Introduction and Significance of a VPN
We live in an era where we face privacy and security-related concerns on daily basis. Thanks to the whistleblower, Edward Snowden, we now know about the NSA’s dirty practices and what it is up to. We know that every move we make is being watched, our conversations are recorded, analyzed and stored. However, this is not all.
Hackers welcome us at every corner of this digital universe. Phishers never let go of an opportune moment to get their hands on our personal data. Spammers have made our lives a living hell and identity thieves are so obsessed with us that they want to be who we are. In the midst of all this mess, we often meet new foes that take victimization to a whole new level.
These foes are the so-called policy makers responsible for geo-restrictions and censorship concerns. Due to these restrictions, we are unable to access the content we wish. Moreover, the rapid trend of internet censorship and geo-restrictions adopted by countries across the globe will soon deteriorate the core concept of the Internet – it will be more like an Intranet afterwards.
All this mess created by hackers, spammers, identity thieves, policy makers and surveillance agencies necessitated the need for an online security solution – and VPN was the answer. A VPN is an optimal remedy, an ultimate solution to all the aforementioned concerns. A VPN not only safeguards our privacy and security but it allows us to breakthrough all geo-restrictions and censorship.
There was a time when very few Netizens were concerned about their privacy and security. Now, everyone has felt gravity of the concerns surrounding us. Those concerned about their privacy and security have already equipped their devices with a VPN. For those who currently seek a VPN, we review one after every 3 days. Today, we will review Overplay VPN which can be considered a competent option.
Overplay VPN’s Packages and Pricing
Packages offered by a VPN service provider can significantly influence users’ decision to buy or not to buy the service. Furthermore, users often seek easy-on-the-wallet VPNs; especially, first-time users. Hence, in this section of the review, we will analyze Overplay VPN’s packages along with their pricing strategy.
Many VPN service providers offer a diverse range of similar package plans. This often confuses the user as he just can’t figure out a package that will be the right choice for him. Overplay VPN likes to keep things simple though. There are only two packages offered by Overplay VPN: SmartDNS and Global VPN (includes SmartDNS).
This simplistic approach is adopted to facilitate and ease the decision making process of users. Through this simple approach, Overplay VPN has clearly targeted two different sets of potential customers. There are many users who use a VPN because they are concerned about their privacy and security. However, there is a segment of users who are not quite concerned about privacy and security; for them, the purpose of using a VPN is to simply bypass censorship and geo-restrictions preventing them to access the content they seek or websites they prefer.
Overplay VPN has categorized their packages as per the preferences of two potential target market segments. For these market segments, Overplay VPN offers SmartDNS (for those who seek a tool to bypass geo-restrictions and cope with censorship concerns) and Global VPN (for those who seek a tool that can safeguard their privacy and security while letting them bypass geo-restrictions). SmartDNS will cost you $4.95 per month whereas Global VPN package is further categorized in 4 plans.
Overplay VPN offers 4 different Global VPN packages to choose from. These package plans are available in subscription periods of 1, 3, 6 and 12 months, costing $9.95, $27.95, $52.95 and $99.95, respectively.
Availability of servers is a significant factor to consider before buying a VPN service. One of the core reasons to use a VPN is to beat geo-restrictions. Hence, number of servers and their availability really matters. In addition, a VPN promotes online freedom and liberty. Therefore, a VPN must offer diverse choices when it comes to server locations.
Overplay VPN offers diversified choice in this regard. Overplay VPN has geographically dispersed servers in 48 regions including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Italy, Turkey and so on. This allows users to breakthrough all geo-restrictions with ease.
Protocols and Encryption
A VPN safeguards your privacy and security through protocols and encryption. A VPN service provider supports diverse protocols to create a secure network that tunnels your data to its destination. Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is the most basic yet commonly adopted by users to create a secure network. This protocol doesn’t hard your Internet speed much; but, it offers moderate security in exchange.
Layer-to-Tunneling Protocol on the other hand is frequently adopted by those who are conscious about their privacy and security. This protocol has a considerable impact on your Internet speed but it provides excellent security in return. Similarly, the list goes on as there are other protocols that users prefer: OpenVPN and SSTP etc.
