CyberGhost vs. 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
- 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
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.
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.
|Price per month||$2.75-$12.99||$3.71-$11.95|
|Contract length||1-36 months||1-36 months|
|Location/Jurisdiction||Romania, outside Five Eyes jurisdiction||Panama, outside Five Eyes jurisdiction|
|Server locations||90 countries||50+ countries|
|What they logged||
|Encryption type and method||AES-256||AES-256, IKEv2/IPSec, and SHA2-384|
|VPN protocols||OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP||TLS, OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, and TLS|
|Supported devices/operating systems||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome and Firefox browsers, and custom setups for smart TVs, consoles, and routers||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Android TVs, and Chrome and Firefox browsers|
|Torrenting||✓||✓ *through uTorrent|
|Netflix||✓ *accessing Netflix U.K. content has extra prerequisites||✓|
|IP addresses||Static, shared||Static, shared or dedicated|
|Speed on Windows||
|Speed on Mac||
|DNS leak test||No leaks||No leaks|
|WebRTC leak test||No leaks||No 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 Length||CyberGhost Monthly Rates||NordVPN Monthly Rates|
|Six months||$7.99 ($47.94 in total)||$9.00 ($54.00 in total)|
|12 months||n/a||$4.92 ($59.00 in total)|
|18 months||$2.75 ($49.50 in total)||n/a|
|24 months||n/a||$3.71 ($89.00 in total)|
|Money-back guarantee||14-45 days||30 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.
|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 Devices||CyberGhost||NordVPN|
|Kindle and Fire TVs||✓||X|
|Smart TVs||✓ *manual configuration||✓ *Android TVs|
|Gaming Consoles||✓ *manual configuration||X|
|Routers||✓ *manual configuration||X|
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.
Cyberghost vs. NordVPN FAQs
No one ever said this isn’t a competition! If you’ve got more questions about NordVPN, Cyberghost or both, we've got answers.
Is Cyberghost a good VPN?
Cyberghost is a good VPN. Based in Romania, the company can’t be forced, legally, to hand over customer data. And with over 3,000 servers in 60 countries, you’re sure to find a server that’ll guarantee you fast speeds, as we had on our Windows and Mac tests. However, the one thing we didn’t like about Cyberghost is the fact that it logs IP addresses, and when and where we used the VPN, so it’s not the best for privacy.
How reliable is Cyberghost?
Cyberghost is reliable. We tested it on both a Mac and a Windows computer from Brooklyn, New York, connecting to the nearest server. Here are the speeds we saw:
Speed Measurement Macs Windows Ping without VPN (in ms) 14 9 Ping with VPN (in ms) 16 16 Ping Difference 14% 78% Macbook Download Speed without VPN (in mbps) 37 70 Download Speed with VPN (in mbps) 36 55 Download difference -3% -21% Upload Speed without VPN (in mbps) 26 41% Upload Speed with VPN (in mbps) 24 22% Upload difference -8% -48%
Even with outages, Cyberghost’s kill switch quit all of our web browsers and apps so our online activity wasn’t exposed.
Does Cyberghost have a kill switch?
Yes, Cyberghost has a kill switch.
Is NordVPN legal in Australia?
Yes, NordVPN is legal in Australia.
GlobalWebIndex. (2016). 4 Things to Know About VPN Users.
SearchSecurity. (2020). Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
Youtube. (2020). Security.org.