CyberGhost vs. Private Internet Access Comparison Review

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Private Internet Access
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This CyberGhost vs. Private Internet Access (PIA) comparison review digs deeper to find out how the two VPN services compare.

There’s no doubt the two providers are among the best VPN providers on the market. Interestingly, the duo is owned and operated by the same company. That makes it hard for buyers to tell their difference. So, what makes the two different?

Well, CyberGhost is a more reliable VPN provider, especially if you want airtight security and confidentiality. But then, it’s quite expensive and supports lesser devices. On the other hand, Private Internet Access has many servers, offers better torrenting and P2P sharing, is cheaper, and supports more devices connected simultaneously. Overall, PIA offers better value for money.

Table comparison

Logging Policy
Server Network
Leak Tests
Free Version
Free Trial
PCs, Mobile, Routers, TV Sticks, Gaming Consoles
256-bit AES encryption
OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and WireGuard
100% No Logging
7700+ servers spread across 113 locations in 91 countries
24/7 live chat, FAQ
45-day moneyback guarantee
PCs, Mobile, Routers, TV Sticks, Gaming Consoles
256-bit AES encryption
WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2
United States
100% No Logging
35,000 servers in 78 countries
24/7 live chat, FAQ
30-day moneyback guarantee

Pros and Cons

Based in a non-surveillance country, so privacy is guaranteed
Excellent security courtesy of AES 256-bit encryption
Excellent speeds and reliable performance worldwide
Supports all major platforms, browsers, and devices
Unlocks geo-restricted platforms without a problem
24-hour free trial and a generous moneyback guarantee
Small server network compared to Private Internet Access (PIA)
Not all CyberGhost servers are P2P compatible
Wider server network and all servers are P2P compatible
Available on mobile and desktop devices plus several other devices
It comes with ad-block and tracking as well as malware protection
PIA is better when it comes to P2P downloading, torrenting, and streaming
Supports up to 10 simultaneous device connections
Adds extra security with SOCKS5 proxy
The VPN is based in a 5-Eyes country, so privacy is not a guarantee
Speeds when using AES 256-bit encryption are slow


In this last segment of this CyberGhost vs. Private Internet Access comparison review, find out the cost of subscription, plans, and more.
1 Month
1 Year
3 Years + 3 Months

CyberGhost vs. PIA Face to Face Comparison Review

Superficially, CyberGhost is the better choice, but then, there are a lot of aspects to consider. In this round-up, we have compared the two VPNs based on the crucial factors considered when selecting the best VPN. In some areas, CyberGhost wins, but in others, Private Internet Access takes the crown. So, without further ado, let's get into it.

1. Brand Trust

There are thousands of VPN providers, some genuine while others are quacks with substandard services. That said, it's important to assess the brand trust of a provider you want to deal with. So, which of the two is a trusted brand?

Ever since its establishment back in 2011, CyberGhost has scaled the heights to become one of the most reliable VPNs around. The company has continued to win the hearts of consumers, and that is why it’s a favorite on consumer review sites and other tech publishers.

At the time of writing, CyberGhost has an impressive 4.8/5 after over 14,000 reviews on Trustpilot. It has also been featured on top tech sites, including TechRadar, Cnet, Tom’s Hardware, and others, where it has been praised for its security, privacy, and performance.

Private Internet Access is also a trusted brand but certainly not on CyberGhost’s level. The company was started in 2010, but it’s not a renowned VPN as CyberGhost. At the time of writing, Private Internet Access has a rating of 4.5/5 after over 7,000 reviews on Trustpilot.

Tom’s Guide also covered this VPN and credited PIA for privacy, but it criticized it for its slow speeds. All said and done, PIA is still a VPN worth checking out.

2. Supported Devices

Another important consideration is the types of devices supported, and the number of simultaneous device connections allowed. Obviously, you want a VPN that offers all-around security and privacy on all your devices. Also, the higher the number of simultaneous device connections, the better.

CyberGhost is a superb VPN that offers protection on both desktop and mobile. It works with all desktops, be it Windows PCs, Linux, or Mac. When it comes to mobile devices, this VPN is compatible with all Android and iOS devices.

Besides, CyberGhost works with a range of other devices, including smart and Android TVs, Apple TVs, routers, gaming consoles. There are also Chrome and Firefox extensions. When it comes to the number of devices supported, you can connect up to 7 devices.

Private Internet Access is also a great deal when it comes to device compatibility. It supports both desktops and mobiles. You can use it on a Windows PC, Linux Mint 18+, Debian, and Arch or Mac.

The service is also available for Android and iOS devices, smart and Android TVs, Apple TVs, routers, and gaming consoles. While it equals CyberGhost in terms of supported devices, PIA wins this round now that it supports more devices. You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, while CyberGhost supports just 7.

3. Usability

The next thing to compare is the usability of these two VPNs. Online security and privacy are no longer just for the techies, hacktivists, and computer nerds; even the average users should have a VPN. That said, VPNs should be user-friendly.

