What is Unlocator?
Unlocator began as a Smart DNS service that has been in operation since 2013. This focuses on bypassing geo-blocking, internet censorship, and restrictions.
Earlier this year, Linkwork APS released the second part of their software, so now they offer a Smart DNS and VPN.
While the service can enable users to gain access to overseas streaming services, this does little for user’s security. This is where the VPN service comes into operation.
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Our Unlocator VPN review delves deep into the workings to see if these offerings do as they say and if users will remain safe by using such a new VPN service.
- Unblocking streaming service restrictions
- Use on mobile devices
- Bypassing internet censorship
Plans and Pricing
When you look at the Unlocator pricing, there are two options available. One is just for the Smart DNS, and the other is for the combination of DNS and VPN.
Both of these come with a 7-day free trial and a no questions asked 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Yearly||$4.16||Billed as $49.95 every 1 year|
|6 Months||$4.58||Billed as $27.50 every 6 months|
|Smart DNS + VPN|
|Yearly||$6.58||Billed as $79.00 every 1 year|
|6 Months||$8.17||Billed as $49.00 every 6 months|
The Unlocator price is quite high when you compare it to other providers for the VPN package. Yet, if you are only interested in streaming, and the service delivers, then the Unlocator cost may be justified.
Payment options are debit and credit cards, G Pay, and Apple Pay. When signing up, you are not asked for any payment details as this takes you directly to the 7-day free.
One of the main concerns for users who look at this kind of service will be “Is Unlocator Safe?”
Denmark does impose some strict GDPR privacy standards for user privacy and is seen as one of the most open for internet freedom.
However, Denmark is a part of the nine-eyes jurisdiction and does undertake mass surveillance and sharing of intelligence. The Unlocator DNS won’t encrypt any data in use, and will only mask your IP address.
Even when you use the Smart VPN, users may still find they are not as safe as they think.
Protocols in use are OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and IKEv2, which are standard.
While the company claims zero logging, they are still obliged to follow EU Data Retention Laws. Deep in terms of Service, the company claims they store personal information such as account details, email address, credit card information and your IP address.
All this is accessible by Unlocator staff and any partners who supply services to the company. Usage logs are retained for 24-hours before being deleted.
Is Unlocator Legal?
There is nothing to say that using Unlocator is illegal. Streaming does come with some grey areas when it is from free websites.
Users who want to unblock paid for serves outside the hosting country can be frowned on, yet this is not illegal and only goes against the said companies TOS.
Ease of Use
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You can use unlimited devices with each account of the DNS service.
While compiling this VPN review, it astonished the wide range of devices the service works with. Operating systems include most Windows versions, macOS and Ubuntu.
Media Players include Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield, Roku and many more. Gaming consoles which come with support are PlayStation 3&4, Wii, Xbox 360, and One.
Smart TV’s cover LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba, among others.
Phones and tablets are Windows phone, kindle fire, Android, and iOS, among others.
You can go as far as saying that any device that uses the internet can make use of the DNS settings that users can change.
While this is impressive, changing the DNS isn’t the same as having client apps for devices. Once you have an account, you can change the DNS on a large number of routers.
There is no credit card required when you first sign up, and all you need to enter in your email and a password. You then receive a confirmation email, which has a link to the download page for the client apps.
Anything apart from Windows, iOS, Android, Mac OS, and Fire TV will need you to use the setup guides.
For the common devices, the Unlocator setup is straightforward. Just install the app, and you are then asked to input your email and password to log in.
The main interface is basic with a pulsating power button, a drop-down list for the Unlocator VPN server you want to connect to and a settings icon.
In the settings, there are minimal options such as start at login, auto-connect, check for updates, the killswitch, and the Unlocator Shield. There is also the option to change the protocol from TCP to UDP.
How does Unlocator work
The SmartDNS service takes your IP address and changes it for one of the company’s servers depending on the country you select.
In the VPN, there is a VPN Kill switch, which will stop all connections if the service drops.
This should prevent any DNS leak from occurring, and in testing for this Unlocator review, there wasn’t any showing in our leak test.
As a means of preventing DNS hijacking, users need a router, which supports IP tables. For many, this can be confusing and does need knowledge and a compatible router.
Unlocator offers its Shield protection; this only allows users an internet connection when the VPN is activated and running. Aside from that, there are no other advanced features.
Unlocator doesn’t offer any browser extensions as all the work is at a system level.
Unlocator uses its DNS servers, as this is the way it allows users to stream content, which is outside their home country.
The service does make best efforts to keep speeds at a maximum, yet in testing, the speed test results were not that great. Just one connection to the USA saw a drop of over 50%, and this would be borderline for streaming without buffering.
The best VPN’s also slow connections, yet their drop-off may be as little as ten percent. This can be because of the small network the company offers.
With less than 40 countries supported and no number of the server number, it is a small network. Many servers may also be virtual rather than bare metal servers.
Out of everything, we tested, customer support rose to the top, and the company can’t be faulted for this.
They offer various options for getting answers such as email, FAQ’s pages, a knowledge base, many setup guides, and live chat.
Once you visit the support page, you can see the extent of the articles they have on various topics.
The support team is quick with a response, and even an email option can give you an answer within 24 hours.
Unlocator touts itself as one of the best services to unblock media content that sits behind restrictions.
With this, it doesn’t disappoint because it can unblock 214 different sites and services that users may find blocked.
This though, does depend on where you live. Luckily, the most common sites such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, CW, NBC, and many others are all accessible. There are even guides on how to go about unblocking each service.
These are in-depth, yet one or two of the payment solutions don’t work as instructed. This is third party problems, but it would be suitable for updated information.
There is nothing on the company about torrenting in either direction. This would mean they are not adverse to users downloading torrents.
However, if you look in terms of service, it does say downloading copyrighted material contravenes their services.
Add to this, they are based in Denmark, and any torrenting or P2P is better to be legal downloads, or risk account closure.
Users who are looking to access foreign video services can find the DNS side of the service useful.
However, when you want online privacy, things soon fall apart, and Unlocator doesn’t offer as much as many premium VPN services which come in at a more affordable price.
On paper, it does appear appealing, but there are some downsides and lack of features that need addressing before you can say it is a viable alternative.
At best, users should only consider using it for bypassing geo-restrictions and accessing blocked content.
If this makes sense, then just the cheaper DNS side of the service will be required. (Save 50% with the discount code XMAS50)