CyberGhost is a Romania based VPN provider by Kape Co. Operating for more than 9 years in the market, CyberGhost was both praised and vilified a lot.
In this CyberGhost review, I will purchase the service, install their apps, investigate privacy concerns, and analyze the overall server performance of the service.
In the end, we will come to a conclusion if VPN users should choose CyberGhost as their VPN provider or not.
Let’s get started!
Pricing and refund policy
Being one of the cheapest VPN providers in the market, CyberGhost has four alluring plans for its visitors. These plans are:
- 1 month: 12.99$
- 1 year: 3.99$/month
- 2 years: 3.49$/month
- 3 years: 2.25$/month (with %83 saving)
CyberGhost plays a weird game to push the customers to 3 years plan. First of all, a 1-month plan just has 14 days moneyback guarantee, and the price gap between two years and 3 years plan is so little that you feel forced to go for the 3 years plan.
Let’s say that we fall for it. How can we make the payment now?
CyberGhost has dynamic payment options for each different country. No matter where you are located, you will find the most popular payment gateways listed. In case, you do not have PayPal, etc, you can always go for the local options.
As for popular gateways, you can prefer:
- Visa, MasterCard, and Amex
Once you make your mind, you can simply complete the payments with any of those options. Yet, in case you do not like the service or it is not working properly for your end, you can simply ask for a refund within 14 days for a 1-month plan and within 45 days for the rest of the plans.
What is more attractive is that CyberGhost does not limit you with any criteria for the refunds. No matter what you do with your account, you will be fully refunded if asked within the eligible period.
CyberGhost compatible apps
Now that we have completed the purchase and created our personal VPN account, it is very time to download compatible apps for the devices we like to use VPN on.
In the CyberGhost review, I will be sharing my personal experience with Macbook Pro and Realme 6 Pro devices. Yet, right before jumping into the reviews, let’s take a look at what CyberGhost offers in terms of compatibility.
- PCs: Windows, macOS, Linux
- Mobile devices: Android, iOS
- Browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox
- TVs: Amazon Fire Sticks, Android TV, Apple TV,
- Other devices: PS 3 & 4 and routers (requires manual action)
Except for the ones requiring manual setup, CyberGhost has auto-install apps for almost all popular devices we use daily. If you are not sure how to move forward with the installation, just visit the CyberGhost website and follow their user-friendly tutorials under the “VPN Apps” menu.
I installed the macOS app and used it for quite a few weeks. Below you can see my experience…
CyberGhost welcomes its users with a minimalist design. The software automatically selects the best location for you. If you like, a single click will establish a VPN connection. Besides, clicking the yellow arrow next to the server selection will expand the server list where you can choose something specific.
Furthermore, rather than scrolling all the way down to find a server, you can simply search it on the mid-top of the VPN app.
Apart from the server line up, CyberGhost offers handy connection features for the enchantment of personal privacy.
- Block ads: It helps you block ads both on PC and mobile devices
- Block malicious websites: It prevents third-party sources to inject malicious files into your devices
- Data compression: CyberGhost compresses the CSS, JS, HTML, and images of the websites to reduce internet usage.
- Block online tracking: A well-known method to block online trackers and cookies
- Automated HTTPS redirection: This technology forces your internet connection to the secure version of the websites if available.
Besides the availability of these features and servers for PC users, it is possible to use them all on your smart devices as well. However, do they work?
Well, since the introduction of those features, unfortunately, CyberGhost cannot get them worked properly. As so many things are handled through the serverside, there are always unexpected things going on the backend that those features malfunction a lot.
Other than that, CyberGhost, as a VPN, is stable and works without any issues.
I do take privacy seriously when choosing a VPN service. In order to do that, we will analyze CyberGhost under three subcategories.
Let’s get started!
Privacy on the company end
- Legislation: CyberGhost is based in Romania and it has to comply with EU regulations. In 2012, the Romanian Parliament passed a law by ignoring citizen privacy and went by the EU way. However, in 2014 Romanian Court decided that the 2012 data retention law was unconstitutional.
