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CactusVPN Review

CactusVPN

BestVPN.com Score 9.4 out of 10
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CactusVPN is a service based in Moldova. It provides connections to a global network of servers with top quality features and a user-friendly interface. OpenVPN encryption is extremely strong and has a number of options that can be toggled. The VPN also has a number of excellent security features such as a killswitch and DNS leak protection. Sadly, it did not unblock UX Netflix - this may be a deal breaker for some!

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VPN Stats

  • Server Locations 15
  • Average Speed N/A Mbit/s
  • Simultaneous Connections 5
  • Jurisdiction Moldova

Likes

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24-hour free trial
  • No logs
  • Smart DNS option
  • five simultaneous connections

Dislikes

  • Small server network
  • Doesn't work with Netflix

Features

Total servers 24
Countries 15
Simultaneous connections 5
Bare metal or virtual servers Bare metal
Router Support
Routers Supported Any VPN-enabled device
Allows torrenting
Port forwarding
Port selection

Supported platforms

Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
Linux
Windows Phone

Protocols offered

PPTP
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
OpenVPN
Other protocols SoftEther

Privacy

Jurisdiction Moldova
Logs Traffic
Logs Connections
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data
Website tracking? Google Analytics

Performance

Data limits
Bandwidth limits
IPv4 leak detected?
WebRTC leak detected?

Payment

Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency

Security

Kill Switch
Obfuscation (stealth)
Self-hosted/Proxied DNS No
IPv4 leak protection
IPv6 leak protection
WebRTC leak protection

Support

Free trial Yes - 24 hours
24-hour support
Live chat support
Money-back Guarantee
Money back guarantee length 7

Unblocks:

Netflix
iPlayer

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Features

  • 14 server locations with 22+ servers
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, PPTP and SoftEther protocols
  • Application killer
  • Internet kill switch
  • DNS Leak protection
  • Fast speeds
  • Unblocks BBC iPlayer
  • No logs policy
  • 24/7 support
  • Shared static IPs
  • Dedicated P2P servers
  • Free proxy servers
  • Smart DNS service included
  • Free 24-hour trial
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Speed and Performance

BestVPN.com uses a custom server-based speed test system to provide you with more accurate results than other VPN comparison sites. For more information click here. As you can see from our results, CactusVPN’s server speeds are better than average - but not as good as the top VPNs on the market. 

CactusVPN has an average download speed of 21.3 Mbit/s and a max download speed of 64.5 Mbit/s. This puts CactusVPN is the lower-end of the top half of the market. Our tests revealed that CactusVPN has no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks. This means it is secure for privacy purposes. To test CactusVPN for leaks visit ipleak.net.

Price

CactusVPN's "Liberty VPN" subscription plan includes both its VPN and Smart DNS service. That plan is $6.99 per month. $17.99 for a three-month subscription (5.99 per month). And $54.99 annually ($4.58). Liberty plan provides access to all servers and server locations and provides P2P support. 

Smaller plans include a US and UK-only VPN,  and an option for the Smart DNS service only. 

All major credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin are accepted. In addition, CactusVPN offers a free 24-hour trial for both its VPN and DNS services and a 30-day money-back guarantee to trial the service risk-free.

Privacy and Security

CactusVPN has a strict no logging policy. CactusVPN never stores IP addresses, traffic logs, connection timestamps, used bandwidth or the session duration.  Thus, there’s no worry of usage data being handed over to third parties. 

That being said, CactusVPN does state that it may “send personally identifiable information about you to third parties” if they have your consent or if they receive a warrant that requires them to disclose available information to the authorities. That means your name, date of purchase, and payment method could, in theory, be disclosed to law enforcement. This is as good as a VPN policy ever gets - so CactusVPN is considered excellent.

Encryption

CactusVPN has pretty solid encryption, but not the best.  OpenVPN is implemented with an AES-256-CBC, SHA256 HMAC authentication (on both data and control channels) and an RSA-2048 handshake. Keys are distributed for connections using perfect forward secrecy (ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384.) 

All in all, this is excellent encryption implementation that is much, much stronger than the last time we checked it. This makes Cactus extremely good for data privacy. We are happy to see that CactusVPN is working hard to keep itself up to date in terms of security.

Final thoughts

CactusVPN is a much better VPN than the vast majority of services on the market. It is good for unblocking censored or geo-restricted websites and services (though it does not work with Netflix). Torrenting via P2P is permitted and is secure thanks to its no logs policy. OpenVPN encryption is great but could be stronger. To be fair, however, it is adequate for most people's needs. Its server network isn't massive, but it does have a nice choice of server locations around the globe. 

Also good news, CactusVN provides a 24-hour free trial– and if you aren't quite happy when you subscribe, you can make use of its 30-day money-back guarantee. To conclude, CactusVPN is a good all-round VPN that we enjoy using and that we have few criticisms of. Not the best - but you could do a lot, lot worse.

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