CyberGhost Review: Quick Expert Summary
CyberGhost VPN has a very intuitive interface, 6,800+ servers in 90 countries, and in my tests, it maintained an average decrease in speed of only 30% (well above average).
CyberGhost is excellent for unblocking geo-restricted content from the most popular streaming sites — it has 50+ dedicated streaming servers across 10 different countries that are optimized for streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more. And in my tests, CyberGhost’s streaming servers worked as expected, consistently unblocking all of these streaming sites.
CyberGhost also has industry-standard security features like 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch, as well as extras like:
- High-security and speed-optimized servers.
- Dedicated peer-to-peer (P2P) servers.
- Dedicated gaming servers.
- Smart Rules to customize your CyberGhost VPN app.
- Ad blocker.
- And a lot more…
CyberGhost’s parent company was criticized for its bad security practices in the past, but fears that CyberGhost is unsafe are simply untrue. CyberGhost maintains a strict no-logs policy, protects all user data from hacks and leaks, and has consistently proven to maintain the highest standards of privacy and security.
While there are a lot of things I like about CyberGhost VPN, I do think it could improve in a couple of areas. My biggest complaint is that CyberGhost doesn’t work in countries with severe internet restrictions, like China or Iran. I also think CyberGhost VPN’s ad blocker needs some work — during my tests, the ad blocker wasn’t able to block ads on a wide range of websites.
Despite those issues, CyberGhost VPN is still a great VPN for unblocking streaming apps, torrenting, gaming, and web-browsing in 2021. It’s fast, secure, and its 3-year subscription plan is very affordable.
CyberGhost VPN offers subscription plans for 1 month, 1 years, 2 years, and 3 years (this plan comes with an additional 3 free months). The annual plans all come with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, and the 1-month plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee.
|Overall Rank||#3 out of 45 VPNs|
|Number of Devices||7|
|Money-Back Guarantee||45 days (for 1, 2, 3-year plans); 14 days (for 1-month plan)|
CyberGhost VPN Full Review
I spent several weeks stress-testing all the latest features of CyberGhost VPN to find out if it really is one of the one of the top VPNs on the market.
While there has been some criticism of its parent company in the past (and there are a few VPN reviewers who clearly didn’t do their research), CyberGhost has been consistently strong in how it handles user privacy and information (and its architecture has been independently audited and confirmed multiple times).
And CyberGhost really does perform well — it’s got tons of functionality, easily bypasses geo-restrictions on streaming services, and is one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use VPNs out there.
CyberGhost VPN Features
CyberGhost VPN has all of the standard security features I expect in a premium VPN:
- 256-bit AES encryption — often referred to as “military-grade” encryption.
- Kill switch — cuts connection to the internet if the VPN connection fails.
- No-logs policy — doesn’t record any browsing or connection data.
CyberGhost allows you to connect up to 7 devices at once, which is more than top competitors like ExpressVPN and TunnelBear (both allow up to 5 devices). But if you need to connect over 7 devices, I recommend that you take a look at Private Internet Access (10 devices) or IPVanish (unlimited simultaneous connections).
CyberGhost VPN supports 3 VPN protocols — OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard. But some of these protocols aren’t included with certain apps. For example, IKEv2 isn’t available on Android, and OpenVPN isn’t automatically installed on macOS. To add OpenVPN on macOS, you have to use a third-party app called Tunnelblick (keep in mind this isn’t an easy process for non-technical users).
CyberGhost VPN offers built-in protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv4 leaks. CyberGhost doesn’t support IPv6, so any traffic using that protocol will be vulnerable to leaks. But I really like how CyberGhost disables IPv6 by default, so you don’t have to worry about it.
CyberGhost also has several extra features.
Only CyberGhost VPN’s Android version has split-tunneling (called App Split Tunnel) — this feature lets you pick what apps to route through the VPN and what apps to send through your local network.
To test CyberGhost’s split-tunneling feature, I excluded my mobile banking app from the VPN connection while routing all other apps through the VPN connection, and it worked exactly as expected. There were no problems with either my normal-internet apps or my VPN-connected apps while using CyberGhost’s split-tunneling feature.
CyberGhost VPN’s Android split-tunneling is similar to ExpressVPN (which also allows you to exclude apps). But I like ProtonVPN’s split-tunneling tool better because it lets you exclude apps and IP addresses (you can get the IP address of a website, which essentially allows you to exclude websites from the VPN tunnel).
While CyberGhost VPN doesn’t have split-tunneling for Windows, there is a convenient Exceptions tool in the “Smart Rules” section that allows you to choose which websites you don’t want to route through the VPN. To test this feature, I excluded the Netflix website, and I got faster speed watching content while connected to my local network.
