Thanks to the development and growth of the internet, pretty much anything is now just a few clicks away. But the benefits of the web go much further than that. Communication has improved significantly, its costs are much lower, and anyone can reach any content that they desire.
The entire industry has expanded and evolved, and the online world is now for people to explore and use for various purposes. However, with all the benefits, there were also just as many dangers like hackings, malware, censorship, and other forms of restriction. Information is now the main online currency, and still, the majority of people do not seem to be aware of it. Those who are know that they must protect themselves. And with that need growing ever stronger, security tools were developed, with VPN technology being the main solution.
However, the demand for protection has skyrocketed in the last few years. And where there was once only a handful of VPNs, there are now hundreds. All of them claim to be the best, but not many actually are. If you are new to the world of VPNs, and you wish to know which ones offer good services, you can check out our reviews. This time, our focus is on CactusVPN, a Moldova-based service that has potential, but requires a deeper look.
- Security protocols: CactusVPN features multiple security protocols, including the best one in the industry — OpenVPN.
- Encryption: It uses strong encryption to prevent anyone from monitoring your online sessions.
- Server network: The company does not feature a massive server network, but it does have a presence in some of the most popular locations. Its network includes 25 different servers in 15 countries around the world.
- Multiple simultaneous connections: You can connect up to 5 different using a single account.
- Application killer: This feature allows you to prevent applications from connecting to the internet the VPN is on.
- Kill Switch: CactusVPN also has a kill switch, which instantly cuts your internet connection in case of a VPN malfunction.
- DNS Leak Protection: This ensures that your online traffic does not leak and go to your internet provider’s servers instead of the VPN’s.
- Great speeds: The company offers very fast speeds, which makes it a great choice for streaming, online gaming, and such.
- Works with BBC iPlayer: CactusVPN is one of few providers that can unblock BBC iPlayer.
- Doesn’t keep logs: The brand does not keep any logs regarding what you do while online.
- Smart DNS service: This feature helps you bypass geo-restrictions and unblock a great number of restricted websites.
- Free trial period: You can enjoy a free 24-hour trial period to test the service before you make any financial commitment.
- Money-back guarantee: If you’re dissatisfied with the service, you can get a refund during the first 30 days from the moment of purchase.
- Dedicated apps for multiple systems and devices: CactusVPN has dedicated apps for multiple devices and systems. You could also configure it to work with additional ones as well.
Apps and Interface
CactusVPN has dedicated apps for many devices and platforms, offering one of the greatest selection in the industry. You can use it on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Linux Ubuntu, routers, Boxee Box, and even Chromebook.
The apps are very straightforward and easy to use, but most importantly, they look very similar on all devices. The design is dark, simple, and user-friendly. There is a big, green ‘Connect’ button in the middle, as well as a list of servers located just above it.
On top of the app, there are several tabs, including Connection, Settings, App Killer, and Support. After you log in, the app will automatically redirect you to the Connection section. If you click on settings, you will see a number of different customization options. As for the App Killer tab, it allows you to choose which apps should not connect to the internet unless the VPN is on.
Privacy and Security
The most important feature in any VPN is security and privacy. In terms of security, CactusVPN actually does a pretty good job. It offers the best encryption, as well as multiple VPN protocols, including IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, SoftEther, and OpenVPN. Also, it features Smart DNS, DNS leak protection, a kill switch, the App Killer. Furthermore, it allows torrenting on Dutch and Moldovan servers.
As for privacy, the company claims that it keeps no logs regarding your browsing, and it is very clear about that. It also doesn’t store the number of sessions, internet traffic, DNS server requests, and such. It is located in Moldova, which is outside of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance jurisdiction, and the country itself is privacy-friendly, so there is no need to worry about that at all.
As mentioned earlier, CactusVPN does not offer a lot of servers, nor does it have a presence in a lot of countries around the world. However, it does cover some of the most popular locations, including:
- The US (5 servers)
- The UK (4 servers)
- The Netherlands (4 servers)
- France (1 server)
- Germany (1 server)
- Canada (1 server)
- Spain (1 server)
- South Korea (1 server)
- Australia (1 server)
- Poland (1 server)
- Japan (1 server)
- Switzerland (1 server)
- Singapore (1 server)
- Romania (1 server)
- Latvia (1 server)
Installation and Setup
It is very simple and straightforward to download CactusVPN apps. You can do it from their website, or find it on the app stores. The process should only take about a few seconds.
The installation process is just as easy because it’s automatic. There is no need to seek out any guides, so all you need to do is click or press a couple of buttons.
Prices and Payment Options
Now, let’s talk about prices. As I mentioned earlier, you can use CactusVPN for free for 24 hours, but then you will have to choose a payment plan and subscribe to the service. Luckily, the company offers very affordable plans, which are much more cost-effective than other services.
There are three subscription plans, as well as four different packages, and they are as follows:
- US VPN — $4,99 per month
- UK VPN — $4,99 per month
- VPN + Smart DNS — $6.99 per month
- Smart DNS —$4.99 per month
Quarterly plan (Save 14%)
- US VPN — $12.99 per three months
- UK VPN — $12.99 per three months
- VPN + Smart DNS — $17.99 per three months
- Smart DNS — $12.99 per three months
Annual plan (Save 35%)
- US VPN — $38.99 per year
- UK VPN — $38.99 per year
- VPN + Smart DNS — $54.99 per year
- Smart DNS — $38.99 per year
You can pay for any plan using PayPal, credit card, Alipay, or Bitcoin. Furthermore, all packages have a 30-day money back guarantee, just in case you change your mind.
Help and Support
Finally, we have customer support, which is just as important for a VPN service as any other aspect. While most other services do not seem to realize this, CactusVPN knows it well. Therefore, it provides its users with a ticket system that allows them to contact the service and resolve most questions.
Moreover, it offers a live chat option, but it is only available during Moldovan office hours and not 24/7. While this is a good thing for Europeans, it might not be particularly helpful to those on the other side of the world.
Nonetheless, customer service is quick to respond and is very helpful in answering questions and resolving issues. So their activity only during office hours should not be a dealbreaker.
- Good security features
- Unblocks BBC iPlayer
- Offers torrenting on specific servers
- Keeps no logs
- Servers in most popular locations
- Many dedicated apps that are easy to install and use
- Nice design
- A wide selection of plans and packages
- Decent customer support
- Multiple simultaneous connections
- Customer service only active during Moldovan office hours
- Small server network
- Free trial only lasts for 24 hours
Other VPN Brands
If you’re still not too sure about CactusVPN, the list below features some of the highest-ranked brands in the industry:
In the end, should you use CactusVPN? We believe so, although it might not be for everyone. The small server network is this service’s main problem, and while it works from any location around the world, it still does not allow you to connect to too many places.
The servers that it does offer are quite fast and capable, the security features are great, and there is even an Application Killer, which not many other providers offer. Also, customer service is fast and helpful, even though it’s not available at all times.
On the other hand, the prices are more than sensible if you take into consideration the benefits on offer. In the end, it all depends on you and your needs. If you need a broad reach, this is not the best service you could choose, but it is also far from being the worst.
But If you are looking for a fast connection, good protection, and a handful of servers that will unlock some of the most popular content, then it is a pretty good, affordable choice. Of course, the small server network also means that it is unlikely that most people will be able to connect to a server in their native country, so security and access to the local content are unlikely to come together unless you are from one of the countries mentioned above.
In this review, we took a look at CactusVPN — a promising VPN that seems to offer quite a good deal, although it does have its limitations. To learn more about it, and discover whether or not this is the best choice for you, read our full review and only then make a decision.