Review of Overplay Virtual Private Network Services
Review of Overplay Virtual Private Network Services
In the VPN industry, Overplay is one of the more innovative providers on the market. Overplay is one of the fastest growing VPN service providers in the world. They offer servers in 48 countries. This allows Overplay the ability to service clients better because they likely have a server near you no matter where you are in the world.
Overplay has a very simple website. They are all about making their processes simple for the user. There are two main plans: Global VPN and SmartDNS. I tested out both plans, and they are both easy for anyone to use. There is no need to be a computer guru. Do not let the simple website and setup fool you though: Overplay does not skimp on security and the important VPN aspects.
The SmartDNS plan is the less expensive and less dynamic of the two plans Overplay offers. SmartDNS only costs $4.95 per month, extremely inexpensive for a VPN service. It does not require the downloading of any software to use it either. This makes it so it can act like any VPN service without slowing speeds.
With SmartDNS, there are just a few changes to DNS (domain name system) settings, and the user can browse without restrictions. This is extremely useful for people living in countries where internet censorship is a problem. One of the great things about SmartDNS is that it is compatible with all operating systems as well as any device that can connect to the internet, including Play Station 3 and Xbox.
Global VPN is a bit more expensive at $9.95 per month, which is still competitively priced for VPN services. As with SmartDNS, GlobalVPN is great because of Overplay’s server network. GlobalVPN comes with everything available through SmartDNS plus more. It allows user to encrypt and secure their traffic making it ideal for use in public Wi-Fi hotspots, like coffee shops and airports. Also, there are no bandwidth restrictions.
If you are not sure which service is right for you, it is best to consider what you plan to use it for. If you just want to have access to stream video and audio at high speeds, then SmartDNS is the way to go. If you are concerned about security and want your access encrypted, then Global VPN is definitely the route to choose.
As mentioned above, Overplay has servers in 48 countries. To my knowledge, this is the most diverse network available. They have servers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela.
It is important to choose a VPN provider with a substantial list like the one above because these are the many different places where you can say you are located. This allows you to dodge hackers, those who are harassing you, as well as avoid government snooping and intrusive marketers and advertisers.
Overplay provides uncompromising security in order to best server their clients. Using a standard operating protocol, Overplay ensures that users are free to use their service to suite their purposes while still having a secured experience. Overplay does not maintain a log of what websites their users visit. They only keep track of when clients log on and how much data they are using, and even this information is deleted regularly. In this way, Overplay allows users to browse without the fear of anyone watching over them.
All Overplay servers are encrypted by default. When users connect through OpenVPN or Overplay VPN, their session is encrypted with 128-bit CBC – Blowfish. Also, they have L2TP and PPTP use IPSec and MPPE encryptions. Based on user request, Overplay can provided both non-encrypted and encrypted VPN profiles. All Overplay servers accept PPTP and L2TP connections and support OpenVPN. Some servers also support Microsoft’s SSL based SSTP VPN. They also dedicate specific servers to gamers.
Overplay’s Customer Service
Overplay is available to help customers by providing 24 hours per day, seven days per week live chat. Once you open the chat window and before you go to the chat, you are asked for personal details. I tested the chat at my standard three in the morning. The representative responded quickly and made sure he had all of the specifics of my situation before giving me an answer.
Besides the live chat, they have an extensive FAQ and knowledgebase section. If those options are not enough, there is also a help desk ticket system. I similarly tried out the help desk ticket system at a weird hour and received a response within half an hour.
I was not able to find an email address or phone number for Overplay. I did notice that they are active on social media, so that could serve as another potential avenue for them to engage customers.
Downsides to Overplay
First of all, the user experience was fantastic with Overplay. The only issue we had was losing access to certain servers for short periods of time. This only seemed to happen when I was logged on to servers in Asia, and it did not happen that often or for that long.
Overplay does not offer a money back guarantee. I found that a little off-putting, but their prices are cheap enough that it does not cause much of a dent in the pocket. Besides, in my use of the service, I did not see any reason why one would need money back.
When surfing the VPN discussion forums, there were mostly positive comments about Overplay. I was not able to locate any specific problems anyone had with the service.
Using Global VPN
For the purposes of this review, I signed up for the Global VPN service, so I could also test out the SmartDNS. You are required to fill in your emails address, full name, choice of password and username before you can start the services. At this point, Overplay verifies your email address before you can continue in the process.
Overplay offers the user the usual set of payment options: credit cards, PayPal, and Google Checkout. Unfortunately, for some reason, you cannot set up recurring payments if you are paying with PayPal. Payments for the subscription must be made in advance each month, and you can cancel at any time.
Once they have received payment, you immediately receive an email with set up information and software installation. Installation was pretty quick on my computer. The entire process took about ten minutes. Once installation is complete, you can login using the username and password you selected. When you log on, a box pops up giving you a list of servers you can choose from.
Connection status is easy to check by looking at the IP address. I was able to instantly connect and switch when logging on to the software from several different locations. Switching only took a few seconds at most. All of Overplay’s servers are high speed, but some of them have been classified as “Smart” servers, which are meant to be used for videos and games.
I logged on to a variety of servers to see if they indeed worked. Each of the countries I tested (there wre about a dozen or so) worked great. I was able to tell that the IP address was indeed located in the country it was intended to be in. And, I was able to access location restricted sites.
To test whether there were any changes in download speeds while running the software, I ran a speed test with and without the software running. Without the software running, I had a download speed of approximately 22.1 Mbps. When I used the software and chose a server on a different continent, I had virtually no change in speed: 20.87 Mbps.
The SmartDNS was basically a slimmed down version of the GlobalVPN. It was easy to use, and there was essentially no installation necessary. SmartDNS is an essential service in China and many Middle Eastern countries where speed and access are extremely restricted. There is no need to choose a server, and there is no change in internet speeds. Once payment was received, they sent me the instructions for accessing SmartDNS.
There are many positives to using Overplay:
Taking all of these factors into consideration, I have got to say that Overplay is an impressive company. They appear to employ talented workers, who take pride in providing superb customer service and a great product at an expensive cost. I strongly recommend Overplay for your VPN solutions.