Namecheap VPN (2021) – Cheap VPN to unblock Netflix
You might have heard of Namecheap as a web host and domain registrar, but since late 2018 it also offers an affordable VPN service. Although still quite new to the market, Namecheap VPN has been gaining in popularity. We were curious to try it ourselves and tested the security, speed, and other features it offers. This review will look at each aspect in detail to help you decide whether Namecheap VPN is worth buying and why or why not.
Namecheap VPN Short Review
- Decent speeds
- Incredibly affordable
- Server network in 50+ locations
- Unblocks Netflix and Disney+
- Easy to set up and use
- Connect unlimited devices including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 24/7 customer support
- Unclear privacy and logging policies
- The iOS and Android apps need improvements
- Doesn’t unblock Amazon Prime Video or BBC iPlayer
However, Namecheap’s main attraction is its affordability and a decent set of features that are adequate for most users’ needs. It works to bypass region restrictions to watch American Netflix and Disney+, but fails for Amazon Prime Video and the United Kingdom’s BBC iPlayer. Moreover, you can connect unlimited devices using the same account, and it’s available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. You can also use Namecheap on a VPN router.
Keep reading below for our full review of Namecheap VPN. Please note that this article was written after testing the macOS app for Namecheap VPN. The experience on Windows will vary slightly. We won’t be considering the mobile apps in this review because they aren’t as well-developed as the desktop ones.
- Torrenting allowed
- Works with Netflix
- Credit card
Speed – How Fast is Namecheap VPN?
Using a VPN can reduce the speed of your internet connection. This can cause a delay when streaming, downloading, or gaming. We extensively tested Namecheap VPN and found that it lowers speed but is still adequate for daily use such as browsing or streaming. However, it did not work well for online gaming. Therefore, our two key conclusions are:
- Namecheap VPN slows down internet speed by about 40 percent.
- The speeds are acceptable for regular browsing or streaming videos but cause lag when gaming.
Speed test results Namecheap VPN
After connecting to the VPN, both our download and upload speeds were reduced by an average of 40 percent, regardless of which server we connected to.
We worked out the speed averages by testing over three days at random times in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Here are the speed test results:
|Server||Download (MBPS)||% Download||Upload (MBPS)||% Upload||Ping (MS)|
|The United States||62.70||64.7%||40.50||45.8||150|
|The United Kingdom||53.78||55.5%||56.84||64.3%||186|
These are some pretty dramatic reductions in speed along with increased ping. But more than the numbers, what matters is the actual performance of the VPN, which is explained below.
Speed during daily use
We tried out Namecheap VPN for a couple of weeks, using its different servers and doing all the usual stuff we do every day, from browsing and streaming videos to online gaming, downloading files, and even torrents.
The VPN did not interfere with our browsing experience on varied websites and apps. There was no unusual lag, and we could stream videos on YouTube and Netflix as usual. However, sometimes, depending on the server being used, Netflix was a bit slow to load up. Even so, this wasn’t a deal-breaker because we did not experience any lags or interruptions while a show or movie was playing.
Furthermore, although we could successfully download torrents with Namecheap VPN, the download speeds were quite slow. So it’s not the best option if you want to go down this route.
As for gaming, we found that Namecheap VPN causes lag when gaming and sometimes even disconnects, which is quite disappointing.
Overall, Namecheap VPN offers average speeds that will be adequate for generic needs, but only if you’re not a heavy gamer and don’t download torrents often.
Safety – How Secure is Namecheap VPN?
A VPN is useful to browse the net securely and prevent third parties from getting hold of your data. It encrypts your traffic to anonymize your actions, and Namecheap scores relatively well in this area, but there are some caveats. After a thorough look at what it offers, we can conclude that Namecheap VPN is not the most secure VPN. Important points to note are:
- Namecheap VPN uses AES-256 encryption and has an automatic kill switch on its Windows app.
- It has an unclear policy about data logs.
- It uses third parties to track your browsing and personalize your experience.
Namecheap supports OpenVPN and IKEv2, which are the most secure connection protocols. However, note that the OpenVPN protocol is not built into macOS, so you can only use the IKEv2 protocol on your Mac.
Namecheap VPN also uses AES-256 encryption, which is the same standard used by banks and the military. This wards off third parties interfering with your data and traffic while you’re connected to the VPN. In terms of protecting your data from outsiders on the internet, Namecheap seems to do a good job. Things change, however, when you look at how they handle your data themselves.
Log policy and privacy
Namecheap has a somewhat contradictory approach to privacy. Here’s what we found in its terms of service:
“Because the Internet is an inherently open and insecure means of communication, any data or information a user transmits over the Internet may be susceptible to interception and alteration. You should not have an expectation of privacy in any content, including accounts of files transmitted through these VPN services.”
