Cord Cutting Guides, News, and Reviews
NordVPN vs CyberGhost
February 4, 2021
When experts like us discuss VPN providers, there are a few names that are sure to come up — including NordVPN and CyberGhost. Both certainly deserve to be on any best VPN list, but there is less agreement about which provider — NordVPN vs. CyberGhost — has the better VPN.
We here at CordCutting.com don’t shy away from a challenge, and we love to answer the hard questions. We dug through the details of each service, carefully analyzing all the pros and cons so that we could help you decide whether NordVPN or CyberGhost was the better option for your VPN needs. If you’re ready to find the answer, all you have to do is read on.
NordVPN has 5,000+ servers available across 59 countries. While this is a respectable number, CyberGhost edges them out with 6,000+ servers spread out over 88 countries. Each server can only handle so many users before the added load slows it down, so the more servers a VPN provider has, the more likely you are to find a server that is running at full speed and not overloaded with users. Another reason that having a lot of servers is good is that streaming providers sometimes counter VPN users by blocking individual VPN servers. VPNs with more servers give you more chances to avoid being blocked by your favorite streaming services.
Both NordVPN and CyberGhost work with Netflix and the other streaming providers that we tested. They even successfully unlocked region-locked content from some providers, including Netflix.
NordVPN and CyberGhost both allow the use of three of the most secure VPN protocols — OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard — but CyberGhost has only two of those protocols available on some devices. Both providers give you at least two high-quality options on any device, and neither provider offers any subpar protocols.
NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, and CyberGhost is located in Romania. These two countries share one important characteristic: minimal data oversight laws. Compared to companies in the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance countries, companies in Panama and Romania are far less likely to be forced to hand over user data because of a national or international government request.
NordVPN and CyberGhost both have strict no-logging policies. However, while NordVPN put theirs through a third-party audit in the summer of 2020, CyberGhost has conducted no such audit. Independent audits are not particularly common among VPNs, but they are the best way to verify that a no-logging policy being properly adhered to. CyberGhost hasn’t given us any reason not to trust them, but NordVPN gets the gold star in this category.
Both companies include built-in kill switches for all of their apps. When VPN services have connection issues, your private data can leak out across your standard internet connection. Kill switches prevent that from happening by blocking all data flow the instant a connection error occurs.
Neither service has a true stealth VPN feature. NordVPN offers obfuscated servers that work similarly to a stealth VPN feature, making it possible to use a VPN even if your ISP or home country attempts to block VPN usage. This feature is somewhat complicated to use and will slow your internet connection, so most users likely won’t want to both with it. If, however, you need a VPN that works in China, NordVPN may be the only option between these two.
NordVPN caused some slowdown in the internet speed tests that we ran, but it wasn’t significant. When we reviewed CyberGhost, we found a few slow servers, but we also found that CyberGhost had options in every country that operated with no noticeable lag. We have to give this category to CyberGhost, but both providers were far above average.
Each of NordVPNs plans allows six simultaneous devices. CyberGhost just barely surpasses that with its seven-device limit. In either case, this is better than the five-device limit you’ll find with many VPN services.
Both NordVPN and CyberGhost work on Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops and laptops, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices and select routers. When we go beyond mobile devices and computers, CyberGhost really starts to shine. While NordVPN works on Android TV, CyberGhost has apps for nearly all of the major streaming devices and video game consoles, as well as several smart TVs. CyberGhost even has apps for Raspberry Pi, Synology NAS, and VU+ Solo. NordVPN can cover all of your devices if you install it on your router, but only CyberGhost offers the simplicity and granular control you get from having individual apps for each of these devices.
NordVPN and CyberGhost both have browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome. If you want to run the VPN only for your browsing windows, leaving your other apps to use a standard internet connection, these extensions provide that level of control.
P2P is another point of commonality between NordVPN and CyberGhost. Both allow file-sharing, but only on select servers. CyberGhost marks these servers very clearly in the main window and even offers a convenient “for torrenting” section that filters the server list to show only P2P-capable options. NordVPN’s app also shows the P2P servers, but they are slightly harder to find as you have to use the advanced options menu in the server list.
NordVPN and CyberGhost are both very easy to use. It’s hard for a VPN to be both highly customizable and highly usable, but both of these companies have managed to make it happen. Whether you are a novice or an advanced user, either option is an excellent choice.
So which of these two VPNs is better, and — more importantly — which one is better for you?
For typical users, NordVPN has a lot going for it. While both VPNs are on the high end for monthly pricing, but NordVPN’s monthly rate is slightly cheaper. If you prepay for a multi-year plan, this difference flips, with CyberGhost’s 3-year plan being one of the cheapest prices out there for a high-quality VPN.
NordVPN’s third-party audits offer peace of mind for the privacy-conscious, giving you a high level of certainty that your data is safe and secure. Additionally, if you deal with an ISP or country that routinely blocks VPNs, NordVPN’s obfuscated servers make them the only real option between the two providers.
All of this makes NordVPN a stronger choice for a typical VPN user who wants to protect their browsing and do a little video streaming.
With all of that said, some users will still find CyberGhost to be a better fit. If you need a VPN that has apps for video game systems, streaming devices, and smart TVs, CyberGhost will be the right choice: It covers a wider range of devices than almost any other provider, including NordVPN. If you commonly use P2P file-sharing, you’ll have an easier time finding a server that allows it on CyberGhost. Lastly, while both services are fast, if you want more high-speed server options in more countries, CyberGhost is the better VPN option for you.
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