Published on July 2nd, 2020 | by Sumit Bhowal0
Get access to your favorite TV apps when staying overseas
In this ever interconnected world and the fading of sovereign boundaries, it’s surprising that regional blocks and geographic-driven content is still so fierce. Whether it’s your favourite TV show that’s on Netflix US and no other, or if it’s a TV show on a domestic channel that isn’t available abroad, there is a way round it. There is hope!
If you’ve ever tried a quick way around it when abroad, it’ll seem nearly impossible. No VPN, free or paid, seems to work. But there’s a secret ingredient to it…
SmartDNS services are slightly different and a little more niche than general VPNs. Some people group them together when talking about both, but the underlying technology is not the same. Instead of encrypting one’s connection and making it appear to be in another country (like a VPN), the SmartDNS will actually employ some technical trickery to make it seem although the connection to specific sites are coming from the ‘correct’ region. Here is a list of such services to give an idea on what you receive for your money.
For years now, SmartDNS services have dominated in being the popular choice in getting the public’s TV shows wherever they are. They used to make slightly bolder claims than they do now, because like VPNs, huge platforms like Netflix are better at clamping down on them. Regardless, they remain better than the generic VPNs, even if they’re not perfect.
SmartDNS services are super easy to set up, which is another reason why they’re so popular. You simply pay an online subscription, which is usually no more than $7 per month. Furthermore, they often have a free trial and/or a X day money back guarantee.
Why is this so important? Well if your overseas trip is only a week long, and you’re no longer in need of it after the holiday, you can get your money back. Or, even if your trip is longer than this, you can get your money back if you find it to not work on the platform you’re trying to access.
Raspberry Pi VPN
Setting up a VPN on your Raspberry Pi in your own home is perhaps the most stable option, but it does have some obstacles. Why is it so good at tricking websites? Because your home IP address doesn’t flag up like the commonly shared VPN servers do, it’s much more discrete.
You must however be more technically inclined. Setting it up isn’t too hard with a good tutorial nearby, but it’s certainly not as convenient as a SmartDNS. Secondly, you’re going to need to be able to access it from abroad, which either means leaving it on all the time or having someone turn it on back home.
This option is stable and perhaps cheaper in the long run, though you have to fork out for the Raspberry Pi in the first place, which is around $50.
Overall, the SmartDNS is recommended for most people, unless they’re up for the challenge of putting together their own VPN. And, if the SmartDNS doesn’t suit your needs, you can always get your money back and try Plan B.