In the past 12 months there has been a real surge in the number of people looking to either access more content online or to increase their online privacy and security. A lot of this can be attributed to the NSA reports of Edward Snowden, which highlighted government spying and monitoring of ordinary citizens both in the US and across the world. In the past year we’ve seen the number of visitors to this website increase by over 130% year on year.
Are people now just more security conscious ? Or are the services that are offered more affordable and easier to use ? Our opinion is that it’s a mixture of both. For as little as $10 / month you hide your internet activity from your ISP/ government & you can get access to content in the US & UK & Ireland which you may not be able to access with your normal internet setup. This dual benefit of VPNs is quite nice.
Ways for unblocking content online
There are 3 main ways of unblocking content :
- Virtual Private Server (www.vpn.ie) – encrypts all your traffic going out of your computer to a 3rd party service. Once at this server your web traffic proceeds as normal to the world. Because of this setup your IP address will appear as being the one from the 3rd party service.
- Proxy (www.proxy.ie) – works by requesting webpages & files on your behalf and then forwarding them to you. This is how services like Zenmate work, via a Google Chrome plugin.
- Smart DNS (unlocator.com) – uses a special DNS server to make specific webpage requests appear as being in another location. They do this when they perform a look up on your IP address.
Each of these three services acts slightly differently, and has a different cost associated with them. A VPN can offer complete anonymity, but can lead to degradation in downloads speeds and add addition latency, as all your web traffic has to be sent to an extra server. VPN prices tend to around $10 / month. Proxies and Smart DNS just changes the way the web page is requested. There are some services that offer free proxies, but they are generally slow, paid proxies or Smart DNS services cost about half of what a VPN would cost, i.e. $5 / month.
When picking what type of service to use, a VPN or Smart DNS provider, it’s important to know what one best suits your needs. This week we have come across Unlocator.
Unlocator Pricing & Service
Here is their current pricing:.
- $0 – 7 days free trial
- $4.95 / month, 1 month’s access
- $27.50 for 6 month’s access
- $49.95 for 1 year’s access 12 months
Note: If you are in Europe you will also have to pay the 25% Danish VAT on top of this. They accept credit cards & PayPal for payments.
Unlocator DNS – Features
What we particularly like is the fact that they offer a hassle free week long trial. Here you can see if your computer system will work with their service or if you are capable to get the system working. Their setup guides are straight forward and presented in an easy to understand step by step manner. The guide shows how you can change your DNS settings for Windows, OSX & linux. They also have guides for iPhone & Android smart devices, Playstation and Xbox gaming consoles and various routers & TV streaming devices like the Apple TV.
Unlocator says that they can give you access to over 80 different online broadcasting services. For example it will work with:
- BBC iPlayer & Channel 4, 4oD player, ITV (UK)
- TV3 (Ireland)
- Hulu, Fox, A&E, PBS & Pandora (USA)
- UTV (Northern Ireland)
- Canal+ (France)
They say that plans for RTÉ Player support is still in the pipeline. Some of these, like Netflix, require an extra subscription. In the case of NetFlix, using the US version of the website will grant you access to a lot more online content.
Here is their current list of supported services.
Visit unlocator.com for more info.