Never in the history of internet has online privacy been the subject of such intense debate. With data leaks, misuse of private information by ISPs and other such breaches becoming a daily occurrence, internet users are rightly worried about the safety of their private information.
In these challenging times, online anonymity has become a much sought-after commodity with more and more users preferring to hide their IP addresses through the best VPN services.
Mullvad VPN, is one of the VPN services that promises to do just that and provide its users ultimate online freedom and cast-iron digital privacy.
This Mullvad VPN review examines if there is any substance behind its bold claims. I will outline the Pros and Con of this service from the outset.
Or you can go over our VPN reviews 2019 page if you want to check out key features of other providers.
- OpenVPN and WireGuard
- Free Trial
- Anonymous Payment Option
- Account Number Generator System
- No DNS or WebRTC Leaks
- Based in a 14 Eye Country
- Average Speed
Zero Logging Policy | Mullvad’s Greatest Strength
You can access the services of Mullvad without providing them the slightest of your personal details. Not even your email address. Instead, you are given a randomly generated account number that serves as a password of sorts.
In other words, Mullvad has crafted an ingenious technique to make sure that its clients are assured complete digital secrecy. To further address the privacy concerns of the users, Mullvad accepts anonymous modes of payment such as Bitcoin and cash delivery. The cash is delivered to their base in Sweden.
Most importantly, Mullvad keeps no activity logs of the customers, which means it does not retain any information about your activity on its server.
All this shows that Mullvad deeply cares about its customer’s right to privacy and its procedure are specifically designed to protect the private information of the customers.
No DNS or WebRTC Leak
IP leaks can occur from two sources: DNS and WebRTC. These leaks expose your true location and destroy any semblance of privacy you had with the VPN connected.
Hence, I could not possibly forego an IP leak test in this Mullvad review.
The results from Ipleak.net showed no leaks whatsoever.
Since a double-check never hurts, I tested the VPN again on Browserleaks.com.
Still no leaks.
All this shows that this VPN is safe.
For most users, the connection speed of a VPN service determines its actual utility. A VPN could be providing a superior level of anonymity with strong data encryption but if it throttles the bandwidth, the above mentioned features become useless.
Hence, for a comprehensive Mullvad review, I tested its speed on the Swedish server.
While one expects a slash in speed in a VPN connection, this kind of drastic decrease is problematic to say the least.
Protocols and Encryption | Strong Security
Most VPN providers go for the usual options when it comes to tunneling protocols. Typically, you get a blend of OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and IPsec.
Mullvad, however, takes a different route. It provides two options: OpenVPN and WireGuard.
OpenVPN needs little introduction as it the industry standard protocol. Mullvad VPN OpenVPN option comes with a military-grade encryption.
Meanwhile, WireGuard is a relatively newer networking tunnel, which has fewer line of codes and a strong algorithm. Mullvad VPN WireGuard option gives it a distinct advantage over other providers.
It is also fast and hardly suffers from any connection delays.
The only catch with WireGuard is that it is not yet completely compatible with Windows and Android. It is currently in available in beta mode for both of these operating systems.
Readers of this Mullvad review will appreciate the free trial of this VPN.
The Mullvad free trial lasts for 3 hours but has no server restriction.
It gets better.
To avail the trial, you do not need to give away any information at all. Just click on the Mullvad VPN download button and create an account from yourself from the site.
Mullvad for Torrents
Torrents are used by millions of people from around the world to download movies, TV shows, video games and other such content. But many torrent users don’t realize that any P2P comes with inherent risks.
As it happens, torrenting relies on users sharing small bits of a much larger file with each other. And during this process, users can clearly see each other’s IP addresses. Thankfully, there is a growing awareness among torrent users on the need to use VPN.
It is also important to remember that in some countries – torrent websites are blocked altogether. And to access them, you need a VPN that not only unlocks these sites but also allow you to download at decent speed.
Therefore, I had to test this VPN for torrenting in this Mullvad VPN review.
Download speed in a normal connection:
Download speed with Mullvad VPN connected:
Although the VPN slashed the speed by quite a bit, it is a price one has to pay for secure torrenting.
Mullvad Netflix: Does it Work?
