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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 for Windows. 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.

Installation

  1. Download the CactusVPN app from here and open the downloaded file.

  2. Click Next.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 1

  3. Read the License Agreement and click on I Agree.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 2
  4. Click Next.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 3
  5. If the following pop-up window appears, click Install.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 4
  6. Click Install.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 5
  7. When install is complete click Next.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 6
  8. Click Finish.

    How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 7

This will launch the CactusVPN app.

Sign in

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

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

This will happen only once. You can change the default subscription 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

When choosing the VPN server you want to use, you can:

  • Add your preferred VPN servers to favorites. Just click on the star icon at the right of the server.
  • Filter servers by different criteria. Click on Favorites to see all your favorite servers or on P2P to see all the servers that allow P2P activity.
  • Find the fastest servers for you. Click on Sort by speed and the servers will be sorted by the lowest ping to your computer.
How to set up CactusVPN App for Windows: Step 10

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 subscription 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.
  • Encryption Cipher – choose the OpenVPN encryption cipher you want to use.
  • HMAC Authentication – choose the OpenVPN HMAC authentication you want to use.

Hide VPN traffic (Obfuscation) – use Obfsproxy to hide your VPN traffic from ISPs and government surveillance agencies that use DPI. It will wrap all OpenVPN data in an obfuscation layer to stop them from detecting it.

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, Cloudflare, OpenDNS or Google Public DNS servers.

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 check-boxes 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

VPN and Smart DNS Services

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