CyberGhost and ExpressVPN are both large VPN services with many users – but which one comes out on top in back-to-back testing?
In this CyberGhost vs ExpressVPN comparison guide, we’ll take a close look at each VPN as well as in-depth test results. These tests revealed a clear winner. Here are the areas we’ll examine:
- Overview of ExpressVPN and CyberGhost
- Speed tests for different servers around the world
- Prices and Value
- Security and Encryption
Let’s dive in.
|Based in||British Virgin Islands|
|Logs||No logs (audited)|
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ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and has a great track record as a secure, privacy-focused provider with no logs. As discussed in the no logs VPN guide, ExpressVPN has been tested and verified to keep no logs. It is also a great Netflix VPN offering some of the best speeds of any VPN provider tested.
The ExpressVPN apps are user-friendly and very secure. In addition to using strong encryption, ExpressVPN apps also have a “Network Lock” kill switch. This keeps your data secure and encrypted to protect you against any data leaks.
If you are looking for a fast, secure, and user-friendly VPN that just works well, ExpressVPN is a solid choice.
Discount Coupon: Right now you can get three months of ExpressVPN for free.
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CyberGhost VPN is officially based in Romania, but owned by an Israeli company called Kape (formerly Crossrider). When you look into the history of CyberGhost’s parent company, you find that it is well-known for producing malware and spyware, which I discussed in my review of CyberGhost VPN. The fact that they purchased and are now operating CyberGhost VPN is somewhat concerning, given the history. The parent company also purchased Private Internet Access in 2019.
In terms of performance, I found CyberGhost VPN to be pretty slow, especially in comparison to ExpressVPN. Their ad blocker also does not seem to function very well as it is incapable of blocking anything on HTTPS websites. Overall, there are many better options to consider.
ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost Speeds
Speeds are a huge consideration for VPN users. After all, what good is a VPN that is simply too slow and interferes with everything you do online?
In my recent review of ExpressVPN, I could consistently get speeds that were close to my full baseline (non-VPN) speed of 160 Mbps. However, with my latests tests of CyberGhost, speeds were not very good. Let’s see who comes out on top in the CyberGhost vs ExpressVPN speed tests. (My baseline (without a VPN) download speed for all tests was 160 Mbps.)
CyberGhost: First I tested a CyberGhost server in Germany that gave me 78 Mbps.
Given my baseline speed of 160 Mbps, this is definitely not great.
ExpressVPN: I connected to an ExpressVPN server in Germany and got much better speed test results in comparison to CyberGhost: 144 Mbps.
Next up I decided to test some servers in the United Kingdom. In my CyberGhost review, I found that UK servers were often congested.
CyberGhost UK server: 56 Mbps
Suffice to say, CyberGhost is not the best VPN for the UK. This was another disappointing speed test.
Now for the comparison with ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN: Using an ExpressVPN server in the UK, I was able to get around 147 Mbps.
With all of the servers I tested in Europe, ExpressVPN outperformed CyberGhost by a large margin.
Next, I tested servers in the United States and Canada, which were much further from my physical location, but the results were similar.
CyberGhost server in New York: 76 Mbps
This isn’t too bad when you consider the longer distance – but it’s also not great.
ExpressVPN server in New York: 140 Mbps
As before, ExpressVPN provided significantly faster speeds on all servers in the United States and Canada, making it the best VPN for Canada with the latest results. You can see all the speed test results in the respective reviews of Cyberghost and ExpressVPN.
Speed winner: ExpressVPN
Note: These test results were also similar to when I ran the ExpressVPN vs IPVanish speed comparisons.
Prices and Value: CyberGhost vs ExpressVPN
In this section we’ll take a close look at both price and value (what you get for your money).
CyberGhost price – CyberGhost definitely costs less than ExpressVPN, with the cheapest plan coming in at $3.50 per month for the two-year subscription.
Although CyberGhost is affordable with long-term subscriptions, it certainly is not the best cheap VPN. There are better options in this category, particularly with NordVPN.
CyberGhost refund policy – CyberGhost currently has a tiered refund policy. If you go with a one-month CyberGhost VPN subscription, you will have a 14 day refund window. If you go with a CyberGhost subscription that is 6 months or more, you will get a 45 day refund window.
Now we will compare CyberGhost to ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN price – ExpressVPN offers reasonable prices, but they are still more expensive than CyberGhost. Fortunately, you can use this 49% off coupon, which lowers your ExpressVPN subscription to $6.67 per month and also includes three months free. Here are the reduced prices with the discount:
ExpressVPN refund policy – ExpressVPN provides a 30 day money-back guarantee on all subscription plans. There are no exceptions, fine print, or special rules for receiving your money back, simply request a refund within 30 days.
Value consideration – While CyberGhost is certainly cheaper than ExpressVPN, in terms of value, it comes up short. The reason for this is simple: in my testing it simply did not work well and offered mediocre speeds, much slower than ExpressVPN. So even though ExpressVPN is more expensive, you get more for your money with a fast, secure, well-functioning VPN service.
Price and Value Winner: CyberGhost is cheaper, but ExpressVPN offers a better value.
Features: ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost
Both CyberGhost and ExpressVPN offer a diverse lineup of features.
