After a while, we managed to find yet another VPN service provider whose name is a play on words, which you know we’re suckers for, and that provider’s called Unlocator.
The name’s meaning hints at ‘unlocating’ someone (hint, their users) and by that (hopefully) they mean hiding their location. And that’s one good reason why VPNs were created in the first place, to anonymize personal details (such as location).
However, what truly makes this service special is that it’s a hybrid service that combines the privacy-protection abilities of a VPN with the powerful unlocking capabilities of the Smart DNS technology so that you can enjoy geo-restricted contents while keeping your privacy in pristine condition. How does that sound?
First thing’s first, we need to input some information about the company that made Unlocator possible and is still working on this project. According to the official website, Unlocator is a registered trademark by Linkwork ApS. The latter is a Danish company located in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The company has extended and incorporates various teams all around the world and believes that diversity is key to understand the customers’ needs and delivering a product that’s as good as it can be.
14 Eyes Alliance
While Copenhagen is indeed a beautiful city, Denmark is, unfortunately, a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance.
What does that mean and how can it affect you?
The 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliance is a group of countries that collaborate in order to obtain and share mass surveillance data. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, Denmark is a part of this Alliance and Unlocator is located in Denmark.
Despite the fact that Denmark implemented the GDPR privacy standards and still has one of the freest jurisdiction as of yet, the country has a history of signing and passing laws for filtering Internet access. Several websites that were facilitating digital piracy and drug marketing, as well as ones that were promoting child pornography, were already censored.
The fact that Denmark is a member of the 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliance means that it’s legally obligated to share surveillance data with other member countries, should the need arise.
We’re not going to get all boring with unnecessary details, but we’ll highlight a few events from Denmark’s history, ones that are closely tied with its free Internet usage. You can find the complete article here.
18 October 2005:
- TDC A/S, Denmark’s biggest ISP (Internet Service Provider), in cooperation with the state police and the “Save the Children” charity organization, have launched a child pornography DNS-based filter;
- TDC A/S have blocked access to the popular MP3 download website “AllOfMP3.com” by using DNS filtering;
- A legal sex site, “Bizar.dk,” was wrongly filtered, which gave birth to a series of discussions regarding the accuracy and overall reliability of said filter;
- Reportedly, 98% of the Danish Internet users have been restricted by the imposed filters;
4 February 2008:
- Danish ISP Tele2 was given a court order to restrict Danish Internet users from accessing the (in)famous file-sharing website “thepiratebay.org”;
23 December 2008:
- WikiLeaks has released a list of 3863 websites that were filtered by Denmark;
- Danish ISPs have blocked a diet pills-selling website called “24hdiet.com” as a result of a new law regarding blocking foreign websites that were selling drugs;
- Google removed advertisements from the Viagogo website after an investigation revealed that the website broke Danish laws by overcharging and “manipulating” tickets before sending them to the buyer;
- Compared to other VPN service providers, in case of changes brought to the Terms of Service documentation, Unlocator claims they’ll notify you if any changes occur;
- You can use their services only if you’re at least 18 years old;
- You can only use their services only if you’re a registered user on their website;
- If you want to become a registered user on their website, you must provide them with all the information they require, which may include your full name, birth date, as well as a valid email address and credit card number;
- Should the information provided by you during your registration change, you must promptly update it on the website;
- You must not disclose your credentials to anyone else (aka sharing your account is forbidden);
- You must notify them as promptly as possible if you suspect that someone else is in possession of your account credentials;
- You may not engage in any form of unsolicited communication (spam) or transmit illegal content;
- You may not violate any intellectual property rights such as uploading, downloading, distribution, posting or reproducing any copyrighted content without getting the owner’s permission beforehand;
- You may not use the service to commit fraud;
- You may not attempt to restrict others from using the service;
- You may not engage in anything related to hacking, including but not limited to harming websites, connecting to websites or devices without authorization, DoS-ing (Denial of Service) and DDoS-ing (Distributed Denial of Service);
- You may not transmit any harmful content including hate speech, pornography, extremism, offensive materials and the such;
- You may not damage Unlocator’s reputation through the usage of their service;
- You may not perform reverse engineering on the Unlocator service;
It’s time to see Unlocator’s standing regarding privacy and how your data is kept safe from prying eyes if you choose this VPN as your trusted ally. We’re going to point out the essentials, as before, so don’t worry, it won’t be a long ride (hopefully).
