SmartDNS Provider Test & Review 2014
Best Smart DNS Services:
HideIP VPN, Overplay, AceVPN, CactusVPN, Trickbyte, SmartyDNS, Unlocator, SmartDNS Proxy, Ironsocket, TorGuard, Unblock US, InvisibleBrowsing
SmartDNS is a new technology, which allows users to work around the geographical restrictions placed on certain online content. In particular, due to its fast speeds, it is useful for those wishing to access streaming media content which is usually blocked to them. Common examples include Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Youtube.
In many ways, SmartDNS can be compared to Virtual Private Networks, as both obscure a user’s true location and make it appear as if their internet activity is coming from elsewhere. As an example, someone in the UK could use SmartDNS to make it appear as if they are in the US, gaining access to US-only content in the process.
However, SmartDNS and VPN technology also differs in a number of ways and these differences mean that neither technology is necessarily “better” than the other – they are simply useful in different situations.
How it Works
In simple terms, SmartDNS works by re-routing a device’s DNS queries to a server in another part of the world. In doing so, the device’s real location is obscured and its internet traffic is made to appear as if it is coming from that server instead. This, in turn, unblocks content which is usually only available to people in that part of the world. More about this technique on “Best DNS“.
Many SmartDNS products on the market have a number of different servers, based in different countries across the globe. This means that users can choose which country they wish to appear as if they are in. By changing region, users are able to gain access to services from all over the world.
Differences Between SmartDNS and VPN
Although SmartDNS and VPN technology is similar, there are a number of differences between the two. VPNs are primarily geared towards privacy and security and offer encryption, as well as online anonymity. All user traffic is routed through the VPN servers to ensure privacy, but this means local websites may become inaccessible.
SmartDNS does not provide the same level of security, as traffic is not encrypted and a user’s IP address does not change. However, this ensures that internet speed is not hit like it is with a VPN. Moreover, only relevant traffic is re-routed, meaning local websites remain accessible and other browsing is completely unaffected.
Supported Devices and Services
SmartDNS offers a wide range of compatibility in terms of devices and operating systems, primarily due to the fact that no software is required. Setup is relatively simple and most SmartDNS products offer support for PCs, Macs, Smart TVs, games consoles, tablets, smartphones, routers and more.
The particular streaming services supported by SmartDNS vary from product to product and support is required for the re-routing to take place. Common services supported include: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Youtube, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Pandora. Some SmartDNS services also provide support for social media sites and sports services.
SmartDNS or VPN?
In order to further clarify the differences between SmartDNS and VPN services, some scenarios requiring usage of either SmartDNS or VPN are listed below. Each scenario is followed by an explanation of which service is best suited for that particular purpose. More info on Smart TV DNS.
- I live in the UK, but want to be able to access the US Netflix region, as I feel it provides a greater selection of films and TV shows to watch.
In this instance, SmartDNS would be more beneficial than a VPN. This is because SmartDNS is designed for streaming media and the speed loss associated with a VPN may make it unsuitable.
- I want to be able to make use of P2P software in order to download music, films and TV shows for free.
Due to the fact that downloads of this nature are illegal, a VPN would be best-suited for this purpose, as the encryption and anonymity would ensure your ISP cannot see your activity. However, it is essential that you check that your VPN provider permits filesharing on their servers, as not all of them will allow this.
- I live in the US and would like to be able to watch the BBC iPlayer, based in the UK. However, I also want to be able to access local US content as usual.
In order to achieve both of these things, a SmartDNS service which offers support for BBC iPlayer is required. This will ensure that DNS queries are re-routed when you attempt to access the BBC iPlayer, but your normal browsing will remain unaffected. A VPN will allow you to access BBC iPlayer, but you would need to stop using the service to access local content.
- I live in a country where access to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook is blocked, but I want to use them.
Although some SmartDNS services offer support for Twitter and Facebook, a VPN is probably a safer option in this situation, as it will protect you from unwanted snooping and ensure your social media posts cannot be traced back to you.
You can use a SMARTDNS Provider with these devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Google TV
- Kindle Fire
- NOW TV Box
- Playstation 3
- Playstation 4
- PS Vita
- Western Digital
- Wii U
- Win Phone 8
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
Look what you can unblock with a Smart DNS Provider:
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