Blockless Review 2019: VPN and Smart DNS for Free
Blockless is a Canadian provider that started as a SmartDNS service, but has shifted its focus more towards being a VPN.
One of the first things I noticed was Blockless tagline: ‘You deserve privacy, safety, and freedom on the Web.’
It shows that the service has two main objectives: secure netizens from online threats and enhance their browsing experience.
But does it have the tools necessary to achieve these goals? And most importantly, is it your best bet against online threats.
This Blockless review will answer both of these questions. Check out our best VPN reviews to draw comparisons.
- Stylish Apps and Software
- Available for Free
- Server located in 14 Countries
- Elegant and easy to use apps
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 7 Day Free Trial
- Support Torrenting
- Unblocks Hulu and BBC iPlayer
- Compatible on Multiple Devices
- Limited Server Spread
- Sluggish Customer Support
- Needs to define Logging Policy
- Does not work with Netflix
Strong Points of Blockless VPN
Blockless like any other VPN, has some strengths and weakness. We will first start with its strongpoints.
However, I didn’t see any clause explaining if the provider keeps any activity logs or not while conducting Blockless review.
This is a worrying sight for any VPN user. A VPN service that holds logs of user’s internet activities is not a safe provider.
On a positive note, there is tons of information on how your personal information is handled.
Blockless will not share your data with anyone without your consent.
They log information related to connection errors, which is used to improve the service quality.
Blockless free version offers limited features but delivers excellent performance. You can only use one region in the free version and use your account only on one device.
I tested this version during this Blockless review and found its performance impressive. In fact, Blockless is one the best free VPNs I have used.
You also get its ad block feature in the free version on all its apps.
Along with a limited free version, there is also a 7-day free trial on offer. You can extend the Blockless free trial period to ten days by if liking their Facebook page.
I tried the free trial and tested different features of the service. It is safe to say that the provider goes the extra mile to provide quality service to its consumers.
The free trial has all the features that you would get in the paid versions. You get the full range of servers, their SmartDNS feature, and the ad blocker to prevent annoying ads.
To use the free trial, you don’t have to provide any credit card details. Just provide an email address and select a password and your Blockless login credentials will be ready.
Blockless Smart DNS
In just a matter of years, the Blockless DNS service transformed into a full-fledge online privacy solutions.
However, it still offers a SmartDNS feature that is perfect for unblocking different websites. SmartDNS does not provide much online anonymity but if you wish to unblock some online streaming service, it is a good option.
Blockless SmartDNS settings for different devices can accessed from its support center.
DNS and WebRTC Leak Test
Doman Name Request (DNS) and WebRTC can potentially leak your location and expose your identity on the online world.
Hence, I had to conduct a small DNS and WebRTC leak test in this Blockless review.
Here are the results: DNS or WebRTC does not leak while this VPN is connected.
Browserleaks.com shows similar results.
Sharing in caring.
That’s the mantra of torrenters who download gigabytes worth of content by sharing it among each.
Since they share this content in small bits, the process becomes all the more convenient.
Netizens can stop and start torrents whenever they please. However, they require “peers” seeding the same file for the torrents to download.
And that’s where the problem starts.
Peers can see your IP address while you share data with them. This puts your online privacy in jeopardy.
VPN service can get you out this hassle.
They encrypt your connection and mask your IP address and make you invisible on the web.
Blockless has preconfigured servers for torrenting. These servers are fast and they mitigate any inherent privacy risks that come with torrenting.
Drawbacks of Blockless VPN
Now that you know about Blockless’ strength. It’s time to discuss some areas in which it needs improvement.
Protocols and Encryption
One of the basic functionalities of a VPN is to encrypt your internet traffic and tunnel them through secure protocols. Blockless doesn’t publically state the protocols and encryption algorithms it uses.
For this Blockless review, I inquired their customer support regarding the protocols and encryption.
Apparently, Blockless uses PPTP connection, which is arguably the worst tunneling protocol.
It provides no significant encryption and is vulnerable to basic hacking techniques.
