Overplay Review 2015
- Packages and Pricing
- Help and Support
- Installation / Ease of Use
- Speed and Reliability
- Device Compatibility
- Service Compatibility
Overplay Review 2015 SmartDNS
Here I will share my experience with the Overplay SmartDNS service. You may already know that Overplay also offers its relatively new Global VPN Service. I will review this service soon so please subscribe to keep up to date with this.
In the meantime, lets concentrate on the SmartDNS service. If you aren’t sure what a DNS service is and why you might choose one instead of a VPN check out this article. To very briefly summarise, a DNS server will be configured to work with multiple services by simply changing the DNS servers of your device. This means you can show as being in the UK if you use BBC.co.uk or the USA if you use Hulu for example, without changing servers.
Major bonuses of using Domain Name Server (DNS) services are:
- No loss is internet speed
- No server changes
- No software installation
- Very simple to use (no checking connections etc)
- A relatively cheap service
So lets take a look at the pros and cons of Overplay.net.
Signing up is easy. As is common with digital service providers you need to become a customer before you choose your package. It’s a simple form
One you have done that you can choose between the options of
Global VPN (not being reviewed)
Or both as a bundle. That’s it. Its very simple.Visit Overplay
Installation, Configuration and Ease of Use
Overplay requires a change to your DNS settings rather than the installation of software. Briefly, on any device you will see in the internet connection settings an IP address that has been assigned, a gateway and some DNS addresses. Normally this looks something like this:
Installation essentially involves typing over the 3rd and 4th numbers respectively. That’s it. You need to reboot your device before establishing a connection and then you are all set.
On the overplay website it is easy to navigate to your device in order to get assistance installing or you can simply speak to their live chat service.
As soon as you are up and running I recommend logging into your overplay account and defining your Netflix locale. You can choose any country where Netflix is available. For testing I chose the USA (see more later).
Given the ease of configuration it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Overplay can be installed on a plethora of devices and computers including:
- Windows PCs
- Linux PCs
- Android Devices
- iOS Devices
- Boxee Box
- Xbox One
- Wii U
In addition though, it also supports installation direct to your router. Which can mean all devices behind your router can take advantage of the Overplay DNS service.
In order to test this I installed the service on my DD-wrt router. If you want to see how this is done just check this quick guide. However, what is important is that clear configuration instructions are included on the Overplay website. The support is also very good (see help and support section.
Overplays SmartDNS servers span some 50 countries and the services it covers include but are certainly not limited to:
Overplays US channels
- ABC Go / Watch
- Amazon Instant / Prime
- FOX NOW / Soccer
- Hulu Plus
- Netflex (any Netflix locale actually!)
Overplays European Channels (excluding UK)
- Zattoo DE
- RTE Player
- RTL XL
- BBC/ Sport
- ITV Player
- Now TV (standalone Sky subscription packages)
- Sky Go (Subscription linked add on perfect for taking your sub abroad)
Rest of World
- BeIN Sports
- ABC iView
- Foxtel Go
- Jump in
- SBS (au)
- Premier League Pass
- TVNZ on Demand
Speed and Reliability
As mentioned earlier one major advantage of using a DNS over a VPN service is the speed. You lose none. If your ISP offers your 50MBps then you get 50Mbps. In practice this means simply that the quality of the stream is as good as your internet connection will allow. I have used Netflix USA using a number of VPN providers (see the reviews) and in each instance an excellent stream could be achieved with only around 5Mbps plus. For a DNS service then, this should be no problem. And it wasn’t.
I watched five episodes of season 6 of Sons of Anarchy on the USA Netflix accessed from the UK. Not only did the Netflix site load instantly but via my PS3 I noticed absolutely no difference in service from my normal set up. A great result.
Over the course of those five episodes over a three night period not one pixel dropped, no buffering or jagged edges. Just crisp HD streaming. If you think you like Netflix and you haven’t used the USA one I highly recommend you do. There is far more content on the USA one than even the UK or Canadian one.
Over three nights I was pretty happy that the service was reliable but to be sure I checked some other services I could think of at the time. Principally, I tried Starsports.com (not available via Overplay DNS, the Global VPN is required for this service to work), Hulu, BBC and CrunchyRoll.
Below is a screenshot from Law & Order SVU on Hulu
Ali on Hulu
Darts Broadcast on BBC iPlayer
Random Anime from CrunchyRoll
Security and Privacy
As this is a DNS service and not a VPN there is no encryption and this service should not be used if you wish to improve your privacy and online security.
Help and Support If you require security and encryption services I recommend you check out the GlobalVPN service instead or see my other reviews. Having said that, Overplay has a policy of no logs when it comes to user activity and promises not to share your data with anyone.
Packages and Pricing
Overplays simplicity carries through to its pricing and products. All too often there are services with loads of plans and confusing add ons but overplay takes a far simpler approach.
You can choose the Smart DNS service or the Global VPN service which includes the DNS service.
The Smart DNS service is available for periods of 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months.
It is priced very competitively at $4.95, $13.95, $26.95 and $49.95 respectively. Essentially 12 month plan works out at $4.16 per month or around £2.77. However you dress it up, that is incredibly cheap.
If entertainment is your only concern then I wholeheartedly recommend the Overplay SmartDNS service. Having used VPNs for years, I was shocked by how much more convenient this was.
|Package||Duration||Total Cost||Equivalent Monthly Cost||Visit|
|Smart DNS||1 month||$4.95||$4.95||Subscribe|
|Smart DNS||3 Months||$13.95||$4.65||Subscribe|
|Smart DNS||6 Months||$26.95||$4.49||Subscribe|
|Smart DNS||12 Months||$49.95||$4.16||Subscribe|
My only comment around pricing is that $9.95 for the Global VPN. Although it is a good deal, and a lot of product, the price point is high for someone who may be looking for just a VPN and it feels like they are pricing themselves out a little. That said, the GlobalVPN is outside the scope of this review. I mention it as many people who visit overplay will be confronted with the choice of choosing one or both plans.
Help & Support
So often overlooked is the help and support of companies. Its too easy in the age of the internet to neglect your customers once you have their money. Thankfully this is not the case with Overplay. I made a number of enquiries and whilst on the first occasion I didn’t get the answer I needed. Someone unrelated to the query followed it up by emailing me the next day with everything I needed. That was a nice touch.
Secondly, I did use the live chat and each time I was connected to someone within about 1 minute. They were helpful each time and pretty much gave me everything I requested information wise.
Overall then, I had an excellent experience with this product.
I will summarise my experience below
- Exceptionally simple to use
- No loss of speed meant excellent streaming quality all the time
- Cheap, at $4.95pm (maximum) its very good value for money
- Installation on my router gave a one stop installation that all my devices can use
- Easy registration
- I couldn’t get Tenplay or Starsports working
- You can’t switch it off (although I can’t really think of a compelling reason to do so!)
- There is no auto renew feature. (This could be a good thing depending on your point of view)
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