Can't imagine traveling without your iPad? You're not alone. They're easy to slip into your luggage and the perfect device for streaming on the go. However, if you're having trouble accessing streaming sites abroad, you're going to need a VPN.
Able to virtually relocate you anywhere in the world, the best VPN for iPad can tap into streaming services from back home – and even unblock content that's only available abroad on services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Disney+. What's more, you'll be able to keep your browsing totally anonymous and access censored websites if you head to a country with a less-than-sparkling record of internet freedom.
Top 3 at a glance
1. ExpressVPN – The best iPad VPN today
Combining a simple interface with excellent encryption and speed, ExpressVPN is simply the best of the bunch. Plus, you'll have no trouble unblocking streaming platforms from around the world.
Put ExpressVPN to the test yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee, and Tom's Guide readers can claim an extra three months free on any 12-month plan.
2. Surfshark – Top value at bargain prices
Surfshark may be cheap, but it's still a fully-featured VPN that covers all the bases. It's one of my go-to services for unblocking content thanks to its server network spanning 100 countries.
With an attractive app design and awesome speeds for just $2.30 a month, Surfshark packs a lot of value into its plans and is great for those looking to stay safe, unblock sites, and save a bit of cash.
3. NordVPN – An awesome all-rounder
NordVPN is a serious contender, and only edged out by ExpressVPN and Surfshark by only the smallest of margins. You'll get tons of additional security features, excellent speeds, and comprehensive streaming performance, all for a modest price.
NordVPN makes streaming on your iPad easy, too, with access to just about any streaming platform you can imagine – and you can take the VPN for a test drive with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The five best iPad VPNs in 2024
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
ExpressVPN: The best iPad VPN overall
The best iPad VPN available today
Number of servers: 3,000+ in 94 countries | Max simultaneous connections: 5 | App Store score: 4.7 | 24/7 live chat support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu
✔️ You only want the best. ExpressVPN is the total package, with class-leading features and support.
✔️ You stream across multiple devices. Unblock Netflix (and more) from anywhere on your iPad or iPhone.
✔️ You want to take your privacy on the go. ExpressVPN's tough 256-bit encryption and countless audits ensure your browsing stays secure wherever you go.
❌ You have a tight budget. ExpressVPN isn't cheap. Luckily, you can try Surfshark for way less.
❌ You want an all-in-one solution. Unlike NordVPN, ExpressVPN doesn't have its own antivirus suite.
ExpressVPN has been a favorite of mine for a long time – it's incredibly easy to use, has speedy servers dotted around the globe, and will unblock a world's worth of sites and services. Try ExpressVPN on your iPad with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN is an outstanding VPN for just about any purpose. Connection speeds are snappy, apps are easy to use (even if you're totally new to the world of VPNs), and expert support is only a click away – ExpressVPN does it all.
First up, the selection of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries is more than enough for anyone – you'll be able to effortlessly hop from location to location to avoid government censorship or VPN bans. The broad coverage is perfect for checking out international streaming content, too, and ExpressVPN has no trouble unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and more.
ExpressVPN is the best private VPN in the biz, too, which is hugely important if you'll be using your iPad in airports or cafes. You'll be covered by AES-256 encryption, a verified zero-logging policy, and a good selection of protocols (including ExpressVPN's very own Lightway). Plus, Express's RAM-only zero-knowledge TrustedServer tech means it's impossible for your information to be stored.
Beyond these technical features, though, ExpressVPN is also an excellent choice for enhancing your everyday browsing experience. It's simple and easy to use – which is essential if you're using a touchscreen rather than a keyboard and mouse – and packed with handy features like the "MediaStreamer" that makes it possible to watch shows on your Smart TV.
Currently, you'll be able to use ExpressVPN on up to 8 devices simultaneously. That's great news if you have a lot of hardware you want to keep secure (like your iPhone, for instance.) Still, other providers are more generous, and Surfshark even offers unlimited connections.
If you need help picking out a server or using any of ExpressVPN's features, you can reach out to the customer service team 24/7 via live chat, and the team has always been able to untangle even the most technical queries in my experience.
|Fresh and fun design that's easy to navigate
|Ease of use
|Perfect for total VPN newbies
|A speedy service, although others are quicker
|Effortlessly unblocks the most in-demand streaming services
|Security and privacy
|Superb encryption and an audited no-logs policy
|Get expert help 24/7 via live chat
|Undeniably pricey, but backs it up with quality features
Surfshark: The best cheap VPN
An excellent iPad option for a bargain price
Amount of servers: 3,200+ in 65 countries | Max simultaneous connections: Unlimited | App Store score: 4.8 | 24/7 support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu
✔️ You don't want to spend a fortune. You can grab a Surfshark subscription, and enjoy a wealth of features, for a bargain price.
✔️ You want a speed demon. Although NordVPN has it beat, Surfshark is wickedly quick and ideal for streaming.
✔️ You have a lot of devices. Unlimited simultaneous connections mean you can secure every device in the house.
❌ You rely on your kill switch. I was able to break the Surfshark kill switch during testing, which probably won't happen in real life, but is worth noting.
