ExpressVPN vs. CyberGhost: Which is Better?
This is an unbiased review of ExpressVPN and CyberGhost — two of the most popular virtual private network (VPN) services available today. Anyone can be vulnerable to malicious WiFi hotspots and compromise devices when connected to such networks. Cyber-attacks are often carried out in public WiFi areas such as airports, hotels, parks, cafés, libraries and shopping centers where connection is unencrypted. Therefore, even though public WiFi is convenient and free, it can pose a lot of security risks to unsuspecting users whose credit card information and even account passwords can be compromised.A VPN service or virtual private network can help encrypt your data and protect your private information and browsing activity from unauthorized access. You can better secure your connection to the internet via a tunnel between two or multiple devices. Aside from fending off data theft, it can also prevent malware attacks that can wreak havoc on your device.ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are two of the most popular VPN service providers each boasting millions of subscribers. If you can’t decide which of these two VPN services provides better service, here’s our objective review to get you all the information you need when deciding which to sign up for.
How We Compared ExpressVPN vs. CyberGhost
Before we dissect all the features, advantages and disadvantages of these VPN providers, here are the aspects of each service that we considered to provide a comprehensive assessment.
- Features – Does the VPN provider cover all of the bases needed to secure a user’s connection? Does it follow industry standards?
- Compatibility – Does it work with different operating systems (OS) and devices?
- Download Speeds – Will it not compromise speed when connected?
- Geo-blocking – Can it route your traffic through another server in a different country to bypass geo-blocked websites?
- Devices per Account – How many devices can simultaneously use the service?
- Pricing – How much is the cost of service? Does it offer a money-back guarantee? What about discounts and additional free months? Overall, is it worth the price?
- Payment Methods – Does it offer alternative payment channels to cater to more types of subscribers? Does it offer a convenient payment process?
What is ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is a consistent favorite among our favorite tested VPNs. This British Virgin Islands-based VPN provider began its operations in 2009. With its jurisdiction prohibiting any form of data retention, it has complete assurance to its clients that the company does not keep records of users’ activities or connection logs.
Many analysts and product reviewers agree that ExpressVPN is unparalleled when it comes to its strong privacy and security measures, a global presence of servers, and excellent split tunneling capability.
What is CyberGhost
CyberGhost has been around since 2015, providing a wide selection of servers plus a host of other security tools. It has one of the lowest discounted monthly rates for the highest possible VPN speeds. The service was founded in Germany but now has its headquarters in Bucharest, Romania – a country that has no mandatory retention rules. It is also not obligated to share any information to third-party organizations since the country is not part of any surveillance groups.
Comparing ExpressVPN and CyberGhost
Let’s take a more in-depth look at what each of these VPN services has to offer to its customers.
30-day money back guarantee
- Download Speeds
- Security and Data Protection
- Devices per Account
- Payment Methods
- Customer Support
In this section, we’ll look into the features of each service and inspect if each of them lives up to the hype.
What’s great about ExpressVPN is it lets users browse from 160 locations with more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries. They can select any virtual server location, gain a proxy IP address that is registered in their chosen country, and the traffic will be routed to another country with faster connection.
For example, if they choose to connect to the Netherlands, their network traffic will be routed through another server such as Montenegro, while the IP address will appear to come from the Netherlands. ExpressVPN also emphasizes that all server locations are located within the country it is specified.
On the other hand, CyberGhost has more than 7,960 servers in over 91 countries and 114 locations. Majority of its servers are concentrated in Canada, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands, United States and United Kingdom. It continues to expand its servers and locations based on the number of requests from its users.
Both VPN services offer kill switch. ExpressVPN calls its version “Network Lock,” which automatically stops traffic from going in and out of your device when you lose connection. It is available on Windows, Mac, Linux and router apps.
CyberGhost offers kill switch to Windows, macOS and iOS, and Android users. For instance, if a connection error happens and the user tries to reconnect, CyberGhost automatically blocks connections until the dialog is completed.
ExpressVPN allows two types of split tunneling:
- Traditional split tunneling – protects all connected devices and apps but not those excluded by the user
- Inverse split tunneling – protects selected devices and apps while those that are not part of the list are not covered.