CyberGhost VPN’s split-tunneling feature for Android is good for routing certain apps through only your local network, but I’d really like to see CyberGhost VPN add a full-featured split tunneling tool for Windows (instead of having to use the Exceptions function).
CyberGhost’s Smart Rules feature (only available on Windows and Mac) allows you to customize your VPN preferences. I really like how easy it is to adjust CyberGhost’s settings — all you have to do is toggle a button on or off to enable or disable a specific function. There are 4 different categories under Smart Rules that provide various options to set up security and privacy functions:
- CyberGhost launch rules. You can automatically start a VPN connection when you open CyberGhost and also choose an app (like email account or social media) to automatically open after you connect to CyberGhost.
- Wi-Fi protection. CyberGhost VPN allows you to choose whether or not to launch the VPN connection when you connect to a secured, unsecured, or saved Wi-Fi network.
- Exceptions. You can choose to exclude certain websites from the VPN tunnel. But keep in mind that you need to use OpenVPN to be able to make exceptions.
- App rules. This is where you can enable CyberGhost to automatically connect to a server when you open a specific app.
There are many VPNs that provide manual settings to enable/disable some of these functions, but I don’t know of any competitor that gives you as much control over your VPN as CyberGhost’s Smart Rules.
CyberGhost’s NoSpy servers provide extra security and faster speed than CyberGhost’s regular servers.
CyberGhost states that its NoSpy servers include premium hardware with a dedicated uplink, which makes them faster than the other servers. These NoSpy servers also have extended bandwidth, which is convenient for downloading and uploading large files.
NoSpy servers are located at CyberGhost VPN’s headquarters in Romania. The servers are built by CyberGhost and operated by CyberGhost staff, making them less vulnerable to attacks than on a remote server.
In addition to providing another layer of security, CyberGhost’s NoSpy servers are custom-built for speed. In my tests, I connected to CyberGhost VPN’s NoSpy servers, and I had faster speed than when I connected to CyberGhost’s dedicated streaming or torrenting servers.
Overall, CyberGhost VPN’s NoSpy servers are a nice bonus for yearly payment plans. The NoSpy servers provide faster speeds and better security, even faster than CyberGhost’s already fast server speeds.
My ID Guard
CyberGhost’s My ID Guard warns you if your email address or passwords have been leaked on the dark web — allowing you to change your compromised credentials and protect your online accounts. Another bonus is there’s also a basic password generator that helps you create stronger passwords.
My ID Guard is powered by the free service “Have I Been Pwned?” — and while I do appreciate that CyberGhost has built-in dark web monitoring, there are better products for securing your passwords online, including Dashlane, which comes with a password security dashboard, live dark web monitoring (with Dashlane agents monitoring the dark web in real time), and many other features that ensure your passwords and online accounts are as secure as possible.
That said, if you’re not looking for a password manager and are ok with basic dark web monitoring, My ID Guard is a nice added bonus that can enable you to check whether your email and passwords have been exposed.
CyberGhost VPN’s Content Blocker is meant to block online ads as well as malicious and phishing websites.
However, I tested CyberGhost VPN’s ad blocker, and it was unable to block any ads on multiple websites.
On the other hand, CyberGhost warned me about several malicious sites that Chrome didn’t flag as potentially dangerous. But keep in mind that CyberGhost will only alert you if you’re visiting a risky site — it won’t actually prevent you from getting malware on your device. If you’re concerned about malware, I recommend that you purchase a good internet security suite like Norton 360 or McAfee Total Protection.
Overall, CyberGhost VPN’s ad blocker isn’t good at blocking ads, unlike ProtonVPN’s NetShield, which was able to block the majority of ads on the sites I visited. That said, CyberGhost’s Content Blocker is still good at detecting phishing sites.
CyberGhost VPN Privacy & Security
CyberGhost VPN has a strong no-logs policy. The policy states that CyberGhost doesn’t store records of your IP address, connection timestamp, browsing history, and files that you download.
CyberGhost VPN collects the same standard information that all VPNs do — such as your email address and payment details, but this information is only used for processing payments and communication purposes (like to email you updates or to reset your password).
CyberGhost VPN is based in Romania, which doesn’t have data-retention laws and it isn’t in the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances (a group of countries that share intelligence data).
CyberGhost VPN publishes a transparency report every 3 months that displays all of the requests it received for user information (from government agencies, law enforcement etc.), and shows that it refused to comply with each request. While I like that CyberGhost VPN releases a transparency report each quarter, I’m not too happy that the company hasn’t been independently audited, unlike premium competitors such as ExpressVPN.
