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CyberGhost vs Private Internet Access (PIA) in 2024

CyberGhost vs Private Internet Access

CyberGhost and Private Internet Access are some of the most popular VPNs on the market. They come with some similar features, including AES 265-bit encryption, a kill switch, and an independently-audited no-logs policy.

However, in the end, only one provider can be the winner. Let’s see how both providers look head-to-head via our in-depth CyberGhost vs. Private Internet Access comparison. We’ll be checking how each fares in terms of pricing, speed, streaming, torrenting, device compatibility, and more.

CyberGhost vs. Private Internet Access: specifications

Although PIA and CyberGhost have similar features and services, CyberGhost is the winner in our PIA vs. CyberGhost comparison. It covers more ground with an extensive server network, is faster, and excels at unblocking various streaming platforms. But that’s not the only major difference – let’s dive deeper.

⭐ Our rating8.9 ⭐8.1 ⭐
💸Current offerGet CyberGhost 84% OFF!Get PIA 83% OFF!
💰Price starts from$2.03/month$1.98/month
💳Money-back guarantee45 days30 days
📖 No-logs policyIndependently-auditedIndependently-audited
🌐Simultaneous connections7Unlimited
🔒 Servers11700+ servers in 100+ countriesThousands of servers in 90+ countries
🔒 VPN protocolsWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
🍿 StreamingNetflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and moreNetflix, Hulu, YouTube TV
🖥️PlatformsAll major OS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, browsers, routers, KodiAll major OS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, routers, Smart TV, browsers

CyberGhost vs PIA: pricing

Plans and paymentsCyberGhost
PIA
Free trial
24 hours (Win/Mac)
3 days (Android)
7 days (iOS)
No
One month
$12.99/month$11.95/month
Six months$6.99/monthN/A
One year
N/A$3.33/month
Two years
$2.03/monthN/A
Three years
N/A $2.03/month
Money-back guarantee
45 days30 days
Payment optionsCredit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, BitcoinCredit card, PayPal, cryptocurrencies

When it comes to pricing, PIA is the overall winner, as it offers lower prices than CyberGhost. Although there is no free trial and the money-back guarantee is considerably shorter. Let’s take a closer look.

Winner:
Private Internet Access

CyberGhost pricing

CyberGhost offers a 24-hour free trial for Windows and macOS devices, a 3-day trial for Android, and a 7-day one for iOS users. A 14-day money-back guarantee covers its monthly plan, while its longer-term ones are covered by a 45-day money-back guarantee. Here are the subscriptions you can get:

You can buy a CyberGhost subscription with a credit card, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. Also, you can purchase it anonymously via Bitcoin.

CyberGhost subscription plan pricings

The service also comes with extras at an additional cost:

  • Dedicated IP. A VPN IP address that only you can use. It costs extra.
  • CyberGhost ID Guard. Alerts you in case your email address is exposed in a data breach. Free.
  • Privacy Guard. A security suite for Windows that lets you disable the intrusive functionalities of your operating system. Free.
  • Premium MAC Optimizer

PIA pricing

PIA comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans. It’s also slightly cheaper than CyberGhost:

  • $11.95/month for one month
  • $3.33/month for one year
  • $2.03/month for three years

You can also buy a PIA plan anonymously with cryptocurrencies or use a credit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, or a gift card to pay.

PIA Black Friday pricing

Furthermore, those interested can additionally purchase a dedicated IP address. It costs $5.00/month, and you can pick an IP in the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, or Australia.

Speed comparison

In terms of speed, CyberGhost performed better than PIA and is, therefore, the winner of the category. It offers faster download and upload speeds than PIA.

However, it’s worth mentioning that both providers offer fast speeds, and the difference between them is not that high. With that said, CyberGhost has the upper hand as its servers are spread out in more countries, providing more reliable and stable performance to a wide range of users.

Also, PIA only has a few servers in Africa, Asia, and South America, which is a disadvantage for the provider. Both use WireGuard and OpenVPN – some of the fastest protocols in the VPN industry.

CyberGhost vs PIA: which is more secure?

