Making sense out of hundreds of available VPNs can be a tough task, especially if you’re new to the world of VPN services. They all promise a similar set of features, oriented toward protecting your privacy and hiding your Web traffic. And this is precisely why we’re seeing a new breed of VPN services, coming up with unique features designed to set them apart from the rest. One of such VPN is Unlocator VPN, a 2-in-1 solution for protecting your privacy and unblocking a whole range of media streaming services (by offering both a VPN solution and ‘Smart DNS’ solution). So, is this VPN any good? Can you use it fight against Web roadblocks? Let’s find out. Welcome to our hands-on review of Unlocator VPN + Smart DNS.
First things first – we’re going to introduce you to this VPN solution by listing some of its basic facts. With this said, let’s go over this VPN’s ID card, found in the table below.
|Jurisdiction||Denmark (14-Eyes Alliance).|
|Logs||Collects some personally identifiable data.|
|Number of Servers||36 countries; 41 servers.|
|Encryption Standards||OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, IKEv2, and IPsec.|
|Speed Reduction||51%, on average.|
|Live Chat Support||YES|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, routers.|
We’re sure that many of you are interested in using Unlocator due to its media streaming capabilities. So, is it true that this VPN unblocks pretty much any streaming service out there? The following table will give you a quick answer.
|Media Streaming Support|
|Amazon Prime Video||YES|
And finally, let’s go over the most prominent highlights of using Unlocator VPN. If you don’t have the time to read this entire review, we’re sure you’ll find the following table to be helpful.
|The Bottom Line|
|Pros||Very simple to use; Fully automated VPN solution; Great for media streaming; Website unblocking; Easy installation.|
|Cons||Highly limited server network; Collects private information; Mediocre performance; Denmark-based.|
|The Final Verdict||Right now, we can recommend Unlocator only if you care about its website unblocking capabilities. This is a fairly ‘weak’ VPN service that comes at a high price.|
Now, we’re ready to dive into various aspects of Unlocator VPN + Smart DNS. To learn all there’s to know about this application, keep on reading this review.
Unlocator VPN – TechNadu’s Hands-On Review
Even though Unlocator does have some unique aspects to it, we’ll follow our uniform structure designed for VPN reviews. To learn more about the way we review VPN services, please use the provided link.
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
Even though Unlocator never suffered a data breach or anything similar, what’s troubling is that it comes from Denmark (14-Eyes Alliance). Our Score: 5/10.
One of the primary reasons for using a VPN is to safeguard your privacy. Before even making your final pick, make sure to know where your chosen VPN comes from. So, here’s the situation surrounding Unlocator.
Jurisdiction & Applicable Laws
Unlocator is a product created by a Danish company called Linkwork ApS. This means that its operations are governed by the laws of Denmark. In case you’re aware of the European geopolitical situation, you know that this country is a member of the European Union. So, let’s see what this means for the users of Unlocator.
First and foremost, you should know that Denmark has a series of laws that protect the private data of its citizens. There’s the Danish Data Protection Act that supplements the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). All of those laws dictate the way your private data is collected, processed, and kept on remote servers. More precisely, these laws are designed to prevent data processors (such as Unlocator) from logging data they don’t need in order to operate. In other words, only the most essential data can be logged and kept for no longer than absolutely needed.
Everything said so far sounds reassuring. However, you should also know that Denmark is a member of the 14-Eyes Intelligence Alliance. These are 14 countries that have agreements regarding the exchange of different kinds of data, including your personal information. In general, choosing a VPN based in any of those 14 countries is not a good idea. That’s also the reason why many VPNs come from exotic locations such as Panama, the British Virgin Islands, or Gibraltar.
Previous Data Leaks
You also must be wondering is Unlocator is safe to use? Well, this can be hard to tell, and here’s why. For several years now, Unlocator was simply a ‘Smart DNS’ service. In other words, it was used to mitigate geo-based restrictions and unblock websites. Differently said, it wasn’t made to hide your personal data as it didn’t encrypt your Web traffic. However, that is no longer the case since Unlocator turned into a fully featured VPN service, which we’re reviewing in this article.
Supported Platforms & Devices
Unlocator VPN is still a relatively new VPN service. It covers the most popular platforms and routers, but it’s still not widely available. Our Score: 6/10.
Now, let’s see what kinds of platforms this VPN supports. Checking this information on its website can be a bit confusing, so we’ve simplified it for you.
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, MacOS.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android, iOS.|
|Routers||DD-WRT, Tomato, and other routers.|
At the moment, Unlocator VPN offers 4 native apps – for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. The company is also saying that an app for Amazon FireOS is on the way, but we don’t have any estimates when it might arrive. And that’s pretty much it when it comes to this service’s VPN offer.
