Using DNS to Fightback

There’s a lot of information on this site, about the various methods used to filter, block and deny access to specific websites. Content filters, geo-blocking and firewalls now form part of the internet’s infrastructure rather than existing in isolation to protect genuinely secure networks. Of course, there have always been ways around them and in reality if you had something like the portable version of Identity Cloaker stored on a USB drive, you were normally able to bypass them. But in reality most people wouldn’t want to get involved in the world of proxies, VPNs and encryption because basically they just wanted to watch stuff online.

After all if you’re faced with a big shiny flat screen Smart TV, and you find you can’t watch a video on YouTube or The Simpsons on Hulu – then downloading PC software is not going to get your far. The reality is that we access the internet in so many different ways nowadays and via a computer is just one of these. In my home just for an example, the devices capable of browsing the internet include computers, tablets, phones, TVs, an Xbox and a WiiU and probably more. The challenge is to enable those devices to have unrestricted access to specific websites, not just the computers.

There in lies the difficulty, you can’t install PC based software on your phone, TV and Games console. The most you’ll be able to control is the device’s network settings from some generic menu like this –

wiiu-networksettings

This will be the same for your phone, Smart TV and tablet – most devices will allow you access to these settings somehow. Although there are some which don’t – the annoying Roku won’t let you manually change all these network settings for some reason ( Geek Note : although you can remotely assign them through DHCP).

Fortunately now this is all it takes is to use Smart DNS – which you can see from this video demonstrating the procedure on an iPad.

So to bypass all but the most fiendish network blocks all you need to do is to be able to manually alter the DNS settings. Unlock BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Pandora and Netflix on any electronic device you need, just by using Smart DNS.

It’s a wonderful piece of technology, designed to bypass the commercialism and control that corporations are seeking to impose on the internet user. It’s simple to use, cheap and doesn’t impact your connection, so I thoroughly recommend it. Remember the video above – Change DNS iPad settings enables Smart DNS on the tablet but it works the same on any internet enabled device, just find those network settings and change your DNS server to a Smart one.

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2 Responses

  1. Vivian says:

    Thanks for the post, it was really helpful. I have a question, I have to do some travelling with work for a few months and am keen to keep in touch with my favorite TV shows especially as will be stuck in hotels a lot. I will be taking my laptop and iPad with me. Would Smart DNS or using Identity Cloaker be best for me?
    Vivian

    • says:

      Hi Vivian,

      It sounds like my situation. Both will work for the majority of media sites, but Smart DNS is a bit of a pain to use if you’re travelling a lot. It has to be initialised for each IP address you use, it’s not a big deal just have to visit a web page each time, but if you’re moving a lot it can get annoying.

      Smart DNS is slightly cheaper but not much, and is easy to set up on a home network. However if you’re travelling I’d go for Identity Cloaker – it provides encryption which can keep your connection safe – important if checking your email or bank balance on free wifi in a cafe somewhere. You can also use the software on your PC and create VPN connections on the iPad which are really fast using Identity Cloaker’s servers – so you can watch any site safely and securely on either of your devices.

      Hope that helps ……………….and enjoy your travels 🙂

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