Which one is better – NordVPN or CyberGhost? Both services have been around for more than a few years and have what you call a loyal userbase. If you don’t find them on a list of best VPN services, surely there’s something wrong with that list. However, my task here is to find out the winner of the CyberGhost vs NordVPN battle.
Therefore, I’ll try to answer such questions as “is NordVPN safe?” or “was CyberGhost ever hacked?” I’ll also be looking at the speed, ease of use, and price, among other criteria. If you want a quick answer, just take a look at the NordVPN vs CyberGhost comparison table below.
|“Best for” winner||Best overall, Best for Netflix, Best for P2P, Best for China, Fastest VPN|
|“Best for” nominee||Best overall, Best for P2P|
|Price starts from||$3.71/month||$2.75/month|
|Review||NordVPN review||CyberGhost review|
While CyberGhost is a bit cheaper, NordVPN has a better rating. What’s more, the latter is a winner of multiple “best of” lists, while CyberGhost has been nominated in two of five main categories.
These are two of the top VPNs available, so you might be having doubts about which one is worth your money. Even though NordVPN wins this comparison, chances are you’d like CyberGhost more. That’s why I encourage you to read the rest of my article and find that out for yourself!
Security of NordVPN vs CyberGhost
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP|
|Kill switch||Internet kill switch, app kill switch, Always-on VPN for Android||Internet kill switch|
|DNS and IP leaks||No leaks||No leaks|
|Security features||Double VPN, Tor over VPN, CyberSec, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, DNS and IPv6 leak protection||Tor over VPN, Malware blocker, SOCKS5 proxy, Exceptions, App Protection, NoSpy servers, DNS and IPv6 leak protection|
NordVPN is slightly safer than CyberGhost VPN and has the reputation of a VPN with no leaks whatsoever. The latter has had “vanilla” DNS and WebRTC leaks before, meaning that they were occurring not after some fatal error, but while you were simply using the app. CyberGhost plumbers have fixed them, yet the reputational damage is permanent.
Both providers use military-grade encryption and the latest tunneling protocols, but NordVPN is ahead of CyberGhost in implementing WireGuard. You can use its proprietary version named NordLynx on all major platforms already, while CyberGhost offers it on Linux and iOS only.
Moving on to the kill switch, we find both contestants tied. NordVPN has two kill switches, one on the app level and the other for your whole connection. In the meantime, CyberGhost uses always-on kill switch.
It means that you will automatically go offline in case of a VPN connection error. This is good if you’ve been having an extensive videochat with in-laws and bad if you’ve been dealt AA in a cash poker game. CyberGhost also has an App Protection feature, which turns on the VPN whenever you launch any of the marked apps.
CyberGhost and NordVPN have plenty of extra security features, such as Tor over VPN, malware blocker, free SOCKS5 proxy, and leak protection. The former also included split tunneling (Exceptions) on Windows and Android and lets you use NoSpy servers owned by the provider for a small fee. The latter provides multi-hop (Double VPN) and Stealth VPN (Obfuscated servers).
Privacy features of NordVPN and CyberGhost
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy|
NordVPN wins this round easily, even though both providers look great when you look at the table above. The thing is that while it’s registered in Romania, a privacy-friendly country with no data retention laws, CyberGhost has been bought by Kape Technologies in 2019. This Israeli-based company has been known for creating malware-like software in the past and its main investor was mentioned in the Panama papers as the owner of 16 offshore accounts.
In contrast, NordVPN is registered in Panama, which is far from the Fourteen Eyes alliance members. This service also has an independently-audited no-logs policy while CyberGhost is yet to invite someone from outside to evaluate them.
Finally, NordVPN accepts a bunch of different anonymous payment options and allows creating an account using a throwaway email address. In the meantime, CyberGhost VPN accepts bitcoins only and uses email as your username.
