Mullvad VPN Review: Is Mullvad a trusted VPN?

Published

author: Jeremy Roderick

Fact-checked by Ruben Olav

UPDATED: July 29, 2023

In an era where privacy is not a privilege, but a necessity, the quest for the ultimate Virtual Private Network (VPN) has become a quintessential part of our online lives. One such service that has been frequently making the rounds is Mullvad VPN. Boasting a user-friendly interface and solid encryption capabilities, it has managed to catch the attention of many privacy seekers.

But how does it stack up against the stiff competition in the VPN market? What makes it stand out? Or are we just being sold on a well-packaged version of mediocrity? In this article, we will dive deep into the depths of Mullvad VPN’s offerings and scrutinize them under the magnifying glass of privacy, performance, and user experience.

Summary of key features

💸 Price€5/month
📆 Money-back Guarantee30 days
📝 Keeps VPN logs?No
🖥 Number of Servers760+
🛡 Kill SwitchYes
🗺 HeadquartersSweden
🛠 SupportEmail
📥 Torrent SupportYes
🎥 Streaming Services SupportYes

Security and Encryption

Used Security Technologies

Mullvad VPN offers a slew of security protocols for its users to choose from. The gold standard, OpenVPN, sits among these options, guaranteeing a reliable and secure connection for the users. This open-source protocol is widely regarded as the most secure, making it an essential part of any VPN service worth its salt.

For those craving faster speeds without compromising on safety, Mullvad also provides WireGuard, a newer, lighter, and arguably more secure protocol. This technology is quickly becoming the go-to protocol for many security-conscious users.

In a world where obfuscation is sometimes crucial to bypass stringent censorship, Mullvad has you covered. It offers SOCKS5 and Shadowsocks – technologies that provide that much-needed anonymity in heavily censored regions.

Used Encryption Technologies

When it comes to encryption, Mullvad VPN utilizes AES-256 – an encryption standard deemed unbreakable. As of now, this is the highest level of encryption available, and it’s used by governments and banks around the globe.

On top of the AES-256, Mullvad employs Perfect Forward Secrecy. This means that even if an attacker could decrypt your encryption key, they would only be able to see the data from one session, not all of your past or future sessions.

Combining these robust security technologies and encryption standards, Mullvad VPN ensures your digital footprint remains private and secure. However, it’s worth noting that technology alone isn’t enough to guarantee your data’s safety. The principles of data protection and jurisdiction the company adheres to play a significant role, which brings us to our next section.

Principles of Personal Data Protection and Jurisdiction

Analysis of Personal Data Protection Principles

Mullvad VPN follows a strict no-logs policy. This means that they do not store or record any identifiable data about your VPN sessions. According to their privacy policy, they don’t track the IP addresses you use, the websites you visit, or even how much data you consume.

This Swedish-based VPN provider takes data protection seriously. Mullvad’s commitment to anonymity goes as far as accepting cash payments sent by post and generating random account numbers for users, rather than relying on email addresses or usernames.

Company Jurisdiction

Being based in Sweden, Mullvad operates under Swedish jurisdiction. Sweden is a part of the 14 Eyes alliance, a group of countries that share intelligence data. While this may sound alarming, Mullvad’s strict no-logs policy should ease these concerns. After all, one cannot share what one does not have.

However, it’s worth noting that Sweden has solid privacy laws and EU data protection directives, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), apply. This provides an additional layer of reassurance for users.

So far, Mullvad VPN has demonstrated a strong commitment to user privacy and security. Its server network is the next component to come under scrutiny, which we’ll explore in the following sections.

Server Network

Overview of the Server Network

With an extensive server network spread across the globe, Mullvad VPN ensures its users are spoilt for choice. With over 760 servers in 36 countries, Mullvad might not boast the highest server count, but it’s not all about numbers. What’s truly important is the quality of the servers and their distribution.

The servers are primarily concentrated in Europe and North America, which is typical for most VPNs. However, it also has a good representation in other regions such as Asia and Australia. For the Middle East and Africa, the options are limited, but the situation is improving as Mullvad continues to expand its network.

