Nowadays, there are several ways for an individual to bypass location restrictions while protecting their privacy. Two of the most common ways to achieve this are via a VPN or a DNS Proxy.
While both services can be used to hide and change your location, each offers certain advantages you would want to look into. In this article, we will show you some features that differentiate between VPNs and DNS proxies.
What is a VPN? [Definition]
A VPN or Virtual Private Server is a tool that reroutes your online traffic via another server. The reputable VPN providers have a vast network on servers where the users can choose to send the traffic over.
The website you view shows the IP address of the VPN server you connected to instead of your original IP address when you select a server and connect to it. Additionally, the data you communicate online is encrypted, meaning that even if a hacker manages to steal your data, they won't be able to access it.
Additionally, VPNs let you "hide" your actual and online identities while protecting you from hackers and surveillance risks (online censorship), which is especially important while using a free public Wi-Fi network to access the internet. When you shop online and access the geo-restricted material on applications like Netflix and YouTube, VPNs can also help you save money.
What is a DNS? [Definition]
The phonebook of the internet is the Domain Name System (DNS). People use domain names like espn.com or the new york times.com to access information online. Through Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, web browsers may communicate. DNS converts domain names to IP addresses for browsers to load Internet resources.
Each Internet-connected device has a distinct IP address that other computers can use to find the device. DNS servers take the place of the necessity for people to remember IP addresses like 192.168.1.1 (in IPv4) or more complicated modern alphanumeric IP addresses like 2400:cb00:2048:1::c629:d7a2 (in IPv6).
DNS resolution includes translating a hostname (such as www.example.com) into an IP address that computers can understand (such as 192.168.1.1). Each Internet-connected device has an IP address, which is required to identify the correct Internet device, much as a street address is required to identify a certain residence. A translation must occur between what users type into their web browser (example.com) and the machine-friendly address necessary to find the example.com webpage when they wish to load it.
Choosing between VPN vs DNS
It's important to note that both solutions are extremely easy to set up, but as these services will come with a price, you need to ensure that you get what you pay for, right? Here is the breakdown of some features of Proxy vs VPN:
Bypassing Location Restrictions
Smart DNS Proxy
Here is a list of some of the Smart DNS-supported devices:
- Apple TV
- Smart TVs
- Amazon Fire TV
- Blue Ray Players
- NowTV Boxes
- Playstation 3 & 4
- PS Vita
- Sky+ Boxes
- Xbox One 360
- And many more
Above are the key points that most of us (end users) might look for when bypassing location restriction solutions/services. And as always, the final say ultimately ends with you. The keynote here is to always take the good with the bad. If you understand what you are looking for in these internet solutions by your needs, then making a decision shouldn't be so hard.
For example, if you wish to use any of these services for personal entertainment, such as streaming shows and movies on Netflix or accessing your work files online through several devices, your option would be much clearer. However, as we pointed out, you must take the good with the bad. As speed, privacy, accessibility, and security are all of equal importance, you might find it convenient to have both services available for your use and as you see fit for your purpose of going online.
We hope that now you are well aware of the difference between Proxy and VPN, what is a smart DNS and how you can use both of them.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Smart DNS better than VPN?
The main difference is privacy. Both will allow you to access geo-restricted content. Still, only a VPN will encrypt your Internet connection, hide your IP address, and protect your online privacy while accessing all that worldwide content.
2. Can I use Smart DNS and VPN at the same time?
No. You cannot simultaneously use VPN and the Smart DNS service as they conflict.
3. Are proxies better than VPNs?
No, a VPN is better as it provides privacy and security by routing your traffic through a secure VPN server and encrypting your traffic. A proxy passes your traffic through a mediating server but doesn't necessarily offer any extra protection.
4. Is DNS faster than VPN?
Yes, because a smart DNS only changes your DNS address while a VPN encrypts your traffic, warps it, and spoofs your location by changing your IP – effectively taking up more of your internet bandwidth.
5. Are DNS safer than VPN?
Smart DNS will reroute your DNS requests, but it will not hide your IP address or encrypt your data. Your ISP can see what you are doing online and throttle your streaming connection. Using a VPN is, by far, the best option for improving your privacy and security.
6. What are the downsides of VPN?
- VPNs may cause your speed to slow down
- Some services will not allow you to use them (for example, Netflix)
- Some countries do not allow VPNs to be operated within their territory
- It's difficult for consumers to check the quality of encryption
- You may experience connection breaks
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