyberGhost’s server to IP address ratio is nearly 1:1, which puts it at a distinct advantage over rival services that barely have half the number of IP addresses that they do servers.
Platform & Device Compatibility
CyberGhost is compatible with virtually all popular operating systems and devices. Below are the top apps and OS platforms that CyberGhost can be run on:
In May 2020, CyberGhost updated their Linux app to keep up with its other device support.
The new Linux app comes with WireGuard, which is a free and open-source software application that uses VPN techniques to secure point-to-point connections on users machines.
Although WireGuard is a new VPN protocol, it’s a fast and secure VPN protocol which offers better performance capabilities over existing protocols, which is great for Linux users who are looking for a fast VPN connection.
If you’d rather install your VPN service as a browser extension instead of running it from your desktop, you can use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to launch the app directly from your browser. You can even run CyberGhost from the Fire TV family of devices from Amazon so that you can stream content on your home TV anonymously without the hassle of geoblocks.
Be aware that the browser extension versions of CyberGhost available for Firefox and Chrome won’t leave you as protected as the full paid service. While these are free extensions, you get what you pay for.
This is because they’re only proxies, and therefore only protect your web traffic—for more advanced protection, the browser plugins should be used in tandem with the full CyberGhost VPN service.
Last, it’s important to note that CyberGhost can be run on all of the top gaming devices and streaming sticks. Simply by connecting your game console or streaming stick to a configured router, you can enjoy access to all of CyberGhost’s VPN protections so you can dodge regional content blocks and stream or game anonymously.
CyberGhost is compatible with the following devices and consoles:
- Amazon Fire TV (Dedicated App)
CyberGhost is a somewhat limited VPN for torrenting, which makes this one of the service’s biggest setbacks in our opinion. While torrenting can be done seamlessly with CyberGhost, it must be noted that it’s only compatible with MacOS and Windows operating systems, so Linux users will run into some headaches when it comes to running torrenting software.
Further, it’s worth noting that torrenting is incompatible with Australian and US-based servers. For this reason, you will have to use its other international servers to get around this restriction.
CyberGhost’s main attraction is its highly advanced security suites and encryption protocols. Using OpenVPN technology, CyberGhost secures data communications using robust AES-256 encryption, which is the leading algorithmic encryption standard available. AES-256 was first developed and utilized by the NSA as a top-secret project in the late 1990s.
Better yet, CyberGhost comes with a built-in killswitch to ensure your data is secure, even if your connection drops. Plus, after running several diagnostic tests, we were able to confirm that DNS and IP leaks were not an issue for us thanks to CyberGhost’s many DNS servers.
For the more technical power users, we’ve provided a high-level overview of the encryption and security specs for CyberGhost below.
- OpenVPN PPTP
- First-party DNS (DNS Leak Blocking)
- TOR via VPN Server
- Split Tunneling
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
The technical specifications listed above guarantee that CyberGhost provides top-notch, military-grade encryption services. In other words, there’s no higher assurance that your data and identity are secure from interception by outside parties.
To put things in perspective for you, it would take 3*10^51 years for 50 supercomputers capable of checking one billion AES keys per second to decrypt a single bit of data. Therefore, if your data is compromised and intercepted, there would be no way for a thief or surveillance agency to read it.
Ease of use is one of the stand-out features of CyberGhost. Unlike some of its rivals, which cater to tech-savvy power users, CyberGhost is an accessible service that can be used by anyone regardless of their experience level.
To get started using CyberGhost, you can refer to this handy user guide which covers the entire installation and setup process from end-to-end. Overall, the setup process for CyberGhost takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes after purchase, mostly through following a series of on-screen prompts.
Once the CyberGhost app is installed to your device, navigating its user interface (UI) is intuitive and straightforward. The first thing you’ll notice is the giant “Connect” button in the middle of the screen, which can be toggled on or off with the click of a button (or the slide of a thumb).
For customer assistance, the app contains a built-in live chat mechanism that can handle your support queries 24 hours a day, usually in less than 20 minutes.
