Private Internet Access vs CyberGhost

There are so many VPNs available, so how do you pick from the bewildering amount of options? This in-depth comparison takes a look at two leading VPN providers, Private Internet Access and CyberGhost. We look at each product in detail, what features they have and how much they cost.

We’ll start with a quick summary of Private Internet Access vs CyberGhost. After that, we’ll take a detailed look at each of their features to see which VPN provider has the best overall product. Don’t have time to read the whole thing? We can tell you that CyberGhost came out on top when compared to Private Internet Access.

Keep reading to find out how we came to that conclusion and find out everything you need to know about both VPNs.

Highlights

Private Internet Access

  • Private Internet Access’s team has
    over 10 years of expertise in VPNs
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Growing user base
  • Allows unlimited connections

CyberGhost

  • Variety of installers so works on all
    platforms
  • Super fast speeds all over the world
  • Top of the line security and privacy features

Private Internet Access vs CyberGhost pricing

No valueCyberGhostPrivate Internet Access
WebsiteCyberghost.comPrivateInternetAccess.com
Subscription periodsOne month, six months, two yearsOne month, six months, one year, two years, three years
Special offer84% discount on 2 year plans with 4 months free82% off two year plans and 2 months free
Highest price per month$12.99$11.99
Lowest monthly cost$2.03$2.19
One year price$83.88 (two six-month plans)$39.95
Money back guarantee45 days30 days
Best deal (per month)$2.03
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free!
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

As is usual for VPN services, there are massive discounts on multi-year plans, with both providers additionally offering free months. Private Internet Access has a three-year plan that costs the equivalent of $2.03 a month and comes with three free months. CyberGhost has a two-year plan, which costs $2.19 a month and comes with two free months. Given the choice between the two, CyberGhost is the more attractive as it essentially costs the same but requires one year less commitment.

If you want a shorter subscription, you can sign up to Private Internet Access for a year. This costs the equivalent of $3.33 a month. CyberGhost’s next shortest subscription lasts for six months, though it’s relatively expensive at the equivalent of $6.99 a month.

The shortest subscription for both providers is one month. This costs $11.95 for Private Internet Access and $12.99 for CyberGhost. However, if you only need a VPN for a short time, you can always just take advantage of each provider’s money-back guarantee and spend nothing.

CyberGhost offers a whopping 45-day cooling off period which is much higher than the industry – which includes Private Internet Access – average of 30. This means you can try before you buy as long as you cancel within a month (or a month and half in the case of CyberGhost).

BEST DEAL FOR PRIVATE INTERNET ACCESS:Save 83% on three-year plans

BEST DEAL FOR CYBERGHOST:83% discount on two-year plan plus two extra months

Private Internet Access vs CyberGhost features

No valueCyberGhostPrivate Internet Access
WebsiteCyberghost.comPrivateInternetAccess.com
Simultaneous Connections7Unlimited
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux
Manual install devicesRoutersRouters
Free extrasAutomatic ad and malware-protection, browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome.Browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, automatic ad/malware blocking
Best deal (per month)$2.03
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free!
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

A must have feature for VPNs is split tunnelling. This enables you to bypass the VPN for certain programs automatically.  Some programs will not allow you to connect if they detect you are running through a VPN.

CyberGhost’s split tunneling is easy to set up, however, Private Internet Access’s version requires you to go in and set rules manually. This process was not particularly easy. A VPN needs to be able to get around these issues without requiring too much advanced knowledge, and CyberGhost does this much better.

Private Internet Access allows unlimited simultaneous device connections, whereas CyberGhost goes up to seven. Normally you only get a maximum of five with other VPNs, so Private Internet Access or CyberGhost will be giving you more than the average either way.

Streaming and unblocking

No valueCyberGhostPrivate Internet Access
WebsiteCyberghost.comPrivateInternetAccess.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)$2.03
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free!
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

Both VPNs work with most streaming services. In recent years, services like Netflix have been blocking VPNs in an aggressive manner, and tests show Private Internet Access cannot access as many international Netflix libraries. If your main reason for using a VPN is to access streaming services, CyberGhost may be a better choice.

