You can use DNS proxy (aka smart DNS) to bypass the geolocation restrictions of video streaming.
Compared to VPN, a DNS proxy is always faster.
This DNS proxy guide explains how DNS proxy works, and the limitations of the DNS proxy.
Why do you need a DNS proxy?
As explained in this guide, a VPN proxy can help you bypass geolocation-based restrictions.
Therefore many VPN users use VPN to unblock video streaming. For example, you can enjoy Hulu or Netflix when you travel abroad.
But there is one problem with VPN for video streaming.
VPN will always slow down your internet connection speed. In some cases, you may not be able to enjoy smooth video streaming. The problem can happen to all VPN providers: good, bad or in-between.
So, what’s the solution?
Currently, DNS proxy (some providers call it smart DNS proxy) is the only solution. You can get almost the full original connection speed while unblocking the video streaming services with a good DNS proxy.
What is DNS proxy?
When you connect any devices to the internet, your ISP will assign a public IP for your device.
For example, your current public IP is: 126.96.36.199.
This IP will reveal your location because this IP was assigned to your ISP and anyone can check it in the public database.
You cannot change this IP. And this IP is often shared by many devices (which may belong to different customers).
If the public IP is shared, your ISP can identify that the device is from you by the private IP assigned to your router/gateway.
Your own router can identify the device by the private IP of the device as this IP was assigned by your router.
When you try to access Netflix, for example, without a DNS proxy, the following will happen:
- Your ISP’s DNS server will find (resolve) the IP address of Netflix.
- Your ISP will establish a connection between your device and the Netflix server.
- Netflix will check the location of your IP address and direct you to the server for your region/country.
- Netflix will check your account status (you need to log in) and determine your access level (plan).
- Netflix will stream videos that are available for your region to your device.
With DNS proxy, the following will happen:
- The DNS proxy provider’s DNS server will find (resolve) the IP address of Netflix.
- The DNS proxy provider’s DNS server will tell Netflix your IP is from one of their proxy servers, not the actual IP from your ISP.
- Netflix will connect to the proxy server and maintain the connection until you exit the Netflix app.
- Netflix will check your account status.
- Netflix will stream videos that are available for the region of the proxy server, not your actual region
- The proxy server will redirect (NOT pass) video streaming to your device directly.
In step 6, the video usually will be streamed from the Netflix cloud directly to your device. Netflix normally chooses the node closest to your actual location to serve the video.
How does DNS proxy (smart DNS) unblock video streaming services?
As explained above, when a DNS proxy is used, Netflix will check the available video based on the IP address of the proxy server.
Most DNS proxy providers allow you to choose different proxy servers for individual video stream services. For example, you can choose Hulu in the US and Netflix in the UK.
In this way, you can easily unblock the geo-restrictions for video streaming services.
With a DNS proxy, only a tiny portion of traffic is routed through the proxy server. The video streaming is directly between Netflix cloud servers and your device.
If you use a VPN proxy, then all traffic has to go through the VPN channel. The VPN server has to pass all streaming data to your device.
So, a DNS proxy offers far faster video streaming than VPN. Of course, both will bypass geolocation restrictions.
Limitations of DNS proxy (smart DNS)
DNS proxy typically does not slow down your internet connections. But it is mainly used for media streaming only. It is not designed to replace VPN.
The limitations of DNS proxy include:
- It requires considerable work from the DNS proxy service providers. They need to analyze the web traffic of individual video streaming services and write the correct script to handle the traffic.
- It is impractical to use a DNS proxy for many websites.
- There is no encryption by default.
- It does not hide your identity and data (it only fakes your location). Some user info is available to your ISP and video streaming service providers.
- You may need to null route some DNS servers in your router. Some apps and streaming providers started to hardcode the DNS server in the hardware or apps and ignore your DNS settings.
- It is slightly more complicated to set up compared to VPN. You need to change the DNS servers for your device or the router.
Anyway, DNS proxy offers a faster alternative for unblocking video streaming services.
How to choose a DNS proxy (smart DNS) to bypass geolocation restrictions?
Because DNS proxy requires in-depth work of routing the traffic, you should choose some experienced DNS proxy providers.
The support of different video streaming service providers (channels) varies. You need to make sure you can unblock the video streaming services you want to use.
You may check this guide (coming soon) on how to choose a DNS proxy (smart DNS) to bypass geolocation restrictions.
Do you understand DNS proxy? Do you know how to use DNS proxy (smart DNS) to unblock video streaming services?
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