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  • Speed 79% 79%
  • Servers 72% 72%
  • User Experience 78% 78%
  • Support 82% 82%
  • Pricing 85% 85%

Overall Rating: 3.9 / 5

Official Information

Based in Moldova
support@cactusvpn.com

About CactusVPN

CactusVPN is a VPN provider from CactusVPN Ltd, based in Moldova, a former Soviet Republic and an Eastern European country that was founded back in 2011 as a “family business” but now has customers around the globe. It’s one of the lesser-known VPNs, which comes with plenty of promises. If you go through their website, you’ll see that they promise to bring full protection of your private data, which is true as Moldova is away from 5/9/14 Eyes alliances.

Though on the plus side it is based in a privacy-friendly place, it does come with certain downside. For instance, it has a small server network, which may make the user think twice before purchasing a subscription plan. Let’s get into the CactusVPN review and decide whether it’s worth the purchase like other popular VPN providers or not.

Table of Contents

What Are the Features of CactusVPN?

In our CactusVPN review, we went through some of the features, which are as below:
  • Offers shared static IP address
  • Customer support has several options to select from and their response time is also fast
  • Offers no-logs policy
  • Offers six different VPN protocols, PPTP, SSTP, SoftEther, IKEv2, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec
  • Compatible with many devices like, Amazon Fire TV, Linux Ubuntu Routers, Game Consoles, Apple, Samsung, and Chromebooks
  • Provides advanced functionalities like Internet Kill Switch, VPN Protocol Switching, and Application killer
  • Easy to use Smart DNS
  • Offers “Sort by speed” functionality to sort the servers based on speed
  • Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox VPN extensions

Pricing Structure – How Much Does CactusVPN Cost?

CactusVPN provides four different options, US VPN, UK VPN, Smart DNS, and VPN + Smart DNS. Pricing starts from $4.99/- to $6.99/– for the three different subscription plans it offers. In these, the US VPN provides 6 VPN servers and the UK VPN allows four servers. If you’re looking for P2P torrenting, then you’re left with just one option. You have to go with only one plan, the VPN + Smart DNS plan, which is costlier than all the other plans. 35% and 14% discounts are offered on the annual and quarterly plans.

Like other VPN providers, CactusVPN also allows you to pay using your favorite credit or debit cards such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express and offers third-party payment gateways like PayPal or if a user wants anonymous transactions, Bitcoin and Altcoins are also available.

1 Month

Save 0%

$4.99 billed monthly

$4.99/month

1 Year

Save 35%

$59.88
$38.99 billed yearly

$3.25/month

3 Months

Save 14%

$14.97

$12.99 billed quarterly

$4.33/month

Like other VPN providers, CactusVPN also allows you to pay using your favorite credit or debit cards such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express and offers third-party payment gateways like PayPal or if a user wants anonymous transactions, Bitcoin and Altcoins are also available.

Speed & Performance – How Fast Is CactusVPN?

CactusVPN operates a small network consisting of 23 servers in 14 different countries, which is quite small compared to other VPN providers like NordVPN that has 5000+ servers or ExpressVPN, which covers around 90+ countries.

Also, it’s quite sad to see that CactusVPN opts for AES-128 standard encryption and still lags in this department. To put it in another way, it provides an average speed even after sacrificing on security. We give the same treatment to all the VPNs while testing them. Here also we did the same, and what we found was not that impressive based on their claims, such as lower AES-128 standard helps in performance.

Server Ping Download Upload
The United States 142 ms 44.99 Mbps 10.21 Mbps
Europe 84ms 44.28 Mbps 18.54 Mbps
By looking at the above result, you can see that there’s not much difference between the US and the EU servers, and both are slow. Most of the time, different factors can be pointed out, such as the location of the server might be a reason for poor performance. But, looking at this, anyone can notice that the speed is slow in both the continents, which makes it a company-wide problem.

Where Are CactusVPN Servers Located?

