Jurisdiction: Romania | Audit: by QSCert in 2012 | Apps for: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, AndroidTV, Amazon Firestick, Linux | Simultaneous connections: 7 | Browser Extensions: Chrome, Firefox | Advanced Features: Kill Switch, NoSpy servers, Automatic WiFi Protection, Split Tunneling, Simple Cookie Cleaner
Total servers: 6,400+ Servers in 89 countries | Servers in New Zealand: Yes | Servers in Australia: Yes
CyberGhost NZ Review
Kiwis living in and outside the country have the difficult task of finding a VPN that works well for them. Many VPN providers cater to those of us living in the US and Europe by offering close server proximity, so we experience the fastest speeds and the easiest time locating a server.
In fact, many VPNs don’t offer servers in New Zealand at all. But, CyberGhost NZ VPN offers 13 servers in the country, so that opens up the door to many possibilities. Whether you’re in the country or traveling abroad, CyberGhost VPN is a solid choice, and in this comprehensive guide, we’re breaking it down in extreme detail for you!
CyberGhost VPN made its debut in 2011, so it’s a grownup by VPN standards. The company holds its base in Bucharest, Romania, which is great if you understand jurisdiction. If you don’t, we’ll get into it, so don’t worry.
CyberGhost is the VPN provider for more than 36 million people worldwide, so they have a sizable portfolio of servers to spread across that large sum of users. That said, going with the crowd is usually a good choice when we’re talking about VPN providers and cybersecurity. Following the leader is the right thing to do.
The one thing that separates CyberGhost from some of their competition is the fact that they preach the quality of their team. A lot of companies employ people from all kinds of backgrounds, including marketing, to run their VPN when they don’t know that much about cybersecurity.
CyberGhost, on the other hand, employs a team of more than 70 IT and cybersecurity professionals, so you know you have the smartest and most talented people on your side.
If you look up CyberGhost, you’ll find a lot of ties to the name “Kape Technologies.” Now, we mentioned in the pros and cons that this company has a bit of a blemished past so let’s explain.
In 2017, the original founders of CyberGhost sold the company to Crossrider. If you look up Crossrider, you’ll find that they have a horrendous history of developing some dangerous adware.
The company made a killing with something they call “traffic manipulation.” They developed software that swept up as much information as possible about the user while you’re redirected continuously by advertisements. You’ve likely been through something similar or seen these types of pop-ups before.
Since then, CyberGhost has come out and said that they were never tied to these very questionable activities. So, right off the bat, we’re a little concerned about whether or not New Zealand residents should use CyberGhost, but we won’t count them out yet.
When it comes to jurisdiction, you want to look for a VPN that’s located in a country with favorable privacy laws. You want the laws to lean towards the consumer because that usually means the VPN has more power to protect your privacy.
CyberGhost calls Bucharest, Romania home, and it operates under Romanian Data Laws. Even though the country is part of the EU, Romania chose not to participate in the aggressive data retention laws that put consumers at risk. In 2009, they declared that it would violate citizens’ rights to take their information and use it.
One thing we look for when determining the best VPN options is transparency. We want to see that the VPN provider is clear about their security, what measures they take, and any lapses they might experience.
The way we do this is by looking for third-party audits that tell us a little more about how CyberGhost protects us.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the last CyberGhost audit was done by QSCert in 2012. Does this raise some eyebrows?
We found a transparency report that tells us about DMCA complaints, malicious activity, and police requests.
This report doesn’t discuss breaches in security, leaks, or logging, though, so it’s not nearly as useful. Always remember that it doesn’t matter what a VPN provider says if they don’t have concrete evidence to back it up.
Features of CyberGhost VPN
So far, we’re not thrilled with what we see from this CyberGhost review NZ. It seems like a provider that we can’t fully trust because they don’t want to be as much transparent as they could.
Let’s see if some industry-leading features can help squash all the issues we have with CyberGhost.
The kill switch is a standard feature we look for in many of our VPNs. We wouldn’t consider any provider to have a top-ranking VPN without this. The kill switch exists to drop your internet connection in case you lose the VPN encryption.
In some cases, servers may get overloaded, the server might go down, or something out of the ordinary happens. When this does happen, and you’re still connected to the internet, whoever might be spying on you will be able to see what you’re doing.
