ExpressVPN moves India servers out of the country to ensure privacy, service continuity

“ExpressVPN refuses to participate in the Indian government’s attempts to limit internet freedom,” the company said after shifting its servers out of the country

June 02, 2022 04:19 pm | Updated 09:08 pm IST

ExpressVPN logo.

ExpressVPN logo. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

ExpressVPN, one of the major VPN providers, announced it will move its India-based servers to Singapore and the UK in response to the new VPN rules that require private network providers to store user information for at least five years. The new rules issued by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) for VPN providers will come into effect on June 27, 2022.

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“Our users will still be able to connect to VPN servers that will give them Indian IP addresses and allow them to access the internet as if they were located in India. These ‘virtual’ India servers will instead be physically located in Singapore and the UK,” ExpressVPN said in a blog post.

Customers will have “minimal difference” in user experience, and they can simply connect to VPN server location “India (via Singapore) or India (via UK)”, it added.

The VPN provider termed the India’s new policy a “window for potential abuse”, noting that “the damage done by potential misuse of this kind of law far outweighs any benefit that lawmakers claim would come from it.”

VPN users in the country are disappointed by the government’s new rules on VPN providers. Some users we talked to earlier noted that they faced issues with the service’s connectivity last week. In certain cases, the exact reason behind the problem could not be clearly ascertained.

“The government order is disappointing and the policy seems illogical and unreasonable,” said Kabeer Ahmed, a businessman based in Lucknow. "One of the key reasons behind using VPN services was to ensure greater protection when using open networks and ensuring control over the data shared and used by websites to track searches. However, if and when VPN providers start accessing and storing data for years, the idea of using one would be moot."

Some VPN customers hailed ExpressVPN’s decision to move its servers outside the country.

Zaheb Hussain, a Delhi-based lawyer, uses Nord VPN to access master data of companies and the stock market in the USA. “Privacy for me is paramount, so if my current VPN provider does not take a stand against the new government policy, I will consider shifting over to a provider like ExpressVPN,” he said.

Many consultants and consultancy firms use VPN on a daily basis as they deal with overseas clients. This provides international clients greater privacy and protection, he added.

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