- Ease of use
- Service compatibility
- Device compatibility
SmartDNSProxy (DNS Review) Summary
This review is specific ONLY to the Smart DNS element of SmartDNSProxy's service offering. (Their VPN service is not included in this review).
At one of the cheapest rates on the market, the support and reliability is really top notch. This review follows extensive use over a six month period on a variety of streaming services form the UK, USA, India and more.
The stand out elements are definitely the support and reliability which in my experience have been superb, especially on occasions where new services were requested. But when you consider the cost too and the scope of channel compatibility, its hard to see any other provider competing without heavy reliance on consumer apathy.
Its about time I did a SmartDNSProxy Review. I’ve been using this service for months now, and although I have recommended it a regularly, its only fair it gets a review. The good news is that I have really put it through its paces so you don’t have to.
First off, lets get this out of the way. It doesn’t work with Netflix. To my knowledge no SmartDNS provider currently does, and even when it does happen, its a temp fix. So, if you are looking for Netflix, stick with a VPN (there is a Netlix specific one in the sidebar!)
Now, the SmartDNSProxy Review.
Way back when, a random commenter on the site pointed out to me that the SmartDNSProxy service would work with Star Sports India (now Hotstar). I hadn’t heard of them so I thought it might be spam to be honest. Anyway, i looked them up and sure enough they seemed legit.
An excellent free trial
The good news was that they had a 14 day free trial, and no payment details are required. Think about that for a second. They are super confident in their product to be able, or even willing to do that. You can get a really good idea if this service is the right one for you in a two week trial. I highly recommend taking them up on it, see for yourself.
I took the offer and sure enough, Star Sports worked a treat. Perfect. Lets summarise exactly what I have used SmartDNSProxy for since being a customer.
Testing the services out
The services I have tested are
Testing the devices out
and here are the devices i’ve done this on
Two stand out reasons to use SmartDNSProxy
Other than Hotstar, this is pretty run of the mill in terms of compatibility but for me whats really stood out are these two things
In terms of reliability, i have rarely experienced buffering, even after prolonged use. This is probably helped by the fact I do not stream wirelessly in general, but still, its been about 6 months and nothing has affected by viewing in a notable way. I judge these types of services by how seamless they are, in terms of “can i see a difference versus using my ISPs DNS”. The answer is no when it comes to SmartDNSProxy.
Secondly support. Let me give you a few real examples of how the support differs with SmartDNSProxy versus another DNS provider.
1) adding new channels. The nameless DNS provider I approached to add a service stated that
a) it wasn’t supported, and;
b) would only be supported they had enough requests
SmartDNSProxy said “it should work, send us some more details” now, within 90 minutes, one of their technicians had contacted me, used my account (with my permission) to log into the service being requested, and added it to their official support. This was on a Saturday morning.
2) Fixing new problems
Even after that, some streams on the service were still being routed elsewhere* and causing problems. Again, shortly afterwards it was rectified. I couldn’t believe it. They were genuinely so helpful. And let me stress too that they were honest.
When I asked if they would support another streaming service I was told in no uncertain terms that it was not possible for them due to infrastructure in that particular country. Most providers would have gone for the “not at the moment we are looking into it” approach. I felt that their sincerity following a genuinely awesome fix was very unusual and definitely worthy of mention here.
*some services get their streams from multiple sources. For example, a company offering HBO content outside the USA may still used a centralised HBO source. This means more work is required on the part of the DNS service provider to analyse and configure their service accordingly. This is wy you see “Channel Groups” in your Smart DNS dashboards sometimes.
How much is SmartDNSProxy?
its surprisingly cheap! here is the chart up to date February 2017
Want to see the UI? Here it is.
Some key elements have their own sections and in addition, there are channel bundles. It is not always possible to have ALL channels on at ALL time. But for the overwhelming majority of streaming needs this is unlikely to crop up. An example is with Stan (in Group A which requires c change in Group D) where you would have to change two groups. This could potentially mean if you used services in the second channel group that you may need to switch between them on demand.
So what about SmartDNSProxy Overall
You know, the reason i forgot to review this is because i was so used to using it, and id mentioned it so regularly that i though it was really needed. It was only when i looked at some others and thought about checking some out that i thought to myself, you know what, these guys have been good to me so il stick around.
It would be awesome to get Netflix back, but have I missed it no not really. I can still get it if i need to using another service.
What i liked most about SmartDNSProxy
reliability, support, (support for Hotstar!), service, the price
what i liked least about SmartDNSProxy
the UI doesn’t have the polish of overplay and i fear many would not attempt to adjust a channel group if their choice of channel failed in the trial period, which is a shame
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