The online world is losing its privacy from day-to-day. It’s quite challenging to know who is spying you or, at worse, are any cybercriminals planning any attack. Then comes another issue of watching some of the restricted contents of another region. Now, there’s a way, which lets you solve both the problems. Namely, the available options are VPN and Smart DNS.

If you think what they are and how both differ, don’t worry, you’re not the only one who’s eager to know the difference between the each. It’s one of the old questions asked many times, what’s a VPN, what’s a SmartDNS, and how both are different.

In this article, we will explore what both VPN and Smart DNS are and how both differ from each other. It will help you understand and guide you in a better direction, as both come with certain advantages and disadvantages over each other.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a form of private network based on a public network (internet) to make a connection between remote sites and users. To put it another way, it creates a secure connection to another network on the Internet, which is useful for masking browsing history, watching regional-restricted content, and websites from potential trackers like your ISP (Internet Service Provider), malicious cybercriminals and Government. However, I’m not going much into detail as we’ve already written a good piece of article on this topic “What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?” which explains many features along with information such as what it’s, how does it works and much more. If you’re interested to know more about VPN, you can read here.

Now, before jumping into Smart DNS, let’s first explore the DNS, as it’ll give a clear idea of how DNS becomes smarter.


What is DNS?

Domain Name System (DNS) is the decentralized and hierarchical system used for naming computers, services, and other resources, which relate to a private network or the internet. To make it easier, it’s like a telephone book for the Internet. So, whenever you access the website, for instance, “,” the DNS will look into the IP address of the corresponding website. So, your browser can communicate and get the right web server and its content.

What is Smart DNS?

Smart DNS is the name of DNS given by companies- personally, I didn’t find anything smart in this, but again who I’m to decide, it’s what it’s. Nevertheless, it helps users bypass geo-restricted content, which is blocked from accessing through certain countries. It’s one of the services which lets the user unblock geo-restricted websites and content. For example, you can stream Netflix US or BBC iPlayer from other restricted countries.


Smart DNS: How Does it Work?

Usually, Smart DNS works in these two fashions:

  • It replaces users DNS address assigned by its ISP provider with the new one – an address which doesn’t have any information and can reveal user’s real geo-location. And, this new DNS address comes from a DNS server, which will further route user’s traffic. Also, Smart DNS servers are in specific countries along with its proxy servers to help bypass geo-blocks so that it can be located anywhere.
  • Also, a Smart DNS intercepts users connection requests to the server they’re looking to access and replaces all the data of that requests, which increases the possibility of leaking geo-location along with the new information, which is pointing to a geographical location which is acceptable.

You might be wondering if Smart DNS allows watching geo-restricted then how VPN differs from it. And which shall I select if both are doing the same job?

Let’s explore the difference between the two: Smart DNS vs. VPN

A Smart DNS does not hide users IP address, which means other people and platforms can track them, and the geo-location of the users remain visible. VPN hides your original IP address by replacing it with its server’s IP Address, which means your original geolocation will remain hidden from Government, ISPs and other malicious cybercriminals, throughout the session.
As Smart DNS does not change the user’s geo-location by changing an IP address, there’s always a chance of attacks such as DDoS attacks. As VPN changes IP address and encrypts user’s internet data, the attack will be directed on the VPN server’s IP address and not users.
SmartDNS makes your IP address appeared different for some of the selected services and websites, which is mentioned explicitly by the Smart DNS providers. VPN masks your real IP address for your entire internet session. It doesn’t matter which website you visit. You will stay hidden till you don’t disconnect from the VPN.
SmartDNS cannot hide users’ digital footprints, nor it can bypass the firewall. VPN does both the job, it bypasses firewalls as well as keep your digital footprints hidden till the end of your internet session.
Speed is not affected as opposed to VPN. Speed is deterred depending upon your internet connection speed, as it changes your IP and encrypts the internet traffic.
Smart DNS does not have another software or app. You can connect to a Smart DNS server. To connect with a VPN, you would need to install an extension, download an app, or even download a software depending upon the device.
There’s no specific functionality such as Kill Switch like it’s offered in the VPN. Most VPN offers Kill Switch functionality that helps you stay protected by disconnecting you from the internet connection if the VPN connection is lost without prior indication.
IP ban can be fooled with the help of a Smart DNS. Usually, users are not affected by an IP ban. Only in some scenarios such as Netflix or certain Games have an algorithm that identifies the usage of certain VPN providers and blocks them.
Smart DNS uses a method which changes your DNS to make websites thinking that user is coming from a different location. A VPN makes a tunnel, which makes it appear that you’re accessing the Internet from another location.
Smart DNS is cheaper compared to VPN, as it doesn’t come with encryptions. VPN provides various types of protocols like IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN, which makes it costlier compared to Smart DNS.


If you’ve gone through the above-mentioned Smart DNS vs. VPN table, then it’s clear that you understood the difference between the two. Now, which one to use, if that’s the question, then without giving much time into it, I’ll say a VPN service is a good option for users.

A Smart DNS only bypass the regional restrictions and unblocks your favorite content, but it does not encrypt your traffic, so your online activity is completely exposed to trackers like cybercriminals and ISP’s. On the other hand, VPN encrypts your internet traffic, while changing your IP address, which helps in maintaining the data confidentiality.