CyberGhost VPN will be celebrating its 10th anniversary next year so it’s by no means a newcomer to the scene.
Most CyberGhost VPN reviews extol its virtues as a user-friendly VPN that offers the simplicity favored by beginners while being customizable enough to appeal to advanced users as well.
CyberGhost VPN has some unique features that make finding the best server even easier than it is with the likes of ExpressVPN, but is that enough to establish it as one of the best VPNs overall?
Does CyberGhost VPN have the necessary speed to make it a useful VPN for torrenting, streaming, and gaming?
How do CyberGhost VPN’s encryption and security protocols measure up against the safest VPNs?
And, finally, does CyberGhost VPN’s extensive server network give users the ability to bypass geographical restrictions and browse unlimited content privately and anonymously?
To find out, you can either read this review or get a free 24-hour trial, which is what I did for the purposes of writing this CyberGhost VPN review.
CyberGhost VPN is full of surprises, which I’ll explain during this CyberGhost VPN review. If you don’t have time to read the full review, why not check out the highlights?
CyberGhost VPN – The Highlights
Streaming – preconfigured profiles for popular streaming sites give users the best possible experience in terms of both speed and security
Worldwide Servers – CyberGhost VPN has one of the world’s largest VPN server network, with 6,377 servers in 90 countries
Torrenting – Torrenting-optimised servers are compatible with torrent clients and provide respectable download speeds
Ease of use – CyberGhost VPN has long been considered one of the best VPNs for beginners, with its slick apps and inviting user interfaces.
|SERVERS||6,353 servers in 90 countries|
|STREAMING:||Unblocks BBC iPlayer, DisneyPlus, Netflix|
|TORRENTING:||P2P & Torrenting Allowed|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat|
|SECURITY PROTOCOLS:||OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, Wireguard|
CyberGhost VPN is quick and easy to download and install.
I tested the macOS app for this CyberGhost VPN review, installing it on my macOS Catalina. It was quick to install but required more user intervention than other leading VPNs.
Before CyberGhost VPN allows you to start anonymously haunting the nether regions of cyberspace, you must first give it permission to install the VPN profile and allow keychain access.
This only takes a couple of seconds, but it nevertheless makes the installation process less streamlined than some.
Once that’s complete, you simply need to create an account and verify it via email.
Now you’re ready to log in and find out exactly what CyberGhost VPN is capable of.
On the minimized CyberGhost VPN interface, you’ll see a selection of server options to choose from.
Clicking on the yellow arrow tab in the bottom left will reveal an expanded server list, detailing every server in the network, how far away it is, and what it’s current traffic load is.
Not many VPNs show this much detail and it means that, if the default best connection isn’t working, you can quickly select one that is nearby and has a light traffic load.
One of the highlights of most CyberGhost VPN reviews is the streaming optimization feature and the preconfigured profiles for popular streaming sites.
These make selecting the best server for, say, BBC IPlayer much simpler than it is with other VPNs.
Not everything about CyberGhost VPN is straightforward, however, and its preferences and settings menu lack some of the features we’ve come to expect from leading VPN providers.
You can’t, for instance, disable the kill switch. Nor does CyberGhost VPN offer Double VPN or multi-hop servers that NordVPN and Surfshark VPN users can access for extra security.
Having read numerous CyberGhost VPN reviews, I was expecting a more intuitive app and was a little disappointed by both its appearance and usability.
CyberGhost VPN Features
No CyberGhost VPN review is worth its salt if it doesn’t unpack CyberGhost VPN’s well-equipped tool box which contains these great features:
A kill switch is a great security tool. When activated, it will kill all internet connections the moment the VPN connection drops.
Most VPN providers allow users to enable or disable the kill switch as they choose, but not CyberGhost VPN.
While the security benefits of having the kill switch enabled by default are indisputable, if you’re in an area where the internet connection is unstable, you could end up battling to connect at all.
If you navigate over to the Connection Features menu in the CyberGhost VPN macOS app, you’ll find the following options:
Most leading VPNs, and some fairly mediocre ones, now offer an in-built ad-blocking service. Some, like that offered by Surfshark VPN, are extremely effective. Not only do they block pop-ups and adverts, but they also save you data while doing it.
There are both positive and negative views of this ad-blocker expressed in CyberGhost VPN reviews.
