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CyberGhost vs Surfshark in 2022: Two Budget VPN Services Face Off

While both CyberGhost and Surfshark exhibit excellent capability, their performance bears fine-drawn differences. In this CyberGhost vs Surfshark guide, we’ll pit the VPNs against each other to reveal these differences.

Samson Max
By Samson Max (Writer, Linking Editor)
— Last Updated: 2022-09-05T21:24:43+00:00 Facts checked by Eugenie Tiu

CyberGhost and Surfshark are top-tier virtual private networks (VPNs). Both offer the features you need to stream, download torrents, play games online or traverse the worldwide web safely. In spite of their excellent capabilities, one is probably better suited to your needs than the other.

In this CyberGhost vs Surfshark comparison guide, we’ll help you decide which service best meets your needs. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Surfshark is better than CyberGhost in five categories: features, speed, pricing, security and user-friendliness. 
  • Both CyberGhost and Surfshark are on even footing in the customer support category. 
  • CyberGhost outperforms Surfshark in the streaming and torrenting categories, thanks to its specialty servers. Moreover, it has a better server count and geographical distribution.

We’ll put the two VPN providers through rigorous scrutiny to determine who the winner is on speed, features, streaming, and other fronts. Read on for the nitty-gritty details about these VPN services. 

  • 09/05/2022

    Updated the comparison to include the latest speed tests for each VPN.

  • Surfshark is better than CyberGhost in terms of speeds, usability and affordability. However, CyberGhost posts better streaming and torrenting performance.

  • No, while CyberGhost is quite apt, it’s not the best service in the VPN industry. There are better services such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

  • Yes, CyberGhost is a trustworthy VPN that has no history of privacy or security breaches.

  • Yes, Surfshark is a reliable VPN that offers fast speeds, solid security and top-notch privacy.

$2.37 / month (All Plans)45-day money-back guarantee$2.49 / month (All Plans)30-day money-back guarantee
Cyberghost ReviewSurfshark Review
General
Payment methodsPayPal, Credit card, bitcoinPayPal, Credit card
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections 7 Unlimited
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
Refund period
Worldwide server amount8,035 servers in 91 countries3,200 +, 140 server locations in 95 countries
Desktop OSesWindows, MacOS, LinuxWindows, MacOS, Linux
Mobile OSesAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS
Browser extensionsChrome, FirefoxChrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge
Can be installed on routers
Streaming
Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
Can access Amazon Prime Video
Security
Encryption types256-AES256-AES
VPN protocols availableOpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuardOpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included
Support
Live Chat24/724/7
Email support24/724/7
Phone support
User forum
Knowledgebase

CyberGhost vs Surfshark Compared & Tested

We’ll put CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark VPN through a barrage of tests in a nine-round matchup. Each round represents a key VPN aspect such as speed, pricing, features, streaming, user-friendliness and more. 

The winner in each round will get a point, and in case a tie occurs, both VPNs will get a point. We’ll then tally the points at the end of the ninth round, and the VPN provider with the most points will be our overall winner. Let the matchup begin.  

1. Speed

It’s the norm for a VPN to decrease your download and upload speeds and increase the latency. However, the fastest VPNs cause an insignificant change. We did a bunch of tests to reveal the performance of both Surfshark and CyberGhost on the three speed aspects. 

Our speed test results depict the reasons Surfshark VPN made it onto our best fast VPN list, whereas CyberGhost VPN missed out.

Surfshark vs CyberGhost VPN Speed Test Results

When comparing Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN speeds in the U.S., Surfshark easily wins with the download and upload speeds. However, Surfshark has high and inconsistent latency — making it not a great gaming VPN option — while CyberGhost is slightly better on that front for the U.S. server.

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 11/06/22 to 12/05/22
Data for region:

When you take a global view of VPN server performance, Surfshark has much better download speeds — losing only 10% of the unprotect speeds, compared to CyberGhost losing around 50% or more. Surfshark also has better upload speeds and lower latency.

Download Speed (Higher is better)
Upload Speed (Higher is better)
Latency (Lower is better)
Source: Cloudwards VPN Speed Test. We test daily. Data from 11/06/22 to 12/05/22
Data for region:

This round is clear-cut. Surfshark outshines CyberGhost in the three VPN speed fronts to nudge its way into an early lead in our matchup.

2. Features

The two VPNs come packed with all commonplace features, and spruce up the core with paid add-ons. However, some of their critical VPN features aren’t available on some devices. 

CyberGhost vs Surfshark VPN OS Support

CyberGhost and Surfshark support major operating systems (OSes): Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. You can also use them on smart TVs, routers, gaming consoles and major web browsers Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Surfshark  device compatibility
Surfshark supports all major operating systems, routers, smart TVs, gaming consoles and browser extensions.

