If you are a dedicated online media consumer, then you’d know that many sites block content based on factors such as your geographical location. For example, you won’t be able to access all of BBC iPlayer content from the U.S.
If you have a U.S. Netflix account and travel to China, you will find that not all your favorite shows are accessible in China like in the U.S. Domestic censorship and convoluted international copyright laws restrict free access to media content for netizens across borders.
Smart DNS technology allows web users to access blocked content regardless of your location in the world. If you want full access to your American Netflix account while traveling the world, you can use Smart DNS to bypass geographic filters. Smart DNS works with some video and music streaming websites, as well as other sites like news websites that governments may block. If you are completely new to the term “smart DNS,” read ahead to find out what this technology is and what it can do for you:
What is a Smart DNS technology?
DNS means Domain Name System. Domain name is the unique name of a website that people can understand. You may already know that websites have IP (Internet Protocol) addresses that consist of a string of numbers. Computers can understand IP addresses, while people find it easier to memorize domain names. The DNS is what translates the human-friendly domain names into IP addresses that servers and computers can understand. IP addresses allow computers on a network, like the internet, to identify the location of the machine. It is an important part of how the internet works.
It is the DNS that allows a server of a website to pinpoint exactly where your machine is, and thus activate geo blockers. Smart DNS is an intelligent technology that reroutes traffic generating from your computer so the receiving end cannot know where you are. This enabled you to bypass geo blocks, and access desired websites from anywhere in the world. You can use a Smart DNS to bypass geo blocks on sites like Netflix, Hulu, BeInSports, Amazon Video, Pandora, and BBC iPlayer.
How Does Smart DNS Technology Work?
The exact mechanism of how Smart DNS technology works is rather technical and complicated. However, we can explain it in simpler terms, which is what we are doing with this article.
Let’s start with an example. Say you are in Australia. You want to access BBC iPlayer but users cannot access most content outside Britain. When you use a Smart DNS, you can trick the BBC iPlayer into believing that you are actually in the U.K. and not Australia, which will give you access to all freely available content.
The Smart DNS achieves this by changing the DNS of the computer or the device you are using and rerouting the traffic through a dedicated server located in the country of the website. In the example given above, the Smart DNS would reroute your BBC iPlayer access request through a dedicated server in the U.K., not in Australia as a server normally would do. It tells the website you are trying to access that you are a British netizen, so the geo blocks are naturally lifted.
Using a Smart DNS is a simple way to trick a site into believing that you are in a non-restricted country. You don’t need to have the technical knowledge to use a Smart DNS in this manner. You can also use a Smart DNS with a variety of devices, like smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles, to bypass country restrictions.
What is the Difference between a Smart DNS and a VPN?
You may have heard of another popular method to beat geo blockers: VPNs. Virtual Private Networks and Smart DNS technology differ in several significant ways. While both offer a quick pass over country restrictions, VPNs also offer privacy. VPNs are designed to hide your identity while browsing the web/ Also, they provide more security from elements, like government agencies, that may try to track your online activity. VPNs commonly encrypt data that is passed over connections. This makes VPNs a bit slower than Smart DNS connections.
Smart DNS tech does not offer the privacy and encryption that a VPN package might. Because of this exact reason, Smart DNS connections are faster. If you are just looking for a way to bypass a geographical restriction, and are not seeking extra security, then a Smart DNS connection would be your best choice. VPN packages can be expensive because of numerous security tools that come with them. Smart DNS packages offer only one service and are therefore cheaper than most VPN packages. Also, some VPNs require considerable software configurations. You don’t need to spend hours tinkering with Smart DNS software. But do decide on exactly what you need before buying either of these packages. If you require more privacy, then VPN would be the best choice. If not, then try Smart DNS.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Smart DNS
The main advantage of using a Smart DNS is that you can easily unblock censored sites due to geographical location. If your country bans a site, you can use Smart DNS to pretend to be from another country. This, therefore, allow you to access the restricted content.
Smart DNS accounts are also simple enough to install on computers or devices. You just need to plug in and play. So, if you are a rather technologically averse person who doesn’t like tinkering with software, then a smart DNS account would be hugely beneficial.
Smart DNS accounts are also highly versatile. They work with computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, tablets, smart TVs, and just about any other internet-connected device you can use to play music and videos.
Also, Smart DNS connections do not hurt your overall internet speed like VPNs sometimes tend to do. Smart DNS proxies only reroute a segment of the traffic generated by your device to bypass country filters. VPNs, on the other hand, need to reroute all traffic, leading to possible connection speed issues and delays. VPNs, in this regard, are overkill for just unblocking websites. A Smart DNS can do a much less costly and more efficient job.
As Smart DNS reroute traffic from a dedicated server, you won’t have to connect to a different server located in another country to get access, as it would be the case with a VPN. So there’s less waiting time or server related problems that will affect your access to the internet.
While Smart DNS tech offers many benefits, there are some drawbacks as well. One main problem with this tech is that it may not work with all websites. Some ISPs run websites with a tool called “Transparent DNS Proxy.” This proxy can detect rerouted traffic, and will force your machine to use a DNS service the site provides, and not the DNS that was automatically chosen by the Smart DNS tool.
Smart DNS accounts also do not offer blanket access to all websites from a region, as with some VPN packages. Smart DNS unblocks websites individually, not in a group. This allows for quick access, but you may lose access to a handful of websites. But don’t worry too much because Smart DNS works with the most popular sites in any given region. If the tool doesn’t work with a particular website, you can request access by contacting the provider of your Smart DNS package.
Where Can I Get Smart DNS?
Smart DNS services are provided by specialist companies (usually VPN providers) to bypass geo filters. You can get Smart DNS in a VPN combo package if you like. Most exclusive Smart DNS packages come with a variety of features to support some devices. Some providers offer Smart DNS for free. It’s highly recommended to use a paid service with a reputable provider for the best measure, however.
When purchasing a Smart DNS service, always make sure the provider is reputable. You can read online reviews to be sure. The provider should ideally offer a free trial to check out the product. Before buying, find out which regions the Smart DNS has proven to bypass. Learn about the number of unlocked websites as well. An excellent Smart DNS package will come with software and apps that make the tech easy to use on most devices.
Legality of Smart DNS Technology
Smart DNS tech is completely legal to use. However, some websites or ISPs will explicitly restrict smart DNS access. Do keep in mind that using an intelligent DNS does not make otherwise illegal acts legal online. Take advantage of this tech to access geographically restricted content, and nothing more. If you do that, you won’t run into any legal issues.