VPN vs. Smart DNS: An Analysis

Many people understand the basic differences between VPN vs. Smart DNS services. However, not everyone is in a position to analyse the pros and cons of using these two different types of services. In this guide, we provide a comprehensive comparison of VPN and Smart DNS services.

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We compare the two categories of services regarding how they perform about specific technical aspects such as speed, the ease of connectivity, the level of security and even concerning other aspects such as costs and reliability.

How they work

Any evaluation of VPN vs. Smart DNS must include a detailed analysis of how the two types of services work. VPN works by completely hiding your IP address and letting you access the internet as an entirely anonymous entity.

On the other hand, Smart DNS does not hide your IP address but rather gives you an entirely different IP address. When you use a Smart DNS service, the servers of the sites that you access will record your different location. When you use a typical VPN service, the servers of the sites that you visit will not tell your exact location since they will not locate your VPN.

VPN vs. Smart DNS: Setting up the Services

There are fundamental differences in the manner in which you can configure the two services so that you use them on your computer or any other device. In the case of a typical VPN service, you do not have to go through a long process to set up the service. Once you choose the service provider that you would like to work with, and you have to pay. Plus you only have to select your preferred country, and you will be ready to use the service.

However, when you are using Smart DNS, you have to go through an equally complicated process. For example, you have to change the configuration settings of your computer when you choose to use this service. You also have to enter your IP address on several occasions and make several other settings changes as a way of making sure that the service works well with your device.

Security Concerns

One of the main advantages of using a VPN is that when you do so, you will be assured that the service will protect your identity. All VPN services are built to secure your online activities. Therefore, when you use any VPN service, no hacker or even government agency can access your identity or even your data. The VPN companies usually use very advanced encrypting techniques to make your data inaccessible to third parties.

On the other hand, when you use a Smart DNS service, you cannot be sure that your data is secure. Compared to VPN, Smart DNS services are not highly secure. Therefore, when you use a Smart DNS service, you need to keep in mind the fact that someone else can access your data.

Speed of Performance

Whether you are using a VPN or a Smart DNS, you ought to be concerned with the manner in which your preferred service performs. There is a very clear difference between VPN and Smart DNS about speed of performance. First, all the top 10 VPN providers (although they are the best) are slower than Smart DNS services.

The reason for this is simple. VPN services are built to encrypt all the information that you send when using the internet. Encryption in VPN works in the form of the information that you send getting encrypted at the time that you send it. The encrypted data is then transferred through various servers and then gets decrypted before it is delivered to the destination. The encryption process leads to a reduction in the speed of operation for VPN services.

Smart DNS services do not use encryption as such. Therefore, when you use Smart DNS, you will not experience a drastic reduction in the speed of performance while browsing the internet.

Cost and overall performance

We do not find a considerable difference in the performance of VPN and Smart DNS services. In both cases, the specific services perform relatively well regarding their specific purposes and the expectations of the users. Therefore, you can use a Smart DNS service to access geo-blocked content very well. You can also use a VPN service to conceal your online identity very well.

However, we find that VPN services are cost more than Smart DNS services. We think that the nature of the VPN services warrants the companies running the services to charge slightly higher than their Smart DNS counterparts.


In our analysis of VPN vs. Smart DNS, we find that these two vary from each other regarding speed, cost and functionality. Therefore, your choice of whether to use a VPN or a Smart DNS service depends on these factors.

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