ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost

Finding the right VPN doesn’t have to be difficult. Our team of experts has conducted an in-depth analysis of two leading providers, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost to find out which is best for the average user in 2023. If you’re looking to find out which service is faster, more secure, or better for streaming, you’re in the right place.

Can’t choose between ExpressVPN and CyberGhost?

Having trouble choosing between ExpressVPN and CyberGhost? We’d suggest trying ExpressVPN first. It’s very newcomer-friendly, works in places like China, and has no issues with most streaming services. Plus, it offers a steep discount on long-term plans. CyberGhost is a strong choice too, especially if you value speed and a large network; use our exclusive coupon to try CyberGhost for as little as possible.

Looking for the short version? Here are some of the things we liked the most about ExpressVPN and CyberGhost:

Summary: ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost

ExpressVPN

  • Simple installation, even on routers
  • Ranks highly in terms of speed
  • Excellent unblocking capabilities
  • Allows users to sign up anonymously

CyberGhost

  • Designed with novices in mind
  • Great for streaming
  • A huge network of servers
  • Ad-blocker and malware-scanner

Pricing and discounts

No valueExpressVPNCyberGhost
WebsiteExpressVPN.comCyberghost.com
Subscription periods1 month, 6 months, 1 yearOne month, six months, two years
Special offerThree months free with a 1 year subscription82% discount on 2 year plans with three months free
Highest price per month$12.95$12.99
Lowest monthly cost$6.67$2.11
One year price $99.95 (actually for 15 months)$83.88 (two six-month plans)
Money back guarantee30 days45 days
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.11
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free

At over $12 per month, these aren’t the cheapest options if you’re looking for short-term coverage. The longer you sign up for, the lower the cost, though. ExpressVPN gives annual subscribers almost half off and three months extra free, whereas CyberGhost cuts the price by over 80 percent if you choose its two-year plan.

Both of these VPNs offer money-back guarantees. This means that you can test each VPN, and if you’re not impressed, cancel for a full refund. ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee no matter which plan you pick, while CyberGhost offers a 14-day guarantee on monthly plans and 45 days for anything longer.

EXPRESSVPN DEAL: Get a 49% discount and three months free.

CYBERGHOST DEAL: Save over 80% and get two months free on the two-year deal.

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost features

No valueExpressVPNCyberGhost
WebsiteExpressVPN.comCyberghost.com
Simultaneous Connections57
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, RoutersWindows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android, Smart TVs Routers
Manual install devicesSet-top boxes and certain routersRouters
Free extrasSmart DNS service. Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Vivaldi, and BraveAutomatic ad and malware-protection, browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome.
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.11
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free

Both VPNs have apps for all of the main platforms and extensions for popular browsers. However, CyberGhost allows seven simultaneous connections to ExpressVPN’s five. On the plus side, ExpressVPN has its own router firmware that makes it easier to protect every device on your network (since a router only counts as one connection, even if there are a hundred devices using your internet).

CyberGhost has built-in ad-blocking and malware-protection, plus a random port connection feature designed to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN at all. In our experience, obfuscation tools like this can help beat simple forms of VPN-detection but likely won’t be enough if you’re visiting a country with strict online censorship.

ExpressVPN automatically enables its obfuscation as and when it’s needed, so straight off the bat, that’s one less thing to worry about. Your subscription also includes access to MediaStreamer, a Smart DNS service that can help you access US-only services on systems that don’t support full VPN apps (like PlayStations).

Streaming comparison

No valueExpressVPNCyberGhost
WebsiteExpressVPN.comCyberghost.com
Unblocks Hulu
Unblocks Sky Go
Unblocks Prime Video
Unblocks BBC iPlayer
Unblocks ABC
Unblocks CBS
Unblocks NBC
Unblocks ITV
Unblocks Channel 4
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.11
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free

The table above says everything you need to know: ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are two of the most reliable options for streaming. Now, this isn’t a comprehensive list; whenever we come across a new geo-blocked service, we try to access it with a whole host of VPNs, and in our testing, this pair work more often than not.

CyberGhost has a slight advantage in this area since it has clearly-labeled servers that tell you exactly which streaming service they’re optimized for. In contrast, ExpressVPN users may have to try a few before they find one that works (though if you’re struggling, customer support should be able to point you in the right direction).

China

Despite its best efforts, the Chinese government has not been able to block ExpressVPN for any real stretch of time. There may be intermittent issues when the Great Firewall is updated but in general, you should be able to browse securely most of the time. Better still, there’s no need to configure anything manually — ExpressVPN takes care of everything in the background.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost doesn’t work at all in China. Its website is completely inaccessible, the apps don’t function, and you can’t connect even if you set up a manual connection. As such, we don’t recommend relying on this service if you’re planning a visit to the mainland.

