When it comes to comparing apples with oranges, there is usually a clear winner depending on where your preferences lie. Apples with apples, however, presents a more interesting comparison since the differences setting them apart are far more intricate.
When you consider Hotspot Shield vs CyberGhost as possible tools to protect yourself online, apples with apples is exactly what you get. Both services are fast and dependable. Both are simple to use and come with user-friendly apps to control your connection, and both come in at very similar price points.
Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost also come just about even in terms of customer satisfaction and overall reputation as being good bargains for what they provide. Having said that, some important differences set them apart, such as the fact that only CyberGhost (sort of) works in China, and it also provides access to popular streaming sites like Netflix. In contrast, Hotspot Shield is known for having more trouble in that area.
As we concluded in our CyberGhost review, it is not the best VPN service out there, but if you are looking for the specific tools that the service specializes in, you may be pleasantly surprised with what the company has to offer.
However, our Hotspot Shield review has found this VPN to be no slouch, either. The service has servers around the globe, and they are all speedy. Provided that you are not looking for access to the American Netflix library from outside the U.S. or trying to bypass the Great Firewall of China, Hotspot Shield offers a service that is extremely simple to use and is very stable.
Like Apple products, Hotspot Shield is known for its ability to deliver a stable and dependable service that users can count on. So, do you like your apples to be on the sweeter side, or do you like them tart? When you figure out why and how you will be using your new VPN connection, you’ll be able to decide as to which of these products is best for you.
Are Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost safe to use?
In terms of security protocols, Cyberghost and Hotspot Shield claim to use industry gold standard encryption. Cloaking yourself as you go about the web shouldn’t be an issue, but we’re more concerned about behind-the-scenes safety.
Based in Romania, which is not part of the 5/9/14 Eyes countries, CyberGhost is owned by Kape Technologies, formerly known as Crossrider. Within the online security community, this company is notorious for creating questionable software akin to malware.
Similarly, Hotspot Shield seems to have its own issues with maintaining users’ confidentiality. They have been accused of “logging connections and using third-party tracking to serve targeted advertising,” an allegation that they have, of course, denied.
Speed & performance of Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost
Both Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost are fast. CyberGhost features more than 6400 servers located all around the world. This number allows users to connect to the most convenient servers based on their physical location. Shorter distances equal faster loading times, so CyberGhost is definitely able to provide fast connections.
The sheer number of servers and host countries also means that CyberGhost allows for more choice when it comes to geo-specific connections — something that is important for many businesses.
Hotspot Shield has far fewer servers (3200+) and host countries (80+) in operation than CyberGhost (6400+/90+), but that doesn’t seem to stop them from having blazing-fast speeds.
In fact, Hotspot Shield is known for its incredibly fast speeds, except for connections dealing with torrenting.
The increased speed of Hotspot Shield is thanks to the quality of their servers and the fact that there are no bandwidth limitations.
How to download and install Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost
Getting started with either of these services is a simple process. Both have a variety of apps and extensions that make connecting a breeze.
Hotspot Shield has apps for Windows, OSX, Android, and iOS. They also have a Chrome extension that can be installed at the browser level. Choose your platform, and download the appropriate client from the “Products” section. There is a 7-day trial, so you can start using the client before upgrading to a subscription, though they will require your payment details.
CyberGhost also has products available for the same platforms, but they add a Linux app to round out their portfolio. You’ll be required to create an account and subscribe before you can download the app.
Run the installer and follow the instructions that come next. You’ll be given a “PUK” code that you’ll need to enter if you forget your login.
Customer support is another area where Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost are quite similar.
In the case of CyberGhost, customers can either reach a live chat tech during working hours (in Europe), or they can create a ticket, which the service responds to very quickly. On their website, they also offer FAQs and guides to help troubleshoot on your own.
Hotspot Shield uses a ticket system as its primary helpline. Recently, due to complaints about long wait times, they also added a live chat option, which is fast and helpful.
Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost for Netflix and torrenting
Where torrenting is concerned, Hotspot Shield takes a back seat — especially for customers living in one of the Five Eyes countries.
Hotspot Shield does allow P2P connections on their paid networks, but they are quick to tell you to download at your own risk. If your VPN is telling you that they are not protecting you, it is better to avoid doing it at all. CyberGhost, on the other hand, has dedicated torrenting servers and speeds to match.
Access to Netflix and other popular streaming services, like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and many others, is often one test that VPNs fail. We can add Hotspot Shield to that list as well. While the connection is plenty fast enough for streaming, the VPN blockers employed by streaming sites catch Hotspot Shield every time.
With CyberGhost, you’ll get lucky with about 30 percent of their servers. They actually have a few servers that are dedicated to different streaming services, which makes them the clear winner here.
When it comes to the cost of Hotspot Shield and Cyberghost, the two services are both competitively priced. In general, CyberGhost is cheaper in the short term, and Hotspot Shield is more cost-effective for long-term use if you choose the lifetime subscription.
- 1 month – $12.99
- 1 year – $5.99/month
- 2 years – $90.96 ($3.69/month)
- 3 years – $99.00 ($2.75/month)
Plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For Hotspot Shield:
- 1 month –$12.99
- 6 months – $7.99/month
- 1 year – $6.99/month
- 3 years – $2.99/month
Verdict: Hotspot Shield or Cyberghost?
Which one of these capable VPNs is best for you? It all comes down to how you use the internet and which features are best for you.
If you are looking for a lower cost option that is great at P2P connections, offers the ability to access streaming sites like Netflix, and can sometimes work in China, CyberGhost might be your best choice.
For those who need unlimited bandwidth and very stable connections that seem to be more reliable than many of the other services out there, Hotspot Shield might be a better choice. Hotspot Shield is perfect for those who need a way to maintain anonymity while doing common, everyday tasks such as banking and running a business. The lifetime subscription for just over a hundred dollars is also a unique offer that you won’t find anywhere else.
Feature-wise, the two VPN service providers tend to have advantages and disadvantages that come up pretty even.
However, where CyberGhost does have a clear edge is in speed, customer support, and streaming plus torrenting. For that, in this comparison, we go with CyberGhost.