Mullvad vs. Surfshark VPN


author: Daniel Wright

Fact-checked by Ruben Olav

UPDATED: June 8, 2023

We will take a closer look at two popular options, Mullvad and Surfshark VPN. How do they compare in terms of security, server network, streaming capability, and much more? Stick with us as we delve into a detailed comparison to help you make an informed decision.

Summary of key features

FeaturesMullvadSurfsharkBetter VPN
Security and EncryptionStrongStrongTie
No-log Policy & JurisdictionSweden (14 Eyes), Anonymous Account, Strong No-log PolicyBritish Virgin Islands (outside 14 Eyes), Strong No-log PolicySurfshark
Server Network~760 servers in 36 countries3200+ servers in 65+ countriesSurfshark
StreamingPartial support (might need server hopping)Excellent (consistently unblocks major platforms)Surfshark
TorrentingAllowed on all servers, No P2P specific featuresAllowed on all servers, P2P-optimized servers, Risky connections blocklistSurfshark
Compatibility and Ease of UseApps for major platforms, No Smart TVs and game console support, 5 simultaneous connectionsApps for major platforms including Smart TVs and game consoles, Unlimited simultaneous connectionsSurfshark
PricingFlat rate of ~$6 per monthTiered pricing, best at $2.49 per month for 24-month planDepends on use-case (Mullvad for short-term, Surfshark for long-term)
Customer SupportEmail Support, FAQ, Guides, No Live ChatEmail Support, FAQ, Guides, 24/7 Live ChatSurfshark

The better choice between Mullvad and Surfshark VPN is Surfshark VPN. Get Surfshark VPN now at -81% off + 2 months free.

Security and Encryption: A Closer Look

First and foremost, let’s dissect the heart of any VPN, the security features, and encryption methods. Do you ever wonder how VPNs keep your information secure? They do so by utilizing encryption protocols, effectively creating a hidden tunnel for your data to travel away from prying eyes.

Mullvad vs Surfshark: A Security Faceoff

Both Mullvad and Surfshark are well-respected names in the VPN industry, with stringent security measures and solid encryption protocols. They both use industry-leading AES-256 encryption, which is a symmetric encryption algorithm and the golden standard in the field. However, there are differences in the additional security features they offer.


Mullvad offers the WireGuard protocol, which is known for its speed and security. It’s a newer and lighter protocol that performs faster than its predecessors. Additionally, Mullvad provides a SOCKS5 proxy, which offers an extra layer of security, and a built-in kill switch, a must-have feature for any VPN service.


On the other hand, Surfshark offers OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec protocols along with WireGuard, providing more options for users. It also offers a kill switch and a CleanWeb feature, which blocks ads, trackers, and malware. A unique offering of Surfshark is its MultiHop feature, allowing you to connect via two different VPN servers for increased security.

Here’s a comparative table of their security features and encryption methods:

ProtocolsWireGuard, OpenVPNWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
Kill SwitchYesYes
Ad/Malware BlockerNoYes (CleanWeb)
SOCKS5 ProxyYesNo

Looking at the table, one might wonder, which one is more secure? While both offer robust security features, Surfshark slightly edges out with more protocols and added features like ad/malware blocking and MultiHop. That being said, the choice would depend on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

In our next section, we’ll explore the no-log policies and jurisdictions of both VPNs, another critical factor in maintaining your online anonymity. Can we truly trust these VPNs with our data? Let’s find out!

No-log Policy & Jurisdiction: A Matter of Trust

Understanding a VPN’s no-log policy and jurisdiction can be just as crucial as knowing about its security features. But what exactly is a no-log policy, and why does it matter? A no-log or zero-log policy means that the VPN provider does not keep any records of your online activities. In essence, even if the company is somehow compelled to share your data, there’s nothing to hand over.

No-log Policies: Mullvad vs Surfshark

Both Mullvad and Surfshark uphold stringent no-log policies. However, it’s not just about the promises they make—it’s also about where they’re making them from. Let’s compare how each VPN handles this matter.


Mullvad’s approach to privacy is commendable. It does not keep any activity or connection logs and further implements anonymous account creation. You don’t need to provide an email or phone number to sign up. How do they ensure this? Mullvad is based in Sweden, a country known for its strong privacy laws.


Like Mullvad, Surfshark follows a strict no-log policy. It doesn’t monitor, track, or store your online activities. But Surfshark goes a step further—it has its no-log claims audited by Cure53, an independent cybersecurity company. Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction with no mandatory data retention laws.

Let’s look at a side-by-side comparison:

No-Log PolicyYesYes
Third-Party AuditNoYes (Cure53)
Anonymous AccountYesNo
JurisdictionSwedenBritish Virgin Islands

Considering the table, which VPN has a better no-log policy and jurisdiction? Both Mullvad and Surfshark have strong no-log policies, but Surfshark’s third-party audit adds an extra layer of credibility. In terms of jurisdiction, both are located in regions with favorable privacy laws. However, some users may prefer Surfshark’s British Virgin Islands location over Mullvad’s Swedish jurisdiction due to Sweden being a part of the 14 Eyes intelligence alliance.