Setup and interface

No valueExpressVPNCyberGhost
WebsiteExpressVPN.comCyberghost.com
Automatic setup wizardWindows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Tomato and DD-WRT routersWindows, Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV/ Fire stick
Main location selectionList-basedList-based
Extra settings pages
Mobile-friendly
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.11
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free

ExpressVPN has an extremely simple interface with minimal clutter and everything you need to get connected quickly right there on the home screen. The settings menu and server lists each have their own page, and we really liked that settings were grouped into tabs, with every option having a good explanation of what it actually does. Users can also favorite servers, which makes it easy to quickly access one that you know works with services like Netflix.

CyberGhost is a little more complex, though it’s done its best to keep things organized. Servers are separated based on what they’re best at, meaning you can easily find one designed for anonymous torrenting, secure streaming, or playing online games. We would have preferred a trimmed-down settings menu though, since options are spread across multiple different screens, which makes it a little tricky to find anything specific.

Servers and performance

No valueExpressVPNCyberGhost
WebsiteExpressVPN.comCyberghost.com
Server countries9490+
Total number of serversUndisclosed7000+
Mobile-friendly
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.11
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free

ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, which is more than most of its rivals. However, CyberGhost has expanded recently, and is closing the distance. At the time of writing, it offers IP addresses from 90 countries including some that ExpressVPN doesn’t, like Russia, Nigeria, and Qatar. ExpressVPN meanwhile, offers uncommon locations like Laos, Bhutan, and Brunei Darussalam.

The following table shows each VPN’s supported locations:

ExpressVPNCyberGhost
Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Armenia
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belgium
Bhutan
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Brazil
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Egypt
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Greenland
Guatemala
Hungary
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran
Ireland
Isle of Man
Israel
Italy
Japan
Jersey
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kenya
Latvia
Lichtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macau
Malaysia
Malta
Macedonia
Mexico
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Myanmar
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nigeria
Norway
Pakistan
Panama
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Singapore
Sri Lanka
South Africa
South Korea
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey
Ukraine
UAE
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam

We periodically speed test VPNs, and given that this pair have been around for over a decade, it’s been possible to monitor their progress over time. What we discovered was very interesting: no matter how many competitors showed up, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost remained two of the fastest VPNs on the market.

To be fair, their speeds have declined lately. CyberGhost previously delivered average speeds of over 500 Mbps but these fell to 296 Mbps in our most recent tests. Similarly, ExpressVPN delivered an average of 475 Mbps before, which has since fallen to 193 Mbps. This is still fast enough to watch Hulu on dozens of devices simultaneously, so you’re extremely unlikely to notice any problems.

No valueExpressVPN
WebsiteExpressVPN.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)253 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)193 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)133 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
No valueCyberGhost
WebsiteCyberghost.com
Average Connection Speed - North America (USA)392 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Europe (UK)244 Mbps
Average Connection Speed - Asia (Hong Kong)253 Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.11
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free

Security comparison

No valueExpressVPNCyberGhost
WebsiteExpressVPN.comCyberghost.com
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, Lightway, IKEv2OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2
OpenVPN data encryption256-bit AES256-bit AES
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-4096RSA-4096
Kill SwitchDesktop only
Private DNS servers
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.11
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free

Both CyberGhost and ExpressVPN suppport the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols (though with ExpressVPN, the latter is only available on MacOS and iOS).

CyberGhost also supports WireGuard connections, which is much faster than OpenVPN, and becoming increasingly common across the industry. Rather than provide this as well, ExpressVPN has developed its own protocol named Lightway. This protocol boasts a smoother connection over long distances and can even keep your traffic secure in the split second when switching from wifi to mobile data.

These services both utilize 256-bit encryption and 4096-bit RSA keys to keep your traffic private. Additionally, they block IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, and include a kill switch that’ll stop sending data if your connection drops unexpectedly.

ExpressVPN has a fairly barebones settings menu which might be better suited to novice users. CyberGhost, on the other hand, lets you get stuck in with a comprehensive Smart rules tool that governs everything from when your VPN turns itself on to which apps to launch afterward.

Privacy and audit history

No valueExpressVPNCyberGhost
WebsiteExpressVPN.comCyberghost.com
HQ base of operationBritish Virgin IslandsRomania
Connection logsSome aggregated data
Activity logsNo identifying dataNo identifying data
User details for signupEmail addressEmail address
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoinBitcoin
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.11
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free

ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are based in the British Virgin Islands and Romania, respectively. These are both privacy-friendly locations with no mandatory data-retention laws, so no problems there.

That’s not to say these companies don’t keep any logs. ExpressVPN, for instance, records the location you choose, the date (but not time) you connect, and the data volume transferred. It does not log your real IP address, the sites you visit, or what you do on a particular site. Crucially, this has been verified multiple times, with a dozen audits in the last year alone. Further, with the ability to pay via Bitcoin or Mint, it’s entirely possible to sign up and browse anonymously.

