Mullvad Review

We live in a world where, in most places, internet access is considered a necessity or even a human right. Unfortunately, privacy isn’t. 

This digital space we all share is getting more heavily populated by the day, which just gives ill-intentioned individuals more targets to prey upon. For this very reason, people have started using VPNs and accessing region-blocked streaming content.

In our Mullvad review, we’ll take a look at this VPN’s features and evaluate how good of an online companion it is. Read on to find out more.

Key features:

  • MultiHop feature
  • Complete anonymity
  • Unblocks Netflix

Things we liked / disliked:

  • No-logs policy
  • Easy to use
  • Kill switch
  • Very fast connection
  • Cash, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash
  • Pay-as-you-go plan payments available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Deletes transaction records after 45 days
  • Doesn’t unblock all streaming services
  • Lacks server location diversity

Pricing

It makes sense to kick this review off with an overview of the Mullvad pricing system, since that’s usually the first thing we consider when purchasing a product/service, especially if we aren’t that familiar with its details. We’ll take it step by step and lay it all out for you.

Mullvad charges a single monthly fee of €5 – approximately $5.80. For comparison’s sake, here are a few starting prices from Mullvad’s competitors:

  • ExpressVPN $6.67/month
  • IPVanish $6.49/month
  • NordVPN $3.71/month
  • Surfshark $2.49/month
  • CyberGhost $2.75/month

These are some of the best paid VPNs at the moment. As you can see, Mullvad is somewhere in the middle – not too pricey, but not exactly the most affordable either. However, the price isn’t the main draw of this VPN; the flexibility of payments is.

With Mullvad, you aren’t bound to a quarterly or annual subscription. It’s a pay-as-you-go VPN, meaning that you pay month to month and can stop using Mullvad at any time. If you prefer, you can always deposit a couple of payments in advance so that you don’t have to think about it for a while.

Even though your Mullvad VPN account is extremely disposable, it comes with an extra benefit in the form of a 30-day money-back guarantee. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to get a refund if you pay in cash. This is to prevent money laundering.

Speaking of ways to pay for Mullvad, here are your options:

  • Cash
  • PayPal
  • Credit cards
  • Swish
  • App Store transactions
  • Bank wires
  • Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash payments (these payments are discounted by 10% percent)

Privacy

You might have noticed more and more VPNs advertising no-logs policies, but have you heard about completely anonymous VPN accounts being offered alongside them? This is rare even among the top 10 VPN providers, which is why we consider it a big plus for Mullvad. You don’t need to leave so much as an email address, let alone a phone number or name. So, how does it work? You just go onto Mullvad’s website, generate a code, and you’re done. It’s that simple.

mullvad data storage

Let’s take a look at the other safety measures Mullvade has in place:

Encryption

Mullvad uses 256-bit AES encryption. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and is one of the most popular and secure algorithms currently being used, so much so that governments choose it for their data-protection needs.

Proxy

All of the Mullvad servers are equipped with a SOCKS5 proxy. This provides you with an additional layer of anonymity.

Kill switch

An automatic kill switch has become a standard feature among VPNs. If your VPN connection fails, the kill switch will disconnect you from the internet, thus preventing your traffic from getting leaked.

DNS leak protection

Even if you’re using a VPN, you’re still at risk of DNS leaks. A DNS leak means that your internet service provider can monitor what you’re doing online. Luckily, each Mullvad server has a DNS server running on it.

Tunneling

You can think of VPN tunnels as encoded pathways that your data goes through while moving from your device to the network. Mullvad supports SSH tunneling, Shadowsocks, and Stunnel.

Protocols

VPN protocols are rules that determine how your data is routed through a connection. Mullvad operates using OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols. OpenVPN is well-known and reliable, while WireGuard is new but very promising.

Multihop

A multihop connection allows the VPN tunnel to move through several servers. With each server, your data is encrypted all over again. This makes it extremely difficult for someone to get a hold of it or trace it.

Payment information

Our Mullvad review wouldn’t be complete without a section dedicated to how this VPN provider handles your payments. Few companies are as devoted to your privacy as Mullvad is. Some of the payment methods it offers are inherently anonymous, while others require third parties that keep logs of everything.

Cash, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash payments are provided as options for the most private of customers, as they are direct and require nothing aside from the digital/non-digital money itself.

Credit card, PayPal, Swish, and bank wire transactions are recorded by third parties, but Mullvad retains the necessary information for a maximum of 45 days, which is the amount of time required by law.

Ease of use

Once the Mullvad download process is complete, you can install the app with one click. Enter your account number and you’ll be good to go

mullvad account number

As far as aesthetics go, the website has a unique look, with a playful animation style somewhat similar to that of TunnelBear VPN. It’s easy to navigate and chock-full of useful information presented in simple terms.

The app is similar to the website but lacks some of its creativity when it comes to design. Nevertheless, it’s well-organized and definitely among the top 5 VPN services we’d recommend to beginners. That said, we did notice that a couple of features that we’ve become accustomed to seeing in VPNs were missing. For instance, there’s no option to select a favorite server or see additional information about it, such as the number of people using it.

