Transparency Reports Prove Commitment To Privacy
I was impressed to learn that CyberGhost was the first VPN company to launch a Transparency Report. Even though many companies have since followed suit , only CyberGhost has committed to publishing its Transparency Report every 3 months.
I carefully read the latest Transparency Report, which includes every request for information from law enforcement agencies. It includes mostly copyright infringement claims, malicious activity flags, and police requests. The report shows that despite such frequent requests for data, CyberGhost has zero logs to provide due to the strict no-logs policy.
After reading through the report, Im satisfied that CyberGhost goes to great lengths to protect the privacy of its users. You can find and read them by visiting CyberGhosts Privacy Hub blog and scrolling partway down the page.
Accessing Netflix With Cyberghost
We wanted to see if we could unblock Netflix with CyberGhost. To unblock its US library we connected to its New York server. Considering the distance between our location in Madrid, Spain, and the server in New York, we did expect it to slow down our speeds, but the speed was surprisingly good.
We could easily stream Air Stike on Netflix US with no buffering, as the video started playing instantly, as you can also see in the video below.
We also tried unblocking Netflix UK and it worked perfectly fine. This time, we connected to its Netflix UK-optimized server and it instantly unblocked Netflix UK. It instantly started streaming Ragnarok in Ultra HD without any buffering.
For other Netflix libraries, we tested its standard servers in Tokyo, Seoul, Toronto, Melbourne, Mumbai, Paris, and Frankfurt. It unblocked all regional libraries and gave an average speed of 67 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. It was more than enough for streaming without any lags or buffering.
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Ad Tracking And Malware Blocker
CyberGhost comes with an ad-blocker that only blocks malicious content. After speaking with a support agent, I found out that it doesnt remove all ads.
I turned on the Block Content option under privacy settings and used the testing feature on ads-blocker.com. Unfortunately, CyberGhost failed the test. It succeeded in blocking a single pop-up, but all other on-page ads still showed up. I also tried it out on YouTube, and every video I watched still started with in-stream ads.
This feature is available for Android, Windows, and macOS. However, if youre concerned about ads, I recommend using a dedicated service in addition to CyberGhost. Its not a bad idea to turn it on since it protects you from malicious sites, but many ads will still make it through.
What Do You Get For Your Money
CyberGhost VPN offers NoSpy servers, which it says are specially tuned servers in a high-security server facility in CyberGhost’s home of Romania. This is similar to ProtonVPN’s Secure Core servers in that they also have increased physical security. ProtonVPN, however, uses its Secure Core servers for multi-hop connections while CyberGhost does not provide multi-hop connections at all. Access to NoSpy servers cannot be added to an existing subscription and we were unable to test them this time. We will update this review once we are able to try the NoSpy servers out for ourselves.
In addition to VPN protection, CyberGhost boasts that it provides malware and ad blocking. We don’t test the efficacy of these features in any VPN products, but generally advise readers to use standalone tracker blockers and antivirus software. Unlike ProtonVPN and Editors’ Choice winner NordVPN, CyberGhost VPN cannot route your traffic through the Tor anonymization networkalthough a VPN is not required to use Tor. CyberGhost does, however, include split tunneling. This lets you exempt specific URLs from traveling through the VPN connection.
Troubling Ties: Crossrider Cyberghost And Malware
Crossrider offers a highly configurable method for its clients to monetize their software. The common method to infect end-users is software bundlers. The installers usually resort to browser hijacking. Targeted browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and sometimes Opera. Crossrider not only targets Windows machines but Macs as well.
PUP.Optional.Crossrider installs are typically triggered by bundlers that offer software you might be interested in and combine them with adware or other monetizing methods.
According to Malwarebytes and many other reputable online security websites, Crossrider was hiding malware in software bundlers, which would then infect the users computer with adware or other monetizing methods.
Now lets look at an example. This article from 2018 illustrates how Crossrider malware was infecting computers through fake Adobe Flash updates:
Is this a company youd trust to run your VPN service and handle all your internet traffic?
With such a troubling history, it appears that the parent company attempted to distance itself from its own past. In 2018, Crossrider decided to change its name to Kape Technologies.
As the CEO admitted here, the name change was an attempt to distance Kape from shady past activities:
CyberGhost even hinted at this ironic conflict of interest in their blog post:
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Security Privacy And Logging
Many VPNs claim to offer superior security when they in fact suffer from data leaks and outdated encryption standards. I was intrigued as to whether CyberGhost lives up to its claims.
While CyberGhost was originally developed in Germany, the company later moved to Romania, a country in which there are no mandatory data retention laws. This is good news for users seeking privacy, as personal data can only be retained if unequivocal consent is given.
