Unlocator is a Danish SmartDNS provider that includes a Smart VPN in its service. Due to its focus on unlocking channels around the globe and lack of downloadable software, it boasts blazing speeds and is compatible with just about any platform. While perfect for those looking to stream content, Unlocator’s lack of proper security measures make it a bad choice for those who want to use a VPN for safety purposes. We’d suggest a privacy-heavy provider such as ExpressVPN instead. However, for those whose focus is on streaming, you can sign up now or read BestVPN.com’s in-depth Unlocator review in full below!
- Fast speeds
- Compatible with plenty of platforms
- 7-day free trial
- Good customer service
- Security is severely lacking
- Does not unblock Netflix
Pricing & Plans
Unlocator has three different pricing plans on offer. A year-long subscription is the cheapest at $4.16 per month. Meanwhile a month-by-month subscription is a slightly higher $4.95 per month.
In addition to a no-questions-asked 14-day money back guarantee, Unlocator gives its users the freedom to cancel anytime that they want though. It’s likely that you won’t need to take advantage of either of these features, however. This is because Unlocator has a 7-day risk free trial on offer that requires no credit card to sign up with and that gives you access to the full product.
If you give Unlocator’s free trial and decide that you love the service so much you’d like to buy a subscription, you can do so using a variety of payment methods. This includes Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, and Bitcoin.
Unlocator is a small provider that was founded in 2013 and is run out of Copenhagen, Denmark. While it is first and foremost a SmartDNS service, it also has a Smart VPN included in every subscription. The Smart VPN allows users to bypass SmartDNS hijacking and enable SmartDNS for mobile connections.
Its features are fairly meager in comparison to full-blown VPN providers, but standard in terms of being a SmartDNS service. Among its offerings are an advanced region changer, unlimited simultaneous devices, and 99.9% up time.
During our Unlocator review, I noted that the SmartDNS provider has a pretty decent global network. The majority of its servers are concentrated in Europe. However, it also has some in Canada, the United States, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and India, among other locales. You can see if Unlocator has a server in the country you’re after by navigating the interactive map on their homepage.
Again, as Unlocator is primarily a SmartDNS service, its focus is on its channels and device compatibility. It currently works with 219 channels and counting, the full list of which can be found on their website. Better yet, as there is no software to install Unlocator, the service will work on just about any device you own. The list of its supported devices goes on and on, but includes iOS, Android, Google TV, Kindle Fire, Apple TV, Boxee, LG, and Playstation 4, among many, many others.
Does Unlocator Unblock Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer?
After setting up Unlocator’s SmartDNS and Smart VPN on my laptop, I tested to see its accessibility to the big three: Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. While I managed to watch both Hulu and BBC iPlayer using Unlocator’s service, I was unfortunately not able to unblock Netflix. This is a pretty big downer, considering that that’s what the majority of people want to use a SmartDNS or VPN service for in the first place.
Security & Privacy
Denmark is one of the countries that is in full compliance with European mandatory data retention laws. This includes VPN services in the legislation – which would include Unlocator. As such, this makes its no logs claim a little suspect.
As it was not clearly written anywhere on its website or in the member’s area, I personally contacted the Unlocator support team regarding what encryption it uses. I was told L2TP for iOS and Mac, and PPTP for Android and Windows. This was pretty upsetting to learn, as PPTP is incredibly unsecure, with L2TP not being much better. I understand Unlocator’s encryption choices, as they make for faster speeds (very important for a provider that first and foremost offers a SmartDNS service). That said, the lack of OpenVPN or any other stronger protocols is a major turn-off for anyone who cares about their online privacy.
To learn more about encryption and the differences between each kind, check out BestVPN.com’s helpful encryption guide.
The Unlocator Website
The Unlocator website is pretty standard. The majority of the information about the service can be found on the lengthy homepage. It provides details about its global network, device compatibility, speeds, and features. It also boasts some endorsements from big names such as The Wall Street Journal and Wired, as well as customer reviews.
The rest of the website is quite intuitive, with self-explanatory headers that make it easy to navigate and use. While I personally think the site could use a facelift, as its design looks a little dated, there’s nothing actually wrong with it, so no marks taken there.
Unlocator has fairly threadbare support options. In addition to a short FAQ – which answers simple questions such as “Can I use Unlocator from multiple locations?” and “What devices can I use with Unlocator?” – it has a dedicated support center. In the latter, users can find setup guides for each supported platform, troubleshooting, how-to articles, and account management instructions.
