CyberGhost vs PIA (Private Internet Access): Which is Better?

The VPN industry is filled with competing services. CyberGhost and Private Internet Access (PIA) are among the most famous. Each has wonderful features, excellent customer service, competitive prices, and user-friendly apps. Moreover, they’ve also launched broad marketing campaigns that have transformed them into household names.

I’ve used the two services extensively to see which is superior. My conclusion is that PIA is better than CyberGhost. To understand why, it’s necessary to take a closer look at everything both have to offer.

Overall Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

Comparison

We’re going to start with a thorough overview of everything that CyberGhost and PIA have to offer. Please refer to the comparative table below:

  logo cyberghost
CyberGhost
logo pia vpn
Private Internet Access
Logging Policy No Logging No Logging
Jurisdiction Romania United States (Five-Eyes Member
Encryption AES-256
SHA-256 Hash Authentication
4096-bit RSA Key Exchange
AES-256
AES-128
SHA-256 Hash Authentication
4096-bit RSA Key Exchange
Protocols OpenVPN UDP (Only on Android, Windows, Linux, and Smart TVs)
OpenVPN TCP (Only on Android, Windows, Linux, and Smart TVs)
IPSec/IKEv2 (Only on iOS, macOS, and Windows)
IPSec/L2TP
WireGuard (Only on Linux)
OpenVPN UDP
OpenVPN TCP
IPSec/L2TP
WireGuard
Ad and Malware Blockers Yes (None on Mobile Apps) Yes
Kill Switch Yes Yes
Leak Tests No Leaks Found No Leaks Found
Speed Tests Fast Fast
Torrenting & P2P Yes (Optimized P2P Servers on Desktop Apps) Yes (On all servers)
Streaming Netflix
Amazon Prime
BBC iPlayer
Firestick
Roku
Kodi
Apple TV
Android TV
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Firestick
Kodi
Gaming Windows
Android
iOS
Xbox One (Via DNS or Router)
PS4 (Via DNS or Router)
Nintendo Switch (Via DNS or Router)
Windows
Android
iOS
Xbox One (Via Router)
PS4 (Via Router)
Nintendo Switch (Via Router)
Compatibility Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chrome
Firefox
Tor
Selected Routers
Windows
macOS
Linux
Android
iOS
Chrome
Firefox
Opera
Tor
Selected Routers
Simultaneous Connections 7 10
Servers 7000+ 3300+
China No Sometimes (1 Out of 3 Servers Worked)
Split Tunneling Yes Yes
Additional Features NoSpy Servers
Data Compression (Android Only)
Secret Photo Vault (iOS Only)
Dedicated IP Address (Paid Add-On)
Password Manager (Paid Add-On)
PIA MACE
Prices $12.99/Month
$3.99/Month (1 Year)
$3.49/Month (2 Years)
$2.25/Month (3 Years)

Special Offer: 3 months free after buying a 3-year subscription

$9.95/Month
$3.33/Month (1 Year)
$2.69/Month (2 Years)

Special Offer: 73% off and 2 months free for a 2-year subscription

Our Rating 4.2 4.3
Website www.cyberghostvpn.com www.privateinternetaccess.com

It’s evident that the two have many things that set them apart from one another. Hence, we must dig deeper to know what’s best for you. Let’s first discuss security and privacy!

Overall Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

Privacy & Security

Private Internet Access is based in the US, putting it under the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes Alliance. Due to that, its operations are hindered by restrictive copyright and privacy laws. In comparison, no such thing sets CyberGhost back as it’s headquartered in Romania, which is a VPN-friendly country.

Encryption Comparison

Both services utilize AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, SHA-256 hash authentication, and a 4096-bit RSA handshake. Setting PIA apart is its use of AES-128 as a backup in case its primary encryption becomes compromised.

VPN Protocols

CyberGhost and PIA support standard protocols like OpenVPN (UDP & TCP) and IPSec (L2TP & IKEv2). Note that CyberGhost only supports OpenVPN on Android, Windows, Linux, and Smart TVs. It also has limited IKEv2 support, with it being available exclusively on iOS, Windows, and macOS.

PIA doesn’t support IKEv2 on any platform. However, the service makes up for this by supporting WireGuard everywhere.

Leak Protection

Leak protection is something that both VPNs claim to provide. To make sure their claims are true, I decided to run some tests using IPLeak.net. Below is a screenshot of my results without using any service:

ip leak test no vpn
IP Leak Test – No VPN

Here’s how CyberGhost and its Singapore server did:

ip leak test cyberghost singapore
IP Leak Test – CyberGhost Singapore

And this is how PIA’s counterpart server performed:

ip leak test pia singapore
IP Leak Test – PIA Singapore

The test results from the two VPNs were satisfactory. My IP address was masked without any effort. Because of that, I can trust both services to keep me 100% anonymous when I surf the internet.

