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Mullvad is a simple and effective VPN that offers fast speeds with increased online privacy and security. Its never-changing price of about $5 per month is semi-affordable compared with other VPNs, and it can unblock Netflix.
But our Mullvad VPN review shows this provider struggles with unblocking other streaming services, has a low server network count, and doesn’t offer the best customer service experience. This may not matter to you if your only concern is anonymity, which is an area where Mullvad excels.
Let’s dig into the review to see more details about features, speed tests, streaming, and more.
|Price*||$5.43/mo (about $5.42/mo)|
|Max # of connected devices||5|
|# of servers||891 servers in 39 countries|
|VPN protocol||OpenVPN, WireGuard|
|No-logs policy||No logs|
|Details||View Mullvad Plans|
"Mullvad a good choice if you have privacy concerns and you want increased measures of anonymity. It excels in privacy and security, especially when it comes to payment and account creation. Mullvad doesn't require an email address and accepts cryptocurrency and cash as payment.
But if you're looking for a VPN to unblock more than Netflix, you might want to look elsewhere. Mullvad didn't work with HBO Max, Disney+, or BBC iPlayer in our tests."
Who is Mullvad best for?
Mullvad VPN features
Mullvad VPN test results
Mullvad customer support
Mullvad prices and subscriptions
Mullvad VPN FAQs
Bottom line: Is Mullvad good?
Who is Mullvad best for?
- Recommended for someone who wants a fast and secure VPN with an increased emphasis on privacy and anonymity that can also unblock Netflix.
Mullvad is a virtual private network (VPN) service based out of Sweden that offers a simplistic but highly secure approach to VPNs.
Mullvad does a few things differently than most other VPNs, such as allowing cash payments and not requiring an email address to create an account. These and other efforts help you stay anonymous while connected to Mullvad.
Apart from these features, Mullvad also provides fast speeds and it can unblock Netflix content worldwide. For increased security, Mullvad has a strict no-logs policy that’s been put to the test by multiple independent audits.
Mullvad VPN pros and cons
- Fast internet speeds
- Strict no-logs policy with independent audits
- Never-changing price of about $5 per month
- Unblocks Netflix
- Anonymity features, such as cash payments and no email required
- Low server count compared to other VPNs
- Struggles with non-Netflix streaming platforms
- No 24/7 customer service or live chat option
- Based in Sweden, which is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance
Mullvad VPN features
Most of our Mullvad VPN testing was done using the Mullvad Windows desktop app on a PC computer from a physical location in the U.S. We also used the Chrome browser to access the Mullvad website and our Mullvad account.
You might find your Mullvad experience to be slightly different than ours if you use one of the other available apps on macOS, Linux, iOS, or Android. But we generally found the Windows app to be simple and user-friendly.
Overall, we were impressed with the Mullvad no-logs policy and the general simplicity of the Windows app. We weren’t as impressed with Mullvad’s low server count and small number of available countries.
Server count and countries
- 891 servers in 39 countries
There are nearly 900 Mullvad servers in 39 countries. It’s a decent amount to choose from, but nowhere near what you can find on other popular VPNs:
- CyberGhost: 7,000+ servers in 91 countries
- NordVPN: 5,000+ servers in 59 countries
- Surfshark: 3,200+ servers in 100 countries
- Proton VPN: 1,800+ servers in 64 countries
Having more servers to choose from could be helpful for unblocking streaming content in different countries and regions. It could also help improve connection speeds because you have more servers to select, which can lower the average load across all servers. Servers with higher loads (more connected users) could provide slower internet speeds.
Note that we couldn’t find any easy way to quickly locate a particular server because we didn’t see any search bar in the Mullvad Windows app.
So if you want to connect to a server in a different country or city, you have to scroll through the server list until you find what you’re looking for. It’s functional, but it doesn’t provide the best ease of use.
No-logs policy and headquarters
- Mullvad logs policy: No logs
- Mullvad headquarters: Sweden
Mullvad is a Swedish VPN with a strict no-logs policy. This means Mullvad doesn’t store any user activity logs. Mullvad might process some personal data in some cases, including if you send an email, report a problem, or make a payment by bank wire or another method that’s connected to personal information.
However, Mullvad also seeks to provide increased anonymity by offering cash payments and not requiring you to use an email address to create an account (you instead receive a unique account number). And Mullvad backs up its no-logs policy with independent audits done by third-party cybersecurity professionals.
