CyberGhost vs. NordVPN: which VPN to choose?
Although there are many VPN service providers, few can climb to the ranks of NordVPN and CyberGhost. Both can be described as anonymous VPN services with large server fleets and many use cases.
However, first impressions can be very misleading. So, the goal of this NordVPN and CyberGhost comparison is to put two and two together. I'll do this by stacking both services in categories like speed, features, protection, and pricing.
CyberGhost vs. NordVPN
|🥇 Overall rank:||#1 out of #29||#12 out of #29|
|🖥️ Servers:||5400+ servers in 60 countries||7100+ servers in 89 countries|
|📖 No logs policy:||No logs||No logs|
|💵 Pricing:||from $3.29/month||from $2.29/month|
|🔥 Coupons:||NordVPN coupon 60% OFF||CyberGhost VPN coupon 82% OFF + 3 Months FREE|
|🔒 VPN protocols:||OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard (NordLynx)||WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more||Netflix, BBC iPlayer|
|🖥️ Platforms:||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|📥 Simultaneous connections:||6||7|
|💁🏻 Support:||Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat||Knowledge base, FAQs, 24/7 live chat|
Speed comparison: CyberGhost vs NordVPN
The speed test results are compared by calculating the average speed of all the tested countries. So, the data is quite severely influenced by drops from the furthest locations. However, this gives you a better way to compare NordVPN and CyberGhost.
NordVPN's NordLynx in architecture is pretty much the same WireGuard that CyberGhost uses. The data clearly shows that NordVPN with NordLynx is much faster. Their download speeds differ by more than 150 Mbps. So, the speed drop from the baseline is 36% for NordVPN, and 67% for CyberGhost. The difference isn't as severe with upload speed, but NordLynx is still faster. It's a difference between 54% and 62% drop.
- Baseline: 1 ms/300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
|Download average||259 Mbps||96 Mbps|
|Upload average||137 Mbps||112 Mbps|
IKEv2 is a standard protocol, so both NordVPN and CyberGhost enter this battle on equal terms. However, NordVPN's reduction in download speed is only 28%, which is a great result. CyberGhost reduces your download speed by 50%. There are no surprises in upload speeds: NordVPN's drop off is 83%, while CyberGhost reaches 91.4%. Considering that IKEv2 is one of the fastest CyberGhost tunneling protocols, it still gets defeated by a pretty huge margin.
|Download average||215 Mbps||149.9 Mbps|
|Upload average||50.6 Mbps||25.8 Mbps|
OpenVPN UDP is universally the faster option than TCP. However, it stays fast only on NordVPN, reducing the average download speed by only 34%. CyberGhost's response is a 85% drop, which is more than twice as slow. The only case where NordVPN is slower is the upload speeds as it reduces 77.2%, while CyberGhost takes the lead with a 56% drop.
|Download average||197.2 Mbps||43.6 Mbps|
|Upload average||68.4 Mbps||132.2 Mbps|
OpenVPN TCP mode only managed to connect on NordVPN. The speed drops are pretty huge, 89% for download and 90% for upload. But that is to be expected from a protocol that performs additional data verification checks. What wasn't expected is that CyberGhost didn't show up for the race. It refused to connect in TCP mode returning DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error. So, this makes NordVPN a winner by CyberGhost's disqualification.
|Download average||32.5 Mbps||n/a|
|Upload average||27.5 Mbps||n/a|
Overall, NordVPN is faster across the board.
When it comes to the features, both VPN service providers have something to offer. Yet, NordVPN has a bit more to offer and the apps are more polished. Almost everything you can do with CyberGhost, you can probably do better with NordVPN.
Both services have special servers suited for particular tasks. CyberGhost has servers for streaming, gaming, and torrenting. As their name suggests: streaming servers unblock media streaming platforms, gaming servers have the lowest latency, and torrenting servers support P2P connections. There is a separate category for NoSPY servers, but these cost extra and aren't included in the basic subscription. These servers are located in a private data center managed by CyberGhost's in-house team.
NordVPN doesn't put servers into entertainment categories. You can unblock geo-restricted streaming websites or game with almost any of their standard servers. However, they do have specialized servers:
Double VPN – a setup which combines two separate VPN servers, passing your connection through two intermediaries before reaching the intended destination.
Onion over VPN – setup which uses Tor network. It passes your connection through a VPN server, and then several encrypted and randomized nodes before reaching the intended destination.
Obfuscated – a setup which scrambles your OpenVPN traffic to make it indistinguishable from regular browsing. This helps to avoid VPN usage alerts in restricted countries.