CyberGhost allows Windows users to turn the feature on and off, but if you’re using a Mac, it’s automatically enabled because they consider it a necessary feature. Having a kill switch doesn’t boost our opinion of CyberGhost much because it’s something we expect out of all the VPNs we review.
Automatic WiFi Protection
Everywhere we go, we’re seeking wifi, but we never know if the connection we receive is secure or not. In most cases, we just proceed with it anyway, but if you’re trying to protect yourself or you’re sending important information, you may want an encrypted connection everywhere you go.
Automatic wifi protection does that; it ensures you have VPN protection anytime you sign on to an unsecured network. For example, if you leave your office to go work remotely from a coffee shop, you might still need encryption to send classified information.
Connecting to a public wifi network at the coffee shop is a bad choice without a VPN. CyberGhost will automatically connect to the VPN as soon as you connect your computer to the wifi network.
While this feature isn’t anything extraordinary, it provides you with peace of mind in knowing you’ll never lack security, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn on the VPN.
Again, while this isn’t necessarily a “feature,” it’s important to explain what CyberGhost does with their servers to protect your privacy. First, they use the industry-leading 256-bit AES encryption, and this is how they secure your data as it moves about. When you pair this with Romanian data laws, you find yourself with a strong and secure VPN.
One other thing that we look for in servers is the company’s method for checks and balances. How are they updating and checking that there are no weak spots in their code?
Many companies outsource this work, which opens the door to leaks and breaches. We prefer when a company does all their work in-house, and they manage their own servers from end-to-end. CyberGhost uses an in-house team to manage their servers, which ensures the highest level of security.
When it comes to providing a safe and secure internet browsing experience, we think that CyberGhost is leading the pack.
Supported VPN Protocols
Having a variety of protocols to choose from will only appear as an important feature for those of you who understand VPNs pretty well. For most, you’ll leave it at OpenVPN and never think about it again.
CyberGhost offers IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN protocols. While OpenVPN is the industry standard, there are some reasons why someone might want something else. Each protocol offers different security features such as leak protection, HTTPS redirection, and malware blocking.
Variety is important, and the more you understand about VPNs and the more experience you have, the higher chance you have of seeing the value in this.
Split tunneling is another popular feature we see in a lot of VPNs. It allows you to choose certain websites to bypass the VPN encryption, so you don’t have to turn it on and off-putting yourself at risk. We think this is especially important for Kiwis who are traveling outside the country.
When you’re outside New Zealand, there will be certain sites you’ll want to access within the company. You might need to look up banking information, local events, programming, etc. When you’re using a VPN, there might be blocks that prevent you from doing this. This factor especially applies to anything that is highly secure, like banking websites.
As a result, you would have to shut off the VPN to access your mobile banking. This opens the door to malicious attacks, hackers, malware, and more. If you’re using a VPN to protect yourself, you never want to turn it off.
Instead, you can simply let certain sites bypass the VPN while still keeping it on to protect everything else you’re doing. That’s what split tunneling does. The main downside to CyberGhost is that it’s only available for Windows and Android. Mac and iOS users are unable to use this feature.
Simple Cookie Cleaner
Finally, here’s a feature we haven’t seen before in every other VPN. The Cookie Cleaner is a browser extension that helps you gain more control over who accesses your data and who doesn’t.
This isn’t always a problem, and in fact, it usually isn’t. But, if you’re storing and transferring private information, then you don’t want to leave any doors open. The Cookie Cleaner allows you to go in all at once and eliminate your digital footprint.
Any sites that you’ve visited, data you’ve stored, or information you’ve gathered gets deleted all at once to make it harder for people to keep track of you.
Always remember that hackers use your digital footprint to pick up on habits. When they understand your habits, that’s how they figure out ways to manipulate you and get what they want.
This feature refers to the number of devices you can use with the VPN at one time. Certain providers allow unlimited devices, while some only allow two or three. CyberGhost VPN grants you up to seven simultaneous connections, which is more than most. A majority of the VPNs we review only allow five.
So, what this means is that you can have seven different devices in your home connected to the VPN at all times. For most people, that’s likely all their devices, so this feature definitely gives CyberGhost a boost for us.
