CactusVPN Blog
Security experts offer you their knowledge about VPN, online anonymity, privacy, security, Smart DNS and unblocking websites. You will also find the latest news and promotions that we run here at CactusVPN.

Replacement of LA and London VPN servers

Recently Netflix has blocked some of our servers and that why users have been experiencing problem while using CactusVPN to access Netflix contents. We have successfully established connections with two servers which are not blocked by Netflix. We have changed settings for Los Angeles and London servers so users need to reconfigure their connections.
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Update of CactusVPN Software for Mac OS

Whilst recently our Windows CactusVPN software got an update we have been working on getting Mac users up to date with the extensive feature set the new update provided for Windows users.
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Smart DNS and VPN Giveaway – April 2016

Update! April 21, 2015. This giveaway has ended. The winners are announced.We are already at the fourth CactusVPN giveaway of the year, which is quite something. That leaves just eight more left for the year, so what better time to get involved than now?

I hope those of you that had time off around Easter made the most of it and had a nice time, seeing as it is the last real ‘holiday season’ before December time. I had a nice long weekend off, watched some films and enjoyed the general time of having to do no work.
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CactusVPN Easter VPN Promotion 2016

Easter is coming early this year, not just because we have a VPN promotion for you but also calendar wise. As to the former though we have quite the discount in order to celebrate Easter and the time of eating many chocolate eggs (at least here in England). I personally enjoy Easter for the lovely long weekend we get through national holidays, gives plenty of time to get recharge those batteries as we truck along through the year.
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CactusVPN will be now a log free VPN Service!

Understandably so people may worry at the mention of a VPN provider keeping logs, no matter how inconsequential they may be. Even if we only kept connection logs and just for three days, we have listened and decided to be completely free of logs. No connection logs and most certainly no traffic logging. A completely log free VPN for every single one of you.
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SSL certificate for OpenVPN updated

We have updated our SSL certificate for OpenVPN. This is a routine procedure in order to maintain the high security standards here at CactusVPN. As a side effect, all of our clients who use CactusVPN software, will have to restart it. You have to do this only once.
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Smart DNS and VPN Giveaway – March 2016

Update! March 22, 2015. This giveaway has ended. The winners are announced.Here were go it is time for this month’s CactusVPN Smart DNS and VPN Giveaway. It is quite amazing, to me at least, that we find ourselves a quarter of our way through this year already. Quite a lot has happened on many fronts in these three short months but that is for another time. As the year is sure to get warmer (or colder depending on which hemisphere you live in), we sure have a giveaway for you.
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Netflix is blocking VPN services

Netflix earlier announced that it will block proxy services from accessing Netflix and now they have started blocking VPN services. CactusVPN has been facing issues for quite some time; many of our customers have reported the connection and streaming error when trying to access Netflix. However, these errors are inconsistent as some users are able to access Netflix using the same service.
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New websites unblocked with Smart DNS – March 2016

Once again we have some great websites added to our Smart DNS service for you guys. We have four unblocked websites for you this time around with a brand new website from a new country entering the fray. Whereas before we offered UK, US and Germany, we are now starting to unblock Swiss websites. At the moment we only have the one but we are working on adding more.
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Update of CactusVPN software for Windows

The CactusVPN software has been around for a while now and we have been adding as many features to it as possible to make it attractive to both new and experienced users of VPN and Smart DNS. We have recently been working hard implementing a set of features we feel will really help push our program forward.
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Is Smart DNS legal?