It’s clear that Mullvad focuses on delivering a clean, safe, and fast experience. As soon as you log in, you’ll be connected to the best server available. To connect to a different one, you can browse through a list of them by clicking on the switch location button clearly displayed on the Mullvad app main screen.

Most of the locations will have a drop-down icon next to them. This means that you can further customize your connection by selecting a specific city, region or server. Unavailable servers will be marked with red dots.

mullvad server locations

Advanced features

In the advanced section, you can customize your VPN quite a bit. For instance, you can enable or disable IPv6 communication, turn the kill switch off, choose a tunnel protocol, or use split tunneling. Split tunneling lets you use certain apps without a VPN, so that you don’t have to constantly connect and reconnect.

mullvad split tunneling

Devices

Mullvad allows five simultaneous connections per account. Compared to some of the best VPN service providers, five is the average amount. There are VPNs that offer an unlimited number of connections but, honestly speaking, most users will never need to use more than two to three devices at the same time.

The Mullvad app can be installed on Windows, Linux, and macOS, but can also be configured to work on other devices. For those who do most of their online surfing via phone, there are Android and iOS apps available as well. The Android app is still in development, but even so, we didn’t encounter any significant issues while testing it. Both Mullvad Android and iOS apps are WireGuard exclusive.

Servers

Currently, you can connect to 760 of Mullvad’s servers in 35 countries and 57 cities. This is a reasonable amount, but we would like to see a bit more diversity regarding the server locations. More locations increase the odds of finding the server nearest to you and unlocking geo-locked content. However, keep in mind that a large assortment of servers doesn’t necessarily guarantee great performance, and from our testing, Mullvad definitely doesn’t disappoint in that area.

Streaming and torrenting

We’ve reached the part of our Mullvad review that’s probably the main reason why most of you are here: Mullvad’s streaming and torrenting capabilities.

We’ve had varying results while unlocking streaming services. We were able to find a server that got us into Netflix and HBO GO, but services like BBC iPlayer and Hulu remained out of our reach. This wasn’t much of a surprise, as Mullvad’s main intention is to provide safety and security. Streaming has never been at the top of its list of priorities.

Torrenting is a whole different story. If you’re in search of the best VPN provider for fast and secure connections, whether you wish to use P2P or BitTorrent, Mullvad should definitely be on your radar. Torrenting sites are usually littered with ads, so you might want to get an ad-blocker since Mullvad doesn’t include one. This isn’t a significant problem, seeing as most built-in ad-blockers don’t do such a great job anyway.

Customer support

We’ve grown accustomed to seeing a live chat icon at the bottom of every VPN website, so we weren’t expecting Mullvad not to have one. You can get in touch with Mullvad customer service representatives via email or Twitter.

The assistance we received from several Mullvad customer support agents was excellent. We didn’t have to wait long, and their instructions were clear and precise.

Conclusion

If you’re just getting into the world of VPNs, Mullvad would be a great way to start. The app does most of the work for you and configuring it is extremely simple, especially because almost every feature has an explanation beneath it. Additionally, the pay-as-you-go payment method allows you to use Mullvad for however long you want without losing any money, as opposed to the risk of getting yearly subscriptions. Lastly, Mullvad is also a good VPN service for those who are particularly fond of their privacy, considering all of the anonymity measures the company puts in place.

Things we liked / disliked:

  • No-logs policy
  • Easy to use
  • Kill switch
  • Very fast connection
  • Cash, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash
  • Pay-as-you-go plan payments available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Deletes transaction records after 45 days
  • Doesn’t unblock all streaming services
  • Lacks server location diversity

FAQ

Which VPN should I use?

To decide which VPN you should get, you should first figure out what you’d want to use it for. Some VPNs are optimized for streaming, while others focus on torrenting or overall online privacy.

What is the best VPN to use?

ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost are great options for streaming. For torrenting purposes, aside from these three, you could also try Windscribe and Mullvad. The best way for you to decide would be to check out a few trustworthy reviews.  

Where is Mullvad VPN based?

Mullvad is based in Sweden, which is a member of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance – 14 countries that share intelligence between each other. Although this might not sound like the best place for a VPN company to be located, rest assured that if you pay via cash or Bitcoin, there will be no information to be seen. 

How do I unsubscribe from Mullvad?

To unsubscribe from Mullvad, you just need to stop using your account. Only PayPal users will have to click unsubscribe on their Mullvad account page, as these payments are automatic.

Should I leave VPN on all the time?

Yes, you should try to keep your VPN on all the time. Good VPN service providers offer a split tunneling feature that lets you whitelist apps that don’t work with a VPN. With your VPN turned off, you’re vulnerable to attacks from hackers, data breaches, leaks, or companies wishing to monetize the information they collect on your browsing habits.

How much does Mullvad cost?

Mullvad costs €5/month, which is around $5.80. There are no yearly subscriptions. We might see some in the future but, for now, Mullvad hasn’t shown any intention of providing us with this option. According to the website, Mullvad instead focuses on a month-to-month payment system. You can find out more concerning Mullvad’s payment policy in our Mullvad review.

Mullvad Review
Price 5/mo
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