When you explore numerous online review sites, you will likely encounter recommendations for both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost. But the question is, which one should you trust? To provide a clear answer, we have put both VPNs through a series of tests. Both are popular choices, but only one emerged victorious in this 2023 comparison of CyberGhost vs ExpressVPN.
Based on the latest tests, ExpressVPN was the clear winner in this comparison. ExpressVPN is significantly faster than CyberGhost and offers more security features, better apps, and better support for streaming content. While it is more expensive, you can use the ExpressVPN coupon below for more savings.
This table highlights the main facts about each VPN:
|Location||British Virgin Islands||Romania|
|Logs||No logs (audited)||No logs (audit)|
|Torrenting||All servers||All servers|
|Support||Knowledge Base; 24/7 live chat||Knowledge Base; chat|
|Apps for||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Price||$6.67 (with coupon)||$2.03|
|Coupon||49% Off + 3 Months Free >||N/A|
Below are the nine test categories we examined to determine whether CyberGhost or ExpressVPN is best. Also note that all test results are posted below as screenshots, allowing you to see each VPN’s real-world performance. If you have been on the fence about which VPN is best, then this CyberGhost vs ExpressVPN comparison guide will give you a clear answer.
- Company background and jurisdiction
- Speed tests
- Security and Encryption
- Customer Support
- Conclusion and Final Recommendation
Now let’s dive in.
Background check and jurisdiction: ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost
When you select a VPN, you put a lot of trust in the service to secure your traffic and data. Consequently, it’s smart to ensure you are going with a reputable VPN service with a clean track record. With this in mind, we’ll look at both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost.
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands (BVI)||United States|
ExpressVPN background check and jurisdiction
ExpressVPN is a premium VPN with a good reputation going back many years. It has a pretty clean track record and has never suffered from public security issues or data controversies, such as we’ve seen IPVanish or PureVPN (logging scandals). One minor exception was in late 2021 when news broke about an ExpressVPN employee working with the UAE on hacking technology, but this all transpired before he worked for ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN has also passed multiple independent (third-party) audits for both security and its no-logs policy.
ExpressVPN operates out of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), a location that is a significant advantage when it comes to ensuring user privacy. The British Virgin Islands is a self-governing British overseas territory that is not subject to the same data retention laws that many other countries impose. This means that ExpressVPN is not legally required to store user data, providing an extra layer of privacy protection for its users.
Furthermore, the British Virgin Islands is not a member of any international surveillance alliances, such as the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes alliances. These alliances between certain countries allow for the sharing of intelligence data, including potentially the personal data of VPN users.
We also see other VPNs that are incorporated in this jurisdiction, as we noted in the Surfshark review.
One major change, however, was that Kape bought ExpressVPN in the fall of 2021. This is the same company that owns CyberGhost. Kape has an interesting track record, especially when you look into Crossrider. In 2017, Crossrider closed down its browser development platform and pivoted to the cybersecurity industry under the new name Kape Technologies.
Fortunately, we have learned that ExpressVPN will continue to operate independently with its same leadership and management, despite Kape being the owner. This also applies to CyberGhost.
CyberGhost background check and jurisdiction
CyberGhost started as a Romanian service developed by a team from Germany and Romania. In 2017, CyberGhost was acquired by Crossrider (now Kape Technologies), which also owns ExpressVPN. Additionally, a few years ago, we learned that Kape bought Private Internet Access (PIA).
At the time of this update, CyberGhost had completed a single third-party audit covering its no-logs policy. However, it has been in the news for faulty ad-blocking VPN features and was even called out in a 2016 study (PDF) for the presence of malware in its VPN apps. (CyberGhost also did not do well in testing for the CyberGhost VPN review.)
CyberGhost still operates under the jurisdiction of Romania, just as it did prior to the acquisition by Kape. Romania is an excellent jurisdiction for a VPN due to its strong commitment to internet freedom and privacy. Like the BVI, Romania does not impose mandatory data retention laws. Also like the BVI, Romania is outside the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes and 14 Eyes alliances. The country’s robust stance on internet freedom and privacy, coupled with its strong digital infrastructure, makes Romania a favorable location for VPN services.
Background check winner: ExpressVPN
Features comparison: Can CyberGhost compete with ExpressVPN on features?
|Logs||No logs (audited)||No logs (audited)|
|Multiple VPN protocols||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in ad blocking||Yes||Yes (limited utility)|
|Best Deal:||49% Off + 3 Months Free >||67% off discount|
Both CyberGhost and ExpressVPN offer a diverse lineup of features. Let’s start with CyberGhost.