Data they collect when you visit the website:
- Information about you and your usage of the website;
Data they collect when you purchase DNS and VPN plans:
- Email: unique account identifier – they can send you marketing messages if you consent – contacting support will let them use your email to look up your account info and reportedly provide you with high-quality customer support;
- Name: optional;
- Address: if you purchase a subscription, your address will be used to create a VAT-compliant invoice;
- Credit Card information: needed when you make a purchase – the full card information is not accessible to Unlocator;
- IP address: will be recorded when you sign up and while you’re using the Unlocator website and API – used for authentication, support and to prevent abuse;
- Usage logs: a log is kept at a personal identifiable level – the log is automatically purged every 24 hours – no log backups are kept – this log’s purpose is to prevent abuse;
- Cookies: are used to personalize your Unlocator experience;
Data they collect when you use the trial plan:
- Email: needed for authentication;
- IP address: needed for authentication;
After the trial ends, if you won’t convert to a paid subscription, the information listed above will be kept in order to avoid abuse of their free trial system.
Data they collect when you subscribe to their newsletter:
- Email address;
- IP address;
While it’s totally understandable why they’d need your name and email address, we couldn’t justify why they’d collect your IP address just to send you their newsletter. Well, that’s one more reason not to subscribe, I guess.
Data they collect when you contact them:
- Other personal data about you (ambiguous, don’t you think?);
A quick introduction to Unlocator
As mentioned at the beginning of this review, what makes Unlocator special is that it really can help you “unlocate” and access services that are otherwise not available to you. Sure, there are other services that can do that just as well, but usually, it’s a hit and miss, since they heavily advertise about these abilities on their platforms and when you get to try them out, well, they don’t work.
Unlocator’s secret to unlocking all these geo-restricted contents is that they boast a Smart DNS service, which simply uses DNS to grant you access to the various services that would otherwise be unavailable to you.
Creating an account
Creating an account can be accomplished by taking the following steps:
- Navigate to the landing page;
- Hit the 1. or 2. button as you can see in the screenshots;
- Enter your email and a password in the appropriate fields;
- Tick the agreement checkbox and, optionally, the product news and offers one;
- Hit the “Create Account” button;
If you performed the actions in the order mentioned above, you should now have an account. Keep in mind that Unlocator starts with a free trial.
After you successfully register for an account, you can access the website’s dashboard by simply logging in.
The dashboard has three main sections, “Your Account,” “Smart DNS” and “VPN,” each of which can be used to control various aspects of the service.
From the main section of the dashboard, you can see your subscription’s status, view the billing plan and see how much time you’ve got left on your current subscription.
More so, you can add a subscription, update your IP address for the DNS service and see if the DNS is configured yet for your device.
Downloading the app on your computer
In order to download the Unlocator app on your Windows computer, you can do the following:
- Navigate to the website’s landing page;
- Open the “Apps” menu;
- Select “Windows” from the dropdown menu;
- Hit the large “Download for Windows” button on your screen;
The download should’ve started and your installer should be on your computer in no time. You can also download Unlocator for Amazon, Android, iOS and Mac devices or you can choose to set it up manually, as well.
Checking for malware
If it’s not a must for you, then it should be. Remember to perform check-ups for everything that comes in contact with your computer, no matter how trustworthy the source might be.
We’re using VirusTotal to achieve this, and we’re nothing short of pleased: they have several antivirus engines and their accuracy is as close to 100% as it can be.
We’ve found nothing wrong with the installer, and you can see our results here.
