Tom's Guide Verdict
Well-known for its large server fleet, a wide variety of security features, and pocket-friendly pricing, CyberGhost is a great choice both for individuals and small businesses that want to bypass geo-blocking restrictions and ensure their anonymity, privacy, and security on the internet. While there are some shortcomings (such as an sub-par iOS app), CyberGhost still scores well in most critical areas.
45-day money-back guarantee on 6 months+ plans
Great for US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video
Sizable server fleet
Tons of additional features on desktop
Swift replies from live chat support
iOS app isn't exactly pwoerful
Ad-blocker is poor
Not the fastest VPN I've ever tested
Can't unblock Disney+
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN company owned by Kape Technologies (alongside ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access), and has been a stalwart of the VPN industry since its founding in 2011. Often cited as one of the best VPN services, it's got a reputation of good privacy to uphold – something I'll be investigating in this expert CyberGhost review.
The provider claims that its most pressing concern is the privacy and anonymity of its customers. Indeed, it promises it won’t share any of its customer’s data with “prying eyes”, ISPs, and government or state agencies. It has a strict no-logs policy and has now been audited by Deloitte, so you can be all-but-certain that CyberGhost will not log your activities. Users can even pay for their subscription in Bitcoin, adding an extra layer of security to proceedings.
CyberGhost has been working hard to expand its number of servers without losing its crown as one of the best-value VPNs around. But has it succeeded? In my complete CyberGhost review, I'll explore whether it can really stand up to the very best on the market.
CyberGhost on paper
|Number of servers
|Row 0 - Cell 2
|Row 1 - Cell 2
|Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, smart TVs with Smart DNS, routers, consoles, Chrome, Firefox
|Row 2 - Cell 2
|Row 3 - Cell 2
|Row 4 - Cell 2
|Row 5 - Cell 2
|OpenVPN (TCP vs UDP), IKEv2, WireGuard, L2TP/IPSec
|Row 6 - Cell 2
|Country of registration
|Row 7 - Cell 2
|24/7 live chat, email, knowledgebase
|Row 8 - Cell 2
CyberGhost 2-minute review
Like many other VPNs, CyberGhost's single-month plan is a rather expensive proposition at $12.99. Sign up for six months and that'll be knocked down to $6.99, but the real value lies in the two-year plan – a very tempting $2.19 a month. This includes two months free, and while prices do fluctuate a little, they're always around the $2-a-month mark.
CyberGhost has been independently audited by Deloitte and makes strong statements about whether it logs user activity (no, it doesn’t), and its apps appear to be well secured. A transparency report is also a nice touch.
Speed testing using the latest WireGuard protocol reveals that CyberGhost has dipped in the last six months or so, to a fairly average peak of 630Mbps. That means CyberGhost is no longer one of the fastest VPNs, but it certainly won't be slowing you down. It's a handy for streaming, though, thanks to the fact it unblocks most major streaming services including US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video. Disney+, however, was unavailable at the time of testing.
If you’re looking to torrent, you’ll be glad to hear that P2P is allowed on most (although not all) servers and that the company offers apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and more. Here, you’ll also find some fine features like automatic connection when using a specific app, which helps to deliver ultimate torrenting safety. Plus, with CyberGhost VPN you can connect to up to seven devices simultaneously.
On desktop (Windows in particular), CyberGhost’s client is remarkably powerful and includes a wide variety of additional features not usually found with VPNs, let alone one of the most affordable ones. However, while the mobile apps are functional, I found them lacking in some areas.
If you find yourself in need of a helping hand, CyberGhost’s support staff will gladly lend you one. Going to live chat will get you in touch with friendly and helpful operators that know their stuff. On the downside, some of the company's written how-to guides seem somewhat confusing, and almost no new articles have been added in recently months.
All in all, CyberGhost is a very capable VPN with only a few rough edges (like the mobile interface) holding it back.
- Bug bounty offered for VPN vulnerabilities
- Windows security vulnerability reported recently (embarrassing, but difficult to exploit, didn’t compromise core VPN features), but was reported via said bug bounty program and fixed before being reported
- Servers gradually being upgraded to 10Gbps from 1Gbps
- New security measures to protect users against Lg4j exploits
- Completion of independent audit by Deloitte
- 66 P2P locations, up from 54
- Access to your own exclusive IP address ($5/month extra)
- Optional access to standalone CyberGhost Security Suite for Windows.
