Today’s VPNs often try to be ‘all-in-one’ solutions, offering more than just protection for your private data. To stay up-to-date with today’s overcrowded market and to gain a competitive edge, VPNs often include a set of features bringing more value to the price of their subscription. And Smart DNS Proxy VPN (despite its complicated name) is a perfect example of that.
As you can see by its name, Smart DNS Proxy VPN combines two different technologies (this is a 2-in-1 service – being both a VPN and SmartDNS solution). There’s a ‘Smart DNS Proxy’ that allows you to unblock websites, including plenty of different media streaming platforms. However, this technology doesn’t encrypt your data – it’s used for website unblocking only. Then, there’s a ‘Smart VPN’ feature that’s used to encrypt your Web data using a series of VPN protocols. Essentially, you get two fully-fledged services by getting a single subscription. However, is it worth paying for this VPN? Does it protect your data in the best way possible? Can it unblock Netflix? Let’s answer all of those questions!
First things first – we’ll introduce you to this service by listing some of its most prominent features. We’ve prepared three tables for you, with the first one bringing a series of comparative points, useful when deciding between getting this VPN subscription or some other. So, take a quick look.
|Jurisdiction||Canada (5 Eyes Alliance).|
|Logs||Collects some data.|
|Number of Servers||38 countries, 90 servers.|
|Encryption Standards||2,048-bit; PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, SSTP, OpenVPN.|
|Speed Reduction||94%, on average.|
|Live Chat Support||YES|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, routers.|
|Price||Starts at $2.08/month.|
As you already know, Smart DNS Proxy VPN promises to unlock 400+ online services. We’ve tested this VPN with the world’s most popular streaming platforms, and here are the results.
Media Streaming Support
|Amazon Prime Video||YES|
And finally, we’ve prepared one more table – for those who are in a rush. The following table highlights this VPN’s pros and cons, so make sure to take a careful look.
The Bottom Line
|Pros||Unblocks plenty of websites; Good for media streaming; Strong VPN protocols; Quite affordable.|
|Cons||Not enough servers on offer; Collects private information; Incredibly slow performance; Based in Canada.|
|The Final Verdict||Smart DNS Proxy VPN can be easily recommended – but only to those who want to unblock streaming platforms. This isn’t the best option if you need privacy for your online data.|
We’re now ready to dive into our hands-on review of Smart DNS Proxy VPN. In case you’re interested in using this service, make sure to join us as explore and rate various aspects of this VPN.
Smart DNS Proxy VPN – TechNadu’s Hands-On Review
Our review of Smart DNS Proxy VPN follows our usual structure for this type of article. This means that we’ll check various aspects of this VPN and rate them individually. To learn more about this process, we have a dedicated article on how we review VPNs.
It’s also worth noting that we’ve tested this VPN service by buying a subscription. Even though you can get a free 14-day trial, this only allows you to test the ‘Smart DNS’ aspect of this service. To use its VPN, a paid subscription is required.
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
Smart DNS Proxy VPN comes from Canada, one of the least desirable locations for a VPN business. There are no problematic reports from the past, though. Our Score: 5/10.
Choosing which VPN to use starts by checking where it comes from. So, let’s see under which jurisdiction this VPN operates and what that means for its subscribers.
Jurisdiction & Applicable Laws
During the last couple of years, Canada has been fighting against piracy in a very rigorous way. There was even an initiative to ban ‘copyright infringing’ VPN services. All of this is based on real-time data collection that Canadian ISPs are forced to conduct, as this country truly collects plenty of personal information from its citizens. Furthermore, Canada is a core member of the 5-Eyes Alliance, which is an intelligence alliance supported by the world’s most powerful countries that are often associated with severe mass surveillance. All of this doesn’t leave a positive first impression when it comes to Smart DNS Proxy VPN.
