CactusVPN Review

CactusVPN

$6.99/month
8.3

Pricing & Subscription Plans

9.2/10

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Speed & Server Locations

3.5/10

Security & Privacy

9.0/10

Streaming

9.5/10

Online Support

8.8/10

Additional Features

9.0/10

Pros

  • Supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP & SoftEther
  • Has zero-logging policy & 256-bit AES encryption technology
  • Has Internet Kill Switch & App Killer
  • Has Smart DNS that bypasses geo-restrictions & VPN blockers
  • Supports P2P & Torrent
  • Has DNS leak protection system
  • Unlimited Bandwidth & Public Wi-Fi protection
  • Affordable subscription plans
  • Access Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video & other video streaming services

Cons

  • Limited server locations & slower server speeds

CactusVPN Review

CactusVPN is a virtual private network provider that is based in Moldova. The journey of the company actually started in 2011 when 3 friends bonded together and just decided to formally create a business organization to support their shared dreams and aspirations of enhancing internet privacy while preserving their rights to freedom of expression. This means that the 3 of them are also strong advocates of net neutrality and are very vocal against internet censorship and geo-restrictions. Sergiu Candja, one of the 3 founders of CactusVPN, serves as the Chief Executive Officer. Pavel Bodeanu, on the other hand, became the Chief Technology Officer. Denis Graur became the Design Director. Read the full CactusVPN Review below to learn more.


Jump to:

Pricing & Subscription Plans
Who is it for?
Ease of Use
Speed & Server Locations
Security & Privacy
Streaming
Online Support
Additional Features
Conclusion


Pricing & Subscription Plans

In terms of subscription prices, CactusVPN is beyond reproach. As a matter of fact, CactusVPN is one of the most affordable VPN services I ever encountered. The monthly subscription plan only costs $6.99 per month. On the other hand, if I choose the quarterly subscription plan, it will only cost me $17.98. I can also select the annual subscription plan which I can get for only $54.99 per year. But in case, you like what CactusVPN has to offer and you want to be a long-term user of the VPN platform, then I would really recommend the 2-year plan for only $94.99. All of the 4 subscription plans mentioned above are capable of having 5 simultaneous connections all at once.


Monthly
Per Month
$6.99
$6.99 Per Month
Quarterly
Per Quoter
$17.99
$6.00 Per Month
Yearly
Per Year
$54.99
$4.58 Per Month
2-Year Plan
Per 2 Years
$94.99
$3.96 Per Month

The good news is that CactusVPN launched a spring promotion campaign wherein the prices are slashed down even lower. Just have in mind that the discounts on the campaign are only good for one-time. All the subsequent subscription renewals will be based on the prices quoted above. Check the screenshot below to know more about the campaign.

CactusVPN Review - Pricing 2

I’m also glad upon learning that CactusVPN is offering a money-back guarantee for 30 days. There is also a 3-day free trial as of the moment. I can purchase my CactusVPN subscription through various payment methods like sending money through credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Alipay, major cryptocurrencies, Qiwi, Webmoney, Boleto Bancario, and Yandex Money. If paying through cryptocurrencies, I would suggest that you at least take the annual subscription plan since the cryptocurrency payment needs to be above $20.00 in order to qualify for a refund.

CactusVPN Review - Pricing 1

Who is it for?

If you want a very affordable virtual private network subscription, then CactusVPN is ideal for you. If you really want complete anonymity even when paying for the VPN subscription, then I would like to promote the CatusVPN subscription payment in the form of cryptocurrencies. If you want to unblock geo-restricted websites and contents, then CactusVPN is one of your most ideal options. If you are fond of anonymous web browsing and you hate being spied on, then a reliable VPN platform such as CactusVPN is best for you.


