CyberGhost vs. Private Internet Access (PIA) in 2023
Choosing between two VPNs can be a puzzling process because you want to find a reliable, secure, and fast VPN. If you’ve come this far to choose between CyberGhost VPN vs Private Internet Access (PIA), this comparison is where you can find out which provider is cheaper, better for streaming, has faster speeds, and provides advanced features.
Based on our test results, CyberGhost VPN is the winner in this battle. It’s faster than PIA, offers exellent features, and is a great choice for streaming. Read further to find where CyberGhost wins against PIA, and grab discount coupons for more savings.
CyberGhost vs. Private Internet Access (PIA)
In comparison to Private Internet Access, CyberGhost VPN provides you with a feature-rich suite, excellent speeds, more functional apps than PIA. While CyberGhost is slightly more expensive, you can find discount coupons below for more savings.
|CyberGhost VPN||Private Internet Access|
|🥇 Overall rank:||#7 out of #35||#13 out of #35|
|🖥️ Servers:||9700+ servers in 91 countries||30000+ servers in 83 countries|
|📖 No logs policy:||Independently-audited||No logs|
|💵 Pricing:||from $2.19/month||From $2.19/month|
|🔥 Coupons:||CyberGhost VPN coupon 83% OFF||PIA coupon 82% OFF|
|🔒 VPN protocols:||WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Wireguard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+||Netflix, YouTube, Hulu|
|🖥️ Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, Opera|
|📥 Simultaneous connections:||7||Unlimited|
|💁🏻 Support:||24/7 live chat, Knowledge base, FAQs||Knowledge base, tickets, live chat|
Netflix and streaming performance
|CyberGhost VPN||Private Internet Access (PIA)|
CyberGhost stands a head higher than Private Internet Access when accessing foreign content on Netflix and other streaming platforms.
We’ve tried unblocking the Netflix US library with CyberGhost, and the VPN helped us do that faultlessly. The good news is that we unblocked Netflix on the first try, but the bad news is that the site was a little bit slow, and it took a couple of minutes for the search to load.
When we tested Private Internet Access, it unblocked Netflix US library error-free. However, when we tried accessing the UK servers, PIA left us empty-handed – it didn’t work. The same happened with BBC iPlayer.
Then, we hopped on testing other platforms, and again – CyberGhost VPN had no problem streaming HBO Max, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. BBC iPlayer even demonstrated faster speeds than Netflix itself.
Similarly to Netflix, Private Internet Access struggled with some streaming services here too. It didn’t work with BBC iPlayer. So, depending on what foreign content you want to access, PIA can be a great option for US libraries. Unfortunately, it’s not as suitable for UK content.
Plans & pricing
Pricing plans of both providers are where you have to weigh their security and features to pick a more suitable VPN provider because CyberGhost VPN and Private Internet Access offer very comparable prices. The deal here is simple – you pay less for a longer period. Let’s look at what both VPNs cost.
The longest yet cheapest subscription that CyberGhost offers is a 2-year plan, which costs $2.19/month. However, PIA doesn’t have a matching length subscription, as it offers a 3-year plan for cheaper – $2.19/month. So, the difference here is that you choose a shorter or a longer subscription for almost the same price.
You can also look into some intermediate plans. For example, CyberGhost VPN offers a 6-month package for $6.99/month. In this case, PIA has a 1-year subscription option costing $3.33/month.
That being so, you should consider your needs for VPN – if you’re looking for a cheaper option or a more secure VPN with a better feature suite. Private Internet Access offers more long-term and cheaper subscription plans with fewer features. Meanwhile, CyberGhost has more intermediate, shorter plans for a shorter commitment and comes with an extensive feature suite.
Finally, if you’re only looking for a short-term subscription, both providers have 1-month plans. For the shortest CyberGhost plan, you’ll pay $12.99/month; meanwhile, PIA will cost you slightly less – $11.99/month.
