VPN vs. Smart DNS (In-Depth Guide)

| Updated on October 5, 2023

You’ve probably heard about VPNs, DNS, and smart DNS. You may have even heard that you can use them to get around geo-blocking on your favorite streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. But you might be wondering what they do and whether you should invest in one of these tools to help you with this problem. This article will tell you everything you need to know about these technologies – including how they work and which solutions are best for different people.

What is a Smart DNS?

Many firms sell SmartDNS as a media unblocker, which is essentially a proxy. Users may use proxy servers provided by businesses to access media sites like Netflix, BBC, or Hulu and avoid geo-restrictions.

The user’s actual IP address is not modified, in short, you don’t get a new IP address, unlike with a typical proxy. SmartDNS differs from standard proxies in that rather than altering the user’s real IP address, it reroutes their geographical location data through a proxy server to deceive websites into allowing access.

Only for specific services and websites, SmartDNS merely creates a different IP address for you. It’s just a cool trick of DNS.

Simply stated, SmartDNS does not alter a user’s IP address or encrypt any of the data supplied. SmartDNS might only be a somewhat effective method to access media websites without experiencing speed loss due to encryption (although even successful media access has been hampered by SmartDNS providers—with many failing to deliver consistent Netflix access).

Users are not secure from deep packet inspection or snoopers when using SmartDNS proxy servers, which do not protect against them.

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network, or VPN, is a type of secure internet connection. When you connect to a VPN, your real IP address is replaced with a new one, and all forms of internet traffic are encrypted.

Your information is safe whether you’re using a VPN or not. Whether it’s a government agency or your internet service provider, no one can read your data when you use a VPN (however the encryption and security of a VPN can differ substantially).

VPNs are most frequently used for anonymity reasons, but there are also a significant number of people who utilize VPNs in the same manner as SmartDNS. Because a VPN changes your IP address, you may effectively circumvent geo-restrictions – such as those on HBO GO, Hulu, or even Netflix.

In the broad sense, a strong VPN can essentially accomplish the same things that SmartDNS does. However, depending on the VPN you choose, there may be certain drawbacks.

Smart DNS and VPN Risks

If you use a shady Smart DNS service, you’ll be agreeing to have your DNS hijacked—a type of assault that redirects your internet activity to phony websites without your knowledge. A few passwords later, and you’ve been hacked; your personal information is exposed, and you’re unwittingly funding cybercriminals.

The same rules apply to VPNs. Not conducting adequate research on which reputable firm to utilize might leave you exposed to a man-in-the-middle attack. You know, when you believe you’re interacting with a website or server person but in reality, there’s someone in the middle stealing all of your information? 

Whatever service you pick, being reputable is critical. Before you subscribe, do your homework by reading evaluations and examining the privacy policies.

Yes! As long as you do not use them for illegal purposes, using a Smart DNS proxy or VPN service is entirely legal. Governments have on rare occasions limited the usage of VPNs, but while they are not illegal at this time, we always advise checking country-specific laws before traveling because these services may be restricted.

How to Choose a VPN or Smart DNS for Your Needs?

Simply put, you should go with the one you feel comfortable with. Avoiding free services, in general, is a good idea. It takes a lot of money to maintain and run either service. If a firm offers its service for free, investigate why. They’re most likely making money by selling your personal information.

Whatever you pick, there are a few things to check while selecting a Smart DNS proxy or VPN.

  • Crystal clear policies: If they have nothing to hide, they should always reveal this information so you know what they can and cannot access about you.
  • Clean and stable infrastructure: You don’t want your connection to be interrupted by slow connections.
  • Easier to approach: you will be able to get in touch if you face any problem.
  • Customer support: If something isn’t functioning, you’ll want capable specialists on hand to assist.


No matter what you choose but choose wisely and according to your personal or business needs. VPNs and Smart DNS proxies are gaining more popularity ever since the Covid pandemic disrupted our normal life. It is always preferred to use VPNs and Smart DNS proxies when sharing confidential data with an organization or someone you know.

Jeremy L. Price


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