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Unlocator Review 2022 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying

Author Image Jairene Cruz-Eusebio'
Jairene Cruz-Eusebio | Updated on 6th May 2022 Cybersecurity Researcher

Unlocator started as a Denmark-based Smart DNS provider in 2013, but it has leveled up by providing a VPN service. I wondered whether this new addition could offer me the security and functionality I expect from a VPN service, so I tested it myself.

I found that Unlocator VPN is completely secure only when using the OpenVPN protocol.

However, the monthly subscription price for this Smart DNS-VPN Hybrid left me wanting. But still, you can try it out risk-free for 30 days.

Also, the VPN has limited server locations and showed a significant drop in my connection speeds. You’re better off using one of the best VPNs because they have bigger, faster networks.

With Unlocator Hybrid (Smart DNS and VPN combined), you can access many streaming platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer.

Try Unlocator Today

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Unlocator VPN Features — Updated in May 2022

7.2
💸 Price 4.96 USD/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee 30 Days
📝 Does VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 40+
💻 Number of devices per license 5
🛡 Kill switch Yes
🗺 Based in country Denmark
🛠 Support Knowledge base, online chat, email
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — Unblocks 240 Platforms, Including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+

Unblocking geo-specific streaming services is one of Unlocator’s most popular features, especially since the company created the Smart DNS service for this. I went ahead and tested the Hybrid Plan to see for myself.

It’s important to note that the VPN comes bundled with a Smart DNS in Unlocator’s Hybrid Plan. However, they have different capabilities, which is why utilizing both features at the same time allows you to maximize Unlocator to its fullest capacity. For this reason, I will discuss what works with individual features.

Unblock 240 Channels With Unlocator

Unblocked: Unblocked Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and Hundreds of Other Channels

Unlocator’s Smart DNS claims to unblock 240 services, and the ones I tested worked flawlessly. The streaming services and libraries its Smart DNS can automatically unblock are the following:

  • Amazon Prime Video (UK and Germany)
  • MLB and NHL or ESPN+ and Disney+ (choose one pair at a time)
  • Netflix (works with US, UK, and Canadian libraries, but requires additional IP configuration on the router depending on the device)
  • TV3 (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden)
  • Viaplay (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden)
  • Zattoo (Germany and Switzerland)
A screenshot taken from Unlocator's website listing the streaming platforms and channels Unlocator's Smart DNS can unblock

Unlocator’s My Account dashboard features a list of streaming sites and regions the Smart DNS can unblock

I experienced no problem streaming Netflix US with the VPN; there was no stuttering, and the quality was pretty good.

A screenshot of Netflix US streaming with Unlocator's VPN

I was able to watch Netflix US using Unlocator’s VPN

However, it took me several tries to get it to work for less popular local libraries, like Spain or Italy.

Streaming Amazon Prime Video was a cinch when using Unlocator’s Smart DNS. The videos were smooth and didn’t buffer.

A screenshot of streaming

I watched Solos on Amazon Prime Video using Unlocator’s Smart DNS

Unlocator’s Smart DNS worked well for Disney+ and ESPN+ on the US server, though I had to wait for the video to load fully so that the video quality would not deteriorate.

A screenshot of streaming content on ESPN+ using Unlocator’s Smart DNS

You can stream ESPN+ using Unlocator’s Smart DNS feature

Both Smart DNS and the VPN worked fine on Hulu and HBO Max when using US servers, allowing me to stream Trick ‘r Treat without buffering and in high definition.

Screenshot of streaming

You can watch HBO using Unlocator’s Smart DNS and VPN

Other not-so-popular channels such as A&E and CWTV worked great, especially since these are US-based. Channel 4 and BBC iPlayer, both UK-based networks, also worked without issues.

Watch Netflix US With Unlocator

Blocked By: YouTube TV

Because Unlocator worked on other US-based sites, I was surprised that YouTube TV blocked me when using the VPN alone.

Screenshot of a YoutTubeTV blocked message using Unlocator

Despite changing my location, YouTube TV wouldn't grant me access to its contents

While Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and ESPN+ worked via the Smart DNS when streamed, they don’t work when using the VPN.