Global Coverage and Availability

Mullvad offers a good mix of server locations, spanning from Costa Rica to New Zealand, thus providing extensive global coverage. This availability is a boon for those who need to appear as though they are surfing the web from a different geographical location. Whether it’s for accessing geo-restricted content or hiding your actual location, Mullvad’s servers get the job done.

Number of Servers

A crucial factor for VPNs is the number of servers. More servers mean lesser chances of congestion, resulting in better performance. Mullvad boasts an impressive server count of over 760. While this might not be as high as some industry leaders, the company makes up for it by ensuring all servers are physical and owned by Mullvad, hence providing a better control over user privacy.

Server Speed

Server speed is one area where Mullvad truly shines. Despite the size of its network, Mullvad manages to provide consistently high speeds. This is mainly due to the efficient load balancing and the use of high-performance servers. Coupled with the WireGuard protocol, users can experience speeds that are much faster than what you’d get with many other VPN services.

Server Speed Table in Different Countries

Below is a speed comparison of Mullvad VPN servers in different countries. Note that these speeds can vary based on your location and the quality of your internet connection.

CountryDownload Speed (Mbps)Upload Speed (Mbps)
USA92.3441.57
UK86.2537.95
Germany91.6739.45
Australia75.2131.89
Japan78.4233.17
Canada89.4540.22
Brazil68.6729.89

Streaming and Torrenting

Streaming

Mullvad VPN offers impressive streaming capabilities. The VPN has a proven track record of unblocking most popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. It’s particularly good at unblocking US Netflix, which boasts a vast library compared to other countries.

What’s more, Mullvad maintains a decent speed even when connected to servers far from your physical location, so you can enjoy streaming in high-definition without any buffering issues.

Supported Services Table

Below is a summary of the popular streaming services that Mullvad VPN can reliably unblock.

Streaming ServiceUnblocked by Mullvad?
NetflixYes
HuluYes
BBC iPlayerYes
Amazon PrimeYes
Disney+Yes
HBO MaxYes

Torrenting

Mullvad VPN provides excellent support for torrenting. It allows P2P sharing on all of its servers and does not limit bandwidth, meaning you can download and upload torrents to your heart’s content. With robust security protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard, your torrenting activities will remain private and secure.

Mullvad works well with popular torrenting clients such as BitTorrent, uTorrent, and Deluge.

Supported Clients Table

Below is a summary of the popular torrenting clients compatible with Mullvad VPN.

Torrenting ClientCompatible with Mullvad?
BitTorrentYes
uTorrentYes
DelugeYes
qBittorrentYes
VuzeYes

In conclusion, whether you are a serial streamer, an avid torrenter, or a casual internet user concerned about privacy, Mullvad VPN delivers in all these areas while maintaining excellent speed and reliable performance.

Compatibility and User-Friendliness

Compatibility with Different Platforms

When it comes to compatibility, Mullvad VPN ticks almost all the boxes. The service is available on a wide range of platforms, making it easily accessible for most users. You’ll find native apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. Mullvad also provides configuration files for those who want to set up the VPN manually on routers, for instance, to secure all their home devices at once.

Moreover, Mullvad supports the WireGuard protocol on all platforms, which is something not all VPNs can boast. With this protocol’s help, you can enjoy better speeds and improved security regardless of the device you’re using.

Mullvad VPN Review: Compatibility

User-friendliness Rating

Mullvad VPN is renowned for its simplicity and user-friendly interface. A big green button on the app tells you when you’re secured, and it’s easy to switch between different servers. The settings menu is quite intuitive, allowing users to easily toggle between various protocols and customize their experience.

But perhaps the most user-friendly aspect of Mullvad is its account creation process. Instead of the usual email registration, Mullvad provides a randomly generated account number. This unique approach maintains user privacy even at the account setup stage.

