Overplay VPN Review

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OverPlay seeks to offer “the freedom to privately access any website from anywhere.” It offers censorship bypassing and internet access encryption systems to allow users to access all websites they wish to access and guarantee that their online activities are not being tracked. Like any other premium VPN solution, OverPlay enables anonymous web browsing along with the advantage of unlimited bandwidth and the ability to bypass speed throttling. OverPlay VPN.

OverPlay is owned and operated by UK-based Overplay Inc. This company had a bit of a rough start as it strived to be a provider of high quality VPN services. As the company’s professional team focused on developing their network, though, they appeared to have ignored their customers. There have been a number of customers who complained about the unresponsive customer support. OverPlay’s website, however, has a searchable knowledge that provides comprehensive information about using and troubleshooting OverPlay. Those who may encounter issues can make good use of this knowledge base that offers a multitude of tutorials and answers to frequently asked questions.

What Is OverPlay?

Just like most VPN solutions, OverPlay’s goal is to enable a freer and more secure way of accessing the internet. It highlights the benefits of being able to set up the software quickly, watch online multimedia content freely, accessing websites without restrictions, browse the web privately, protect identity online, and secure all online connections. OverPlay is regarded for its well-developed and properly designed network that enables high connection speeds no matter where a user is.  From 48 countries around a year ago, OverPlay now maintains servers in  50 countries across 70 locations. It has more than 650 servers in these numerous locations.

OverPlay offers two types of services: SmartDNS and SmartDNS + VPN. The former is intended for bypassing internet censorship. The latter comes with the features of the former plus encryption. SmartDNS reroutes traffic to prevent websites from identifying the actual location of a visitor who uses SmartDNS. It enables access to country-restricted websites without the use of VPN, thus incurring only a very minimal loss of speed. SmartDNS + VPN employs tunneling to mask a user’s IP address.

No Free Trial but with a Money Back Guarantee

Unfortunately, you cannot use OverPlay for a trial period. You really have to pay to use this VPN service. You may download the client for your desktop or mobile device without paying for the subscription first but you can’t sign in if you don’t subscribe and pay.

Initially, we thought that OverPlay does not provide a money back guarantee. After learning that it does not provide a free trial period, the money back guarantee was something we immediately had to look for. Other major VPN providers offer money-back promos for users who may not be satisfied with the service. It turns out that OverPlay does provide a 5-day money-back guarantee. This applies to both the SmartDNS and SmartDNS + VPN products. We’re not sure why OverPlay’s website does not highlight this money-back guarantee.

OverPlay Setup and Interface

It’s easy setting up an OverPlay VPN account. Also, installing its desktop or mobile client shouldn’t be difficult. It’s the usual way for downloading new software in a Windows or Mac computer. There are no additional software (like .NET framework) required. The installer is available in different languages so you can choose the language option you find most suitable for you.

Once installed, you will find a simple user interface that asks you to sign in or sign up for an account. Once you’re signed in, you will see a “Choose Your Connection Preference” slider, a “Change Your Visible Location” button, and a green “Connect” Button. There’s nothing else shown on the interface so it’s unlikely that you will get confused with what to do. There are no technical terms on the interface.

The “Choose Your Connection Preference” slider lets you decide on what to prioritize: speed, a balance of speed and security, or security. The “Change Your Visible Location” button lets you choose a server. This is the location that will be seen by those who would want to track your online activities. If you are in the United States, for example, and you choose UK for your server, websites and trackers will be made to believe that you are accessing them from the server location you specified. By the way, the server list comes with Ping numbers. It is advisable to choose a server with a lower ping number.

Once you’ve set your connection preference and server, you are ready to connect. Just click on the Connect button to proceed to establishing a connection. Connecting may take a few seconds or minutes. Most servers of OverPlay, though, tend to establish connections within just a few seconds.

OverPlay Security

OverPlay encrypts all of its connections using 256-bit encryption through OpenVPN. OpenVPN is a highly secure protocol for most uses. If you want faster connections, though, you can switch to PPTP or L2TP encryption. Still, if you want to have significantly faster internet access speeds, you can forgo encryption altogether by choosing OverPlay’s Speed mode or connection preference.

Just switch the slider to the Speed side if you just want to do casual online activities like skimming through social media pages, viewing videos on YouTube, or streaming Netflix shows. If you are doing something that needs greater security, though, be sure to make the most of OpenVPN security by bringing the slider to the Security side.

Privacy

OverPlay emphasizes how it enables private online access. This privacy is not only against third parties who might be monitoring your online activities but also against OverPlay itself. This VPN solutions provider maintains a “no logs” policy, which means your use of the VPN service is not being recorded. This also means that even if OverPlay is compelled by the government or by courts to provide information about your use of their services, they will have nothing to show because they don’t maintain logs of your usage.

However, OverPlay emphasizes that it only promises protection of privacy, that the VPN service is not intended for bypassing laws. The forging of TCP-IP packet headers or any other part of email or newsgroup header information, in particular, is not allowed.

Also, in OverPlay’s Terms of Service, it is mentioned that its VPN service can be used with peer to peer networks but not for the downloading or sharing of illegal content. Accordingly, the sharing of illegal content, which includes movies and other copyrighted materials, can result in the termination of the account without a refund. There seems to be nothing wrong with this but it’s just a bit unreassuring having this kind of provision in the Terms of Service. How will anyone know if a user is downloading illegal content like the widely available pirated movies or songs online? Does OverPlay really maintain a zero logs policy? Will OverPlay use this provision to “arbitrarily” terminate accounts?

