Enabling blocked web services via DNS trick

The DNS system can be used to direct data traffic to a specific server. This can be done, for example, for load distribution. Another purpose is to enable access to web pages that cannot be accessed for copyright reasons in your own country.

Access Hulu, Grooveshark, Pandora & Co

For example, Hulu offers free streaming of series such as Modern Family and Gotham in the original English version, but only from Internet access in the USA. Youtube is known to block numerous videos containing Gema-liable music when accessed from Germany. The free music streaming services Grooveshark and Pandora are also blocked for German users. The services recognize which country a visitor is accessing from by the IP address of his Internet access.

VPN services: cumbersome and sometimes expensive

To avoid this geo-blocking, the classic way is to use a VPN service that operates servers in the respective country. In the case of Hulu, that would be the United States. The VPN software that you install on your PC establishes a connection to the foreign server. For a comparison of these read more at http://www.smartdnscomparison.com/.

VPN server and ensures that all data is routed through it

This works very reliably, but it is also a bit cumbersome. This is because you must manually establish the VPN connection each time before accessing the foreign site. In addition, many VPN servers are busy because all network traffic is routed through them, not just the traffic needed to access the blocked pages. This means that the speed suffers, which especially users of Internet connections from 25 Mbit/s notice. In addition, VPN services normally encrypt the transmitted data, which also has a minimal effect on speed.

Workaround: Conditional DNS redirection with smart DNS services

You can solve the problem more skillfully with “Smart DNS Proxy Servers”. For example, if your browser requests the address of www.hulu.com there, it will not be given the actual IP address, but that of a proxy server of the Smart DNS service located in the USA. This forwards the request to the real Hulu server, receives its response and sends it to your browser.

Smart DNS servers only redirect traffic directed to websites supported by their proxy servers. All other domain enquiries such as  www.microsoft.com are answered with the real IP address. The advantage for you: The transmission speed during normal surfing does not suffer.

Some foreign streaming services only perform the geo-check when establishing a connection. If this is the case, the smart DNS services do not have to redirect the actual content data, such as video and audio streams. They are then transferred directly from Hulu & Co. to you without an intermediate server slowing down the speed.

To use Smart DNS services, you do not need to install any software, but only change the DNS entry in the operating system or in your router once. You can find out how this works in the tip “Changing the DNS server: How it works “.

Smart DNS services cost around 5 euros per month, although there is usually a discount for annual prepayments. Once you have logged in, you can use the services without logging in again, as long as the IP address of your Internet access does not change. The services differ mainly in the selection of supported country-restricted web pages.

Here is a selection of the most important smart DNS proxy services:

  • Proxy DNS, Smart DNS Proxy, Unlocator and Unotelly.
  • Proxy DNS can be used to access Grooveshark and Pandora free of charge and without registration.
  • You only need to enter 74,207,242,213 as the primary DNS server and optionally 50,116,28,138 as the secondary DNS server.
  • At the time of this article’s research, Hulu also worked on this.

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