There are plenty of options for you to pick the best pricing plan, but overall, PIA offers better and cheaper pricing plans. For a 3-year subscription, you would only pay $2.19/month, and CyberGhost will cost you almost the same for one year shorter period.
Private Internet Access (PIA) vs. CyberGhost VPN: which is more secure?
|CyberGhost VPN||Private Internet Access|
|Encryption||AES-256||AES-128 or AES-256|
|Hash||SHA-256||SHA1 and SHA2|
|Outside 14 Eyes alliance?||Yes||No. Belongs to 5 Eyes alliance|
|DNS leak protection||Yes||No|
Whether you choose CyberGhost VPN or Private Internet Access as your provider to a secure browsing, you can be sure that both offer high-level security. For example, both VPNs encrypt your online traffic with a top-notch AES-256 cipher, offer a kill switch function, and run on RAM-only servers. However, there are details you should know.
CyberGhost VPN encrypts the traffic with AES-256-GCM. GCM is more secure at performance cost, and 256-bit key provides higher security but a slow connection.
But when you use PIA’s OpenVPN protocol, you have to choose a level of encryption. Otherwise, it’ll be set automatically on AES-128-GCM. According to Private Internet Access, GCM offers higher security at performance cost, and 128-bit key is a faster yet less secure connection.
Both encryptions are resistant to brute-force attacks, and we recommend staying with the most robust AES-256 encryption. However you should identify whether you prioritize security or faster speeds.
Regarding authentication methods, CyberGhost VPN uses a more secure SHA-256 hashing algorithm. Meanwhile, PIA has SHA1 and SHA2, which are slightly outdated and more prone to vulnerabilities than SHA-256. So, CyberGhost gains a point over the opponent for a better authentication method.
Let’s take a deeper look at both providers’ infrastructure, privacy, and logging particularities, as there are certainly things you must know while choosing from CyberGhost VPN and Private Internet Access.
Both companies run on RAM-only servers, and it’s a plus for VPN providers. Such servers gives an extra point for secure infrastructure because they do not have any hard discs where your data could be logged or stored.
Whenever RAM-only servers reboot, all data disappears, so no pesky parties can have access to your information.
Private Internet Access uses two popular protocols – WireGuard and OpenVPN. Although it uses an industry-standard WireGuard protocol, this VPN isn’t the fastest provider on the market. However, these protocols are unavailable on iOS. Instead, you can use IKEv2/IPsec, which in this case, offers equally strong privacy measures.
CyberGhost VPN secures your privacy by offering more protocols. It provides conventional protocols, so in addition to WireGuard, you can use IKEv2 and OpenVPN.
CyberGhost VPN is based in Romania and is a safe location for a VPN company. Romania isn’t a member of 5-Eyes, 9-Eyes, or 14-Eyes surveillance alliances, so your data is secure with the VPN in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction.
However, Private Internet Access is a different case. It’s located in the United States. It’s not a privacy-friendly jurisdiction because it’s a member of a 5-Eyes alliance.
PIA gathers only vital information for setting up your account. It retains general location information for paying sales tax in the United States; however, it applies only to users that choose non-anonymous payment methods.
Both companies have been independently audited by Deloitte in 2022, which is great proof that you can maintain security and anonymity with both providers.
Speed comparison: PIA vs. CyberGhost VPN
Speed comparison in the US, the UK, and Canada shows that CyberGhost is faster than Private Internet Access. We measured the speed of the WireGuard protocol – the fastest protocol currently available on the market. It has shown that CyberGhost is speedier than Private Internet Access, but its speed drops in servers that are further away from the testing location. So, you'll have better speeds if you pick servers near you.
