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NordVPN vs CyberGhost VPN: Which VPN is best for you?

Verified by Amy Reeves

In this guide, we’ll compare two of the best virtual private networks (VPNs) available on the market: NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN. We’ll discuss their features, performance, pricing, user-friendliness, security protocols and encryption. This will help you make a well-informed decision when choosing a VPN that suits you best.

Selecting a reliable VPN service is crucial, as most of our time is now spent online, browsing the internet for work, shopping, studying and other activities. Selecting a VPN can be quite a hassle as hundreds of VPNs are available in the market, but only a few are both reliable and affordable. To narrow it down, we’ve selected two of the most popular and trustworthy VPNs on the market: NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN.

How we research and rate VPNs

100+
HOURS PERFORMANCE TESTING
500+
customer reviews read
150+
hours comparing products
26
providers compared
4
VPN experts consulted

Our researchers are dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to buying a VPN. We will only recommend a provider after hours of testing, head-to-head feature comparisons, and after taking into account customer feedback and reviews and the opinions of industry experts.

Our review scores are determined the following categories:

  • Privacy and performance (30%)
  • Features and functionality (30%)
  • Reputation and credibility (20%)
  • Plans and pricing/value (10%)
  • Customer experience (10%)

We research and test a total of 25 elements within these categories including:

  • Number and location of servers
  • Streaming service accessibility
  • Security features such as AES-256
  • Performance (upload, download, latency)
  • Value for money, guarantees, and customer service
  • Independent server-site security audits

All of our VPN articles are fact-checked and verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, so you can be assured that our content is accurate and up to date as possible. To find out more, read our article on how we review VPNs.

NordVPN vs CyberGhost VPN: At a glance

First, we will look at the basic features each VPN offers. The following table provides an overall comparison of NordVPN vs CyberGhost VPN:

NordVPN CyberGhost
Lowest price £2.79/mo for 24 months £ 1.85/mo for 27 months
Free version No No
Max no. connected devices 6 7
Number of servers 5,753 9,500+
Server locations 60 91
Encryption AES 256 AES 256
VPN protocols OpenVPN, IPSec/IKEv2, WireGuard OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
No-log policy
Audited
Headquarters Panama Romania

NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN have similar security protocols and encryption. However, CyberGhost VPN has a larger server base, more available locations and is also more affordable than NordVPN. Both VPNs are based in countries with no government regulations regarding user data sharing. In short, CyberGhost VPN is better in terms of its basic features, as it offers more servers, locations and subscription packages.

Plans, pricing and trials

A significant factor to consider when selecting a VPN is its affordability. Take a look below to see all the information on the subscription plans and free VPN trials NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN have to offer.

Subscription term NordVPN CyberGhost VPN
Free trial 30 days 24 hours for PC, three days for Android and seven days for iOS
Standard monthly plan £10.39/mo £10.89/mo
Standard six months N/A £6.19/mo
Standard 12 months £3.99/mo N/A
Standard 24 months £2.79/mo £1.85/mo
Plus plan monthly £11.19/mo N/A
Plus plan 12 months £4.79/mo N/A
Plus plan 24 months £3.59/mo N/A
Complete plan monthly £11.99/mo N/A
Complete plan 12 months £5.59/mo N/A
Complete plan 24 months £4.39/mo N/A

The monthly subscription packages are competitively priced, but NordVPN is slightly cheaper, costing £10.39. Out of the two, only CyberGhost VPN offers a six-month plan, which is relatively cheaper than its monthly subscription at £10.89. 

Only NordVPN offers an annual subscription plan, which starts at £3.59. Both VPNs offer a two-year subscription plan, and CyberGhost VPN is more affordable than NordVPN. NordVPN also offers a Standard, Plus and Complete subscription in its monthly, one-year and two-year plans, allowing users to select various options depending on their preferences. 

Meanwhile, CyberGhost VPN has comparatively limited options to choose from. The downside of NordVPN’s many options is that the prices depend on the number of features; therefore, not everything is included in its basic subscription. In contrast, CyberGhost VPN offers all its features in all three subscription terms. NordVPN offers a free trial of longer tenure (30 days), whereas CyberGhost VPN offers different kinds of free trials on different devices.

