Overplay Smart DNS boasts of being “Your passport to the World’s entertainment fast lane”, due to the super fast speed of streaming that it provides. Using your Internet connection, you can connect all the devices of your preference and enjoy great benefits related to watching channels and shows that would not be available for watching otherwise. This means that if you have a Netflix account, then you can unlock Netflix from ANY country including the US version which has the most amount of title by far. The Overplay SmartDNS unblocks Netflix in your browser AND in your Netflix app! I have personally tested this as recently as July 2016 and I use it every day.
Instead of settling for the geographical restrictions in your country, you can go ahead with choosing a Smart DNS service like Overplay and forget all about feeling frustrated over a specific prohibition from relishing blocked content. This has intrigued us enough, so as to cover the review and conclude as to whether or not the whole fuss is justified. Stick with us, in order to find out more about this company and the product we focus on!
VPN is what adds to the overall online protection of yours while surfing the web. However, at times the whole process of encryption causes significant lowering of the speed and consequently leads to the deterioration of user experience. This is what has emerged the need for something really fast and efficient. Smart DNS servers are able to fill that gap and cover the need for something both speedy and reliable, even though they do not add any protection layer to the Internet connection. Having that in mind, let’s have a look at the special features of Overplay Smart DNS!
Smart DNS is an innovative service that resembles the use of a VPN account, but without the speed loss of the VPN. Indeed, Overplay offers the opportunity for users to browse instantly and unblock channels and sites that were not accessible. If your device runs on iOS, there is the Smart DNS App available for you to download and facilitate the process even more. You bypass the restrictions applied to countries and you get to enjoy services like Netflix or Hulu in a jiffy.
Although the VPN is much better in terms of security, Overplay does a stellar work in terms of speed and effectiveness. No logs are kept and this is something definitely worthy of attention. Setup is easy and simple, providing the opportunity to start reaping the benefits of your subscription without any delay whatsoever.
As we have stated above, Smart DNS is quite different than the VPN service. Nevertheless, Overplay is able to offer both of these services. In the case of VPN, Smart DNS is included within the package and the monthly fee goes up to $9.95. If you are simply interested in Smart DNS, the monthly price is $4.95, while there are discounts for longer contracts. In specific, $13.95 is the cost for three months, $26.95 for six months and $49.95 for a whole year.
There is a two-day risk-free trial, which could be a bit longer. In fact, unless you are planning to test your Smart DNS to the maximum within these two days, you might not get the chance to form solid conclusions of your own. Other than that, there is no mentioning of money refund guarantee. On the bright side, there is ample flexibility when it comes to payment methods accepted. Credit cards and PayPal can do the trick for you, though the latter is not available in recurring accounts.
Help and Support
We move forward with our review and this is one of the best aspects of this service. Indeed, Overplay offers a wide range of frequently asked questions and a rich knowledge base on the official website of the company. What is more, there is the live chat provided for direct feedback on your queries.
In addition, you can benefit from a blog that includes valuable pieces of information. If all these methods fail, you can always submit a ticket with your question and have an answer as soon as possible. Overall, Overplay Smart DNS comes with an impressive support and help department.
Another great aspect of Overplay Smart DNS is that of its compatibility. In fact, Overplay runs on any device and OS you may wish to use. Whether you are using Windows or Mac, Linux or Android and iOS, DD-WRT or Tomato routers, you can count on Overplay for getting instant results and profiting from the descriptive setup guides. Especially for iOS devices, you can download the respective app from Apple Store and make your life even simpler. You can even use the Overplay SmartDNS on your Smart TV, X-box, PlayStation or Kodi!
On a side note, in order to get every feature and addon possible on Kodi and to not get sued if you accidentally watch something pirated, you need a VPN.
- Fast Speed
- Works With Netflix (Watch ANY version)
- Inexpensive Plan
- Multiple Support Options
- Works on Any Device and OS
Cons in a nutshell:
- Setup Can Confuse Novices
- Just Two Days Money Refund Guarantee
Now that we have completed our review of Overplay Smart DNS, we have to admit that this is a reliable alternative to VPN for people who enjoy unblocking sites internationally. In the field of entertainment, there are many channels that you can unblock with the use of Smart DNS. This service is quite affordable and particularly if you commit for longer time periods. What has let us down a bit is the two-day free trial, which we think should be longer.
The payment methods are really helpful, offering the chance to customers towards finding the method that best suits them. Setup is simple (although novices might disagree) and there is unique compatibility you can benefit from. With impressive support and help, Overplay Smart DNS is certainly a service that has got to offer a lot to Internet users who value speed and unblocking abilities for channels and sites of all sorts globally!
- Fast Speed
- Works Perfectly With Netflix
- Inexpensive Plan
- Multiple Support Options
- Works on Any Device and OS
- Setup Can Confuse Novices
- Just Two Days Money Refund Guarantee
Overplay Smart DNS offers an alternative to VPN, in order to unblock GEO-IP restrictions and enjoy channels of all sorts (like Netflix and Hulu to name a couple) worldwide. It is quite affordable and provides exquisite speed, the software is easy to use and the options are awesome. On the other hand, there is no encryption included and thus does not offer any security layering, but that is the same with all SmartSNS's. The most outstanding point about Overplay SmartDNS is that it works 100% to Unblock US Netflix in the browser AND in the Netflix app! Hardly any other provider can offer this as Netflix blocked them.
Leave your rating and review
- Help & Support
We're not quite what OverPlay is doing with the money from its overpriced plans, but there's no sign of it being invested in this underpowered service. Move on, there's a world of better VPNs out there.
- Unblocks US Netflix, Disney+
- OpenVPN support
- Effective Windows kill switch
- Above average price
- No mobile apps
- Windows client not updated in years
- Only 3 simultaneous connections
Perhaps best known for its site unblocking SmartDNS service, UK-based OverPlay also offers a premium SmartDNS+ VPN package for $9.95 a month, falling to an equivalent of $8.33 if you pay for a year up-front.
That's a much higher price than most of the competition (subscribe for two or three years and even some top VPN providers charge under $3 a month), and the service specs are only average. 70+ locations in 50+ countries isn't bad, for instance, but there are just 650+ servers, you get Windows and desktop apps only, and OverPlay supports only three simultaneous connections.
If you're interested in site unblocking then you could try OverPlay's bundled SmartDNS system to see if it works for you. Essentially this involves applying new DNS settings to your device, then using a web console to set a custom location for every supported site (Netflix, Amazon Instant, Disney Channel, Hulu, Now TV, Zattoo and more.) There's no encryption, it's just about unblocking websites, but this can be effective, it won't slow down your connection speeds, and it's around half the price of the VPN.
"We do not collect or log any traffic or use of our SmartDNS or Virtual Private Network services.
We do not sell or share personal information about our users to third parties, under any circumstance.
In order to provide you with our Services, we need to collect an email address and a valid payment method."
That sounds good, but can you trust whether the company is doing what it promises? There's no way for anyone to tell. That's why we prefer the approach taken by companies like NordVPN, ExpressVPN and VyprVPN, where they've put their systems through a public audit to verify their no-logging credentials.
OverPlay only offers apps for Windows and Mac but the company does provide setup guides for Android and iOS
OverPlay has Windows and Mac clients, but nothing for Android or iOS. There are instructions on setting up the service manually, or via OpenVPN, though, as well as some guidance on configuring routers. The guides are relatively basic and can't begin to match the depth of documentation available with the top providers, but there's enough to get started.