CactusVPN deals with 23 different servers across 14 countries. It’s quite less compared to other VPN providers, which goes up to 5000+ servers in more than 90 different countries. Most of CactusVPN’s servers are in Europe and some in North America and few servers in Asia Pacific region.

United States

Australia

Canada

France

Germany

United Kingdom

Japan

Latvia

Netherlands

Poland

Romania

Singapore

South Korea

Spain

Switzerland

CactusVPN offers physical servers that are on lease and not owned by them. Likewise, it provides a shared static IP address, which means an IP address is shared with other users, which works as an extra layer of protection because it makes it difficult to trace the activity of an individual.

How Is the Customer Support Service of CactusVPN?

No matter how good the service is, if the customer support experience is not good, it will create a negative impression. Luckily, when we contacted the support team during our CactusVPN review, we liked their response turnaround time. Generally, a response is given after a day or two, but these guys genuinely gave us a reply within a few hours. Also, to recheck them, we contacted CactusVPN again, and still, the turnaround time was the same.

Likewise, CactusVPN offers setup tutorials which includes instructional guides to set up the VPN on the supported platforms and devices, FAQs that answer most commonly asked questions, submit a ticket option to get a solution for any query or issue, which you cannot solve or find on their website and a live chat option handled by an actual human.

What Are the Pros of CactusVPN?

  • Website and application navigation is a breeze for the noobs.
  • It offers compatibility with multiple devices and platforms like Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
  • Protects from DNS and WebRTC Leaks.
  • Zero logs policy.
  • It supports six different VPN protocols L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther, PPTP, and SSTP with AES-128 Encryption.
  • It offers a Kill Switch.

What Are the Cons of CactusVPN?

  • Torrenting/P2P is allowed, but servers are limited.
  • CactusVPN has a small server network. Only 23 servers in 14 countries.
  • To make CactusVPN work in China is quite a hit or miss situation.
  • No IPv6 protection.
  • Sometimes speed goes down.

CactusVPN – Final Verdict

Looking from all the angles, CactusVPN is not something we would like to recommend. It comes with positive points and negative points, due to which it fails to pick our interest. Initially, we liked their list of protocols and compatibility that worked as advertised.

The customer support service is also excellent. It provides answers within an hour, compared to their competitors that take around 7 to 10 days. But digging further, we noticed that its speed is not up to the mark. It slows down and also the servers are minimal, P2P/torrenting also has more rules, and the AES-128 encryption standard is lower compared to other VPN providers.

Let’s Compare CactusVPN v/s:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is CactusVPN Good for Torrenting?

If you want positive news, yes, CactusVPN does allows torrenting. But the downside is that it’s allowed on only a few selected servers. However, presently, they have torrent-friendly servers only in three countries, Germany, Romania, and the Netherlands. Moreover, it’s only allowed on one subscription package VPN + Smart DNS and it’s a costly one.

So it’s evident that if anyone has purchased their subscription plan and wants to torrent files, they will experience slow speeds due to its limited P2P friendly servers.

Is CactusVPN Tested for Data or WebRTC Leaks?
No doubt, VPN is for anonymity and sadly not all VPN stay true to it. Thankfully, we are happy to say that CactusVPN delivers that promise. For our satisfaction, we put CactusVPN through a series of different DNS leak tests to know whether it accidentally exposes the location of the user or not, and it passed through all the tests without leaking any information.

Tested on dnsleak.com, browserleaks.com, perfect-privacy.com, ipleak.net, ipx.ac.

Also, before jumping into any conclusion, we made it clear that all their files are safe to install. For that, we put CactusVPN files through VirusTotal scan and as we expected, it passed without any trouble and gave a positive result.

On How Many Devices Can I Use CactusVPN?
CactusVPN allows users to connect five different devices at a time from one single account simultaneously without any problem if all the devices are connected to different servers.
Does CactusVPN Work in China?
China is quite a grey area for many VPNs. While looking into it, we found that some claim it works and some even say it doesn’t. It’s nothing new; even the top VPN players go through this situation, as the Great Firewall is not easy to bypass.