On the upside, it blocks adverts at a server level, which means few websites pick up on it. That means less annoying warning messages like this one:
On the downside, some customers have reported: “Still seeing some ads on twitch and youtube and getting a lot of pop-ups”.
Malicious website blocking
CyberGhost is more effective when it comes to blocking malicious sites, although some users have reported problems with specific sites, like the Malwarebytes forums, which misconstrue CyberGhost VPN’s secrecy for malware.
Others say they have struggled to access certain social media sites when the malicious website blocking feature is activated.
CyberGhost VPN itself also advises users that deactivating this feature “can raise surfing speeds”.
This unusual feature is a blessing for those relying on mobile data to connect to the internet.
It compresses images and other data-heavy elements, thereby reducing data usage and saving you money.
CyberGhost VPN Review of Speeds and Servers
Few CyberGhost VPN reviews rave about its speeds and, in general, they’re considered pretty average.
Certainly, in my tests, CyberGhost VPN failed to produce the kind of speeds I experienced with Surfshark VPN, although it did improve my overall browsing speeds.
There was little difference, however, between the speeds generated using the Best Connection and selecting a server on the other side of the world. The ping rate was noticeably higher with the UK server, but the upload and download speeds were almost identical.
CyberGhost VPN – Best Connection (connecting from South Africa)
CyberGhost VPN – UK Server (connecting from South Africa)
Given the huge number of servers in CyberGhost VPN’s network, I would have expected it to produce speeds that would give the fastest VPNs in the world a run for their money.
It would seem some server locations are better than others. Check out the comparison below between one of CyberGhost VPN’s Los Angeles and those of ExpressVPN and NordVPN:
CyberGhost VPN – Los Angeles
ExpressVPN – Los Angeles
NordVPN – Los Angeles
What it doesn’t produce in speed, CyberGhost VPN more than makes up for in sheer size. Take a look at these VPN server network comparisons:
|VPN PROVIDER||CYBERGHOST VPN||NORDVPN||IPVANISH||TUNNELBEAR|
CyberGhost VPN reviews can’t help but mention its huge server network while its size and geographically diversity make it one of the best VPNs for international travelers.
CyberGhost VPN Review of Apps
The world of VPNs is fiercely competitive and cross-platform compatibility is crucial if you want to dominate on all operating systems and devices.
CyberGhost VPN does an excellent job of this, as many CyberGhost VPN reviews have noted before, and, no doubt will do again in the future.
Afterall, CyberGhost VPN has apps for all of these:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android TV
- Apple TV
CyberGhost VPN also offers free browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox web browsers.
Although CyberGhost VPN doesn’t have any dedicated router apps, it is compatible with popular routers like DD-WRT routers, Tomato, Raspberry Pi, and Synology NAS.
Unfortunately, you will have to configure these yourself, although CyberGhost VPN has put together informative guides to help with the process.
CyberGhost VPN Streaming
While we all pretend that we’re using a VPN for security’s sake, we’re really just trying to access content that is otherwise blocked.
Getting past the geographical restrictions of streaming sites like DisneyPlus, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu is a must for any successful VPN and CyberGhost VPN reviews suggest this VPN does a decent job of it.
CyberGhost VPN struggled a little with DisneyPlus to start with, as did most other leading VPNs, but it’s now resolved those issues.
With its streaming-optimized servers and pre-configured streaming profiles, CyberGhost VPN is one of the most user-friendly and effective ways of streaming.
It works seamlessly with:
- Amazon Prime
- BBC iPlayer
- ITV Player
Gaming with CyberGhost VPN
Some CyberGhost VPN reviews rate it as one of the best VPNs for gaming, others barely mention it at all. So which one is it?
It seems as though CyberGhost VPN is a great gaming VPN provided you’re situated close to a fast server.
Connecting to a server on the other side of the world tends to produce more lag and slows the connection down, leaving you fighting a fire that your opponent has already extinguished.
Its worldwide distribution of servers is an advantage for those wanting to get their hands on discounted games and early-bird deals, but not so great for those who actually want to play those games.
At times, CyberGhost VPN’s ping rate is high enough to cost you the match in a first-person shooter game.
Installing CyberGhost VPN directly onto your gaming console is the easiet option but this won’t encrypt your traffic.
Instead, I’d recommend following the instructions on how to install CyberGhost VPN onto your router. This method will give you full encryption.
If that sounds too technical for you, why not pop out and buy yourself a DD-WRT router with CyberGhost VPN already installed?
