|Servers||30+ servers in 20 countries|
|Works in China||Unstable|
|Compatibility||Windows, Android, Apple, Desktop, Chrome, FireTV|
Like with most other VPNs, its name does stand out and cause the user to take notice. But can its features keep the user hooked and ultimately choose it as their preferred VPN service?
From a security point of view, CactusVPN has all the major pros that a VPN should have such as a safe jurisdiction as a robust n-logs policy. Similarly, it offers dedicated servers for torrenting thanks to split tunneling in addition to access to China.
But there are some visible downsides to using this service such as no Netflix unblocking, expensive payment plans, surprisingly inferior encryption, and most importantly, a highly mediocre server count. All of these have become standard VPN offerings, that does not reflect well on CactusVPN.
For users that want the best in terms of protection as well as entertainment, Surfshark would be the best option as it offers the most important features available at the most affordable rates.
- Jurisdiction: Where Does CactusVPN Operate From?
- Security: Can CactusVPN VPN Keep You Safe Online?
- Leaks: Does CactusVPN VPN Leak Your IP/DNS/WebRTC?
- Servers: How Many Servers Does CactusVPN Have?
- Streaming: Does CactusVPN Unblock Netflix and Other VoDs?
- Speed: How Fast are CactusVPN VPN Servers?
- Compatibility: Can I Use CactusVPN On All My Devices?
- Pricing: How Much Does CactusVPN VPN Cost Exactly?
- Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say About CactusVPN VPN?
Jurisdiction: Where Does CactusVPN Operate From?
CactusVPN is based out of Moldova. As far as safety goes, there are few other better locations for a VPN to be based out of.
The country is not a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance meaning that there are no intelligence organizations that can snoop on users’ digital activity. There have been previous cases in Moldova where companies were able to deny information requests from different intelligence agencies thanks to the lack of any data retention laws in the country.
Security: Can CactusVPN Keep You Safe Online?
Yes, CactusVPN is a highly safe option. Although I would’ve liked to see a couple of improvements, I don’t think any issues should set the alarm bells ringing.
CactusVPN Logging Policy
CactusVPN does not keep logs of any kind. The service goes to great lengths to clarify that there is no information that the service stores on its users that could be a cause of concern. The service states that CactusVPN does not store your IP address, traffic logs, connection timestamps, session lengths, and bandwidth used.
Encryption & Protocols
CactuVPN uses AES-128-bit encryption. I was a little disappointed with this offering considering how the 256-bit has become almost like an industry-standard at this point. While the 128-bit is quite the formidable option in its own right, it’s puzzling why an easily available upgrade was not used instead.
Additionally, users will be able to use OpenVPN, SSPTP, PPTP, IKEv2, L2TP, and IPsec. I should add that all of these protocols are well-equipped to keep users safe from any potential attempts to hack them online.
CactusVPN Virus Test
I conducted a virus test using Virus Total on the service’s main site and installation files. This would ensure that there were no malicious files attached that could prove troublesome for users. Here is the result of that test:
As users can see, there are no major viruses to worry about.
Leaks: Does CactusVPN Leak Your IP/DNS/WebRTC?
I conducted a series of IP, DNS, WebRTC leak tests to be certain that there was no vulnerability while using CactusVPN. Here are the results of those tests:
As users can see, there are no leaks that should concern the users.
Servers: How Many Servers Does CactusVPN Have?
CactusVPN offers its users access to 30+ servers in 20 countries. Without a doubt, this is an incredibly meager figure that does not leave a positive impression.
Does CactusVPN Support Torrents?
However, even with these low server numbers, CactusVPN works perfectly fine for torrenting.
I should state that 10 of these servers are specifically optimized to support P2P sharing in countries such as Netherlands, Spain, and Germany. With such dedicated servers, users may find their overall torrenting experience to be elevated overall.
Does CactusVPN Work in China?
There’s no definitive answer to that question. CactusVPN has never officially revealed whether it has a server in the Mainland or not. Its SoftEther protocol has been functional in the past. However, unlike other VPN providers, its reliability in China is far more unpredictable.
China’s restrictive censorship policies are well-known to most internet users. VPNs are regular victims of these. Hence, they need to come up with new techniques to remain functional in the countries. CactusVPN’s strategy to do is to avoid having a physical server to evade such restrictions.
For any reason, though it may sometimes be operational, it remains a highly unstable option to use in terms of unblocking China.
Streaming: Does CactusVPN Unblock Netflix and Other VoDs?
