Smart DNS Vs VPN: Breaking Down the Differences

Some websites and online streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and others contain regionally restricted (or geo-restricted) content. As a result, the content that they provide is only available for viewing and/or downloading by users who live within their permitted locations.


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Smart DNS is a service that allows users to access multiple services from different countries. Alternatively, a VPN or virtual private network is a group of computers (or discrete networks) linked together via the Internet.

Smart DNS and VPN technology both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Not sure which one to use? Let’s discover the advantages and disadvantages of these two services.

Smart DNS


Photo: OverPlay


The advantages of Smart DNS include:

  • No encryption overhead
  • Higher quality of video streams
  • Ability to access content from various countries.

Smart DNS service allows you to change the DNS server that your computer uses to look up the address of websites you visit on the Internet. As a result, you can appear in a different location to Netflix and other similar streaming services, thus allowing you to view content that may not be available in your home country or present location.


However unlike VPNs, Smart DNS does not:

  • Allow you to view content from services which require third party payments. These payment subscriptions still need to be purchased.
  • Encrypt your traffic or hide your IP address.

Check out our full list of DNS providers.


OverPlay Review

OverPlay VPN Provider


When connected to a VPN service, you have the ability to:

  • Prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from throttling your speed based on what content or websites you’re accessing.
  • Keep your online presence and information private without the need for a firewall.
  • Connect to a VPN while connecting to public Wi-Fi, allowing you to secure your personal information such as your banking information and search history.


  • Speeds may vary depending upon your distance from the server you are connecting to and how many people are using that particular server at that time.

Check out our full list of VPN providers.