CyberGhost vs Private Internet Access (PIA) in 2021

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Chief Editor
Last updated: November 16, 2021
Cyberghost vs Private Internet Access

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CyberGhost vs PIA (Private Internet Access) is a tough duel. Both providers are on most “Top 10 VPNs” lists, including ours.

If you’re wondering which VPN is the better one, you’re in luck as we’re going to find out by comparing these two services across various categories. Those will include speed, security and privacy, apps, P2P, streaming, customer support, and pricing.

In general, PIA is slightly better than CyberGhost VPN, especially if you’re concerned about the price, torrenting, and access to the largest server list available. However, the latter service will please those who want more streaming options and better compatibility.

CyberGhostPIA
Our rating8.18.1
“Best for” nomineeBest overallBest overall, Best for streaming, Best for Windows, Best for Mac, Best for Linux, Best for Android, Best for iOS
Price starts from$2.25/month$2.03/month
ReviewRead CyberGhost VPN reviewRead PIA review
Websitecyberghostvpn.comprivateinternetaccess.com

How each VPN fares in different circumstances? Let’s get into the details and see if we can find the devil.

Security of CyberGhost VPN and PIA

CyberGhost VPN
PIA
EncryptionMilitary-gradeMilitary-grade
ProtocolsWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Security featuresSplit tunneling, SOCKS5 proxy, Tor over VPN, malware blockerSplit tunneling, SOCKS5 proxy, PIA MACE, Shadowsocks, HNS

In terms of security, both IPVanish and CyberGhost VPN are doing really well. They use military-grade encryption and have started implementing the next-gen WireGuard tunneling protocol. However, IPVanish is a bit ahead, allowing it on all devices while CyberGhost is still testing it on Linux and iOS only.

CyberGhost app connection settings overview

IPVanish also has more security features than CyberGhost VPN, namely Shadowsocks and Handshake Naming System (HNS) aimed against DNS censorship. On the other hand, most users won’t miss these two options. Also, CyberGhost’s split tunneling works on Windows and Android only.

PIA app connection settings overview

Kill switch is an essential feature of any solid VPN. Naturally, both contestants have it, but CyberGhost has made it always-on, which can be a nuisance if you have a spotty connection.

Finally, IPVanish and CyberGhost have reliable IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection. I’ve checked both services using multiple online tests and didn’t find myself exposed.

Privacy: PIA vs CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPNPIA
JurisdictionRomaniaUnited States
LoggingNo-logs policyNo-logs policy
Anonymous payment
BitcoinCryptocurrencies, gift cards

CyberGhost’s jurisdiction seems fine because Romania is a privacy-friendly country and not a member of the Fourteen Eyes alliance. However, it’s owned by Kape Technologies (UK), which has what some may call a “dark past.” According to the Panama Papers, one of the persons behind this company is a convicted felon with links to at least 16 offshore accounts.

Private Internet Access is run by London Trust Media, a US company – also not great for privacy. On the plus side, PIA has a court-proven no-logging policy and offers way more anonymous payment options.

PIA payment options list

While neither of these VPNs has the best privacy credentials, PIA is the better choice for the most part.

Speed and servers: PIA or CyberGhost VPN?

Having more servers doesn’t mean faster connection. While the distance from you to the VPN server is an important factor and using one a few hundred miles away will at least result in lower latency, connecting to the other side of the globe will take its toll. Therefore, we’d like to evaluate CyberGhost VPN and PIA servers and speeds separately.

Servers

CyberGhost VPNPIA
Servers700029300
Countries9078
Physical servers
Not allAll
Owns all servers
NoNo
RAM-only servers
NoNo
P2P serversNot allAll

When it comes to server coverage, both VPN providers have thousands of servers worldwide,, but PIA has way more thousands. Plus, they are all physical and P2P-ready.

But even though the country selection is comparable, the server distribution leaves something to be desired for PIA, which has very few servers in Asia, Africa, and even South America.

It would be naive to think that a VPN company would own many servers, not to mention have them all RAM-only. On the other hand, it seems that the industry is moving towards these goals, and hopefully, we’ll have to update those two rows in the future.

CyberGhost vs Private Internet Access: 14-Day Speed Average

More live data from our VPN Speed Test tool
CyberGhost Private Internet Access
USA server
Download Speed 72 Mbps
Upload Speed 115 Mbps
UK server
Download Speed 31 Mbps
Upload Speed 65 Mbps
Germany server
Download Speed 65 Mbps
Upload Speed 284 Mbps

Both providers deliver decent speeds across the globe, but CyberGhost does it with more consistency – its speeds seem to be closer to the average, without noticeable ups and downs. On the other hand, Private Internet Access can give you more Mbps when downloading, especially if we compare the results from a full month.

CyberGhost VPN vs PIA pricing comparison

CyberGhost VPN
PIA
Free versionNoNo
Free trial
1-day, Windows and macOSNo
One month
$12.99/month$9.95/month
Six months$6.39/monthN/A
One year
N/A$3.33/month
Two years
$2.25/monthN/A
Three years
N/A$2.03/month
Money-back guarantee
45-day30-day

PIA offers some of the lowest prices you will find. That has been their calling card for a long time, while most services are getting significantly more expensive. Plus, you can receive discounts up to 80% by snagging a PIA Black Friday deal.

I like that CyberGhost offers a free trial, but it probably won’t be long enough for you to make up your mind. Besides, it works on desktop only, and you will probably want to see how smooth the mobile apps are. Luckily, both providers have a long money-back guarantee.

Based on price alone, I consider PIA slightly better.

