MullvadVPN Review 2022

For those who value anonymity, Mullvad VPN is an interesting option. While the actual VPN app offers nothing special and is quite spartan, the payment plan is exceptional and compelling. You can pay with Bitcoin (and get a 10% discount), PayPal or even cash in an envelope (with a security key that you print out). You don’t have to enter your name or any other personal information. You sign up and pay with a 16-digit code instead of your email address.

For those unfamiliar with VPN apps, here’s a quick update. A remote VPN server protects everything you do online. Your IP address is hidden and prevents DNS leaks from exposing your activities. With a secure VPN connection, you can trust that your Mullvad app is safe and secure. Everything on the remote server is encrypted. In fact, the server is locked, so not even Mullvad employees can access your online history. Similar VPN apps, like OpenVPN, also run a remote server to encrypt your data, hide your IP address, and keep your Netflix login secure. In our review of Mullvad, we focused on download speeds, Android app performance, testing VPN protocols, and ensuring a stable internet connection.

Features

Mullvad has a network of 663 servers in 36 countries. That’s much less than NordVPN, which has about 5,200 servers, but it’s enough for most needs. The client software is available for Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems, and everything is open source – a plus for security-conscious users who like to know what’s going on under their software.

On Mullvad’s website, the company provides a detailed description of the data sets stored on its servers. In short, it logs nothing, but actively monitors the number of concurrent connections to each account.

We noticed that our real IP addresses were always hidden when we switched from one server to another, something that many other VPNs ignore. Once again, the company goes the extra mile to ensure user privacy.

Mullvad also has a kill switch feature that automatically blocks Internet traffic if the VPN goes down for any reason. We tested it several times by forcibly disconnecting in different ways, and each time the software immediately detected the problem and blocked our Internet connection until the VPN reconnected.

On June 25, 2020, Mulveyard published the results of its independent testing. This seems to be generally positive, and the minor issues found by Cure53 have been fixed. This is good news, as Mullvad joins the ranks of fully audited VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, which can only add to its credibility as a security provider.

Speed Test

The tested speeds on the US servers were EXCELLENT, and the international speeds were pretty good, but not fantastic (they held 14.29% compared to the “excellent” 20% band I used). All tests were done over AES-256 UDP (strong default encryption requires stronger encryption on the fly, which could be a possible reason). With one or two exceptions, speeds were very consistent across all tests and on all servers. Needless to say, I was very impressed. On mobile, speeds were slower, but again, I attribute that to the strong encryption used, and the mobile hardware is the real bottleneck.

