UPDATE (May 5, 2016): My free trial ended so I tried to continue my subscription by paying using my credit card. Alas, my card details weren’t getting accepted for reasons beyond me. They don’t have any other mode of payments apart from that (not even PayPal), so I believe I won’t be able to update this review anymore in the foreseeable future.

I’ve been using the free trial of Smart DNS Proxy for quite a while now, and have decided to write up a review before it ends. Please do read on if you’re interested in the service or SmartDNS in general, but as for how it fared the past few days I was using it? I’ll get there, but spoiler alert — I’m 100% sure I’ll subscribe after the free trial. 😉

Where all this started

I already taught you guys from a previous post on how to use SmartDNS to bypass regional restrictions when streaming music and videos. Back then, I was using a free service called TVUnblock, but as of March 3, 2016 they decided to stop providing the service. I had to look for a replacement, which ultimately ended up being rewarded to a SmartDNS provider called Smart DNS Proxy.

“Smart DNS Proxy” — Plain but memorable

Smart DNS Proxy Logo

I’ll be honest, they have the most uncreative name for a service. A simple search for alternatives will show you other services called SimpleTelly, Unlocator, and Overplay, just to name a few. Compared to Smart DNS Proxy, they sound more interesting and appealing which trumps the said service. What Smart DNS Proxy has going for them though, is that they’re memorable. While being uncreative has its cons, the simplicity and laziness to think of a better name might have actually worked out for them. I mean, how forgetful must a person be to forget about a service called Smart DNS Proxy when thinking of Smart DNS?

SmartDNS Features

  • 200+ Services Supported
  • Unblock websites & digital media with the fastest way.
  • Works with any internet capable device.
  • Unlimited Device Access

Pricing

I find it weird how a lot of SmartDNS providers do not make their subscription prices readily available on their website. Smart DNS Proxy does the same, so that part is a bit of a letdown. Most of them tend to highlight their free trial, which in this case, is generously 14 days. Not bad!

Like most subscription based services, longer subscriptions often mean bigger discounts. Smart DNS Proxy pricing is as follows (prices are as of writing):

  • 1 month – $4.90/month
  • 3 months – $12.90 (or $4.30/month)
  • 12 months – $29.90 (or $2.49/month)*
  • 24 months – $49.90 (or $2.08/month)*

Those marked with an asterisk are being offered as “special” prices, which you will receive through an email before the free-trial ends. I’m assuming everyone will receive it.

As far as annual pricing goes, assuming you get their special rates, they do sit well with their competitors at a very cheap price of only $29.90 a year, or $2.49 a month. The 24 months options takes that a step further. Their service is probably one of the cheapest, if not the most.

As for their monthly pricing? It’s pretty much average. Nothing else to mention about it.

IP Address Activation

Let me put this out there first since it’s really important (at least to me) — they have support for dynamic host names. This is one of my non-negotiables when it comes to looking for a Smart DNS. I don’t really have a static IP address at home, so this is a very convenient feature.

You can also activate your IP address to use their Smart DNS service through their account panel, and for the tech savvy, they have an API.

Supported Channels

Smart DNS Proxy Channels

If my counting is correct, they have support for 159 channels encompassing 33 countries, which can all be found here. They include the usual popular channels such as Netflix, Hulu, and my personal favorite – Crunchyroll. Do check their list of channels first in order to make sure your favorite one is supported.

Region Settings

Smart DNS Proxy Servers

What’s good about Smart DNS Proxy is that you can change the regional setting of the channels, all grouped by their respective video distribution services. They have 11 video groups, in which you can change the respective Region you want to appear as.

Speed

Like all SmartDNS services, using them will not affect the speed of your internet because they work very differently compared to a VPN. The speed it takes to reach their DNS servers though will vary, and that’s an important aspect of Smart DNS services.

The following are their DNS servers:

  • Australia
    • Melbourne  – 168.1.79.238
      Sydney – 54.66.128.66
  • Brazil – 54.94.226.225
  • Canada
    • Montreal – 169.54.78.85
    • Toronto – 169.53.182.120
  • Germany – 54.93.173.153
  • India – 169.38.73.5
  • Ireland – 54.229.171.243
  • Israel – 195.28.181.161
  • Italy – 95.141.39.236
  • Japan – 54.64.107.105
  • Mexico – 169.57.10.21
  • Netherlands – 46.166.189.68
  • New Zealand – 223.165.64.97
  • Singapore – 54.255.130.140
  • South Africa
    • 1 – 154.70.152.42
    • 2 – 129.232.164.26
  • Spain – 192.162.27.100
  • Sweden – 46.246.29.69
  • Switzerland – 81.17.17.170
  • Turkey – 188.132.234.170
  • United States
    • East – N. Virginia – 23.21.43.50
    • Center – Dallas – 169.53.235.135
    • West – Los Angeles – 54.183.15.10

Geographically speaking, since I’m from the Philippines, Singapore should’ve given me the best ping times. However, that’s not the case for their service which I find odd. Singapore gave me around ~195ms. The fastest ping I got is from Japan at ~160ms.

When matched versus Google’s public DNS servers though, which I got very good ping at around ~30ms, Smart DNS Proxy loses in comparison.

SmartVPN and VPN

 

Smart DNS Proxy Services

Another good thing to consider about Smart DNS Proxy is that they also provide a VPN along your Smart DNS subscription. Free-trial users won’t have access to them though.

I’m at free-trial currently, but when I start my subscription with them, I’ll give you guys an update.

Their VPN is offered in 2 variants: (1) SmartVPN which uses their SmartDNS, and (2) a plain VPN that doesn’t.

SmartVPN

  • Encrypt and secure your internet traffic.
  • PPTP, L2TP & OpenVPN Support
  • Access all Smart DNS Proxy services while you are connected to any SmartVPN server.
  • Download Torrents
  • Unlimited Device Access
  • 5 Simultaneous VPN Connections

VPN

  • Encrypt and secure your internet traffic
  • PPTP, L2TP, SSTP & OpenVPN
  • Stream media from the country of VPN Server you are connected.
  • Download Torrents
  • Unlimited Device Access
  • 5 Simultaneous VPN Connections

Conclusion

All in all, I found that Smart DNS Proxy was a great SmartDNS provider. While I may not have the first hand experience to compare their SmartDNS with its competitors, I can honestly say without any bias that their services was more than satisfactory.

I’m not the authority to say that they’re the cream of the crop, but if you’re already considering them anyway, I hope my opinion helped you out.