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Mullvad Review

Mullvad Review

Company
Mullvad - Sweden
Starting Price
$€5 / Per month (Grab this Deal)
Founded
2008
Protocols
OpenVPN,
Customer Rating
Our Rating
#21 for Android
#11 for iOS
#8 for Linux
#28 for Mac
#11 for Router
#19 for Streaming
#19 for Torrenting
#25 for Windows
  • Quick Summary
  • Reliability & Speed test
  • Pricing & Discounts
  • VPN Software & Features
  • Servers and Countries
  • Customer Support
  • Policy Highlights
  • Conclusion

Mullvad In a Nutshell

Mullvad is a small VPN provider in Sweden. Their location is a bonus as Sweden is exempt from the European Union Data Retention Directive. This frees them to take on Internet censorship, NSA/GCHQ eavesdropping, and the data retention directive itself.

They have high levels of encryption available. Their VPN client has powerful tools included, the most notable being a useful killswitch feature. You can even pay for your account by Bitcoin or cash. This puts them nearly on the same level privacy as wise as our favorite VPN; IPVanish.

Mullvad’s pricing is slightly higher than the price leader, PIA, with too few servers available. Being a newer VPN provider, with a small network, we’re hoping that they continue to grow and improve they number of servers they're offering.

Reliability and Speed

The first thing that was odd was how long it took to download the client. Maybe it was a problem on our end, but nearly 10 minutes is longer for a VPN client. Here is the speed of the 2Mbps line on the day of testing: mullvad vpn speed test Here is the speed we got when connected to their closest server: mullvad vpn speed test germany This speed was consistent with connections with higher Mbps. The high ping rates are to be expected since Mullvad have servers in four countries. Germany was the closest server, and it was not close to our testing site. A connection issue arose when we tried to switch between servers. The German server is the only one we managed to connect to. This was done by selecting the ‘Any’ option from their menu. The connection was quite reliable once it was established, but not being able to choose which country we connected to was a constant issue. We’re no rookies when it comes to VPNs, so this shouldn’t be the case.

Service Plans

This may be the shortest section we have ever written as part of a VPN review. Mullvad offer one service plan:

  • A flat fee of €5, around $6.50USD, per month
We believe that they’re trying to keep things simple as they build their network. This flat fee gives you three simultaneous connections, every client feature, and an OpenVPN connection. Of note in the payment section is the fact that they allow you to pay via Bitcoin. Those who pay with Bitcoin get the added privacy, and a 10% discount as they state there are lower fees and administration costs. You can also pay by cash to their physical address. Cash is, of course, the most untraceable way to pay for anything.

Price Plans

LikesPlan Price

Software and Features

Mullvad offers a number of useful features right in their service for all who use their VPN client:


  • Unique anti-censorship technology called Obfsproxy and Shadowsock bridges

  • Up to five connections at once

  • A VPN killswitch

  • SOCKS5 proxy connections

  • Port forwarding and port selection

  • OpenVPN protocol

  • SSH and SSL tunneling

  • Multi-hop VPN


These are all very useful features which can help you better protect your privacy. They use strong encryption, good tunneling, and a VPN killswitch that will protect you if everything else fails.

The software itself is a 21 MB file on Mac, and we downloaded it in about 15 seconds. From there you open the DMG file, which takes about 5 seconds. You then do a drag-and-drop to install it:
mullvad vpn install
You then need to input your account number, which you get from their website. You get 3 hours for free with any account, so why not try it out?
mullvad vpn account setup
The client itself is very plain, with few distraction. They have setup the VPN client the way that they want it used and allow it to do its job:
mullvad vpn client interface
The Settings tab is equally drab and shouldn't be messed with. The 'Block the internet on connection failure' checkbox is their VPN killswitch:
Mullvad VPN settings tab
The advanced setting can be accessed, but they are not simple toggle buttons. You have to change the values manually. There's no reason to change anything here if you don't know what you're looking at:
mullvad vpn advanced settings
Mullvad have built useful features into their VPN client, but have taken most control out of the average user's hands. For a new VPN user, this is fine. Advanced users will be able to change the few setting which suit them if they wish. They will also enjoy the error reporting feature included so they can see what has gone wrong.

Servers and Countries

As stated, Mullvad have some weaknesses that we can’t overlook. They have certainly grown over the last few years from four country locations when we first found them, but 24 countries and 147 servers does not put them in elite company amongst the top VPN providers.

For those who are in those countries, who never leave or travel, you won’t notice this limited number. Everyone else will notice via slow ping rates.

Customer Support

Mullvad tries hard to answer questions before people ask them. This is wise when you’re new and have a small team. They have an extensive FAQ section that covers a wide range of questions.

Besides this, you are given the email address of the customer support team. They are prompt to reply to all inquiries. Within 24 hours is normal. If you’re in the same time zone as Sweden you can expect them to be faster during normal business hours.

A unique aspect of their customer service is that they provide the actual names of their ownership team, as well as a physical building address. This is unusual as many in the VPN industry don’t give out this information. It really makes customers feel like a real team is supporting them.

Policy Highlights

Mullvad have one of the best, and easiest to understand, privacy policies in the business. It all fits right here with a cut and paste:




      • Privacy is a universal right.

      • We don't tell anyone anything.

      • We don't log our users' activities.

      • When Swedish law requires us to divulge information about our customers we make sure not to have that information stored, so that we have nothing to give out.

      • However, credit card payments and bank transfers leave records. These are kept by the banks and card companies and can't be erased by us. To pay anonymously, use cash or Bitcoin with proper anonymisation.




Point 4 is our favorite. They simply do not keep the logs being asked for. Mullvad may have an odd name, but they are very straight-forward in everything they do with their VPN service.

Conclusion

Mullvad are serious about privacy and anonymity. They do that with their dedication to OpenVPN encryption. That encryption level along with a cash payment method, no logging policy, and allowance of p2p makes for a very private VPN experience.

Where they stumble is with their low country server location number )24), and low overall VPN server count. There are many VPNs that have high privacy standards, and they all offer more servers in more countries which opens up more chances to get around geo-blocking. If you’re in one of the countries where they have servers, and only want to unlock content from those countries, they are recommended.

Mullvad is a VPN that we definitely want to comtimue watching, as we have been since they started out with servers in 4 countries. With a few more servers in a few key locations, they may just find themselves shooting up our rankings even further.

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Average rating:  
 1 reviews
by Suz on

I found Mullvad through a friend and I'm pretty happy with their service and their strong policies for anonymity. Very important for me. They're pretty fast nonetheless and their support is on point every time I've contacted them. If I could complain one thing, I'd say their software is pretty basic (no advance features).

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