What is Cactus VPN? Cactus VPN Review

What is Cactus VPN? Cactus VPN Review

If you want a VPN service that provides a multitude of plans, Cactus VPN might be your best option. 

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Our Verdict

This VPN has a short list of servers which can be frustrating if you are trying to access a specific server. However, it makes up for it with its Smart DNS that does a remarkable job when it comes to unblocking a long list of websites. Therefore, it provides great value for money.  


  • Offers Bitcoin support
  • Has a Smart DNS that manages to unblock most streaming sites
  • P2P supported
  • Decent Value


  • Below-average UK speeds
  • Underpowered apps
  • Few servers

Cactus VPN is a small VPN provider that is based in Moldova. It has a tiny network but provides plenty of features. Known for its 35 servers in 22 countries, Cactus VPN does not provide the best coverage if it is something that you are looking for. However, you will find many compensations if you look close enough. With a Smart DNS, you can easily unblock up to 310 websites. It provides support for all main protocols including PPTP, Soft Ether, SSTP, IKEv2, Open VPN, and Wire Guard. P2P can be used for 10 servers. Besides this, you will be delighted to know that there are apps for just about everything such as Fire TV, Android TV, Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. It also offers setup support for routers and other platforms.

VPN Plans and Pricing

Cactus VPN has a monthly plan that costs $6.99 a month. However, you will only need to pay $4.08 a month if you opt for its yearly plan or $2.77 if you subscribe to its two-year plan. In the past, the company also provided accounts for lower prices. But, these accounts failed to deliver value and were subsequently dropped. The current plans are available for a fair price, although there are better deals in the market. It is important to mention here that there is no free trial available which means that you have to pay to get a sense of Cactus VPN. However, you can easily sign up and pay with Bitcoin, credit cards, PayPal, and more. 

Privacy and Logging

Cactus VPN has a clear policy on logging. It has a guaranteed no-logs policy which means that none of your data relating to your online activity gets stored. The company does not record, monitor, store, or log any of the information. Moreover, Cactus VPN also guarantees that your information would not pass on to any third party. None of your IP addresses, connection timestamps, traffic logs, session duration information, and used bandwidth would be stored. Thus, you do not have to stress about anyone tracing you. However, there is a small issue that we have to discuss and that is the fact that there is a clause about Sharing Your Personal Data that lists a few situations where Cactus VPN may be able to share data such as legal processes, court orders, and subpoenas in case of protecting its rights in court. 

But, such contradictory language should not matter considering the no-logs policy. Besides, it has not put itself under any type of security or privacy audit unlike its competitors such as Tunnel Bear, Express VPN, and Nord VPN. 


After testing Cactus VPN to find out how it fares in terms of unblocking sites, we found that its performance was not the greatest. Even though it manages to provide access to US Netflix, it fails to deliver the same for Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. But, you can use its Smart DNS for unblocking these and other platforms. We used it to enable streaming for Disney+ and Amazon which the VPN had failed to do. Our performance tests found Cactus VPN to be rather disappointing as it offered speeds of anywhere from 30 to 40 Mbps in comparison to top VPNs that deliver a speed of 66 to 68 Mbps. Moreover, upon switching to a fast data center connection, we only came to experience inconsistent speeds. However, we saw speeds of 35 to 140 Mbps. But, we must mention that Cactus VPN is very much usable as we had no issues when it comes to browsing the internet. 

Netflix and Streaming

Cactus VPN performs better than most VPNs when it comes to Netflix and streaming. We had an amazing experience while streaming shows. This is why we would definitely suggest the VPN for Netflix. It manages to unblock Netflix so that users can watch quality entertainment without any issues. It cares to show just how great of a VPN it is


Torrents is crucial when searching for a VPN service. Cactus VPN has P2P optimized servers that allow users to easily download torrents. You should have no trouble using the VPN to anonymously download content and more. It will help keep your IP address hidden at all times. Thus, you do not have to worry about anything. Access torrents as much as you desire as Cactus VPN has got you covered. It provides terrific performance. 

Manual Setup

Getting started with Cactus VPN is super easy as there is not much that you need to do. All you have to do to use the VPN is create an account and enter your basic details. Then, you will have to choose a plan after which you can browse the internet without any issues. Your email address will allow you to make an account. Thus, you should be able to use the VPN in minimal time and get a hang of it too. 


Cactus VPN is an incredible option as it provides users with tutorials for Windows, iOS, Android, and more. When you use the Windows version, you will benefit from greater control over the setup process. It will introduce you to the complexities of the VPN. By stick to the sensible default options, you will find it easy to use. The Window client will open to a familiar list of locations. It features a Connect button which will enable you to instantly connect to the VPN. We did notice a lack of location-picking features while using the VPN. 

What the client does is that it sorts the locations list according to speed. But, you will not get to see the server ping or load times. Besides this, there is no Recently Accessed list or Favorites system for helping you reconnect to the used locations. However, you would be able to switch to another server without the need for manual disconnection. This is something that other VPN services fail to provide.  

As you browse through the tabs, you will encounter a few more interesting touches. When you enable Smart DNS, you can expect to access even more websites. There is also an App Killer and system-wide kill switch for closing specific apps in case the VPN drops forcibly. In addition to this, we also liked the fact that users get built-in DNS leak protection as well which tends to be turned off by default for some reason. As there is also support for many protocols such as Open VPN, IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP, and PPTP, we were impressed by Cactus VPN. While we tested the client by closing it manually, we did not experience a problem. This led to the VPN connection dropping all of a sudden. But, we did receive a desktop notification that warned us. However, the client simply ailed to reconnect and continued to display an error message every time until we had no option but to restart. This only means that there is an internal problem in the way the client manages its connection state. 

Next, we tried the Android app and found it to be quite similar to the desktop version. It offered separate tabs for Smart DNS and VPN options, a large Connect button, and a basic list of locations. If you use the Android app, you should experience no trouble with the iOS app as the two are very similar. There were some missing settings in the Android app such as the lack of option for changing protocols and no DNS leak protection. If you look past the Smart DNS, you will find the app to only provide a few features. No automatic connection and no split tunneling make it harder for you to access insecure networks. Overall, we do not think that the apps are bad. But, they are not as polished or powerful as their competitors. 


Cactus VPN offers its users extensive support. It provides quick technical support to make sure that users have no trouble when browsing the internet. Therefore, you do not have to wait a long time for your query to be resolved by their technical support team. 

Cactus VPN Review: Final Verdict

Cactus VPN is a great VPN. However, it does have its fair share of limitations such a short list of servers located in the US and Europe. But, we do find its Smart DNS to be amazing as it managed to unblock more websites than most VPNs in the market. Thus, it offers fair value for money. 

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