Looking for a VPN service, but find the whole idea of a virtual private network a bit confusing? Unable to get your head around anonymous surfing and protecting your Wi-Fi connection in public?
What you need is a VPN that makes the various options simple—and CyberGhost VPN is one of the top VPNs when it comes to simplicity. (77% discount for Black Friday!)
In this review, we look at CyberGhost VPN’s features, and see how its 3000 servers in 61 countries, can help you stay safe and private online.
Pricing and Payment for CyberGhost VPN
Subscribing to CyberGhost’s VPN plans is simple. You have three basic options:
- Pay monthly at $12.99
- Pay 6-monthly at $47.94 (working out at $7.99 a month)
- Pay for 18 months at $63.00 ($3.50 per month), which is then billed annually (increasing the monthly rate to $5.25)
That 18 month package represents a massive 73% saving, so is worthy of your consideration.
Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to pay. Standard options are available (credit or debit card) along with PayPal. You also have the choice to use BitPay to pay with Bitcoin.
Keeping the payment options and features straightforward is in CyberGhost’s favor. By offering the same service to all payment options, CyberGhost keeps things straightforward, a simplicity that permeates the entire service.
Upon sign up, you’ll get the chance to create a username and password for the service. You’ll also receive a PUK number; use this when you’ve lost your credentials to regain access to your VPN.
CyberGhost on Your Favorite Devices
After you’ve subscribed, you’ll get the option to download your very own CyberGhost VPN app.
Four official CyberGhost apps are available; you can have up to five devices using VPN simultaneously. CyberGhost offers client apps for:
- Windows: this is available directly from the CyberGhost VPN website
- macOS: as above
- iOS: available in the App Store
- Android: find it on Google Play
While there is no dedicated client, CyberGhost VPN can be run on Linux devices and routers, thanks to support for the OpenVPN, L2TP, and IPSec protocols.
While we would advise setting your VPN up on your router where possible, many routers are unsuitable. If you want a router VPN, though, CyberGhost is a good choice.
Five devices should be more than enough for most families (and certainly single person households!); if not, simply pay for another subscription!
Installing and Setting Up CyberGhost VPN
Installing CyberGhost is straightforward. Just download the app for your device, then install. Depending on what device you’re setting this up on, the process will differ slightly. For instance, on Windows, you’ll be asked to exit all other software, and your network connection will briefly drop.
This contrasts with Android and iOS, where installation is as simple as any other app.
With the app installed, you’ll be ready to launch. Simply sign in with the credentials you created when you signed up.
The desktop version of CyberGhost VPN for Windows and macOS will present you with an easy-to-use interface to enable your VPN connection. Just choose the option you want, and click Start…
Using CyberGhost’s Easy VPN
Just how simple is CyberGhost VPN? The straightforward user interface gives you easy access to its features.
Get Online Quickly With One-Click Connection
When you first start CyberGhost VPN, you’ll see the legend “VPN not connected!” This is easily resolved, and by clicking or tapping the connect button, your computer will be connected to the fastest server based on your location.
If you want a different location, click the down-arrow next to Best server location to expand the options. You’ll typically have three key servers based on your location, plus quick options for Netflix and other streaming services.
As with any VPN, you can choose a country to route your connection through, with the aim of preventing your online activity from being tracked.
To find a server, click the yellow panel or open Menu > Settings and select the All servers list. Then, simply choose the country you want to use, and double click (or tap) to select it. The new connection will connect instantly.
When choosing a server, keep an eye on the distance and load. A server that is further away with a heavy user load will be slower than a closer one with few users.
Note that you can set a “favorite” server by clicking the star symbol. The server will then be added to the Connect to drop-down list for use later.
Enabling you to watch TV channels and movies that might be blocked in your country or territory, you’ll find CyberGhostVPN supports Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime/Instant Video, YouTube Red, Canal+, ESPN, Pandora, and many other region-blocked TV and audio services.
Many people wonder whether CyberGhost works with Netflix. In January 2018, The VPN Lab found that it does indeed allow for Netflix streaming. Netflix is always trying to stay one step ahead, though, so you should double-check if using CyberGhostVPN for Netflix is one of your main goals.
You can gain easy access to these using the Connect to drop-down menu. What you see here will depend on your part of the world, and what services are prominent.
For more options, click the yellow panel again, and select For Streaming. (You can also use the More servers option in the drop-down menu.)
