More and more users are choosing to download VPNs to protect their online anonymity and gain access to geo-restricted content and websites. In this article, we compare NordVPN and CyberGhost, two of the most popular VPNs on the market in 2021. Both providers boast excellent clients, perform well on server speed tests, offer reliable customer service, and impressive geo-unblocking capabilities.
Overall, NordVPN, and CyberGhost are two VPNs that tick almost every box in terms of security and additional features. But which one is right for you?
CyberGhost is one of the most popular VPN providers on the market thanks to its impressive network of over 6800 servers across 89 countries, as well as its user-friendly security features.
CyberGhost offers a range of advanced security features and an excellent server network. CyberGhost excels when it comes to the basics of a VPN. The large CyberGhost server base means that you will never be stuck for choice when looking for a server for streaming, gaming, or torrenting. Also, thanks to the extensive CyberGhost network, no single server will ever become congested or overwhelmed by too many users at once.
CyberGhost’s main goal is to provide first-rate user privacy and security. It does just that with its military-grade AES- encryption and advanced protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, and L2TP/IPsec. These advanced CyberGhost security features ensure your online activity remains completely secure and anonymous.
The VPN operates on Perfect Forward Secrecy software too, which means that the CyberGhost encryption and decryption keys are altered frequently to make it more difficult for cybercriminals and third parties to decipher it. CyberGhost also offers a range of no-spy servers that offer the highest standards of encryption, and are located in Romania, a country that boasts excellent data privacy laws.
CyberGhost offers a range of built-in security features on all of its apps, including a kill-switch, ad-blocker, IP and DNS leak protection, and Double VPN encryption software to encrypt your data traffic twice rather than just once. CyberGhost also operates solely on RAM memory, which means that no data is stored on your device’s hard-drive and is deleted every time you log out of a VPN session. This means that even if the CyberGhost servers became compromised, the provider could easily wipe the RAM memory by shutting down the servers.
CyberGhost is an excellent choice for streaming fans too, thanks to its excellent unblocking capabilities. The provider easily overcomes geo-blocks on streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. CyberGhost also comes with unlimited bandwidth which means that you do not need to worry about how much data you are consuming while streaming. While its impressive server connection speeds enable streaming in high definition without buffering or lag. There are even dedicated CyberGhost P2P servers, making it an excellent choice for torrenters too.
A subscription with CyberGhost comes with 7 simultaneous connections, which is more than most VPN providers offer and sufficient for a typical VPN user. The app is compatible with a range of devices and operating systems including macOS, iOS, and Android.
CyberGhost users are protected by a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, which means that you can test the product risk-free before committing to a longer-term subscription plan.
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN providers on the market thanks to its state-of-the-art service and excellent user experience.
NordVPN is consistently investing and improving its product and has recently launched its own proprietary NordLynx protocol which promises faster and more reliable speeds than ever. It now offers access to over 5,500 servers across more than 60 countries. NordVPN also operates on OpenVPN and IKEv2, some of the best and most secure protocols available. OpenVPN is typically the better choice when it comes to security, while IKEv2 offers faster speeds for streaming or gaming at the cost of slightly reduced security standards.
NordVPN utilizes AES-256 bit encryption as standard. There is also the option to activate its Double VPN software which will encrypt your internet traffic data twice rather than just once. The second VPN server will not have access to your real IP address and location, meaning that your IP address will never become leaked even if the connection is compromised. It is necessary to note that the DoubleVPN software will cause a significant reduction in speeds as your data is being rerouted through two different servers.
There is also the option to activate Onion over VPN (or Tor over VPN). This NordVPN feature operates similarly to the DoubleVPN feature but offers multiple layers of servers. This ensures that your IP address and private data are completely private and anonymous with NordVPN, but it will mean that your connection speeds are significantly slower.
NordVPN also offers a 4096-bit RSA key which is especially useful if you utilize unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots in cafes, gyms, or airports. There is Perfect Forward Secrecy software too that will alter the encryption and decryption keys often to ensure your activity when connected to NordVPN is secure. The VPN is completely secure from IP and DNS leaks too.