In this section, we would discuss about the protocols and encryption offered by Overplay VPN. Overplay VPN supports PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and OpenVPN to create a secure network that tunnels your data. Furthermore, encryption supported by Overplay VPN ranges from 128bit to 256bit encryption. With up to 256bit encryption, Overplay VPN assures data security as all the information passing through the network tunnel would be like a coded message.
This minimizes the probability of security infiltration. Despite of the unbeatable security provided by Overplay VPN, if a hacker successfully penetrates into the protected network, he will be slapped with nothing but encrypted data. This is good news for all those who refrain from accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots as they worry about their data security.
Device compatibility is something that enables Overplay VPN to stand tall in front of other VPN service providers. There is no use of a VPN that is compatible with a few devices only. If you seek security, seek it to the maximum level; otherwise, there’s no point of securing your laptop with a VPN when your Smartphone is still vulnerable to unauthorized access.
Overplay VPN is compatible with different devices and platforms. As prescribed on official website, Overplay VPN runs smoothly on Windows (2000, XP, Vista, Win7 and Win8), Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, BoxeeBox, AppleTV, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, DD-WRT Routers, and DrayTek Routers.
This is unbeatable security feature as I see it. With this kind of device compatibility, you can equip every device you may use with Overplay VPN and simply vanish from the eyes of all nefarious entities. For streaming lovers, Overplay VPN offers compatibility with AppleTV and BoxeeBox. In addition, Overplay VPN doesn’t forget gamers as it offers an optimal security tool for their gaming gadgets such as PlayStation and Xbox.
Customer support is another element of the service you need to look for. In the services sector, buyer-seller relationship doesn’t end with the transaction of the product. After-sales service ensures that customer remains satisfied after purchase. When user is dealing with a sophisticated tool like VPN, customer and tech support become prerequisites for excellent service.
Overplay VPN offers live customer support which was tried and tested before writing this review. Everyone in VPN industry loves to brag about their 24/7/365 availability with respect to customer and tech support; however, only few fulfill this promise. Hence, it was mandatory to check if Overplay VPN keeps the promise that it makes.
For this, I contacted Overplay VPN via their “Live Support” feature. I was astonished by the promptness of their support as I received response within 15 seconds. Nonetheless, it was necessary to check persistence of Overplay VPN’s customer service representative.
Hence, I asked different questions and their representative resolved every query with an informative answer. Based on my findings, I would rate Overplay VPN’s customer and tech support 8 out of 10.
Overplay offers different payment methods for transaction. However, the choice of payment modes offered is less than other competitors. Overplay VPN only accepts payments through Credit/Debit Card and PayPal.
There are other VPN service providers that offer huge diversity in payment methods; in addition, the transaction process is a piece of cake. These service providers can outrun Overplay VPN by exploiting its lack of diversity in payment methods and a hectic transaction process.
However, it can be seen that the service provider’s payment process is more improved than before. At first, OverPlay used to accept payments through Authorize.net only but now they’re accepting payments though PayPal along with all leading credit and debit cards. So, it can be presumed that more payment methods shall be offered in future.
Software and Tutorials Provided
Device compatibility is one of Overplay VPN’s significant key success factors. Overplay VPN supports different devices and platforms including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, PS3 and Xbox etc. In order to boost connectivity and enhance user experience, Overplay VPN offers FREE software for each supported device.
The software enables users to connect Overplay VPN in the blink of an eye. However, the software doesn’t support all operating systems and platforms. Overplay VPN needs to be manually configured on some devices: Don’t panic, it is an easy process. Overplay VPN provides detailed and informative tutorials along with visual guides that will help you complete the configuration process in no time.
In order to examine the performance of a VPN, we use speed test. As per the standards adopted, performance of a VPN is judged on the basis of its effect on ping, download speed and upload speed.
We all know that a VPN significantly influences actual Internet speed. However, those concerned about their privacy and security don’t mind to compromise on their Internet speed in exchange of anonymity.
