Torrents become a CyberGhost Premium Feature

You know it: The largest parts of Internet traffic concern streaming services for music and videos, as well as torrent downloads, in some countries strong enough to even threaten net neutrality by being scapegoats for Internet Service Providers to establish new price models.

In contrast, CyberGhost has become steadily cheaper over the years and still manages to stem all increasing traffic. Unfortunately, a high percentage of free user make extensive use of our Free Service very powerful bandwidth for their torrent downloads, affecting the data throughput of all other users in a serious manner.

popcorn

We never wanted for this happening, but the heavy load torrent users put on the service forces us to pull the ripcord and to re-establish solidarity among all users, instead of letting a few claim it all for themselves.

In short: From now on, CyberGhost blocks the Torrent protocol on all free servers, to normalize traffic once again and to reserve our capacities for those who need a cost-free VPN for anonymous and uncensored surfing.

For subscribers using torrents on most premium servers is still perfectly possible. Only exceptions are servers in the United States, Russia, China and Singapore. For simplicity reasons and a rapid assessment of a single server, the server list in our application includes a yellow exclamation mark next to the name, if the respective server is inaccessible to P2P.

Note: Streaming functionality is not affected by our new torrent policy for free servers. You can still enjoy all your favorite content even with the CyberGhost Free Service.

Thanks everyone for supporting CyberGhost VPN!

About the author

CyberGhost VPN - Oana Ciobotea
CyberGhost VPN - Oana Ciobotea

47 Comments

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  • Shame, this was all I used cyberghost for and will have to now find a different product, shame as otherwise I have no complaints.

  • Does this apply to people who’ve paid for the “Special Edition”? I’ve noticed that the previous reminder screen that told you “This server doesn’t support torrents” seems to have gone away. Do I need to talk to support?

      • I also have the Special version, and sorry if I’m being picky or just stupid, but I can’t find any servers witch I can download Torrents with. Can you give me an example for a country it works in?

        • Sure, if you are logged into your account (wher you activated the Special Edition key), you can use torrents on servers from Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic and Romania.

  • Seems a bit disingenuous. You used to have 1GB restrictions on free users which would effectively limit heavy torrent downloads. It was a much better solution for the occasional downloaders who now have to look at alternatives if they don’t feel comfortable sharing their financial information with a VPN provider. I think banning torrents for free users is more a way of pushing people to buy your premium services than a real concern for other users since as I said, capping capacity to 1GB for free users solved the problem equally well.

    • Hey there!
      We will keep this request in mind in future decisions. Right now, our Freemium model is a bit different. Even with the torrents blocked our service gives the user a much broader experience for free. We took this approach, among other reasons, due to free users abusing the services at a level where the rest of the users got affected, which wasn’t very fair. Users do not have to look for an alternative. Through our e-commerce partner, we keep our databases separated so that there will be no connection between your account and your bank details. Furthermore there are no logs kept. 

      Cheers!

  • How come when I use your VPN in Luxembourg for example and I type in google.com and it redirects to google.de ? or when I use the Romanian node it redirects to google.com.ua ?

  • If I was to purchase this new version, CyberGhost SPECIAL EDITION VPN (12M) for $9.99, would I be able to download torrents with this version?

  • Cyberghost 5 sucks in comparison to its previous version.
    if I could go back to using the old system I would be much happier. some new funky graphics of an arrow moving across a map does not make a better service. the old system allowed torrent downloads, only dropped free users out after 6 hours, did not crash as easy, stopped all connections on drop out, so on and so forth.
    if I were to purchase a cyberghost product then it would not be the new one. I would happily purchase the old version if this is possible?
    I regret the moment I switched over.
    sometimes new is not better, unfortunately this is one of those occasions, very much like those terrible movie sequels such as blues brothers 2000, dirty dancing 2, grease 2, jaws 2, nightmare on elm street 2, so on and so forth.
    looks like cyberghost had its day and has now drifted into the realms of sites like friends reunited, they were great at one time but have now died an ungraceful death.
    thank you cyber ghost for what you once were, I really appreciate how awesome you used to be.

  • Sad, just very very sad. I hope you guys bring back the p2p service for free users.
    Such as lower the cap to 512kbps and 1 hour of usage instead of 3 hours.

    OR do whatever method you guys like to give this awesome service back again.

  • I think everyone knows that the blocking of torrents on the free service has nothing to do with ‘fair load balancing’. That argument by CG is merely a cover story. If CG were really concerned about the over use of torrents spoiling the experience for other users they could have taken so many other routes:

    -limit bandwidth (as pointed out in another post)
    -limit download quota per day
    -limit time connected
    -have a dedicated single server for torrents that all users must share.

