We have developed CyberGhost because we believe in a free Internet. We believe that more and more people wish to protect their privacy, to access WLAN safely and to avoid irritating Internet blocking such as “This video is not available in your country”.
Privacy, security and freedom. These ideas are the guidelines for developing and operating the best VNP service feasible both from the technical and the legal perspective. In this context, we found ourselves torn between the “security“ and the “usability“ of the service. Because making the service safer does not mean making it more user-friendly as well. In fact, it is often quite the opposite, as safer means less user-friendly.
So far, we have constantly tried to reach a compromise and the result was always that we could not always reach our goal to have the best product on the market. Now we have taken the decision that in the future, if there is any doubt, to choose having more “security“, even if this would occasionally mean giving up on the “usability“.
There is always a great deal of discussion about the reason why we ask for an e-mail address when we create a user account. The answer is simple: without an e-mail address it would be impossible to restore a password. This function is important when it comes to “usability“. On the other hand, there is the legitimate question why does a VPN provider ask for personal data such as e-mail address. Even if we store these data only as hash value and we have no access to these data. In the end, they should take our word for it – or not. We are well aware of the fact that you generally trust us, but however do not believe everything we tell you. Nevertheless, we are proud to announce that there were no Security Leak and no data transfer at CyberGhost so far, as it happened for example to our competitor HideMyAss .
We have developed a new Client that will be published in the following weeks. We are adapting in parallel the entire user account management. This will apply first to the new user accounts and then we will convert all the old user accounts. In the future, it will no longer be necessary to enter the e-mail address in order to create a CyberGhost user account. We will request only a user name and a password of choice. And that will be all. After the user name has been created, a PUK number (Personal Unblocking Key – PUK) is generated, that you can either print or save for further reference to recover your password.
>> Download Beta-Version (German Language only) <<
The result will be increased security, but lower user-friendliness. The user will have to securely keep their PUK number, as otherwise a forgotten password can no longer be recovered. On the other hand, this system will guarantee that CyberGhost no longer stores personal data in the system. And if there are no data stored, no data leaks can exist – except for the cases in which a person is so dumb as to use his or her name, forename and address to create a user name.
The only e-mail addresses we save in or database are the addresses of our Newsletter subscribers, to whom we send news and special offers on a regular basis. We shall keep these e-mail addresses stored SEPARATELY from all other user accounts (another database, another server) and of course we shall NEVER disclose them to third parties.
We hope that our users will regard this change in the management of the user accounts as a positive one. Should it become clear that the PUK password recovery leads to too many problems in practice, we can and we will switch back any time.
Otherwise, 2011 was a good year:
• We continued to expand our network and we managed to install more servers in other countries. In the meantime, our user can access more than 60 servers in 16 countries worldwide, among which there are six servers in the US for those of us who are Streaming fans.
• We moved into our new HQ in Bucharest: We managed to completely relocate out company to Bucharest, Romania, to expand our team and to transfer and establish the good old CyberGhost in a new home. Due to its liberal network policy, Romania is one of the best locations that anyone could wish for an anonymizing tool.
• The CyberGhost community has reached a spectacular number and not long ago it was able to welcome its one-millionth user.
• A new Fallback System was implemented, in order to guarantee a better future protection against failures; last year we implemented a new redundant Login System with two log-in servers in Switzerland and the Czech Republic, whose aim was to ensure the smooth access to the service even in cases of intense use and unforeseeable technical problems.
• For instant anonymizing directly in the browser the users can use a proxy free of charge available on our homepage. The new free proxy has already been available for some time in beta operating mode and shall soon go live.
• And remember: We included the finest merchandise articles with cool slogans into our program. Check them out at spreadshirt.net. You will surely find something you like.
• We put online three own DNS servers to internationalize the process of awarding addresses and to free it from all censorship and/or blocking attempts. Additionally, they will increase the surfing speed, as the DNS resolution works faster through several servers and everything will no longer be routed to Germany as before, except if someone mistyped or the TTL has run out (the time period for the server to answer).
For us, 2012 will not be a year to sit back and do nothing:
At the moment, we are in the process of becoming certified by QSCert , an independent certification body similar to the German TÜV according to ISO 27001 + ISO 9001. This measure was taken to improve our security processes and out quality management and render them more transparent.
An iPhone/iPad-App is also in the pipeline; it will replace Apple’s own browser and remove the country restrictions.
We are also working on a project called CyberGhost Cloud that will become public in the second quarter of 2012.
You will find additional information about this project and other projects on our blog.
See you soon!
Robert Knapp, CEO CyberGhost SRL