- Baseline: 450 Mbps download speed (DL)/ 425 Mbps upload speed (UL)
|Country||CyberGhost VPN||Private Internet Access|
|The US||294 Mbps DL/ 366 Mbps UL||158 Mbps DL/ 60 Mbps UL|
|The UK||303 Mbps DL/ 398 Mbps UL||223 Mbps DL/ 86 Mbps UL|
|Canada||270 Mbps DL/ 203 Mbps UL||125 Mbps DL/ 31 Mbps UL|
In the US, CyberGhost has shown better speed performance than Private Internet Access. CyberGhost VPN retained 65% download and 86% upload speeds from the original speeds. Private Internet Access only managed to retain 35% of its initial download and 13% of its upload speed.
These results indicate that for American users, it’s much more favorable to choose CyberGhost as it showcases an excellent speed result.
While CyberGhost performs great in Canada, it’s the worst location for Private Internet Access. When we tested PIA speed on WireGuard protocol, it retained 28% of the initial download speed and barely worked, keeping only 7% of its original upload speed.
When we connected to Canada’s server via CyberGhost, it showcased okay results. This VPN managed to keep 60% of its download and 48% of its upload speed. So, both providers worked the slowest in this particular location, and we assume it’s because Canada is too far from our location.
Finally, the best location for CyberGhost is the United Kingdom, where it works like lightning. When we tested the upload speed, CyberGhost worked excellently, retaining 94% of its initial upload speed. Download speed was also the best in this location, as it only dropped by 33%. Meanwhile, Private Internet Access demonstrated an 81% drop from its initial upload speed while retaining 50% of its initial download speed.
|CyberGhost VPN||Private Internet Access|
When you opt-in for a CyberGhost or Private Internet Access subscription, you get a bundle of additional features next to all the conventional security practices. Both providers include split tunneling or kill switch function, which can definitely make a difference to your secure browsing experience.
However, both providers appear to be feature-rich. But you want to look for a provider that includes all the necessary and secure features. So shortly said – PIA has an ad blocker and port forwarding, and CyberGhost seems to offer precisely what the PIA misses – Private Browser, and specialized servers.
Overall, both providers offer a wide variety of features – you just need to identify what you’re looking for in a VPN provider.
Split tunneling is a useful feature that allows choosing which apps or websites you want to run through a VPN. Basically, it provides more freedom in configuring your VPN services and using it how you prefer.
With Private Internet Access, you can easily select which apps or websites you want to secure or not. So you won’t be restricted if you want to access the bank safely, but continue streaming a local Netflix content.
PIA split tunneling feature is available on all main desktop apps – Windows, macOS, and Linux. It’s not accessible on mobile devices, but there’s an exception on Android, and you can enable this feature under "Per App Settings”.
While PIA made split tunneling available on desktop and mobile, CyberGhost VPN only supports this feature on Android. This future is functional and fulfills its duty, but CyberGhost is an inflexible choice for desktop and iOS users. While CyberGhost plans to add split tunneling to additional devices, iOS and desktop users will still have to wait.
Kill switch function detects an interruption in your VPN connection and prevents your device from reverting to an unsecured Internet connection. CyberGhost VPN supports kill switch for iOS and Android smartphones, also for Mac and Windows operating systems.
The same applies to Private Internet Access VPN – you can make use of the kill switch function on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.
With CyberGhost, you can get a dedicated IP for an extra buck. After purchasing, you receive a unique IP address assigned specifically for you. So, no one else can use your dedicated IP – only you. In addition, it’s excellent for users who need a consistent IP address for streaming or seeding torrent files.
If you choose PIA VPN, you also have an available dedicated IP feature. All you need to do is pick a suitable plan and choose a dedicated IP add-on. It’ll also cost you a few extra dollars, but you’ll be able to access a static IP address that no one else can use.
CyberGhost offers dedicated servers for torrenting, streaming, and gaming. It’s a great additional feature if you want to perform one of those things at great speeds. In addition, you can access NoSpy servers that include more privacy measures and offer extended bandwidth at faster speeds.
CyberGhost’s NoSpy data center is built in Romania, the headquarters. It’s a great location because no third party or other facility owners can access or control your data.