    ..so many options to solve the problem of free users overloading the free servers with torrents.

    Instead, CG go brute-force and just don’t allow ANY torrents at all …UNLESS YOU PAY FOR IT!!.

    I don’t mind CG blocking torrents, that is their prerogative. However I do mind being spoken to as if I’m a dumb-ass.
    At least be honest about your decisions and say you wanted to capitalize on the popularity of torrenting rather than making it sound as if you are altruistically blocking p2p usage for the benefit of other free server users.

    If you really cared about ‘all users’ you would have sought a solution that benefits ‘all users’. Instead, you chose a solution that benefits the people you are least likely to make money from whilst forcing p2p users to hand over money if they want to download torrents.

    Don’t be a wolf in sheeps clothing, it is really unbecoming of a company that purports to act in the best interests of its users.

    • Hey there!

      Thank you for sharing with us your questions and concerns regarding our free service and the limitations we have on the free service.

      Please allow us to share with you the 2 main reasons we’ve decided to block torrents on the free servers:

      1. The speed reason. On all the surveys we’ve conducted so far with our free users, all of them complained about speed being the main issue with the service. Since torrents were eating a huge part of the bandwidth, we took this decision. Since then, we did not hear so many complaints about the slow connection speed. On the contrary.
      2. As you know, we don’t keep any logs of our users. This does not mean, however that we don’t get DMCAs and complaints about malicious activities on our servers. But if you take a look on our Transparency Report here http://www.cyberghostvpn.com/en_gb/transparency-report you will see that the number of DMCAs we receive is way bigger than the ones of the other kind of complaints. Now, allow us to share with you the fact that this huge number of DMCAs is mostly made up by the free users. Since we cannot reply to any of these complaints because we don’t keep any logs, the datacenters sometimes get upset and we’ve even lost datacenters due to these DMCAs. This is another very important reason on why we took the decision on blocking the torrents on free servers, because we wanted to decrease the number of DMCAs we got. Which by the

      These reasons may seem little, but they were very important to us. We are sorry to read that you are having difficulties from our decision, but we hope that you will understand and respect it.

      Cheers!

      • >”1. Since torrents were eating a huge part of the
        >bandwidth, we took this decision.”

        So, basically you ignored all the alternative options of reducing bandwidth I mentioned, including having a separate
        torrent server for free users. Ok. Fair enough.

        >”2. Now, allow us to share with you the fact that this huge
        >number of DMCAs is mostly made up by the free users.
        >Since we cannot reply to any of these complaints because
        > we don’t keep any logs, the datacenters sometimes get
        >upset and we’ve even lost datacenters due to these
        >DMCAs. This is another very important reason on why we
        >took the decision on blocking the torrents on free servers,
        >because we wanted to decrease the number of DMCAs
        >we got.”

        So, basically, you stopped free torrents because you don’t keep logs and want to reduce DMCAs.
        However, you DO offer the SAME torrenting ability FOR A PRICE.

        I mean, seriously, how does charging for the torrent feature reduce the DMCA’s? Torrenters will be uploading and downloading content in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. The only difference is they have to open a paid subscription.
        If torrenting is THE PROBLEM with the DMCA then you must have the SAME PROBLEM with torrenting subscribers

        So why is torrenting suddenly OK if I give you my details, open a subscription and pay to download the SAME torrents you block on the free service?

        If free torrenting presents a problem with the DMCAs but you STILL offer torrent downloading features for a paid subscription then there MUST be something about the subscription that makes the DMCA problem less of an issue.

        So, what is it about ‘paying’ for a subscription and giving you personal details that suddenly makes the downloading of torrents acceptable?

        • Hello there,

          We understand your frustration here but change was necessary and rest aside, your proposals of alternative options were taken in consideration. As you can probably imagine, there were even more options that we discussed, than those presented by you.

          Initially this topic started when servers with free slots got full faster than we could supplement the network and complaints started showing up. We did noticed a high usage of p2p traffic and comparing the addresses of those servers with data out of our transparency report, this option was added to the list of possible solutions.

          Ignoring the research and development time invested, sure we could have limiting the bandwidth, download quota or time but then users just like you will complain because of this. Additionally this goes against our policies right now. Limiting, would also mean blocking users from viewing content on the internet or having secure conversations.