Previous Data Leaks
We’re pleased to report that there are no reports that could point to problematic behaviour by this VPN. More precisely, there are no reports of Smart DNS Proxy VPN suffering a data breach. There are also no reports of other types of suspicious behaviour by this VPN, which sounds reassuring.
Supported Platforms & Devices
This VPN supports the most popular platforms. However, there are no native applications for Linux, Chromebooks, and media streaming devices. Our Score 6/10.
You’ll want a VPN that be easily installed on all your devices – and you’ll also want to use it on-the-go. So, here’s what kinds of native applications this VPN offers.
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, MacOS.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android, iOS.|
|Routers||DD-WRT, Tomato, pfSense, Mikrotik, and more.|
In the table above, we’ve listed native applications offered by this VPN. Aside from those devices, you can also use it on platforms such as Linux and ChromeOS. However, a manual configuration is needed in those cases, which means you won’t get a nicely designed and easy-to-use UI.
Perhaps the best way to use a VPN is to install it on a VPN-compatible router. Luckily enough, Smart DNS Proxy VPN supports a wide range of routers and firmware types, including DD-WRT, ASUS-WRT, Tomato, pfSense, and Mikrotik. The list doesn’t stop there, as any VPN router that supports the OpenVPN protocol can be used with this VPN.
When it comes to the ‘Smart DNS’ service, you can use it on pretty much any Web-connected device. This service doesn’t have a dedicated UI – but instead, you simply alter your device’s settings. This means that devices such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, and even media streamers are supported. However, please note that ‘Smart DNS’ is only used for website unblocking – and it doesn’t hide or encrypt your Web traffic.
Installation & Initial Configuration
Installing the application itself is easy. However, finding a way to sign-up for an account (and get your VPN subscription) is quite tricky. Our Score: 5/10.
Getting started with Smart DNS Proxy VPN is somewhat tricky. Instead of offering you its premium-priced subscription plans on its front page, you need to search for an option to get a Smart DNS Proxy VPN subscription. And even then, you’ll first need to sign-up for a 14-day free trial.
So, to get a subscription, you need to sign-up for a trial (on the VPN’s official website). Once you confirm your email address, you’ll get to log-in to your account on the official website. This will let you access the ‘Smart DNS’ service, which can be used free-of-charge during the trial period. To use the ‘Smart VPN’ feature, you need to buy a subscription – from within your online account. This is when you’ll see four subscription plans, so go ahead and choose one. Once the payment is processed, and once you choose your VPN account name (your existing account password will apply to your VPN subscription), you can proceed to download the installation file.
From your online account dashboard, you can download native Smart DNS Proxy VPN applications. On Windows, this application comes in at around 5 MB. Double-click on its installation file, choose where to save the required files, and that’s pretty much it. Launch the application, log-in, and you’re ready to go.
Smart DNS Proxy VPN is a basic VPN solution – designed for average home users. You’ll easily find plenty of more powerful options (for the same price). Our Score: 5/10.
Now, let’s see what kinds of features you can expect in this case. We’ve come up with a list of features that every capable VPN should offer, so let’s see how well does this VPN respond to those criteria.
VPN Features Checklist
|DNS Leak Protection||YES|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||NO|
|Unlimited Server Switches||YES|
Interestingly enough, this VPN service began its life as a ‘Smart DNS Proxy’ service – as its name says. However, it looks like that there’s a long road ahead for this VPN service. At the moment, it comes with a fairly basic set of features, designed mostly for average home users. That’s because you’ll find basic privacy protection here.
When it comes to what’s missing here, we can say that it’s missing plenty. There are no advanced options here, like split-tunnelling, native support for IPv6, ad-blocking technologies, and anti-malware. Fortunately, you’ll get to use this VPN with no limitations including its server switches, bandwidth, and data.
Smart DNS Proxy VPN comes with a very limited server network, spread across 38 countries in total. Many of those are virtual servers as well. Our Score: 2/10.