For example, Mullvad had an audit done of its VPN apps (Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android) by Cure53 in 2020. The audit didn’t find any severe issues or concerns and concluded that Mullvad protects its users’ personally identifiable information.
Note that a more recent independent security audit of Mullvad was completed by Atredis Partners in 2022. Atredis Partners found areas for improvement, including a few edge cases where internet traffic could be leaked outside the VPN.
But Mullvad quickly fixed any applicable issues and Atredis also ended up rating Mullvad VPN as “sound” from a security perspective.
A few areas of concern for us include:
- The type of servers Mullvad uses
- Who owns the servers
- Where Mullvad is located
1. Mullvad uses both RAM and disk servers. RAM servers are often thought to be more secure because all data on the server is wiped if the server is powered off, moved, or confiscated. Disk servers are highly encrypted, but there’s more risk of data being compromised compared with RAM-only servers.
2. Mullvad rents many of its servers. This means it doesn’t have complete control over a large majority of its servers, which is less secure than the servers Mullvad owns. You can use the Mullvad server page to filter between rented and owned servers, as well as RAM or disk servers.
3. Mullvad is located in Sweden, a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance. Sweden is a country that has ties to a global surveillance alliance that uses governments to intrude on its citizens’ privacy. This likely isn’t an issue for Mullvad because it doesn’t store user logs (so there’s nothing for the government to see) and Sweden also has strict data privacy laws.
The Mullvad VPN kill switch is designed to prevent your internet traffic from moving outside a secure connection if you lose internet or you’re disconnected from the VPN. Kill switches typically block your internet connection until you’re once again connected to the VPN.
We could see the kill switch feature was working if we attempted to switch server locations while already connected to the VPN. A “blocking internet” notification would appear on our app.
Mullvad also offers an option called Lockdown Mode that functions as an advanced kill switch. Lockdown Mode completely cuts off your internet connection if you’re not connected to the VPN. This takes the kill switch a step further because manually disconnecting your secure connection will also block internet access.
We tested Lockdown Mode by turning it on in the settings, leaving the VPN disconnected, and then attempting to load a page in Chrome. We couldn’t connect to the internet until we turned the VPN on.
You can find the kill switch features in the VPN settings section of the Windows app.
Split tunneling is a common VPN feature that lets you bypass your VPN connection with specific apps and IP addresses. You might use split tunneling if you don’t want your VPN to slow down a certain app or if you want to use a streaming service while keeping your other online activities private and secure.
For example, Mullvad didn’t unblock HBO Max during our streaming tests. So split tunneling might work for you to let HBO Max bypass the VPN connection. Then you could stream with HBO Max while you browse the internet behind a secure connection.
You can find the Mullvad split tunneling feature in the Settings area of the Windows app.
Mullvad uses AES-256 or ChaCha20 encryption based on its protocols, OpenVPN and WireGuard. Both types of encryption are advanced and used by organizations worldwide for their security.
Mullvad uses the OpenVPN and WireGuard open-source protocols to help ensure the security of your VPN connection. You can access the WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols in the VPN settings of the Windows app. It’s typically recommended to let the VPN automatically decide which protocol to use unless you’re an experienced user.
The Mullvad WireGuard settings also provide a multi-hop feature. This routes your connection through multiple VPN servers as a way to increase your privacy.
Mullvad provides a range of blocking services that you can access in the VPN settings of the Windows app. This includes:
- Block ads: Blocks known ad domains.
- Block trackers: Stops contact from domains known to track users.
- Block malware: Stops contact from domains known to host malware.
- Block gambling: Stops contact from websites known to host gambling content.
- Block adult content: Stops contact from websites known to host adult content.
We tested the ad blocker by first visiting a site that has ads (Forbes.com) without the VPN turned on. We indeed found some ads.
We then turned the ad blocker on in the VPN settings and connected to the VPN. We went back to the same website and now we had no ads to worry about. Simple and useful.
Mullvad VPN test results
We ran speed tests, DNS leak tests, and WebRTC leak tests to see whether Mullvad VPN could maintain reasonable internet speeds and high levels of security and privacy. We also tested Mullvad to see if it could unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms.