Screenshot of Amazon Prime block message when using Unlocator's VPN

Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and ESPN+ don’t work when using Unlocator’s VPN only

Watch Disney+, Hulu, and HBO Max With Unlocator

Speeds — Average at Best

My tests showed Unlocator’s speeds are inconsistent. Slight speed drops of around 10-20% are normal when using a VPN. However, my tests showed a significant speed reduction, no matter the protocol and location.

First I measured my baseline speed without the VPN.

Baseline speed

(Laguna, Philippines) 

Ping (ms) Download (Mbps)  Upload (Mbps)
5 59.18 52.85

The connection speed depends heavily on the distance from the server I am connected to. Of all the server locations I tested, the farthest from me is the New York server, at 13,800 km away. It took me on average 18 seconds to connect to anyserver.

I compared Unlocator’s speeds using the OpenVPN protocol and IKEv2 protocol via manual VPN configuration. When connected using the OpenVPN protocol, I noticed a significant drop in speeds. The download speed slowed by 35% to 80%, while the upload speed slowed by 35% to 95%.

Next, I set up the IKEv2 security protocol manually. The speed using IKEv2 was more consistent and overall slightly faster compared to OpenVPN, experiencing a maximum of 60% speed loss.

Screenshot of Unlocator's speed test results using OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocol

I tested Unlocator’s speeds using OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocol

Here are my speeds using the OpenVPN:

Server Location       Ping (ms)         Download Speed (Mbps)       Upload Speed (Mbps)       
Australia – Melbourne 289 38.52 (34.91% loss) 8.97 (83.03% loss)
Czech Republic 263 14.40 (75.67% loss) 5.22 (90.12% loss)
Germany 195 15.03 (74.60% loss) 37.79 (28.50% loss)
Hong Kong 146 1.32 (97.77% loss) 50.89 (38.96% loss)
Hungary 344 11.91 (79.87% loss) 31.79 (39.85% loss)
Japan 307 17.24 (70.87% loss) 1.37 (97.14% loss)
Spain 294 10.13 (82.88% loss) 31.76 (39.91% loss)
United States – LA 177 54.19 (8.43% loss) 7.81 (85.22% loss)
United States – NY 237 36.07 (39.05% loss) 50.51 (4.43% loss)
Average for OpenVPN 240 27.57 (53.39% loss) 23.05 (56.38% loss)

I also tested those same server speeds using the IKEv2 protocol. On average, my download speed was 5.51 Mpbs faster, and my upload speed was 3.56 Mbps faster.

Average for IKEv2     209                 33.08 (36.75% loss)             19.49 (63.10% loss)       

Get Unlocator Today

Are Unlocator’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? Yes

Even when Unlocator VPN reduced my speed, it did not affect my game.

I tried multiple servers, including Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Norway, and the US, and experienced no reduction in the gaming experience. I used a server close to me to make sure the ping was lower, which is crucial for smooth gameplay.

Screenshot of gameplay using Unlocator's servers

I chose a server close to me to avoid high ping

I also tried playing with another player while connected to VPN, and the results were fantastic.

Screenshot of gameplay using Unlocator's servers

Even though Unlocator decreased my speeds, the gameplay using Unlocator’s VPN was completely lag-free

Play Games Using Unlocator

Server Network — Limited Scope

Unlocator has physical and virtual dedicated servers in key locations worldwide. It has 40 servers and an equivalent number of IP addresses spanning 30 countries, which is below average in the industry. The following are the server locations available:

Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) South Africa                                Japan Egypt New Zealand
Hong Kong Brazil Switzerland Mexico Poland
Singapore India Czechia Ukraine Germany
Austria Spain Latvia Finland Norway
Hungary Bulgaria Thailand Netherlands Singapore
Slovakia Italy Denmark France Greece
Belgium Sweden Lithuania UK (2 Servers on Maidenhead) USA (Chicago, LA, and NY)
Ireland Canada Turkey

The low number of servers can be problematic because the speed can be affected if many people use a specific server simultaneously. But Unlocator stated that it is constantly working on adding new servers.

I liked that on the Unlocator app, you can add particular servers to your favorites list, which makes switching to preferred servers simpler.

