“Setting up” the PureVPN SmartDNS is different than with most other DNS affiliated companies. In fact, this process is different if you use a client (or app) or if you resort to manual setup. In both cases however, you must register your IP address in the client area of the official website in order for the smart DNS to take effect. With the client solution, you have an extremely easy job. Start your program, go to the settings, and simply tick the box that enables smart DNS. Manual setup is a bit harder and slightly differs in the case of every device. It involves accessing the properties of your internet connection and changing the DNS address there. We recommend taking a closer look that various setup guides PureVPN provides in this case. There are many of them, and you will surely find the device – smart DNS combination you are looking to work with.
A little advantage of using a client software or app is that it lets you customize what you wish to do with it online. Streaming, unblocking, staying secure, file sharing and using remote IPs are the five presets offered once you log in. If you select any of them, the client will configure itself based on what you selected. We again emphasize that the VPN and DNS are closely intertwined here; they were designed to work together.
Channels & Streaming Services
The official website advertises its smart DNS service with a selection of channels available. Today, you can view up to 290 different broadcasts from 10 countries online. They are not equally represented, though; the US steals the majority of the limelight, with the UK a distant second. The others – Egypt, Germany, Italy, France Sweden, and Greece – have minor selections, while Spain and India have a sole channel available. In our opinion, while the streaming capabilities are vast with PureVPN, the number of countries are few, and your biggest benefit from the service comes if you are interested in UK or US online content.
Smart DNS Network
Despite PureVPN SmartDNS not being a standalone product, there are some advantages to this drawback. For example, you gain full access to the VPN network of PureVPN, which is a lot bigger than most smart DNS providers’ selections. The impressive number of 141 different countries is seldom equaled on the market. From the viewpoint of smart DNS, the value of this global VPN network increases if you think about the fact that by changing your IP address as well, you get to unblock all of the content of the country you connect to, not just certain streaming channels. This is perhaps the area of service that actually reaps benefit from VPN and smart DNS being so closely intertwined.
By now, you are most probably informed about PureVPN’s VPN services a bit. This is one of the best such products on the market. You can connect to 141 different countries online when using PureVPN, and your safety online is backed up by a number of protocols. First, you have the kill switch, an automatic fail safe device that activates if your VPN connection is being intruded by outside forces. Secondly, you can also enjoy the top encryptions of the day, from the more unsafe PPTP to the advanced OpenVPN. Browsing is made a lot easier via SSL support, and device support is very good for a VPN (but slim for a smart DNS).
OS, Device Support
It is true that most companies that focus on VPN primarily are less extensive in terms of device support. PureVPN is no different matter; as a bit of remedy though, we must highlight the knowledgebase of the official website. There are separate setup guides for both VPN and smart DNS there. Thus, you can use PureVPN SmartDNS on the following machines or with the following applications.
For desktop and laptop operating systems, you have Windows, Mac and Chrome OS and Ubuntu Linux. Mobile devices are also usable, with Android, the iPhone and iPad. Gaming consoles include PS4, Wii, and Wii U. Routers are not specified, as the process of setting up one is the same every time (you do not need to mess around with the router itself), so “technically” all of them can be used with PureVPN SmartDNS (the official website states 50+ routers). Other devices include Boxee Box, Apple TV, Google TV, LG Smart TV, Western Digital Live TV, Panasonic TV, Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, Now TV Box, Samsung TV, Toshiba TV and LG Smart TV Upgrader Box.
Pricing for PureVPN SmartDNS works in a bit more intricate way than elsewhere. You do not get standard models for your costs, as the smart DNS itself is just an addition to the VPN side of services. Still, it costs money, but not in all cases. Therefore, based the duration of your subscription, you can purchase PureVPN SmartDNS or get it for free. However, you must purchase the VPN as well, and this is huge disadvantage for those who are only interested in the DNS solution. You can try out the service for $2.5, which is obviously not a free trial. For all purchases, there is a 7-day money back guarantee.
There are three different packages offered by the company. In the case of the one-month and six-month ones, you must pay for the smart DNS as well. In both cases, you are required to fulfill a $2.99 per month payment. The VPN itself costs $12.94 for one month and $62.89 ($10.48) for half a year. The annual plan is different from these two. You will get the smart DNS for free, and you costs are also a lot better, with an overall cost of $49.95 ($4.16/mo). This offer is 67% off compared to the standard price. In our opinion, if you are looking for a short term VPN or smart DNS service, PureVPN is not the company for you. However, if you are thinking ahead in time, then the annual plan is a suitable choice. This 12-month pack is also good for smart DNS; companies that deal exclusively in such service have roughly the same costs, but you will also get a VPN to use in this case.
Payment options include PayPal, credit and debit cards, Alipay, paysafecard, Skrill, Payza and bank transfers via Western Union. The company advertises itself as having an additional 150+ payment methods, so it is worth checking out your possibilities.
Three main methods exist for getting in touch with customer service. For immediate help, try the live chat, available on every page of the official website. At the bottom of most pages you can also find links to ticket submission and e-mail contact. In the case of the former, you can attach files to better illustrate your point. Support runs 24/7 on the various communication channels offered. Social media presence is also strong with PureVPN; the company is present on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even YouTube, where you can find tutorial videos for various issues.
Overall, PureVPN SmartDNS has its ups and downs. On the one hand, you can enjoy one of the most extensive networks on the smart DNS market. On the other hand, this is the result of the product being an addition to the VPN that has the network itself. We are also a bit concerned about the smart DNS not always being a free addition, but then again, you gain the most benefit if you opt for an annual payment, as this plan is better than most standalone smart DNS solutions. From the viewpoint of smart DNS, you basically get a VPN on top of it. We think that PureVPN SmartDNS is a situational service, where you can gain great advantages, but only for specific uses.
- 141 countries (with VPN)
- Unblocking capabilities
- Cheap with annual plan
- Pricey on non-annual plans
- Not a standalone product
- No free trial