These tests were run using the Mullvad VPN Windows app on a desktop PC running Windows 10 from a physical location in the U.S.
Mullvad VPN passed all the tests we conducted, here are the details.
- Mullvad speed test results: Mullvad VPN passed its speed tests.
We ran speed tests while using Mullvad VPN to see if the service significantly slowed down our internet speed. It’s common for VPNs to make a small impact on your bandwidth, but we wanted to see if the difference in our internet speed was noticeable.
We started the Mullvad speed tests by first running a speed test while disconnected from the VPN. This gave us baseline speeds to work with. We then connected to different Mullvad servers worldwide and ran individual speed tests while connected to each of those servers.
Our baseline speed was 117.6 Mbps download, 11.9 Mbps upload, and 11 latency:
Mullvad VPN speed test results
|Test type||No VPN||US to US||US to EU||US to AU|
|Download speed||117.6 Mbps||111 Mbps||106.6 Mbps||100.9 Mbps|
|Upload speed||11.9 Mbps||11.4 Mbps||11.4 Mbps||11.7 Mbps|
|Latency (ping)||11 ms||50 ms||133 ms||172 ms|
|Download speed % difference||N/A||-6%||-10%||-15%|
|Upload speed % difference||N/A||-4%||-4%||-2%|
|Latency % difference||N/A||-128%||-169%||-176%|
There wasn’t much difference between our internet speeds while disconnected from Mullvad VPN and then connected to different servers worldwide. You expect to see some drop-off as you connect to servers that are farther away from where you’re physically located.
For example, we experienced our slowest speeds while connected to a server in Sydney, Australia. This was the farthest server away from where we were testing:
But there wasn’t a huge drop in our internet speed while connected to the Australia server. Our latency definitely spiked, but that’s to be expected. Latency, or ping, is a measurement of how quickly networks communicate with each other, and physical distance affects this communication.
Mullvad Netflix tests
- Mullvad Netflix test results: Mullvad VPN passed its Netflix tests.
Can you watch Netflix with Mullvad? This is the question we wanted to answer with our Netflix tests. Hint: Yes, you can watch Netflix with Mullvad.
We ran these Mullvad Netflix tests by connecting to different VPN servers in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia. We then opened Netflix in a Chrome browser while connected to each server and checked if the correct content library was available in each region (e.g., content for Netflix in Canada showing while we’re connected to a Mullvad VPN server in Canada).
We didn’t run into any issues unblocking Netflix in different regions while connected to these specific Mullvad servers:
- Los Angeles (US)
- London (UK)
- Vancouver (Canada)
- Melbourne (AU)
Does Mullvad work with Netflix?
|US to US||US to UK||US to Canada||US to AU|
|Did it work with Netflix?|
It’s worth noting that we didn’t see any specific Mullvad servers that are optimized for streaming. So it’s simply a matter of selecting any server and checking whether it works. Mullvad doesn’t generally advertise unblocking streaming services as one of its features, even though it worked with Netflix for us.
We wanted to investigate the Mullvad streaming capabilities further, so we tested a few other streaming platforms as well, including HBO Max, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any success using Mullvad with these streaming services.
HBO Max was able to detect that something was wrong with our connection.
We also tried a few other U.S. servers (Virginia, New York, etc.) with HBO Max and those ended up as blank screens.
Disney Plus also ended up as a blank screen using multiple servers. We specifically tried servers in the U.S. and U.K. because they have different content libraries. But none of them worked.
And ultimately, we tried to load and watch something with BBC iPlayer, which only works if you’re in the U.K. This service knew something was wrong with the connection and wouldn’t let us load any shows.
It’s safe to say that you might not have any issues using Netflix with Mullvad, but trying to use other streaming services, such as HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, likely won’t work.
DNS leak tests
- Mullvad DNS leak test results: Mullvad VPN passed its DNS leak tests.
The domain name system (DNS) leak test is designed to show whether any of your private information is being leaked through your internet connection. We used the DNS Leak Test tool from BrowserLeaks to test for adequate DNS leak protection before and after connecting to Mullvad.
We were able to see private information, including our internet protocol (IP) address, internet service provider (ISP), and our general location before connecting to the VPN.
We actually ran into an error while trying to run the DNS Leak Test on BrowserLeaks after connecting to the VPN. None of our private information was shown and you could only see the IP address of the server we were connected to. But the test wouldn’t actually complete.
