UnoTelly Review: View TV from all around the world

Frustrated by geolocated viewing restrictions? Want to watch iPlayer on holiday, or The Daily Show from the UK? UnoTelly can help.

The internet may be jam packed with video but TV companies are wont to restrict access programmes and even clips in order to preserve broadcast rights.

While this protects their bottom line it is very frustrating not to be able to watch a comedy clip because you don’t live in the USA or to be blocked from watching Eastenders because iPlayer is unavailable where you are on holiday.

Not just for TV

UnoTelly is one of several solutions to this problem and more importantly it is one that can work with many different devices, from PC and Mac to Smart TV and tablet alike.

There are a few services like this around and most are some form of web proxy – a server located in overseas that you pipe your internet connection through, thus making it seem like you are browsing from that country – or Virtual Private Network (VPN) which, again, makes you temporarily part of a network in another territory, fooling geolocation software.

UnoTelly works slightly differently – it replaces the DNS entry on your network connection. DNS (Domain Name Resolution) is the service that translates a server’s web address (such as www.smarttvradar.com) to the numerical IP address (eg 85.233.160.70) which identifies it on the internet. By pointing your network connection to UnoTelly’s DNS server it will spot when you are trying to access one of the TV sites it covers and just re-route your internet traffic for that site alone.

Setup is simple on some devices and complicated on others. Certainly it is trickier than what is arguably the market leader in VPN apps, Tunnelbear but although that app has a very simple one-click interface, it only works on a handful of platforms. UnoTelly doesn’t require its own software to work, you just change a setting on your computer or other device and you are away.

Instructions are provided for a host of devices from Windows XP laptop to Smart TV, but the beauty of UnoTelly’s solution is that a great many more devices will probably work with it – basically if it allows you to fiddle with your network settings then you’re in with a very good chance of success. This should also have a speed advantage over a VPN although we can say in practice we didn’t see much difference. Your experience may vary .

Pointed in the right direction

Once you are up and running, using UnoTelly is just a matter of visiting the site or service you want to use. If it is included in your UnoTelly package (more about that in a moment) then it will be made to think you are in the right country to use it and should just work.

Supported services are broken up into different packages. The basic package costs around £3 per month, for which you get 48 channels and sites including iPlayer access from abroad, Netflix and US sites like Hulu Plus. For about £5 per month you can get a ‘gold’ membership with access to things like Sky Go and US cable network AMC. It is worth noting that you may still need subscriptions to these services if they don’t offer content for free, so do factor that in.

Correction: Both packages now contain the same channels. The Gold package adds a VPN option for situations where DNS changes are unworkable or greater flexibility is needed.

UnoTelly is useful and fairly simple to set up but does have the slight disadvantage that only certain sites and services are offered as opposed to the more open approach offered by the likes of Tunnelbear. What it lacks in choice however, it more than make up for in flexibility in terms of devices. If you want to hook your smart TV up to watch some US content, or can’t bear to miss Coronation Street when on holiday in the Maldives, this is the service for you.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

About author
Stuart Houghton has been writing about technology for over a decade and messing about with it since he was old enough to press buttons. Stu is the former UK Editor of Kotaku.com and specialises in tech writing for several UK publications. He is also part of the IT team for a major UK charity.

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