Pricing & Plans
CyberGhost stands out from other VPNs by offering a completely free VPN service, although there are some restrictions worth mentioning. These include waiting in queues to connect, access to a limited number of servers, and advertisements every 90 minutes. Free users also have to deal with auto-disconnects after three hours (you can immediately reconnect).
You can get rid of these restrictions and subscribe to CyberGhost Premium for $6.99 a month (or $5.83 billed annually), which removes the free restrictions and gives you faster overall speeds.
Premium Plus is CyberGhost’s highest tier at $10.99 a month ($ 9.16 a year), although the only difference from Premium is the ability to connect up to five devices at the same time. It seems that Premium Plus would be better off as the “Family Plan.”
If you do sign up to one of CyberGhost’s paid plans, you are given the option of a 30-day money back guarantee, no questions asked.
CyberGhost accepts all the usual credit card brands as well as Bitcoin (through a 3rd party payment vendor).
CyberGhost Video Review
Check out our CyberGhost VPN review video below. Please note there are a few visual differences in the latest version and that a new video review is currently in the works.
- Free service
- Good number of locations
- No logs & a commitment to transparency
- Fluctuating speeds
- Advertisements for free users
CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN, which is great news if you value privacy. Romania is one of the few European countries to strike down national data retention laws based on the 2006 European Data Retention Directive, considering them unconstitutional.
At the time of this CyberGhost VPN review, the provider had 691 servers online in 29 countries. The US and Germany both had an impressive 118 servers to choose from, making CyberGhost a great option to tunnel into these countries.
Free and Premium users are allowed up to one simultaneous connection while Premium Plus subscribers can connect up to five devices. This policy is slightly disappointing when considering Private Internet Access (five devices) or NordVPN (six devices) at a similar price.
CyberGhost also offers a free browser-based proxy service, I’ll mention this in further detail later on in this review.
Security & Privacy
CyberGhost’s clients for Windows, Mac, and Android all use the OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit AES encryption. I was happy to see OpenVPN as the default option as OpenVPN comes highly recommended for security. You can also manually connect using L2TP and PPTP, but this is a somewhat complicated process only meant for advanced VPN users. PPTP in particular is not a secure protocol and I wouldn’t recommend using it.
As I mentioned before in this CyberGhost VPN review, the provider is based in Romania. This is great news for people looking to avoid any EU data retention laws or government spying. CyberGhost also has a strict no-logging policy combined with a high level of transparency into operations. These practices come as highly welcome in an industry where companies can be a lot less forthcoming regarding user privacy.
Further boosting CyberGhost’s privacy credentials is the fact that all payments are accepted through third-party payment processors, meaning CyberGhost doesn’t have any of you payment details on file.
CyberGhost’s OpenVPN protocol features 256-bit AES encryption in combination with 2048 bit RSA and MD5 for HMAC authentication. While these are mostly acceptable encryption standards, I’d like to see an improvement in authentication (such as SHA-1 or SHA-256) before fully recommending CyberGhost VPN.
P2P activity such as torrenting is allowed on Premium and Premium Plus plans, although CyberGhost does suggest you connect to P2P-specific servers.
I’ll mention here that CyberGhost has made recent headlines here at BestVPN.com, with some new developments to the service being somewhat confusing. While these changes are not present in the latest CyberGhost 6 client release, it is worth keeping an eye on future updates.
CyberGhost has a nice website with lots of information not only regarding VPNs but also on other relevant topics and services as well. I was pleased to see during my CyberGhost review that the provider also maintains a transparency page for everyone to view. This page is full of helpful statistics regarding DMCA and government requests CyberGhost received in the previous calendar year.
I found the website and user control panel easy to navigate, while the helpful knowledge base can help solve most questions you might have regarding CyberGhost.
The CyberGhost VPN blog is up to date with helpful posts regarding the service, new apps, and VPN industry news.
CyberGhost free users are (understandably) limited to a FAQ and “Troubleshooter” when it comes to customer support. Premium and Premium Plus subscribers have ticket support, but I would like to see live chat considering CyberGhost’s prices.
To get a better idea of how CyberGhost’s “Premium” support performs, I submitted a test ticket regarding CyberGhost’s P2P policy. I received a satisfactory reply less than 24 hours later.
CyberGhost is active in almost every social network imaginable, with profiles maintained on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest!
Signing up for CyberGhost’s free service is extremely easy, as all you need is an email address to get started. You download and install the client (15.2 MB), log in to your account and you’re ready to go!
Paid plans follow the same process, but with a third-party payment processor handling all of your payment information.
The CyberGhost Windows VPN client
CyberGhost released the sixth version of its client recently, with VPN profiles specifically for streaming now built into the client. These streaming profiles make it easy to unblock country-specific services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and much more.
There is also a Wi-Fi network protection feature, app security tool, and proxy service in the CyberGhost 6 client. While the CyberGhost VPN client gets the job done, I would like to see an Internet kill switch added for even more protection by the time I do my next CyberGhost review.
I also liked that the client is available in several languages: German, French, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish.
There will be some drop off in speed with OpenVPN, with CyberGhost being no exception to the rule. CyberGhost’s free service also has certain speed restrictions, so I was curious to see the speeds I would get.
Graphs show highest, lowest and average speeds for each server and location. See our full speed test explanation for more detail.
As you can see, CyberGhost was somewhat poor on both my download and upload speed tests. Surprisingly, I noticed little difference in speeds between the free and Premium service. These results lead me to believe that there isn’t a huge difference between CyberGhost’s free and premium versions when it comes to speed.
I was happy to see that tests for IP or DNS leaks came back clean, even while connected to CyberGhost’s free version! I would recommend you test these features out for yourself, as CyberGhost does have quite a lot of servers.
CyberGhost has clients available for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. Additional support is provided for Linux and Chrome OS, although getting these to work does require some manual configuration.
To get a better idea of the provider on other platforms, I gave the CyberGhost iOS app a try on my iPhone. CyberGhost’s iOS app users can enjoy a Premium trial for seven days, after which the app reverts to CyberGhost’s free VPN.
The CyberGhost iPhone app made it easy to choose and connect to a VPN profile. I liked that new users are given a seven-day free trial, and the client felt very smooth.
Other/ Free Services
CyberGhost Proxy Service
CyberGhost also has a free eb proxy service that can be accessed straight from the website. While I’ve seen this feature with other VPNs before, they do seems to be more gimmicky rather than being useful tools.
As you can see above, I was unable to get the free proxy tool working, as it kept giving me a 404 error when trying to connect.
CyberGhost VPN Review Conclusion
- Free service
- Bitcoin accepted
- P2P allowed
- No logs kept
- Transparency page
I wasn’t so sure about
- Only ticket support, even for Premium users
- Questionable speeds
- Only one simultaneous connection for Premium users
All things considered, CyberGhost is a great service if you are looking for an unlimited bandwidth, free VPN. The paid version of CyberGhost isn’t exactly a bad option, but it does leave me wanting a bit more in terms of performance.
CyberGhost’s commitment to privacy is impressive, especially when considering the no logging policy. The transparency report also provides an interesting glance into how many legal notices a VPN provider receives.
Try out CyberGhost’s free service using the link below, and let me know your experiences in the comments below!