CyberGhost VPN review: An easy-to-use VPN for content streamers

CyberGhost VPN review: An easy-to-use VPN for content streamers

CyberGhost in brief:

  • P2P allowed: Yes
  • Business location: Romania
  • Number of servers: 7,000
  • Number of country locations: 90
  • Cost: $47.88 per year
  • VPN protocol: IKEv2 (default)
  • Data encryption: AES-256
  • Data authentication: SHA-256
  • Handshake: 4096-bit RSA

CyberGhost is back with a new update, and we really liked what the company has done with its desktop app. Version 8 of CyberGhost improves the interface, expands the number of servers, and adds WireGuard as a VPN protocol option—making for marked differences from version 7, which we reviewed two years ago.

Note: This review is part of our best VPNs roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

Features and services

CyberGhost VPN review: An easy-to-use VPN for content streamers IDG

CyberGhost 8 with an active connection.

The CyberGhost app starts as a single-panel mobile-style interface. This time around, however, the power button is front and center on the dashboard, whereas before it was below the location panel. Now it’s much larger and basically impossible to miss.

Below that is the location selector where you select the location you’d like, and that is basically the major components of the single-panel view. If all you want is a VPN to connect to a remote location while you’re on public Wi-Fi then this interface is all you may ever need.

To see more features, click the left-facing arrow, which opens a full-screen view. This larger app now has a left rail featuring five menu items Favorites, All servers, Gaming-servers, For torrenting, and For streaming.

Many of these menu options come from CyberGhost’s legacy as a VPN that offers servers based on use rather than location. The options are all pretty self-explanatory, though I would call attention to the For streaming section. CyberGhost supports unblocking for more than 35 services. In the U.S. this includes Amazon Prime, Fox, HBO Max, HBO Now, Hulu, NBC, Netflix, and others. When you’re going overseas, or you’d like to access an overseas service from the U.S., CyberGhost offers an excellent selection.

At the bottom of the left rail there are two other features: Privacy settings and Smart rules. The first has some basic features such as preventing DNS leaks, an automatic kill switch, and an optional blocker for domains that are known to serve ads, trackers, and malware.

cyberghostsmartrules IDG

CyberGhost 8’s Smart Rules.

The Smart rules section is a good section for power users. Here you can set launch rules such as starting a VPN connection automatically, or choosing an app that launches automatically when CyberGhost establishes a VPN connection. There are also options to automatically launch a VPN connection when it detects a new network. Finally, you can make website whitelists that bypass the VPN for specific sites, and you can also make similar exceptions for desktop apps. 

Dipping into the settings area, the most notable feature is that you can select from three different VPN protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard.

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