Mullvad VPN Review
For privacy conscious Internet users, Mullvad VPN represents one of the best alternatives in the market because it protects your data security and anonymity like no other. Guarding digital assets since 2008, we are talking about a responsible company with a flawless track record among the European cyber community.
Based in Sweden, Mullvad may be subject to the 14 Eyes Jurisdiction, but you have no reasons to worry: the enterprise will keep no logs of your data, and if law enforcement agencies come knocking on their door, they won’t have anything to show.
The client has some pros and cons, as you will discover in this piece. However, overall, it offers a complete package for users seeking encryption and useful security features to protect what they value.
Pricing and plans
Mullvad’s pricing policy is very straightforward: users pay €5 per month and they get to enjoy all the features that the client has to offer. You don’t have to provide further payments to “unblock” additional traits or offerings.
While not necessarily the cheapest VPN in the market, Mullvad VPN is one of the most affordable options, and we are not talking about one of those brands that charge you an economical fee and the service is atrocious. Mullvad VPN offers robust encryption and protection of your digital goods, as well as other useful features.
There are no contracts involved, as the service is given and paid in a month to month basis. The only blemish is that you can’t acquire a long-term plan with a huge discount just like some of the top VPNs do.
Mullvad encourages several payment methods, including the usual suspects – credit cards, debit cards, PayPal – and those that promote anonymity, such as Bitcoin and cash. You can send your physical money to Sweden with your account number, and that’s it.
Free Trial and Money Back Guarantee
With Mullvad, users have the option to test the services and offerings for a period of three hours before they have to pay for the month. While you may think that is not a whole lot of time, remember that numerous “top” brands in the market don’t even have a free trial.
Mullvad’s refund policy dictates that you can get your money back for the first month. If you find the service unsatisfactory, you may ask for your five euros. Users can implement various account numbers to keep enjoying the free trial.
Sign Up and Client
Mullvad’s desktop software has been described by experts and users alike as having an “old-school PC interface.” People will need external help, in the form of third-party apps, to use this brand on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.
However, the Windows client is very functional. It implements a two-tab interface with white and gray as the primary colors. However, it can be slow for settings changes and numerous users get confused while using it.
To see whether you are connect or not and the details of your connection, go to the Status page. There, you can watch what IP address you are using, which server you are currently using and which protocol you are implementing for encryption.
All in all, the overall sentiment is that while Mullvad can indeed cause some confusions with its design and layout, it is very straightforward to use and while it doesn’t have native apps or clients for all operating services, it can run on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Mullvad does have some exciting features to offer to its users. For instance, it implements open-source software like the Qubes operating system for enhanced security. One drawback is that it does not support older VPN protocols such as IPSec or PPTP, but it runs its own public key infrastructure. With the military-grade AES-256 encryption, you will enjoy data security.
Mullvad does not use virtual servers. Instead, it uses only dedicated, “bare metal” servers in selected locations to gain more control over their behavior.
Another excellent offering is that Mullvad supports P2P activity, and therefore, torrenting. And since the brand does not monitor your connection, it won’t be an obstacle for you to enjoy your preferred torrent client. They recommend you to use Qbittorrent.
On top of all that, Mullvad has a kill switch to protect your computer from sending and receiving unencrypted data if your VPN connection falls through. Also, it has a Stop DNS leaks options.
Another point to write down in the “cons” section is that Mullvad does not work with Netflix, which is arguably the biggest online multimedia library in the planet.
While the best VPN brands, or at least the most renowned, have over 1,000 servers around the world (some may reach 3,000, which is really impressive,) Mullvad VPN only has 200 to offer its users.
If you are planning on anonymous browsing specifically in Europe, then Mullvad should be one of your top choices because most of the 30 countries in which it works are located in the European area.
The company defends itself against critics about the low number of servers saying that all of them are owned, not rented. If you need private browsing in China or Russia, you should look for another alternative, though.
Speed and performance
While having a VPN which is privacy-oriented is critical for your data security and peace o mind, you want one with acceptable speed rates, too. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Mullvad VPN.
Experts and pundits continually test Mullvad VPN’s servers in locations such as the United States of America, Europe, and Asia, and are always disappointed about the results in upload and download times.
Some of the top VPNs in the market have download and upload speeds as fast as 70 or 80 Mbps, whereas Mullvad continually hovers around 15-20. However, the company does give you some pointers about what you can do to improve performance, such as connecting to servers that are closer to your current location.
Privacy and Encryption
Mullvad can’t sell your data and generated content around the web because it doesn’t keep logs of them. They only put two cookies in your system, one to keep you logged in and another one for language configuration.
In fact, Mullvad does not require your name or email address, and it encourages anonymous forms of payments, including Bitcoin and cash. The company doesn’t even track your browsing on their homepage.
The brand implements the most efficient protocol in today’s industry, which is OpenVPN. It also uses an experimental technology called WireGuard. For encryption, Mullvad makes perfect use of the best of the industry: the AES-256 bit.
The customer service is a bit lacking, at least when compared to other brands in the industry. There is no live chat feature, as it functions with an email address for inquiries displayed on Mullvad’s website.
The company isn’t very active in social media either, although it does have a Twitter account.