I was disappointed to find out during my Unlocator review that the only way to directly contact the provider is through its ticket-based online support form. Many SmartDNS and VPN providers offer other means such as live chat, Skype, or a phone number. That said, I decided to test it out and sent them a question regarding what kind of encryption they use. I received a personalized, clear-cut response within two hours. Pretty impressive!
For the sake of this Unlocator review, I decided to take advantage of the provider’s generous 7-day free trial. Signing up was as easy as entering our email address and desired password. Afterwards, I was sent a welcome email. It contained the simple 3-step instructions to getting your Unlocator service started.
I did as I was instructed and had Unlocator set up on my Windows 10 computer in just a few minutes.
The Unlocator Smart VPN
As we here at BestVPN.com are in the business of reviewing VPNs and not SmartDNS, I will not be thoroughly reviewing the Unlocator SmartDNS service. If you are interested in that, you can find an in-depth review here. Moreover, step-by-step instructions for setting Unlocator’s SmartDNS on your device can be found be found under the Setup Guides tab in its website’s members-only section.
For this Unlocator review I will be focusing on the Smart VPN that is offered as part of the package of all subscriptions. You can set it up by signing in to your Unlocator account and then navigating to the Smart VPN tab. Afterwards, you will be presented with this page,. It supplies you with some brief information on the Smart VPN, in addition to server, username, and password details, as well as set up guides for each supported platform.
Setting up the Unlocator Smart VPN was an interesting experience. Instead of there being downloadable software, I had to set it up step-by-step using existing Windows 10 settings.
- Firstly, I went to the Network and Sharing Center.
- From there, I clicked on ‘Set up a new connection or network’ and then ‘Connect to a workplace’.
- Then you will have to create a new connection using your Internet connection.
- Afterwards, you will have to enter your Internet address as “vpn.unlocator.com” and your destination name as “Unlocator”.
- After clicking ‘Remember my credentials,’ click ‘Create’. Once the VPN connection is created, return to the Network and Sharing Center and click on the Unlocator VPN. From there you can access advanced options.
- From there, you can enter your login details and choose your desired security protocol. When that is filled out, you can connect.
Performance (Speed, DNS, WebRTC and IPv6 Tests)
Graphs show highest, lowest and average speeds for each server and location. See our full speed test explanation for more detail.
I conducted all Unlocator speed tests from a location in Central Europe. As you can see in the graphs, the speeds were quite good when the SmartDNS was connected, experiencing only a minor drop when the Smart VPN was enabled. Using the Smart VPN definitely wouldn’t have a significant impact on speeds when you’re streaming content – which is the primary reason you’d be using Unlocator in the first place!
Because Unlocator is a SmartDNS service, it does not change your IP address and its security protocols are next to nil. As such, I did not conduct any DNS, WebRTC, or IPv6 tests for this Unlocator review.
In addition to Windows, Unlocator is compatible with just about every other platform out there. The full list can be found under the Support Devices tab in the Channels and Devices section of its website. Regardless of what mobile, desktop, gaming console, media player, tablet, router, or smart TV you have, Unlocator is almost certainly sure to have you covered.
For setup instructions for each support device, check out the Setup section on their website. They have step-by-step instructions for each, with many being accompanied by helpful screenshots.
Unlocator Review Conclusion
- Global server network
- Compatible with plenty of platforms
- Fast speeds
- Decently priced
- Allows you to access over 219 channels
- Unblocks Hulu and BBC iPlayer
I wasn’t so sure about
- Limited customer supports options
- Smart VPN can be tricky to set up
- Terrible security and encryption
- Incredibly basic VPN
- Does not unblock Netflix
To recap, Unlocator is a SmartDNS provider based in Denmark. In addition to its SmartDNS service, it has a Smart VPN add-on for a little bit of extra security. This is because SmartDNS services are meant for streaming, not safety, and so their security measures are typically non-existent. As a SmartDNS service, Unlocator does quite well, thanks to its global network, compatibility with just about any platform, and access to over 219 channels. It even has unblocks Hulu and BBC iPlayer (though sadly not Netflix). That said, I wasn’t particularly impressed by their Smart VPN, which was incredibly subpar to services that strictly provide VPN. In conclusion, Unlocator is a good SmartDNS service and I’d recommend it to anyone who primarily wants to stream content, but if you’re looking for a more balanced VPN service that offers much more in regards to security I’d look elsewhere.