CyberGhost vs NordVPN: speed and performance
|Average speed||160 Mbps||89 Mbps|
|European server||252 Mbps (15% drop-off)||89 Mbps (62% drop-off)|
|US server||213 Mbps (28% drop-off)||102 Mbps (56% drop-off)|
|European server||87 Mbps (71% drop-off)||133 Mbps (45% drop-off)|
|US server||88 Mbps (70% drop-off)||33 Mbps (86% drop-off)|
|European server||46 ms||59 ms|
|US server||136 ms||114 ms|
This one is easy. NordVPN is the fastest VPN available and CyberGhost, while no slouch, isn’t mentioned among the speediest choices. Digging into the numbers, we find that the average speeds differ significantly, sometimes two to three times.
I ran this test from Europe, checking my speed without a VPN first. Then I connected to the servers of each service in Germany and the US East Coast. The average speed includes both download and upload numbers.
Why is CyberGhost so slow in comparison? The answer lies in the protocol used. NordVPN has implemented WireGuard (NordLynx), a next-gen tunneling protocol that’s much faster and more secure than any other option. CyberGhost uses either OpenVPN or IKEv2 on most platforms – only Linux and iOS offer WireGuard.
The only criteria where CyberGhost VPN leaves NordVPN behind is global coverage. CyberGhost has the largest server fleet, consisting of more than 6300 servers in 90+ countries. To compare, NordVPN has more than 5400 servers in 59 countries.
However, CyberGhost’s server load is pretty heavy (see the screenshot above) when compared to NordVPN. Furthermore, most of their infrastructure is based in Europe and the Americas, with virtual servers used in some remote regions. NordVPN covers most of the globe, but there’s certainly room for improvement dispersion-wise.
All in all, NordVPN is faster than CyberGhost VPN and that’s what matters.
CyberGhost vs NordVPN apps and ease of use
Winner: NordVPN and CyberGhost
|Major dedicated apps||All||All|
|Other dedicated apps||Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV||Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox||Chrome, Firefox|
|Manual setup||Routers, firewalls, NAS||Routers, NAS|
|Customer support||24/7 live chat, email, FAQ, tutorials||24/7 live chat, email, FAQ, tutorials|
Both CyberGhost and NordVPN are easy to install and use. Their dedicated apps are sleek and light, however, CyberGhost VPN has retained more options and settings over time. However, I don’t see much added value in most of them, though.
For example, where this provider allows toggling four different settings related to malware blocking, NordVPN simply offers to turn CyberSec on or off.
NordVPN uses both the map and the list to show all connection locations while CyberGhost VPN sticks to the list, also showing which servers are full and how many users are connected at that time.
Each provider has virtually the same set of apps, browser extensions, and supported devices. That being said, NordVPN has more powerful browser add-ons that include malware blocking. Also, they work only if you have an active subscription, while CyberGhost’s free extensions are more like a client luring mechanism.
NordVPN’s SmartPlay combines Smart DNS and VPN, meaning you will get both the geo-unblocking and encryption. However, this means that a bunch of devices, such as smart TVs or game consoles, won’t be supported. CyberGhost VPN uses simple Smart DNS, which can be configured on a number of OSes and devices – I see this as an advantage.
Last but not least comes customer support. Both services have excellent 24/7 live chat and extensive knowledgebases. Customer support representatives were polite and helpful each time I contacted them. To sum up, this round of NordVPN vs CyberGhost is a tie.
Torrenting and P2P with NordVPN vs CyberGhost
|Allowed on||Selected servers||Selected servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||Yes|
|Split tunneling||Android only||Windows, Android|
When it comes to torrenting, which one is better, CyberGhost VPN or NordVPN? Although this round is a close one, NordVPN wins because it’s hands-down the best VPN for torrenting.
This service is located in Panama, a privacy-friendly country, has two kill switches, no bandwidth limit, and zero leaks. Also, NordVPN has P2P-optimized servers that are fast and reliable. While split tunneling is on Android only, you can use free SOCKS5 proxy to secure your P2P traffic.