Speed Test – Mullvad – Desktop

Location Trial Latency Download Speed Upload Speed

NoVPN

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

30ms

31ms

30ms

190.71 Mbps

183.81 Mbps

193.24 Mbps

10.57 Mbps

10.86 Mbps

10.65 Mbps

USA

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

35ms

36ms

33ms

35ms

177.07 Mbps

173.08 Mbps

180.72 Mbps

176.96 Mbps

10.13 Mbps

10.24 Mbps

10.14 Mbps

10.17 Mbps

UK

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

279ms

280ms

283ms

281ms

34.66 Mbps

33.60 Mbps

35.99 Mbps

34.75 Mbps

6.82 Mbps

5.85 Mbps

6.32 Mbps

6.33 Mbps

Hong Kong

Trial 1

Trial 2

 Trial 3

Average

355ms

354ms

353ms

354ms

26.17 Mbps

19.31 Mbps

28.32 Mbps

24.60 Mbps

3.22 Mbps

3.17 Mbps

3.25 Mbps

3.21 Mbps

Australia

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

413ms

414ms

413ms

413ms

21.95 Mbps

21.81 Mbps

21.52 Mbps

21.76 Mbps

2.08 Mbps

2.01 Mbps

2.10 Mbps

2.06 Mbps

Speed Test – Mullvad – Mobile

Location Trial Latency Download Speed Upload Speed

NoVPN

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

31ms

32ms

33ms

116.43 Mbps

121.99 Mbps

122.59 Mbps

10.87 Mbps

11.14 Mbps

10.96 Mbps

USA

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

42ms

34ms

32ms

36ms

17.53 Mbps

22.07 Mbps

21.37 Mbps

20.32 Mbps

10.46 Mbps

10.47 Mbps

10.46 Mbps

10.46 Mbps

UK

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

281ms

284ms

278ms

281ms

4.06 Mbps

4.73 Mbps

8.30 Mbps

5.70 Mbps

11.48 Mbps

11.20 Mbps

10.55 Mbps

11.08 Mbps

Hong Kong

Trial 1

Trial 2

 Trial 3

Average

366ms

355ms

406ms

376ms

4.33 Mbps

3.76 Mbps

4.07 Mbps

4.05 Mbps

11.66 Mbps

12.49 Mbps

12.20 Mbps

12.12 Mbps

Australia

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

415ms

416ms

414ms

415ms

3.80 Mbps

3.02 Mbps

4.00 Mbps

3.61 Mbps

6.99 Mbps

6.00 Mbps

5.89 Mbps

6.29 Mbps

Pricing Plans

Unlike most VPN services, Mullvad VPN does not offer longer-term subscription plans. As long as you want to use the VPN, you have to pay a monthly fee and “top up”.

At just best price mullvad per month, Mullvad is a relatively inexpensive VPN service, considering it doesn’t tie you in for 12 months or longer.

Payment Methods

Mullvad VPN accepts most standard forms of payment, such as.

  • Credit/Debit Cards
  • Most popular credit and debit card types
  • Bitcoin cash
  • Bank transfer
  • Wallet, wire transfer, cash, credit card, wire transfer

Other popular international payment methods, such as Alipay, are not currently available.

Mullvad is one of the few VPN services that allow cash payments, which is great for anonymity. Just send an envelope with an amount of money in it and your account number. The company will fill your account with the corresponding amount of money. You can pay in euros, US dollars, British pounds, Swedish kroner, Danish kroner, Norwegian kroner, Swiss francs, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars and New Zealand dollars.

User Experience

Mullvad is quite easy to use. It allows P2P, which is great for torrent lovers. Depending on your needs, Mullvad could be the perfect VPN for you. For example, if you want to connect to BBC iPlayer from outside the UK, Mullvad can help you. However, since you can’t bypass Netflix’s restrictions, you might have to try other services.

From accessing the website, to creating an account, to paying and using the app, the entire experience is very user-friendly. Mullvad does not want to store your data. It doesn’t even ask for an email address when you sign up. And the payment options are very flexible, so you can pay cash if you want.

Number of Countries

As you can see in the image above, you get 36 countries and 58 cities, which is solid for the size of the server network. I like the fact that the providers don’t have servers in Russia. This country is one of the biggest enemies of VPNs and will block any provider that doesn’t comply with its data retention laws.

Number of Simultaneous Connections

Finally, Mullvad offers up to 5 simultaneous connections.

Since it supports routers, you can extend it to up to 16 or 32 devices in your home. Note that this only applies to devices connected to the router, so don’t expect to be able to establish a VPN connection outside the house.

Streaming and Netflix

In January 2016, Netflix started banning VPN access to its service. The reason, of course, is to respect the geographical restrictions of content producers and distributors. Netflix must legally comply with these measures. Whether such an extreme reaction was necessary is of course debatable, but it solved their problem.

Recently, however, Netflix has relaxed some of its VPN policies, as TorrentFreak reports. It seems that Netflix might allow VPN users to access geo-restricted content. This usually means shows that Netflix produces itself. So, to test if a VPN actually works with Netflix, you need to search for geo-restricted content and see if you can use the entire Netflix library or just a subset of it. If there is only a restricted library, then you have nothing unlocked and Netflix has granted you that access.

Mullvad doesn’t do any bashing of the streaming service in its marketing. And in my tests, I was only able to access the entire Netflix library from the US servers in all the countries I tried. Those countries included the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, France and Spain. My colleagues also had issues with Netflix working with Mullvad when they did testing earlier this year.