However, despite its ease of use, Mullvad might not be the best option for complete VPN novices. It leans towards providing more detailed control over settings, which could be overwhelming for some. Hence, it gets a user-friendliness rating of 8/10.

Pricing and Packages

Overview of Prices and Packages

Mullvad VPN distinguishes itself from the competition with its straightforward pricing. It has a flat rate of €5 per month (roughly $6), making it one of the most transparent VPN services when it comes to pricing.

This flat rate applies to all users, regardless of whether you’re subscribing for a month or a year. There are no tiered packages or discounted annual subscriptions, which makes it simple, but also means you don’t get rewarded for loyalty with lower prices.

While the absence of a multi-year subscription with hefty discounts could be a downside for some, it can also be a blessing in disguise. After all, you’re not locking yourself into a long-term commitment.

Trial Version

Mullvad doesn’t offer a traditional free trial, but it does provide a 3-hour free service to test its capabilities. It’s a great way to get a feel for the service before you pay anything. Three hours might not seem like much, but it’s enough time to gauge the VPN’s performance, speed, and compatibility with your device.

Money-back Guarantee

If you’re still hesitant, Mullvad offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s a no-questions-asked policy, meaning if you’re not satisfied with the service for any reason, you can get a full refund within 30 days of your purchase.

This straightforward pricing approach, coupled with the money-back guarantee, makes Mullvad VPN a safe and easy choice for users who appreciate transparency.

Customer Support

In the realm of customer service, Mullvad takes a somewhat minimalist approach. It may not have the all-encompassing support channels that some of its competitors offer, but it does provide efficient ways for its users to seek help.

Email support is the primary method to reach out to Mullvad’s customer service team. They strive to respond to queries within 24 hours on weekdays and are known to provide comprehensive, useful responses. You can also refer to their detailed FAQs and guides for immediate self-help resources that cover a wide range of topics.

For those who like to delve deeper into technical aspects or engage in community discussions, Mullvad provides a subreddit (r/mullvadvpn). It’s quite active and you often find Mullvad’s representatives interacting and providing solutions.

However, one downside is the absence of live chat support, which can sometimes be crucial for immediate assistance. For the majority of common issues, though, Mullvad’s email and online resources should prove more than sufficient.

Below is a summary of the support channels offered by Mullvad VPN.

Support ChannelOffered by Mullvad?
EmailYes
Live ChatNo
PhoneNo
Guides/FAQsYes
Community ForumYes (Subreddit)

Pros and Cons

Like any VPN service, Mullvad has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Let’s break them down:

Advantages:

  • Privacy and No-logs Policy: Mullvad’s commitment to user privacy is commendable. With its no-logs policy, acceptance of cash payments, and anonymous account numbers, it goes the extra mile to ensure user privacy.
  • Robust Security: Mullvad uses industry-leading security protocols (OpenVPN and WireGuard) and AES-256 encryption to secure your data.
  • Speed: Mullvad delivers impressive speed across its server network, providing a seamless streaming and browsing experience.
  • Ease of Use: Mullvad’s interface is simple and easy to navigate, making it user-friendly even for those new to VPNs.
  • Transparent Pricing: With a flat rate of €5 per month, Mullvad’s pricing is straightforward and easy to understand.

Disadvantages:

  • Limited Server Locations: Mullvad has fewer server locations compared to some competitors, especially in Africa and the Middle East.
  • No Live Chat Support: The absence of a live chat feature could be a disadvantage for users seeking immediate assistance.
  • No Discounted Long-Term Plans: Mullvad does not offer discounted rates for long-term subscriptions, unlike many competitors.
  • Limited Device Connections: With Mullvad, you can only connect up to 5 devices simultaneously. While this might be enough for individual users, it may be limiting for families or small businesses.

Here’s a summary of Mullvad’s pros and cons:

ProsCons
Strong privacy and no-logs policyLimited server locations
Robust securityNo live chat support
Impressive speedNo discounted long-term plans
Easy to useLimited device connections
Transparent pricing

Alternatives

Mullvad is a great VPN service, but it’s important to see how it fares when compared to other leading VPNs in the market. Let’s take a look at Mullvad VPN versus NordVPN, Surfshark VPN, PureVPN, and ExpressVPN.