Netflix has taken online streaming to new heights. It has become premier destination of video entertainment for millions.
However, due to myriads of copyright issues, Netflix has established separated video libraries for different countries.
That’s why, some of the most sough-after movies and shows on the site are only available in certain countries.
Fortunately, VPNs provide us a way out of this quagmire. They allow us to browse from the IP address of different countries, allowing us to dodge geo-restrictions.
But this not as easy as it sounds.
Netflix has invested heavily to fortify the site against VPN services. However, this has not stopped VPN providers like Mullvad from working seamlessly with the streaming service.
The US servers of this VPN have no issue in unlocking Netflix as my tests for this Mullvad VPN review revealed.
Server Spread: Limited
Mullvad has more than 190 servers spread across 30+ countries.
These are not bad numbers at all.
Still, the industry standard regarding server spread has gone way up. There are VPNs now offering more than 3000+ servers (Look into Private Internet Access).
While the quantity of the Mullvad server is minimalistic, the quality is outstanding. They connect and disconnect in a jiffy, making your VPN experience all the more convenient.
Most of think of Scandinavia as heaven on earth. It has beautiful landscapes, strong culture and just the perfect weather.
Politically, the Scandinavian countries harbor progressive values. They respect freedom of speech and the individual right to privacy.
But there’s more when you scratch the surface.
Sweden, which is situated at the heart of Scandinavia, is a 14 eyes country.
It shares citizen information with countries like US and UK and opens the doors for NSA and GCHQ to spy on its population.
The fact that Mullvad is based in Sweden is troubling. So, is Mullvad safe? Yes It is.
Because Mullvad does not even ask for your email when you sign up. You can even pay the provider in Bitcoin, making sure you are a ghost to them.
This way, the VPN would have much information to give away even if it coerced by the government.
Mullvad provides customer support through email. You usually receive their reply within 24 hours, which is pretty much the standard. To complete an honest Mullvad VPN review, I tested their customer support by emailing them some of our queries.
The reply we received was quite thorough and informational. Also, the representatives of Mullvad were personal and empathetic in their approach.
As far as live support goes, there no such option available on Mullvad’s website. But then again, there is a FAQ section where you can find the detailed answers to some of the general queries about the service.
One can also benefit from the comprehensive guidelines readily available on the website on matters such as connectivity, troubleshooting and privacy.
Using Mullvad VPN on Windows
When you first open the website of Mullvad, you are in for a pleasant surprise. The site contains relevant information about the VPN service and is devoid of any aggressive sale pitches.
In addition, you can access the services of Mullvad by following 2 simple steps:
- Download the software
- Insert the account number given by the website.
Compared to NordVPN and other known VPN services, Mullvad has an extremely simple PC interface.
The PC interface has limited options for the users and it is as straightforward as it gets. However, the more experienced users can look into the “Advance Setting” for much more technical options.
Mullvad has server in more than 30 countries. These servers use OpenVPN application that is used by a number of VPN providers to provide highly secured servers. Users can select their preferred severs in the setting tab of the interface.
There is also a kill switch option in the PC interface to block the internet in case of a connection failure. This keeps your IP address from being revealed while attempting to reconnect to the internet.
Mullvad only has dedicated apps for Windows, Mac and Linux. It relies on OpenVPN app to work on Android, iOS and Chromebook.
There are also guides available on the provider’s website that let to use this VPN on DD-WRT routers and Quebes OS.
Mullvad for Mac
The Mac app of this VPN comes with an in-built DNS leak protection, which is always functional. It also features a kill switch that prevents your information from getting leaked.
This app is a work in process, which means there are lags from time to time. Other than that, it provides an impeccable user experience.
Mullvad for Linux
Not many VPNs have a dedicated client for Linux systems. But Mullvad is no ordinary VPN provider.
It has designed a custom privacy solution for Linux. You can set it up through this guide on the VPN’s website.
Since this VPN does not take half measures, Mullvad VPN Linux client is packed with security features like DNS leak protection and a kill switch.
Mullvad VPN for Android and iOS
Unfortunately, there are no Mullvad Android or iOS apps. Therefore, if you are interested in securing your smart phone through Mullvad, you are required to first install the OpenVPN app and then make several configuration changes in your device.