CyberGhostPIA
EncryptionAES-256AES-256
HashSHA-256SHA-1, SHA-2
Jurisdiction
RomaniaUSA
LoggingIndependently-audited no-logs policyIndependently-audited and court-proven no-logs
Kill switchYesYes
Leak protectionDNS, IPv6DNS, IPv6, WebRTC
RAM serversNoAll

Looking at the two VPNs, you might think they’re pretty much the same regarding security. And considering everything we’re going to cover in this section, you wouldn’t be wrong. It’s a tie in the security category. Before we tell you why, let’s first see what the two have in common:

Both providers cover their drawbacks with different features and aspects of the service. CyberGhost doesn’t have RAM-only hardware, but there’s not much need for them when it’s based in Romania. And because PIA is headquartered in such a privacy-unfriendly jurisdiction, it proves its reliability with RAM-only servers and an independently-audited no-logs policy.

Privacy

CyberGhost is based in Romania, which is a privacy-friendly jurisdiction. It’s not a part of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance, meaning that it doesn’t have to log, store, or share your data or online activity with the government.

On the other hand, PIA is based in the US. The US is a member of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance, meaning that PIA works in a country with data-retention laws. However, this VPN combats this by running all servers solely on RAM modules (meaning they can’t store data) and adhering to an audited no-logs policy.

Logging

To ensure that the VPN you choose collects no logs, you need to see what kind of no-logs policy it has and if it has been audited. CyberGhost was recently audited by Deloitte, which proved that the VPN doesn’t collect any logs.

PIA was also audited by the same firm, proving that even though it is based in the US, it doesn’t log, store, or share user data. As such, you remain private with both of these services.

Servers location

Server specificationCyberGhostPIA
Servers11700+N/A
Countries100+90+
Physical servers
NoYes
Owns all servers
NoNo

As mentioned above, PIA and CyberGhost both house extensive server fleets. One has 11700+ servers across 100+ countries, while the other includes an unspecified amount of servers in 90+ countries respectively. However, CyberGhost’s servers are spread out in more countries, providing better connections and performance to more users.

On the other hand, PIA uses all physical servers, which is nice in terms of performance but could be dangerous if they are located in privacy-invasive countries. Still, you’ll have more reliable connections and the ability to unblock more content with CyberGhost.

Features comparison

FeaturesCyberGhostPIA
Smart DNS✅Yes (dedicated streaming servers)✅Smart DNS
Ad & malware blocker✅Content blocker✅PIA MACE
Split tunneling✅Yes✅Bypass VPN
Specialized servers✅Yes✅Yes

As you can see, both PIA and CyberGhost offer equal features. In this category, neither has an advantage over the other as these providers are quite versatile.

Smart DNS

Smart DNS is an essential feature if you want to use a VPN on a device that doesn’t support this software. Its primary use is for streaming peripherals, as this tool lets you change the location on them.

Both PIA and CyberGhost offer Smart DNS. CyberGhost’s Smart DNS feature is built into dedicated streaming servers, making the provider much easier to use. It also allows you to utilize it on a plethora of devices. PIA’s Smart DNS feature offers the same, making the providers equal in this regard.

Ad & malware blocker

Here’s where the two VPNs differ a bit more. Namely, even though both come with an ad & malware blocker, CyberGhost goes the extra mile, offering a few more features that will keep you extra safe.

PIA’s ad & malware blocker is called PIA MACE. It blocks all adware at the DNS level and is available for mobile and desktop devices. Additionally, it takes care of websites that utilize user trackers or host malicious scams. Yet, you can’t adjust the settings.

On the other hand, in addition to an ad & malware blocker, CyberGhost also offers a feature called the CyberGhost Security Suite. It is an antivirus and a security updater.

Split tunneling

Again, both PIA and CyberGhost offer split tunneling, a feature that lets you choose which applications work only with VPN coverage and which don’t.

However, there’s a slight difference between the two. Namely, CyberGhost’s split tunneling feature is only available on Windows and Android devices, while PIA’s (BypassVPN) is available on Windows, macOS, Android, and Linux. Furthermore, you can exclude or include IP addresses.

Specialized servers

Each provider comes with a fair share of specialty servers. CyberGhost includes:

  • Streaming. Optimized to easily bypass geo-blocks and bring you the best streaming experience with better performance.
  • Torrenting. These boost your downloads and uploads whenever you’re sharing files via P2P.
  • Online gaming. Improve your ping whenever diving into such games as CS:GO, LoL, CoD: Warzone, etc.