In conclusion, NordVPN has better pricing due to its numerous pricing plans. Still, if you want something that provides overall affordability, CyberGhost VPN is a clear winner because it offers all its features from only £1.78 per month. However, it’s also worth mentioning the current NordVPN birthday promotion, which starts at £2.49 per month for two-year plans. It’s not as cheap as CyberGhost, but if you sign up by 20 March 2024, it does come with three extra months free to sweeten the deal.

Security

The distinguishing feature that determines a VPN’s effectiveness is its security level. Both NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN have implemented a variety of safeguarding protocols of the highest level, each with slight differences. 

The most commonly used encryption levels are Advanced Encryption Standard 128-bit and 256-bit, known as AES-128 and AES-256, respectively. The 128-bit encryption provides a reasonable level of security for its users. Whereas 256-bit encryption offers much more robust protection and is considered more secure than 128-bit encryption as it has a more extensive key length.

The AES-256 has become an industry standard, which is why the top VPN service providers use it. NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN both use AES-256 to provide their users with the best level of encryption.

There are four commonly used VPN protocols; OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSec/L2TP, and SSTP protocol. 

OpenVPN is an open-source, highly configurable VPN that supports strong encryption, whereas WireGuard is known for its simplicity, efficiency, and speed. Both of these protocols are vital for VPNs as they offer the highest level of security based on the latest encryption models and provide high speeds. Other VPN protocols, such as IPSec/L2TP and SSTP, are effective and are used by many VPN services but do not offer any additional value. Therefore, their presence or absence has no significance when it comes to online security.

Encryption

Encryption NordVPN CyberGhost VPN
AES-256

Available protocols

Protocol NordVPN CyberGhost VPN
OpenVPN
SSTP
IKEv2
WireGuard
PPTP
L2TP

In terms of security and VPN protocols, CyberGhost has a slight advantage, as it uses the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP). In contrast, NordVPN argues that L2TP and Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) are outdated and can be hacked easily; hence, including them gives no advantage to CyberGhost VPN and increases vulnerability. NordVPN has further upgraded the effective WireGuard protocol by deploying a double network address translation system called NordLynx. It is a unique feature offered only by NordVPN, which is an improved version of WireGuard. Although WireGuard is quite efficient and provides better connection speeds, it falls short of keeping its users anonymous. To summarise, NordVPN created a hybrid version called NordLynx, which offers good internet speed of WireGuard and simultaneously ensures total anonymity of users. 

Two additional features that are quite beneficial for the users are Double VPN and Onion over VPN. Double VPN is a feature that routes the user’s data through two different servers, doubling the encryption and security. Through this, the user’s data is so well hidden that the second VPN server does not even know about the user’s real IP address, making it impossible to be tracked by cybercriminals. On the other hand, Onion over VPN is a feature that allows safe and secure access to The Onion Router.

This category has no clear winner, as both VPNs provide standard modern protocols such as WireGuard, IKEv2 and OpenVPN; however, CyberGhost VPN provides L2TP, which NordVPN does not. The main distinction in the additional features is that CyberGhost VPN doesn’t offer improved security add-ons like double VPN or Onion over VPN, while NordVPN does.

Performance

Due to virtually relocating Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, VPN services may negatively affect download and upload speeds. To determine which VPN performs better, we’ll compare the download and upload speeds while using NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN.

Test before connecting to NordVPN     Test before connecting to CyberGhost VPN

NordVPN UK server test                         CyberGhost UK server test

NordVPN US server test                        CyberGhost US server test

Nord VPN Australian server test          CyberGhost Australian server test

 Download speed

NordVPN CyberGhost VPN
No VPN 37.45Mbps 37.49Mbps
UK to UK 35.94Mbps 35.66Mbps
UK to US 35.97Mbps 35.05Mbps
UK to Aus 31.92Mbps 25.32Mbps
Ping 9ms 8ms
% of base download speed (UK to UK) 95% 95%

Overall, the VPNs do not significantly impact the internet speed as establishing a connection with another server has caused the minimal change in the download speed. NordVPN even maintains the internet speed at long distances as while connecting to an Australian server the download speed only decreased 6Mbps. On the other hand, when we connected to a CyberGhost VPN Australian server, the download speed decreased by 12Mbps. NordVPN has displayed more consistency than CyberGhost VPN, but other than that there is nothing to differ between them.

