CyberGhost VPN 2018 for Windows — Review & Test

71%
71%
Good

CyberGhost VPN is a solid VPN solution with advanced security features and comprehensive server list (60+ countries).

Performance is quite decent and download/upload speeds are OK with some exceptions. Specific user interface based on connection profiles may seem a bit confusing for a common user.

Priced at $11.99 per month is quite expensive, but you can as low as to $2.75 with the 3-year subscription.

  • Features
    8
  • Price
    7
  • User Interface
    6
  • Server Locations
    7
  • Performance
    7
  • Privacy Policy
    7
  • Customer Support
    8
  • User Ratings (1 Votes)
    9

With around 7 years of experience in the market, CyberGhost is well established in the VPN industry. CyberGhost is a Romanian-made VPN software with high built-in security features available on multiple operating systems, including Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, and routers.  Currently, CyberGhost secures and anonymizes the online presence of over 20 million users worldwide.

CyberGhost Logo

CyberGhost Logo

CyberGhost is focusing solely on the VPN services and offers a multi-platform solution for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. You can also set up a custom VPN connection on other devices like Routers, Chromebooks or Raspberry Pis.

The great perk is that with a single CyberGhost subscription you can cover up to 7 simultaneous connections. Other vendors typically offer around 5 connections with some exceptions like IPVanish 10 or Windscribe VPN even unlimited.

When it comes to features CyberGhost is definitely the top tier of the VPN solutions. You can connect to more 2.700 servers in 60 countries. Your connection will be protected by OpenVPN protocol using 256-bit AES Encryption. And you will also get Automatic Kill Switch and DNS/IP Leak Protection. See the detailed features overview at the end of our review.

CyberGhost 6 Boxshot

CyberGhost 6 Boxshot

CyberGhost is quite pricey if you are looking for a monthly subscription. You will pay $11.99 per month which is basically the same price as for our most recommended VPN NordVPN. But if you are willing to invest more and get a longer subscription, you may save up to 77% with the 3-year plan for $99.00 which is only $2.75 per month. That’s a really good deal.

Or you can get a free 3-day trial with no limitations.

Also, worth mentioning CyberGhost is supporting online freedom and fighting censorship in non-democratic countries by providing their services for free organizations that support research for journalists and access to the free Internet. Learn more about the CyberGhost Freedom program.

Overall CyberGhost is a great product with the slightly untypical user interface based on profiles (e.g. what you want to do). If you like this approach and use VPN only for specific actions (like watching Netflix or downloading torrents) it may be a right product for you.

CyberGhost VPN Free Download

As we mentioned you can try CyberGhost VPN completely for free for 3 days. No credit card required.

Free Download 
Free 3-day trial

The trial comes with no restrictions and works just as the full version. However, you need to create a free account (e-mail and password). Without the account, you can use the free product only for 24 hours.

Pricing & Discounts – How much does CyberGhost VPN cost?

CyberGhost VPN starts at $11.99 per month. If you decide to buy a longer subscription, you may get as low as to $2.75 per month with the 18-month plan (billed as $49.50). That’s a really good deal and if you are happy with the product, seize it!

CyberGhost VPN Pricing

CyberGhost VPN Pricing

There is also a 6-month plan for $4.99 which will cost you $29.94.

All purchases come with the 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you are not happy with the product you can cancel the subscription and get the full amount back to your account.

Free “Bonus” from McAfee

Not sure why, but all 1+ year subscriptions come with the free “bonus” of 1-year subscription of McAfee. It doesn’t state which McAfee products exactly, but probably one of its security solutions.

All 1+ Year Plans Come with a Free "Bonus" from McAfee

All 1+ Year Plans Come with a Free “Bonus” from McAfee

McAfee security products have a very bad reputation for their intrusive monetization tactics, loose privacy policy and being extremely hard to uninstall. Recently they also poped-up as the co-developer of Verizon’s Safe Wi-Fi or for acquiring TunnelBear VPN.

It’s quite a shame when CyberGhost is trying to be honest and strict about their zero log policy, but at the same time they are partnering up with McAfee. Just some example quotes from the McAfee’s Privacy Policy (accessed on August 13, 2018):

  • For example, we may collect and use the following: Information about the products you looked at or searched for; Details about your computers, devices, applications, and networks, including internet protocol (IP) address, cookie identifiers, mobile carrier, Bluetooth device IDs, mobile device ID, mobile advertising identifiers, MAC address, IMEI, Advertiser IDs 
  • We may also share aggregate data that does not identify you or any specific device with third parties.

User Interface – Is CyberGhost VPN easy to use?

