Mullvad Review

UPDATED Feb. 2020
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Mullvad is a Swedish VPN service entirely dedicated to user privacy. The company is well-known as the only VPN that accepts cash payments sent by post. Apart from zealously defending the privacy of its users, Mullvad is also one of the most sophisticated VPNs with the widest range of anti-censorship technologies.

For all its elaborate features, Mullvad is actually pretty easy to use even for people without prior technical knowledge. This makes it one of the best VPNs for beginners, so if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy, it won’t overwhelm you with a complicated interface and cryptic settings.

If you want to know more about this impressive VPN, read our dedicated Mullvad review and see if the service can answer all your security and privacy requests.

Mullvad homepage

Interface

Once you’ve generated your personal account number on the Mullvad website, you’ll be able to download its software. Admittedly, the client looks pretty bare, but it functions perfectly. The experience is very smooth and we haven’t encountered any of the ubiquitous VPN problems like lagging, unresponsive client, connection troubles, etc.

The client is divided into status and settings tabs. The first will inform you of your remaining time, your connection (status, country, IPv4, and IPv6), the server you’re connected to, and the software version you’re currently using.

The settings tab will allow you to change your account number and manage your network settings (ports, kill switch, DNS leaks, and tunnel IPv6). Lastly, you can mark the auto start option here as well. This tab holds advanced settings too, but we wouldn’t recommend tinkering with those unless you’re an experienced VPN user.

Mullvad interface

Performance And Reliability

In order to relay the most reliable data possible, we tested Mullvad across a number of different servers while researching for this Mullvad review. The European locations provided us with excellent speeds and we barely noticed we had a VPN running. Transatlantic servers were a different story, however, as the speeds there were a bit underwhelming. Don’t get us wrong, we could still stream and download reasonably fast, but the European servers were so much faster.

The peculiar thing was, the servers in Sweden were much faster than the ones geographically closer to us at the time of our testing. We must admit, this was the first time geographical location played absolutely no role in the average connection speed we were getting.

Bottom line, Mullvad offers a fast and reliable service without any disconnects or other similar problems.

Multi-Platform

Mullvad supports all the popular platforms we use today. It offers custom clients for Windows (7 and up), MacOS (10.7 Lion and up), and Debian Linux right out of the box. The company also provides OpenVPN configuration for all devices running Android and iOS.  

Mullvad multiplatform

Features

Mullvad features a reasonable number of servers mostly located in Europe but also in Australia, North America, and the UK. This range might appear somewhat constricting compared to some other VPN services as it limits the worldwide scale usability. For example, people can’t effectively use Mullvad in Asia with only one server in Hong Kong and two in Singapore for the entire continent.

On the other hand, Mullvad’s servers are not VPSs but physical, “bare metal” servers. The company also owns and keeps tight control over its servers. With Mullvad, you can maintain up to 5 simultaneous connections, which sounds pretty lavish compared to most of the competitors within the same price range.

Mullvad also features a kill switch, which will automatically disconnect you from the Internet the moment your VPN gets compromised for whatever reason. The company also allows P2P traffic on all of its servers, which is excellent news for all BitTorrent aficionados. This, paired with the unlimited bandwidth, speed, and data volume creates a veritable torrenting heaven.

Security And Privacy

First of all, Mullvad doesn’t keep any connection logs nor does it monitor your online activities. You also shouldn’t be worried about the EU Data Retention Directive since it’s only relevant to phone operators and ISPs. Even if the company was presented with a court order, the zero-logging policy means it wouldn’t have any relevant data to hand over. Mullvad servers use OpenVPN protocol, which is the safest option currently available. We always recommend it since it comes with the best set of security features on the market.

The company encrypts your connection with AES-256-GCM with RSA-4096 handshake and HMAC SHA-1 hash authentication. DHE-4096 Hellman key exchange provides perfect forward secrecy and is re-keyed in 60-minute intervals.

Mullvad secure

If you so choose, you can manually upgrade the hash authentication to SHA-384 by editing the configuration files. There’s really no need for it, though, since this is a very solid security configuration, even at the default level.

We had one of the most pleasant surprises during our registration process with Mullvad. The company doesn’t only protect you from outside influences but from itself as well. You can register and create your personal account without even giving your email, not to mention your name and other personal data. Additionally, we haven’t discovered any DNS leaks during our testing phase.

Support

User support is probably the weakest link in the Mullvad chain. There is no live chat on the official website and the only way to contact the support staff is through the provided email. Their reaction time is somewhat sluggish and it usually takes some time before you get a satisfying answer.

There’s a lot of room for improvement here and we would definitely like to see Mullvad make an effort to improve its customer support. Granted, most people probably won’t even need it, but that’s definitely not an excuse for a subpar service.

