TrickByte Review Summary

TrickByte is primarily a “pure” SmartDNS service, but the provider also offers a PPTP VPN service that you can tag on. It’s quite unusual to see SmartDNS as the key service with VPN as an add-on, as usually companies deal with this the other way around!

The provider prominently displays a range of different compatible channels and services, along with a wide range of supported devices. Their pricing is also rather below average, with a free trial available. All of this got them off to a good start in our review and they followed through respectably in almost all areas. Read on to find out more.

Pricing & Plans

TrickByte have a single SmartDNS offering, with various commitment options, just like every other SmartDNS service out there!

TrickByte Review Pricing

Where they do differ, however, is that their baseline price is just $2.99 per month for a monthly subscription. While other providers come close to this for a long commitment period, this pricing is particularly generous, and drops to an even lower $2.50 per month if you sign up for a year at a time.

SmartDNS with VPN is rather more expensive, starting at $6.99 per month.

TrickByte offer a 14-day free trial with “no credit card required.” However, they don’t offer any money-back guarantee, with their FAQs suggesting that the 14-day trial should be sufficient time to ascertain whether the service works well for you.

Most of TrickByte’s payments are handled via PayPal, including credit and debit card payments. They also support Payza.

Features

TrickByte are based in Thailand. They have a cloud-based infrastructure running on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 platform, which they say means “speed and stability are guaranteed.”

There’s no reference to any device limits (which you don’t typically find on SmartDNS services), however you must use the service from a single external IP address. The service also supports “dynamic DNS,” so if you subscribe to a compatible service, you won’t have to keep manually refreshing your IP address as and when your ISP change it.

When it comes to security and privacy, it’s important to note that SmartDNS services are not encrypted, however, TrickByte’s detailed terms of use state that they don’t “actively monitor” or keep “direct logs.” However, they do (understandably) say that will co-operate with any law-enforcement requests.

Essentially, it’s down to you how you choose to use the service and assess the legality of accessing sites and services from your location, with the provider extricating themselves from responsibility!

Channels & Devices

As with most SmartDNS providers, TrickByte focus on the big names when you initially browse their website – names like Hulu, Netflix and BBC iPlayer. However, the list is substantial, and includes services from all over the world, including countries such as Brazil, Sweden and India, as well as the usual USA and UK options.

TrickByte Services List

There are over 70 services in all, although the lists for certain devices are smaller. In some cases this will simply be because not all devices have apps for all services.

When it comes to devices, SmartDNS can generally be configured on anything that allows you to change the DNS server setting, but TrickByte list a substantial supported range, including computers, mobile devices, games consoles and streaming media boxes.

Visit TrickByte »

The website

TrickByte’s website is well designed and pleasing to use, and because the company focuses primarily on SmartDNS (at least for now), it’s not cluttered with unnecessary information relating to other services.

TrickByte Review Website

The features are well-explained, and there are links to social networking presences on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Support

TrickByte advertise that they offer 24/7 support, however this is only available via email or a ticket system.

TrickByte Support

When we sent them a test question we were promised a response within 24-hours, which isn’t quite the same as true 24/7 support. Our answer, however, arrived well within the promised timeframe.

There was no live chat or telephone support option available, but there was a well-populated knowledge base.

The Process

Signing Up

As TrickByte offer a 14-day trial, it cost us nothing to try out their service.

Registration was extremely simple, requiring just an email address. After providing this, we received an automatic email containing our new login details.

TrickByte Services List

We were then able to log in to the member’s area of the website and try out the service.

Usage

TrickByte don’t provide any client software for their service, instead providing manual setup instructions for a (rather vast) range of different platforms. We won’t criticise them for this as the configuration needed to get various devices working is invariably very simple, as long as how you do it is well explained.

Here, TrickByte do rather well, as the quality of documentation is good, and good for many platforms as well as the main ones. We were impressed, for example, that they’d taken the time to screenshot the process on some of the games consoles and set-top boxes as well as just the computer operating systems.

Despite some spelling mistakes in the documentation, we were easily able to follow it, and change the relevant settings on our test Mac.

TrickByte setup

We did then have a short battle getting our Mac to display region locked content, and were redirected a couple of times to TrickByte’s site to say our IP hadn’t updated. This seemed to correct itself after a couple of minutes, but was concerning for that short period. Afterwards, we had no problem accessing content from the “wrong” country.

Performance (Speed and DNS)

SmartDNS services shouldn’t have any noticeable impact on download speeds, but it’s always good to check. We ran a speed test with our DNS pointing to TrickByte, and again with the settings removed and there was no noticeable change.

A DNS “leak” test showed our DNS queries bouncing between Google servers all over the world – from Europe to the US and back again. This didn’t seem to impact performance, but does indicate that TrickByte “piggy back” on Google’s infrastructure, rather than maintaining full control of their own. This is only a minor point.

Other Platforms

While there are no software clients for other platforms or mobile devices with TrickByte, as we said earlier, their setup guides are of a decent quality (despite the rather sketchy spelling and grammar!)

If you look at the guides carefully you should have no problem getting TrickByte to work on your device of choice.

Other/ Free Services

As mentioned in the introduction, TrickByte also offer a “SmartDNS with VPN” service. This appears to be in it’s infancy, as when we had a look at it in the member’s area, we were offered a 3-day trial of a “beta” service.

TrickByte Review Conclusion

We liked

  • Extremely good value
  • Plenty of supported channels / services
  • Decent documentation
  • Dynamic DNS support
  • Free trial

We weren’t so sure about

  • Limited support options
  • A small setup glitch
  • Some spelling errors in the documentation

We hated

  • Nothing

With just a tiny bit more refinement and a couple more support options, TrickByte could blow most other SmartDNS services out of the water – especially given it’s extremely low starting price.

Our criticisms are minor, and relate to just a couple of glitches and spelling errors in the documentation, none of which is significant enough for us to warn you off, but just a little more polish would elevate this service from “perfectly good enough” to “perfect.”

Visit TrickByte »


Ben Taylor Written by Ben Taylor

Ben is a former government IT Director turned Internet entrepreneur. He runs several websites of his own, and provides bespoke IT consultancy to a range of UK clients. He also writes regular IT, business and lifestyle articles for a range of publications, both online and offline.

2 responses to “TrickByte Review

    I subscribed to TrickByte two months ago (September 2017). The couple of times I contacted technical support I got extremely fast support. In the last week, however, they seem to have closed down. I have sent the same email three times and no response. Are they still operating?

    That’s a good article! 🙂 I personally prefer UnoTelly. It’s similar to Trickbyte but they offer a DNS server close to physical location and I can achieve better performance.

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