CyberGhost VPN

Price Range:
$0.00 to $10.99 Per Month – Visit Site

CyberGhost VPN is one service that really impressed us. They offer their a highly secure OpenVPN based GUI that could not be any simpler to use. Quickly select a country based server and IP address or let it automatically pick for you and connect. The interface is clean and the website is streamlined. Service packages are simple and they even offer a limited free service that we will touch on later. CyberGhost VPN is a Romanian-based company and has a high number of European servers but they have been steadily increasing their US server capacity over the past several years.  In so doing they and have developed a very impressive product. We were quickly impressed with their no-log policy and the fact that no information is collected when signing up to their service.  This is a practically unprecedented level of anonymity in the modern VPN landscape.

Features:

We have seen past reviews discussing some faults in the CyberGhost VPN GUI design. Well, whatever the issues, it sure seems like the developers were listening because the new CyberGhost 5 is clean, simple and a really pleasing user experience. We really tried to look for something to complain about and were hard pressed to find something wrong with it.  First of all signup was quick and easy, no personal information was required, and it pre-selects a secure username and password and includes a Unique Key. *It is important to print this page or note the unique key down at a minimum, as it is required to reset a lost or forgotten username/password.* Next we downloaded the OpenVPN based GUI. Gorgeous interface and very laid out.  There are the “Server Select” and “IP select” dropdown menus on either sides of the page with a big connect button found in the middle.  There really isn’t much room to misinterpret what you’re seeing. A map shows your IP location before connecting as well as once connected. You can let it select your sever and IP automatically, or pick geographical locations to unblock websites and such. Additional security and privacy options are found under the settings menu, which we will cover later on.

They offer a free version of their VPN service that includes all the same features as their paid service with a couple of limitations.  It can only be used for 1 device on Windows and for a period of 3 hours before disconnecting, forcing you to manually sign back on. You also have a very limited list of just 20 servers to connect to. The login screen has an ad to upsell the premium service and has a 1 minute delay before you can connect. The speed gauge shows limited speed on free service, but we tested and were pretty satisfied with what we saw. They also offer a web based proxy to securely browse websites. This is a great but very basic way to hide your IP from a destination. Keep in mind that it does not encrypt your data, but is still a cool feature to offer openly to everyone.

Premium paid services support all platforms, including iOS and Android, and removes the 3 hour disconnection along with the speed cap. Both Free and Premium services offer highly secured 256-bit OpenVPN service, but the paid service also allows for L2TP/IPSec and PPTP protocols. Premium accounts have access to a total of 326 servers over 24 countries, the full list can be found on their website along with live status and online users. Since they are based in Europe that is where the majority of the servers reside, they have 70+ in Germany alone. Over the course of time their US server count has grown to 36 servers. CyberGhost is slowly moving into Asia, with 4 servers available in Signapore

Security:

CyberGhost VPN has a no log policy which is simply huge in a time when even all of the most popular providers openly admit to various forms of logging ranging from “general session info” like session length to “Seriously, why am I even paying you?” like IP logging.  Seriously, we cannot overstate the last point enough, No Logging Period! That is as good as security can get from a VPN provider.  As it is based in Europe there is concern that the European Data Retention Directive may eventually force CyberGhost to begin logging or face legal action. Until CyberGhost is forced to comply they promise to keep the service log free. We have to say it was instantly impressive to be offered AES 256-bit protection through OpenVPN with both paid and free service. Although it is limited to windows, that is still a very large user base and it’s also great to test the product before buying. Both versions include all the extra privacy features as well.

Under the Privacy Control tab, we can further more add security to our browsing with some great options given by CyberGhost. You can choose to further more disguise yourself by changing your browser language ID to match server location, remove information about your operating system and browser version to help as extra Anti Fingerprinting security techniques. The content blocker section allows you to remove social plugins like the Facebook Like Button which could analyse your surfing behaviour or simply block requests to tracking websites. Additionally you can turn all these services on for HTTPS as well.

Speed & Stability:

We have seen some mixed reviews come out of US users, we suppose it may be from a period before they had this many servers. As always, many factors will affect speed. In this case, we only tested the free service. It seems that previously it had been capped at 1mbps/second. It seems it now varies from server to server but displays a speed gauge showing a much slower speed in relation to premium paid service. We hit around 9/mbps down and 1/mbps up which in all fairness is not bad at all while using a European server. The product is very popular across EU and particularly active in Germany and Romania.  Reports show that speed and server uptime is very reliable. After testing a few servers in the US and Europe, we managed to get speeds from 5-11mbps and speeds were constant for each given server. We did hit some 2-3mbps servers, but the fact that we had to look for them is a great sign. The automatic selection also produced good results. One downside is we found ping times to be slow, with little customization available, this may not be the best option for gamers. Asia is also left with no local servers but we hope to see that change.

Updates:

CyberGhost VPN has grown in popularity over the past couple of years; this is a result of solid service and regular updates. They have a huge community in Germany and Europe in general with a very active forum. Also regularly updated is their English news blog that features a video blog titled “Red Couch” hosted by The CyberGhost himself, touching on the latest internet security news and tips. From reading past reviews on their software, it is clear they have done very good work getting to CyberGhost version 5. We had not tested previous versions, but got to see some screenshots of the interface and understand what the fuss was about. The new design is crystal clear and bug free. We really like where these guys are at.

Pricing:

We have 3 packages to pick from.

FREE!
  • Unlimited Bandwidth (Not exactly true, we discovered servers may be throttled depending on location)
  • One Device limit
  • No P2P Traffic
  • Limited to Windows
  • Unlimited Traffic – Disconnects You From VPN Every 3 Hours  (Must manually reconnect and wait 1 minute each time with ad)
  • 256-bit Open VPN
  • 20 Servers in 14 Countries.
  • Anti-Fingerprinting System
 PREMIUM
  • 1 Month/$6.99 – 1 Year/$39.99 – 2 Years/$69.99
  • 1 Device Limit
  • Unlimited Bandwidth – Unlimited Traffic
  • AES 256-bit OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP
  • All Platforms: Linux, Mac OS, Windows, Android, iOS.
  • 253 Servers in 21 Countries
 PREMIUM PLUS
  • 1Month/$10.99 – 1 Year/$69.99 – 2 Years/$109.99
  • Up to 5 Devices Simultaneously
  • All features included in Premium Package

The choice becomes simple to make based on the individual’s needs. Many people can benefit from the free service, while hard core users will opt for paid services for VPN. We found CyberGhost to provide a complete free solution as long as you can deal with slower servers and constant disconnections. It is perfect for light internet users, people who want something simple, or even to test out their service.  As far as paid services, The PREMIUM package is very fair priced and picking one or two years brings cost by a good percentage, anyone really needing more than 1 device simultaneous use should opt for PREMIUM PLUS.

Customer Service:

The website is very well designed. Very easy to navigate and features an active blog, forum, live chat from 8am-5pm (MET) on weekdays, and email ticket submission form. A comprehensive step by step Troubleshooter might solve a good amount of issues a user can encounter. The Help & FAQ section was easy to navigate, felt very complete and well-illustrated to facilitate setup.

11 Comments

  1. Merik July 28, 2014
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