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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

ExpressVPN vs Smart DNS Proxy 2024

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Daniel Krohn
    Daniel Krohn

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    ExpressVPN and Smart DNS Proxy highlight two different approaches to keeping your data and browsing safe. Each delivers high-quality security options and premium capabilities. ExpressVPN is a well-known brand due to its military-grade encryption and 3,000+ servers in 94 countries with native apps for every platform. With a paid Smart DNS Proxy account, you get access to both a DNS Proxy and its VPN service. The proxy option is good for streaming and works with more than 400 channels, but it doesn’t encrypt your data. Its VPN does encrypt your data, supporting leading protocols, including PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN. Of its 100 listed servers, half support the VPN service and half support P2P. There's no software installation for any of the Smart DNS Proxy services, but its VPN has apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. One important note is that the Smart DNS Proxy company calls its VPN service SmartVPN, but this is not the same as the SmartVPN.com service from Anonymous SARL, so we won’t refer to it by that product name in this review. Keep reading to find out which option is right for you.

    Our Score

    Features 9.9/10
    Pricing 9.4/10
    Ease of Use 10.0/10
    Reliability & Support 10.0/10
    Features 8.1/10
    Pricing 9.5/10
    Ease of Use 8.0/10
    Reliability & Support 7.8/10

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Keira Waddell
    Keira Waddell

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 9.9/10

    ExpressVPN is one of the most popular and trusted names in the industry. It’s known for being one of the safest, fastest VPNs around, so I wanted to see if it can live up to these claims. It’s not the cheapest VPN, but it often offers discounts that make it a better value for the money. Other decent VPNs offer similar security features for much cheaper. So, do you really need to pay that muc...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    K
    Kriss
    10.0/10
    Great

    I've been an ExpressVPN customer since 2017 and it's been great: quickly connects to a nearby server i... n the Wash DC region, embedded shortcuts to apps I want to use while using VPN, disconnects quickly, has the kill switch feature which is necessary these days, and has a fine mobile app which works well on my Android phones and tablets. However, I was just notified that the annual price is jumping from $99 to $117 upon the next renewal, so it's time to see how the others compare within VPN Mentor.More

    Latest negative user review
    C
    Charli
    6.0/10
    Ok, but expensive

    Seems ok, but I wouldn't say it's worth $20AUD a month. That's steep if you live in a backwater like A... ustralia, where the currency is not valuable. Easy enough to set up - you don't need to be Einstein - but unless you're a tech nerd who can take a look under the bonnet, you'll just have to trust what they say about their product. It frequently drops out without the slightest warning, often when it's the only thing online at the time - despite fast and flawless fiber internet, rendering expression entirely useless UNLESS you have it sitting on your desktop where you can keep an eagle eye on it to actually see it when it drops out so you can kick it back into service again (it doesn't do it by itself), which seems to defeat its purpose, so I'm taking away 2 stars for that. Support is good and they do get back to you as fast as they can.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Ivana Sarandeska
    Ivana Sarandeska

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    Our Score: 8.1/10

    Smart DNS Proxy claims to offer a 3-in-1 service that includes a proxy, a VPN, and a SmartVPN. In reality, I found out it really only offers 2 services — the proxy and the VPN. The proxy claims to give you fast access to 400+ sites and services (by rerouting only your traffic to those specific sites), but doesn’t provide any online privacy or the option to change your IP address. The VPN encr...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    G
    Guy B
    10.0/10
    I'm happy with Smart DNS Proxy since 2016

    I have used Smart DNS Proxy since 2016 on my Firestick (UK Prime) from Malaysia. It allows me to acces... s all UK content, including BBC iPlayer, NowTV, ITVx, Britbox, 4, 5, and PrimeVideo and Disney+ (US). I had to give up Disney+ access when I got NowTV(UK) due to the Region setting. I had no trouble accessing Netflix USA until I stopped watching Netflix on my tv and just used the tab when I travel. I found their Customer Service to be ok. They certainly helped me set up my router settings when I first signed on with them. After 2 bi-annual subscriptions, I went all in and got the Lifetime subscription in 2020. I didn't know SmartDNS was acquired by another company till recent when I found out that they are now based in Turkey. They were based in Mauritius or was it Seychelles up to then.More

    Latest negative user review
    N
    Nareskar
    2.0/10
    It is horrible experience to work with Smart DNS Proxy VPN

