What Is Smart DNS? The 5 Best VPNs that offer Smart DNS

UX/UI Designer at - Adobe

Smart DNS is a service that allows you to unblock websites and services from anywhere in the world. VPNs provide an encrypted connection to sites, but they also log your activity which can be used against you. Smart DNS masks your location and provides a proxy server instead, making it much harder for someone to track your activities. Some of the best VPNs that offer Smart DNS include NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and PureVPN.

Smart DNS is a technology that allows users to bypass geo-restrictions and unblock content from certain websites. The “nordvpn smart dns” is one of the best VPNs that offers Smart DNS.

Even though a VPN is the most dependable method for accessing geographically restricted online material, such as that offered by streaming and gaming websites, certain devices are unable to operate a VPN program.

Although you could add a VPN to your wireless router, it would effect all of the network’s devices’ internet traffic, and you may just require access on your Apple TV, PS5, or other streaming-capable device.

What Alternatives Exist to VPNs?

Fortunately, a few carefully chosen VPN companies also provide trustworthy Smart DNS services. These VPN service providers not only provide thorough VPN security for the majority of your online activities, but they also feature Smart DNS technology, which allows geo-restricted material to be unblocked on devices that are unable to run VPN software.

Smart DNS: What Is It?

Similar to a VPN, Smart DNS (Domain Name Server) is a service that enables linked devices to access geo-restricted content.

You may use the service to switch your ISP’s allocated DNS servers for the smart DNS servers hosted by the VPN server provider. Please be advised that unlike a provider’s VPN service, smart DNS does not provide encrypted connection security.

You may access online streaming video from different parts of the globe using the new DNS address the VPN offers. In other words, if you use a Smart DNS service provider, you will be able to access Netflix material that is typically only available to viewers in the United States, even if you are in the United Kingdom.

This service is particularly useful for usage on gadgets like the Apple TV, Playstation, Xbox, and other devices that aren’t compatible with VPN applications. These devices may connect to content providers with geographic restrictions using a VPN’s smart DNS service without first configuring the VPN service. It doesn’t encrypt your internet connection, however (again).

Which VPN for Smart DNS Is the Best?

The following five VPNs have been found to be the top VPNs for offering Smart DNS service after comprehensive testing. A TL;DR overview of each provider’s skills is provided below:

  1. #1 Smart DNS service is NordVPN. The Smart DNS solution from this supplier is simple to set up and use. Your internet connection won’t be significantly slowed down by NordVPN’s service, which also offers dependable access to certain streaming services.
  2. Cheap Smart DNS service, Surfshark. The Smart DNS solution from Surfshark is effective in unblocking streaming services, however it is only available to users who are located in the United States. The business claims, nevertheless, that it has plans to deploy more smart DNS server sites abroad.
  3. Premium Smart DNS service from ExpressVPN. This trustworthy VPN service provider also provides a trustworthy Smart DNS service under the name MediaStreamer. This service provider has a history of providing quick access to geographically restricted information.
  4. Easy-to-use Smart DNS: CyberGhost. This user-friendly VPN company includes a Smart DNS that makes use of DNS servers in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan.
  5. Reliable Smart DNS service provided by Private Internet Access. This VPN offers trustworthy Smart DNS connections to provide users access to material from all around the world.

The following parameters were taken into account while determining the top five VPNs that provide Smart DNS services:

  • bans material that is geoblocked
  • works with a variety of devices
  • rapid, trustworthy connections
  • complete client service

Here is my ranking of the top five VPNs for Smart DNS in 2022.

How-to-Unblock-Instagram-at-School-in-2022 Jul 2022

NordVPN provides a SmartDNS solution in addition to its well regarded VPN service, enabling your streaming device to view geo-restricted material.

The service provider performs a great job globally unblocking geo-restricted material. This comprises a wide range of well-known streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and many more.