Server Security

Neither VPN runs its servers in RAM-disk mode, which makes storing logs impossible. The good thing is that Private Internet Access has announced plans to upgrade its entire network. The same cannot be said for CyberGhost that hasn’t disclosed anything of that sort.

In Conclusion

Privacy and security are two things that PIA and CyberGhost excel at providing. Still, only one service can win this category. My vote goes to PIA because it supports WireGuard and has reported its intention to soon transition to a RAM-disk network.

Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

Speed Test

All VPNs have an adverse effect on your internet speeds. Fortunately, many say that PIA and CyberGhost are quick VPNs that don’t slow connections too much.

The only way to know which service is faster is to test them out. Before seeing the results, look at my base connection first:

speed test no vpn
Speed Test – No VPN

Now, this is how CyberGhost’s SG server affected it:

speed test cyberghost singapore
Speed Test – CyberGhost Singapore

And here’s how PIA’s server in the same location did:

speed test pia singapore
Speed Test – PIA Singapore

I was surprised to find out that PIA is faster than CyberGhost. The service had a lesser impact on my ping, download, and upload speeds. Due to that, it’s the winner in this round of our CyberGhost vs Private Internet Access battle.

Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

Torrenting & P2P

CyberGhost and PIA actively encourage torrenting on their servers. PIA has even got a fully enabled P2P network that makes it optimized for the job. Although not all of CyberGhost’s servers are P2P enabled, it compensates by providing a list of servers that specialize in torrenting on its app.

To ensure that both VPNs are capable of safeguarding me as I torrent, I conducted a few tests. Here’s the result without any VPN in use:

torrenting no vpn
Torrenting Leak Test – No VPN

Here’s the outcome after I linked to CyberGhost’s optimized Hong Kong server:

torrenting cyberghost hong kong
Torrenting Leak Test – CyberGhost Hong Kong

Finally, this is the result after my movie to PIA’s SG server:

torrenting pia singapore
Torrenting Leak Test – PIA Singapore

Neither service failed at hiding my IP address during the tests. As such, they’ve proven that I can rely on them to keep me protected whenever I download torrents. With that said, the victor of this round is PIA once again. I chose it because it’s faster and has a fully enabled P2P server network.

Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

Streaming

I’m a movie buff that must have a VPN with strong streaming capabilities.

My experience with CyberGhost has been nothing but good. The service lets you select from a list of servers that specialize in streaming. It even says what streaming platforms those servers can unlock.

On the other side of the spectrum is Private Internet Access. It’s unreliable as it can only bypass the geoblocks of a few websites. Servers that can access content don’t even do so with consistency. If anything, my use of PIA for entertainment purposes has only led to frustration.

Netflix

No other platform is as popular as Netflix. Due to that, it was only natural that I used it to see what each service can do. The first VPN that I used was CyberGhost. Below is the result after I attempted to watch Spotlight on its optimized US server for Netflix:

netflix us cyberghost
Netflix US – CyberGhost

This is the outcome after I accessed the same title on PIA’s New York server:

netflix us pia
Netflix US – PIA

Both services were able to stream the movie in full resolution. Sadly, only CyberGhost was able to perform without buffering. At first, PIA was doing alright, but after a few minutes, it started a cycle of loading and streaming.

The winner of this round in our PIA vs CyberGhost match is CyberGhost. It allowed me to watch in top quality with no hassles at all.

Winner: CyberGhost

CTA Button

Gaming

A VPN allows gamers to play with people around the world. It also keeps them protected while they do so. To see how good Private Internet Access and CyberGhost are for gaming, I used both while I fought matches on Call of Duty Mobile.

CyberGhost did well since it didn’t cause the game to break. Lag and frame drops were almost nonexistent. In all honesty, the service made me feel like I was playing without any VPN.

Switching to PIA wasn’t the best decision. The service caused horrible frame drops that made the game almost unplayable. Because of it, I dragged my team down and caused us to lose. As such, I wouldn’t recommend it for gaming purposes.

Winner: CyberGhost

CTA Button

Compatibility

You can use CyberGhost and PIA on a wide range of devices. The developers of both VPNs made sure they’re available to as many people as possible. For a better understanding of what the two are compatible with, check out the table below:

CyberGhost Private Internet Access
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chrome
Firefox
Tor
Selected Routers
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chrome
Firefox
Opera
Tor
Selected routers

PIA has a browser extension for Opera while CyberGhost does not. The service is the winner of this category for this reason.

Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

Simultaneous Connections

All-encompassing compatibility is useless if your VPN doesn’t permit you to link to all your gadgets simultaneously. Thankfully, CyberGhost and PIA allow for some of the most simultaneous connections in the industry.

PIA lets you connect a maximum of 10 devices under one account. In comparison, CyberGhost only allows you to pair 7. Hence, it’s the loser of this round.

Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

Servers

CyberGhost has the most servers of any VPN. It operates more than 7000 across the world, making it excel at maintaining its users’ anonymity.

While it boasts a smaller network, Private Internet Access is by no means a tiny VPN. The service has 3300+ servers around the globe. Nevertheless, it still comes up short when compared to CyberGhost.

Winner: CyberGhost

CTA Button

China

The Great Firewall of China is a challenge that few VPNs can overcome. PIA and CyberGhost are both incapable of consistently bypassing it. Even if they’ve got the necessary tools for the job, neither can do it with success.

However, you should note that PIA has occasionally been reported to work in China without issues. Because of that, the service is the winner of this category. Still, I would not recommend it if you’re going to the country.

Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

Interface & Usability

The most striking difference between CyberGhost and PIA can be found in their apps. Both of which are user-friendly and easy to install.

After opening CyberGhost’s Windows app, you’ll immediately see a quick-connect button, which pairs you to the best server according to your location.

On the side is an expandable tray that’ll show the rest of the app. There, a full list of servers and ones that specialize in streaming, torrenting, and security can be seen. The settings and your account info are also visible.

interface cyberghost
CyberGhost Interface

PIA’s app for Windows opens from and minimizes to the system tray. Upon starting it, you’ll also first see a quick-connect button. The complete list of servers can be accessed by clicking the “VPN SERVER” button. A three-dot icon on the top right corner is where you can get to the settings.

interface pia
PIA Interface

I like the apps of both VPNs. However, my preference goes to CyberGhost because it’s more pleasing to my eyes. Moreover, it also lists down special servers that I can tap into whenever I need a particular task done.

Winner: CyberGhost

CTA Button

Additional Features

CyberGhost is one of the most feature-rich VPNs out there.

First, it has data compression on Android that makes its app lighter and run more smoothly. The service also has a secret photo vault for iOS, where you can hide all your pictures. In addition, it has split tunneling that lets you give certain websites and services access to your real info without having to turn the VPN off.

On top of everything, CyberGhost also has two paid add-on features. You can get something called Dedicated IP that lets you create a personal IP address. Besides that, a password manager that makes logging into your social media accounts easy is available.

Private Internet Access has PIA MACE, which is the VPN’s own proprietary adblocker. Furthermore, it also has split tunneling to give you an entirely new degree of convenience.

The victor in this round of our CyberGhost vs PIA match is CyberGhost. I picked it because it has more additional features to offer. Most of which are not available on any other VPN service.

Winner: CyberGhost

CTA Button

Customer Support

To know what CyberGhost and PIA offer in terms of customer support, refer to the table below:

  CyberGhost Private Internet Access
Live Chat Yes Yes
Email Support Yes Yes
Phone Support No No
Ticket Support Yes Yes
Video Tutorials No No
Online Knowledge Base Yes Yes
Average Response Time 14 Hours 39 Minutes

PIA and CyberGhost offer the same things when it comes to customer support. Nevertheless, the winner in this category is PIA because it has a faster average response time. Send them an email, and you’ll get an answer in less than an hour. This shows just how much the VPN values customer service.

Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

Prices

PIA is famed for being a quality VPN that’s affordable. It’s one of the cheapest services on the market, making it perfect for those on a budget. In comparison, CyberGhost has been said to have average prices. It isn’t expensive, nor is it cheap.

To fully grasp how much each service costs, check out the table below:

  CyberGhost Private Internet Access
Subscription Lengths $12.99/Month $9.95/Month
  1 Year: $3.99/Month 1 Year ($3.33/Month)
  2 Years: $3.49/Month 2 Years ($2.69/Month)
Highest Price Per Month $12.99 $9.95
Lowest Price Per Month $2.25 (3 Years) $2.69
One Year Price $47.88 $39.95
Money-Back Guarantee 14 Days (1-Month Plan)
45 Days (1 & 2- Year Plans)
30 Days
Special Offer 3 months free after buying a 3-year subscription for $87.75 73% discount for a 2-year plan + 2 months free

While CyberGhost is more expensive, it has more flexible plans. Additionally, it also has a longer money-back guarantee. Hence, you can try it without risks for longer. That said, the winner in this final round of our Private Internet Access vs CyberGhost match is PIA.

Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

Verdict

Is CyberGhost better than PIA?

No. Although this is a really close call, I can say that PIA is better than CyberGhost.

First, it’s got better security, which is the most important thing a VPN must be good at. On top of that, it is faster and has a P2P network that makes it optimized for torrenting. Furthermore, the service is compatible with more devices and allows for more simultaneous connections. Lastly, it’s occasionally able to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

Overall Winner: Private Internet Access

CTA Button

About the author 

Kris Soliongco

Kris has two passions in life: writing and tech. He’s been building computers since he was eight years old and is very knowledgeable about online security. The first time he was exposed to VPNs was in 2016. Since then, he’s used a plethora of services and has gained much experience.