Mullvad Review

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

September 23, 2020

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Features

3.7/5

Speed & Performance

4/5

Ease of Use

4/5

Mobile App

3.5/5

Customer Support

3.5/5

Pricing

3.4/5
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Mullvad Pros:

Mullvad Cons:

Mullvad is a fast VPN that permits torrenting, as well as P2P website traffic on all of the servers. While it’s a great VPN to make use of with Mac, PC, and iOS gadgets, it does not have an Android application, which is a bit disappointing. Likewise, it’s not an excellent VPN for streaming, as it is not going to unblock BBC iPlayer or Netflix.

Is Mullvad a good VPN? Does it satisfy your requirements? I will give you my thoughts below:

Overview

Amagicom Abdominal Muscle owns Mullvad VPN, and it is run by its Chief Executive Officer, Jan Axel Jonsson. 

It’s integrated in Sweden, a nation that belongs to the ‘Fourteen Eyes’, a knowledge partnership composed of 14 countries that gather and share mass monitoring data. That’s a bit worrying, isn’t it? I certainly wouldn’t say Sweden is the best location for a VPN. However, Mullvad has a minimal-logs plan and no data that the authorities request can be connected back to a private user.

Mullvad operates VPN web servers in 38 countries, which is a bit on the small side. The majority of these servers are located in Europe, so Mullvad may not be the very best option for individuals situated somewhere else. If you live outside of Europe, NordVPN and ExpressVPN are good for server variety.

Mullvad VPN currently runs a suitable 410 web servers, however, with just one IP address per web server, it is possible that users may experience slower rates during times of high congestion. I must admit that I have not noticed this problem myself! 

It’s good to see that Mullvad permits the user to access city-level servers in six countries, with an excellent choice of 13 cities in the United States.

Likewise, there are six city options across Australia: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. With a lot of VPNs just covering Melbourne and Sydney, it’s excellent to see all these Australian cities in Mullvad’s server network.

However, various other areas are not so fortunate: South America is only covered by Brazil, and Africa is only covered by South Africa.

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Speeds

I must say that Mullvad really impressed me in the speed department. The drop in speed was minimal; around six per cent! That definitely puts this VPN up there with the best! 

I was especially excited by Mullvad’s extraordinary upload rates on local servers, making it a fantastic choice for P2P users.

Unfortunately, it’s not all amazing news! The latency wasn’t as impressive, and so I would not be quick to recommend this VPN for gaming purposes.

Security

Privacy is clearly the name of the game when it comes to Mullvad, as there are a lot of extra security features to make the most of, which was music to my ears!

The top cipher AES-256 encryption is used, so you cannot really get much better than that.

You then have the choice of two VPN protocols. The first is OpenVPN, which I have reviewed in full. The second is WireGuard, which is going to demand a bit of manual configuration depending on the device you use. 

SOCKS5 proxy connections are enabled as a back-up, should you forget to turn the VPN app on, yet your web browser will need to be configured accordingly. 

DNS leak protection is also integrated, which means your traffic is not going to be routed through third-party servers, which could possibly be less secure.

You are also going to get a VPN kill switch as part of your package with Mullvad. This stops your actual IP address from being made public if your connection drops out for any reason. After all, we have all been there before when our Internet drops out. Very frustrating, right? But it is great to see that there is a kill switch in place should this happen. 

The security features do not end there with Mullvad. Split tunneling is also available, which enables sensitive data to be routed through the VPN, as well as other data, like apps and programs, through your standard WiFi connection. This can assist with any connection problems that may arise with online games and programs. 

Does Mullvad have a logging policy?

Mullvad displays a clear dedication to privacy, with a minimal logging policy that just collects confidential data relating to server use.

In fact, no personal details are required to set-up an account; you are merely assigned a randomly-generated account number, further safeguarding your identity.

Mullvad VPN is not going to log any originating IP addresses, web traffic, or individual bandwidth. Mullvad does keep track of an individual’s complete simultaneous connections, yet this information is never kept.