The provider’s SmartDNS service is compatible with a wide range of streaming devices, including set-top boxes like the Apple TV, a lot of smart TVs, and gaming consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

In addition to compatibility for many different router brands and models, VPN applications are available for iOS, macOS (with native M1/M2 Mac support), Windows, Linux, Android, Amazon Fire, Chromebook, and Android TV device platforms. The Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions from the service also help to safeguard your online surfing. Up to six devices may be linked at once.

The provider’s over 5,600+ server infrastructure, located in 60 different countries, offers dependable access to geo-restricted material throughout the majority of the globe.

The download speeds of NordVPN are among the fastest available and are more than capable of handling HD and 4K video streaming. Your viewing enjoyment is never restricted by data limitations or bandwidth throttling from the ISP.

A searchable knowledge base, email help, and live chat support are all available for customers.


  • servers spread over 60 different countries
  • Numerous devices are compatible with SmartDNS.
  • furthermore provides complete VPN services
  • affordable prices
  • A quick VPN connection


  • fails to identify streaming servers

Greatest SMART DNS Choice: For consumers who want the finest access to geo-restricted material for their set-top boxes, gaming systems, and other connected streaming-capable devices, NordVPN is the best Smart DNS option. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee offered.

Read my in-depth NordVPN review.

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Owners of Apple TV, smart TVs, and gaming consoles on a tight budget will enjoy Surfshark’s rock-bottom prices, which conceal superb internet services.

The provider’s Smart DNS service bans material that is geoblocked for devices like those listed above, that can’t make use of Surfshark’s VPN offering. Unfortunately, it currently only allows access to geo-restricted content in the United States, but the provider has plans to broaden that access to other countries.

The following device platforms have VPN applications available: iOS, Android, Android TV, Linux, Windows, macOS (with native compatibility for Macs powered by Apple Silicon), and Fire TV. If you want to go that way, router features may secure every connected desktop and mobile device via a single access point (r). There are also browser extensions for Firefox, Edge, and Chrome.

3,200+ servers located across 65+ countries make up the worldwide server network for Surfshark.

For streaming HD and 4K movies, this provider’s secure connection speeds are excellent. Your pleasure won’t be ruined by data limits or bandwidth restrictions.

Your whole family or business may be secured simultaneously thanks to Surfshark’s several connections at once permit.

Customer service is available 24/7 and consists of a support request form, a searchable help library, and a FAQ area.


  • access to geoblocked material with reliability
  • several connections at once
  • A quick bond
  • affordable subscription alternatives


  • The app does not list any streaming servers.

BUDGET-FRIENDLY SMART DNS SERVICE: Surfshark is a tempting choice for streaming users who would want to spend their money on a streaming service rather than other things. All restricted material may be accessed with assurance and at quick speeds. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee offered.

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ExpressVPN is a very dependable, if rather pricey, Smart DNS service that provides good access to geographically restricted material all around the world.

Game consoles, Smart TVs, and set-top boxes may use the provider’s geo-blocked content access capabilities thanks to the MediaStreamer service.

For iOS, Android, Android TV, Amazon Fire, Chromebook, Linux, macOS, and Windows device platforms, native VPN app support is also offered. Additionally, users of Firefox, Chrome, and Edge may profit from the provider’s browser extensions.

On the network of the provider, up to 5 devices may be active at once. There is also extensive router support provided.

The company has you covered when it comes to accessing location-based content with more than 3,000 servers spread across more than 94 countries.

The connection speeds of ExpressVPN provide more than enough bandwidth for online gaming as well as streaming HD and 4K video.

Customer assistance is constantly accessible and includes live chat help available around-the-clock, email support, a problem ticket reporting system, and a searchable support library.


  • MediaStreamer works with a variety of devices
  • world-class server coverage
  • bans material that is geoblocked
  • rapid connection rates


  • more pricey than a lot of alternatives
  • There are no labels on streaming servers.

ExpressVPN offers dependable Smart DNS service for your streaming or gaming device. FAST AND RELIABLE SMART DNS SERVICE: The service provider does a good job of unblocking geo-restricted material. Although the provider’s prices are a little high, they deliver a reasonable return on investment. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee offered.

Read the whole of my ExpressVPN review.

