$6.99
Per Month

Features

  • Unblocks Netflix US
  • 23 Fast VPN Servers in 17 Locations
  • Dedicated client apps for popular OS
  • Offers Free 24 Hour VPN Trial
  • Live Chat Support
  • User-Friendly UI & UX website & App
  • Multiple Protocol Support including OpenVPN
  • Diverse pricing plans
  • Bitcoin Payment Accepted

CactusVPN Review – A Stellar Service – 4 stars

 

Among the hundreds of VPNs that exist, very few can stand out in terms of providing not just a stellar VPN service but also offers an immersive user experience with almost every facet of the service being much more stunning than the last.

We have to admit, that we didn’t have much expectations when we thought of reviewing CactusVPN, but were we surprised. CactusVPN is one of the most visually appealing VPNs we have encountered. The makers behind it definitely have an eye for detailing. No stone was left unturned, whether it was when building the website, any of its VPN features, demonstrating their ability to perform, the VPN client apps, or any other aspect of the service.

We must admit this, We are Sold! CactusVPN is one of the best services you will find, especially if you are a newbie who doesn’t know much about VPNs. There are bigger, much more established VPN services in the market, but few come close towards matching the vivacity of CactusVPN.

So, to know further, Here is the full-fledged review of CactusVPN containing critiques on its pricing plans, payment methods, website UI & UX, client apps, feature performance and more by Best VPN

 

CactusVPN Pricing Plans

VPNs are becoming increasingly price sensitive commodities as more and more providers enter the market, thereby increasing the competition and causing rates to come down considerably. So, with so much competition in tow, a provider in today’s world needs to keep its pricing plans within the acceptable range and allow enough options to accommodate as many types of user needs as it can and CactusVPN is doing just that.

CactusVPN currently offers 4 types of pricing plans:

  • US VPN
  • UK VPN
  • VPN + SmartDNS
  • SmartDNS

Cactus VPN Yearly Pricing

 

Cactus VPN Quarterly Pricing

Cactus VPN Monthly Pricing

 

We must appreciate the fact that CactusVPN is offering dedicated US and UK plans for its users, a rare sight in the VPN domain where most providers focus on providing unitary plans with the only difference being in the duration of the subscription. SmartDNS is also being offered separately here, which is a plus because there has been a surge in the sale of niche devices like mediastreamers over the past few years.

A dedicated SmartDNS plan would be perfectly suited for such customers with unique requirements as they now wouldn’t be forced to buy a VPN connection that is of no use to them, just because they want to access the provider’s SmartDNS feature.

Furthermore, these plans are then offered in monthly, quarterly and yearly subscriptions. Let’s review each one separately:

US VPN:

  • Monthly Subscription: $4.99/month billed once
  • Quarterly Subscription: $12.99 billed once ($4.33/month)
  • Yearly Subscription: $38.99 billed once ($3.24/month)

This plan includes access to 4 USA based servers and all other features being offered by CactusVPN except for P2P sharing and SmartDNS service. CactusVPN’s pricing plans for this service is not too bad if you are looking forward to unblocking geo-restricted US sites like Netflix through this plan. The Yearly plan places a very good deal but we believe that this Quarterly Plan needs to be cut down to at least $10 billed once if the provider wants to make it more appealing.

UK VPN

  • Monthly Subscription: $4.99/month billed once
  • Quarterly Subscription: $12.99 billed once ($4.33/month)
  • Yearly Subscription: $38.99 billed once ($3.24/month)

With exactly identical pricing to the US VPN plan, our verdict for the UK pricing plan remains the same as for the US VPN plan. Price of the quarterly plan needs to be cut down some more just like for the US VPN plan. You are offered 4 UK servers and access to all other premium features on this plan.

VPN + Smart DNS Plan

  • Monthly Subscription: $6.99/month billed once
  • Quarterly Subscription: $17.99 billed once ($5.99/month)
  • Yearly Subscription: $54.99 billed once ($4.58/month)

This plan is among the most comprehensive among all the plans being offered. The VPN + Smart DNS Plan include access to all of its premium features as well as the full server list comprising of 23 servers in total. SmartDNS service also included in this plan, thereby making this plan best for those users who have VPN needs on different devices including mediastreamers.