Smart DNS has changed the way internet users think about availability of contents on the internet. Many websites and services like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora Internet Radio and others are not available globally and you can access them from a certain geographical region; for example, Pandora Internet Radio is only available in Australia, New Zealand and USA. Because of the nature of this service, the question regarding its legality rises.
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Valentine’s Day VPN promotion

Update! February 16, 2016. This promotion has ended.As this year rumbles on at quite an alarming speed, we want to slow things down this month and give you a great Valentine’s Day VPN promotion. It is of course the day of love so we felt the need to share the love with you guys.
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Chicago VPN Server Changes

Because some of you had problems with our old Chicago VPN server we had to change it. If you use or plan to use this server here is what you should do:
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Smart DNS and VPN Giveaway – January 2016

Update! January 29, 2015. This giveaway has ended. The winners are announced. Well it is officially 2016 and what a year we have in store, as always CactusVPN will be looking to expand and offer a better service for you guys but also other companies are really trying to push on this year, hopefully the year geo-restriction takes a step back. Netflix have of course announced at CES this year that its service is available in over 130 countries now, which is a fantastic thing to kick off the year with.
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The Best Netflix Originals

Netflix have done an outstanding job in bringing quality exclusive content to their service. A lot of people, whether critics or general consumers have been really surprised at how good Netflix have done on the production side of things –myself included. Even just taking into account the wide array of genres they are involved in. Movies, TV shows and even creating their very own anime series, it is certainly commendable. I think it would be fitting that we round off some of the best Netflix Originals.
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Smart DNS and VPN discounts to unblock Netflix

Update! January 21, 2016. This promotion has ended.As you have probably heard, Netflix is now available in over 130 countries around the world. We have decided here at CactusVPN to have up to 54% discount on all of our packages. This way we want to help millions of people who finally got access to Netflix. The promotion is available until 20th of January.
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Why you still need to unblock Netflix even if it is available everywhere

It was rather big news last week as at CES Netflix announced their Netflix Everywhere campaign meaning Netflix is now open worldwide. This movement sees Netflix available in over 130 countries.
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Top 5 Christmas movies online

Christmas is certainly rapidly approaching. It is about time then that we all start getting into the spirit of things and what better way to do that than sit down and watch a good old fashioned Christmas movie. Here are the top 5 Christmas movies online right now you can watch if you unblock websites with Smart DNS.
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8 new German websites unblocked with Smart DNS

This month we have a bumper load of German websites unblocked with our Smart DNS service. We have been working hard to add these and we have eight new websites unblock for you this time, if you are a fan of German TV or film, this is the place to come. Of course for German expats to this Smart DNS is invaluable at this point as they can now unblock websites from their home country now.
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Why you should unblock HBO Now and how it evolved as a service?

When HBO NOW was released to the public it was met with quite a big furore. As people are looking to stop paying the exorbitant prices of subscription television, this was a big boom. If you can unblock HBO NOW you could access the quality programming HBO had to offer without having to break the bank. Being able to pay monthly to enjoy exactly what people wanted and then cancel when they saw fit was a godsend and has since boomed.
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IP changes on Chicago, US VPN server

We had to change IP on our Chicago, US server. If you use or plan to use this server here is what you should do:
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Unblock websites with Smart DNS: new sites added

We have been working feverishly behind the scenes to unblock websites for you guys to take advantage of. This month we have a load of new websites unblocked for use with our Smart DNS service, a whole TWELVE, yes TWELVE, websites for you to peruse and use. First we will start off with websites that reside in Canada.
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CactusVPN giveaway – December 2015

Update! December 16, 2015. This giveaway has ended. The winners are announced. As we get towards the end of the year we have another CactusVPN giveaway for you this month. It is hard to believe that it is already December, just one month away from 2016. This year has seen some tumultuous months for VPNs but they have stood their ground and continue to fight the good fight against governments looking to abolish them for unadulterated access to their citizens.
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Hardware that can enhance VPN and Smart DNS experience

Not everything in the home is VPN friendly, you will usually find that your ISP’s router that they supply you with doesn’t even know what a VPN is, less so that you would want to use one. Thankfully usually with any router setting up Smart DNS can be a simple affair just with simple address changes but there are always ways to make the process easier and I intend to list some hardware here that can enhance VPN and Smart DNS experience.
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Android VPN app from CactusVPN is now available!

