Published on: March 15, 2023
Short on time? Here’s the final verdict:
- 🥇CyberGhost VPN — Winner in Security, Speeds, Streaming, and Gaming. Provides better security features, has a larger server network than Surfshark, maintains faster speeds, works with more streaming services, and offers better gaming support.
CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark are two leading VPNs in 2023. They have strong security and privacy features, exceptional streaming and P2P support, suitability for gaming, and user-friendly apps for all major platforms.
Both VPNs come with industry-standard security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and strict no-logs policies, which have been independently audited. They also offer advanced security features like perfect forward secrecy, RAM-only servers, and an ad blocker, as well as extras like Tor support, split-tunneling, and smart DNS tools.
But there are some important differences between the two providers. CyberGhost VPN has a larger server network and slightly better security, while Surfshark provides coverage in more countries and has more additional features like obfuscation and double VPN.
I compared CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark in several metrics, including security, extra features, privacy, servers, speeds, streaming, torrenting, gaming, bypassing censorship, user-friendliness, plans and pricing, and customer support, to help you decide which VPN best meets your needs.
Surfshark vs. CyberGhost VPN — Quick Overview
|💸 Starting Price||Starts at $2.30 / month||Starts at $2.11 / month|
|📱 Number of Devices||Unlimited||7 simultaneous devices|
|🔐 Security||256-bit AES encryption,
No-logs policy (audited).
DNS leak protection,
Perfect forward secrecy,
|256-bit AES encryption,
No-logs policy (audited).
Full leak protection,
Perfect forward secrecy,
|🌍 Number of Servers||3,200+ in 100+ countries||9,400+ servers in 90+ countries|
|⚡️ Speeds||Good speeds on nearby servers, but pretty noticeable slowdowns on distant servers||Very fast on nearby servers, and fast on distant servers|
|🎥 Streaming Support||Works with Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer||Works with Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+|
|🔽 P2P Support||✅ (3,200+ servers in 100+ countries)||✅ (9,400+ servers in 70+ countries)|
|❓ Customer Support||24/7 live chat,
In-depth support library
In-depth support library
|💰 Money-Back Guarantee||30 days||45 days (only for long-term plans)|
Security — CyberGhost VPN Wins This Round
|256-bit AES Encryption||No-Logs Policy||Kill Switch||Leak Protection||RAM-Only Servers||Perfect Forward Secrecy|
|Surfshark||✅||✅||✅||DNS leaks only||✅||✅|
Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN prioritize securing your data. Both services provide industry-standard VPN security features, such as:
- 256-bit AES encryption. Renders all data unreadable and is the same encryption standard used by the military.
- No-logs policy. Prevents the VPN provider from collecting your IP address and internet traffic.
- Kill switch. Disables internet access if the VPN disconnects, protecting you from data leaks.
Both VPNs also offer advanced security features like RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy. RAM-only servers write data to the RAM, meaning every server reset wipes all data. Perfect forward secrecy changes the encryption key for each VPN connection to prevent hackers from compromising past or future encryption keys.
Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN also support secure protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. I really like that both VPNs offer WireGuard, which is a very secure and fast protocol.
However, only CyberGhost VPN has full leak protection — it has built-in protection against WeRTC and Ipv6 leaks, but it automatically disables all IPv6 to prevent IPv6 leaks. Surfshark only protects against DNS leaks, requiring manual disabling of IPv6 and WebRTC to avoid potential leaks.
Finally, Surfshark allows you to secure your account with two-factor authentication. This feature requires you to validate login attempts with a time-sensitive code generated by an app or a security key.
Winner (Security): CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN edges out Surfshark in security due to its more robust leak protection that guards against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. Other than that, both VPNs provide very solid security, including secure protocols and advanced features like RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy.
Extra Features — Surfshark is The Better Choice
|Split-Tunneling||Obfuscation||Blocks Ads||Blocks Malicious Sites||Tor Support||Smart DNS||Other Features|
|Surfshark||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅||Dynamic MultiHop, NoBorders, IP Rotator, Speed test, Override GPS Location|
|CyberGhost VPN||✅||❌||✅||✅||✅||✅||NoSpy servers, Smart Rules, Identity Guard, dedicated IPs|
Both VPNs have good extra features, but I like Surfshark better.
CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark both offer:
- Split-tunneling: Both VPNs allow you to choose which apps or websites use the VPN connection and which use your local network. But Surfshark also lets you choose which websites and IP addresses should bypass the VPN tunnel.
- Ad blocker: CyberGhost VPN’s Content Blocker and Surfshark’s CleanWeb both block ads and trackers. However, CyberGhost VPN’s ad blocker is not as effective as Surfshark. In my tests, it only blocked ads in search engines. Still, there are other VPNs that come with better ad blockers like NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature and Private Internet Access’s MACE.
- Tor traffic support: Both VPNs allow Tor traffic on all servers, providing enhanced privacy when accessing the dark web.
- Smart DNS: Both services have a smart DNS feature, enabling access to streaming sites on devices that don’t natively support VPN apps, like gaming consoles and certain smart TVs.
On top of that, CyberGhost VPN also offers the following extras that Surfshark lacks:
- NoSpy Servers: Provide extra privacy, as only CyberGhost VPN staff has access to these servers located in Romania.
- Smart Rules: Allow configuration of VPN connection preferences, such as connecting to a gaming server when opening Steam.
- Identity Guard: Alerts you if your email addresses or passwords have been compromised in a data breach.
And Surfshark has these features that CyberGhost VPN doesn’t have:
- Obfuscation: Makes your VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic for better privacy.
- NoBorders: Access to specific servers that work on restrictive networks or countries.
- IP Rotator: Regularly changes your IP address without dropping the VPN connection for better privacy.
- Built-in speed test: Allows running speed tests to determine the fastest servers (not 100% accurate).
- Override GPS Location (Android only): Matches your GPS data to your VPN IP address, making it harder for mobile streaming apps to detect and block your VPN connection.
Winner (Extra Features): Surfshark
While both VPNs have some overlapping features, Surfshark has a more diverse and useful set of extra features, making it the winner in this category. Surfshark offers unique features like NoBorders, IP Rotator, a built-in speed test, and an Override GPS Location feature for Android devices.
Privacy — CyberGhost VPN Is Better
|Logs User IP Addresses||Logs User Traffic||Audited No-Logs Policy||Headquarters||Open-Source Apps|
|Surfshark||❌||❌||✅||The Netherlands (inside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances)||❌|
|CyberGhost VPN||❌||❌||✅||Romania (outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances)||❌|
Both CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark put a strong emphasis on user privacy, with strict no-logs policies and additional privacy measures.
Both VPNs’ policies were audited in 2022, but Surfshark has had its browser extension and server infrastructure independently audited as well.
That said, only CyberGhost VPN is based in a privacy-friendly country (Romania), while Surfshark is located in the Netherlands. Although the Netherlands is part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances, Surfshark’s no-logs policy ensures no user data is shared. Romania is considered a privacy-friendly country outside the jurisdiction of the intelligence-sharing alliances.
And only CyberGhost VPN publishes regular transparency reports displaying user data requests and their refusal to comply.
Winner (Privacy): CyberGhost VPN
Both VPNs excel in protecting user privacy, with strict no-logs policies and multiple independent security audits, but CyberGhost VPN is the better option because it’s based in a privacy-friendly country and publishes regular transparency reports.
Servers — Both VPNs Have Good Server Networks
|Number of Servers||Number of Countries||Virtual Locations||P2P Servers||Obfuscated Servers||Dedicated IP Addresses|
|Surfshark||3,200+||100+||✅||✅ (3,200+ servers in 100+ countries)||✅ (3,200+ servers in 100+ countries)||❌|
|CyberGhost VPN||9,400+||90+||✅||✅ (9,400+ servers in 70+ countries)||❌||✅|
CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark both offer extensive server networks. CyberGhost VPN has 9,400+ servers in 90+ countries, while Surfshark offers 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries. While CyberGhost VPN has the largest server network, Surfshark provides coverage in more countries — but it’s not a significant advantage since both of their networks are well spread across the world.
Both CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark use virtual servers, which assign IP addresses from the desired country but are physically located elsewhere. These servers are secure and clearly marked in their respective apps.
When it comes to torrenting servers, both VPNs are a good choice. CyberGhost VPN provides 9,400+ P2P servers in 70+ countries, while Surfshark allows torrenting on all its 3,200+ servers across 100+ countries.