So is Blockless safe when it comes to tunneling protocols?
Netizens can compromise on lots of things. Speed is not one of them.
With technology opening new doors for mankind, the world has become fast. No one wants to be left behind.
Hence, this arguably the most important part of the review.
Let’s see how Blockless performs.
Speed without the VPN:
After connecting the VPN:
As you can observe, there was quite a significant drop of speed when I connected Blockless VPN. This doesn’t bode well for the overall appeal of the VPN.
Numerous sers are complaining that the SmartDNS service is no longer working for Netflix.
Different users pointed out on multiple forms that Netflix is showing the following message when you access it using Blockless: “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.”
Blockless offers a guide to help you resolve Netflix related issues on Apple TV. In-fact you can secure yourself by using an Apple TV VPN. However, there doesn’t seem to a permanent fix to this problem.
In my most recent test, I encountered a similar problem. The service was unable to open Netflix US.
With the Blockless Netflix service not working, the provider cannot boast about its unblocking capability.
However, I was able to access Hulu and BBC iPlayer through this service. Still, I would recommend the readers to utilize Blockless’ free trial to check which services are accessible on the VPN.
You can never be too sure with streaming providers constantly upgrading their anti-VPN firewalls.
Limited Server Options
Blockless offers servers in major locations around the world. It currently offers servers in 14 countries around the world. These include United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and few European regions.
Sadly, I couldn’t find the exact count of servers and Blockless doesn’t display this information anywhere on its website.
You can check the status of servers in each of these regions from their official website. I found this feature while conducting this Blockless VPN review, as you can check which servers working and which are down.
Likewise, you get the option of speed optimized or torrent optimized server options in Blockless apps.
However, the server list is not illustrious. When we consider how much Blockless costs, more server options should be available to users.
Other competitors in the industry provide hundreds and thousands of servers for much less prices. This is one area of improvement that Blockless should look into.
Slow Customer Support
Customer support is an integral part of any premium VPN service. Blockless provides customer support in the form of emails and knowledge base.
However, customer support is not the strongest attribute of Blockless.
For starters, the knowledge base contains articles and FAQs on different topics, which are sufficient to resolve minor issues of connectivity and installation.
However, the exclusion of 24-hour live chat feature and their response time via email is a cause of concern.
I tested their live chat feature, but didn’t get any response on numerous attempts. It is the same case with their email system. Annoyingly, I received different advertising emails, but the response to the query arrived after considerable time.
Blockless vs. Unblock US
On paper, both the services are very similar and offer same kind of features. Both, Blockless and Unblock-US are based in Canada. Both offer SmartDNS and VPN service and provide a 7-day free trial of the service.
Each software is compatible on popular platforms such as Windows, Android, iOS and Android.
However, in Blockless vs. Unblock US, performance is often the differentiating factor. I tested both the services and Blockless tend provide more stable performance as compared to Unblock US.
However, Blockless has a higher price than Unblock US. Therefore, it’s a matter of preference for any user looking to use either service.
Blockless App and Software
One of the best aspects of Blockless was its high compatibility. You can download exclusive Blockless app and software on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
In addition, Blockless also offers an extension for Google Chrome.
Of course, I could not write this Blockless VPN without properly testing its Windows software.
The Windows client of Blockless is elegant and has an easy user interface. It brings a fresh look to VPN software and has all the options neatly placed in the right location.
From the left panel, you can choose the server you want to connect and if you wish to enable ad blocker. The Blockless setup for Windows client can be downloaded free from its official website after you have created an account.
What’s more, the client allows good bit of customization. When you click downwards arrow on right of your email, you can head towards the ‘preferences’ section.
Here, you can enable and disable the Blockless DNS feature. Location sync can also toggled in this section.
My experience with this Blockless Windows client was extremely enjoyable. It is convenient, sophisticated and yet doesn’t take a toll on your processor.
To enhance its appeal among a diverse group of users, Blockless has developed a custom app for MacOS.
Through this app, Mac users can unblock hundreds of geo-restricted websites and block thousands of annoying advertisements.