We did recently release an iOS VPN app for our service and since that we have been working feverishly to get the Android VPN app done and finally we are happy to announce it is finished and is now available in Google Play Store.
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The best movies on Netflix in December 2015

Netflix always has movies coming and going, sadly some great ones leave but usually you have other fantastic films taking their place. This month we have quite a few to report on so here are the best movies coming to Netflix in December 2015.
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How to block adverts on All4

All4 (formerly 4oD) is a fantastic free on demand service. It is available in web based or application versions. Today we will talk about web based version. The only downside are the adverts which can be numerous. It used to be fairly easy to get around the ads but as with many websites nowadays, a simple ad block does not fix the problem, so here is how to block adverts on All4.
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Top 5 action movies on Netflix

Action films are something that are usually universally enjoyed, everyone likes an intense fight scene or a thrilling chase. Action movies are there to titillate and here is a list of the Top 5 action movies on Netflix. There is a very wide selection to choose from should action films be your choice.
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CactusVPN giveaway – November 2015

Update! November 27, 2015. This giveaway has ended. The winners are announced. Once again we have the CactusVPN November giveaway. This month sees winter creeping in, though here in England it seems winter arrived 3 months ago. As the weather starts to get colder I am sure a lot of us will stay inside and cuddle up in bed or on the sofa with loved ones and watch the telly.

The perfect complement to such activities is a VPN or smart DNS. Why? Well these services can help give you access to more titles from your favourite streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. If this sounds good to you then why not try your luck in our give away.
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Which governments are pushing for the ban of VPN?

Recently it feels as though we are seeing a lot more news on various governments around the world pushing for the ban of VPN, all citing various reasons but all with a similar goal, to be able to keep an eye on anybody they see fit whilst they privately browse the internet. Where exactly in the world are they trying to push such an agenda? Well I plan on answering that here, it may even be the country you live in, sneakily trying to push such a law through.
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Proof of government spying on their citizens

It may seem like as you can’t really see the government spying on you, you’d be mistaken for thinking everyone is just a little paranoid. Stay vigilant though as we have some bona fide proof coming from The Intercept and more specifically this document that was obtained.
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Do the media spread lies about VPN?

VPN unfairly get a lot of flak sometimes, sometimes out of ignorance, others with a more aggressive agenda. This leaves us with the question of do the media spread lies about VPN? I would believe the answer is yes.
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CactusVPN Giveaway October 2015

Update! October 26, 2015. This giveaway has ended. The winners are announced. We come to October and as is the case with every month, we have another giveaway for you lucky people. October I guess is known mostly for Halloween, it is another excuse to throw a little party and relax before it gets horribly cold (it’s been cold for the past few months already here in the UK but that’s par for the course). Of course Halloween comes right at the end of the month but to tie you over until then we have our giveaway. Ten lucky people will win three free months of our premium VPN and Smart DNS package.
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CactusVPN response to BBC iPlayer blocking VPN access

Update (November 26th, 2015): The problem is now solved on all our servers.

Update (October 20th, 2015): The problem is now solved on most of our servers. You can access BBC iPlayer using Smart DNS service or London, London2, London3 or London4 VPN servers.

Update (October 20th, 2015): We have managed to fix this problem for our London and London2 VPN servers. We recommend to use these servers to unblock BBC iPlayer only if you can’t use Smart DNS because your ISP does transparent proxy or for some other reason.

October 20th, 2015. It has been quite big news day today as BBC cracked down on access to their iPlayer service through VPNs. This isn’t a problem only we are experiencing, this is something troubling a large majority of VPN providers. This means that iPlayer is no longer accessible through our UK VPN servers.
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Secure Chromecast in several easy steps

With the recent release of the Chromecast 2 by Google, I thought it would be important to go over how exactly to keep it secure. It is worth noting the Chromecast really isn’t all that safe, there are some measures you have to take outside of the Chromecast itself to make sure to secure Chromecast and isn’t letting anyone get in to your home network.
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New websites unblocked with Smart DNS – October 2015

Once again we have some brand new websites unblocked to our Smart DNS service for our existing users. This month we have websites from the UK, Germany and Poland which between the three of them offer a very wide range of entertainment.
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Top 5 anime on Netflix

