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Setting up the best vpn for iPad is a lot similar to setting up a VPN on an iPad. The common question, how to set up a VPN on iPad, usually bears no importance because the similarity is uncanny. Both devices (iPhones and iPads) are operated by the iOS, but this step-by-step setup guide will help you set up your VPN service on your iPad without any difficulty in no time.

This VPN setup process applies to iPad users looking to setup VPN on their iPad for work and pleasure both. With easy instructions and pictorial guides, you will be able to set VPN up on your iPads with ease.

iPad VPN Setup FAQs

Where is the VPN icon?

Once you have created a VPN profile, the option to connect to a VPN will become visible in the main settings menu with a slider-toggle button if this was the first time a VPN configuration profile has been added. Upon connecting, the VPN icon will become visible in your iPad’s status bar to indicate an active connection status.

Having more than one VPN configuration can actually be useful if used wisely. A good idea is to make multiple VPN configurations, each with a different VPN server. This makes it easier to switch VPN servers.

My iPad Menus are Different

You may feel certain differences during the setup process on account of differences between the iOS versions. In the event of being unable to find the VPN configuration page a bit of trial-and-error will get you there. In all cases, the steps and fields identified above will remain valid and you can use them to understand the iPad’s VPN feature’s functionality.

I am using a Wireless Router

You will not be able to use VPN on your iPad if you are trying to connect to the internet through a wireless router. Also, if you run into a notification stating ‘Shared Secret is Missing’ or anything similar, contact your VPN service provider immediately because this means that the credentials failed authentication during connection establishment.

Getting Info from your iPad VPN Service Provider

Before you start manually configuring VPN on your iPad, go straight to your VPN service provider and ask for some details that you will require during the setup process. If you will be setting up PPTP or L2TP VPN on your iPad, ask your VPN service provider to provide you with the following details

  • Server name
  • Account username
  • RSA SecurID (Yes/No?)
  • Password
  • Encryption level (recommended?)
  • Send all traffic (Yes/No?)
  • Proxy (Off/Manual/Auto?)
  • URL (Incase proxy settings are to be set at Auto)

If you will be setting up IPSec VPN on your iPad, ask your VPN service provider to provide you with the following details

  • Server name
  • User Account name
  • User Password
  • Certificate Use (Yes/No?)
  • Group Name
  • Secret
  • Proxy (Off/Manual/Auto?)
  • URL (Incase proxy settings are to be set at Auto)

You cannot possibly adequately configure your VPN on your iPad without these details. Also, ask your VPN service provider to provide you with more than one server names if possible – most VPN service providers have an extensive list of servers available for iOS users.

Advanced iPad VPN Protocols

Most iPad users choose to limit their use to the first two (L2TP and PPTP) protocols for business as well as casual use purposes. iPad users looking for tighter security go for the IPSec protocol while a very rare few go for Juniper Junos Pulse and Cisco AnyConnect protocols.

Juniper Junos Pulse protocol

If you want to use the Juniper Junos Pulse protocol, you will have to download Junos Pulse from the Apple iTunes store. This means that you don’t need to carry out any manual VPN configuration on your iPad and can jump straight past the first section of this guide.

Cisco’s AnyConnect protocol

If you want to use Cisco’s AnyConnect protocol, you will have to download Cisco’s AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client. Since this is a client software that comes with its own instructions (extremely extensive instructions in the case of Cisco AnyConnect), I salute you for the courage to face the extra complications that come with Cisco AnyConnect and refer you to the iPad VPN setup for Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.

Automatic iPad VPN Setup

The automatic iPad VPN setup is as easy as installing any other application on your iPad. A few taps for quick download and installation, followed by the entry of a few credentials, a few selections off the top off your head, and you’re in!

Once the VPN client has been installed, the only thing left to do is to enter in your login details, be as picky as you please about protocol/server selection, and tap ‘Connect’. You’re done!

Where are the long numbered setup steps and stages? There are none – that’s the beauty of it! All you had to do was to pick a VPN service provider, download the VPN service provider’s app for iPads, follow the iPad VPN setup instructions to install it, and you’re done!

Also, since every VPN service provider with an app for iPad VPN is different, it is virtually impossible for me to give you a generic run-down of the app installation and setup process.

However, if the VPN service provider you have chosen does not provide an app/client for iPad users, then you have no other option to follow the setup process elaborated in the first section.

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Comparing iPad VPN  Features Amongst VPN Providers

We know that the Apple iPad plays nice with VPNs because there is a ipad VPN setup option in the iPad settings, but not all VPNs play nice with the iPad.

Custom iPad VPN Clients: Almost every VPN service provider provides services to iPad users. However, there are not a lot of them who provide VPN software (also called clients or apps) for iPad users. Keep in mind that constant upgrades in the iOS make it problematic for VPN service providers to keep their apps fine-tuned for quality service.

However, the ease of operation that these apps provide makes the trouble worth it. The apps make VPN connection and management as easy as child’s play. These apps move in a comprehensively sequential order to assist iPad users in connecting to the VPN server.

The general sequence in which iPad VPN apps function is:

Credentials > Protocol Selection > Server Selection > Connection

Protocol Selection: Usually the protocol selection stage is simplified by simply asking the iPad user to identify the purpose of connecting to the VPN.

Server Selection: Once the iPad user (yepp, thats you) has identified the purpose of connecting to the VPN, the client app then coordinates with the VPN service provider to identify servers best suited for the task.

Some apps are designed to allow you the comfort of either browsing available servers (and countries) in a list format, or viewing the available servers on a map.

VPN Limitations for iPad

VPN service providers tend to place certain limitations on users wishing to use VPN on their iPads. These limitations tend to affect your internet experience in two ways:

Data and Bandwidth Limits: You may find yourself facing a monthly download limit with some VPN service providers. Your iPad is a hand-held device and hand devices have a networking architecture different from regular internet-enabled devices. Hence, they are subjected to a different data (read: pricing) plan.

VPN Servers: Server accessibility may be limited and you may not be able to access all of the VPN service provider’s servers in the server spread. For instance, if the home page of a VPN service provider says that they have over 500 servers in over 100 countries, then you want to know the exact number of servers and countries that will be accessible to you if you wish to subscribe to their service for use on your iPad. I promise you that the number will disappoint you.

Why? Because the number of iPad VPN users is much less than the number of VPN users on computer systems. Hence, VPN service providers choose to fashion services that are primarily designed to cater to the larger customer base. And yes, this means that you became part of a virtual minority (Pun intended!) the moment you started searching for a ipad vpn setup.


If possible, ask your VPN service provider to visit the official web page on iOS supported to learn more about how to facilitate you. Also speak to your VPN service provider about VPN certificates. iOS based devices like your iPad, mandate that VPN certificates are non-migratory (and must be always available) so that they cannot be moved/used to/by another device.

In order to do all this, make sure you don’t leave any stone unturned before subscribing to a VPN service provider. Your iPad is super-handy and is your access pass to all your work and pleasure activities 24/7. That means VPN access and support staff alike must be available at all time – there is no margin for down-time.