Once you are finished with these changes, you will need a connection script from Mullvad’s website to connect to the VPN server. Although, there are guidelines available on Mullvad’s website to help you out, this entire procedure is still a bit frustrating.
Mullvad VPN for Router
VPN routers take your online security up a several notches. For one thing, they are on at all times.
Hence, there are absolutely no chances of you forgetting to connect the VPN and browsing with your IP address exposed.
Secondly, VPN routers can secure multiple devices at the same time.
Keeping this mind, Mullvad has made its service compatible with DD-WRT routers. You can set the VPN on the router with a simple 15-step process.
Mullvad VPN on Kodi
Kodi is an open source platform that allows you to watch content through a plethora of add-ons. This tool has made streaming all the more convenient for the masses.
Unfortunately, Kodi too is infected by geo-restrictions and needs a VPN to function at its full capacity.
Although Mullvad’s website makes no mention of Kodi, the VPN does works with Kodi. In fact, you can set it up easily with the following process.
Pricing – Is it too Costly?
As it is based in Sweden, Mullvad deals with its customer in Euros. Therefore, non-European users are better advised to calculate its prices according to their local currencies.
Mullvad pricing strategy is extremely simple.
It comes for €5 (around $6) per month and there are absolutely no discounts for yearly or half-yearly packages. This separates Mullvad from other VPNs that offer special rates for long-term subscriptions and makes it somewhat pricey for frequent VPN users.
Users can cancel the monthly their subscription at any point in time.
Judging from the payment methods on offer, there is no doubt that this VPN prioritize above anything else. Following are some ways in which you can pay the provider.
- Bitcoin Cash
- Bank Wire
- Swish (Swiss mobile payment tool)
- Bankgiro (Norwegian giro system)
Note: Paying in a crypto gets you a 10% discount.
The VPN has a 30-day refund policy but with a caveat. Subscribers who paid in cash do get a refund due to “anti-money laundering regulations”.
Meanwhile, every payment has its own refund procedure as explained here.
Although Mullvad should be a premier choice for most Netizens, some people have their own set of preferences. They can check out the following alternative providers.
Mullvad Trustpilot Review
Trustpilot is where one turns to find some honest customer reviews. It provides an insight into the true efficiency of a service.
Quite aptly, a Mullvad VPN review on the site describes it as an option for the netizens seeking ‘extreme privacy’.
Another reviewer commends the VPN for valuating its customer and understanding online privacy.
Mullvad Twitter Review
Twitter being the premier social media attracts people from all school of thoughts, including those who take their privacy seriously.
Users on twitter praise the VPN’s commitment to privacy.
I still recommend Mullvad over any other VPN provider, for the simple fact that you can pay for Mullvad by snail-mailing them cash. That's dedication to privacy!
— Cytlan on Laserdisc (@cytlan) August 23, 2018
The VPN is getting some good word of mouth on Twitter.
Don't know best, but happy with mullvad.
— Tero Toivola (@h0p1t4s) November 10, 2018
Mullvad Reddit Review
VPNs seldom escape the skeptic outlook of redditors. However, this VPN has even manage to create devotees on this forum.
A Mullvad VPN review on reddit calls the VPN ‘exceptional’.
However, the Mullvad VPN reddit is not just high praises of the service.
There are few complaints about this VPN slowing down the torrenting. This something that I also experienced.
Mullvad is fighting the good fight for digital privacy and cyber freedom. Its commitment to privacy is pretty much evident in its operations. From the outset, it seems as the team behind this VPN service cares deeply about providing people a secure way to browse the internet.
There are many features in Mullvad that makes it stands out; the token-based account, the unique payment method and kill switch option to name a few. But what really separates Mullvad from other VPNs is its simple and straightforward mode of operations.
There are, however, some other areas of the software that needs to be addressed. Mullvad is not the fastest VPN provider, its speed can be easily classified as subpar.
And while we are at its drawbacks, the expensive pricing cannot be ignored. Mullvad should definitely consider introducing discounts for its long-term users.
Regardless of these drawbacks, I will end this Mullvad VPN review by recommending this brilliant VPN to online privacy seekers.