Server Network: The More, the Merrier?

As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. In the world of VPNs, this translates to a large and diverse server network. Why does the server network matter? A large server network means more options for bypassing geo-restrictions, better speeds, and a reduced likelihood of server congestion.

Server Network: Mullvad vs Surfshark

When we compare Mullvad and Surfshark’s server networks, the difference is noticeable. While both services have global coverage, there is a vast discrepancy in the number of servers and locations each provides.


Mullvad operates a network of around 760+ servers spread across 36 countries, including often overlooked regions like Africa. Despite its smaller size, Mullvad maintains a reliable and consistent service.


Surfshark, on the other hand, boasts a more extensive network with 3200+ servers spanning 65 countries. This diverse server distribution improves the chances of finding a fast and reliable connection no matter where you are.

Here’s a comparative snapshot:

Total Number of Servers650+3200+
Number of Countries43100

Based on these figures, which VPN provides a better server network? Surfshark takes the lead with its larger and more diverse server network, which may result in a higher chance of bypassing geo-restrictions and achieving better speeds.

Streaming: Your Passport to Boundless Entertainment

Are you aware that a VPN can be your passport to unlimited entertainment? One of the primary uses of a VPN is to bypass geo-restrictions imposed by streaming services. But how does this work? A VPN allows you to virtually change your location, enabling you to access content that might be blocked in your actual location.

Streaming: Mullvad vs Surfshark

The effectiveness of Mullvad and Surfshark in unblocking streaming content varies, with each having their strengths.


Mullvad provides reasonable support for streaming services. However, it’s not always consistent in bypassing geo-restrictions on platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. You might need to do a bit of server hopping to find one that can access your desired content.


Surfshark shines in this area. It reliably unblocks a wide range of streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and others. It also offers unlimited simultaneous connections, allowing you to stream on any device at any time.

Here’s a comparison:

Unblocks NetflixPartiallyYes
Unblocks Amazon Prime VideoPartiallyYes
Unblocks HuluNoYes
Unblocks BBC iPlayerPartiallyYes
Simultaneous Connections5Unlimited

Looking at this table, which VPN offers better streaming capabilities? While Mullvad does provide access to some streaming services, Surfshark outperforms with its ability to reliably unblock a wide range of platforms and its offer of unlimited connections.

Torrenting: Anonymity at Its Best

Have you ever considered the implications of downloading torrents without a VPN? Your IP address can be visible to anyone watching, including your ISP and copyright trolls. VPNs can provide an essential layer of security in this regard. So, how effective are Mullvad and Surfshark for torrenting? Let’s see.

Torrenting: Mullvad vs Surfshark

When it comes to torrenting, both Mullvad and Surfshark have features that ensure secure and anonymous downloads.


Mullvad has a strong focus on privacy and allows torrenting on all its servers. It uses strong encryption and a no-logs policy to keep your torrenting activity private. However, it doesn’t have specific features tailored for P2P sharing.


Surfshark not only allows P2P sharing on all its servers but also has optimized servers for torrenting, providing high-speed and secure downloads. Like Mullvad, it uses strong encryption and a no-logs policy to ensure privacy.

Here’s a comparison:

Allows TorrentingYesYes
Optimized P2P ServersNoYes
Blocklist for Risky ConnectionsNoYes

Taking into account the features listed, which VPN is better for torrenting? Both VPNs provide secure environments for torrenting, but Surfshark goes the extra mile with its optimized servers and a blocklist for risky connections, making it a more suitable choice for P2P sharing.

Compatibility and Ease of Use: A User-friendly Experience?

A VPN is only as good as its user interface. Why is ease of use important? A user-friendly VPN means you can spend less time figuring out how to use the service and more time enjoying its benefits. Moreover, compatibility across multiple devices is crucial to ensure you’re protected no matter what device you use.

Compatibility and Ease of Use: Mullvad vs Surfshark

Both Mullvad and Surfshark have made a concerted effort to ensure their services are user-friendly and compatible with a range of devices. However, there are some notable differences.


Mullvad offers apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, and it also provides guidance for setting up the VPN on routers. The design of its applications is clean and minimalist, making it easy for users to navigate. However, some users might find the lack of settings and customization options limiting.


Surfshark also provides apps for the same platforms as Mullvad, along with Smart TVs and even game consoles. Surfshark’s apps are intuitive and offer a variety of settings and features, allowing for a more personalized VPN experience.

Here’s a comparison:

Smart TVsNoYes
Game ConsolesNoYes
Browser ExtensionsYesYes
Simultaneous Connections5Unlimited

From the table, which VPN offers better compatibility and ease of use? While both VPNs support a wide range of devices and offer user-friendly applications, Surfshark edges out with its broader compatibility, including Smart TVs and game consoles, and unlimited simultaneous connections.

