Mullvad VPN Review 2022
|Servers||899 Servers in 38 Countries|
|Works in China||No|
|Compatibility||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS|
In this Mullvad VPN review, we will go through all the primary factors such as jurisdiction, speed, servers, streaming support, compatibility, pricing, trustworthiness, customer support, and many more to measure this VPN service so you can make a sound decision on whether you should get its subscription or not.
Mullvad VPN is a niche Virtual Private Network service that merits much more recognition than it currently receives. Mullvad is the ideal VPN for users who want to remain anonymous online because of its robust encryption, strict no-logs policy, and abundance of features like port forwarding, split tunneling, and bridge mode.
Before we continue, let’s get one thing clear, Mullvad is not the best VPN to unblock major streaming platforms. While the VPN can unblock Netflix and HBO Max, it struggles against VoDs like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub, and more. So if you want a VPN for streaming, take a look at our best VPN services instead.
On a security front, users are protected via the latest encryption and protocols, including WireGuard and OpenVPN, that are supported on all major platforms. Though some users may feel different, I found its uniform price plan to be incredibly user-friendly and straightforward.
However, I still have my doubts about its rather contentious jurisdiction of Sweden. Though the service has gone to great lengths to ensure users are truly anonymous online, some may not feel entirely confident.
Overall, I would say taking into account all important factors, Mullvad VPN would be a decent option to opt for. Still, if users are not satisfied with just decent and want the absolute best, then there are a few better options like ExpressVPN, a service that offers a host of remarkable features at flexible payment plans.
Mullvad VPN Review: Pros & Cons
- Unblocks Netflix and other VoDs
- Fast speed servers
- Strong security
- High-end privacy features
- Easy-to-navigate apps for mobile and desktop
- Reasonable pricing
- Doesn’t work in China
- Poor customer support
- Decent server network but not good coverage
Mullvad VPN Review: Rating Criteria
- Jurisdiction: Where Does Mullvad Operate From?
- Security: Can Mullvad VPN Keep You Safe Online?
- Servers: How Many Servers Does Mullvad Have?
- Streaming: Does Mullvad Unblock Netflix and Other VoDs?
- Torrenting: Is Mullvad good for Torrenting?
- Speed: How Fast are Mullvad VPN Servers?
- Compatibility: Can I Use Mullvad On All My Devices?
- Pricing: How Much Does Mullvad VPN Cost Exactly?
- Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say About Mullvad VPN?
Jurisdiction: Where Does Mullvad Operate From?
Do you know where is Mullvad located? Mullvad operates out of Sweden. It is well-known that the country is a prominent member of the 14 Eyes alliance and frequently partakes in sharing and collection information on its own citizens as well as on those belonging to the other 13 countries.
Additionally, the country’s national interpretation of the GDPR has significant loopholes that enable both corporations and government agencies to continue collecting information. As far as VPN jurisdictions are concerned, Sweden does not come across as an entirely secure location at all.
Mullvad VPN AB is owned by Amagicom AB, which is its parent company. Amagicom AB is 100% owned by the founders Fredrik Strömberg and Daniel Berntsson, who have never come under scrutiny.
Being a Sweden-based VPN and founders that have never gone through any transparency process, Mullvad VPN becomes more suspicious.
Security: Can Mullvad VPN Keep You Safe Online?
Yes, despite a contentious jurisdiction that does not inspire confidence at all, the service is safe to use, in my opinion. This is primarily due to the fact that the service protects its users’ IDs to the best of its ability with the latest encryption.
Mullvad VPN Logging Policy
When users initially sign up for the service, they do not have to provide any email or phone number. Instead, they’re provided a randomly generated account number that is both their login password and ID on the service.
Moreover, Mullvad VPN audit is performed by Assured AB, which is a Gothenburg based security consulting firm.
Encryption & Protocols
The most secure level of encryption currently used is AES-256 bit encryption, which is used by Mullvad. Your internet traffic is incredibly safe because it would take several lifetimes for the most powerful supercomputers in the world to decrypt data using this technology.
Users gain the standard 256-bit encryption on all 3 of the protocols that Mullvad has to offer, i.e., OpenVPN, WireGuard, and SOCKS5.
OpenVPN offers the perfect balance between speed and security. It is not the fastest VPN, but its strong security mechanism makes sure no third party can breach your private files.
