Roku and Unblock-US issues - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 2013-07-16, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2
Roku and Unblock-US issues

Hey everyone,

I'm having issues with my Roku device and Unblock-US service.

So I have a US Roku device along with an US account attached to the device but whenever I set the Unblock-US DNS primary and secondary servers on my router, the roku is unable to connect to the wireless network.

The funny thing is that everything was working perfectly for a short period of time but then one night it completely stopped working. Can't access Netflix or any other channel on the device.

I thought the Unblock-US service was down but that doesn't seem to be the case, the Unblock-US websites says everything is perfect.

Has anyone experienced anything similar? Does anyone know what's going on or how to fix it?

Thank you for your time.
hammerton is offline  
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 2013-07-17, 01:01 AM
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Location: Calgary Area
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I had that happen when I was using the unblock-us dns servers (set in the router which the roku picked up on) but my unblock-us account was not properly set to my current external IP.
North_of_Calgary is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 2013-07-17, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Oh I see.

The DNS servers are set on the same router the roku is using. How do I get my unblock-us accounts properly set for my current external ip? Do I need to contact them?
hammerton is offline  
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 2013-07-17, 11:21 AM
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When you access the unblock-us website do you get a message on screen that says 'your Internet address has changed, click here to register it' or words to that effect? If so click register and all should be well. If not contact them, they have 24hr support and are very good.
brownstar is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 2013-07-24, 01:15 PM
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The external IP DNS settings should not need to be touched. The DNS settings that are closer to the device always take precedence. eg: External IP address can be ISPs DNS, router can be unblock-us, local laptop can be hard coded to google ( & In this case the laptop would use Google and not the routers DNS or the ISPs.
j0dest3r is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 2013-08-23, 09:06 PM
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Is there any downside to using a service like this?
99semaj is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 2013-08-23, 09:56 PM
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I've been using Unblock-Us for 6 months and have yet to come across any downside
brownstar is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 2013-08-26, 11:24 AM
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Location: Whitby, ON
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In theory, you could get directed to malicious sites based on their address lookups. But that is why there is a certain level of trust required with any DNS service; and short of their severly getting hacked, it would not be good business to be malicious so they will send you on to the right place. It would have come out by now if they were doing this though.

After they provide you an IP address for the name you looked up, they then have nothing else to do with your traffic.
NineBall is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 2013-08-26, 02:50 PM
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Location: Kanata, Ontario.
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If you have a router capable of running 3rd party firmware like Tomato-USB, you can control which machines use Unblock US and which ones use your ISPs DNS (or Google or OpenDNS).

There are some advantages to having just the one setting in your router and having every device use Unblock US, such as automatic handling of IP address changes if you update a account from your router. If you want to have just your Roku/PS3/XBox/etc. go through them and everything else through your ISP, you need do add some config info.

Tomato and a lot of other 3rd party router firmware uses dnsmasq for DHCP/DNS. In Tomato's Advanced/DHCP-DNS menu you can add lines such as the following to the dnsmasq custom config:

This sets a special DHCP option for devices in the address range through so that they're given the Unblock US DNS.

If you use the Basic/DHCP-ARP-BW page you can reserve an address in that block for certain devices on your network. Anything outside of that range will get the default settings handed out by the router, which would usually be your ISPs DNS.

You'll need to edit the range so that it's outside of the address range the router hands out with DHCP (in the DHCP Server section of the Basic/Network page), then one-by-one create static DHCP entries for your streaming players.

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rosenqui is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 2013-08-26, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 99semaj
Is there any downside to using a service like this?
1. You need to trust your DNS provider. You may not trust Unblock-Us as much as your ISP (or you may trust them more, depending on your ISP I suppose).

2. It costs $5/month. Very inexpensive, but the alternatives are mostly free. They just don't do the proxy thing.

3. Because the Unblock-US DNS servers aren't local, DNS lookups take a little longer than your ISP's DNS servers. At least, that is the case for the Shaw DNS servers.

The Unblock-US DNS servers seem to take around ~60ms to resolve a name, whereas Shaw's take about 20ms. When you visit a website there are usually a lot of names that get resolved, so the performance impact of this is worse than just 40ms.

The benefit is that you get no-hassle access to US content on all your devices. I recommend setting it up on your router rather than doing it per-device, and only for streaming devices. That way, when you're on your Mac or your iPad and you click a link that someone posted on Facebook to the latest Colbert Report episode on the Comedy Central website, you will see the video, and not get blocked because you're in Canada.

The only real reason not to set it up (IMHO) is because of the trust issue, but it's not like I trust Shaw, Google, or even Open DNS more than Unblock-US.
audacity is offline  

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