VPN Articles and News

VPN vs SmartDNS – What Should Be Your Choice?

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Saturday, December 19th, 2015


Virtual Private Networks and SmartDNS services are the most popular ways to unlock streaming services like Netflix. But did you know that these services are quite different in the way they function and the features they offer? If you are confused about whether you should subscribe to a VPN or SmartDNS service then make sure to read the guide given below where I highlight the differences between these two types of services as well as explain under what circumstances you should subscribe to them.

1) Privacy and Security – If you want to remain anonymous on the internet then subscribing to a VPN service is your best bet. A VPN acts like a secondary networking layer on top of your existing internet infrastructure which encrypts all traffic as well as routes it through a secure tunnel. Using a VPN would protect your personal data such as social security number, IP address, bank account details, social accounts etc. from ISP surveillance, Wi-Fi snooping, traffic shaping, speed throttling, eavesdropping as well as hacking attacks of cyber criminals. Some VPN services even include built-in firewalls and anti-malware protection to keep your data safe from viruses, malwares, spywares, trojans and ransomwares. SmartDNS services, on the other hand, do not enhance the security and privacy available to you in any way.

2) Speed – Since SmartDNS services were invented to unlock geographically restricted On-Demand services, they provide far better speeds for streaming content online. Conversely, the speed available through VPNs is slightly slower because of the complex encryption process involved. In case of VPNs, the actual speed available would also depend on the distance between your current location and the location of the VPN server.

3) Content Unlocking – While both VPNs and SmartDNS services allow you to get around GEO-IP restrictions and bypass censorship, VPNs have an edge here since they can unblock almost all types of websites. Most SmartDNS services allow you to unblock only a handful of streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Pandora) and social sites (Facebook, Twitter) but they usually don’t support gaming or VOIP sites.

4) Compatibility and Setup – SmartDNS services are compatible with most computers, mobile devices, routers, gaming consoles as well as special services like Roku and Boxee. VPNs, on the contrary, are compatible mostly with computers and mobile devices (though some VPN services can be used on gaming consoles, Roku and Boxee via routers). As far as the ease of setup is concerned, VPNs have an edge since most big VPN companies offer their own VPN software. Setting up a SmartDNS service usually requires tinkering with the Network Settings so it could prove difficult for tech challenged people.

5) Price – VPNs are usually costlier than SmartDNS services since they provide far more functionality. A typical VPN service costs around $10 a month while subscribing to a SmartDNS service would set you back by around $5 every month.

From the above discussion, it is clear that VPNs should be preferred by those who are looking for a content unlocking solution that also provides security and privacy on the internet. However, if you just need to unblock a handful of streaming services then subscribing to a SmartDNS service would be enough for you.


December 19, 2015
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