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How to Setup VPN on iPad | The Latest 2021 Guide

Virtual Private Networks (VPN) have been around for a while now. They are tools that are designed to give the users a safe, private connection. While I am sure many have heard about it or stumbled across the VPN settings on your iPad, I am willing to bet the majority of these people don’t know or even cared to use it. Check out our guide on HOW TO SETUP VPN ON IPAD for all the details.

I can’t blame anyone because for many years even I was in that category, but once I did my research about VPNs, it is one of the most visited settings on my iPad. I use a VPN all the time on my iPad and while there were some hiccups at the start, I learnt how to use them.

I am glad I did, because I am a little paranoid about my safety on the internet, and privacy is everything for me. This article is a guide on how to set up a VPN on an iPad and guess what, it’s a lot easier now compared to a few years back.  Read on to find out HOW TO SETUP VPN ON IPAD.

After having reviewed Apple’s official documents and having reviewed information from our credible sources; my team and I found that:

It’s rather simple to setup VPN on an iPad. The user can either purchase a VPN service and automatically choose to router the internet through this VP service or the user can manually enable the inbuilt VPN service under settings in the iPad.

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How to setup VPN on an iPad

There are two methods you can use to set up a VPN on your iPad. You can either choose a VPN service provider, these services allow you to download apps that connect you through a VPN on your iPad. The other method is manually configuring a VPN on your iPad from the Settings app. Check out our guide on HOW TO SETUP VPN ON IPAD for all the details.

#1 — Using a VPN service provider’s App 

VPN service providers have one goal, making the whole process intuitive, seamless and easy for anyone. And most reputed VPN service providers do a great job making the whole process simple and straightforward even for new users. Their web services and apps for smartphones and tablet alike give easy access to a VPN at just a click. 

  • This carries on to iPads too, VPN services like ExpressVPN, NordVPN and TunnelBear, some of the best providers have apps for iPads. These services come with free and paid plans. VPN service providers offer a lot of features that make using VPN joy for someone who is not very enthusiastic about tech. 
  • You can try the services using their free trial and see if they suit you, work well and then if you like them, you can pay for them. Paying for VPN service providers gives you access to more features, better speed and remove data caps if there was any. Free VPNs are slow and come with very limited features.

But first, let’s see how to set up and use VPN on iPad using the app from a VPN service provider. 

Step 1 Search for the VPN app on the App Store and install it on your iPad. 

Step 2 Open the app you just installed, there might be slides explaining the features, read them to know more about the app.  

Step 3 Most VPN apps will ask you to sign up if you are a new user, but you could just log in if you have used their service on other devices.  

Step 4 Your iPad will ask for your passcode to authenticate your permission so that the app can configure your VPN settings.  

Step 4 You can try the app for free if it has a trial or if you have already purchased the premium version, you can switch to the server you want.  

Step 5 You can now connect to the VPN and browse safely by just tapping on the connect button or switch (depends on the App). Once you are connected, a small VPN icon will appear on the notification bar of your iPad. 

  • Paying also gives you premium VPN access on multiple devices, be it a laptop, desktop or mobile devices like iPads.
  • Along with this, you will get the option to choose from different servers all over the world so that you can access geo-restricted content or protect yourself from trackers.
  • You get features like Kill Switch, which disconnects you from the internet if your VPN disconnects even for a second, making sure that your IP address or location is never exposed.  

The one disadvantage of using a VPN over an app is the loss of battery life. So, make sure to turn off the VPN whenever you are not using it to conserve your iPads battery life. Sometimes VPNs can increase internet latency and usage, so it is better if you turn it on only when need.  

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#2 — Manually Configuring VPN for iPad 

Manually configuring VPN is a great way to find what you need and what suits you. It is not as easy to set up compared to using an app. In fact, it can be a lot harder or time-consuming. So then why would someone use this method?

  • Tech-savvy people like to have full control over their VPN setting, and this exactly what you get by manually configuring a VPN.

I will talk about the advantages this method holds over using the app of a VPN service provider, but first, let see how to manually configure a VPN: 

Step 1 Open the Settings app on your iPad first and select the ‘General’ option in it.  

Step 2 Once inside ‘General’, choose the VPN option here.  

Step 3 Now, tap on the “Add VPN Configuration…” option. 

Step 4 Now, you have to choose the type of VPN protocol you want to use. You can choose from IKEv2, IPsec, or L2TP. After choosing the VPN protocol you are going to use, tap back to go to the previous screen.  

Step 5 You will now have to fill up the server details. Make sure to have them in hand before you start. These server details depend on the tunnel protocol you choose. You will need Description, Server, Remote ID, Local ID, Account, Password and Secret depending on the protocol you chose. 

  • Description: Enter a name for your VPN connection, such as OpenVPN, NordVPN etc., to differentiate it from other configurations. 
  • Server: It is either the Domain name or IP address. 
  • Remote ID: This is the hostname; you will need to get it from the VPN provider. 
  • Username: the username of your VPN service account. 
  • Password: Your password for your VPN service. 
  • Local ID: This is mostly left empty. 

Step 6 Now fill in the server details that you have in hand, remember, this depends on the tunnel protocol you choose before.  

Step 7 There is also an option to configure proxy details at the end of the page. Here, you can specify server, port and authentication settings too. Use the Auto option to enter the URL. 

Step 8 Tap Done when you are done configuring the settings. 

Step 9 To use the configured VPN, open the Settings app on your iPad, go to General and then tap on VPN.

Step 10 There is a toggle switch in here which turns VPN on and off. Choose the name of the VPN you configured and toggle it on. 

Step 11 If you have multiple configurations set up, choose the VPN you want to use. If you have only one VPN set up, it will be chosen by default. 

Step 12 To know you are connected, a VPN symbol will appear in your iPad’s notification bar. Once you are connected, you are safe to browse the web. 

  • So, now you see why this is a lengthy, tedious process that is not convenient for everyone. But this method has its advantages too. 
  • Firstly, you can use free and open-source VPN service providers like OpenVPN. Then you can configure your VPN connection to the best servers and locations if you don’t want to compromise on internet speed.

And finally, since this is a system configuration, there is zero or minimal hit to the battery life of your iPad which is a huge advantage. These are also used by companies to give access to their servers when they are off-site.  

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HOW TO SETUP VPN ON IPAD – Final Thoughts

Virtual Private Network or VPNs as they are popularly called are a great tool for someone who is always connected to the internet. And if that someone, is you, I am sure anyone reading this article is, you need to use it. VPNs are a platform to ensure that you are safe and secure on the internet. They help by masking your IP address which makes you anonymous to prying eyes like trackers and websites. 

If you are someone who has heard about VPNs but didn’t know how to use them on your iPad, well, now you know. So, go ahead and make your internet connection secure, private and safe. Remember, you can never be too careful and you need to be as careful as you can on the internet. A VPN is one of the best ways to ensure it. 

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VPN on iPads 

iPad like iPhones offers some of the best VPN services that connect to. You can connect using 

L2TP – Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol

PPTP – Point to Point Tunneling Protocol

IPsec – Internet Protocol Security 

Using a VPN on your iPad has these advantages: 

  • You can browse the internet safe, secure and privately without prying eyes on you.
  • A VPN can mask your current location so that you are safe from trackers and websites. 
  • VPN keeps your information safe when on an insecure public Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • You can access restricted videos/websites that are blocked in your region. Check out our guide on HOW TO SETUP VPN ON IPAD for all the details.

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