CyberGhost doesnt log user behavior, web targets, or communication. It keeps some connection logs but none that can be tied to an individual user.
Payment and registration details arent tied to the VPN service, and users are given an anonymous ID. Although the CyberGhost website collects a fair amount of information about visitors, none of this is connected to your use of the VPN service.
The apps collect some non-personal data for analytics and send it to MixPanel. This includes things like connection attempts, but not your IP address, connection timestamps, user ID, or VPN server.
Here are the encryption details:
- 256-bit AES encryption
- 2,048-bit RSA keys
- SHA256 authentication
- Perfect forward secrecy ensures that even if my encryption key is compromised, it cannot be used to decrypt past sessions.
I can set CyberGhost to automatically protect me on unfamiliar wifi networks, which is handy while traveling. As mentioned in the torrenting section, the kill switch and app protection are useful security features.
The Company Behind Cyberghost
CyberGhost is based in Romania, but it is owned by Kape Technologies, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom. Kape owns several VPN services, including Private Internet Access, ZenMate, and ExpressVPN. Kape Technologies has a checkered past. It was known as Crossrider before. Back in the days, it used to distribute potentially unwanted programs, and security services such as Malwarebytes flagged offers by the company to block them on protected customer systems.
One of the main reasons for switching names was to avoid being linked to the past activities.
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No P2p On Australian Servers
Another downside of the VPN service is that P2P traffic is not allowed on Australia servers.
This can significantly reduce torrent speeds for users in Australia, which should connect to the nearby New Zealand servers.
Occasionally, the VPN blocks P2P protocols on certain servers to reduce congestion. Or to comply with specific laws in countries like Russia, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong.
Cyberghost Ad Blocking Feature
CyberGhost offers an ad-blocking feature, but there are some problems with this VPN ad blocker.
You can find the ad blocker feature under the Privacy Settings in the VPN client. It is an option called Block content to block domains for ads, trackers, and malware, as you can see below:
I took a close look at this feature and even tested it out in comparison to other VPN ad blockers. The results were not good. Heres what I noted about CyberGhost in my guide on different VPN ad blockers:
CyberGhost is an interesting case, but not in a good way. Instead of filtering ads and malicious content via DNS requests, they actually look inside the traffic and modify requests to certain domains so they display content from Cyberghost instead.
This is problematic for a few reasons. First, manipulating traffic is something a trustworthy VPN provider should not do even with good intentions. Secondly, this only works over http since https connections are encrypted and Cyberghost cannot access that content.
With the CyberGhost version tested for this article, there is no root certificate being installed. But because they are still using the same methods to filter traffic, that means their ad blocker does not effectively work on HTTPS websites. Basically, CyberGhosts ad blocker is barely working, especially since it will be ineffective on all HTTPS websites.
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Which VPN Is Trustworthy
CyberGhost is among the list of the most trustworthy VPNs available in the market. That being said, with the influx of other companies offering the service free one has to question their legitimacy. The possibility of them keeping your information secret might be minimal when approached by third party bodies seeking your information. Other VPNs you might want to look at are NordVPN, ExpressVPN and Surfshark.
How To Use Cyberghost For Torrenting
Step 1: First, get CyberGhost VPN.
Step 2: Next, install and launch the native application on your device.
Step 3:Log in to your account with the right credentials.
Step 4: Now, click on the arrow button to expand the interface and access all options.
Step 5: Under the ‘Select Server‘ section, Windows users can find the ‘For torrenting‘ option.
Mac users will find the ‘For downloading‘ option here:
Step 6: Click this option to get all the locations where dedicated P2P VPN servers are available.
Step 7: Finally, choose your preferred country, double-click on it, and click the power button from the control screen to connect.
Now, you know the complete process of connecting to a P2P server for anonymous downloads. So, it’s time to grab the best deal on CyberGhost VPN subscription.
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Is Cyberghost VPN Worth It
CyberGhost VPN can keep up with the heavy hitter VPNs available on the market. It stands out in the sea of VPNs with a reputable in-house support team and private servers for security maximalists.
On the one hand, CyberGhost is a great introduction to VPNs even if the interface isnt to your personal liking. On the other hand, it is not a VPN geared towards more well-seasoned VPN users due to its low-grade web anonymity.
If you want amped-up privacy, it can get expensive to add the NoSpy server access and/or a dedicated IP to your plan. But, for the average consumer, it covers its bases and then some.
Privacy Anonymity And Trust
CyberGhost 8s streaming section.
CyberGhost is based in Romania, and it maintains a list of key personnel on the companys website. Its CEO and co-founder is Robert Knapp, the CTO is Timo Beyel, and the head of software development is Patrick Arns.
