With a name like CyberGhost it’s easy to imagine it being a stealthy, evasive VPN, and with 5,544 servers in 112 locations across 90 countries, CyberGhost does appear to be very promising! Especially for those of us who travel quite a lot, and who still want a secure, anonymous web browsing experience.
Below, we’ll put Cyberghost VPN to the test, exploring its connection, servers, and how well it performs no matter where you are in the world. We’ll also take a deep dive into its features, and analyze the CyberGhost VPN app so you can decide if it’s the right VPN for you!
What is CyberGhost?
Founded by IT specialists in 2011 in Bucharest, Romania, CyberGhost currently employs 65 people who are divided between their offices in Romania and Germany. With their software development in particular taking place in Germany.
The ethos of CyberGhost is found on their website, stated by the company’s co-founder Rober Knapp: “Protecting the privacy of digital citizens must become an ambition as well as a responsibility.” You can tell online privacy is an issue close to CyberGhost’s heart. They see cyber privacy and security as a basic human right.
This may be unsurprising given the company’s Romanian roots. In Romania there are pretty lax monitoring laws when it comes to using the internet, and Romanian citizens perhaps enjoy more privacy than most when using the internet. The only sites that are restricted are ones relating to gambling, pornography, and pedophilia, which are blocked or filtered by the government.
Romania is also not allied with Five-, Nine- or 14 Eyes which means CyberGhost will not share your data with various intelligence agencies around the world. However, this doesn’t mean that Romania couldn’t steal your information, especially from servers within its borders.
While we can’t say for certain what any country could do with your information, the fact that CyberGhost is based in a non-member country gives you a little more peace of mind, and CyberGhost appears to be a pretty trustworthy company.
Cyberghost VPN Review
When you sign up for a CyberGhost subscription, you can expect the following features:
- Zero log data policy:
While this seems like a good feature on the surface (and it definitely has its perks) there are a couple of things about this policy that are a bit off-putting. CyberGhost will keep the standard stuff such as your name, address, email, username, and payment information.
But they also keep your IP address. The company claims this will be anonymized, only detailing your approximate location by country, as well as anonymous information on what browser you’re using, your devices, and the date and time of when you used the VPN.
CyberGhost considers this ‘non-personal’ data and is not associated with data within the encrypted tunnel.
Still, it begs the question why this information is necessary to keep in the first place. Account information is necessary for your subscription, but there really isn’t any reason to keep information about what device you’re using or when you used the VPN. However, they don’t keep any information on your VPN traffic.
- A kill switch:
CyberGhost has a kill switch which means that if anytime you lose connection to the VPN, your IP address will not be exposed. This feature goes as far as disconnecting your device from the internet and shutting down all the webpages you were connected to in order to protect your identity from your ISP and government agencies.
This may seem a drastic measure, but a surefire way to make sure you’re not snooped on even for a second.
However, if you’d like to disable this feature, unfortunately, you can’t. This makes the prospect of your internet connection unexpectedly dropping due to losing your VPN connection even more frustrating, especially if it drops when you’re in the middle of downloading a big file.
- Easy access to content on various versions of Netflix:
With CyberGhost, you can freely click through all content from Netflix US and certain localized versions.
However, there is a caveat to this. If you want to access content made exclusively for Netflix UK you may have to pay extra. This is because Netflix recently released new policies regarding streaming their content from different locations.
These new policies mean that content from Netflix UK can only be accessed through accounts that were purchased by UK IP addresses.
But you can still stream Netflix easily with CyberGhost as well as Hulu, Youtube Red, Amazon Prime Video, ESPN+, Crunchyroll, and other streaming services.
Other CyberGhost features include torrenting files (you can do this easily by clicking on the ‘Torrent Anonymously’ button), and anonymous, static, shared IP addresses.
CyberGhost also has apps available for download for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux and other routers so you can use it across different devices. You can also access the VPN via Wifi, 4G, 3G, and LTE connections.
You can even access a public and private network at the same time with CyberGhost. All you need to do is click on Smart Rules > Exceptions and you can access web pages in and out of your encrypted tunnel at the same time.
The Cyberghost App
Whatever VPN you use, the corresponding app is incredibly important especially when surfing the web on a mobile device. There is no point subscribing to a VPN service if the interface is bad and you can’t make the most out of it.
CyberGhost app is not only easy to navigate, but visually pleasing too. Their little ghost mascot is undeniably cute!
The app has a 4.6 rating on the Apple Store, and a slightly lower rating on Google Play Store with four out of five stars. Most users are satisfied with the app, although some reviews mentioned dissatisfaction with the app’s latest interface update.
When analyzing a VPN’s tunnelling options, one very important layer to discuss is that of encryption.
Good quality encryption is like having a good quality lock on a door. You wouldn’t just give anyone the keys to your house, so why give them access to your web browser where valuable information is often stored? This is why good encryption is so important, because if the code can be easily cracked your information will be exposed.
CyberGhost uses AES-256 encryption, which is the highest standard that is most often used in VPNs today. CyberGhost uses AES-256 encryption and their own domain name server (DNS) and connects you to the server of your choice.
CyberGhost also does not give you your own, private IP address, but connects you to an anonymous, static IP address that you share with other CyberGhost users who chose the same server. This strategy has the same effect as blending into a crowd, it makes it very difficult for anyone to find your identity just by the IP addresses.
Another important aspect to any VPN is its protocols. They determine how your data is routed from your computer to the VPN server. There are many types of protocols, and some are better suited to certain situations than others. Some protocols offer more security, while some give you faster internet speed.
Below, you will find the protocol options offered by CyberGhost. Take a look and see if they meet your needs.
One of the most secure VPN options out there, OpenVPN is open source, meaning you can assess the source code yourself for vulnerabilities. OpenVPN is crowd-sourced by a community that is constantly updating and improving the code, making it less likely to be hijacked by surveillance agencies.
OpenVPN also lets you use AES-256 encryption to bypass firewalls, and works with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, routers, and even Blackberries and Windows Phones.
OpenVPN is not only highly configurable, but a great option for speed and security. Overall, it’s an incredibly high-quality protocol.
L2TP (or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) doesn’t offer a very secure connection by itself, and does not provide encryption or privacy. L2TP only has your back when combined with IPSec. A decent team, L2TP creates the tunnel while IPSec deals with the AES-256 encryption, data integrity checks, and channel security.
However, LSTP/IPSec can be blocked by firewalls and is slower than OpenVPN.
Now that we have analyzed all of CyberGhost’s features, the app, it’s encryption and protocols, let’s round up all its benefits and drawbacks.
Firstly, CyberGhost is affordable. With the lowest subscription costing just $2.50 a month, you’ll have trouble finding a VPN that is as affordable and high-quality as CyberGhost. They also provide excellent customer service, with many reviews praising CyberGhost for their friendly and helpful reps.
CyberGhost also has an expansive international network, giving you access to thousands of servers all over the world. CyberGhost is also not bound by data retention laws, as they operate outside of all surveillance agencies and government watchdogs.
However, their Logging Policy leaves something to be desired. Keeping your IP address, the country you used your VPN in, the time in which you used it and more seems like unnecessary data to keep.
While their kill switch ensures total security by disconnecting the internet if your VPN runs into problems and keeps your web traffic protected, this may be a pain when you are in the middle of doing something.
Overall though, CyberGhost is a great VPN for those on the go, giving you a wide variety of ways to access the internet securely wherever you are.