CyberGhost for Torrenting

CyberGhost VPN has recently released a new version of their software. They included improvements, such as new safety features and increased server speeds. We took a deep look and tested to see how efficient this software is when it comes to torrenting anonymously.

Safety and Privacy

This VPN is based in Romania, which is a great location for the ones who care about privacy and anonymity. There are no data retention laws in Romania. That means that Romanian government won't be snooping and asking for any info. And also, if any foreign government asks for any user's info, CyberGhost doesn't have to comply.
 
Not saving logs of user's activity is the most crucial factor in a VPN. This is the case with CyberGhost, they are very clear in their terms that they don't save any logs. Even if a government asks for information about their users, they don't have anything to give them. When it comes to BitTorrent, this detail is of extreme importance.
 
The default protocol is OpenVPN, but it's possible to change to L2TP/IPSec or PP2P. we recommend you not to change anything and leave OpenVPN, since it is the most secure protocol. CyberGhost uses 256 bit AES cipher, which is the most advanced level of encryption and considered unbreakable.
 
Another very positive point is the fact that this VPN uses shared IP addresses. In other words, all the users of CyberGhost use the same IP addresses, sharing them. That way, one single IP can't identify a single user.
 
Finally, it's great to see that they are one of the few VPNs using Perfect Forward Secrecy. This is an additional layer of security. It means that the key used to encrypt your connection will rotate and change to a new one every 60 minutes. Even if a hacker would decrypt one session (which would be almost impossible), he wouldn' have access to any previous or future sessions. That is because each key is unique, only used once.

The User Interface

The user Interface is very pleasant and straight forward. The initial screen has six profiles to choose. The first five profiles offer an easy experience to the user. If you click on one of them, the software will choose the best server for what you want to do. For example, clicking on "Torrent Anonymously" means that the software will choose the best server for torrenting available. It will take into consideration your location and connection, and it will choose the best option automatically

These profiles are perfect for the ones who want it simple, and don't want to select servers manually. It only takes a single click, and you have a VPN connection. But there is another profile, the "Choose My Server". Keep on reading, we made a chapter about it.

Choose My Server

This profile is the opposite of the previous ones. It's the manual server selection, made for the ones who like to check the details of each server. After selecting that profile, there will be a list of countries, like in the picture below.

You can organize this list in different ways. There's a list of all servers, the most crowded ones, the least crowded, the fastest, etc. As you can see, we selected the "Torrent" option, which shows you all the servers optimized for file sharing.
 
Let's go a bit further and see how to choose a CyberGhost server manually. There are two ways:
 
  1. If you double click on one country, the software will choose the best server to download torrents available in that country.
     
  2. Next to each flag there's a dropdown button. If you click on it, you will see every single server available for the country you selected (See the example with Belgium).
 
The advantage of the second option is that you will be able to see the "User load" and "Ping" for each server. For both measurements, less is better. That way you can choose a specific server according to your preferences. 
 
There's also a star next to each server. If you click on it, it will add that server to your favorites. That's handy if you like one server and want to use it in the future.

Server Locations

CyberGhost has a total of 1077 servers in 34 countries. They optimized most servers for torrenting and left some others for other purposes, like streaming. Normally, those servers optimized for file sharing achieve great speeds.

Total of Countries
Total of Servers
Servers optimized for BitTorrent

Settings

At the top right of the screen, there is the access to the settings. There are plenty of options, and we will go through the most important ones:

Connection 

On the left image, there's the "Connection" menu. The first feature is the DNS leak protection. On several occasions, Windows uses the default DNS servers, which are the ones from your ISP. Enabling this feature will force the use of CyberGhost DNS servers. That makes sure there are no leaks.
 
In this menu, you can also set CyberGhost to connect to random ports, selecting a new one on every new connection. This makes it harder for your ISP to slow down or block your VPN connection.
 

App Protection

On the image on the right, there's a very interesting and unique feature, the "App Protection". Enabling this feature will bind programs to a VPN profile, and protect them. Let's take a look at an example: As you can see, we selected uTorrent to be protected by the VPN. This means that if we turn uTorrent on, it will look for a VPN connection. And it goes even further: if the VPN software is not activated, it will turn it on and connect to the last server used. And only then uTorrent will turn on and start downloading. We really enjoyed this feature. It's a great way to make sure you are protected by a VPN connection when using one or more software of your choice.
 

Other Options

The remaining options are very straight forward. One example is the possibility of starting the VPN automatically when it detects an unknown WIFi network. It's also possible to set exceptions by providing the addresses of web sites where you don't want encryption. It's even possible to change the language of the software.

 

The Kill Switch

Finally, CyberGhost uses an automatic Kill Switch, which means you won't see any option to turn it on or off. It's always turned on. This feature is present in the top VPN softwares. If the VPN has an issue and stops, so will your whole internet connection, including your torrent client. By stopping the Internet connection, it won't allow your real IP to be exposed while the VPN is down. This is a must have feature for safe and anonymous downloads.

Security Tests

DNS Leak test: The DNS feature does a great job. During our several tests, we didn't experience any DNS leaks.

IP Test: In every test, the IP and country detected were always the ones from the VPN server.

Torrent address detection test: When downloading files, the IP detected was also the one from the VPN.

Speed Tests

The speed was one of the biggest improvements in this last version of the software. They had issues with older versions, and this was one of the priorities to fix.  

Speed test without a VPN
Without VPN
Download speed of CyberGhost VPN
With Cyberghost (OpenVPN Protocol)

Torrent Speed Tests

BitTorrent test without a VPN connection
Without VPN
Testing torrent speeds with the VPN on
With Cyberghost (OpenVPN Protocol)

We were very pleased with the torrent high speeds we achieved with CyberGhost VPN on many servers. Every VPN has an impact on the connection speed, especially when using a high level encryption. But very few VPNs have a minimum speed reduction, allowing the user to have a fast and stable connection. That is the case with CyberGhost, especially after the recent upgrade they've made.

Compatibility

The software can be used in many platforms and devices, such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Rasberry Pi, etc...
 
Each user can have 5 simultaneous connections. You can have all your devices connected at the same time. Or even letting someone you trust use the VPN at the same time as you.

Price

The price of the 1 month and 6 month plans are quite regular for a VPN. But the 1 year plan is on the cheap side of the market. They are offering this plan at $4.99, which is very affordable. Especially considering all the features and speed CyberGhost offers.
 
They also have a money back guarantee policy of 30 days. This period of time is more than enough for users to try the service and make a decision.

What we like about CyberGhost VPN

  • No logs
  • Location in Romania (no data retention laws)
  • 256 bit AES encryption
  • Automatic Kill Switch
  • DNS Leak Protection
  • App Protection
  • Shared IPs
  • Fast Servers
  • Automatic and Manual server selection
  • Perfect Forward Secrecy
  • 30 days money back guarantee

What could be improved

There are many features and options in this software, but there is always room for improvement. At the moment we have one suggestion to make CyberGhost even better:
 
  • They should add some torrent servers in Asia and Africa. These users can connect to servers in other continents. But the huge distance would increase latency.

Conclusion

We confess that we were not big fans of older versions of CyberGhost, especially because of the speed. But this new version changed everything. They solved the speed problem and added features that gave us a great torrenting experience
 
CyberGhost was careful in designing the software, making it rich in features, but at the same time very easy to use. It was a great surprise and we recommend it to all users who care about anonymity.