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CyberGhost offers a Smart DNS service that’s easy to set up and that delivers access to geoblocked material with reliability around the globe.

For a variety of streaming and gaming platforms, including Roku, Apple TV, Samsung and LG Smart TVs, Xbox and Playstation consoles, and many more, CyberGhost’s Smart DNS service enables access to geo-restricted material.

Other well-known devices, such as those running Windows, iOS, Android, Android TV, macOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire, may also be protected by a VPN. There are also browser add-ons for Firefox and Chrome.

A single access point may be used to safeguard all of your connected devices by configuring the service on a variety of router manufacturers. Using the same login, up to 7 devices may connect to the service at once.

8,000+ servers in 90+ countries make up CyberGhost’s extensive worldwide server network, many of which are stream-optimized.

The connection speeds offered by CyberGhost are more than sufficient for streaming HD and 4K video while gaming.

A searchable knowledge base, email help, a support ticket system, and live chat support are all available 24/7.


  • Stationed server infrastructure globally
  • A quick bond
  • works with a variety of devices


  • not always effective in certain nations
  • The speed of certain servers

BEST OPTION FOR NEWBIE SMART DNS USERS:CyberGhost is the best option for streaming and gaming fans who are looking for an easy-to-use Smart DNS service. Wide-ranging global server coverage and A quick bond offer reliable geo-blocked content access. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.

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Smart DNS solution from Private Internet Access (PIA) is dependable.

3,300+ servers located in more than 80 countries make up PIA’s worldwide server network. Access to geo-fenced material from all across the world is made possible through this.

On PIA servers, no user logs are ever kept. Additionally, the provider’s bitcoin payment option aids in protecting the privacy of your payment information.

Compared to the other ISPs on this list, PIA’s connections are slower. Nevertheless, the majority of users will discover that PIA offers enough of bandwidth for common online activity. When utilizing this service, there are no data constraints or bandwidth restrictions to worry about.

Take advantage of PIA’s native app support, which includes solutions for the Android, Android TV, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux device platforms. PIA also offers excellent VPN security. There are also browser extensions for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox, as well as support for a variety of router brands and types.

The servers of PIA can support a simultaneous connection of up to 10 devices.

When you need help, there is a live support chat feature, a problem ticket form, and a searchable support library.


  • dependable Smart DNS solutions
  • servers in over 80 countries
  • furthermore provides complete VPN services


  • No connections suited for streaming
  • works poorly in certain nations with strong regulations.

RESPONSIVE SMART DNS SERVICE:Private Internet Access offers trustworthy VPN services in addition to complete online security and privacy. PIA provides dependable access to geo-restricted material all across the world. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee offered.

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Techniques for Evaluating Smart DNS Services

Not every VPN offers trustworthy Smart DNS service. Because you will probably utilize a provider’s VPN protection for your compatible devices, you should also carefully analyze the VPN service options of these service providers.

The following is a list of the most important criteria I looked at while choosing which VPNs to suggest for Smart DNS:

  • Connection Speed: rapid connection rates are always important, whether you’re using a Smart DNS service or a full-blown VPN service. All of the providers on my lists offer A quick bond.
  • Access to foreign material will be made possible through a vast global server network. It’s also important to take into account how many servers a supplier has located in a certain nation. There will be more servers, which means there won’t be too many people trying to connect via any one server.
  • Value: I evaluated each VPN on my list to see whether their asking price was reasonable considering what they supplied, and I discovered that they all delivered outstanding value.
  • You don’t want to spend time dealing with intricate settings before you can connect, thus ease of use is a crucial consideration. Every VPN on my list has user-friendly applications for the most widely used platforms.
  • Security and privacy: Although a VPN offers more safety than a Smart DNS service, you should still take a provider’s VPN protection into account in case you ever need it. A VPN need to at the very least provide banking-level encryption, an automated kill switch, and DNS/IP leak prevention for the connections of its customers. Additionally, they all adhere to rigorous no-logs rules.
  • Streaming: Among VPN users, streaming is a common practice. Every VPN on my list provides dependable access to well-known streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and others.