If you’re interested in CyberGhost, chances are you’re opposed to any form of data-logging from a VPN service. After all, the whole point of using a VPN is to circumvent data surveillance and storage—so, why would you hold your VPN service provider to a different standard?
Thankfully, CyberGhost has a strict zero-logging policy to ensure that your data is invulnerable to theft.
There are only two pieces of personal information that CyberGhost collects: your country of origin and the date and time that you connected to the VPN server. Neither of these two data points, if collected by a surveillance agency or third party, would be able to reveal your location or personal identity.
According to CyberGhost’s official policy on logging, date and time data, as well as your country of origin data, are the only necessary pieces of information that must be collected to keep the service running smoothly. Aside from this, it collects nothing.
Your IP address, account data, log out times, traffic data, and more is all uncollected.
CyberGhost also does not conduct deep packet inspections or implement back-door inspections.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
To help you get a better grasp of what CyberGhost is capable of, we put together a short FAQ guide. Below, we’ve listed our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about CyberGhost and its holding company, Kape Technologies.
Is CyberGhost Compatible with Netflix?
Yes. Without any hang-ups or hassles, we were able to easily stream Netflix content to our laptops and mobile devices using CyberGhost. Even when using its Hong Kong servers, we found there was only a split-second speed reduction, which is pretty impressive considering the data has to travel halfway around the globe. In fact, we believe CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for Netflix.
CyberGhost isn’t just “compatible” with Netflix and other streaming services—in fact, it’s optimized for it. When you fire up the CyberGhost app, one of the first things you notice is the “For Streaming” at the top of the main menu.
Once you select this option, you’re asked to choose your preferred device type, and then you are automatically connected to the optimal server for your streaming demands.
To give you a better idea of what CyberGhost is capable of when it comes to video and content streaming, we’ve listed some of the top streaming services below alongside our experience testing them out using the CyberGhost app:
- Netflix US: Fully compatible, with hardly-noticeable delays regardless of server location.
- HBO GO: While there aren’t any servers optimized for HBO’s streaming service, CyberGhost’s Hulu-optimized server was able to stream HBO GO content.
- Amazon Video: When using the Hulu server, we were able to stream Amazon Video content, but there was a slight speed reduction.
- BBC iPlayer: CyberGhost’s BBC-optimized server made it easy to stream fast BBC iPlayer content while getting around its geoblock without any hassles.
- Hulu: Using CyberGhost to stream Hulu and Hulu Plus is a breeze, with zero noticeable speed reductions if you use its Hulu-optimized server.
- YouTube: CyberGhost was able to circumvent geoblocks and stream video in Full HD and 4K resolutions no matter which server location we selected.
Is CyberGhost Compatible with Tor?
Yes, you can use CyberGhost and Tor browser at the same time. To help you configure CyberGhost with Tor, check out this support article written by a company representative. In it, they explain how the Tor entry will only be able to view your CyberGhost IP address without revealing your true identity or geographical location.
Users should be warned, however, that using Tor with a VPN will almost guarantee a slower connection speed. This is because the Tor network requires your data to undergo several thousand relays to conceal your location and make it a secure browser. It’s also worth noting that doubling your encryption level is redundant since there is already no way to break a 256-bit AES.
Does CyberGhost Have Bandwidth Restrictions?
No, there are currently no explicit bandwidth restrictions in place that limit CyberGhost server use. However, in our experience, we found that the premium servers had noticeably faster connection speeds than the free-to-use ones, which leads us to believe that the free servers suffer from load capacity issues and frequent bottlenecks.
No matter what plan you choose, CyberGhost comes with unmetered traffic and bandwidth, including in the free edition, on up to seven devices.
Does CyberGhost Include Customer Support?
Yes, CyberGhost does, at least nominally, offer customer support services. Unfortunately, our experience using it didn’t exactly go over well. For instance, when we ran into a bit of trouble using one of its dedicated torrenting servers, we found that its chat support officer was not the most helpful.
We’re still unsure as to whether the support agent was a genuine human or a chatbot since the answers provided were a little out of the left field. Not only were the responses poorly written and explained, but they failed to address the root of the problem.
Rather than addressing the issue head-on, the agent provided general information that could’ve applied to just about any support query.