Below you can see the CyberGhost Windows VPN app I tested for this comparison:
Although CyberGhost is a basic VPN without too many frills, it does offer these features:
- Ad blocking – It’s tough to call this a feature since I found it to only work on HTTP sites. Because most sites are now HTTPS, the ad blocker is basically useless. (See our list of the best VPN ad blockers.)
- Leak protection – The CyberGhost VPN apps offer built-in leak protection settings (kill switch).
- User profiles – You can select from different user profiles, such as VPN for torrenting, streaming, gaming VPN, etc.
- Upgraded servers – CyberGhost is in the process of upgrading their VPN servers with 10 GB connections for faster data transfers across their network.
Now let’s see how ExpressVPN’s features compare.
In comparison to CyberGhost, ExpressVPN has more features for all types of users. Below is the ExpressVPN Windows app we tested. You can see it is user-friendly and easy to use, with a large connection button right in the center, and is one of the best VPNs for PC operating systems.
Here are some of the features you get with ExpressVPN:
- Upgraded servers – ExpressVPN has upgraded their VPN servers to function RAM-only (no disk drive) for better security.
- Upgrading to 10 GB connections for better performance.
- Threat Manager and Advanced Protection – See the next section.
- 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 (a VPN kill switch on steroids).
- Split tunneling – This feature allows you to route specified apps or websites to go outside the VPN tunnel. This feature is available for Windows, Mac OS, and routers. You can read more about this feature in our split tunneling VPN guide.
- Browser extensions that incorporate HTTPS Everywhere. (ExpressVPN is one of our top picks if you need the best VPN for Chrome.)
- Media Streamer – This app is ideal for a wide range of streaming devices, including as Smart TVs. It also works if you need a VPN for Apple TV.
- 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 and makes it one of the best VPNs for China.
Threat Manager and Advanced Protection
|Feature||Threat Manager||Advanced Protection|
|Blocks Malicious Websites||Yes|
|Requires Active VPN Connection||Yes||Yes|
|Platforms||Windows, Android, iOS, Aircove||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS|
ExpressVPN is rapidly adding security features to their service. Their Threat Manager feature can block ads, and has parental controls which allow you to block adult websites for all traffic passing through the VPN tunnel. Threat Manager capabilities are currently available in the apps for Windows, Android, iOS, and Aircove router.
Additional capabilities are available through the Advanced Protection feature. It has the ability to block trackers and malicious websites. Advanced Protection capabilities are currently available in the apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS apps. Unlike the situation with NordVPN’s Threat Protection, only traffic passing through the VPN tunnel is protected by these features.
Note: While we have not received any formal notification of this, we would expect the features of Threat Manager and Advanced Protection to gradually merge as they are applied across more of ExpressVPN’s apps.
Features winner: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost speed test results
Speeds are a huge consideration for VPN users. After all, what good is a VPN that is too slow and interferes with everything you do online?
All of the speed testing for this comparison was conducted on a 500 Mbps internet connection using the official VPN apps. For each service, I used the fastest VPN protocol available.
- ExpressVPN offers the Lightway protocol, which is faster than OpenVPN and most other protocols.
- CyberGhost has the WireGuard protocol, which usually outperforms all other VPN protocols.
I ran tests with server locations around the United States and the UK where each VPN had a presence.
United States test results
Test 1: Seattle, USA
ExpressVPN server in Seattle: 196 Mbps
CyberGhost server in Seattle: 12 Mbps
Right out of the gate, we see ExpressVPN has a big speed advantage over CyberGhost, which is really struggling with speeds.
Test 2: Los Angeles, USA
ExpressVPN server in Los Angeles: 231 Mbps
CyberGhost VPN server in Los Angeles: 32 Mbps
Another slow speed test result from CyberGhost, while ExpressVPN delivers over 200 Mbps. So far, ExpressVPN is really outperforming CyberGhost in the speed category.
Test 3: New York, USA
ExpressVPN server in New York: 96 Mbps
At over 200 Mbps, this is another good speed test result from ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost server in New York: 46 Mbps
While this is slightly better than our previous CyberGhost speed tests, it is still not very good. Again we see that ExpressVPN is much faster than CyberGhost for this server location.
