ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are both well-established VPN services that have been serving users all over the world for almost a decade.
In this comparison, I’m going to put ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost through 13 rounds to decide the winner.
These are the criteria on which the two contestant VPNs will be rated in this article:
- Jurisdiction– Where the provider’s headquarters are located
- Logging Policy and Transparency– The type of consumer data that is kept in records by the provider and transparency
- Security– Encryption protocols and whether the VPN leaks IP/DNS
- Speed– Connection speed after VPN server is connected
- Server Network– the total number of servers
- Performance and Reliability– The overall functionality of the VPN
- Extra Features– The additional features that are provided by the service
- Torrenting– Does the VPN support torrenting?
- Netflix– Does the VPN support Netflix?
- Pricing– The cost of subscription packages, payment methods and refund policy.
- Compatibility– Which devices are supported?
- Customer Support– Quality of tech support
- Value– Which VPN has better quality at lower costs?
After evaluating both VPNs on these points, the winner is:
ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost Comparison
The jurisdiction of a VPN is of utmost importance, because the privacy of users of a VPN depends a great deal on the laws of the country where the provider is based.
Let’s see how ExpressVPN and CyberGhost compare on this point:
ExpressVPN: British Virgin Islands
ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which is a country with no mandatory data retention laws imposed on ISPs and VPN providers.
Basically, you want to avoid VPN services located within the Five Eyes, because of the heavy domestic surveillance programs underway in these countries.
To find out what makes a jurisdiction in one of these nations is such a bad idea, read our in-depth article on Five Eyes, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes jurisdictions.
ExpressVPN gets full points for being located far away from the reach of five eyes.
CyberGhost is based in Romania. The online privacy laws in the country have repeatedly been revised back and forth with pressures from the EU forcing the country to enforce data retention at various points in time in the past.
However, the country has withdrawn this mandatory requirement and has declared that data retention is a violation of the right of citizens to privacy.
Although in paper, the country has laws against digital copyright infringement, but in practice the country is often criticized for being too lax on the victimless crimes of download torrents.
For these reasons, CyberGhost is located in a reasonably safe country.
|British Virgin Islands||Romania|
|No mandatory data retention laws||No mandatory data retention laws|
2. Logging Policy and Transparency
VPN providers always log one type of data or another. It is extremely important that the provider doesn’t monitor and maintain logs of user activity for maximum privacy of users.
ExpressVPN has an excellent logging policy as it doesn’t store logs of any information which could be detrimental to your privacy.
These include browsing history, IP address, DNS requests, traffic destination, data content, and connection timestamps.
This makes ExpressVPN an outstanding privacy solution and one of the only 3 VPNs that our logging policy guide found to be in the clear.
ExpressVPN has also undergone third-party audit by a German cybersecurity frim Cure53. The Chrome browser extension was tested by the firm and the results came out positive.
The provider does not, however, publish transparency reports which is an area that calls for more attention on their part.
CyberGhost also boasts a logging policy that is highly oriented towards the user. The privacy statement clearly mentions all the information the provider specifically keeps no logs of:
What’s more, CyberGhost set the precedent of publishing annual transparency reports, which is rare in the VPN industry.
It is refreshing to see that CyberGhost takes transparency seriously and has taken steps towards disclosing details about its business and what is actually going behind the scenes.
The security a VPN can provide depends on the encryption standards, tunneling protocols, and how strongly the VPN guards the IP and DNS of the users.
ExpressVPN uses AES-256 to encrypt all user traffic. The supported VPN tunneling protocols include OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, and PPTP.
Testing the VPN for IP leaks, the service successfully passed the test.
For complete details about leaking IP addresses, check out our analysis on VPN leak tests.
CyberGhost is quite similar to ExpressVPN in terms of the protocols it uses and other security features. It supports OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and IKEv2. For encryption, AES-256 bit is used by the VPN.
Like its opponent in this comparison, CyberGhost has no IP o DNS leaking problem. I would expect no less from such a highly rated VPN.
The speed tests below were performed on a US server on a 30 Mbps Internet connection.
ExpressVPN Speed Test
ExpressVPN lives up to its name in terms of speed. In the test result, the VPN clocked in at 26.62 Mbps which is an above par performance.
CyberGhost Speed Test
CyberGhost doesn’t deliver the high server speeds that ExpressVPN routinely offers. Nonetheless, it is still faster than the majority of providers out there.
5. Server Network
ExpressVPN has a decent network consisting of 3,000 servers in 94 countries. This is a fairly strong server infrastructure that few providers can challenge.
CyberGhost has 3,691 operating servers in 59 countries. Although the number of servers is larger than ExpressVPN, the coverage area is more concentrated to a smaller geography.
Therefore, the winner of this round is ExpressVPN.
6. Performance and Reliability
A buggy VPN app makes for a frustrating user experience. This is why good performance and reliability of the VPN is not a factor that one can ignore.
