Given that Apple is well-known for making highly secure devices, you might not instinctively think about downloading a VPN for your iPad.
However, even though the iPad is secure in many different ways, it can still be affected by growing online threats. By downloading an iPad VPN, you can enjoy anonymous internet browsing and safer public Wi-Fi networks.
But VPNs aren’t simply useful for improving online security. You’ll also be able to unblock streaming platforms and websites on your iPad if they’re not available in your home country or when you travel abroad. A top VPN will also improve your iPad’s performance by helping to stop unpleasantness like bandwidth throttling and DDoS attacks.
If you head over to the App Store and type in “VPN”, you’ll see hundreds of results for these services. So, naturally, you might be wondering which to download. In this article, we round up the very best iPad VPNs available for your tablet now.
Today's top 3 best iPad VPNs:
1. ExpressVPN - the #1 best iPad VPN
ExpressVPN cleverly combines an app that's really easy to set up and use, with features that will help keep you anonymous online and get around annoying geo-restrictions on your favorite sites and services. Plus, it comes with a no-questions-asked 30 day money back guarantee and 3 months extra free.
2. NordVPN - an iPad VPN that's hot on security
NordVPN is one of the world's most popular VPNs, and it's not hard to see why. It really brings the goods when it comes to security and speed - you can set it to come on automatically whenever you join an unsecure Wi-Fi network away from home - and also boasts a long list of site blocking it can get around.
3. Surfshark - reasonably priced, high quality iPad VPN
This could well be your VPN of choice if you're after something a bit more affordable. Go for its multiyear plan and get the price down to less than $2.50 USD per month. That doesn't prevent it from being a really strong and simple-to-operate iPad VPN though, with a very friendly interface.
The best 5 iPad VPNs in 2021:
Best iPad VPN 2021 - Get 3 months free with an annual plan
ExpressVPN not only happens to be the top general VPN service on the market according to our testing, but it’s also our pick for the best iPad VPN because of its easy-to-use iOS app, a variety of great features, and superb performance.
What we love about ExpressVPN’s iPad app, in particular, is how much of a breeze it is to use. To connect to the fastest server, you simply press the big power-on button. But you can also easily choose a server in one of 160 global locations by clicking the location bar.
Overall, ExpressVPN offers more than 3,000 servers across the world, and with them it’s possible to unblock Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming websites on your iPad. In terms of performance, ExpressVPN averages decent speeds of 200-220GBps on a 600 US connection - so no need to worry about your web traffic slowing down as it heads through that extra server.
ExpressVPN sports lots of handy features, including a strict no-logging policy, AES-256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, the ability to choose from 16 different languages, troubleshooting guides, 24/7 live chat support, and more. Something to bear in mind is that ExpressVPN enforces a 5-device limit for every account holder - but that only really vecomes a problem if you're running Express on all of your kit at the same time.
Get the best iPad VPN 2021: 49% off with 3 months FREE
You can probably tell by now that we really rate the ExpressVPN app. And the good news is that TechRadar readers can get a little perk when they sign up, too. ExpressVPN has agreed to give readers three months extra free when they sign up, as well as the usual 30 day money back guarantee.
NordVPN is probably the best-known VPN around, and you might even have seen an advert for this service come up on your TV or between YouTube videos. But Nord isn’t just a household name; it’s also a fantastic iPad VPN option.
Its iOS app is one of the easiest to use, and you can find the fastest available VPN server just by pressing the Quick Connect button (a feature we also see on ExpressVPN). You can also pick one of Nord’s 5,000 global servers from within the app, either by the default map interface (which we don't love, but is less problematic than on its smaller iPhone VPN app) or from a list.
From a security point of view, NordVPN is extremely impressive. With a feature called Double VPN, your internet traffic is secured by two VPN servers (not just the usual one). And if you’re worried about becoming the victim of growing cybercrime, you’ll be happy to learn that NordVPN is capable of blocking malware and nuisance adverts.
As a NordVPN user, you’ll also have access to a no-logging policy, strong encryption, browser extensions, a DNS leak test, Onion over VPN, several hundred P2P servers, the ability to unblock popular streaming sites like Netflix, a kill switch, 24/7 support, and other features.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use, feature-packed VPN app for your iPad, you don’t need to break the bank. Surfshark happens to be one of the best iPad VPNs available today, but a premium subscription will set you back less than $3 per month.