Privacy on the service end
Privacy keynotes for CyberGhost as a service:
- Encryption: CyberGhost offers 4 different protocols: OpenVPN, IKev2, WireGuard, and L2TP with 256-bit encryption. While the first three protocols are highly available with the servers, only a few of them have L2TP. These types of protocols with 256-bit encryption are accepted as standards providing both speed and reliability.
- Server Infrastructure: Plenty of VPN providers adopt RAMdisk only servers to keep the data storage at the minimum level. However, CyberGhost falls behind its competitors and run its server structure with old school methods.
- NoSpy servers: Besides the issue above, CyberGhost offers different types of servers for an additional cost. They call it NoSpy servers bundled with premium hardware, better download/upload speed, independent operations, higher bandwidths, etc…
Apart from assertive statements, there is no independent audit company offering any type of audit of CyberGhost. Meaning that there is no professional touch to the apps depicting any possible IP/DNS leaks or log retention that might escape from normal user sight.
Server coverage and speed performance
To me, coverage and performance a significant role when using a VPN service. A VPN is no good if it cannot offer decent performance or lacks several servers when you want to connect to the specific one.
Let us see how CyberGhost handles coverage and performance altogether.
Trying to keep up with the server domination, CyberGhost does a great job. Currently, the company has more than 6600 servers in 90 different countries. While most of the servers are physically deployed to the datacenters, some of them are virtual that grant you the IP address of those specific countries such as China, Russia, Mexico, or Qatar.
In the app, you can find a specific server location for a single purpose as well. If you like to download P2P files, make sure to select “downloading servers” or if you like to watch something abroad, check streaming servers.
Great variety of server locations with fewer server loads, CyberGhost did an exceptional job! Yet, are they fast enough?
CyberGhost has been struggling to burden down the server load for quite a long time. The latest improvements on the server side seem paid off with the new performance results.
Check out my latest speed test runs below.
|Region||Download / Mbps||Upload / Mbps|
|USA - New York||6.77||4.74|
|USA - Los Angeles||16.71||6.26|
|USA - Dallas||29.97||7.16|
|Canada - Toronto||24.54||3.29|
|UK - London||53.85||7.54|
Since our previous speed test, CyberGhost has not moved much further. The average 5-15 Mbps download speed now idles around 20-50 Mbps now. Normally, it is a huge step ahead. However, when compared with the fastest VPN providers in the market, CyberGhost falls behind its competitors.
Still, with the speed given, you can stream 4k videos, have a seamless social media experience, or surf on the internet without any speed issues.
Yet! Can you download huge files? We will learn it on the following topic.
You might get into trouble when downloading torrent files. Encrypting your traffic and making your activities invisible to your internet service provider is a must. Only this way, you can download huge files with the peace of mind.
On the other hand, we do also have speed problems. Not all VPN providers can offer decent download speed performance with their P2P servers. How about CyberGhost?
Right after connecting one of the CyberGhost P2P servers, I started to download a torrent file. The download took around 4 minutes to complete. During the process, I had a connection issue. CyberGhost disconnected from the server and reconnected again.
Furthermore, there were so many ups and downs that I could not have a stable torrenting experience. As seen in the image above, it is hard to talk about the average download speed.
Unfortunately, CyberGhost failed P2P experience with a critical disconnection problem as well as unstable speed performance.
Dedicated server and streaming
CyberGhost is the first VPN provider offering a dedicated streaming service for each different platform. Ranging from the USA, Brazil to European streaming websites, CyberGhost can unblock more than 50 different stream websites when browsing abroad.
CyberGhost Netflix the USA library ✔
As a regular test on vpnxd.com, I gave CyberGhost USA a shot to bypass the Netflix ban abroad.
Luckily, on the first try, I was able to watch Netflix USA abroad with CyberGhost. The streaming quality was adequate and I did not have any buffering issues during the TV show.
Besides the USA library, you can also unblock Netflix France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
CyberGhost BBC iPlayer ✔
One another, hard to unblock streaming service is BBC iPlayer as well. In the optimized server section, I connect to the proper UK server.
With the CyberGhost UK server, I was able to bypass the BBC iPlayer ban without having any streaming issues. The UK helped me watch the BBC documentaries with the best possible quality on the website.
