When it comes to unblocking geo restricted websites, you have two tools at your disposal: a VPN and a Smart DNS service. Both the tools will help you jump digital fences and cross borders without any difficulty.

SmartDNS and VPN might look similar but in terms of the technology they use, they both are actually very different. Our website may show that we are inclined towards favoring VPN services but do not rule out SmartDNS just yet.

In this post, we will do a comparison between the two tools and weight their pros and cons; helping you to decide which is better.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a tool that creates encrypted tunnel between you and a remote server. Like the name suggests, a VPN is an extension of your network and allows you to route your internet traffic through its own server; which in turn allows you to access blocked web-content.


  • A VPN secures your internet traffic by encrypting it and keeping it safe from governmental surveillances and other third parties.
  • With a VPN, you can unblock any website using its wide spread of servers around the world. When you connect to any of these servers, your original IP address is masked and replaced with the IP of the VPN server; thus changing your virtual location.
  • A VPN will keep your sensitive information and personal data safe from hackers, spammers, phishes, and other cyber attacks by encrypting it and passing it through secure protocols.
  • When it comes to compatibility, a VPN is high compatible as it can be configured on almost all major operating systems and devices. Some VPN providers also offer exclusive apps and software on different platforms, making them easy to use.
  • The ability of a VPN to mask your original IP address guarantees complete anonymity and helps to protect your online privacy.


  • VPN services tend to compromise your internet speeds as all your internet traffic is encrypted through secure tunnels. However, this may vary from provider to provider as there are numerous factors involved in determining your internet speeds.
  • A VPN service might be more expensive, if you compared it to Smart DNS providers because more things go into their development and overall maintenance. Again, the prices may vary based on different VPN providers and the packages they offer.

Recommended VPN Providers

  1. PureVPN ($3.75)
  2. IPVanish ($4.87)

Smart DNS

Unlike VPN, a SmartDNS does not reroute your entire internet traffic. Instead, it routes certain part of your internet traffic through its own proxy server; providing the authentication information needed to access the blocked website.


  • A SmartDNS does not impact your internet speeds like a VPN does as it does not encrypts your entire internet traffic.
  • A Smart DNS will allow you to bypass geo restrictions and overcome internet censorship using its DNS proxy servers.
  • Just like a VPN, Smart DNS services are highly compatible on various platforms. Although you may have to configure them manually, some Smart DNS providers do provider their own software on limited devices and operating systems.
  • SmartDNS services are considerably cheaper compared to VPN services. However, the difference is negligible and also varies across various providers.


  • There is no online security, anonymity or protection of any sort when you are using a Smart DNS service. Your original IP address and your internet traffic are visible to your ISP and other surveillance agencies.
  • Although SmartDNS services are compatible on multiple platforms, their configuration process is more time consuming compared to a VPN.
  • Not all SmartDNS services offer exclusive apps on all the platforms. Instead you will have to rely on manual configuration of the service on your chosen device. This process can be tedious and complex for someone who is not technically apt.

Recommended SmartDNS Providers

  1. UntoTelly ($4.99)
  2. Unblock-US ($4.95)

Final Verdict

The final choice between a VPN and a SmartDNS really depends on your use. Both are excellent tools for opening and accessing geo restricted websites. However, if you value your privacy and internet security more than unblocking websites, then a VPN should be your ideal choice.

A VPN will defend against various threats over the internet by encrypting your data. Similarly, it will keep your identity anonymous and keep your privacy secure. There are many services available in the industry that will provide you with both features; a SmartDNS and VPN.

Various VPN providers offered add-ons that include Smart DNS. Similarly, you will find SmartDNS services offering VPNs as well. If you want to know our recommendation, then go for a VPN that offers a SmartDNS add-on. This is because the VPN services offered by SmartDNS providers are not full fledge and may not provide the same level of protection and encryption that an established VPN would.

Ameer Abbas

Ameer Abbas is a senior editor and a most viewed writer on Quora in Internet Privacy, Cyber Security, VPN and Torrents. He has continued work as a privacy advocate with Best VPN Provider and is working towards becoming an established privacy & security author online. Ameer takes a keen interest in technology, geo-political affairs and international cyber laws. Ameer loves outdoor sports including cricket, swimming, athletics, and football.
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