Apps and Devices
You need something to fill those seven connections, right? The only way you can do that is if the VPN has a lot of apps and is compatible with your devices. If you’re using a desktop, you can use the VPN with:
The first three have native apps that make it simple for you to install CyberGhost on your computer. If you decide you want to use it with your router, you’ll need to follow a manual installation guide.
Now that your desktop computer is covered, you’ll need to get the VPN going on your mobile devices. For that, you’ll have compatibility with:
This list is pretty exclusive. Some VPNs work with Blackberry, Raspberry Pi, Kindle Fire, and other mobile devices, but with CyberGhost, you get Apple and Android.
These are all the devices that contain native apps, which means that you don’t need to configure or program anything. All you need to do is go to the app store or your browser and download the app. From there, you’ll turn the VPN on, and you don’t need to do anything else to receive an encrypted connection to the server.
Manual Setup Guides
Whenever you don’t have a native app, that means you need to manually set up the VPN, which is a bit more difficult but ends with the same result if you figure it out. CyberGhost VPN offers support for certain devices as long as they’re compatible with VPNs. Here are some of the devices:
- Amazon Fire Stick
- Android TV
- Smart TV
- Apple TV
- Gaming Consoles [Xbox & Playstation]
CyberGhost is compatible with these devices, and most Smart TVs shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. They’re usually VPN-friendly.
As for Amazon, Android, and Apple, the reason you would want to use a VPN for these is to bypass geo-restrictions. Now, what we recommend is configuring the VPN to your router before doing it to these.
If you set up your VPN to the router, you won’t have to worry about doing it individually for all your devices because everything that is on your wifi network at that point will receive the encrypted connection.
Before we even get into the extensions, we need first to discuss what a VPN browser extension is. It’s important to understand that these are not full powered VPNs. If you’re only ever using your web browser for light internet surfing and you’re worried about viruses, an extension will help you, but that’s about where it ends.
Each time you do something, the sites you visit are gathering information about you; they’re taking a trip down your digital footprint to see what they can dig up. If you’re using a browser extension, you’ll hide that footprint, which makes it more challenging for them to identify you.
CyberGhost offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, but it’s unfortunate that they’re letting down Safari users. Safari is a popular web browser, and it seems like CyberGhost has a vendetta against Apple users. It looks like you’ll have to use Chrome!
Server networks are extremely important for people living in and outside New Zealand. You need a VPN that offers servers inside your country because many VPNs cater to the West, but they ignore the East.
CyberGhost gets a gold star here because they offer 13 servers in New Zealand, with many others located in the assorted Asian countries surrounding the area. This is important for a few reasons.
First, nearby servers will help Kiwis get a fast connection because they don’t have to reach as far to find a well-performing server. When you have to search halfway across the world to connect to a server, you end up reducing your speed before you’re stretching so far.
Second, having a variety of servers inside the country will help Kiwis who are traveling outside the country. If you’re studying in Europe, but you want to watch your favorite TV shows in New Zealand, a VPN will help you do that. Having a bunch of servers to choose from will make it easier for you as well.
Servers in New Zealand
As mentioned, there are 13 server choices in New Zealand. Out of all the VPNs we’ve reviewed, this is one of the country’s largest server portfolios. The more servers you have to choose from, the better chance you have of getting what you want.
Keep in mind that streaming platforms and many websites are always trying to find ways to block VPNs and prevent people from accessing their sites with them. Eventually, they all do. When that happens, you can shuffle to a different server because you have 13 to choose from. By the time you read this, they might even have more servers.
CyberGhost does allow streaming, and they do a pretty good job of it as well. They have something called a “SmartDNS” feature, which helps increase the likelihood of successfully finding a server with streaming capabilities.
The Smart DNS changes the DNS server routing your traffic, so you’re not always accessing from the same encrypted IP. Eventually, streaming services catch onto this, but the Smart DNS will shuffle the DNS to make it harder for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime to catch onto what you’re doing.
Torrenting is a gray area for many VPN providers, and some prefer to ignore the fact that many of their users do it.
We’re amazed to see that CyberGhost actually addresses torrenting with an entire webpage covering it. They break down the fact that torrenting can violate copyright laws, and you might not realize it. They offer protection to the consumers, which is nice to see, and it makes us feel more confident about using the service.