P2P – such servers will have configurations that allow them to take advantage of the best speeds and allow P2P traffic connections. You can torrent on any other server, but if P2P traffic is detected, you will automatically be assigned to this type.
NordVPN has a more versatile fleet. Plus, they're in the process of converting their whole network into diskless servers. This is also done at no additional cost to the user.
With all that said, CyberGhost does have higher numbers of servers and server locations. In some situations, this may provide a unique benefit to the user.
Both services have dedicated IP options for those who purchase the access separately. So, with CyberGhost for an additional $5/month, you can get a dedicated IP address in the UK, France, Germany, Canada, or the US. Meanwhile, the NordVPN is a bit more expensive – 5.83/month. You can also choose from the same five countries, but instead of Canada, there's the Netherlands.
Both services have web filters in place to reduce tracking and show ads. NordVPN's version is called CyberSec and uses their proprietary DNS servers to filter out blacklisted hostnames. The blocked pages will be those that are flagged with malware and spyware. It's also available on all their platforms.
CyberGhost also uses DNS filtering to filter out the search results, but they call it Ad blocker. However, they weirdly have two Ad-block toggles. There are additional toggles for malicious websites and trackers. However, even when all of them were turned on, some ads are still there.
NordVPN uses proprietary technologies like SmartPlay to unblock geographically restricted websites. They have also implemented additional features like connection pausing or dark web monitoring.
In contrast, the only thing that CyberGhost has is their Smart Rules, which also can be configured on NordVPN.
CyberGhost vs NordVPN: which offers better protection?
In terms of security, CyberGhost, and NordVPN are evenly matched contestants. They're both using AES-256-CBC cipher, making their encryption unbreakable even by the most powerful computers. The difference comes from their hashing functions: NordVPN uses a more advanced SHA-512 hash function, while CyberGhost relies on SHA-256. It's a minor difference, but it's worth noting. Both services also rely on identical tunneling protocols.
The difference is in the bonus features: NordVPN has great bonus features like Double VPN, Onion over VPN, and Obfuscated servers, which CyberGhost doesn't offer.
Meanwhile, NordVPN has passed several audits, where their logging policy was verified by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). They also hired VerSprite agency to conduct penetration tests on their applications to patch up all potential weak spots.
CyberGhost has submitted their service for independent audits in the past, but none recently. The company does release a transparency report every 3 months, covering police requests, malware flags, and DMCA complaints.
Both VPN providers have very similar privacy policies. Both promise that they're not logging your data and have only the utmost respect for your privacy. The difference, of course, being that NordVPN had its promises evaluated by independent auditors.
Netflix and streaming performance
Although CyberGhost has specialized servers for streaming, it doesn't mean that it has a leading horse in this race. NordVPN's SmartPlay works just as well when unblocking geo-restricted streaming media pages.
In fact, during tests, it didn't struggle when unblocking Netflix libraries, giving no proxy errors. BBC iPlayer and YouTube also passed with flying colors, and I was able to watch otherwise unavailable media. It even worked with DAZN – one of the services with which VPNs struggle the most.
Meanwhile, CyberGhost's performance was a bit sloppier. Using their streaming servers, I managed to unblock Netflix, and once I started the show, the speed was good, with no annoying buffering interruptions. BBC iPlayer and YouTube also had no problems and worked as well as if I wasn't using a VPN. Where it ran into problems is DAZN. CyberGhost didn't manage to unblock it even after changing several streaming servers.
NordVPN seems a better-rounded service for streaming. The upside is that you don't even need to switch the server when you want to switch between Netflix and Hulu. This only makes the service more convenient for all your media needs.
Both NordVPN and CyberGhost has specialized servers for P2P connections. With NordVPN, most countries will have P2P servers alongside regular ones, so it will be plenty of options if you want to pick the closest. You can also use torrent connections on standard servers. However, once the torrent traffic is detected, you will instantly be reconnected to a P2P-compatible server.
CyberGhost has a separate tab for torrenting servers, where you'll be able to filter them according to the distance to your location. It's pretty intuitive to use, so most users will quickly find their way around the app. However, I did notice that during tests, the speeds never exceeded 40 Mbps (5 MB/s). So, they must be using some throttling measures to save their server's bandwidth capacity.
In contrast, NordVPN had no noticeable throttling measures, making it a winner in this category.
Plans and pricing
Neither VPN service has overly complicated pricing schemes. The primary factor will be duration, with the upside to save more if you opt-in for a longer plan.
|Check Pricing||Check Pricing|
NordVPN is a bit cheaper with their shortest option. One month of CyberGhost will cost you $12.99, while NordVPN charges $11.99. However, since this is only $1, the price difference is negligible. It may be a factor if you're planning to buy several monthly subscriptions instead of opting for a longer plan.
