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CyberGhost VPN review – Should You Use This VPN

In the last few months, the VPN market has seen a lot of upheaval, with all three of our top VPN picks announcing substantial changes in corporate ownership. ExpressVPN stated in December that it has officially joined Kape Technologies, a company that already owns a number of other VPNs and has previously generated privacy concerns. NordVPN and Surfshark announced their merger in February, while the two firms will continue to operate independently. In light of these changes, we're currently reevaluating all of our top recommendations. To account for this new competitive scenario, we will revise our reviews and, if required, our rankings.

CyberGhost has a long list of competitive features, which we've commended. Speed testing, security verification, and a study of CyberGhost's comprehensive array of privacy capabilities were all part of our in-depth review of the service last year. Since then, CyberGhost has expanded its server network and is gearing up to launch a new set of privacy options, all while remaining one of the most affordable VPNs we've tested, at $2.75 per month for an 18-month subscription.

CyberGhost, on the other hand, has raised some red lights as we've improved our approach to VPN ratings in recent months. Our past testing have showed that it exposes your VPN use to your internet service provider, that its website and app trackers are more numerous than necessary, and that its ad-blocker meanwhile, employs an untrustworthy type of traffic modification that no VPN should consider. It was formerly worth considering because of its inexpensive price if you needed to change your online location's appearance, but not if you desired best-in-class protection.

Although CyberGhost's performance and security look to be improving, I don't advocate using it if you live in a country where VPNs are prohibited. Before paying for a membership, anyone in the United States should look into CyberGhost's parent firm.

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Security And Privacy

While we didn't find any IP address, DNS, or other potentially user-identifying data leaks during our testing, CyberGhost didn't hide the fact that I was using a VPN, so proceed with caution. In March 2019, one of our  reviewer discovered that CyberGhost failed one of our data leak tests, allowing an internet service provider to see internet traffic.

Because it lacks obfuscation technology, it's not secure to use for privacy and anonymity in countries where VPNs are prohibited, such as China, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. CyberGhost uses the industry-standard AES-256 encryption and supports Perfect Forward Secrecy, which means it changes encryption keys regularly to avoid security breaches. In the case that the VPN connection breaks, the company provides a handy kill switch mechanism, which prevents network data from escaping outside of the private VPN tunnel. While CyberGhost doesn't have a multi-hop option, its Windows client does provide split-tunneling, which allows you to choose which of your computer's connections to encrypt.

  • Romanian jurisdiction, with a parent corporation based in the United Kingdom.
  • AES-256 encryption.
  • There were no leaks discovered in the most recent tests.
  • There is a kill switch included.

SPEED

I used CyberGhost to run speed tests in two locations over three days using dynamic IP addresses, utilizing both wireless and ethernet connections — one place offered slower broadband speeds, while the other offered faster speeds via fiber-optic internet. The speed of the internet in the United States varies by state and provider. And the results of any speed test will be influenced by your local infrastructure. Higher test speed results will be obtained if you use a hyperfast internet subscription.

That's why I'm more interested in comparing the amount of speed lost (which is often half or more for most VPNs) across high-speed and slower connection types, and using tools like speedtest.net to level the playing field. Nearly 49% of average internet speed was dropped in the case of CyberGhost.

While CyberGhost exceeded competition Norton Secure VPN's 57 percent speed loss, it fell short of NordVPN's 32 percent loss. Keeping up with other high-speed VPNs like Surfshark and ExpressVPN (which had losses of only 2 percent and 27 percent, respectively) could be much more difficult for CyberGhost. However, performance improvements with the installation of more than 2,000 servers to CyberGhost's network over the last year show the company is on the rise again.

With an average of 144 megabits per second, CyberGhost was the quickest on Australian servers. However, during a testing round with an average speed of 182 Mbps, it attained a peak speed of 327 Mbps on Paris servers. In the same round, non-VPN speeds averaged around 217 Mbps. Among the European servers evaluated, French servers were the quickest, however German services underperformed when compared to competitor VPNs. With a speed of 142 Mbps, the UK placed in second position for overall highest average.