WireGuard stands out as a newer and faster option. However, as of yet, it is only available in beta form hence unavailable on Windows or Android.
The SOCKS5 proxy routes packets between a client and a server using a proxy server. The Mullvad SOCKS5 proxy minimizes your computer’s identity from being revealed. It also reduces CAPTCHAs as SOCKS makes it difficult for websites to detect if traffic differs from regular traffic.
All three of the protocols have distinct advantages and benefits to offer.
Mullvad VPN Virus Test
To trust that the service is fully capable of keeping them safe from the dangers online, it is important that the service itself be free from any dangers.
Hence, I carried out a virus test using Virus Total to be sure that the Mullvad was not infected with malware or virus.
Here’s the result:
As users can see, the service is free from any form of malware or virus.
Leak Tests and Leak Protection
Most VPNs promise that they’ll properly shield and mask a user’s connection thoroughly. There are no problems of Mullvad DNS leaks as the protection is always enabled.
However, a leak can occur if your traffic goes through the ISP by accident. This results in the dangers of exposing your real IP address on the open web and your ISP can see what you’re doing online.
The best way to check that is to conduct a series of Mullvad VPN DNS, IP, and WebRTC tests like I did on the UK, US, Germany, and Australia servers to see whether any of my actual addresses were exposed or not.
Here are the results:
As users can see, all three tests indicate my VPN server meaning my true address is safe.
Other Security Features
- Kill Switch: The Mullvad killswitch acts as your last defense line. The feature terminates your internet connection immediately if your VPN connection drops because of technical faults. This prevents your original IP from being exposed on the open web.
- Split Tunneling: The Mullvad Split tunneling allows you to access the public and private network simultaneously without disconnecting your VPN connection. Some apps or programs do not work well with VPN traffic so split tunneling makes sure you can bypass the VPN for those apps without exposing your real IP.
- Double VPN: Mullvad’s Bridge servers are its version of MultiHop or Double VPN, which allows users to hop through multiple servers. When you connect to the VPN, your traffic will pass through two different servers located in different countries to enhance your online anonymity.
- Tor Compatibility: You can use the OpenVPN configuration to access Tor through Mullvad. Once the configuration is done, you can use the Tor browser with the SOCKS5 proxy.
Is Mullvad DNS safe?
Yes, Mullvad DNS is safe and I detected no DNS leaks which indicates that the VPN works well to keep your online activity hidden from the ISP or any other third party.
Also, Mullvad’s built-in DNS leak protection is enabled by default and cannot be disabled.
Servers: How Many Servers Does Mullvad VPN Have?
When it comes to servers, Mullvad is not the biggest VPN that can compete with names like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Additionally, Mullvad servers are broken down on the base of their server network. This makes it easy for users to select their choice of servers to connect based on the exact protocols being followed on them.
Does Mullvad use RAM servers?
Yes, everything is stored in RAM with Mullvad VPN. So there is no data to retrieve if the servers turn off.
Does Mullvad VPN Work in China?
There are no Mullvad China servers. This means that users inside the country will have to look for other VPN providers in order to get across China’s notoriously strict cyber laws.
Online censorship in China has reached new heights in recent years. Users have frequently have had to rely on VPNs in order to continue accessing the internet. Additionally, Chinese expats also have to opt for VPNs to continue accessing the local Chinese internet from international connections.
However, both kinds of users will find Mullvad to be of no particular use to them.
Streaming: Does Mullvad Unblock Netflix and Other VoDs?
Impressively, Mullvad can unblock Netflix with little effort for all users. I tried connecting to various libraries, including the US one and Mullvad Netflix was able to connect to them instantaneously.
Like with every provider, I also tried unblocking all the other popular streaming sites like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, Hotstar, and BBC iPlayer, and just as I had expected, Mullvad couldn’t unblock these streaming platforms.
Unblocked: Netflix and HBO Max
Mullvad can unblock Netflix from anywhere. I started the Mullvad streaming test for Netflix by connecting to a Los Angeles server and it took 20 seconds for Netflix to load. But I could watch my favorite show in HD.
After that, I tested the New York, Seattle, and San Francisco servers, and I could easily unblock Netflix each time.