VPN itself isn’t illegal in China, but due to its substantial restriction, it does become difficult to download and install your favorite software. CactusVPN claims that users won’t face any problem while using it in China if the users are using SoftEther protocol.

Does CactusVPN Offer an AdBlocker?

No, CactusVPN does not provide an Adblocker.

Does CactusVPN come with a built-in Anti Malware tool?

No, CactusVPN does not offer any feature like Anti-Malware with its application.

Does CactusVPN Offer a Free Trial Version?
Yes, CactusVPN offers a 24-hours free trial version, which provides access to all their VPN servers and all protocols. Moreover, it will also give access to SmartDNS and its Proxy. There is no limit on the bandwidth or traffic used. The only difference between the paid and free trial versions is that as mentioned above, the trial version is only available for 24-hours.
Does CactusVPN Keep Log Files?
CactusVPN is one of the rarest VPNSs that stays true to its claims “Surf Anonymously Online.” Like other VPN providers, CactusVPN also collects some data of their users but they keep it for only some time and it is regarding account creation and payment.

It’s quite surprising, as its one of the rarest VPNs that stays true to its words and doesn’t collect any personal information of the user. Of course, they do keep payment records but it has nothing to do with the connection log information.

Also, in their Terms of Service page, CactusVPN has mentioned

“CactusVPN have a guaranteed no-logs policy for our service. That means that we will not store any data relating to your activities while using any of our privacy solutions, and will not record, monitor, log, or store any of your information. CactusVPN also guarantees that none of your information will be passed on to a third party. We do not store any IP addresses, traffic logs, connection timestamps, used bandwidth or session duration information that could be traced to a single person.”

So if anyone asks to hand over any user’s information, for instance, any government agency, they won’t be able to find anything which can trace the user’s identification or any of their connection history.

How is the User Interface of CactusVPN?
CactusVPN applications are straightforward and intuitive to use. Once you download the app for the supported device of your choice, the log-in credentials will be provided to you. One thing to note is that the login credentials for VPN application is delivered separately and it’s different from the one that is used for the client area on the website.
How Do I Get a Refund from CactusVPN?

CactusVPN provides a 30-days money-back guarantee only if you cannot connect to any of its VPN servers, if the websites from the SmartDNS unblocked websites list is not opening or if the SmarDNS service is not working for you.

They will not make a refund if there’s any speed issue on the connected server, if the site you’re looking to unblock using SmartDNS service is not presented in their list, if your account is terminated by them due to any reason or their service does not support the OS or device they have not advertised.

Does CactusVPN work with Netflix?
Yes, it works with Netflix. In our CactusVPN review, we noticed that the Manassas server allowed us to access Netflix. Though we have seen some reviews that say it doesn’t work it worked for us when we tried using the Manassas server.
Does CactusVPN provide a Kill Switch?

Yes, CactusVPN provides a built-in kill switch feature. But by default, it’s not on, so the user has to turn it on manually by going into the application’s settings to protect themselves from any accidental leaks due to Internet connection drops.

Can I Install CactusVPN on My Router?
Yes, CactusVPN offers support for many routers like DD-WRT, Asus, Mikrotik, D-Link, Tomato, Tenda, TP-Link, and Linksys. Also, they provide an instructional guide to set up the VPN on a router through the supported protocol.
Does CactusVPN Support Split Tunneling?

No, the Split Tunneling feature is not available with CactusVPN.

Is CactusVPN Deal Available?

Yes, CactusVPN offers deals on the annual and quarterly subscription plans. For the annual plan, there is a 35% discount and for the quarterly plan, it offers up to 14% discount.

How Strong Is the Encryption of CactusVPN?

CactusVPN supports six different types of protocols, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, PPTP, SoftEther, SSTP, and OpenVPN. However, it has opted for AES-128 encryption, which doesn’t look much impressive to us. Though there’s an advantage if you’re using an older device. This lowered encryption standard may prove helpful, because AES-256 an advanced version of the AES-128 encryption standard, which could put a bit of extra load on the computer’s CPU.

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