In this Mullvad review, I’m going to cover the pros and cons of the service by looking at their download and upload speeds, pricing and packages, features, and more.
I’m going to be comparing the customer support of Mullvad to other top VPN software, test out this VPN with Netflix, disclose whether torrenting is allowed, and more. Here are my Mullvad review table of contents:
- What is Mullvad
- Mullvad Cost and Pricing
- How Safe is Mullvad?
- Mullvad Speed & Servers
- Mullvad Customer Support
- Netflix and Torrenting w/ Mullvad
- How to Use Mullvad
- Review Conclusion
What is Mullvad? Background information
Before we can get into all of that, here is a brief history on Mullvad so that you aren’t left wondering who’s behind this company. (Or if they have your best interests in mind.)
Mullvad was founded in 2008 in Sweden and is owned by Amagicom AB.
They like to think of themselves as one of the most private VPN services currently on the market.
From the get-go, Mullvad showcases their reputation for being a secure VPN, with the first lines on the homepage reading: “World-class, online privacy.”
Here’s what Mullvad says about themselves across their site:
Mullvad is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Chrome OS users can access the built-in VPN client, while Android users can use Mullvad with the OpenVPN for Android app.
You can use Mullvad on 5 devices simultaneously. But it also works with DD-WRT routers, and they support IPv6. So you can connect a router and then add more devices on top of it.
Mullvad offers offers a kill switch. That’s critical in today’s world. Without one, you’d be left completely exposed when your WiFi connection goes out.
That happens all the time on unstable public ones. Your phone’s cell network is designed to kick in if that happens, so you might continue browsing without even realizing your VPN connection has been severed.
Kill switches prevent you this problem from happening.
Cost and Pricing
Mullvad offers a 30-day money back guarantee policy if you use credit, debit, or Bitcoin.
Unfortunately, no refunds are available for cash payments. You also get to try Mullvad for free for three hours before deciding if it’s right for you.
So far so good, right? Plenty of options to try it out without ever committing a dime. But how much will the paid service eventually cost you?
After that, it’s only €5 per month.
Pricing for Mullvad gets as simple as that. There’s no other payment option other than a €5 monthly charge.
So how does that compare?
Most month-to-month VPN options I’ve seen will set you back around $10. So already, you’re saving around ~$4 at current exchange rates.
However, if you do take some of these services up on pre-paying for the annual option, they might only be around ~$3-5. In this case, you might overpay for Mullvad.
How Safe is Mullvad VPN? Very.
The company also claims that “privacy is a universal right” and says that their ultimate goals is to “make internet censorship and mass surveillance completely ineffective.”
Because they actually do go to a lot of of lengths to help you remain anonymous throughout the whole process.
When signing up with Mullvad, you don’t need to share any of this information:
- Your email
- Your name
- Your phone
Instead, the only thing Mullvad will ever know about your account is the “account number”:
Most other VPN services require you to sign up with a valid email address. So even though your actions are often masked… your own VPN company still knows everything about you.
That’s where Mullvad is different. There’s virtually no way for Mullvad to know who you are, since you don’t even have to give them your name.
According to this section, you don’t even need to disclose an email address to use Mullvad. Or a credit card. You can use their free account number to register, pay in Bitcoin, and remain completely anonymous from your account with them.
Mullvad’s data is encrypted with AES-256.
This kind of encryption has become the gold standard. It’s considered ‘military-grade,’ used by both government agencies and top security professionals around the world.
I also liked that Mullvad goes to such extra lengths to help you remain anonymous.
They’re one of the only VPN services I’ve seen that do not require an email address or credit card. Usually, those two things are more than enough to link your personal information to your VPN account.
But Mullvad side-steps this issue by giving you a random account number and accepting Bitcoin or cash.
Mullvad doesn’t even track your activity on their homepage. So it’s safe to say you don’t have to worry about logging.
Low Number of Servers – Bottleneck?
Mullvad has 113 servers in 25 countries.
Some companies I’ve reviewed, like ExpressVPN, has thousands of servers available. So Mullvad is definitely on the smaller side.
But they do have more than a few others, like FrootVPN (another Swedish based VPN) who only has 30 servers total. Mullvad doesn’t offer any kind of visual or map showing their server locations, but they do have an area on their site with a complete server list.
Let’s see how fast is Mullvad.
Download Speed is Concerning
Privacy is obviously important.
But ideally, you don’t want to sacrifice performance for privacy. You should be able to expect a relatively quick session while browsing anonymously.
So I ran speed tests on US, EU, and Asian servers to see how well Mullvad works. Here are my results:
US Server (California)
- Ping: 184 ms
- Download: 19.2 Mbps
- Upload: 9.68 Mbps
Kind of disappointing results, especially when it comes to upload speeds. These should be better.