Overall, CyberGhost VPN offers a comprehensive no-logs policy, is located outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances, and publishes a transparency report that documents its unwillingness to comply with requests for user data.
CyberGhost VPN Speed & Performance
I conducted speed tests on CyberGhost VPN’s servers, and most of them had very fast speeds for streaming, gaming, torrenting, and general browsing.
I had the fastest speeds while connected to a local server in the US (my location). CyberGhost VPN also maintained good speeds while I was connected to a server in the UK. But what surprised me the most was that my speeds were also pretty good when I connected to a distant country like Australia.
To get a baseline internet speed, I first conducted a speed test when I wasn’t connected to a CyberGhost VPN server.
Then, I connected to a CyberGhost VPN server using the VPN’s Quick Connect feature, finding the fastest server for my location (New York). My download speed dropped by only 4%, which is excellent. I barely noticed any difference in speed when I streamed videos, played online games, and made Skype calls.
When I connected to a server in the UK, my download speed decreased by about 45%. While the drop in speed was pretty significant, I was still able to watch BBC iPlayer in HD, and all of my videos started immediately and played smoothly.
When I connected to a server in Sydney, my speed decreased by around 23%, which was much faster than my connection in the UK. But my ping increased a lot, which was somewhat noticeable. It took a few seconds for webpages to load, but I was surprised that videos on streaming sites began playing almost right away — even when I chose 1440p quality on YouTube.
Overall, CyberGhost VPN is fast, and its speeds were among the highest of the top VPNs in 2021. While distant servers like Australia made web pages lag a bit, I really like how well the VPN streamed video at 720p and even 1080p quality. The Quick Connect feature connected me to a very fast server in the US, and my speeds in the US impressed me the most — I noticed no slowdown at all.
CyberGhost VPN Servers & IP Addresses
CyberGhost VPN has 6,800+ servers in 90 countries. There are VPNs that have more servers than CyberGhost VPN (Private Internet Access has 35,000+ servers), and a few VPNs have servers in more locations (HMA has servers in over 200 countries and localities), but CyberGhost’s server network is pretty impressive, and you should have no problem finding a CyberGhost server that is close to your location.
The majority of CyberGhost VPN’s servers are physical servers (the server is physically located in the country you’re connected to), but CyberGhost also uses virtual servers in 29 countries — this provides you with an IP address from the country you connect to, but it’s physically located in a different location. While I prefer physical servers over virtual servers because physical servers are faster and more secure, virtual servers are still fine to use.
CyberGhost also has dedicated servers for streaming, gaming, and torrenting. The streaming servers are optimized for specific streaming sites (such as Netflix and Hulu), while the gaming servers offer low pings, making online multiplayer games more responsive. Finally, CyberGhost VPN’s torrenting servers (in nearly 60 countries) are optimized for fast P2P downloads.
CyberGhost VPN uses shared IP addresses, which is good because you will use the same IP address as hundreds or even thousands of other users, giving you extra anonymity. But I also like that CyberGhost VPN gives you the option to purchase a dedicated IP address that is only assigned to you.
In short, CyberGhost VPN has an excellent server network. There are optimized servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming, and while CyberGhost VPN uses shared IP addresses, you also have the option to purchase a dedicated IP address.
CyberGhost VPN Streaming & Torrenting
CyberGhost VPN unblocks popular streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer — but this only works if you select the right servers. CyberGhost provides servers optimized for specific streaming sites, such as:
- Netflix — US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK.
- Amazon Prime Video — US.
- YouTube — Germany, US, and Canada.
- Disney+ — US, Italy, and India.
When I used a normal CyberGhost US server, the Netflix US website blocked me (even though I live in the US). Using a Netflix-optimized CyberGhost server instantly unblocked the site, and I could watch full shows and documentaries in HD without any issues.
When I tested CyberGhost, I also ran a DNS leak test on servers in 7 different countries, and my IP address never leaked.CyberGhost VPN has specialized torrenting servers in nearly 60 countries. Like with the streaming servers, you can view a list of the P2P-optimized servers (that are sorted by distance and load percentage). I like how all you have to do is pick a country and CyberGhost VPN automatically chooses a server for you. I connected to a torrenting server in the US and had fast speed when I downloaded large files. CyberGhost VPN worked with all of my torrent clients (I tested with Bittorrent, qBittorrent, Deluge, and uTorrent). While I think CyberGhost is a great choice for torrenting, I do like ExpressVPN more because ExpressVPN allows torrenting on all of its 3,000+ servers and it has faster downloading speeds.
