- Unblocking geo-restricted websites
Jurisdiction: Moldova | Audit: No | Apps for: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV | Simultaneous connections: Unlimited | Browser Extensions: Chrome, Firefox | Features: Kill Switch, Obfuscated connection, DNS Leak Protection, Smart DNS
Total servers: 39 Servers in 22 countries
- Reliable VPN streaming
- Works in locations with high internet censorship and restrictions
- Allows P2P downloads
- Easy-to-use Smart DNS
- A limited number of servers
Although not the largest or most well-known VPN, CactusVPN is a plucky, reliable company with a well-established history and a devoted fan base. While it doesn’t excel in every category, there’s also lots to like here. Is CactusVPN a VPN that you want to use? Our complete CactusVPN review starts now!
When you think of VPN companies, you probably don’t think “family business,” but that’s basically the case here. Founded in 2011, CactusVPN was formed by three close friends. For many years, their client list mainly consisted of people they knew personally.
As the company has grown, the founders have resisted the urge to sell, instead of wanting to maintain their original commitment to customer privacy.
CactusVPN is located in the Eastern European country of Moldova. Although it’s not exactly known as a tech hotbed, this unique location does provide several benefits regarding customer privacy.
Moldova isn’t a member of the European Union. They’re also not part of any multi-national user data-sharing organization.
The country also has no laws mandating that VPN companies keep data logs. However, they do have a law that creates customer protections similar to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Basically, the only laws they have that regulate VPN usage are privacy-friendly.
Of course, this doesn’t mean the laws won’t change, as Moldova’s relationship with the EU and Russia is fairly fluid.
CactusVPN keeps its logging policy clear and direct.
They have a guaranteed no-log policy. No data related to your specific activities are logged, recorded, or monitored. They don’t store IP addresses, traffic logs, timestamps, session duration length, or other data.
CactusVPN supports the best industry protocols:
Connection to CactusVPN servers is encrypted with the AES-256 bit standard.
CactusVPN has apps for:
- Android TV
- Amazon Fire TV
In addition, CactusVPN offers instructions for manual set up for a long list of devices.
Installation is slightly different than with other VPNs such as NordVPN or Ivacy. The installer gives you a high-level of control. If you don’t want to worry about it, the default options will work fine for almost everybody. However, if you want to adjust settings, you can turn on auto start options and more.
At this point in our CactusVPN review, let’s take a look at the platform’s main features.
- Internet Kill Switch
Even the best VPNs can drop unexpectedly. If you lose the connection to your VPN, CactusVPN’s Internet Kill Switch immediately blocks internet traffic to your device to keep your browsing private.
Additionally, you can use the App Killer feature to designate which programs and apps on your device will close instantly if the connection drops. You can halt a browser, torrent, or basically any other running program.
On the downside, setting up the App Killer feature can get a tad complicated. You have to specify the exact .EXE file for the program, which means you’ll need to explore each program’s file directory.
- DNS Leak Protection
When using a VPN, your device sends requests to Domain Name Servers, which translate the numeric address of your computer to the internet addresses in your browser. A security flaw called a DNS Leak can occur during this process. It makes your DNS requests and your browsing visible, instead of hidden.
Ideally, protecting against DNS leaks is the responsibility of the VPN provider. Your VPN should have built-in leak protection. Fortunately, CactusVPN excels here. You can turn their DNS Leak Protection on with a single click. No technical know-how is required.
Your connection speed when using a VPN depends on a variety of factors, some of which have nothing to do with the provider itself. For example, your ISP speed plays a major role.
However, CactusVPN is unlikely to slow you down. They offer a wide variety of servers, so you can select one near you, which helps improve performance.
Their speeds tend to vary between 35Mbps (slightly lower than average) and 140MBps (higher than average). You’ll likely get the best speeds from CactusVPN if you’re located in the US or the UK. However, customers in Japan and Germany may face the slowest speeds with this VPN.
CactusVPN sees its competitive advantage in guiding the user on unblocking nearly all popular streaming services around the world. Sure, it requires them to keep their VPN reliable to unblock geo-restricted content and their servers to be fast enough.
CactusVPN also offers Smart DNS. It’s designed to unblock over 340 common streaming platforms. Finding the platform you want is easy because the control panel allows you to sort by country, device, or type (video, music, etc.)
CactusVPN’s prices are fairly competitive even compared to cheap VPNs.
- 1 Month – $6.99
- 3 Months – $16.79
- 1 Year – $48.99
- 2 Years – $66.49
All the plans have the same features. You get access to any of their 39 VPN servers across 22 countries. Additionally, you get a free proxy, P2P file sharing, free Smart DNS, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited speed, and the ability to connect up to five devices at once.
Servers and Locations
They have 39 VPN servers spread across. Most of their servers are in North America and the EU, including the US, UK, France, Sweden, and Spain. You’ll also find servers in Romania, Latvia, Japan, and Russia, among others. You can select a server or use the automatic option.
CactusVPN isn’t the best or flashiest name among VPN providers, but they deliver where it matters. They’re committed to treating each customer like family, with a unique location that helps improve customer privacy plus an intuitive user interface. Overall, as our CactusVPN review reveals, it’s a solid VPN service at a reasonable price.