New York servers struggled to keep up, averaging 55 Mbps and max out at 165 Mbps, falling behind CyberGhost's Singapore servers, which averaged 65 Mbps. Singapore's ratings were plagued by inconsistency, with the lowest recorded speed being 3 Mbps.

Surprisingly, CyberGhost's Windows client consistently lagged behind its MacOS counterpart. To rule out machine-related difficulties, the speeds were tested on various Windows PCs with processing capability comparable to the MacOS testing system, and the tests were conducted within 10 minutes of one another to avoid time-sensitive traffic surge variables. While our Windows testing PCs often get connection speeds that are slightly slower than our MacOS machines, the speed difference was much higher when testing CyberGhost than it had been in previous VPN tests. On the Windows computers, CyberGhost's New York-S403-i48 server, for example, delivered a top speed of 86 Mbps. During the same round, the MacOS computer clocked in at a blistering 344 Mbps.

DATA COLLECTION

CyberGhost, like practically any VPN, collects some maintenance-related data, although it promises not to store your server location preferences, total data transferred, or connection timestamps. It's nearly impossible to independently verify the company's no-logs guarantee, as it is with any VPN. Despite this, CyberGhost logs specific user hardware data in order to enforce the company's seven simultaneous connection restriction per account.

According to a CyberGhost spokesperson who spoke with CNET in August of 2019, the company can assist law enforcement by enabling a limited user-tracking feature."The only way to accomplish it is if the user is still in the system and if law enforcement knows the IP address and can get a warrant to follow that IP," the representative explained. "We can enable a unique function for that IP, such as logging, but we also have the power to block malicious behavior when utilizing our service. But only if the person is still active and we have confirmation of what is wrong, such as the IP address he is using. So we'll need to provide that in order to activate it, so we don't accidentally activate it on a regular user. Otherwise, we will be unable to assist any law enforcement agency."

CyberGhost, on the other hand, was hauled to the carpet by ProPrivacy in 2016 after it was revealed that the firm was discreetly demanding potentially harmful root-level access to clients' computers — a feature that the software hasn't had in approximately three years. The service was also discovered logging each of its users' machines' unique identifiers. Other reviewers have expressed concern when CyberGhost appeared to delete some threads from its forum that may have exposed a serious 2016 flaw and maybe revealed log-keeping procedures within its free proxy service.

In March of this year, CyberGhost suffered a minor setback when the customer-survey company it hired, Typeform, was hacked. The two forms involved in the hacked data had 120 email addresses and 14 CyberGhost identities, but no passwords, according to the business.

The fact that CyberGhost continues to use an ad-blocking technology that is at best inefficient and at worst insecure is a major problem for me. Most VPNs block adverts by blocking out requests from websites that have been flagged as potentially dangerous. CyberGhost is not one of them.

CyberGhost VPN review - PRCING

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Is CyberGhost VPN Good For Streaming 

as a Netflix VPN – and CyberGhost caters to these consumers by offering a user-friendly filtering mechanism that allows them to find the best servers to unblock exactly what they want to watch.

You'll find recommended locations for Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, BBC iPlayer, and other global streaming services when using the server filters.

We put US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and HBO Max to the test and were pleased to find that they all worked flawlessly. To be clear, this happened in several testing, so it's not a fluke. Aside from the occasional IP issue where a site would ask us to verify our identity, this functioned flawlessly, making it one of the best streaming VPN services available.

However, other competitors can unblock Netflix libraries from all around the world, so services like ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN are your best bet if you want access to the UK, Canadian, and Australian catalogs as well.

Is CyberGhost VPN Good For Torrenting

Similar to CyberGhost's filters for certain streaming services, it may also assist you in selecting a good torrenting VPN server – which is great news, because not every server is designed for P2P due to geographical restrictions.

Once connected, the speeds are excellent, and one feature we particularly liked was the ability to choose a CyberGhost location to connect to immediately when you run your client. This is ideal for the forgetful or lazy (read: almost all of us), and it ensures that you are fully secured anytime you pirate.

