The majority of internet users prefer a ready to get out of the box VPN tool that’s also user friendly. Unfortunately, there aren’t many VPNs out there that can offer this.
Nonetheless, a few such as OverPlay come close in providing such an experience. Although OverPlay gets some things right, it fares badly in others. After all, there isn’t a single VPN that isn’t marred by some downsides. Even so, it does suit some specific users albeit most will find it flawed. Read on to find out why.
Unlike other VPN providers that only offer VPN services, OverPlay offers two packages i.e. SmartDNS as a standalone and SmartDNS + VPN. The former solely focuses on providing access to geo-restricted content whereas the latter brings an additional benefit of encryption onto the table.
Simply put, SmartDNS only helps you outskirt censorship whereas SmartDNS + VPN gives you the same and security when browsing on the internet.
|OverPlay Features||SmartDNS||SmartDNS + VPN|
|Zero traffic logs||Yes||Yes|
|Access to censored media & websites||Yes||Yes|
|Unlimited region/server switching||Yes||Yes|
|Unlimited Peer-to-Peer traffic||N/A||Yes|
In this article, we’ll majorly focus on the OverPlay’s VPN offering, what you can expect from it, and what holds it back.
Here OverPlay doesn’t have much to offer but that’s expected seeing as it doesn’t offer a single offering. It is basically bare-bones and emphasizes the key factors leaving the rest out. The VPN has limited encryption & protocol options but the few it offers are top-notch [as we shall see in a minute]. Even so, most of us prefer having options when it comes to this kind of stuff.
Like any other VPN tool, OverPlay comes with a kill switch which is all good except that you can’t configure it to run on start-up. Also, it lacks split tunneling support and doesn’t cater for all streaming services.
Pricing and Plans
The two packages are priced differently with the one that includes VPN costing more. You can choose to pay monthly or annually. If you’re considering OverPlay we recommend going the annual way which comes with a 15% discount. Even with this discount, OverPlay pricing still isn’t as competitive as other VPNs.
The exclusive SmartDNS package costs $4.95 if you choose the monthly plan or $49.95 if you choose the annual plan. The higher SmartDNS + VPN package goes for $9.95 (monthly plan) or $99.95 (annual plan).
Unfortunately, OverPlay lacks a free trial but offers a 5-day money-back guarantee. It also doesn’t give you a lot of options when it comes to accepted payment methods. You can only pay for the plans either using Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover) or PayPal.
Note that all plans allow up to 3 simultaneous connections and don’t have bandwidth restriction.
Ease of Use
OverPlay isn’t the easiest nor the most challenging VPN software to install, launch, and set up. It has a simple interface that looks good to the eyes. At the centre, there is an icon to show your status i.e. if you-re connected or not. You can select the encryption you want which will then be indicated on the central icon.
A shield shows that you’re using AES 256-bit encryption whereas a lock represents AES 128-bit encryption. If your connection is not encrypted, you’ll see a lightning bolt. You can change your server and location by clicking on the ‘change location’ option.
OverPlay does fairly well when it comes to compatibility. It is compatible with computer systems (Linux, Mac, and Windows), mobile devices (Android and iPhone) and routers (DD-WRT and Tomato). You also get set-up guides for both packages regardless of your device on the website.
Security & Privacy
OverPlay VPN is solid when it comes to security and privacy. You can choose the protocol or enable the kill switch through the setting panels. The protocol options provided are OpenVPN TCP and UDP – both secure.
UDP is often preferred due to its performance in terms of speeds. TCP, on the other hand, is boasts of reliability as it suffers less data loss. In addition, it is much better when it comes to bypassing firewalls like the Great Firewall of China.
OpenVPN makes use of AES encryption and you have an option to choose the length of the encryption key. When using AES encryption, the same key is required to encrypt as well as decrypt the message. For communication, the sender and receiver also need to possess the same cipher key.
The kill switch works just as it is expected. Needless to say, OverPlay does its best in protecting your identity.
Several tests revealed it has:
- No DNS leak
- No WebRTC leak
- No IPv6 leak
This UK-based VPN provider claims it has a zero-logs policy and doesn’t sell users’ data to third-party apps. The company doesn’t keep users activity logs but the same can’t be said for the connection logs which are just as revealing so keep that in mind.
OverPlay only needs your email and the payment method of choice to get your account set. This use of minimal information ensures that you remain safe when surfing the internet via their network.
Under the terms of service, the company also clearly states that it allows the use of the VPN for P2P downloading. A statement from the company’s website reads,
Users may use the VPN for P2P, but we do not allow sharing of pirated material. The use of peer-2-peer networks (P2P) such as Bit Torrent is permitted. It is the user’s responsibility to not engage in illegal activity
The statement, however, won’t keep you from getting convicted if you’re involved in illegal activity using the VPN.
VPN usage is legal in most countries except for a few such as China, Libya, North Korea, and Iran. OverPlay offers the VPN service to all countries that allow VPN usage. The exceptions to this list are Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
Some countries also have a restriction on internet services and VOIP that their citizens can access. OverPlay also doesn’t provide its VPN offering to these countries. This affects internet users that reside in either Ghana or Nigeria.
OverPlay doesn’t top the list when it comes to streaming performance but even so, it does perform well. It does well with Netflix: the picture quality is excellent and it doesn’t stutter. The same goes for other streaming service providers including Hulu, Disney+, and Prime Video. However, if you’re looking for a VPN to watch BBC iPlayer we recommend going for something else like ExpressVPN.
OverPlay has over 650 servers in 70 different locations spread across 50+ countries including Canada, Australia, Germany, the US, UK, Turkey, and the Netherlands. Compared to other VPNs such as CyberGhost and ExpressVPN that have over 6500 and 3000 servers respectively, OverPlay lags.
The company makes it easier for you to find the best server for your needs by listing the server load and pings of each. We like that OverPlay allows you to sort the server locations by city name, server load, country, and even ping.
It lacks a favorite section where you can find the server locations you frequently use but that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Also, it doesn’t have an option to double-click a server location to connect as you would in VPNs like IP Vanish.
Pros and Cons
- Has a simple interface that is easy to navigate through
- Prioritizes the user’s security and traffic
- Has a rich and extensive knowledge base
- Unblocks majority of the streaming service providers
- Doesn’t work well with other streaming services e.g. BBC iPlayer
- Uncompetitive pricing considering the features it offers
- Lacks telephone, live chat, and email support options
For any inquiries, you can access the support centre through the website. The support option is positioned at the top menu of the home page. Here you can scroll through the knowledge base that is well arranged. It has plenty of articles that address various issues a user may encounter.
If you’re not one to scroll through many articles, you can search for the article that addresses your issue through the search bar at the top. Alternatively, you can submit your query through a link at the top right of the support page. Unfortunately, this is the only support channel provided.
OverPlay’s VPN offering isn’t the best and neither is it the worst. It falls short in most categories when compared to other VPNs but does well in a few other such as encryption. Overall, it is average which is why we feel it is not competitively priced.
If you are after that gives you plenty of options and server location, we recommend looking further than this one. That said, OverPlay will suit you if you only want a simple VPN that can well encrypt your traffic without any worries.