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Setup Tutorials

How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows

In this tutorial we will show you how to install and use the CactusVPN app v6 for Windows (for v5, follow this tutorial). Also you will learn how to connect to VPN and Smart DNS using our app, how to set up the app for the best performance and how to use the Apps Killer feature.

First let’s see what are our requirements:

Requirements

In order to use the CactusVPN app you will need:

  1. A CactusVPN account. If you don’t have one you can try our services for free.
  2. Your CactusVPN account email address and password to sign in to the app. If you forgot your password, you can reset it here.
  3. Windows Vista or higher.

Instalation

  1. Download the app from here.
  2. Open the downloaded file.

    Some antiviruses might find our app suspicious. Don’t worry! This is happening on first days after an update because some antiviruses build their databases based on the number of installs of a specific app. Let’s say our app is installed on less than 20 computers with a specific antivirus. In this case, this antivirus can mark our app as suspicious. It will be marked back as trusted when it will be installed on more computers. So, don’t worry! Your PC is in safety!

  3. Click “Next”.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 1

  4. Read “License Agreement” and click on “I Agree”.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 2

  5. Click “Next”.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 3

  6. If the following pop-up window appears, click “Install”.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 4

  7. Click “Install”.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 5

  8. When install is complete click “Next”.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 6

  9. Click “Finish”.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 7

This will launch the CactusVPN app.

Sign in

  1. Type your CactusVPN account email address (1) and password (2).

    If you forgot your password, you can reset it here.

    Click “Sign in” (3).

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 8

  2. If you have more than one active CactusVPN subscriptions, you will be asked to choose the service you want to use by default. Select the service (4) and click on “Continue” (5).

    This will happen only once. You can change the default service anytime from the app Settings.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 9

Connect to VPN

To connect to VPN, make sure the “VPN Service” tab (6) is selected.

Select the VPN server location (7) you want to connect to then click on “Connect” button (8).

How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 10

“Sort by speed” feature (9) will allow you to find the fastest servers for you. After pressing this button, the servers will be sorted by the lowest ping to your computer.

Connect to Smart DNS

To connect to Smart DNS, make sure the “Smart DNS” tab (10) is selected.

Click the “Enable Smart DNS” button (11).

How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 11

Settings

By going to the “Settings” tab you can make the following configurations:

CactusVPN Account

Default Service – You will see this option only if you have more than one active CactusVPN subscriptions. Here you can choose the service you want to use by default.

How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 12

VPN

VPN Protocol – choose the VPN protocol your want to use. (What protocol should I use?)

If OpenVPN is selected, you’ll be able to choose:

  • OpenVPN protocol – choose the OpenVPN protocol you want to use: TCP or UDP.
  • OpenVPN port – choose the OpenVPN port you want to use.

Reconnect if VPN connection is dropped – automatically reconnect if connection is dropped.

Group servers by country when sorting by speed – when you sort VPN servers by speed, they will be grouped by country.

Stop internet traffic if VPN connection is dropped – This is the “Internet Kill Switch”. If the VPN connection drops, our app will disable your internet connection. To enable your internet connection back just connect to VPN, disable the Kill Switch or close the CactusVPN app.

DNS leak protection – turn on or off the DNS leak protection (What is DNS leak protection?).

If DNS leak protection is turned on, you’ll be able to choose which DNS servers you want to use: CactusVPN, OpenDNS or Google Public DNS servers.

How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 13

Smart DNS

Update IP address every – set up how often your IP will be automatically updated. That’s useful when you ISP often changes your IP address.

Websites region – choose the region that will be used for multi-regional websites.

DNS Server – choose the one that is closest to you.

How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 14

General

Run app. at Windows start-up – run the CactusVPN app when your Windows starts.

Sign in at app. start – sign in into your account when CactusVPN app starts.

Start app. minimized – start the CactusVPN app minimized.

Connect VPN on sign in – automatically connect to VPN using the last used city and protocol after signing in.

Enable Smart DNS on sign in – automatically enable Smart DNS after signing in.

Minimize app. on VPN conn. / Smart DNS enable – minimize to tray the CactusVPN app after connecting to VPN or enabling Smart DNS.

How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 15

Apps. Killer

By going to the “Apps. Killer” tab you can set up which applications will be automatically closed when the VPN connection drops. We recommend adding the P2P/BitTorrent app you use.

  1. Click the “Add app.” button (12). Go to the folder where the application is installed (usually its C:\Program Files\) and choose the application (.exe file) you want to add.
  2. Tick the checkboxes from the column “Restart on reconnect” (13) to automatically restart the application after VPN reconnects.
  3. Click the buttons from the column “Remove” (14) to remove the applications you don’t want any more to be automatically closed when VPN connection drops.

How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 16

Support

Sometimes, for support purposes we need some information from the log files of the app. To save logs, click the “Support” (15) icon and click the “Save logs” button (16). It will save the logs and will open a folder with all CactusVPN log files stored on your computer.

How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 17

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