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Unblock Us Review: Faster Than VPN

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Digital content delivery is at its height right now. Services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu Plus and Crunchy roll have made it easier for media junkies to view the content they want on-demand. Unfortunately, when you have worldwide content services like those mentioned, restrictions will occur based on regional legalities. The licenses for the content only extend so far, which means that those of us who pay to support these services end up missing out on content we’re entitled to.

This is the problem that Unblock Us solves, and the delivery of their service is one of the most straight forward, yet. Unblock Us uses a variation of VPN called SmartDNS. A virtual private network (VPN) benefits users by allowing them to browse online without sharing their identity and/or information, which ISP’s all have access to. A VPN also allows you to access content that is region restricted.

Doctor Who is available on BBC iPlayer, a free service in the UK.
Doctor Who is available on BBC iPlayer, a free service in the UK.

Unblock Us isn’t a traditional VPN service, but their SmartDNS technology provides more benefits to casual users than a traditional VPN. A VPN may keep your information safe from your ISP or other prying eyes, but unless you know what the VPN hosts are doing with your data it may not be much better. Unblock Us takes the worry away by only kicking in when you’re accessing a website or service that is restricting content based on region. Whenever you access content that is blocked, Unblock Us cleverly routes your request through one of their various servers around the world. This uses less bandwidth than connecting to a VPN service and deliver is faster as a result.

There’s a misconception that such tactics are illegal, and although content providers don’t like this technology, it’s a completely legal practice. So we know how Unblock Us work, let’s look at some of the factors that make it a great service.

Ease of use

There are two ways you can go about setting up Unblock Us on your computer. You can either download their app that automates the entire process for you, which also allows you to turn the SmartDNS on or off at will. Or you can go into your network connection settings and change it all manually.

Of course, Unblock Us isn’t just limited to PC and Mac, you can also use the technology on your game console, TV or media box. Unblock Us probably has the most useful how-to guides of all the VPN/DNS services we’ve used.

Unblock Us Benefits for Gamers

Not only do we get to enjoy all the excellent gaming content on the market on our glorious game consoles, but they now act as our media hubs, allowing us to use apps like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Crunchy Roll on the fly. As gamers, we know we have a real specific taste when it comes to our media, and often times our favorite TV show or anime might not be available to us on Crunchy Roll or Netflix because it is region restricted.

I know from experience that the base UK Netflix content isn’t enough for me, and I would have unsubscribed long ago if it wasn’t for Unblock Us. Residents in the US will also be happy to know that Unblock Us will grant them access to BBC iPlayer, which is a completely free service to those in the UK. BBC iPlayer has popular TV series’ such as Doctor Who, Sherlock and Luther.

Hulu Plus is home to a number of TV shows, including anime such as Dragon Ball Z, Tokyo Ghoul, and Attack on Titan, however the service is US only. Unblock Us will give those outside the US access to Hulu Plus and its entire library.

Using services such as these actually encourage people to view media the legal way, rather than resorting to the numerous illegal methods that harm the movie and TV industry. You get to view all the media you deserve, while also supporting the content creators at the same time.

Avengers Assemble is currently on Netflix in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland
Avengers Assemble is currently on Netflix in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland

The great news is that Unblock Us is easy to set up on every gaming console, and with the 7-day free trial there’s no reason not to give it a try and see what you’ve been missing out on.

Here’s a list of some of the popular channels that Unblock Us supports:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu and Hulu Plus
  • Amazon Instant Video
  • HBO Now
  • HBO Nordic
  • HBO GO
  • Funimation
  • BBC iPlayer
  • WWE Network
  • NFL Now
  • ESPN
  • Spike TV
  • Crunchy Roll

The list goes on, so be sure to check the full list of channels that you’ll be able to fully access here.

Benefits for Music Lovers

At The Koalition, we love music. So we’re happy that the service also works with Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, and other music services. This is useful because a lot of music gets blocked regionally. For instance there’s been a number of Hip Hop songs and albums that I couldn’t enjoy on Spotify because they hadn’t been licensed internationally. Unblock us will help you fill your music library and playlists without any restrictions at all.

Conclusion

Not only is Unblock Us a fast and reliable solution for getting around geo-restricted content, but it’s also useful if you travel abroad often. Example, if you’re a student you may find that connecting to your campus network has restrictions, well Unblock Us would help you get around this so you can access your content when needed. Ever seen that annoying “Not available in your country” message on Youtube? Well you’ll likely never see that again with Unblock Us.

Unblock Us allows you to sign up for a 7-day free trial without entering any payment details at all. Then if you wish to subscribe the cost is as little as $4.99 a month. There’s also an annual option at $49.90 which saves you $10.

To get a better idea of the content that would be available to you after subscribing to Unblock Us, you can use Moreflicks to look up your desired movie or TV show an find out which service allows you to stream it and in which regions.

It’s too easy to recommend Unblock Us to media junkies, because the set up is accessible for those who aren’t so tech-savvy, and even if you have trouble, their video and text guides are so easy to follow that you’ll never experience issues setting up the service or troubleshooting issues. As someone that has used the service for five years, it comes highly recommended by me.

About The Author
Gary A. Swaby Co-founder/UK Managing Editor
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