Overall, CyberGhost does a great job with its dedicated streaming servers. The specific suggestions and working streaming servers make CyberGhost one of the best VPN solutions for travelers and ex-pats.
Not many people care about VPN services when using them for online games. However, I do care a lot. Because of geo-location restrictions and local user matching problems, a user might need a VPN service.
Is CyberGhost one of them?
Right before connecting to the CyberGhost server, I would like to share ping rates without VPN encryption.
On the image above, you can see the ping results of the three Dota 2 servers.
And here is the result after I connect to the Luxembourg server to play Dota 2.
Unfortunately, the ping rates almost doubled on the Europe servers. Additionally, the Russian server alerts us with a yellow sign depicting that we might have connection problems during the game.
While the company covers most of the countries with dedicated and virtual servers, unfortunately, CyberGhost cannot keep up with SurfShark and ExpressVPN in terms of speed.
The download speed improved by 3 to 5 times. Yet, it still idles around 30-50 Mbps. Streaming servers are fine and you can watch videos up to 4k. On the other hand, the torrenting experience was unstable and CyberGhost is not a good solution for online gamers because of high ping rates.
Overall, CyberGhost offers a mediocre performance.
While using CyberGhost, I came across a China Mainland server located in Shenzhen. At first, I thought it was impossible. Yet, I wanted to give it a shot.
After connected to the China server, sadly, I got a Romanian IP address. Thus, I connected to customer support to fix the problem. Simply, I asked:
- “When I connect to your China server, I get a Romanian IP address. How can we fix this problem?”
Angeline joined the chat right after 11 seconds and we started to discuss the issue. She assured me that the issue was passed to the tech team and it will be fixed as soon as possible.
The chat was fast and there was no waiting queue ahead. Secondly, it is possible to get French and German help besides English -not something you might find in any other VPN providers.
Lastly, you can access the CyberGhost help page covering the guide, FAQ, troubleshooting, and announcement topics. Interestingly, the whole support articles can be read in Deutsch, and French as well.
CyberGhost was founded in Romania by a German entrepreneur, Robert Knapp. Later in 2017, an Israeli company Crossrider bought CyberGhost for 9.2 Million Euros. The Crossrider also bought Zenmate and Private Internet Access VPN providers.
The problems start here:
- Crossrider, now known as Kape, used to inject malware into PCs via browser extensions, and software.
- The CEO accepted their notorious background and made a promise to favor user privacy.
- CyberGhost is not a great option for speed required activities such as gaming and extensive torrent downloads.
Summing up CyberGhost review
CyberGhost is a dynamic VPN provider flowing with innovations. Started its journey as a free VPN provider, CyberGhost now converted into a fully paid service. It has reasonable plans starting from 2.75$/month and each account can be used up to 7 devices simultaneously.
A variety of compatible apps with CyberGhost v8 helps its users make use of the VPN service for mobile devices, PCs, sticks, routers, and even smart TVs.
There is a huge amount of servers you can choose from. Currently, the company offers more than 6600 servers in 90 different countries. The user-friendly CyberGhost app makes the server selection easy as well. With the help of categorized servers for different purposes, you can connect to the desired location only with two clicks.
Before connecting to the servers, you can select from four different protocols. Each protocol comes with 256-bit encryption and the power of CyberGhost strict no-log policy. However, the company also depicts that they will work with the legal letters in case there come any court orders.
Speaking of servers, CyberGhost offers mid-level speed performance. Depending on your location and the crowdedness of the servers, you will get from 20 to 50 Mbps download speed.
With the speed given, you can stream 6 different Netflix libraries and BBC iPlayer in ultra HD quality. However, because of the ups and downs, I do not recommend CyberGhost for P2P users and online games. There is still room for improvement.
In case you do not like the service, you can ask for a full refund within 45 days. Fair enough, right?
CyberGhost is getting better each day. It has reasonable pricing plans, good apps, and dedicated streaming servers. Romania based company also keeps minimum logs of the users.
- No activity logging
- Bitcoin accepted
- 7 simultaneous connections
- Userfriendly apps
- Dedicated streaming servers for many platforms
- Log policy is not clear
- Poor torrenting and gaming performance
- Notorious background of the new CyberGhost owner