Unfortunately the setup links provided by OverPlay did not work
Signing up for an account is easy enough, and once we'd handed over our cash (PayPal and cards are accepted), a web console seemed to offer us links to setup instructions for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. Unfortunately, they were all broken, and gave us 'page doesn't exist' errors. We reported this in our previous review, more than a year ago, but nothing has changed, which presumably gives us an idea of how much attention OverPlay pays to its site.
Eventually, we found, downloaded and launched the installer ourselves. A warning message that 'Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2013... was not correctly installed' (another problem unchanged from a year ago) wasn't exactly encouraging, but we told the installer to ignore it, and this didn't seem to cause any issues.
Checking the installed files, we found OverPlay's client executable was dated 2016. That might be a contributing factor to our issues: OverPlay's systems used to work, years ago, but they've not been maintained and cracks are beginning to appear.
This is the user interface of OverPlay's Windows app
The Windows client is simple, automatically identifying your nearest location and allowing you to connect with a click.
OverPlay has servers in over 70 locations across more than 50 countries
A location list displays country and city names, server loads and ping times. There's a search box to speed up the process of finding locations, but no Favorites system to group your most commonly used servers.
The list is sortable by any column, which is convenient. You can have it in alphabetical order of country or city name, server load or ping time, it's your call.
Unfortunately, the list doesn't support double-clicking a location to connect, an intuitive action used by many VPN apps. Instead, you must select a location, then click Save, then click Connect, an annoying extra two steps every single time you use the service.
OverPlay's settings menu allows you to change your preferred VPN protocol
The Settings panel enables choosing the protocol (OpenVPN TCP or UDP), and enabling the kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection. A particularly handy Startup option enables connecting to the last server, the fastest server, or the fastest server in a given country when the client launches.
In our tests, the kill switch worked almost exactly as it should. We forcibly closed the OpenVPN process, but the client noticed immediately and reconnected within a few seconds, without ever allowing our real IP address to leak. We would have liked the client to use a desktop notification as an alert to what was happening, but that's a relatively small point. OverPlay protected our identity, and that's the highest priority.
We use a number of speed tests to determine the performance of each VPN we review
OverPlay's website unblocking performance was, well, mixed. It gave us access to US Netflix and Disney+, but failed with Amazon Prime Video, and somehow disabled BBC iPlayer (we didn't get the 'not available in your region' error, but we weren't able to stream anything, either.)
Those aren't terrible results and we'd accept them from a regular VPN, but as OverPlay specializes in unblocking, we expected a little more.
UK download speeds were a huge improvement on the disappointing results we saw last time, more than doubling to a very consistent 64-66Mbps on our 75Mbps UK test connection.
To double-check our figures, we ran the same benchmarks from a European data center. With the VPN turned off, our connection averaged 300Mbps; when we connected to our nearest server (a latency of 0ms, according to the client), downloads achieved a reasonable 80-120Mbs.
OverPlay isn't a terrible VPN, but it's not a very good one, either. No mobile apps, mixed results in website unblocking, Windows client not updated for years, there's just not enough here to justify the above-average prices.
OverPlay is one of the fastest growing VPN companies in the industry today. They provide VPN service to 42 countries with 62 servers. OverPlay offer clients protection while exchanging and viewing information over the web. OverPlay uses a tunneling effect during all network activity to prevent unauthorized access while browsing.
Features and Services
OverPlay currently has servers in 48 different countries with different IP addresses across the world.It gives users a full range of protocol options such as PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN connections.
With OverPlay’s SmartDNS, primarily gives clients unrestricted access to websites around the globe and avoid local censorship. OverPlay’s DNS feature connects online devices to an uncensored internet, it does this by changing the DNS information on the user’s device.
It offers SmartDNS+VPN services, that lets users avoid local censorship while using a secure encrypted connection. Its VPN software uses an OpenVPN that automatically updates itself with current servers while it runs.
The company provides multiple payment options. Users can pay via credit card, Visa, Master Card and Discover. OverPlay’s service support teams are available 24 hours a day. It also has email, live chat and 24 hour telephone support.
Number of Countries Served
Number of Servers
Number of IPS
Number of Devices
Security and Protocols
Help and Support
24 Hour Telephone Support
Plans and Pricing
Money Back Guarantee
1 Month Plan
3 Months Plan
6 Months Plan
1 Year Plan
VPN services at OverPlay
OverPlay gives users the freedom to privately access websites. It provides a high-speed internet connection and easy to use DNS software, that lets them safely visit any website. .
Many people are on the search for an easy to use virtual private network that is ready to go out of the box. In many ways, OverPlay comes close to providing a user experience like that. It is marred by some debilitating drawbacks, though.
OverPlay is plagued by its weaknesses and barely held up by its strengths. In all honesty, working with it to write this OverPlay review quickly became a chore.
Of course, every company has strengths and weaknesses. If you’re looking for simplicity and responsive customer service, OverPlay might be worth looking into. Before you make that decision, though, let’s investigate what OverPlay does right and what holds it back from being one of the best VPN providers.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Responsive & helpful customer service
- Simple design & menus
- Strong security
- Does not work on some streaming services
- Inconsistent performance
- Client bugs out at times
- Uncompetitive pricing
When it comes to features, OverPlay is bare-bones. It seems to focus on a few things that it sees as key, while leaving others by the wayside.
OverPlay’s website puts a lot of emphasis on its SmartDNS service. It can automatically set your device’s DNS server to one that is guaranteed to have the information you need to connect to a wider variety of websites and is sold as a standalone service.
That’s easy to do manually and many people in countries with restrictive DNS servers have already handled that issue.
As for the VPN, it offers limited encryption and protocol options. The ones it does offer are top of the line, which we’ll get into in more detail later, but many people like having options.
There is a killswitch, which is good for additional security, but there is no way to configure it to run on start-up. There is no split tunneling support, and it doesn’t work with all streaming services. Check out our best VPN for streaming for better options.
It seems that OverPlay keyed in on a handful of features and ignored everything else for the sake of being accessible to those who don’t care about the bells and whistles. If that approach appeals to you, consider checking out our NordVPN review. It’s easy to use, but still offers more flexibility, among other advantages, than OverPlay.
OverPlay Features Overview
Starts from$ 416per month
PayPal, Credit card
Worldwide server amount
Can be installed on routers
Can access Amazon Prime Video
VPN protocols available
Enabled at device startup
Malware/ad blocker included
As mentioned, Overplay offers its DNS switching service as a standalone product for about $5 a month, or slightly less when you sign up for a year. We wouldn’t urge you to go for that because it is easy to do it yourself.
For what it offers, OverPlay’s prices aren’t competitive. If you’re looking for something cheap on a month-by-month basis, something like Private Internet Access is a better bet. PIA offers its VPN service, with unlimited data and up to five connections, for only $6.95 a month. For more information on PIA, check out our PIA review.
All plans offered by OverPlay come with up to three connections and no restriction on bandwidth. The annual plan is slightly discounted, but not enough to make it competitive. If you intend to sign up for a year at a time, we recommend reading our ExpressVPN review. It costs the same per month as OverPlay but offers superior features.
If you’re interested in signing up for even longer periods, some providers, such as NordVPN, offer longer contracts with better rates. NordVPN boasts limitless data and up to six connections for a mere $107.55 for three years.
The last thing we want to touch on is that this is not the VPN for you if you want to pay in bitcoin. OverPlay doesn’t accept cryptocurrency, only credit cards and PayPal.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is a mixed bag with OverPlay. Upon installing and starting the client, we found that it wouldn’t accept our login credentials. Moments before, we had used the same login information to get on the website to download the client, but it wasn’t taking.