Moreover, your non-personally identifiable information may be shared by Namecheap with advertisers and business partners. This is certainly concerning and not desirable in a VPN service.
Additionally, in the Namecheap VPN macOS app settings, there’s an option to allow the company to track your usage. Although they claim to only use this information for troubleshooting, it seems uncanny for a VPN provider to want to track your usage.
A kill switch automatically blocks all incoming and outgoing internet traffic if your VPN connection stops working. This ensures that your privacy remains protected and your IP address stays hidden when the VPN server disconnects. That is, no data will leave your device unencrypted.
Namecheap VPN’s kill switch is pretty reliable and terminates your connection the moment your VPN becomes compromised. However, the kill switch is only available on the Windows app and not on macOS.
The macOS app does have a different feature called “Always On” that automatically reestablishes a secure VPN connection to keep you safe when browsing. However, this is not foolproof like a kill switch, and your IP could be leaked when a secure connection to a VPN server is lost. This definitely brings down the security of Namecheap VPN on macOS.
What information does Namecheap VPN need?
To set up Namecheap VPN, you need to provide your name and email address. You can set a username and password and choose whether you want to receive newsletters and marketing communication. You can easily use a fake name and generic email ID to set this up so you can stay anonymous. Moreover, Namecheap accepts Bitcoin payments, so you can pay anonymously without revealing your credit card or banking details. However, keep in mind that this won’t keep Namecheap from collecting information about your IP and browsing habits.
Usability – How User-Friendly is Namecheap VPN?
We appreciate how simple and straightforward it is to set up Namecheap VPN. The macOS app was a breeze to install and use, thanks to the intuitive user interface. We’ll discuss different aspects involved below, but some main takeaways are:
- Namecheap VPN is easy to download, set up, and use.
- It can be used on unlimited devices across Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and VPN routers.
- It offers three plans that seem affordable, but come with some fine print.
- Customer service is responsive, but a bit slow.
Namecheap VPN website
When you land on the Namecheap VPN website, you can immediately see the features and payment plan options. It’s clean and elegantly designed to ensure that the most relevant information is quickly accessible. There’s also a video showcasing the VPN functionality, but that could be more effective if it included some audio explanation.
The homepage also includes a handy price comparison chart, pitting Namecheap against popular options like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost. The website shows a localized version, according to the region you’re accessing it from, to show you prices in your currency. Alternatively, you can choose from a few major currencies using an option in the top right corner of the page. Unfortunately, there is no way to view the website in other languages.
Installing Namecheap VPN
The setup process is easy to follow, even for those who may not be technically inclined. It will vary slightly depending on whether you’re installing the Windows or Mac app.
- Go to the Namecheap VPN website.
- Pick a plan that appeals to you and click on the “Start my Plan” button. Note the full pricing details mentioned in light grey text under the button.
- Now you will see a sign-in page. Click on “Sign Up” at the bottom.
- Enter the details and click “Sign Up” to create your account.
- Now you will see the purchase confirmation page. Enter your payment information and click “Confirm Payment.” You can choose to pay by credit card or PayPal.
- Once your payment is successful, you will see the confirmation page. Click on the system you want to download the VPN on.
- Install it just like any other app and sign in with your username and password to start using Namecheap VPN.
Namecheap VPN’s appearance and ease of use
After downloading and installing the app, you can open it to see its straightforward and self-explanatory interface. Here’s how to use it on macOS, although the process on Windows will be quite similar.
- On macOS, you can access the app from the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click on the icon and then click “Connect VPN” to connect to the best available VPN server near you.
- To choose a specific server, expand the app by clicking the arrow in the top left corner of the interface.
- Pick the server of your choice. You can use the drop-down arrow next to a country to see all available servers.
- To disconnect, click the Namecheap VPN icon in the menu and click “Disconnect.”
You can click on “Settings” to find and manage more options like the kill switch and connection protocols.
Pricing and methods of payment
The best thing about Namecheap VPN is its affordability. It has three pricing plans that all offer the same set of security features. However, the price tiers are quite strange compared to other VPNs, with the monthly cost becoming more expensive the longer a subscription you choose. Here’s the pricing overview:
- The cheapest option is the 1-year plan for $1.00 a month. You have to pay $12.00 upfront, and after your first year, the plan will renew at $34.56 a year.
- The second option is the 3-year plan for $1.88 a month. You have to pay $67.88 upfront. This is the best option if you want a long-term commitment to Namecheap VPN. This price is also cheaper when compared to paying $12.00 a year plus $34.56 for the following two years, which would amount to a total of $81.12
- Lastly, there’s a monthly plan in which you get the first month absolutely free but then pay $5.88 a month. This is quite expensive compared to the other two options, but you have the benefit of a free month.
The best option would be to first try it one month for free and then decide if you want to get a year-long or three-year plan. Namecheap VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the service.
