CyberGhost

4.2

Overall Score

No User Reviews

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Other company-provided information discloses an additional presence in Germany. The company states - they provide privacy made in Europe. CyberGhost is popular for several reasons, including their commitment to user privacy and company transparency, offer of free VPN and web proxy in addition to their paid VPN packages.

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#9 CyberGhost Logo CyberGhost

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Overall
Score

0 User Reviews

The Good

  • Free Trial
  • Encryption Type
  • Speed
  • Transparency
  • Extra Features
Free Trial

CyberGhost does not offer a free trial for their services, rather the company offers a free VPN option which allows anyone to download the software and use the VPN. The free plan is somewhat limited in the number of servers from which users can select, and reports suggest that the connection is slower than that for the Premium plans, but for many, this is a solid choice. Streaming HD videos with the free plan works well, but 4D streaming is not well-supported.

Receiving the free VPN from CyberGhost is simple. All users must do is download the appropriate software from their Windows, Mac or Android device, open it and connect. iOS is not supported in the Free plan.

It is notable that there is no registration, identifying information shared, billing information needed to use the free VPN from CyberGhost. Like other companies which offer a free version of their VPN, the app is ad-supported. Users report that the ads are not too much of a distraction and are displayed primarily upon signing into the service. Those who find ads annoying or irritating would be better served by upgrading to one of the paid Premium plans, neither of which display ads.

Encryption Type

CyberGhost offers their users a choice of several encryption protocols - OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. Whenever possible the Review Team recommends selecting an OpenVPN connection for its superior protection of data. While slightly slower than PPTP, the speed loss is negligible in most cases, and results in a more secure connection.

Speed

CyberGhost, like many of their competitors, returns variable results on independent speed tests. The average speed for a connection with their VPN is better than or similar to the national average (20.8 Mbps - downloads and 5.2 Mbps - uploads). CyberGhost's average connection speed is 25.8 Mbps for downloads and 2.65 Mbps for uploads. It is important to remember that speed is highly variable and depends on many factors, including the speed of the user's ISP, whether the ISP throttles connections, the geographic distance to the VPN server and the traffic on the server.

 Transparency

CyberGhost publishes a transparency document on their site which details the number of requests which have been made for user data by governing bodies, among other things. This practice is unique in the industry, and the company works to be as transparent as possible while protecting their customers' privacy.

At the present time, CyberGhost does not measure traffic volume for accounts. They state in their Privacy Policy that their fair usage volume is 80 GB of data per invoicing month. The company states that although they do not measure or limit bandwidth, that they retain the right to do so in the future, which can result in either limiting or blocking additional data for the remainder of the month. Should the abuse continue, CyberGhost reserves the right to terminate a user's account without refund.

Perhaps the most notable demonstration of transparency and very unique for the industry is that CyberGhost posts their live server status on a page on their website. This page displays live details on each of their servers, how many people on each, the current bandwidth, and the available spots for both Premium and Free plan subscribers. This allows customers to make informed selections in their server selection.

Extra features

CyberGhost offers their customers several additional features which make their connection more secure. These include an automatic kill switch which shuts down the VPN connection if the server is lost. Other features include a live server status page, NAT firewall, DNS leak protection and IP sharing. Each of these features helps users by protection from impostor sites, phishing scams, and maintain a heightened level of security for the duration of the VPN session.

The Bad

  • Price
  • Cancellation Policy
  • Customer Support
Price

CyberGhost offers two choices of paid subscriptions, both of which can be paid monthly or annually for additional savings. The company states that their Premium plan connects at faster speeds (up to 5 times faster than the connection for the Free plan), and offers apps for iOS. The Premium plan is only useable on one device. Premium Plus offers simultaneous connections to the VPN for up to five devices.

  • Premium - $6.99/month or $5.83/month (Annual subscription and paid in advance)
  • Premium - $10.99/month or $9.16/month (Annual subscription and paid in advance)

Pricing for CyberGhost's VPN is more expensive than many of their competitors, who offer more simultaneous connections per account at a lower cost.

Users may pay for their subscription with any of the following methods: Bitcoin, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB and PayPal.

Cancellation Policy

In order to stop a subscription and automatic charge to one's previously-used payment method, users must notify CyberGhost 30 days in advance for either monthly or annual subscriptions - which is a considerable amount of time - especially relative to the term of a monthly subscription.

 Customer Support

Subscribers to each of CyberGhost's plans are able to find questions on the site's FAQ and searchable troubleshooting section. The company states that they offer online chat, although this function is rarely available. All help is available in German and English. Premium subscribers have the option of creating an online ticket for personalized help. This option is not available for subscribers to the free plan. Reports from customers suggest that receiving help from CyberGhost is problematic and that they do not always receive timely responses to their requests.

The Bottom Line

CyberGhost is unique in providing VPN services for no cost which are full-featured plans. They offer their customers - both free and Premium plans - many features to enhance their connection and to help them to securely surf. CyberGhost is very transparent as a company and has extensive documents available to allow customers to see into their business practices and know what to expect. There are some customers who report that their ISP blocks CyberGhost IP addresses, preventing them from connecting, but the Review Team was not able to confirm this information from the ISPs or CyberGhost.

Customers paying for the Premium plans should note that these plans are more expensive than comparable plans from CyberGhost's competitors. There ar more features and transparency with CyberGhost, however, so they may feel that the trade-off is acceptable. The Review Team admires CyberGhost for their transparency and commitment to protecting privacy, and recommends the company for those whom this is a primary concern. Should a few of the "bad" be changed, CyberGhost would be one of the top=recommended VPN providers.

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