So we used DNSleaktest.com to run another test. This test also showed none of our private information and we could only see the IP address, ISP, and general location of the VPN server.
WebRTC leak tests
- Mullvad WebRTC leak test results: Mullvad VPN passed its WebRTC leak tests.
A WebRTC leak is a vulnerability that could expose your IP address when connected to the internet. We used the BrowserLeaks website to test for any IP address leaks before and after connecting to Mullvad.
BrowserLeaks was able to quickly identify our true IP address before we connected to Mullvad. After connecting to Mullvad, our true IP address was successfully masked and we could only see the IP address of the VPN server.
This type of protection is important for multiple reasons, including if you plan to use a VPN for torrenting. ISPs can often track your torrents through your IP address, but masking your IP address can help you torrent in private.
Mullvad supports a number of operating systems, devices, mobile apps, and browser extensions, including:
- Windows (10+, 64-bit only)
- macOS (Catalina 10.15+, 64-bit only)
- Linux (Ubuntu 20.04+, Debian 10+, and Fedora 35+, 64-bit only)
- iOS (iOS 12+ on the App Store)
- Android (Android 8.0+ on Google Play and F-Droid, or you can download the Mullvad Android .apk file)
- Mozilla Firefox (Firefox 90+, called “Mullvad Privacy Companion”)
The Mullvad iOS and Android apps generally have good reviews. The iOS app on the App Store has more than 400 ratings with an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
The Mullvad Android app on Google Play has nearly 1,000 reviews with an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5.
It’s worth noting that Mullvad had an independent security audit completed of its apps in June 2020 by Cure53, a German cybersecurity firm. The final audit report had generally positive findings regarding the security and privacy of the tested Mullvad apps.
Mullvad customer support
Mullvad doesn’t have a live chat option or a phone number to call. You can reach customer support via email at email@example.com.
According to the Mullvad website, the support team is based out of Sweden and available during weekday office hours in Central European Time. That’s five hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.
You can also interact with Mullvad employees on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. There’s also a Mullvad YouTube channel, but it doesn’t seem to be updated very often.
If you want to report a bug or issue in the Mullvad app, you can navigate to Support and Report a problem in your Mullvad app. This is how it looks in the Windows app:
Mullvad email support
We ended up sending an email to Mullvad support to test the customer support experience. We asked whether Mullvad works with streaming services and if the servers they rent are less secure than the servers they own.
We received a quick response (within 15-20 minutes, which is pretty fast for email) from Stefan, a member of the Mullvad support team. They were straightforward and basically let us know that Mullvad is focused on privacy rather than streaming, so some streaming services could work, but they also might not.
Stefan also let us know that the servers Mullvad owns are generally faster and more secure than the servers they rent. This is what we assumed after browsing the Mullvad website, but it was nice to receive confirmation from a Mullvad employee.
It wasn’t an in-depth customer support experience, but it was still helpful. And although you likely shouldn’t expect such a quick response time, we were pleasantly surprised to get a response that wasn’t hours or days later. Email support teams are typically slow with their response times from our experience.
Mullvad help center
The Mullvad help center is available if you want to view FAQs or go through in-depth guides to understand how Mullvad works. This includes being able to use a search bar to find specific information or browsing by different topics.
We found the help center to be basic, but also useful. Simplicity tends to be a theme with Mullvad, which is shown in how the VPN’s help page gets right to the point of directing you toward the most-asked questions and common areas of concern.
Mullvad prices and subscriptions
The Mullvad price strategy is a lot different compared to other VPNs. You simply pay five euros (about $5 at the time of writing) per month to use Mullvad. This is regardless of the subscription length you choose — it’s still about $5 per month whether you select one month or one year.
It’s an interesting pricing scheme because it’s not what you typically see from different VPN services. You can often save money on a VPN by choosing a longer subscription length, which lowers your overall monthly cost. For example, NordVPN costs $14.99 for a monthly plan but can get as low as $3.49 per month if you choose a two-year plan.
