What is it?
Allows access to websites usually blocked by your location in the world, commonly referred to as geo-blocking.
Do I need it?
If you want to access services like BBC iPlayer outside the UK or NETFLIX content outside of your country then yes!
How much does it cost?
There are two services SmartDNS and SmartDNS + VPN which also offers an encrypted connection.
SmartDNS 1 Month $4.95, 12 Months $49.95
SmartDNS + VPN 1 Month $9.95, 12 Month £99.95
What operating systems is SmartDNS compatible with?
- Mac OSX
- Xbox One
- Xbox 360
- Wii U
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Samsung smart TV
- Various routers
The package offered by Overplay is flexible in that you can opt for the SmartDNS plan which will give you simple unrestricted access to those sites you love or for an additional cost you can included a fully encrypted VPN connection.
Installing and setting up.
If you require just the SmartDNS service then you just need to update something called your DNS addresses from those of your Internet Service Providers (ISP) to those provided by Overplay. The process is made simple by instructions provided by Overplay that show the process step by step. Once you have configured the Overplay DNS addresses this means that your traffic is routed through Overplays servers.
If you also need the addition of VPN to encrypt your connection then you should choose Overplay's SmartDNS + VPN although be prepared to be subjected to a drop in your connection speed as we found when testing this service. If you do choose this option then depending on your device you can install the dedicated client. Currently the free client software is only available for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX platforms with the remaider requiring manual configuration as explained on the Overplay website.
For the purpose of this review our device was a laptop with Microsoft Windows 10 installed, so we installed the free client downloaded from the Overplay website.
Once installed the client when launched has a simple interface requiring only two choices type of connection and location. Firstly giving a sliding scale choice between a speed or security. Both options ensure an encrypted connection, but the security weighted option will provide protection to military specification, which can cause speeds to be slightly slower than the speed based option.
Next you are able to choose your visible location by clicking the location-pin icon next to the city name and make your selection from the OverPlay server list which also provides ping times displayed next to locations. Connection and location preferences made you are then ready to select connect.
Speed of connection
As mentioned depending on whether you opt for speed or security both will have an impact on your overall speed to some degree. However it is far from doom and gloom as my speed test show below.
Speed test using SmartDNS + VPN
Speed test with with SmartDNS + VPN disconnected
As you can see the drop in speed is hardly noticeable in this instance however everyones connection is different meaning your speed loss may be greater than those displayed here, but equally they meybe less. Either way I believe it is a small price to pay for an encrypted connection.
Overplay provides over 450+ SmartDNS + VPN Servers Around the World. It gives simple access to internet privacy and the ability to access content not normally available in your physical location. OverPlay JetSwitch provides the ability to easily change your virtual location depending on the content you wish to access.
If you are wanting a service that offers the ability to access content not normally available to you, due to your physical location in a simple way then SmartDNS is definately for you. If you also require an encrypted connection and your prepared for a slight drop in connection spped then the Overplay SmartDNS + VPN will definately meet your requirements.
- PPTP, L2TP and Open VPN protocols supported.
- Simple to use.
- 450 + servers
- Support for accessing popular content providers.
- Competative pricing on annual pricing.
- No client software for smart phones.
- Slight speed decrease with VPN.
- Bitcoin not accepted.