Then I tried unblocking different libraries of Netflix by connecting to servers in Germany, France, Italy, and Australia. I once again unblocked Netflix without any hassles.
Other than Netflix, the only other streaming platform I could easily unblock was HBO Max. For the test, I tried connecting to a New York server and a Las Vegas server and both servers could easily unblock HBO Max.
Blocked By: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, BBC iPlayer, NOW TV, ITV Hub, and All 4
Unfortunately, Mullvad could not unblock popular streaming sites such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, and BBC iPlayer.
While I could log into Amazon Prime Video, but I kept getting the error message which said “Your device is connected to the internet using a VPN or proxy service. Please disable it and try again”.
I tried switching multiple servers but I kept getting the same error on every US server.
Moreover, I also tried to unblock other platforms, including Hulu, All 4, NOW TV, ITV Hub, Disney+, and I got the same result for these streaming platforms too.
Then I tried unblocking BBC iPlayer using the London and Manchester servers of Mullvad VPN in UK. Unfortunately, the VPN could not unblock it.
All and all, Mullvad VPN is a good choice for Netflix, but not anything else. I would recommend other best VPNs for streaming that can easily unblock all the above-mentioned platforms with ease.
Is Mullvad good for streaming?
Mullvad VPN is not a good choice for streaming. It could only unblock Netflix and HBO Max in our test. Other than that, the VPN failed to bypass geo-restrictions on popular sites such as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub, and more.
Is Mullvad good for torrenting?
Yes, it appears that users will face no difficulties in continuing peer-to-peer activities using Mullvad. I was impressed with their simple GUI that makes it easier for users to connect to different servers and continue torrenting.
The VPN comes with port forwarding, a no-logs policy, and a malware blocker that protects you from the dangers while torrenting.
During Mullvad torrenting test, I connected to a US server and downloaded a 40 MB file on uTorrent with a 260 KB download average. It took only 2 minutes and 10 seconds to download the file.
However, I would warn users against connecting to any server based out of the 14 Eyes countries as it would not only leave them exposed online but also subject them to the tough anti-piracy laws that exist in these countries.
Speed: How Fast are Mullvad VPN Servers?
Quantity seldom matters more than quality, so I conducted a Mullvad speed test on 5 random servers i.e., US, UK, Canada, Germany, and Japan to see how fast are Mullvad’s servers based on the following factors:
Download speed – Time it takes for your files to download
Upload speed – The time it takes you to upload a file; a video, or picture
Ping – The response time of a website after you click on its link
Using a 100 Mbps connection, here are the results for Mullvad test:
Does Mullvad slow down internet?
Mullvad VPN bandwidth is unlimited. However, every Mullvad server has only 1 IP address, so there can be overcrowding. You might experience slow speeds because all the users will be sharing the same IP address connected to that server location.
Why is Mullvad not connecting?
There can be issues of Mullvad VPN not working or connecting. This can happen if the Mullvad VPN app can’t find the TAP adapter.
A quick way to fix it is to reinstall the latest Mullvad app again and wait for 5 minutes, so the connection count is cleared and then try connecting.
Compatibility: Can I Use Mullvad VPN On All My Devices?
Users will be able to seamlessly use the service on their PC, laptops, iPad, smartphones as well as domestic routers. Mullvad VPN router configuration can be done on pfSense, Asus Merlin, DD-WRT, and OpenWrt routers.
The service also has an extension for Firefox, making it even easier for users to keep themselves safe using Mullvad on their browsers.
On how many devices can you use Mullvad VPN?
The Mullvad VPN device limit is 5 devices. You can use Mullvad VPN on up to 5 devices simultaneously with a single subscription.
Mullvad VPN Setup & Installation
I did not experience any difficulty while installing Mullvad VPN. All I had to do was visit the Mullvad VPN website to download the client app for my device.
Once installed, I had to log in with my 16-digit account number to log in.
The desktop installation approximately took 2 minutes while the mobile installation time was nearly under 3 minutes.
How to Install Mullvad VPN
Pricing: How Much Does Mullvad VPN Cost Exactly?
Mullvad VPN price is $4.91 per month and that’s it. Now, if you want to pay for 2 months, 6 months, 1 year, or 1 decade, the Mullvad pricing will always be $4.91 per month. The provider doesn’t offer any discounts if you opt for a longer-term plan.
