Smart DNS Proxy Overview
Smart DNS Proxy offers SmartDNS as well as VPN services. However, its focus is on unblocking websites and streaming services that have geographic restrictions. Generally, the SmartDNS speeds are higher than the VPN service, which is a newer service they offer. The best part of Smart DNS Proxy is its compatibility. It works smoothly on multiple platforms, especially if you’re using the SmartDNS service. A DNS proxy doesn’t offer the same level of security or privacy that a VPN does, so you will need their VPN services if you want higher security and privacy.
The setup is fast and the service is easy to use. The price is also below average. There is a diverse range of apps for platforms that Smart DNS Proxy is compatible with. Some of the disadvantages are that it isn’t the best for torrenting or for using in China. In this Smart DNS Proxy review we take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages.
Is Smart DNS Proxy safe to use?
Their VPN has options for both 128-bit encryption and 256-bit encryption. The 256-bit encryption will offer you more security, but it will be slower than using 128-bit encryption since it is a heavier level of encryption. The encryption you use will depend on what protocol you use. Smart DNS Proxy has several different options.
OpenVPN protocol is considered the best and the most reliable. The downsides are that it is slower and not compatible with a lot of Apple devices. PPTP is less secure but faster. If you’re looking for security, you don’t want to use the PPTP Protocol. The IKEv2 Protocol and the L2TP Protocol (presumably, L2TP/IPsec) will work on Apple devices, and also offer high levels of security.
When running tests for this Smart DNS Proxy review, we discovered no leaking issues with the VPN. As a newer service, the VPN doesn’t have the extra features that some more established services offer.
The service costs $4.90 a month but you can save money by getting a subscription. They have a 3-month subscription, a 12-month subscription, and a 2-year subscription. The 2-year subscription is the best deal. You can also try a risk-free free trial. It is a good deal if you are looking for both DNS proxy and VPN services. $4.90 is below average. The average VPN costs closer to $11.00 a month. You just won’t get as many bells and whistles as you would with a more well-established VPN provider.
You can pay with PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. You cannot pay with cryptocurrency, so there is no option for anonymous payment. You can also connect up to five devices at once, which is excellent for this price tier.
Speed and performance
If you just use the DNS proxy, your speed is going to be about what it would be normally. Using the VPN service will slow your connection down a bit, especially if you opt for a remote VPN server. Using a weaker protocol will give you faster speeds but you’ll sacrifice security. After running some tests for this Smart DNS Proxy review, we must say that there are faster alternatives, like ExpressVPN. Right now, speeds are below average. It’s hard to say if they will improve in the future.
How to download and install it
It has a simple set-up process, but if you have any issues, there are video tutorials on the company’s website. It usually takes about a minute to set up. For example, if you want to set it up on Windows, download the install file https://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/downloads.html. After opening the file, you can start the installation process.
Click Yes on the User Account Control message.
The Setup Wizard will appear. Click Next.
You’ll see a License Agreement. Press I Agree to accept the conditions.
There will be an option to change components but nothing needs to be changed. Just click Next->Install->Next->Finish.
Now extract the file you’ve downloaded. The name will be something similar to SmartDNSProxy-OpenVPN.zip. You will now see the Protocol-Port Directories below.
Find the protocol you want and copy the file to the OpenVPN Config directory on your PC. The name of the directory will either be C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config or C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN\config.
The installation is now complete.
Apps and Extensions
The VPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Ubuntu, and routers. You can use the DNS proxy with even more platforms, including Chromebook, gaming consoles, and SmartTVs.
The DNS proxy functionality is more developed and consistent. The VPN apps are all really new so they are all a little underdeveloped. This is likely to change with time.
We really liked the Windows GUI. The interface is clean looking, and it was easy to find everything we needed. The interface is also colorful and generally enjoyable to use. We also like that there are lot of guides and articles.
Smart DNS Proxy for Netflix and Torrenting
Our Smart DNS Proxy review concludes that it can be used to unblock US Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, HBO GO, BBC iPlayer, and more. The DNS Proxy works better for this than the VPN does. If anonymity isn’t a top concern for you, Smart DNS Proxy can tackle many different unblocking tasks. You should be able to trick Netflix into thinking you are in the US even if you are in another country.
However, if you want something that can get you access to Netflix and other streaming services and can also reliably obscure your location and identity, you are better off with a more established VPN.
Smart DNS can also be used with Roku and Kodi. Likewise, you can use Smart DNS Proxy for torrenting, but you have to be cautious. Torrenting isn’t illegal in itself. However, if you torrent pirated or copyrighted material, you could get in trouble for torrenting. If you want peace of mind while torrenting, you’ll better off with a more mature VPN service.
Is Smart DNS Proxy Good for Users in China?
We don’t recommend Smart DNS Proxy for Chinese users, or other countries that practice a lot of censorship, such as Iran, Iraq, Russia, North Korea, and Turkey. When you are somewhere where having a dissenting opinion can land you in hot water (in North Korea – literally) you want total anonymity and privacy. The DNS proxy service won’t give you the privacy you would need in this situation. You’ll get more privacy using the VPN service, but since it is such a new service, you’re better off with one that has an established reputation since the stakes are higher.
Unfortunately, we were unable to test the reliability of this tool for our Smart DNS Proxy review, but the features just aren’t there.
You’ll have several support options with Smart DNS Proxy, including live chat and a ticketing system. Not many VPN providers have live chat support, so this is a surprising plus. The website has many different tutorials, guides, and videos, which we also appreciate. The live chat support was highly responsive, while going through the Contact Us section or Email naturally took longer.
Highlights of Smart DNS Proxy Review
The bottom line is that the DNS proxy service has better and more consistent performance than the VPN service, but the VPN service is also much newer. At least right now, you won’t get the level of security, privacy, or anonymity that you would from a more established VPN provider. On the other hand, the price is reasonable and you can unblock a vast array of different channels and streaming sites.