Pricing Options

1 Month
3 Months
6 Months
1 Year
2 Years

1 Month
$6.11
3 Months
$18.34
6 Months
$36.69
1 Year
$73.39
2 Years
/

When it comes to pricing, Mullvad is as simple as it can be. The service costs 5 EUR per month and that’s pretty much it. Note that you won’t be getting any discounts for longer subscriptions. However, you will get a 10% discount if you decide to pay with Bitcoin due to “lower fees and less administration.”

Mullvad allows you to test its VPN for free, but the trial period lasts only 3 hours, which is definitely not enough to grasp the service properly. Additionally, you’ll also get a 30-day money back guarantee unless you decide to pay cash (issues with the anti-money laundering regulations).

Apart from cash and Bitcoin, Mullvad also accepts PayPal, bank wire, and Swish. You can use vouchers available in certain stores too. The vouchers can be paid for in cash, so you’ll have absolutely no contact with the company.

Mullvad pricing

Mullvad Pros & Cons

Finishing off this Mullvad review, here’s a quick overview of the features that wowed us and the aspects of the service that could use some improvement.

Pros

  • No logging 
  • Solid encryption 
  • Perfect forward secrecy 
  • Free trial period 
  • 30-day money back guarantee 
  • P2P allowed on all servers 
  • Unlimited bandwidth/speed/data volume
  • Good speeds on European servers 
  • Cash and Bitcoin accepted as payment methods 

Cons

  • Subpar user support 
  • Blocked by Netflix 

User Reviews (12)

Mullvad customer rating based on 12 user reviews.

The Mullvad reviews listed below reflect the opinions and experiences of real users and are in no way influenced by the dating site reviewed here. Before publishing each review, our team checks whether it was submitted by an actual user in an effort to prevent false or spammy reviews.

  1. donkey | December 6, 2019

    I’ve been using Mullvad for over 2 years and am very happy with their service. I have a lot of computers and run numerous operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, Servers, etc) and the setup is simple every time. They don’t have as many servers as some of the bigger VPN services, but I get over 100Mb/sec when I’m connected through the app and they have servers that are very local to me on the east coast of the US.

    I especially love their wireguard support, which I use exclusively on my linux machines and I get my full bandwidth. It’s blazing fast (for me) and the setup is super easy thanks to their configuration wizard, including the multihop feature. Even better is the ability to pay anonymously, you can even mail them cash and you never need to provide a name or even an email address!

  2. Alex Fredrick | September 3, 2019

    If you are considering a VPN, stop considering anything other than Mullvad. I have used every VPN on the market and there is just no comparison to the features offered by Mullvad, The simplicity of their user interface, my grandma can use. Forget about all these numbers, (pings, speeds etc.) All the VPN’s have same similar numbers so this is just wasting your time. However, aside from that, they are consistently updating and this company want to go #1, it obvious just one example their customer service.

    5 Stars is just not enough

  3. Mullvad User | July 7, 2019

    I am a Windows 8.1 PC user. This VPN works great initially, however, after several uses over a short spell of days or so, this VPN won’t allow you to access the internet directly at all, without it being active on your Windows PC — no matter what you do to adjust the settings, even if you Quit the app(with the correct settings ticked to enable you to connect to the internet WITHOUT this VPN active; You will NOT be able to access the internet; Many websites limit their functionality or completely disallow connections through a VPN. I have used this VPN with my Windows 7 & 8.1 (PCs) and experienced this issue consistently with both over the past year that I have used Mullvad VPN for Windows. And even if you need to update to their most recent version, the issue will re-emerge shortly after doing so.

    If you wanted this problem addressed, you would have to connect with a 3rd party via email that will need to document everything in order to service this issue!! — reasonable anonymity is then out-the-window!! So I have to assume that Mullvad is earning money from the 3rd party customer service(email) that they invite you to reference for help exclusively.

    Now of course, I don’t experience this issue using Mullvad’s servers via OpenVPN — but OpenVPN can’t offer the full security features like the Kill Switch, etc.

    I do however, continue to use Mullvad VPN on my Windows PC, because it’s the most cost effective, reliable and secure VPN(I feel) that I can use!

  4. Gretter | May 5, 2019

    Mullvad does not work out of the box in China.
    Just home from China, here’s a bit of hands on experience.
    Prior to travel, I tested it from europe. No problems.
    Tweaking settings as described didn’t work for me. I’m a techie, but not on vpn, so some of it was in the blind.
    Combined with Wireguard, I did get a vpn connection. But I would not have been able to download the Wireguard app without a second working vpn connection.
    Now, I realize that there’s probably sneaky way’s to make this work, but if you’re the average user… I don’t recommend this vpn solutions for your China adventure as of early 2019.