United Kingdom test results
Test 4: United Kingdom
ExpressVPN server in the UK: 235 Mbps
CyberGhost server in the UK: 6 Mbps
With single-digit speeds, we must conclude that CyberGhost is not the best VPN for the UK if you value performance. Meanwhile, ExpressVPN turned in the fastest speed test result so far with 235 Mbps.
It’s clear that ExpressVPN outperforms CyberGhost and was the winner in every server location with much faster speeds. And while ExpressVPN is faster than CyberGhost, it did not fare quite as well in the Surfshark vs ExpressVPN comparison. (Surfshark’s implementation of WireGuard is even faster than ExpressVPN with Lightway.)
Keeping track of all those numbers and locations can wear you right out. Here is a table that summarizes the speed test results:
|Seattle||196 Mbps||12 Mbps|
|Los Angeles||231 Mbps||32 Mbps|
|New York||96 Mbps||46 Mbps|
|United Kingdom||235 Mbps||6 Mbps|
Speed winner: ExpressVPN
Note: ExpressVPN remains on the upper end of the speed spectrum. It beats out many VPNs besides CyberGhost, as you can see in our ExpressVPN vs IPVanish speed comparisons. However, NordVPN easily beats any of these, as shown in our NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison.
Prices and refunds: Is ExpressVPN or CyberGhost the better deal?
In this section, we’ll take a close look at both price and value (what you get for your money).
|Coupon:||49% Off Coupon >|
CyberGhost pricing and refund policy
CyberGhost price – CyberGhost definitely costs less than ExpressVPN, with the cheapest plan coming in at a bit more than $2 per month for the two-year subscription.
Although CyberGhost is very affordable if you choose a long-term subscription, it certainly is not the best cheap VPN with the problems we’ve identified so far. There are better options for a low-cost VPN as we noted in the Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison, with both of those VPNs making our list of the best cheap VPNs.
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.
ExpressVPN pricing and refund policy
ExpressVPN price – ExpressVPN has reasonable prices, but they are still more expensive than CyberGhost. Fortunately, you can use this discount coupon, which includes three months free and drops the price down to $6.67 per month. Here are the discounted prices with the coupon above:
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 and you’re good to go.
At this time, neither of these services offers a free trial VPN option. To use the VPN, you will need to select a plan and sign up.
Price and Refund Winner: CyberGhost wins this category because it is cheaper and has a longer money-back guarantee.
Note: If you are looking for a VPN with a price like CyberGhost but much better performance, check out our CyberGhost vs Surfshark comparison.
Netflix and Streaming: Does CyberGhost or ExpressVPN work better?
|Works with Netflix||Yes||No|
|Plans with Streaming Support||All plans||All plans|
|App for Android TV?||Yes||Yes|
|App for Firestick / Fire TV?||Yes||Yes|
Streaming media is a big reason that many people are using VPNs. Whether it’s watching old TV episodes on Netflix or streaming shows from BBC iPlayer with a VPN, with the right VPN it is easy to get full access to the best streaming media anywhere in the world.
CyberGhost – I found CyberGhost did not work well for streaming during my most recent tests. Aside from some connectivity issues, I noticed that CyberGhost was getting blocked by Netflix, even when connected to their own dedicated Netflix VPN server in the US:
What about other services? I found that CyberGhost is not a good VPN for Amazon Prime, since it was also blocked there. Additionally, it is not the best VPN for Hulu due to its slow speeds. CyberGhost claims to be a good VPN for streaming, but I did not find that to be the case in my own testing.
Note: CyberGhost was also beaten out in the streaming category in our NordVPN vs CyberGhost comparison.
ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs 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 through an ExpressVPN server in Seattle, Washington.
ExpressVPN is now one of our top recommendations if you need a VPN to unblock Netflix. It gives you access to numerous Netflix regions around the world and also works with many other streaming services. You can use this VPN for Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more.
Tip: A VPN remains the best tool for changing Netflix regions and unblocking content from anywhere in the world. It also works great for streaming sports if you use a VPN for ESPN.
Streaming winner: ExpressVPN
Torrenting: Is CyberGhost or ExpressVPN best?
|Torrenting Support||All servers||Some servers excluded|
|Dedicated P2P Servers||No||Yes|
|Plans that Support Torrenting||All plans||All plans|
Torrenting is the process of downloading and uploading files through a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. This can be dangerous because doing it exposes your IP addresses to other individuals on the same network. Not only does that put your privacy at risk, it exposes you to the threat of aggressive copyright infringement notices from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or legal entities.
