First of all, it is important to clarify that what we call smart DNS is essentially a type of proxy server – a hidden host. You, the customer connect to these servers by changing the DNS address of your device. This is not the same thing as the IP address, though they might appear on the same screen. Pay close attention to this if you use manual setup, which most smart DNS services including Smart DNS Proxy necessitate.
The setting up part is very simple with Smart DNS Proxy. You need to access your internet connection’s properties in order to type in a DNS address the official Smart DNS Proxy website provides you. The good news here is that there are multiple hosts to choose from, and they are divided based on country or region. Smart DNS Proxy provides extensive and helpful setup guides for this purpose. An admirable thing to note is that the company informs you in each guide that they do not use IPv6 protocols. While this itself it not the best thing, always make sure to deactivate your v6 address and use IPv4 instead. Other than this, there is not much to add here. We were satisfied with the simplicity of it all; the only thing you should keep in mind is that Smart DNS Proxy will only work if you have set both a primary and a secondary DNS address. We have experienced minor problems when we used a primary address only. In fact, setup instructions will also advise you to use both primary and secondary DNS addresses.
Channels & Streaming Services
There are three main types of websites and channels that Smart DNS Proxy unblocks: music streaming, video streaming and sports streaming. With Smart DNS Proxy, you can unblock the broadcasts of Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Amazon Prime, BBC or Eurosport, to name a few. The distribution of these channels heavily favors the United States and the United Kingdom.
Also keep in mind that the DNS addresses offered by the company are country specific. However, all countries are assigned into a region as well. This means that if you select Turkey’s DNS address for example, you will also get to see unblocked websites for Kazakhstan or Saudi Arabia.
Smart DNS Network
The selection of countries is good with Smart DNS Proxy. You can view up to 200 different channels across 34 countries. Regardless of which pricing plan you subscribe to, you will get instant access to the entire selection. The same is true for the 14-day free trial. On the official website, this great list of channels is arranged in a peculiar manner. First, major social media websites and others are listed, and the rest is all music and video streaming. This also includes sports channels. The latter types of websites can be filtered on a country to country basis. We are missing additional filtering options like division based on device, but this is nothing harmful.
With regards to connection specifics, we must address you again – it very important to remember that you must enter a primary and a secondary address as well, otherwise your Smart DNS Proxy connection will not operate adequately.
There are two other types of services that the organization offers apart from the smart DNS: one called SmartVPN and another simply labeled as VPN. The names are a bit tricky, as SmartVPN essentially means the combination of the VPN and Smart DNS Proxy (save the SSTP security protocol). You can use both smart DNS and VPN features in this package. Therefore, we are only going to discuss the VPN in detail, as the rest of this review is about the DNS. The main advantage of it is that while Smart DNS Proxy has only one simultaneous connection available, you can have up to five in the case of the VPN. Secondly, your data traffic will be encrypted, resulting in a higher degree of protection. However, your connection speeds are slower because of this; if you are also interested in additional safety options, take a look at the VPN service of the company – they even emphasize the fact that it is completely optional.
We also have to mention that – as if the name was not telling enough – Smart DNS Proxy comprises of proxy servers. Consequently, you are more secure than in the case of a regular internet connection, but you still lack the most advanced technology for online protection. If you are concerned about the transparency of your actions, we suggest taking a look at the SmartVPN or VPN side of services that the company offers. There, you can find PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN support for both, while the regular VPN has SSTP integrated. But be warned; PPTP is not a safe solution anymore.
OS, Device Support
Device support is good for Smart DNS Proxy. We also have to mention a relevant side of the official website here, as the knowledgebase of the company is well structured and helpful in the case of every machine or software. Routers include 2Wire, Actiontec R1000H, Airport Extreme, Asus Modem and routers, Belkin, Bell Aliant Speedstream, DD-WRT and Apple Time Capsule. Computer operating systems are also various, with Chromebook, Mac OS X, Ubuntu Linux and from Windows XP to Windows 10 available. Smart TVs are good to go as well: Samsung TV, Sony TV, Panasonic TV, LG TV and Toshiba Smart TV are the ones you should consider using Smart DNS Proxy with. Gaming consoles include PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Wii U, Wii and Xbox 360. Mobile devices are more standard: Android, iPod, iPad and the iPhone are welcome. Some set-top boxes are usable with the product, too: Apple TV, Roku, Google TV, Boxee Box, WD TV and Amazon Fire TV are on the list. Overall, this is quite an extensive selection of devices.
Smart DNS Proxy has standard prices with a little twist. The company also offers a very advantageous free trial. In most cases, organizations that deal with smart DNS offer one week to try out their services. However, Smart DNS Proxy has 14 days of roaming around, free of charge. The same offer also goes for the SmartVPN and the VPN, too, meaning that with one sign up, you can experience any combination of the three of them. Of course, this review is about the smart DNS side of things only; thus, we are only going to list the relevant prices.
There are four packages available that only in duration and price – you will get the same service every time. The monthly plan costs $4.90. Three months stand at $12.90 ($4.30 per month), meaning a 12% discount. One year of Smart DNS Proxy fares at $34.90 ($2.90 per month), already cheaper than most other annual plans. And finally, there is a 24-month package to invest in as well – its cost is $49.90 ($2.07 per month), which is their most advantageous model, as it is 57% off, a rarity in the otherwise more strictly bound prices on the smart DNS market. Therefore, we rule the prices to be good, and they get significantly better “with age”. Our only grumpiness here is that Smart DNS Proxy is trying to hide its pricing at first – the pricing page is hiding somewhere in the footer of the site, but we captured it for you.
Payment options are the following: MasterCard, Visa and PayPal, along with American Express, Discover, Bleue and JCB.
There are two main methods of establishing contact with Smart DNS Proxy. The first is via e-mail. The form you have to fill in will require your e-mail address too. So regardless of you being registered or not, the helping process itself will be outside the official website. Secondly, the live chat option is great for acquiring general information. Both are available 24/7. There is also some social media presence for the company. They can be found on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. In the case of the latter, you can write to Smart DNS Proxy with some problems, they reply occasionally. Still, the main way of contacting them is via e-mail.
To sum up, Smart DNS Proxy is a decent service. While they do not offer anything exceptional in terms of features, their long term prices are attractive. The two-year plan costs as much as a one-year package elsewhere, and this makes the company worth checking out. Do not forget about the 14-day free trial they have – you are not pushed into a purchase you do not need. We only have minor arguments against the service. Perhaps reorganizing the official website or explaining the country DNS addresses and the regions assigned a bit more thoroughly would be beneficial, but nothing else. Smart DNS Proxy is a suitable choice.
- Device support
- Optional VPN
- Cheap on the long term
- A lot of locations
- Only minor arguments