Ease of Use

It is easy to download the desktop client version of CactusVPN. On the home page of the CactusVPN website, I just need to scroll down a little bit and click the “Download Your Apps” links found on the same page. After doing so, I would automatically be forwarded to another web page wherein the download buttons for the installer files of various operating systems of the different devices are present. Based on what I have seen, I can use CactusVPN on Android & iOS mobile devices as well as in computers running on Windows and Mac. I can also download installer files for Android TVs and Amazon Fire TVs. On top of that, it came to my attention that I can also use CactusVPN through web browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

CactusVPN Review - Ease of use 1

Since my computer runs on Windows OS, I clicked the appropriate desktop client version installer that carries the symbol of Windows. It took me 25 seconds to download such an installer file. The process is pretty simple.

Based on my experience, it is also easy to create an account and pay for any subscription plan offered by CactusVPN. All I have to do is click the “Pricing” menu link at the upper left corner of the website. I will be forwarded to another page wherein you can choose the subscription plan I want based on the VPN service offering. After selecting a subscription plan, I need to click the “Get Started” button. Once I do so, I will be redirected to another page wherein I need to type my e-mail address and disclose the country where I’m in. After that, I need to select a payment option and then click the box to confirm my acceptance of the terms and conditions. Then I need to validate that I’m a human being by dealing with the reCAPTCHA system. After that, I need to click the “Join Now” button. Additional instructions will then be given.

I can manually modify the following settings using the desktop client version of CactusVPN:

  • VPN Protocol (select IKEV2, OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP, or PPTP)
  • Reconnect if VPN connection is dropped (activate / deactivate)
  • Group servers by country when sorting by speed (activate / deactivate)
  • Stop internet traffic if VPN connection is dropped (activate / deactivate)
  • DNS leak protection (activate / deactivate)
  • Update I.P. address (every 5, 15, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 24 hours)
  • Smart DNS – Websites Region (USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Poland Switzerland, or UAE)
  • Smart DNS Server (Australia, Asia, Americas, Europe)
  • Run app at windows startup (activate / deactivate)
  • Start app minimized (activate / deactivate)
  • Connect VPN on sign-in (activate / deactivate)
  • Enable Smart DNS on sign-in (activate / deactivate)
  • Minimize app on VPN connection / Smart DNS Enable (activate / deactivate)
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CactusVPN Review - Ease of use 0000010

All other features and settings are discussed under security and privacy section as well as in the additional features section of the CactusVPN Review.


Speed & Server Locations

CactusVPN currently has 35 servers located in 22 different countries across various continents and geographical regions worldwide. There are 10 VPN servers in the American Region while there are 6 VPN servers in the Asia Pacific Region. Europe has the highest number of servers since CactusVPN has 19 VPN servers in the European Region.

CactusVPN Review - Server 1

The servers are placed in the USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Latvia, Romania, Italy, Portugal, France, Poland, Russia, Sweden, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Singapore, India, and Malaysia. CactusVPN implements unlimited bandwidth.

Check the results of the server speed tests I personally conducted on the CactusVPN system below.

We first conducted the speed test from Slovenia, Europe using the IKEv2 protocol.

Server locationPing [ms]Download [Mbps]Upload [Mbps]
No VPN (Slovenia)6194.625.81
Germany23113.855.64
Netherlands325.675.55
UK3917.405.50
Australia32211.715.40
USA118119.985.54
Canada11315.215.51
Russia54111.235.49
Average100.1456.445.52

The second speed test was conducted from the Philippines, Southeast Asia.

Server locationPing [ms]Download [Mbps]Upload [Mbps]
No VPN (Philippines)826.3327.06
Singapore702.0625.13
Malaysia663.4324.34
Australia1922.7322.68
UK27111.531.55
USA19414.748.16
Canada22715.8819.39
Russia30721.2315.89
Average166.8812.2418.03

While we were quite happy with the ping when connecting to CactusVPN servers from Slovenia, some locations produced simply terrible download speeds. We would give it a pass but some of these locations such as the Netherlands should be producing the highest speeds when we observe other VPN providers. This can be explained by insufficient capacity provided by CactusVPN to satisfy the needs of their customers. Similar results can be observed from the Philippines.


Security & Privacy

I can easily hide my identity through anonymous web browsing with the use of CactusVPN. Once I selected one of the VPN servers in the dropdown menu and clicked on the “Connect” button on the desktop client application system of CactusVPN, my original I.P. address automatically becomes hidden and is replaced with a shared I.P. address from one of the VPN server locations. This means that it will be impossible to track me down and reveal my identity and real location since the I.P. address is shared by all of the users of Cactus VPN.