CyberGhost price and payment
|$56.94 (including 2 months free)
|$2.19 (including 2 months free)
If you go for a longer-term plan, CyberGhost is one of the best cheap VPN services on the market today. As with most services, the longer you commit, the less it'll end up costing you each month.
If you choose a month-to-month deal, you’ll be spending a hefty $12.99 each month. At the time of writing, however, committing for two years will get you an excellent price of just $2.19 per month, including two free months.
This price can fluctuate a little with various seasonal sales throughout the year, but CyberGhost is almost always available for less than $2.50 a month on the longest plan. There no longer appears to be a one-year option – only a six-month option that works out at $6.99 a month.
Whatever deal you decide on, there are plenty of available payment methods including all major credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and Bitcoin. However, these options might vary depending on your location.
The two-year and six-month plans come with a class-leading 45-day money-back guarantee, although even the one-month plan comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
If you want to test the service to make sure it’s right for you, I’d recommend signing up to one of the longer plans. That way, you'll have 45 days to claim back your money if CyberGhost fails to live up to your expectations.
It's worth noting that while your subscription will allow you to install CyberGhost on up to 7 devices, this restriction is enforced per device rather than connection. Almost every other VPN out there allows your to install the app on as many devices as you like, but only have active connections on a certain number of them simultaneously. It's hard to see the logic in this, and it makes it a real faff if you've got a ton of devices you'd like to protect.
Does CyberGhost have a free trial?
If you fancy giving CyberGhost a whirl, a VPN free trial is available, but it’s unnecessarily complicated. On a desktop, you can sign up and use the app for a measly 24 hours for free, during which you’ll only have access to limited features.
On iOS, you can get a seven-day trial, but you’ll have to sign up, whereas on Android you can get seven days without signing up, which is probably your best bet if you’ve got an Android device.
Signing up for one of the longer plans, which come with a 45-day money-back guarantee, is more than likely the best way to dip your toe in CyberGhost's waters.
- More: Need something for your employees? See today's best business VPN
How private is CyberGhost?
CyberGhost uses 256-bit AES encryption, which is the gold standard I've come to expect from all top secure VPN providers. However, another thing I very much appreciate is the fact that CyberGhost’s apps are transparent in terms of what data the service collects about your usage. This means you can be a good scout and allow CyberGhost to collect some anonymous data to improve its apps, or simply opt out of it. Not many providers give you this option – it's a nice bonus feature.
CyberGhost is insistent about its strict no-logs policy, promising "complete privacy on all devices". It assures its potential customers that their browsing history, the sites they visit, the data they transmit, and what they search for will not be monitored or recorded by the company. It also make it clear that it won’t log IP addresses, connection timestamps, or how long the service has been used.
Of course, you might wonder whether these claims can be taken at face value. Which is why, like many of its competitors (ExpressVPN and NordVPN, for example), CyberGhost has undergone a comprehensive independent audit of its servers and other infrastructure.
The audit was conducted by Deloitte, one of the "Big Four" global auditors, which is very encouraging. The report is available to customers in theory, although I couldn’t actually find a download link to it. Still, this level of third-party scrutiny is extremely encouraging and only adds to the trustworthiness of CyberGhost's privacy claims.
CyberGhost also offers a nifty tracker, ad, and malware blocking tool. In my testing, it was very effective when it came to blocking trackers, stopping 96% of those encountered. However, with a malware blocking score of 55% and ad blocking at 79%, I'd still opt for a dedicated tool if you're really worried about these – advice I'd give when it comes to just about any blocking software bundled with a consumer VPN.
How fast is CyberGhost?
Connection speeds are always a top priority for VPN users, and as a service that specializes in unblocking streaming sites, I'd expect these to be impressive
Tested on my UK and US connections (both of which top out at about 1Gbps), I took average times from several tests to judge the reliability and speed of the service.
Taking the fastest protocol first, I tested WireGuard in the UK where it peaked at a superb 630Mbps. With the average speed being around 600-700Mbps, this makes CyberGhost distinctly OK. It's certainly not slow, but the likes of PureVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark, IPVanish and NordVPN all outstrip it in terms of peak speeds.
It's worth noting that if you're running a regular domestic connection of around 100Mbps, you won't see speeds above this no matter what VPN you're using.
So, while CyberGhost may not be the fastest VPN we’ve tested, it's by no means a slouch and offers speedy enough performance for the absolute majority of users.
