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 numerous 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.
Our Mullvad VPN review examines if there is any substance behind its bold claims. We will outline the Pros and Con of this service from the outset.
|Complete Privacy||Slow Speed|
|No logs policy||Lack of live support|
|Efficient customer Support||High Price|
|Kill switch||No Mobile App|
VPNs – Do they guarantee 100% security?
There is no way of guaranteeing complete security and privacy on the internet. However, VPNs make it extremely difficult for others to trace your online activity and determine your location. VPNs encrypt your data, which is then processed through a secured private connection.
The primary function a VPN software is masking your IP address and replacing it with an alternative one, thus making it way it hard for ISPs and websites alike to trace your location. Although this process is not entirely foolproof, it is still the best shot you have of maintaining anonymity on the internet.
Why we felt like conducting Mullvad VPN’s review?
Users have a plethora of choices when it comes to selecting an appropriate VPN service. Most VPN services offer distinct and unique characteristics to stand out and Mullvad is no exception to this.
The team behind Mullvad believes strongly that privacy is a universal right and they aspire to render internet censorship and mass surveillance useless. While conducting the review of Mullvad VPN, we kept this bold mission statement in focus to determine if the service really lives up to the hype.
Our Experience with Mullvad VPN
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.
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.
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.
The price of Mullvad’s VPN service is €5 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.
Mullvad Performance: Streaming and Video Loading Speed
The speed of video and streaming content understandably slows down while VPN is connected. But the overall speed is definitely something that most users will be able to work with. All in all, folks who want to use Mullvad for streaming videos will need a bit of patience.
Perhaps the most startling revelation you will find in this review of Mullvad VPN is that it compatible with Hulu and Netflix. This fact has also surprised the users on Reddit.
Reviewing Mullvad VPN’s Speed
“Internet speed with normal 8 mbps connection”
“Internet speed with Mullvad VPN Connection”
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 of the connection to a great extent, the above mentioned features become useless.
Hence, to give a comprehensive review of Mullvad VPN, we tested its speed on multiple international servers.
The speed on the servers of Sweden and Netherlands turned out to be somewhat disappointing. In most of the tests – the download speed was recorded at 2 Mbps on an 8 Mbps connection. Compare to this, the download speed in a normal connection was 6.86 Mbps.
While one expects a slash in speed in a VPN connection, this kind of drastic decrease is problematic to say the least.
Mullvad for Torrents
We maintain that any review of Mullvad VPN would have been incomplete without testing it on a torrent service. And we have a good reason to believe that.
Torrents are used by millions of people from around the world to download movies, TV shows, video games and other such content. But what many torrent users don’t realize is that they are always at a constant risk of exposing their identity.
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.
We tested Mullvad on several popular torrenting website and the results were less than satisfactory. The downloading speed in majority of the tests decreased to half of the normal connection and also fluctuated to a great degree.
“Torrent download speed in a normal connection”
“Torrent download speed in a with a Mullvad VPN connection”
Mullvad Review: Customer Support
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, we 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 is no chat 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.
Mullvad Compatibility: IPhone, Android and IPad
Unfortunately, Mullvad does not have its own app for Android or iOS. 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.
The Gist of this Mullvad VPN Review
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 seemed to us that 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 for us, what 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- it doesn’t have to be – but 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.
We recommend Mullvad to users who consider privacy utmost important and are therefore, willing to make do with some of less appealing features of this VPN service.