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CactusVPN Not Working? Try These Quick Fixes

Have you found CactusVPN not working for you? It might be upsetting to encounter problems with your VPN, but worrying will not solve anything.

The good news is that most issues with CactusVPN result from a misconfiguration, so tinkering around with settings will probably suffice in fixing the problem.

What’s more, CactusVPN has one of the best customer support departments I’ve seen in the whole industry. Even their support pages are super-informative. In fact, this guide borrows heavily from CactusVPN’s own support pages, but I will only mention the more common issues and fixes for CactusVPN rather than a full detailed treatment that the provider has commendably done on their website.

If you have already tried some of these common troubleshooting tips to no avail, then you may consider getting a different VPN service. ExpressVPN is an excellent and affordable alternative option to CactusVPN.

Unable to Connect to CactusVPN

Users facing connectivity issues with CactusVPN should first try the following tips:

1. Check Internet access

To start with, you need to make sure that your Internet isn’t causing the problem in the first place. A VPN needs a functioning Internet connection. So, if you don’t have access to the Internet, CactusVPN won’t work either.

You can check your connectivity to the Internet by shutting down CactusVPN and browsing any web page. If you are able to access the page, this means that your Internet is working fine and the problem lies with CactusVPN. In this case, move onto the other tips below.

However, if you’re not able to use the Internet even with Cactus or any other VPN switched off, then you will need to restore access to the Internet. Try restarting your modems and routers to fix the problem. Failing that, call your ISP so they can resolve the issue for you.

2. Change VPN server

Any  VPN service can go offline for maintenance purposes and become unavailable for a while. Or you could be trying to connect to a server location that’s too far from you to be able to ping in a reasonable amount of time.

CactusVPN has a small server network as compared to some of the bigger brands like NordVPN, but it still offers enough variety. Therefore, we highly recommend reading our blog to learn more about these best VPNs.

CactusVPN server list

Connect to a server that’s physically close to you and try multiple different servers. If none of these seem to be working, then the problem isn’t related to servers and you need to try some other tip.

3. Change protocols

CactusVPN offers multiple VPN protocols for connecting to the web. Some of these are more resource-intensive or they may even be blocked by some ISPs in certain countries due to government regulation.

Changing the protocol from default to other options like IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP may enable you to connect to the Internet. It can help to try these different protocols until you find one that works.

For OpenVPN, you can use to connect through UDP or TCP protocols. CactusVPN offers both options. Generally, UDP is faster and may work better if you’re having problems while connected through OpenVPN TCP.

cactusvpn protocols

You can also choose between different OpenVPN ports through CactusVPN’s settings. Some ports such as 443 are blocked in some countries. It is definitely worth trying other ports to see if a different setting works better for you.

4. Resolve software conflicts

Any firewalls, anti-virus or antimalware software you might have can interfere with the CactusVPN connection. To make sure if such software conflicts are indeed taking place, you can temporarily disable all security software and then try using CactusVPN.

If you notice a difference in performance and connectivity, then there’s a good chance that software conflicts are taking place with your firewall/anti-virus.

But it is very risky to disable your anti-virus software. The best way of dealing with these conflicts is to add CactusVPN in the list of exceptions of your firewall/anti-virus so you can use the VPN along with this security software for maximum protection.

5. Choose a Different DNS

VPN connectivity issues can also arise due to problems in DNS servers that the VPN provider may be using. CactusVPN makes it very easy to change the DNS server through its apps.

You can choose between CactusVPN DNS, Google Public DNS, and OpenDNS.

cactusVPN smart DNS

If the problem is indeed related to the DNS server, then one of these servers will definitely help resolve the problem. Try connecting to these servers one by one, each time checking to see if the issue is resolved.

6. Update the App

If your CactusVPN app is outdated, it can also give you a lot of trouble with connectivity. Make sure there aren’t any message pop-ups announcing a new version of the app that you need to download. If you see any hints that an update is available, then make sure you go along with it and download it.

7. CactusVPN not working with Netflix

CactusVPN supports several Netflix libraries. However, you won’t be able to unblock any Netflix regions with the VPN mode of CactusVPN. Instead, you must count on the Smart DNS service.

With Smart DNS, you can unblock Netflix US quite easily using CactusVPN by selecting the US as “Website region” in the Smart DNS settings.

So, if you’re unable to access Netflix with CactusVPN, it is probably because you’re trying to access through the VPN rather than the Smart DNS mode.

CactusVPN Alternatives

Tried all the tips above and still no luck fixing CactusVPN? Perhaps the time has come to cancel CactusVPN and try a different service altogether. For instance, here’s how CactusVPN compares to ExpressVPN, a highly affordable VPN with premium features:

Price $6.67/mo (Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan)$66.49 (2-year subscription)
Servers3,000+ in 94 countries35 in 22 countries
Customer Support24/7 live chat & email support24/7 live chat & email
JurisdictionThe British Virgin IslandsMoldova
Logging PolicyZero logsZero logs
Netflix supportStrongStrong
CompatibilityAll devicesWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Trustpilot Score4.7/54.2/5
WebsiteExpressVPN CactusVPN


CactusVPN can be configured to run on different settings with multiple options for protocols, DNS servers, etc. In most cases, users can find at least one setting that works like a charm for them. And if that seems too daunting, you can always count on CactusVPN’s outstanding customer support team

Make sure to try all the tips above as you should be able to fix the issue yourself with these.

For more information about this VPN, see this CactusVPN review.

'Rachelle J. Alley

Rachelle J. Alley

Posts by Rachelle J. Alley

Rachelle J. Alley's Biography :

Tech enthusiast by day, movie fanatic by night. Rachelle spends her week consuming numerous cups of coffee and typing her way into online privacy and security. Weekends, in her life, call for binge-reading her favorite books and multiple naps.

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