A VPN is an essential tool for iPad users wanting to watch streaming services in other countries, such as Disney+, Netflix or BBC iPlayer, with some content not being available at every location. This is handy if you’re travelling abroad, but missing out on your favourite shows, as you can connect to a server in your own country and carry on watching as if you were at home.
Plus, when you’re browsing the web using your iPad, your online activity is visible to your internet service provider (ISP), your government, and potentially others. But because a VPN changes your real IP address for a different one and encrypts the data going to and from your iPad, it makes it practically impossible to spy on you.
The new IP address can make it appear that you’re located somewhere else in the world. That could be in the same country, or it could be half way across the globe.
Surfshark is an easy-to-use and intuitive VPN with a slick iPad app that has more features than you might expect given the low price.
The service now has more than 3,200 servers across 60+countries but, importantly, lets you watch Netflix shows, BBC iPlayer and other streaming services that aren’t normally available in your region.
You’ll find security features including a kill switch and Multi-Hop, which routes your connection through two countries instead of just one. It’s located outside of the 14-eyes, has a strict no-logs policy and is one of the members of the VPN Trust Initiative
Despite the low monthly cost, it really is one of the best VPNs around, and also one of the fastest thanks to the use of the WireGuard protocol.
Also among our favourite VPNs for the iPad is ExpressVPN, which has 95 country options and a network of more than three thousand servers.
ExpressVPN unblocks more video services than rivals, but this is only a reason to pay the higher monthly prices it charges if you need to watch one or more of those additional services.
It bills itself as the premium option, and justifies this partly with the long list of video services it works with as well as its TrustedServer setup, the 24/7 live chat support and fast speeds using its proprietary Lightway protocol.
As well as using it on your iPad, there are also apps for iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows, Fire TV and more. There’s a limit of five devices at once, but that should be plenty for most people.
While not the cheapest, ExpressVPN does run discounts, with the best deal being the one-year subscription, which is almost half price.
CyberGhost is possibly the best-known VPN, and it’s still a great choice in 2021.
It’s really easy to use and one of the least-expensive services when you sign up for a couple of years.
CyberGhost has more than 6,700 servers across 88 countries, so you’re bound to find a connection that suits your needs.
Of potentially more interest to most people is the fact it’s pretty reliable for unblocking streaming services. However, a blot on its copybook was that it wouldn’t let us watch iPlayer from France when we tried recently.
It does, however, unblock Netflix, Disney+, HBOMax, Amazon Prime and others. The iPlayer issue is likely down to the usual cat-and-mouse game where streaming services block certain VPNs, who then sort out other servers to unblock the service.
It’s a problem for many VPN services, and CyberGhost may well let you watch iPlayer by the time you read this.
With support for WireGuard, CyberGhost offers speedy connections and one subscription allows you to use the service on up to seven devices at once.
Private Internet Access is a well-established VPN service that now operates a mind-boggling 33,000 servers.
The number isn’t as important as it might seem, but it’s still a sign that this is one of the big boys of the VPN world. The company is keener to point out that its software is open source, so anyone can inspect the code and check there are no problems. That’s one reason why it bills itself as the World’s Most Trusted VPN service.
PIA, as it’s known to most of its users, allows 10 simultaneous connections and is really geared towards offering protection while using the internet.
It isn’t the best for unblocking streaming services, though it did let us watch US Netflix and BBC iPlayer when we tested in in June 2021.
Speeds are great thanks to the use of WireGuard, and the iPad app is easy to use.
Most VPNs rent their servers, but VyprVPN is unusual in that it owns and operates all of its servers and network hardware. This makes VyprVPN a great choice for privacy.
Speeds are good thanks to the recent introduction of WireGuard. There are fewer servers than on some solutions, but they’re distributed among a decent number of countries. VyprVPN doesn’t disclose how many of its servers are physical (rather than virtual) though.
The iPad version of the app includes an interactive map that makes it easy to browse servers and view ping times.
You’ll find discounts on the regular monthly price if you’re willing to subscribe for a couple of years.
PureVPN offers more than 6,500 servers in 78 countries across all six main continents, which is pretty impressive. 69 of these servers are virtual though.
The iPad app looks bright and smart and makes it quick and easy to connect to locations outside your country and unblock the stuff you want to watch. And that includes iPlayer, ITV Hub and other UK services that others VPNs struggle with.
Unfortunately it doesn’t yet support WireGuard for the fastest speeds, but it’s more than quick enough for streaming video.
Install the app on your iPad and get a seven day trial just by entering your email address.