Comparison

Mullvad review vs. Surfshark review

⏳ Short on time? Here’s the overall winner.

The better choice between Mullvad and Surfshark is Surfshark. Here are all the things which we’ve tested:

  • Privacy: Mullvad has worse privacy features than Surfshark
  • Features: Mullvad has less features than Surfshark
  • Speed: Mullvad is slower than Surfshark
  • Countries:  Mullvad has less countries available than Surfshark
  • Security: Mullvad has better security than Surfshark
  • Price: Mullvad is more expensive than Surfshark
  • Compatibility: Same price
  • Support: Mullvad has less options to contact support than Surfshark

1. Privacy

I’ll start with a comparison of the most important aspect of any VPN - privacy. During review I will consider whether VPN logs anything (IP address, traffic, DNS logs, bandwidth, or any type of timestamps) and the jurisdiction of VPN’s country of origin.

NameMullvadSurfshark
IP addressNoNo
DNSNo No
TrafficNoNo
BandwidthNoNo
TimestampsNoNo

Mullvad is located in Sweden which is part of 5 9 14 eyes countries and is not part of enemies of the internet countries while Surfshark is located in British Virgin Island which is not part of 5 9 14 eyes countries and is not part of enemies of the internet countries.

It’s important to note that If you are like me and you will be using VPN only to unblock GEO-restricted content, privacy will not be that important factor but it’s still essential for any VPN.

2. Features

The next category I want to compare are features of Mullvad and Surfshark such as kill-switch, unblocking of streaming, support of P2P traffic (torrenting). I am a heavy user of various streaming platforms so for me it’s important whether VPN unblocks major streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO or BBC. I don’t do much torrenting but it’s always good to use a VPN while doing so. If this is an important factor for you, definitely look for a VPN which supports P2P traffic.

NameMullvadSurfshark
Kill-switchYesYes
Streaming (Netflix)YesYes
P2P traffic - torrentsYesYes

As you can see from the comparison table above, Mullvad has kill-switch, supports streaming services, and supports torrenting. On the flipside Surfshark has kill-switch, supports streaming services, and supports torrenting.

3. Speed

Being hidden behind VPN shouldn’t limit the speed of your connection. I’ve measured the speed of each VPN against a 100mbps connection - which should be sufficient for any activities including heavy streaming in 4K or downloading large files.

In my test Mullvad was more on the fast side while Surfshark had average speed. If there were no limits in speed on a 100mbps connection, I consider VPN a “fast” one. If the speed is limited somehow but still achieving decent values, I categorize it as “average”. The “slow” is usually used for VPNs which limit your bandwidth significantly.

4. Security

I will start by comparing the type of encryption Mullvad and Surfshark use, what tunnelling protocols are available, and finally we’ll test whether it leaks the IP address or DNS.

NameMullvadSurfshark
Encryption256-bit256-bit
Tunneling protocolsOpenVPN, WireGuard and SOCKS5OpenVPN and IKEv2
IP leaksNoNo
DNS leaksNoNo

The most important factor of a VPN service is a strong encryption of the traffic which is forwarded through the VPN servers. The most common encryption types in cryptography are SHA encryption or AES encryption which are not really comparable against each other. There might be different lengths of encryptions (eg. 128-bit, 256-bit, 2048-bit) and while usually the higher is the better, for most use cases you will be fine with any encryption. Watch-out if there is no encryption at all. Mullvad uses 256-bit and OpenVPN, WireGuard and SOCKS5 protocol and Surfshark uses 256-bit and es 256-bit and OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols. I’ve tested both VPNs also for IP and DNS leaks and Mullvad had no IP leaks and No DNS leaks while Surfshark had No IP leaks and No DNS leaks. 

5. Price

Probably one of the most important decision factor for the majority of users will be price. Shocking? Not really. We all love to compare things and I am not different. It’s always good to get the best value for your hard-earned money, isn’t it? So let’s see whether Mullvad or Surfshark is cheaper.

NameMullvadSurfshark
Price$5.52$1.99
Trial versionYesYes

6. Compatibility

Mullvad supports 5 connections at the same time while it works fine on all the platforms below. You can use Surfshark on unlimited devices at the same time with support of all these platforms:

NameMullvadSurfshark
WindowsYesYes
MacOSYesYes
Linux
AndroidYesYes
iOSYesYes

7. Support

Should you have any problems with Mullvad or Surfshark you can reach out to their support via:

NameMullvadSurfshark
LivechatNoYes
EmailYesYes
PhoneNoNo

Summary

Mullvad ranked in our list on 17. position while Surfshark. is on 2 position. If you are looking for a better choice, see our rankings here.