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 know the contents of what is being sent. The data is encrypted to 256 Bits. This is an excellent level of security.

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:

VPN Protocol Connection Speed Level of Encryption Connection Stability Media Streaming Torrent Downloading Compatible With Available in CactusVPN App
OpenVPN TCP Medium Very Good Stable Medium Good Most OSs and devices On Windows, Android, and Fire TV
OpenVPN UDP Fast Very Good Medium Good Good Most OSs and devices On Windows, Android, and Fire TV
Wireguard Fast Very Good Very Stable Good Good Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Linux On Windows, macOS, Android, Fire TV, and iOS
IKEv2/IPSec Very Fast Good Very Stable Good Good Most OSs and devices On Windows, macOS, and iOS
IPSec Medium Good Stable Good Good Most OSs and devices No
SSTP Fast Good Very Stable Medium Good Windows, Ubuntu, Android, and routers On Windows
SoftEther Very Fast Very Good Very Stable Good Good Most OSs and devices No
L2TP/IPSec Medium Medium Stable Good Medium Most OSs and devices On Windows
PPTP Very Fast Poor Very Stable Good Poor Most OSs and devices On Windows

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.). 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 addresses?

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 have any limitations?

Our free trial is exactly like our paid plans. You will have access to all VPN servers using all protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, SoftEther, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP.

Also you will have access to Smart DNS and Proxy servers.

We do not limit in any way your bandwidth or used traffic. With the free trial 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 and paid plans is that it’s active for 3 days 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 do you use?

For SSL ciphers we have our VPN servers set to AES-256-CBC, using 256-bit message hash 'SHA256' for HMAC authentication and 2048 bit RSA handshake and Elliptic-curve Diffie–Hellman (ECHDE) key agreement protocol.

The encryption algorithm name chosen for OpenVPN, SSTP and SoftEther protocols is ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384. In other words, the maximum encryption you can get via our VPN servers is: AES-256-CBC, using 384 bit message hash 'SHA384' for HMAC authentication and 2048 bit RSA handshake.

  • For L2TP/IPsec we have set up two profiles: AES128-SHA1 and AES256-SHA1. Depending on your OS version you will get automatically AES128 or the AES256 encryption.
  • For SSTP and SofetEther we use Elliptic-curve Diffie–Hellman (ECHDE) key agreement protocol for key exchange, AES 128 GCM cipher and 2048 RSA handshake (ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256).
  • IKEv2 is set up with 256 bits NIST Elliptic Curve for key exchange, 128 bit AES, using 256 bit message hash 'SHA256' for HMAC authentication, with 2048 bit RSA handshake.
  • The OpenVPN protocol is configured with a minimum AES 128 CBC, using 160 bit message hash 'SHA1' for HMAC authentication with 2048 bit RSA handshake.

    All supported algorithms on OpenVPN are as follows:


    Auth: SHA1 SHA256 SHA384 SHA512 MD5 MD4

  • For PPTP VPN protocol we use 128 bit MPPE.

By the way! 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. For our Android app we use the OpenVPN protocol that 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 ( and

How to uninstall CactusVPN connections?

If you've connected manually just go to the network settings and delete the CactusVPN connection.

If you've installed our CactusVPN app just uninstall it.

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