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 might be just the answer.
In this CyberGhost review, we take a look at this VPN, with its 1200 servers in 50 countries, to see how it can help you.
Pricing and Payment for CyberGhost VPN
Subscribing to CyberGhost’s VPN plans is simple. You have three options:
- Pay monthly at $11.99
- Pay annually at $53.94
- Pay for two years at $65.88 (a very low $2.90 a month)
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 pay with Bitcoin, should you have any.
Keeping the payment options straightforward is in CyberGhost’s favor. Too many VPNs give upgrades for paying a higher monthly premium, forgetting that the customer just wants to browse anonymously. By offering the same service to all payment options, CyberGhost once again keeps their service simple.
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 Device
After you’ve subscribed, you’ll get the option to download your very own CyberGhost VPN client.
Four official apps are available, so as long as you don’t have more than five devices trying to access the VPN simultaneously, you’ll be good to go!
CyberGhost offers client apps for:
- Windows — this is available directly from the CyberGhost website
- macOS — as above
- iOS — available in the App Store
- Android — available from Google Play (but not in the Amazon App Store)
You’ll also find CyberGhost VPN can be run on Linux devices and routers, as it offers support for OpenVPN, L2TP, and IPSec. While we would advise setting your VPN up on your router, not all such devices are suitable. But five should be more than enough for most families (and certainly single person households!); if not, simply pay for another subscription!
Install and Set Up CyberGhost VPN
Installing the app should be straightforward. You simply 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 is in contrast to Android, 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 direct access to each of its six VPN features.
This first option lets you choose a country and choose your IP address, with the aim of preventing your online activity from being tracked.
With this, you can specify a default browser, launch in incognito/private browsing mode, as well as toggle whether to block malicious websites, ads, and online tracking. You can also choose the country where your target server resides, ensure HTTPS mode, and get extra speed.
Enabling you to watch TV channels and movies that might be blocked in your country or territory, you’ll find BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime/Instant Video, YouTube Red, Canal+, ESPN, Pandora, and many other region-blocked TV and audio services.
Simply select the service you want to use, and wait for a browser window to open. Sign in, and enjoy!
To stay safe on Wi-Fi networks in public places, CyberGhost VPN offers fast online protection, with the VPN servers selected for you.
The same options as Surf Anonymously are available here, and you can choose a default action for each network you connect to.
Want untraceable services selected on your behalf?
With the Torrent Anonymously option, you can set a torrent app to launch when the service is selected, as well as block online tracking and malicious websites. Remember, torrenting is a legal peer-to-peer file sharing system, used for many purposes beyond illegal downloading and we do not encourage using torrents for anything illegal.
Unblock Basic Websites
Living in an oppressed nation? Fearful of your government? Unable to access popular websites because of censorship?
This option gives you fast, easy, and anonymous access to Facebook, WikiLeaks, Twitter, Wikipedia and even WordPress. Find out what’s happening elsewhere in the world and share your own story with this option.
Choose My Server
If you just want to choose a suitable server for your own purposes, this option is ideal. Servers are grouped by Most Empty, Most Crowded, Fastest, and Torrent, enabling you to easily find the right server for your online activity.
The usual extra features (as per the Surf Anonymously screen) are also available, although they’re disabled by default this time.
Check Your Settings, Too!
CyberGhost VPN also has a detailed settings screen, which you should spend a few moments checking.
Want to run CyberGhost as your PC starts? Find that option here, along with default profiles, exceptions, proxies, connection details, and default actions for specified networks and apps. This latter setting is particularly useful for torrenting.
Logging, Leaking, and Lags
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.
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 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 vs 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.
But does this affect CyberGhost VPN? To check, we tried two tools, www.dnsleaktest and dnsleak.com. The results were slightly confusing. Both sites indicated that both CyberGhost and another VPN I compared to were leaking. However, in the case of CyberGhost, the traffic from the DNS server is moving from country to country, but it’s never leaving CyberGhost’s servers, so it’s safe from snooping.
A worrisome DNS leak would show my home country, and since that’s not happening here, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re remaining anonymous.
Is CyberGhost VPN Fast or Not?
To check the speed of CyberGhost VPN, I used the beta.speedtest.net tool (which doesn’t rely on insecure Flash technology). My standard speed is reached over a cable connection, here in the UK. For the test, I employed 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 pretty negligible in most scenarios!
CyberGhost: The Simple 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. And CyberGhost VPN’s easy to use desktop client helps to break down the mystery surrounding VPNs.
As such, this is a great tool for VPN beginners, just as it is for those used to employing a virtual private network when torrenting or streaming media. If you’re planning to sign up, just keep an eye on the DNS leak issue.
Has our CyberGhost review convinced you? Have you tried CyberGhost VPN? Do you recommend it? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Image Credit: sakkmesterke/Depositphotos