To get started with CyberGhost, users have to create an account, confirm the email and configure the VPN to whatever server they want. Overall, it’s easy to use CyberGhost courtesy of the intuitive interface and straightforward instructions.

However, on some devices, manual configuration might be required. Fortunately, CyberGhost has plenty of guides and resources to help users get started without any hassles.

Private Internet Access also scores well in terms of usability. Getting started is equally easy. The first thing to do is click on ‘Get Started with VPN’ and select a plan.

Just like with CyberGhost, some devices, for example, consoles and Raspberry Pi, might require manual configuration, which can be quite a challenge for some users. There are also plenty of guides on how to use PIA.

4. Security (Encryption)

Encryption refers to the process VPNs use to generate a secured encrypted path between two devices.

CyberGhost is a VPN that guarantees security by deploying the latest military-grade encryption – 256-bit AES encryption. This is the industry standard and is literally unbreakable. Even a brute force attack with the most powerful PCs around will take over 2,117.8 trillion years. As for handshake, CyberGhost uses TLS v1.2 and a certificate signed with SHA-256.

PIA is also a secure VPN that uses AES-128/256 GCM and CBC. With 256-bit encryption, you are guaranteed airtight security as this encryption can’t be breached. When it comes to handshake options, PIA VPN utilizes ECC-256k1/256r1/521 and RSA-2048/3072/4096.

5. Security (Protocols)

VPN protocols are a set of rules that determine the way your data is routed between your device and the VPN server.

CyberGhost supports three protocols; OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and WireGuard. OpenVPN is the most popular protocol as it’s flexible in terms of configuration, very secure, supports multiple cryptographic algorithms, and bypasses firewalls easily. IKEv2/IPSec is also a great option for users who want speed and mobility. On the other hand, WireGuard is similar to IKEv2/IPSec but offers better performance.

When it comes to PIA, the VPN uses trusted open-source protocols such as WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. These protocols are just the same as those used by CyberGhost, so the two VPNs are equal. in terms of tunneling

6. Security Extras

Several additions can improve the security of a VPN.

CyberGhost comes with DNS and IP leak protection, so you can be sure that at no time will your DNS or IP leak. There’s also an automatic kill switch that disconnects your device from the internet immediately when you lose the VPN connection, thus preventing your location, IP address, or identity from being exposed. Another extra is split tunneling which enables users to set custom rules for apps they want to connect or bypass the VPN tunnel.

Private Internet Access is also a great choice here. It also comes with DNS and IP leak protection, so you remain safe throughout. This VPN also has an advanced automatic kill switch, so you are automatically disconnected from the internet whenever you lose the VPN connection. Split tunneling is also available to enable you to choose which apps to connect to the VPN tunnel and which ones shouldn’t. Also worth mentioning is the PIA Mace” a solid security feature that blocks certain domains used for executing malware attacks, trackers, and ads, as well as SOCKS5 and Shadowsocks proxies.

7. Privacy and Confidentiality (Jurisdiction)

In addition to security, it's also critical to compare the privacy and confidentiality offered by VPNs in this comparison review. Here, there are two important aspects; jurisdiction and the logging policy.

CyberGhost is a VPN provider based in Bucharest, Romania. The company started in Germany but shifted to Romania as the southeastern European country champions for online privacy and confidentiality.

It is not a member of any surveillance organizations, for example, 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes, and actually declared EU mandatory data retention directives as unconstitutional. That said, users can be sure that CyberGhost may not in any way be coerced by the authorities to submit user data.

One of the shortcomings of Private Internet Access is the fact that it’s based in Colorado, so it operates under the rules of the United States jurisdiction.

As you may be aware, the United States is among the member states of the 5 Eyes alliance. This means that the VPN can be forced to cooperate with the authorities by submitting user data when necessary.

8. Privacy and Confidentiality (Logging Policy)

CyberGhost has a no-logging policy, so even if the authorities come knocking, none of your online activity will be available. The only data collected includes personal data during registration, IP address, country, purchases, and transactions.

PIA being in a 5-Eyes jurisdiction is a scare, but fortunately, PIA has a strict 100% no-logging policy – only the email address, payment data, and temporary affiliate cookies is the only information collected. None of your information is logged.

9. Server Network and Distribution

The number of servers and where they are located is also an important consideration when selecting a VPN. Here, go for a VPN with a vast network of specialized servers spread in different regions.

CyberGhost has 7700+ servers spread across 113 locations in 91 countries at the time of writing.

One great thing about CyberGhost is that there are physically located servers, virtual servers, and some P2P servers with dedicated IPs (extra cost). This specialization and unlimited bandwidths makes this VPN a worthy choice.

On the other hand, PIA has over 35,000 servers in 78 countries. This is a good thing as many servers mean fewer crowds and, consequently, faster speeds.

However, the locations of PIA’s servers are not as many as CyberGhost’s. But the good thing is that these next-gen servers offer unlimited bandwidth, and users can get dedicated IPs (extra cost).

10. Streaming and Torrenting

While VPNs were primarily used for online privacy and security, today, they come in handy in streaming, torrenting, and P2P file sharing. Find out which VPN is good for unblocking geo-restricted content, P2P downloading, and torrenting.

CyberGhost is a great choice for those who want to stream on geo-restricted platforms. Unlike proxies, CyberGhost encrypts all your traffic so you won’t raise the eyebrows of streaming sites.

We conducted thorough tests, and we are glad it could unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and several other platforms courtesy of optimized servers. This VPN also supports torrenting and P2P file sharing but not on all the servers. Users need to make sure the servers they are connected to are torrent/P2P compatible.

Private Internet Access can also unblock geo-restricted streaming sites but not as effectively as CyberGhost. It managed to unblock Netflix UK and US, but we got errors when trying out other Netflix platforms.

As for Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Crunchyroll, it did unblock them with ease. As for torrenting and P2P file sharing, PIA is also a worthy choice. As a security measure, this VPN avails SOCKS5 proxy, which offers worry-free torrenting when used with the kill switch. But just like CyberGhost, the company forbids illegal downloads and sharing copyrighted materials.

11. Customer Support

From time to time, you may experience problems. It could be technical problems or billing issues. That said, you need a VPN with steadfast customer support.

CyberGhost understands that the customer is king, and that’s why it has a robust customer support infrastructure. Users can get help via the live chat feature available 24/7.

The support agents are knowledgeable and offer almost immediate feedback. We tried the live chat feature, and it was impressive. Another support option is email, but the feedback is not instant. CyberGhost has plenty of guides and FAQs on the knowledgebase available on the VPNs official website.

Private Internet Access is not different from CyberGhost in terms of customer support. Here also, the company has a live chat feature available 24/7.

The agents are also knowledgeable, but then, feedback took a little bit longer, probably because there are a few support agents. You can also opt for the ticketing system, which is relatively slow, or the PIA knowledge base.

12. Plans, Pricing, Free Trials, and Payment Options

In this last segment of this CyberGhost vs. Private Internet Access comparison review, find out the cost of subscription, plans, and more.

CyberGhost doesn’t have a free plan, but there is a free trial for monthly subscriptions and a 14-day moneyback guarantee. All other long-term plans come with a 45-day moneyback guarantee. Users can pay with BitPay, PayPal, Amex, Visa, or MasterCard.

PIA doesn’t have a free plan but a 7-day free trial is available for iOS and Android. There is also a 7-day moneyback guarantee for monthly subscriptions and a 30-day moneyback guarantee on long-term plans. The available payment options include Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover, JCB, PayPal, BEAM, Amazon Pay, Bitcoin, Zcash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Speeds and Performance

One thing about VPNs is that they are subject to speed losses. Speed loss is dependent on the distance between your device and the server you are connected to, and notably, the VPNs infrastructure. While all VPNs incur speed losses, it's essential to go for VPNs with minimal speed losses. We tested PIA and CyberGhost using a 100Mbps connection to find out more about their speeds on different servers.
Test 1 - Checked how fast we could download a 1GB file on a sample of 10 servers
Fastest Servers - 135.6 seconds
Slowest Servers - 156.86 seconds
Test 2 - Cheked Speed on Canadian Servers
Fastest Servers - 58Mbps/100Mbps
Slowest Servers - 51Mbps/100Mbps
Test 3 - Cheked Speed on German Servers
Fastest Servers - 57Mbps/100Mbps
Slowest Servers - 50Mbps/100Mbps
Test 4 - Cheked Speed on Egypt Servers
Fastest Servers - 57Mbps/100Mbps
Slowest Servers - 53Mbps/100Mbps
Test 5 - Cheked Speed on Ukrainian Servers
Fastest Servers - 59Mbps/100Mbps
Slowest Serers - 52Mbps/100Mbps
Private Internet Access
Test 1 - Checked how fast we could download a 1GB file on a sample of 10 servers
Fastest Servers - 98.77 seconds
Slowest Servers - 111.1 seconds
Test 2 - Cheked Speed on Canadian Servers
Fastest Servers - 80Mbps/100Mbps
Slowest Servers - 76Mbps/100Mbps
Test 3 - Cheked Speed on German Servers
Fastest Servers - 81Mbps/100Mbps
Slowest Servers - 74Mbps/100Mbps
Test 4 - Cheked Speed on Egypt Servers
Fastest Servers - 81Mbps/100Mbps
Slowest Servers - 77Mbps/100Mbps
Test 5 - Cheked Speed on Ukrainian Servers
Fastest Servers - 81Mbps/100Mbps
Slowest Servers - 75Mbps/100Mbps

Wrapping Up

There you have it, folks, a detailed CyberGhost vs. Private Internet Access comparison review. Indeed, both VPN providers have advantages and disadvantages.

CyberGhost is the best bang for the buck for those who want airtight security, privacy and confidentiality now that it’s not based in a country that is a member of any surveillance organizations. However, if you want an affordable VPN that offers excellent torrenting and P2P sharing, then PIA is the best choice. The subscriptions are lower, and all the servers are P2P compatible.