Overall, CyberGhost VPN provides a really good streaming and torrenting experience. With a slick interface that displays dedicated streaming and torrenting servers, CyberGhost makes it really quick and easy to connect to the best server and watch content on popular streaming services and download files.
CyberGhost VPN Government Bypassing
CyberGhost VPN can’t bypass most government censorship in countries like China, Iran, and Venezuela.
If you’re looking for a VPN that will overcome internet firewalls in restrictive countries, I recommend ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost VPN Plans & Pricing
CyberGhost VPN has 4 different payment plans, including a 1-month, 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year plan.
All of the plans have the same features, except the monthly plan doesn’t include the NoSpy servers. While the 1-month plan is a little pricey, the 3-year plan offers the cheapest price per month and it also comes with 3 additional months for free.
CyberGhost VPN accepts credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover), PayPal, and Bitcoin.
CyberGhost VPN’s annual plans include a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee (most competitors, including ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, VyprVPN, and IPVanish only have a 30-day money-back guarantee). The 1-month plan comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
In general, CyberGhost VPN is reasonably priced, with the 3-year plan offering the best value. The service has flexible payment plans and a 45-day money-back guarantee on all annual plans.
CyberGhost VPN Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps
CyberGhost VPN has some of the most intuitive apps in the industry. They are all similar, well-designed, simple, and bug-free.
CyberGhost VPN supports Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, smart TVs, has browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome, and works on routers.
It is very simple and quick to download and install CyberGhost VPN — it took me only a couple of minutes to set up CyberGhost VPN on all of my devices.
CyberGhost’s Android app makes it very easy to connect to a server. CyberGhost automatically connects you to the fastest server when you tap the large power button on the app’s main page.
But if you want to manually connect to a server in a different location or use a dedicated server for streaming, just tap the Best Location button under the power button.
The dedicated torrenting and gaming servers and NoSpy servers aren’t available on Android.
I like how CyberGhost VPN provides customizable Wi-Fi protection on the Android app. For example, CyberGhost sends you a warning each time it detects a new Wi-Fi network.
But I don’t like how the Android app doesn’t explain some of its settings well, such as the option for MTU size. MTU size refers to how much data your Android device will send over a network at once (this can affect your connection speed). The app doesn’t explain what MTU size is or why it matters, which could confuse inexperienced users.
Also, IKEv2 is not available on Android, but this isn’t a big deal, as you can use OpenVPN or WireGuard (which are better protocols anyway).
Overall, CyberGhost VPN’s Android app is well-designed and easy to use, and it’s the only CyberGhost app that includes split-tunneling. You don’t get access to dedicated torrenting and NoSpy servers or the IKEv2 protocol, but I don’t think this is a dealbreaker for most users.
The iOS app is similar to the Android app, but it has fewer features — it doesn’t have OpenVPN, split-tunneling, the Content Blocker, and MTU size. But most VPNs don’t have split-tunneling for iOS, WireGuard is faster than OpenVPN, and most users won’t miss the Content Blocker or MTU size.
The iOS app also has a couple of tools that the Android app doesn’t. The iOS app can automatically open the CyberGhost Private Browser (which is a separate app) when you connect to the VPN. And it also comes with a homescreen widget that lets you quickly connect to the VPN without opening the app.
Overall, CyberGhost VPN’s iOS app is really good. I’d like to see the iOS app include some of the features that are already offered in the Android app (like OpenVPN), but the iOS app has great features, is easy to use, and I fully recommend it.
The desktop CyberGhost VPN app is very intuitive — just like the Android and iOS apps. With one click (on the best server location button), CyberGhost VPN will connect you to the fastest server (you can also manually select a server). Once you’re connected to a server, CyberGhost provides useful connection details, such as what protocol you’re using, your IP address, and your upload and download speeds.
CyberGhost’s connection panel is very useful, but if you expand it into a dedicated window, you’ll also see all of CyberGhost’s servers and the dedicated servers for gaming, torrenting, and streaming.
The Mac app is similar to the Windows version, but it doesn’t support split-tunneling or OpenVPN. While this may not be a problem for most users, I recommend that Mac users take a look at ExpressVPN, as it provides both OpenVPN and split-tunneling for Mac devices.
While both CyberGhost desktop apps are well-designed and work well, I like the Windows one more because of its extra features. I’d really like to see CyberGhost improve its Mac version a bit and make sure both apps have the same features. But overall, CyberGhost’s apps for Windows and Mac are full-featured, well-designed, and very easy to use.
CyberGhost VPN Apps: Is CyberGhost Easy to Use?
