VPN

CyberGhost Alternatives: Comparing 22 VPN Providers

Author
Martin Gschwentner
Last update

VPNs are useful: They guard your privacy, make your Internet connections more secure (especially if on public WiFi), and are capable of unlocking geo-blocked content. CyberGhost is no exception, however, is it really the best choice out there?

Based in Romania, CyberGhost offers user-friendly apps, solid performance, and a sizable server network. When set alongside some of the other leading VPNs from our comprehensive EXPERTE.com VPN assessment, we noticed a few areas where it was definitely not leading the pack.

Below, we'll let you know what these shortcomings are, as well as which of the services we evaluated performed better.

CyberGhost's Disadvantages

CyberGhost staked out a very respectable eighth place in our VPN assessment. It failed to reach higher owing to the following aspects:

Dubious parent company
Since 2017 CyberGhost has belonged to Kape Technologies, which owns a few other VPNs such as ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and Zenmate, as well as a number of well-known VPN review websites. On its own, this would be cause enough for concern, however, our qualms go a bit deeper. Previously known as Crossrider, the company had a poor reputation as a malware smuggler. Even if Kape Technologies has atoned for its past sins, its corporate history doesn't mesh well with software that is meant to enhance digital privacy and security, like VPNs.

No security audits since 2012
Plenty of VPN services have begun submitting regularly to independent security audits conducted by third parties. These assessments, like no other, underline how serious a provider's data security commitments are, with certification lending a great deal of credence to what their marketing promises. Such an audit would do CyberGhost a world of good, especially in light of Kape Technologies' dubious past. Unfortunately, CyberGhost has not been examined by independent third parties for more than a decade.

Performance 'only' solid
CyberGhost's performance is okay, however, it isn't awe-inspiring. During our assessment, the provider's speeds were only good enough for 15th place, putting it far off the leaders who are both more reliable and faster. Further souring our experience were several instances when we were unable to establish VPN connections at all.

The Best Alternatives to CyberGhost

1.

Faster: NordVPN

Best Overall 2022
NordVPN Test
NordVPN
(694,416)
5400+ servers, 60 countries
Excellent performance
No logs
6 devices simultaneously
Inexpensive 2-year package
NordVPN combines speed, user-friendliness and functionality into a coherent overall package that is also fairly affordable.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
NordVPN 2-year plan
$2.99
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.7 / 5
excellent

As we mentioned above, CyberGhost's speeds only secured it 15th place in our EXPERTE.com speed ranking. At the other end of the spectrum was NordVPN, which was not only faster but also our best-in-show, thanks to its winning overall package.

Alongside top speeds, you'll also get user-friendly apps that come loaded with features such as split tunneling, Tor connections, and Double VPN. Rounding things out is NordVPN's excellent support, which includes a live chat.

NordVPN came in first out of all 22 VPNs EXPERTE.com examined.

Casting an eye towards security, NordVPN promises not to create any logs and backs up this claim with regular independent security audits. During our assessment, we didn't identify any leaks. Since NordVPN is priced fairly, particularly in its very affordable 2-year subscription, the VPN's premier place on the podium is well-deserved.

Elegant, intuitive app with an interactive world map

Excellent speeds

Plenty of features, such as split tunneling, server categories, and CyberSec

Server network could cover more countries

Few protocol options

Review
4.7 / 5
04/2021
excellent
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.7 / 5
Installation and Features
4.7 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.7 / 5
Server Network
4.3 / 5
2.

More Affordable 2-Year Subscription: Surfshark

Surfshark VPN Test
Surfshark VPN
(107,554)
3200+ servers in 65 countries
Unlimited number of devices
Many apps (Linux, FireTV, ...)
Saves no logs
Very cheap on the 24-month plan
Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on the market, but besides the price also impresses with strong protection, many features and a great support with 24/7 live chat.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
Surfshark 24 months
$2.49
monthly price
Visit Website »
Get 83% Discount
Review
4.4 / 5
good

CyberGhost is one of the most affordable VPNs, mostly owing to its competitively-priced 3-year package. In case you don't want to make that long of a commitment, an even less expensive (and contractually shorter) option is circling just within our Top 3: Surfshark.

