Unlocator Review 2021
|Price||$4.16/mo on a 1-Year Plan|
|Servers||40+ Servers in 37 Locations|
|Logs||Stores Usage Logs|
|Works in China||No|
|Compatibility||Windows, Android, Apple|
Founded in 2012 and created by Linkwork ApS, Unlocator is a Denmark-based Smart DNS and VPN provider. Introduced as a solution for unblocking geo-restricted websites, Unlocator still needs a great deal of work to become a robust online privacy/security solution.
Their Smart DNS system often experiences blocks by ISPs or network owners, and the VPN that acts more like a backup fails on providing appropriate anonymity online. Not a good solution at all, even for simple bypassing of geo-restrictions, or keeping your identity hidden.
Despite these drawbacks, Unlocator has made a reputable name for itself. On TrustPilot, the VPN enjoys a 5-star rating from 93% of its users. However, these ratings are quickly overshadowed by its admission of maintaining regular logs of all its users’ digital activities.
This is why I recommend going for a provider like ExpressVPN with a verified no-logging policy and faces no trouble in unblocking streaming platforms like Netflix or providing VPN access to users in China. The best part of all: it is only priced at a minimal $6.67/mo for a 1-yr plan + 3-months free.
- Jurisdiction: Where is Unlocator Based?
- Security: Can Unlocator Keep You Safe Online?
- Leaks: Unlocator IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS Test
- Servers: How Many Servers Does Unlocator Have?
- Streaming: Can I Unblock Unlocator US and Other VoDs?
- Speed: How Fast are Unlocator Servers?
- Compatibility: Can I Use Unlocator on All My Devices?
- Pricing: How Much Does Unlocator Cost Exactly?
- Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say about Unlocator?
Jurisdiction: Where is Unlocator Based?
Unlocator primarily operates out of Denmark. It is bad enough that Unlocator has poor performance that their headquarters is in a Nine Eyes Alliance Jurisdiction. Denmark does impose privacy standards of GDPR, but do not get fooled by them.
The country is labeled as one of the freest jurisdictions to misinform users when in reality they indulge in Mass Surveillance and Intelligence Sharing with other members of the alliance.
As such, the location cannot be considered a “Safe” jurisdiction. Yes, Denmark does not have an ONI profile yet, but it is still included in the regional overview for Nordic Countries.
VPN use remains legal, despite Denmark having the legal authority of restricting online access. Yet, I would not trust Unlocator to keep my identity and information private!
Security: Can Unlocator Keep You Safe Online?
Despite being under GDPR protection, Denmark cannot be considered a safe location for a VPN to operate from. This is chiefly due to its association with the Nine Eyes Alliance and other issues that I will be discussing below:
Does Unlocator Store Logging Information?
Yes, Unlocator does store logs and they have not been independently audited either. The provider sucks at keeping your identity hidden. They do not provide any privacy to consumers since they use a Smart DNS system, which does not add encryption to your network connection.
The Unlocator Hybrid that includes the VPN offering does not mitigate these issues concerning privacy, and the worst bit is the provider even admits to keeping usage logs, which according to them are removed within 24 hours of the termination of a session, but how can we ever know?
Protocols and Encryption Information
Unlocator supports different protocols like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2 as well as OpenVPN. You can change them according to your needs, but I recommend going for the OpenVPN protocol for maximum privacy online, which uses AES-256-bit encryption, along with SHA-512 authentication.
The use of a Smart DNS system discredits any strong encryption claims that Unlocator constantly makes. While users can opt for the + VPN offering that does alleviate some of the concerns, but given how Unlocator keeps logs, it would not be recommended by any means.
Leaks: Unlocator IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS Test
If you’re wondering; Is Unlocator Safe? The answer is no! The VPN is not a safe choice. In fact, I could not even get it to work on my Windows operating system. I got really frustrated!
As you can see below, before launching Unlocator.exe, my internet connection was working fine. Right after the launch, the internet disconnects and then reconnects upon closing the app.
On the other hand, I did get the Android and iOS clients to work. This allowed me to put Unlocator under three different leak tests to find whether it leaves IP, DNS, and WebRTC exposed or not.
For the process, I used IPLeak.net and connected to a server in Bulgaria. Although the VPN did not leak any WebRTC/DNS/IP address information, the security still needs significant improvement!
Servers: How Many Servers Does Unlocator Have?
Users have the option to choose from a measly 40 servers that operate from 37 countries. Due to this low number of servers, it is unclear how much geo-restricted content can Unlocator unblock.
Additionally, it does not provide any information about whether it has virtual or bare-metal servers adding to its overall shoddy impression as a VPN service. I had to verify everything myself.
Virtual Locations Testing
I tested the VPN and its servers to figure out if they are bare-metal or virtual. Every server address I added into the CA App Synthetic Monitor showed a packet loss of 100%.
It is not my first time testing servers, so I know this problem is only consistent with Unlocator. To still get a better idea, I conducted a trace-route on their UK server.
The results show a low ms and RTT, which indicates the server is indeed located as advertised, but I still do not understand why I was receiving errors in pinging to the server from multiple locations.
