When Netflix finally made its way to Canada, you could hear the collective cheers of Canadians from coast to coast. When these Canadians found out that the video library of Netflix Canada wouldn't be the same as the one as the one offered in the United States, we could also hear the collective sighs of disappointment. Why do these content-controlling restrictions still exist in the age of the international economy?
Helping to knock down these barriers is UnoTelly and its UnoDNS service. It promises to deliver "everything you need to unblock the world," allowing you to watch international media content no matter where you actually are in the world.
It's Supposed to Be the World Wide Web
Don't get me wrong. I like being a Canadian. We have smart schools, free health care and video game tournaments. That being said, it really bothers me that we don't have the same kind of access to various media providers as our neighbours in the United States. When I go to Hulu, for example, I get greeted with this page.
The same can be said for a lot of American content on the Internet. I can't stream the content offered by Comedy Central on the web. I can't access the same Amazon video on demand service. And, as mentioned above, what you get with Netflix in the United States is entirely different than what is offered by Netflix Canada. In fact, the Netflix USA library is five times larger. And these kinds of digital roadblocks don't only affect video content.
There are some great music streaming sites on the web too. Many Americans very happily enjoy their tunes on Pandora, but what do I see here in Vancouver when I visit the site? This.
And that's exactly the kind of frustration that UnoTelly is trying to address. In effect, the UnoDNS service lets you access their private DNS servers so that you can access the content that was otherwise blocked for you. I'm speaking from the perspective of a Canadian trying to enjoy American content, but UnoTelly's UnoDNS is applicable for just about everyone. They open up access to content from Australia, Hong Kong, the UK, and all sorts of other places.
Many people try to get around these kinds of restrictions by using free proxy servers on the Internet, but proxies tend to be a lot slower and less reliable. UnoTelly says that you will "enjoy absolutely zero speed loss," because you are establishing a high-speed direct connection to any website. In running a quick speed test before and after setting up UnoDNS, I indeed found that there was no noticeable difference in download or upload speed.
Setup and Configuration
Now, this all sounds good on paper, but does it really work? And how hard is it to set up?
Basically, you go to the control panel for your network settings and under the TCP/IPv4 properties, you replace your DNS server addresses with the ones provided by the global page on UnoTelly outlining where they have their UnoDNS servers.
You click OK, restart your computer, and go to the quick start page to see if the service is up and running. From there, you should be able to enjoy all of that worldwide content.
But I Did Update My IP Address!
Well, at least that's the way it's supposed to work. For me, though, I kept getting an error that I needed to update my IP address when I went to the quick start page.
I naturally clicked on the button to update my IP address. The (green) message said the IP address was updated, but I still saw the error at the top of the page. Looking through the support pages, the UnoHelper software was offered as a possible solution. It was supposed to help update the IP address, but I had to first manually add a network to it.
This involved going to yet another configuration page through the web browser where I entered what appeared to be my current IP address, rather than the IP addresses of the UnoDNS servers. In doing this and choosing the network within UnoHelper, it seemed that I had finally achieved success.
The UnoHelper software itself is very crude in appearance, but it seemed to do the trick. It is in beta and I did encounter some issues. When trying to "stop" the service by clicking on the big red button, the UnoHelper software simply crashed on me. And the service was still active. I suppose this isn't a huge problem, since I still had no problem accessing Canadian content too.
Goodbye Geoblocks, Hello International Content
If you are logged into your account and you have configured the settings appropriately, everything does work seamlessly with the UnoDNS service from UnoTelly. You don't have to deal with strange toolbars or go through specific portals. If I want to go to Hulu, I simply go to Hulu in my web browser like how I normally would... except now it works.
UnoTelly has a list of channels to help guide your entertaining exploration, but you can just as easily just type the URLs into the web browser as normal. I proceeded to test several other sites, like Pandora and Discovery Channel USA and I had no issues whatsoever. And yes, I could access UK-restricted content too, like the BBC iPlayer.
MEGATechie Universal Vision or MEGATechie Unilateral Distraction?
It's called the world wide web for a reason. If you're tired of coming across great content on the Internet, only to learn that it is restricted to one geographic region or another, UnoTelly's UnoDNS service is something that might be worth your while. It's not free, but the pricing is actually quite reasonable.
The basic UnoDNS Premium service is $3.99 a month and it grants you access to to content from USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Brazil, Panama and more. There are over 12 DNS servers in six continents and this includes access for TV devices, mobile devices and router devices too. If you want to be use your UnoDNS service on the road with hotel WiFi, public WiFi, or via 3G/4G, then you'll need the UnoDNS Gold plan for $4.99/month.
I definitely experienced some frustrations with the configuration process, but once you have everything setup and ready to go, it really is seamless. Go ahead. Really open your eyes to a world of entertainment.