Upload speed

NordVPN CyberGhost VPN
No VPN 9.38Mbps 9.36Mbps
UK to UK 8.95Mbps 8.07Mbps
UK to US 8.91Mbps 8.76Mbps
UK to Aus 8.28Mbps 8.24Mbps
% of base upload speed (UK to UK) 95% 86%

Both NordVPN and CyberGhost performed similarly while connected to different locations. The difference in their upload speeds is very minute, but NordVPN performed slightly better than CyberGhost VPN.

Logging and privacy

The best VPNs for security adhere to a no-logs policy and prioritise user privacy. NordVPN had a major privacy breach in 2018 when one of its data centres in Finland was accessed by unauthorised users. Upon further investigation, it was reported that the attacker could not get hold of the activity log, user credentials, or any other sensitive information. They promised to significantly improve their services, so that such an event does not occur again. CyberGhost VPN has once reported a minor breach in which only 120 email addresses and 14 CyberGhost usernames were compromised. Similarly, the user’s private information was not compromised in this breach.

NordVPN CyberGhost VPN
No-logs policy
Audited
Kill switch
Headquarters in a data-secure country
Headquarters Panama Romania

In the comparison table above, NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN both have strict no-log policies and have conducted audits to prove their stance. PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland and Deloitte have successfully and independently audited both VPN services. They both have integrated kill switch features that instantly act when a VPN disconnection occurs.

The presence of an effective kill switch is absolutely crucial as it protects the user’s IP address if, for any reason, the VPN server is disconnected. A kill switch ensures that the internet access is immediately cut off in such a scenario so that there is no chance of a possible IP leak. Both NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN feature a kill switch option.

Regarding headquarters locations, Panama and Romania are both countries where the government has no jurisdiction to order user data, making them the perfect location for a VPN service to be based in.

One advantage NordVPN has is that it’s always conducting tests on its security protocols to determine the possibility of a potential data leak. In the past, it has teamed up with the VerSprite agency to perform penetration tests, improving security with time.

Geo-unblocking and streaming

The most sought-after feature of a VPN is bypassing geo-unblocking and enabling streaming. Geo-unblocking bypasses regional restrictions to access unavailable websites, including sites which host video. You can also access websites such as Twitter and other social media platforms from different locations. Using a VPN, you can bypass these geo-blocks; however, keep in mind that this may be against the terms and conditions of certain apps.

Sites and services unblocked

NordVPN CyberGhost VPN
Twitter
YouTube
Netflix
Disney Plus
Prime Video
HBO Max
BBC iPlayer

If we compare NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN, they both have a wide array of sites and streaming services they can unblock. These include Twitter and YouTube and streaming services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu and BBC iPlayer. Both VPNs are similar regarding geo-unblocking and streaming, so there’s no clear winner in this category. 

Torrenting 

Torrenting is a convenient way to share files and data among peers. Using a VPN while torrenting is advised to protect your identity and geo-unblock various files. While torrenting, a VPN helps provide an extra layer of protection to your data from potential hackers. However, it does slow down your internet speed as your connection is routed to a server in a different country. 

Both NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN have high speeds because they use similar protocols. However, it’s not wrong to say that CyberGhost VPN is the better VPN for torrenting; CyberGhost VPN has higher speeds over long distances because of its allocated server networks. It owns its hardware, giving users the advantage of having more bandwidth. Hence, using CyberGhostVPN for torrenting is the better option.

A vital feature of VPNs is their cross-platform availability, which allows users across various browsers, devices and operating systems to benefit from their services. Both NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN have a significant presence across platforms and are committed to providing the best services to their users. Both VPNs have native apps as well as plugins.

We have compared and analysed NordVPN and CyberGhost’s mobile and desktop apps for speed, user experience and interface. 