We ended up getting the issue sorted out by contacting support and having it reset our password, which we’ll get into in more detail shortly, but it wasn’t a good start for the user experience.
Once we were logged in to the client, it looked good, if bare-bones. An icon in the middle of the interface shows whether you are connected. Below that, a drop-down menu lets you select between two levels of encryption or no encryption.
The central icon also acts as a visual indicator of the level of encryption you are using. A shield represents AES 256-bit, a lock signifies AES 128-bit and a lightning bolt lets you know you are not encrypted.
Selecting “change location” shows you a list of servers, their locations and other vital information. Being able to see the ping time and server load at a glance is nice and helps when you’re trying to pick the best option, which can be overwhelming with so many choices.
The settings menu can be accessed by clicking the cog in the top right. Once you’re there you’ll realize just how bare-bones OverPlay is. When you compare the meager feature set to NordVPN or ExpressVPN, it doesn’t stack up.
That could be seen in two ways. On the one hand, people unfamiliar with VPNs might see something more feature-rich as cumbersome. A menu full of technical jargon might be too daunting and quickly become something people ignore.
That said, many people are looking for something that has the options to be versatile, even if they never plan to make use of it.
OverPlay’s apparent design philosophy of “keep the bare minimum and scrap the rest” makes it clear which group it wants to attract.
To begin our performance testing, we decided to do something rigorous. We went over the selection of servers and picked Brussels. We ran this initial test with the default settings of AES 256-bit encryption and the OpenVPN UDP protocol. Brussels is not only almost 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) away, but it was also up to a 70 percent load at the time.
With such intense demands, OverPlay fell flat on its face. The 122-millisecond ping time we show in our table doesn’t capture the browsing experience. Everything was slow, to the point that some speed tests crashed and refused to run. Needless to say, OverPlay won’t be joining our best VPN for gaming ranks any time soon.
Things performed strangely, as well. One speed test connected us to a server in Texas when we were supposed to be going through a server in Belgium. The test had phenomenal ping and speeds, too, as though we were connecting to it unprotected.
|Location:||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|Unprotected (Virginia, United States)||13||72.12||5.98|
|New York City||19||67.52||5.52|
|Brussels (no encryption)||141||8.23||4.47|
|Atlanta (AES-128 )||46||66.98||5.49|
That said, further testing with the VPN connected to Brussels returned similar results to the earlier ones: slow speeds and high ping. The strangeness continued when we disconnected the VPN, changed our connection location to London and reconnected.
It began sending us through servers in Belgium and speeds were ranging from mere kilobits per second to 60 megabits per second. That was despite the fact that the software was configured to connect us to a server in London.
No table can convey the bizarre behavior of the VPN while browsing and during testing. As you can see, we tried to connect to Brussels again without encryption to see if that was the problem, and it got worse.
All the issues we saw were associated with the server in Belgium. Other distant servers, such as London and Amsterdam, seemed fine. Nearby servers also performed about as well as you would expect.
That leaves us scratching our heads and wondering about the reliability of OverPlay’s servers. It was unclear what was wrong with the Belgium server, but it showed major instability in the provider’s network, barring it from our fastest VPN selection.
Though it lacks the flair and choices of some of its competitors, the options OverPlay offers are solid when it comes to VPN security. There are two choices for protocol: OpenVPN UDP and OpenVPN TCP. Both are considered secure.
Those are respected options that boast open source codes, allowing you to pick through the minutia and check for suspicious lines of code or tailor it to your needs. Of course, only people with the expertise to do so should attempt that, but it is nice to have.
UDP is typically preferred and will usually offer better speeds and responsive performance. TCP is considered more reliable and suffers from less packet loss than UDP. It’s also great for working around firewalls, such as the one in China .
You are given a choice of two ports, as well, one of which is the commonly-used 443, which strengthens the case for using OverPlay to negotiate pesky firewalls.
It also lets you select from two levels of encryption — AES 256-bit or AES 128-bit — or no encryption. AES 256-bit is considered almost unbreakable by, making it a great option for ensuring security.
OverPlay boasts a killswitch and a handful of nice-to-have security features, too, such as DNS leak protection.
Streaming was yet another mixed bag with OverPlay. It performed well with Netflix. We clicked a movie and it started in the blink of an eye. The picture was high-quality and there was no stuttering, which is on par with the best VPN for Netflix.
Amazon Prime Video and Hulu performed similarly. We had no issues when connected to a U.S. server.
That said, there was trouble when we connected to foreign servers. We could not use the BBC iPlayer even when connected to a server in London. The website was fast and responsive, but as soon as we clicked something to watch, it informed us it was only available to those in the UK. If the streaming service is a priority for you, check out our best VPN for BBC iPlayer.
Whether the excellent performance of U.S. streaming platforms was because we were in the U.S. is difficult to know. It could be that someone in another country could connect to a U.S. server and get poor performance, but our testing was promising.
As long as the server loads are moderate, it should be possible to get good performance, because even distant servers in our speed testing showed promising results when not under an intense load.
OverPlay offers over 650 servers that are dispersed throughout key countries and areas. That might sound like a lot, but it’s not. For example, CyberGhost has more than 3,100 servers and almost the same number of servers as OverPlay’s total in the U.S. alone.
OverPlay has good coverage though, with servers spread across over 50 countries. It includes 12 cities and 301 servers in the U.S. Despite that, the servers there seem to always be at 50 percent load or more. As we saw, OverPlay’s servers and infrastructure might not be the best when under heavy load, so that could spell bad news.
There are also 39 servers in the UK across three cities, as well as a good spread among other European countries.
Most of the servers in Africa, Europe, South America, and Asia seem to be under light load, making them good choices for those looking for general anonymity rather than access to a country-specific service. The only servers that are regularly beared down on are in the U.S. and UK.
Often, when we test a VPN provider’s service, we throw out softball questions or stage an issue. In this case, we had the rare opportunity to go to support with a legitimate problem. Impressively, staff replied within minutes.
Our login credentials were working on OverPlay’s website, but not in its client. Support staff asked for more information, including a screenshot of the error message. The person we were in contact with even included a link showing how to easily take a screenshot, which was a nice touch, and a far cry from our experience doing our VyprVPN review.
Once we replied with the specific error, staff quickly reset the password and we were up and running. Though it lacks live support, a phone line and a forum, the email support is top-notch. It would have been better to not have the issue in the first place, but that’s a different story.
Unfortunately, the guides fall flat. Many on its website boil down to telling you to download and install the app and leave it at that. The setup guide for the client does not have a single instruction or screenshot regarding it. All it does is guide you through installation.
If you’re looking for a VPN service that does it all, this isn’t it. OverPlay with its responsive customer performance and seems to be tailored to a specific market: people who want to be able to pick up a VPN for the first time and run it without having to worry.
That being said, OverPlay still falls short of competitors in almost every category. If you’re wondering where to go from here, we recommend checking out our comprehensive VPN roundup, and our review of ExpressVPN. It is the best provider out there and we suggest you spend your hard-earned dollars with it instead of OverPlay.
- Great Performance.
- Smart DNS Included With VPN.
- Can Use To Stream Netflix etc.
- Extremely Simple To Use.
- 7 Day Guarantee.
- Not Many Features.
- Little more Pricey.
Overplay Ranked 2nd In Our Testing.
Overplay have been in the VPN market for a few years now and offer two different services. Firstly they have the VPN service and they also offer the Smart DNS service. I am going to explain the differences and pros and cons of both services in this Overplay review.