So I would say the chances of releasing Netflix with Mullvad are slim. If this is your main reason for using a VPN, then Mullvad is probably not the best choice for you. I would say that Mullvad is better suited for “privacy enthusiasts” with some technical knowledge.

I’ve also successfully tried Amazon Prime Video in the US, but I’ve had no such luck with Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ITVHub or All4.

Installation and Setup

Getting started with Mullvad is as simple as creating an account and spending a little time shopping (as mentioned earlier, cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, etc. are supported). The site makes this clear and gives you much more control than is usually displayed. For example, you won’t sign up for a PayPal subscription without realizing it – there are separate options to make a one-time deposit, sign up, or cancel an existing subscription.

An extensive download page takes us to the Windows client, but also includes links to Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android apps, as well as options to download OpenVPN and WireGuard profiles.

After a few seconds, we grabbed the Windows client and installed it. We entered our account to activate it (Mullvad doesn’t require a username or password), and it was ready to go.

Privacy and Security

Mullvad uses two VPN protocols – OpenVPN is widely considered the most secure option on the market, while Wireguard is a relatively new protocol that some consider the next big thing in VPNs. The connection is encrypted with AES 256 to ensure maximum security.

Mullvad passed our VPN leak tests (IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC) without issue.

According to the company’s privacy agreement, Mullvad does not collect logs of user activity. This, along with the ability to create anonymous accounts, means that no log files are stored and your activities are not tied to specific accounts. When you pay for your subscription in cash using an envelope with no return address, there is no personal information associated with any payment method or account. When it comes to anonymity and privacy, Mullvad really goes the extra mile and outperforms its competitors.

Being based in Sweden means that Mullvad has to comply with stricter privacy laws than its competitors in places like Panama or the British Virgin Islands. In addition, Sweden is a member of the 14-Eyes Intelligence Sharing Agreement, which means it is included in the global monitoring system. However, considering Mullvad’s anonymous payment and registration methods, this is not really a cause for concern.

An independent security audit conducted by Assured AB and Cure53 in 2018 found few security risks in the application and its code. The report’s authors concluded that Mullvad “leaves an overall positive impression” and that the “professional Mullvad security team” is “certainly on the right track from a security perspective.”

Encryption

Mullvad uses 256-bit AES encryption. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and is one of the most popular and secure algorithms on the market, making it the algorithm of choice for government privacy requirements.

Proxy

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

Off switch

An automatic kill switch is now a standard feature of VPNs. When the VPN connection is interrupted, the kill switch disconnects the Internet connection and prevents traffic from leaking out.

Protection against DNS leaks

Even if you use a VPN, you are still at risk of DNS leaks. DNS leaks mean that your ISP can track what you do on the Internet. Fortunately, all Mullvad servers operate a DNS server.

Multiplatform

Mullvad supports all of today’s popular platforms. It offers custom clients for Windows (version 7 and above), macOS (10.7 Lion and above) and Debian Linux operating systems. The company also offers OpenVPN configurations for all devices running Android and iOS.

Easy to use

You don’t have to be an experienced technical user to use a VPN. Most VPNs are designed with ease of use in mind. We understand that our understanding of “ease of use” may differ from yours, but Mullvad VPN is one of the most user-friendly VPNs out there.

To get a Mullvad account, all you have to do is sign up, fill out a simple verification code, and you’ll have an account. You can download the software. If the app is compatible with your device, the app will be installed automatically.

Mullvad VPN has apps for macOS, Windows, Debian and Fedora. You can also install Mullvad OpenVPN on desktop operating systems like iOS, Android, Chromebooks, Linux, etc. Each account allows up to five simultaneous connections, which is ideal for a family or for users with multiple devices.

While it automatically connects to the best servers, you can click a menu to select a specific server. Some users may be wary of using this “barebones” VPN, but they can access relevant information like connection status, time remaining, and software version.

There are some special settings like IPv6 tunnels, DNS leak protection, and ports, but if you don’t know how they work (and what they are for), you shouldn’t bother with these settings unless you contact support.

Customer Support

If you have problems with Mullvad VPN and can’t fix it yourself, you have three options.