Screenshot of Unlocator's app Favorites feature

Unlocator’s app has a favorites list

For manual configuration, you can find the list of servers and their addresses by clicking on the server list in your Unlocator dashboard, right under the VPN section.

Screenshot of Unlocator's Manual server list page

For manual server set-up, go to VPN Server List on Unlocator’s dashboard

Try Unlocator Now

Security — Strong but Only While Using OpenVPN

I found Unlocator is secure when using the OpenVPN protocol. Unlocator’s VPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption to keep sensitive data safe. However, the Smart DNS alone doesn’t encrypt your data, so using the VPN is a must for safety purposes.

Disappointingly, the VPN is missing security features such as malware blocking, ad blocking, perfect forward secrecy (wherein encryption keys are changed frequently to ensure that the connection will not be compromised), and double VPN (also called multi-hop) for additional security.

To make sure the installation file from Unlocator was safe to use, I ran it through VirusTotal. The results showed that the file was safe to use.

Screenshot of VirusTotal test result of Unlocator's app

Unlocator’s app has no malicious software

Security Protocols, Kill Switch, and Unlocator Shield

Unlocator offers 4 security protocols to safeguard your data. Aside from the standard OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IKEv1, it also has WireGuard.

OpenVPN is the only protocol for macOS, Android, and Amazon Fire, which is reliable and secure. You can switch from UDP to TCP port connections. Choose UDP for faster connections and TCP to reduce data loss during transfer.

iOS users can choose between IPSec/IKEv1 and IKEv2 protocols.

For Windows, OpenVPN and IKEv2 are available. You can use the latter via manual VPN configuration on your device.

The upside to using OpenVPN through the app is that you can switch from one server to the next in just a few clicks. But with manual configuration, you’ll have to reconfigure your entire VPN connection to switch to a different server. Imagine setting up 40 servers manually.

WireGuard, a protocol known for its ability to bypass geo-blocks, is also available in case you need it in countries with high-internet censorship. However, I had to reach out to its customer support for this one.

In addition, Unlocator has both a kill switch and Unlocator Shield to ensure you're always protected.

Screenshot of Unlocator's app Settings menu

Unlocator has a kill switch and Unlocator Shield for extra protection

The kill switch works by automatically cutting the internet connection if the VPN drops, then it goes back on when it reconnects. It prevents websites from detecting your true IP.

When enabled, Unlocator Shield shuts down your internet access anytime you’re not using its VPN. It makes sure that all your traffic is going through Unlocator servers only.

Stay Safe With Unlocator

WebRTC, IP, and DNS Leak Test

I ran my own leak test using both protocols to check for leaks. I found out that the OpenVPN protocol is much better at keeping the connection secure than IKEv2.

Screenshot of Unlocator's WebRTC (IP) and DNS leak test results

Unlocator passed the leak tests using the OpenVPN protocol

When using a US server, there were no IP or DNS leaks. I even checked for Torrent Address Detection, and the IP was consistent throughout.

However, the IPs were not consistent when using a different server (Poland).

Screenshot of Unlocator's WebRTC (IP) and DNS leak test results

Unlocator’s leak test was inconsistent while using a server in Poland

Instead of a Polish IP, it showed a French IP, while the DNS and Torrent Addresses were both in the US. These are not IP and DNS leaks, though; these are still Unlocator’s servers, which means they still protected my connection.

While the results of the OpenVPN protocol were pretty good, the results for IKEv2 were dismal.

Screenshot of Unlocator's WebRTC (IP) and DNS leak test results

My tests showed a WebRTC (IP) and DNS leak using Unlocator with IKEv2, which meant my data wasn't safe

The results for the IKEv2 test were consistent across more than a dozen locations — Unlocator always revealed my real IP.

Stay Safe Using Unlocator

Privacy — Inconsistent

While Unlocator states that it protects your privacy, it still keeps user logs. Plus, Unlocator’s home country is Denmark, part of the 9 Eyes Alliance — an international agreement on digital surveillance. That means that anytime the government requests users’ data, companies operating under their jurisdiction must comply. Furthermore, countries that are part of this alliance share information they collect amongst themselves.

On the other hand, because Denmark is an EU country, it also means Unlocator has to adhere to the GDPR laws. The goal of GDPR is to give people more rights over their personal information and how it is processed.

However, while Unlocator promises that all user activities are kept entirely private, it still keeps logs at a personally identifiable level.

Screenshot taken from Unlocator's website page about the information it logs

The logs that Unlocator keeps can be traced back to its users

It maintains that the logs are purged within 24 hours, though this means your activities are not entirely private when using Unlocator.

If privacy is essential to you, you should consider other VPNs that practice a proper no-log policy. The information that Unlocator logs include your name, email address, credit card information, IP address, and other data collected during registration.

Furthermore, the website itself tracks users by leaving cookies in their browsers to provide a better user experience. You can opt out of all cookies if you don’t want Unlocator to track you.

Screenshot taken from Unlocator's website page where you can opt out of cookies

As a way of showing it values your privacy, Unlocator’s website gives you the option to opt out of cookies

Stay Private Using Unlocator

Torrenting — Random Servers Allow, Others Block

Unlocator is inconsistent in this aspect as not all servers worked equally well for me. I advise that you test multiple locations to find the one that works and the one with the best transfer speeds.

Unlocator does not provide clear information regarding torrenting and P2P sharing, so you should take caution. We don’t condone illegal activities so make sure that you comply with the laws and regulations of your country when using Unlocator or any other VPN for torrenting.

Under its Terms of Use, Unlocator does not allow the use of its service to transmit illegal content, nor does it allow its service to be used for violating intellectual property rights. Doing so will result in the termination of the user’s account without a refund.

I tried torrenting a film in the public domain to test whether I could download P2P files while using Unlocator. I downloaded an old film using Japanese and Singaporean servers, and they worked.

Screenshot of torrenting a movie in public domain using Unlocator VPN

Unlocator allows torrenting, but in my experience, it was very slow

While the transfer speeds were not the best, it is still possible. Also, remember that using its Smart DNS alone won't protect you while torrenting because it doesn't encrypt your data.

Does Unlocator Work in China? Yes

Both the Smart DNS and the VPN should work in China. If the default configurations and security protocols don’t work for you, Unlocator can provide an alternative protocol called WireGuard. To get the custom configuration, you must contact its support team.

Screenshot of Unlocator's support team reply to my question if the VPN could work in China

WireGuard is a newer protocol that is more likely to work in China

If you want to skip the whole setup process, you should consider VPNs that can work in China right away. Keep in mind that using VPNs that are not government-approved is not allowed in China. However, no tourists have yet been penalized by the Chinese government.

Get Unlocator for China

Simultaneous Device Connections — Up to 5 Devices

You can connect up to 5 devices, typical with VPN services.

During my test, I connected 2 computers, an Android phone, an iPhone, and experienced no issues at all.

Ease of Use

7.8

Device Compatibility — Wide Range of Devices

You can use Unlocator Hybrid on most devices. The 7 operating systems it can work on are OS X, Ubuntu Linux, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8, and 10. However, you can’t configure some devices directly; you have to install the Unlocator Hybrid on your router and connect to that instead.

The devices where you can use Unlocator Hybrid are as follows:

Amazon Fire TV Roku Wii Samsung TV And Players iPad
Apple TV Sonos Wii U Google TV iPhone
Boxee Box Western Digital Media Players (manufactured in the US) Xbox 360 Sharp TV iPod
Chromecast Xiaomi Mi Box Xbox One Sony TV and Players Kindle Fire
Nexus Player PlayStation 3 LG TV And Players Toshiba TV Windows Phone 8.1
and Above
NOW TV Box PlayStation 4 Panasonic Viera Android Phones Routers
Nvidia Shield PS Vita Philips TV

The routers that work with Unlocator’s Smart DNS are:

2Wire Belgacom Cisco Linksys
Airport Express Belkin D-Link Netgear
Airport Extreme Bell Alient DD-WRT Siemens
Asus Bell Pibe Fritz Box Tomato
BEETEL Buffalo Huawei TP-Link

Also, Smart DNS can also help you change your device’s region to access content from a different app store.

Install Unlocator on Your Router

Set-Up & Installation — Quick and Easy Set-Up

Unlocator provides detailed information on setting up both the Smart DNS and VPN on the account dashboard, so I didn’t have any problem installing it.

Screenshot of Unlocator's page with the Set-up Guides

On the My Account dashboard, you can find all the info on setting up both the Smart DNS and VPN

To use the Smart DNS on your device, all you have to do is access your device’s DNS settings and change the primary and secondary DNS addresses to the one that Unlocator provides.

Screenshot of Network connections DNS settings

You need to access your Network Connections to set up the Smart DNS

On the other hand, you can simply download the VPN app on Unlocator’s VPN apps page.

The installation took about a minute. After I logged in, I could use the VPN app immediately.

However, some devices such as Roku and Chromecast do not have an option to change DNS settings. To go around this, you would need to change the DNS settings on your router, which affects all devices connected to it.

Install Unlocator Today

Pricing

9.5
Smart DNS + VPN 2 Years
$ 4.96 / month per month
Smart DNS + VPN 6 Months
$ 8.17 / month per month
Smart DNS + VPN Monthly
$ 9.99 / month per month

Unlocator offers 2 subscription plans: the Smart DNS and the Unlocator Hybrid (Smart DNS with VPN). If you want to secure your connection, be sure to choose the Hybrid plan as the basic plan has just Smart DNS with no VPN.

Its starting price is $4.96/month per month. However, its longest plan is the most cost-effective.

You can try Unlocator for free for 7 days. I wasn’t even asked for a credit card to sign-up for a trial, which is excellent. All new subscribers also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Its payment methods comprise credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and JCB), Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal.

Try Unlocator Risk-Free for 7 Days

Reliability & Support

8.0

In my experience, Unlocator’s support team is slow to respond.

There are only a handful of ways to contact customer service, and that is through online chat, email, and web form. Unlocator doesn’t have phone support, and the support team is not available 24/7.

When I reached out to customer support, I received a reply after several hours. When I contacted them during the weekend, I did not receive a response until the next business day.

Screenshot of Unlocator's support team reply to my questions

Unlocator’s customer support is responsive, but it could be faster

Unlocator has a pretty extensive knowledge base, and the guides are easy to follow. I found everything I needed to know about using its service or changing my device settings.

Get Unlocator Now

Compare Unlocator VPN With The Top Alternative VPNs

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict

If you’re looking to safely access your favorite streaming platforms, the Unlocator's Hybrid plan is a great choice. However, I found the VPN Hybrid lacking when it comes to speed and the number of servers.

  • Provides a smooth streaming experience
  • Has good speeds
  • Compatible with major operating systems
  • Works in China
  • Has a kill switch

FAQs on Unlocator

Is Unlocator safe?

Unlocator is 100% safe only when using the OpenVPN protocol. Its other protocols were not as secure.

Can Unlocator unblock Netflix?

Yes. Use the VPN app instead of the Smart DNS when watching Netflix through iOS, OSX, Windows, Android, and Amazon Fire for minimal intervention and issues.

Will Unlocator slow my speeds down?

Yes. Based on my tests, Unlocator can slow your speed down by 10% to 90%, depending on the location and security protocol you use.

Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 30
Mobile app :
Number of devices per license : 5

Unlocator VPN User Reviews

4.1
Based on 25 reviews in 4 languages

Write a Review on Unlocator VPN

Please rate VPN.

James
James
Mar 12, 2022
2/10
Stopped working three days ago. Now The website is down.

Stopped working three days ago. Now The website is down. Customer service when I joined was amazing. Now it's only by email and it's a whole day to wait for feedback. So by the time you may find a solution, everyone has already seen the show you wanted to see. Unlocator sucks.

Dylan
Dylan
10/10
Unlocator still works and its great!

I have used unlocator for 2 years now. It has been awesome! Regardless of some reviews, I see here. It absolutely still works and works great! Their customer service is excellent and the speed of their servers is super fast! A+

Rodenthead
Rodenthead
2/10
Used To Be Good, but...

It's always breaking down and while they will remedy the problem quickly, if you're not on Denmark time, like me in Tokyo, you lose half the day, waiting for them to fix it. If the system were a little less prone to breakdowns, it would still be good. The setting up procedure is simple that even a dunce like me had no problem.

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