However, there aren't only economic arguments speaking in Surfshark's favor: The relatively young VPN came in just behind NordVPN in our performance ranking, breezing past CyberGhost. Then there's its highly impressive feature package, which includes split tunneling, MultiHop, an adblocker, and a static IP address.

Surfshark might be a few years younger than CyberGhost, but it already outperforms its senior in some areas.

As such, Surfshark's price-performance ratio is better than that of CyberGhost. You'll pay less per month for its 2-year subscription than you would for CyberGhost's 36-month plan. Thanks to its recent audit and lack of leaks, there aren't any security concerns about using Surfshark either.

Top-performing

Tons of features, including split tunneling

User-friendly apps

Server network could be larger

Review
4.4 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Installation and Features
4.7 / 5
Customer Support
4.3 / 5
Server Network
4.0 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.0 / 5
3.

Greater Emphasis on Privacy: ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN Test
ProtonVPN
(94,419)
Strong focus on security
1200+ servers in 55 countries
Headquarters in Switzerland
Solid performance
Open Source & external audits
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
3
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
ProtonVPN Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.3 / 5
good

CyberGhost didn't demonstrate any technical security issues during our assessment: It supports state-of-the-art protocols, uses AES-256 encryption, and passed all of the IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leak tests we put it through. At the same time, its corporate ownership (Kape Technologies) left us skeptical, as did the absence of current security audits.

ProtonVPN doesn't only have up-to-date external audits: Since 2020, it's completely open-source. This means that anyone can view its source code and examine it for weaknesses - none of the other services from our sample demonstrated as much transparency.

ProtonVPN's open-source philosophy and security features make it an excellent choice for privacy enthusiasts.

ProtonVPN also offers a few useful security features that its competitors have no analog for. With "Secure Core", you'll be able to route your VPN traffic through a secure server in a country with strict data privacy laws.

Another feather in the provider's figurative cap is its free version, which doesn't impose any data or speed limits upon users. Taken together, all of the above make ProtonVPN a great choice for privacy enthusiasts, as well as anyone on the hunt for a free VPN without data limits.

Open-source apps

Solid performance

Security features like "Secure Core"

Growing server network

Limited support options

Review
4.3 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Installation and Features
5.0 / 5
Security and Privacy
5.0 / 5
Performance
4.3 / 5
Customer Support
3.7 / 5
Server Network
3.7 / 5
4.

Kape Subsidiary With Securit Audits: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Test
ExpressVPN
(340,416)
3000+ Server
160 cities in 94 countries
Excellent performance
Saves no logs
30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN impresses with strong performance, a huge server network and excellently designed applications, but this quality also comes at a higher price.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
3
Protocols
7
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
ExpressVPN 12 Months
$8.33
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.7 / 5
excellent

Should you not be afraid of doing business with a Kape Technologies subsidiary, you can enjoy enhanced security with ExpressVPN. One of the most popular services on the market, ExpressVPN offers excellent performance, intuitive apps, and a large server network.

Even though ExpressVPN is owned by Kape Technologies, it regularly submits to independent security audits.

Unfortunately, an ExpressVPN subscription will cost significantly more than a CyberGhost one. Even though the difference is minimal for monthly rates, ExpressVPN's most affordable long-term package costs three times as much per month as that of CyberGhost.

Excellent performance

Huge server network

Regularly submits to independent security audits

Pricey

Owned by Kape Technologies

Review
4.7 / 5
04/2021
excellent
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.7 / 5
Server Network
4.7 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.7 / 5
Installation and Features
4.3 / 5
5.

Further Alternatives

HideMyAss

HideMyAss has fewer servers, but more of a geographic spread than CyberGhost. In terms of performance, HideMyAss also beats CyberGhost. Rounding things out are clever features such as automatic IP changing.