Coming to the prices of this plan, the monthly subscription price of $6.99 is quite low as compared to other more established providers who offer their monthly plans in the range between $8-10. As far as the quarterly and yearly subscription plans are concerned, there is not much of a big price difference in between them, which is a great factor as it allows the user to opt for the short term quarterly plan without causing him/her to much of an inconvenience.

SmartDNS Plan:

  • Monthly Subscription: $4.99/month billed once
  • Quarterly Subscription: $12.99 billed once ($4.33/month)
  • Yearly Subscription: $38.99 billed once ($3.24/month)

While we like the other plans, we believe that the prices for the SmartDNS plans are a bit too high, especially for the quarterly plan. If CactusVPN is not offering any other thing except a SmartDNS service in this plan, then it needs to bring its prices a notch down to make this plan appear a bit more appealing. Still a good initiative that we highly appreciate!

 

CactusVPN Payment Methods:

Having lots of payment methods facilitates the final user as it increases the flexibility over the choices the user has in the way it wants to pay for a pricing plan. CactusVPN offers a great repertoire of payment options which include the following:

  • PayPal
  • Credit/Debit Card
  • Bitcoins and Altcoins
  • Qiwi
  • WebMoney
  • Boleto Bancario
  • Yandex Money
  • AliPay

Cactus VPN Payment Methods

The list contains pretty much all the popular options that modern day user demands from a VPN provider. We like the way CactusVPN offers Bitcoin as a payment option as it allows the user to exercise control over its privacy while making the payment.

 

CactusVPN Free Trial Review

A free trial is fast becoming a rarity in the VPN domain with many providers reverting to the old school approach of not offering the user the chance to use a product before it has paid in full for a pricing plan. This approach can turn off many users and even if it does not, there is a big chance that the user, after having some bad experiences with your service, badmouths your service across the entire internet with such ferocity that your service takes a major hit in terms of its brand image in the market.

Free Trials with zero commitments are the best buffer VPNs can have against this problem, as they allow the user to fully test the service and be satisfied before it moves forward to purchase a pricing plan. With a free trial, even if a user is not happy, all he/she will do is not go for the purchase. No big damage to brand image done.

CactusVPN is currently offering a Free Trial plan which speaks volumes about the confidence the provider has in its product, a notion that increases user confidence manifold.

Cactus VPN Free Trial

 

We tried the Free Trial service by CactusVPN and made our decision to conduct a full-fledged review of this service afterwards. More than half of the performance features that we critiqued in this review, were tested during the free trial as there was no major difference in the way the service performed in its free and paid versions.

Free 24 Hour Trial

 

The only thing that we would like CactusVPN to alter is the duration of the Free Trial because as of now, its just confined to 24 hour period, which is quite low. We recommend CactusVPN to increase this period to at least 72 hours just like NordVPN.

CactusVPN is also offering a 7 day trial of its SmartDNS service, so it can even follow its own policies and replicate it on the VPN free trial.

 

Free SmartDNS 7 Day Trial

 

But, CactusVPN is also offering a 30 day refund policy so we can rate its free trial policies are extremely consumer friendly.

CactusVPN Apps Compatibility Review:

This provider again takes the cake in this feature of its as it is offering dedicated client apps for the following OS and devices:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Android TV
  • FireTV

While almost every other provider is now offering client apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, dedicated apps for Android TV and FireTV are not so commonplace. This is because they are quite niche devices so building a client app for them takes in a lot of effort and above all, a commitment to power a better user experience. CactusVPN has gone the extra mile in ensuring that it has more than just the basic client app offerings in its repertoire so it does score a high rating for this in our review.

CactusVPN Apps

 

We would really like to see this provider add browser extensions to its repertoire and increase the amount of dedicated support it currently provides users even more.

