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DNS tunneling services VPNs Are Old: Better Ways to Access Region-Blocked Video VPNs Are Old: Better Ways to Access Region-Blocked Video Internet users outside of the United States are blocked from accessing the wealth of streaming video and music content available to Americans. Even Americans are deprived of international services like BBC iPlayer. Faced with this,... Read More allow you to access geo-restricted services just by changing your DNS server How to Optimize Your DNS for Faster Internet How to Optimize Your DNS for Faster Internet "The Internet is just a series of tubes" as one man so wisely stated. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. There’s a complex architecture that supports the Internet, and data packets need to travel... Read More . In other words, you can watch American Netflix or Hulu by changing one setting. Services like UnoDNS and Unblock-Us aren’t just for your computer. They’ll work on smartphones, tablets, and even game consoles.

If you’ve set up the new DNS server on your home router, you won’t have to change your smartphone’s DNS server as long as you’re connected to your home network. However, when you leave your home and use a different Wi-Fi signal, you’ll have to change your DNS server to keep accessing that American Netflix account.

We’ve recommended Tunlr in the past, but their free service has since shut down.

iPhone

Apple’s iOS allows you to change each Wi-Fi network’s DNS server separately. You can’t set a system-wide preferred DNS server, so you’ll have to change each individually. Whenever you connect to a new Wi-Fi network and want to access geoblocked media, you’ll have to change its DNS server first.

To do so, open the Settings app and tap Wi-Fi.  Locate the network you’re connected to in the list and tap the info icon to its right – that’s the lower-case “I” in a blue circle. Tap the DNS field and change the network’s DNS server.

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Android

Like iOS, Android allows you to change your DNS server, but this setting only applies to your current Wi-Fi network. In other words, you’ll have to repeat this setting each time you connect to a new Wi-Fi network. However, if you have root access on your Android phone, you can install the Set DNS app, which allows you to set your DNS server once and have that change take effect system-wide.

To change a Wi-Fi network’s DNS server without root access, open Android’s Settings screen and tap Wi-Fi. Long-press the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to and tap Modify Network. Tap the “Show advanced options” check box, tap the IP settings field and change it to Static, then enter the DNS servers under DNS 1 and DNS 2.

Windows Phone

Windows Phone 8 doesn’t offer the ability to set a manual DNS server. Windows Phone will use the DNS server provided by the router, so you’ll have to change the DNS server on a network’s router to select your preferred DNS server.

You could also consider accessing geoblocked content by connecting to a VPN DNS Is Just A Proxy - Use A VPN To Access Region Blocked Video DNS Is Just A Proxy - Use A VPN To Access Region Blocked Video For copyright reasons, certain media companies only allow their content to be viewed in certain geographic areas. In plain English, what this means is that they are meanies who suck. And what does the Internet... Read More , but Microsoft hasn’t yet added VPN support to Windows Phone either.

BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry 10 allows you to set custom DNS servers for your Wi-Fi networks, too. First, open the System Settings screen by swiping down from the top and tapping System Settings. Tap Network and Connections > Wi-Fi, and change the settings therein. You can set a custom DNS server while adding a new Wi-Fi network or by editing an existing Wi-Fi network – just disable the Auto Obtain IP option and set a custom DNS server.

Firefox OS

We haven’t gotten our hands on a Firefox OS device yet, so we’re not sure if this is possible – the Firefox OS Simulator Test Mozilla's FirefoxOS on Your Windows, Mac or Linux Computer Test Mozilla's FirefoxOS on Your Windows, Mac or Linux Computer Curious about the latest smartphone operating system: FirefoxOS? This open source, royalty-free operating system is bound to pop up on phones all over the planet eventually, but odds are a phone running it is not... Read More doesn’t let us test out the Wi-Fi connection settings. If this is possible, you’ll need to do something like open the Settings app, tap Wi-Fi, and long-press or single tap on a Wi-Fi network here to change its settings. As on Android, you may need to change the network from DHCP to Static before this option appears.

You may not be able to change your DNS server on Firefox OS. The list of Firefox OS settings Mozilla provides doesn’t include any DNS settings, although it does include other Wi-Fi settings.

Like Windows Phone 8, Firefox OS does not yet support VPNs.

Did we miss a platform, or does Firefox OS have this setting buried somewhere? Leave a comment and let us know!

Image Credit: Johan Larsson on Flickr

  1. Victor Porytanko
    February 29, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Hey,

    for iOS you can try this app: https://www.dnsoverride.com.
    It has a built in list of popular SmartDNS providers. The big advantage here is that it works for cellular connections as well as for Wi-Fi.

  2. Drew K
    April 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    So allow me to ask a question for those that are worried about their privacy, and cautious as to what they may open themselves up to, by changing their DNS settings, to ones from the US.

    By having U.S. DNS servers listed locally on your devices; are you not then having the 'device' identify itself as a U.S. based system??
    - In doing so, is that not opening the device (and potentially, the local network), to possible U.S.Gov. snooping?? [which I'm sure they stopped doing, without consent]

    I know there are a significant number of people out there, concerned about their privacy, as their electronic devices tend to contain a significant amount of personal details/info; I'm not so sure they would want to open themselves up to this type of security threat. Canadian and U.S.Gov. privacy laws are quite different, and still a fairly cloudy territory in areas of jurisdiction, on the net.

    SO, bluntly asked... Would this not be, essentially... You have sent your device, virtually across the boarder; and would now be subject to U.S. Customs, then further open to search and seizure of possible materials found on the device (like luggage) ??

    I've read a few different points of feedback, and would love some clarification; as yes, the US seems to have access to content that Canadian's would love to have available. (Netflix content as an example, would likely be the biggest noticeable difference, in available content catalogues)

  3. Ketil
    April 8, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Try Google's public DNS Servers at IP 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

  4. roque RG
    April 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    You can't do that on Firefox OS, you cna only choose a network, write the password and thats all, also you can forget a network , but can't manage another info

  5. Peter Wills
    April 7, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Unblock-Us is not a free service. It gives you a one week free trial. Just to use their DNS settings?Ssettings which can be changed manually by anyone for no cost to any public DNS Servers anywhere in the world.

    I cannot see the benefit in this. What am I missing?

  6. Gordon
    April 7, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Forgive my ignorance but, what do you change the DNS server setting to?

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