Previously known as NameCheapVPN, FastVPN is the domain name registrar’s first foray into the VPN market.
Since I’ve never had problems with other Namecheap products and services, I decided to take FastVPN for a test run.
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Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
- Great unblocking capabilities. FastVPN unblocked a handful of streaming platforms, including Netflix. See what else you can watch with it.
- Fast speed on local servers. I had a small drop in speed on local servers but huge drops when I connected to the US. Check out my speed test results to see if it will slow you down.
- Decent server network. FastVPN has 1,000 servers, distributed worldwide in over 50 countries. In my tests, all servers were stable and reliable.
- Basic security features. The VPN uses industry-standard encryption and solid protocols. See how FastVPN keeps you safe online.
- Vague no-log policy. While it claims to be a no-logs service, my tests suggest otherwise. Plus, the VPN is headquartered in the US (under 5/9/14 Eyes jurisdiction). Learn more about how it manages your personal data.
- Very good compatibility. The VPN has native apps for Windows, Android, macOS, iPhone, Linux and can be manually set up on many other devices. See if it’s compatible with your device.
- 30-day money-back guarantee. You can subscribe right away or get a free month. And if you are not happy within 30 days, you can ask for a refund.
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Based in country
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Streaming — Great Performance
FastVPN unblocked most of the platforms I tested.
The VPN helped me access various Netflix libraries, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and more. However, my speed took a big hit on its faraway server — I couldn’t watch in 4k, and if my connection was any slower, I probably wouldn’t be able to stream at all.
Sadly, I couldn’t access Hulu and Disney+ as they wouldn’t load at all.
Unblocks: Netflix US, UK, France, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Peacock TV, fuboTV, BBC iPlayer, iTV Hub, and YouTube
Using the US servers, I unblocked Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock TV, and fuboTV. It gave me a great HD picture quality with no interruptions such as annoying lag or buffering.
But not all the US servers had the same unblocking capabilities. In my tests, only the Boston, Dallas, and Phoenix servers allowed me to access Netflix.
I could watch Netflix US, but my speed wasn’t fast enough for ultra-HD
I managed to watch HBO Max with the Atlanta server, but other US locations I tested couldn’t get past its geoblocks. However, I could stream Peacock TV and fuboTV with all the US servers I tried.
I could enjoy HBO Max with FastVPN’s US server
I had a similar experience with the UK servers. I could only stream Netflix with the London server, while BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub worked with all its UK locations.
All of the UK servers I tested worked with iPlayer
I could also access Netflix France, Spain, and Canada.
YouTube TV worked flawlessly. I could access country-specific content with all the servers I tried.
Blocked By: Hulu and Disney+
FastVPN couldn’t unblock Hulu and Disney+.
Hulu detected the VPN right away. I didn’t even have a chance to log in.
Hulu recognised that I wasn’t in the US and blocked my access
Disney+ wouldn’t load at all, I got a black screen and the general login screen switched to the login screen that was specific to my country. Even after clearing my browser history and cache, Disney+ knew I wasn’t in the US.
Overall, I was surprised by FastVPN’s unblocking capabilities. It helped me access more platforms than I expected for a relatively small service. But, if you need to access other streaming services, then I recommend you take a look at these best VPNs for Hulu.
Speeds — Slow Speed on Distant Servers
I got good results from its local server. My tests showed that I had enough to stream in HD without lag or buffering. However, I had significant drops when I tried its US and Australian locations.
My ping also stayed low on local servers, but shot up when I tested distant locations.
The tests I used measured:
I had impressive speeds on FastVPN local servers
- Download speed — this is the amount of data you can transfer per second. Faster download speeds mean you won’t experience buffering and lag while you stream.
- Upload speed — Upload measures how much data you can send through your internet connection.
- Ping — Ping is how long it takes for your data to reach its location. The higher your ping number, the more lag you’ll have.
My base speed without a VPN was 36.91 Mbps, with 9.31 Mbps upload and a ping of 18 ms. When I tried its UK server, I only experienced a 16% drop in download speed. You can expect a drop of between 10-20% when you connect to a strong VPN, but this was a good result. My ping and upload speeds also stayed stable on its UK servers.
|31 Mbps (16% decrease)
|8.69 Mbps (6% decrease)
|13.34 Mbps (63% decrease)
|5.77 Mbps (38% decrease)
|19.93 Mbps (46% decrease)
|5.91 Mbps (36% decrease)
Tests showed that my download speed dropped to just 13.34 on its US servers. Although I expect a drop on more distant servers, this was a 63% decrease. With just 13 Mbps, it surprised me that I could watch shows on HBO without any buffering.
It’s Australian and US servers slowed me down
I decided to push my luck and try another distant server, this time in Australia. My ping rate shot up to 245 ms. This ping would make gaming pretty much impossible. However, the download speed stood at 19.93 Mbps, which was faster than the US server.
Because of these test results, I wouldn’t recommend FastVPN for its speeds. Although the speed I experienced on local servers was strong, when I tried more distant servers it had a huge impact on my download readings.
I was fortunate that it didn’t impact my streaming tests, but usually such a drop in Mbps would have impacted my viewing experience dramatically. Instead, try one of these tried-and-tested VPNs that performed highly in all speed tests.
Are FastVPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? No
I wouldn’t recommend using FastVPN for gaming. While the VPN provided good results on local servers, I experienced high latencies on its US and Australian servers.
On average, you want a ping of around 50 ms or lower for a decent gaming experience. Anything at 100 ms or higher can cause you to experience disconnects and lags. If I wanted to play online with my Australian friends, I would have to deal with ping rates of 245 ms, probably meaning that I’d be left behind the other players as my screen buffered.
Alternatively, you can take a look at our list of the best gaming VPNs to find a faster option.