CyberGhost VPN P2P and Torrenting
Few CyberGhost VPN reviews can deny this VPN’s prowess when it comes to handling P2P traffic.
As with most things it does, CyberGhost VPN makes torrenting so easy your dog could do it. Just click on the big, red ‘Torrent Anonymously’ button, add your P2P client, and connect to a torrenting-optimized server in the country of your choice.
When I tried this out, the list of torrenting-optimized servers included information about how far away they were situated and how much traffic they were handling.
As I was trying to download a torrent from The Pirate Bay, while situated in the UK, I selected the Stockholm server with the lowest load.
The result was better than I expected, with CyberGhost VPN achieving an average download speed of around 62 Mbps on the BitTorrent client.
It may not match the likes of ExpressVPN for speed, but I’d still recommend it as a great VPN for those who are new to either torrenting or VPNs themselves.
CyberGhost VPN Review: In the Shadow of the Chinese Firewall
CyberGhost VPN’s ability to bypass geographical restrictions crumbles when faced with the stringent censorship imposed in China.
While it can negotiate DisneyPlus’s attempts at blocking VPNs, China has pulled the carpet out from under its ghostly feet.
There was a time when CyberGhost VPN reviews celebrated its agility in the heavily-censored cyberspace of the Far East, but not anymore.
With its 6,000 or so servers scattered across the world, CyberGhost VPN is one of the best VPNs for international travel, as long as you’re not heading to China.
It is holding firm in Hong Kong, however, despite many VPNs fleeing the region as Chinese rule storms in.
CyberGhost VPN Review of Privacy
An important aspect of any CyberGhost VPN review is the level of privacy its users enjoy.
Furthermore, CyberGhost VPN does not “have any logs tied to your IP address, connection timestamp, or session duration”.
All sounds perfectly above board.
However, some other CyberGhost VPN reviews have highlighted, if you read the small print of the Terms and Conditions, things aren’t quite so peachy.
“Cyberghost may cooperate with public or private authorities at its sole discretion as provided by law”.
It could be worse but even this seemingly innocuous statement compromises user privacy insofar as any information stored by CyberGhost VPN could be shared with third parties at the company’s “sole discretion”.
Of course, if it really is a no-logging VPN, there’s little to worry about as it won’t have any information to share anyway.
The latest version of CyberGhost VPN for Windows also includes the new Privacy Guard feature. With this tool, users can customize their privacy settings so they can, among other things:
- Stop Microsoft from tracking their online activity
- Restrict apps’ access to sensitive data
- Prevent geolocation.
CyberGhost VPN Security
Try as I might, I couldn’t find a single negative comment about security in all the CyberGhost VPN reviews I trawled through.
It’s been using the latest AES 256-bit encryption since it was first introduced and has backed this up with the most secure protocols.
It recently dropped both PPTP and L2TP from its stable, saying “Because we need to be responsible here and protect our Ghosties, we will no longer be using these protocols”.
Advanced users can still manually configure connections to use these obsolete protocols, but the rest of us will have to choose from the following:
- L2TP/IPSec (only available on select servers)
While the OpenVPN protocol has long been established as the fastest and most secure, WireGuard, the new kid on the block, looks set to knock it off its pedestal.
WireGuard is faster than OpenVPN and more secure. It’s also more user-friendly than OpenVPN and won’t drain your device’s battery as quickly.
If you want to boost your security even further, you can connect to one of CyberGhost VPN’s independently-operated NoSpy servers.
These servers are housed in CyberGhost VPN’s NoSpy data center in Romania and offer “full anonymity” and “supreme data protection”.
CyberGhost VPN Review of Pricing
CyberGhost VPN is one of the last reputable VPNs to still offer a free trial as well as a money-back guarantee period.
Although the free trial lasts just 24 hours, it’s long enough to figure out if CyberGhost VPN is the one for you..
After that, you can sign up for one of the long-term plans and enjoy 45 days of unlimited use.
The monthly plan comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee but even that does little to offset its high price tag.
The best value-for-money comes in the form of CyberGhost VPN’s 18-month package, which costs just $2.75 per month – less than a quarter of the cost of the monthly subscription.
Hovering somewhere in between these two options is CyberGhost VPN’s six-month plan at $7.99 per month.
Few other leading VPNs offer a six-month subscription and I do wonder why CyberGhost VPN bothers.