The situation is different when it comes to Unlocator’s Smart DNS service. Since this service doesn’t need an official app, you can configure it manually on numerous types of platforms including desktop and mobile operating systems, media streaming devices, gaming consoles, smart TVs, routers, and more. However, please note that your data won’t be encrypted while using the ‘Smart DNS’ service. For this purpose, you need the VPN solution, which is still not widely available across many devices.
Installation & Initial Configuration
Unlocator comes with simple installation. It also offers a nicely designed user account section on its website, with helpful overviews of your subscription. Our Score: 10/10.
To get started, you first need to get a subscription to Unlocator VPN. This is done on the official Unlocator website by choosing a subscription plan and going through the payment process. Once you verify your newly created account via email, you’ll be able to return to the website and log-in to your user account.
We have to say that Unlocator comes with a nearly designed user account area on its website. You’ll get to see the status of your subscription, how much time is remaining, and you’ll get to make all kinds of adjustments. Also, this is where you’ll find installation instructions for Unlocator’s VPN and Smart DNS services. Downloading the official app is done easily, without any distractions. Run the installation, choose where to install the files, and that’s pretty much it. Once done, Unlocator will show its ‘Welcome Screen’ and ask for your username and password. Fill out the required information and that’s about it.
Unlocator VPN comes with a basic set of features – which should meet the needs of average home users. However, it’s missing plenty of advanced options. Our Score: 7/10.
As noted earlier, Unlocator is still a new VPN service. So, does that mean that you can’t count on high-end features? Let’s find out!
|VPN Features Checklist|
|DNS Leak Protection||YES|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||NO|
|Unlimited Server Switches||YES|
We can see that Unlocator VPN comes with a fairly basic set of features. It comes with DNS leak protection and it also says that it protects your IPv4 traffic (which we’ll check later in this review). However, there’s no native IPv6 filtering, so you’ll have to disable this kind of Web traffic. Also, there’s a built-in Kill-Switch, which is also a welcome thing to see. And there’s a feature called ‘Unlocator Shield’, which allows you to connect to the Web only when a VPN connection is present.
So, what’s missing here? Well, plenty – including ad-blocking, anti-malware, split-tunneling, and more. With everything said so far, we conclude that Unlocator is designed for average home users who might want everything to be fully automated. More advanced users will be left wanting for more.
This VPN has one of the smallest server networks we’ve seen yet. With only 41 servers on offer, it won’t leave anyone impressed. Our Score: 2/10.
Check out the following table to see how many servers this VPN offers, in how many countries and locations, and a few other useful pieces of information.
|Server Count Info|
|Number of Servers||41|
|Number of Locations||N/A|
|Number of Countries||36|
|Specific Cities Selection||YES|
As per the latest available information, Unlocator comes with only 41 servers on board. After having reviewed dozens and dozens of VPNs, we have to say that we’re disappointed by this server count. In fact, this is one of the smallest server networks we’ve seen so far (if not the smallest).
The situation is all that bad, though. You’ll find servers in 36 countries, there’s unlimited server switching, and you can connect to specific cities as well. All of those numbers are telling us that there aren’t too many servers per each location, which means that we expect less than stellar performance.
Ease of Use
This VPN comes with a very simple UI – which is great for inexperienced users. More advanced users will want more freedom and additional fine-tuning. Our Score: 6/10.
Unlocator VPN comes as a taskbar-connected application, instead of being a free-floating window. This means that you need to find and click on its icon by using your Windows taskbar. This will open a home screen, allowing you to easily connect to a secure server.
Of course, you can also choose a server manually. Click on the name of the last connected server, and a new panel will open. You can browse all of the available servers and you can also choose your favorites (for quick access). Click on any server from this list and you’ll return to the home screen, and this is where you can make a secure connection.
To dive deeper, there’s a cogwheel icon in the top-right corner. You’ll find two tabs here, so here’s a quick overview of what be done.
- App: This is where you can enable Unlocator to start on system startup, auto-connect to a server, and this is where you can choose from the available VPN protocols. Also, we highly recommend you enable the ‘Kill Switch’, to prevent your data from leaking if your secure connection becomes unstable.
- Account: This tab allows you to check some very basic information about your subscription, like how much time is left before your subscription is renewed.
All in all, Unlocator VPN feels like a very basic VPN application – and it brings the same interface across all of the supported devices. It’s easy to use and it seems great for beginners. However, advanced users will probably want more freedom to fine-tune things on their own.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
Unlocator is a highly capable VPN that unblocks a huge array of media streaming services. It also supports P2P file transfer. Our Score: 10/10.
Unlocator VPN comes with many promises of unblocking media streaming websites, and we’ve tested those promises. So, here are the results.
|Media Streaming & Torrenting Support|
|Amazon Prime Video||YES|
We’ve tested Unlocator with the world’s most popular media streaming services – and this VPN managed to unblock all of them. In fact, there’s a sizeable list of supported services on the VPN’s website, so you might want to check it out. Even some niche media streaming services can be unlocked with this VPN, making it a highly usable solution for media streaming.
