How to set up CactusVPN Software for Windows

You can install CactusVPN software on Windows Vista or higher. First you have to download it from here.

  1. Install CactusVPN Software

    1. Run “CactusVPN Setup”.

      Important! Some antiviruses might find our software suspicious. This is happening on first days after an update because some antiviruses builds their databases using the number of installs of a specific soft. Let’s say our software is installed on less than 20 computers with a specific antivirus. In this case, this antivirus can mark our software 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!
    2. Click “Next” (1).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 1

    3. Read “License Agreement” and click on “I Agree” (2).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 2

    4. Click “Next” (3).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 3

    5. Click “Install” (4).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 4

    6. If the following pop-up window appears, click “Install” (5).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 5

    7. When install is complete click “Next” (6).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 6

    8. Click “Finish” (7).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 7

    This will launch CactusVPN software. First, you have to choose whether you want to sign in to use our VPN services or our Smart DNS services. To do that, choose between “VPN” (7) and “Smart DNS” (8) tabs.

    If you want to connect to Smart DNS and don’t need VPN, just skip part II and go directly to the part “III. Connect to Smart DNS”.

  2. Connect to VPN

    1. To use our VPN services, choose the “VPN” tab (8), type your CactusVPN package username (10) and password (11) and click “Sign in” (12).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 8

    2. You are now signed in. You can select the country (13), the city (14) and the VPN protocol (15). Click on “Connect” button (16).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 9

      Once you are connected your IP is changed and your connection is encrypted.

      “Sort by speed” feature (17) 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.

      Sometimes, for support purposes we need some information from the log files of the software. The “Save logs” button will save the logs and will open a folder with all CactusVPN log files stored on your computer.

    3. By going to the “Settings” tab (18) you can make the following configurations:

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 10

      Start-up settings:

      • “Run at start-up” – run the CactusVPN software when your Windows starts.
      • “Sign in at app. start” – sign in into your account when CactusVPN software starts.
      • “Start minimized” – start the CactusVPN software minimized.
      • “OpenVPN protocol” – choose the OpenVPN protocol you want to use: TCP or UDP.
      • “OpenVPN port” – choose the OpenVPN port you want to use.
      • “DNS Leak protection” – turn on or off the DNS leak protection (What is DNS leak protection?).

      Connection Settings:

      • “Connect VPN on Sign in” – automatically connect to VPN using the last used city and protocol after signing in.
      • “Minimize on connect” – minimize to tray the CactusVPN software after connecting to VPN.
      • “Reconnect if conn. dropped” – automatically reconnect if connection is dropped.
    4. By going to the “Apps. Killer” tab (19) you can set up which applications will be automatically closed when the VPN connection drops. We recommend adding the P2P/BitTorrent software you use.

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 11

      • Click the “Add app.” button (20). Go to the folder where the application is installed (usually its C:\Program Files\) and choose the application (.exe file) you want to add.
      • Check the checkboxes from the column “Restart on reconnect” (21) to automatically restart the application after VPN reconnects.
      • Click the buttons from the column “Remove” (22) to remove the applications you don’t want any more to be automatically closed when VPN connection drops.
  3. Connect to Smart DNS

    1. To use our Smart DNS services, choose the “Smart DNS” tab (9), type your “Smart DNS key” (10) (To find it, go to our website, sign in to Client Area, click on your package and look for the key in the “Smart DNS Details” box.). Click “Sign in” (11).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 12

    2. Click the “Enable Smart DNS” button (12).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 13

      Before enabling Smart DNS, you can choose:

      • “Websites region” (13) – choose the region that will be used for multi-regional websites.
      • “DNS Server” (14) – choose the one that is closest to you.
    3. By going to the “Settings” tab (15) you can make the following configurations:

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 14

      Startup settings:

      • “Run at start-up” – run the CactusVPN software when your Windows starts.
      • “Sign in at app. start” – sign in into your account when CactusVPN software starts.
      • “Start minimized” – start the CactusVPN software minimized.

      Connection settings:

      • “Enable Smart DNS on Sign in” – automatically enable Smart DNS after signing in.
      • “Minimize on Smart DNS enable” – minimize to tray the CactusVPN software after enabling Smart DNS.
      • “Update IP every” – set up how often your IP will be automatically updated. That’s useful when you ISP often changes your IP address.

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