Brian Choi, Author
Riley Marsden, Chief Editor
If you’re concerned about your online privacy, a virtual private network (VPN) offers a simple and effective way of ensuring your internet activity remains secure. VPNs work by encrypting your data and re-routing your internet traffic through servers in different countries, making it impossible for outside agents such as hackers or ISPs to see what you are doing.
While a VPN can provide the privacy you’re looking for, the way this is achieved does have a downside – by routing your traffic through one of many servers across the world, you will usually lose a proportion of your internet speed.
Despite being one of the most expensive products on the market, Cyberghost’s performance when we tested it for speed was underwhelming. Our download speed dropped by over 70% compared to when we connected to the internet without the VPN, which could cause you major problems if you wish to stream video or play data-intensive games online. With rival products offering a much smaller reduction in speed, Cyberghost’s performance was disappointing in this regard.
While Cyberghost doesn’t offer great speeds, it is much more impressive when it comes to the number of servers on offer. In fact, it has one of the largest server bases in the market, with over 6,300 servers covering 90 countries. This should mean that, despite the limited download speeds, you should be able to find a reliable connection that will keep your data secure.
For an additional fee, Cyberghost also provides ‘no-spy’ servers for users with extra concern about their security; these allow you to route your traffic through multiple servers at once and include additional levels of encryption to ensure your data is even more well-hidden.
Cyberghost offers a number of additional features designed to boost the level of security your connection offers. Most notably, the kill switch function cuts your internet connection completely if you disconnect from the VPN. This essential feature ensures that you cannot accidentally connect to the internet without the VPN, keeping your online activity private.
The service also has a split tunnelling feature, which allows you to ‘white list’ certain applications that you don’t wish to connect to via the VPN – so if security is not a concern with certain data-intensive apps, you will be able to connect without the VPN, keeping your download speed as high as possible.
The so-called ‘Netflix test’ is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a VPN. Streaming apps like Netflix offer region-specific content that is only available in certain areas, with geo-blocking software preventing you from accessing it from outside the region. This can be frustrating if you wish to stream content from your home country while abroad, or if your favourite shows are only available in another region.
VPNs allow you to get around this issue by connecting to the streaming service via a server based in the country whose content library you wish to view – and while Netflix has stepped up its attempts to stop people doing so, during testing we were able to connect to various Netflix content libraries, as well as numerous other streaming apps, by connecting via servers around the world. This process can be a little hit and miss, with some servers failing to connect, but it never took more than a couple of tries to find a server that could connect without any issues.
The use of P2P file-sharing software remains a point of contention due to the number of people who use it to illegally share copyrighted material, but as of 2021 it is still legal to run torrenting software provided you only use it for legitimate purposes.
Some VPNs no longer allow the use of torrenting software, automatically blocking access to torrenting apps and websites, but Cyberghost is not among them. The VPN offers a number of servers designed for the quick transfer of files, although the speed loss mentioned above could make this a laborious process.
The ability to bypass geo-restrictions also applies to gaming. If you’re a regular gamer, you’ll know that many production companies stagger their release dates, putting out games earlier in certain parts of the world than others. If you just can’t wait to play a new game, you can access it by connecting to the internet via a server based in one of the countries where it has been released.
Once again, however, you should be aware that the decrease in speed caused by the VPN may make online gaming difficult, with lag potentially making some fast-paced games unplayable.
Cyberghost recently replaced its seven-day trial offer with a no-quibble money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product. The guarantee is available for 14 days if you have a monthly subscription, or 45 days if you take out a subscription of six months or longer.
How good is Cyberghost?
Cyberghost is one of the best VPNs around thanks to high-end security protocols, although it does cause a greater loss of speed than some rival products.
Where is Cyberghost based?
Cyberghost is based in and operated from Romania, although it is currently owned by an Israeli company called Kape Technologies.
How do I install Cyberghost?
Installation of Cyberghost varies slightly from device to device, but the process is very simple. Download the client/app from the Cyberghost website and follow the installation steps. If you are subscribed to the service, you can then input your login details.
How can I tell if Cyberghost is connected?
Cyberghost provides an easy way of checking that the VPN is connected. The website has a Privacy Test function, which checks the security of your IP address, location and DNS requests. Just press the yellow ‘Test your privacy’ icon, and in a matter of seconds you will see a message confirming whether you are protected or exposed.
Cyberghost offers excellent security, a number of useful additional features and a huge server base that allows you to unlock geo-blocked content almost anywhere in the world.
That said, the drop in internet speed when connecting via Cyberghost is a major drawback that should be taken into consideration when deciding which VPN to buy.
If security is your primary concern and you don’t require fast connections, Cyberghost is probably perfect for you, but if internet speed is an issue then there are better services available for a similar price.