The Overplay Smart DNS service is a way of routing your internet traffic/connection though a different DNS (Domain Name Server) to appear that you are from a different country but without losing any speed due to the encryption process etc. This is especially handy if you want to use it to watch Netflix from the USA or to stream other internet TV that is locked to its own country. Overplay Smart DNS can be used on such devices as PC, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Wii, PS3, XBOX360 and more.
Online security is essential, especially when you have a multitude of governments, hackers, and curious onlookers who find unencrypted data an easy target to view. Overplay offers two main features: the Smart DNS and the VPN.
The Smart DNS allows for very speedy connections and many of the features you’d find with a traditional VPN, however it does not encrypt your data. This lack of encryption means you have zero speed loss, but also a greater risk of someone seeing that you’re downloading illegal TV series or viewing movies without a license. This is perfect for watching locked services like HULU and Netflix that are legal but just restricted to certain countries.
Overplay also offers a very good quality traditional VPN service that will encrypt your data and hide you from prying eyes. Using 128-bit encryption allows for speedy data transfer rates but also a decent level of security so you can enjoy browsing the internet without any worries as you will be anonymous and hidden.
The Overplay VPN software is relatively easy to install, just download the application and a few clicks later it is installed. The user interface is extremely simple and easy to use which is perfect for those who don’t require fancy features that you probably wont use. All you need to do to get online and encrypted is open up the app and then select the country that you wish to connect to (where it will make you appear you are at) and then click “connect”, it is that simple. I found the VPN software to run smoothly without any issues ans responsive, this along with the very good speed make it a great option.
The usability of the Overplay Smart DNS is really non-existent. After you configure your web browser or apple TV etc. then it runs automatically so you never have to worry about it again.
Overplay VPN has an excellent selection of Server locations, they have VPN servers in 48 different countries around the world and the use of over 14,000 different IP addresses. With the use of all these different IP addresses and Server locations it is extremely easy to get your anonymity back while on the net and unlock all of those sites censored by various local governments and authorities.This is becoming more and more prevalent in modern society, governments and local authorities are taking it upon themselves to determine what you can and cannot view which is most commonly motivated by their own gain and suppressing negative views to their own regime.
This is not only confined to non-western countries as you will have noticed that even certain ISP’s in the UK and USA are blocking access to porn sites unless you contact your ISP and get it unblocked. This is going to cause many arguments for husbands and wives and not to mention all of the teenagers that are going to go crazy. By using a good VPN service you will be able to bypass porn filters and watch whatever you like without having the awkward discussion with the family.
Speed And Bandwidth
Overplay VPN claim to have very fast VPN servers which seemed to be he case while testing. I tested these guys about 12 months ago and they have improved their speed a lot since then. Overplay VPN does offer unlimited bandwidth which is a great feature so you can use the VPN servers as much as you like while you have a subscription.
When using the Overplay Smart DNS you also have unlimited bandwidth and the speed is virtually unchanged whether you are using it or not which makes it perfect for streaming video.
I found that the Overplay VPN service to be lacking features available to the user. There are no bells and whistles here that an advanced user might want but if you are just in the market for a straight up VPN then the Overplay VPN will be a great choice. You will be pleased to know that Overplay VPN can run on all devices and operating systems including Windows, Mac, Apple iPhone and iPads ios, Android, Linux.
The Overplay Smart DNS has no features as it has no user interface, it is just a setting change in your device.
The Support for Overplay VPN also greatly improved since testing them last time, they came in second quickest to reply and solved the issue. The last time I tested them they were pretty bad to be honest and there where a few bad reviews of their support but it looks like they really turned their support department around.
The basic functionality I found in my Overplay testing was satisfactory and when you balance everything out it is great service if you don’t want the bells and whistles. If you are just looking to unblock streaming sites such as Netflix then I would highly recommend the Overplay Smart DNS as it is the best value for money service to unlock those blocked services, you can buy that separately or if you purchase the VPN then you have the smart DNS included. Be warned, when using the Smart DNS service your data is not encrypted so if you are watching illegal material such as an unlicensed movie then your ISP can still know what you are watching and therefore leave yourself open to prosecution. If you are a very basic user then this is well worth considering for the simplicity and there is nothing to confuse you.
Why Choose OverPlay
OverPlay offers unlimited server switching and OpenVPN protocol for secure connections. Their SmartDNS is slated towards streaming geo-restricted channels, and their list of supported services and websites is impressive.
Best VPN for
- Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
- Torrenting and downloading
- Unblocks BBC iPlayer and Netflix US
- Good security
- Excellent server coverage
- No logs
- Kill switch
- Only 3 simultaneous connections
- No free or paid trial
- No Bitcoin accepted
- Awkward setup
- Geared towards advanced users
- Support is only available via email
- No native mobile client
- No OpenVPN for mobile – only PPTP or L2TP
Pricing and Plans
OverPlay offers two packages – a SmrtDNS-only plan worth $4.95 per month or $49.95 a year; and a SmartDNS + VPN package that kicks in at $9.95 per month, or $99.95 per year. The SmartDNS plan is mostly for streaming and bypassing geo-blocks while the VPN plan provides encryption for improved privacy.
That’s a higher price than most providers offer. There’s no free or paid trial, which is also a disappointment that is somewhat remedied by a 5-day money-back guarantee.
Uninspiring is their list of accepted payment methods – PayPal and credit cards.
OverPlay’s native client is available for Windows and Mac devices. If you use the official OpenVPN software, you can also set it up on Linux, routers, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. There’s no OpenVPN setup for mobile devices – only instructions for manual setup of PPTP and L2TP connections.
I tried the OpenVPN setup for Windows and the native desktop client.
The service that relies on the OpenVPN software is slated towards the techies. I’m familiar with OpenVPN, and importing config files is not a hassle when the provider sets it up right. However, OverPlay’s approach isn’t my favorite. The configuration files come in a compressed folder – a total of 270+ servers with names like BOM, BEG, and BFS.
Intuitively, I suspected ATL is for Atlanta and LON is for London. But with nearly three hundred files, hand-picking a few dozen servers that I wanted to test was brain-numbing.
Another ridiculous issue that popped up was that my username had to bundle @overplay at the end. Considering my username was my email, the OpenVPN login turned into [email protected]@overplay. Note that you have to enter email/password the first time you connect – for each server.
All things considered, this is not the simplest of implementations I’ve seen for OpenVPN. @overplay at the end of a username and the poorly named config files just seem like a usability flaw nobody cared to fix.
Moving on to the OverPlay’s proprietary desktop app, things weren’t smooth either. The initial installation of OverPlay app was long and tedious. It came bundled with Microsoft Visual C++ and Microsoft .NET Framework. I don’t mind those, but the desktop client didn’t install properly. When I launched it and tried connecting to a server – any server – it blocked my connection altogether.
Their support is only available via email so I couldn’t get a quick tip on what could be causing the issue. Further investigation brought up this article on all the things that could go wrong. A total of 11 possible reasons why a VPN client is failing seems like overkill for an average user to digest.
So, I went with the simplest solution – uninstall it, reboot everything and install it again. That solved the problem, whatever was
When I finally got it to work, OverPlay client was sleek and intuitive but far from perfect. The gear icon takes you to the General Settings, Connection, Logs, Licenses, and About tabs. Switching between those tabs is riddled with freezes. Either the app doesn’t register clicks, or it just takes too long to respond, but you never know if the click went through until something happens.
Overall, I can’t say OverPlay’s Windows client comes out winning when compared to their awkward OpenVPN setup. Inaccessibility of support doesn’t instill certainty that novice users will be able to
The desktop client allows switching protocols, toggling the auto-reconnect, kill switch, IPv6 leak protection, and DNS leak protection features. You can also set ports, and initiate an installation or repair of OpenVPN driver from the app.
