If you have an interest in web hosting and domain registrars, then Namecheap may be a familiar name to you, as this is where Namecheap has its roots.
While Namecheap hasn’t made too much of a splash in the world of VPNs yet, it still has a pretty large user base. But what is Namecheap?
Its servers are run by a branch of StackPath which is also responsible for other popular VPN services such as Encrypt.me, IPvanish, and StrongVPN. Namecheap is based in the US and has 1,000 servers across 50 locations around the world.
But while StackPath is known for providing excellent VPN services and ensuring your online privacy, we wanted to see if Namecheap VPN would live up to its parent company’s reputation.
Below, we’ll be taking a look at a few key elements that make a VPN great, from how secure it is, how private it is, its performance, and user-friendliness. Let’s get started!
How user-friendly is Namecheap VPN?
You can use Namecheap VPN on all popular platforms such as macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux, and it also supports routers.
Namecheap also has an impressive multi-logins feature, allowing you to connect to a number of devices with just one account. If your router’s firmware supports OpenVPN files, you can also configure Namecheap VPN on your routers via OpenVPN too.
This VPN is easy to download, and once your membership has begun, whether that is by a free trial or by subscribing to a paid plan, you will be prompted to download the version suitable for the device you’re using.
If you’re setting the service up on a router or other device, you will be instructed on how to do this too.
Namecheap VPN is quick and easy to install, with a user interface that is easy to navigate. You can select a wide range of server locations at the click of a button.
There is what’s called a ‘ping time’ next to the name of each server location, which tells you how long it takes to connect to each server. This ‘ping time’ is live and regularly updated, and lets you always connect to the speediest server.
You can also just click ‘Connect VPN’ and Namecheap VPN will automatically connect you to the speediest server available.
Plus, there is a drop-down menu next to each server location. When you click it you will be provided with more options for selecting a city within that country.
For example, if you would like to connect to a server in the US, you can choose from cities such as Boston, Las Vegas, or Seattle.
Namecheap VPN opens at device start-up, and you can even auto-connect to a server as soon as the app is launched, protecting you at all times! You also have an option of which VPN protocol you use, such as IKEv2 or OpenVPN.
How well does Namecheap VPN perform?
While Namecheap VPN has over 1,000 servers in more than 50 locations, this is an average size when compared to some other VPN services. For example, the leaders in the VPN market have about 3,000 to 6,000 servers in over 90 countries.
Namecheap has locations in the EU and US, but Namecheap has the most server locations in Australia, with some servers in Asia such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
If you would like a VPN to protect you whilst doing activities that require a lot of data such as gaming, streaming and transferring data, then you’re sure to be impressed by Namecheap VPN’s speed. What allows Namecheap to be so fast is that it owns its servers and network.
But like most VPNs, there is a higher ping (8ms-13ms), but the speed drop is hardly noticeable (downloads have a speed drop of about 91.2 Mbps to 86.55 Mbps, while uploads have a speed drop of 31.69 Mbps to 29.43 Mbps).
However, speeds will differ depending on what server you’re connected to.
But overall, Namecheap VPN provides great speeds and a good connection consistency. When connected to a server, you’re unlikely to experience dramatic speed drops or be disconnected.
Streaming and torrenting ability
Luckily, Namecheap VPN supports torrenting as well as media streaming. It also gives you access to regional Netflix catalogs, so you can unlock geo-blocked content.
However, Namecheap VPN has the same model as IPvanish and uses their infrastructure, meaning that if Namecheap has trouble unblocking Netflix then there is nothing much that Namecheap VPN can do, as their server network is managed by IPvanish.
This is also why, while Namecheap VPN lets you torrent, it isn’t the best VPN for this particular activity.
How secure is Namecheap VPN?
Encryption and VPN protocols
With Namecheap VPN you can connect to IKEv2 and OpenVPN which are considered two of the most secure connection protocols.
Namecheap VPN has also opted for AES-256 encryption, which is considered a ‘bank-grade’ or ‘military-grade’ cipher. This means your encryption is practically unbreakable to anybody wanting to snoop on your internet traffic and interfere with your connection.
But while Namecheap VPN lets you utilize two of the most secure protocols, this is underwhelming compared to some other rival VPN services that offer more VPN protocols.
But the security level provided by Namecheap is nothing to sniff at. Plus, Namecheap VPN also offers these impressive security features below.
DNS Leak Protection
DNS is also known as Domain Name Systems and is often referred to as the ‘phone book’ of the internet because it reveals personal information when you visit websites. But Namecheap will protect you from any DNS leaks.
If you somehow lose your connection to your VPN, Namecheap shuts down your internet to prevent all incoming and outgoing traffic from being unexposed, making sure no information is left unencrypted.
Namecheap Scramble Option
This option is like a stealth protocol, allowing you to bypass network traffic sensors that have been implemented in multiple countries. This Scramble option can be activated on OpenVPN connections.
This Scramble option is particularly impressive for a budget-friendly option like Namecheap, and comes in extremely handy if you live in a country that has strict anti-VPN policies.
Namecheap VPN is based in California, USA, which is a part of the 5-eyes data-sharing alliance, which does raise concerns about your data being completely safe with this provider.
Plus, the US is at the center of most international surveillance organizations which can legally make companies spy on their customers even if they are a VPN provider, and even if this goes against the company’s terms of service and policies.
Higher-rated and popular VPN services like Express VPN and NordVPN are located in countries that are not under the jurisdiction of data-sharing alliances, and therefore can better protect the privacy of their users.
Unfortunately, there have been instances where VPNs located in the US have been forced to log their users’ activity and give this data to the relevant authorities.
Plus, IPvanish was found to be logging users, although it was advertised as a ‘zero logs’ VPN service. This is concerning as Namecheap VPN is basically a rebranded version of IPvanish.
Namecheap logging policy
The Terms of Service also states that Namecheap doesn’t log any user activity such as DNS lookups, email addresses, or the details of the sites you’ve visited.
But as Namecheap is based in the US and therefore falls under US law, this is somewhat of a red flag.
How good is Namecheap’s VPN customer support?
Namecheap VPN offers customer support options 24/7 such as a live chat function, the option to submit a ticket to speak to a member of their customer support team, and FAQs.
The live chat option is the quickest way for any issues to be resolved, but the Knowledge Base and FAQs also provide good information if you have any queries or concerns rather than an issue that needs to be resolved.
But in order to view your support pin, you will need to set up a Namecheap account and provide your email address as well as your first and last name.
However, you can also use two different email accounts, one to set up your account and one to use the live chat feature, which is very useful, especially as it allows you to contact customer support with any queries before signing up for an account.
Namecheap VPN: The Pros
- Easy to use and install.
- Speedy server network.
- Has unlimited bandwidth.
- Impressive security features.
- Provides a wide range of payment methods.
- Budget-friendly payment plans.
- Has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Namecheap VPN: The Cons
- Data collection policy is unclear.
- VPN is located in the US.
There is a lot to praise about Namecheap VPN. It’s budget friendly, can connect to multiple devices and platforms (as well as routers), and its servers have fast speeds that make it the ideal VPN for streaming or gaming.
It has a couple of impressive features, like a Kill Switch and a Scramble Option which is a godsend for those using a VPN in censorious countries that don’t take kindly to VPN usage.
However, if privacy is of the utmost importance, then the fact that this VPN is based in the US is a reason to be wary.