 

CactusVPN Server Review

One place where we do believe that there is wide room for improvement in CactusVPN’s otherwise stellar service is its server count. Currently offering 23 VPN servers in 17 locations in a network spread across 14 countries, CactusVPN needs to improve its tally if its to compete with the bigger VPNs in the market whose server counts sometimes number in the thousands like ExpressVPN and PureVPN.

CactusVPN Server Locations

 

Not that its servers don’t perform well, they are excellent in all metrics. Surprisingly, not one of them was overcrowded during our tests and the speeds were great as well.

When we connected to the server in Sydney, Australia from the US on a 50 Mbps connection, we got these results from our speed tests:

 

CactusVPN speed test

Download speed showed a reduction of almost 27% while the upload speeds were remarkable clocking in at 41.7 Mbbps, not bad for a VPN enabled internet connection.

The servers also managed to unblock geo-restricted content on sites like Netflix US.

You can see the sci-fi movie Ex-Machina in the results, which is not available in other countries other than the US. And if a VPN in unblocking Netflix US, then its got to be great, because its not just bypassing the geo-restrictions on the site, but also managing to get around the VPN ban on the site which is an incredible feat that not even some Top VPNs are able to match.

 

 

But, one thing that we would never fail to appreciate with CactusVPN is its inherent honesty is letting the user know the actual status of the VPN at the moment.

When we logged into the client area on the site, we saw a note named as “Service Status” notifying us that the BBC iPlayer cannot currently be unblocked through CactusVPN. This is not just rare, but a unique trait that set CactusVPN apart from other VPNs in the market, who constantly continue to market a certain trait even when they are not capable of doing it.

Even if BBC iPlayer doesn’t work with CactusVPN at the moment, we wont rate it down because if a provider is honest with its users, it will not let them down and work towards getting the service back up and running as soon as possible.

 

 

Website UI and UX

Few VPNs have such attention to detail when it comes to building a website that’s not just interactive but also informative about every aspect of the service as CactusVPN.

As was evident from the way the pricing plans were laid out, the servers were shown and the page which showed the geo-restricted websites that CactusVPN can unblock was crafted, CactusVPN has set a benchmark on how a VPN website should be a perfect mix between being catchy yet tell all.

 

CactusVPN Security and Live Chat Feature

Due to the sudden surge in the popularity of VPN software along with the rise in the awareness of how important data is and how it can be used for nefarious purposes, many dubious services jumped into the market trying to use their VPN service as a façade to collect user data through the medium of their client apps. This data is then sent to advertisers, completing the whole vicious circle.

One big way to find out whether a VPN is indulging in this or not is to read its privacy policy, which specifically mentions about the way it logs user data. These policy documents might be a boring read but going through them is crucial to understand a VPN’s policy through our data.

 

CactusVPN logs policy

 

However, CactusVPN doesn’t indulge in any such dubious activity and it privacy policy mentions it quite clearly that they don’t log any kind of user data, even not for the amount of bandwidth consumed or user session time. Its as clean as they come, so therefore it can be reliably trusted.

It also offers multiple protocol support including OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP and SoftEther, so the options for security and protecting your anonymity are quite robust at CactusVPN.

Coming to the support functionalities, CactusVPN’s live chat support feature was highly responsive to resolve or answer the queries we posed to its support agent.

CactusVPN Live Chat Support

 

It also has an option of raising a ticket if you have a more complicated problem that requires technical troubleshooting by an expert.

Conclusion

Our final verdict is highly in favor of CactusVPN as it is offering a comprehensive, well-rounded VPN service that stood firmly against some quite strong tests of ours. It does have some glitches, but they are quite minor and can be ironed out quite easily.

CactusVPN gets 4 stars from our end as a strongly recommended service that user with all kinds of needs can definitely benefit from. From security to site unblocking, this VPN is capable of resolving all of your data privacy and internet freedom issues! Do try it and let us know how your experience was in the comments below!

 

 

 

Obaid Chawla

Obaid Chawla's Biography :

Obaid Chawla is a innovation buff with a propensity to debate hard. He has a deep interest in how humans can push things forward in the fourth and final Industrial Revolution and loves covering every single development that takes place! He's also freelancing in making new friends and communities!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *