Over on BestVPN.com we have previously reviewed the VPN aspect of IronSocket’s services, and found it to be very good, albeit slightly “bare bones.”
Their SmartDNS service is very much the same. The best aspects of it are the fact that you can use it from three IP addresses and also the amount of useful information provided.
Pricing & Plans
The IronSocket SmartDNS service comes as part of an all-inclusive package, which also includes access to VPN and proxy services. This does mean that it’s not as cheap as a pure SmartDNS service, but with prices going as low as $4.16 per month (roughly the average price of SmartDNS) it is nowhere near an expensive service.
In order to get started with IronSocket you can pay by a large number of payment types, ranging from standard credit cards to Bitcoin to store gift cards. In case you’re not pleased with the service, there is a seven-day money back guarantee (for payments by credit/debit card and PayPal) which is 100% hassle free.
IronSocket is a Hong Kong based network company that started out life as “HideMyNet.” Now, a few generations later, the progression really shows through additions and improvements in every area.
IronSocket’s VPN network has 36 servers around the world, while their SmartDNS service gives access to over 100 channels in 14 countries. One of the key distinguishing points of IronSocket’s SmartDNS service is the fact they allow you to stream channels to three different IPs – the industry average is just one!
Channels & Devices
IronSocket provides you with access to 101 streaming services in 14 countries. Needless to say the major ones are included, such as Netflix, Hulu and iPlayer. They are nicely set out on their website and you can view them by country or search for your favourite channel.
IronSocket is fully aware of the fact that the advantage of SmartDNS is that it can be used on a lot of devices and does much to highlight this fact. While it doesn’t offer the largest number of set-up guides we’ve seen, there are plenty, including guides for devices not seen much elsewhere e.g. Amazon FireTV and Roku. All of these set-up guides are very well detailed and easy to follow – though in some scenarios a few images would be helpful.
The IronSocket website is really well designed from menus to account management, with plenty of detail on every related topic imaginable. So much information sometimes results in an excess of links making navigation more difficult, especially for those (like us) keen to drill down into the detail.
The IronSocket blog and social networks are kept up to date with information on their network status and updates to their SmartDNS and VPN services (of which they have just launched version 2.0). While this is great, we feel that they could also have a privacy blog for VPN users and a streaming blog for the SmartDNS enthusiasts.
Slightly disappointingly, IronSocket’s SmartDNS service is let down by it’s support system. While the quality of it is great and the staff are very friendly there is only a ticket support system. They do claim that this is 24/7 and we always received replies very quickly, but we do feel they could have more support types/systems available, such as a knowledge base or forum.
Signing up to IronSocket is a very easy and painless process – all that is required is an email address and your name. Once you’re set up, you’re taken to the customer area where you can find everything you need for getting started with any of their services – be it VPN, SmartDNS or Proxy.
The Windows VPN client
Unfortunately, IronSocket does not have it own client, SmartDNS or otherwise, though they say it is in the works. This does mean that no matter what device you’re using you will be required to set it up manually.
Luckily IronSocket do have plenty of set-up guides on the topic, including help with DDNS set-up and other related issues – meaning you should have no issues with getting set up and on the way to accessing your favourite streaming content.
For some streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime EU, which have unique websites and services for geographic regions, you can easily change the access point for these on the provider’s website.
Performance (Speed and DNS)
The big advantage of a SmartDNS service is that it doesn’t cause you to have speed loss, and as expected this was the case with IronSocket SmartDNS. When we did a DNS check we found that they use amazon servers for this, which hopefully means that their service is very reliable and consistent.
As mentioned, IronSocket is easy to set up on a number of devices and we had no issues setting it up on our Android Tablet and watching the BBC iPlayer App.
Other/ Free Services
Apart from the IronSocket SmartDNS service, the company also provides a great VPN and proxy service, which you can read more about over at BestVPN.com – as mentioned in the introduction of this review.
- Connection from multiple IPs
- Large number of set-up guides
- Streaming from plenty of countries
- Plenty of information
- Easy region switching
- Seven-day money back guarantee
We weren’t so sure about
- Lack of support options
- Slightly “bare bones”
- Slightly above average price
On the whole, we can only praise IronSocket SmartDNS. It does exactly what it needs to with very little fuss, and there is an abundance of information available on everything we could need. While support could be improved, if you’re looking for top-end SmartDNS provider then this service could very well suit you.