I’d rather see CyberGhost VPN introduce a discounted 2-year package to replace this run-of-the-mill option.
Let’s see how CyberGhost VPN’s prices compare to other leading VPNs:
Pricing comparison table
CyberGhost VPN’s 18-month deal offers some of the best value for money in the cybersecurity industry so why not take advantage of this offer and sign up with CyberGhost VPN today?
CyberGhost VPN Coupons and Discounts
Most VPNs launch their best discounts and most valuable offers around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and CyberGhost VPN is no different.
Disappointingly, its current 79% discount is the same special offer that’s been running since 2018. Before that, it had a two-year subscription for $69.90 which worked out at $2.91 per month so there’s been little variation.
Maybe 2020 will be the year when CyberGhost VPN shows its true colors and starts haunting budget VPNs with price-slashing deals. You’ll have to wait until November to find out, though.
CyberGhost VPN Customer Support
CyberGhost VPN reviews often comment on the amount of information available on its support pages. What they rarely mention is the quality of that information.
Although CyberGhost VPN’s online help section is easy enough to navigate, not all its articles are up-to-date while others are riddled with unfriendly techie jargon.
On a more positive note, CyberGhost VPN has a 24/7 live chat service where you can expect a response in under a minute.
No self-respecting VPN can operate without social media and CyberGhost VPN has a YouTube channel, Facebook page and can be contacted via Twitter.
Its YouTube channel isn’t exactly jam-packed and, again, many of the videos are over a year old. It’s a little more up-to-the-minute on Facebook, although no new posts have been added in the past three months.
It seems that, like Donald Trump, CyberGhost VPN prefers Twitter so, if you want the latest online privacy and cybersecurity news, that’s the place to be.
I honestly expected this to be a winning section in this CyberGhost VPN review and am disappointed that a VPN I had always perceived as being heavy on the customer support, is rather lackadaisical.
If you’re technically minded, a little thing like less-than-perfect customer support won’t put you off signing up for a subscription with CyberGhost VPN.
I’ve had my eyes opened while researching this CyberGhost VPN review and testing out its macOS app. Some of the discoveries that have surprised me are:
- The kill switch is always enabled, making it difficult for users in areas where the internet connection is unstable
- CyberGhost VPN’s inability to scale the Great Firewall of China
- More limited customer support than I anticipated
There have been plenty of pleasant surprises too, including:
- Good download speeds for torrents
- Streaming-optimized servers
- Pre-configured activity-based profiles
- Outstanding security
- Seven simultaneous connections
- Ability to connect to Tor over VPN
- Superior usability
CyberGhost VPN is unlikely to take the cybersecurity world by storm but if you’re new to that world, it’s one of the best VPNs to get started with. It’s simple, user-friendly and, even better, you get to call yourself a Ghostie for as long as your subscription lasts.
CyberGhost VPN FAQs
Can CyberGhost VPN access DisneyPlus?
Yes. CyberGhost VPN is among the best VPNs for streaming with its easy-access streaming profiles and optimized servers.
Does CyberGhost VPN work in China?
No, although CyberGhost VPN acknowledges that there may be some workarounds that will allow it to operate in China and other restricted areas. It also asks users not to do this “since making the usage of a VPN itself indictable is a completely different situation from blocking access to unwanted content”.
Is CyberGhost VPN good for torrenting?
CyberGhost VPN provides efficient download speeds and has torrenting-optimized servers to streamline your P2P traffic.
Can I get CyberGhost VPN for free?
Yes, you can enjoy CyberGhost VPN completely free of charge for 24 hours. After that, you can get a 14-day or 45-day money-back guarantee depending on which plan you sign up for.
CyberGhost VPN isn’t perfect, but it’s got a lot of good points, especially for those who aren’t particularly technically minded.
Its user-friendly interface, pre-configured profiles, and inviting graphics make it a pleasure to use. It’s as effective as any other VPN when it comes to streaming and torrenting, even if its speeds can’t quite match those of ExpressVPN.
With over 6,000 servers scattered around the world, you can be pretty sure that, whether you’re exploring the remote Mongolian Steppe or taking a city break in Bozeman, Montana, you won’t be far from the nearest CyberGhost VPN server.
There are one or two improvements I’d like to see CyberGhost VPN introduce to bring its service up to par but, in the meantime, I’d still recommend it as one of the best VPNs for beginners who want to binge-watch and stream safely.