Although we walked away with our issue resolved, we ultimately felt disappointed in CyberGhost’s support services. Overall, its agent seemed either utterly unprofessional, or it was a poorly-designed chatbot. For this reason, we think its support services need some serious revamping in the future.
Does CyberGhost Produce Malware?
No, the Romania-based CyberGhost dev team itself does not produce malicious software. However, its new parent company, Kape Technologies (formerly Crossrider), is an Israeli ad-tech firm that is known to have produced and distributed malware in the past.
A few minutes of research can unearth you several articles floating around online decrying Crossrider/Kape for its less-than-savory history of malware production. There are now several popular blog posts instructing users on how to remove malware designed by the Crossrider team.
It’s not lost on us that there is an inherent irony in a VPN and internet privacy company like CyberGhost getting bought out by an ad tech firm in Kape Technologies whose business model relies on selling personal data. Although the parent company of CyberGhost, by its own admission, has a history of untrustworthy business practices, there’s no reason not to trust the CyberGhost development team.
While not a perfect VPN service, there’s a lot to love about CyberGhost. Below, we’ve listed a handful of what we think are CyberGhost’s main selling points that make it stand out from the competition.
- Zero-logging policy prohibits any form of personal data collection
- Simple installation and setup process gets you up and running in minutes
- Global network of servers across 90 countries provides fast speeds regardless of your location
- Speedy performance metrics, consistently surpassing 250Mbps
- Full compatibility with TOR and P2P BitTorrent software
- Excellent performance with streaming software like Netflix and Hulu
No VPN service is without its flaws, and CyberGhost is no exception in this department. Below are a handful of complaints we have based on our experience using CyberGhost over the past week.
- Unprofessional, less-than-helpful live chat support
- Server network needs a little beefing up in the East Asia region
- US and Australian servers prohibit torrenting
No review of CyberGhost would be complete without talking about the first thing that’s on many potential customers’ minds: the pricing. Fortunately, CyberGhost offers relatively low prices in comparison to many rival brands. Find its subscription model below (all prices in US dollars).
- 3 Years: $2.25/month
- 2 Years: $3.49/month
- 1 Year: $3.99/month
- 1 Month: $12.99/month
One of the standout features of the premium subscription package is that it offers a true month-to-month plan. This is a very convenient option for shoppers on the fence about whether they want to commit to a service they’re unfamiliar with.
For those who’ve tested its product and are interested in signing up for the service in the long-term, you would have a hard time finding a better deal than its three-year $2.75 monthly plan.
If privacy is your main concern, you’ll be pleased to find out that CyberGhost accepts several payment methods, including your typical debit and credit card checkout options, as well as cash (yes, cash!), PayPal, and Bitcoin. The lattermost option is probably your best bet if your principal concern is anonymity since CyberGhost would be unable to store your payment data.
CyberGhost Money-Back Guarantee
Still not sure whether CyberGhost is right for you? No worries—you can take advantage of its money-back guarantee in case you find it doesn’t live up to your expectations.
All users have up to 45 days to cancel a subscription without facing any financial penalties or charges if you signed up for one year or longer. If you buy a month-to-month plan, you have two weeks to cancel without being charged.
Best of all, there’s a strict “no questions asked” policy, so you won’t feel put on the spot by its support team when you go to cancel.
After spending the better part of a week tinkering around with CyberGhost and testing out as many servers as we could humanly manage, we walked away with a positive opinion of the product.
Overall, I would recommend CyberGhost as a reliable VPN service provider thanks to its consistent speeds, no-logging policy, and its unique jurisdiction in Romania which prevents any stored data from being collected by allied intelligence agencies.
No matter whether you intend to use CyberGhost with TOR, Netflix, or P2P torrenting software, you can rest assured that their product will meet your needs.
CyberGhost boasts over 36 million users and has apps for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, Smart TV, Apple TV, PlayStation 3 & PlayStation 4, Xbox One & Xbox 360 and your router.
Although its live chat support could use some overhauling, and its Asian servers performed markedly worse than the European, North American, and African servers, we were still more than satisfied with the total package—and its industry-low subscription package doesn’t hurt either.