Although there is a lot to think about, my research does not stop here. Just a few of the variables I take into account while using my thorough VPN testing approach are those mentioned above. I am better able to comprehend VPNs and their services thanks to a data-driven research methodology, which enables me to only suggest those that are a suitable match for your requirements.

How to Set Up Smart DNS on Your Smart TV, Game Console, or Streaming Device

A Smart DNS service is simple to set up. However, different VPN providers and devices have different setup procedures for Smart DNS servers. I’ll give NordVPN’s guidelines as an example.

Remember that Smart DNS just gives you access to certain streaming services; it doesn’t safeguard your connection the way a VPN does. For instance, the following services are accessible using NordVPN’s SmartDNS service:

To learn more about the services that your VPN provider’s Smart DNS service unblocks, check with them.

Setting up SmartDNS on an Apple TV with NordVPN

Follow these steps to set up your Apple TV to use NordVPN’s SmartDNS service:

  1. On the account profile page of your NordVPN account at https://my.nordaccount.com/dashboard/nordvpn/, whitelist your actual IP address. You whitelist your real, ISP-provided IP address, be sure to do it when your VPN is not active.
  2. Go to “General” -> “Network” in your Apple TV Settings app.
  3. Select your WiFi or ethernet connection by clicking “Wi-Fi” at the top.
  4. Select “Configure DNS” -> “Manual.”
  5. Enter the IP addresses of the NordVPN SmartDNS servers: Configure Primary DNS to Set Secondary DNS to if it’s accessible.

Similar setup procedures apply to other streaming devices such Smart TVs, game consoles, and streaming boxes. The manufacturer’s website or the documentation for your specific device should be consulted for detailed information on how to establish DNS on that particular device.

Is a Free VPN Compatible with Smart DNS?

Finding a trustworthy Smart DNS service from a free VPN provider would be challenging. Even if you do, there will probably be restrictions that make using the service unappealing.

In order to save bandwidth for their paying clients, free VPNs will limit the internet connection speeds of its free users. Additionally, the majority of free VPN companies impose daily or monthly bandwidth limits on their customers’ connections. Gaming and streaming are not exactly made more fun by slow connections and bandwidth limits.

You could be tempted to utilize the free provider’s VPN services if you use a free Smart DNS service. Also a horrible idea is this. Free VPNs follow its customers’ internet activities, recording the data, and selling it to marketers and other Nosy Nellies. Additionally, they have been known to add tracking cookies and unwelcome advertising to their users’ browser sessions.

Although I can appreciate the need to save costs, is the compromise to internet speed and privacy really worth it?


The Smart DNS services that these 5 VPN companies give will be appreciated by users with streaming and gaming devices that can’t typically utilize a Virtual Private Network to safeguard and improve their online activities.

Your greatest option for a Smart DNS service is NordVPN, which also offers trustworthy VPN security for all of your common compatible devices. Access to online material that is geographically restricted is great because to the provider’s extensive worldwide server network. With no “gotchas,” its quick and dependable VPN connections will offer streaming and gaming material.

Visit the NordVPN website for further details or to buy a membership.

FAQs About Smart DNS

Is it Legal to Use Smart DNS?

It’s permissible to use a Smart DNS proxy. As long as you’re not changing your DNS server addresses to engage in any nefarious online activity, it’s lawful to alter your DNS server addresses. In reality, you may utilize Google’s DNS servers.

Is Changing Your DNS Server Safe?

It is perfectly safe to switch your DNS server as long as you do it with a reputable provider, such one from this page, Google, or OpenDNS. If your DNS provider’s servers go down, the worst that may happen is you might have to update the DNS settings.

Use DNS codes instead if possible.

You may unblock geo-restricted material using smart DNS, which also protects your surfing from DNS cache poisoning and DNS hijacking, stops your ISP’s DNS server from logging your search queries.

Smart DNS is a technology that allows users to change their IP address. This can be done through VPNs or by using Smart DNS. ExpressVPN is a provider of Smart DNS and they offer 5 different VPN plans. Reference: express vpn smart dns.

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