A kill-switch is a necessary feature as part of any VPN product. If your VPN connection fails for any reason, the kill-switch will cut your internet connection so that no unencrypted data or your real IP address become exposed. NordVPN offers a kill-switch on all of its apps. It is automatically activated on the iOS version but it does need to be manually switched-on on all other clients.
The VPN is great if you are looking to gain access to geo-restricted streaming content on sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more. NordVPN reliably gains access to a host of Netflix sites. However, BBC iPlayer does require a workaround. The VPN provider’s SmartDNS technology enables you to access streaming sites on devices that do not typically support a VPN connection, such as a smart TV or gaming console.
A single subscription plan with NordVPN comes with 6 simultaneous connections and there are apps compatible with Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. The NordVPN apps feature a simple to use Quick Connect feature that will automatically connect you to the best available NordVPN server in terms of speed and location. There is a handy VPN Pause button too which will allow you to pause NordVPN for a short period of time, without the need to completely disconnect from it. You can set an automatic reconnection time too so that you do not need to worry about remembering to re-activate the VPN later.
The NordVPN website features a host of helpful setup and troubleshooting guides to help you while using the VPN. There is an easy-to-use live-chat option too in case you need further assistance. NordVPN users are also covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning that you can test the product risk-free for a month to see if you are happy with the service provided before you commit to a paid subscription plan.
When it comes to user-friendly features, both CyberGhost and NordVPN offer many. With NordVPN, users have access to over 5,500 servers, with CyberGhost there are more than 6,200 servers. NordVPN’s server network spans over 80 locations, while CyberGhost’s is slightly bigger with more than 110 locations worldwide.
Both providers offer a refund guarantee- a subscription to Nord comes with 30 days, and CyberGhost offers a 45-day guarantee. Make sure to remember the final day of your subscription plan and cancel before that date to avoid being charged. Regarding affordability, CyberGhost’s cheapest monthly plan comes in at $2.75 a month, while NordVPN costs slightly more at a price per month of $3.71.
Price is one of the most important factors when comparing VPN services, so it makes sense to compare CyberGhost and NordVPN based on the subscription options.
Both CyberGhost and NordVPN’s long-term subscription plans come with significant discounts, as long as you are happy to commit for a few years. A single-month subscription with NordVPN will cost you $11.95 but sign up for 2 years and the price drops to just $3.71. Similarly, CyberGhost costs an eye-watering $12.99 if paid monthly, whereas its 18-month plan is much more affordable at just $2.75 a month.
If you sign up to CyberGhost, you will receive a 45-day guarantee, on all paid subscription plans except the monthly option. So, if you want to test the CyberGhost VPN products properly before deciding whether it is the right one for you, we would advise signing up for a slightly longer plan to avail of the guarantee, and then requesting a refund if you are not satisfied.
CyberGhost’s monthly plan comes in at an expensive $12.99 a month, which is slightly more than average on the VPN market. However, if you do choose to sign up for a rolling monthly contract with any VPN, you will be paying a higher price. If you commit to one year with CyberGhost, the price falls to just $3.99 a month, which is much more cost-effective.
Signing up for the CyberGhost 2-year subscription option costs just $3.49 a month. However, as always, the most significant discounts come with the longest-term plan. A three-year subscription with CyberGhost comes in at just $2.25 a month, making it one of the cheapest VPN services on the market.
If you want to test the CyberGhost VPN product before committing to a paid subscription plan, there is a form of free trial available, however, it is somewhat complicated. If you sign up to CyberGhost on a desktop, you will receive a meager 24-hour free trial that comes with only limited features.
On the CyberGhost iOS app, you can take advantage of a 7-day free trial but you will have to sign up for an account with your email address and password. However, on android, you can get a 7-day free trial without the need to sign up, which is likely the best option as long as you have an Android device.
