What is VPN?

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technology that hides your IP address and encrypts all the incoming and outgoing data while you use the Internet. This way you gain anonymity and remain safe as no one can see what are you doing whilst you are surfing the Internet.

From your perspective, being one of numerous CactusVPN clients, VPN is the technology that allows you to connect to our servers in Europe, America, Asia or Australia, and get the possibility to use remote network resources as though you are there. Simply install CactusVPN Software, enter your username and password and click the connect button!

How does VPN work?

As soon as you connect to our VPN server your computer is assigned with a new IP address and new DNS resolvers. Then all of your Internet traffic is encrypted and tunnelled to our VPN server. Once there, it is decrypted and allowed to travel to its intended destination. Your local ISP will only see a single encrypted data stream between you and our VPN server. Your ISP can no longer monitor, log or control your Internet usage and you can bypass your ISP restrictions.

How is my privacy maintained?

When you connect to CactusVPN we create a “Tunnel”. All data in this “Tunnel” is encrypted so that only you and CactusVPN know the contents of what is being sent. The data is encrypted to 128 Bits. This is an excellent level of security which also maintains good levels of performance, even on older computers or lower power devices such as Phones and Netbooks.

What VPN protocol should I use?

All VPN protocols have pretty much the same function: they encrypt all your traffic and hide you behind our servers. However, depending on your purposes some protocols are better than others. Here you will find a brief comparison of main properties of VPN protocols:

ProtocolSpeedEncryption & Secure browsingStabilityMedia streamingTorrent downloadingAvailable in CactusVPN appsCompatible with
PPTPFastPoorMediumGoodGoodWindowsMost OS and devices
L2TP/IPSecFastMediumGoodGoodGoodWindows and macOSMost OS and devices
IKEv2/IPSecFastGoodGoodGoodGoodiOSMost OS and devices
OpenVPN TCPMediumGoodGoodMediumGoodWindows, macOS and AndroidMost OS and devices
OpenVPN UDPFastGoodMediumGoodGoodWindows, macOS and AndroidMost OS and devices
SSTPMediumGoodMediumMediumGoodWindowsWindows
SoftEtherFastGoodGoodGoodGoodNoWindows

Also, take in consideration that not all protocols work for all users. This might be influenced by your ISP and other factors. If a protocol does not meet your needs, you should try other protocols.

How many devices can I connect to your VPN servers?

CactusVPN accounts are not linked with a particular device, so you can use it on multiple devices (your home computer, laptop, office computer, tablet, phone etc.), but there is a restriction on using it simultaneously on up to 5 devices in the same time. Let’s say you have “VPN + Smart DNS” package. In this case you can connect your desktop to Amsterdam server to download torrents, your tablet to London server to watch UK media content and your phone to US server to listen to local radio.

Do you offer dedicated IP address?

No. You will get static shared IP address. This way all your traffic is mixed with the traffic of all other users of our VPN so there is no way to find out what is your traffic.

Does your Free Trial VPN package have any limitations?

Our free trial VPN package is exactly like our biggest package – VPN + Smart DNS. You will have access to ALL VPN servers using all protocols: SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, SoftEther and PPTP. Also you will have access to Smart DNS and our Proxy. We do not limit in any way your bandwidth or used traffic. With the Free trial VPN offering you have access to our highly professional support team. We do not show any ads or any other kind of unwanted information. The ONLY difference between the Free Trial VPN and Premium VPN packages is that it’s active for 24 hours from the account sign up as it is for trial purposes only.

Does CactusVPN offer port forwarding?

No, we don't offer port forwarding.

What encryption types you use?

We use:

  • AES-128 for OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec and SoftEther VPN protocols.
  • 128 bit MPPE for PPTP VPN protocol.

Contrary to common beliefs, the AES-128 encryption is not necessarily weaker than the AES-256. The AES-128 is very strong and it cannot be cracked through full-scale search on the key. Although you may be entitled to think that longer keys offer more security benefits, the truth is that an algorithm can’t be "less broken" than "not broken". So there is no additional benefit for security from cranking up the key size to 256 bits.

There is also a practical disadvantage as the AES-256 will use up to 40% more CPU in comparison to AES-128. This is a very important aspect for a server with very fast network connectivity or one that has a weaker CPU.

Do you offer residential IPs?

No, we do not offer residential IP addresses.

Do you have DNS Leak protection?

Yes, our Windows and macOS apps have a built in DNS leak protection feature that uses Public Google DNS. For our Android app we use the OpenVPN protocol that also is using the Public Google DNS by default so you will be protected from DNS leaks. If you are setting up the VPN connections manually, you can also set up by yourself the connections to use the Public Google DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4).

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