OverPlay is an online privacy service headquartered in the United Kingdom. They offer both VPN and SmartDNS accounts. They were the first major VPN company to offer SmartDNS and continue to lead in that area. SmartDNS differs from VPN in that it doesn’t include encryption. The lack of encryption makes your connection to sites like Netflix and BBC even faster.
Pricing and Special Offers
As mentioned above OverPlay offers a fully encrypted VPN service. The price of unlimited VPN access is $9.95 a month or $99 a year. If you don’t need encrypted access then I suggest their SmartDNS service. SmartDNS will help you access sites around the world. Unlimited SmartDNS access costs $4.95 a month or $49 a year. VPN members also have access to SmartDNS.
Like a lot of VPN providers OverPlay offers term discounts. The longer the term the more you save. You can sign up for billing on a monthly, quarterly, six month or annual basis. Their annual plans are the best value at a discount of 20% off.
You can pay for OverPlay using major credit cards including Visa and MasterCard. Their memberships are recurring. You can easily manage your account or cancel anytime from within the subscription page of OverPlay’s members area.
Risk Free Trial Period
I always want some time to test a service. Not everyone gives you that opportunity but luckily OverPlay does. They understand you need to make sure everything works. To help they offer a 2 day money back guarantee. If you’re unhappy for any reason simply cancel within the first two days for a full refund.
OverPlay Network and Server Locations
The OverPlay team manages a large network of servers. With VPN server locations around the world and SmartDNS in several countries as well. You’ll find their selection is better than most and right up there with other leading VPN services.
As you can tell OverPlay manages a large network. They have multiple server locations in popular countries like the United States, United Kingdom and several other countries. Members can connect to any location and switch servers anytime.
OverPlay has VPN servers in Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.
Privacy and Security
You select the level of privacy and security based on whether you desire encryption. If privacy is your goal then I suggest OverPlay’s VPN service. If you don’t need encryption and would rather have the fastest access to sites like Netflix from anywhere then OverPlay’s SmartDNS access is the best choice.
Members of the VPN service are greeted with a full range of protocols within the OverPlay client. They support OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP connections. Offering a good balance of security and compatibility with a wide range of operating systems.
There are a lot of good VPN providers out there. With hundreds of options I look for the best software to compliment the user experience. OverPlay has developed client software for Windows and Mac. The user interface is clean and easy to use.
Connecting with the Windows VPN Client
Let’s start by taking a look at OverPlay’s Windows client.
Windows users will be greeted by the client interface shown above. As you can see the client displays server locations along with the ping time for each server. The lower the ping the better you can expect the connection speed to be. Lower ping means lower latency and better performance.
You can select between OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP protocols inside the Windows client software. I suggest OpenVPN (fast mode) for everyday use. If you ever have problems connecting then PPTP and L2TP are solid alternatives.
Connect with the Mac VPN Client
In addition to their popular Windows software, OverPlay has also developed a Mac client. You can download the latest version from the setup area of their site. The client is compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or above.
Connect from iPhone or iPad
OverPlay doesn’t have an iOS app but they’ve automated the install process. Members can enter their account details on the OverPlay site and it will generate a mobile config file. That will help save you some time and effort.
If you want complete control over configuring your VPN connection OverPlay offers simple instructions for iOS devices. You can easily set up your iPhone or iPad to connect to any OverPlay server using PPTP or L2TP protocol.
Here’s the set up instructions for iOS devices:
1) Access your home screen and tap Settings
2) Tap General
3) Tap Network
4) Tap VPN
5) Tap “Add VPN Configuration…”
6) Select PPTP or L2TP from the tabs at the top
7) Enter ‘vpn-us-east.overplay.net’ for the server, or whichever server address you wish to connect to. Account and password are your OverPlay login details. RSA SecureID should be OFF, Encryption Level should be AUTO, Send All Traffic turned ON, and Proxy set to OFF. If you chose L2TP, set the shared secret to ‘overplay.net’
8) Tap Save in the top right corner
9) You are back on the prior page and should see a new ‘OverPlay’ option beneath the ‘Choose a configuration’ heading. Tap this and a tick should appear beside it
You can now tap the ‘ON/OFF’ button beside the VPN label, to turn VPN on. You will connect and show status ‘Connected’.
Connect from an Android Device
Once again OverPlay doesn’t offer an app for Android devices but the set up process is very simple. You can configure your Android phone or tablet to connect to server locations using either PPTP or L2TP protocol. It only takes a minute to configure.
Here’s the set up instructions for Android devices:
1) Press the menu button and select Settings
2) Select Wireless controls
3) Select VPN settings
4) Select Add VPN
5) Select “Add PPTP VPN” or “Add L2TP VPN”
6) Enter ‘vpn-us-east.overplay.net’ for the VPN server, or whichever server address you wish to connect to. Leave PPTP encryption enabled if you selected PPTP. If you selected L2TP then first leave L2TP secret disabled – on Android devices only enable L2TP secret (and set it to ‘overplay.net’) if you have trouble without enabling it.
7) Press the menu button and select Save
Once the VPN is added it should appear in the VPNs list. You can select it to connect.
OverPlay Speed Test
I tested OverPlay using OpenVPN which is the most secure protocol. I used the default fast mode inside the client which I believe uses UDP to connect. As you can see my speed wasn’t much different on the VPN than it was direct to my ISP.
I like the mix of services offered by OverPlay. They manage a strong VPN network for those seeking online privacy. Along with SmartDNS for those who want to access sites like Netflix and BBC from anywhere in the world without the speed loss of using an encrypted connection.
What I liked most about the service:
Variety of services (VPN and SmartDNS)
Easy to use Windows and Mac clients
Support for OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP protocols
Shared dynamic IP’s for better privacy
Term discounts on annual sign ups
Ideas to improve the service:
Offer mobile apps for iOS and Android
Add bitcoin as a payment option
Consider dedicated IP as an add-on
I like OverPlay and suggest you try their service out for yourself. Remember that you’ll want to choose the VPN if you want privacy protection. It includes SmrtDNS as well. Regardless of which option you choose OverPlay offers a two day money back guarantee. That’s plenty of time to test the service.