CactusVPN Review

Review of: Cactusvpn
Product by:
VPN Critic

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On July 30, 2014
Last modified:October 12, 2016

Summary:

CactusVPN is a provider based in Moldova that aims to offer anonymity and flexibility for its customers. Even though it only appeared in the market in 2012, the company has services that are at the same level of those offered by well-established names in the industry. CactusVPN is still a relatively new option but it has already gained a lot of attention thanks to its competitive prices.

However, affordability is not the only reason that makes CactusVPN worth considering. The fact that they do not keep usage logs and that they offer Smart DNS are other aspects that will appeal many users.

They also offer a good selection of plans that are designed to meet the needs of any user. No matter what you are looking for, with CactusVPN you will find a solution that is right for you. Customers also have the chance to win a free VPN account by promoting CactusVPN services in their blogs/websites or participating in their regular giveaways on social media channels.

You can find out more about CactusVPN’s features and options by reading ahead.

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Features

CactusVPN is very easy to install and to use, offering a well-designed and user friendly interface. The protocols supported include SSTP, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN, which are the options that you usually get with most providers. What sets CactusVPN apart from other providers is that they also offer SoftEther VPN. This protocol was launched recently and promises to be the strongest and fastest.

Offering a wide range of protocols on their servers, CactusVPN ensures that customers can enjoy a versatility.

In terms of encryption, you can trust that your data is secure. CactusVPN offers 256-bit AES with 2048-bit key authentication on OpenVPN, 256-bit SSL key encryption on SSTP. You can also select 128-bit to 256-bit encryption for L2TP/IPsec.

CactusVPN only have dedicated software for Windows and OSX. Without dedicated software, it works on Linux, Android and iOS. It can also be used in a wide range of devices including routers and video game consoles.

SmartDNS

Apart from offering a VPN solution, CactusVPN also gives you the option to subscribe to their Smart DNS service.

With Smart DNS, you will have the option of changing your geo-location in order to access content that is not available in your region. Smart DNS is a convenient solution when your main concern is the ability to watch content from services like Hulu or BBC iPlayer. Smart DNS offers a better speed for streaming media since the data is not encrypted.

That being said, if you want a comprehensive service that offers both security and access to websites and content outside your country, a VPN is the right option.

Proxies

They also offer Proxy services with every plan, with an Auto Proxy function that is a very convenient. With Auto Proxy you can change your IP for certain websites, while the rest are accessed with your regular connection. This can be a great option to enjoy BBC or Hulu from outside the US and the UK, while you continue using your IP to access sites in your country without any issues.

Kill Choice

The Applications Killer is one of the highlights of CactusVPN. This is a feature that only closes the apps you select, instead of exiting the internet completely in case the VPN disconnects. Only the specific apps you choose will close whenever the VPN connection is down. This makes it a more practical solution than the kill switch that most VPN providers offer. The Apps Killer will restart the closed application once you reconnect.

Cost

CactusVPN offers 5 plans: US VPN, UK VPN, Netherlands VPN, Smart DNS, and their premium VPN + Smart DNS package.

The US VPN provides access to three servers in the United States for a price that starts at $4.99 per month up to $38.99. The UK VPN plan and NL plan offer access exclusively to servers in the UK and Netherlands respectively. They have the same prices as the US VPN plan and so does the Smart DNS plan, which allows you to unblock US and UK sites and services such as Netflix or 4oD. The most complete option is the VPN + Smart DNS, which offers access to all the company’s servers, providing VPN protection with Smart DNS service included.

The Premium plan is the best option as it combines the security of a VPN service with the speed and convenience of Smart DNS. This plans costs just $6.99 per month and the cost per year is $54.99, meaning that the cost per month would be reduced to $4.58. CactusVPN also offers a VPN free trial that allows you total access to their VPN services for 24 hours and a Smart DNS trial that lasts 7 days.

Keep in mind that even though CactusVPN does not keep usage logs, they do keep connection logs for up to 3 days for troubleshooting purposes. While some users prefer a complete “no logging policy”, CactusVPN is a good option for those who are concerned about privacy.

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Location and Performance

This is one of the areas in which CactusVPN needs to improve, as their selection of servers is quite limited. At the moment, they only count with 16 servers distributed between the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Romania and the USA. While the service is generally fast and the performance is good, P2P is only allowed through the Dutch servers. This means that users connected from outside Europe are likely to experience slower speeds.

In terms of speed, CactusVPN gets a top score. They offer a consistently fast performance even when you are streaming media content. It’s usual to experience a loss of speed when using a VPN service but that loss is minimal with CactusVPN. Apart from offering a fast connection, you can also enjoy unlimited bandwidth. That means CactusVPN is an ideal solution for watching videos online, as well as for P2P.

Hopefully, they will expand their network to ensure that customers can enjoy a more versatile service.

Customer Support

CactusVPN’s website is user-friendly and offers detailed information presented in a clear and easy to understand manner. The support team can be contacted via webform. For Existing customers, they can log a ticket, or get more options such as live chat for urgent queries. In our experience, their customer service was efficient and replied promptly to our queries.

They may take longer than other providers that we tried, but you can find a great deal of useful information on their Support Page.

Conclusion

With their great prices, good speed and solid features, CactusVPN stands out as a great alternative for many customers. Their service is easy to use and offers convenience. This is especially for users that want to enjoy media content usually only available in the US and the UK.

However, the options to change your IP address are very limited. Even though P2P is available, it can only be used through one server. Also, CactusVPN does not offer the option of dedicated IPs, which is something that many users look for.

Still, the company is on the right track to become a solid VPN provider. We can expect that they will upgrade their service, adding more servers and options for their customers.

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