How to choose a VPN or DNS provider

Choosing the right VPN or DNS provider can be a difficult task with so many different services being available out there. Follow our guide to learn more about the difference between a VPN and DNS services and which one is right for you. Whichever solution you choose, you'll need it to take full advantage of what StatesCard allows you to pay for in terms of streaming services like Disney+, Hulu or HBO as they require passing a geo-check to access, create an account and watch content.

What's the difference between a VPN and a DNS service

A VPN service connects you to a proxy server in a different country and passes on all of your data through that server to the receiving end. This is a good idea in terms of privacy, as no info about you will be passed on to your ISP or anyone else who might be trying to peek into your network. On the other hand, this is not the best solution for streaming content as it usually slows down your connection and causes buffering while trying to watch your favorite show or movie. 

A DNS service on the other hand connects you to a proxy server as well, but only passes the data the receiving server (for example the Hulu or HBO servers) requires to actually stream the content, all other data sent is not affected. While not as good for privacy concerns, DNS based solutions are usually much faster and more reliable in terms of content streaming then VPN's and will always be the first choice in terms of streaming geo-blocked content. Note that DNS based services tend to be slightly more complex to initially setup but make up for it with much better stability then VPN's. 

Another option is to use a DNS based service via a hardware solution, like StreamLocator Hub. Which allows the full advantages of a DNS service on every device in the house, without the complexity or cumbersome nature of both VPN and DNS. 

VPN Services DNS Services StreamLocator Hub
Set-up time
Quick
Long Less then 5 minute
Set-up per device
Setup each device separately Setup each device separately
One time setup for all devices
Server switching Required
Not Required Not Required
Reliability
Works some of the time
Works most of the time Always works
Extra apps or software required App for each new device None None
Speed loss Major Minor Minor
Designed for streaming No Depends on provider Yes


Choosing the right service for you

If privacy is your main concern, choosing a VPN may not be a bad idea. If streaming speed and reliability are what you're looking for then a DNS service will definitely work out better for you, for an all around streaming solution, look for a hardware based DNS service like the StreamLocator Hub as it takes away of all trouble of switching VPN servers constantly or manually changing out DNS profiles on each and every device.

Below are a few examples of VPN and DNS providers that we put together with Free and Paid options:

DNS:

Hardware DNS services:

Paid DNS services:

  • Unlocator
  • DNSFlex
  • Smart DNS Proxy
  • KeepSolid

VPN:

Free VPN:

  • Proton VPN
  • Windscribe - limited to 10GB of monthly data
  • Hotspot Shield - limited to 500MB of data per day
  • Hide.me - limited to 10GB of monthly data

Paid VPN:

  • Nord VPN
  • Express VPN
  • CyberGhost VPN

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