Even though it’s generally known as a secure operating system, iOS has its own kinks when it comes to security and privacy, especially with today’s ever-looming onslaught of assorted vulnerabilities and exploits.
Of course, using a VPN service gives you an extra layer of security, not to mention a few additional perks like bypassing censorship and access to geo-restricted content. When it comes to the VPN offerings aimed at iOS, the majority of efforts are concentrated on the mighty iPhone. However, Apple’s iPad is seeing its fair share of VPN support as well, with many providers producing dedicated iOS apps that are also designed with the tablet in mind.
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How to choose the best VPN for iPad
As mentioned, 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.
With all that in mind, let’s pick out the five best VPN services for iPad.
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IPVanish proved to offer excellent speeds in our testing, so much so that it actually improved our download speeds over long distances compared to our normal rates, and even more so on shorter hops.
The native app supports iOS 8 and newer versions, featuring lots of server selection tools, as well as both basic and advanced options. iPad support includes usage in either orientation (portrait or landscape) and a multitasking split view. The service boasts unlimited P2P traffic and plenty of servers in 60+ countries.
For security, the provider supports the IKEv2, IPSec, and PPTP protocols, along with 256-bit encryption. A zero logs policy gives you total privacy with no tracking of your internet activities.
The only thing that somewhat curbs the enthusiasm here is the pricing. IPVanish doesn’t offer a free trial and you’ll pay slightly more than elsewhere. The three plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee with the 1-year subscription being the most affordable choice. The packages available are:
VyprVPN produced an impressive boost in download speeds during our performance tests, with the connection being twice as fast compared to when the VPN was turned off. Apart from being one of the fastest services we’ve ever tested, VyprVPN also has an easy-to-use client that focuses on simplicity. It comes with iPad compatibility and neat features like automatic fastest server selection. You’ll need to have iOS 9 or better to enjoy the client.
IPsec and IKEv2 security protocols are in use here, along with VyprDNS, the company’s own DNS solution. The service doesn't log your traffic, perform any packet inspection on it, nor does it throttle your connection speed.
There’s not a lot to choose from in terms of price plans, with just two of them and a choice of monthly or annual billing. The yearly subscription is fairly reasonable, and there is a three-day free trial which comes in handy as VyprVPN doesn’t offer any refunds. The packages available are:
- Basic: $9.95 monthly or $5.00 per month billed annually
- Premium: $12.95 monthly or $6.67 per month billed annually
Performance-wise, this British Virgin Islands-based provider delivered solid results in our performance tests. ExpressVPN also offers a native iPad app, and it supports iOS 7 (or better), thus making it a great fit for older-generation iPads. It’s neatly organised so that you can connect with one click and immediately hook up with the fastest server available.
On the security front, ‘best in class’ 256-bit encryption is in place, along with support for OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP protocols, and a private, encrypted DNS. ExpressVPN doesn’t log any traffic data, DNS queries, or anything that could be used to identify the user.
A quick glance at the pricing scheme shows that the service costs more than most VPNs. You don’t get to try it out through a free trial, but there is a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee available. Going the yearly route is the most affordable option of the three price plans on offer. The packages available are:
- [$12.95 a month] 1-month
- [$9.99 a month] 6-months – $59.95
- [$6.66 a month] 15-months [3 free months] – $99.95
With a copious server count, there’ll be no shortage of reliable connections with KeepSolid’s VPN offering. During our performance testing, download speeds only decreased by 12% compared to our normal rates, a laudable result.
The native app supports iOS 8.0 and higher, and the iPad Air or later models. It’s rather intuitive and user-friendly, automatically connecting you to the optimal server upon startup. However, most KeepSolid servers don't support torrents so you might want to look elsewhere for P2P action.
OpenVPN is supported and as ever you get 256-bit encryption. The security front is strengthened by KeepSolid Wise, a so-called ‘stealth’ technology which disguises the fact that you’re using a VPN connection in order to avoid being blocked by certain services.
There’s also a DNS Firewall that blocks ads and prevents tracking and malware. Privacy-wise, the company logs only basic details about the user’s activity, with no logging of anything a user might do.
A 7-day free trial is obviously a welcome bonus. There are just two main price plans, albeit very affordable ones, which come with a 7-day money-back guarantee. It’s also worth noting that there’s a lifetime subscription option. If you feel that is too much of a commitment, the yearly plan is rather cheap. The packages available are:
Speedify focuses on performance, as the name suggests, and it provided very acceptable speeds in our testing. The service offers a neat ‘channel bonding’ feature that lets you use multiple connections (cellular and fixed broadband) together for an increase in speed. Doing so also significantly reduces latency, which is great for many online activities.
There’s also a ‘redundant mode’ which sends traffic across all available connections, increasing your data usage but making for a more reliable (rather than faster) connection. The iPad app requires iOS 9.0 or later and comes with a very small number of settings. Another notable point here is that not all servers support P2P.
This provider uses the ‘ChaCha’ encryption cipher to deliver a reliable performance on the security front. Speedify calls itself a ‘no-log VPN’ and doesn’t log IP addresses, websites, or any data you send or receive while connected to the service.
There is a free plan which offers 4GB of data for the first month, but in subsequent months you only get 1GB. With the paid subscriptions, you have a choice of two affordable options that come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The yearly subscription, as ever, offers the best value-for-money. The packages available are: