What is NordVPN's SmartPlay - An In-Depth Feature Review

What is NordVPN’s SmartPlay – An In-Depth Look

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NordVPN has remained one of the best VPN providers for several years, thanks to the variety of services that users appreciate, and today still features as one of our best VPNs to use. NordVPN has a great number of features that differentiate it as a brand, but SmartPlay is one that puts NordVPN head and shoulders above the rest. What is SmartPlay? How does SmartPlay work? And is SmartPlay difficult to set up?

All these questions and more can be answered right here. First and foremost, what is SmartPlay? SmartPlay is a feature that is used when VPN users want to unblock and access the geo-restricted content on streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

It’s a little more complex than that, and many will want to dig deep into how it works from a technical standpoint, and how the feature itself functions. So, if you’re wondering about what exactly NordVPN’s SmartPlay is, you’ve come to the right place. This article provides an in-depth look at the feature and answers other questions that you may have.

What is NordVPN’s SmartPlay?

SmartPlay is one of NordVPN’s features that secures and simplifies the process of accessing all types of content online. This feature is incorporated into its apps so that you don’t need any setup to get started. So, whether you are a VPN expert or a newbie trying to find your way through cyberspace, you need to connect to a suitable VPN server. This connection provides the benefits of Smart DNS and VPN encryption.

With SmartPlay, NordVPN changes DNS servers, spoofs your IP address, and encrypts your data transmission. This way, you can use your devices, such as your phone, tablet, or laptop, to enjoy tons of content on popular streaming sites without compromising your privacy and security.

Unlike other features that need to be configured or activated, the great thing about SmartPlay is that it works automatically when you connect to a NordVPN server.

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What is SmartDNS?

SmartDNS is an innovative NordVPN feature that allows you to bypass geo-restrictions to stream content that would otherwise have been inaccessible on your Smart TV. This technology is older than SmartPlay and has been used to unblock streaming sites for several years.

You would have to whitelist your actual IP address to use NordVPN’s SmartDNS. After that, you’ll need to activate it from your NordVPN account dashboard. However, although SmartDNS provides access to streaming platforms, it doesn’t have the right security features to keep you safe. Also, SmartDNS may not work with some streaming platforms you want to access.

When you visit a supported streaming platform, SmartDNS will act as a proxy for your connection to the site and access the content without exposing your location.

As practical as it is, one major drawback with SmartDNS is the need to keep your IP address updated on file with NordVPN every time you want to switch locations or networks. 

How Does NordVPN SmartPlay Work?

NordVPN is committed to improving users’ experience every step of the way, and that’s one of the main reasons it came up with SmartPlay technology. SmartPlay was developed around the idea of DNS rerouting and using an extra pool of IP addresses to boost the connection when users try to visit specific platforms. Before now, SmartDNS was a tool used on its own to access media online. Here is how it works:

  • NordVPN purchases services that offer pools of IP addresses. This includes IPs purchased from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and IP addresses of people that voluntarily share their bandwidth with specific services for rewards.
  • The VPN then uses these IPs to form a connection without transmitting your regular browsing data.
  • No matter what users do on the internet, the owners of the IP addresses won’t be able to access any personalized user data.

As we mentioned earlier, while you have to activate SmartDNS servers manually, SmartPlay is fully automatic. Furthermore, it is fully implemented and works through the VPN on all NordVPN apps. So, regardless of what platform you want to use NordVPN on, you get the right tools to bypass censorship automatically.

As straightforward as this process is, it is an effective way to bypass strict geo-restrictions and censorship from any part of the world. So don’t just take our word for it; check it out yourself!

Why Should You Use NordVPN with SmartPlay?

Are you still thinking twice about using NordVPN’s SmartPlay on your device? Well, there are several reasons why it is highly recommended. Some of these include:

Unrestricted Access

These days, most streaming platforms implement some geo-restriction to ensure that only users in a part of the world can access their libraries. This means that its servers check visitors’ IPs and block those in unauthorized locations. So, for example, when you try to stream titles exclusive to Netflix US from other countries, you’ll get an error message.

However, with NordVPN’s SmartPlay, you can conveniently watch all your favorite movies and TV shows from anywhere. This way, you don’t get to miss out on interesting content because you’re abroad.

Private and Secure Streaming

If you love the idea of browsing anonymously without exposing yourself to threats, SmartPlay is for you. NordVPN uses next-gen encryption and other security features to ensure that your real identity is concealed and your device isn’t vulnerable. Additionally, you get to enjoy Smart DNS benefits without any additional setup.

Automatic Service

VPN users often get discouraged from using particular services or features because of long or complicated setup processes. Thankfully, that’s not the case with SmartPlay. NordVPN automatically implements the service on all its servers. So you don’t need to search for specific servers or go through another setup process.

SmartPlay is an automatic feature, and it is available on all versions of NordVPN apps. To use the feature, you need to choose a server in a location you want to access, and the service does the rest. Easy right?

Start using SmartPlay today with NordVPN

How To Use SmartPlay on NordVPN

As we’ve already mentioned, NordVPN SmartPlay is an automatic feature. However, it would be best to connect to a server optimized for streaming for the best results. All it takes is three simple steps:

1. Launch the NordVPN app on your device.

2. Select the ‘Quick Connect’ option.

3. Choose a streaming-friendly server in a location you’re interested in.


SmartPlay has been around for quite some time now, but many NordVPN subscribers have no idea how it works or that it even exists. One main reason for this is that SmartPlay works automatically in the background.

To find out more about NordVPN and what it’s all about, take a look at our full review on NordVPN.

Frequently Asked Questions About NordVPN SmartPlay

What is SmartPlay?

SmartPlay is NordVPN’s feature that allows users to access geo-restricted content quickly and easily. It’s almost completely automated and functions within the background whenever you’re using NordVPN.

Is NordVPN SmartPlay available on Android?

Yes, SmartPlay is available on NordVPN’s Android app. You don’t need to download an additional program because the feature is automatically activated on all NordVPN’s servers.

Is it safe to use Smart DNS?

Yes, it is entirely safe to use NordVPN’s Smart DNS technology. However, it is essential to remember that this feature isn’t designed to mask your IP address or encrypt your data transmission. This means it can’t avoid IP blocks or protect you from every threat online. This is why we strongly recommend SmartPlay. It is a tool that combines the security and encryption of a VPN with SmartDNS.

Does SmartPlay slow down your internet connection?

No, SmartPlay won’t slow down your connection speeds. However, there are rare situations where you might suffer lags or buffers because of a new DNS location. While using other VPNs with Smart DNS may affect your connection speed, that’s not the case with NordVPN’s SmartPlay.

Thanks to its extensive server coverage, lightning-fast NordLynx protocol, and other state-of-the-art technology, you’ll experience the fastest browsing experience with NordVPN SmartPlay.

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