Mullvad does gather some random usage statistics, for example, CPU load per core and overall bandwidth utilized per web server, which is to ensure dependable server performance. This information is saved forever, but it won’t impact your privacy given that it cannot be used to determine who you are.

Mullvad’s privacy plan is as close to a zero-logs policy as you can find without performance being negatively impacted.

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Ease of use

Getting started with Mullvad is very easy. All you need to do is click on a button and they will provide you with your account number. This is the only identifier that is required to use the service. You won’t need a username, nor will you need to input your email. This is great for security purposes, but you need to ensure that you write down your account number. 

After you have done this, simply add time to your account, download the app, and you are good to go. Easy enough, right?

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Torrenting

I would not hesitate to recommend Mullvad for torrenting. P2P activity and torrenting are both permitted on all of the servers.

Not only is torrenting allowed, but there are a lot of features that make Mullvad a good choice for torrenting. This includes the in-built kill switch, minimal logging, privacy features, as well as reliable and fast speeds.

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Unblock streaming services

In terms of streaming, Mullvad is not the best VPN out there. My tests showed that it was a bit of a mixed bag! 

As there are not any dedicated servers for streaming, it is a bit of a trial and error process. On some occasions, I was able to unblock BBC iPlayer, on others, I wasn’t. The same for Netflix in the United States. Despite there being 13 city locations in the US, I wasn’t able to get into Netflix on the vast majority of them. 

There are certainly better VPNs out there for streaming, such as CyberGhost, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN.  

Can Mullvad bypass the Great Firewall of China?

China has recently had a crackdown on VPN providers, and so it takes a certain type of VPN to be able to bypass the stringent firewall that is in place. Sadly, I am not so sure that Mullvad is this VPN. 

I would go for something like VyprVPN if you want a VPN that works in China or any of the other high-censorship countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, UAE, Iran, and Turkey.

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Compatibility

There are a number of custom apps that are available for different platforms, including iOS, macOS, iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux. It is good to see that there is an app for Linux and that you are not going to need to manually configure the VPN for your device.

You may have noticed that there is one platform missing from the list, though: Android! Unfortunately, there is no VPN app for Android just yet. I am not sure if this is something that is in the works for the near future, yet there are plenty of other VPNs available for Android devices. Surfshark and IPVanish come to mind!

Games consoles and streaming devices

As I touched upon earlier, I would not really recommend Mullvad for games consoles and streaming devices because of the latency issues.

Browser extensions

There are not any browser extensions that are available for Mullvad users at the moment. If you want to use a VPN that provides browser extensions, you can read my thoughts on the best VPNs for Google Chrome and Firefox.

Customer support

This is one area where I feel that Mullvad is lacking a bit! There is no live chat feature available at the moment. You are going to need to contact the team via email. My experience has been a little bit varied in terms of reply time. Some replies only took a couple of minutes, yet there were cases when I was waiting until the next day. I never had to wait longer than 24 hours, though. Once I did receive a reply, the customer service agents were helpful. 

There is a blog on the Mullvad website, as well as support guides and a FAQ section, so if you are struggling, you should be able to find the answers there. 

Pricing

The pricing plan is a little bit different from Mullvad, with a flat rate provided on a pay-as-you-go basis. This is a cost of $5.50 per month, and you can top it up as and when you please, rather than being tied into a long-term contract. This may be more suitable for a lot of you, especially those of you who do not need a VPN for use on a continual basis. 

There are a lot of different payment options available, including bank wire, Swish, PayPal, credit card, cash, voucher, and Bitcoin. If you decide to pay via Bitcoin, you will be eligible for a 10 per cent discount. 

Summary

There is clearly a lot to like about Mullvad. The speeds impressed me, and I think this VPN is a good choice if you are searching for something for torrenting purposes. At the same time, there are some improvements that need to be made in regards to streaming. 

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