The yearly plan is where the pricing differences become more significant. NordVPN's subscriptions cost $59, while CyberGhost charges $47.40. If we split the bill over the year, monthly NordVPN costs $4.99 a month. CyberGhost's price is $3.95 a month, which makes it cheaper by almost a dollar. So, again, the difference isn't astronomical.
If we look at the longest plan that NordVPN has, it costs $99 for two years. CyberGhost's two-year option is $75.60. So, it's a difference of $23.40 if we compare the total amounts. As a monthly payment, it would look as $3.15 for CyberGhost or $3.29 for NordVPN. Which is still very similar.
However, CyberGhost has an additional 3-year deal, which costs $83.85 or $2.15/month. Considering that it's only $8.25 more expensive than the two-year deal, this is great value for money. It means that for an additional $8.25, you're getting an extra year. NordVPN isn't as generous when it comes to pricing, passing the winner's torch to CyberGhost in this category.
It's also worth mentioning that both services have a money-back guarantee. NordVPN users can get their money back in 30 days after purchasing the service, while the users of CyberGhost can do this in 45 days.
|Middle East & Africa||12||4|
Both CyberGhost and NordVPN have similar-sized server fleets. However, CyberGhost offers a broader variety of countries to choose from, especially in the regions of Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.
Platforms, interface, and ease of use
|Supported OS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Other software and devices||Kodi, Android TVs, Fire devices||Only manual setup|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox||Chrome|
In terms of compatibility, NordVPN and CyberGhost are available in many forms on many platforms. So, no matter what devices you own, you'll be able to use both services. However, the fact that they are available doesn't mean that your experience will be just as good.
On desktop, NordVPN Windows and Mac versions are functional and streamlined. They give you the option to use a map, presets, or country list to connect, making your VPN experience effortless.
CyberGhost clients are nicely designed and intuitive, but they could use polish in some senses (the double ad-blocker toggle being an example). Although both providers' Linux versions aren't too spectacular, NordVPN provided much better support for more distributions. While CyberGhost didn't have up-to-date guides or setups on their official website.
Mobile apps port the best practices of the desktop experience to Android and iOS clients. This means that since NordVPN had pretty good desktop clients, this translates well into their mobile counterparts. They are even pushing the envelope with what's possible, introducing features such as split tunneling and a configurable kill switch on Android.
Meanwhile, CyberGhost provides a basic version that doesn't include a kill switch toggle. NordVPN managed to add it even to their iOS version.
All things considered, CyberGhost and NordVPN apps are a different flavor - one has a map, the other is more minimal. CyberGhost is missing some features on mobile clients that can be a gamechanger. So, if you want a wide suite of clients that are not only full of features but convenient to use, you'll have to stick with NordVPN.
NordVPN and CyberGhost rely on the same customer support tools. They both have a knowledge base with guides and tips, and there's a FAQ section with relevant questions.
For contact with customer support representatives both CyberGhost, and NordVPN primarily rely on their live chat feature. Both providers have improved their customer support service quality, and it doesn't take too long to get in touch with an agent. Similarly, when the question is more complex, a ticket gets created, and you are contacted via email.
NordVPN also has a chatbot, optional and skippable if you'd rather talk to the human. Still, it does provide some verification for simple cases. In short, based on my experience, this category is tied between the two providers.
NordVPN vs. CyberGhost – which one wins?
|Ease of use||✅||❌|
In the fight between NordVPN vs. CyberGhost, there are few surprises. NordVPN is significantly faster and ran into fewer issues in the process. Although both services have comparable safety measures, NordVPN has more of them. CyberGhost does have its uses for torrenting and streaming, but NordVPN is also great in those areas.
Pricing may be the only area where NordVPN just doesn't have a good counterpunch. That said, its platforms do have more features, and thus, more use. One could argue that CyberGhost is a more newbie-friendly VPN service, but that does come at the cost of more advanced features.
More VPN comparisons:
Is CyberGhost faster than NordVPN?
When it comes to speed, NordVPN is actually a better choice than CyberGhost. Its NordLynx tunneling protocol offers smaller speed drops than any of the protocols available on CyberGhost.
Which is better: NordVPN or CyberGhost?
Both are really good VPN services. However, NordVPN outshines CyberGhost in many aspects, including speeds, the selection of security features, streaming capabilities, and ease of use.
Do NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN work in China?
Thanks to the obfuscated servers option, NordVPN usually works in countries with a high level of censorship on online activities, such as China. However, according to user experiences, CyberGhost might not work in China most of the time.