You can also tweak the app’s behavior and set it to connect automatically to the last connected server upon launch or connect to the fastest server in a country automatically. That’s a welcome usability improvement.
P2P is allowed, and there are servers specifically geared toward gamers. But read the provider’s DMCA policy before you proceed with torrenting.
SmartDNS comes as a rather standard setup – you need to edit the DNS servers addresses in your device’s settings.
I tested OverPlay for speed and security issues. My initial connection wasn’t stellar but I could stream and play:
Whereas the download speeds on most servers fell by almost a half, the upload speeds improved slightly. Here are the results for OverPlay US server:
Security-wise, all my tests showed no leaks, which means encryption is working as it should.
What was left unclear was why the IPVanish servers showed up on the OverPlay’s DNS test. I found nothing on the matter online, so this topic is left open for speculation.
Despite the lethargic speeds, I managed to access Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. While the latter gets easily unblocked by many VPNs out there, Netflix US is a tough nut. For now, it works, so let’s hope OverPlay will be able to keep it up.
Privacy and Security
The security specs look good at OverPlay. The VPN supports PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN protocols, backed by SSL security and 128-bit Blowfish encryption. It’s not the top-tier encryption you can get from a VPN, but it’s enough for private browsing.
The refund policy is equally clear – no questions asked as long as you request a refund within the first five days of subscription.
Account sharing is prohibited, so is VPN chaining, or connecting to the service from another VPN. Even though P2P and the use of BitTorrent are allowed, sharing pirated material is not. Perhaps, one of the biggest concerns with this provider is its UK origin. If in doubt, check out the surveillance group. Moreover, UK is tough on copyright infringement.
OverPlay VPN is expensive and not the most intuitive VPN. So, beginners should look elsewhere. When it works, however, it gets the job done thanks to the sheer number of servers and the SmartDNS feature. Their security specs aren’t top-notch but sufficient for average users. Finally, their stance on privacy is inviting, but their UK jurisdiction cripples the idea of unbridled P2P.
OverPlay VPN looks pretty decent on paper, but does it justify the $8.33/mo price? Is it better than NordVPN or PureVPN? Find out if I recommend this service in this updated review of OverPlay.
OverPlay VPN – Although less renowned compared to some of the other VPNs covered in our VPN reviews 2020 guide, it is still a pretty decent VPN service worth giving a try. After giving it a try at the time of writing this OverPlay VPN review, I was impressed to see that it came with military-grade encryption and industry benchmark protocols.
I also love the fact that it offers apps for almost all mainstream devices and works surprisingly well with streaming services like Netflix. Sure it only offers 650+ servers, which is considerably less than PureVPN or NordVPN, but it makes up for it with its speed and its SmartDNS feature.
That being said, there are still a few things you should keep in mind before getting this VPN. For one, it lacks features like Split tunneling, live chat support and is headquartered in the UK which I found to be quiet disappointing. Overall, after weighing in all the pros and cons of OverPlay, I’ve given it 3.0/5.0 stars in this review.
Jurisdiction – Where is OverPlay located?
OverPlay is located in Germany, which as you should already know, is a part of the infamous 5 Eyes alliance. Considering this, OverPlay should be obligated to comply with the authorities in any request of user data. This is something that seriously bothers me about this VPN.
However, since OverPlay VPN claims to keep no activity logs, I don’t think its something to worry about too much. But we’ll look over its logging policy a bit later on to see if it can be trusted with our privacy. However, if you’re not too sure about using OverPlay, then you might want to try Surfshark which is based in the BVI.
Security – Does OverPlay keep logs?
The only information they collect at the time of signups is an email address and a valid payment method. Do keep in mind that if you choose to pay through credit cards, you will have to provide your first and last name. But overall, OverPlay is a legit no-log VPN service.
Encryption & Other Features
As for security features, OverPlay VPN supports L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and OpenVPN to securely tunnel your data. In addition, OverPlay VPN supports 128-bit to 256-bit encryption, which is the industry standard nowadays. Aside from that, one of the most notable features of OverPlay has to be its SmartDNS.
Powered by JetSwitch technology, the OverPlay Smart DNS feature is advertised to unblock over 200 streaming sites from anywhere in the world. I personally managed to unblock Bilibili and Netflix without much effort. While it lacks the Split tunneling feature and 24/7 live chat support, it does come with a built-in Kill Switch. I also love the fact that it comes with built-in leak protection as well.
Leaks – Does OverPlay leak IP, DNS, WebRTC?
Thanks to the built-in leak protection option for both IPv6 and DNS, OverPlay is actually leak proof. Even after conducting multiple tests, OverPlay managed to not leak my IP, WebRTC or DNS.
IP Leak Test:
First, I tested for IP leaks. To do that, I connected to a Belgium server of OverPlay and ran the test. As you can see from the screenshot below, OverPlay didn’t leak my original IP address.
DNS Leak Test:
Next, to check for DNS leaks, I connected to the same server and found no signs of DNS leaks. Check out the screenshot below and you’ll see that I’m only connected to a Belgium DNS servers.
WebRTC Leak Test:
As for WebRTC leaks, again, OverPlay passed this test too without any issues at all. I must say, it performed better than I expected. Even after multiple tests, OverPlay showed no signs of WebRTC leaks.
Last but not least, I ran its setup file through Virustotal.com to be extra sure. Surprisingly, I didn’t found any hidden or malicious viruses at all. Overall, highly impressed by OverPlay VPN so far.
Servers – Is OverPlay P2P compatible?
As for torrenting, OverPlay is fully P2P compatible. However, you might encounter slight slow speeds on P2P networks due to its relatively small server network. At the moment, OverPlay only offers some 650+ SmartDNS and VPN servers available across 50+ countries worldwide. Before you start downloading torrents, do make sure to check out their DMCA policy.
The 50+ countries in which OverPlay offers its servers include the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Italy, Turkey and so on. But in comparison, PureVPN, and NordVPN offer way more servers.
Does OverPlay work in China?
Yes, as I mentioned earlier, OverPlay works in China. I managed to unblock a bunch of Chinese websites and all of them surprisingly worked. That’s obviously because of its SmartDNS feature which does a great job bypassing strict geo-blocks in countries like China. In addition, it’s also worth noting that OverPlay supports OpenVPN which is known to be great at bypassing firewalls.
Speed – How fast is OverPlay?
As for speeds, OverPlay is decently fast. On my base 35 Mbps test connection, OverPlay performed exceptionally well. First, here’s a screenshot of my default internet speeds without OverPlay connected:
When connected to the Canadian server of OverPlay, I managed to get around 27.8 Mbps downloading speed. Considering my base internet speed, that’s pretty good.
With the US server of OverPlay, I managed to get around 26.51 Mbps downloading speed. Although slightly slower, however, nothing that I would complain about.
Last but not least, I connected to the UK servers and performed the same test. On average, the UK server managed to output around 27.81 Mbps download speed which is pretty impressive if you ask me.
Streaming – Does OverPlay work with Netflix?
In addition to being surprisingly fast, OverPlay VPN also works great with Netflix. I tried playing a bunch shows on American Netflix and didn’t encounter any issues. Overall, really impressed by the fact it works so well with Netflix.
Other Streaming Services that work with OverPlay
Aside from American Netflix, OverPlay also managed to easily unblock Hulu as well. Other than a few buffering issues, I didn’t notice any connectivity issues. That’s quite impressive and not a lot of VPNs can offer such performance.
