How to Choose Between a Smart DNS and VPN?

If you want to watch Netflix America in South Africa, you can do so with a Smart DNS proxy or VPN (Virtual Private Network) Read our post how to watch American Netflix in South Africa to learn more about the different options available to access the Netflix America suite of programs in South Africa.

Smart DNS Proxy vs VPN

Before we look at the best option for you to choose, first a basic explanation of the difference between the two technologies.

A Smart DNS is used to access geo-restricted content. A DNS (Domain Name System) is the system that translates internet domain names into IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. For instance, becomes DNS is usually located close to your computer’s IP address. If you use a Smart DNS provider, information will be redirected through a proxy server, which is not restricted by your current location.

Alternatively you can use a VPN which is used to add privacy and security to all your online activity. Setting up a VPN tunnel, your identity and online activity will be encrypted, meaning that outside sources can’t access your location or track your searches.

The biggest difference between a Smart DNS and a VPN is the privacy. A Smart DNS does not use encrypted connections. It also doesn’t change your device’s IP address. The DNS server location is used to gain access to blocked content.

Your connection to the internet will be faster with a Smart DNS because there is no delay to encrypt data, as with a VPN tunnel. If you are interested in cyber security, you will need to choose a VPN.

Smart DNS Explained

To access Netflix America in South Africa, you need to trick the service into thinking that you are in America. You will still need to pay for the content, creating a separate account for the American Netflix site.

If you are only concerned with streaming speed, you can use the Smart DNS technology to do this. By using a remote DNS server, you will be able to mask your location, but your private information will not be encrypted and your IP address not hidden.

VPN Explained

The VPN technology is a great way to protect your online privacy. Although using a VPN’s encrypted tunnel can slow down your browsing speed, it is a small price to pay to remain protected online.

A VPN service will create a new IP address for your device, which is not linked to your location, offering you access to Netflix America in South Africa. The Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates an encrypted middleman point between your device and the internet, where your IP address is changed and it becomes anonymous.

Choosing Between a Smart DNS and a VPN

Both these options will change or hide your device’s location to unlock geo-restricted content, so you can use either to watch Netflix America in South Africa. Your choice will depend on whether you are interested in online streaming speed or data security.

The Smart DNS will only reroute/redirection a portion of your web traffic, compared to a VPN which encrypts all of your online activity through the encryption tunnel. This function of the VPN will have an effect on the online streaming speed. If you are not concerned about online browsing anonymity, you can use a Smart DNS to access Netflix America in South Africa.

Risks of Using a Smart DNS Service

How to Watch American Netflix in South Africa

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You might be tempted to opt to use a free Smart DNS service provider. The DNS becomes the proxy between your device and the internet. This means that the proxy has access to your online activity. Many free proxies are used to mine data. It could be as innocent as gathering browsing information for marketing purposes, but some free Smart DNS proxies also use their service to steal your personal information. Rather use a reputable Smart DNS service provider.

With a free Smart DNS service you also don’t know who is providing you with the IP address codes. It could be generated by a cybercriminal organization or maybe a government surveillance program. While you are using the free Smart DNS service, you are giving up your personal information such as usernames and passwords, as well as bank account numbers.

Some Smart DNS services don’t allow you to use https:// sites. This is a safety feature of browsers, to give you cyber safety. The http:// sites expose your online activity, offering up your personal information to anyone that has access to the proxy. An unsecure Smart DNS service can also manipulate the website you visit, stealing cooking or injecting advertising. Oftentimes these ads can carry malware.

How to Use a Smart DNS Proxy Safely

It’s best to rather use a paid Smart DNS service. This way you know exactly who you are dealing with. A legitimate provider will offer you information about their whereabouts and openly offer you their operating procedures.

You can also do more research about the company through a thorough online search. If there are any security risks, you will be warned by other users that have used their services. It’s important to check in which country the Smart DNS provider is located. Each country has its own set of cybersecurity and privacy laws. In some countries it is legal to sell your browsing data.

Make sure you carefully read the company’s privacy policy. Even if it is a legitimate provider, you may be offering up certain privacy rights, affecting how the proxy provider will be dealing with your personal information. If at any time you feel uncertain of the company’s operating procedures, rather choose another one. Lastly, make sure that the DNS provider has good security protocols in place. If it forbids the use of https:// — do not use it. Some companies will even offer extra encryption protocols for better online security and secure connections.

Risks of Using a VPN

How to Watch American Netflix in South Africa

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Same as with Smart DNS proxies, if you choose to use a free VPN, you are at risk of your online security being compromised. It is crucial to read the company’s privacy policy, because you are allowing a third party to handle your online data.

The VPN offers you online privacy by agreeing to not do any IP logging, or at least as little as possible. If you choose to use a disreputable VPN service, you can’t tell what they are doing with the logs they might be keeping. A VPN provider must also adhere to the country’s privacy laws. Some governments require by law that some user information is stored. So make sure you know from which country your VPN service provider operates.

If you decide to use a free VPN service provider or one with a dubious privacy policy, you can be exposed to a man-in-the-middle-attack. This means you think you are connecting directly with a website. But a third party first has access to your personal information. Some VPN’s also have a lot of traffic restrictions, which can affect your browsing experience.

How to Use a VPN Safely

It is best to use a paid VPN service provider. You can research the company properly to make sure that you agree with all their privacy policies. Also read other people’s opinions of the company. A strong encryption protocol and good privacy policies will ensure a safe online experience.

Check up on your VPN service provider’s server network. To create a specific IP address, the VPN has to have servers located in that country. Once you know the country, you can read up about its cybersecurity and privacy laws. The servers also need to compensate for the encryption slowing down your internet connection. A reputable VPN service provider will have top speed servers. Lastly, make sure that the VPN service provider clearly states that it offers a strict zero-logging policy.

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