CyberGhost keeps records of login attempts and successful connections for diagnostic purposes, and these can’t be used to identify you personally. While it only offers a single anonymous payment option, it’s still absolutely possible to register and use the internet safely without giving up any personally identifiable information. This provider publishes regular transparency reports and has had its no-logging policy verified by independent auditors.

Customer service

No valueExpressVPNCyberGhost
WebsiteExpressVPN.comCyberghost.com
24/7 live chat
Ticket support
Email support
Average email response time49 mins11 hours, 45 minutes
Searchable knowledge base
Phone support
Video guides
Best deal (per month)$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.11
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free

When something goes wrong, we’ve always found that live chat is the quickest, easiest way to get help. ExpressVPN and CyberGhost both offer this service, as well as searchable knowledge bases, dedicated support email addresses, and ticket systems for more complex problems.

During our testing, we like to contact support staff directly to see if assistance is really available 24/7. This also lets us gauge how helpful their answers are and check whether the cancellation process is actually as straightforward as it seems.

In our judgement, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost have outstanding support teams. Live chat usually responds in seconds and agents are willing to spend as long as it takes to get your issue resolved. Further, we’ve previously been able to take advantage of each service’s money-back guarantee with no pushback whatsoever.

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost: the winner

While ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are both exceptional VPNs, ExpressVPN is the better choice for the average user.

Simply put, this service is easier for complete novices to use, and it works just about anywhere in the world. We’re big fans of the custom router firmware too, since this is one of the largest stumbling blocks for any newcomer hoping to secure their home network. With a very responsive support team and exceptional versatility, ExpressVPN is a fantastic choice for just about anyone.

See also: Latest ExpressVPN coupons

Comparing ExpressVPN and CyberGhost: Methodology

ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are two exceptionally well-regarded services, so comparing them was never going to be easy. To provide as clear a picture as possible, we decided to break down everything they had to offer in each of the following areas:

  • Network scale: The more locations a user can choose from, the more likely it is that there’ll be a server nearby. This not only reduces latency but it ensures you’ll be able to access content from back home while traveling abroad
  • Performance: With recent advances in VPN technology, there’s no excuse for a slow connection anymore. We regularly speed test leading VPNs to see how they’ve improved over time. This involves running multiple tests at various times of day, using servers in three locations before averaging the results to get a single representative speed
  • Versatility: We put services through a gauntlet designed to simulate any task they might face in the real world. This includes seeing how they handle torrenting, gaming, and bypassing censorship. Naturally, we also check to see if they work with platforms like Peacock, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video
  • Security and privacy: A VPN with lackluster security simply isn’t worth using. We examine the tools, protocols, and safety nets that a service provides, take a closer look at the kind of information it logs, and check to see if it’s had any independent audits performed
  • Ease of use: The perfect VPN is so simple an absolute beginner could use it. With this in mind, we look for anything that simplifies the experience. This could be multi-platform support, a lack of connection limits, or simply 24/7 support
  • Pricing: We’ve seen plenty of providers try to charge more than they’re really worth. That’s just not good enough. Our team looks at any available deals, discounts, and trials to make sure you’re paying as little as possible. We’ll also let you know if there’s a money-back guarantee included

Why not check out our VPN testing post for more details on our process?

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost: Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better for torrenting: ExpressVPN or CyberGhost?

Both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost support torrenting. That said, each of these providers has something that the other doesn’t, so the best VPN for torrenting really depends on your needs.

CyberGhost offers servers that are specifically optimized for file-sharing, which can help you get the quickest downloads possible. ExpressVPN, meanwhile, supports port forwarding (though only if the service is installed on your router). This can help increase the number of peers you’ll have access to, which generally means you’ll have an easier time on P2P networks.

Do ExpressVPN and CyberGhost keep logs?

Neither ExpressVPN nor CyberGhost logs any information that could be used to personally identify you. They do collect some data to verify whether you’ve used the service on a particular day, but neither logs details of the sites you visit, your source IP address, or how long your session lasts.

Is ExpressVPN or CyberGhost faster?

It’s more difficult than you might think to compare VPN speeds. The nature of the internet means there’s always an element of randomness, and performance can be impacted by variables like server capacity, the time of day, and how far away you are.

In our latest tests, CyberGhost delivered average speeds that were slightly higher than ExpressVPN. However, these are two of the fastest providers available at the moment and unless you’re used to extremely high speeds, you probably won’t notice a difference between the two.

Which of these VPNs has the best worldwide server coverage?

It’s fair to say that ExpressVPN and CyberGhost both have generous server networks. However, it’s CyberGhost that has the best worldwide server coverage. It has well over 9,000 servers, which is more than the 3,000 ExpressVPN used to claim it had. However, the number of countries covered is similar. In fact, ExpressVPN edges this. It has servers in 94 countries compared to CyberGhost which covers 91 countries at the time of writing.