With NordVPN, the monthly subscription option will set you back $11.95 a month and while it is slightly cheaper than CyberGhost’s offering, it is still expensive. As with any VPN provider, significant discounts come if you are ready to commit for longer. The six-month NordVPN subscription option costs just $9 a month, however, it is necessary to pay $54 upfront.
If you sign up for a year with NordVPN, the monthly price will fall to $6.58 a month. However, the most cost-effective option is the NordVPN 2-year plan, which comes in at just $3.71 a month. That is a discount of almost 70% when compared to the rolling monthly contract.
We would be inclined to recommend opting for the 2-year NordVPN plan, considering the significant discount. There is a 30-day guarantee too, to allow you to decide whether the product is right for you. You won’t be charged if you decide to cancel before the month is up.
Privacy is another important thing to take into consideration when choosing a VPN provider. Both CyberGhost and NordVPN operate on AES-256 bit encryption as standard and offer an integrated kill switch to protect your data in the event that the VPN connection fails for any reason.
When it comes to user privacy and security, NordVPN is one of the best providers in the industry. It operates on first-rate 256 bit AES encryption by default and combines it with 4096-bit Diffie-Hellman keys. There is Perfect Forward Secrecy technology with NordVPN too, which ensures the encryption and decryption keys are altered upon login and every hour after that. This means that even if a VPN session became compromised, the attacker would only gain access for an hour.
You can activate Onion over VPN, which will reroute your web traffic data through the encrypted Tor network. This will result in a significant reduction in speed but you will gain complete privacy and anonymity online. There is Double VPN technology too, which will encrypt your data twice by rerouting it through two different VPN servers rather than just one.
Also, in locations where the use of VPNs is restricted, NordVPN offers a range of obfuscated servers that will mask the fact that you are using a VPN service. This may also help you to gain access to geo-restricted content on streaming sites such as Netflix.
Both NordVPN and CyberGhost offer a reliable automatic kill-switch too, that will cut your internet connection if the VPN fails for any reason. This is important for any online tasks that require complete security and anonymity, such as torrenting. The kill-switch ensures that no unencrypted data such as your IP address or web traffic is transferred if your VPN connection drops. The VPN is completely secure against DNS and WebRTC leaks too, which is reassuring.
A VPN provider should offer a no-logging policy to reassure users that it does not store private, identifying information. Both NordVPN and CyberGhost come with clear no-logging policies and privacy statements. NordVPN offers a transparent no-logs policy that has been independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, on a yearly basis. The audit verified the company’s logging claims. NordVPN is based in Panama too, a country that enjoys strict data privacy laws, which is good to know.
CyberGhost offers a similar no-logging policy and is based in Romania, another country that is free from data retention laws, that may compromise user privacy. Both Romania and Panama are renowned for their powerful support of user privacy and neither is part of the 5-Eyes or 14-Eyes agreements.
It is good to note that CyberGhost utilizes military-standard AES-256 bit encryption to protect your private online data. The VPN provider also offers a transparent no-logging policy and it is reassuring to know that the provider does not collect private user information or sell it to third parties for profit. The company states that it does not monitor or record user browsing history, websites accessed, data transmitted, or search history. It also does not collect user IP addresses, VPN connection timestamps, or bandwidth used.
However, it is disappointing that CyberGhost has not yet undergone an independent audit of its policy and software. Despite that we do not distrust the company’s privacy claims, we would like to see them evidenced by a complete security audit. CyberGhost does offer a Transparency Report which is somewhat reassuring, but we would like to see this combined with an audit.
Like CyberGhost, NordVPN operates on a strict no-logging policy and claims to not store any records of users’ online activity. NordVPN states that user activity is not monitored, recorded, logged, stored, or sold to any third party. The company does not store VPN connection timestamps, bandwidth used, data traffic logs, IP addresses, or online browsing data. Nor does the provider store VPN session logs, unlike many other VPNs.
However, unlike CyberGhost, NordVPN has completed an independent audit of its policies and services. The audit was completed by a renowned security company PricewaterhouseCooper and served to back up NordVPN’s no-logging claims, which is reassuring.
