TV When Away Smart DNS Review

TV When Away has a SmartDNS service that will help you unblock popular steaming media sites in the UK.  Their service will allow you  to watch your favorite content from BBC iPlayer, itv Player, 4OD, Demand 5, Sky Go and many other UK steaming media channels that are geo-blocked from your country.  Their service works transparently so you will not notice any change in your connection speed.

TV When Away SmartDNS Review

TV When Away SmartDNS Free Trial

TV When Away does not have a trail account.  Therefore, you will have to sign up for a paid subscription to be able to test their service to see if its the right service for your needs.  However, they say in their FAQ that they give you a refund if you have any issues with the service, or change your mind in the first few weeks of service.  They call this their “100% Money Back Guarantee!”

Pricing and Special Offers

TV When Away does not have a stand-alone version of their Smart DNS service.  Instead, it comes bundled with their OpenVPN and Proxy services.  Therefore you will have to sign up for their bundled services to get access to their Smart DNS service.  This bundle is sold in 4 term packages: 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year.  Increasing discounts are offered on longer term packages.  The package pricing starts at £2.99/wk.  You can enjoy a full year of their bundled SmartDNS for £39.99.  That works out to £3.33 a month.

TV When Away Pricing

Sign Up is through PayPal which gives you full control over your schedule of payments to TV When Away and requires no contract.  Paying via PayPal also means that your payment information is secure and protected since TV When Away does not access your personal financial information.  It also allows you to choose how you wish to pay for your service:  PayPal funds, credit/debit card or bank account.  They say that if you’re unhappy with their service for any reason and they can not solve the issue to your satisfaction, they will gladly refund your last payment.

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How Does TV When Away SmartDNS Work?

Whether we’re referring  to the TV When Away SmartDNS or another service it helps to familiarize yourself with how the process works.  These services primarily focus on helping to unblock geo-blocks placed on streaming media content.  This allows you to enjoy movies and other content that may not be available in your country from providers such as Netflix UK and Amazon Instant Video UK.  You can use the service to view content from anywhere in the world.  That differs from a VPN which adds privacy protection through encryption which can slow down your connection. Here is an explanation of how SmartDNS works taken directly from the TV When Away site blog page:

Using innovative technology, developed to complement TV When Away’s range of high-speed VPN and Proxy servers, access to Smart DNS is included free of charge in all our subscription packages. Once enabled, you’ll never have to worry about enabling a VPN/Proxy connection in order to access your favorite sites again, just access them as normal and Smart DNS will do the magic for you. Not only that, you’ll often find a healthy speed increase too.

Smart DNS can be configured on any device and can be used to access online UK TV services from any country in the world!

Once you sign up they will send you a welcome email with instructions to help you setup their service on your devices.  To get started with their new Smart DNS you will need to login to the Client Control Panel to configure your IP.   You will then have access to the Smart DNS setup guide or guides that you need to configure your device with their service.  They say if you do have any questions, feel free to send them a message from your Client Control Panel.  Using their service will help you access popular sites like Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer, and  Demand5 from anywhere in the world.

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Supported Devices

The TV When Away service supports a wide range of devices.  However, unfortunately they do not provide access to their setup guides without first subscribing to their service.  This means that you will not be able to find out if your device is supported through their Smart DNS without first paying for at least their week “Vacation Package” which will cost you, £2.99.

TV When Away Devices

Here’s a list of supported devices that TV When Away Supports:

  • Computer – Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X, Chrome
  • Game console – PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, XBOX 360, Wii, Wii U
  • Mobile –  iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android
  • Smart TV – Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Panasonic Smart TV, Sony Smart TV

Additionally like most Smart DNS sevices, their service should be able to be configured to work with almost any device as long and it allows you to change your DNS settings.  This means that you should be able to configure their service to run with just about any device through your router.

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Channel Line-Up

What does TV When Away offer?  They do not have a complete list of the channels that they unblock on their main site.  They mention instead that they provide access to a large number of UK TV services including BBC iPlayer, itv Player, 4oD, Demand 5, Sky Go, Netflix UK, Amazon Prime Instant Video UK, and many more channels.


However, as with all Smart DNS services, some premium channels such as  Netflix UK, Amazon Prime Instant Video UK, and others will still require a paid subscription fee to access their content.


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TV When Away Smart DNS Speed Test

As I mentioned earlier the difference between a Smart DNS service and VPN is encryption.  A VPN helps protect your online privacy and anonymity by encrypting your data.  In doing so it slows down your connection.  You can visit our VPN Fan site to learn more.  A SmartDNS service is different.  It will help you unblock sites in other countries without the need for encryption.  Doing so without the speed loss associated with using a VPN service.  I would not expect to see any loss in connection speed while using the TV When Away service to stream UK content.

TV When Away Review : Conclusion

TV When Away has a week long package which includes their OpenVPN, Proxy, and Smart DNS services.  It might be good for a UK citizen on holiday although it seems a bit pricy for such a short amount of time compared to many providers in the Smart DNS area.  Their price for a year of service is more in-line with some other providers on a monthly basis but remember it only gives you access to UK content.  So, if you want content from other countries, their service is not the right one for you.  They do seem to cover the most popular UK content providers so they could be a viable choice for UK expats who want to keep up with current UK politics, news, or their favorite UK shows on a more long term basis.

They support many types of devices including game consoles, computers, mobile devices, and Smart TVs.   Additionally, they have basic tutorials to manually setup these devices.  However they provide very little information on either the devices they support or the channels they unlock without first subscribing.  Similarly, you can only question them through email by first logging into their client system.  This lack of basic information on their primary website makes their service not very user friendly and hard for the average user to evaluate.  Additionally, since they have no free trial, you will have to pay for the privilege, although they do say they will refund your money if the service does not suit your needs.

If you decide to take take their service for a test drive, I recommend that you fully evaluate their device support to make sure that it fits all of your needs.  Additionally, test it with Netflix UK, itv Player, BBC iPlayer, and any of your other favorite UK content providers to make sure you are completely satisfied with its performance.  Also stream some HD football of your favorite Premier League team.  If you decide that their service is everything you were looking for,  you can sign up for unlimited access from £3.33 a month.

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