To make a long story short, CyberGhost does allow torrenting, and they provide P2P servers that make it simple, fast, and easy to torrent large files. Plus, the fact that they’re open and honest enough to discuss the legal ramifications of torrenting shows that they understand their role in protecting people who choose to torrent, regardless of the legalities.
Now it’s time to take a look at some alternatives to CyberGhost VPN. This VPN is a great option for Kiwis, and as we’ve gone through it, the provider is starting to grow on us. At first, we weren’t sure about all the concerns over ownership and business practice, but they do provide a solid product.
Let’s look at some comparable options to see how they stack up to CyberGhost.
ExpressVPN is another great option for New Zealanders because they have great jurisdiction, plenty of features, and a solid server package for Kiwis. They have locations in 94 countries with over 160 locations. Many of these locations are in or around New Zealand.
Unlike CyberGhost, ExpressVPN does have third-party audits, and they’re performed by PwC, which brings a lot of authority to the provider. The audits confirm that ExpressVPN doesn’t log internet activity or browsing history. It also confirms that their system architecture complies with their policy.
The number one feature and thing to point out about ExpressVPN is their Ram-only servers. This feature means that their servers run only on RAM instead of storing everything on a hard drive.
We found it somewhat comical that on the transparency report from CyberGhost, the chairman of the company states:
“The only way to secure your data is not to store it.”
Well, that’s what ExpressVPN does. They don’t store anything, and each time the servers are shut down, all the data is wiped clean for maximum security and privacy.
ExpressVPN also enables streaming and torrenting but torrenting with this VPN isn’t the easiest. They don’t offer dedicated P2P servers, so we would recommend CyberGhost for torrenting.
That said, they also don’t have as much of a tainted past as CyberGhost, and the company history is relatively strong. Overall, we’re a fan of both of these options and think either would work fine.
Nord is a huge name in the world of cybersecurity, and you’ve likely heard of their suite of privacy products. The company holds jurisdiction in Panama, which works out well because the country has strong protections against data corruption. Just be sure to always read the fine print when signing up for a VPN.
PwC performs routine audits on NordVPN as well, and they have a solid reputation for providing a secure and safe connection. There are no issues with logging, leaks, or breaches.
When it comes to features, we’re not super impressed by what Nord offers, but we’re not with CyberGhost either, so the two are pretty even. In terms of features, ExpressVPN offers the most simply because of the RAM-only servers.
If we compared NordVPN speeds to CyberGhost speed in NZ, they’re on the same playing field, but it all depends on your specific location compared to the server you’re using. Most Kiwis using all three of these VPNs will experience slower speeds in countries like NZ, Australia, and throughout the Indonesian Islands.
Surfshark might be a less popular VPN option, but we don’t suggest counting it out. The provider has a smaller server package that doesn’t offer as many options for people living in New Zealand. They do hold jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands, which is highly ideal.
The primary reason we support this VPN is that they offer RAM-only servers like ExpressVPN, and they have locations throughout New Zealand, which is something that only Surfshark and Express offer.
In fact, Surfshark has another great feature. It’s called camouflage mode and what it does is helps hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. This will work great if you’re a Kiwi traveling outside the country and trying to access websites from inside.
After a while, streaming services and other sites catch onto people doing this but using the camouflage mode might help prevent that.
Free Trial and Pricing
One of the most disappointing parts of this CyberGhost VPN review is finding out that they only offer a one-day free trial. You can only play around with this VPN for a day before determining whether or not you think it will keep your valuable information secure and private.
We don’t know about you, but we don’t think that’s enough time. Especially when other VPNs are out there giving away 7 and 14-day free trials like the rest of the world.
Pricing for CyberGhost varies based on how long you extend your contract. We like it when companies only offer one plan covering everything because it makes it simpler for people to decide. If you have to choose tiered packages and decide what features you do and don’t want, it’ll be much harder to get it right.
CyberGhost also offers optional upgrades like password managers and dedicated IPs for a few dollars more per month. Even though they don’t have much of a free trial, there is a 45-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live customer support no matter what package you choose.
After checking out this review, has CyberGhost VPN won back your heart? At first, we really weren’t sure. The issues with Kape Technologies and the company’s history of adware scared us away, but the company might win back some customers with their security features.
We think CyberGhost is in our top 10 in terms of performance and security, so we would recommend giving it a [1 day] try to see for yourself.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding CyberGhost NZ and its features: