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If you travel outside the US you'll notice that most of the streaming services like Netflix, Pandora, hulu etc are blocked, usually by the service providers themselves. To get around that, people use VPN services. They basically tunnel your traffic through a US server so your requests seem like they are originating in the US. These VPN services fix this blocking problem, but make your connection slower than the normal unVPNed connection.

Recently however I've come across something called SmartDNS provided by overplay.net. You pay $5 a month and you get access to their DNS servers. After you change to their DNS you get access to the blocked streaming sites, without slowing down your normal traffic like email and browsing.

What I'd like to know is the technical details of how this SmartDNS works. I've done some quick research but that didn't turn up anything of substance. Anybody out there knows?

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Nothing special here... Overplay's SmartDNS works like Google Public DNS for normal traffic. But, in case of Netflix (for example), it points to their own servers rather than to Netflix's servers. Their own servers act as proxy to Netflix's server. That's it!

Proxy services don't involve any type of encryption, so its faster than VPNs featuring encryption. Plus, normal traffic isn't passed through their proxy servers, so its speed is normal.

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