It creates a virtual private network VPN connection when you’re on the Internet, so that you can be safe when you go online. I reviewed v4. During setup, it’s best to have CyberGhost VPN select your anonymization server for you, unless you know how to do it yourself.
Browse Anonymously with CyberGhost Free VPN
Easy to use interface. Strong account security. Extensive list of servers in Europe. Cons Restricted to three hours per session. No available servers in Asia, Latin America. Need paid version to get Mac or mobile support, multi-device support. Help page does not always load. Strange behavior when trying to connect automatically.
It makes a smart emphasis on video streaming, but backs that with a simple app and a strong feature set. It costs more than other excellent VPNs, though, and its design is not the most intuititve. What Is a VPN? When you switch on a VPN, all your web traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel to a server operated by the VPN company.
This prevents anyone, even someone on the same network as you, from being able to intercept your data. It also helps hide your identity, by having your network traffic exit from a location other than your computer. This same ability can also be used to spoof your location by connecting to a VPN server that’s a long way from where you are.
Using a VPN also prevents your not-so-friendly neighborhood ISP from intercepting your data and selling anonymized versions of it. You pay more up front for a longer interval, but save more overall for doing so. While those savings can be tempting, I always recommend starting with a monthly VPN plan so you can see how well the service works for you. Cost doesn’t have to be a hurdle when it comes to security, as there are many serviceable free VPNs available. ProtonVPN supplies my favorite free subscription, limiting you to only a few servers but without a data cap.
You can easily purchase a CyberGhost plan with traditional payment methods such as credit card or PayPal, but you can also pay anonymously with Bitcoin. Other VPN services also offer the option to use prepaid gift cards, such as those from BestBuy or Starbucks, as anonymous options. A subscription to CyberGhost lets you use seven devices simultaneously, making it a good value for a household with lots of devices.
Avira Phantom VPN and Windscribe, by comparison, place no limit on the number of simultaneous connections. The company also offers instructions on how to configure a router to use the CyberGhost service. That’s handy, since placing VPN protection on your router secures all the traffic for all the devices on your network—even smart devices that can’t be configured individually. Some services, such as TorGuard, sell routers and streaming devices preconfigured to work with their respective services.
That’s useful if you’re not interested in tackling a digital DIY project. Some companies require that you limit this activity to certain servers, while others consider such activities as a breach of service.
In the case of CyberGhost, the servers that allow torrenting are marked in the app. In addition to BitTorrent-friendly servers, CyberGhost also has servers specially made for streaming.
That’s great, and I’d like to see more VPN companies work to ensure users can access their favorite video streaming services without having to switch off VPN protection.
CyberGhost also offers double encryption, in which the authentication connection is encrypted as well as the VPN connection, for added security. This is a default feature for all subscribers.
My preferred method is OpenVPN, which is known for its speed and reliability. It’s also open-source software, meaning that its code has been scrutinized for vulnerabilities.
Notably, the Windows app uses IKEv2—my next favorite protocol—by default. The older L2TP is also supported by the Windows app, but I recommend avoiding this particular protocol unless absolutely necessary. Servers and Server Locations The number of VPN servers maintained by a given company is usually an indicator of how many subscribers that company has.
More subscribers equals more servers. That said, more is almost always better, and more servers means users can be more evenly distributed, giving you more options for finding an unburdened server. CyberGhost is among the heaviest hitters when it comes to servers, offering an impressive 3, NordVPN is on top of the heap, with an unmatched 5, servers at its disposal. The location of VPN servers is also important.
The more varied the distribution, the more choices you have when looking to spoof your location and the better odds of finding a server close to wherever you happen to be. CyberGhost has 80 server locations available, across approximately 60 countries.
It’s a good mix, with a better-than-average showing for Africa, a continent almost completely ignored by VPN companies. CyberGhost does offer servers in Hong Kong, but it does not have servers in Turkey or Russia, which are regions with repressive internet policies. Other companies go further. Some readers have written to me with concerns about VPN companies using virtual servers, which are software-defined servers.
A single physical server can play host to many virtual ones, and virtual servers can be configured to appear as if they are in a different location than their host, meaning that a single piece of server hardware can run several virtual servers. Virtual servers are not bad per se, but they make some people nervous either out of concern for where their data travels or a sense of being deceived by the VPN company. CyberGhost tells me that the company rents servers in every location in which it offers VPN access.
