Namecheap launched in the year 2000, with their web hosting service following seven years later in 2007. While primarily known for its domain registrar services, it also offers affordable web hosting solutions at all levels. Many of the management of Namecheap are also involved in the web hosting company Webhostingbuzz (Namecheap's vice president is also co-founder of webhostinbuzz).
Namecheap has its headquarters in Los Angeles, United States. Richard Kirkendall remains as its CEO, even after 15 years since its launch. The hosting division was set up by its vice president, Matthew Russell, in 2007. While the hosting division is considerably smaller than their domain name counterpart, overall the company is vast, with currently around 2 million customers.
When it comes to dedicated hosting, Namecheap has one of the most entensive selection of servers and server configurations available for a general web hosting company (companies that specialise in dedicated servers usually have more custom options, but this can come at the requirement for more expertise in server and hardware management).
For instance, you can get a 4 Core E3-1220 v3 server with 8 GB DDR3 RAM and 300 GB SSD for just $58.88 unmanaged, which is really good value. Even adding $75 for full management, it is still a very affordable option. We go into more detail on all the available servers later in this review.
All servers are setup on the same-day, with some servers ready within just four hours.
Namecheap key points
Namecheap Dedicated Hosting Review
Namecheap Dedicated Hosting Plans allow wide choice of servers and configurations for all budgets
Single CPU with Multiple Cores (Intel Xeon E3)
The following table shows all the servers available with a Single CPU with Multiple Cores (Intel Xeon E3):
|Xeon E3-1220 v3||4 Cores x 3.1 GHz||8 GB DDR3||500 GB||10 TB||$58.88/mo|
|Xeon E3-1220 v3||4 Cores x 3.1 GHz||8 GB DDR3||300 GB SSD||10 TB||$58.88/mo|
|Xeon E3-1240 v3||4 Cores x 3.4 GHz||8 GB DDR3||1 TB||100 TB||$98.88/mo|
|Xeon E3-1240 v3||4 Cores x 3.4 GHz||16 GB DDR3||2 x 1 TB||100 TB||$109.88/mo|
|Xeon E3-1240 v3||4 Cores x 3.4 GHz||8 GB DDR3||120 GB SSD||100 TB||$109.88/mo|
|Xeon E3-1240 v3||4 Cores x 3.4 GHz||16 GB DDR3||2 x 120 GB SSD||100 TB||$129.88/mo|
|Xeon E3-1270 v3||4 Cores x 3.5 GHz||8 GB DDR3||1 TB||100 TB||$129.88/mo|
|Xeon E3-1270 v3||4 Cores x 3.5 GHz||16 GB DDR3||2 x 1 TB||100 TB||$139.88/mo|
|Xeon E3-1270 v3||4 Cores x 3.5 GHz||8 GB DDR3||120 GB SSD||100 TB||$129.88/mo|
|Xeon E3-1270 v3||4 Cores x 3.5 GHz||16 GB DDR3||2 x 120 GB SSD||100 TB||$149.88/mo|
Multiple CPUs, Multiple Cores (Intel Xeon E5)
The following table shows all the servers available with a Multiple CPUs, Multiple Cores (Intel Xeon E5):
|Xeon E5-2609 v2||8 Cores x 2.5 GHz||16 GB DDR3||1 TB||100 TB||$219.88/mo|
|Xeon E5-2609 v2||8 Cores x 2.5 GHz||32 GB DDR3||2 x 1 TB||100 TB||$229.88/mo|
|Xeon E5-2609 v2||8 Cores x 2.5 GHz||16 GB DDR3||240 GB SSD||100 TB||$229.88/mo|
|Xeon E5-2609 v2||8 Cores x 2.5 GHz||32 GB DDR3||2 x 240 GB SSD||100 TB||$249.88/mo|
|Xeon E5-2620 v2||12 Cores x 2.1 GHz||32 GB DDR3||2 x 1 TB||100 TB||$259.88/mo|
|Xeon E5-2620 v2||12 Cores x 2.1 GHz||64 GB DDR3||4 x 1 TB HW Raid 10||100 TB||$329.88/mo|
|Xeon E5-2620 v2||12 Cores x 2.1 GHz||32 GB DDR3||2 x 240 GB SSD||100 TB||$309.88/mo|
|Xeon E5-2620 v2||12 Cores x 2.1 GHz||64 GB DDR3||4 x 240 GB SSD HW Raid 10||100 TB||$379.88/mo|
Dedicated Hosting Features
One thing to note is that Namecheap dedicated servers are not customisable to the same extent as other more dedicated server focussed providers. They have set configurations, and their IPMI access must be done through their VPN for security reasons. In addition, if you go with their fully managed server management, you won't get root access to your server. The point being made, is that if you require full customizability and flexibility then Namecheap may not be suitable. On the other hand, if you require a dedicated server for additional resources (you may wish to check out Cloud Hosting as an alternative), and want a system that is relatively easy to use, or fully managed, then Namecheap may be a good choice.
Another thing to note about Namecheap, is that while you can customize your server to utilize the latest technologies such as Memcached, Opcache, HHVM among others, it is unlikely any of these configurations will be supported by Namcheap under their management service. A fully managed optimized cloud solution such as SiteGround or TMDHosting may be more suitable than a dedicated server.
Choose Server Management for easy monitoring and maintenance
Namecheap offers three different type of management for your dedicated server:
- Self Managed - At zero cost, this is the cheapest option (obviously). You will get a choice of operating system (installed and tuned), along with root access, reboot acecss, and IPMI Access. Your operating system and cPanel can be reinstalled free of charge.
