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Best VPN for iPad

Rebecca Duff
Rebecca DuffUpdated

Just like all other popular devices, iPads are susceptible to many security threats that make using a VPN absolutely essential if you want to protect your privacy. Some of the apps you use collect your personal data and sell it on to third parties, and this could include information such as your browsing history, locations you’ve visited and even your contacts list. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to choose a secure, reliable VPN that won’t have a negative effect on your iPad’s performance. We test out all the services on our site and write up the findings in our comprehensive VPN reviews, making your decision as easy as possible.

Our top picks for iPad allow you to use all of your favorite apps through a secure, encrypted connection, without worrying about unknown third parties collecting your precious confidential data for their own profit. Our proprietary speed-testing tool allows us to provide you with some of the most accurate speed data on the current market, meaning you can rely on our choices to be capable of speedy downloads and buffer-free streaming. We even test out the custom apps and make sure customer support is up to scratch in case you have any problems.

The 5 Best VPN Services for iPad
  1. ExpressVPN
  2. NordVPN
  3. IPVanish
  4. CyberGhost
  5. PrivateVPN
Read on for our detailed analysis of each VPN.
Our pick for iPad
ExpressVPN

Excellent speeds and privacy features. Works with Netflix. Modern, user-friendly iPad app.

Best price
$6.67 per month
Special deal
49% off 15-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
94 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
3
Pros
  1. Great speeds, average of 65Mbps globally
  2. Peak speeds of 224Mbps on local connections
  3. Easy access to Netflix and iPlayer
  4. Sleek, user-friendly iPad app
  5. Connect securely to 94 countries
  6. Loads of advanced privacy features
Cons
  1. Quite expensive on shorter price plans
  2. Limited to three simultaneous connections
Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is our top pick for iPad as it’s simply the best overall VPN in terms of striking a balance between performance and privacy. It offers excellent performance on both local and international connections, with some servers peaking at speeds of 224Mbps, and more importantly these are very consistent from one day to the next. It’s hard to beat for reliable access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming sites.

The software is modern and accessible on iPad and all other popular devices, although you are limited to just three simultaneous connections, which is a bit stingy in comparison to its rivals. ExpressVPN is a great choice on the privacy side of things too, with a minimal logging policy and loads of advanced features such as a VPN kill switch and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks.

Customer support is the best we’ve seen in our tests with genuinely 24/7 live chat and a whole host of useful online resources. As a premium product it is by no means a budget option, but you can bring the price down by 49% to a very reasonable $6.67 per month if you opt for the 15-month plan.


Read our full ExpressVPN review

2
NordVPN

Very fast zero-logs VPN. Slick, easy-to-use iPad app. 24/7 live chat.

Best price
$2.99 per month
Special deal
75% off with 3-year plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
62 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
Pros
  1. Great speeds - 71Mbps global average
  2. Peak speeds of 296Mbps on local connections
  3. Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  4. Simple yet effective app for iPad
  5. Connect securely to 62 countries
  6. Strict zero-logs policy
Cons
  1. Slow responses to email and live chat
  2. Extra protocols require manual config
Bottom Line

NordVPN is a great budget option for iPad users even if it doesn’t quite measure up to the full package offered by ExpressVPN. Speeds are very quick across its global server network, peaking at a ridiculously fast 296Mbps on some local connections, and it’s one of the only providers to still provide consistent access to both Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

The user-friendly iOS app is great for VPN newbies and experienced users alike, and a recent update that introduced city-level servers is great news for users in the US and Australia. Nord is also one of our top picks for privacy, with a strict zero-logs policy along with a ton of advanced privacy features including a VPN kill switch, double VPN and access to servers optimized for use with TOR.

Customer support is hit-and-miss but good enough overall, although responses to email and live chat can be slow at times. It’s also ridiculously good value for money at just $2.99 per month on the three-year plan. NordVPN is one of our top picks for those looking for good speeds and solid security but want to stick to a budget.


Read our full NordVPN review

3
IPVanish

Excellent speeds and robust privacy features. Highly configurable iPad app.

Best price
$6.49 per month
Special deal
46% off with 12-month plan
Money-back guarantee
7 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
61 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
10
Pros
  1. Solid download speeds - 51Mbps global average
  2. Peak local speeds of up to 348Mbps
  3. Works with Netflix and other streaming services
  4. Sleek, highly-configurable app for iPad
  5. Connect securely to 61 countries
  6. Very strict zero-logs policy
Cons
  1. Very short refund period - only 7 days
  2. Not very user-friendly
  3. Based in privacy-unfriendly US
Bottom Line

IPVanish is great for iPad users focused on raw speed and power rather than user-friendliness and accessibility. Performance on local connections is up there with some of the best we’ve seen, peaking at speeds of 348Mbps in some locations, however, it’s a lot less reliable over longer distances. It’s currently working with Netflix and other streaming sites but a lack of dedicated streaming servers means that this might not always be the case.