In terms of its server network, Smart DNS Proxy VPN comes with a somewhat complicated situation. We’ll explain everything you need to know – but first, let’s see some concrete numbers.
Server Count Info
|Number of Servers||90|
|Number of Locations||60+|
|Number of Countries||38|
|Specific Cities Selection||YES|
Smart DNS Proxy VPN comes with 90 servers, at the moment. This is quite low, as many VPNs offer more than 2,500 servers – and some offer more than 5,000 units (while still being affordably priced). Therefore, it’s safe to say that this VPN trails behind in a big way.
It’s also important to say that you’ll find three types of servers here. There are ‘Torrent/P2P’ servers that allow you to download torrent files. There are also ‘Smart VPN’ servers that, aside from being regular VPN servers, also come with the ‘Smart DNS Proxy’ feature built in. And there’s a third type of servers, and those are regular servers (these can’t be used to unblock websites or download P2P files, for example). Also, all of those servers come with different VPN protocols, and many of those are virtual servers (which means that they’re no physical units). Quite confusing, in general.
Ease of Use
You’ll get to use a very simple (quite barebones, actually) UI that comes without deep fine-tuning. In many ways, this VPN looks like it’s still in beta. Our Score: 3/10.
This VPN is keeping things simple. Using its home screen, you can connect to a server and check the status of your secure connection. You’ll see two drop-down lists here. First, you need to select a country, and then you can select an individual server. While doing that, you can see which of those are regular servers, and you can also find P2P and ‘Smart VPN’ servers. Once you make your pick, click on the prominent ‘Turn On’ button and the application will do the rest.
At the top of the screen, you’ll see two tabs. The ‘Status’ tab is actually this VPN’s home screen. The other tab is called ‘Settings’, and this is where you’ll find a fairly basic set of options.
You can choose from different connection types (VPN protocols), enable/disable the application’s kill-switch, and choose whether to start this VPN on system startup. As you can see, there aren’t many fine-tuning options, and pretty much everything is automatic. Once again, this is something that regular VPN users are going to like – while the same can’t be said for more advanced users.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
Smart DNS Proxy VPN unblocks more than 400 websites – including the world’s most popular platforms. It also supports P2P traffic via a number of servers. Our Score: 10/10.
So, is it true that Smart DNS Proxy VPN can easily unblock a whole slate of streaming platforms? We’ve done some extensive tests, and here are the results.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
|Amazon Prime Video||YES|
It’s true – Smart DNS Proxy VPN can easily unblock websites such as Netflix (US), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. Interestingly enough, you’ll find more than 400 streaming platforms on this VPN’s official website that can be unblocked – from various countries around the world. We didn’t test all 400 of those, but those that we tested – all managed to stream video content just fine.
Of course, it needs to be said that website unblocking is done via ‘Smart DNS Proxy’ portion of this service. By using a VPN, you add a secure layer over your connection and encrypt your Web traffic. And when it comes to torrenting, you’ll find a sizeable list of servers that deliver this kind of traffic. However, please note that this VPN doesn’t condone downloading illegal files – and you might get a copyright infringement notice unless you stay to legal torrents.
Security & Privacy
Can you trust this VPN to safeguard your private data? What kind of encryption and VPN protocols does it bring? Let’s find out.
Supported Encryption Protocols
Smart DNS Proxy VPN comes with several VPN protocols that you can choose based on your desired level of protection. There’s the PPTP protocol that comes with fast performance but lacks security. Then, there are L2TP, IKEv2, and IKEv1 – all bringing 256-bit encryption. And finally, there’s the OpenVPN protocol and the SSTP protocol – both bringing 2,048-bit encryption.
In other words, if you truly care about using a fully anonymous VPN that can 100% safeguard your privacy – you should choose a certified ‘no-logs’ VPN provider. Sadly, Smart DNS Proxy VPN isn’t one of those options.
DNS Leak Test
As you can see from the image above, this VPN doesn’t leak your data. Websites that you visit will be able to see only your virtual information, supplied by Smart DNS Proxy VPN.