How good is CyberGhost for streaming?
|Working (UK, US, CA, AU, JP)
One of the most common reasons people sign up for a VPN is to unblock streaming services when travelling outside your home country. CyberGhost is a particularly good Netflix VPN as it caters to users by offering a superb filtering system to find the best servers to unblock the content that they wish to enjoy.
In my tests, it appears CyberGhost is able to access all the Netflix locations I tried, including the UK which, in my last review, it was unable to unblock.BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and others are also available.
One slight disappointment is that it appears CyberGhost is now unable to unblock any Disney+ locations, which is a shame since it has clearly marked servers that are supposedly optimized for the House of Mouse's streaming service.
While customers from the USA and the UK tend to get the best coverage, my app also listed servers in Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Romania, and Sweden. Both leading platforms and regional services were covered such as RTL, MTV Finland, France TV, AI Play, and so forth.
One issue I did find was that a considerable amount of sites would hit me with the 'Are you a Human?' CAPTCHA, but other than that, everything was running nicely.
However, some competitors are also capable of unblocking just about everything thrown at them, so if you're looking for a truly dedicated streaming VPN, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or Surfshark may be better choices.
How good is CyberGhost for torrenting?
Much like CyberGhost’s filters for specific streaming services, it can also help you pick a good torrenting VPN server - and that’s good news. Truth be told, not every server is optimized for P2P due to some regional restrictions, so being able to quickly select a suitable server is a neat touch.
Once connected, speeds are good, and a feature that I really appreciated was the ability to choose a CyberGhost location to automatically connect to when you launch your client. This is great for the forgetful or lazy (read: almost all of us) and is a fool-proof way of making sure that whenever you torrent, you’re properly protected.
I’d like to see full P2P support on every single server in the near future, but as it stands, CyberGhost does excellent work despite its limitations. Plus, my Windows app listed a total of 66 P2P-friendly countries, which is more than what you get with most VPN providers, and up from 54 in my last review.
Just bear in mind there are blocks on servers in the USA, Russia, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. However, thanks to a list called "For Torrenting" it's easy to find a suitable server near your location. And, with CyberGhost's malicious URL filter, even more dubious torrent downloads should be kept secure.
How good are CyberGhost's desktop apps?
CyberGhost’s desktop apps are pretty much the same on the Windows VPN and Mac VPN, with simple, useful interfaces. You’ll get a list of servers, a nice big Connect button, and your options for server filtering on the far left. A location picker, showing the distance of servers from you is a useful addition.
Seeing the current capacity/load of each server is quite useful – something omitted from lots of rivals – and can give you a quick indication of which server will provide the highest speeds. You’ll also get a favorites system, plus a system tray icon that gives you quick access to all the essentials.
Among extras, you’ll find ad and tracker blockers and protection from dangerous websites. 'Smart Rules', however, is my favorite element. It allows you to configure which server to automatically connect to on start-up, and whether to connect when you open a particular app (likely a torrent client). Plus, you can also set up split tunneling by whitelisting specific sites.
Wi-Fi controls also work well, allowing you to choose how the VPN works on connection, auto-connecting to secure, never if encrypted, as well as more custom actions for specific networks.
CyberGhost’s system tray icon also allows you to access these in submenus, and it’s a very neat way of saving you time and screen space – every little usability feature matters at this level.
However, one quite significant annoyance is the lack of Windows notifications upon connection or reconnection. This means you have to check the app to ensure you're connected, and when using Smart Rules – for example, connect when torrent client opens – you have to trust that the app has done its job instead of being positively reassured. Almost every other VPN does this, why can't CyberGhost?
It gets back on track when it comes to one of the VPN's core privacy features, though – the kill switch. No matter what processes I killed or how hard I tried to fool the app that it was protected when it wasn't, the kill switch always activated and kept my IP protected.
With the upgrade to CyberGhost 8, I’ve seen the interface clear up a little, but it’s worth noting that a couple of small features have been lost – namely HTTP to HTTPS redirection and data compression for slow connections. This is probably due to the fact that only a handful of people actually use them. In my experience, data compression did next to nothing in practice, and a dedicated add-on like HTTPS Everywhere is not only free but also more effective.
Finally, it's worth noting that a penetration tester found a fairly significant vulnerability, although this was fixed fairly quickly and it doesn't appear that any users were affected by it.
All in all, there’s not a huge amount to complain about. CyberGhost’s desktop clients are powerful and deliver some genuinely useful unique features seldom seen anywhere else, but those looking for a flawless experience might be frustrated with the several usability issues present.
How good are CyberGhost's mobile apps?
