If you are not residing in the USA, you will not be able to access sites like Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and etc. While there are plenty of VPN services that you can use, most of them require you to pay a fee to enjoy a good connection. Tunlr is a useful service that you can use to access Hulu, Netflix and many more sites from outside of USA, for free.
Most US-based sites block entry based on IP address. If you are accessing the site from a non-US IP, you will not be given access. Tunlr is a DNS unblocking service that manipulate your DNS and tricks the receiver into thinking that you are located in USA.
Since Tunlr is just a DNS resolving service, all you need to do is to point your DNS to Tunlr server and you are done. There are no software to download and install.
In Linux (Ubuntu), you just have to configure the /etc/resolv.conf file to point to Tunlr’s server:
Comment out all the entries by inserting a hash (#) in front of each line. Then at the end, insert the following lines:
Save and exit the file. It is not required to restart the computer. Simple open the browser and start surfing the sites (if it is not working, try deleting your cookies and session). Alternatively, you can visit the Tunlr Status site to see if the newly setted DNS is working.
For Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android and all other devices, check out the Get Started guide for configuration detail.
This is the screen I see before using Tunlr:
and this is what I see after activating Tunlr:
Tips on using Tunlr
1. Do not set your DNS permanently to Tunlr
Tunlr is not a premium service and it doesn’t come with a full scale infrastructure. It is not a good idea to put a strain on Tunlr’s infrastructure for day to day web surfing. Switch to Tunlr’s DNS only when you want to access the restricted sites.
2. Use Tunlr on a virtual machine rather than your working machine
If you are concerned about the security of a potentially unknown DNS server, you can use Tunlr in a virtual machine instead. Some of the benefits highlighted by Tunlr include:
- You’re not using potentially unsafe DNS servers for your main work which increases your privacy and security
- Your provider’s DNS will answer DNS queries a lot faster (since geographically closer) than Tunlr
- Your main work remains unaffected in the event of a Tunlr service outage
3. Use a DNS changer software to quickly switch your DNS
If you are a Windows user, you can use software such as DNS Jumper to quickly switch your DNS. This will save you time and effort to change the DNS manually.
There are tons of ways to access restricted sites from outside of USA and Tunlr is just one of the way that works well for almost every platform. It is free and doesn’t require you to subscribe to any VPN service. The best of all, it works really well without compromising the loading speed. The only drawback is that you have to manually change the DNS setting everytime, but that can also be overcome with additional software or scripts.
Try out Tunlr and let us know if it is good enough for you. Enjoy!