The software offers a high level of configurability on iPad and all other popular platforms, however it’s not the most user-friendly option on the current market, so if you don’t want to fiddle with loads of manual settings you might be better off looking elsewhere. A completely zero-logs policy is great for privacy, along with a VPN kill switch and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks, which goes a long way to making up for IPVanish’s jurisdiction in the privacy-unfriendly US.

Customer support has recently undergone a makeover and now boasts a genuinely 24/7 live chat feature. It’s not the cheapest option on the market, but you can save yourself 46% on the annual plan, which brings the monthly cost down to a very reasonable $6.49. IPVanish is a solid choice for iPad owners looking for high levels of performance and privacy, as well as keen torrenters and gamers.


Read our full IPVanish review

4
CyberGhost

Innovative iPad app with great privacy features. Works with Netflix.

Best price
$2.75 per month
Special deal
77% off with 18-month plan
Money-back guarantee
45 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
60 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
7
Pros
  1. Great download speeds - 59Mbps global average
  2. Peak speeds of 238Mbps on local connections
  3. Works with Netflix & other top sites
  4. User-friendly app for iPad
  5. Connect securely to 60 countries
  6. Completely zero-logs provider
Cons
  1. Server network is on the small side
  2. Torrenting not permitted on iOS app
Bottom Line

CyberGhost is our top pick for a budget VPN that doesn’t require a super-long commitment to massively reduce the monthly cost. Performance on local connections isn’t quite on par with our top picks but is consistently around 153Mbps, and speeds internationally aren’t too bad either. Watching Netflix is made incredibly easy through servers optimized for HD streaming.

CyberGhost’s custom app for iPad is very user-friendly, and it’s a great choice for privacy too, with advanced features such as an integrated VPN kill switch and first-party DNS servers. A strict zero-logs policy goes even further to protect your personal information.

Customer support has recently been improved with the introduction of 24/7 live chat, and there are loads of useful resources on the website should you get stuck. It’s currently one of the cheapest VPN providers on the current market at just $2.75 per month on the 18-month plan, so as long as you’re happy with a fairly small server network and don’t plan to torrent on your iPad (currently it’s only permitted through certain servers which are available for Windows and MacOS), look no further than CyberGhost.


Read our full CyberGhost review

5
PrivateVPN

Very fast zero-logs VPN with sleek iPad app. Easy access to Netflix and iPlayer.

Best price
$3.60 per month
Special deal
67% off with 17-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
Live chat Support
No. of Server Locations
57 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
Pros
  1. Excellent speeds - global average of 65Mbps
  2. Peak speeds of 395Mbps on local connections
  3. Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  4. Sleek, well-designed app for iPad
  5. Connect securely to 57 countries
  6. Advanced privacy features and zero-logs policy
Cons
  1. Server network is on the small side
  2. Live chat feature isn't always available
  3. No browser extensions
Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is a new VPN on the market that offers an alternative budget option for iPad users. It produced excellent results in our speed tests on both local and international connections, peaking at a brilliant 395Mbps – this kind of performance is more than quick enough for buffer-free streaming and high-bandwidth multi-tasking. Optimized streaming servers make watching Netflix and BBC iPlayer a breeze.

The iPad app is sleek and user-friendly but doesn’t include as many advanced features as you get with our top picks, therefore it’s perhaps a better choice for VPN newbies rather than experienced users looking for loads of settings to fiddle with. Overall, PrivateVPN is a great provider in terms of privacy, with a strict zero-logs policy, strong encryption and its own DNS servers, protecting your confidential data from potential snoopers and hackers.

Customer support is good enough on the website, however we don’t like that they promise a live chat feature but fail to consistently provide one. It can be made to work at a push in China but there are sleeker options out there. Considering the bargain price point ($3.60 per month on the 17-month plan) and the fact it’s only been around for a couple of years, PrivateVPN is a solid choice for iPad users that shows a lot of potential for the future.


Read our full PrivateVPN review

How we picked the best VPN for iPad

Our top choices all offer, at the very least, dedicated iOS apps to ensure a smooth, user-friendly experience on iPad along with other popular platforms such as Windows and Mac. They offer excellent performance on both local and international connections and allow you to access popular streaming sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. We also only chose providers with minimal, privacy-friendly logging policies and loads of advanced security features such as a VPN killswitch, DNS leak protection and first-party DNS servers to keep your online activity private.