Which of these VPNs work in China?

Neither work in China. China is constantly preventing VPNs from getting around the Great Firewall of China.

The Great Firewall blocks access to the VPN homepages themselves which prevent VPNs being used effectively. You’ll have to subscribe to and test the VPN before arriving in China. Some users have reported using certain methods that require manual configuration and rely on third-party scripts that can allow a connection. However, it is not guaranteed to bypass the country’s DNS poisoning via the firewall.

Due to the regulatory environment in China, you just cannot expect VPNs to work. CyberGhost states that using the L2TP protocol may help when attempting to connect in China, but success has been limited.

If you’re planning a trip to China, we’ve found the relatively few VPNs that do consistently work in the country.

Setup and interface

No valueCyberGhostPrivate Internet Access
WebsiteCyberghost.comPrivateInternetAccess.com
Automatic setup wizardWindows, Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV/ Fire stickWindows, Android, macOS, Linux, iOS
Main location selectionList-basedList-based
Extra settings pages
Mobile-friendly
Best deal (per month)$2.03
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free!
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

CyberGhost’s installer was simple to run across all tested platforms. The main page presents basic settings with both programs offering a quick overview. The menus are simple to navigate with it being easy to find what you need. On a different page there are advanced settings that allow for more advanced configurations.

CyberGhost and Private Internet Access have mobile apps. Private Internet Access’s configuration made it harder to see all available settings, but this wasn’t a major issue.

Servers and performance

No valueCyberGhostPrivate Internet Access
WebsiteCyberghost.comPrivateInternetAccess.com
Server countries10091
Total number of servers11,000+Undisclosed
Mobile-friendly
Best deal (per month)$2.03
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free!
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

Private Internet Access has a smaller geographical reach than CyberGhost, with servers available in 91 countries versus CyberGhost’s 100. Private Internet Access states it has at least 35,000 servers, whereas CyberGhost has 11,600+. Both figures are way higher than the majority of other VPN providers.

Although more servers can mean quicker speeds, in this case CyberGhost is the faster provider. In fact, CyberGhost was one of the fastest VPNs overall in our latest round of speed tests, achieving an impressive average download speed of 296 Mbps.

In both cases, the large networks allow the providers to guarantee better average performance. As everyone connecting is spread over a larger quantity of servers, you get a low-latency and high-speed connection.

Below, you’ll find a list of every country where these VPNs have servers:

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

Full information on every country Private Internet Access is located in is not readily available. However, both providers have a large dedicated server network. A look at the country list and you’ll see that both these VPNs have servers all over the world.

This is particularly important when considering streaming services like Netflix. To stop VPNs, streaming services ban IPs that they think belong to VPNs providers. More servers means that there is another path the VPN could connect to the streaming service through.

Security

No valueCyberGhostPrivate Internet Access
WebsiteCyberghost.comPrivateInternetAccess.com
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IPSec on iOS
OpenVPN data encryption256-bit AES256-bit AES
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-4096RSA-4096
Kill Switch
Private DNS servers
Best deal (per month)$2.03
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free!
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

Private Internet Access and CyberGhost use common encryption techniques. Private Internet Access only allows IKEv2 on iOS whereas CyberGhost has configuration options for other protocols. Both use industry standard 256-bit AES encryption and the WireGuard protocol by default.

CyberGhost has much more functionality as you can configure it to the protocol that you wish whereas Private Internet Access only offers a few configuration options. If you want maximum flexibility with your encryption, CyberGhost is the winner hands down.

CyberGhost and Private Internet Access offer a VPN Kill Switch as part of their plans. This feature cuts off the internet connection if the VPN connection disconnects for whatever reason. This is one of the most crucial features for a VPN, as otherwise your details may be compromised as soon as you have a temporary issue with connecting to the VPN.