PIA and CyberGhost VPN apps: ease of use and compatibility

CyberGhost VPN
PIA
Major apps
AllAll
Other apps
Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TVN/A
Browser extensions
Chrome, FirefoxChrome, Firefox, Opera
Manual setup
Routers, NASRouters
Simultaneous devices
710

Both VPNs are easy to set up and use, but CyberGhost VPN offers more apps and is compatible with NAS devices.

Cyberghost VPN list of supported apps and devices

In the meantime, you can’t even configure PIA to work with Android TV or Fire TV unless you set it up on the router first. It’s Opera add-on doesn’t add much to the overall compatibility as well.

The number of simultaneous connections is an important factor, and here, PIA has a slight edge. However, most users should be just fine with seven, even if they share the account with family or friends.

Unlocking Netflix and other streaming platforms

CyberGhost VPNPIA
Netflix US
YesYes
Other Netflix libraries
YesNetherlands
Other platforms
YesNo

When it comes to unblocking streaming platforms, both VPNs aren’t the best options out there. However, CyberGhost VPN leaves PIA way behind, offering not only Netflix US but other libraries as well. There are specialized servers for other platforms, such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer – PIA won’t get you any of that.

CyberGhost macOS app - streaming servers list

Whichever provider you choose, the speeds should be enough to stream in HD, unless you have a poor connection. However, there’s another big argument for CyberGhost – it has a Smart DNS feature. Thanks to it, you’ll be able to unblock streaming websites on a number of devices without encryption that impacts the speed.

Torrenting with CyberGhost VPN and PIA

CyberGhost VPNPIA
Allowed on
Selected serversAll servers
Free SOCKS5 proxy
YesYes
Split tunneling
Windows, AndroidWindows, macOS

CyberGhost supports P2P traffic on some servers, which is great. However, all PIA’s servers are torrenting-ready, meaning it will be easier to find one that’s not overloaded and closer to you. Most of the time, it will result in faster speeds.

Both VPNs offer a free SOCKS5 proxy, but only PIA gives you port forwarding, which is important for seeding. Additionally, most users will choose split tunneling on Windows and Mac over Windows and Android, which is another argument for going with PIA.

Bypassing censorship in China and elsewhere

CyberGhost VPNPIA
Works in China
YesYes/No
Stealth VPN
NoNo
Tor over VPN
YesNo

You won’t find these two on our “Best VPN for China” list. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t try using them there. Neither CyberGhost nor PIA has a Stealth VPN to bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). Still, reports indicate that the former contestant has more luck in climbing over the Great Firewall of China.

Another argument against using PIA in China is the lack of servers in the Asian region. Even though this VPN has the biggest server list, its distribution is far from even. What’s more, CyberGhost VPN has a Tor over VPN feature, which should help you hide from government surveillance.

Customer support of PIA and CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPNPIA
24/7
YesNo
Live chat
YesYes
Email
YesYes

Customer support is another area where PIA gives CyberGhost an easy win. PIA lacks 24/7 support, so its live chat might be unavailable just when you need it most. The ticketing system is slow, and the responses are often robotic and unhelpful as the web is littered with comments from dissatisfied customers.

Meanwhile, CyberGhost offers a decent amount of self-help resources and a 24/7 live chat option. The live chat agents are quick to reply and give helpful responses. You can also submit a request form on the site if you need additional assistance.

CyberGhost vs Private Internet Access video review

CyberGhost VPN review 2021🔥 Did you know this??
2020-03-06
Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN review 2021 | Finally, the TRUTH💥
2021-03-03

CyberGhost vs Private Internet Access – which one is better?

CyberGhostPIA
Security
LosesWins
Privacy
LosesWins
Speed and servers
LosesWins
PricesLosesWins
Compatibility
WinsLoses
Streaming
WinsLoses
Torrenting
LosesWins
China
WinsLoses
Customer support
WinsLoses
Total wins
4 out of 95 out of 9

Having compared both options across these key aspects, here’s my verdict: while the battle was a close one, I have to give this to Private Internet Access that won in 5 out of 9 categories. Moreso, it did that in the important ones, namely, security, privacy, speed, servers, and pricing.

On the other hand, CyberGhost VPN is way better for streaming and has 24/7 live chat support. I also found it easier to use, especially thanks to the Smart DNS feature. What’s more, it’s not like CyberGhost is bad for torrenting, it just doesn’t offer it on all servers.

You may also like to read:
CyberGhost vs ExpressVPN
CyberGhost vs NordVPN
NordVPN vs PIA
Mullvad vs PIA

5 comments
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  1. webcat

    Surfshark is an up and comming riser, in the VPN world. I was withe ExpressVPN and NordVPN, I choose Surfshark, for its speed, price, unlimited devices, great jurisdiction outside the 14 eyes. Their strict No logging policy, Killswitch, 256 Aes Military encryption. multihopping, whitelist, and a few other bells and whistles.


  2. namaika12

    It looks like CyberGhost is the obvious winner as probably Private Internet Access is fairly new to the industry. Probably, this is the case. I have not heard of it before. But things can change quickly! Let’s wait and see


    1. JB

      Private Internet Access is not new to the industry, they have been around for many years.


  3. Beautiful Bobby

    Sounds like two losers here. If you want a reliable and secure VPN, go with one of the industry leaders like ExpressVPN or NordVPN. I appreciate your site discussing the variety of VPN’s out there (especially since there seem to be new ones coming out all the time). However, it seems that most just fall short to the ones I mentioned.


    1. Donna123

      I wouldn’t say they were losers but yeah there are better ones out there. CyberGhost was once better but now since changing management they aren’t as good and they’re expensive. PIA is so and so if you ask me and I wouldn’t use them at all.

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