I am a paying member/subscriber of Express VPN & have been now for a few years. Recently, I found out that I'm being lied to about the location that I thought my IP was showing up in. I usually will toggle between a few locations w the understanding that my connection remains secure & would deter any malfeasants, BUT I found out through an exhausting diagnostic process that Express VPN is "really" using an OUT OF THE COUNTRY location to route my internet traffic! I thought all these YEARS that this company was an honest reputable one. The real location they're using is NOT what is showing that I selected in the Express VPN app. There are a few important websites that I've tried accessing from my iPhone & access was DENIED. I finally was able to find out why & the reason why is these websites only allow people in the USA to join their platform, so basically, Express VPN makes it look like I am in CHINA & sometimes even JAPAN, but rarely in the locale that I selected. VERY shady & dishonest for a company to do this!
Also, I ran an app report on my iPhone & found out that Express VPN js accessing Google domains/roots on my iPhone w the likely intention of creating a "profile" on me. I always refuse to click on anything w "Google" in the name & consistently do my due diligence to ensure that Google is never on my phone, so you can imagine just how upset I have been bc of those findings, as well as the wrong location showing that my IP address us in. Rarely do I ever submit a review, but this upset me immensely & just had to share w otger potential users of this service. YES, I possess proof of all what I'm saying here.
Ignore everything you’ve read online or watched on YouTube. That stuff is out of date. Since October 2022 (PRC Party Congress), ExpressVPN has been extremely unreliable on my iOS device connecting through China Unicom cellular network. Only a 50% chance it establishes the VPN, and when it does the connection is so slow and unstable that it often drops and “attempts to reconnect” anyways. ExpressVPN is much better on a laptop connecting via WiFi home internet. Reliability is close to 100% stable, *except* when you stream or download large files. When this happens, the data stream is large and this makes it much easier for China’s artificial intelligence (AI) censorship servers to detect that you’re using a VPN tunnel. Not saying they cracked through the encryption, but they do recognize your connection as VPN and they *will* greatly throttle or block your connection. Basically your Netflix or Amazon Prime stream will buffer more and more before it simply buffers endlessly and you discover your connection is totally lost. ExpressVPN really needs to enhance their obfuscation protocol because it ain’t fooling the Chinese censors (while more obfuscation makes the VPN harder to detect, it will make it slower). Overall this VPN is good for a laptop on Wi-Fi for email, online banking, and casual YouTube. But streaming or large file transfer will flag you and your connection is bad. And again, on an iOS device this is unreliable regardless of anything.
I have been a customer of exp vpn for years. The biggest problem is whenever there is some national/political event going on in China, the server is ALWAYS DOWN. Sometimes they are able to get it back to work within a few days, sometimes it takes weeks. Over the past 11 months of this year, I have experienced cumulatively at least 30 days of service outage. Now is December 1st as I write, the service is still unavailable on all platforms, although they stated that they were already aware of the issue and were working on a fix, back on November 23rd. When you try to reach out to the support team they will ALWAYS tell you to do the following useless processes: reset, delete and re-download, etc. where the issue is apparently on the server side, not on the client side. Initially when I picked express vpn I was hoping that it could would work ALL THE TIME NO MATTER WHAT, and there shouldn’t be any excuses. Unfortunately, they have failed to do so and, sarcastically, even some free vpn apps are still working during the event. I pay for a full annual service but I am only able to use it less than 11 months. And of course they won’t refund me the money for the downtime as a reimbursement, neither will they offer a discount to their long-term customers. Got sick of such company that spends a lot of time working on the advertisements boasting about the quality of their service and provides such a horrible service.
Not just the app but the ExpressVPN service has been unreliable and I don’t think it’s very secure. I am a US user but anytime I connect to a vpn location in the US, it thinks I’m in the UK. so my search results or apps will give me only pages that are in the UK. Sometimes they give me results from India or Brazil, but I’m really connected to a city in the US. When I performed a IP address check, it said that the owner of the service provider was an LLC run by some company in the UK. Another thing is I cannot visit certain websites without disconnecting and they’re websites I frequent everyday. The response says I am not allowed on this server. So I have to switch locations to find one that works but lately none have worked. So I’ve had to disconnect the vpn. What is the point of having a vpn that doesn’t work or doesn’t let you do what you need to do? Last thing is that auto-renewal is extremely hard to turn off. And when I finally did, the service was poor right up until I renewed for another month. Then it worked for a week and then problems again.
What happened to this app and to this service? I don’t trust it is reliable or secure anymore.
Ever since I upgraded to iOS 16, this VPN is causing so many issues the most glaring of which are blocking CarPlay and picture messages to non-iPhone users. I have changed the settings that support told me to change, but the issues persist. If they can’t figure out a way around this, I’m gonna have to ask for my money back and go find another VPN.
UPDATE: not sure what fixed it but all seems well now. I guess it’s fixed. All I really have to ask for now is better obfuscation. I wish certain apps, especially sports streaming like ESPN. would work with this so I could spoof my location.
I’m a China user, so I understand that connecting to a VPN in China is difficult, but ExpressVPN advertises itself as being one of the only VPNs to work in China… but it doesn’t. The app will “connect” but no data actually comes through the connection: apps stop working, internet stops working. It’s crap. It’s been like this for months now. If you’re thinking of getting ExpressVPN in China… don’t! It’s a waste of money and time! You’ll sit around for an hour thinking you’ve connected, that you found a server that works. It just builds frustration.
I’ve lived in China for 4 years and had express the whole time. In the beginning it was good app. However for the past 1.5-2 years it has been unable to keep up with Chinas restrictions. In total, I have been unable to connect for roughly 7-8 months. All the while my friends with other VPNs have no issue. In addition, all that time lost DOES NOT get reimbursed. Their support staff made that clear. After this subscription is up, I plan on finding a new vpn. Most likely NORD or PLEX. If you are in china, I recommend you do the same.
Do not get this unless you plan to keep it. The 30 day trial is deceptive. They will cancel within the 30 days if you request it but if don’t put it writing that you actually want the refund in addition to the cancellation, YOU WILL NOT receive it! After the 30 days are up they’ll just tell you tough luck we’re keeping your money. The Trial is advertised so that you think the refund is automatic if you cancel within the 30 days but that is NOT TRUE!! Extremely shadey business practice.
Cannot connect to the internet again in China . And the “state update check” button in the app user interface cannot lead to the website also, which I used to use as an indicator of the connection quality. Now it just leads to a blank webpage without any information.
The app collapsed and the connection failed. It’s completely a disaster. So disappointed, this is not what you promised when I paid for two years service, and it has only passed no more than half.
The app fails to connect. It's a waste of money and time for Chinese citizens and people from other countries who work or take a tour in China. The ExpressVPN's engineers cannot solve the connection problem on iOS. It's ironic that windows and Android version can work but ios cannot. In order to use this bad VPN service, I will have to buy a new Android phone such as Huawei, Xiaomi, vivo or Oppo. That's ridiculous.