ExpressVPN features – Here are some of the main features with ExpressVPN:
- Network Lock kill switch – This is an advanced leak protection setting to ensure all traffic is blocked if anything disrupts the VPN connection (thereby keeping your data secure). It protects you against IPv4 leaks, IPv6 leaks, and DNS leaks.
- Split tunneling – This feature allows you to split your traffic by application, with some applications going through the encrypted VPN tunnel, and others connecting to the regular (unencrypted) internet. This is available for Windows, Mac OS, and routers.
- Browser extensions that incorporate HTTPS Everywhere.
- Media Streamer – This app is ideal for a wide range of streaming devices, including as Smart TVs.
- Router app – ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that offer a dedicated router app. This allows you to switch locations and it also supports split tunneling on your network.
- 24/7 live chat support – This is always helpful if you need assistance with anything at all.
- Obfuscation – ExpressVPN offers obfuscation features to effectively hide your VPN traffic. This allows you to use the VPN in places where VPNs are blocked. This makes it one of the best VPNs for China.
CyberGhost features – CyberGhost also offers some interesting features, but they do not all work correctly:
- Ad blocking – In my tests for the VPN ad blocker guide, I found that CyberGhost’s ad blocker was completely broken on all HTTPS websites. Since most websites today use HTTPS, this essentially makes their ad blocker worthless.
- User profiles – CyberGhost’s apps have different user profiles, which you can use for torrenting, browsing, etc.
- Leak protection – Like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost also has leak protection features.
Another big consideration with features is streaming, which we’ll cover next.
Features winner: ExpressVPN
Streaming: ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost
Streaming media is a big reason that many people are using VPNs. Whether it’s watching episodes of Netflix or streaming shows from the BBC iPlayer in the UK, a VPN is your ticket to unlimited streaming.
CyberGhost – With my latest round of tests for the review, I found CyberGhost to not work well with streaming. Aside from some connectivity issues, I noticed that CyberGhost was getting blocked by Netflix, even when connected to the dedicated Netflix VPN server in the US:
CyberGhost claims to be a good VPN for streaming, but I did not find that to be the case.
ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN for streaming with 24/7 access to Netflix and many other streaming channels around the world.
Below I’m using ExpressVPN to stream US Netflix from my location in Europe.
ExpressVPN is currently the best VPN for Netflix in 2020. It unblocks numerous Netflix regions around the world and also works with many other streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more.
Streaming winner: ExpressVPN
Security: ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost
In terms of security, both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost passed the basic leak tests (an explanation on testing procedures can be found in the VPN test guide).
Here was the CyberGhost VPN leak test results:
I did not find any leaks with CyberGhost’s Windows or Mac OS apps.
Just like with CyberGhost, I did not find any leaks with ExpressVPN’s Windows or Mac OS apps:
Another aspect of security is whether the VPN has been audited by a third party.
With encryption, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are pretty comparable:
- CyberGhost: AES-256 cipher, SHA-256 hash authentication, and a 4096 RSA key.
- ExpressVPN: AES-256 cipher, SHA-512 HMAC authentication, and a 4096-bit RSA key.
Although these encryption levels are very similar, ExpressVPN has the slight edge.
ExpressVPN has undergone two separate third-party audits:
- An audit of their browser extensions, which was conducted by Cure53 in Berlin.
- An audit of their privacy protection systems and no-logs policies, which was done by PricewaterhouseCoopers. (This is discussed more in the no logs VPN guide.)
To the best of my knowledge, CyberGhost has not completed any third-party audits.
Security winner: ExpressVPN
Privacy: CyberGhost vs ExpressVPN
In terms of privacy, is CyberGhost VPN or ExpressVPN the best choice?
CyberGhost – CyberGhost has a few issues that I noticed in the privacy category:
- I found that CyberGhost’s website uses aggressive and invasive tracking measures. I observed session recording scripts for Hotjar on their site, which record everything a visitor does.
- CyberGhost’s ad blocker does not stop tracking on any HTTPS site, as we covered before.
- CyberGhost’s parent company (Kape Technologies, formerly Crossrider) has a history of distributing malware for data collection.
If you are looking for a good VPN for privacy, CyberGhost may not be the best choice.
ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN is a solid choice for privacy. It is one of the few no logs VPN services that have been tested, audited by an independent third party, and verified.
Although ExpressVPN does use Google Analytics on their site (as does CyberGhost), they do not use any invasive session recording scripts like CyberGhost does with Hotjar.
ExpressVPN’s privacy features ensure your identity and online activities stay secure and out of the hands of third parties.
Privacy winner: ExpressVPN
Conclusion: ExpressVPN wins
ExpressVPN is the winner of this ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost VPN comparison.
CyberGhost isn’t a horrible service, but it did not do very well in the latest update to the CyberGhost VPN review, which is why it is currently not recommended.
If you want to give ExpressVPN a shot, there are currently offering the following discount coupon:
If you are looking for a VPN that is around the same price as CyberGhost, then NordVPN would probably be a good fit. Check out the NordVPN coupon page for the latest discounts and deals. Additionally, you can find the latest deals for ExpressVPN on the ExpressVPN coupon page.
For additional recommendations, you can see the best VPN services for 2020.
Last updated on January 28, 2020.