ExpressVPN vs Cyberghost: Which provider is best?

ExpressVPN vs Cyberghost
(Image credit: Future)

If you're looking for the best VPN to keep your browsing private, get you access to restricted sites and streaming services or simply provide protection on public Wi-Fi, you might be wondering who comes out on top in ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost.

Both well-established VPN providers that are trusted by millions, this match-up will compare the services in all the areas that matter, and will hopefully help you decide which one is better suited for your habits and online lifestyle.

First we'll run down the specs on paper, then we'll compare them in practice, and then we'll crown a winner. So, what are we waiting for?

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost at a glance

ExpressVPN – our #1 rated VPN servicethree months free

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">ExpressVPN – our #1 rated VPN service
Overall, we rank ExpressVPN as the best service available today. The apps are simple yet powerful, it's great for streaming, and you can now claim three months free as a Tom's Guide reader – just head through to the site from the link above. 

CyberGhost – great for streaming and keenly priced
For those who love streaming and torrenting, CyberGhost is an excellent alternative. You'll have a huge 7,000+ servers to use, and from just $2.75 a month

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">CyberGhost – great for streaming and keenly priced
For those who love streaming and torrenting, CyberGhost is an excellent alternative. You'll have a huge 7,000+ servers to use, and from just $2.75 a month it's substantially cheaper than ExpressVPN – but its lack of depth and polish keeps it from the top spot.

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ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost – specs on paper
Header Cell - Column 0 ExpressVPNCyberGhost
Number of servers:3,000+7,000+
Server countries:9490
Maximum simultaneous connections:57
Money back guarantee:30 days45 days
Lowest monthly cost:$6.67$2.75

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost: Which is more affordable?

To tee off, we'll have a look at some prices.

Signing up to a rolling monthly plan with ExpressVPN will have you paying the most, and it's steeply priced at $12.95 a month. This is nothing new with subscription services, though, and most VPNs are roughly the same. A six-month plan will bring that down to $9 a month.

The year-long plan is the best value, and including the exclusive Tom's Guide offer of three months free, you'll be paying a very reasonable $6.67 a month.

CyberGhost opens up much the same as ExpressVPN, with a monthly cost of $12.99. However, go for six months and you'll pay just $7.99 a month.

The real value lies in the one-year plan, though, which throws in an extra six months free. Including that freebie, it works out at an excellent $2.75 a month, which frankly blows ExpressVPN's best price out the water. 

Also, ExpressVPN offers an standard 30-day money-back guarantee, while CyberGhost offers 45 days (on longer plans), so you'll have longer to make up your mind.

CyberGhost is clearly the cheaper VPN, then, but can it match up to ExpressVPN anywhere else?

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost: Which is faster?

We test all our VPNs on our 75MB UK line and our 600MB superfast connection in the US. this gives a good idea of how the VPNs perform in different areas, and we also take into consideration how reliable they are.

In the UK, Express delivered average speeds of 68-70MB, consistently loading pages and video pretty much as quickly as our bare connection. CyberGhost also impressed, topping out at 70MB and only ever dipping to a minimum of 65MB.

Things were a little different in the US, however. ExpressVPN topped out at 250MB, which is seriously impressive – there's a reason why it features on our fast VPN guide. 

CyberGhost performed rather worse here, averaging only 30-75MB. However, we can't wholly hold this against the Romanian provider, as these tests were undertaken during the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and internet speeds fell across the board thanks to overloaded domestic servers.

However, the fact ExpressVPN wasn't affected is a little telling, so we'd cautiously say that it's the faster and more reliable of the two.

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost: Which is more secure?

Both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost have excellent security credentials, and are closely matched here.

ExpressVPN uses industry-standard AES-256 encryption, backed up by Perfect Forward Secrecy which changes keys frequently to avoid compromising your security, and also owns all its own DNS servers, which can only bode well. Add to that a functional kill switch, split tunneling and tons more additional options, and you've got a seriously fully-featured VPN. 

CyberGhost uses the same encryption, has Perfect Forward Secrecy, and our testing did not display any DNS vulnerabilities. You'll also get a kill switch and split tunneling.