Simply select the service you want to use, sign in, and enjoy! Close attention to the different servers will reveal that each is optimized for a specific service, for instance one United States server is optimized for Pandora, while another is for Netflix.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom servers are optimized for Sky TV, or BBC iPlayer. If you’ve ever tried using the BBC’s streaming service via VPN, you’ll know how good they are at blocking VPN connections.
Happily, CyberGhost is the first VPN service I’ve used that reliably streams BBC iPlayer content.
Smart Rules and Connection Features
Smart rules that determine how CyberGhost VPN launches connects to your chosen servers can be set.
Find this in the Settings menu, under Smart rules. Enable Auto app launch to choose your preferred browser (or another app) to automatically launch when CyberGhost connects.
The smart rules have been revised in the latest version of CyberGhost, and now offer Wi-Fi Protection settings to configure how specific wireless networks are encrypted (or not).
Meanwhile, the Exceptions view lets you specify which apps connect without encryption. Note that the CyberGhost VPN connection will switch to OpenVPN to manage encrypted and non-encrypted connections.
The Connection features view is also useful, letting you block ads and trackers, malicious websites, and force connection over to the secure HTTPS version of any website.
Want untraceable services selected on your behalf? CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for torrenting.
Remember, torrenting is a legal peer-to-peer file sharing system, used for many legitimate purposes beyond illegal downloading.
(We do not encourage using torrents for anything illegal.)
Get started using the For torrenting menu, where a list of suitable servers can be found. Simply select one to use with your internet connection and launch your torrent client. Note that you can configure a smart rule to launch your torrent app when your VPN connects.
Check Your Settings, Too!
CyberGhost VPN also has a detailed Settings screen. Here, you can set language options or reset the client.
You’ll also find the option to select a VPN protocol (by default is it automatic) and use TCP instead of UDP for OpenVPN connections. There’s also an option to use random ports with OpenVPN, which can prove useful for remaining anonymous online.
Logging, Leaking, and Lag With CyberGhost VPN
Not all VPNs are created equal. Some are susceptible to various problems. Most common are issues with the logging policy, the problem of DNS leakage, and the struggle some VPNs have with giving you fast access to the internet. The top VPNs around manage to address all these problems.
We want to make sure our CyberGhost review covers these important issues.
CyberGhost’s Logging Policy
CyberGhost doesn’t want to lose you as a customer. As such, their knowledge base reports a strict no logs policy. This means that no records are kept about your online activities.
“Do we log, keep logs, protocol surfing behaviors or record content, visited websites or IP addresses of our users? No! Why? People in non-democratic countries (so maybe YOU!) are in real danger, just for expressing their opinions. If we implemented back-doors, deep packet inspections or store information about our users and share those with authorities regardless of their origins, we would risk the lives of people. We will not do that! Ever!”
That’s a pretty emphatic statement, we think you’ll agree. Because the company is based in Romania, it isn’t required to save any information. If it was subpoenaed, there would be no data for CyberGhost to send since it’s not storing any to begin with.
DNS Leak and CyberGhost
DNS leakage is a problem for all VPN providers. If the server you’re connecting to can identify you, then there is a DNS leak.
Included in CyberGhost is DNS Leak Protection, which you should ensure is enabled (find it in Settings > Connections). This will prevent DNS leak from accidentally revealing your true location.
Is CyberGhost VPN Fast or Not?
Another important factor in our CyberGhost review is speed. To check the speed of CyberGhost VPN, I used speedtest.net.
My standard speed is reached over a cable connection, here in the UK. For the test, I used a server in Austria to which I had been connected for several hours (top image).
Once that was done, I disconnected and ran the speed test again, without the VPN (bottom image).
As you can see, with CyberGhost enabled, the Ping speed is just 2 ms slower, and the download speed drops by a mere 2.65 Mbps. That’s negligible in most scenarios! That speed is one of the major factors in keeping CyberGhost among the best VPNs.
CyberGhost: A Top VPN for Anyone
How much do you value your anonymity? It’s a tricky question. But if you want complete online anonymity from a VPN, CyberGhost VPN’s inability to deliver safety from the DNS leakage bug could be a deal breaker.
On the other hand, their confident no-logging policy is a definite advantage, while the VPN’s speed is up there with the best. CyberGhost is a secure, fast VPN. And its easy-to-use desktop client helps to break down the mystery surrounding VPNs.
As such, CyberGhost VPN is a top VPN for beginners, just as it is for those used to employing a virtual private network when torrenting or streaming media. (77% discount for Black Friday!)