To compare, CyberGhost has some privacy-related issues which I’ve discussed above and is much slower. While it does have split tunneling on Windows in addition to SOCKS5 proxy, this is enough to be mentioned among the best torrenting services but not enough to dethrone NordVPN.
CyberGhost or NordVPN – which one is better for Netflix?
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||Yes|
NordVPN is better for Netflix because it’s the best VPN for streaming overall. Having said that, CyberGhost is not that far behind, as the table above indicates. The biggest advantage that NordVPN has is sheer speed – you’ll be able to stream in UHD (4K) from more locations.
Speaking of geo-unblocking, NordVPN offers not only the American Netflix but libraries in other countries as well. It also unblocks other streaming platforms, such as Disney+, BBC iPlayer, or Hulu. Another great thing about this provider is that it unblocks streaming platforms on most of its 5400+ servers.
CyberGhost VPN has specialized servers for streaming that you can find in the menu. This service also unblocks multiple Netflix libraries and other streaming platforms. However, due to the limited server selection, you may experience slower speeds, especially when connecting from another continent.
Both VPNs are Kodi-friendly and have apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick. But what I like about CyberGhost is its Smart DNS feature. It allows you to unblock streaming on a wide range of devices, starting with smart TVs and ending with game consoles.
NordVPN or CyberGhost – which one to use in China and other restricted countries?
|Works in China||Yes||Yes/No|
|Tor over VPN||Yes||Yes|
Simply put, NordVPN is the best VPN for China. While you may have some luck using CyberGhost, it lacks a proper tool to fight Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) used by the Chinese government. Without one, you can never have a reliable VPN connection to battle the Great Firewall of China.
NordVPN has specialized Obfuscated servers for use in China and other countries that restrict internet access. It makes your traffic look like it’s coming not from a VPN. Thus, such a connection is harder to block by the government.
CyberGhost VPN is far from the worst option for China too. It allows you to connect using a random port, which also helps when the traffic is restricted to HTTP and HTTPS. Finally, there’s the Tor over VPN feature that gives you extra privacy, albeit slowing down the connection considerably.
CyberGhost vs NordVPN: pricing comparison
|Free trial||No||Yes, 1-day|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||45 days|
This may be the only round won by CyberGhost against NordVPN, but it’s an important one. For starters, it offers a 1-day free trial, something that you won’t find easily nowadays. What’s more, you get to test the full list of features without any limitations.
Moving on, CyberGhost VPN has a 50% longer money-back guarantee. Most premium providers tend to remove free versions and free trials while shortening the money-back periods. And here we have CyberGhost going against the wind and going strong.
Looking at the payment plans, we can clearly see that CyberGhost is cheaper if we don’t count the one-month price. On the other hand, NordVPN is a better service overall, so you should ask yourself is it worth saving a few dollars and leaving on a table everything that this VPN has to offer.
Finally, payment options is where NordVPN shines again. You can pay with credit cards, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies (via CoinPayments), and UnionPay. In comparison, CyberGhost accepts credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin. The latter option is what saves CyberGhost from tying this last round.
NordVPN or CyberGhost – which VPN is better?
|Total wins||6 out of 8||1 out of 8|
|NordVPN review||CyberGhost review|
As this NordVPN vs CyberGhost comparison has shown, the latter is no match for our #1-ranked provider. Does that mean that CyberGhost is bad? Not at all – it’s one of the best VPNs that can surely find its user.
NordVPN is superior in almost every category. It provides excellent security and privacy, lightning-fast connections, and great streaming options. What’s more, it’s P2P-friendly and works well in China.
While it ties the “Apps and ease of use” round, NordVPN could have easily won it with a few extra simultaneous devices allowed. That’s something we might see from them in the future. As for the pricing plans, one should expect that a better product has a price that’s a bit higher.
To find out more about the winner, read our NordVPN review. And if you’re thinking about its competitor, head straight to CyberGhost VPN review. These articles should answer all the questions that you may still have after reading this comparison.