Compatibility – Which devices can I use OverPlay with?
From a compatibility standpoint, OverPlay is pretty good. You can easily download apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux. OverPlay also offers manual configuration files so you can set it up with BoxeeBox, AppleTV, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, DD-WRT Routers, and DrayTek Routers. In addition, OverPlay allows you to use one subscription plan on three (3) devices simultaneously. Overall, I love how versatile this VPN is. I just wish it offered more multi logins like Surfshark.
OverPlay for Windows & Mac
If we talk about the Windows and OverPlay macOS apps, they’re both well designed. I found them to be pretty easy to use as well. Everything is nicely laid out and dead easy to find which is perfect for newbies.
Overall, I love the fact that they offer a lot of options in their apps. You can switch between different protocols, encryption and can even enable and disable leak protection and Kill Switch.
OverPlay for iOS & Android
As for their iOS and Android apps, they are also well designed and easy to use. I found them to be pretty snappy to use as well. Overall, both OverPlay iOS and OverPlay Android work great and come with a decent amount of options as well. As for ratings, OverPlay has a 3.5-star rating on Google Play Store and a 3.8-star rating on the iTunes store.
Pricing – How much does OverPlay cost?
As for pricing, OverPlay is not the cheapest option to get. Both their SmartDNS and SmartDNS+VPN packages are quite expensive compared to something like Surfshark. Check out the pricing below for yourself:
- SmartDNS ($4.95/month) or ($49.95/year)
- SmartDNS + VPN ($9.95/month) or ($99.95/year)
As you can see, OverPlay is somewhat expensive. But I do like the fact that they at least allow 3 devices to connect simultaneously. As for payment methods, you’re only going to find limited options. You can only purchase the OverPlay VPN through one of the following options:
- Credit Card
Now, these are well and good, but it would have been nice to see options for cryptocurrencies. I also don’t like the fact that they only offer a 5 days money-back guarantee. I mean, if they’re charging so much, they should have at least offered 30-day money-back guarantees like PureVPN or NordVPN.
Trustworthiness – Is OverPlay safe to use?
Well, considering that they don’t keep any logs, OverPlay is pretty safe to use. If we talk about their Trustpilot rating, OverPlay has a decent 3.4-star rating. It also has mostly positive reviews as well on Trustpilot. Mostly, 50% of users have rated it as Excellent and only 25% of users have rated it as Bad.
In terms of support, OverPlay lacks a bit. I mean, you’re not going to get live chat support. That being said, their email support is pretty great. I submitted a request and got a response within an hour or so.
But other than that, If you wish to get any help, you’ll have to rely on the following sources:
- Setup Guides
Overall, if live chat support is something you prefer, you might want to use an alternative like PureVPN or NordVPN.
Comparison between PureVPN and Overplay VPN
So overall, I think OverPlay is an awesome VPN service. It offers a decent amount of features, however, it can be expensive for some. If you want something that’s a little cheaper, you might want to check out this comparison between PureVPN and OverPlay VPN.
|Servers||2,000+ in 140 Countries||650+ in 50+ Countries|
|Compatibility||All Devices||Windows, macOS, Linux,
Android & iOS
|Logging Policy||Zero Logs||No Logs|
|Customer Support||Live Chat & Email Support||FAQs, Setup Guides & Email|
Do I Recommend OverPlay VPN?
Overall, yes I do recommend Overplay. There’s so much to like about this service. For instance, I like that it keeps no logs, works with Netflix and torrenting and is decently fast as well. I particularly like their SmartDNS feature. I really wish more VPN providers would start offering this future as well.
That being said, this brings me to some of the cons of this service. I think that any VPN service that charges $8.33/mo, should offer live chat support no matter what. I also think that it lacks a few features like Split tunneling and even an ad-blocker.
All in all, if OverPlay would have been a bit more affordable like Surfshark, I would have given it a 5-star rating. But for now, in this updated OverPlay review, I can’t give it more than 3.0-stars. So, if you want to go for OverPlay, that’s well and good, but if you want to try something else, check out our unbiased VPN reviews.
A dependable proxy server offers protection and anonymity for you when you browse the web and exchange information. It also provides a consistent and fast internet connection. OverPlay VPN has 62 servers in 48 different locations. This service offers virtual private networks connection options. Encryption through this web proxy secures your data without compromising load times. Overall, this is a secure, speedy and reliable proxy service. Yet, our customer service experience with OverPlay VPN was frustrating and less than satisfying. This should be a concern if you are unfamiliar with proxy websites.
Signing up for web proxy service and setting up the user platform is simple with OverPlay VPN. You can sign up using a simple form and are instantly granted access after entering your payment information. The proxy browser should automatically install itself, but if it does not, there are installation instructions in the Support Center to help you through the process.
You can connect your proxy server to two different devices simultaneously per username as long as each device accesses a different tunneling protocol. For example, you can connect your desktop and one mobile device at the same time.
OverPlay VPN is not one of the services that allows completely anonymous signup. OverPlay VPN also keeps logs on its servers for a certain amount of time. The company is completely transparent, though, with its user policies and explains what it uses this data for and how long it keeps the logs that it gathers.
Our experiences with help and support were frustrating. Our email requests took days to be answered, and often the tech support would reply with links to the support center instead of directly addressing our issues. The company does have a regularly updated blog and a decent support center that provides step-by-step solutions. The slow response speed is concerning; if something happens and you need immediate support, help may be hard to reach through this company.
OverPlay VPN offers 128-bit data encryption. That's not the highest level of encryption available, but it's still a safe option. Additionally, the higher the encryption, the longer it takes to move data from one location to another. The 128-bit encryption may be a good fit for you because it sends secure information without bogging down your speed. OverPlay VPN uses an SSL connection, which is disappointing. We would have liked to see the service use TLS because it's a newer, improved connection. OverPlay offers a few different tunneling protocols, including L2TP, PPTP and OpenVPN tunneling.
OverPlay VPN is an easy-to-install application that effectively hides your IP address and encrypts your data. The tech support was not helpful, but the online resources on OverPlay's website were. With this web proxy, you can confidently browse online.
Overplay has earned its place among the top 10 VPN providers on the market for a variety of reasons. It has a large server base all over the world, which guarantees great speeds and reliability, it provides good security and privacy, and features an extensive support area.
OverPlay has custom software clients for Windows and Mac. To start using their services, you have to download the appropriate client for your operating system from their website, which is rather easy to use and navigate. You can also manually configure Overplay VPN on Android, iOs, and Tomato and DD-WRT routers.
After signing up for an account, Overplay will send you an email with your username and password, which you will then use to connect to their network. The installation process is pretty straightforward, as well as using the client.
Performance and Reliability
As soon as you download and install the client, you can connect to a server of your choosing, which only takes a moment. Switching between servers and locations is just as easy and quick.
As for the speeds, we were quite satisfied, even when connecting to servers that were not exactly near our location. Of course, you will definitely want to use a server that is the closest to where you are located in order to get the best results in terms of speed.
SmartDNS is just as simple and efficient and it does a great job in allowing people in certain countries, such as China, the ability to access any website or web service they want.
Overplay seems to be highly committed to giving their customers the same amount of protection and access no matter what platform they use. Hence, whether you’re using Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, or even a custom router or XBOX360, this service has your back. The software seems to work equally well on all platforms.
The most important trait of this particular VPN service provider is the fact they offer you a choice between SmartDNS and SmartDNS + VPN. The difference is that one allows you to access blocked content and the other does the same thing but also makes your sessions anonymous and protects you while you are online.
