Dexcom travel: US G5 transmitter won't pair to phone in another country

[EDIT] IMPORTANT: uch of the information in this post and thread is incorrect, or has been superseded. The correct information is available on this thread: Traveling with Dexcom: G5 use in other countries

If you travel with a Dexcom, you may be out of luck if your transmitter dies on you. A new US Dexcom transmitter will NOT pair up with a phone in a foreign country. [EDIT: FALSE, please check thread reference above]

In fact, it’s even worse than that: if you are traveling in a foreign country, and your phone upgrades your Dexcom app, your US transmitter will stop pairing with your phone.[EDIT: FALSE, please check thread reference above]

So, if you are traveling with your Dexcom, the ONLY way to make sure that you can survive a transmitter problem is to travel with a Dexcom receiver. Of course, you lose all the advantages of sharing :frowning: .

It is also impossible to purchase a foreign Dexcom receiver through the US sales force. You have to have it prescribed in the foreign country in question etc.

I thoroughly vetted these facts in a series of long phone calls with Dexcom today. [EDIT: Dexcom gave incorrect information. The area of international travel is incorrectly covered by training]

I am now seriously looking at xdrip as an option. My assumption is that xdrip does not suffer from these problems.


Interesting. I was really wondering if this would be an issue. As a G4 Platinum user, Eric always carries around the receiver. And I have wondered how he’d be impacted by just having the phone-as-receiver if we switched. Phone battery life is so crummy compared to the Dex receiver. And the phone is a much bigger theft target IMO.

Thanks for taking the time to research this and post about it. It’s not particularly good news, but much better to have it in advance than to realize it when you’re on the road.


For most adults, the receiver, I think, is a good substitute, or sometimes even better as you explain!

For kids, the sharing app has no equal :slight_smile: . At least as far as the parents are concerned. This is a significant issue for us.


Is this because G5 pairing requires the phone to connect to a US-based Dex server, which does not work from outside the US? If that is the case, you may look into installing a VPN app on your phone that would allow you to appear on the network as if you were in the US from anywhere in the world. I guess you’d only need to use VPN while pairing. But, maybe I am just misunderstanding the root cause of the problem. I’ve traveled a lot and have not had any such issues with G4+share.


Hmm, Dragan, I think you are onto something. I am pretty sure it would work when pairing, because it does need to connect to a US-based server. And, on iOS, you could turn off auto-update, then manually upgrade apps, and VPN-connect only when you want to upgrade your dexcom app. Of course, if you run Android, you can simply turn off auto-update just for Dexcom.

This may well work! I have to consult with Dexcom and figure out if they think it will too.

I agree that a VPN would be the solution to the problem.

In Canada we were blocked from Clarity based on IP address.

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It works with a VPN then?

I didn’t try a VPN. I tried from a Canadian IP address and it would not work. I was in the US and tried with an American IP address (on a mobile phone) and it worked.

Unless they have some magic VPN blocking software (like Netflix recently acquired) I suspect that a VPN will work.

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As I am re-reading what I wrote, I am not 100% sure that I am right. it may be that the SIM card origin is what will stamp the country on the app, not the IP address.

@Michel - Could you test the failure from the US by using a VPN to give you an overseas IP and try the pair? A pairing failure would not prove success while actually overseas but it would lend support to the theory - perhaps?

great brains… I was just thinking exactly the same thing :slight_smile:

Why would app updates be problematic at all? I think any app updates are based on your Apple ID (or possibly SIM card, not sure), not your IP - that would make little sense. Dexcom not allowing pairing based on IP is pretty obnoxious.

You are probably right.

One of the Dexcom Tech Support guys gave me an example he had processed 3 months ago. He says an Australian using an Australian transmitter was in the US. His iOS auto-updated the app in the US. He says that, after the update, the app was not compatible with the transmitter anymore, and there was nothing that could be done.

I am not sure if he had been using a US SIM card. I am guessing he was. I am not sure how the app update determines which country applies to you at this stage. I guess maybe the SIM card? I’ll call Dexcom to ask, but I don’t think they will be able to tell me.

Totally. I suspect it has to do with national regulations for medical equipment. I could be wrong.