Mullvad VPN Review & Test 2019 -Too "Cheap" To Be Secure?

Mullvad is a budget-friendly VPN that operates 360+ servers in 30+ countries. It also operates bridge servers that help users bypass censorship and firewalls. This means you can connect to Mullvad from places like China.

It’s easy to use and security-minded. This VPN keeps a strict no-logs policy and protects your data with military-level encryption. You can try it free for three hours before purchasing a subscription.

If you're looking for a VPN with more global coverage and server availability, plus those all-important unblocking capabilities, consider a premium provider, such as NordVPN.

Streaming – Does Mullvad Work with Netflix?

I was excited to see if Mullvad could unblock Netflix and other top streaming services. Unfortunately, with the exception of HBO GO, the answer was no.

  • Netflix: No. I first connected to Mullvad’s New York server. When that was unable to bypass Netflix’s VPN block, I tried a few more. No luck.
  • Hulu: No. Mullvad wasn’t able to bypass Hulu’s VPN blocks, either.
  • HBO GO: Yes. I was able to stream HBO GO in high definition.
  • BBC iPlayer: No. Even on Mullvad’s UK server, BBC iPlayer detected that I was connecting from outside the UK.

Mullvad’s Speeds

My connection was loading quite quickly while I was browsing, so I was interested to see exactly what my speed test results would be.

I first measured my speed without a VPN connection. I then tested it when connected to my local Mullvad server (in Australia). Lastly, I connected to a US server to see if there was much of a drop.

It’s normal to experience some speed loss when using a VPN. This is because it takes time to encrypt and decrypt your data, and your traffic has to travel farther to reach the server. However, this speed loss should be hardly noticeable if you’re using a premium VPN.

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My speed prior to connecting to Mullvad:

5 ms Ping, 8.7 Mbps Download, and 0.86 Mbps Upload

This isn’t incredibly fast, but not bad for Australia’s outdated internet infrastructure.

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My speed when connected to my local Mullvad server:

64 ms Ping, 7.95 Mbps Download, and 0.83 Mbps Upload

Although my ping rose slightly, there really was no noticeable difference in my loading times when I connected to Mullvad’s Australian server.

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My speed when connected to a US server:

280 ms Ping, 4.49 Mbps Download, 0.75 Mbps Upload

My ping did increase, but this was expected because my data had to travel halfway across the globe. My download speed didn’t drop very much, and 4.49 Mbps is still fast enough to download files and stream in high definition.

Overall, I was highly impressed with Mullvad’s connection speeds. I didn’t experience much of a speed loss, even when my data had to travel all the way to the US.

Is Mullvad Good for Torrenting?

Yes! With high connection speeds and secure servers, Mullvad is great for torrenting. It even provides guides for safe torrenting on its website.

Security – Is Mullvad Safe?

Does Mullvad Keep Logs?

Mullvad vigorously protects your privacy. It doesn’t log any of your data, and all of its user accounts are totally anonymous.

This VPN is based in Sweden, which is a member of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance. Although I don’t usually recommend VPNs from allied countries, Mullvad is the exception.

Given its extraordinary levels of anonymity and strict no-logs policy, there is little to no risk of your personal information being exposed, even if the authorities request it. There simply wouldn’t be any records to expose.

Does Mullvad Have an Ad Blocker?

Mullvad doesn’t have a built-in ad blocker, but it does recommend that users block ads using uBlock Origin.

Does Mullvad Work in China?

Yes, Mullvad allows you to counter China’s VPN block and firewall.

Chinese authorities are constantly working to block most VPN connections. To get around this, Mullvad operates specialized servers that act as a bridge between your device and its regular servers.

Mullvad sends your data to these bridge servers using the SSH protocol, which wraps your data inside an extra layer of encryption so it can bypass China’s surveillance technology.

From there, the bridge server sends your traffic to one of Mullvad’s regular VPN servers. Mullvad offers an extensive guide to connecting to its bridge servers under the Guides section of its website.

Price and Value for Money

Does Mullvad Have a Free Version?

Mullvad offers a 3-hour free trial that you can use to test its service.

Mullvad’s Refund Policy

Mullvad offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee. It cannot refund cash payments due to money laundering laws.

Is Mullvad Compatible with My Device?

Mullvad has apps for macOS, Windows, Fedora, and Debian. You can use its OpenVPN configuration files to install it on iOS, Android, Chromebook, Linux, and router and desktop operating systems.