Internet Kill Switch and Split Tunneling

In addition, both Surfshark and CyberGhost have a kill switch in its basic form. The kill switch cuts you off from the internet when the VPN connection drops.

A while ago, CyberGhost’s kill switch was permanently activated, and there was no option to turn it off. Thankfully, the provider has added an option to turn the kill switch on or off when you see fit.

CyberGhost privacy settings
CyberGhost features advanced tools like smart rules and leak protocol for enhanced security and privacy.

In an era where split tunneling is becoming a critical feature for VPN users, it’s upsetting to see that neither provider supports it on all devices.

Surfshark has an advantage in that it supports both app- and URL-based split tunneling, but the tool (Bypasser) is only available on Windows and Android. CyberGhost’s app-based split tunneling is exclusively available for Android users. 

CyberGhost split tunneling
CyberGhost offers a split tunneling feature on Android.

Additional VPN Features

Both CyberGhost and Surfshark deck out the VPN core with an antivirus in the form of a paid add-on. Surfshark has Surfshark One, whereas CyberGhost VPN comes with CyberGhost Security Suite, but the latter is only available for Windows.

Moreover, Surfshark has advanced tools like CleanWeb — a dependable malware and ad blocker. CyberGhost has a similar tool called the Content Blocker.

Surfshark Bypasser
 Surfshark Bypasser (a version of split tunneling) is available on Android and Windows. 

CyberGhost also allows you to configure smart rules. For example, if torrenting is your cup of tea, you can configure the client to automatically connect to a specific torrenting server when you launch BitTorrent.

Surfshark also has the unique advantage of unlimited simultaneous connections. This means your subscription can cover your entire family, and you can even share it with friends. 

CyberGhost smart rules
CyberGhost allows you to configure rules to establish VPN connections when you open certain apps.

This was a hotly contested round, with both CyberGhost and Surfshark throwing equal punches. Sure, the former lacks a split tunneling tool on the desktop, but makes up for the miss with more advanced features such as smart rules. Surfshark, on the other hand, offers unlimited simultaneous connections, whereas CyberGhost VPN permits seven.  

Round: Features
Point for Surfshark
Visit Cyberghost0
Visit Surfshark2

3. Pricing

Looking at the price vis-à-vis the VPN features helps you determine the value you’re getting with each provider. We’ve discussed the features the VPN services offer; we now turn our attention to the money side of the equation. Here’s their pricing comparison.

Plans:SurfsharkCyberGhost
One Month$12.95$12.99
Six month$6.49 (per month)N/A
One-yearN/A$4.29 (per month)
Two-year$2.30 (per month)$3.25 (per month)
Three-yearN/A$2.29 (per month)

As you can see, both CyberGhost and Surfshark are expensive on the monthly plan. Thankfully, the two VPNs are quite generous with discounts on the extended plans. Still, Surfshark is cheaper on a two-year subscription. Cyberghost has a more affordable three-year plan, but it barely beats Surfshark’s two-year plan in comparison.

Surfshark pricing
Surfshark is one of the cheapest services in the VPN market.

The Surfshark price covers unlimited simultaneous connections and all VPN features, except Surfshark One — which costs an extra $1.49 per month. CyberGhost plans give you access to all features, but you’ll have to cough up an extra $1.29 per month to use CyberGhost Security. 

Free Trial and Money-Back Guarantee

Surfshark offers a seven-day free trial on mobile and Mac devices (sorry, Windows users), whereas CyberGhost offers a one-day trial.  

As far as the money-back guarantee goes, CyberGhost is the clear winner. While Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, CyberGhost gives you a 45-day money-back guarantee on the extended plans. That said, you only get a 14-day money-back guarantee on the monthly plan.

CyberGhost pricing
Even though CyberGhost is slightly more expensive than Surfshark, it’s still one of the cheapest services in the VPN industry. 

However, raw numbers aren’t everything. You need to take Surfshark’s unlimited connections into consideration, as they potentially allow you to split the bill with friends or family members. As a result, Surfshark takes the point to solidify its lead in our Surfshark vs CyberGhost bout. 

4. Security & Privacy

A VPN provider may offer all usability features at a cheaper price, but if it doesn’t have the right privacy and security features, it’s useless. In this category, we’ll look at CyberGhost and Surfshark through the security and privacy lenses. 

A VPN is as secure as the VPN protocols and encryption standards it uses. Out of the box, both CyberGhost and Surfshark automatically choose a VPN protocol based on your internet connection. 

CyberGhost security protocols
CyberGhost uses secure protocols OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard to protect your traffic from prying eyes. 

However, you can manually pick a protocol that suits your needs. Both providers support OpenVPN (UDP and TCP) — a tried and tested protocol that’s as secure as it gets. Other protocol options include the speedy IKEv2 and WireGuard — a modern protocol that offers excellent performance.

As far as encryption goes, the two VPNs use 256-bit AES encryption (read our encryption guide to learn more).

Additional Security Features

The VPN protocols and encryption form the core of VPN security. Top-shelf providers bundle additional tools such as the kill switch to add an extra layer of protection. Surfshark is endowed with more advanced security features than CyberGhost. 

Surfshark NoBorders mode
Surfshark NoBorders mode enables internet users to safely access geo-restricted content in countries like China and Russia. 

It has the double VPN feature, which sends your internet traffic through two VPN servers for extra safety. Beyond that, there’s the camouflage mode which uses obfuscation technology to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. Not to mention the NoBorders mode, which lets you enjoy unfettered internet access in China and other restrictive countries. 

Other notable Surfshark tools include static IP addresses. CyberGhost, by contrast, boasts only the NoSpy servers and dedicated IP addresses. We’ll discuss the two features in the server location section.

With CyberGhost NoSpy servers, you can bypass geo-restrictions and surveillance in restrictive countries. 

CyberGhost vs Surfshark No-Logs Policy

Surfshark abides by a strict no-logs policy; hence, it doesn’t collect, store or share user data, IP addresses, web traffic logs or information about the websites you visit. It does log user ID and connection timestamps related to the server you connect to, but deletes that information after 15 minutes. 

CyberGhost has a no-logs policy, too, but it only covers VPN usage. Outside of that, the provider collects your approximate location and IP address, but claims to anonymize that information. 

The good thing is that CyberGhost and Surfshark have maintained a clean track record with no history of privacy breaches. However, CyberGhost’s acquisition by Kape Technologies caused a bit of a stir, because this company is known to have used its development platform to spread malware.

Beyond the no-logs policy, Surfshark has introduced a new privacy tool known as Surfshark Incogni. It is a great software that streamlines the handling of data removal requests. However, it doesn’t impact the results in this category since it’s not part of the Surfshark VPN suite.  

CyberGhost adheres to its no-logs policy to guarantee user privacy.

That minor flaw aside, CyberGhost is based in Romania — a country that does not enforce data collection or other surveillance means. Surfshark is based in the Netherlands — a country with some of the best data protection laws in the world. Be sure to read our NordVPN and Surfshark merger to learn how it impacts VPN users.  

The VPN services are almost on level pegging here. They boast secure protocols and strong encryption, advanced security features, and a no-logs policy. However, Surfshark’s double VPN feature tips the scales in its favor in this category.

Round: Security & Privacy
Point for Surfshark
Visit Cyberghost0
Visit Surfshark4

5. Streaming

The best VPN for streaming has two features in common: fast download speeds and excellent ability to unblock streaming services. 

CyberGhost ticks these boxes. Even though it’s slower than Surfshark, its download speeds are serviceable. Most importantly, it has servers that are optimized for specific streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and BBC iPlayer, and even some country-specific channels. During our testing, the servers opened streaming services on the first attempt. 

With CyberGhost streaming-optimized servers, you can unblock streaming sites and enjoy a buffering-free experience. 

Surfshark’s streaming performance is a mixed bag. While it gets you into Disney Plus and Netflix on the first attempt, you have to switch between several servers to find one that can get you into HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer.

This is the second clear-cut category on our Surfshark vs CyberGhost matchup. CyberGhost delivers a streaming performance that Surfshark can’t match, and its spot on our best streaming VPN list is well deserved. 

Round: Streaming
Point for CyberGhost
Visit Cyberghost1
Visit Surfshark4

6. Torrenting

The best VPN for torrenting should be fast and secure. The two providers tick these boxes, but CyberGhost has a leg up on Surfshark thanks to its network of torrenting servers in 63 countries. 

We used CyberGhost’s torrenting servers and Surfshark’s regular servers to download a 1GB torrent file on a 3 Mbps internet connection.

VPN Service:Download SpeedDownload Time
CyberGhost0.47 MB/s70 minutes
Surfshark0.42 MB/s77 minutes

The specialized torrenting servers give CyberGhost a slight edge over Surfshark. The servers took 70 minutes to download the test torrent file, whereas Surfshark took 77 minutes to get the job done. CyberGhost is without a doubt the better option for torrenting. 

Round: Torrenting
Point for CyberGhost
Visit Cyberghost2
Visit Surfshark4

7. Server Locations

In this category, we evaluate VPN servers from two perspectives: the count and geographical diversity. A bigger server count means you have more options to find an optimal server in a specific region.

On the other hand, a wider distribution means you have more country-specific IP addresses, which carries more weight in our comparisons. 

CyberGhost offers around 7,800 servers in 91 countries.

CyberGhost trumps Surfshark on both fronts. Its server count is more than double Surfshark’s tally of over 3,200 VPN servers. Moreover, CyberGhost VPN servers are spread across 91 countries, meaning it has servers in 26 more countries than Surfshark.