          Setting up a separate server just so that users can download torrents wouldn’t have made sense either. How long do you think it would have survived before we would have had to close it down or loose the contract with that datacenter. Or worse, get sued?
          How would this server would have been sustained financially? Sure we make some profit, most of which we invest in our network, this allows us to enable free slots on the servers but in that scenario, ignoring all the other reasons why a separate server is not a good idea, that server wouldn’t have be sustainable and eventually it would have fallen. I see more disappointed users in this scenario.

          Yes if you purchase a subscription, you get premium access to our servers, which includes more protocols among which the P2P, used mostly when downloading torrents. There are users which enjoy our service and decide to go for more. Besides purchasing them for themselves, users also contribute to our expansion and evolution which indirectly permits us, besides improving our service, to sustain free users just like you.

          We needed a solution to multiple issues which turned out to be caused by abusive users excessively downloading torrents. Multiple scenarios were discussed and after performing some tests, the results clearly pointed out the best solution.

          See, there are things unknown to a user that determine us to take such decisions and no matter how many options are taken in consideration, the end result will eventually disappoint someone. Most of those users eventually understand those decisions and hopefully so will you. It is in our interest to have happy users and as much as possible we do our best for this.

          ~Our main mission is to provide privacy and security to as many people as possible.

          • Ok. Thank you for a long and thorough explanation. I do appreciate that.

            However, your long response does not address my main (more important) question in any way or form, so I will ask again in case it was a simple oversight.

            The question again:
            If free torrenting presents a problem with the DMCAs but you STILL offer torrent downloading features for a paid subscription then there MUST be something about the subscription that makes the DMCA problem less of an issue.

            So, what is it about ‘paying’ for a subscription and giving you personal details that suddenly makes the downloading of torrents acceptable?

  • Btw, I’m really not trying to be harsh to you. It’s nothing against you personally. It’s just a little vexing when the information I am being given somehow doesn’t fit the M.O. I’m just trying to get to the truth.

    • Your last question is easy to answer. There are far fewer premium users than there are free users. Limiting torrenting to premium users thus means a far lower number of DMCAs because there are fewer users torrenting. A lower number of DMCAs means less attention from the authorities. The other obvious alternative, banning torrenting completely, is obviously even less attractive.

      • Thanks NCM!

        When you explain it like that it does make a lot of sense.

        That is precisely the kind of response I was after from CG, but
        perhaps they are not in a position to say such things.

        • Its rightly said…

          There is a saying.. “Not being eaten by a Tiger after a mass, you need not to run faster than the tiger but the man after you..” I hope than fits in here… :-)

  • I find this entire thread amazing. The free service is extremely useful, but everyone is bitching because now payment is required for P2P?!?

    What’s next? Perhaps CyberGhost should send you a monthly stipend for utilizing their services?

    ‘noiZ

  • But I have also read that some users are disappointed that they cannot torrent or P2P on CyberGhost servers. I think this is becoming increasingly common amongst VPN services. With the fast browsing time and the security which comes with the subscription, CyberGhost is worth the investment– even if this functionality is limited for users.

  • I’m thinking of buying cyberghost premium. But I just want to clear my doubts first. In my college torrent is probably banned along with social networking sites and youtube etc. So if i use cyberghost premium will i be able download/upload toorents and browse social networking sites without my identity revealed? and do you restrict any torrent?

  • Hi,
    I have a “Promo Special Edition 5”.
    Can I use that with P2P?

    The first day I got great speeds, but since a day I don’t get anymore upload-speeds at all and one by one all the peers I was connected to without CG on disappear from my list until there are none left and there’s no traffic at all on none of my torrents.

    Thx in advance for your answer.

    • Hello there,

      P2P is available for Premium users, but with limitations on certain servers (e.g. US). Regarding the speed, try choosing a server that is closest to you.

      Cheers!

  • I find it weird to be reading complaints about a company taking away some features in the free version. Beggars can’t be choosers. Pay for it if you want torrent service that badly. It’s nice enough that there is a company that gives out free VPN with decent speed for you to stream vid and you could connect it as many times as you like in a day. Greedy much people?

    On a serious note, I understand China has recently done some serious blocking of VPNs again. I’m too lazy to read up on technicality so please advise if it’s still possible as I’m interested to upgrade coz I love your free version. I don’t mind paying to get Hong Kong server but would like to check if I could use it to connect to China Site. TIA.

  • I’m not sure why some people are whinging about having to pay for anything.
    If you use their service and it works for you and you enjoy it, you should pay them!
    Some of these freeloaders seem to forget that it costs companies like Cyberghost money to keep these sites up and to pay for data. They can’t offer everything for free, or it would break them.
    Hell…I just currently use Cyberghost for watching a greater range of shows, docos and movies on Netflix, (I’m in Australia, but use it to fake being in the US) but because I really enjoy their excellent service, I pay them for it!
    Stop being moochers! Pay the nice people for services rendered. You can even do it through PayPal, pretty sure, so your security is taken care of there.