Using Surfshark on your iPad, you can connect to more than 3,200 VPN servers across the globe. And you can stream TV shows and movies on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more, regardless of your geographic location.
Like NordVPN, Surfshark offers a comprehensive cybersecurity tool (called CleanWeb) that will block malware, phishing, tracking services, and adverts. There’s also a whitelisting function, a no-logging policy, a built-in kill switch, a camouflage mode, 256-bit encryption, different protocols, and more.
Chances are, you don’t just own an iPad and may want to secure other devices with a VPN service. Fortunately, Surfshark has support for unlimited devices. But when we reviewed the service, we thought that the support website has room for improvement and that the OpenVPN protocol was a little slow. Still, for the amount you'll spend, they're fairly minor quibbles.
Having a large number of VPN servers at your disposal means you can unblock your favorite websites and streaming platforms in any part of the world. And when it comes to server count, Private Internet Access easily beats its competitors with a humongous claimed 20,000+ servers globally.
Should you choose PIA as your iPad VPN, you’ll be able to unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, and myriad other top streaming services. But it’s worth pointing out that in our review of PIA, we found speeds to be inconsistent at times.
If you’d like to secure any other devices, PIA will let you use up to ten devices per subscription. The iPad app is also easy-to-use and provides features such as P2P support, multiple secure protocols, a malware blocker, a range of VPN gateways, unlimited bandwidth, strong encryption, and more.
For anyone on the lookout for an IPad VPN that combines power and usability in one nice package, it’s definitely worth checking out IPVanish.
The iPad app not only looks and feels great to use, but it’ll also allow you to connect to over 1,500 high-speed servers. In our review of IPVanish, we saw top speeds of between 210 and 230Mbps on a US connection - not bad considering that IPVanish doesn't even support the fast and flashy WireGuard protocol (yet?).
IPVanish provides lots of other great features, including more than 40,000 shared IPs, 256-bit encryption, a no-logging policy, a few different VPN protocols, a SOCKS5 web proxy, unmetered connections, 24/7 customer support, access to Netflix, and lots more. But from a streamer's point of view, we were disappointed to experience issues accessing Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer.
iPad VPN FAQ
What is the best iPad VPN?
At the present time, ExpressVPN gets our vote as the best iPad VPN you can download. It's not too hard to see why, either - it's ridiculously easy to set up and function, can connect to over 3,000 servers across 90+ countries worldwide, unblocks a cavalcade of geo-restricted sites and streaming services, and offers genuinely useful 24/7 live chat support if you're ever struggling. In short...it ticks all the boxes!
How to choose the best iPad VPN
A lot of providers offer dedicated apps for iOS, so obviously in an ideal world you want to use one of those firms. And that native client should be able to satisfy both basic and advanced users, aiming to be user-friendly, while still offering plenty of settings and tweaks for those who wish to delve deeper.
How do I set up an iPad VPN?
Once you’ve decided on a provider, you might be wondering how you download and set up the VPN service on your iPad. Firstly, you’ll need to download the official iOS app.
Most VPN services will be available to download from the App Store, but most companies also provide download links under “apps" sections on their websites. The good thing about going through the providers' websites is that you'll also usually be privy to claiming special discounts that just aren't available on the App Store.
When your chosen VPN service has downloaded onto your iPad, you’ll then need to open it and undergo a short setup process. If you’re ever stuck, you can always use the live chat offered by your provider.
For more information and a step-by-step guide, check out our advice on how to download, set up and install a VPN on iPhone - everything there is just as relevant to iPads.
Should I get a free iPad VPN?
If you’re looking for an app and want to save money, you might be tempted to download a free VPN on your iPad.
Sadly, free VPNs aren’t that great. They often impose data and speed caps, which can make internet browsing and streaming feel very laggy. Free VPNs services may also store your data and potentially sell it to third parties so that they can make money. And it’s not unknown for free VPN apps to include advertisements, which can have a major impact on overall performance.
To get the best possible VPN experience on your iPad, you’ll need a premium subscription. Luckily, providers like Surfshark are actually pretty cheap.