HideMyAss! VPN Test
HideMyAss! VPN
(83,108)
1100+ servers
290 locations in 210 countries
7 days free trial
Excellent performance
Unreliable for streaming
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
5
Protocols
1
Contract Period
12 - 36 months
HideMyAss! 36 months
$2.99
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.3 / 5
good

hide.me

After ProtonVPN, hide.me serves up the best free VPN: You'll get up to 10 GB of data per month and be able to connect to five different locations. In its paid version, hide.me also performed strongly, however, its server network could be larger.

hide.me VPN Test
hide.me VPN
(24,120)
1900+ servers
75+ locations in 47+ countries
Saves no logs
14-day money-back guarantee
with free plan
Data volume
10 - ∞
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
7
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
hide.me Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.2 / 5
good

Windscribe

Windscribe is also worth checking out if you'd like a free VPN. You'll be treated to 10 GB of data across any synchronized devices per month, as well as access to 10 different server locations (more than both hide.me and ProtonVPN). All the same, when it comes to performance, Windscribe finished behind CyberGhost.

Windscribe VPN Test
Windscribe VPN
(125,923)
500+ servers in 60+ countries
Free version with 10 GB limit
Connect unlimited devices
Good for video streaming
Headquarters in Canada
Data volume
10 - ∞
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
2
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Windscribe Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Download for free
Review
3.9 / 5
good

Overall Result

In EXPERTE.com's VPN comparison, we scored 22 providers across 5 categories, "Installation and Features", "Server Network", "Performance", "Security and Privacy", and "Customer Support". When the dust settled, CyberGhost wound up in eighth place, within the upper third of our sample. While good, at least seven other services outperformed it in one way or another.

Below, you can see our complete ranking:

NordVPN
4.7 / 5
excellent
Check Review
ExpressVPN
4.7 / 5
excellent
Check Review
Surfshark
4.4 / 5
good
Check Review
ProtonVPN
4.3 / 5
good
Check Review
HideMyAss!
4.3 / 5
good
Check Review
hide.me
4.2 / 5
good
Check Review
Private Internet Access
4.1 / 5
good
Check Review
CyberGhost
3.9 / 5
good
Check Review
PureVPN
3.9 / 5
good
Check Review
Windscribe
3.9 / 5
good
Check Review
VyprVPN
3.8 / 5
good
Check Review
Hotspot Shield
3.7 / 5
good
Check Review
IPVanish
3.7 / 5
good
Check Review
Mullvad
3.7 / 5
good
Check Review
VPN Unlimited
3.7 / 5
good
Check Review
PrivateVPN
3.6 / 5
good
Check Review
TorGuard
3.6 / 5
good
Check Review
TunnelBear
3.5 / 5
good
Check Review
ZenMate
3.5 / 5
satisfactory
Check Review
Avast
3.4 / 5
satisfactory
Check Review
Perfect Privacy
3.3 / 5
satisfactory
Check Review
Avira
3.2 / 5
satisfactory
Check Review

Conclusion

CyberGhost isn't a bad choice for a VPN: It offers a huge server network, elegant apps, and decent performance. However, decent isn't great, and its dubious parent company, Kape Technologies, is sure to be a red flag for any data privacy enthusiasts.

Accordingly, we're happy that several of the services we assessed aren't plagued by the same issues that CyberGhost suffers from. NordVPN, the overall winner of our evaluation, performs better and regularly submits to independent security audits. Surfshark has a more competitively-priced 2-year subscription package than CyberGhost, and ProtonVPN is sure to be a favorite with data security enthusiasts owing to its open-source apps and focus on privacy.

Should you want to find out more about these and other VPNs, you can in our detailed EXPERTE.com reviews of 22 of the most popular VPNs.

CyberGhost VPN Test
CyberGhost VPN
(190,322)
6400+ server
90 countries
Saves no logs
45 days money-back guarantee
Reliable Streaming
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
7
Protocols
6
Contract Period
1 - 36 months
CyberGhost 3 Years
$2.48
monthly price
Visit Website »
45 days money-back guarantee
Review
3.9 / 5
good
Author (German Version): Martin Gschwentner
Martin Gschwentner majored in American Studies and Media Studies in Germany, the USA and France and works as a freelance editor in Paris. He is a doctoral student at the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Paris Diderot, where he is researching the influence of money on US politics. On EXPERTE.com he writes about IT security, data protection and software for the self-employed and small businesses.
Translator & Editor: D Bare
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