Private Internet Access offers:

  • Obfuscated. Allow you to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN to browse the internet.
  • Streaming. The same as with CyberGhost.

Other features

Additionally, CyberGhost offers a free SOCKS5 proxy and Smart Rules, which lets you customize how the app behaves in certain situations. Private Internet Access includes a SOCKS5 proxy and port forwarding.

Netflix and streaming comparison

Streaming platformsCyberGhostPIA
Netflix US
✅Yes✅Yes
Other Netflix libraries
✅Yes❌No
Amazon Prime Video
✅Yes❌No
Hulu✅Yes✅Yes
HBO Max✅Yes❌No
Disney+✅Yes❌No
BBC iPlayer✅Yes❌No
YouTube TV✅Yes✅Yes

Finally, we come to a section where we have a clear winner – CyberGhost. Although both unblock Netflix US, Hulu, and YouTube TV without breaking a sweat, this is where the similarities end. CyberGhost managed to unblock everything we threw at it, and the streams were of good quality, too. There was almost no lag or buffering to ruin the experience.

Private Internet Access, on the other hand, noticeably struggled during our testing. In some cases, as with BBC iPlayer, at first, it looked like it managed to access the shows and movies. But as soon as we watched something for more than 10 seconds, BBC shut us out with a notice that we were outside the UK. And thus, not eligible to view all the free content.

Device compatibility

Device supportCyberGhost
PIA
Major dedicated apps
Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
Other dedicated apps
Android TV, Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick
Browser extensions
Chrome (and Chromium-based browsers), Brave, Edge, Firefox, OperaChrome (and other Chromium-based browsers), Firefox
Manual setup
Routers, NAS, KodiRouters, consoles, smart TVs
Simultaneous devices
7Unlimited

And again, we have PIA and CyberGhost neck-to-neck, but CyberGhost emerges victorious yet again as it’s compatible with more devices than PIA.

Desktop applications

CyberGhost and PIA have dedicated applications for Windows and macOS computers. Both services share some design choices, especially regarding client layout and style. And they are minimalistic, making them pretty easy to use.

CyberGhost VPN for Mac - Favorite servers

The clients are secure no matter which operating system you’re running them on. The providers also take great care to make them identical feature-wise, so that every user is getting the same perks across the board. The minor difference here, though, is that CyberGhost’s macOS client lacks split tunneling.

PIA App settings menu

CyberGhost and PIA also include Linux applications. The former operates via the command line, while the latter comes with a GUI for easier handling. You can install CyberGhost on Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, Kali, and CentOS distros and PIA on Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, and Arch distros.

Mobile applications

Subscribers also get mobile applications for Android and iOS. In each case, the clients look sleek and are pretty user-friendly. You won’t have any issues using them even if you’re new to VPNs. But as is the norm at this point, the iOS apps don’t come with the same perks as their Android counterparts. At least in CyberGhost’s case.

CyberGhost VPN Android app

CyberGhost’s Android client benefits from having split tunneling, Port Randomization, and Data Compression. While the iOS app includes a Private Browser as a bonus, it’s missing the aforementioned features.

PIA app main screen

Private Internet Access kind of breaks the mold by having identical Android and iOS applications. Yes, you’re getting the same level of security and features no matter what kind of phone you’re using.

Torrenting

P2P specificationsCyberGhostPIA
Allowed on
✅Dedicated servers✅All servers
Free SOCKS5 proxy
✅Yes✅Yes
Split tunneling
✅Yes (Windows and Android)✅Yes (Windows and macOS)
Port forwarding❌No✅Yes

In terms of torrenting, it’s a tie in our CyberGhost vs. PIA comparison. Even though CyberGhost offers specialized P2P servers optimized for torrenting, they’re only available in some locations. On the other hand, all of PIA’s servers are torrenting-ready, making PIA the better choice in this regard.

And since both providers offer a SOCKS5 proxy and split tunneling, P2P servers are one of two features they differ in. The other one is port forwarding. Namely, CyberGhost doesn’t provide it, while PIA does. Still, CyberGhost facilitates better speeds, which result in faster P2P file-sharing, so it’s a matter of quality vs quantity.