It does, however, collect data on connection attempts including the time they happened, country of origin, and CyberGhost software version. It also tracks successful connections. CyberGhost says this information is sent to a third-party who collects the information in aggregate. The company uses this information to maintain its service and none of the data collected contains personally identifying features.
CyberGhost charges around $50 per year for a single-year subscription. There are also options for a two-year subscription at $83.76, three years at $87.75, and a month-to-month plan of $13 per. It also offers add-ons such as dedicated IP addresses and a security suite. The latter includes a built-in antivirus using Integos scanning engine, a privacy guard to adjust data sent back to Microsoft from your PC, and an automated updater for installed apps. The security suite cost ranges from $6 on the month-to-month plan to $1.39 per month on the three-year subscription.
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Hands On With Cyberghost For Android
We tested CyberGhost on a Samsung A71. CyberGhost’s Android VPN app looks very similar to the iOS client, with a purple interface and yellow highlights.
CyberGhost for Androids features include split tunneling and a content blocker. You can also choose your MTU size, select the VPN protocol, and enable random port connections. CyberGhost also has Domain Fronting, which the company says is necessary if their API is unreachable due to censorship.
We used the DNSLeakTest.com tool to check that our information was not being exposed while connected to a server in Mexico City. The VPN server did not leak our real IP address.
While connected to the same server in Mexico, we went to Twitch.tv and watched a few live streams. Each stream took about 4 or 5 seconds to load, but the video looked good and there were no interruptions. We then went to YouTube and watched a few videos. Each one had a near instant load time, and we didnt experience any lag or buffering.
Why Most Speed Tests Are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds
Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you’re torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.
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Pay Anonymously With Cyberghost VPN
If a VPN has at least one anonymous payment option, its a good signal that its serious about its users privacy.
Thankfully, CyberGhost VPN offers an easy and privacy-friendly payment option via the BitPay platform. This way, you can pay for the subscription in Bitcoin.
To pay anonymously, simply go to the Pricing page on the CyberGhost VPN website and choose the desired plan. On the next screen, youll see three payment options. Next, click on Bitcoin, and complete your purchase anonymously.
Does Cyberghost VPN Support Torrenting
Yes, CyberGhost VPN does support torrenting. In fact, it offers dedicated P2P servers in multiple locations to help you with fast and . All CyberGhost native applications come with a separate section where you can easily find the list of suitable server locations for downloading any file or content. These servers are fully optimized to render high speed and unblock any torrent website you want, no matter what torrent client youre using.
With CyberGhost VPN, you can download location-restricted music, videos, movies, games, and more by hiding your real IP and location while using a virtual one. Moreover, you get blazing fast connections while using one of these servers that help you download large files in minutes. And, the CyberGhost applications show if a server is full and the distance of its location to help you easily choose the less-crowded and nearest server as per your requirements.
Since it’s established that CyberGhost VPN supports torrenting, it’s time to know whether or not you should use this VPN for the same.
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How Good Is Cyberghost For Streaming
One of the most common reasons for signing up to CyberGhost will be to use it as a Netflix VPN and CyberGhost caters for these users by providing a neat filtering system to find the best servers to unblock exactly what they want to watch.
When looking at the server filters, youll see recommended locations for Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, BBC iPlayer and even more, including other global streaming services.
We tested US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and HBO Max and was happy to see that they all ran just fine. To be clear, this was in multiple tests so these aren’t just flukes. Aside from the odd IP issue, where a site would ask us to prove we were human, this worked superbly making it one of the best streaming VPN services.
However, some rivals are able to unblock various Netflix libraries from around the world, so if you want access to UK, Canadian and Australian catalogs too, services like ExpressVPN and ProtonVPN are your best bet.
Native Apps For Windows And Mac Packed With Features And Easy To Use
CyberGhost offers one of the most user-friendly VPN apps for Windows and Mac. The app allows you to instantly connect to the best available server for streaming, torrenting, or simple browsing. It took me under 5 minutes to sign up for a plan, download and install the software, sign in to my account, and connect to a server.
As soon as you launch the app, youll see the Best server location button. Simply click on the power button and the app will automatically connect you to the fastest available server.
If you want to choose a specific server, the servers are organized in lists depending on what you need. On the Windows app, these lists include: All Servers, NoSpy servers, For torrenting, and For streaming. The Mac app offers the same servers but only in 3 lists: All Servers , For downloading , and For streaming.
On both Windows and Mac apps, you can connect to a server by typing in the countrys name in the search bar. Alternatively, you can go to the All Servers section for a full list of available countries. Youll see the number of users on each server, as well as the distance from your location and load percentage. To manually connect to the faster server, make sure you select a nearby server with a low number of users and load percentage.
If you want to adjust the security settings and privacy features, you can click on the cog icon on the bottom-left side or visit the dedicated sections on the left-hand tab.
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