Unfortunately, Private Internet Access VPN doesn’t offer dedicated gaming, streaming, or torrenting servers. Its speeds aren’t excellent, but you can still get a decent streaming or gaming experience.
An ad blocker is an excellent feature that Private Internet Access has built into its infrastructure. An ad-blocking feature MACE is available on all PIA apps and can block ads online and at the DNS level. So, with PIA, you can forget all the intrusive disruptions and enjoy the browsing experience ad-free.
Unlike the Private Internet Access, CyberGhost VPN doesn’t have an ad blocker, so you might encounter some ads while using this VPN. However, you can download its Private Browser and enjoy a seamless browsing experience without any data tracking or annoying ads.
Although CyberGhost VPN doesn’t have a built-in adblocker, it offers a Private Browser to surf the net without any ads or possible digital surveillance. Such a solution disables any kind of data tracking and keeps you anonymous while browsing.
Consequently, this browser will help you browse faster because it eliminates ads, interstitials, and trackers that tend to add extra baggage to your loading, download, or upload speeds.
While Private Internet Access offers an ad blocker to eliminate all the annoying ads, unfortunately, it doesn’t include more functionality for browsing anonymously, as does the CyberGhost.
|CyberGhost VPN||Private Internet Access|
While a massive server count is not the most crucial element when talking VPN, it indeed matters.
Private Internet Access VPN comes to this battle with a colossal weapon – 30000+ servers in 83 countries. However, CyberGhost’s fleet is 9700+ servers, and it offers an excellent distribution in 91 countries. CyberGhost's server number is massive compared to other industry players and you get more countries to choose from.
Next, both providers’ server fleets consist of some virtual servers. However, it’s only a handful of servers, so it shouldn’t be a massive concern.
Specialty servers are where CyberGhost gets to dim PIA’s light because CyberGhost offers dedicated servers for gaming, torrenting, and streaming. You can do all those things in fast speeds and avoid buffering or lagging while streaming your favorite shows.
CyberGhost VPN and Private Internet Access are good VPNs for torrenting, and both can be an excellent fit for this purpose.
CyberGhost is an outstanding provider for torrenting because it gives relevant protection and offers servers specialized for P2P file sharing. For example, when we tried downloading a Linux installation image, download speed in the UK server was 9.3 Mb/s and 6.5 Mb/s in the US server, which is an average performance.
Private Internet Access works with all torrenting clients too. Additionally, its servers support P2P file sharing. The good news, is that the SOCKS5 proxy and the Shadowsocks option reroute your internet traffic for even more protection (or to protect only your torrent client, for example).
When we tested PIA’s torrenting download speeds, we constantly got 10-15 Mb/s, which is a great speed. This alone was achieved without the need to connect to servers for P2P support.
CyberGhost’s downloading servers work with P2P clients like uTorrent, and servers are located in countries where torrenting isn’t restricted. So, you get the best possible download speeds, and you can filter out servers with high traffic. Such a possibility allows you to maintain the maximal capabilities of a server for downloading.
Platforms, interface and ease of use
|CyberGhost VPN||Private Internet Access|
|Supported OS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Other software and devices||Smart TV, Apple TV, Android TVs, Fire TV Stick, router||SmartTV|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox||Chrome, Firefox, Opera|
Both providers support the major operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. However, there are differences in how compatible providers are with other devices.
For example, CyberGhost VPN is compatible with more software and devices than PIA. Private Internet Access has a SmartDNS function, allowing you to stream without buffering or lag on your SmartTV. With the same function you can integrate CyberGhost VPN to your smart devices or game consoles with the same function.
The main difference is in simultaneous connections. However, you can connect Unlimited connections to a Private Internet Access account. Meanwhile, CyberGhost has 7 connections cap.
If you’re new to the VPN world, then CyberGhost VPN has one of the best navigation for new users. Windows and macOS have similar user-friendly interfaces, so you’ll have an easy experience navigating the system.
macOS version is slightly more polished than Windows, although both interfaces look almost identical. On macOS, CyberGhost allows unblocking malicious websites and apps – just like on Windows. You can also start a data compression to reduce download size, which is an awesome feature if you have some data caps.
