How to set up CactusVPN Software for Windows

You can install CactusVPN software on Windows Vista or higher.

  1. Install CactusVPN Software

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

      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!
    3. Click “Next” (1).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 1

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

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 2

    5. Click “Next” (3).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 3

    6. If the following pop-up window appears, click “Install” (4).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 4

    7. Click “Install” (5).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 5

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

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 6

    9. 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 VPN package username (10) and password (11). You can find them in the client area on our website, by going to your package. Make sure you use your VPN username and password and NOT the client area credentials (What is the difference?).

      Click “Sign in” (12).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 8

    2. You are now signed in. You can select the VPN server location (13) you want to connect to then click on “Connect” button (14).

      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 (15) 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.

    3. By going to the “Settings” tab (16) you can make the following configurations:

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 10

      • “VPN Protocol” – choose the VPN protocol your want to use. (What protocol should I use?)
      • “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 app. minimized” – start the CactusVPN software minimized.
      • “Connect VPN on sign in” – automatically connect to VPN using the last used city and protocol after signing in.
      • “Minimize app on VPN connect” – minimize to tray the CactusVPN software after connecting to VPN.
      • “Reconnect if VPN connection is dropped” – automatically reconnect if connection is dropped.
      • “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?).
      • “Group servers by country when sorting by speed” – when you sort VPN servers by speed, they will be grouped by country.
      • “OpenVPN protocol” – choose the OpenVPN protocol you want to use: TCP or UDP.
      • “OpenVPN port” – choose the OpenVPN port you want to use.
    4. By going to the “Apps. Killer” tab (18) 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 (19). 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” (20) to automatically restart the application after VPN reconnects.
      • Click the buttons from the column “Remove” (21) to remove the applications you don’t want any more to be automatically closed when VPN connection drops.
    5. Sometimes, for support purposes we need some information from the log files of the software. To save logs, go to the “Support” tab (22) and click the “Save logs” button (23). It will save the logs and will open a folder with all CactusVPN log files stored on your computer.

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 12

  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, sign in to the client area on our webiste, by going to your package.

      Click “Sign in” (11).

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 13

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

      CactusVPN VPN Software for Windows Setup: Step 14

      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 15

      • “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 app. minimized” – start the CactusVPN software minimized.
      • “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 address 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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