We'd like to see complete P2P functionality on every server, but despite its limits, CyberGhost performs admirably. Just be aware that servers in the United States, Russia, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore have been blocked. However, owing to a list titled "For Torrenting," it's simple to identify a compatible server near you, with a total of 54 P2P-friendly nations appearing in our testing. Even more suspicious torrent downloads should be kept safe with CyberGhost's malicious URL filter.

Is CyberGhost VPN Good For Mobile Apps

OpenVPN and WireGuard compatibility has now been added to both the iOS and Android apps, which is a very encouraging development.

Apple's security architecture limits VPN programs for iOS devices, so they're rarely as feature-rich as their Android and desktop counterparts. You will, however, get a favorites list, smart server selection, and auto-connect on specific or insecure networks, as well as the option of using WireGuard or IKEv2, as well as a connection checker.

The Android app, on the other hand, provides all of this and more, and it even outperforms the desktop programs in terms of functionality. You can tell it to connect using a random port, which is useful for bypassing VPN-blocking technology employed by Netflix and other streaming services.  Both applications come with a 7-day trial period, so you may test them out.

You'll also get split tunneling, which is uncommon but extremely beneficial if you only want one app to be protected while the rest of your apps use your regular connection, as well as ad and tracker blockers.

The content blocker, which bans advertisements, trackers, and malware from domains, is a great addition. It's disabled by default and doesn't seem to operate very well in our tests, but you might find it handy.

A final noteworthy feature is domain fronting, which uses a CDN to get around some VPN blocking technology (content delivery system). While we didn't test it, it's a good addition – and we're left wondering why it's not included in the desktop app. While the iOS app is quite basic, CyberGhost's mobile VPN apps are quite helpful, and the addition of WireGuard functionality as well as the powerful Android alternative will be a major selling point.

Is CyberGhost VPN Good For Desktop App

On both Windows and Mac, CyberGhost's desktop programs have the same basic, usable interfaces. On the far left, you'll see a list of servers, a huge Connect button, and your server filtering choices. A location selector that displays the distance between servers and you would be a valuable feature.

Seeing the current capacity/load of each individual server is quite valuable – something that many competitors overlook – and can quickly indicate which server will deliver the fastest speeds. You'll also receive a favorites system and a system tray icon that provides you easy access to everything you need.

Ad and tracker blockers, as well as protection against malicious websites, are included as extras. 'Smart Rules,' on the other hand, is our favorite feature.

It lets you choose which server to connect to automatically when Windows starts up, as well as whether or not to connect when you launch a specific app (likely a torrent client). Additionally, you can set up split tunneling by whitelisting specific websites.

WiFi controls are also functional, allowing you to customize how the VPN connects, such as auto-connecting to secure, never if encrypted, and more for specified networks.

CyberGhost's system tray icon also lets you access these from submenus, which is a great way to save time and screen real estate — every small usability feature counts at this level.

However, there are no notifications to let you know when the VPN connects or disconnects, which is inconvenient because you have to check the app every time you need to know.

Importantly, CyberGhost's kill switch is excellent, and no matter how we tried to fool it, it never exposed our genuine IP address. However, we discovered one flaw with the death switch: if we were unable to connect to a server in the first place, CyberGhost would claim that the kill switch was enabled when it wasn't. This is a bit misleading, but it's really rare to happen in practice.

Although the UI has improved with CyberGhost 8, it's worth mentioning that a handful of minor capabilities have been lost, especially HTTP to HTTPS redirection and data compression for slow connections. This is likely due to the fact that they were rarely utilized — in our experience, data compressions were ineffective in practice, and a dedicated add-on like HTTPS Everywhere is both cheap and effective.

Overall, however, there isn't much to complain about. CyberGhost's desktop clients are powerful, and they offer some truly unique capabilities that are rarely available elsewhere.

CyberGhost VPN - Our Conclusion

CyberGhost performs admirably as a desktop VPN, and there isn't much to criticize. However, if you're a heavy mobile user, particularly on iOS, you might find CyberGhost a little limiting, and other VPNs offer better Netflix unblocking. However, at this price, it's an excellent option that we have no hesitation in recommending.

 

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