Installing the application
Deploying the app on your Windows computer is a walk in the park, you can’t possibly go wrong if you follow these steps:
- Launch the Unlocator installer;
- Choose a destination path on your computer;
- Choose if desktop or Quick Launch shortcuts should be created;
- Hit the “Install” button
And that’s it, you’re all set! No TAP adapter installation, no nothing, everything else gets automatically sorted out for you.
Running it on your PC
Use either of the shortcuts that the installer created or look for the executable in the path you chose and launch it from there. Naturally, the first screen consists of credential boxes that you must fill with valid information so that you can access the app.
However, the main screen can also be used to recover a lost password or to create a new account in case you haven’t got one already. Once you’ve typed the credentials, hit “Log in” and you should be in.
Unlocator boasts a minimalistic interface, but not in a bad way. The white-blue combination that was used on the app’s design has a somewhat calming effect and the pulsating waves around the center power button are further adding to it.
The main window consists of a server selection menu, the large power button that connects/disconnects you to/from the server of your choice and a gear-shaped button that lets you access the app’s settings. The servers can be marked with a star if you want to access them quicker in the “Favourites” section.
Messing with the settings
The Settings section is split into two sub-sections, the “App” one and the “Account” one. Some of you will be disappointed by the lack of customization possibilities, since you can only set the app to start with Windows, connect on start automatically, auto-check for updates, enable or disable the kill switch and Unlocator Shield features and choose between TCP and UDP protocols, since the app apparently only supports OpenVPN.
The “Account” section simply lets you view the email you used to register for the app and the subscription type. You can also sign out of your account from this section, in case you want to use another account.
Smart DNS service
The Smart DNS service can be used directly from the website. All you have to do is log into your account, access the dashboard, navigate to the Smart DNS section and update your IP in the list. After doing so, you need to perform a manual configuration and, depending on the device you’re on, the steps are wildly different. Long story short, you should change your DNS to their given ones. See this guide for clarification.
However, if you’ve purchased the full package (VPN + Smart DNS) subscription, you can simply fire up the VPN app and connect to any of the Unlocator servers, which should give you access to the Smart DNS service as well, through the Unlocator Hybrid service.
The list of devices that support Smart DNS and that you can configure this service on is a wide one, but we’ve covered all the devices below.
Amazon Fire TV
NOW TV Box
Win Phone 8
The best part is that all these devices have separate how-to guides on the official website that you can access from here.
Content it unlocks
You can use the Smart DNS and Unlocator Hybrid to unlock the channels listed below. However, if you use the Unlocator VPN, a wider range of contents can be unlocked, including but not limited to websites and streaming services.
Amazon Instant Video Germany
Amazon Instant Video UK
Amazon Prime Video
Apple TV Channels
CBS Sports Radio
Discovery Channel Canada
Fox Soccer 2Go
Fox Soccer Match Pass
FOX Sports Go
IFC Watch Now
Magine TV Germany
NBA League Pass
NBC Sports Live Extra
NCAA March Madness
NFL Game Pass
South Park Studios
Tennis Channel Everywhere
UKTV Play SVG
Virgin One Ireland
Although Netflix (and its US version) isn’t in the list, we’ve tested it and it works. More so, if there’s something that you’re interested in and can’t find it on the list, you should try unlocking it with the VPN and if it still doesn’t work, make a request on Unlocator’s website.
There are a bunch of ISPs that don’t support Unlocator for two reasons: either they’re intercepting DNS requests and forces them through their own DNS servers (in which case you can’t use custom DNS), or they’re routing traffic through a transparent proxy.
Cablecolor S.A (European sites will work with our service)
PT Telkom (transparent proxy)
Vodafone (you can use Unlocator if you have a static IP)
StarHub Cable Vision
Telkom SA Limited
Emirates Telecommunications Corporation
Although not officially available on their website, we’ve extracted the list of servers you can use directly from the application. Note that it might not reflect the real amount of servers, server locations or countries that Unlocator has to offer.