Using a VPN while torrenting can prevent this problem. VPNs hide your real IP address and reroute your internet traffic through a secure, encrypted tunnel. This makes it extremely difficult for anyone to track your online activities or identify you. To torrent safely, you need a secure VPN that won’t expose your IP address to the world.
Both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost do a good job of protecting your identity when streaming. CyberGhost even has special profiles for torrenting. So the two services are pretty even here.
The other important characteristic of a VPN for torrenting is raw speed. Torrenting often involves enormous files. A slow VPN might be able to get the job of downloading a torrent done safely, but who wants to wait longer than necessary to complete a download?
As we saw in the speed testing, ExpressVPN is much faster than CyberGhost.
Torrenting winner: ExpressVPN
Security and Encryption comparison
In terms of security, both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost passed the basic leak tests (an explanation of our testing procedures can be found in the VPN test guide).
I did not find any leaks with either VPN when testing the Windows and Mac OS apps.
|Cipher||AES-256, ChaCha20||AES-256, ChaCha20|
|Authentication||SHA-512, Poly1305||SHA-256, Poly1305|
With encryption, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are pretty comparable with OpenVPN:
- CyberGhost: AES-256 cipher, SHA-256 hash authentication, and a 4096-bit RSA key.
- ExpressVPN: AES-256 cipher, SHA-512 HMAC authentication, and a 4096-bit RSA key.
Additionally, both CyberGhost and ExpressVPN support some newer VPN protocols:
- CyberGhost supports the WireGuard VPN protocol, which uses the ChaCha20 cipher.
- ExpressVPN supports the Lightway protocol, which is similar to WireGuard and uses the ChaCha20 cipher or AES-256 cipher (depending on the operating system you are using).
Although these encryption levels are very similar, ExpressVPN has a slight edge with the authentication.
|No Logs||Audited (KPMG)||Audited (Deloitte)|
Virtually every VPN provider these days claims that they are super fast, super secure, super private, and do not log user activity. That’s great, but several VPN providers have lied about this over the years.
How do you know who to trust? You look for VPNs that have undergone third-party audits. I’m happy to report that both of these VPNs have conducted at least one third-party audit. But that doesn’t mean that they are rated the same when it comes to third-party audits.
ExpressVPN makes a major effort to conduct third-party audits of their products. Some successful audits relevant to this review include:
- Audits of their macOS and Linux apps by Cure53.
- An audit of their Windows app by F-Secure.
- An audit of their browser extensions was conducted by Cure53.
- An audit of their privacy protection systems and no-logs policies was done by PricewaterhouseCoopers. (This is discussed more in the no-logs VPN guide.)
- An audit of the Lightway protocol was conducted by Cure53 in August of 2021.
- A second audit of the Lightway protocol, again conducted by Cure 53. This audit was announced in a blog post on March 7, 2023.
CyberGhost has had their no-logs policy audited by Deloitte. We don’t know exactly what the results of this audit were since CyberGhost’s agreement with Deloitte prevents them from publishing those results. The fact that they have completed a third-party audit puts them ahead of the vast majority of VPNs.
Still, with the wide range of audits conducted by various companies, ExpressVPN takes the prize for this particular test.
VPN server security
ExpressVPN really excels in the area of server security. In 2019, they converted their entire server network to run in volatile RAM memory. These RAM-disk or RAM-only servers do not use physical disk drives, since physical drives can be a security and privacy risk. With RAM-disk servers nothing can be permanently stored on the server.
This is important since there have been multiple occasions over the years where a hostile entity (usually a government) has seized VPN servers looking for information that the VPN service can not turn over to them. ExpressVPN refers to this feature as TrustedServer. For example, a few years ago the Turkish government seized one of ExpressVPN’s servers looking for data that the company did not have because it does not keep logs. The investigators found nothing. This is discussed in our no logs VPN guide.
CyberGhost has now moved to running all of its servers in RAM-disk mode. This is a big improvement on their part. In addition, many of their servers are colocated servers. This means that CyberGhost owns those servers, rather than renting them from some third party.
Colocated VPN servers have advantages over rented ones, especially in terms of control and security. Because CyberGhost owns and manages these servers, it has complete control over the hardware, software, and network configurations. They can ensure the servers are configured to their exact specifications and maintained to the highest security standards. This level of control and direct access to the servers reduces the risk of security breaches and data leaks.