OverPlay boasts over 650 servers in more than 50 countries. It’s probably safe to say that you will definitely be able to connect to any country you want with this kind of coverage
Your Internet connection can finally run at its full speed because a VPN can prevent your ISP from throttling your Internet connection. Of course, there is always some speed loss when you connect through VPN, but in the case of OverPlay, it’s really only slight.
This VPN service is compatible with most platforms and operating systems, as well as with custom routers and game consoles like Xbox 360. You can set up two simultaneous connections, one for your computer and the other for your mobile device.
You can decide whether you want a virtual IP address from one of the 650 servers or a shared IP address for even more privacy.
There is no cap on speed and downloads, and you can also switch between regions and particular servers without any limitations, which gives you a lot of flexibility.
The company boasts military-grade encryption and you can choose between some of the best protocols right now – OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP. There is Wi-Fi protection against hackers and intruders and customers can also use VoIP (Voice over IP) to save money on long-distance calls.
Peer-to-peer traffic is allowed, which is definitely great news for those interested in downloading torrents.
Finally, all users have access to over 200 media websites through the Overplay SmartDNS and the company’s unique JetSwitch technology.
Security and Privacy
Fortunately for its users, Overplay is one of the VPN/SmartDNS providers that takes the matters of security and privacy very seriously.
Since Overplay offers its users SmartDNS, for those who simply want to be able to access any website from any location in the world, and SmartDNS+VPN, which does the same thing but also provides encryption and security, it’s up to you to decide whether you need encryption for any reason.
If you need encryption, you should definitely go with the SmartDNS+VPN. Overplay uses the OpenVPN protocol as its default protocol but you can also choose between protocols such as PPTP and L2TP.
Overplay has a nice support page with separate FAQs for DNS and VPN, for setup and for billing, and a section with service news. If you don’t find your answers and problem solutions there, you can always make use of the company’s email support. Before contacting support, you will be required to write down your question along with some personal details, after which you will receive your answer within 24 hours.
Both SmartDNS and SmartDNS+VPN packages come in two different payment plans. The one-month SmartDNS plan costs $4.95 whereas the one-year subscription costs $49.95.
The SmartDNS+VPN package for one month is $9.95. The yearly subscription costs $99.95.
Unfortunately, Overplay does not offer a free trial. They do, however, have a 5-day money back guarantee, which is enough time to test their services and determine whether they can meet your needs.
Overplay Pros & Cons
As we wrap up this Overplay review, here’s a quick overview of the features that wowed us and the aspects of the service that could use some improvement.
- No cap on speed and downloads
- No logs kept
- Great platform compatibility
- Good speeds and reliability
- No free trial
- Based in the UK
- No live chat support
- No Wire Transfer option for payment
- Five-day money-back guarantee
- Great for Kodi
- P2P allowed
- Good speeds
- VPN servers in 45 countries
- VPN can't get into Netflix UK or the BBC
Pricing and Plans
You cannot take out a subscription to OverPlay if you are in Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Nigeria, or Ghana. The company has a smart DNS service and you can just subscribe to that. A second plan combines a VPN with the smart DNS.
You get an allowance of three simultaneous connections with the VPN service, but account sharing is not allowed.
You can pay with PayPal or credit cards.
The features of the company's package are:
- Five-day money-back guarantee
- Seventy server locations in 45 countries
- OpenVPN L2TP, and PPTP
- AES encryption
- Custom app
- No activity logs
- Allowance of three simultaneous connections
- No data throughput limits
- Kill switch
- P2P allowed
- Smart DNS for video streaming
P2P downloading is allowed on the network as long as it is for personal use. The company does not allow connections to the service through another VPN system, through Tor, or from a virtual server, such as a cloud service.
Overplay has a large number of servers that are located in 45 countries. The server network has locations in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia, and North and South America. The USA servers are located in nine cities. Four UK cities host Overplay servers and the Canadian network involves Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. There are servers in two cities in each of Australia, Spain, Turkey, Austria, Brazil, and Estonia.
Although there are no servers in Russia, customers in the west of the country are served by nearby locations in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, and the Ukraine. Chinese customers can connect to servers in Hong Kong and South Korea.
This is not one of the largest server networks in the industry, but it is very well distributed and ha a presence in countries that many VPN companies overlook.
The OverPlay app implements OpenVPN, which is the VPN protocol that we at ProPrivacy.com endorse. The app gives a choice of encryption strength and also lets you decide whether to use TCP procedures or UDP methods.
The Transmission Control Protocol is the communication methodology traditionally used over the internet. However, its session establishment procedures and transmission sequencing checks create delays that slow down interactive applications, such as internet telephony and high volume systems, such as video streaming. These applications work better with the User Datagram Protocol, which is UDP -- a very lightweight transfer protocol that has very few procedures.
The OpenVPN implementation of OverPlay uses AES encryption. You can select the length of the key used for this cipher. A longer key creates encryption that is harder to crack. However, a long encryption key makes the encryption process much more complicated. This creates delays and ties up more processor time. So, some people prefer to use a shorter key for speed and efficiency. The options for encryption in the OverPlay app are AES with a 256-bit key or with a 128-bit key.
AES requires that both the sender and receiver of an encrypted message possess the same cipher key. This is because that same key encrypts and decrypts the message. This necessity is a potential weakness because the messages that distribute the cipher key for AES need to be protected. OpenVPN uses RSA for this purpose. RSA is an asymmetrical system. Encryption and decryption is performed with different key. You cannot derive the decryption key from the encryption key and so the encryption key can be made public.
OverPlay uses RSA with a 2048-bit key. This is typical of the industry. However, the top VPN services use a longer key of 4096 bits.
One protection that customers have is that the company states clearly that it allows the use of its network for P2P downloading. This statement won't keep you out of jail if law enforcement agencies manage to trace you through subpoenaed connection logs. However, it does potentially incriminate the company as accomplices, so that legal black hole will motivate the company to protect the service to protect the identity of its customers. Ultimately, the only protection is an absence of records, so let's hope that the company keeps minimal or anonymized connection records. However, there is no guarantee.
The Support Center is accessed from the Support item in the top menu of the site. The main page of the Support Center is occupied by the Knowledge Base.
This FAQ page is well organized with issues organized into categories. Each category lists at most five issues with a link through to a longer list at the bottom of each section. The Knowledge Base is searchable, which helps you narrow down the articles in the Support Center to find those relevant to your problem.
Access to the contact form is through a link at the right of the Support Center page. This is the only channel available to contact support.
Replies to queries are delivered by email. You can expect a reply within half an hour of sending in a request.
In order to subscribe to OverPlay, you need to go to the Pricing page, or click on one of the Sign Up buttons on the Home page. Click on the "Select Plan" button in the description of the service that you want -- either the smart DNS service or the VPN and smart DNS package.
In the next screen, you need to decide whether you want to take up the service for one month or one year.
Enter your email address and then select whether you want to pay be credit card or by PayPal. The payment section of the sign up form extends as soon as you select a payment type.
I chose to pay with PayPal.
The payment phase is pretty straight forward. If you have a promotion code, you should enter it here. Those who pay by credit card need to enter the card's details. Those who pay with PayPal just need to click on the Subscribe button to proceed. After payment has cleared you will be presented with a Thank You page. The important document at this stage is an email that you will receive to confirm your account. You need to click on a button in this email in order to activate the subscription.
The email also includes your username, which is your email address, and a generated password. This password didn't work for me, so once I had installed the app, I need to go to the My Account section and change the password before I could get access.