The streaming compatibility of VPN providers is becoming increasingly important as more and more users are installing VPNs for the purpose of accessing geo-restricted television shows and movies on streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, and more.
NordVPN does not openly state its support for any particular streaming services on its website, however, it does appear to be successful at accessing content on most popular sites. NordVPN performs well under speed tests too, meaning that you will be able to watch your favorite shows in high definition, without lag or buffering.
The NordVPN desktop client was unable to access content on BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video, however, the NordVPN browser extensions were successful at unblocking content on both services as well as Netflix. NordVPN was able to unlock Netflix reliably, on all of its servers despite the site’s powerful VPN blocking technology. It accesses YouTube and Disney+ with ease too.
CyberGhost offers handy server filters based on their compatibility with different streaming services and locations. This makes it one of the best VPN providers for accessing geo-restricted streaming content on sites including Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu, and more.
Many users choose to sign up for CyberGhost in order to make use of its handy filtering system to identify the best servers to unlock the content you want to watch. Cyberghost had no issue unlocking Netflix and was successful at accessing a range of libraries across the world. iPlayer is somewhat harder to access and the VPN provider’s operating systems did struggle to gain access to it. It did however enable access to Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ on a range of different servers.
Although CyberGhost is an excellent streaming VPN thanks to its handy filtering system, we would argue that NordVPN is slightly better when it comes to unlocking a greater range of sites including Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu. However, if you are not a fan of UK streaming content, CyberGhost is just as good.
VPN products vary significantly when it comes to server connection speeds and overall performance. However, it is important to take into account server speed and strength if you want to avoid annoying buffering and lagging when streaming or gaming in high definition.
During a server speed test, both NordVPN and CyberGhost provided decent speeds that were sufficient for most online activities. Our test results showed that NordVPN does boast a major advantage when it comes to its US servers but both providers averaged 170Mbps on their UK server connections during an upload and download speed test.
CyberGhost is designed for streaming fans and it is thus necessary that its server connection speeds are powerful too. On its UK servers, CyberGhost reached speeds of up to 180Mbps, which is impressive although not as fast as Nord’s NordLynx protocol. In the US, speeds reached 240Mbps which is more. than sufficient for the typical VPN user.
Nord’s NordLynx protocol reached average speeds of up to 350Mbps on both US and UK servers which is much faster than CyberGhost and most other VPNs on the market for that matter. So, if you are looking for a super-fast VPN provider for streaming, torrenting, or gaming, NordVPN is arguably the best choice.
Many users choose to download a VPN product in order to secure and anonymize their torrenting and P2P sharing activities. The two VPNs on this list are well suited to torrenting. They both offer DNS leak test protection, AES-256 encryption as standard, high-speed server locations, excellent server coverage, kill switches, and do not keep any logs.
CyberGhost openly declares its support for such activities with a list of torrenting-compatible VPN servers. You can also configure the client to automatically connect to a particular server when you launch a P2P sharing application. Not All of CyberGhost’s servers are optimized for torrenting and P2P sharing due to some locational restrictions.
Once you are connected to one of the provider’s torrenting servers, speeds are impressive. However, we would like to see torrenting support across all of the provider’s servers, it remains an excellent torrenting VPN.
NordVPN claims on its website that it is one of the best VPNs on the market for torrenting activities. There is access to countless torrenting-friendly NordVPN servers across the globe. Although the NordVPN torrenting network may not be as widespread as a VPN that offers unlimited P2P support, it is impressive. It is easy to find torrenting compatible servers with NordVPN too. Simply go to the NordVPN Server Recommendation page, and select P2P under Service Type. NordVPN will redirect your torrenting traffic through private VPN servers located in the Netherlands and Canada.
NordVPN also offers the option to automatically reconnect you to one of the P2P servers if it detects torrenting traffic. This is a useful feature for users worried about forgetting to connect to the VPN whenever you launch a torrenting application.