Server Network — Small, But Nicely Distributed
The VPN has a decent network with 1,000 servers in 50 countries, providing solid worldwide coverage.
I had access to servers in:
- Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
- Americas: United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Peru
- Asia: India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates
- Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
- Africa: Nigeria, South Africa
The app’s server list provides information about each server’s load and ping. I tested ping myself and found that the information provided was mostly accurate. I noticed a discrepancy of around 10 ms on more distant servers where the ping was over 100 ms.
You can also click the small star and add a specific server to your favorites list, making selecting a server faster. I found all servers to be dependable, connecting within 10-20 seconds.
Being able to see load and ping reading helped me choose the best option
The “Best Available” option connects you to the server that’s geographically closest to your actual location. But, if you prefer to connect to a different location, you can easily find a server that provides a stable connection and decent speeds.
One thing I wanted to check out were some online rumors that FastVPN was just a rebranded version of IPVanish. Some sources claim NameCheap’s VPN is a white-label service. However, the live support team assured me that this is not the case. When I asked about the rumors, the rep told me FastVPN is a proprietary app from NameCheap and owns all the servers in its network.
Security — Basic, But Keeps You Safe
FastVPN offers strong encryption and a good selection of protocols.
As expected, the VPN uses industry-standard AES-256 bit encryption. It is practically unhackable, so all your online interactions and actions should remain safe.
The protocols it employs are IKEv2 and OpenVPN with UDP and TCP. It also offers a scrambling feature as an additional layer of obfuscation for OpenVPN, allowing you to bypass network traffic sensors that detect the use of VPNs and block them.
You can manually configure your device and set up a PPTP or SSTP (available only on Windows) connection. However, I wouldn’t recommend using either — PPTP is not very secure and SSTP is only really useful if you’re trying to get around a particularly tough firewall. PPTP, though, is compatible with a range of Smart TVs, which does make it desirable for some users.
Only the Windows app has a kill switch and it’s turned off by default. I found this a little frustrating as the kill switch is there to prevent data leaks by shutting down your internet connection in case the VPN drops. I’d prefer it was automatically enabled so I don’t have to remember to switch it on. It was equally disappointing that the kill switch is not available on the other apps.
FastVPN also uses Namecheap’s own secure DNS to reduce the chance of leaks. I ran several IP and DNS leak tests and found that the VPN is leakproof. There were no IP, DNS, nor WebRTC leaks. Meaning, your IP address, and browsing activity aren’t ever accidentally exposed.
FastVPN prevented leaks and kept my private data safe
Even though it lacks bonus security features like an ad blocker and split tunneling, FastVPN is at least safe to use from a security standpoint. If you’re looking for more than basic security, check out one of my top choices for keeping your devices and data safe while you’re online.
Privacy — No Logs Policy, But With a Catch
FastVPN claims to have a no-log policy. But I reviewed the small print and found some concerning clauses that sound like logging.
The policy states that, while it does not log any user activity (sites visited, DNS lookups, emails, etc.), it does create VPN-specific user IDs under which it collects some personal data — including name, email, phone number, billing info, and IP address. The policy says that all of this data is collected for “provisioning the product, auditing sales/usage, and troubleshooting.”
The VPN also logs connection attempts. It claims this data is collected using a third-party processor, anonymized, and not shared. It also explains the data is used for troubleshooting, product analysis, and improvements.
I turned FastVPN’s “Log Details” feature off
The app includes a "Log Details" feature that can be switched on or off. This data, when activated, is meant to be visible only to the user and is utilized for problem-solving purposes. However, it will also be accessible to the VPN. Given that the VPN acknowledges recording connection data, the actual impact of this feature being enabled or disabled is unclear.
In general, I did not find the privacy measures of the VPN to be entirely reassuring. While FastVPN asserts that its logged data is anonymized, the fact that user IDs are created raises a concern for me.
This is especially concerning as the VPN is headquartered in the USA and so falls under American jurisdiction. The US is a member of the 5 Eyes Alliance and is known for its online surveillance of citizens. So I’d be really cautious if you use this VPN; there is a risk that your data and personal information could be handed over to the US government.
If anonymity and privacy are as important to you as they are to me, perhaps look at this list of VPNs that guarantee your online privacy.
Torrenting — Supported on All Servers
You can use all FastVPN servers for torrenting, although it doesn’t have any servers dedicated to P2P traffic.
Remember that downloading copyrighted content is illegal in most parts of the world. To stay on the safe side, check every file you access so you don’t end up downloading copyrighted material.
Does FastVPN Work in China? Yes, It Does
As per FastVPN's informational resources, the VPN is operational in China. They suggest using the OpenVPN UDP or TCP protocols. If both of these protocols don't work, activating the Scramble feature is recommended.
Scramble allows you to connect in China if OpenVPN or TCP protocols fail
Additionally, the article suggests using US west coast servers in Los Angeles or San Jose. These are the best locations to connect to from China as they provide optimal speeds and are reported to safely bypass the Great Firewall.
Simultaneous Device Connections — Unlimited
FastVPN allows unlimited device connections. The VPN is compatible with most major platforms and I connected multiple devices to the same server without any issues or drop in performance.
Device Compatibility — Multi-Platform Support
FastVPN currently offers native apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and VPN-enabled routers. Additionally, it can be manually configured on other devices including Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Smart TVs, PS4, Xbox, Chrome OS etc.
I could install FastVPN on all my devices
Keep in mind though, that there are some differences between the apps. For example, only the Windows app has a kill switch. Other useful features like “open on startup” and “auto-connect” are available on all devices and clients, along with simple on/off toggle functions so you can set them to your preference.
Overall, I was impressed with FastVPN’s compatibility offering. The only thing missing at the moment is a browser extension.
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