Pete Zaborszky

Pete Zaborszky

March 15, 2018

UnblockUs homepage

UnblockUs offers a great VPN alternative – “SmartDNS” – that changes your DNS routing. In addition to its convenience and availability on many different devices, UnblockUs also claims that it won’t slow your internet connection like other traditional VPNs can sometimes do.

Plans & Pricing

UnblockUs subscription plans can be purchased either annually or monthly. Both options are pretty affordable, coming in at:

  • $4.99/month
  • $49.90/year ($10 off)

UnblockUs Payment Options

In addition to their two subscription plans, UnblockUs also offers a seven-day free trial for both SmartDNS and SmartVPN (more information on this later). Unfortunately, UnblockUs is limited when it comes to payment options. You can only pay via credit card, specifically Visa and MasterCard.

Features

UnblockUs is a great VPN alternative that claims to keep your data safe without slowing down your internet in the process. The primary focus of UnblockUs is to unblock geographically-restricted content. True to its word, UnblockUs is definitely an effective solution when it comes to accessing geo-restricted content.

To stress its point, UnblockUs offers a long list of channels that can be unblocked using its service:

For more information on SmartDNS technology, visit our sister site SmartDNS.com, which is dedicated to discussing the very subject of Smart DNS services.

UnblockUs SmartVPN

UnblockUs also offers VPN technology dubbed “SmartVPN”. UnblockUs SmartVPN provides users with “a layer of security” for their online connections. In addition, UnblockUs SmartVPN claims to “seal the contents of your data” to keep away prying eyes.

UnblockUs SmartVPN

When you subscribe to SmartDNS, you automatically get SmartVPN included in the package. Setup is found by navigating to their SmartVPN tab.

UnblockUs OpenVPN setup

Visit UnblockUs »

Customer Support

UnblockUs offers a few options for customer support, including both email support and a help forum. Fortunately, their email support is comparable to live chat, as their response time is very quick (roughly 15-20 minutes).

UnblockUs Customer Support Email

In order to give their claims some credibility, UnblockUs also publishes their customer support ratings on their website for everyone to see. Finally, if personal support isn’t your first choice, UnblockUs also has a Support Center that offers a large variety of information – from numerous FAQs and articles, to setup and removal guides.

Privacy & Security

Before settling on UnblockUs, it’s important to understand what exactly it is – and what it isn’t. UnblockUs is not a VPN service. Instead, it works by routing all of your DNS queries through the UnblockUs servers, changing your location based on the sites you visit.

UnblockUs SmartDNS

In terms of true privacy and security, UnblockUs claims to offer “total security” by filtering only a “small percentage of data” through their servers. That being said, UnblockUs is only as secure as a VPN alternative can be. If you’re looking for a traditional VPN service with high security and no stored logs, you will probably end up looking elsewhere.

The Website

The UnblockUs website is extremely user-friendly. Their homepage features information on their SmartDNS service. At the top of the page, there are several menu links to setup guides, features, and the SmartVPN page. The setup page in particular is very in-depth and informative.

At the bottom of each page, the usual Privacy Policy and Terms of Service links can be found.

UnblockUs Setup Page

Using UnblockUs on Windows OS

Registration

Registering for the free seven-day UnblockUs trial is pretty straightforward. On the UnblockUs homepage, you can enter your email to begin your trial. UnblockUs will detect what device you’re running and offer you a setup link.

UnblockUs trial account is active

Fortunately, the free trial only requires an email. The paid service, meanwhile, requires your name, location and payment information. This isn’t too bad in terms of personal information, but it would be better if UnblockUs offered more payment options in the future – namely an anonymous one such as Bitcoin.

Using UnblockUs

Setting up UnblockUs is easy.

  1. In your Windows search bar, type and click on Settings 
  2. Select Network & Internet Windows 10 Settings
  3. Select WiFi or Ethernet (depending on your connection type)
  4. Scroll and select Change adapter options Windows 10 Change adapter options
  5. Right click on your connection
  6. Select Properties  Windows 10 WiFi Properties
  7. Uncheck Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) Uncheck Internet Protocol Version 6
  8. Highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Internet Protocol 4 Properties
  9. Select Properties
  10. Fill out your DNS servers to match the picture below UnblockUs DNS Settings Windows 10
  11. Refresh the UnblockUs website
  12. DNS Setup should say Verified UnblockUs DNS Verified

Performance (Speed, IPv4, DNS, and WebRTC tests)

UnblockUs claims to have speeds that beat those of most traditional VPNs. I was happy to find out during my own testing that they weren’t lying.

When testing without UnblockUs DNS settings, my download speed was 38.53 Mbps and my upload speed was 5.85 Mbps. With UnblockUs DNS settings, my download speed was 37.07 Mbps and my upload speed was 5.70 Mbps.

UnblockUs SpeedTest Results

Other Devices

UnblockUs is available on a wide range of devices, including:

  • Mac OSX
  • Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
  • PS3, PS4 & PS Vita
  • Xbox 360 & Xbox One
  • Wii & Wii U
  • Sony TV
  • Panasonic Viera
  • Samsung TV
  • LG SmartTV
  • AppleTV
  • Roku
  • Google TV
  • Boxee
  • WD TV
  • iPhone
  • iPod
  • iPad
  • Android
  • Amazon Kindle

UnblockUs for iOS

The UnblockUs setup for iOS is easy and quick, with configuration very similar to that of Windows. To set up UnblockUs on your iOS device, follow these directions:

  1. Navigate to your Settings
  2. Select WiFi
  3. Select your current connection
  4. Scroll to DNS
  5. Select Configure DNS
  6. Switch to Manual
  7. Select Add Server
  8. Add the following servers: 64.145.73.5, 209.107.219.5
  9. Restart your iOS device
  10. Navigate to the UnblockUs homepage
  11. DNS Setup should display Verified iOS VPNand your will be working

Conclusion

We liked

  • Easy setup if you’re an experienced user
  • Excellent customer support
  • Great VPN alternative
  • Seven-day free trial
  • Large variety of supported devices and setup guides

We weren’t so sure about

  • Manually configuring DNS settings every time
  • Somewhat confusing setup for novice users

We hated

  • No Linux setup guide
  • No anonymous payment option

Overall, UnblockUs is a great alternative to using a VPN. The service does exactly what it claims to do: gives you high speed access to geo-restricted content. In this aspect, UnblockUs is definitely worth the purchase. That being said, UnblockUs is still not a VPN and because of that, its security and privacy is not up to par with that traditional VPN services.

In conclusion, if all you’re looking for is to get around blocked content, UnblockUs is probably exactly what you need.

Visit UnblockUs »