Pricing: Getting Your Money’s Worth

When it comes to choosing a VPN, pricing plays a significant role. But is the most expensive VPN always the best? Not necessarily. It’s about finding the right balance between what you’re paying and what you’re getting in return.

Pricing: Mullvad vs Surfshark

When comparing the pricing structures of Mullvad and Surfshark, you’ll find they approach it differently.


Mullvad keeps it simple with a flat rate of €5 per month (around $6), regardless of the length of your commitment. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Mullvad Pricing


Surfshark, on the other hand, offers tiered pricing with the cost decreasing the longer your subscription. It also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. As of writing, their rates are as follows:

  • 1 month: $12.95
  • 12 months: $47.88 ($3.99 per month)
  • 24 months + 2 months gratis: $59.76 ($2.30 per month)
Surfshark VPN Pricing

Here’s a comparison:

1-Month Plan~$6$12.95
6-Month Plan~$36 ($6/month)$47.88 ($3.99/month)
24-Month Plan~$144 ($6/month)$59.76 ($2.30/month)
Money-Back Guarantee30 days30 days

In terms of pricing, which VPN offers better value? Mullvad’s flat rate is attractive for its simplicity and affordability, especially for short-term use. However, Surfshark provides excellent long-term value with substantial discounts on its 24-month plan.

Customer Support: Your Lifeline for VPN Troubles

No matter how advanced or user-friendly a VPN service is, there will always come a time when you need some assistance. That’s where a responsive and knowledgeable customer support team comes into play. So, how do Mullvad and Surfshark fare in providing customer support? Let’s delve into it.

Customer Support: Mullvad vs Surfshark

There’s quite a contrast when it comes to comparing the customer support offered by Mullvad and Surfshark.


Mullvad offers a range of self-help resources on its website, including a comprehensive FAQ section and guides for troubleshooting and setup. If you can’t find the solution to your problem in these resources, you can reach out to their support team via email. However, Mullvad does not offer live chat, which could mean slower response times.


Surfshark’s customer support is robust, with a wealth of resources available on their website, including an extensive FAQ section, guides, and a blog full of useful articles. For personalized help, Surfshark offers 24/7 live chat support, a feature that sets it apart from many other VPN providers.

Here’s a comparison:

Live ChatNoYes
Email SupportYesYes

Looking at the table, which VPN offers better customer support? While Mullvad provides adequate self-help resources, Surfshark takes customer support a notch higher with its 24/7 live chat feature, ensuring immediate help whenever needed.

Conclusion: Mullvad vs Surfshark – Which One to Choose?

Choosing a VPN often boils down to personal needs and preferences. Mullvad and Surfshark, both reputable and reliable VPN providers, have their strengths and weaknesses.

Mullvad stands out for its simple pricing model and commitment to privacy, with anonymous account creation and a robust no-log policy. However, it falls short in server network size, and streaming capabilities, and lacks live customer support.

On the other hand, Surfshark shines with its extensive server network, superior unblocking capabilities, optimized torrenting servers, and top-notch customer support. Its pricing plan is also attractive for long-term users.

In summary, if you’re looking for a simple, privacy-focused VPN and don’t mind the lack of advanced features, Mullvad could be your go-to choice. However, if you want a VPN packed with features, capable of unblocking a vast range of content, and you require immediate customer support, Surfshark would be an excellent pick.

Remember, a VPN is an investment in your online security and privacy. Which VPN meets your needs best—Mullvad or Surfshark? The decision, ultimately, is yours but I recommend going with Surfshark.


Is Mullvad better than Surfshark VPN?

Mullvad is a great VPN service but Surfshark VPN offers more value for the money when it comes to 1-year and 2-year plans.

How do Mullvad and Surfshark compare in terms of privacy and no-log policies?

Both Mullvad and Surfshark have robust privacy practices. They both maintain a strict no-log policy, meaning they do not keep records of your online activity. However, Mullvad stands out for its commitment to privacy with anonymous account creation and payment options.

Which VPN is better for streaming, Mullvad or Surfshark?

While both Mullvad and Surfshark can unblock some geo-restricted streaming content, Surfshark is more reliable in this regard. It consistently unblocks a wide range of streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

Which VPN offers better value for money, Mullvad or Surfshark?

Mullvad offers a simple, flat rate of approximately $6 per month, making it affordable for short-term use. Surfshark, on the other hand, offers discounted rates for longer commitments, with its 24-month plan providing excellent value at $2.49 per month. Therefore, the better value depends on your intended length of use.

About the author

Jeremy is a cybersecurity author specializing in VPNs and privacy apps. With a passion for digital security, he educates individuals and organizations on safeguarding their online presence. Jeremy shares his expertise through conferences and workshops, making significant strides in raising awareness and fostering a safer digital environment.