Neither provider leaks any information via DNS. Private Internet Access additionally uses a system called MACE, which prevents tracking cookies.

Privacy

No valueCyberGhostPrivate Internet Access
WebsiteCyberghost.comPrivateInternetAccess.com
HQ base of operationRomaniaUnited States
Connection logs
Activity logsNo identifying data
User details for signupEmail addressemail address, payment details, state and zip code
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoinBitcoin, Ethereum, Bitpay, and Litecoin
Best deal (per month)$2.03
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free!
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

CyberGhost complies with the GDPR as it is subject to European Union jurisdiction. This raises some privacy concerns but previous requests by the authorities for CyberGhost’s information has shown that no usable or identifying customer information is able to be tied to specific access to websites or similar.

Private Internet Access’s location in the United States which is a major player in the Five Eyes Alliance, an information sharing network between the intelligence services of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

CyberGhost does keep limited logs but this does not include about the sites visited or data downloaded. Most VPNs use logging to keep track of diagnostic data, which is anonymized anyway. This is generally for enforcing device connection policies which only requires logging of non-specific user data.

You’ll be anonymous to the outside world no matter which of these services you use. Of course the privacy concerns relating to any company subject to United States jurisdiction means that CyberGhost has the better overall privacy. Furthermore, CyberGhost has undertaken external third-party audits to verify its no-logs claims.

Configuration

No valueCyberGhostPrivate Internet Access
WebsiteCyberghost.comPrivateInternetAccess.com
Address allocationSharedShared
Dedicated IP possible?United States, Germany, France, UK, Canada,US
Canada
Australia
UK
Germany
DDoS protection
NAT firewall
Best deal (per month)$2.03
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free!
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

These VPNs use shared address allocation, meaning your individual connection is obfuscated. Everyone connected to the server uses the same IP address, which makes it impossible to trace online activity back to an individual user. If you do want an IP address that only you have access to, CyberGhost sells them as an optional paid add-on to subscriptions.

Customer service

No valueCyberGhostPrivate Internet Access
WebsiteCyberghost.comPrivateInternetAccess.com
24/7 live chat
Ticket support
Email support
Average email response time11 hours, 45 minutes
Searchable knowledge base
Phone support
Video guides
Best deal (per month)$2.03
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months free!
$2.19
SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

CyberGhost has a manned live chat feature allowing you to directly contact support or accounts. Private Internet Access relies primarily on an email based support system started via their website’s support page.

We tested both support schemes via questions and a recording of response times. Three questions each were sent to Private Internet Access and CyberGhost. We list their average response time below, as well as whether our question was answered or not:

Private Internet Access
QuestionInitial response timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
Can I install Private Internet Access VPN on a DD-WRT router?3 hours, 52 minutes1Yes
How do I set up Private Internet Access VPN for use in China?4 hours, 44 minutes1Yes
Does Private Internet Access VPN protect against WebRTC leaks?9 hours, 15 minutes1Yes
CyberGhost
QuestionInitial response timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
Can I install CyberGhost on a DD-WRT router?5 hours, 47 minutes1Yes
How do I set up CyberGhost for use in China?9 hours, 25 mins1Yes
Does CyberGhost protect against WebRTC leaks?21 minutes1Yes

Although the email response times were similar to each other, CyberGhost’s ability to offer live support makes it the clear winner. It was also the case that CyberGhost’s replies in general answered the queries better. They additionally provided links to guides on their website, which were reassuringly up to date.

The winner: CyberGhost

Private Internet Access is a good VPN in its own right, but CyberGhost was the clear winner in our comparison. Not only does it have servers in more countries, but it’s faster, better for streaming, and comes with a number of premium features as standard.

Although CyberGhost is reasonably priced on a month plan, you can get the most value from longer-term subscriptions. There is a 45-day money-back guarantee, too, if you change your mind.

CyberGhost Coupon
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