  5. Notreally | February 26, 2019

    cool story bro

  6. Dosen Fleisch | November 25, 2018

    “Technically superior to a lot of the more popular services, but then out of left field, comes a surprise you weren’t expecting.”
    I run Linux and with that in the past year or so, comes DNS leak problems if you use Network Manager, so in the absence of a really good Linux client app, you have to deal with it. Then, along came Mullvad and to my surprise, their service was not only blazing fast used from North America, their app too worked wonderfully! Here finally was a service and a proper Linux gui that by itself was a work of art in its simplicity and ease of use. I could barely believe it!
    I tried out Mullvad for a few hours before I decided to try their “I don’t need to know you” credit card payment. I was suitably impressed after three hours, risking 5 Euros didn’t seem bad. Over the next weeks, I continued to be impressed, so I booked another six months service as that was all I had in cash to cover a credit card charge. (Seniors need to watch their pennies!)
    What impressed me was the speed coming out of servers in Berlin and in Newark, New Jersey. There were possibly more examples, but for my purposes, anything faster than 25 Mbps sufficed. On average all servers were generally not less than 50 Mbps, but at times, speeds on the German and US servers were approaching 500 Mbps!
    After a month of continuous daily use, I was satisfied, that I could lay out a year’s service fees and be reasonably assured I had a service that was reliable. It was in fact technically superior to a lot of the more popular services, but then out of left field, comes a surprise I wasn’t expecting. I’d elected to buy twelve more months and entered that into their payment gateway. With only five months on the clock left, the transaction was flatly refused. “Too many transactions and it was too soon to renew” the error message read. ”
    After several email exchanges, in which the Mullvad folks adamantly refused to take my payment, it wasn’t because I was misusing the service, it wasn’t because my credit card provider was refusing to approve the transaction. “No”, they said, “we have a critical credit card fraud problem” and while they didn’t admit it, their explanations implied that they were throttling all credit card users as fraudulent in order to deal with it. I made argument upon argument that refusing customers service at the payment gateway was foolish, but they stuck to their guns and kept their rationale to themselves.
    I should likely have counted myself lucky that they offered me a refund at all, but they did. As I won’t beg a service provider to take my business when other providers are offering decent performance, I was nonetheless disappointed with how Mullvad treated me and I took them up on their offer. But pride aside, I was even more disappointed that I was losing a pretty great service and to sum up, I was left with more questions than answers after interacting with Mullvad’s customer service. Why would anyone beg them to take their money? Why offer an industry leading service then blow away an already paid up customer with more cash in his hand, who simply wanted more? Knowing that I was doing nothing whatsoever illegal using their service, this was akin to throwing a fish back because it was too small. Was my surfing history not interesting enough? Would a fraudster using someone else‘s credit card email them and argue with them?
    Along with the bizarre behaviour, it needs to be recognised that there is a lot of trust that is placed in a VPN provider to keep your information private. They say they don’t want to know who you are, then offer a payment option that definitely identifies you and then willy nilly refuse you service with no good reason. Think about it.
    I rate their actual service at five stars. Their customer service was deplorable, I give it one star. Averaged out to be fair, this is a 3 star provider at most.

  7. Matti_Linn | September 8, 2018

    Great for home use, less ideal for mobile. I’ve been using Mullvad for close to a year. Started with OpenVPN, but switched to WireGuard around six months ago. If you’ve got a compatible router, WireGuard is the best thing since sliced bread since it’s much faster (almost 30% faster on my connection) than OpenVPN when you rely on anemic ARM-based router hardware to handle the encryption/decryption. Sadly, neither WireGuard nor OpenVPN are supported natively for iOS, so I have to employ a secondary IKEv2/IPsec VPN (rolled my own on a Digital Ocean VPS) for mobile use. Still, I’m giving Mullvad the full 5 stars because they support WireGuard and have the best sign-up procedure. I’m curious why it scored so low on this site’s anonymity scale, considering they don’t even ask for you’re email.

  8. lothar | December 20, 2017

    The top of the cream ! I’ve tested a lot of well known vpns (Norvpn, ExpressVpn, Vypr, PureVpn, PIA etc..) and I have been disapointed . Till I subscribe to Mullvad , fast and CLEAN connections (no proxies, no blacklisted ip , no open ports) Speed in Europa are really fast , I love their approach privacy focused , and their support fast and always friendly. It’s a little team deeply involved in Internet freedom causes and I like that too. They allow to use (with Linux) WIREGUARD protocol which is (after 5 months of use) faultless , faster than open Vpn and so fluent . It’s a real pleasure to use it. Well, Mullvad is for me more intelligent , technically reactive, more effective and have better ethics than all other Vpns that I know

  9. Richard Adams | October 22, 2017

    The first vpn that allowed me to pay cash.

  10. Eric Patterson | October 11, 2017

    It would be a perfect VPN if it allowed me to stream Netflix. Other than that, no complaints.

  11. Peter Jordan | August 15, 2017

    Mullvad doesn’t slow my computer down at all. It’s like I’m not even running a VPN.

  12. Wayne Ford | June 4, 2017

    The support staff was kinda slow but the vpn itself is top notch.

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