But only Surfshark supports obfuscation across its entire server network. CyberGhost VPN does not support obfuscation on any of its servers.
Also, CyberGhost VPN does not offer double VPN connections and Surfshark does. Surfshar has Dynamic MultiHop servers that support custom double VPN connections.
Winner (Servers): Surfshark
Surfshark is the clear winner here. CyberGhost VPN boasts a larger server network, while Surfshark provides coverage in more countries, supports obfuscation on all servers, and offers double VPN connections.
Speeds — CyberGhost VPN Comes Out on Top
|Surfshark Nearby Servers||CyberGhost VPN
|Website load time||Instant||Instant||3 seconds||Instant|
|HD video load time||1-2 seconds||Instant||2-3 seconds||Instant|
|HD video buffering||❌||❌||❌||❌|
|4K video load time||2-3 seconds||Instant||4 seconds||1-2 seconds|
|4K video buffering||❌||❌||✅(minor buffering)||❌|
|Time to download a 20 GB file||15-17 minutes||10-11 minutes||19-22 minutes||15-16 minutes|
I ran several speed tests with both VPNs and found that CyberGhost VPN is simply faster.
CyberGhost VPN consistently maintains high speeds across all servers. With CyberGhost VPN, websites and HD videos load instantly, and it takes only 10-11 minutes to torrent a 20 GB file on nearby servers (and 15-16 minutes on distant servers).
Surfshark maintained good speeds on nearby servers, but I did experience slower speeds on distant servers, where websites take around 3 seconds to load, HD videos require 2-3 seconds, and 4K videos take over 5 seconds with occasional buffering.
Winner (Speed): CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN’s faster performance across all servers makes it the winner in this category. CyberGhost VPN consistently maintains high speeds across all servers, even on distant ones. In comparison, Surfshark has slower speeds on distant servers, especially for 4K video streaming.
Streaming — CyberGhost VPN is The Better Choice
|Number of Streaming Services the VPN Can Access||Works with Netflix||Works with BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and Disney+||Smart DNS|
|Surfshark||50+||✅||Work with all sites except for Disney +||✅|
Both Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN come with excellent streaming support, but CyberGhost VPN is slightly better.
Both VPNs consistently work with top streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime. However, Surfshark doesn’t work with Disney+ and CyberGhost VPN does.
But only CyberGhost VPN offers 100+ dedicated streaming servers in 20 different countries. These servers guarantee access to 50+ streaming sites, including less popular platforms like Crynchyroll, DANZ, and Rai Play.
That said, I like that each provider includes a smart DNS feature, allowing users to access streaming sites on devices that don’t support VPN apps. This ensures a seamless streaming experience across various devices.
Winner (Streaming): CyberGhost VPN
Both Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN are excellent choices for streaming, but CyberGhost VPN is better. They both support multiple Netflix libraries and work with other popular streaming sites, like Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer but only CyberGhost VPN offers 100+ dedicated streaming servers.
Torrenting — Both VPNs Are Very Good For Torrenting
|P2P Servers||Works with Top P2P Apps||Port Forwarding||SOCKS5 Proxy Support||Kill Switch||No-Logs Policy|
|Surfshark||3,200+ servers in 100+ countries||✅||❌||❌||✅||✅|
|CyberGhost VPN||9,400+ servers in 70+ countries||✅||❌||❌||✅||✅|
Both Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN are great for torrenting. Surfshark supports torrenting on all of its 3,200+ servers across 100+ countries, while CyberGhost VPN offers P2P support on 9,400+ servers in 70+ countries.
These VPNs are compatible with popular torrent clients like Vuze and qBittorrent and worked perfectly in all my tests.
Plus, both providers include essential privacy tools for torrenting, such as a kill switch, audited no-logs policy, and leak protection. But I would like to see Surfshark adding WebRTC and IPv6 leak protection — it currently only protects against DNS leaks.
I really like that they also feature ad blockers, which eliminate annoying ads on P2P websites and help protect users from visiting malicious torrenting sites. That said, CyberGhost VPN’s ad blocker only blocks ads in search engines.