- Managed - At $30 per month, in addition to the items mentioned above, you also get core service monitoring with proactive response. Core Service Support is included, covering Apache, Exim, MYSQL, FTP, cPanel and DNS.
- Fully Managed - At $75 per month, this is essential if you do not have server management experience. If includes everything mentioned above, plus priority support, 50GB offsite backups, and will support popular applications such as WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, Magento, Zen Cart and Open Cart.
With dedicated servers, you are free to setup the operating system anyway you please. Performance will depend on your application code, and whether you configure technologies such as Memcached. Certainly, there is ample choice in server hardware to choose from, with SSD storage, choice of RAID (running disks in parallel can increase performance), RAM amounts, and bandwidth.
If you are looking for a great entry solution, then their Xeon E3-1240 v3 with 16GB RAM and 2 x 120 GB SSD would be our choice at just $129.88. This will give you additional reliability as well with two SSD drives in RAID 1. Failing that, their Xeon E3-1220 v3 with 8GB RAM and 300 GB SSD would be our pick if you required something cheaper.
One of the things to look for with dedicated servers, apart from the hardware, is the network and datacenter specifications.
- Datacenter - Namecheap use a very reputable Tier IV Pheonix datacenter partner where they colocate their own hardware.
- Supermicro Server Hardware - The supermicro rackount-based servers are designed for continuous high performance in a datacenter environment. They include hot swappable drive bays, enterprise-edition hard drives and ECC Ram.
- Optimized network - They operate a separate Cisco/Brocade-powered network with connectivity to Level3, Highwinds, HE, Cogent and Integra. Namecheap also has their own private peering which gives flexibility to fully optimize connectivity to avoid bottlenecks or network issues further along the network.
Unless you choose a management plan, the dedicated service is unmanaged. While Namecheap will still monitor all the hardware with their unmanaged management plan, and assist with any issues relating to that, all software and operating queries are not covered. That being said, emergency assistance is available at a cost of $30 per 15 minutes. This is useful for those who can manage a server themselves, but who might need occasional help.
Unfortunately, there are very few indications around the web as to how their dedicated hosting support fairs. You can read some of the many user reviews left for their shared hosting here, which appears to give mixed opinions as to whether their support is any good. We suspect their dedicated hosting support is dealt with by a higher level support team, so not sure if you can read too much into these.
One of the few bad incidents we found was on the Webhostingtalk forum, and accused Namecheap's support of being "bad". The issue revolved around support providing mixed or unclear messages about how to use their IPMI admin access, which needs to be gained via a specific VPN for security. Unfortunately, in this case, it made the server unusable for the purposes required by the customer. Fortunately for the customer, Namecheap's Vice President of Hosting, Matthew Russell, actively monitors the forums, and helped clarify the situation and provided a refund for the customer (even though they don't ordinarily provide a money back guarantee on dedicated servers).
Our overall impression is that the very few complaints about their dedicated servers is very positive. The only complaint we found related to a security feature that restricted access to the IPMI, which was quickly resolved. Furthermore, the people using a dedicated server either have full management, or increased knowledge and are able to carry out any tasks themselves.
If you have specific requirements as to your server, we recommend you speak to them before buying, or choose a company that allows custom builds, although the downside of that is increased costs.
The pricing on Namecheap's dedicated servers are very good value, being among the cheapest in the industry for a reputable and popular provider. Even with their full management service at $75 per month, the price of a basic dedicated server with SSD storage is very good value, but, if you are happy managing your own server then you will struggle to beat their pricing anywhere else.
One thing to note, is that they do not offer a money-back guarantee with their dedicated servers, so you may want to sign up on a monthly-basis while you test them out.
Editor's Expert Opinion
A great budget solution, especially if you need full management.
When it comes to dedicated hosting you have a choice between a focused company that solely focuses on dedicated servers, often with their own datacenter (i.e. OVH, Reliablesite, Softlayer), and hosting companies that either colocate or resell dedicated hosting from the aforementioned companies (often adding extra value in terms of monitoring and support).
Namecheap colocate their own equipment in a reputable datacenter (we believe pheonixNAP), providing specific configurations, and some limited support.
The benefit of using Namecheap is that they are very cheap, and the process of setting up a server with them, especially with their management is very simple. A more specialist company might not even offer management services, and the array of customizable options may be difficult to understand and configure to work effectively.
Overall, we think that for most users that don't have specific complex needs Namecheap is a great option, especially if you are not comfortable with server management and want an affordable solution. That being said, for most users, a scalable managed cloud solution might offer greater performance at a more affordable cost.
Namecheap Dedicated Server Frequently Asked Questions
No, Namecheap does not offer custom server configurations. If you require more space, or more RAM then you will need to upgrade to a different dedicated server plan.
Yes, additional traffic may be purchased at $100 per 10TB, payable on a monthly basis. Alternatively, you can simple exceed your allowance and pay a overage of $0.05 per additional 1GB. Full details can be found here.
Yes, all dedicated servers have IPMI access enabled (unless you sign up for their fully managed support). However, you can only access the IPMI via Namecheap's VPN for security reasons. You can read more about it here.
Purchases of dedicated servers are non-refundable and do not qualify for their money-back guarantee.
No, but you can order cPanel / WHM after your purchase at a cost of $25 per month by opening a ticket with the billing department.
After ordering, cPanel / WHM will be installed on your server. All content on your server will be lost, so you should ensure you have copies of all files before ordering.
Fully managed dedicated servers come with 50GB backup storage. Additional storage can be ordered by opening a ticket with the billing department, at a cost of $10 per additional 10 GB.
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