Although CyberGhost's VPN servers use very fast fibre connections which are a lot faster than most home broadband or 4G services, the fact is that you inevitably lose a bit of speed compared to not using a VPN.
But in most cases, that deficit isn’t noticeable and you should be able to browse websites, use social media, play online games and more with no issues.
However, if your connection slows to a crawl when you hit that ‘Connect’ button, here are some of the things to check, test and change.
Is it your ISP at fault?
The first thing to do is to disconnect the VPN connection and run a speed test on your broadband (or 4G) to see what the performance is like without a VPN running.
We use speedtest.net, and there’s an app of the same name you can download for Android and iOS.
Note the download and upload speeds after the test, and re-run it after connecting the VPN again. Obviously, if the speeds are vastly lower, CyberGhost is at fault in some way.
Here, you can see that the download speed is very slow at just 2.4Mb/sec compared to a pretty good upload speed.
Use a different server
VPN speeds depend on how far away is the server you’re connected to, the number of people using it and various other factors. Try connecting to a different country, to see if things improve.
If you need to be connected to a server in a particular country, try disconnecting and reconnecting to that country. CyberGhost’s app displays the load for each country, but not individual servers.
Since you can choose servers optimised for streaming and torrenting, you can click those options and then pick a server of your choice. You don’t have to stream or torrent, of course.
Don’t forget, you can check the speed before and after using a tester such as speedtest.net, to verify if the change has helped or not.
Not all VPNs give you this option, but CyberGhost’s Windows app lets you change the protocol under Settings > Connection. Use the drop-down menu to change the default ‘Automatic selection' to OpenVPN, which is usually the best and fastest option. However, it’s worth trying all the options in turn if OpenVPN makes no difference.
There’s also a setting to use TCP instead of UDP. And this can make a big difference if some hardware along the way doesn’t support UDP traffic and is therefore causing a problem.
The oldest trick in the book: restart your device. If nothing has helped so far, a reboot should at least fix any strange problems that could be causing the slowdown. Restarting just the CyberGhost VPN app might have the same effect, but a reboot tends to be a cure-all for many issues.
And as it shouldn’t take long, it’s a simple thing to try.
CyberGhost also recommends quitting or deactivating any software which might interfere with the network, such as Asus network tools and cFOS.
Use a different device
This is where it might become impossible, but if you do have another laptop, PC, phone or tablet you can use, try running the CyberGhost app on that and see if the problem persists. No VPN service we’ve tested is consistently very slow on all servers, so if that’s what you’re experiencing it can be worth getting in touch with tech support to find out if there’s a general service outage: this might also be reported on the company’s homepage.
Check your router
In some cases, routers have what’s called a UDP flood firewall, which might be having a negative impact on internet speeds. You’ll have to log into your router’s admin interface in a web browser and have a look for this, and see if you can disable it. Or, if you happen to have a spare router kicking about, you could try swapping the current one out just to see if it helps. It’s more of a last resort than anything else, though, and you shouldn’t need to do it.
You might also be interested to know how to make your VPN more secure.