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There are no many free VPN services on the market, so anytime I find one I happy to write about it. In a previous post, I have mentioned Hotspot Shield. Now, it’s about CyberGhost Free VPN.

CyberGhost Free VPN

CyberGhost is a free VPN service with servers located in Germany. It’s a commercial VPN service that also has a free version. If you want to surf online anonymously, the free version is enough. The free version, called Basic, it’s limited 10GB a month broadband usage. If you’re going to get more, you need to pay 9.99 Euro a month, and you will get 40GB and 2GB online storage space.

How to get started with CyberGhost free VPN

First, you need to download the setup, unzip it and install it. The setup will also install the .NET Framework 3.0 if you don’t have it already.

Cyberghost Free VPN Setup

The next step is to create a CyberGhost VPN account (Click on Create new account button). You will receive a confirmation code on your email that you should use and activate the account.

Cyberghost Create account

Next, login to your account. You will get the following screen.

Cyberghost Main

If you want to use the free version, click “Connect basic.” Wait a moment; it will connect to service. Finally, you get a German IP address. Check it by visiting xmyip.com.

Cyberghost Connected

To close the VPN service click “Close basic” button.

More features

CyberGhost not only anonymizes your connection but also offers traffic statistics regarding your online activity (yearly and monthly). Another nice feature is that you can exclude some URLs from being anonymized (Exceptions tab). This way you can use the VPN for only sensitive sites, not for all of them.

CyberGhost VPN: Fixing Network Cable Unplugged Error

One of the readers of this blog, Tran, has complained that he was could run CyberGhost VPN:

After reading your article, I tried to install CyberGhost. The installation process is smooth. After completing to install the software, I restarted the computer. But there was a problem: when I double clicked CyberGhost VPN network icon in MY NETWORK PLACE to connect, a noticed “A NETWORK CABLE IS UNPLUGGED” error, while my PC still connected to the internet.

I was not able to reproduce the error, but I found a comment on warezscene.org from Jetman that offers several possible solutions. I reproduce below Jetman’s comment.

Question: Cyberghost VPN Fixing Network Cable Unplugged Error in Windows

If your network is not functioning correctly, you may see “A Network Cable Is Unplugged” messages repeatedly appear on the Windows desktop. Messages may pop up on the screen once every few days or even once every few minutes depending on the nature of the problem. This can also occur if you are using a WiFi wireless network. How can this problem be fixed?

Answer: Several possible causes of “A Network Cable Is Unplugged” messages exist. The error message appears on a computer when an installed Ethernet adapter is seeking to make a network connection.
Try the following tips to resolve your problem:
  • Disable the Ethernet network adapter if you are not using it. This applies, for example, when running a WiFi home network with computers that have built-in Ethernet adapters. To disable the adapter, double-click the small Network Cable Unplugged error window and choose the Disable option.
  • Check both ends of the Ethernet cable connected to the adapter to ensure they are not loose.
  • Replace the Ethernet cable with a different one to verify the cable is not damaged.
  • Update the network adapter driver software from the manufacturer’s Web site.
  • Change the Link Speed and Duplex settings (using Device Manager) to use “100 Mbps Full Duplex” or “10 Mbps Full Duplex” instead of Auto Detect.
  • Replace the Ethernet network adapter if it is a removable PCI or PCMCIA card. First, remove and re-insert the existing adapter hardware to verify the card is connected correctly. If necessary, also replace it with a different card.
  • The device your Ethernet adapter is connected to, such as a broadband modem or network router may be malfunctioning. Troubleshoot these devices as needed.

The support forum for Cyberghost, although in German, and thankfully I am of German descent, roughly translated they are saying to make sure your DHCP client is running and that there are known issues with Windows XP firewall settings.

Free proxy from CyberGhost

The guys from CyberGhost told us they have a new free Proxy and that we should check them out- which we did. So here are our impressions:

CyberGhost free proxy is a web-based proxy. It means that as an internet user, I don’t expect to install any software on my computer to be able to use it. But with the word free service, I always expect a lot of advertisements (they should be paid in one way or another, aren’t they?)

Accessing iPlayer using the proxy

So, I pointed my browser to the proxy server, then, along with the field for entering the URL of the website I want to reach (I chose BBC iPlayer – we all know that BBC UK iPlayer isn’t available in my country). But something just got me wondering: some options can be ticked on or off as you can see from the screenshot below

Cyberghost Free Proxy - iPlayer

I didn’t want to have a headache wondering why I would need to un-tick those checkboxes, so I left them ticked (my view is simple: most regular users wouldn’t even care about these options unless they want to go the “advanced mode” way).

Back to BBC iPlayer: the issue was simple: the list of proxy servers does not contain UK country: we have Germany, Netherlands, Russia, and Ukraine.  I chose the Ukraine-based proxy and inserted BBC iPlayer into the Cyberghost Free Proxy. The good thing is that at least, I didn’t see a lot of pop-up showing-up here and then.

But the advertisement takes 1/3 top of the browsing window, so you have to scroll down to see the actual website you are trying to see. And guess what?  As expected, I couldn’t watch the BBC iPlayer. But anyway, I guess it would work for any country-based limited online service that falls into the list of countries aforementioned. Not sure yet. If anyone has a service that would fit into this criterion, feel free to mention it so that I can test.

Checking the IP address

But for the heck of testing, I browsed xmyip.com from the free proxy, and it reports me with a Ukraine-based IP address. So, at least, I know that the IP address sent to web-servers that I reach through this Proxy server isn’t my actual IP address.  I played a bit changing the country of the proxy, and xmyip.com reported the right country. Moreover, by using the “Audit My PC anonymous surfing,” the primary results I received when using the free proxy is satisfying: it doesn’t show my actual GPS location, nor my real country and IP address.

From what I’ve seen, this Free proxy works for changing my IP address, and it is not so cluttered as do other free proxies. However, the limited list of countries where they provide Proxy is a shortcoming so far.

Conclusion

CyberGhost is a lovely VPN service, and the most important thing is that it offers an excellent FREE version. European users will benefit from the proximity to the CyberGhost server as opposed to the one in Colorado provided by Hotspot Shield.