ExpressVPN also offers split tunneling for routers through Device Groups that allows Wi-Fi connected devices to be grouped together and then have each cluster connected to a different VPN server location. Take note that the split tunneling feature is not available for macOS 11 and above.
For CyberGhost, split tunneling is only available for Android as of this writing. Windows users can use CyberGhost’s Smart Rules feature that will allow them to adjust how the app behaves and to select which server to connect to based on their needs..
Both VPN services use Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256-bit yes or more commonly referred to as AES-256. This is the standard for encryption used by top companies and public offices and endorsed by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology when securing private information.
Both services provide private Domain Name System (DNS) to its customers. This eliminates the risk of public DNS servers from being recorded by internet service providers (ISPs), advertisers and content delivery networks each time a user makes a query. ExpressVPN handles DNS requests automatically using the same tunneling protocols and encryption, so response times are faster. The company also emphasizes that it does not share DNS requests to any third party.
CyberGhost, on the other hand, uses a private DNS server to effectively mask a user’s IP address and prevent any third party organizations from trying to steal IP information for malicious purposes.
No Activity or Connection Logs
All VPN vendors promise a no-logs policy, otherwise, they won’t gain their customers’ trust. In the case of ExpressVPN, it explicitly states that it does not record IP addresses, browsing histories, traffic destinations, metadata, time of VPN connection and DNS queries. However, in order to troubleshoot some technical issues on its apps as well as resolve network problems, it records the following: users’ activated apps and its versions, selected VPN server location, dates connected to the service and total data transferred. Other than these, it does not intend to broaden its scope of data gathering.
Likewise, CyberGhost claims that its no-logs policy covers IP address, DNS queries, browsing history, accessed web content, connection and disconnection timestamps, session durations, bandwidth usage and connected VPN servers. It, however, records email address, billing details, and a few third party cookies for purposes of facilitating payments and improving customer support.
ExpressVPN boasts of a number of tools for free regardless if you are a subscriber or not. These include:
- What is my IP? – allows users to verify their current assigned IP address, location and ISP
- DNS Leak Test – checks if the DNS servers are being logged on every website that is visited
- WebRTC Leak Test – identifies any instances of leaking private information and exposed IP addresses
- Password Generator – provides securely generated passwords that takes thousands of years to crack
CyberGhost, on the other hand, offers the following free tools:
- Privacy Tool – checks all leaked online information including exposed sensitive data
- Cookie Cleaner – deletes all cookies with just one click instead of having to go through the tedious process when done on browsers; only available on Chrome and Firefox
- DNS Leak Test – detects any instances of DNS leakage
Speed Test Tool
Only ExpressVPN offers its own version of a speed test tool embedded directly into the app. Users can identify how fast their connection is before and during connection with VPN. CyberGhost, on the other hand, does not have a speed test tool.
ExpressVPN has available browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge. For CyberGhost, it offers browser extensions for Google Chrome only. However, the CyberGhost VPN app can be used on any major device and operating systems (OS).
ExpressVPN uses protocols such as Lightway – UDP, Lightway – TCP, OpenVPN – UDP, OpenVPN – TC, L2TP/IPSec (for Windows apps) and IKEv2 (for Mac, Windows, iOS and router apps).
Lightway – UDP, in particular, was developed in-house and is ideal for those who want to optimize speed but the TCP version connects better on selected networks although it’s a bit slower. When set to automatic, ExpressVPN selects the protocol that is most appropriate for the user’s network.
CyberGhost supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard. As of this writing, ExpressVPN does not still support WireGuard since it does not want to assign a static single IP address on a public or virtual network to any of its users. However, Lightway is more dependable in terms of encryption architecture, has fewer lines of code compared to OpenVPN, and can offer more stable connection.
ExpressVPN and CyberGhost offer applications that are compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS operating systems. You can also use them on all connected devices such as Chromebook, Fire TV Tablet (or Kindle Fire) and routers. For a list of specific computers (laptops and desktops), mobile devices including smartphones and tablets, wireless routers and streaming media consoles supported by ExpressVPN, click here. For CyberGhost, click here for a list of compatible software and devices.
We tested both VPN services and found out that in terms of speed and reliability, ExpressVPN offers better results.
