SmartDNS was a very popular and and effective service for unblocking geo-restricted content, and watching American Netflix. Using SmartDNS, it was possible to “spoof” your IP address and make it look like you were in America, allowing you to watch the full library of American Netflix content.
However, Netflix and other content providers have caught onto this. Because SmartDNS traffic is not encrypted, they have begun blocking users of SmartDNS and other services.
So what are the best SmartDNS alternatives for American Netflix? In this article, we’ll take a look at our top picks. Let’s get started!
VPNS are the Best SmartDNS Alternatives for American Netflix
Not sure what a VPN is, and how it differs from a Smart DNS service? Let’s break down the difference.
SmartDNS provides a fast, unsecured connection to a particular website, while changing your IP address to make it look like you’re in a different geographic location. Because of their speed and low cost, they were very popular for streaming online content like Netflix.
However, this also means they are easy to detect. Netflix, as well as other sites like Hulu, have begun blocking connections from SmartDNS and other services like Unlocator.
VPNs are different. VPNs encrypt and secure your entire connection for maximum protection. VPNs are the best alternative to SmartDNS, because they are very hard to detect.
A VPN protects your connection and your anonymity by encrypting all of your web traffic, and sending to through an IPV4 or IPV6 “tunnel” to a virtual server running in another country. For all intents and purposes, it looks like your web traffic is coming only from that server.
This means it’s much more difficult for websites like Netflix to recognize that you are not actually in the country from which you are connecting. This allows you to easily access American Netflix, even if you are abroad.
The primary drawback of VPNs is that they can slow down your internet connection somewhat, because each data “packet” must be sent twice – once to the virtual server, and once to the actual website.
However, VPNs still usually offer plenty of bandwidth for streaming American Netflix, and are the best alternative to SmartDNS. See your top 5 SmartDNS alternatives for American Netflix below!
ExpressVPN is a very popular and widely-used VPN service, especially for users behind the “Great Firewall of China”. It’s notable because it uses proprietary server architecture to avoid detection when streaming American Netflix, and has great customer service. Let’s take a deeper look now.
What we like
ExpressVPN has powerful features, and a ton of different servers. You can connect to over 1,500 VPN servers in 148 different locations and countries, as well as 30+ cities in the United States. With so many US-based servers, it’s easy to find a VPN server that is not blocked by American Netflix.
ExpressVPN supports just about every modern computing platform. You can download apps for Apple, Windows, Linux, iOS/Android, and even web browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
And with a strict “no-logs” policy, you don’t have to worry about your information being shared with any third parties. ExpressVPN will not share your browsing traffic, or save any logs of your activity, which is great if you plan on streaming American Netflix.
ExpressVPN also has great customer service. Occasionally, Netflix will recognize a VPN server and block it from accessing American Netflix. If this happens with ExpressVPN, you can just ask customer service which server you should use to access American Netflix, which is very convenient.
Another nice feature is the ability to purchase a subscription with Bitcoin. By doing so, you can avoid sharing your credit card details, which you may wish to avoid for the sake of anonymity.
What we don’t like
ExpressVPN has fewer servers than some of the competition, although there are still plenty for your daily needs. In addition, you can only set it up on 3 devices, while some other VPNs let you use 5-6 devices simultaneously.
ExpressVPN is also pretty expensive. If you pay monthly, you’ll pay a steep $12.95 per month, making it one of the most costly services on our list. You can save by purchasing a 6-month subscription for $9.99 per month, or get 12 months + 3 months free for $99.99, which works out to $6.67 per month.
Overall, though, ExpressVPN is a solid SmartDNS alternative for American Netflix, with plenty of features, intuitive apps, and great customer service.
[callout id=“15845” placeholder=SmartDNSAmericanNetflix]
VyprVPN is a newer VPN service. Its main claim to fame is the so-called “Chameleon” obfuscation method, which is custom-built to prevent websites like Netflix from blocking VPN traffic.
What we like
The biggest benefit of VyprVPN is their proprietary “Chameleon” obfuscation service. Obfuscation is not new in the world of VPNs, but VyprVPN has done a great job implementing this service.
Obfuscation essentially “jumbles” the metadata of your connection when you’re using a VPN, making it harder for a website or DNS server to understand whether or not you are connecting with a VPN service. The result? Websites like Hulu and Netflix don’t block you from viewing their content!
VyprVPN also has a no-logs policy, and a number of different VPN security and encryption tools that you can use, if you wish to modify its performance.
What we don’t like
VyprVPN has a relatively small number of servers. You can only choose between 700 servers in 70 countries. The trial period is also really short. You can only try the service out for 3 days for free, which is quite limiting.
The pricing model is also a bit confusing. You need to get a VyprVPN premium subscription to access the Chameleon obfuscation protocol – which is not included in a basic subscription.
This isn’t cheap. Premium will cost you $12.95 per month for a month-to-month subscription, or $6.67 per month if you buy a year-long subscription.
You can get a basic subscription for just $9.95 per month, or $5.00 per month if you choose an annual subscription, but this is not really a great option, as you’ll miss out on Chameleon.
