For a VPN to genuinely enhance your online privacy, you need to choose the right VPN provider.
With so many features on offer these days, it can be somewhat difficult to cut through the marketing and get a sense of which VPN provider best suits your needs.
So in this post, we pit NordVPN against CyberGhost VPN to see which provider comes out on top.
NordVPN vs CyberGhost VPN - Side By Side
[vpn vpn_1="NordVPN" vpn_2="CyberGhost"]
Can't choose between NordVPN or CyberGhost VPN?
NordVPN and CyberGhost aren’t really in the same league when it comes to being an established name in the commercial VPN industry. NordVPN is one of the biggest and most familiar names in that VPN space, while CyberGhost is more of a fringe player, but they’re growing.
Despite that, they both provide a strong feature set in terms of privacy: They both provide native client apps for all major operating systems. They both support secure VPN protocols with industry-standard encryption (though CyberGhost also supports weak protocols, as we’ll see). And both put forth a strongly-worded non-logging policy.
And while NordVPN does support more features, such as an ads & tracker blocker and Tor Over VPN servers, that’s not the main reason why we would recommend them over CyberGhost.
The reason lies instead with CyberGhost’s parent company, Kape Technologies (formerly known as Crossrider). The company has a history in the AdTech industry and they’ve been caught spreading malware in the past. Not exactly what you want to see from a privacy company…
Speed is always going to be towards the top of the list of priorities for VPN providers. Privacy (read: encryption) will of course create some overhead and cause a certain slowdown. But it should be as subtle as possible.
Let’s see how NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN compare on speed.
Tested on a 60Mbps (Download) and 30Mbps (Upload) network
Server: U.S.A., New York
Average Download Speed: 65.77Mbps
Average Upload Speed: 22.89Mbps
Tested on a 100Mbps (Download) and 30Mbps (Upload) network
Server: U.S.A., New York
Average Download Speed: 95.19Mbps
Average Upload Speed: 8.56Mbps
So what interests us here is the difference between the ISP-allocated bandwidth and the results of the VPN speed test.
And we can see that in terms of download speeds, they both do quite well – with NordVPN even going above my ISP bandwidth.
On upload, they both take somewhat of a hit and this is normal, ISPs outfit their networks with many more download channels than upload channels.
Still, we can see that the hit on CyberGhost VPN is rather big – we’re losing over two-thirds of our bandwidth. This could hamper online gaming with resource-intensive games.
While CyberGhost VPN’s performance isn’t bad at all, the fact that the upload speed takes such a drastic hit puts NordVPN over the top.
With more and more people turning towards VPNs, user-friendliness is quickly becoming a critical feature for VPN providers.
So what happens when we pit NordVPN Vs. CyberGhost on user-friendliness?
NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN both have native client applications, which include a kill switch, available on many platforms. And both, of course, provide unlimited bandwidth.
Both providers support:
And they both provide Chrome/Firefox browser extensions.
And their respective apps are both very well designed and easy to navigate and understand.
In terms of simultaneous connections, NordVPN allows up to 6, while CyberGhost VPN allows up to 7.
There just aren’t enough differences between the two providers to set them apart in this category. Sorry CyberGhost, but allowing one more simultaneous connection than NordVPN won’t be enough here…
There are several good reasons to stream over a VPN that goes beyond simply streaming over a secure connection. Doing so also enables you to bypass geo-restrictions and to circumvent ISP throttling.
And given that certain providers, like Netflix, are now banning VPNs from their platform, unblocking Netflix access has become a major feature for VPN providers.
Do any differences emerge in a CyberGhost Vs. NordVPN standoff on streaming?
Both NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN are streaming-friendly providers and they both claim to unblock Netflix. Both NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN also have a dedicated page on their respective websites explaining how to unblock Netflix.
Winner: CyberGhost VPN
I’m giving the point to CyberGhost VPN, not because I have any complaints on NordVPN’s Netflix unblocking. I’m giving them the point simply because there are fewer hoops to jump through to unblock Netflix over CyberGhost’s network and it just works.
4. Security & Encryption
Both NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN support secure VPN protocols.
- WireGuard (called NordLynx with NordVPN)
CyberGhost VPN supports:
And both CyberGhost and NordVPN also support AES-256, the industry-standard cipher, with no known vulnerabilities.
However, WireGuard uses more modern and just as secure (or perhaps slightly more secure…) ciphers. These are:
So this is all good. Just one thing, though…
CyberGhost VPN also supports the weak L2TP/IPSec protocol. They probably do this for legacy reasons and for their more advanced users.
But I feel that this can put their less technical users at risk. Weak and obsolete VPN protocols should be phased out. VPN providers should not support them.
NordVPN gets the point here. They only support secure VPN protocols and we hope more providers follow suit in the future.
5. Logs & Privacy
Both NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN commit to a strong no-logging policy – at least on paper. Let’s look at how they communicate this in their privacy policies.