It would have been better if OverPlay simply stated in its Terms of Service that it is not responsible for however the users may be using their VPN connections. It would have been better if it merely stated that it cannot keep track let alone identify whatever file or content users are sharing or downloading online.

OverPlay Speed

As expected of any VPN solution, you will experience a bit of slowing down in your connection speeds when using OverPlay. However, this decrease is not that significant. It is a necessary decrease in speed as encryption and decryption being undertaken to make sure that the connection is secure.

The good thing about OverPlay is that it features different modes so you can decide on which to prioritize: speed or security? OverPlay features three connection modes: Fast, Balanced, and Secure. Obviously, the Fast mode delivers the fastest connection as it only employs basic functions to enable access to restricted websites. The Balanced and Secure modes also don’t entail material speed reductions. If you are able to stream videos without buffering previously (without using OverPlay), you will most likely still be able to stream videos without having to wait or pause to have enough buffer to play the video.

Usability

There’s nothing to criticize in OverPlay’s usability. It is simple and easy to operate. Installing the client for any device is comparable to how you would install other software or mobile applications. If you encounter difficulties setting up the software, you can always turn to the Support page of the OverPlay website. It provides extensive information about using OverPlay, mostly tutorials and answers to frequently asked questions.

OverPlay provides an easy-to-use way of accessing restricted content on streaming services like Pandora, Netflix, and Hulu. This VPN solution is also a great choice for accessing the web securely when using public Wi-Fi points. It prevents the sniffing of login details and other details that could be used against you.

Also worth noting is OverPlay’s support for three simultaneous VPN connections. You can use three devices that access the web with VPN at the same time. You can use the service on a desktop/laptop computer, mobile device, and a router at the same time. There’s no special setup required. Just proceed with the usual connection and you can have three devices VPN-protected at the same time.

Notable Features

OverPlay offers a multitude of features that are comparable to those offered by most other VPN solutions. The most notable of which are as follows:

  • Unlimited region and server switching
  • Zero log policy
  • Unlimited bandwidth and unlimited peer-to-peer traffic
  • Five-day money back guarantee
  • Comes with more than 650 servers in 70 locations across 50 countries
  • Employs military-grade encryption
  • Supports up to three simultaneous VPN connections
  • Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols

Compatible Devices

OverPlay VPN works with most major operating systems. It can run on Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, and Linux. It can also run on DD-WRT and Tomato routers.

  • For Windows, you have the option to use OverPlay VPN through the OverPlay client or through PPTP or L2TP. There are instructions on how to proceed with the setup in the Support page. It is recommended using the OverPlay client for a faster setup. This client requires a minimum Windows version of Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7 SP1.
  • For Mac, you have the same options as in Windows: using the OverPlay client or doing a manual setup using PPTP or L2TP. The client is compatible with Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10 or newer.
  • If you want to use OverPlay with an Android device, there’s no need to install a client. You can just add your OverPlay VPN settings in the VPN feature of your Android device. Just go to the VPN servers page of the OverPlay website to get the details you need. For a more detailed guide on setting up OverPlay with your Android device, visit the Setup page of OverPlay and find the appropriate guides.
  • The process for iOS is similar to Android’s. Again, you just have to refer to the Setup page on the OverPlay website for guidance on how to do it.
  • You may also use OverPlay VPN by flashing your router with DD-WRT or Tomato. The process is quite technical and you need to be meticulous as you do it. There are steps provided under the Setup page so if you think you can do it, you can use the instructions provided.

OverPlay SmartDNS product, on the other hand, supports more devices. It can be used on Windows and Mac OS X computers, Android and iOS mobile devices, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Samsung smart TVs, and various routers. The router brands supported include D-Link, Asus, Netgear, Linksys, Apple, and TP-Link.

Pricing, Checkout, and Promotions

OverPlay offers the OverPlay SmartDNS product at $4.95 per month or $49.95 per year. Obviously, you can save around 15% or two months worth of subscription if you go for the annual billing.

For the SmartDNS + VPN product, the price is at $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year, which means savings of around 16%.

These prices far from being the cheapest among other VPNs. IPVanish, for instance, only costs $77.99 per year or $6.49 per year. There are other options that cost lower.

We did not encounter price reduction promotions during the review other than the lower rates for long-term (1 year) subscriptions. Since the payment forms have Promo Code fields in them, we reckon there may be occasional promos available. We’re just not sure where to find these promos.

The payment methods supported by OverPlay VPN are credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Discover) and PayPal only. If you wish to proceed with a subscription for a plan, you will have fill out a form that asks for your email address and the details of your credit card or PayPal account. It’s a simple process so you should be able to quickly get through it and obtain your login details so you can proceed to using SmartDNS or SmartDNS + VPN for your devices.

OverPlay Customer Support

Head to the Support page of the OverPlay website to find the different ways of contacting the OverPlay VPN admin or support team. It is recommended that you skim through the knowledge base (for FAQs and tutorials) first. Your question may have already been answered in the FAQs or tutorials presented on the Support page.

You can use the live chat support facility (powered by Zendesk) of OverPlay to contact the site’s admin or support team. It’s the conspicuous and persistent OverPlay Live Chat box on the lower right corner of the site.

You may also contact OverPlay by sending an email (click on the Email Us link) or through the official OverPlay social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Conclusion

OverPlay is a good option if you are looking for something that would allow you to access restricted websites or online content and if you want to have private, encrypted connections. It supports a wide range of devices although it does not its own app to be used on Android and iOS devices. The desktop client is very easy to use. Connections are usually established quickly. Interestingly, though, OverPlay does not appear to promise complete anonymity. We’re not sure if we can recommend using it for darknet market access and transactions.

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