AceVPN has a Smart DNS service called Unblock TV that will help you unblock geo-blocked content in the US, UK, and 10 other countries. Their service will let you watch some your favorite TV series, original content, and movies from channels like Hulu Plus, Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Video, and about 75 others from anywhere in the world. The AceVPN Smart DNS service works transparently so you will not notice any change in your connection speed when streaming media from you favorite content providers.
AceVPN Free Trial
AceVPN does do not have a stand-alone package for their Smart DNS service. It is included free with both their Premium and Ultimate VPN packages. Although they do not have a free trial of their service, they do offer a 7 day money back guarantee if you decide that their service does not suit your needs.
Since this is a guarantee and not a free trial, you must sign up for one of their paid packages and SmartDNS is included with your paid subscription. Therefore, this guarantee is not as good as some services in the Smart DNS arena provide. However, it will let you try out their service to see if it is a good fit for your needs.
If you decide that the service is not a good fit for you, your refund claim must be made within 7 days of your order date. No refunds will be given after 7 days. Additionally, there is $1 processing fee deducted from the the refund that you will receive. Payments are made using major credit cards through PayPal or Google Checkout.
Pricing and Special Offers
AceVPN offers a VPN service that also includes Smart DNS. This review will mainly focus on their SmartDNS service. I will briefly mention that the difference between a Smart DNS service and a VPN is one word, encryption. Simply put, VPN encrypts all of the data and if privacy is a concern for you, then you can visit VPN Fan to learn more. If your goal is simply to unblock geo-restricted sites in other countries then Smart DNS is the right choice.
As previously stated AceVPN does not have a stand-alone SmartDNS service. Therefore, you will have to purchase one of their VPN packages if you would like use their Smart DNS (Unblock TV) service. It is included free with either their Premium VPN or Ultimate VPN packages. Both services are sold in 4 term packages: monthly, quarterly, half yearly, and yearly. Additionally, both services offer package discounts based on the term length.
The Premium VPN service gives you access to 20 VPN servers in 3 different countries: US, UK, and France. It includes one IP address activation for their Unblock TV service. It has a base price of $5.95/mo., but you can get it for $4.58/mo. if you sign up for a year of service.
If you want access to the VPN servers that they have in other countries like Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and 10 others, you will need to sign up for their Ultimate VPN service. This plan includes two simultaneous IP address activations of their Unblock TV service. It has a base price of $15/mo. but you can get it for $13.75/mo. if you sign up for a year of their service.
As previously stated, payments are made using major credit cards through either PayPal or Google Checkout. Also, remember that refunds are only given if requested within 7 days of activation. Since their accounts do not auto renew, no action is required on your part if you decide to discontinue the service once your subscription term expires.
What is Smart DNS and How Does AceVPN SmartDNS Work?
Whether we are referring to the AceVPN SmartDNS or another Smart DNS service it helps to know something about how the technology works. These services primarily help to remove geo-blocks used by streaming media providers. They do this by sending information in the form of an IP Address to the site that you want to unblock that says you are located in a region or country that is not geo-restricted for that content. It is as simple as that. This allows you to enjoy different content that may not be available in your country from providers such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and BBC iPlayer as well as many others. This lets you watch TV series, movies, original programs, and live events that you may otherwise not be able to see from your current location. As an added bonus, you can see them from anywhere in the world. As I briefly mentioned above, this differs from a VPN which adds privacy protection through encryption. The encryption used by a VPN can slow down your connection and generally cost more. This makes Smart DNS a better choice for anyone who does not need the online privacy and anonymity of a VPN connection.
Here’s an explanation of how the SmartDNS works taken directly from a AceVPN site FAQ:
Smart DNS service to stream movies, shows, videos and TV channels without buffering or losing speed. Watch Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, CBS, Sky, Rai and many more channels / streaming videos while traveling or away from home. Unlimited bandwidth on gigabit servers. No software to install. DNS based service. Very simple configuration. 2 minutes setup.
Faster than VPN. Full Internet speed. No buffering or Internet slow down. Works even if your device does not support VPN or proxy. Works on iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, Gaming consoles, Smart TV’s, Entertainment consoles and all network connected devices and operating systems.
I will cover the variety of devices supported by the AceVPN Unblock TV service in just a moment. First, I want to mention that they have set up guides and useful tips for using these devices with their service. Once you sign up for one of their term plans, they will send you a verification email containing your AceVPN Username and Password welcoming you to their service. Following the email instructions and logging into their site will allow you to access popular sites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Pandora from anywhere in the world.
AceVPN SmartDNS supports a wide range of devices: PC, Mac, Linux, smartphones, game consoles, media players, Blu-Ray players, routers, and tablets. Their Unblock TV page, which can be accessed by clicking on “Unblock TV” in the site main menu, has links to manual setup guides and tips for using their service on most devices that they support. These links are found in a small section at the bottom of this page. Their guides are well documented and many have screen images to help you set up the Unblock TV service on your device. They also say that they support many other devices so it is likely that if you have a device that allows DNS changes, they will be able to help you configure it to use their service.
