OverPlay Review

OverPlay does a few things right, and a lot of them wrong. While a very specific kind of customer might enjoy using it, we hesitate to recommend it to the public at large. Read the why in our full OverPlay review.

By Brian Murray
— Last Updated: 12 Feb'19
2019-02-12T00:00:52-08:00
Table of Contents Rating
Features
65%
Decent
Pricing
50%
Poor
Ease of Use
65%
Decent
Speed
60%
Fair
Security
90%
Excellent
Privacy
75%
Good
Streaming Performance
70%
Decent
Server Locations
70%
Decent
Customer Service
75%
Good
User Reviews & Comments

Decent
Starts from $ 416 per month
Visit OverPlay
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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.

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Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Responsive & helpful customer service
  • Simple design & menus
  • Strong security

Weaknesses:

  • Does not work on some streaming services
  • Inconsistent performance
  • Client bugs out at times
  • Uncompetitive pricing

Features

65% - Decent

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 (*cough* China *cough*) 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

General

Payment methods
PayPal, Credit card
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections
3
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
Refund period
Worldwide server amount
650+
Desktop OSes
Windows, MacOS
Mobile OSes
Android, iOS
Browser extensions
Can be installed on routers

Streaming

Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
Can access Amazon Prime Video

Security

Encryption types
128-AES, 256-AES
VPN protocols available
OpenVPN
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included

Support

Live Chat
Email support
office hours
Phone support
User forum
Knowledgebase

Pricing

50% - Poor

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.

SmartDNS
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 3 Included Devices
1-year plan $ 4.16 / month
$49.95 billed every year
Save 16 %
VPN+SmartDNS
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 3 Included Devices
1-year plan $ 8.33 / month
$99.95 billed every year
Save 16 %

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

65% - Decent

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.

Speed

60% - Fair

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)1372.125.98
Brussels12214.54.2
London9566.804.83
New York City1967.52
5.52
Brussels (no encryption)1418.234.47
Atlanta (AES-128 )4666.985.49
Amsterdam9966.944.7

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.

Security

90% - Excellent

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 (read our best VPN for China article).

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.

Privacy

75% - Good

OverPlay has a good privacy policy overall, with a few weak points. It uses minimal information to set up your account, requiring only an email and method of payment.

The most important aspect of privacy with any VPN is that it does not log information regarding the use of its VPN or SmartDNS service. OverPlay also vows in its privacy policy to never sell your information.

That said, it does collect information on its website. Its privacy policy explicitly mentions mundane things, such as operating system, browser type, page requests and time spent on the website. What is suspicious, though, is the clause that says the information gathered is “not limited” to those things.

If you’re concerned about privacy, those words could be troubling because they make OverPlay’s website a potential source of information gathering. It also uses cookies on the website for Google and Bing, but they can be disabled.

Streaming Performance

70% - Decent

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.

Server Locations

70% - Decent

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 (read our CyberGhost review).

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.

Customer Service

75% - Good

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.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a VPN service that does it all, this isn’t it. There are tons of options in the competitive VPN market, as you can see in our VPN reviews.

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.

OverPlay Review

A problematic service with a great interface.

OverPlay does a few things right, and a lot of them wrong. While a very specific kind of customer might enjoy using it, we hesitate to recommend it to the public at large. Read the why in our full OverPlay review.
Starts from$ 416per month
Visit OverPlay
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