Does Unlocator Support P2P/File Sharing?
Users will be happy to know that Unlocator proves to be a worthwhile option for torrenting needs. It offers decent support for P2P sharing. However, we would advise users to steer clear of servers in countries, like the US, that have hostile laws regarding torrents and P2P sharing.
Streaming: Can I Unblock Unlocator Netflix US and Other VoDs?
No, Unlocator fails miserably at unblocking streaming platforms like Netflix and other names like Voot, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer or Hotstar. I did try unblocking these servers via both their services; Smart DNS and VPN. However, everything I failed and received the “proxy/vpn detected error”, which was quite disappointing!
Speed: How Fast are Unlocator Servers?
Unlocator’s total of 40 servers can leave a lot to be desired, but does it make up for quantity with quality? I put it through our standard speed test on a 100 Mbps connection and selected 5 random servers to see how they would perform. Here are the results of my test:
Compatibility: Can I Use Unlocator on All My Devices?
In terms of compatibility, Unlocator does offer apps for all famous platforms/OS. You have native software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
For other more tech-savvy individuals, Unlocator does offer detailed setup guides for all operating systems, media players, gaming consoles, smart TVs, routers, and smartphones (mostly for their Smart DNS service though).
Support for Other Devices
Unfortunately, there is a distinct lack of browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, or Opera. There is no Unlocator Apple TV app either and the provider is working on releasing an app for Amazon Fire TVs & tablets.
Users can also setup Unlocator on different gaming consoles, smart TVs, routers, as well as media players. However, support for these will only be through their unsecure Smart DNS.
Pricing: How Much Does Unlocator Cost Exactly?
Unlocator typically offers netizens two subscription packages: Smart DNS and Smart DNS + VPN, which are further divided by duration for leveraging discounts.
The Smart DNS package starts at $4.95 monthly. If you opt for the 6-months deal, the per month costs drop to $4.58, meaning you pay $27.48!
If you go with the yearly deal, the costs drop to $4.16 monthly, totaling to $49.92 for 12-months access. For the Smart DNS + VPN, pricing starts at $9.99.
This is quite expensive, considering the VPN is in a growing phase and needs a lot of improvement. For better value, opt for the yearly package that starts at $6.58/mo, meaning you pay $78.95 for 12-months access!
It offers the basic amount of options that all VPN providers in the industry provide, such as VISA/Mastercard credit/debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. However, there is a 7-day free trial option that allows you to make payments after using the service for a week.
If for any reason, you’re not satisfied with the paid product, then Unlocator also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. This can be availed at any time, but after reading quite a lot of user-reviews, it came to light that not many customers did get their refund from Unlocator!
Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say about Unlocator?
To give you a better idea about Unlocator VPN, I have provided details about the provider from the perspective of “users” on Reddit and TrustPilot. These should help with the decision-making process, if you plan on signing up with the provider!
Surprisingly, Unlocator has a highly positive feedback on Trustpilot with 93% users rating their service as excellent. After reading most of the reviews though, I was getting the impression as if they were phony.
Those users that were complaining about the service, particularly leak issues and inability to unblock Netflix seemed quite frustrated with the VPN, and I may consider that feedback more important!
For a more accurate depiction about Unlocator, I checked out Reddit to get a raw source of understanding what users actually feel. Users complained of Unlocator’s unwillingness to refund the money even after having failed to provide the service they promised.
Similarly, there were complains of Unlocator being incapable of unblocking Netflix regions even though it expressly marketed its ability to do so. This matches with most of the negative comments found on TrustPilot, which makes it seem positive ratings are mostly “phony.”
It is always good to know about the headquarters, owners, investors, board of directors, warrant canaries/transparency reports, and auditing processes (if any) of a VPN service.
This way, users can determine whether is Unlocator legal or not? Luckily, they do provide information about their company, which is a registered trademark by Linkword ApS.
The provider itself is located in the city of Copenhagen. I have sent an email to Unlocator, asking them INVASIVE questions, similar to other providers in my transparency guide.
Unlocator actually does quite well in offering customers support. They provide a multitude of options like email, live chat, and knowledgebase page.
For email, I received a response within 2 3 hours of sending a query. The live chat was not available after 12 am, but I did get a quick response as soon as it was available.
The knowledgebase has quite a lot of information concerning problems surrounding the client along with setup guides.You even have 7 different sections for support: Getting Started, Unlocator VPN, Smart DNS, Your Account, API, and Tips & Tricks!
Do I Recommend Unlocator?
Umm, HELL NO. Nine Eyes Jurisdiction, connectivity issues, slow speeds, lack of servers availability, no browser extensions, and the list goes on.
There are way too many negatives to consider Unlocator a safe choice, be it for streaming or receiving anonymity online. The only positives are a proactive support team and plenty of choices available for pricing, but that is just about it. Unlocator is not reliable but as always we recommend the alternative to our users so here is the comparison of top VPN service providers that definitely help you all.
I totally agree they certainly took my money for nothing in return,the vpn just dosent work
Their hybrid DNS/VPN is why I signed up with the provider but it doesn’t work for netflix or any other streaming site including YouTube TV. Waste of time and money.