“NordVPN guarantees a strict no-logs policy for NordVPN services, meaning that your activities using NordVPN Services are provided by automated technical process, are not monitored, recorded, logged, stored or passed to any third party. We do not store connection time stamps, session information, used bandwidth, traffic logs, IP addresses or other data. From the moment a NordVPN.com user turns on the NordVPN.com software, their Internet data becomes encrypted. Any online traffic coming from user’s device is no longer visible to ISP, third-party snoopers or cyber criminals. Further, NordVPN have a strict no logs policy when it comes to seeing user activity online: NordVPN is based in Panama, which does not require data storage".
It’s clear and is detailed enough. They clearly understand what “no-logging” means and this comes through in their policy.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, CyberGhost VPN’s parent company has a past that is pretty much antithetical to privacy, so I’m not sure how much faith I have that they stand by their word…
Time will tell, I guess…
Let’s now turn to price. I’ve listed the different packages, prices, and accepted payment methods for both NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN below:
NordVPNVisit NordVPN (SAVE 70%)
NordVPN offers four different subscriptions:
- 11.95 USD for one month of service
- 83.88 USD for one year of service (works out to 6.99 USD per month)
- 119.76 USD for two years of service (works out to 4.99 USD per month) ***This subscription is currently on sale at 83.76 USD for two years, making it the same price as the three-year plan, below.
- 125.64 USD for three years of service (works out to 3.49 USD per month)
- Credit Card
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Amazon Pay
- Union Pay
CyberGhost VPNVisit CyberGhost VPN (SAVE 79%)
CyberGhost VPN offers three subscription terms:
- 12.99 USD for one month of service
- 47.94 USD for six months of service (works out to 7.99 USD per month)
- 49.50 USD for 18 months of service (works out to 2.75 USD per month)
- Credit Card
So NordVPN is cheaper than CyberGhost VPN across the board – except for CyberGhost’s 18-month plan, which costs 76 cents less per month.
As far as payment methods are concerned, while CyberGhost’s options are good, NordVPN offers many more, while still accepting more cryptocurrencies than CyberGhost.
Add CyberGhost’s trust deficit to the mix and NordVPN is the clear winner.
Nord takes it again. I’d much rather pay 76 cents more a month and be with a trustworthy provider.
Given each provider’s offering in the torrenting category, I think they will be hard to distinguish on this front.
This is because both NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN offer pretty much the same thing in regards to torrenting: dedicated P2P servers, clearly marked in their respective apps, and on their websites.
Both providers were tested in my Torrenting reviews of NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN and everything was easy and clear and the downloads were fast and lag-free over both networks.
It has to be a tie here. There simply were no differences between both providers. And they both performed extremely well.
8. Other Features
Let’s see if we can’t find other aspects that differentiate these two providers.
- NordVPN provides Tor over VPN servers.
- NordVPN can block ads & trackers.
- CyberGhost VPN doesn’t provide any features that aren’t available with NordVPN.
- CyberGhost VPN has a trust deficit.
- Onion Over VPN: Tor Over VPN servers route your VPN traffic over the Tor network. This gives you an additional layer of security and anonymity, as your traffic is bounced over multiple locations, encrypted. NordVPN puts at your disposal dedicated Tor over VPN servers that re-route your connection over the Tor network after having established the VPN connection. Very secure stuff.
- Ads & Tracker Blocker: NordVPN also puts an ads & tracker blocker at your disposal. This feature, called CyberSec, can be activated from within all of NordVPN’s apps. CyberSec is a DNS blackhole type of service. This means that your DNS requests are checked against a blacklist of ad and tracker networks. If a match is found, the request is dropped (blackholed). This gives you added security and provides you with a less annoying Internet experience.
- Nothing but a Trust Deficit: As I mentioned earlier, aside from their trust deficit, CyberGhost doesn’t have any distinguishing features over NordVPN. NordVPN matches all of CyberGhost’s features and offers more ( and most of the time, for less money). And being owned by a company that is known to have spread malware through AdTech is… well, less than ideal.
NordVPN takes to point both because of features and trustworthiness.
Conclusion: NordVPN vs CyberGhost VPN
So who wins?
We had eight categories:
The winner in each category gets one point. And both providers get a point in case of a tie.
The breakdown is as follows:
- Speed – (NordVPN)
- User-Friendliness – (Tie)
- Streaming – (CyberGhost)
- Security & Encryption – (NordVPN)
- Logs and Privacy – (NordVPN)
- Pricing – (NordVPN)
- Torrenting – (Tie)
- Other Features – (NordVPN)
So that’s 7 points for NordVPN and 3 points for CyberGhost VPN.
I didn’t think it would be close, and it’s not. NordVPN is the better provider: they offer more features, they cost less and they have a much (much) better reputation.
We recommend NordVPN. We do not recommend CyberGhost VPN.
Go With NordVPN if:
- Your VPN provider’s reputation is important to you.
- You want to use Tor with your VPN.
- You want an ads & tracker blocker.
Go With CyberGhost VPN if:
- You can live with a questionable VPN provider.
- You don’t mind paying more for… less.
- Your main reason for using a VPN is for streaming.
Thanks for reading!
NordVPN Vs. CyberGhost VPN Face-to-Face
By Marc Dahan
Last updated: August 21, 2020