    I have been using this Smart DNS Proxy from Malaysia to unblock Indian streaming content for the last ... two years. I found it was the cheapest VPN and worked reasonably well to unblock content for the first two years of my work. But for the last two months, this has become horrible to work. Most of the DNS servers in Asia don't work at all. If it starts to work after a couple of minutes it stops. The speed of the internet through this DNS is very slow and repeated stoppages make streaming a nightmare. Complaining to customer care yields no results. They give a lot of tasks, after doing all those with no improvement in results. This company is doing nothing to maintain its servers. People should stay away from buying this VPN.More

    Pricing

    Starting price $6.67/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license 8 devices
    Starting price $2.48/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    ExpressVPN’s high-speed network of servers, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and reliable streaming capabilities make it a popular option. Smart DNS Proxy provides a fast service for its proxy and VPN, which can be used separately or together, but there are mixed reviews on the reliability of streaming content.

    Best VPN for Torrents

    Every one of ExpressVPN’s servers supports torrenting with fast speeds while also keeping you safe behind top security and a kill switch. The VPN from Smart DNS Proxy, which comes with any paid account, utilizes PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN protocols and offers dozens of secure torrent-friendly P2P servers.

    Best VPN for Windows

    ExpressVPN offers a Windows-specific client that gets high marks from users due to its simplicity, good speeds, and safety tools, with no logging. Smart DNS Proxy allows you to stream your local content in HD without any software, but you’ll get a dedicated app for its VPN tool that makes choosing your connection, turning on the kill switch, and auto-reconnecting easy.

    Best VPN for Android

    ExpressVPN gives you access to thousands of servers in 94 countries while employing an AES 256-bit cipher with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication on its native Android app. The VPN from Smart DNS Proxy has launched an Android app that some users say is confusing to setup and has led to a number of upset customers. It also doesn’t work in conjunction with some popular apps like Whatsapp.

    Best VPN for Mac

    ExpressVPN’s Mac client provides support all the way back to Snow Leopard (10.6) and uses OpenVPN as standard, split tunneling, and even lets you favorite different services for quick connections. Smart DNS Proxy’s VPN and proxy service support all Mac devices and make it easy to stream or browse with minimal logging of your data.

    Best VPN for iOS

    ExpressVPN protects your iOS devices with access to more than 160 VPN server locations. You can get a free 14-day trial on its app that protects you on wi-fi, LTE/4G, 3G, and all mobile data carriers. Smart DNS Proxy’s VPN gives iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices a full complement of encryption and protection with a simple network adjustment.

    Best VPN for USA

    ExpressVPN makes it safe and straightforward for users in the States to stream US platforms, such as Netflix and Disney+, with reliability and fast speeds across America. Smart DNS Proxy explicitly touts its compatibility with a range of streaming services, but users report inconsistent results, especially for Netflix.

    The Bottom Line

    ExpressVPN has an advantage over Smart DNS Proxy based on the size of its network, automatic kill switch, reliable streaming capabilities, and friendly customer service. But, the lower price and software-free nature of Smart DNS Proxy could be a good choice for you now that it includes a true VPN offering with its paid proxy service. You’ll want to look at the devices you use and your comfort around working with or without specific software to help narrow down your selection. Either way, you’ll get fast speeds, safe connections, and short-term free trials from each of these two popular services.

    Time to decide which one is best for you

    FAQ

    Is ExpressVPN better than Smart DNS Proxy?

    Yes, ExpressVPN is better overall than Smart DNS Proxy. It has 3000 servers in 105 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

    Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $6.67 a month.

    What should I keep in mind when choosing between ExpressVPN and Smart DNS Proxy?

    When choosing a VPN, you want to pay close attention to its number of servers, overall speed score, pricing, and the number of simultaneous device connections it offers. While some VPNs provide a flawless online experience, others will really slow you down.

    If you’re ready to commit, then ExpressVPN may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

    Is ExpressVPN faster than Smart DNS Proxy?

    Yes, ExpressVPN is faster than Smart DNS Proxy. Since your VPN is your computer’s main connection to the internet, you need to use a service that won’t slow you down by more than 20%.

    If speeds are important to you, then I recommend you take a look at ExpressVPN. It’s the fastest service out there, provides unlimited bandwidth, and you won’t experience any slowdowns even when you connect to the other side of the planet. You can try it out risk-free. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you don’t like it.

    Do ExpressVPN or Smart DNS Proxy offer any deals?

    Both ExpressVPN and Smart DNS Proxy offer deals on occasion. You can check out the current coupons and discounts here. However, ExpressVPN has the best deals. Right now, you can get a 49% discount and up to 3 months for free with a new subscription.

    We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
    Learn more
    vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

    About the Author

    Technical writer with a passion for online privacy.