However, the reason we consider ExpressVPN the more secure VPN is the fact that it has been independently audited, verifying the provider's no-logging claims. CyberGhost makes plenty of statements about its lack of logs, and while we don't disbelieve them, having a full audit would prove these to be true.

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost: Which is better for Netflix?

ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are both excellent for unblocking streaming services such as Netflix – and both feature on our Netflix VPN and streaming VPN

ExpressVPN is incredibly easy to use, and seemingly any server you use can unblock any service. We're not quite sure how it's done, but it works absolutely seamlessly. Combine that with the excellent connection speeds, and you'll be able to stream whatever you want, wherever you want, with no buffering.

CyberGhost has some nifty streaming features not seen anywhere else, however. You'll be able to filter servers to provide the best experience for, say, Netflix, and then you can be sure that it'll work as well as possible. That does mean that some don't work perfectly, which doesn't quite match Express, but it's a clever workaround.

Unfortunately, though, something that lets CyberGhost down is its iPlayer support – or lack of it. We've previously had great results with CyberGhost and iPlayer, but in our most recent testing it seems like something has gone awry. We're waiting to see if anything changes, but currently ExpressVPN provides a more well-rounded streaming experience.

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost

(Image credit: Future)

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost: Which is better for torrenting?

Both services are also great torrenting VPNs, and it's much closer here than it is in terms of streaming.

CyberGhost doesn't offer P2P support on every server, but it does on a vast amount and it's not a case of trial and error, either. Just like for streaming, it has smart filters for the best servers for torrenting. You can also set the client up to open automatically when you launch your torrenting program.

However, while ExpressVPN does have fewer servers overall, every single one is optimized for torrents, so there's no need to filter. You can pick exactly the one you want, and get downloading.

There's not a lot in it here, so we'd recommend making your decision elsewhere – both are great for P2P.

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost: Which has better apps?

ExpressVPN's app design is about as good as it gets in terms of VPNs. It's clean, modern, and fits right in no matter what device you're using – it looks great on Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, and even the router applet is well designed. 

Express makes it easy access all the different extra features too, and you won't be wading through menu upon menu to find the kill switch.

CyberGhost's apps aren't quite as perfect, but there's not a lot wrong with them either. However, the iOS app is noticeably more basic than the desktop versions, whereas ExpressVPN provides a very cohesive experience. However, it's intuitive to use on all devices and gets the job done – and its Android counterpart is much more powerful.

Overall, ExpressVPN's apps have the edge in terms of functionality and features, but CyberGhost isn't far behind.

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost

(Image credit: Future)

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost: Which has better support?

CyberGhost's support articles are fairly well laid out, but unfortunately they don't have quite as much comprehensive information as we would like, especially compared to ExpressVPN's excellent guides. 

Also, CyberGhost's search function is a little basic, and isn't quite clever enough to deliver the right results unless you're very precise with what you search for. 

However, both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost have excellent 24/7 live chat, which will realistically be most people's first port of call.

ExpressVPN vs CyberGhost: Final verdict

While both are good services, when you start comparing them head to head there's only one clear winner: ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN is the best service on the market today15 months for the price of 12

With great speeds, an intuitive interface and seriously powerful privacy features, <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">ExpressVPN is the best service on the market today. Plus, Tom’s guide readers can claim three months free, which works out at 15 months for the price of 12, and you’ll also be covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can make sure you like the VPN before you commit.

CyberGhost is a seriously powerful VPN option$2.75/mo

However, for those who love streaming and torrenting, <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">CyberGhost is a seriously powerful VPN option. With over 7,000 servers it has a huge network to take advantage of, and at just $2.75/mo it offers incredible value for money, and a viable cheap alternative to ExpressVPN.

Mo Harber-Lamond
VPN Editor

Mo is VPN Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees VPN, privacy, and cybersecurity content, and also undertakes independent testing of VPN services to ensure his recommendations are accurate and up to date. When he's not getting stuck into the nitty-gritty settings of a VPN you've never heard of, you'll find him working on his Peugeot 205 GTi or watching Peep Show instead of finally putting up those shelves.