I just thought I’d demonstrate another method of bypassing geo-blocking restrictions that so many big media sites like the BBC use, the example used is to watch BBC iPlayer Australia. It’s very new technology and so far only a handful of providers available, it’s called Smart DNS and I’ve been testing it out over the last few weeks, and I have to say I’m impressed!
One of the issues, you can have with the usual method of bypassing these blocks is speed. Although the best ones have a very fast infrastructure, it’s still an additional jump in your journey so there’s bound to be some impact on your download speed. For people with fast connections it’s not noticeable but many in places like Australia where broadband is still quite expensive have comparatively slow connections. For streaming video, speed is of course essential, without it you’ll get constant buffering which can make a video hard to watch.
This is where Smart DNS comes into it’s own – speed. This is because instead of streaming your entire connection through a British based server in order to access a UK only website, Smart DNS acts like a filter and only routes specific information, just enough to convince the server you’re based in the UK. All the actual video streaming goes directly from the BBC iPlayer web server to your PC. It’s also the reason why Smart DNS is much cheaper as there are no huge bandwidth costs for the provider of the service.
Here’s a quick demonstration of how you can use Smart DNS to watch BBC iPlayer in Australia
There are other advantages apart from speed and cost too, an important factor is it’s simplicity. Because there is no software involved, the solution is device independent, it works on virtually anything from a Smart TV to a Playstation. If you can access it’s DNS settings then you should be able to get the device to use Smart DNS.
I think I’ve tried all the main Smart DNS solutions now, including the one demonstrated in the video and I think the best by far is Overplay. It is extremely stable, very fast (probably quicker now as they’ve introduced a Turbo-DNS setting which I have’t used yet) – it is the only one which lets you configure locales too – for example set US for Netflix, UK for BBC and so on.
I’ve tried it on several devices and it works seamlessly, including an Xbox 360, Wii-U, Samsung Smart TV plus several laptops and PCs. In fact the only device where it is a little difficult to configure is those where you cannot access the network settings – some I encountered where the Roku and the BT Broadband Wireless router. Having said that getting a VPN or proxy to work on those devices would be even more difficult.
Here’s the service that worked best for me for watching the BBC iPlayer from Australiaby