Difference between Unlocator Smart DNS and VPN

Unlocator offers both Smart DNS and VPN. While the use cases for each product differ there are often areas where they overlap. Below we have listed the pros and cons of the two types of services.

VPN Pros

  • Can unblock any service in the country you connect to.
  • Unlocator VPN has Hybrid mode, which gives you access to all Smart DNS channels from any VPN server. No additional setup.
  • All traffic is encrypted.
  • Great for privacy and browsing anonymously.
  • Bypass censorship.
  • Bypass firewalls at schools, work, and hotels.
  • Can bypass most ISP restrictions such as DNS hijacking and transparent proxies.

VPN Cons

  • Only works on computers, tablets, phones, and routers with special firmware.

Smart DNS Pros

  • Only DNS traffic related to geolocation is sent to the needed location. Everything else works as it normally would with the DNS from your ISP.
  • No speed reduction.
  • Works on all devices including computers, Apple TV, Roku, Smart TVs, Gaming Consoles, Phones, Tablets, and any router.
  • Unblock services from several countries at the same time.
  • Does not have to be switched on and off.
  • Do not interfere with local services such as your online banking etc.
  • Your traffic remains unchanged. Encrypted traffic remains encrypted and unencrypted remain unencrypted. Just like when you use the DNS from your ISP (Internet Service Provider).

Smart DNS Cons

  • Unblocks selected services and not all websites in a given country. Please see our channels page.
  • A few ISPs and hotels use transparent proxies and DNS hijacking, which interferes with DNS. Please see this list and this article. To work around such a restriction you will need to use our VPN.
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