Category - Privacy & Security News

What to do when you have speed problems?

Since speed is a hot topic for our users, we decided to write a post about this and explain how speed levels differ when using a VPN connection and when you are connected to a normal Internet connection.

When using a VPN connection, all data is divided into packets before being sent. These data packets are then encrypted with AES-256 bit. This is a complex and computationally intensive step. After the encryption, more control information is set before the data (Header), so due to additional information every packet is bigger as it originally was. This so-called “Overhead” is proportionally bigger, the more small packages are sent, since the control information have a fixed size regardless of the size of the original packets. For example, at CyberGhost (via OpenVPN) this takes approximately 50 bytes per packet (it varies depending on the setting for encryption, authentication etc.).

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The size of the data packets depends, among other things, on the following: over which servers are these sent and which packets size does the remote station accepts (MTU).
At the measurement of speed tests with active VPN connection is measured only how many user data can be transmitted over a period of time, therefore the above-mentioned Overhead is not measured. Read More

The worth of your privacy

How much is your privacy worth?

Why is the NSA wrong, why is Edward Snowden right – and why should you matter in the first place? Because there seems to be little doubt Snowden did, what he did, for you, for our children and for a society he thought was worth fighting for. And, naturally, because Privacy matters!

Privacy makes a difference! Privacy is one of the most crucial ingredients to form a personality and the # 1 foundation of individuality – you know, that sort of thing that once told the free world from communism. No free citizen, be it in Berlin, New York, London, Paris, Bucharest, Rome, Buenos Aires, or Madrid can ever do without it, for privacy is necessary to express yourself and tell the world: “Hey, that’s me! I’m important and I’m not a number!” Or, to be more precise, one actually can do without it for some time, but then will be reduced to being just a citizen of, say, Peking or Pyongyang. Being watched, you don’t tell the world “Hey, that’s me”, for you might not be appropriate, wanted or acceptable the way you are. Being watched you’d instead quite probably tell the world “Hey, that’s what I think you’d like me to be”. If you still feel like telling the world anything at all.

You’re more of the practical kind and don’t care much about high flying intellectual ideas like ‘My personal data belongs to me’ as long as your country is in danger? Well, you don’t have to, for this is just a modern phrase for what you do all day long all the time without ever thinking about it: You close your curtains or Venetian blinds, whenever you want to. You shut your doors at night. You built a fence to mark your property. You put your letters inside an envelope and seal your packages properly. All that – and much more – like having a drink on your way home is … Privacy! It’s there, a right that comes by birth. And do you see any reasons to believe your country is safer, when your government confiscates your curtains and blinds, wants copies of your keys to enter your home whenever an unknown somebody feels like it, disrespects your fences, counts your drinks, reads the letters addressed to your loved ones and even notes the jokes you laugh about, when meeting your friends in your garage? And do you feel like justifying yourself, if you don’t see a single reason for a behavior like that?

So how come so many people look the other way when the same privacy is violated in the Internet? Because the Internet is a different planet? Because it belongs to a different generation? Or a different breed? It doesn’t. It’s simply a technical extension of your real life, another way to chitchat with your neighbors, to communicate with your children during their college-time, to visit your bank or walk through a mall. An email is still a letter, a chat is still a private communication and a Google hangout is still, well, a hangout. So, take a look again, and note that the Privacy you take for granted when sitting on your porch or in your living room deflagrates in a blink of an eye, when you enter the Internet or pick up your phone.

And that’s probably the most important message Edward Snowden has for us, before he will be declared a traitor and a criminal and his voice will vanish like so many voices before: While we enjoy the freedom somebody before us fought (and maybe died) for, we have the responsibility for ourselves and our children not to let us be kept away from the very same freedom just because evil speaks a pleasant language and tells us to sacrifice privacy for the sake of, well, some other form of privacy. Which one exactly that would be is on them, of course.

Now, do you have to fight the NSA, the guys that mostly come home from their jobs in the evening and enjoy the same World Series like you do? No! They do their every day jobs and like every professional, they do their best to be efficient. It’s a matter of laws, if they got no limits and it’s a politician’s job to define those laws. For you it’s ‘just’ a matter of showing both what you stand for. Sounds simple, but as we all know, it’s the hardest part to do in a functioning society, for we have to accept, that each generation owns the next generation the respect for the generation before and passes on correctly what once had been achieved. In this case: Privacy!

