Unlocator Review Summary
Unlocator is a small Danish SmartDNS provider that launched back in 2013. While we feel that they could allow access from multiple IPs, and would benefit from some more refined applications, overall they definitely get our full approval.
Pricing & Plans
Unlocator gets the pricing spot on with a maximum price of $4.95/month. Of course, as with many providers, the longer you sign up for, the lower the price gets. In the case of Unlocator, if you sign up for 12 months the price will go down to $4.16/month.
Unlocator offer a very easy to set up seven-day free trial in order to test their service. They also have a no hassle 14-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.
To purchase your Unlocator account, there aren’t many payment types to choose from (though the list more than adequate for the average person), consisting of PayPal, credit/debit card and Dankort.
The Unlocator SmartDNS service is run by Linkwork ApS who are based in Denmark. Although they only launched in 2013, making them a relatively new company in this field, they provide a very good service.
They boast very big numbers not just with regards to unblocked channels but also with regards to countries and set-up guides. From this, it is more than clear that Unlocator takes the SmartDNS business very seriously and should you have any issues, they will be able to help you out very easily. They also provide you with access to their SmartVPN which helps you access geo-locked content even if you’re on the move, or if you’re the victim of DNS hijacking. The big downside of their service is that you’re only able to use it from one IP at a time, but this isn’t particularly rare in the industry.
Channels & Devices
Unlocator has “unlocated” 182 channels in 24 countries (and counting). This is probably the most we have seen from any SmartDNS provider. They have nicely categorised these on their website, and you can even find out which channels can be watched for free – without a subscription. Their list of unblocked channels includes everything from regulars like Netflix and ABC to the less common ones such as Zattoo and TV3.
Not only has Unlocator got so many websites on its list, it also has plenty of setup guides – 68 to be exact at the time of writing. This means that no matter what device you want to use with your SmartDNS service, the chances are you will find the guide you need.
The Unlocator website is really well designed with all the information you could require at your fingertips. The channels and set-up guides are very nicely laid out, and the client area is also well managed.
With all these upsides we wish that Unlocator would maintain a blog on what’s currently streaming and where to find popular TV shows. However, their current blog and social networks do include information on network status as well as some special competitions.
Since Unlocator is a fairly new and small company, it comes as no surprise that their primary system of support is ticket based. We found that we received replies very quickly (within hours) and that the staff was always very friendly. If you are having major problems then Unlocator will also be able to provide you with remote desktop support in order to reach a solution.
Alongside this they also have a very well populated support centre, which (as mentioned) has plenty of setup guides as well as a general troubleshooting area. Not only this, it also has a ‘tips’ section which lets you know how to sign up to Hulu and other services easily, as well as how to change regions on your SmartDNS device – in case this is required.
Getting started with Unlocator was wonderfully easy – all it required was an email address and a password. Signing up for a full account was just as easy and we had no issues with doing so.
The Windows SmartDNS & SmartVPN client
When it comes to applications, Unlocator is a bit of an interesting one.
Firstly, they have no dedicated client per-se, so you will have to change the DNS settings manually, and if you wish to change the region of a website you will have to do this through your account on their website.
On the other hand, their API has been widely used and adapted so you can download apps for all major platforms that will keep your IP updated and your SmartDNS running – in essence acting as a DDNS service. If you have your own DDNS, you can also enter the details of this on their website or you can bookmark their API page to quickly and manually update your IP.
|Manual DNS Setup||Windows Unlocator Updater|
Setting up the SmartVPN was also relatively easy and their setup guides were very helpful with this.
Performance (Speed and DNS)
As expected with a SmartDNS service, Unlocator produces absolutely no speed loss compared to our normal connection. As the table below shows there was very little speed loss when it came to their SmartVPN service either, and we were able to stream with it just as perfectly as with their SmartDNS.
|Normal Internet Speed||SmartVPN Speed|
When it come to a DNS check, in both cases we found that the only additional leak was that of the Unlocator server. This is usually a good sign and should mean that they have a high level of ‘technical wizardry’ and also a better level of control.
As mentioned, Unlocator provide plenty of set-up guides. We had no issues with testing and using their SmartVPN or SmartDNS on our Android phone. We also had no issues setting up their SmartDNS on a variety of other devices.
Unlocator Review Conclusion
- Good value
- Seven-day free trial
- Lot of setup guides
- Lot of channels
- Widely used API for helpful apps
We weren’t so sure about
- Only one IP
- Terms and conditions relating to the money back guarantee
On the whole, despite it’s young age, Unlocator providers a very well balanced service. They have managed to get a lot of factors right, especially their support systems, and while they do have some minor improvements to do, we wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them.