China

SpecificationsCyberGhostPIA
Works in China
❌No✅Yes
Stealth VPN
❌No✅Yes (Obfuscation and Shadowsocks)
Tor over VPN
❌No❌No

It shouldn’t be surprising that PIA is more suited for bypassing the strict censorship in China rather than CyberGhost. It includes the Stealth VPN feature (obfuscated servers), which is essential if you want to avoid any VPN usage detection done by Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). However, the service doesn’t have many servers in Asia, so it only works in certain regions.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost doesn’t have any form of Stealth VPN. Sure, it’s great if you want to secure your browsing and access blocked websites and platforms, but it will be hard to use it in countries that restrict or ban VPNs in general.

Winner:
Private Internet Access

Customer support

Support optionsCyberGhostPIA
24/7 live chat
✅Yes❌No
Phone line
❌No❌No
Email
✅Yes✅Yes
Knowledgebase✅Yes✅Yes

And the last win in our Private Internet Access vs. CyberGhost comparison goes to CyberGhost.

Both CyberGhost and PIA come with live chat and email support. Also, they have extensive knowledge bases. However, PIA’s customer support isn’t available 24/7, while CyberGhost’s is. Whether using the chat or email, you’ll be waiting several hours for a response. Which is far from ideal if you’re having massive issues that need to be solved ASAP.

CyberGhost vs Private Internet Access – which is better?

CyberGhost🥇PIA🥈
PricingLoses❌Wins✔️
Speed
Wins✔️Loses❌
Security
Tie🤝Tie🤝
ServersWins✔️Loses❌
Features
Tie🤝Tie🤝
Streaming
Wins✔️Loses❌
Device compatibilityWins✔️Loses❌
Torrenting
Tie🤝Tie🤝
China
Loses❌Wins✔️
Customer support
Wins✔️Loses❌
Total wins
6 out of 102 out of 10

After testing both VPNs in great detail, we can say that CyberGhost is the better of the two! It brings faster and more reliable speeds, a wider range of supported devices, 4K streaming, and helpful, round-the-clock customer support.

Although Private Internet Access isn’t far off, either, as it proves to be reliable for bypassing censorship and is more wallet-friendly. Plus, you’ll benefit from torrenting-oriented features.

Best deals this week

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


FAQ

Is CyberGhost better than PIA?

Yes, CyberGhost is better than PIA. It facilitates better speeds, supports a wider range of devices and streaming peripherals, and is excellent for streaming purposes.

Which is faster – PIA or CyberGhost?

Even though PIA has a larger server network, CyberGhost is the faster option. It covers more countries than PIA, providing users from all over with better speeds and performance, as they can connect to a server closer to their location.

 

11 comments
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  1. Chris March 10, 2023 at 10:11 am

    This article is “CyberGhost vs PIA”, but after the highlights, the first section (Security) compares IPVanish vs CyberGhost instead.


    1. avatar
      Ethan Payne March 14, 2023 at 8:21 am

      Hi, Chris. Thanks for notifying us, we’ll fix this error immediately. 


  2. David Chan November 7, 2022 at 7:05 am

    PIA’s P2P isn’t actually the P2P we all know. They coined a new phrase and labelled it, “Player-to-Player” and not the usual, “Peer-to-Peer”. Because I bought a 2-yr license with PIA through an affiliated link and after a few tries, kept wondering why my DL speeds kept dropping to nil. When I contacted PIA, that is when they told me, their definition of P2P isn’t for Torrent users. They claim their P2P is for player to player support for gaming which is B.S. After a few months of back and forth emails with other VPN, I finally settled on CyberGhost because they are the ONLY ones with TRUE P2P Torrent support and not the FAKE PIA version. I’ve been with CyberGhost for just over a year now and happy I bought their 5-yr plan back then.


  3. Francesco M August 20, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    I use Private Internet Access since 6 or 7 years, very good speed, lots of servers, updated every month, cheap price, nerver had any issue, what can I say.. I like it !


  4. Pren March 29, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    I wonder if accessing Chinese websites from outside of China is okay with PIA (weibo and QQ for example, I want to access my accounts as if I am located in China).


    1. avatar
      Ethan Payne March 30, 2022 at 5:11 am

      Hello, Pren. Theoretically, it should be possible since PIA has servers in China.


  5. webcat June 2, 2019 at 9:25 am

    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.


  6. namaika12 April 26, 2019 at 6:13 am

    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 May 30, 2019 at 12:23 am

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


  7. Beautiful Bobby April 18, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    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 April 23, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      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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