Summary Blockless is a Canada based SmartDNS provider that aims to bring you great streaming speeds with simplicity of use. While there are a few problematic things, overall they provide a good value for money service.
Like every other VPN out there Blockless provides three different plans, with increasing price discounts the longer you sign up for. Compared to a traditional VPN service, they are cheap, however compared to SmartDNS and streaming services [their target market] they are similarly priced. Slightly annoyingly they do not display this information until you sign up for an account. When you sign up you also receive a 7 day free trial (without having to enter any credit card details), which can be extended to 10 if you like them on Facebook.
Canada based Blockless bases it’s main operation around it’s SmartDNS service, so we will discuss this first. They provide well rounded support and set-up for this and as shown below there is virtually no speed loss. It provides a great service if you wish to be constantly connected to a streaming service, though (like most other SmartDNS) it can be a bit of a nuisance if you wish to keep changing back to your standard internet settings and properties.
The SmartVPN service (which they recommend when you’re on the go) helps bypass the above mentioned problems, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work – though the issues seem to be reserved for BBC iPlayer. Luckily for Blockless, their service hasn’t been blocked by Hulu yet (like with many other providers) and you can use other streaming services such as Netflix, Pandora, etc.
The Blockless service allows streaming from 17 different countries. While no Asian or African connections, these locations were clearly well thought out and are the countries where major streaming services are based and available from. They allow 1 IP to be used for the SmartDNS service and 1 connection to be used for their SmartVPN.
Since Blockless is aimed at providing high end streaming and uses SmartDNS technology, it does not provide much in terms of security but it understands this and makes no claims on this – which is great. Their SmartDNS does not provide any security what-so-ever but this means you can have the best streaming speeds possible. They also have a service called SmartVPN, but we believe this is wording to be slightly misleading as it is not a private network in reality. The reason for this opinion is as follows:
It uses a PPTP connection, which as we have mentioned numerous times before, is not very secure.
The settings they use for this PPTP connection also means that it is not encrypted in any way.
Blockless also offers an Ad Blocker service through their DNS set-up so you do not need to worry about all those annoying advertisement lurking around on website. Though a number of VPNs do this, as far as we’re aware they are the only one implementing it for their SmartDNS connection.
The Blockless website is really nice and clearly laid out. It is well design and functions as required. The important information is easy to find and it’s easy to see and change the details of your account, as well as finding any required support.
Blockless has two kinds of support: an FAQ and ticket support. Their FAQ covers the basic topics while the ticket support is available for solving the more complicated problems. The ticket support replied in a reasonable amount of time and seemed knowledgeable and friendly. Unfortunately they weren’t able to solve our issue with the SmartVPN but we won’t hold this against them as they tried their very best and in the end its the developers fault, and not the support teams.
The initial sign up to Blockless is very easy. Just enter your email address and your preferred password. This will give you a 7 day trial account as mentioned above. Of course if you wish to extend this after your trial period you will need to enter your details for payment – for this all major methods are possible.
Blockless has apps available for Chrome, Windows and Android. For Windows there are two different options as outlined below:
While Blockless does have it’s own proprietary app, we have a small problem with. There are a number of bugs in the software which doesn’t allow it to function as required and you still need to set up the DNS manually – a large mistake in our eyes . The biggest concern we have with it is that it is an unsigned piece of software. The plus of this software is that it allows you to change your location without having to go to the website, and it keeps your IP synced.
We set up the PPTP connection as per the instructions (which were very clear). Firstly, as mentioned, the PPTP connection is not secure in any way and it’s aim is to simplify repetitive connections (changing DNS settings can be hassle some). We had a problem with it connecting but support solved this for us quickly.
Performance (Speed, DNS and IP Test)
We gave Blockless our standard performance test to see how it faired. Unsurprisingly, there was hardly any speed loss with either the SmartDNS or PPTP connection. With regards to IP test, we always obtained our own IP since there is no security implemented in either system. The DNS results weren’t exactly what we were expecting, since most of the time it pointed towards the US/Canada and Germany but the service and their system worked so we shan’t worry about this.
Pure Internet Speed
Since Blockless’ main service is SmartDNS it is possible to use it on 99.9% of all internet connected technology. We gave it a test across a number of devices (phones, Linux, Win8,etc) and found the speeds to b in correlation with those on the computer .
The Blockless proprietary app that is mentioned above is also available for Google Chrome and Android. We gave them a test and they work just as the Windows App but, similarly, our big problem with it is that it doesn’t manage DNS settings by itself, and you’re still required to do that manually. The Chrome plug in is especially useful when browsing different mixes of streaming websites.
Overall, while there are some things that could be ironed out, Blockless is a well rounded service. They score plenty of ticks in the right boxes and their service is well targeted and fulfils that target market well. There are a few large competitors that Blockless can be compared to but due to their lower pricing and determination they stand their ground well.