Recently, the internet had been abuzz on Fox Soccer 2 Go and watching it in Singapore after they were recently featured on Straits Times. When it comes to bypassing geographical restrictions to services such as Netflix and Hulu, the first word that comes to mind is VPN, or Virtual Private Network, where all your traffic is routed through alternative networks housed in the respective geographical location. There is actually an easier and better way to bypass the geographical limiters, which is to use a customised DNS routing service.
Such DNS routing is available through Singapore local service providers like ViewQuest and MyRepublic. MyRepublic terms it the Teleport service, with access of up to 21 Channels. If you are not any of this ISP subscriber, there’s actually another DNS service that has been around for some time around, UnoTelly UnoDNS service. Sort of like a hidden gem.
What is UnoDNS?
It is a pay-monthly service that allows any user, worldwide, to access content that is blocked due to nationality. The technical concept behind it, if you are interested in all the geeky mumbo-jumbo is that the DNS server recognises the IP of services such as Netflix and Hulu, and such requests made to them are routed through and geographically-masked, so that these servers would think that the request is coming in from say, USA. Data streams move normally as part of your ISP speeds. Wonderful enough, it is also smart enough to route traffic accordingly based on request. So using the same DNS server, you can access US-based Hulu, Netflix, but quickly then switched to UK-based media such as BBC iPlayer, ITV player as an example.
If anything, just remember: Fast, Easy to use and Affordable!
How is DNS routing better than a VPN?
With traditional VPN solutions, you are usually not getting the best performance out of your internet connection as you are forced to go through a VPN server. This means that your internet traffic sometimes has to take less than optimal routes and usually meets a bottleneck as it passes through the VPN server’s limited bandwidth. This might lead to streaming video of lower quality and a much higher incidence of buffering as your video traffic encounters congestion along the VPN routes it is forced to take.
From my testing over the past few days, speed and reliability is great. I expected this to have similar issues that you get with Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), but this was not the case. There are no speed issues with UnoDNS and the service can be used across a myriad of devices, which is not the case for VPNs. Another issue you’ll have with comparative VPN services is that that you must pay for bandwidth usage, which again is completely unlimited at UnoDNS. Your IP address stays the same when UnoDNS is enabled, and you can keep the same DNS enabled at all times. I would however, advise that you disable UnoDNS whenever you do your normal browsing just to be safe.
Setting up UnoDNS service
It’s quite simple and you should refer to the website for the clear guides.
In basic terms, all you really need to do to set up UnoDNS is go to the properties of your network adapter or device, and change the DNS server from your internet service provider’s, to the one provided by UnoDNS. That’s it. Head over to Hulu.com and you would no longer see the dreaded This video is not playable in your country message. Also, once you’ve completed these steps, you won’t have to change your DNS for a while, in fact in our week’s testing, we didn’t have to remain logged in to the service to use it. Best of all, you can easily set this up on a PS3, Xbox, iPhone, Android device, and even your Router so that all devices would then be configured automatically.
So what websites work?
There’s quite a big range of UnoDNS TV channels available but while trying it out, I observed that a few channels did not work for me, like Pandora, TV, and one of the French channel, believe it was FR4. I am based in Singapore. But the common ones like Hulu, Netflix, NBC, Nat Geo, BBC iPlayer, etc all loaded up pretty quickly. Click on the pic below to see the full channel listing.
There are two subscription options available; premium and gold. Related to subscribing options, any user can try UnoDNS Gold for free for 8 Days. Just head over here to signup. After the free trial is over, a user must subscribe to either the Premium or our Gold package to continue using our service. Both Premium and Gold DNS package has access to all the DNS supported channels .The only difference is that the Gold package includes a bonus UnoVPN service. You can use the VPN to access any US / UK websites not supported by the DNS service yet. The bonus VPN will also let our users download Android apps from the UK and US Google Play store, which includes magazines, online shopping, set up Google Phone / Voice account. For that extra $1, I feel it is a great bargain and super worth it as there are times when a traditional VPN still comes in handy.
UnoDNS does exactly what it claims to be able to do, and it does it extremely fast, with very little set-up required. However, the question of value comes into effect when you look at the services that are available in each country. Let’s face it, streaming content in Singapore is limited. Our own XinMsn is only good for local content and Toggle is really playing catch up at the moment. Hulu and Netflix are in the big league with tons of content. Even the free account itself is pretty decent. So if you are in Singapore, or really, any other part of the world other than United States, UnoTelly UnoDNS service + VPN might make for a good investment.
Overall, the DNS routing option is definitely faster and less intrusive than VPN. Would using their DNS server slow down my connection? Till now, I can’t really feel too much of a difference. A simple ping test to www.google.com.sg is still under 22ms. I am overall quite satisfied with their service. So if you are interested, sign up for a free trial at the link here.