Namecheap VPN and Linux
A notable aspect of Namecheap VPN that it’s available for Linux Ubuntu and Debian. The price is the same as the regular pricing listed above, and the website details how to download and install the software.
If you face any problems when using Namecheap VPN, customer support can help you out. There’s a handy customer support option within the app that will lead you to a page where you can submit a ticket, leave feedback, or start a live chat for immediate assistance.
The live chat is conveniently available 24/7. Moreover, it connects you with a human rather than a chatbot to make sure your issue is understood and resolved efficiently. You need to log in with your username and password to live chat with customer support.
When we tried contacting customer support, the experience was pretty smooth. The live chat was helpful and responsive, albeit a bit slow to reply. The live chat provides the quickest way to resolve any issues. but you can also choose to submit a ticket. We tried this and heard back from the customer support team within several hours, which was convenient enough.
Server Network Namecheap VPN
Namecheap VPN has a moderately-sized network with servers in over 50 countries. This is adequate for the average user’s needs. You can choose to connect to a specific server or automatically select the best possible one. To connect to a server, just double-click it, and a secure connection will be established. Some key points to note:
- Namecheap VPN has over 1000 servers in 50 countries.
- Namecheap does not offer dedicated IPs.
- Most servers offer average speeds.
Number of servers and locations
The Namecheap VPN website states that it has 1,000+ servers in 50+ locations. Here is a list of the servers we could access when testing the service on macOS:
- Africa: Nigeria, South Africa.
- Asia: India, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates.
- Europe: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
- North America: Canada, Mexico, United States.
- Oceania: Australia, New Zealand.
- South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Peru.
Dedicated IP address
When you connect to a Namecheap VPN server, it assigns you a random IP address, masking your location and keeping your real address hidden. However, it does not offer a dedicated IP that is unique to you. Given the low price point, the lack of this extra option isn’t surprising.
Namecheap VPN’s Options
Namecheap VPN is an affordable option to watch American Netflix or Disney Plus anywhere. This is its standout capability. Unfortunately, it can’t do much else: we couldn’t use it to access geo-restricted content on Amazon Prime Video or BBC iPlayer. So, to conclude:
- You can watch Netflix and Disney+ with Namecheap VPN.
- You can’t watch other streaming services like Amazon Prime or BBC iPlayer.
- Torrent downloads are allowed, but slow.
Namecheap VPN and Netflix
Netflix is still the most popular streaming service around, and Namecheap VPN works like a charm to unblock it. We used it to access American Netflix and enjoyed smooth streaming and high-quality video. This is great, because Netflix can often detect VPNs and give error messages.
Since we did not encounter such interruptions, we’re happy to conclude that Namecheap VPN is a convenient and incredibly affordable option to bypass region restrictions on Netflix and enjoy anonymity and security.
Namecheap VPN and other streaming services
You can use Namecheap VPN to bypass geo-restrictions on another major streaming platform: Disney+. We were able to access and stream the American Disney+ without any issues.
Unfortunately, Namecheap VPN does not work to unblock Amazon Prime Video or BBC iPlayer, which is popular in the United Kingdom. The BBC iPlayer website detected that we were using a VPN and showed errors when we attempted to watch content.
Namecheap VPN and torrents
Conclusions – Our Experience with Namecheap VPN
To sum up, Namecheap VPN is a viable cheap VPN that allows you to watch Netflix and Disney Plus in several regions. It isn’t the fastest VPN around, but it can stream content without any major issues. Furthermore, it has advanced features like a kill switch, but this is only available on Windows and not on macOS.
On the downside, Namecheap VPN doesn’t work with all streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer, and is not useful for torrenting or gaming because of the slow speeds.
We have all the answers you need about Namecheap VPN. Here are some of the most common questions we hear about this provider. In case we haven’t covered your query, feel free to let us know in the comments below so we can get back to you.
No, Namecheap VPN is not a free VPN, but you can get one month free if you opt for their monthly plan. After your free month, this will cost $5.88 from the following month onwards. A better option is to go for the year-long or three-year plans, which cost $1.00 and $1.88 per month respectively. However, do note that you have to pay upfront for the entire subscription period to avail this cheap price.
Yes, Namecheap VPN can unblock region-restricted content on Netflix so you can stream shows and movies of your choice while protecting your privacy.
Namecheap VPN is mostly safe thanks to its strong levels of data encryption. However, Namecheap VPN logs a significant amount of user data for different purposes, including your IP address and data used for creating a personalized experience. Aside from that, the company is based in the United States which is part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. This means the VPN is subject to hand over user data to government authorities if asked to. In short: Namecheap VPN cannot guarantee a safe and anonymous internet experience.
It’s very easy to download Namecheap VPN. Just visit the website, select a plan, create an account, and complete your payment. Then, download the app on your devices and sign in to start using this affordable, efficient VPN service.
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