Best VPN for iPad
Over recent years, tablet computers like the iPad have emerged as one of the most popular ways of connecting to the internet, allowing users to browse the web easily, whether they are at home or out and about. Yet, in an age of widespread internet surveillance and other security threats, this means that tablet users need to protect themselves.
One way in which people can take precautions while online is through the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. Fortunately, the popularity of the iPad, in particular, has meant that VPN providers have had to respond by offering support for the iOS operating system.
The iPad includes a built-in VPN client, which can be configured to connect to specific VPN services. Many VPN providers also offer their own specialist software, which makes the entire setup process a lot more simple, while the OpenVPN Connect app has meant that VPN services can now provide OpenVPN encryption technology as well.
Just about every VPN company on the market will claim to provide the best service for iOS users, knowing that they are an increasingly important demographic. So which one really is the best VPN for iPad?
VyprVPN is widely considered to be one of the front runners when it comes to iPad support, providing a dedicated app, which includes up to 256-bit encryption, built-in support for the PPTP and L2TP encryption protocols and no need for users to install a new profile each time they change servers.
The app places an emphasis on speed and ease of use, with one-swipe connections and an auto reconnect feature ensuring devices are always secure. Customers are able to run a ping test to find the fastest available server, while the server list can also be filtered and sorted in various ways, making navigation simple.
Any new servers are automatically added to the server list, meaning there is no need to download the app again. In addition to the app, configuration files are available for use with OpenVPN Connect, giving customers the ability to protect their iPad with the ultra secure OpenVPN protocol.
HideMyAss is another VPN provider which enjoys a solid reputation for its iPad support, offering the HMA! Pro VPN app, which can be downloaded from iTunes. Although the app has been optimised for use with the iPhone 5, it works on any device with iOS version 6.0 or above and has a simple, user-friendly design.
The app does not completely control VPN connection, but allows users to install VPN profiles, which makes adjusting the settings on the iPad a whole lot easier. In addition, HideMyAss's app has some helpful features, such as the ability to search through the server list or create a list of 'Favourites'.
Customer service is excellent and speeds are also solid. Once again, PPTP and L2TP protocols are provided through the app, while OpenVPN support is offered via the separate OpenVPN Connect app. The only slight downside is the fact that the app requires users to install a new profile onto their device each time they want to switch servers. This is not a major concern, but it can be more time consuming than with some other services.
IPVanish provides support for the iPad in terms of its own app, which has been designed with ease-of-use in mind. Customers are able to sign up for the service from within the app itself, and can also access a seven day free trial, which is a major plus point.
The software is somewhat basic in terms of the number of options it provides, but produces good speeds and offers built-in support for both PPTP and L2TP. Manual configuration is also available for both protocols, and the website provides excellent tutorials for customers wishing to use this particular method.
IPVanish's app requires iOS 8.0 or above and is optimised for iPhone use, but works perfectly on the iPad. Like with other VPN providers, the OpenVPN encryption protocol is only available on through the use of the OpenVPN Connect app, which must be downloaded separately.
PureVPN is known for its wide range of servers and excellent client software on PC and Mac, and its support for the iPad is no different. Indeed, the iOS software client supports both PPTP and LT2P encryption protocols and has enough options to keep even advanced VPN customers satisfied.
The software itself is well-designed, easy to use and even includes an impressive opening tutorial, helping complete newcomers to VPN technology to make sense of it. Some of its other key features include a 'purpose selection' tool, which automatically suggests the best server available, based on what the customer intends to use it for.
Another nice feature is a 'Refer and Earn' option, which provides a financial reward for successfully referring a friend to the service. Finally, for those wishing to utilise OpenVPN encryption, the PureVPN website provides the necessary configuration files to use in conjunction with the OpenVPN Connect app.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access enjoys a strong reputation for its VPN services, although support for the iPad is somewhat limited in comparison to the other providers listed. This is primarily due to the fact that the service does not currently offer its own dedicated software for the iPad or, indeed, any other iOS device.
Basic setup guides are provided, guiding users through the process of configuring the iPad's built-in VPN client, and customers can use this for PPTP or L2TP encryption protocols. In addition, configuration profiles are available to download and use with the OpenVPN Connect app, offering support for the more secure OpenVPN protocol.
These manual setup and OpenVPN Connect options will be perfectly sufficient for most users and the company offers excellent customer service, as well as providing great speeds. Yet, unfortunately, the lack of a dedicated app means that some of the more advanced settings offered by other VPN services are not on offer here.
For iPad users, any of the VPN providers listed will offer a generally solid service, which will help to keep them secure online. The Private Internet Access service has a lot of plus points generally, but it falls short in terms of catering for iPad customers, as the company does not currently have an iOS app available.
HideMyAss offers a better level of support, in the form of a dedicated app, although it is hurt slightly by the need to install new profiles for each server switch. Likewise, IPVanish provides its own app, although it is somewhat basic and requires iOS version 8.0 and above, which is more restrictive than some others.
Overall, it is difficult to look past the superb iPad support offered by PureVPN, as their app has a number of nice features and strikes a great balance between being easy to utilise and offering advanced options for experienced users. However, as an alternative, VyprVPN's iPad support is also extremely impressive. Its app provides some great features, as well as one-time profile installation, while 256-bit OpenVPN is also supported.