No, CactusVPN is unable to unblock Netflix. This was surprising considering how the service claims to work with Netflix.
I tried connecting to the service via different servers but had no luck. This is probably due to Netflix’s regular crackdowns on VPN access to their service. So, it seems CactusVPN may have once been capable of unblocking Netflix, it cannot do so anymore. I tried unblocking all the other streaming sites like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, Hotstar, and BBC iPlayer with better luck and managed to unblock all of them.
Speed: How Fast are CactusVPN Servers?
Its server count may be on the lower end, but can they deliver the most important feature of servers i.e. speed? I carried out a speed test on a 100Mbps connection to see how fast are its servers by connecting to Canada, Italy, Romania, Portugal, and India.
Here are the results of those tests:
Compatibility: Can I Use CactusVPN VPN On All My Devices?
The service offers users the ability to use the service on all major operating platforms such as Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS. Additionally, thanks to its dedicated apps, users can use this service on their FireTV as well as through their Chrome browser extensions.
Pricing: How Much Does CactusVPN Cost Exactly?
I was surprised by the prices on offer by CactusVPN. Compared to some other VPNs, it suffices to say that it is a relatively expensive VPN with some steep prices. Currently, users can opt between a monthly, quarterly, yearly, and 2-year plans.
Monthly ($4.89 per month)
Quarterly ($12.59 per quarter)
Yearly ($38.49 per year)
2-Years ($66.49 one-time)
CactusVPN Refund Policy
CactusVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. In my experience, this is the industry-standard time frame that allows users to use the service for an adequate time frame and understand whether the service meets their needs or not.
CactusVPN Payment Methods
Impressively, the service allows users to pay via their VISA/Mastercard credit and debit cards as well as through Bitcoin, Alipay, PayPal, Webmoney and all other methods that a user may want to use making it incredibly flexible in that regard.
Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say About CactusVPN?
Does my experience fall in line with what the rest of the internet feels about CactusVPN? To check that, I headed over to Trustpilot and Reddit to see what users have to say about the service. Additionally, I also looked at its customer support. Here’s what I found:
CactusVPN Trustpilot Review
With 4/5 stars on Trustpilot, usually, it would mean a glowing review for the service in question. However, there are several reasons why I would advise against placing too much emphasis on this rating.
The primary reason why is because of just 10 reviews that have been made for the service on the review platform. It suggests that either users were not willing or are simply unaware of this service. Just 10 reviews do not make for an impartial rating, meaning I cannot give too much weight to its 4 stars.
CactusVPN Reddit Review
Redditors were their customary selves when I looked at some of the comments for CactusVPN. Users shed light on several issues that I would have ignored or not even considered, to begin with.
Coincidentally, this is exactly how I feel about the service. Users pointed out that the amount of information that CactusVPN requires is unusually high for a VPN service and does not inspire confidence in its intentions at all.
At the same time, some users appreciated the sheer simplicity of the service and how it keeps its client’s interface and features simple to use giving it a highly user-friendly outlook.
CactusVPN Customer Support
This was one area where CactusVPN left me highly impressed when I wasn’t expecting it to. Its live chat support function is probably the most reactive one I’ve seen as I got a detailed response within a few minutes of my question. This is the kind of detail that most other VPNs save for questions asked in emails.
I found the representative to be knowledgeable and friendly. Additionally, on their website, you can find guided tutorials, guides, and a descriptive FAQ to help users navigate the internet with ease and security.
CactusVPN has a lot of problems. While I can say that there are hardly any VPNs that don’t have some slight issues, but that would be beside the point.
For instance, a service that claims to value the privacy of its users shouldn’t require such intensive information just to set up an account. Additionally, in 2020 I expect Netflix unblocking to be a standard feature that all VPNs must-have regardless of anything else.
For users that do not want to provide such info or want the ability to seamlessly unblock Netflix, Surfshark would be the best option thanks to its 1000+ servers, all available at the most affordable rates on the market.
Do I Recommend CactusVPN?
Yes, I would recommend CactusVPN. I should state here that the service is not without faults of its own.
However, I could find zero issues with its security practices. Its logging policies plus its safe jurisdiction mean that it fulfills the most basic purpose a VPN is supposed to perform. Additionally, a user-friendly customer support service that helps users, as well as a Chinese server, set it apart.
But I understand there might be users that don’t want to settle for anything less than complete security and the absolute best. Users like these would find Surfshark to be the service for them thanks to its slew of important features available at the most affordable rates.