Winner (Torrenting): It’s a tie
Both Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN are really good for torrenting. CyberGhost VPN offers P2P support on a larger number of servers, but Surfshark allows torrenting in more countries. They both come with great security features for torrenting, including a kill switch and leak protection, but only CyberGhost VPN offers full leak protection. On the other hand, only Surfshark’s ad blocker blocks annoying ads on sites — CyberGhost VPN’s ad blocker only blocks ads in search engines.
Gaming — CyberGhost VPN Has Better Streaming Support
|Ping on Local Servers (North Macedonia)||Ping on Distant Servers
|Lag-Free Gaming||Anti-DDoS Protection||Router Support||Cloud Gaming Support|
|Surfshark||20–23 ms||150–168 ms||❌ (only minor lag, not game-breaking)||✅||✅||❌|
|CyberGhost VPN||18-21 ms||130–135 ms||✅||✅||✅||❌|
I enjoyed gaming with both Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN, but CyberGhost VPN is slightly better. While playing Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, I experienced low ping and fast speeds on nearby servers with both providers. On distant servers, I had higher ping with Surfshark and encountered minor lag with both VPNs, though it wasn’t game-breaking.
Both VPNs have servers that come with anti-DDoS protection, ensuring that DDoS attacks can’t disrupt your gaming experience.
But only CyberGhost VPN has 70+ dedicated gaming servers in 4 countries (the US, the UK, France, and Germany), which are optimized for stable ping and connections. Using these servers, I experienced even lower ping than on the provider’s non-gaming servers.
Both providers support manual setups on routers, allowing you to secure your gaming on devices that don’t natively support VPN apps, such as gaming consoles. Unfortunately, neither VPN guarantees support for cloud gaming. That said, I tried both with GeForce Now, and they worked fine.
Winner(Gaming): CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN is a better choice for gamers seeking a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience. It offers 70+ dedicated gaming servers in 4 countries, optimized for stable ping and connections, and in my tests, I had low ping on both nearby and distant servers. Surfshark doesn’t provide specialized gaming servers and performed well on nearby servers — but I experienced some ping on distant servers.
Bypassing Censorship — Neither VPN Is a Good Pick
|Obfuscation||Works in China
||Works in Russia
||Works in Iran
||Works in Indonesia
||Works in Saudi Arabia
Regrettably, neither VPN is good for circumventing government firewalls. Reps for CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark told me that they can’t guarantee that the VPNs will work in restrictive countries like China, Iran, or Russia.
As an alternative, I suggest giving ExpressVPN a try, as it operates effectively in restrictive countries like China, Russia, and Iran. In fact, ExpressVPN is our no. 1 pick for bypassing government censorship in the market.
Winner (Bypassing Censorship): None
Neither Surfshrak nor CyberGhost VPN work in restrictive countries so I recommend trying ExpressVPN, which can consistently circumvent government censorship.
Apps & Ease of Use — Both Providers Have User-Friendly Apps
|iOS App||Android App||Windows App||macOS App||Linux App||Smart TV App||Router Support||Other Apps|
|Surfshark||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅(Android TV, Fire TV)||✅||Chromebook|
|CyberGhost VPN||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅(Android TV, Fire TV)||✅||Chromebook|
Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN both offer apps for a wide range of platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android TV, Fire TV, and Chromebook. Additionally, they both support manual setups on various router models and offer helpful tutorials to make the process smooth and straightforward.
Both VPN providers have excellent mobile apps that are intuitive, equipped with quick-connect features, and provide helpful explanations for all settings.
As for their desktop applications, both VPNs have user-friendly interfaces and are very easy to install. I also like that both of their apps are feature-rich but easy to navigate — it doesn’t take more than a couple of seconds to connect to any server.
Winner (Apps & Ease of Use): It’s a tie
There is no clear winner in this category, as both VPNs provide easy-to-use apps. Both Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN offer intuitive, user-friendly apps for various platforms, with manual setup support and comprehensive tutorials.
Plans & Pricing — Both Offer Really Good Value
|Starting Price||Free Plan||Simultaneous Connections||Payment Options||Money-Back Guarantee|
|Surfshark||$2.30 / month||❌||Unlimited||credit/debit cards
|CyberGhost VPN||$2.11 / month||❌||7||credit/debit cards PayPal cryptocurrencies||45 days (long-term plans)|
Both Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN are very affordable options. Surfshark offers unlimited connections across devices and provides a 1-month, 1-year, and 2-year plan, with the longest plan starting at just $2.30 / month. On the other hand, CyberGhost VPN allows 7 simultaneous device connections and offers a 1-month, 6-month, and 2-year plan (+ 3 free months) at an attractive price of $2.11 / month.
Both providers offer a money-back guarantee on all plans. Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and CyberGhost VPN’s long-term plans come with an extended 45-day refund window, while its 1-month plan has a 14-day guarantee.
I really like that Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN accept various payment methods, including credit/debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and cryptocurrencies. It is worth noting that Surfshark does not accept PayPal, while CyberGhost VPN does.
Winner (Plans & Pricing): It’s a tie
It’s difficult to pick a winner here as both VPNs offer great value. CyberGhost VPN has a more extended refund period and allows for 7 simultaneous connections, making it an attractive option for users seeking flexibility and affordability. However, Surfshark’s unlimited connections offer unparalleled value for those who need to use multiple devices.
Customer Support — Both Providers Have Excellent Customer Support
|Live Chat||Email Support||FAQs||Tutorials||Troubleshooting Guides||Phone Support|
Both Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN offer outstanding customer support experiences, with comprehensive help sections and a variety of support resources.
They provide extensive support libraries, including frequently asked questions (FAQs), setup tutorials, troubleshooting guides, and video guides.
Each VPN also provides good live chat and email support. Surfshark provides 24/7 live chat support and when I tested it, I got connected with a representative within 10 seconds.
CyberGhost VPN also offers excellent live chat support, although it is not available 24/7 — there were times where I couldn’t connect to a rep. However, wait times were still minimal when they were available, taking around 4-5 seconds to connect with a representative.
When it comes to email support, both providers delivered timely responses, typically within 24 hours.
Winner (Customer Support): It’s a tie
I just couldn’t decide on a winner because both CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark have really good support platforms. They both have in-depth libraries with easy-to-use tutorials and helpful guides and knowledgeable customer support representatives.
Surfshark vs. CyberGhost VPN: Overall Winner
I think both VPNs are solid options but CyberGhost VPN slightly takes the edge.
CyberGhost VPN is faster on nearby and distant servers, has dedicated gaming servers and better gaming support, comes with top-notch advanced security features, and has excellent streaming support with 100+ dedicated streaming servers that can access 50+ streaming platforms. It also has a larger server network of 9,400+ servers in 90+ countries, user-friendly apps for all major operating systems, and allows up to 7 device connections on all of its plans.
On the other hand, Surfshark has more extra features like obfuscation on all servers and MultiHop and has servers in more countries (100+). It allows torrenting on all of its servers, works with most streaming platforms (but not with Disney+), has easy-to-use apps, and allows unlimited connections on all of its plans — which are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which VPN offers faster speeds, CyberGhost VPN or Surfshark?
CyberGhost VPN offers faster speeds compared to Surfshark. While both VPNs perform well on local servers, CyberGhost VPN consistently maintains high speeds across all servers, including distant ones. Surfshark users may experience slower speeds on distant servers, especially for 4K video streaming.
How do CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark compare in terms of server count and coverage?
CyberGhost VPN has more servers but Surfshark provides coverage in more countries. CyberGhost VPN has a larger server network, with over 9,400 servers in 90+ countries. On the other hand, Surfshark offers 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries.
Can I use CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark for streaming services like Netflix?
Yes, both CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark work with Netflix. They also unblock other popular streaming sites like BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime.
But CyberGhost VPN also has 100+ dedicated streaming servers that work with 50+ streaming sites. It also works with Disney+ and Surfshark doesn’t.
Are CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark suitable for torrenting?
Both Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN support torrenting. Surfshark supports torrenting on all of its 3,200+ servers across 100+ countries, while CyberGhost VPN offers P2P support on 9,400+ servers in 70+ countries. They both include essential privacy features for torrenting, such as a kill switch, an audited no-logs policy, leak protection, and an ad blocker.
What are the major differences in extra features between CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark?
They both offer unique additional features. CyberGhost VPN has NoSpy Servers, Smart Rules, and Identity Guard, while Surfshark includes NoBorders, IP Rotator, a built-in speed test, and an Override GPS Location feature for Android devices. That said, both VPNs have some overlapping features like split-tunneling and Tor traffic support.