How do I get Mullvad for free?
There is no Mullvad VPN free version and you can’t get any Mullvad VPN free trial either. However, the VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee offer from which you can use the VPN risk-free for 30 days.
How do I get a refund from Mullvad VPN?
The service offers users a robust 30-Day money-back guarantee, with an interesting catch. This policy is only available to users that did not pay in cash. This is a result of anti-money laundering laws that Sweden is popular for. The service explains this policy in further detail here.
How do I pay for Mullvad?
Mullvad accepts cash, Monero, Bankwire, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, iDEAL, PayPal, Przelewy24, Giropay, credit card, Bancontact, Swish, and Eps transfer.
How do I cancel my Mullvad subscription?
You may cancel your subscription anytime on the Account page on the Mullvad website. You just have to select the “Unsubscribe” button under the PayPal tab. Once canceled, you will not be charged and your service will expire when the current month ends.
Does Mullvad accept gift cards?
Yes, Mullvad VPN accepts gift card vouchers that can be purchased from their partners and resellers.
Where can I buy Mullvad VPN vouchers?
You can buy Mullvad VPN vouchers from the following resellers:
- Amazon US & SE,
- Smartech, Selfridges, London,
- Smartech, KaDeWe, Berlin
- Smartech, Printemps, Paris
Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say About Mullvad VPN?
Different users use VPNs for different purposes, and that can lead to different experiences. To be certain that my experience does not dictate the entire narrative of this review, I headed over to Trustpilot and Reddit to see what these two online forums feel about the service.
Here’s what I learnt:
Mullvad VPN Trustpilot Rating
Mullvad Trustpilot rating does not tell me much about the service. The first thing is probably the fact that the page is still unclaimed. I would advise Mullvad’s management to quickly claim this page to reflect their service’s better on such a popular platform.
Furthermore, with just 64 reviews I don’t want to place much emphasis on how relevant these are or how accurately this 4.5 rating reflects the service’s abilities. However, with 89% of these reviews being either 4-star or 5-star, I believe this service delivers on the promises it makes.
Mullvad VPN Reddit Review
I’ve always trusted Reddit to be the most unbiased source of gauging what the actual users feel about the service. It turns out that most users have vocal opinions about the service and the promises it makes.
Overall, users appeared content with the performance of the service. The fact that the service does not make any over the top promises further improves their image.
Additionally, users noticed Mullvad’s lack of marketing or paid reviews to be one of the its standout features. It adds to the authenticity of the service as well as its reputation as a definite pro-customer service.
Peculiarly, some of its oldest customers were also some of its staunchest supporters. In my experiences, older users usually have a couple of complaints but I failed to come across any such bickering from Mullvad’s customer base.
Mullvad VPN Customer Support
This was one area where I noticed some shortcomings. Logging onto the site, the first thing that caught my attention was the fact that the service lacks 24/7 live chat support.
For users that have been reading my reviews, I consider this to be the foremost indication of how proactively any service deals with its customers.
The only alternative that users have is to send Mullvad an email. I was initially impressed with how the service does not require any such info to download the client or signup. But the fact that a user will eventually have to provide this info in order to get answers to specific queries left me disappointed.
I sent them an email to evaluate how effective their customer service team was. My questions were answered by the customer service professional in 4 hours, and 33 minutes.
There is an FAQ section and there are detailed guides for users to cater problems related to installation, app usage, refund, and more.
Mullvad VPN Alternatives
So many VPN services operate under the guise of being user-friendly VPNs. Few are able to hold true to their promises like Mullvad does.
As I noted several times in this review, Mullvad’s success lies in its modesty about its services. With a limited number of servers as well as the absence of a Chinese server, the service makes up for it its transparency with its user.
However, there are some issues that cannot be overcome so easily, the biggest of which is its jurisdiction inside Sweden. Also, Mullvad cited the inability to unblock popular streaming services as a problem, so we had to move to alternatives.
While I have been content to ignore this, thanks to its own protective measures, a lot of users may not feel so comfortable. For such users, these top 3 VPNs are the answer.
ExpressVPN is a BVI-based VPN that is not a part of the 14 Eyes Alliance. The provider offers blazing fast speed with strong security (AES-256 bit) along with advanced protocols such as IKEv2, OpenVPN, and Lightway.