Speed & Performance
Smart DNS Proxy VPN comes with disappointing performance – as it throttled the speed of our Web connection by 94% on average. Our Score: 1/10.
To check what kind of performance this VPN offers, we’ve connected and tested both nearby and remote servers. So, here are the results.
To get started, we’ve checked the speed of our Web connection – without enabling this VPN. As you can see from the screenshot above, we managed to get 149.01 Mbps for downloads and 10.49 Mbps for uploads.
Our first round of tests of this VPN’s servers included connecting to a nearby server first. We’re located in Europe with plenty of options in terms of servers offered by this VPN. We found one in a neighbouring country. Upon connecting to that server, we managed to get 6.86 Mbps for downloads and 13.51 Mbps for uploads.
And finally, we also checked the speed of a remote server (in the USA, in our case). This server managed to bring us 11.05 Mbps for downloads and 5.19 Mbps for uploads. So, here are all the results.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline Speed||149.01 Mbps||10.49 Mbps||0%|
|Nearby Server||6.86 Mbps||13.15 Mbps||95.4%|
|Remote Server||11.05 Mbps||5.19 Mbps||92.5%|
On average, this VPN slowed by down by around 94%. Sadly, we have to say that this is the weakest result we got from any VPN we tested so far (and we’ve tested plenty).
There are plenty of helpful resources on the official Smart DNS Proxy VPN website – including 24/7 live-chat as well. Our Score: 9.5/10.
So, what can you do in case of any questions or issues? Well, Smart DNS Proxy VPN is offering several ways to get help. First and foremost, there’s a live chat option on their website – which is available 24/7. We used this option a few times while writing this article, and we managed to talk to a real person who was quite helpful. Then, there’s email support – which you can use to open a customer support ticket.
When it comes to other helpful resources, you’ll find plenty of installation guides, technical guides, and a bunch of frequently asked questions. All in all, we believe that your question will be answered in a timely manner – no matter which communication channel you select.
Even though it offers competitive prices, Smart DNS Proxy VPN comes with misleading marketing messages and overly complicated sign-up procedure. Our Score: 6/10.
You must be wondering how much you need to pay for this VPN service? Well, there are four subscription plans, as explained below.
|Total Price||Per Month||Savings|
We have to say that Smart DNS Proxy VPN comes with competitive pricing. Even its monthly plan (which is usually the least affordable one) seems like a good deal. Of course, we recommend subscribing to Smart DNS Proxy VPN by going for one of its long-term plans. These allow you to save up to 58% in the long term, which applies to the VPN’s 2-year plan.
Before you get to use (or pay for) any of these services, there’s a 14-day free trial. However, this trial applies to this company’s ‘Smart DNS’ solution. In other words, the trial doesn’t apply to any other features outside of the ‘Smart DNS’ functionality. So, if you want to use the VPN to protect your data, you’ll need to pay right at the start. Luckily, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee.
And when it comes to making payments, you can choose from a variety of credit cards and PayPal. There are no anonymous payment methods available.
Do We Recommend Smart DNS Proxy VPN?
Unfortunately, we can’t recommend this VPN if you want to encrypt your Web traffic and become 100% invisible on the Web. Even though it comes with a set of capable (yet basic) features, there are simply too many downsides to using this VPN. At the moment, we only recommend the ‘Smart DNS’ feature – if you want to unblock websites.
- PROS: Great for website unblocking; Very easy to use; Strong VPN protocols; High-end encryption.
- CONS: Misleading marketing messages; Complicated to sign-up; Somewhat complicated setup; Based in Canada; Can collect personal data; Limited server network; Extremely limited performance.
- OUR SCORE: 5.3 out of 10!
If you’d like to check additional information about this VPN, go ahead and check out Smart DNS Proxy VPN on its official website. And to see some worthy alternatives – here’s our always up-to-date article on the best VPNs right now.