Based in Moldova, CactusVPN is a relatively small, young VPN provider that has disregardingly created a buzz among VPN users for bringing nifty features and sturdy encryption at reasonable prices.
“CactusVPN is a fantastic VPN company that gets many things right. From their customer support to the privacy they provide they get plenty of things right. Overall a great value service that is highly recommended,” said Peter Selmeczy, CEO at BestVPN.com.
“My work keeps me online throughout the entire day, CactusVPN helps me protect my data no matter where I am. It’s a great tool for SEO specialists, marketers and business leaders when it comes to local market or competition research. You get a great variety of countries, most of all with high speed stability so I highly recommend it,” said Meir Matt Amzallag, CEO at PayPro Global Inc.
Check out these terrific features offered by CactusVPN that we really dig and that also surprised us, coming from a small VPN network.
CactusVPN keeps logs for just 3 days. This means that your personal data and online activities will not saved by the provider for more than 3 days and will not be traced by third parties or cyber criminals, like: hackers and spammers, reinforcing your privacy and anonymity on the internet.
Although it has only 16 servers in 4 countries (USA, UK, the Netherlands and Romania), CactusVPN offers its subscribers notably fast connection speeds especially when using Softether and has scored high on connection speed tests. Some users might find some speed problems with the Amsterdam servers, but generally speaking, CactusVPN offers decent speed and a buffer-free streaming experience.
What we really love about CactusVPN is their Application Killer which trumps the regular “kill switch” offered by some competitor VPN service providers. Instead of shutting off the internet completely for your system during a VPN connection failure, the App Killer lets you choose which applications to close and will restart the application when you reconnect. The Application Killer has also worked perfectly when we tried it on uTorrent.
The Windows Client
CactusVPN brings a clean, sleek, user-friendly client with organized tabs and settings which allow the user to easily switch between server locations and encryption protocols, including: PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN and SSTP.
In addition to VPN services, CactusVPN offers its own SmartDNS service at low cost bundles. This means that if your browsers comes across any web page DNS request, CactusVPN SmartDNS will automatically resolve it. In this way, you will be able to alter your geographical location so it would appear as if you’re browsing from a different location, e.g. USA or UK. This is really great if you want to access restricted US or UK streaming services, such as: HULU, Netflix, Pandora, BBC iPlayer, etc.
Similarly to other VPN provider, CactusVPN provides proxy services in addition to VPN and SmartDNS. However, the CactusVPN proxy service is worth mentioning because it’s pretty neat unlike other proxy services provided by its VPN competitors. Instead of having to manually change your IP address every time you visit a website, the “auto proxy” lets you configure your browser and select a group of specific websites, such as: BBC, Spotify, Pandora and so on, so that your IP would only change for those websites.
Even though CactusVPN is a fairly small business, it boasts about its very friendly and professional customer support team which is very well-trained to answer all sorts of questions concerning the services they provide, inducing: types of encryption, speed problems, technical issues, country of jurisdiction, etc. If you do have to contact them for some matters, you will get a quick reply. For example, we had to contact them regarding our IP set up and they replied quickly.
The website is also stocked with detailed FAQ sections in order to make it easier for users to understand the services offered by CactusVPN and solve any problems they may come across.
Privacy and Security
They operate from Moldova and for some reason we have not been able to retrieve any useful information about their restrictive laws. This is actually a good thing because if we cannot get that information, then it might be a good place for setting up this service.
Moreover, they offer a 256-bit encryption on OpenVPN and similarly on L2TP and SSTP. They also offer 128-bit encryption on L2TP.
Pricing and Plan features
CactusVPN has three servers in the Netherlands, USA and the UK and they have a pricing plan for each server. The standard package will cost you $4.99 per month. However, if you wish to switch between servers or use their SmartDNS, then you can go for the fatter package which costs $6.99 per month.
You can evaluate the service for one day completely free of charge and this will help you decide whether or not you want to subscribe to their service. It might not be a lengthy free trial period, but it’s not bad compared to other services which offer a 10-minute free trial per day and particularly when CactusVPN offer a 30-days money back guarantee as stated on their website:
We offer 30-days money back guarantee if you can’t connect to our VPN servers using all VPN connections included into your package or if you can’t connect to Smart DNS service or any of the sites from the unblocked websites list is still blocked for you.
SSTP, PPTP, L2TP/IP sec, OpenVPN and Autoproxy are allowed on all packages. P2P downloads also work decently, but for that you must use the Netherlands server.
What we like:
• Low price.
• No Logging policy.
• P2P downloading is allowed.
• Uses OpenVPN (256-bit) and SSTP encryption.
• Exceptional speeds.
• Application Killer.
• SmartDNS at cheap prices.
• Auto-proxy service.
What we don’t like:
• Simultaneous connections for different devices is better with this VPN than other providers but is still limited. Connecting only one device at a time to one server is not very handy because consumers now have more than one smart device they want to connect from. Although the problem might not be noticeable in UK, it is still prevalent in the US.
• 3-day logging.
• iOS and Android apps don’t have OpenVPN support.
• Port forwarding is unavailable.
• Bitcoins are unaccepted, so if you are privacy-minded, then you might not be satisfied with CactusVPN. But really other than that, this VPN provider is very good.