ExpressVPN offers 3 plans, a monthly plan that costs $12.95/mo., a 6-month plan that costs $9.99/mo., and a 1-year plan that costs $6.67/mo.
NordVPN is headquartered in Panama which is a flexible region with no data retention laws and the country is not in the jurisdiction of the 14 Eyes.
NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy which has been audited by PwC. It uses the AES 256-bit encryption method with protocols like IKEv2, OpenVPN, and NordLynx to anonymize user data and keep third parties like ISP and government authorities at bay.
NordVPN offers 3 plans, a monthly plan that costs $11.99, a 1-year plan that costs $4.99/mo., and a 2-year plan that costs $3.99/mo.
Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN having a minimal cost of $3.99/mo. The provider is based in the Netherlands, which is a member of the 14 Eyes, but Surfshark has a strict no-logs policy audited by Cure53.
The provider uses the AES 256-bit encryption method and protocols such as IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard with 100% RAM-based servers to maximize the anonymity of your online presence.
Mullvad VPN Review: Do I Recommend Mullvad?
Yes, I can say a lot of users that would be happy to have a service like Mullvad VPN. I did not have any high expectations when I began this Mullvad VPN review but I was admittedly surprised at times with this service.
Despite a meager number of servers, the service is able to offer users incredible support for torrenting.
Similarly, it keeps users safe with the latest and most formidable encryption and protocol combinations. I conducted several tests on the service, as well as a virus test which it passed with flying colors.
However, its biggest shortcoming is streaming support. While the VPN could unblock Netflix and HBO Max, it struggled to bypass geo-restrictions on other major streaming platforms.
So if users do not want to compromise on the issue of streaming, then ExpressVPN would undoubtedly be the best option to go for.
Mullvad VPN Review: FAQs
Is Mullvad good for gaming?
Yes, Mullvad VPN offers good speed and security for its price. I measured an average latency of 183 ms during testing, which worked out well for casual games.
Does Mullvad keep logs?
The underlying policy of Mullvad VPN says that it never stores any activity logs of any kind.
Does Mullvad have split tunneling?
Yes, Mullvad has split tunneling. However, the feature is currently only available on Windows, Android, and Linux versions of the Mullvad VPN app.
How do I turn off Mullvad?
To disconnect Mullvad VPN, click on the “disconnect” button on the Mullvad VPN connection screen.
Does Mullvad work on TV?
I would not recommend Mullvad VPN for TV. It has no Fire TV app or Smart DNS that can work on devices like Xbox, PlayStation, Roku, or Apple TV. Mullvad VPN focuses on protecting online privacy of users and that is the job it’s doing properly.
Does Mullvad work with HBO Max?
Yes, Mullvad VPN works with HBO Max and Netflix only.
Does Mullvad have an Android app?
Yes, Mullvad VPN offers an Android app.
How do you use a WireGuard Mullvad?
To use WireGuard on Windows, follow the steps:
Step 1: Open the Mullvad VPN app.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon.
Step 3: Go to Advanced
Step 4: Select “WireGuard” under Tunnel protocol
Does Mullvad have double VPN?
Yes, Mullvad VPN’s Bridge Servers are a version of MultiHop or Double VPN.
Why is Mullvad blocking my Internet?
This problem can happen if something other than Mullvad is actively updating the DNS. Try uninstalling or disabling other DNS, ads/websites, and network blocking apps.
Does Netflix block Mullvad?
Although Netflix works with Mullvad, it is not a great choice for streaming. I could easily unblock Netflix’s US and other libraries by connecting to different servers. However, it took Netflix 20 seconds to play.
Is NordVPN better than Mullvad?
Yes, NordVPN is better than Mullvad. NordVPN offers a massive network of servers, fast speed, strong security, more and better features with discounts on longer-term subscription plans.
Is Mullvad part of 14 eyes?
Yes, Mullvad is a VPN provider situated in Sweden, which is a 14 Eyes country.
Does Mullvad have a killswitch?
Yes, the Mullvad app has a built-in kill switch that is enabled by default and cannot be disabled.
Does Mullvad work with Amazon Prime Video?
No, Mullvad does not work with Amazon Prime Video. I was able to log in but while playing a movie or show, Amazon Prime Video kept on displaying the proxy error.