The Difference Between VPN and SmartDNS

Streaming or making use of VPN?

Anyone dealing with geo-blockades, anonymity on the Internet and Internet censorship will, over time, come across two technologies that help to remove geo-blockades and improve anonymity on the Internet: VPN and SmartDNS.

Certain websites and online services such as Hulu, Netflix, Spotify etc. are only accessible at certain locations and blocked in other countries. In “blocked” countries, access can only be gained by bypassing the geo-blockade.

For example, if you live outside the US and try to watch certain YouTube videos, you may receive the following message:

By using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or a streaming service, however, this geo-blocking can be bypassed and the contents of Netflix, Hulu, Pandora etc. can be received, even if one lives in a locally blocked area.

This inevitably raises the question of whether a VPN or a streaming service should be used.

A few advantages and disadvantages of the two services:

Basically, both services are similar, as both allow streaming or viewing of geo-blocked content. However, there are a few factors that distinguish the operation of the two services.

VPN – Anonymous, Secure From Hackers

If your sole concern is anonymity and security on the World Wide Web, you should definitely opt for a VPN.

If you are mainly interested in accessing blocked services or streaming content in other countries, you do not necessarily need to use a VPN service, as they are usually slower than pure Smart DNS services.

However, it should be noted that SmartDNS services can only release already integrated online streams. Not all SmartDNS providers provide all video on demand portals. In such a case you either have to look for another Smart DNS service or use a VPN service.

Since you have the possibility to get a US-American (if a server is in the USA) or other IP address of another country via VPN, you can activate all US-American streaming services.

Transmission over a VPN is slower because all data traffic is encrypted and routed through an external data tunnel. The own IP address is exchanged with an IP address of a server of the provider. This provides excellent protection against hackers and data thieves, but reduces transmission speed.

SmartDNS – Fast, Compatible, Easy to Use.

Reasons to use a SmartDNS instead of a VPN service when streaming geo-blocked content:
Speed and efficiency:

  • SmartDNS enables broadcasts to be streamed, viewed or downloaded faster than a VPN, since a SmartDNS system only redirects certain parts of the data traffic via its server.
  • Excellent compatibility with other devices.
  • VPN often use complex systems to create a single VPN tunnel between your device and the blocked content. This means that a streaming service is usually more compatible with all your devices (such as laptops, game consoles, smart TVs, etc.).
  • SmartDNS setup is very easy to install.
  • A connection via a Smart DNS system does not require complicated installation software or manual configuration for setup.
  • SmartDNS is cheaper than a VPN service.
  • Normally a streaming service costs much less than a VPN service.