Blockless Review Summary
Blockless is a small Canadian VPN provider who not only provide a useful SmartDNS service (Region Switcher) but also a “SmartVPN” for those that move around a lot, and an AdBlocker to help clean up your browser. There are some minor changes that we’d like to see, but overall this provided a very positive SmartDNS experience.
Pricing & Plans
The Blockless Smart DNS service is priced right in the middle of the average category, with prices between $4.16 and $4.95/month (slightly more for Canadians due to HST tax).
Blockless provides you with an absolutely free one-week trial, and all you have to provide in order to get it is your email and a password. If you are happy with the free trial, then you can purchase Blockless using a credit card or PayPal. Be wary that there is no money-back guarantee, so make sure you fully utilise the free trial!
Blockless, a Canada based provider, has three main services included in their SmartDNS package: two of which (SmartVPN & AdBlocker) make it stand out from the crowd.
Firstly, their standard SmartDNS service works as promised and allows access to plenty of channels across numerous countries. While the applications for it aren’t 100% there, overall it does the job as required. Their Ad Blocker service works broadly as advertised, but since it is still in beta testing it doesn’t block as many advertisements as traditional web browser plugins.
The best description of SmartVPN that we can think of is that it is a SmartDNS service for those on the move. When you’re on the move, your IP can change often causing your streaming service to freeze or crash. Their SmartVPN avoids this by creating a direct network connection to their systems instead of using DNS settings, thereby allowing consistent streaming without issues. We have to note that unlike a traditional VPN it doesn’t provide any security or privacy, hence being called SmartVPN.
Channels & Devices
Blockless takes full control of the advantages of a SmartDNS service through a number of means. Most importantly, they have unblocked 43 channels in 17 countries and we’re sure that with such a large geographical reach, they will keep adding to the number of channels you can stream. All the key countries (such as the US and UK) are covered, as well as the most well-known streaming channels (i.e. Hulu, Netflix and Pandora) are included. One slight disappointment is that they have not been categorised or sorted in any way e.g. sports, movies and radio.
The company also understands the importance of the fact that SmartDNS can be set up on nearly any device and hence provide 40 set-up guides which cover devices from standard operating systems to more obscure set-top boxes.
The Blockless Website
The Blockless website is very easy to browse and navigate with all information easy to find. Their member’s area is also very nicely done and if you do not wish to use any of their apps then you can do the region changing from here as well. The only we thing we found very slightly annoying is the fact that the set-up guides don’t include links to their applications.
Alongside the website, their social networks and blog are kept up to date, not only with network information but also on recommended watching and upcoming streaming news – very much appreciated!
Blockless provides two types of support: ticket and an FAQ/ knowledge base. Their knowledge base is well populated with information regarding to both their SmartDNS (Region Switcher) software and SmartVPN service. They also cover important topics from set-up to frequently incurred problems to help everyone out.
We also gave their ticket support system a test. We found the support staff to be very helpful and we received replies in a reasonable amount of time.
Signing up is very easy with Blockless. Initially you need an email address and password which will give you access to your free trial. Once your free trial expires you will need to enter more details, depending on whether you’re paying by PayPal or credit card.
The Windows Client
Blockless has applications for Android, Google Chrome and Windows. It’s very nicely designed across all platforms, but it’s a slightly mixed bag in terms of functionality.
On the upside, it allows you to keep your IP address synced, something which a lot of SmartDNS providers neglect, and also allows you to select the region you wish to use for browsing. On the downside, it won’t change your DNS settings for you manually so you will still have to do this yourself.
While their software does behave as a DDNS service we do wish you could configure your own DDNS on their website, as some people might prefer to do things this way.
Performance (Speed and DNS)
As expected there were no performance issues when using this SmartDNS service. While the DNS leaks were a bit over the place and didn’t seem to make sense, the service worked fine, so we shan’t worry about this too much.
With their SmartVPN service we were slightly concerned about potential speed loss. As we can see from the table below our worries were groundless, as the speed loss was close to negligible.
|Pure Internet Speed||SmartVPN Speed|
Android & Chrome Plugin
Both the Android and Chrome Plugin match the visual identity and performance of the Windows application, which is great to see. The Android app is very useful if you are streaming using your SmartTV or similar and do not wish to keep your computer running. The Chrome plugin is useful if you do not wish to install an extra piece of software on your computer and it also doesn’t matter if you’re using a Mac as long as you are using the Chrome browser.
Block Review Conclusion
- 1-Week Free trial
- SmartVPN and AdBlocker
- Plenty of countries on their list – not just US and UK focused
- Good support
- Lots of setup guides!
We weren’t so sure about
- Software needs minor improvements
- Applications don’t change your DNS settings for you
When we tested Blockless for BestVPN.com we incurred a few technical issues which made for a slightly unpleasant experience. Since then, they have clearly improved their service, and while some changes still need to be made we definitely like the service. We found it’s especially useful if you move around a lot and we appreciated the fact that they have made so many countries’ services available. To find out the facts for yourself, give their free trial a spin!