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How to use Smart DNS to Access Geo-Restricted Content

Dennis Faas's picture

Have you ever tried to watch a trending online video, only to find that it's not available in your region?

A Smart DNS proxy is a solution can help.

Here's how it works:

A Smart DNS proxy can be used to unblock geo-restricted content from around the world. It does this by collecting data related to your geographical location and re-routing it through a computer server located in a region where access to the blocked content is permitted. They do this by changing your Domain Name System (DNS) settings so that the websites you visit think you're in a location where you are permitted to access their content.

Advantages of Smart DNS (vs VPN)

One of the major advantages of using a smart DNS is that it is easy to install and will not slow down your computer. That said, please note that a Smart DNS proxy does not hide your IP address like a VPN does.

DNS stands for Domain Name Server, which is the server that converts network addresses to website addresses. For example, DNS decodes the web names into IP addresses by changing the internet address (e.g. www.google.com) to the matching IP address of the server that resides online the Internet.

A Smart DNS works as an intermediary by diverting your requests for different websites. It changes the part of your request that contains your location with a different one that is permitted by the blocked website.

The result is that when you attempt to access content that is otherwise restricted, you are now allowed to access the content.

How Does Smart DNS work?

A smart DNS Proxy works by changing DNS of your gadget (PC, smartphone, tablet) whenever you try to access geo-blocked content from sites like Netflix. Their servers will quickly re-route your data through a proxy server that is located in the region where the site you want to access is located. They do this for performance reasons.

Once this is done, it will look like you're located in the region or country where you can access the blocked content. This will immediately do away with the annoying "this content is not permitted in your region" message.

Should You use a Smart DNS Proxy or a VPN?

The choice between Smart DNS vs VPN should depend on what it is you're looking to achieve.

Choose a Smart DNS proxy if:

● You want to access content that is not available in your region.

● You want access to more content from a paid video streaming subscription such as Netflix.

● You are not concerned about your online privacy or data. On the other hand, a VPN would be a better match if you want to do all of the above and also bypass government censorship and protect your privacy. Be careful here, as it's important to check only trusted VPN services.

How to install a Smart DNS proxy

Once you've decided on the best Smart DNS, the installation is quite easy and will not result in any third-party applications being installed on your computer.

To do so:

  1. Register with a Smart DNS proxy service provider.
     
  2. Change the DNS settings on your router or device.
     
  3. Connect to the Smart DNS server.
     
  4. You can now access the geo-restricted content you had previously been unable to access.

This process only needs to be done once. Once you finish the initial DNS setup, you won't need to do these steps over and over again. Your connection should now work automatically.

There are quite a few Smart DNS service providers on the market that can provide you with a Smart DNS server proxy. Some of the most popular Smart DNS proxy server providers are Unblock US, Getflix, Overplay, Unlocator, and Smart DNS proxy. They all offer a similar service by rerouting your information and hiding your location.

Their prices are also quite similar, with most ranging from $3-5 per month. Most service providers also offer a service that will not hamper the speed of your internet connection, offer easy installation, and a user-friendly interface.

Top 10 Smart DNS services

In your quest to find the best Smart DNS services, it's useful to look at various user reviews and to make use of the free trials offered by some of the providers.

From our research, the top 10 rated Smart DNS service providers are as follows:

  1. UnblockUs
  2. OverPlay
  3. Smart DNS Proxy
  4. Blockless
  5. SmartDNS
  6. TrickByte
  7. Unlocator
  8. GetFlix
  9. Cactus VPN
  10. Simple Telly

Their prices range from $3-5 per month.

Smart DNS Could Speed Up Your Internet

Another advantage of using a Smart DNS is that it could potentially speed up your internet connection. If you're experiencing trouble with slow internet connections, Smart DNS would definitely be a better choice than a VPN. The reason here is because when you use a VPN, data is relayed from your PC to the VPN server and eventually to the website or service you're using, and vice versa when transferring data in the opposite direction. This adds latency.

That aside, a Smart DNS server would definitely improve the overall connection time to a website or service, especially if your Internet provider has very slow DNS servers. This is the case, and has been reported by many frustrated Comcast users in the past, for example.

Using a Public DNS

It is also possible to use free public DNS such as Google Public DNS, which is the most popular free DNS service. This option offers faster browsing and improved security.

To use Google Public DNS, you simply switch the DNS settings in your OS to the Google Public DNS settings. The process of changing these settings depends on your OS and version. The Google Public DNS IP settings for IPv4 are: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. The Google IPv6 DNS addresses are: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844.

You can use either of the addresses as your primary or secondary server, but you can not use the same address as both a primary and secondary address.

Top 3 Smart DNS Service Reviews

Unblock-Us

Unblock-Us Smart DNS service can unblock over 160 geo-blocked channels from around the world. Using your Unblock-Us subscription, you can also move between different Netflix regions while using only 1 Netflix account. It currently supports 25 Netflix regions, which will give you access to a wide selection of tv shows and movies.

The company has over 100 servers across the world, making it easy to locate a server near your location. Unblock-Us also works on a range of different devices. It's compatible with just most routers, computers, smart TVs, mobile devices, and gaming consoles on the market. It is also compatible with most operating systems as well, with the notable exception of Linux.

Smart DNS Proxy

Smart DNS Proxy by Global Stealth Inc., a company established in the '90s that offers internet security and data protection services. The company is based in the Seychelles and currently has 89 servers in 42 different countries. These servers allow you to gain access to over 200 channels in 29 countries at a very fast speed.

You can access Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, ABC, and Spotify no matter where you are located. In addition, there will be no need to connect and disconnect your service. The service is faster than a VPN. It can be used with most devices. You can use it on a Smart TV, PS3, Router, Mac, iPhone, Android device, PC, Xbox, and iPad.

OverPlay

OverPlay offers a bundled SmartDNS which basically involves inputting new DNS settings in your gadget, you will then use a web console to set up a different location for every supported website (Amazon Instant, Netflix, Disney Channel, Hulu, Zattoo, Now TV, etc). They also have a database of frequently asked questions you can refer to in the event of any problems.

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