EU Server (Netherlands)
- Ping: 40 ms
- Download: 10.48 Mbps
- Upload: 17.58 Mbps
These speeds are a bit better than the results on US servers, but still pretty slow.
Asia Server (Hong Kong)
- Ping: 327 ms
- Download: 15.23 Mbps
- Upload: 4 Mbps
Simply put: These are slow results.
Some VPNs I’ve already reviewed have download and upload speeds as fast as 70 or 80 Mbps.
Mullvad does offer some tips on their site for improving connection speeds, like connecting to a server that’s closer to your geographical location.
But overall, I’d expect much better connection speeds without having to do these workarounds.
Overall, Mullvad is the second slowest I’ve reviewed. That doesn’t sound too good.
No Live Chat, No Phone Support
If you need to get in touch with Mullvad, they list their contact information right on their site.
There are tons of FAQs posted on their site for users to find a quick answer to their query. Otherwise, they use a ticketing system for customer support.
However, it looks like they’re also pretty active on their Twitter page when it comes to addressing problems and interacting with customers.
Some VPNs offer live chat options, so I was a little disappointed to fill out a form.
To use Mullvad’s ticketing option, you can click the “Error report” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the platform.
From there, you can type a message to Mullvad and even send debug information automatically. To them.
Here’s the question I asked Mullvad:
Turns out, you just have to send your cash in the mail with your customer ID number to their physical mailing address and they will add more time to your account once the cash is received.
Netflix and Torrenting
Now for the most exciting moment of any VPN review: Finding out if it works with Netflix.
This one of the top reasons people seek VPN access, so I was pretty eager to see if Mullvad worked with the platform.
I got excited after first signing in.
My Netflix dashboard loaded and international titles like this appeared when I was connected to a server out of Spain:
The moment of truth came when I clicked on the title to actually watch it. So I clicked to play and was met with…
It didn’t work. Netflix could tell I was using some kind of VPN and didn’t allow me access to the title. This happened on every single server I tried.
So unfortunately, no. Mullvad doesn’t work on Netflix.
Torrenting and P2P traffic are allowed with Mullvad.
Meaning you can use this VPN safely for torrenting.
How to Use Mullvad VPN
Overall, Mullvad is very easy to use.
That’s one of the beauties of not having very many features or complicated pricing plans.
Everything is very simple to install and use.
Here’s what the download page looks like:
Once you hit download, installing the service works just like installing any program on your computer.
Then, here’s what you’ll see once your download is complete.
Just enter the account number you got from the site and hit connect.
You’ll automatically be connected to a server in Sweden, where Mullvad (similarly to FrootVPN (review)) is based.
Once you’re connected, here’s what you’ll see.
There’s two areas of the platform and that’s it. “Status” and “Settings.”
Note that the time left in your account is listed right at the top of the “Status” page. Whatever server you’re connected to will appear under the “Connection” section.
On the “Settings” tab, you’ll find your account number. This is also where you can select which server you want to connect to.
Just select the country you want to connect to from the drop down menu.
This is as difficult as it gets. There’s no more features to choose from, which is nice if you don’t want to deal with all of the extra information and navigation.
If you’re looking for more options than this, though, you might be feeling a bit underwhelmed.
Overall, I’d give usability a 7/10.
Mullvad Review Conclusion:
Overall, I would not recommend Mullvad.
There was a lot to like.
It’s extremely secure, and your identity will be virtually untrackable since this VPN only needs your account number to work.
Pricing and plans are simple and easy to understand, customer support is average, and the encryption is great.
Plus, torrenting is allowed and Mullvad is incredibly easy to use.
All things considered, Mullvad definitely lives up to its reputation of being a private and secure VPN option. It allows for customers to remain virtually anonymous.
But that anonymity comes at a price.
In the end, the long-term pricing was a little too high. The connection speeds were a little too slow.
It doesn’t have any extra features. And if you want to access Netflix, this is definitely not the VPN for you.
Overall, Mullvad ranks at 42/100 based on our scoring.
Have you ever used Mullvad before? If so, what was your experience like? I’m always interested to hear what other enthusiasts have to say about the VPNs that I review! Let me know below.
Add your own Mullvad VPN Review
2 user reviews for Mullvad
Slow speeds ruined it
I was excited to sign up with Mullvad when it came out. It was really fast at first, but now they’re below average.
Everything else is great, but they should really improve their servers to handle the amount of new customers they receive each day.
I’ve cancelled my account with Mullvad for now.
Probably the safest VPN
I’ve had the luck to be a part of Mulvad beta testing and I’ve been their customer ever since.
They’re cheap, they don’t keep ANY logs, based in Sweden – which is a pretty independent country. It’s for your PRIVACY, not for watching Netflix and bypassing geo restrictions.
Yes – their speed is slightly slow, but stable. I’d say it’s a pretty solid VPN product.