The process of installing NordVPN on your desktop is quick and easy. There are a range of setup guides, app support, and tutorials available on the website too. Once it has installed, the NordVPN desktop client is clean and well-designed. The NordVPN desktop app opens to reveal a large map revealing its VPN server coverage, users can select a server location by simply clicking on the server location map for ease of use.
There is a standard list revealing all of the NordVPN servers in a range of countries and cities. There is a range of additional easy-to-use features too including a kill-switch and the option to switch between different VPN protocols. Disappointingly, the provider has replaced the previous Favorites system with a Recents list, which is significantly less useful. Server connections are fast, as long as your internet speed is decent and switching between different servers is easy too.
CyberGhost’s desktop apps for macOS and Windows are relatively similar and both offer a simple, easy-to-navigate interface. There is a list of servers, a large Connect button, and an option to filter server coverage too.
The provider usefully offers a current load/capacity indicator next to every server, which is useful and offers a quick suggestion of the server that will offer the best speeds. There is a Favorites option too and a system tray button that offers quick access to all essential features.
Additional features include a tracker and ad blocker, protection from malicious websites, data compression to enhance performance and reduce traffic and HTTPS everywhere. Smart Rules is another helpful feature that enables you to choose which server automatically connects when you launch your device or a particular app such as a torrenting client. You can also configure split tunneling by adding certain sites and applications to a whitelist.
The client also features a reliable integrated kill-switch which ensures your real IP address never becomes exposed.
CyberGhost and NordVPN both offer apps for iOS and Android devices. CyberGhost offers a well-designed mobile app, although the NordVPN is more configurable. Here we will compare CyberGhost vs NordVPN when it comes to mobile applications.
Like its desktop versions, NordVPN’s mobile apps display a map-based interface. However, it is somewhat difficult to use on a small handheld screen. Installing and setting up the app is easy, on Android and iOS. Once you have signed up for a subscription plan with the VPN provider, you will be redirected to the relevant app store. Download the client, accept the terms and conditions, and use the VPN. Connecting and disconnecting is easy and takes no more than a few seconds.
Auto-connect is available on both applications and enables the VPN to connect whenever you access unknown or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. The whitelist features allow you to choose which apps or websites bypass the VPN connection too. Also, with CyberSec, NordVPN will protect you from malicious ads, malware, and phishing attempts too.
NordVPN offers the option to enable a kill switch through the app if using iOS, or through the Settings on Android. However, Cyberghost does not offer a kill switch on its mobile devices. Nor does Cyberghost offer the option to choose between VPN protocols, unlike NordVPN which offers IKEv2/IPsec, and OpenVPN TCP or UDP. So, when comparing Cyberghost and NordVPN based on mobile apps, NordVPN comes out on top thanks to its configurable clients.
The Android app is Nord’s only client to offer true split tunneling and it can also be used to set up a custom DNS server to prevent annoying pop-ups. The iOS app is great too, although lacks some of the additional features due to Apple’s restrictions. There is Siri support, a dark mode, and a decent choice of protocols.
CyberGhost’s iOS and Android clients offer OpenVPN and WireGuard support, which is good to know. On iOS, there are few other options. There is a simple interface with a list of locations and a Favorites system.
The Android app offers a lot more and offers similar powerful features to the desktop client. There is the option to select a random port when connected to the VPN provider, which is helpful in unblocking geo-restricted sites such as Netflix that employ strong VPN blocking technology.
There is split tunneling too, which is helpful if you want to ensure one app is protected by the VPN’s encryption, while all of your other apps run through your normal ISP connection. There are ad and tracker blockers too, as well as a data compression feature.
The best VPNs offer first-rate customer support to users, and both NordVPN and CyberGhost excel in this area. Good customer service ensures that should you run into any issues with the VPN, you’ll be able to solve the problems.
NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN offer excellent customer support. The NordVPN site features a detailed FAQ for ease of use. There is also a live chat for 24/7 assistance as well as an email customer support option.
CyberGhost VPN offers a greater range of support articles on its site, however, they are not as detailed as those offered by NordVPN. It does also offer a live chat customer support option which is useful, and when we tested this we found the customer service agents to be extremely helpful.