It does have some virtualization on of those servers, but the location of the virtual servers is the same as the location of the actual physical servers. That seems reasonable to me. Hide My Ass goes in exactly the opposite direction, supporting server locations but the bulk of its servers being virtual and not co-located with their hosts. Other companies are more stringent. Your Privacy With CyberGhost Using any security or privacy software requires you trust that the product does what it says on the tin, and trust that using the product will not expose you to other dangers in doing so.
While very thorough, the policy is also dense and difficult to read. CyberGhost should follow TunnelBear’s lead, and produce a simplified and educational policy for its customers. A company representative told me that the CyberGhost not only does not log user activity, it also does not know the identity of the customers connected to a given server.
The company does monitor server CPU load, available memory, the amount of server bandwidth used, and other metadata. That’s excellent. The representative also answered an emphatic, “No! That’s what I want to hear, as a VPN should protect your information, not monetize it. Issues involving law enforcement and VPN companies can be tricky, which is why it’s important to know what country the VPN company is headquartered in and under what legal jurisdiction it operates.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation , the Romanian government and courts have rejected legislation that would have required companies to keep electronic records on its customers. A company representative told me that because the company has no personal user data, it has no way to comply with legal requests for information.
This is backed up by the company’s annual transparency report. CyberGhost has not undergone a third-party audit, as TunnelBear has. Neither have its policies been audited, as is the case for NordVPN. I hope to see CyberGhost and other VPN companies find new ways to demonstrate their good behavior to the public. Note that if you lose your login information, you’ll be prompted for a special key sent in your activation email.
If you’ve lost that, too, you’ll have to restore your account through CleverBridge, the payment processor used by CyberGhost. The old version of the CyberGhost app took a page from Hide My Ass and included several preset options for different scenarios. It’s an interesting idea, but I prefer the current design. The app is now simple, slick, and responsive, with a quick connect button prominently displayed on the grey window.
You can change VPN location from the pulldown menu beneath the connection button. Tap the graph icon and you can see some real-time analytics about your connection. Clicking the yellow tab on the lower left of the window expands the Settings panel. Here you can see the available server locations, server load, and the precise number of users connected. You can drill down and actually see each specific server in a given location, which I really like, and add the ones you prefer to a list of favorites.
The app provides additional lists for streaming servers and torrenting servers. You’ll also find settings for ad blocking, tracker blocking, and malicious site blocking. There’s also an option to enable data compression and the option to exempt specific websites from being tunneled via VPN. That’s useful for streaming from Netflix, or any activity that might block access via VPN. It’s not the same as split tunneling, which lets you route the traffic from specific apps outside the VPN tunnel.
A deeper settings menu has a collection of surprisingly advanced security features. You can, for example, have CyberGhost connect via a random port, change the VPN protocol used by the app, and block IPv6 connections, to name a few. Most of these you won’t need to touch, but I like that they’re there. Streaming services often block VPN traffic to prevent people from spoofing their location to access region-locked content.
Someone in the US could, for example, make it appear as if they were in Canada to stream episodes of Star Trek: Netflix is perhaps the most aggressive when it comes to blocking VPNs, but fortunately that isn’t an issue for CyberGhost. TorGuard , for example, has the most comprehensive menu of options, letting you purchase additional simultaneous connections, static IP addresses, and access to a 10GB network for monthly fees. For its part, CyberGhost provides ad blocking through its VPN connection, as well as malware and tracker blocking.
That said, I don’t think it’s wise to rely on any VPN as your sole antivirus solution.
Discussions & Threads
They are one of the most rapidly growing VPNs in the industry with a strong focus on server selection, value pricing, and usability. They allow up to 7 device connections. They have a unique approach to P2P neither banning nor fully allowing , a good focus on usability and complementary features. This CyberGhost review is my notes from trying them out for my own purposes as a security-aware, traveling, US-based businessperson who needs good usability and good pricing. I am not a political activist or someone who regularly travels to firewalled countries. Disclosure — I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this website.
VIDEO: Cyberghost VPN Review
An effective and easy-to-use privacy tool. The free version does have plenty of restrictions, though, which may become frustrating over time. CyberGhost, in my testing, simply gives the fastest throughput I’ve yet to see from any VPN I’ve tested. I haven’t even mentioned their no tracking, and no logs. Download CyberGhost VPN & WiFi Proxy and enjoy it on your iPhone, iPad, and The free version works beautifully, and provides basic IP address masking.