This is a story of my journey to stream Netflix. Streaming content is now the more common way to consume content, it has not been the case a few years back. Netflix, being the biggest streaming platform, people had wanted to watch Netflix from their own country. I started my journey of digital streaming way back in 2005, at the time TIVO was the thing to have, alas as with most services this was not available in my country, so the next best thing was to build my own "TIVO" or later known as PVRs. This was fine, but I had to be the curator of my content. In 2008, I learned about Netflix, and decided to get it. I figured the only way was to get a VPN, and I did subscribe to a VPN service at the time, unfortunately, as it is today, it is one user / one ip deal, I wanted to share the experience with my family.
So I decided to just build my own VPN server and give VPN accounts to my family. This worked out fine, until the crackdown, and since I had only 1 ip, once that is banned, there is no way but to get another VPS. However, in my years of using VPN, the overhead of the encryption was just overwhelming the streams as well as my entire network as the vpn was at my router and does covers the entire network. This was when I discovered the smart dns, even before when it was just a project. This DNS project was perfect as it was only spoofing Netflix and not the whole internet. Unfortunately, that project shut down and I had to look for another solution, this is when I saw SmartDNSProxy. I have been a user of SmartDNSProxy for the last three (3) years, so I can honestly tell you that for my use case (streaming geo-restricted sites) has been very good. It is very simple to use, and not too demanding on my router like a VPN. The downtime is minimal, it does go down but not a lot, probably once or twice in a year for an hour or two.
- Netflix (although, I have turned mine off, as I prefer our country's content vs US content)
- Amazon Prime
- Viki (K-dramas)
- BBC (don't really need it)
The speed is very good, i can watch UHD videos of Amazon Prime / Disney+
Installation is very simple, just go to your router, and enter the provided DNS settings by SmartDNSProxy and activate in your SmartDNSAccount. No need to tinker with keys and certificates. Get a Dyamic DNS account and have your account updated automatically. After you have set it up, you can pretty much forget about it, it will just work. The beauty of placing it in your router is that all devices connected to your network will be able to enjoy SmartDNSProxy.
Here is where I placed the DNS settings in my FreshTomato router, here is what I see in my SmartDNSProxy account. I just make sure everything is green.. That's the entire installation process.
If all you are after is to watch shows, listen to Pandora, etc, go the smart dns route. I think a VPN is too much for such simple task as streaming. Use the VPN as it is intended, for privacy surfing.
If you are really interested, I would recommend SmartDNSProxy, the price is very reasonable and one of the more affordable one out there. The account includes a VPN account, although I have never used mine, still have my own VPN server.
If you like what you read, please help me out by using my affiliate link to SmartDNSProxy.