That’s not the case with Mullvad, which hasn’t changed or adjusted its price at all since it launched in 2009. Here’s how Mullvad’s pricing compares with other popular VPNs and their lowest price per month:
- ExpressVPN: $6.67/mo
- Hotspot Shield: $7.99/mo
- Mullvad VPN: $5.43/mo (about $5.42/mo)
- Proton VPN: $4.99/mo
- NordVPN: $2.99/mo
- Surfshark: $1.99/mo
- CyberGhost: $2.03/mo
- Private Internet Access: $2.03/mo
Overall, Mullvad isn’t the most or least expensive VPN available. It sits more in the middle of the pack with its pricing compared with the VPN providers above. It could be worth paying for Mullvad if you want a VPN that focuses on privacy and security over a huge server count or unblocking streaming services.
Mullvad VPN cost
|Price per month||$5.43/mo (about $5.42/mo)|
|Price per year||€60.00/yr (about $65.04/yr)|
|Details||View Mullvad Plans|
Mullvad VPN payment methods include:
- Cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and bitcoin cash
- Debit or credit cards
- Other payment options, including bank wire, Swish, GiroPay, eps transfer, Bancontact, iDEAL, and Przelewy24
Mullvad doesn’t typically offer any sales or holiday deals. But you can get a 10% discount on subscriptions if you pay with cryptocurrency. And certain retailers might offer Mullvad at lower prices.
As of writing (November 1, 2022), we found Mullvad VPN vouchers for sale on Amazon for $29 for six months of service. Without including tax, that’s about $4.83 per month, which is slightly cheaper than paying for Mullvad directly with the current exchange rate (though it could depend on how Mullvad processes the transaction).
It’s also important to note that Mullvad offers cash payments. This is largely unheard of as a payment method for VPNs or almost any internet-related service, but it could provide you with more anonymity. Cash payments are accepted in these currencies: EUR, USD, GBP, SEK, DKK, NOK, CHF, CAD, AUD, and NZD.
Mullvad VPN FAQs
Is Mullvad better than NordVPN?
Overall, Mullvad isn’t necessarily better than NordVPN. They both offer fast speeds and high levels of security and privacy. Also, Mullvad costs more per month than the cheapest Nord subscriptions. But you might choose Mullvad over NordVPN for its anonymity factors, including accepting cash payments and not using emails for user accounts.
Does Netflix block Mullvad?
From our testing, we found that Netflix doesn’t block Mullvad. In fact, Mullvad was able to unblock all the regional content libraries we tested with Netflix. This included content in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia. But Mullvad wasn’t able to unblock content for HBO Max, Disney Plus, or BBC iPlayer.
How is the customer service at Mullvad?
The customer service experience is slightly lacking at Mullvad because it’s not 24/7 and there’s no live chat option. This could be troublesome if you find yourself with a specific issue that could use some immediate back and forth with a customer representative. But at least you can check the Mullvad help center for in-depth guides and information.
Is Mullvad free?
No, Mullvad isn’t free. Mullvad charges five euros (about $5) per month to use its VPN services. This price stays the same per month regardless of how long you subscribe, whether it’s one month, two months, six months, or a year.
Can Mullvad be trusted?
Mullvad is a trusted VPN that places high emphasis on user privacy and security. It has a strict no-logs policy and is located in Sweden, which has strict privacy laws. Sweden is also part of the 14 Eyes Alliance, but even if Mullvad were forced to give the government any user logs, it wouldn’t have any logs to give. This has been proven by multiple independent audits of the company and its policies.
Does Mullvad slow down internet?
Similar to most VPNs, using Mullvad will typically slow down your internet speed. But our testing shows that there wasn’t a significant decrease in internet speed while connected to different Mullvad servers worldwide. This included connecting to servers in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. Our latency went up with distant servers, but that’s to be expected.
Bottom line: Is Mullvad good?
Mullvad is a fast, private, and secure VPN. It’s a good choice if you have privacy concerns and you want increased measures of anonymity. Mullvad doesn’t require an email address to register an account, accepts cryptocurrencies and cash as payment, and has a strict no-logs policy that’s backed up by independent audits.
Mullvad can also unblock Netflix, even though this doesn’t appear to be a primary feature that’s advertised by the company. This is evident in the fact that Mullvad struggles with unblocking other streaming platforms and it doesn’t have optimized streaming servers.
Although Mullvad excels in privacy and security, it might not provide the best overall experience. There’s no 24/7 customer service or a live chat option, and the total server count is low. For a VPN that ticks more of these boxes and offers lower prices, check out our NordVPN review.