Personal VPN service

Surf safe from snoops with this secure online VPN client and firewall.

CyberGhost VPN is a personal VPN client and online service that lets users browse the Internet anonymously by acting as a firewall and server between your PC and your ISP. It lets you surf the Web normally while hiding your IP address and displaying a dead-end address. It's available in free and premium versions; the free version can only be installed on one PC and only one account can be activated on each computer, whereas the premium account offers more options and features.

CyberGhost installs and sets up easily, including creating a username and password, though we had to reboot our system to finish the process. The program's main screen resembles many antivirus and firewall programs, with a left-hand list of the program's functions, a toolbar, and bar graphs indicating both free and premium traffic while logged on to the VPN. A prominent message warned us that we were not anonymous online and also displayed our current IP address. We clicked Connect to VPN, and a pop-up gave us several options: Connect to Free service, Create Premium connection, and Create Premium Connection with a specified server on a drop-down list. We could also display a list of available Premium servers. We tried both the Free and Premium services, which are similar. We quickly logged on to the CyberGhost VPN service and reopened our browser, which functioned normally, with the exception that our Google search page was now instead of, a small matter we quickly rectified. Every site we visited loaded normally.

While CyberGhost boasts that its compression technology loads some sites up to 30 percent faster, our broadband connection seemed slightly slower, and bandwidth tests confirmed our suspicions. However, the delay wasn't dramatic, and CyberGhost offers many server choices to help users maximize their bandwidth, though the Premium service offers more choices than the free one. The program gives copious assistance. We also found the extra features easy to set up and use. The online Data Safe offers both password and key file protection, and an extensive anti-spy tool can block many different processes. Whether you opt for the free basic service or premium features, CyberGhost VPN is well worth trying; you have nothing to lose but online snoops!

Editors' note:This is a review of the full version of CyberGhost VPN 4.7.16. The trial version has limited features and functionality.

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