NordVPN is one of the most respectful providers in the VPN market. However, ambitious competitors are not just standing there. They fiercely fight to throw NordVPN off its throne. One of these VPNs is CyberGhost. In the CyberGhost vs NordVPN comparison, will the veteran walk away with a victory or the daring opponent put an end to its dominance? Read on and you’ll find out the answer.
For a long time, NordVPN had been the largest server network in the world. Unfortunately, they had to remove a few hundred servers due to suspicious server hosting providers. Even today, with 5400+ servers, it puts the majority of services to shame. However, it seems it has a worthy opponent. With 5600+ servers, CyberGhost outdoes NordVPN. Its coverage is also better – 90 countries vs 59.
Both services manage to produce fast speeds, especially when you connect to servers close to your location. Unfortunately, speed is not so good when you connect to far-away servers. The slow-downs were noticeable but, luckily, within the acceptable range. NordVPN performed better in some countries while CyberGhost excels in others. On balance, the services are equal in the speed aspect.
AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN protocol underline CyberGhost’s encryption. You can also switch between IKEv2 and L2TP/IPsec protocols. As for DNS leak protection, CyberGhost has it under the hood (it is enabled in the apps by default). Our test showed no leaks indeed. The service also supplies a Kill Switch and ad blocker, although the latter failed to filter every ad.
NordVPN also uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPsec protocols. These measures are enough to ensure bulletproof protection. But the service went even further and introduced DoubleVPN and Tor over VPN features available through respectful servers. Unlike the standard connection, they reinforce protection thanks to the second layer of encryption. Apart from that, NordVPN has strong DNS leak protection, Kill Switch, and CyberSec malicious websites and ad-blocker.
CyberGhost collects no usage logs and almost no connection records. What they retain is information about traffic origin and the app version you use. Plus, they keep records of when you registered (specific time is known for 24 hours then the service registers only the days of your connection). At the end of each month, this information is erased. This data is not identifying so you have nothing to worry about.
NordVPN collects even less information. To be specific, it is proud of its strong zero-logging policy meaning that even harmless timestamps are not registered. The service even underwent a security audit to confirm that what they claim is true.
CyberGhost is registered in Romania. The country is known for its strong privacy legislation and the absence of mandatory data retention. This means that ISPs and VPNs are not required to monitor user traffic. An additional benefit is that Romania is outside the Five/Nine/Fourteen Eyes countries. The intelligence alliances of other countries can’t make Romanian authorities spy on people, including CyberGhost clients.
Despite safe jurisdiction, there are certain concerns regarding the company owning CyberGhost. In 2017, it was bought by an Israeli company called Crossrider. According to security experts, Crossrider was caught injecting malware in its software to collect data about users. In 2018, the business was renamed as Kape Technologies and in our opinion, it is a proof of its poor reputation. Besides, the parent company is based in the Fourteen Eyes country, which is potentially harmful to user security.
Luckily, NordVPN is deprived of these issues. It works under Panama jurisdiction. The country is known for its security-friendly laws. On top of that, it is not affiliated with any spy organizations. NordVPN has never been involved in any shady activities. It always says ‘no’ any demands to cooperate in investigations regarding its users.
VPN Software and Ease of Use
CyberGhost apps are available for Windows, macOS, Linux desktop computers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Amazon Fire Stick and Android TV, as well as Firefox and Chrome browser extensions. Besides, you can install CyberGhost software on routers. From the same account with the service, you can simultaneously connect up to 7 devices.
When it comes to ease of use, CyberGhost apps are on par with the best examples in the industry. Its apps are pretty intuitive plus they supply novice users with plenty of information regarding the settings and features.
NordVPN has a more minimalistic design. If you have previous experience with VPNs, you will probably like it better. Despite that, first-time users won’t be overwhelmed with settings. If you want to keep it simple, just go with the suggested features and server location. If you want to make your connection more personalized, all the settings are neatly organized for your convenience.
NordVPN software is compatible with the same platforms as CyberGhost. On top of that, it supplies browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. You can use it on 6 devices at the same time or even more via a VPN-enhanced router.
CyberGhost allows torrenting but only via specialized peer-to-peer optimized servers. There is a dedicated Torrent tab on its apps to help you choose suitable servers. The apps show server loads so you can easily spot a faster option.
NordVPN also provides servers for torrenting. They are separated into a specific category. The major advantage of NordVPN over CyberGhost is that it has torrent-enabling servers in 40 countries while the competitor – only in 25 countries. Plus, NordVPN lets you pick a specific server while CyberGhost limits your choice only to countries. Although NordVPN doesn’t show server load statistics, it offers a connection to the fastest server in a chosen country.
CyberGhost lends dedicated streaming servers to unblock the most popular streaming platforms – Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and many others. It is not just a claim, the provider actually works with these services – we tested, and we confirm this. Our only complaint is that speeds are somehow slow on certain servers.
Not only does NordVPN have servers for streaming, but also its SmartPlay function helps you choose the fastest one. NordVPN easily unblocks Netflix (not only the US version but also Japanese, and some others) as well as other popular TV channels and streaming services. On top of that, NordVPN has a slight edge over CyberGhost due to better speeds.
Both providers are going strong in this category. They have 24/7 live chat, email, and ticket support. On top of that, you can try to find your answers in enormous knowledge bases accommodating tutorials, FAQs, and helpful articles. NordVPN and CyberGhost alike have competent and friendly support teams that don’t make you wait too long for a reply.
Pricing Plans and Payment Methods
CyberGhost offers the following subscription plans (the service charges in euro but we specify the price in dollars for convenience):
- 1 month – $12.99 per month;
- 6 months – $4.99 per month the first 6 months, then $59.88 every 6 months (billed as $29.94 and $59.88 respectively);
- 1 year – $2.75 per month. Billed $33 the first year, then $66 yearly;
If you wish to purchase a dedicated IP address, it will additionally cost you $5.00 per month.
The service accepts PayPal, credit and debit cards, WebMoney, and Bitcoin as a payment. If CyberGhost doesn’t live up to your expectations, you have 45 days to claim your money back (works only with an annual plan).
NordVPN offers a wider selection of tariffs, including long-term ones:
- 1 month – $11.95 per month;
- 1 year – $6.99 per month (billed as $83.88);
- 2 years – $4.99 per month (billed as $119.76);
- 3 years – $3.49 per month (billed as $125.64).
A dedicated IP address will cost you an additional $70 per year ($5.83 per month).
The 30-day refund policy is applied to any plan, even the shortest one. Besides credit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies, you can use gift cards to pay for the service.
The good news, both CyberGhost, and NordVPN are a great VPNs to secure your Internet activities. The Romanian provider has an advantage in server count and coverage. It is as good as NordVPN in the areas of connection speeds and tech support. Unfortunately, a weaker logging policy, lack of advanced security features, and lesser server availability for torrenting put it second behind NordVPN. Therefore, the NordVPN comes out the winner in this CyberGhost vs NordVPN comparison.
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