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The complete VPN software guide

What it is, why you need it and how to pick the best VPN

What is a VPN

A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, is an online security software designed for keeping your activity safe from hackers, spies, and prying eyes. However, the usefulness of a VPN extends even beyond online security.

The reason why VPN services sparked in popularity recently is that they can help unblock geo-restricted websites, save money when shopping online, secure online banking transactions, or torrent anonymously.

How does a VPN work?

VPNs are a lot more straight-forward than many imagine. The easy way to think about it would be to imagine the VPN as a middleman between you and the Internet. Instead of sending your requests directly to the websites you want to access, you send them to this middleman.

Without VPN

Your devices

Your data transfers are unencrypted, and anyone can access and read them

The Internet

With CyberGhost VPN

Your devices

Our VPN servers encrypt your data and hide your IP

The Internet

Once there, that middleman applies some extra-encryption layers to your data, so that only you, the person sending them, will ever know what’s underneath. Once that encryption is added, the data is sent to the website you wanted to access. Upon reaching the final destination, that encryption layer is safely removed, and the connection between you and the website established.

So, long story short, a VPN works by re-directing and encrypting your Internet traffic.

More than an online security tool

As we’ve already mentioned above, there’s more to a VPN than just online security and data-protection. VPN services provide access to content that’s normally blocked in your region. VPN users can download any file they want behind the safety of total online anonymity, thus escaping the rules and regulations imposed by their own government.

You can find out all the things you can use a VPN for here.

Unblock websites & streaming

Have you ever tried accessing a website, or watching a YouTube video only to get an annoying message saying that that content is blocked for people from your region?

Blame geo-restrictions for that. You see, whenever you connect to a website (without using a VPN), that website is able to pinpoint your geographical position.

How? By using information provided by IP address. If your geographical location does not feature on the list of countries where the content of that website is whitelisted, the website will refuse your connection request and return a message that informs you that content is unavailable to you.

However, since a VPN can replace your real IP address with one of your choosing, you can pick the country from where you wish to appear and easily bypass these annoying restrictions.

Let’s say you live outside the US and want to unblock Netflix’s US content library. Just connect to a US-based VPN server, log in to your account, and you’re all set. Easy enough?

Download anonymously

Here’s the thing with torrenting. The activity of downloading files from other users off the internet is not illegal. However, popular torrenting websites such as The Pirate Bay or KickassTorrents have been banned in multiple countries because they offered users free access to copyrighted materials.

If you’re a resident of any of the countries where torrenting is forbidden and get caught downloading copyrighted content, you risk getting in a whole world of legal trouble.

That’s where a VPN comes in useful. Since a VPN re-directs and encrypts your online traffic, no one will be able to track your online activity and hold you responsible for anything you do on the Internet - including what you download.

How to pick the best VPN for you

Depending on what you plan to use a VPN for, there are certain features you need to look for before choosing the best one to suit your needs. However, there is one feature that sits above all the others when it comes to picking a VPN, regardless of the activity you want to use it for.

1. No-logs policy

Without this policy, VPN services are virtually redundant. You see, instead of having your browsing history tracked by your ISP, government, or cybercriminals, it gets tracked (and stored) by the VPN service you’re using.

CyberGhost is perhaps the most transparent VPN provider when it comes to data privacy. Not only do we stear clear from data gathering practices, but our users can regularly check for themselves how we deal with DMCA complaints, malware activity flags or police requests from our Transparency Report.

2. Security features

If you think your online activity is not being monitored at all time, you’ve got another thing coming. Whether that surveillance is being done by your government, your ISP, or worse still, by online data-spies, you can bet your hat nothing you do goes by unnoticed. This is where a VPN’s security features come into play.

First, you want to make sure that the VPN you pick supports OpenVPN - the safest VPN protocol so far. Then, you also want a service that offers 256-AES encryption. This is the same type of encryption used by governments and the military worldwide in order to protect their sensitive information.

3. Built-in kill-switch

An automatic kill-switch feature is also something you will need from a VPN if you care about your data security. With it, whenever your VPN connection fails, you will automatically be disconnected from the Internet. This is the only way to make sure that your data does not become compromised while being without a VPN.

