Internet access is reaching people in the most remote corners of the world. While it is good to see that everyone is close to getting connected to the internet, there still remains a vast rift between the online freedom people have in different regions. While some countries have severe censorship laws, people in others get frustrated because many of the services they wish to use are not available in their region. For a variety of reasons (usual protection of copyrights), many services like streaming services are geo-restricted. But there are ways to get around this issue, like by using Unblock-Us. We will give you a complete rundown of the service in this review.
Pricing and Plans
Unblock-Us offers a SmartDNS and SmartVPN service, and it offers them in two different pricing plans.
- Monthly – You get both SmartVPN and SmartDNS service for $4.99 for a month
- 1 year – You get both SmartVPN and SmartDNS service for $49.90, billed annually
Free Trial and Money Back Guarantee
Unblock-Us offers a 7-day free trial of its service. There are no restrictions as to the features or the servers available to you during this free trial. You don’t have to give your credit card information to sign yourself up for the free trial. Just your email id will do. 7 days is time enough to test Unblock-Us for all the different things you want to do using the service. It’s good to see that Unblock-Us gives you a full-fledged experience before asking you to pay for its service.
Unblock-Us claims to be faster than all other VPNs you will find on the internet. This is not a false claim since their connection speeds are exemplary. Speed tests while using the service did not show any reduction in speed. However, it does not quite give the full picture of the service. It is faster than most other VPNs, but Unblock-Us isn’t a typical VPN either.
The SmartDNS service only reroutes your DNS requests to its own servers and obscures your IP address from any website or service that requests it. The SmartVPN, although faster than all VPNs, doesn’t work like VPNs either. It is safer than SmartDNS, but not safe enough, since there is no encryption involved. Your traffic is simply sealed by Unblock-Us SmartVPN.
Unblock-Us works on almost all devices. You will find a setup for Windows, which will automatically change your system’s DNS settings so that your DNS requests go to Unblock-Us servers when you wish to access geo-restricted websites. The client is as basic a client as you will find. There is no fancy UI that lights up your eyes. But on the other hand, everything is pretty clear the moment you see the client.
All the features are neatly labeled, and you can make your way around the client with the utmost ease. It’s really simplistic in every aspect but works just fine.
Unblock-Us has around 100 servers in more than 20 countries around the world. There is little information about the location of their servers, but we can comment that they are well placed, since Unblock-Us allows you to access many geo-restricted services around the world. To help you access them, they have got to have servers in those locations. Speed isn’t an issue anyway since there is no encryption involved, but with a well spread server pool, you can find a server near your location pretty easily.
Privacy and Anonymity
SmartDNS services don’t do anything to make your connection private. Your activity is visible to whoever wants to see it. Unblock-Us SmartDNS works the same way, as it only obfuscates your IP address in the DNS request and does not provide you with a fake IP as VPNs do. The SmartVPN service doesn’t do so either. It will only seal your traffic so that it isn’t there for everyone to see.
There is no such protection when you use these services. But it is good to know that Unblock-Us does not record your activity when you use it, and its move from Canada to Barbados means it is no longer subject to data retention laws. So it does take some measures to give you a little protection. But if you want privacy and anonymity, you should look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you only wish to stream geo-restricted content, you’ll get along with Unblock-Us really well.
As mentioned above, Unblock-Us supports almost all devices. You can use it on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, gaming consoles, Smart TVs, Kindle, routers, etc. There is no support for Linux, though, which is a bit of a downer. But the best part about using Unblock-Us is that there is no restriction on the number of devices you can use at the same time. As long as all these devices are connected to the same network, you can use them under a single Unblock-Us subscription.
The SmartVPN service offers a little more protection to users than the SmartDNS service by Unblock-Us. It isn’t nearly as secure as most VPNs are, but it is included in the subscription you pay for, offers great connection speed, and does help you access websites that block SmartDNS service.
Unblock-Us offers 24X7 customer support service. Although there is no live chat support, the email support is outstanding with minimal waiting time. We heard back from Unblock-Us within an hour, even though we contacted them during non-working hours. The responses deal with the situation in a genial and informative manner. The FAQ section covers many aspects to help customers as well.
Unblock-Us is a service that claims to be faster than all VPNs, which is true, but it isn’t exactly a VPN either. It is a SmartDNS service, and the SmartVPN feature provides a very minimal protection for users. But if you want a service to help you bypass geo-restrictions to allow for streaming anywhere, Unblock-Us is a good pick. There is a 7-day free trial which you can avail, a neat client, great customer support, and intent to look after the customers by Unblock-Us which make it a worthy option.