Privacy, the protection of personal information, and cybersecurity are increasingly important, not just because they are a hot topic in the press but because they have important personal and business implications. It is common to read about millions of passwords being stolen, personal data being ransomed, sold or more. Also, Donald Trump has signed a law allowing internet companies to sell people's web browsing history. Everyone using the internet should be cautious about the loss of personal data. The use of VPN services has become even more important. Today we take a look at the latest version of CyberGhost VPN for Windows, one of the most popular VPN services. Read this review and learn what they have to offer:
What CyberGhost 6 has to offer
The Cyberghost company was originally founded in Germany, but seven years ago it moved to Romania, in order to avoid the so-called “Big Brother laws” that would force them to track its users. Recently CyberGhost has been bought by an Israeli company, named Crossrider. You can learn more about the transaction, here: CyberGhost joins the Crossrider group.
Currently, CyberGhost offers the following three packages:
- CyberGhost Free: includes unlimited bandwidth and traffic, AES 256-BIT encryption for the data you transfer and an Anti-fingerprinting system, all at no cost.
- CyberGhost Premium: includes all the features from the Free version, plus up to 5 times faster connection speeds and more than 600 servers in 27 countries to which you can connect. You get access to a range of features like unblocking streaming, anonymous torrenting or the ability to choose a specific VPN server. Ad-Blocker, Malware and Virus Protection and Data compression are also included. You also get access to their mobile Android and iOS app. The Premium subscription allows you to use CyberGhost on 1 device.
- CyberGhost Premium Plus: this package offers the same features as CyberGhost Premium, but it can be simultaneously used on up to 5 devices.
CyberGhost offers more than 600 servers available in the following 27 countries: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Singapore, Ukraine and United States. It’s worth noting that previously CyberGhost had servers in 30 countries, and this is still advertised, but Denmark, Ireland and Mexico are missing from the list, for unknown reasons.
Of course, Russia is still not available, which is understandable, as the local laws are not really VPN-friendly, but, unless you require access specifically through that country, you should have no problems, as there are a lot of servers across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Unfortunately, South America and Africa are still missing from the list of countries where they have servers available. If you would like to consult the full list of servers that are currently available through CyberGhost VPN, check their VPN server overview page.
In this article, we are reviewing CyberGhost VPN for Windows, but the company has applications available for Linux, Mac OS, iOS and Android, as well as additional devices. The full list of devices and operating systems supported is available on this support page.
Download and installation
Downloading and installing CyberGhost on Windows is an easy process. First you need to download the 14.82 MB setup file, called CyberGhost_184.108.40.2060.exe – the filename will of course change with time, as new versions get released.
Installing CyberGhost VPN for Windows is as easy as launching the executable you have just downloaded, accepting the license agreement, and going through the installation wizard.
At one point during the installation you will be asked if you want to install a virtual network adapter called TAP-Windows Provider V9 Network adapters. You should choose the Install option, as it is required for CyberGhost to function. Note, that if you have other VPN software installed, the virtual network adapters might conflict, thus making one or both VPN applications unusable. It is recommended to have only a single VPN client installed on your Windows computer at any given time.
When the installation is finished, CyberGhost VPN will start, displaying its home screen.
During installation you don’t need to enter any personal information or account details, as there is no registration needed to use the CyberGhost Free plan. Premium and Premium Plus features are tied to an account, so to use these, you don’t need to install a different version of the VPN client, but only have to log in with an account that has an active subscription. Also, you can pay in Bitcoins, should you want to stay completely anonymous.
Our first impression of CyberGhost VPN for Windows is really positive: the company offers a wide range of servers, the downloading and installation procedure is really straightforward, and you can pay in Bitcoins for complete anonymity.
Using CyberGhost 6 Premium Plus on Windows
Upon launching the application, you are greeted by its main window. You will see the six main features the app offers.
If you are a CyberGhost subscriber, you can use the links on the top to login by entering your user ID and password, but you will also find links to purchase a subscription, access your account settings, ask for support and change the application’s settings.
CyberGhost VPN 6 still offers basically the same features as its predecessors, but these are structured in a different way, which might seem a bit more complicated at first, especially if you have used earlier versions. Instead of choosing a country and a server and connecting to the VPN service (or just simply connecting to a random server), you can choose from six different work modes.
Based on our experience, and according to CyberGhost, these all connect to the same VPN service, but the profiles “are designed to meet different Internet usage cases, without the need to search for fitting servers and/or prepare the right surroundings by adapting settings”.
If you just want a safe, secure and anonymous web browsing experience, you should be fine with any of the profiles, but it’s best to always launch the profile most adequate to your needs:
- Surf Anonymously: Anonymizes you on the internet and provides increased privacy
- Unblock Streaming (Premium): Ensures that you can connect to and use streaming services that are unavailable in many countries – no matter where you are
- Protect Wi-Fi: Highly recommended when using open Wi-Fi networks, this profile is the same as the Surf Anonymously but also comes “with an automatic Wi-Fi detection, so a secure VPN tunnel is established as soon as you enter a once before visited wireless hotspot.
- Torrent Anonymously (Premium): When activating this profile, the most suitable, P2P-compatible VPN server is chosen, ensuring secure and anonymous downloads.
- Unblock Basic Websites: Tailored mostly for countries where internet access is restricted and/or censored, this profile allows you to access publicly available, popular web services that might be unavailable in your region.
- Choose My Server (Premium): This is not an automatic profile, as it lets you choose any country and server from CyberGhost’s network.
Whenever you choose an automatic profile, you can also enable or disable extra features like the blocking of malicious websites, the blocking of ads and so on. Once a connection is initiated, you will see your current (not hidden) IP address and the Connecting message.
As soon as the connection is established to a VPN server, you see information about the server, your current IP address (replaced by CyberGhost) and connection time. In order to close the VPN connection, you just have to press the Stop button.
When you activate the Unblock Streaming or Unblock Basic Websites profiles, you are able to choose from a list of web services that you want to unblock, and your default browser opens with the unblocked service.
If you want to connect to a server from a specific country, you need to launch the Choose My Server profile. Here you can choose any of the 27 available countries, and even a server from a specific city. For instance, you can choose to connect to a CyberGhost server from San Francisco, Phoenix, New York, Chicago, etc.
In this list, you can already see whether a server allows P2P traffic (torrenting), how loaded it is and how fast it responds (ping). You can also mark favorite servers with a star, and choose from the emptiest, most crowded or fastest servers.
The interface of CyberGhost VPN for Windows has changed with the introduction of profiles, which allow you to have the best VPN experience, based on your specific needs. The new concept might be a bit confusing at first, but it doesn’t really change how CyberGhost works, and you still get a very user-friendly and clean interface.