Blockless Mac app is a close twin of its Windows client. It sports familiar outlook and have somewhat similar features.
The Blockless Android app is absolutely gorgeous. Not just that, it works smoothly and lets you connect with a single tap.
Although the provider boasts a “bank level encryption”, it does not mention the encryption level. Regardless, this app should provide some security to Android users on Public WiFi.
Blockless app for iOS is sleek and well built. It does not slow down your device and is lightweight.
You can download it from iTunes and either use the free version or subscribe to one of the premium options.
The ad-blocker is a nifty tool to have on your iPad or iPhone. It keeps unwanted advertisements away from your device and shields you from online threats.
Proxy extensions are no replacement for dedicated VPN clients. Still, they are nifty in their own right.
Blockless proxy extension for Chrome is the answer for anyone seeking a quick and easy to use geo-dodging tool.
It is a lightweight tool I found to be quite useful in this Blockless review.
Pricing Packages of Blockless
Of course, this Blockless VPN review would be incomplete without a quick analysis of its pricing plan.
Blockless’s annual plan costs $39.95/year or $3.22/month. It offers three basic packages like all other VPN services.
You can select a monthly plan, semiannual plan, or an annual plan. The longer the duration of the plan, more discounts you can avail.
Annual plan offers a ridiculous 67% discount. Meanwhile, the monthly and semi-annual plans are on the higher side.
The message is clear. If you seek good value for your money, come in for the long haul.
Blockless accepts payments through credit card or PayPal. Both payment methods are widely used around the world. It provides ease to any user looking to subscribe to their service.
However, the inclusion of an anonymous payment method, such as Bitcoin or Gift Cards would enhance the service, since it ponders highly on user anonymity.
While the free trial is enough to test the performance of this service, Blockless gives added assurance to subscribers with its 7-day refund policy.
How to cancel Blockless?
There two ways to cancel Blockless account. The first is by logging in to Blockless and navigating to your dashboard. Then click on ‘Manage Subscription’ and select ‘Cancel Subscription’ located under your active membership plan.
The second method for canceling your Blockless account is through the app. If you have Blockless app installed in your device, navigate to ‘Manage Subscription’ from the software. This will take you to the Subscription Management page, where you can select cancel subscription or stop payments to cancel Blockless.
Alternatives to Blockless VPN
Blockless is exceptional in some areas but lacks in other. In particular, it does not possess high-end security features that can shield one against sophisticated cyber-attacks.
Here are reviews of some VPNs that are better when it comes to online security.
Blockless Twitter Review
On twitter, a subscriber of Blockless has issues with the VPN’s speed.
Which VPN do you use? I use Blockless but the speed is pretty poor once it’s secured and the picture coming back is not good.
— DK (@Ukurrie) December 10, 2017
Interestingly, a tweet from July mentions this VPN working for Netflix. Since the VPN failed to unlock the site in my tests, it can be assumed that Netflix has upgraded its firewall since then.
I played on Aether just fine without one 🙂 Actually, FFXIV didn't play nice with the VPN I used for Netflix (blockless) at all! Better without a VPN ^^
— Merry (@MerryMatsuri) July 25, 2018
Blockless Reddit Review
Meanwhile, redditors are curious what this VPN service has to offer.
Another comment from reddit mentions how Blockless stopped working two years ago. Of course, VPNs go through maintenance time to time. This is nothing out of the ordinary.
To finish this Blockless review, I can say that it is a neat and stylish service, which offers impressive features. The apps, software, and website are well designed and any new user can quickly navigate to the desired option.
The 7-day free trial is a delight as you get all the features of a premium package and you can test the service on multiple devices.
However, the short-term pricing plans are slightly on the higher side as compared to other services in the industry.
I also got a vibe that Blockless is facing a slight identity crisis as the provider was initially a SmartDNS service, but now markets it as a VPN provider.
This shift in branding might be a positive thing, but with the likes of other established VPN services, Blockless will quickly have to improve its features.
To name a few, it should add server locations, quicken its customer support and add efficient protocols.