CyberGhost VPN offers all these security features, and more state-of-the-art VPN technology. By choosing us as your VPN provider, besides everything mentioned above, you also get automatic Wi-Fi and DNS leak protection, plus a ton of under the hood security layers so you can rest assured no one will ever be able to access your online records.

4. Simultaneous connections

Most VPN services allow users to secure their privacy and enjoy total online freedom on more than one device. And that makes a lot of sense. After all, our daily lives are surrounded by internet-connected gadgets and mobile devices. And we need to make sure all of them are protected. Our smart phones, tablets, smart TVs, or gaming consoles, and PCs, can all benefit from the added protection and liberty that a VPN offers.

CyberGhost VPN allows up to 7 simultaneous connections. This means that you can use our VPN from your PC, tablet, smart phone, gaming console, TV at the same time. And you’d still be left with 2 empty slots.

5. Number of servers

Last, but certainly not least, you need to check the number of servers that a VPN has. VPN servers are the bread and butter of any virtual private network. There are two things to take into account here.

1. The sheer number of servers. The bigger the number, the less congested the servers will be, and the faster your connection will be.

2. The worldwide coverage of the VPN servers. The more countries a VPN service has servers in, the more online possibilities you get to enjoy.

Server size matters

When it comes to server quality and numbers, few VPNs can compete with CyberGhost VPN. Our network boasts over 6300+ servers, covering 89 countries and 110 server locations. Plus, we’re amongst the few VPN services that has specially optimized streaming servers and torrenting servers with unlimited bandwidth.


One of the questions that will inevitably pop-up during your search for a VPN will be: why pay for one when I can get another for free? And, we’ve got a few good reasons for you.

First, you need to understand that VPN providers must operate a global server network, continually update their apps and security protocols, provide customer support, and so much more. But all this costs money. And if you’re getting it for free, what’s the catch?

Paid VPN services cover costs by charging users subscription fees. Meanwhile, some of the most popular free VPN services make their money off you, which defeats the whole purpose of using a VPN in the first place. Because like its often the case, if you’re not the customer, you’re the product.

CyberGhost VPN vs. free unlimited VPN services

Features Free unlimited VPN CyberGhost VPN
Number of VPN servers <20 4500+
Speed drops checked not checked
Unlimited bandwidth not checked checked
Wi-Fi protection not checked checked
256 AES data encryption not checked checked
Unblocks streaming services not checked checked
Kill switch not checked checked
Data anonymity not checked checked
24/7 Customer Support not checked checked
Multiple protocol support not checked checked
Stops online tracking not checked checked
Streaming & downloading server filter not checked checked
Accesses Flash content securely not checked checked

Think about it. You’re using a VPN to secure your data privacy. Yet these free VPNs often make money by selling your online preferences to advertising agencies, ad platforms, or data-gathering companies.

The question is: are you ready to accept the security flaws and trade-offs of a free Virtual Private Network?

Or will you choose a reliable VPN with security protocols that guarantee to keep your online activities away from prying eyes?

CyberGhost - one VPN for all your devices

Regardless of the operating system or device you’re using, CyberGhost VPN has a dedicated app for you. Our VPN caters to users running Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire TV, Xbox 360 & One, PS3 & 4, Apple TV, Smart TVs and more. Plus, we also have free browser extensions VPN apps for Chrome or Firefox.

Got questions?

Want more info about VPN services? Check out our FAQ section below. For more details, you can always reach out to our Customer Support team. They’re available 24/7 via live chat or email and can take your questions in English, German, French, or Romanian.

In most cases, using a VPN to hide your IP and encrypt data in order to protect yourself against identity theft, online spying or to gain access to more online content is not illegal. However, there are countries where internet censorship is taken seriously (like China) that can apply fines to citizens who are using virtual private network services.

Indeed, we do. In fact, as opposed to most VPN providers who only offer a 30day money back guarantee, our guarantee extends all the way up to 45 days.

Yes, we have a 1-day trial on desktops and a 7-day trial on iOS and Android.

They tried CyberGhost VPN and liked it

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All you need from a truly complete VPN solution

  • Automatic Kill Switch
  • Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
  • Access to over 6300 servers worldwide
  • DNS and IP Leak Protection
  • 256-bit AES Encryption
  • Simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices
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