Privacy makes a different – and here enters CyberGhost the stage: These days we open our service for a limited time for the sake of spreading the message: Then you can answer yourself one of the most important questions of the 21st century: “How much is your privacy worth” and get a CyberGhost subscription for exactly that price. Make it count!

Enter the campaign here: www.worthofyourprivacy.com

 

CEO-Blog: We Protect People

Hey Ghosties,

It’s now my second year as CyberGhost’s CEO. Since CyberGhost VPN started in 2004 and then moved to Bucharest, Romania to settle our headquarters here, our service grew from a few hundred users to more than 2 Million people with around 200.000 unique users logging in to our network every single month. In 2004 CyberGost developed from a two men show into a staff of more than 20 employees in various different countries. Every single day, around 3.000 new CyberGhost accounts are created, delivering us a constant growth and market expansion.

We released a small video (4:48) in which our team talks about the reasons for using CyberGhost VPN.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB7lq_2i2fM

“We doubled our growth rate.”

Our mission is to protect the digital lives of people all over the world and give them free access to blocked and censored information. Over the past month we have made a good deal of progress. We have rebuilt our Free and Premium VPN services, added a new login server infrastructure and brought our service to Smartphones and Tablets by adding PPTP and L2TP/IPSec. to our Premium subscription. CyberGhost VPN is the first VPN provider with a truly Free VPN service without ads or traffic/bandwidth limitations, worldwide. The changes were obviously successful: We doubled our growth rate.

“We evolve into an “Amazon AWS” for VPN.”

I am more convinced than ever that CyberGhost VPN has now the basics and assets for becoming a truly meaningful global player in the field of online security. Our strategy is to evolve on the long term into an “Amazon AWS” for VPN. We work right now on an amazing API that will allow everybody to build great Apps based on our award winning VPN technology. Next step is to launch the new CyberGhost VPN Version 5 based on that API until End of June 2013.

“We protect people and not devices.”

A 100% rewriting on the whole code is right now executed by our developers. Following our mission of protecting people and not devices, we already switched our license model making it possible for you to use our Premium Plus product on different devices from one up to 5 simultaneous connections per license. Cyberghost VPN Version 5 will come with clients for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android to cover both PC and mobile environments with more malleability than at the moment.

We work on a complete new UI experience that will be the same on PC as also on a touchscreen device. Our goal is that a new user is able to download, install and use our product in less than 4 minutes. It will deliver you a “one click” solution that just connects to our service and allows choosing from different profiles like: “High Speed”, “Unblocking Content”, “High Encryption”, “Wireless Protection” or “Manual”. You can see here first screenshots from our alpha version.

Here we go for the new UI of CyberGhost VPN 5

  CyberGhost VPN 5

CyberGhost VPN 5

And another Version for the new UI:

CyberGhost VPN 5

We will soon open a special page for Version 5 enthusiasts where you will be able to subscribe to an early bird list for receiving a beta version in a few weeks.

As the CyberGhost VPN story continues, I wish to thank you, our users, for your constant trust and support over the years. We live in exciting times and with your help we can manage to make what is personal stay personal and safe – even and especially in the internet– and help you unblock information that is not available without using our service.

Best regards

Robert Knapp
Co-founder and CEO

 

“Celebrate youth, celebrate, those, who …”

You remember this song by Rick Springfield? Well, we do … and we celebrate: Namely our first year, after we left Germany, moved to Romania and began establishing ourselves in Bucharest, Romania, Europe’s Silicon Valley. Why Bucharest? Because we think, it’s the best environment throughout Europe to grow and feed a young company like ours. It’s got highly motivated and thoroughly skilled net specialists, being raised by a free Internet. It shows an urge to shape a future, where privacy and freedom are still positive values. And it got a law system, that remembers 45 years of Stalinism very well and therefore backs up the freedom and courage one needs to go after these goals.

Bucharest got all, we were looking for, when asking ourselves, which might be the best place in Europe to settle down and grant anonymity in the Internet, that elsewhere had become an endangered species. Only here we found the needed place to evolve and offer subscribers from all over the world, what they are looking for: Privacy, freedom and a plus of security in the Internet with no backdoors included – no logging, no spying, no compromises!

No doubt, that we like you to celebrate along with us. Therefore we created a very special offer, including huge savings of up to 40 % and three high quality PC tools in each bundle. Better though, for we also included our famous ‘Unlimited Traffic’ plan.