When it comes to torrenting, Unlocator VPN allows this type of traffic. Since it’s based in Denmark, we recommend sticking to legal torrents only.
Security & Privacy
Unlocator VPN collects plenty of PII information, which can be a reason for concern. However, it also brings strong encryption and capable VPN protocols. Our Score: 5/10.
Supported Encryption Protocols
Unlocator is using ‘military-grade encryption’, which is most probably AES (128 or 256-bit) encryption. However, finding concrete information about this has proven to be a tough task. In terms of the available VPN protocols, this depends on your platform of choice. On Windows, you’ll get to see either OpenVPN or IKEv2. Then, iOS devices support IKEv2 and IPsec. And also, MacOS and Android are based on the OpenVPN protocol.
Unlocator VPN collects your email, name, address, and credit card information (needed to handle your subscription). However, it also collects your IP address and usage logs that are kept up to 24 hours. In addition, Unlocator shares data with data controllers and data processors.
DNS Leak Test
As you can see from the image above, no DNS leaks were detected. This means that Unlocator has the means to protect your private data – and to show your virtual information instead.
Speed & Performance
In terms of its performance, Unlocator falls somewhere in the middle. It’s not the worst out there, but it also doesn’t impress either. Our Score: 5/10.
Now, let’s see how fast this VPN performs. We’ve checked the speed of its nearby and remote servers, so here’s everything that you need to know.
First, we needed to get our baseline data. This is done by checking the speed of our ‘bare’ Web connection, without involving this VPN. As you can see, we managed to get 7.18 Mbps for downloads and 3.52 Mbps for uploads.
Then, we made a secure connection to one of our neighboring countries (we’re located in Europe). This time around, we got 4.49 Mbps for downloads and 2.21 Mbps for uploads. All there’s left now is to check the speed of a remote server, found in the USA (in our case).
Once connected to a server in New York, we ran another speed test. During this round, we managed to get 2.49 Mbps for downloads and 2.61 Mbps for uploads. To make sense of all of these numbers, we’ve put them into a table, so check it out.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline Data||7.18 Mbps||3.52 Mbps||0%|
|Nearby Server||4.49 Mbps||2.21 Mbps||37.4%|
|Remote Server||2.49 Mbps||2.61 Mbps||65.3%|
We conclude that Unlocator VPN slowed us down by around 51%. Therefore, it doesn’t really impress with its performance – but it’s isn’t terrible either. However, what’s important to note is that you’ll find much speedier VPNs for the same price that Unlocator brings.
You can rely on talking to this VPN’s support team via live chat, or you can dive into different types of written resources. Our Score: 9/10.
In case you ever have any questions, Unlocator VPN offers two ways to get help. First and foremost, there’s live-chat on its official website. We’ve used it a couple of times during the course of the writing of this review – and we managed to get in contact with a real person within a few minutes. This VPN’s customer support team seems knowledgeable, friendly to talk to, and they’ll do their best to answer your questions.
Then, there’s also a rich source of self-help material. You’ll find various tutorials, installation guides, and frequently asked questions. This written material is presented in a user-friendly tone, with plenty of screenshots and step-by-step instructions. All in all, quite helpful.
Unlocator VPN isn’t the most affordable VPN out there. It supports a limited number of payment methods and comes with misleading marketing messages. Our Score: 3/10.
So, how much this VPN costs? Does it bring plenty of value for its price? Let’s find out!
|Total Price||Per Month||Savings|
As you can see, Unlocator VPN is priced at $9.99 per month – which isn’t really affordable (especially considering its limitations). However, if you decide to subscribe to Unlocator VPN, we recommend considering its long-term plans. For example, the annual plan lets you save 34%!
Among other important information, Unlocator supports credit card payments, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. Strangely enough, PayPal isn’t on offer – and you can’t pay via cryptocurrencies either. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll have some time to deeply test this VPN service.
Finally, we’d like to point to something problematic. Unlocator comes with a 7-day free trial that you can use only after signing up for this VPN service. However, even though it’ll say ‘7 Days’ on your user account dashboard (on the Web), your app will be limited to 3 days only. So, not entirely honest, right?
Do We Recommend Unlocator VPN?
Even though Unlocator has several intriguing benefits, we can’t recommend it to everyone. We feel that average home users (who aren’t on a right budget) might be happy with this VPN. However, more advanced users that want complete privacy protection and plenty of value should look elsewhere.
- PROS: Simple to install; Very simple UI design; Unblocks media streaming websites; Capable VPN protocols.
- CONS: Comes from Denmark (14 Eyes Alliance); Collects PII data; Very limited server network; Lack of fine-tuning; Limited performance.
- OUR SCORE: 6.2 out of 10!
In case you’d like additional information about Unlocator, the supplied link will take you to its official website. And if you’d like to check out additional options, here are the best VPNs right now (recently updated).