Whilst I don’t watch a lot of anime I can certainly appreciate it. My personal favourite is Berserk and ever since watching that nothing ever seems to come close to its quality. It can be difficult to find places to watch anime in good quality on the internet. Thankfully Netflix has a good little selection to sink your teeth into. Here are the top 5 anime on Netflix:
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New Netflix regions added to our Smart DNS service

We are happy to announce that we have managed to add two new regions for our Netflix regions selector, meaning you can unblock Netflix in more countries.
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Three new websites added to our Smart DNS service

I enjoy writing these posts, it’s always good to hear about our Smart DNS service adding more websites for us all too enjoy. This time round we have three new websites added, two from the USA and one from Poland.
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CactusVPN Giveaway September 2015

Update! September 10, 2015. This giveaway has ended. The winners are announced.

Feels like only yesterday I was writing the giveaway for the start of the year but already we come to September and what a month as it seems pretty much every starts this month. People go back to school, college or university and Metal Gear Solid V comes out right at the start on the 1st of September. Of course right on time is our VPN giveaway for ten of you lucky people.
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Netflix or Hulu? – The eternal question

When you think about online video streaming services I think the first ones that come to mind are Netflix or Hulu. Rightly so, they are both really good services to use, they have such a wide net of content that it can sometimes daunt. I am going to detail some of the positives and negatives of both of these services as to help you guys choose which one better fits your needs: Netflix or Hulu.
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Living without TV in 2015 – Part 2

Where to find some of the most popular movies and TV shows online

Now I can only really speak for myself when I think about what TV shows and movies are worth my time but I will try and address some of the more popular ones that are spoken about nowadays.
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CactusVPN Giveaway August 2015

Update! August 19, 2015. This giveaway has ended. The winners are announced.

We make our way into August this month, summer is slowly coming to an end. I am sure there are many more hot days to come but at the end of the month we obviously get to September and that’s when we start to cool down again. As always though we have another CactusVPN giveaway for you this month.
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Does the VPN have an image issue in today’s world?

Anybody with any tech sense would tell you using a VPN is pretty much a necessity in our day and age, with the constant snooping that goes on seemingly left, right and centre. You would think with the many revelations of these facts that VPNs would be popular in the mainstream but it isn’t quite there yet, so I am asking does the VPN have an image issue in today’s world.
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Living without TV in 2015 – Part 1

The general concept of life without TV

TV is pretty expensive nowadays, I can only speak from the UK point of view but the American case at the moment seems almost impenetrable, with so many services offering a different amount of content. You most certainly need many different subscriptions to be able to watch all of the most talked about TV programmes. I have since moving to Germany though not really had the option of the TV I am used to. I don’t speak much German yet so usually German TV is useless to me, so I am adjusting to living without TV. With the likes of VPN and Smart DNS there are ways to fix these problems.
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Two brand new websites added to our Smart DNS service

We have once again some more websites for you to unblock with the use of our Smart DNS service, one of them is from the US and the other is from Germany.
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Google fixes WebRTC security leak in Chrome

Google has finally managed to fix WebRTC security leak brought to their attention back earlier this year. The vulnerability essentially made the use of a VPN with Chrome useless as it could reveal a user’s real IP address. Google has managed to release an extension though than thankfully deal with the security hole and plug it.
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How to test if you have a secure VPN provider

It is important to make sure you are 100% sure that your VPN connection is keeping you private and you have a secure VPN provider. You can just presume that once it is connected that is that and you can go off willy-nilly and do whatever it is you please. There are occasions where something may have gone wrong. I have taken sometime to compile a list of some easy things you can do to test certain aspects of your VPN connection.
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Top 5 cult movies to unblock with Smart DNS

I thought it my duty to list the Top 5 cult movies so that they can be enjoyed by all. What is a cult movie, exactly? Well I would describe it as something with a diehard following that was usually largely ignored by the masses (until it gains its cult status that is) and turns out to be revolutionary.
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Another seven unblocked websites added to our Smart DNS service

It wasn’t too long ago I was writing about more additions to our Smart DNS service and we once again are bringing the goods with another seven services now unblocked when you use Smart DNS from CactusVPN.
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