Beyond the regular VPN servers, both CyberGhost and Surfshark come packed with specialty VPN servers. CyberGhost has more to show, though, with specialized servers for gaming, torrenting and streaming. It also offers the NoSpy servers, which are adept at bypassing censorship and surveillance in restrictive countries like China and Russia. 

In addition, CyberGhost provides dedicated IP servers, albeit at an extra cost, whereas Surfshark offers static IP servers at no additional cost. Be sure to check our dedicated vs shared vs static IP guide to learn their differences.  

CyberGhost outclassed Surfshark on all aspects: server count, geographical diversity and specialty VPN servers. As a result,  it’s the undisputed winner in this category.

Round: Server Locations
Point for CyberGhost
Visit Cyberghost3
Visit Surfshark4

8. User-Friendliness

A VPN may have the speeds and array of features you need, but if it’s difficult to use, you’ll struggle to make the most of its capabilities. In this section, we’ll look at the layouts of both VPN providers to determine how they simplify usability — or make it difficult. 

Surfshark is the perfect example of how a VPN should work. The Windows app opens to a neat, no-frills interface that gives users a flat learning curve. The quickest way to connect to a server is to search by country on the search bar. Alternatively, you can toggle between favorite locations, static IP or multi-hop server options to find the best server. 

Surfshark server options
 Surfshark allows you to “star” your favorite server so that you can access them with ease in the future.

Out of the box, Surfshark works without a hitch. However, if you want to alter the default settings to suit your purpose, you can do so with ease under the “settings” tab. Here, you’ll find options to activate auto-connect, bypasser, kill switch and other features. 

Unlike CyberGhost, Surfshark’s app setting options are easily accessible.

CyberGhost’s Windows app’s home screen has the features you need to establish and monitor a VPN connection. Like Surfshark, server options (regular, dedicated, NoSpy, gaming, torrenting and streaming servers) are well organized to make it easy to find the appropriate server. Each list shows the distance to each server, making it easy to find the closest server for optimal performance. 

The “settings” tab is home to most of the configuration options such as an option to change VPN protocol. However, options such as kill switch, auto-connect and ad-blocker are tucked away in unintuitive places, thus can be difficult to find for first-time users. 

Some of the CyberGhost setting options like the kill switch aren’t easily accessible.  

VPN Service Mobile Apps

Surfshark’s mobile apps mirror the intuitiveness and capability of the desktop VPN apps. The Android app has all the features you find in the desktop app. The iOS app is similarly powerful but lacks a split tunneling tool. 

CyberGhost mobile apps are easy to use and pack more punch than their desktop versions. For example, the Android app supports app-based split tunneling — a feature you won’t find in the Windows app.

CyberGhost’s Android app offers additional tools like split tunneling. 

Both Surfshark and CyberGhost are easy to use. However, Surfshark has a slight edge, thanks to its well-organized menus and clearly-labeled setting options. You won’t fiddle around trying to find any settings options, unlike in CyberGhost where first-time users may struggle to find the kill switch and auto-connect options. 

Round: User-Friendliness
Point for Surfshark
Visit Cyberghost3
Visit Surfshark5

9. Customer Support

Customer support comes in handy when you run into issues with billing or VPN usage. Both Surfshark and CyberGhost have knowledgebases and FAQs to help you quickly find solutions to your problems on your own.

These support options comprehensively cover the common issues users face and include helpful guides to solve connectivity, installation and billing issues. 

Beyond that, the providers have a live chat option, which remains the fastest way to find help for issues you can’t solve on your own. During our review, we tried both live chats and were quite impressed with the speed and quality of answers we got from the agents. An email is also a support option with both.

CyberGhost live chat
CyberGhost support agents answer questions within seconds on live chat.

There’s nothing to separate CyberGhost and Surfshark customer service. The only strike against the services is the lack of phone support. However, since this is a quibble for both, that doesn’t have any bearing on the score in this category.

Round: Customer Support
No clear winner, points for both
Visit Cyberghost4
Visit Surfshark6

The Verdict

Our CyberGhost vs Surfshark was hotly contested, with the two providers justifying their positions in the upper VPN echelon with excellent performance. Ultimately, Surfshark garnered six points, while CyberGhost took four, which makes Surfshark the winner by a narrow margin.

However, if you were to pick the better option between the two, the decision would come down to your needs and preferences. For example, you may edge toward CyberGhost if you want a better VPN for streaming, torrenting or unblocking country-specific content. However, if speed, value for your money or user-friendliness is a priority, Surfshark is an ideal VPN. 

For similar comparisons, check our Surfshark vs ProtonVPN and Surfshark vs IPVanish guides.

What do you think of our Surfshark vs CyberGhost comparison? Have you used these services before? Is there a category you think the providers won, tied or lost unfairly? We’d like to hear about it. As always, thanks for reading. 

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