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FastVPN Review: 2022 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying
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.
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:
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.
I had impressive speeds on FastVPN local servers
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 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.
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
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
In the app itself, there’s a “Log Details” feature you can turn on and off. When turned on, this data should be visible only to you and will be used for troubleshooting. That means it will also be available to the VPN. Since the VPN admits to logging connection data, I am not sure whether toggling this feature on or off makes a real difference.
Overall, I didn’t find the VPN’s privacy measures completely reassuring. Although FastVPN claims its logged data is anonymized, the creation of user IDs is a red flag 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.
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.
According to FastVPN’s knowledge base, the VPN does work in China. In fact, it recommends you use OpenVPN UDP or TCP protocols. And if both protocols fail, enable the Scramble feature.
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.
Installation & Apps
Set-Up & Installation — Confusing at First
FastVPN’s website is a little confusing. First, you choose your subscription plan and make your payment.
I became quite frustrated when I paid for my subscription as I wasn’t too sure where to go to get the actual VPN download. The website is jam-packed with NameCheap’s other services, so unlike VPN-only companies, I found it a little frustrating.
At first, I searched for VPN and ended up in a manual download area which was quite advanced. I realized this wasn’t correct, and eventually found my way to the right place, where the Download button was now visible. Starting off a VPN experience getting frustrated doesn’t bode well, and I wish FastVPN would make the download process a little more straightforward.
It took me a while to navigate to the right page
Once you’ve downloaded it, the app display contains the menu on your left-hand side, a full server list is placed centrally, and a big Connect button with a “Best Available” option is to the right. You can also manually select a location by scrolling through the server list. Each server location has a drop-down list that reveals available cities along with ping and current load — making it easy to choose the best and fastest server. Underneath, you can see the server location you are connected to along with information about speeds, protocol, and IP address.
What I didn’t like about the Windows app is that I couldn’t close the server list nor the options menu and the app window covered most of my screen. On the other hand, everything is very accessible and you can easily toggle options like the kill switch, auto-connect, or security protocol.
FastVPN’s Windows app has a simple UI and is easy to use
Once you’ve got past the download, you should find FastVPN’s apps easy to use even if you’re new to VPNs.
FastVPN supports several payment options: debit/credit card — Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover — PayPal, or your NameCheap account funds.
You can top up your account funds using a credit card, PayPal, or any of the following cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Dogecoin (DOGE ), Litecoin (LTC), and 5 USD-pegged stablecoins (GUSD, USDC, USDP, DAI, and BUSD).
I found the prices relatively affordable; get a subscription for as low as $1/month. There’s a 1-month free trial and you cangrab a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans. If you’re not happy with it, you can get a no-questions-asked refund.
Reliability & Support
FastVPN has great customer support. There’s a 24/7 live chat and a very thorough Help Center where materials are separated into several categories: knowledge base, guru guides, blogs, and how-to videos.
The dedicated knowledgebase on the website offers step-by-step tutorials for setting up different protocols or manual installation. If you don’t find a solution to your problem you can submit a ticket to the appropriate department.
I tested the live chat support on multiple occasions. The agents were very responsive and super helpful.
Compare Namecheap VPN With The Top Alternative VPNs
FastVPN has all the makings of a solid service. It offers impressive and consistently fast speeds and decent (if not basic) security features. Its unblocking capabilities are good too. I could access several Netflix libraries, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more. But I’d like to be able to stream platforms like Hulu and Disney+.
The service also offers great compatibility and allows for unlimited device connections. If you run into any issues, there are tons of useful guides and 24/7 live chat support to help you out.
If you just want a fast VPN for streaming a limited number of platforms, FastVPN might suit you. However, there are faster VPNs with better unblocking abilities and safer privacy policies for around the same cost.
FAQs on FastVPN
Is FastVPN safe?
Yes, depending on where you connect to.During testing, I hardly noticed any speed drops. There were no delays or slow loading times. The only issue I found was the high ping on more distant servers, which could become problematic if you want to use the VPN for gaming.
Can I run FastVPN on Ubuntu?
Yes, you can use FastVPN on Ubuntu. It has great device compatibility and you can find easy-to-use guides on its website. If you run into any issues, you can also contact its 24/7 live chat support team.