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CyberGhost 6 for Android review: A good VPN for everyday use

Stuart Andrews
15 May 2018
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
8.99
per month

Speeds are mediocre, but for everyday smartphone use this is a fine VPN

Pros 
Works with US Netflix
Affordable
Cons 
Doesn't log customer activity
Isn't the fastest
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CyberGhost cleverly installs as a seven-day trial of its paid-for service – then moves you down to the free service if you decide not to subscribe. You keep the same basic VPN features, but free users have to live with in-app adverts and get automatically disconnected after three hours of usage. There’s a smaller pool of servers too, so you might have to queue to get connected.

READ NEXT: Best Android VPNs 2018

Still, CyberGhost has a slick interface and a strong feature set that’s arguably worth paying for. Connection speeds could be faster, but overall it’s not a bad Android VPN. 

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Setup and basic use

The CyberGhost app takes an unusual profile-based approach, with different VPN modes on offer to suit different needs. “Wi-Fi Auto-Protect” is designed to keep you safe on public networks, while “Secured Streaming” is for accessing international TV services, and the “Surf Anonymously” and catch-all “Choose My Server” options speak for themselves. Select one and the client will automatically connect you to the fastest and most suitable server – or it may ask for a little more detail about what you want to do.

To be honest, it’s an approach that can feel a bit long-winded if you’re experienced with VPNs. Once you’re connected, though, there’s little to complain about. The basic VPN services are effective, and CyberGhost is – at the time of testing – one of the few Android VPNs that can successfully trick Netflix into streaming its US catalogue to UK-based customers.

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Server locations

CyberGhost has more than 1,250 servers worldwide, across 60 countries. They’re particularly concentrated in the most popular locations – like the US, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK – but wherever you are it shouldn’t be hard to find a connection that’s relatively nearby.

Performance

With all those servers to choose from, CyberGhost is extremely quick at making the initial connection (although it’s a little slower on the free basic service). Once you’ve established the link, however, actual browsing speeds are nothing to write home about. Using a UK server nearly halved the bandwidth of my downstream connection, though upstream speeds were nearer the 70% mark.

I got faster speeds through a Netherlands-based server, with 54% and 88% respectively. Connecting via a US server, however, saw the connection drop to just 27% downstream and 76% upstream – way behind the leaders of the Android VPN pack.

There’s also possible cause for concern when it comes to leak protection: DoILeak.com found that the same IP address was leaked through the WebRTC protocol whether the VPN was engaged or not. This won’t be a major worry for most users, but if you want to be certain of your online anonymity you might want to look elsewhere.

Extra features

CyberGhost comes with some useful extra features, including options to block ad-trackers and malicious content. The “Surf Anonymously” profile features a handy compression option that can reduce the size of some online elements, so you get a smoother experience when browsing over a slow connection.

The app will also notice when you connect to a new hotspot, and automatically ask if you want the VPN enabled – and you can configure custom privacy settings for known networks. The only notable thing that’s missing is a killswitch, like the one found in the desktop PC app.

Privacy and security

CyberGhost is based in Romania and Germany; the latter has strict data-retention laws, but the company has a policy of not tracking or logging any activity in the first place, and all customer info is anonymised wherever possible. For a bit of extra reassurance, the company produces regular transparency reports, describing what requests they’ve had from which authorities and how these have been dealt with, so customers can see exactly what information is shared.

Verdict

CyberGhost’s performance is a bit of a letdown, but it’s still a worthy VPN. It can be very affordable too: a six-month Android subscription costs £10.99, equivalent to just £1.83 per month. That’s great value for a VPN with a lengthy list of server locations and an extensive feature set, and it makes CyberGhost a tempting option for mobile privacy protection – with Netflix US as a welcome bonus.

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