Nowadays VPN market isn’t a tiny one and there is a wide range of both small and big companies offering VPN service. This review will shed some light on one of Moldavian VPN providers, namely CactusVPN. This company isn’t so much popular as ExpressVPN or HideMyAss and you may have never heard about it. Nonetheless, CactusVPN has got its own set of regular clients who are more or less satisfied with this VPN service.
CactusVPN Plans and Pricing
A thing to be aware of while choosing a suitable VPN provider is its pricing plan. Whatever impressive features a VPN service may have, a customer will never ignore the question of its price. CactusVPN has got somewhat nonstandard approach to this issue. The first thing which catches your attention is time periods offered in the plans – there is no semi-annual option and instead of it you will be offered a three-month package. In addition to this, you can choose a plan for either just a month or a whole year.
The pricing policy is really snazzy – CactusVPN impresses with its very and very reasonable prices. There are three packages offering strictly VPN service: US VPN (servers in LA, Kansas City, Manassas, Chicago); UK VPN (servers in London); Liberty VPN (servers in Netherlands, Romania). It’s important to underline that all of them have the same prices – $ 4.99 per month, $12.99 per quarter and $ 38.99 per year. As most of VPN services CactusVPN leads time-oriented policy, i.e. the longer you use its service, the lower price you pay for it. For instance, you can save up to 14% buying a package for three months or 35% choosing an annual option.
Besides, there are two more packages offered by CactusVPN – VPN + Smart DNS and Smart DNS. The first one covers 16 servers and costs $6.99 per month, $17.99 per quarter, $54.99 per year. As to Smart DNS, it unblocks media websites of such countries as US, UK, German, Poland etc. and has the same prices as VPN packages have.
Moreover, if you’ve already become CactusVPN user, you can get a nice bundle discount, namely 50% OFF, purchasing the second package. Resellers may expect even for greater discounts, but for more detailed information it’s necessary to contact a company representative.
After choosing a package you like most of all, you have to create an account (in case you don’t have one) and provide a company with such personal information as name and email address, and choose a payment method. CactusVPN offers several ways of payment – PayPal, Credit or Debit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), Alipay, Webmoney, Yandex Money, Boleto Bancario and Qiwi and from October 2016 CactusVPN accepts Bitcoins. That means that there is an option of anonymous payment.
Of course, we can’t omit the question of free trial. Fortunately, this company takes care of its subscribers and provides them with 24 hours of free trial. The options you will get for this time include access to all VPN servers, Smart DNS and Proxy services. Furthermore, you won’t need any credit cards and there aren’t any speed and bandwidth limitations. Note that there are no trial account restrictions, no logs and you will be allowed to register only ONE trial account.
CactusVPN also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, BUT only if you can’t connect to its VPN servers using all of the VPN connections included in your package.
This VPN provider cannot boast of its popularity or size, but its features are not bad, indeed. The first thing which potential subscribers may like about CactusVPN is its pricing policy, of course. Moreover, not all of the VPN services can offer a free trial or a refund. BitCoin option is available so can send your payments anonymously.
The level of security and privacy offered by Cactus VPN is good. According to this VPN service you will be provided with the good data encryption and free Proxy servers. Five different types of protocols are also available. CactusVPN assures its customers that the company has no log policy, but you should be aware, that it has got some peculiarities (you can read about them further).
As to the number of servers, it is somewhat poor – less than 20, but servers in the Netherlands and Moldova allow the use of torrenting. Moreover, the variety of locations is not big, too. On the other hand, CactusVPN displays good compatibility with different OS and devices. The speed quality is fine and there are some options of customer support, too.
What we would really like to pinpoint your attention upon is Applications Killer, available for the CactusVPN subscribers. In fact, not many companies offer such option, using which a client doesn’t need to shut off the entire internet in case of VPN connection failure. Applications Killer will just close specific applications which you choose yourself.
CactusVPN Security and Privacy
Very often the question of privacy and security is pivotal for the customers, who are looking for a reliable VPN provider. And there is nothing strange or unusual in this – people like the feeling of safety and protection. Cactus VPN shows not bad results in this sphere. It creates a tunnel and encrypts all your incoming and outgoing data. This means no one can get access to your private information.
As to the log policy, CactusVPN doesn’t keep any usage logs, BUT it does keep connection logs for 3 days. So what is the difference between these two log types and is there a reason to panic or no? Connection logs are kept for troubleshooting and using them a VPN provider cannot track you or learn the history of your uploading/downloading. Besides, it doesn’t register the sites which you are visiting or what applications you are using. Connection logs are used to know the time of your connection and its duration. Usage logs, on the contrary, follow your browsing history.
As to the location of the company, Moldova seems to be a country which is not strongly observed by legal communities. Consequently, this helps CactusVPN to lead its business in more security than other VPN services can do that.
Speaking of the technical side, this provider offers 5 different types of protocols, namely L2TP/IPSec (128-bit to 256-bit encryption), OpenVPN (256-bit AES encryption with 2048-bit key authentication), SSTP (256-bit SSL key encryption), SoftEther and PPTP.
We are sure that a great range of locations is a point which can attract a pretty nice number of clients. Unfortunately, CactusVPN doesn’t have this option. There is no vast server coverage offered by this VPN service. On the whole, you will be able to make use of just 16 servers in 4 countries – the USA, the UK, the Netherlands and Moldova. We hope that in some time this list will be much longer.
Such feature as compatibility is represented by CactusVPN in all its power. You can choose any type of device or OS and get this VPN service on it. The types of devices which are available for CactusVPN are Windows, iOS, Android, Boxee Box, Mac, OS X, Ubuntu, Chromebook etc.
CactusVPN has also got setup guides on its official website for each type of device or OS. This is really great as you can always peep at the instructions when you need some help. Though, you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that the process of setting-up is not difficult at all and doesn’t require any special skills.
CactusVPN Speed and Performance
According to CactusVPN advert, the speed is fantastic and every user must be satisfied with it. However, life is full of surprises and even the best mechanisms can have some bugs. CactusVPN is not an exception. In general, the speed is fine, but sometimes it starts tarrying. In our case it happened when we tried to connect Amsterdam servers. Connection to the US servers wasn’t superfast, too and it took off 35% of the general speed. Besides, do not expect high speed for HD streaming.
Sometimes there may be connection drop-outs, but you should know that such thing can happen even if you’re a subscriber of the most expensive VPN service in the world. Therefore, we strongly advise you to use kill-switch which can prevent you form this type of trouble.
Customer support very often starts form the website – the better structure it has, the easier it is for customer to use it. CactusVPN proves that it has coped with this task rather well. You won’t need to spend more than several minutes, or even seconds, to find out where to look for the information you are interested in.
As to the support itself, CactusVPN offers FAQ, which includes various sections devoted to different problems, setup guide, ticketing and live chat. In fact, the last one isn’t vey good because it is available only for those who are already subscribers of this provider. Nevertheless, the quality of support is fine and you can count on it.
Pros & Cons
CactusVPN is a small company, based in Moldova, which will bring you both positive and negative experience. This provider is not expensive and offers a rare option of Applications Killer. Moreover, it has a nice compatibility and customer support level. The minuses, you should be ready for, are poor servers and locations assortment. The issues, which are not so fatal but can also affect your opinion, are keeping of connection logs and no access to live chat in case you are not CactusVPN user. In general, this service is not bad, and if you are ready to accept its drawbacks then why not to make use of it.