Mobile apps

The CyberGhost VPN mobile application is similar for Android and iOS; their interface is simple, easy to navigate and offers the same features. The iOS application offers users to choose from two tunnelling protocols, WireGuard or IKEv2, whereas Android users can choose between OpenVPN and WireGuard. Users can automatically connect to the best possible server by selecting the power button, or choose a server of their choice. 

CyberGhost’s mobile app (Cyberghost)               NordVPN’s mobile app (NordVPN)

NordVPN has a very basic-looking mobile interface in comparison, with a world map from which you can choose the server you want to connect to. In terms of visuals and features, the NordVPN application is similar for Android and iOS. The kill switch and dark web monitoring are both available in the settings tab.

Both VPNs offer mobile apps for Android and iPhone users on the Google Play and Apple App Store.

Desktop apps

CyberGhost VPN’s desktop app. (CyberGhost)

The CyberGhost VPN desktop app has a more detailed interface, as the servers are categorised depending on their usage. All the security protocols are available and are more accessible. Various additional tabs are present, allowing users to freely explore the security protocols. Users have reported that the application often fails to connect to specific servers, but overall the application is great as it is very easy to use.

NordVPN’s desktop app. (NordVPN)

NordVPN’s desktop application is much more detailed than its mobile application. It has an options bar on the left side and the server map on the right. Double VPN and Onion over VPN are both available on it. Furthermore, their desktop application has two types of kill switches (for specific purposes) and split tunneling.

Both VPNs have applications for Windows and Mac.

Platforms supported

NordVPN CyberGhost VPN
Windows
Mac
Android
iPhone
iPad
Google Chrome
Android TV
Apple TV
Amazon Firestick
Roku
Router support
Xbox
PlayStation
Nintendo Switch
Chromebook
Kindle Fire X

Beyond mobile and desktop apps, these VPNs offer similar support to their users. They are compatible with various platforms, including Chrome, Apple/Android TV and Roku. NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN both offer router support, granting all connected devices full access to the VPN. While NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN have similar platform support, CyberGhost VPN distinguishes itself with a friendlier user interface (UI), which helps you automatically customise the VPN according to your preferences.

Support

A great support page is necessary for VPN providers as customers might have queries regarding billing, connectivity or general issues.

CyberGhost VPN’s main support page                NordVPN’s main support page

NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN both have basic FAQs and the option for email and live chat on their support webpage. The live chat of NordVPN is an AI Chatbot, but users can request to talk with a customer representative using the bot. 

CyberGhost VPN’s live chat is answered by a real customer representative. Their support pop-up window is helpful for users to find the most common VPN-related information.

Overall, our researcher found that NordVPN has better support, as its website is much easier to navigate and more user-friendly than CyberGhost VPN.

Reputation and credibility

NordVPN was founded in 2012 while CyberGhost was founded by CEO Robert Knapp in 2011. The company was bought by Kape Technologies in 2017. Kape also owns ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access (PIA), and ZenMate, in addition to CyberGhost VPN. Both VPNs are highly rated and are two of the most trusted and used VPNs worldwide. Unfortunately, NordVPN confirmed a security breach hit it in March 2018.

The Independent Advisor ranks NordVPN as the best VPN out there, but CyberGhost VPN is just a little behind and makes it into our list of top five VPNs.

NordVPN vs CyberGhost VPN: Which is best?

By analysing the results of all the categories mentioned above, it’s safe to conclude that there is tough competition between both VPN service providers. They have identical geo-unblocking support, platform support, security, encryption, top-notch privacy and audited no-log policies. Additionally, both have been deemed reliable by independent audit firms and are based in privacy-friendly countries. 

Nevertheless, NordVPN provides more affordable pricing options and better speeds. On the other hand, CyberGhost VPN has a friendlier UI that provides users with an interactive experience. 

To conclude, NordVPN has a slight advantage over CyberGhost VPN because it is considered one of the safest VPNs of all time by multiple security experts. Even though CyberGhost VPN has more servers and locations, NordVPN offers higher speed, better connectivity and more subscription packages, allowing users to choose according to their needs and preferences.

Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.53 /Month
£4.53 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £3.58 /Month
£3.58 /Month
amy

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.