Before Connecting Overplay VPN
The snapshot given below refers to the actual Internet speed before connecting Overplay VPN. The ping before connecting Overplay VPN was 60ms, download speed was 51.42Mbps and upload speed was 4.32Mbps.
After Connecting Overplay VPN
The snapshot given below refers to Internet speed after connecting Overplay VPN. Performance of Overplay VPN can be clearly interpreted from the results obtained from speed test. It can be observed that Overplay VPN significantly reduced download speed from 51.42Mbps to 13.91Mbps (download speed dropped by approximately 72%). Nevertheless, if you prefer to use a VPN, you will have to go for this ultimate sacrifice; because, a VPN affects your Internet speed.
The impact of Overplay VPN on upload speed was minimal. Upload speed before connecting Overplay VPN was 4.32Mbps which dropped to 4.13Mbps after connecting VPN (only 5% of actual upload speed compromised). It is good news for those who love to share and upload.
Nevertheless, I have got great news for gamers. Overplay VPN can be you savior if you face latency-related issues. After connecting Overplay VPN, ping significantly dropped from 60ms to 23ms (approximately 60% improvement). Hence, Overplay VPN is the right choice for you if you are obsessed with MMORPGs and online gaming.
The following steps will guide you to manually setup Overplay VPN on Windows 7. The steps prescribed refer to configuration of Overplay VPN using Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol.
First click on “Start” button and access “Control Panel”.
A new window will pop up. Look for “Network and Internet” option and click on it.
Now click on “Network and Sharing Center” to proceed further.
Click on “Set up a New Connection or Network”.
A new window will open. Select “Connect to a Workplace” and click “Next”.
Now select “Use My Internet Connection (VPN)” and wait for a new window to pop.
Enter “Internet Address” and “Destination Name” and click “Next”.
Now enter your “Username” and “Password” registered with Overplay VPN. Simply click “Connect”.
Wait for the connection to verify the details you provided and you’re done. Enjoy Overplay VPN.
Upon asking for clarification of such requirement, customer service representative responded that the information required satisfies the methodology they follow. However, I was not convinced by his answer. I do smell a rat here as this somehow conflicts with the core reason of using a VPN – anonymity. Anyway, the good news is that Overplay VPN doesn’t monitor users’ online traffic.
While exploring Overplay VPN’s site, I couldn’t find a FREE trial or even a money back guarantee option for that matter. So, I contacted the support personnel and guess what? It’s Bruce Turner again. I guess it was his bad day; poor guy had to answer so many queries from me. Anyway, the glimpse of our chat is given below. You can see that Overplay VPN doesn’t offer FREE trial; instead, they offer 48 hours money back guarantee for their Global VPN package plan. This lack of a free trial and a 48 hour free trial may prevent potential customers from buying or even testing Overplay VPN.
Two days aren’t enough to test a VPN service. One needs at least 7 days to explore all the features associated with a VPN and to test its performance on various servers, at different times, with different protocols and encryption options. So, I must say, it was a huge disappointment. Nevertheless, they offer 7 days FREE trial for their SmartDNS Package. However, after knowing about Overplay VPN’s money back guarantee associated with Global VPN package, I was like – yeah, whatever.
Overplay is one of the major players trading in the VPN industry. Overplay VPN has smartly categorized its potential target market and offered packages accordingly. SmartDNS package plan targets those who use VPN for unblocking websites and streaming whereas Global VPN package plan targets those who are concerned about privacy and security.
You can use Overplay VPN at market competitive price. Overplay VPN has several geographically dispersed servers in 48 countries that allow you to bypass almost every geo-restriction and cope with any censorship concern. Furthermore, Overplay VPN offers 24/7 online customer and tech support to resolve all your concerns. You don’t need to worry about concern resolution. However, a lack of free trial, no diversity in payment methods and a 48 hour money back guarantee are the biggest turnoffs.
If you want to get Overplay VPN, I suggest you start with a SmartDNS free trial and assess all aspects of the service before spending you money. Good luck!
Did this VPN provider meet your requirements? If not, then check out these VPN reviews here.