There’s nothing more entertaining than a fairly even match where both sides get to throw some meaningful punches before the verdict is called. IPVanish vs CyberGhost is just that, since both of these VPN services have their strong suits and the contest is, as such, quite balanced.

Unfortunately, both IPVanish and CyberGhost come with certain ambiguities that can easily turn into serious drawbacks, depending on the reasons why you intend to use a VPN. Comparing the two is less about the better service and more about choosing the lesser of two evils. Here’s why.

Issues with security and privacy

Winner: neither

IPVanish and CyberGhost feature top-notch encryption standards comparable to those of industry giants such as NordVPN. They both offer 256-bit AES encryption, several VPN protocols, a kill switch, and IP and DNS leak protection. As most providers do, they also claim to uphold a strict “no-logging policy.” But just how effective are these features in the case of these two VPNs? And does no-logging actually mean no-logging?

For IPVanish, their security measures are fairly airtight, with no reported malfunctions or leaks. However, the service is owned by Mudhook Marketing (part of StackPath), which operates from Florida, USA. Meanwhile, the US is one of the founders of the 5 Eyes alliance and a key global surveillance country.

Given these circumstances, can you actually trust IPVanish to keep no logs? As it turns out, you shouldn’t. Just a while back, a criminal was apprehended in the US with the help of personally-identifiable information offered by IPVanish (logged data that they weren’t supposed to have logged). Yes, in this particular situation, that makes IPVanish the hero. But the line between heroism and merely betraying your own privacy policies can get much blurrier.

The outlook is not necessarily brighter for CyberGhost either. Only last year, comparitech.com found several persistent DNS and WebRTC leaks with their Windows client and, while the latter was seemingly addressed since then, there are other, more pressing concerns at hand. CyberGhost was initially registered in Romania, a country that is not part of any surveillance alliance and is thus quite VPN-friendly. However, the service was recently purchased by the Isle of Man-registered company Crossrider (now rebranded as Kape Technologies), which has been involved in lots of shady dealings.

All in all, in the IPVanish vs CyberGhost comparison, it’s important to remember that while both VPN services are suitable for light online activity (such as streaming, gaming, and sometimes Netflix), neither is secure enough for more serious applications (such as bypassing China’s great firewall).

If we had to choose, we’d go with CyberGhost, but we wouldn’t trust them with our lives, so to speak.

Good vs average Speeds

Winner: CyberGhost

CyberGhost comes with a fantastic server fleet of over 3,500 units spread across more than 60 countries worldwide. Their speeds are, as such, quite decent. For instance, while using CyberGhost, we got approximately 220 Mbps download/upload in London, UK, 140 Mbps in New York, US, and 80 Mbps in Tokyo, Japan.

Meanwhile, IPVanish claims to be one of the fastest VPN services out there, but our tests showed otherwise. At 160 Mbps download/upload in Nottingham, UK, 60 Mbps in New York, US, and under 10 Mbps in Tokyo, Japan, their speeds were average at best.

In our IPVanish vs CyberGhost trials, then, the latter was clearly victorious in terms of speed and performance. Before you take these numbers for granted, though, consider that they depend on a myriad of factors that have to do with your specific location, device, and platform. If speed is essential, always choose what tests better for you.

Netflix and torrenting

Winner: CyberGhost

Results are mixed in the IPVanish vs CyberGhost match when it comes to unblocking and streaming Netflix, as well as torrenting and P2P file-sharing. For Netflix fans, IPVanish can be quite a disappointment, between its low speeds that are inappropriate for streaming and a whole bunch of servers that are already blocked.

CyberGhost is definitely the better alternative here since the speeds they offer are more than enough to stream Netflix and the service will, at least most of the times, by-pass the platform’s geo-blocking policies.

The situation is more or less similar when it comes to torrenting. IPVanish offers servers in strategic locations to enhance P2P file-sharing speeds and their protection during transfers is decent as well. We still prefer CyberGhost, however, since its speeds are overall better and its security tools are up to par for P2P users.

Customer support and pricing

Winner: both

Both IPVanish and CyberGhost have decent customer support options, including FAQs, email and live chat support, but at the same time, both could use further improvement. CyberGhost’s 24/7 live chat option is definitely up to par, but the provider’s website is not very intuitive or informative. Meanwhile, IPVanish has only recently added a live chat support feature and customers have reported that, for this provider, email support sometimes consists of a bunch of automated messages.

As we turn to price options, the IPVanish vs CyberGhost comparison once again tilts in favor of the latter. You can get CyberGhost for as little as $3.69 or $5.99 a month if you subscribe for two years or twelve months, respectively.

IPVanish, on the other hand, will set you back for $8.99 a month for one year. While the prices are only slightly lower for CyberGhost, we also take into consideration that the latter offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, while the grace period for IPVanish is just 7 days.

And our kudos goes to…

If we were in China and wanted to access politically sensitive content, we would trust neither CyberGhost nor IPVanish with our online security. Much better options are out there as we speak and the costs involved are not much higher, especially given the risks.

For light applications, however, our winner in the IPVanish vs CyberGhost contest is definitely CyberGhost.

From tighter security measures to a more believable (though still slightly shady) no-logging policy, much better download/upload speeds, more reliable Netflix and torrenting options, and an overall better cost-to-benefit offer, CyberGhost consistently comes on top when compared to IPVanish.