❌ You're an avid torrenter. It's entirely possible to torrent with Surfshark, but ExpressVPN is better suited to sharing P2P traffic.
I'm always amazed at just how good Surfshark is considering the price. It's a premium provider with lightning-fast speeds and awesome unblocking power that you can try for a minuscule fee – or, if you'd rather be on the safe side, you can make use of its 30-day refund period.
If you're after a quality service that won't break the bank, then Surfshark is a great pick – and one that proves that a cheap VPN doesn't mean poor quality. In my latest Surfshark review, I discovered an improved iOS app that offers some interesting extras that you won't find elsewhere.
Surfsharks apps are incredibly easy to use, and you'll have no trouble accessing the various tools. The auto-connect feature is particularly handy, and will connect you to a Surfshark server as soon as the VPN detects a Wi-Fi connection. If you fancy taking a deep dive into the settings, to switch protocols or try out Double Hop, it only takes a few taps.
Checking out international streaming content is just as simple – and not just because Surfshark has servers in 100 countries. I was able to unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer with Surfshark, as well as smaller regional services in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and elsewhere. So, if you really want to broaden your streaming horizons, it's worth taking Surfshark for a spin.
I was also impressed by how quick the VPN is, coming in second place behind NordVPN in my most recent speed test. With peak speeds of 950 Mbps, you can count on smooth, buffer-free streams, even when you're on vacation, and even hop into online games or video calls without interruptions.
Of course, one of Surfshark's main selling points is its unlimited simultaneous connections. Most of us have multiple internet-enabled devices, like phones, tablets, and PCs, and Surfshark lets you protect all of your gadgets with a single plan. You can even share the love with family and friends if you're feeling generous.
You can't go wrong with Surfshark, and there's even a 7-day free trial for iOS, Android, and Mac users to check out. If you want even more time to try before buying, don't worry – there's also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Simple and clutter-free apps
|Ease of use
|Easy for anyone to use – no expertise required
|One of the quickest VPNs on the market
|Unblocks all streaming apps
|Security and privacy
|Fantastic privacy tools, though kill switch isn't infallible
|24/7 support is reliable and quick
|Super cheap and packed with value
NordVPN: The best VPN + security suite
The perfect VPN for the privacy-obsessed
Amount of servers: 5,400+ in 59 countries | Max simultaneous connections: 6 | App Store score: 4.7 | 24/7 support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu
✔️ You're a huge Netflix fan. NordVPN can unblock more Netflix libraries than any other VPN I've tested.
✔️ You want to maximize security. Keep your iPad safe with a kill switch, leak protection, and tough encryption.
✔️ You want an all-in-one solution. NordVPN is a solid all-rounder, and fairly priced, packing a built-in antivirus.
❌ You need unlimited connections. NordVPN limits users to 6 simultaneous connections, unlike Surfshark's unlimited offering.
❌ You want a super-simple interface. On smaller screens, the NordVPN map interface can feel a little busy.
NordVPN is a huge name in the world of VPNs – and it's easy to see why. It's the quickest service on the block, great for accessing Netflix, and will ensure your iPad is covered with a stacked roster of security tools. See for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN is an incredibly popular service that has the features, unblocking power, and speed to back up the hype. In my most recent tests, I found that it works just as well on iPads as it does on desktop computers.
It's hard to overstate just how quick NordVPN is. In fact, it's the fastest VPN I've encountered, reaching speeds of 950 Mbps with its WireGuard-based NordLynx protocol. You'll be able to leave NordVPN switched on without noticing a huge impact on your device's performance, which is great news if you'll be using your iPad when traveling.
As you'd expect from a market leader, NordVPN is also a great pick for streaming. The VPN has servers in 60 countries, which is fewer than ExpressVPN and Surfshark, but still a generous spread that'll help you sidestep geo-restrictions and unblock content from around the world. NordVPN is also my top Netflix VPN recommendation, seeing as it effortlessly unblocks the UK, US, Canada, and Japan libraries, amongst others.
In terms of security, NordVPN is near-unmatched. With a recent audit of its servers and extra features – such as Double VPN, Onion over VPN, two kill switches, and DNS leak detection – you can rest assured that your sensitive information is kept out of the hands of snoopers and cybercriminals.
The NordVPN apps look fantastic, and I've always found them to be nice and responsive. However, the map-based interface can be tricky to navigate on smaller screens – which is admittedly more of a problem for iPhones than iPads. NordVPN recently added Siri support which someone will find useful, I'm sure.
Overall, NordVPN is a truly viable alternative to my top picks thanks to its balance of speed, security, and top-notch support. However, keep in mind that NordVPN currently only offers 6 simultaneous connections (less than ExpressVPN and Surfshark.)
|Stylish and fun, but can feel crowded
|Ease of use
|The map interface is slightly fiddly, but otherwise apps are nice and sleek
|The quickest VPN I've tested
|A great pick for Netflix and other in-demand services
|Security and privacy
|Built-in antivirus, kill switch, and Threat Protection
|Troubleshoot any issues with 24/7 live chat
|Fairly priced and packed with value