ExpressVPN has a very well-designed VPN app for all its platforms. Connecting to any VPN server via ExpressVPN takes less than 10 seconds. In addition, the app allows users to configure protocol and other settings for a customized experience.
The CyberGhost VPN apps are easy to use and are designed with a visually appealing interface. The aesthetics of the apps aside, CyberGhost isn’t as fluid as ExpressVPN. You will normally need to wait a while before successfully forming connection with your chosen VPN service.
7. Extra Features
VPN providers often go the extra mile to offer a variety of extra features to boost user privacy and security. Let’s see what these features are for ExpressVPN and CyberGhost.
ExpressVPN is built with useful features like Network Lock (kill switch) and split-tunneling. The kill switch conveniently cuts off your internet in case the server you are connected to becomes unavailable for any reason.
Split-tunneling allows you to choose programs that you don’t want to pass through the VPN tunnel and keep them on the regular Internet.
CyberGhost doesn’t allow users the same kind of functionality on extra features that ExpressVPN does. The kill switch is enabled by default and you can’t turn it off.
For split-tunneling, it uses “smart rules” that allow you to select programs that you want to keep on the VPN server while excluding others.
For lower maneuverability of CyberGhost’s extra features, the winner of this round is ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN and CyberGhost both support P2P activity on their servers. ExpressVPN allows torrenting on all of their servers.
On the other hand, CyberGhost has designated P2P-enabled servers that you must be connected to in order to access torrent websites.
Winner: Since ExpressVPN supports P2P on all servers and is the faster service of the two, the winner of this round is ExpressVPN.
Both CyberGhost and ExpressVPN have servers located in countries that users usually seek to access regionally restricted shows/movies on Netflix.
ExpressVPN does a better job of enabling high quality streams on Netflix as compared to CyberGhost. This is primarily due to the lower speeds of CyberGhost.
Winner: Therefore, the winner of this round is once again ExpressVPN.
Our article on Netflix VPN analyzes the performance of different services in relation to Netflix.
10. Pricing, Payment Methods, and Refund Policy
VPN services usually provide several packages and payment methods to serve users with different needs.
ExpressVPN is a little expensive. It is currently offering 3 different packages (1-month, 6-month, and 15-month).
The best deal is the 15-month deal that is available for $6.67/month.
All of the packages come with 30-day refund window, so if you are not satisfied with the service for any reason, you can ask for a refund.
ExpressVPN accepts payments via multiple financial services, including bitcoin.
CyberGhost offers reasonably priced plans, especially the longer duration plans. The 3-year package is the best deal at $2.75/month and the 1-year plan is available for $5.99/month. The single month subscription is quite expensive at $12.99/month.
All the packages have different refund periods. The money-back guarantee on the 1-month package remains valid for 14 days. For the other two package, the refund window is valid for a full 45 days.
CyberGhost also accepts payments via credit/debit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin.
Winner: For cheaper pricing and longer refund period, CyberGhost is the winner in this round.
The demand for VPN services is not confined to users of any single platform or device: internet privacy and freedom is desired by all users whether they are using a phone or a desktop.
ExpressVPN supports a wide range of devices and platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, smart TVs, routers etc.
This is a sufficiently large list of supported devices and shows that ExpressVPN is truly a VPN for everyone.
CyberGhost is compatible with all popular operating systems and devices including Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Raspberry Pi, routers etc.
Although the range of supported devices is impressive, CyberGhost falls short of ExpressVPN when it comes to device compatibility.
12. Customer Support
ExpressVPN has a highly responsive customer support that is available 24/7 via live chat. The knowledgebase/FAQs are extremely useful as well, containing setup instructions and information relating to other features.
CyberGhost also provides 24/7 live chat support in addition to FAQs and knowledgebase containing a great deal of depth regarding the service.
13. Value for Money
CyberGhost holds its own against ExpressVPN for the most part, which is a feat in itself considering how strong ExpressVPN is.
In spite of the fact that CyberGhost itself offers pretty good value for money, it is ExpressVPN that has an edge over CyberGhost comparatively.
Therefore, ExpressVPN offers better value for money and covers pretty much all the bases necessary for boosting online privacy.
Winner is ExpressVPN
Here’s a brief summary of this CyberGhost vs ExpressVPN battle:
- Jurisdiction – Tie
- Logging policy – Tie
- Security – Tie
- Speed – ExpressVPN
- Server network – ExpressVPN
- Performance and reliability – ExpressVPN
- Extra features – ExpressVPN
- Torrenting – ExpressVPN
- Netflix – ExpressVPN
- Pricing, payment, & refund policy – CyberGhost
- Compatibility – ExpressVPN
- Customer support – Tie
- Value for money – ExpressVPN
Based on these 13 comparison points above, ExpressVPN has secured victory for itself.
However, this does not imply that CyberGhost is not a quality VPN service on its own. It is simply unable to outperform ExpressVPN in most areas.
Therefore, the one winner for this comparison is ExpressVPN.