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?

1 Answer 1


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.

  • So...Nothing special here?
    – Amit Naidu
    Aug 29, 2014 at 5:11
  • so basically, for streaming sites we are not connecting to netflix but to their server?
    – Arnold Roa
    Oct 6, 2014 at 18:50
  • Is possible for they to be a proxy for a ssl site? for example gmail?
    – Arnold Roa
    Oct 6, 2014 at 18:51
  • @Arnold You are connecting to Netflix server, but the route is different. In case of SSL protected sites, you'll be safe. Proxy services can't see your private things. But, the thing with Overplay's SmartDNS is gmail will open without proxy. So, there's nothing to worry about.
    – user79032
    Oct 6, 2014 at 19:13
  • There's a rare chance that they can point to own server and give you own Gmail looking login page to steal your login details (this is very unlikely from a popular service), so I recommend you resolve IP of gmail.com on their DNS to verify it's legit server and turn ON two-factor authentication in case.
    – user79032
    Oct 6, 2014 at 19:15

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