In detail you can go for:

  • 12 months CyberGhost Classic VPN subscription for just € 39.99 (20 % off), including access to all free and premium servers and traffic flat rate ‘L’ (20 GB high speed traffic, to be reduced to 512 kBit/s when used up).
  • 12 months CyberGhost Premium VPN subscription for just € 55.99 (30 % off), including access to all free and premium servers and traffic flat rate ‘XL’ (50 GB high speed traffic, to be reduced to 512 kBit/s when used up).
  • 12 months CyberGhost Premium Plus Unlimited VPN subscription for just € 71.39 (40 % off), including access to all free, premium and VIP servers (equipped for the fastest possible high speed traffic). On this plan, there will be no traffic limitations and therefore no speed reductions.

Additionally we give away the following products for free with each subscription:

  • O&O Defrag Professional Edition (worth: € 29.00): O&O Defrag establishes maximum performance for one’s hard drives by eliminating defragmentation. Some features:
    • Defragmentation at the push of a button
    • Performance increases of up to 100%
    • Faster system and program starts
    • Extends the life of your hardware
    • Update Star Premium Edition 8 (worth: € 29.90):Update Star helps any Windows computer to stay up to date easily and prevents problems. It automatically updates more than  1.400.000 different software titles. Some features:
      • Protection against outdated software
      • Delivers major version updates
      • Allows for a personalization of updates
      • Secure and verified downloads
      • Photomizer 2 (worth: € 29.99): Photomizer 2 repairs, optimizes and edits one’s digital photos. It is the perfect completion for any digital camera, able to correct, where others fail, e.g. false apertures or shots under unfavorable weather and lighting conditions. Some features:
        • Repairs your digital photo treasures without laborious training time
        • Optimizes fully automatically and reliably exactly those image parts, which disturb a photo’s overall impression
        • Includes profiles for a faster and more effective editing
        • Removes noise and eliminates artifacts

You will save up to € 136.49, depending on which subscription you choose. We’re pretty sure, you might agree, that this is a very cool way to celebrate and keep the idea of a free Internet alive at the same time. And, by the way, if you’re too young to know, who the hell Rick Springfield is, have a look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPEf1besqDI&feature=related. It’s unblocked, by the way … At least it had been yesterday!

This offer is valid only up to July, 27th. You can subscribe by clicking on this link: http://s.cgvpn.net/7A

Mobile Apps: About your privacy and security

Although the amount of malware when talking about mobile apps is not that big, Michael Sutton – VP of security research at Zscaler ThreatLabZ –  is concerned about the mobile apps “that are sharing information that people aren’t  aware of, or apps that have not been built securely” .

As an example he mentioned the apps that are requesting the passwords for Google Docs, and Dropbox, for the purpose to upload files and store backups.  The credentials stored in those apps are not securely stored, usually as plain text, which is a BIG security risk.

All this happen, because the businesses are desperate to offer  mobile apps for the masses and building them quickly usually leaves security holes. Just having an app downloaded from an official market doesn’t mean that those apps are securely built or that they have good systems that protect your privacy.

Protect your online Privacy and Identity

Every month thousands of cybercrimes are reported so you should try to protect your identity as best as you can so here are a few steps that you should take:

  1. Don’t share your birth date with 3rd parties. It’s a good tool in a cybercriminal’s skilled hands.
  2. Secure your passwords. Weak passwords for an account or for the backup email for that account or for the backup of the backup email for an account are an open door. You should secure them using password managers like KeePass or PassPack.
  3. Geo-location Services should be used with caution.
  4. Use private browsing if you are accessing information in a cybercafé
  5. Mobile apps should be installed only from the official app store or market. Hacked versions of paid apps are a backdoor for other…activities.
  6. Sensitive information should be sent only over https.
  7. Social network privacy settings: you should have more control on who sees what about you.

Top Online Privacy Predictions for 2012

Truste made public some predictions for 2012 and I mention:

  1. FTC goes after websites for privacy violations related to third-party tracking – this is something good for the users. The Companies will start to be held accountable for tracking conducted by third parties on their sites.
  2. Ad privacy notice and choice goes mobile –  The Companies will have to implement a mobile privacy solution now and offer customers a policy optimized for display on mobile devices.
  3. Privacy becomes a hot job skill – This is self explanatory
  4. Location-based technology breaks national news
  5. Europe says ‘When in Rome, follow our privacy rules’ – US companies that will do business in Europe will have to follow EU countries’ individual privacy standards
  6. Congress will NOT pass a privacy bill – I think this is a sure prediction in my opinion

© 2017 CyberGhost