CactusVPN Review - Security 1

Based on my research, CactusVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption technology for its VPN protocols. Aside from that, I’m assured that there will be no breach of confidential information as the VPN provider implements a zero-logging policy. CactusVPN currently supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. It also supports SoftEther.

CactusVPN Review - Security 2

Streaming

Through the use of the Smart DNS feature, I can bypass the geo-restrictions set forth by Netflix US. In less than 6 seconds, I was able to view and watch a movie in Netflix US. It is also very evident that the speed of the server while video streaming is fast and efficient as evidenced by the high definition graphics while the movie is played. I have not experienced any technical issues and have not observed any signs of video buffering as well. With the same advanced feature, I can unblock geo-restrictions by Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and other video streaming services.

CactusVPN Review - Streaming 1
CactusVPN Review - Streaming 2

Online Support

The customer online support system of CactusVPN is one of the most efficient customer support systems I have ever since. The VPN provider has setup tutorials, a learning center, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). I can also send ticket support so that my valid concerns can be brought to the attention of CactusVPN developers. I can also send a message through the 24/7 live chat support system of CactusVPN. At any time of the day, I can also send an e-mail at support@cactusvpn.com.

CactusVPN Review - Support 1

Additional Features

Listed below are the additional features of CactusVPN:


Internet Kill Switch & App Killer

CactusVPN has an Internet Kill Switch that will automatically stop me from accessing and browsing the internet once the VPN connection is suddenly interrupted and dropped. The feature is working properly when the VPN connection is disrupted and whenever switching server locations.

CactusVPN Review - Features 1

The App Killer, on the other hand, will block access to certain application programs that use internet service on the background whenever the VPN connection is disrupted. I can edit the list of apps that should be stopped when the VPN is disconnected. 

CactusVPN Review - Features 2

Smart DNS

The Smart DNS feature allows me to unblock geo-restricted contents of video streaming services as well as neutralize internet censorship protocols by various websites and countries. In fact, I can unblock more than 310 shows, video streaming services, and websites by enabling the Smart DNS feature. It can bypass even the strongest VPN blocker that can be implemented by video streaming services. This has been proven with my experience with Netflix US.

CactusVPN Review - Features 4

P2P & Torrent

CactusVPN supports peer-to-peer file sharing as well as torrent file uploading and downloading. I can do it by connecting to the P2P enabled VPN server of CactusVPN. I have a smooth experience uploading and downloading torrent files using this feature.

CactusVPN Review - Features 3

Other Features

CactusVPN also has DNS leak protection system which I can easily activate through the settings.


Conclusion

I can easily hide my identity through anonymous web browsing with the use of CactusVPN. Once connected, my original I.P. address automatically becomes hidden and is replaced with a shared I.P. address from one of the VPN server locations of the VPN provider. In this way, my true location and identity becomes unavailable to other people who would want such information. On top of that, the procedure automatically encrypts my internet connection using 256-bit AES encryption. In this manner, I’m safe from hacking as well as any form of illegal surveillance and espionage.

While subscription plans of Cactus VPN are very affordable, the server speed test I conducted showed that there’s a major difference in the speed of the internet when connected to the VPN as compared when it is not connected. It is quite slow and has a limited number of servers. But with regards to video streaming, it is still fast and efficient. In fact, I can unblock geo-restrictions by Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and other video streaming services. I have not experienced any technical issues and have not observed any signs of video buffering as well.

The Smart DNS feature is also remarkable. All the other features such as the Internet Kill Switch works well too. I recommend you use CactusVPN. Just remember that sometimes it has limitations with regards to server speeds.


I hope I answered all your questions within this CactusVPN Review. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section down below!

Ryan Rommel Rosario

Ryan loves eating blueberry cheesecake and watching movies at the same time. When not rewatching the John Wick trilogy for the 11th time, he spends his hours doing research, writing and data analysis. He also takes great care of his privacy & presence on the web.

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