However, the macOS app could improve its kill switch function. The app might show that your VPN connection has been restored, while your Internet connection is down.
Private Internet Access also has a slick interface. However, its Windows app could use some improvements. Although you can see your connection speed or snooze the VPN for some time, you can experience some bugs, like freezing.
macOS worked like a charm and didn’t have any bugs, and consequently, the navigation experience was much better.
But when it comes to design, you can see that the interface is very compact and appears as if it's developed for mobile. However, the user experience is still great.
When looking at CyberGhost mobile apps, it’s the same case here – iOS and Android apps look identical. Both interfaces are very minimalistic and easy to use. CyberGhost VPN’s mobile apps generally work and look better than their desktop counterparts.
You can choose between OpenVPN and WireGuard tunneling protocols if you're an Android user. While on iOS, you can pick from WireGuard and IKEv2. In this case, iOS users might experience better speeds.
Private Internet Access also developed mobile apps that mirror desktop apps. It maintains the same functionality: rearranging your connection options, snoozing the VPN, or checking connection information.
However, the Settings menu is different on mobile. Compared to desktop apps, you might see some features are renamed or completely simplified. For example, split tunneling is available only for apps, not websites on Android.
|CyberGhost VPN||Private Internet Access|
|24/7 live chat||✅||✅|
|Articles and guides||✅||✅|
Both companies offer great customer support. Private Internet Access allows access to a community, where some of your FAQs can be answered. In addition, you can go through their articles and guides in case you don’t have an urgent question.
For urgent matters, Private Internet Access offers an option of submitting a ticket or reaching the agent through a 24/7 live chat. However, there’s no option of a phone line or email support.
Meanwhile, CyberGhost VPN offers a similar customer service: you can browse their guides, and how-tos, submit a ticket or request, and access an agent 24/7 on a live chat or via email. Same as the opponent, it doesn’t offer a phone line to call.
Private Internet Access (PIA) vs. CyberGhost VPN – which one wins?
|Category||CyberGhost VPN||Private Internet Access|
Although the competition was very fierce, CyberGhost VPN is a winner. It’s a more suitable VPN for streaming Netflix and bypassing geo-restricted content across various streaming platforms.
Regarding pricing, Private Internet Access and CyberGhost offered very similar plans; however, Private Internet Access won with a lower price for a longer period of time.
CyberGhost demonstrated excellent speeds, compared to Private Internet Access. It's a perfect option if you're looking for a speedy VPN secured with the best encryption.
Generally, CyberGhost is better equipped to be more secure than PIA. However, both providers offer advanced possibilities for torrenting. If you’re looking for a fast and convenient way to torrent, then CyberGhost’s specialized servers will let you do that faultlessly.
CyberGhost also won a point in a customer support section because if you encounter a problem, this VPN offers more support options to solve it as soon as possible.
And if you want to try one or another provider, redeem CyberGhost discount coupons and make use of Private Internet Access discount codes to save more!
More VPN comparisons from CyberNews
PureVPN vs Private Internet Access: which one wins in 2023?
CyberGhost vs IPVanish: check our comparison
Surfshark vs Private Internet Access (PIA): which option is better?
NordVPN vs PureVPN: which is better?
PIA vs CyberGhost for torrenting – which is better?
Both providers are good for torrenting, but CyberGhost offers specialized servers for P2P file sharing. However, Private Internet Access (PIA) is a little bit faster and comes with SOCKS5 proxy and Shadowsock.
Which one is better for streaming – PIA or CyberGhost?
CyberGhost is better for streaming than Private Internet Access, because it unblocks Netflix and other streaming platforms. Also, it has specialized servers for streaming.
Which is cheaper – Private Internet Access or CyberGhost?
Private Internet Access is cheaper than CyberGhost.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked