CyberGhost vs. NordVPN

By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Nov 12, 2020
By
&
Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Nov 12, 2020

NordVPN

  • Torrenting available through uTorrent
  • Based in Panama, which has no mandatory data retention law
  • One of the most popular VPNs with over eight million users
Editor's Rating
9.4
/10

CyberGhost

  • Servers in 90 countries
  • Headquartered in Romania, outside of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and 14 Eyes jurisdiction
  • Affordable with a variety of subscription options
Editor's Rating
9.1
/10

VPNs are often so similar that it’s hard to compare two services without trying them out. Fortunately, it’s our job to test VPNs and help our readers pick the right one. In this article, we talk about the similarities and differences between two of the best VPNs we’ve tested: CyberGhost and NordVPN. Which one is better? Let’s find out.

NordVPN Speed Test South Africa
NordVPN Speed Test South Africa

The Similarities and Differences

Looking into the similarities and differences between two VPNs is a good way to determine which is better, so let’s have a look, shall we?

CyberGhost vs. NordVPN In A Nutshell

If you’re in a hurry, here’s an overview of the key points of comparison between CyberGhost and NordVPN. This should give you a general idea of which VPN would work better for you, but as always, we encourage you to read our CyberGhost review and NordVPN review before pulling the trigger.

CyberGhost App
CyberGhost App
CyberGhostNordVPN
Price per month$2.75-$12.99$3.71-$11.95
Contract length1-36 months1-36 months
Location/JurisdictionRomania, outside Five Eyes jurisdictionPanama, outside Five Eyes jurisdiction
Server locations90 countries50+ countries
What they logged
  • Account information (name, username, email address, and payment information)
  • Website usage information (IP address, location by country, browser version, etc.)
  • Transactions (subscriptions purchased, price paid, etc.)
  • Anonymized VPN usage data (usage requests, VPN version, etc.)
  • Email address used in the account creation
  • Payment information (payment method, payer’s IP address, etc.)
  • Communication data ( email optimization data, IP address for chat-bot optimization, etc.)
  • Website usage information (browser type, device type, etc.)
  • Cookies
  • Username and timestamp of last VPN session
  • Application diagnostics such as crash reports
  • Anonymized VPN usage statistics (in-app events, opened push notifications, etc.)
  • Non-identifying Information of devices used with the VPN (device model, operating system, etc.)
Encryption type and methodAES-256AES-256, IKEv2/IPSec, and SHA2-384
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTPTLS, OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, and TLS
Supported devices/operating systemsWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome and Firefox browsers, and custom setups for smart TVs, consoles, and routersWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Android TVs, and Chrome and Firefox browsers
Kill switch
Torrenting✓ *through uTorrent
Netflix✓ *accessing Netflix U.K. content has extra prerequisites
Split tunnelingX
Multi-hopX
IP addressesStatic, sharedStatic, shared or dedicated
Speed on Windows
  • 20.7 percent download speed decrease
  • 47.7 percent upload speed decrease
  • 77.77 percent ping increase
  • 8 percent download speed decrease
  • 67 percent upload speed decrease
  • 3,100 percent ping increase
Speed on Mac
  • 2.9 percent download speed decrease
  • 7.6 percent upload speed decrease
  • 14 percent ping increase
  • 24 percent download speed decrease
  • 20 percent upload speed decrease
  • 10 percent ping increase
DNS leak testNo leaksNo leaks
WebRTC leak testNo leaksNo leaks

Their Key Similarities

The chart above speaks volumes, but let’s get into the details, starting with the similarities between the two VPNs.

  • Jurisdiction: CyberGhost is based in Romania, while NordVPN’s headquarters is in Panama. Both sit outside the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes alliance, which is a good thing because countries that are part of the alliance can force companies under their jurisdiction to hand over user data.
  • Kill Switch: A kill switch is a contingency measure that disables all Internet activity in case the VPN suddenly disconnects. Both VPNs had a kill switch, which was useful as it stopped our online activity from leaking whenever we forgot to close our browser before disconnecting. We’re forgetful at times.
CyberGhost Kill Switch
CyberGhost Kill Switch
  • Netflix and Torrenting: CyberGhost and NordVPN gave us access to both Netflix and torrenting. That’s expected, as 30 percent of those who use VPNs do so to access better entertainment content.1 There were limitations though. With NordVPN, we’ve only had luck torrenting using uTorrent. With CyberGhost, Netflix U.K. was off-limits except when we borrowed an account registered to a U.K IP address.
  • Encryption: In its very essence, a VPN encrypts users’ online traffic. To do that, CyberGhost and NordVPN used AES-256 encryption, which is the industry standard and by far the hardest to crack using current technologies.2
  • DNS and WebRTC Leaks: We tested both VPNs for DNS and WebRTC leaks that could compromise our privacy. Both showed no signs of leaks.
WebRTC Leak Test with NordVPN
WebRTC Leak Test with NordVPN
  • IP Addresses: Both VPNs gave us static IP addresses, which meant we got the same IP address whenever we logged on. However, we shared those IP addresses with thousands of other users, so it would nearly be impossible to track our activity.
  • Customer Support: Lastly, CyberGhost and NordVPN both had 24/7 customer support via live chat and email as expected given that they have customers all over the world, although we wished there was phone support as well.
NordVPN Customer Support
NordVPN Customer Support

Their Key Differences

We’ve found that when comparing VPNs, it’s often the differences that matter. Let’s take a look at where CyberGhost and NordVPN diverged.

  • Monthly Rates: Both VPNs made our list of the best cheap VPNs, but the length of our subscriptions ultimately decided which cost less. NordVPN’s monthly plan was cheaper by a full dollar, but CyberGhost’s 18-month subscription had a lower monthly rate.
Contract LengthCyberGhost Monthly RatesNordVPN Monthly Rates
One month$12.99$11.95
Six months$7.99 ($47.94 in total)$9.00 ($54.00 in total)
12 monthsn/a$4.92 ($59.00 in total)
18 months$2.75 ($49.50 in total)n/a
24 monthsn/a$3.71 ($89.00 in total)
Money-back guarantee14-45 days30 days

Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for special promotions, especially around the holidays.

  • Speed: During our tests, we measured how much each VPN affected our Internet speed by testing our upload speed, download speed, and ping with and without each VPN. The results are shown below and it’s clear that CyberGhost had a more solid performance particularly in the upload speed department. It was fast enough that we were able to upload videos to our YouTube channel3 without much delay.
CyberGhostNordVPN
Windows download speed difference-20.70 percent (from 69.86 down to 55.4 Mbps)-8 percent (from 23.49 down to 21.7 Mbps)
Windows upload speed difference-47.70 percent (from 41.21 down to 21.57 Mbps)-67 percent (from 24 down to 7.91 Mbps)
Windows ping difference+77.77 percent (from 9 to 16 ms)+3100 percent (from 5 to 160 Mbps)
Mac download speed difference-2.90 percent (from 37.05 down to 35.97 Mbps)-24 percent (from 54.86 down to 41.37 Mbps)
Mac upload speed difference-7.6 percent (from 25.9 down to 23.93 Mbps)-20 percent (from 33.86 down to 27.21 Mbps)
Mac ping difference+14 percent (from 14 to 16 ms)+10 percent (from 42 to 46 ms)

FYI: Speed test results are affected by many factors, such as the location of the VPN server, so take our test results with a grain of salt.

  • Servers: CyberGhost had 6,300 servers in 90 countries, while NordVPN had 5,300 servers in almost 60 countries. Having more servers and server locations is an advantage, so CyberGhost takes this one even though both were impressive.
  • Dedicated IP Addresses: Although both VPNs gave us static shared IP addresses by default, NordVPN offered the option to pay for a dedicated IP address for $70 a year. It’s nice to know the option exists in case we get tired of completing captchas, which is an inconvenience that often comes with the use of a shared IP address.

Shared or Dedicated?: Shared IP addresses offer more anonymity because other users have the same IP address as yours. However, some websites might consider you suspicious if they detect multiple devices trying to gain access using the same IP address. If you find your shared IP address blacklisted by some websites, a dedicated IP address is your best bet.

  • Split Tunneling: We couldn’t count how many times we’ve had to suddenly connect to a VPN to search for something while watching Netflix on a public network. Split tunneling is always the solution for that, as it allows simultaneous connections to a public and private (VPN) network. We could do that with CyberGhost, albeit on Windows and Android devices only, but not with NordVPN.
  • Multi-hop: What NordVPN could do was offer more privacy using double VPN a.k.a. multi-hop. We had the option to encrypt our web traffic twice through two different VPN tunnels, a luxury CyberGhost didn’t give us.
  • Simultaneous Connections: Both VPNs imposed a limit on the number of devices we could connect to their servers at any given time. With NordVPN, the limit was six; with CyberGhost, it was seven.
  • Manual configurations: While both VPNs supported major desktop and mobile operating systems, CyberGhost allowed manual configurations to route the web activity of consoles, smart TVs, and routers through their VPN. NordVPN stuck to computers, mobile devices, and Android TVs.
Operating Systems and DevicesCyberGhostNordVPN
Windows
Mac
Linux
iOS
Android
Kindle and Fire TVsX
Smart TVs✓ *manual configuration✓ *Android TVs
Gaming Consoles✓ *manual configurationX
Routers✓ *manual configurationX
CyberGhost Data Logging Policy
CyberGhost Data Logging Policy
  • Logging Policy: Although many VPNs claim to have a “no-logging” policy, only a handful can live up to their claims. We found that CyberGhost and NordVPN in fact collected some of our data, including our names, usernames, email addresses, and payment methods. Both also kept track of our device information, IP address, and approximate location when visiting their websites. While connected to the VPN, NordVPN also logged crash reports, in-app events, statistical data, and non-identifying device information. As for CyberGhost, they collected our VPN usage data like the version of the VPN we were running and the number of connection requests and successful connections. It’s worth noting that most of what they collected was either non-personal data or anonymized, which meant that they couldn’t be tied to our personal data (names, email addresses, payment methods, etc.). That said, we’re calling it a tie, so we recommend reading through each VPN’s privacy policy to find out exactly what log.

Who Won, CyberGhost or NordVPN?

CyberGhost and NordVPN both performed well in our tests, but all things considered, our final recommendation goes to NordVPN. It provided better privacy thanks to features like the double VPN and kill switch. Plus, it was more stable and reliable when we conducted our tests. However, that’s not to say that CyberGhost is no good. So before you make your final decision, here’s the takeaway.

Choose CyberGhost if you’re looking for:
  • More servers and server locations: CyberGhost has over 6,300 servers in 90 countries, a little more than NordVPNs fleet of 5,300 servers in 60 countries.
  • Split Tunneling: You won’t have a problem connecting through a private and public network simultaneously with CyberGhost’s split tunneling feature for Android and Windows clients.
  • Better speeds: Overall, CyberGhost outperformed NordVPN in terms of upload speed, download speed, and ping. Even in speed categories where NordVPN performed better, CyberGhost’s performance remained fast.
Choose NordVPN if you’re looking for:
  • Better privacy: NordVPN’s double VPN encrypts web traffic twice compared to CyberGhost’s single encryption.
  • Good mobile apps: NordVPN’s app was one of the best we’ve tested. It was straightforward, easy to use, and loved by thousands of NordVPN users.
  • A dedicated IP address: Most VPNs use static IP addresses shared by thousands of users, but in case you want an IP address only you can use, NordVPN offers the option to pay for one.

No matter which VPN you choose, the important thing is that you get what you’re looking for. If you feel that CyberGhost and NordVPN don’t completely satisfy you, check out our best VPN list. But if you’ve made your decision, there’s no better time than now to get a VPN and start hiding your web traffic.

Citations
  1. GlobalWebIndex. (2016). 4 Things to Know About VPN Users.
    blog.globalwebindex.com/chart-of-the-day/4-things-to-know-about-vpn-users/

  2. SearchSecurity. (2020). Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
    searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/Advanced-Encryption-Standard

  3. Youtube. (2020). Security.org.
    youtube.com/channel/UC6DS1pJ0Y9UsjS5jz3cvU1g