  • Email support (support@mullvad.net)
  • Facebook support
  • Twitter support

Interestingly, the fastest response you’re likely to get is an email (within a few hours), as Mullvad claims they don’t check your Facebook account very often.

While the response is quick, it’s not immediate (as it would be with a live chat). We hope that the team behind Mullvad will improve this in the future.

However, if you want to try to fix the problem yourself (or just fine-tune some features), you can find the right solution on the Mullvad website – there are comprehensive guides covering all the topics you might need. You can also find a lot of useful information on Mullvad’s Reddit channel.

How can I Install Mullvad VPN?

After downloading the VPN, there are a number of simple and straightforward steps, namely.

  1. Create an account on the website that you can access later.
  2. Download the VPN program from the link provided by the system.
  3. Click on the downloaded file and install it on your device or computer.
  4. If you need the OpenVPN protocol, unzip the other files that come with it by default into a folder called “OpenVPN configuration”.
  5. Right-click the icon that appears on your desktop and click “Run as administrator”.
  6. Next, right-click on the program icon and click “Connect”. After connecting to the server, no further processing is required.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  1. No email or account information required
  2. Extremely affordable
  3. Completely transparent
  4. Some advanced features, like multi-hop connections
Cons
  1. Uncomfortable desktop interface
  2. Servers in some countries
  3. Account system can be confusing for some customers

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mullvad VPN secure?

The battle between the repressive regime and VPNs is an ongoing one. Currently, Chinese authorities seem to be focusing on session establishment and key exchange procedures to crack VPN encryption. This is because VPNs typically use private key systems, where both parties need the same key to encrypt and decrypt data.

If the VPN figures out that the system can figure out the key exchange process, it can obtain that key during the session setup phase and then decrypt all subsequent messages.

Mullvad uses 4096-bit RSA certificates to authenticate the server, which are unbreakable. For the actual session key exchange, it uses a 2048-bit Diffie-Hellman key. That’s good enough for now, but it would help users if Mullvad added that level of security.

Once connected, both computers have the same encryption key. However, many are skeptical of the AES encryption scheme used by most VPNs. mullvad offers Blowfish encryption as an alternative to 256-bit AES encryption.

Does using a mullvad VPN protect your privacy?

Personal privacy is where Mullvad really shines. The service’s starting point is that it doesn’t want to know anything about you. However, the company drops cookies on your browser to get a session login, your preferred language, and a security cookie. The session login cookie expires after one hour.

First, Mullvad does not store contact records or monitor your online activity. You also don’t have to worry about the EU Data Retention Directive, which only applies to phone and Internet service providers. Even if the company is sued by a court order, the zero records policy means that no relevant data has to be released.Mullvad’s servers use the OpenVPN protocol, which is the most secure option available. We always recommend it because it has the best security features on the market.

Is Mullvad VPN free of charge?

Mullvad VPN used to have a free three-hour trial period when you set up a new account, but that seems to be gone now, probably because people have been abusing it. However, it does offer a 30-day refund period with no hassles.

Does Mullvad have a track record?

Mullvad is one of the best VPNs on the market and it does not record any information about you. Mullvad does not collect any identifying information about you when you create an account, and you can choose to pay in cash or Bitcoin.

Who is the owner of Mullvad?

Mullvad was launched in 2009 by the Swedish company Amagicom AB. Mullvad is still owned by the same company, but has since partnered with Mozilla and started using Mullvad’s WireGuard servers to provide VPN services for the upcoming Firefox private network.

Bottom Line

Mullvad is a VPN provider that is easy to fall in love with. Few VPN services can match its commitment to privacy. We think it’s a good choice for those who need to avoid censorship or complete online tasks without fear of being monitored by an oppressive government.

Even for the average VPN user, Mullvad is a smart choice. But if you don’t need advanced privacy features, you’re better off shopping elsewhere. Mullvad is not one of the industry leaders when it comes to customer service, which limits your value for money.

Add to that the fact that there are no server locations compared to other premium VPN providers – and the inability to unblock streaming services from around the world – and the reasons to buy elsewhere definitely add up.

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