    Thank you to Cyberghost for providing such a great service! I’m glad I gave you guys a try!

  • Hi, I have a special edition offer account.
    I see there’s a lot of servers allowing torrent but torrents are only for premium users. So what’s exactly the deal with those accounts against torrents downloads ?
    Thanks in advance and sorry for my poor english.

    • Hey!

      The Special Edition package that you have only includes the servers in 5 countries (USA, DE, RO, NL, CZ). As per our contracts with US data centers, P2P is blocked on US servers, but you can still use the ones in DE, RO, NL, and CZ for that.
      Besides the Special Edition, we have 2 other packages called Premium and Premium Plus respectively, which both include all our 500 servers in 29 countries, meaning more servers with P2P access.

      Thanks for reaching out to us!

  • Buyer beware! I’d been using a couple other VPN services, but decided to give CyberGhost a try. I started using a free account around the beginning of this year. Speeds were nothing special and the severely limited available countries put it at the back of my VPN options.

    In April, the CyberGhost program offered me a “special account”. I thought this was a discount to get me better features and hook me as a paying customer. It didn’t state the benefits, or that it was only the 2nd step up out of 4 (premium being 3 and premium plus being 4). So I paid for it. (Sucker!) I see absolutely no difference between the free and special accounts features. I still can’t use P2P on any server and only have access to a handful of countries.

    A couple weeks after paying for the special account, I was bombarded with the program telling me to upgrade to premium or premium plus plans. The premium plan is over twice as expensive, and the premium plus plan is over 3 times as expensive as some of the other VPN services I’ve been using. These other VPN services offer full speed P2P on all of their servers (including USA and Australia), offer as many or more countries as CyberGhost, and some offer multiple jumps for added security. In my opinion, CyberGhost is nothing more than an expensive work around for geo-blocking. It smells of a money grab which still blocks P2P in the countries I use most (USA and Australia) even with the most expensive premium plus plan. There’s literally dozens of more affordable VPN solutions which offer much better features than CyberGhost. I have no problem with paying a competitive price for a competitive service, but CyberGhost is a joke for the price. :)

    • Hey David!

      We’re sorry you feel this way about our service.

      About the special account you first upgraded to: that is our Special Edition package, which only includes the servers in 5 countries (USA, DE, RO, NL, CZ). We have 2 other packages called Premium and Premium Plus respectively, which both include all our 500 servers in 29 countries, the difference between them being that Premium Plus = simultaneous usage on up to 5 devices.
      As for P2P being blocked, that is part of our contractual relationship with various data centers. US law does not allow torrenting, which means that if our data center is owned by an American company (with operations in Australia, for example), we cannot enable P2P on the servers hosted therein.

      We hope we’ve shed some light on the matter & maybe you’ll consider giving us another try:)

      Cheers!

  • I thought I was using P2P or downloading a torrent, but I’m using free version and it is still working. Isn’t it supposed to be blocked? Maybe what I’m doing isn’t P2P after all? Or does it still work but it is not ‘incognito’ via cyberghost? So confused.

    • Hey Kate!

      P2P/torrenting is indeed blocked on the free version, so there must be a mistake somewhere:)
      Maybe you had disconnected from CyberGhost (or had been automatically disconnected – that happens after 3 hours, you can reconnect immediately), maybe you forgot to connect and thought you had (happened to me:D), who knows?
      But if somehow you happen to be able to torrent while on the free version though, do let us know please.

      Thanks!

    • Hey,

      Torrenting is illegal under US law, so that’s why P2P is blocked on servers located in the States.
      If you want to download torrents, you need to choose servers located in countries where P2P is allowed – our server list contains notifiers regarding whether P2P is blocked or not.

      Thanks a lot for reaching out to us!

      • Torrenting is NOT illegal under US law. Downloading or streaming copyrighted material is what is illegal, regardless of how it’s downloaded or streamed.

        • Hey Mike,

          Yep, you’re right, it’s just that I (like a lot of other ppl) equate torrenting with downloading music, movies etc, so copyrighted material:)

          Thanks!

  • I just paid the premium plus deal 10.99/month so i can use the countries that dont block P2P right? for exmple if I was using canada and am in the US since the US doesnt allow P2P, So the whole point is that my service provider wont find out about the downloading torrents right or will they?

    • Hey!

      As long as you download torrents using servers in countries where P2P is legal, you have nothing to worry about.

      Thanks!

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