Here’s a list of supported devices:
- Computer – Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OSX Mavericks, Linux Ubuntu, Linux Debian Server,
- Mobile – iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android
- Gaming – Sony PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii
- Home – Apple TV, Boxee Box, Google Chromecast , Roku
- Router – Asus, DD-WRT, Tomato
As you can see they have support for routers using DD-WRT custom firmware. Once again, the key is being able to configure the DNS settings for whatever device you want to access streaming media with. Making the change on your router can help you use the service throughout your network.
What does AceVPN offer you? They have about 80 channels. The Unblock TV page on their site has a complete list of all the channels that they unblock. A link at the top of the page will take you directly to their channel list. The channels that they unblock are listed by country of content origin.
Here’s a list of channels available through the AceVPN Smart DNS:
Channels in US – Netflix, ABC Amazon Instant Video, CBS, Cinema Now, Comedy Central, Crackle, Crunchyroll, the CW, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Disney, ESPN, FOX, FX network, Fubo.tv, HBO GO, HBO Now, HGTV, Hulu+, Hulu, iHeart, NBC Sports, NBC, NCAA, NFL Game Pass, Pandora, PBS, Rhapsody, ShowTime Anytime, Slacker Radio, Sling TV, Smithsonian, Songza, Spike, Tai Seng, Telemundo Novelas, turntable.fm, Vevo, Vudu, WWE
Channels in UK – BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, NOWTV (www.nowtv.com), Amazon Instant Video UK, BT Sport, Absolute Radio, itv, Channel4 (4oD), Channel5, Eurosport, TVPlayer, Filmon, TVCatchup
Channels in France – Pluzz, Canalsat, M6 Replay, Direct8, Eurosport, TF1, Gulli, Arte, NRJ12.fr, d8.tv, tmc.tv, PlayTV.fr, beIN SPORT (beinsport.fr), beinsportsconnect.fr, Equidia Play (equidia.fr)
Channels in Australia – Plus7 (http://au.tv.yahoo.com), ten (http://ten.com.au), ABC iview
Channels in Canada – Tou.tv
Channels in Denmark – TV2
Channels in Germany – n-tv, Zattoo, MyVideo.de, Arte, Sky Online, Sky Sports
Channels in Ireland – RTE, tv3 (3player)
Channels in Italy – laeffe.tv, Skygo, Sky Online, Rai.tv, Mediaset Premium, Chili-TV, Infinity, Zattoo
Channels in Netherlands – Npo.nl
Channels in Spain – Zattoo, Yomvi
Channels in Switzerland – Zattoo, Wilmaa, MyVideo.ch
Their SmartDNS service will let you watch channel content not in your geographical region or country. Some premium channels such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video, and others will still require a paid subscription fee to access their content.
AceVPN SmartDNS Speed Test
So, what can you expect from a service like Unblock TV? As I mentioned earlier the difference between a Smart DNS service and a VPN service is encryption. Smart DNS is an excellent choice if you want to unblock access to tv series, movies, or original content that is geo-blocked by the content provider. For example, if you have a subscription and want to watch Netflix (US) or Amazon shows from outside the United States then a Smart DNS service would be just what you need. The same is true for watching BBC iPlayer or Now TV from outside the UK and many other channels.
If you need the extra layer of privacy protection offered by encrypting your connection then I would suggest you consider using a VPN service. As I mentioned before, encrypting your data can slow down your connection. So if all you want to do is watch your favorite blocked streaming media content, then use their SmartDNS feature to access it and disconnect from the VPN. You will be happier with the results. You can visit our VPN Fan site to learn more. Put simply, Smart DNS is a better choice if privacy is not an issue with you. It will help you unblock sites in other countries without the speed loss associated with using their VPN service. I would not expect any noticeable speed loss from using the AceVPN Unblock TV service.
AceVPN SmartDNS Review : Conclusion
AceVPN offers a SmartDNS feature. Because it works transparently, you will not observe any noticeable difference in connection speed . Thus, the audio fidelity of the music you listen to or the visual acuity of HD movies that you watch will be unaffected by using their service. Their Unblock TV will grant you access to geo-blocked content from about 80 streaming media providers in the US, UK, and 10 other countries.
AceVPN has support for a variety of different streaming media devices including PC, Mac, Linux, smartphones, game consoles , tablets, and routers. Additionally, they have setup guides for most of the devices that they support. They give you access to a reasonable library of popular channels. The way they display their channel content could be improved but its usable. They have guides to make it easier to connect SmartDNS to your devices. Like many VPN services that do not have a stand-alone Smart DNS service AceVPN does not have a free trial. However, they do have a 7 day money back guarantee. I didn’t have any major issues evaluating SmartDNS.
They do not offer a stand-alone Smart DNS service so you will have to subscribe to their VPN service to use their Unblock TV. This makes their service more expensive than many other Smart DNS solutions we have reviewed. If all you want to do is unblock content then a stand-alone Smart DNS service would probably be a better solution for you. If you need a VPN in the US, UK, or France, then their Premium VPN package is fairly priced and offers free Smart DNS as a bonus.
As with any Smart DNS service I suggest you try out AceVPN SmartDNS for yourself. Sign up for one of their plans to take advantage of their 7 day guarantee and try out their service yourself. I suggest you watch content from channels in different areas of the world like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer in the UK. If you decide their service fits your needs, you will have unlimited access to it from just $4.58 a month.