Australia – Melbourne
Australia – Sydney
Austria – Vienna
Belgium – Brussels
Brazil – Sao Paulo
Bulgaria – Sofia
Canada – Montreal
Czech Republic – Prague
Denmark – Copenhagen
Egypt – Cairo
Finland – Helsinki
France – Paris
Germany – Berlin
Greece – Athens
Hong Kong S.A.R. – Hong Kong
India – Indore
Italy – Milan
Japan – Tokyo
Latvia – Riga
Mexico – Querétaro 1
Mexico – Querétaro 2
Netherlands – Amsterdam
New Zealand – Auckland
Norway – Oslo
Poland – Warsaw
Portugal – Lisbon
Romania – Bucharest
Singapore – Singapore
Slovakia – Bratislava
South Africa – Johannesburg
Spain – Madrid
Sweden – Stockholm
Switzerland – Zurich
Thailand – Bangkok
Turkey – Istanbul
Ukraine – Kiev
United Kingdom – Maidenhead 1
United Kingdom – Maidenhead 2
United States – Chicago
United States – Los Angeles
United States – New York
As you can see, there are 41 servers in 36 countries. Not an impressive number, but the connections were at least stable.
The customer support
If you navigate to the website’s homepage and scroll down, you’ll be able to see a “Need Help?” bubble in the bottom-right corner of your screen. Clicking it will let you view a list of instant answers (hey, you might get lucky).
However, you can switch to the “Ask” section, which lets you get in touch with the team. Yeah, the bubble might fool you that there’s a live chat option. There isn’t. In the “Ask” section you can only send an email. We did and, as advertised, we received a response in a few hours.
TOR and torrenting support
We tried engaging in P2P activities – torrenting, to be more precise – while connected to the Unlocator VPN and it works without a hiccup. However, tread lightly since Unlocator doesn’t have any P2P-specialized servers and they lack a clear policy regarding torrenting. More so, remember that they reserve their right to cancel your account immediately at their sole discretion if they believe you’re misbehaving.
Same goes for TOR. Although it appears to be running without an issue, they might not be totally on board with it, so you might as well refrain from using it.
Security test results
We’ve tested Unlocator for various security flaws and the results are as follows:
IP Address – 126.96.36.199 – masked
PTR – 188.8.131.52 – masked
Country – United States – masked
City – Los Angeles – masked
Lat/Long – 34.05223, -118.24368 – masked
ASN – AS174 Cogent Communications – masked
ISP – FDCServers.net – masked
Domain Name – fdcservers.net – masked
IP type – Non-Residential (Data Center) – masked
IPv6 Geolocation – IPv6 is not available
DNS – No information available
Private (IPv4) – 10.90.0.30 – masked
Public (IPv4) – 184.108.40.206 – masked
Flash IP: No information available
Conclusion: according to IPX, Unlocator doesn’t leak IP, DNS or WebRTC requests. See our results here.
Your IP addresses: 220.127.116.11 – United States – California – masked
No forwarded IP detected. – masked
IPv6 test not reachable. (error) – masked
DNS Addresses – 2 servers:
18.104.22.168 – United States – California – Business – masked
22.214.171.124 – United States – California – masked
Browser default: IPv4 (350 ms) – masked
Fallback: Fail (timeout) – masked
IP: 126.96.36.199 – masked
Tor Exit Node: Unknown
AirVPN Exit Node: No
Country: United States (US) – masked
Region: California (CA) – masked
City: Los Angeles – masked
Metro (US-Only): 803 – masked
Time Zone: America/Los_Angeles – masked
Latitude & Longitude: 34.0549 , -118.2578 – masked
Conclusion: according to ipleak, Unlocator doesn’t leak IP, DNS and WebRTC request.
IP address – 188.8.131.52 – masked
Hostname – n/a – masked
IP Address Location:
Country – United States (US) – masked
State/Region – California (CA) – masked
City – Los Angeles – masked
ISP – FDCservers.net – masked
ASN – AS174 Cogent Communications – masked
Connection Type – Corporate – masked
Timezone – America/Los_Angeles – masked
Local Time – Fri, 14 Jun 2019 09:08:59 -0700 – masked
Latitude/Longitude – 34.0549,-118.2578 – masked
IPv6 Leak Test:
IPv6 Address – n/a – masked
WebRTC Leak Test:
Local IP address – 10.90.0.30 – masked
Public IP address – n/a – masked
Flash Leak Test:
Flash IP address – n/a – masked
DNS Leak Test:
184.108.40.206 – Internap Network Services Corporation – United States, San Jose – masked
Conclusion: according to BrowserLeaks, Unlocator doesn’t leak IP, DNS and WebRTC request.