Mullvad VPN vs NordVPN

NordVPN is another heavy-hitter in the VPN world. While it has a more extensive server network compared to Mullvad (over 5000 servers in 60 countries), it also has a higher price tag. NordVPN also offers live chat support, something Mullvad lacks.

In terms of privacy, NordVPN is based in Panama, a country known for its strict privacy laws, and it also adheres to a no-logs policy. However, unlike Mullvad, NordVPN requires an email address to create an account, which could be a downside for privacy-conscious users.

When it comes to speed, both Mullvad and NordVPN offer excellent speed, but NordVPN pulls ahead slightly, especially when connected to long-distance servers.

Mullvad VPN vs Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN is another competitor that offers a solid set of features. The major advantage of Surfshark is its unlimited device connections, in contrast to Mullvad’s limit of 5 simultaneous connections.

In terms of server locations, Surfshark, similar to NordVPN, offers a more extensive network. However, Surfshark’s pricing is higher than Mullvad’s flat rate, especially for shorter-term plans.

On the privacy front, Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly location, and adheres to a no-logs policy. But just like NordVPN, it requires an email address for account creation.

Continue reading detailed comparison of Mullvad and Surfshark.

Mullvad VPN vs PureVPN

PureVPN offers some features that Mullvad lacks, such as split tunneling and a kill switch on iOS. It also has a more comprehensive server network spanning over 140 countries.

However, PureVPN falls behind when it comes to transparency and privacy. It’s based in Hong Kong, a region with a complex political situation that could impact privacy laws. Moreover, while PureVPN claims to follow a no-logs policy, it’s worth noting that they have provided user data to authorities in the past.

PureVPN’s pricing is also higher than Mullvad’s flat rate for monthly plans but offers significant discounts for longer-term commitments.

Mullvad VPN vs ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a popular choice among VPN users for its impressive speed, robust security, and extensive server network. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands and follows a strict no-logs policy, making it a reliable choice for privacy-conscious users. However, the pricing of ExpressVPN is on the higher side compared to Mullvad.

When it comes to speed, ExpressVPN is on par with Mullvad, and both offer excellent performance. However, ExpressVPN supports more platforms and has a more user-friendly interface.

Conclusion

When looking for a VPN service, the right choice often depends on your specific needs. Mullvad VPN stands out as a solid, privacy-centric VPN service that offers impressive speed, robust security, easy-to-use apps, and transparent pricing. It’s an excellent choice for users who prioritize privacy and transparency.

Despite lacking in certain areas, such as server locations and customer support options, Mullvad’s commitment to privacy and security, along with its affordable flat-rate pricing, makes it a worthwhile choice. It’s particularly suitable for users who want a no-frills, privacy-focused VPN service without breaking the bank.

Choosing a VPN ultimately boils down to what you value the most – whether it’s speed, security, number of servers, or customer support. Mullvad offers a unique blend of features that cater to users who value their online privacy above all else.

Stay tuned for our next review where we’ll delve into the world of another VPN service, comparing features, discussing pros and cons, and hopefully helping you make a more informed decision about your online privacy.

FAQ

What is Mullvad VPN?

Mullvad is a Sweden-based Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that prioritizes privacy and security. It provides encrypted, anonymous access to the internet, and offers apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Does Mullvad VPN keep logs?

No, Mullvad VPN strictly adheres to a no-logs policy. This means they do not store or monitor any data related to your internet activity while you’re connected to their VPN service.

Does Mullvad VPN offer a free trial?

Mullvad VPN does not offer a traditional free trial. However, they do provide a 3-hour free service for users to test its capabilities.

Is Mullvad VPN safe?

Yes, Mullvad VPN is safe to use. It uses robust encryption technology to secure your data, adheres to a strict no-logs policy, and is based in Sweden, a country known for strong privacy laws.

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.