Smart DNS services are preferred by many people due to the speed that they can offer. With a Smart DNS, it is possible to redirect web requests through an intermediary server that allows you to hide your real location. One of the services available in the market is offered by Danish provider Unlocator. Their service focuses on Smart DNS, but it also adds a VPN solution, which is handy considering that Smart DNS are blocked by some ISPs and networks. Unlocator aims to help people to defeat restrictions and although it also supports VPN, which can add security to your traffic, the main purpose of the service is to offer a Smart DNS solution. In this review, we will take a closer look at what Unlocator offers.
Privacy and Security
When you use a VPN, your entire traffic is encrypted and others can’t find out what websites you visit or what else you do when you are connected to the internet. Thanks to the encryption that a VPN offers, your activities remain private. In addition, a VPN adds a layer of anonymity because it masks your real IP address. If somebody checks your IP address, they will see the IP address assigned by your VPN. A VPN offers both security and privacy and it prevents third-parties from monitoring what you do when you are online. Others won’t be able to determine what traffic on the internet is leaving your computer or coming to it. The problem with Unlocator is that it doesn’t offer this level of protection.
Although Unlocator uses L2TP to protect traffic from Mac and iOS, as well as PPTP for Windows and Android, these protocols are not the strongest options available. In fact, PPTP is widely considered as a weak option and it is likely that it was already cracked by the likes of the NSA. OpenVPN is the most reliable and stable solution in terms of security, so it is disappointing that it is not available. That being said, security and anonymity are not the main goals of Unlocator. Its main purpose is to allow users to unblock streaming services. In terms of privacy, the company states that no logs are kept.
In order to use the service, you don’t need to download an app. Once you sign up, you are given the possibility of accessing their network of servers so that your connection is rerouted through them. There is an extensive list of services that you are meant to be able to unblock by using Unlocator. The list includes channels from around the world and services like Hulu and BBC iPlayer. However, it may not be the right choice if you are hoping to bypass the geographical restrictions on Netflix. This service is not in the list of content supported by Unlocator and this doesn’t come as a surprise. Netflix is known for cracking down on circumvention tools and Smart DNS services like Unlocator are more likely to be detected and blocked. Although Unlocator offers a VPN as a backup to get around blocks, it is not effective. If you want to unblock US Netflix, you are better off using a VPN that is still able to bypass the restrictions.
The Smart VPN feature only allows you to connect to servers in The Netherlands and it is mainly designed to help you to bypass restrictions on certain networks. For instance, it is likely that public WiFi network block third party DNS, but if you select the Smart VPN tab on your Unlocator account, you should be able to use the service in hotels, coffee shops and other public places. With Unlocator, you can use as many devices as you want with a single account and with the Advanced region changer, you can access multiple services. Unlocator offers set up guides for multiple platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android, iOS, PS3 and more. In terms of speeds, the service offers good performance (particularly when used without the VPN feature) and you won’t notice a significant impact on the regular speed of your connection.
Unlocator offers a free trial that allows you to check the service for 7 days, without having to provide your credit card details. The trial gives you access to all the features that Unlocator offers. If you are happy with the service, you can sign up for one month, 6 months or a full year. The price for one month is $4.95, for 6 months, the cost is $27.50 and for 12 months, you pay $49.95 USD. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are in the EU, the prices are increased as Unlocator has to add the local VAT charge. Credit cards, iDeal and Bitcoin are some of the methods of payment accepted. Compared to some well-established VPN services, Unlocator is expensive, specially if you consider that it doesn’t offer the full protection that you get from an actual VPN.
The website offers multiple set up guides that will allow you to use the service on the platforms and devices supported. There is a comprehensive Support Center where you can find answers to several questions about the service. There are also useful tips and other information that will help you to get the most out of the service. If needed, you can also create a ticket to contact the Support team via email.
Unlocator aims to be a convenient solution for users who want to stream content that is not available in their location. It supports over 200 channels and it works on several platforms. However, it is not effective in every case and it doesn’t offer protection for your internet traffic. If you want a solution that allows you to bypass restrictions and that at the same time offers privacy and security, a VPN would be a better choice.