We make sure to run regular tests on all the VPNs listed on our site so we can provide you with the most up-to-date information we possibly can in our reviews. Our proprietary speed test tool means we can assess VPN performance on the iOS applications, and we even check out the customer support on offer so you can be sure any potential problems will be solved quickly and efficiently.

How we picked the best VPN for iPad

Before you start using a VPN on your iPad, you have to decide whether you’re going to download a custom VPN app onto your device or install the software at router level. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these options, but the most common choice is to install individual apps on each device, as not only does this make switching servers a great deal easier, it also doesn’t require any manual configuration. One minor downside of this is that you’re limited as to how many devices you can protect simultaneously, whereas if the VPN is on your router you’re automatically protecting every internet-connected device in your home.

You then need to decide which protocol you’re going to connect with – we’d recommend using OpenVPN wherever possible as this strikes the best balance between privacy and performance, however providers will usually offer alternative protocols should you need a specific one. To make sure you’re getting the fastest possible speeds, you should connect to a server close to your true physical location – most providers will have a feature which automatically does this for you.

Once you’re connected to your chosen server, the VPN will run in the background, leaving you to carry on using your iPad as you normally would. If there’s a killswitch feature, make sure you turn it on, as this will prevent your true IP address from being exposed should the VPN connection drop for any reason. This will save you from having to keep checking that you’re still connected. Check out our step-by-step guide to installing a VPN on iPad for more detailed instructions, along with helpful screenshots and tips to solve any potential issues you might have.

How to choose a VPN for iPad: 8 Tips

  • Does it have a dedicated app for iOS devices?

    Most top-tier VPN providers offer custom apps for iOS devices, so you can be sure of a streamlined, user-friendly experience on your iPad. It goes without saying that the quality of these apps varies massively from one provider to the next, so weve made sure to only include those that pack in enough advanced privacy features without being overly clunky or complex. Double check that your chosen VPN protocol (OpenVPN in most cases) is an option on the iOS app, as this isnt the case with every provider.

  • Does it offer fast, reliable speeds?

    Not every provider offers the same level of performance, so you need to ensure you choose one that isn’t going to slow down your iPad too much. Generally speaking, the faster the better, however if you’re going to be doing lots of gaming you also need to look for a provider with low latency. Take a look at our speed tests to give you a better idea of which providers offer the quickest, most reliable speeds.

  • Does it have servers in the locations you need?

    For the quickest speeds, you’ll need to connect to a VPN server as close as possible to your physical location. The more servers a provider has, the better, as servers are far less likely to get congested. Look at our speed test results for individual locations in our reviews to get the best idea, especially if you’re looking to connect to a specific country.

  • Will it work with your favorite websites and apps?

    Do you enjoy watching Netflix or BBC iPlayer? Not every VPN will work with these apps. We are constantly testing whether each VPN is working with Netflix and other apps, and share these results in our VPN reviews.

  • What is their logging policy?

    Most VPNs will tell you they’re completely “zero logs”, however in reality this is rarely the case. To deliver consistently good speeds across a global server network, you need to monitor at least some basic user connection details, such as amount of bandwidth transferred or chosen VPN server. You could read a ton of different privacy policies to find out exactly what’s collected and stored or let us do the hard work for you – just check the logging policy section of our review for an explanation in plain English. In an ideal world you want a VPN that doesn’t log your IP address and limits timestamp logs to just the date of your connection, or better still one that doesn’t collect any logs whatsoever.

  • Check connection, encryption and security features

    Even if youre pretty tech-savvy, the sheer amount of VPN jargon on provider websites can be pretty overwhelming. Make sure to look out for OpenVPN though, as this connection protocol offers the best overall balance between speed and security. Try not to get sucked in by talk of military or bank-grade encryption and just look for AES-256, as that’s the gold standard. Unless you know your DNS from your IPv6, a VPN killswitch is the main thing to look out for among security features as it will protect you from exposing your real IP address should your connection drop unexpectedly.

  • Are their client apps and software easy to use?

    Youre not always going to be using a VPN on your iPad, so you want to be sure that the provider you choose also offers decent apps for other devices such as your computer or mobile. Look for a VPN with software that’s well-designed, user-friendly and powerful and you will be much more likely to use it on a regular basis. We share the results of our hands-on testing of each VPN app in the the Ease of Use part of its review.

  • Finally, check the price and money-back guarantee

    Even the most expensive VPN plans are very affordable but you will likely have a budget in mind. 12-month plans typically offer the best value and you can reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by choosing a VPN with a long refund period, preferably 30 days and with no questions asked. These guarantees are much more common than traditional free trials but are essentially the same thing.