The OverPlay Windows VPN client
Once you have installed the VPN for Windows you will discover a new shortcut on your Desktop. Click on this to open the OverPlay app.
The first time you open the app, you need to enter your username and password.
When I tried the service I was unable to log in until I went to the client area of the site and changed my password from the generated random string of characters that was sent to me in the welcome email.
After the first time you log in to the app you won't have to sign in again. On subsequent visits, you will be taken straight into the main screen of the app. That is, unless you specifically log out of the app. The logout function is accessed through an icon that looks like a door with an arrow exiting it to the right and is found in the top border of the app.
The Connection tab of the Settings screen gives access to some important features. In this page you can select whether to use TCP or UDP for your connections and you have a choice of ports -- 443 or 1194. You can also turn on the kill switch in this page. This is a function that will prevent other apps on your computer from connecting to the internet before the VPN is active.
The big decision you need to make before turning the VPN on is to select a VPN server. To get to the server selection list, you need to click on the location field.
The server list includes metrics that show the current load on each machine and the time of a standard message roundtrip to it (ping). When you press Save, the currently selected server will be copied into the location field on the main window of the app. You can also decide whether to use AES encryption with a 256-bit key or a 128-bit key. You can also select to have no encryption on the connection.
Press the Connect button to turn the VPN on. Once the connection is made, the Connect button changes into a Disconnect button. You will also see some details of the connection's status.
There is no time or data throughput meter in the app, so you don't need to worry about leaving the VPN on.
Performance (Speed, DNS, WebRTC and IPv6 Tests)
I connected to the VPN from a location in Spain and used the OpenVPN app with the UDP protocol.
While connected to the London server I checked in with the site IPLocation.net. This site looks at five separate location databases. In this case, one server reported that my IP address located me in London. However, none of the remaining four put me there -- two could not give any location, one placed me somewhere in the EU and the other placed me in Fair Lawn, New Jersey in the United States. I connected to the New York server and then checked with IPLocation.net again. Two of the panel of five location databases placed my location in New York. The other three could not tell where I was.
I used ipleak.net and doileak.com for test for IP and DNS leaks. Both reported my location as in the UK. The tests of ipleak.net could not place my location and detected calls to only one DNS server, which was within close range of the IP address detected, which also couldn't be placed to a geographic location. The tests at doileak.com placed the IP address in the USA and detected calls to DNS servers in the USA.
This is a difficult situation because if doileak.net's assessment was correct and my location could not be traced, that situation would make it difficult for me to get into go-restricted services. If doileak.com was correct, my connection to a server in the London would not get me into UK video streaming services. However, there were no IP leaks giving away my real location and there were no calls to DNS servers in Spain to draw attention to the use of an identity masking service.
Test for IP Leaks
Since writing this review, we have created our very own testing tool!
I tested access to overseas streaming services while using the OverPlay VPN service. These were streaming services in the UK and the USA that would not otherwise give me access to videos from Spain.
Unfortunately, the BBC's server spotted that I wasn't in the UK and refused to let me watch its shows. The ITV Hub and Channel 4 had less stringent location checks and I was able to watch videos at those sites thanks to my connection through OverPlay. Netflix UK has extensive location detection procedures and also scans requests for evidence of VPN activity. That site would not deliver videos to me while I was connected from Spain through an OverPlay server in London.
When I connected to the OverPlay server in Miami, I was able to watch videos at Netflix. ABC spotted the VPN, but NBC let me watch.
I tried access to Netflix and other geo-restricted video services through Kodi. I was particularly interested to see whether the VPN would get me access to the BBC's channels through Kodi.
I was not able to access videos either with Netflix UK or Netflix USA through Kodi using the London and New York VPN servers of OverPlay. The London server did get me access to a live stream of BBC One and BBC 2 through the TVPlayer add-on in Kodi.
The custom OverPlay app is available for Windows PCs. Users of Windows devices can also opt to connect to the service with the PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols. Those connections have to be set up manually.
Mac OS X users can install the custom OpenVPN client or use the Tunnelblick app to access the OpenVPN service. L2TP and PPTP can also be set up manually. These options are the same for the Mac VPN, except that PPTP is not available.
The VPN for Android and the iOS VPN devices can access the VPN with L2TP and PPTP, but those connections have to be set up manually.
OpenVPN can be set up on DD-WRT and Tomato routers.
The smart DNS service is OverPlay's main product. When you subscribe to the VPN, you also get access to the smart DNS service. Sometimes, smart DNS systems have more success at getting around geo-location restrictions on websites than VPNs do. However, smart DNS systems do not include the encryption and identity protection that VPNs offer. So, a smart DNS service won't offer you protection when you download with P2P networks. They also aren't very effective at getting around government controls on internet access, such as those imposed in China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.
Depending on your circumstances, you may find that it works well for you to use the VPN sometimes and the smart DNS in other situations.
In order to use the smart DNS you need to alter the DNS settings for your regular internet adapter. This is a straightforward task and there are comprehensive instructions on the site to guide you through this task. After that, you need to log into the client area of the OverPlay website. A banner under the Smart DNS tab will tell you that your computer in not set up. Click on the "Check Again" link. When the banner turns green, the smart DNS system is in place.
The Smart DNS tab in the client area has a great feature that enables you to select a location for access to different sites. This facility resolves one of the big problems with smart DNS utilities -- some sites, such as Netflix have one universal web address. Smart DNS systems selectively divert your traffic to proxy servers in different countries according to website you want to visit. So, if you are in Germany and you want to watch videos at the BBC website, the smart DNS will send the request through a server in the UK. If you then want to visit the website of ABC, the smart DNS will divert that traffic through a proxy server in the USA. You don't have to nominate a country because the smart DNS system takes care of it all for you.
The location picker in the Smart DNS page of the OverPlay website takes care of those few circumstances where the smart DNS system cannot possibly know which country you need to appear to be in. Netflix is an example of this. If you are in Germany and you want to access Netflix UK, the smart DNS system cannot possibly know that country selection because Netflix.com gives access to video streams in every country in the world except for North Korea and Syria. So you set your preferred location for Netflix in the location picker and then the OverPlay smart DNS system will divert your requests through a server in the country that you nominated.
I tested access to geo-restricted video streaming services with the OverPlay smart DNS service and it gave better results than the VPN. I was able to watch videos at the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 British TV station websites with the smart DNS. I was also able to get into Netflix UK because I nominated that country for Netflix on the OverPlay website's location picker. I then switched that setting to the USA and got access to Netflix USA just by typing in the same web address as before when I got into the UK version of the service. I was also able to get into the USA websites of ABC and NBC, which the VPN could not help me with.
The smart VPN didn't perform so well in Kodi. Although it got me into every geo-restricted channel that I tried, there was one exception to that performance. It wasn't able to get me into Netflix either for the UK or the USA through Kodi.
OverPlay Review Conclusion
I enjoyed using the OverPlay app. The level of detail in the interface is just enough to give you controls over the attributes of the VPN without requiring you to take a course in networking technology in order to use it. The information given on the server selection list is great, too, especially for those countries where the company runs servers in many locations.
The service does not include an instant live chat facility for communicating with the Customer Support team. However, my enquiries were deal with quickly and competently.
- Five-day free trial
- Accepts PayPal
- Good for Kodi
- P2P allowed
- Competent smart DNS service
I wasn’t so sure about
- No online chat for support
- Can't get into Netflix on Kodi
OverPlay offers a good blend of a smart DNS and a VPN. With use, a typical user will establish routines to decide when to use the VPN and when to use the smart DNS. This package will give you security and protection when you need it and agility on the internet at all other times.