Conclusion: after running the IPX, ipleak and BrowserLeaks tests, we’ve found out that Unlocator doesn’t leak IP, DNS and WebRTC requests and is a secure VPN.
Speed test results
We’ve handpicked a bunch of servers to perform our speed test against. The speed test results are as follows:
|Country – City||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Ping (ms)|
|USA – Chicago||23.83 Mbps||4.4 Mbps||167|
|Australia – Sydney||10.17 Mbps||0.24 Mbps||642|
|Austria – Vienna||38.07 Mbps||14.18 Mbps||161|
|Brazil – Sao Paulo||11.31 Mbps||0.34 Mbps||394|
|Hong Kong S.A.R. – Hong Kong||7.08 Mbps||0.26 Mbps||424|
|South Africa – Johannesburg||14.7 Mbps||0.32 Mbps||437|
Maybe some of you have noticed that we’ve used Ookla’s Speed Test service instead of Netlifx’s fast.com service, which is why we have several parameters above instead of the single “xx Mbps” results that you’ve grown accustomed to.
That’s mainly because while using the Unlocator VPN service, fast.com didn’t respond to our inquiries. While the website was up and accessible for us, the speed tests weren’t, and we received the same “maybe you’re not connected to the Internet” error each and every time we tried running them. On several servers, of course, don’t think that we didn’t think of that.
As you probably know by now, Unlocator comes with a free trial. The problem is that on their website, they advertise it as being an 8-day trial and, when you reach the app, you’ll find out that it’s, in fact, a 3-day trial.
However, be it as it is, an unlimited 3-day trial is still a big thing to get excited about since you can test-drive the app without having to pay for it first. Registering for a trial doesn’t require any credit card information. More so, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but in order to receive the refund, you must contact them personally from the email you used to create your account.
|Smart DNS||Smart DNS + VPN|
|Monthly||6 Months||Yearly||Monthly||6 Months||Yearly|
Unblock Streaming Services:
Remove geoblocks and stream what you want.
Where you want.
|All Smart DNS features for free|
Instant Privacy & Security:
Encrypt your internet connection and avoid tracking.
Unlimited DNS Devices:
Use as many devices you want with Smart DNS.
Connect to VPN and access all Smart DNS channels.
Unlocator is a VPN service that enables you to secure your connection and keep your privacy at optimal levels. It’s based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Denmark is a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance, so if the need arises, your data might be shared with other member countries at their demand.
They have a Smart DNS service that lets you access geo-restricted content. If you’re using the VPN, the Smart DNS service needs no additional configuration, since it’s already embedded in the VPN service.
Unlocator has a user-friendly, minimalistic interface and comes with a kill switch. The Windows VPN app only supports OpenVPN (TCP and UDP).
Our security tests couldn’t pick up any IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks. Speed-wise, the test results weren’t exactly jaw-dropping, as they yielded modest speed values for various servers that we picked.
Unlocator comes with an 8-day trial that’s actually a 3-day trial if you take a closer look in the app and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Do we recommend it? No. Although if you don’t care much about privacy and just want to use it to watch Netflix or Hulu, or access some website that’s not available in your country, you could give it a go.
+ Unlocks a wide variety of services; (5)
+ Security is good; (5)
+ 3-day trial; (4)
– Denmark is a member of 14 Eyes Alliance; (0)
– They keep a 24h log that overwrites itself; (0)
– They collect a lot of data from you (they log your IP when you subscribe to their Newsletter); (0)
– Their 8-day trial is actually a 3-day trial; (2)
– Slow speeds; (1)
– Few servers; (1)
Unlocator receives a 2/5 rating.