ExpressVPN and IPVanish speed test results:
|Protocol||Lightway – TCP||Lightway – TCP||WireGuard||WireGuard|
|Device used||Windows 10 PC||Mac||Windows 10 PC||Mac|
|Ethernet||620 Mbps||605 Mbps||618 Mbps||599 Mbps|
|Wireless||110 Mbps||107 Mbps||108 Mbps||106 Mbps|
ExpressVPN now has expanded its access to many streaming sites, which include Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Showtime, and Sling TV. For a list of supported sites, click here.
CyberGhost can bypass geo-restrictions on streaming sites such as YouTube TV, Hulu, Disney+, Netflix and Crunchyroll plus sports events streams on ESPN, Eurosport and RMC Sport.
Security and Data Protection
ExpressVPN features TrustedServer technology that prohibits its servers from recording any information on the hard drive as every data is cleared upon rebooting because it runs on RAM.
CyberGhost, on the other hand, boasts of its security tools such as CyberGhost ID Guard, CyberGhost Privacy Guard, Premium Password Manager (at $2.00 per month) and Dedicated IP (at $3.75 per month) privacy solutions.
Devices per Account
ExpressVPN allows up to five devices to use each single subscription at the same time. CyberGhost, however, allows seven devices for every account.
ExpressVPN offers the following pricing plans*:
|Plan||1 year||6 months||1 month|
|Remarks||Includes 3 free months then billed every 12 months||billed every 6 months||billed every month|
There’s no free trial available for ExpressVPN, but you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee plus a 1-year unlimited cloud backup (for the 12-month package that comes with three months of free service). No other VPN comes close with such a premium VPN, which is why we voted it as our Best VPN Service for 2022.
CyberGhost offers the following pricing packages*:
|Plan||3 years||2 years||1 year||1 month|
|Remarks||$89.31 every 3 years; with 3 months free||$78 every 2 years||$51.48 every year||$12.99 every month|
All plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
*Pricing packages as of April 2022.
Express VPN accepts major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Diners Club International), PayPal, Bitcoin and other payment channels such as UnionPay, iDEAL, QIWI Wallet, SOFORT, giro pay, PIX, SEPA, Mint Payments, Mercado Pago and EPS Überweisung, among others.
CyberGhost, on the other hand, accepts major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover), PayPal and Bitcoin.
ExpressVPN offers a variety of ways that subscribers can access customer support. This includes video tutorials, knowledge base articles on troubleshooting, and step-by-step guides. There’s also a 24/7 live chat available to entertain your questions.
On the other hand, CyberGhost offers a Product Guide page, FAQ articles, Request page and live chat.
Below is a summary of the findings in this VPN service comparison:
|Servers||>3,000 servers in 160 locations and 94 countries||>7,960 servers in over 91 countries and 114 locations|
|Kill Switch||Available||Available (for Windows, macOS and iOS, and Android only)|
|Split Tunneling||Available||Available (for Android only)|
|Tools||What is my IP? (free) DNS Leak Test (free) WebRTC Leak Test (free) Password Generator (free)||Privacy Tool (free) Cookie Cleaner (free) DNS Leak Test (free)|
|Speed Test Tool||Available||none|
|Browser Extensions||Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge||Google Chrome|
|Protocols||Lightway – UDP Lightway – TCP OpenVPN – UDP OpenVPN – TC L2TP/IPSec (for Windows apps) IKEv2 (for Mac, Windows, iOS and router apps)||WireGuard OpenVPN IKEv2|
|Compatibility||Windows macOS Linux Android iOS Many devices||Windows macOS Linux Android iOS Many devices|
|Security and Data Protection||Strong||Strong|
|Devices per Account||5||7|
|Pricing||$6.67 / month (1-year plan)* *includes 3 free months||$2.29 / month for 3-year plan* *includes 3 free months|
|Payment Methods||Credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, etc.||Credit cards, PayPal and Bitcoin|
Based on the criteria above, there’s no doubt that ExpressVPN is better than CyberGhost when it comes to performance, features, security and support. Although CyberGhost offers more simultaneous users for a single account, ExpressVPN offers better performance, speed and security in comparison. Related articles: Does Using A VPN Hide Your IP Address? Yes