CyberGhost has good Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac apps. Every app has a simple design that new users will quickly get used to, and they’re all packed with features and are simple to navigate and use. The apps also have defaults for most options (like disabling IPv6), so users can ignore these technical details and use the VPN straight away.
CyberGhost VPN Customer Support
CyberGhost has an impressive Support and Help section on its website. It has a very thorough set of user guides, a “Submit a Request” option, and 24/7 live chat. There are no telephone numbers to contact CyberGhost VPN (most VPNs don’t have phone support, except IPVanish).
The support section is broken into 3 different categories — Guides, Troubleshooting, and FAQs. Each section has tons of articles, including a detailed installation tutorial for every platform CyberGhost supports.
CyberGhost’s “Submit a Request” form is available in English, German, French, and Romanian. When I submitted an email request, I received a reply the next day. Some VPNs, like ExpressVPN, respond to user inquiries in less than a day, but CyberGhost’s response was detailed and addressed my concern.
CyberGhost’s 24/7 live chat is available in English, French, and German. I never waited more than 30 seconds to chat with a polite and helpful support representative. A live chat rep also took care of my refund in just a few minutes. The refund was deposited back into my bank account in 5 days
Overall, CyberGhost VPN has really good customer support. CyberGhost makes it easy to find answers to all of your questions in its help section. But if you need to reach out to customer support, I recommend using the 24/7 live chat that has responsive, helpful, and friendly representatives.
Is CyberGhost VPN a Good Value?
CyberGhost VPN has 6,800+ servers located in 90 countries. When I tested servers in each country, I maintained decent speeds and was still able to stream content in HD, quickly download P2P files, and load websites with only a little delay. CyberGhost VPN allows 7 simultaneous connections and supports all of the major platforms.
CyberGhost VPN also has excellent privacy and security features. In addition to standard security features, like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy, CyberGhost offers NoSpy servers (extra fast and more secure servers located at CyberGhost headquarters in Romania), ID Guard (to alert you if your email or passwords have been exposed on the dark web), and Smart Rules (allowing you to customize security and privacy settings).
CyberGhost VPN also has one of the most intuitive VPN interfaces on the market. All of CyberGhost VPN’s apps are user-friendly, feature-rich, and bug-free. You can connect to a server with one click, and CyberGhost has optimized servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. You can also set default settings for many things like default protocols and disabling IPv6 connections.
While it performs well in many areas, CyberGhost VPN has room for improvement. It hasn’t conducted an independent privacy audit, the ad blocker doesn’t block very many ads, and a convenient feature like split-tunneling is only available on Android.
All that said, I’m a big fan of CyberGhost VPN — it’s simple, it has a vast network of servers and locations, very good speed, great security features, affordable payment plans, and the annual subscriptions include a 45-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost VPN — Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use CyberGhost VPN for free?
No, CyberGhost VPN doesn’t have a free plan. Instead, it offers a lengthy money-back guarantee — 45 days if you purchase the 1-year, 2-year, or 3-year payment plans (the 1-month plan includes a 14-day money-back guarantee). CyberGhost VPN’s 45-day refund window provides you with more than enough time to test connection speeds, the dedicated servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming, and other security features. If you don’t like CyberGhost VPN, just request a refund via live chat (I got my refund in 5 days).
While free VPNs exist, I generally don’t recommend using them. Many free VPNs don’t include strong security features, may log your online activity, have slower speed, set a limit on your data, and don’t provide a user-friendly interface.
Is CyberGhost VPN safe?
Yes, CyberGhost VPN is very safe. In addition to the standard security features like a kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, and a no-logs policy, CyberGhost VPN has NoSpy servers (faster and more secure than the other servers), secure protocols, DNS leak protection, email protection, and a feature that allows you to customize your security and privacy settings.
Some internet reviewers have called into question the authenticity of CyberGhost’s parent company, but these claims are unfounded, not properly researched, and simply untrue. In short, CyberGhost is one of the safest VPNs out there.
Can CyberGhost VPN unblock Netflix?
Yes, CyberGhost VPN is very good at overcoming Netflix’s geo-restrictions. CyberGhost VPN has dedicated streaming servers that are optimized to unblock Netflix libraries in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US. Also, during my tests, CyberGhost VPN successfully unblocked Netflix in many other countries where there are no dedicated streaming servers, like Israel, Brazil, and Australia.
In addition to Netflix, CyberGhost VPN works well on other streaming sites, including BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO.
Does CyberGhost VPN support torrenting?
Yes, CyberGhost VPN allows torrenting. It has dedicated torrenting servers in nearly 60 countries. Optimized torrenting servers are fast and work with many popular torrent clients (including Bittorrent, qBittorrent, and uTorrent).