CyberGhost VPN is definitely unique and we haven’t seen any similar at any other vendor. It doesn’t contain the “standard” ON/OFF switch or Connect button like most of the VPN products. It rather uses profiles.

CyberGhost VPN Main User Interface

CyberGhost VPN Main User Interface

There are six different profiles, each designed for a specific use case:

  • Surf Anonymously – Designed for anonymous browsing of the Internet. Hides your real location and IP address. Offers also some extras like ad/tracking/malware blocking or automatic HTTPS redirect.
  • Unblock Streaming – Optimized for an online streaming experience of popular services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime or YouTube Red. Unfortunately, during our test, the streaming experience on BBC iPlayer was really slow.
  • Protect Wi-Fi – Protects your Wi-Fi connections. Designed for using public Wi-Fi in coffee shops, airports and others. Has same extras as Surf Anonymously (not sure what is the exact difference between these two anyway).
  • Torrent Anonymously – Designed for anonymous torrenting using a wide selection of P2P servers.
  • Unblock Basic Websites – Designed for unblocking websites like Google, Facebook, Instagram and other which are banned in countries like China or Iran. Again, you would probably achieve the same result with any other profile.
  • Choose My Server – Custom connection to a chosen server from one of the 60 countries in the list. You can also see details like server load or torrent support. Extras are available but turned off by default.
A Step Before Connecting to the VPN Server

A Step Before Connecting to the VPN Server

Overall the user interface looks quite unfinished and needs a bit of polishment from the UX designer. Only advanced users will understand how to operate it as it contains many settings, buttons, toggles, drop-downs and other actionable elements. It’s basically a total opposite of Hotspot Shield VPN which has a super simple and slick user interface.

CyberGhost VPN Settings

CyberGhost VPN Settings

In settings, you can set up program behavior on the Windows startup, app language, exceptions, and proxy. Also, you can change the VPN protocol (OpenVPN, L2TP or IKEv2) which is great. In the Wi-Fi section, you can adjust settings (never protect vs. always protect) for each of the networks you are connecting to.

We have also revealed a few bugs. First, the toggle Extra Speed in some profiles can’t be turned off. Second, the hover description for Unblock Basic Websites is the same as for Torrent Anonymously.

Server Locations & Countries – Where can you connect?

In terms of server locations, CyberGhost VPN is rather in the top of the market. It currently offers 2.700+ servers in 60 countries around the world. That is basically what also NordVPN offers, but far behind Hide My Ass VPN (190 countries) or PureVPN (141 countries).

CyberGhost VPN Server List

CyberGhost VPN Server List

In the list, you can see which servers do support P2P connection for torrenting or ping to each one. You can also order them by most empty/crowded or speed. That’s really handy.

The full list of locations includes:

  • Africa – Kenya, South Africa
  • Asia Pacific – Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam
  • Europe – Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Belarus, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Moldova, Macedonia, Netherlands
    Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ukraine
  • India – India
  • Middle East – Israel, Pakistan
  • North America – Canada, United States
  • South America – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica

Overall the coverage is very good and you will find most of the common countries there. With one exception – Russia. Unfortunately, Russia is missing which is a shame and is likely related to the Russian ban on VPN services. Although, most of the VPN services we have tested so far do have servers in Russia.

Does CyberGhost VPN Support YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime & BBC?

Yes, CyberGhost VPN does support all the major streaming sites. Best way to access them is using the special profile for streaming called Unblock Streaming.

CyberGhost VPN Unblock Streaming Profile

CyberGhost VPN Unblock Streaming Profile

You can pick any service from the list including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, YouTube (Red), Crunchyroll, ZDF or TF1.

If any streaming service is not on the list, you can add it yourself by simply entering the service URL and geo-location.

Performance & Internet Connection Speed Test

In terms of performance CyberGhost VPN is quite good, but only when it comes to download and upload speeds. Unfortunately, pings seem to be really high in some locations (e.g. the United States, Australia, and Brazil) which makes the interaction quite slow and any gaming is basically impossible.

LocationDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Ping (ms)
No VPNBenchmark24.946.0512
USA4.115.57195
Germany12.664.4026
Australia16.625.71323
Brazil2.085.21333
United Kingdom12.304.9143
RussiaN/AN/AN/A

Tested using a Windows app Speedtest by Ookla.

The big disappointment was the speeds on the US server which were very slow and would make streaming impossible. Could be also because of the high user load which was more than 60% during our testing (other servers were around 30%).

Sometimes the connection to server took many minutes and overall the interactions within the user interface were really slow.

Customer Support

CyberGhost VPN offers several customer care channels. Probably the best one is the 24/7 online chat accessible through their website.