Overall, though, VyprVPN offers great streaming performance, and the Chameleon protocol works well to ensure you can always access American Netflix.
StrongVPN has been in business for years, and it’s an ideal choice for those who are looking for a sleek, no-frills VPN with access to plenty of servers at an affordable price.
What we like
StrongVPN has obfuscation technology to prevent users from being blocked by Netflix, and also has plenty of servers in different American cities, so you’ll be able to choose the server that offers the fastest speed and the best performance.
StrongVPN is also very dedicated to keeping users safe and anonymous, with a no-logs policy and no support for the unsecure PPTP VPN protocol.
The UI and setup are simple, and StrongVPN has apps for all major platforms, including iOS/Android mobile apps.
It’s also quite affordable. You’ll pay $10/monthly if you get a one-month subscription, but a full year will cost you only $5.83 per month. It would be nice if you could get a 3 or 6-month subscription, but these are good prices, regardless.
What we don’t like
StrongVPN does not have quite as many servers or supported countries as some other VPN services, with only 650 servers in 20 countries. However, given the number of US-based servers, this likely won’t be a problem if you’re only looking to watch American Netflix.
You also can’t modify its functionality as heavily as some other competitors, so it’s probably not the best choice for you if you’re big into VPN customization.
NordVPN has a great pricing structure, reliable functionality, and plenty of US-based servers, making it one of the best SmartDNS alternatives for American Netflix. Get the details about this VPN below.
What we like
NordVPN is the most affordable option on this list, if you’re willing to purchase a long-term subscription. A month-to-month subscription costs $12, which is pretty standard. However, if you choose a 2-year plan, your cost will drop to just $3.29 per month, and if you commit for a 3-year subscription, you’ll only pay $2.75 per month.
You also get a great deal of features for your money. This service has more than 4,300 servers in a total of 62 countries, with 2,000+ servers in America alone. You will never have issues finding a server that works with American Netflix.
The UI is very simple and streamlined, allowing for a fast setup and easy connection to the fastest US-based server for American Netflix.
You also can use specialized servers optimized for streaming, P2P file sharing, and connection obfuscation, which adds quite a bit of versatility to the service.
And with support for up to 6 simultaneous connections, as well as apps for every major computing platform, this is a great choice for larger households, or those who plan on using their VPN service on a number of different devices.
What we don’t like
Like VyprVPN, NordVPN only gives you a 3-day trial, which is quite restrictive. However, you do still get at 30-day money back guarantee, so you can get a monthly or 2-year subscription, and get your money back if you don’t end up liking the service.
There have also been some questions about who exactly runs the company, which is registered in Panama. And despite their claimed “no-logs” policy, some users claim to have been blocked when trying to access P2P file-sharing services, which indicates that they are monitoring user traffic.
PureVPN is a solid, no-frills alternative to SmartDNS for watching American Netflix. It has reasonable number of servers and a simple design, as well as the cheapest price on our list. Learn more about this service now.
What we like
PureVPN is cheap. You can pay $10/month for a month-long subscription, or get a year-long subscription for $4.25/month. If you opt for a 2-year subscription, you’ll only pay $2.49 per month, which is the lowest price of any VPN on our list.
For your money, you get a surprisingly great set of features and servers. PureVPN features 750+ VPN servers spread across 140+ total countries, in 180 geographic locations, making it one of the best options for people who need VPN access to many different countries.
You also get a total of 157 servers in North America alone, so you should have no problems finding a server that will let you watch American Netflix. In addition, PureVPN runs servers that are custom-built to enable video streaming, so you won’t suffer from as many buffering or other connectivity issues.
Other features of PureVPN include a 5-user simultaneous user policy, which is pretty generous compared to other services like ExpressVPN.
Finally, PureVPN has really good device support. You can use PureVPN on macOS, Linux, and Windows, as well as iOS/Android mobile devices.
Chrome and Firefox are also supported with browser extensions. Most interestingly, PureVPN has an app that supports some Smart TVs, allowing for simple living-room streaming.
What we don’t like
PureVPN has a weak no-logging policy. While the company claims to not keep logs of user activity, it has been shown that they do keep user logs of some data.
In 2017, a known cyber stalker and criminal was caught – partially because PureVPN issued user data to the FBI, enabling them to locate and successfully prosecute him for harassing his former roommate.
PureVPN, a Hong Kong-based VPN company, cooperated in this investigation. While this ended up being a good thing in the end, it has raised eyebrows in the VPN community, and led some to question their supposed “zero-logging” policy.
However, PureVPN is still a great alternative for watching American Netflix. Even if the company did release user logs, for some reason, there is no law against using a VPN to watch geo-locked content.
Eric Liston is a content writer based in Columbus, Ohio. Since 2015, he’s been writing about technology, cord-cutting, and helping everyday people save money. He also has expertise writing about medicine, dentistry, insurance, and a variety of other industries. No matter what he’s writing, his focus is always on simplifying complex concepts and making them approachable for everyone. When he’s not slamming away on his keyboard at his home office, you’ll find Eric reading sci-fi novels, improving his disc golf game (he just hit his first 400-foot drive) and playing video games on his gaming PC.