On iOS devices, VPN apps are held back by Apple’s security design and are rarely as fully featured as their Android and desktop counterparts – but CyberGhost's offerings are especially sparse.
You’ll get a favorites list, smart server selection, and auto-connect on specific or unsecured networks, plus the choice between WireGuard and IKEv2, and a connection checker. That's absolutely it, but for many that will be all they need.
The Android app does all this and a lot more, pretty much matching the desktop apps in power. You're free to specify if you want it to use a random port when connecting, which is useful for getting around VPN-blocking tech – used by Netflix and similar streaming services.
Also, you’ll get split tunneling, which is surprising yet super useful if you just want to make sure one app is secured while all your others use your regular connection.
Another useful addition is the content blocker since it blocks ads, trackers, and malware from domains. However, it’s turned off by default and can't match dedicated apps, but it might come in handy if you don't have anything else to do the job.
The last noteworthy addition is domain fronting, which bypasses certain VPN blocking tech through a CDN (content delivery system). Although we didn’t test this, it’s surely welcome – and if anything, I can’t help but wonder why it’s not available in the desktop app.
So, while the iOS app is rather bare-bones, CyberGhost’s mobile VPN apps are pretty useful, and WireGuard support plus the powerful Android option will be a major selling point.
Thankfully, both apps come with a 7-day trial which means you can try them out before making any commitments.
What customer support does CyberGhost offer?
Whether you get stuck while setting up your VPN or simply want to ask a couple of questions about the service, there are a few ways you can reach CyberGhost’s support staff.
Much like all the big hitters, CyberGhost offers 24/7 live chat support, and it’s your best bet for getting back up and running quickly. The operators I got in touch with were both kind and knowledgeable, and my issue was resolved in no time.
However, if you don’t mind waiting for a couple of hours (or days if you're unlucky) to get a reply, you can also send them an email, although in almost all cases the live chat will be the better choice.
If you prefer sticking to self-services, you should head to the knowledge base. There, you’ll find plenty of guides for different operating systems and lots of common issues people have. Since the knowledge base features a search box, you can hunt for specific words which could lead you to the solution you're seeking while shortening the search itself.
While going through the written guides, I noticed that the way many are written is somewhat difficult to understand and follow, which is bad news for less experienced users. Also, things are worded slightly strangely on CyberGhost’s official site in any case – likely due to a largely Romanian workforce that speaks English as a second language.
For instance, in a simple article that proclaims the benefits of WireGuard over OpenVPN, it is stated that OpenVPN ‘works at the user level using TLS', while 'WireGuard-based VPN servers under Linux run inside the kernel networking stack’. Do you find that useful? I thought not.
I don’t want to be patronized, but also these articles should also be accessible to the majority of users for them to be worthwhile.
CyberGhost review: Final verdict
CyberGhost is a well-known and trusted provider with a remarkable number of servers around the world. It's cheap, fairly fast, offers plenty of in-depth features – if you're not an iPhone user – and a no-logs audit helps to back up claims of excellent privacy protection.
After extended use, small issues like the lack of notifications and the very strict device limit can irritate, and personally I don't see any huge reason to choose it above a cheap rival like Surfshark, or my top-rated provider ExpressVPN.
However, if it ticks your boxes, it's still a reliable VPN, and at less than $2.20 a month, it really is a steal.
Tom's Guide rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
✔️ You're looking for a bargain. Often almost hitting the $2-a-month barrier, CyberGhost is very affordable
✔️ You want a long refund period. CyberGhost gives you 45 days to make up your mind, rather than the industry-standard 30.
✔️ You like easy-to-use apps. Clean and clear, CyberGhost's apps are super intuitive.
Don't subscribe if:
❌ You want to use lots of devices. Instead of allowing you to log in and out to make the most of your simultaneous connections, CyberGhost only allows 7 installations. To use another device, you'll have to remove it completely.
❌ You need top-tier support. CyberGhost's support is decent, but nothing like the quality of ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
❌ You're a Disney addict. While CyberGhost is quite capable of unblocking global Netflix libraries and other streaming sites, it's completely walled by Disney+.
|Very nice to use, with good customization.
|Ease of use
|Simple layout means it's great for beginners and experts alike.
|Great performance, and only outsped by the very fastest.
|Claims to have dedicated streaming servers, but sometimes failed to access Netflix and Disney+.
|Security and privacy
|Good baseline tech with an audit from Deloitte.
|Not bad, but customer support agents could be more helpful.
|Excellent price considering what you're getting.