ibDNS (by ibVPN) Summary
While ibVPN is primarily a VPN company, they also provide a great standalone Smart DNS service, called ibDNS. Overall we found it to be everything we expected and more, with very little to criticise and an amazing list of 100 unblocked streaming channels across nine countries!
Pricing & Plans
ibVPN provide a wide range of plans to help with both streaming and security. The image below shows the prices for their standalone ibDNS package, which is the best if you’re only looking for geo-location content. As usual, their prices become cheaper the longer you sign up for. The prices reach as low as $3.07 per month, which we think is a great value deal.
You can also get packages which include a VPN too (the prices for this go as low as $5.82/month) – you can read more about this on their BestVPN review.
When you register for an account, you are provided with a six-hour free trial that has no limitations. While this is not excessive, it should still give you plenty of time to test the service for yourself and make sure you’re happy with it. Alongside this they also have a 15 day no-quibble money back guarantee.
To pay for your account, they accept over 50 international payment options ranging from credit/debit cards and PayPal, to Bitcoin and PaySafeCard, with many more in between.
Invisible Browsing VPN (ibVPN/ibDNS) is based in Romania and has a solid background in network management and services, which gives them the perfect platform to operate a SmartDNS service. Their ibDNS service allows access to over 100 channels in nine major countries worldwide, thereby providing access to plenty of content for your viewing pleasure.
While most SmartDNS providers limit their SmartDNS service to one IP location (so all devices must be on the same network), ibDNS allows a secondary IP address to be defined so you can use it with more devices and in more locations. At the moment though, since this is still in beta testing, some glitches can be expected and this feature is only available on the Ultimate and Family VPN packages.
Channels & Devices
As mentioned, ibDNS allows access to nine countries worldwide, including the usual suspects (UK, US, Canada, Netherlands, Germany), as well as some interesting choices such as Finland and Egypt.
Their SmartDNS allows the unlocking of over 100 channels, including both TV and online radio such as Pandora. The greatest number of unlocked channels are, unsurprisingly, in the United States, but their list has a fair few in the other countries too.
Also, if the channel you wish to use isn’t on their list, you can contact them and they will try their best to help you.
The company also offers worldwide unblocking of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube which can help you if they are restricted or blocked by your government or ISP.
With regards to devices, setup guides are provided for all the important devices and operating systems, including Windows, DD-WRT, PS Vita, Xbox and many more. These are nicely done and most of them contain helpful images to guide you along.
The ibVPN/ibDNS website is really well laid out, with all the important information easy to find and well displayed. They have clearly put a lot of thought and development into it as there is nothing we could find to dislike about it.
ibVPN also keep their social networks and blogs fully up to date, however these mainly contain information on competitions, discount and network upgrades/changes, and nothing on current shows and movies that you can watch online on different channels.
ibVPN has an extensive range of support options available (ticket, live chat, email, forum, knowledge base and even remote assistance!) This makes it extremely easy to solve any problems that you may have, big or small.
While they claim that their live support is available 24/7 we found that this is not the case, but they are generally available during most of the working day. When available, we found the live chat personnel helpful, informative and friendly. The same can be said for ticket and email support, and if you do not reply to their last email they will follow up to check that you are satisfied and that your problem is resolved.
We found the Forum to be rather derelict, with close to no conversation happening. Their knowledge base, on the other hand, is well laid out, and has over 100 entries covering everything from general questions to frequently encountered issues.
To use the remote assistance service you must book in advance, which is a slight shame but fully understandable. We booked a time slot and by using TeamViewer they were able to easily and efficiently help us with our problem – it turned out we didn’t have one, it was merely a Microsoft peculiarity!
Singing up to ibDNS is a simple affair; you’re only required to enter your name, email and password. Once you have done this you’ll automatically be taken to their well-designed user area and given a 6 hour free trial that you can test their service. Their trial also includes access to their VPN services, so you may wish to check those out too.
The ibDNS SmartDNS Client
To get connected on your desktop you have two possibilities: using the ibVPN All-In-One client, (which of course includes ibDNS), or setting up the DNS manually.
We gave both methods a try to see if there was any difference in performance. First though, we had to make sure that our IP was up-to-date in our user area on their website. This wasn’t an issue and it automatically detected it for us.
The client was very easy to use, and within a few clicks we were able to use any of the supported channels, and change between the countries to get different channels. Their guide for manual setup was easy to follow and caused absolutely no issues. While it is easy to do, different countries require different DNS addresses, so if you wish to keep changing between countries the software might be easier to use. The other advantage of using the client is that if your IP changes it will automatically update it for you, otherwise you will have to visit their website and do this manually or use a DDNS service.
Performance (Speed and DNS)
As expected with a good SmartDNS service, there was no speed drop in our internet connection. It was also nice to see that the DNS service didn’t bounce around and clearly used the DNS IP that we or the software defined.
Undoubtedly the biggest advantage of a SmartDNS is that in theory it can be used on any device. While tech-savvy people can do this fairly easily, set-up guides are highly appreciated.
Unfortunately we feel that ibVPN could improve their list a little more, as at the moment they only cover the major operating systems (with Mac also having an All-In-One client), Apple TV, Routers, Chromecast, Boxee Box, PS platforms and Xbox 360.
- All-in-one client for Mac and Windows
- Nice list of countries and channels
- Extensive support options including remote assistance
- They also provide a VPN
- Free trial and money back guarantee
- SmartDNS can be used on two IPs! (in beta and only available on some plans)
We weren’t so sure about
- Set-up instructions: more devices and slightly more detail needed
Overall, ibVPN’s ibDNS service is unsurprisingly great and the provider’s experience in network systems clearly comes through. While we feel that their set-up guides could be improved somewhat, and their forums could be a bit livelier, every other area of the service is great and up-to-scratch.