You know it: there’s a lot of options for overcoming geo-limitation on the internet so far. We all have our own preferences, and I think I’d voice my own preferences here. Here is why I prefer VPN services over DNS-based solutions.
But what are those options actually?
– Firstly you have to be physically in the country where the online service is available. Ok, this isn’t an option per se, but we have to understand that if geo-limitation are set on some websites (Hulu, unblock Spotify, …), it’s because they have some legal constraints that they have to comply with,
– You can also use proxies. Here you have to go either with free proxies or paid ones. I have a preference for paid proxies since free ones usually come with a lot of annoying ads and popup, and so on an so forth. Those ads just make your browsing experience a nightmare
– You also have some VPN solution. And as it is common with the internet, you have free VPN services and then come to the paid VPN services. Once again, I prefer, far more, going with paid VPN services and I will talk more about this option later on. My grief against free VPN services is that they usually have to change frequently the credentials for accessing the services, and most of them have some limitations attached to it.
– Then you have the DNS-based solutions that can help you overcome geo-location limitation that most popular online services use. Mainly, those providers are maintaining DNS servers that can help do some rewriting/redirecting of the internet packets. The drawback to it is that, as a customer, you have to configure your device so that it uses the DNS provider’s servers.
So now let’s get back to the title of this blog post. In fact, I love VPN services: HideMyAss, ibVPN, PureVPN or NordVPN are my top-of-mind choices when it comes to choosing great VPN services. But the reason why I don’t quite like the DNS-based service comes from a personal experience that I recently had.
Why I don’t like DNS-based services
As a regular contributor to this blog, I sometimes get pitched by services providers so that I can honestly review their services. Last time, I got one DNS-based geo-location solution provider giving me a credential so that I can test their solution. So I happily went on their website, checked the well-documented website for the instructions on how to set their services with my settings (I wanted to go for the most common ones which are a Wi-Fi-based Windows 7 system). I’ve been given a DNS server to setup on my laptop (frankly, they should have gone the extra mile by providing a simple tool that would do the modification instead of expecting a lambda user to do the “detailed” operation).
I really tried to make it work
Anyway, I did whatever I was expected to, but couldn’t make it work. So, I e-mailed the support system mentioning that I am reviewing their service for this blog (you know, I just wanted to give them some “motivation” to treat my case right), but unfortunately I have received no answer so far – I’ve sent the e-mail four weeks ago 🙁
So, I checked their website again looking for some tips that may help me get going, then found out a small fine line saying that the configuration may not work for some settings where some ISP may block some “things”. I can’t tell you exactly what limitations my ISP is doing, but given that I can work with my standard VPN service with the same settings – there’s no wondering why I prefer going with a VPN-based solution for overcoming geo-limitations.
What about you? Have you ever used a DNS-based (sometimes called SmartDNS) solutions? Do you prefer VPN services over DNS-based solutions? What’s your feedback on them?