According to their website, CyberGhost has colocated servers in numerous locations around the world, including London, Paris, and New York.
Note: If you need to use a VPN in a restricted country, then ExpressVPN would be the better choice here as it uses reliable obfuscation techniques to defeat blocks. This is discussed more in our guide on the best VPNs for UAE.
Security winner: Tie
Privacy comparison with ExpressVPN and CyberGhost
Here at RestorePrivacy, we really pay attention to how well a VPN does in this category. So is CyberGhost VPN or ExpressVPN the best choice for privacy-focused users?
CyberGhost – CyberGhost has a few issues that I noticed in the privacy category:
- First, I found that CyberGhost’s website uses invasive tracking measures. I observed session recording scripts for Hotjar on its website, which record everything a visitor does.
- Second, CyberGhost’s ad blocker does not stop tracking on HTTPS websites, as we covered before.
If you are looking for a good VPN for privacy, CyberGhost is not the best choice.
ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN is a solid choice for privacy. It is one of the few no-log VPN services that have been tested, audited by an independent third party, and also verified. (Outside verification of logs is also a trend we’ve seen with NordVPN and PIA.)
Although ExpressVPN does use Google Analytics on their site (as does CyberGhost), they do not use any invasive session recording scripts as 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
Customer support comparison
|24/7 Live Chat support||Yes||No|
|Online resources||Knowledge Base, Guides, FAQs||Knowledge Base, Guides, FAQs|
Customer support is a crucial aspect for any VPN user. While most VPNs are quite reliable, you could run into various technical issues or simply need an explanation of how to do something Reliable, accessible customer support lets you deal with these issues quickly and easily. In particular, 24/7 live chat support is incredibly important.
Why? Firstly, your VPN is probably based in a different time than you are. 24/7 live chat support ensures that no matter when you have a question there is someone that can help you right away.
Secondly, many of the things you do with a VPN are time-sensitive. For example, you could be streaming a live event, making a secure financial transaction, or accessing a geo-blocked website. In such cases, receiving immediate assistance through live chat support can be the difference between a task being completed successfully or not.
When it comes to customer support, ExpressVPN outshines CyberGhost in several key areas. ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support, and their staff is known for fast response times and helpful, knowledgeable answers. In contrast, CyberGhost does offer live chat support, but it’s not available 24/7. This means you may have to wait for a response, which can range from an inconvenience to a major problem.
ExpressVPN provides a comprehensive knowledge base on its website, with detailed guides and FAQs covering a wide range of topics. Meanwhile, CyberGhost’s online help section isn’t as extensive or user-friendly as ExpressVPN’s knowledge base. ExpressVPN’s customer support is superior to CyberGhost’s due to its 24/7 availability, quick response times, and extensive online resources.
Customer Support winner: ExpressVPN
Conclusion: ExpressVPN wins in 2023
ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are both popular VPN services that are recommended on many sites. Given that, you might expect that their performance on our tests would be very similar. But that isn’t how it turned out. There was a clear winner in this CyberGhost vs ExpressVPN comparison guide.
ExpressVPN came out on top in seven of the nine categories we tested:
|Company Background and Jurisdiction||ExpressVPN|
|Security and Encryption||Tie|
While CyberGhost is the winner in the price category, because it is cheaper, the key consideration is value. In terms of value, the question to ask is: Which VPN offers a better value for your money?
ExpressVPN outperformed CyberGhost by a wide margin, while also unblocking Netflix and offering more security features. Additionally, ExpressVPN has also passed more independent audits, which gives it a big boost in the trust category – an area where CyberGhost is really lacking.
When you consider overall performance, security, and features, I would say ExpressVPN is the better value, even though it is a bit more expensive.
If you want to give ExpressVPN a try, they are currently offering the following discount coupon:
If you are looking for a VPN that is closer in price to CyberGhost, but a much better value, then NordVPN would probably be a good fit. You can check out our full NordVPN review or hit the NordVPN coupon page for the latest discounts and deals on this industry-leading VPN service.
For additional recommendations, you can see the best VPN services guide.
Have you used either ExpressVPN or CyberGhost VPN? If so, leave your experience below in the comments to help others.
This CyberGhost VPN vs ExpressVPN guide was last updated on November 18, 2023.