We have tested it and the agent was really helpful, fast and polite. However, he knew we were using Windows 10 machine – we’ll get to this later in the Privacy section below.

CyberGhost VPN Online Chat

CyberGhost VPN Online Chat

Besides the online chat, you can always submit a support ticket, read one of the guides or FAQs. As with most of the VPN vendors, there is no phone number you could call.

We have also found this e-mail address support@cyberghost.ro, but not sure about the response time.

Privacy Policy & EULA – What kind of information is CyberGhost VPN collecting?

CyberGhost is claiming strict no logs policy. Reading through their Privacy Policy it looks true, but there are few areas to which you should pay attention. The beginning though sounds really good and makes sense:

when using the CyberGhost VPN, the user’s traffic data such as browsing history, traffic destination, data content and search preferences are not monitored, recorded, logged or stored”

we don’t have any logs tied to your IP address, connection timestamp or session duration”

CyberGhost collects personal data related to your account (name, address, e-mail address, username, and payment information) which is quite standard. However, they also collect IP address (captured and stored in an anonymized format), location (country only) and other transactional information.

Besides personal data, there are also non-personal data. These are being collected and may be also stored. It includes browser, mobile/desktop device, general properties, and metadata, OS version, preferred language, the date and time of your visit, the referring website. So that’s probably how they knew we were using Windows 10 during the online chat.

Per the claim in the privacy policy, the personal data and non-personal data can’t be linked together.

On the website, CyberGhost is using quite many third-party tools including Google Analytics, Facebook, Bing, Hotjar, Omniconvert and MixPanel for analytics/optimization. ZenDesk for online chat. All these are storing cookies in your browser. Also, they allow third-party behavioral tracking.

For payments collection, CyberGhost is working with Cleverbridge, PayPal, and Stripe.

We may disclose your Personal Data to any member of our group of companies (this means our subsidiaries, our ultimate holding company and all its subsidiaries)

Besides, that CyberGhost will disclose your personal data when they receive a valid claim from the law enforcement. They used to be disclosing the number of request in the Transparency Report, but the last one is from 2015 (!).

Jurisdiction wise company is located in Romania under entity Cyberghost S.A. CyberGhost is owned by KAPE PLC (ex. Crossrider) registered in London, United Kingdom and has roots to Israel.

Overall the most important thing is that CyberGhost doesn’t log any traffic or other data during the VPN session. They had only one privacy issue in the past which was fixed with the new version 6.

To learn more about CyberGhost VPN privacy read their Privacy PolicyTerms and Conditions, Transparency Report.

Conclusion – Is CyberGhost VPN worth $11.99 per month?

CyberGhost VPN is definitely a solid VPN solution with advanced security features (Kill Switch, DNS/IP Leak Protection, multiple VPN protocols), but it has a very specific user interface. It’s definitely not for beginner users due to rather a complex path to establish the VPN connection. It offers comprehensive server list (60+ countries) and works with all the major streaming services (Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc.) but doesn’t have any servers in Russia.

Performance is quite decent and download/upload speeds are good with exception of servers in the United States and Brazil. The big advantage is the 24/7 online chat with helpful staff.

Privacy-wise CyberGhost is a big advocate of strict no logging policy. Although they actually do log some of your personal data and non-personal data. On top of that, they are using too many of the third party provider on their website (Google Analytics, Hotjar, Omniconvert, Facebook pixel, MixPanel, ZenDesk, Cleverbridge).

If you are looking for a use case specific VPN, CyberGhost may a good option for streaming or torrenting. Definitely go with the 2 or 3-year subscriptions to get to a reasonable monthly price (~$3 per month). Before you purchase, make sure to test out the free 3-day trial version.

But if you are looking for overall protection online there may be a better one for the similar price – see our list of top 5 best VPN providers for Windows PC.

Appendix – Detailed Features Overview

ProtocolsOpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec, PPTP
EncryptionAES-256
Store LogsNo
Server Locations60 Countries
P2P ConnectionsYes
Simultaneous Connections7
IP AddressesUnknown
CompatibilityWindows, Android, macOS, iOS, Routers
Kill SwitchYes
Customer SupportFAQs, Ticket, Live Chat
Price for 1 Month$11.99
Price for 1 Year$59.88
Accepts BitcoinsYes
Free TrialYes (3 Days)
Money-back GuaranteeYes (30 Days)

About Author

Craig is a big supporter and believer in freedom on the Internet and that's why he is so interested in VPN products. He doesn't have a favorite VPN vendor, because he keeps constantly switching and testing them. Craig's favorite VPN server location is Bhutan.

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