It allows for up to 5 simultaneous connections per account, so you can protect all of your devices at once.

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Encryption

Mullvad uses military-level 256-bit AES encryption.

SSL/SSH Tunneling Support

Mullvad supports SSL/SSH tunneling. This hides your data inside an additional layer of encryption to evade deep packet inspection methods used in countries with internet surveillance.

SOCKS5 Proxy

All of Mullvad’s servers support SOCKS5 to further anonymize your connection.

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Automatic Kill Switch

All of Mullvad’s apps include an automatic kill switch that prevents unprotected data leaving your network in the rare event that your VPN connection fails.

DNS Leak Protection

Mullvad has its own public DNS server, as well as DNS servers running on each VPN server. This prevents your browser leaking your real IP address to websites.

If you’re using the Mullvad app, DNS leak protection is automatically on. If you’re using OpenVPN, you’ll need to configure it manually.

Mullvad Customer Service

Customer service is just another strong point for Mullvad. You can reach out to its customer support team via email and expect a quick response during business hours in Sweden.

When I sent an email to the team, I received a response in under two hours. There is, unfortunately, no live chat option, but if you don’t feel like sending an email, you can also reach out over Twitter.

The representative who responded to me was polite and helpful, and answered my question succinctly.

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User Experience

Mullvad is one of the easiest VPNs to use. Registering is as simple as completing a simple captcha and being assigned an account number.

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You’ll be able to download the software in one click. Once you open the executable file, the app will install itself. Just log in and you’ll get connected to the best server immediately. You're good to go in minutes!

Changing servers is easy. You can simply choose a country, or click the menu arrow next to a country to choose a specific server.

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Conclusion

Mullvad is a genuine pleasure to use. It is secure and the speeds are great.

It is one of the only VPNs that offers a completely anonymous account. You don’t need to provide a name, email, or even a password. You can even pay with cash if you don’t want to store any of your account details.

It’s perfect for beginners. Installation is simple, and you can get it up and running in about five minutes.

Mullvad’s only downfall is that it wasn’t able to unblock Netflix or Hulu. If you’re looking for a VPN for streaming, I’d recommend NordVPN. It’s super-secure and can bypass Netflix and Hulu’s VPN blocks.

If you’re more interested in high security, low prices, and bypassing censorship, Mullvad may be a good option, but i'd still recommend premium provider NordVPN for the best all-round experience.

Features Details
Number of countries with servers 24
Number of servers 160+
Does VPN keep logs? No
Does VPN include a kill switch? Yes
Number of devices per license 5
Ease of Use 4.4 / 5.0

Mullvad is quick to install and easy to use. You can register just by completing a simple captcha test—no name or email needed. You’ll be given a unique account number that’s required for logging in, so be sure to keep it somewhere safe.

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The app is lightweight and takes about two minutes to download and install. It’s all automatic, so it installs as soon as you open the .exe file. When you log in, it immediately connects you to the best server, too. Easy!

Changing servers is straightforward and takes about 30 seconds, so you’ll need a little patience. Until you’re connected to the new server, the automatic kill switch will temporarily block your internet connection to prevent data leaks.

Mullvad is ready to use as soon as it’s installed. This makes it perfect for beginners, but VPN veterans won’t be disappointed. There are lots of advanced features you can use to customize your VPN experience.

Pricing 3.4 / 5.0
1 Month Plan
$5.50 /month

Mullvad charges a low monthly fee. You can purchase up to 12 months in advance, but unlike many VPN plans, there is no financial benefit to doing so.

There’s a wide range of payment methods on offer. Paying with your credit card or PayPal account will require Mullvad to store some of your personal details.

For more anonymity, you can pay with Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash and receive a 10% discount due to lower fees on these platforms.

For total anonymity, you can send cash in an envelope with no return address to Mullvad’s office. I would expect this would also award you a discount, since there are no fees at all, but this is not the case.

If you live in Sweden, you can also purchase a subscription in select stores or pay via Swish.

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Reliability & Support 4.2 / 5.0

There’s an extensive support section on Mullvad’s website, covering everything from installation to optimizing your VPN speeds. If you can’t find your answer there, you can reach out to customer support in three ways: email, Twitter, and Facebook.

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The Facebook page promises a response via Messenger within a few hours. When I tried it, I received a reply from an auto-responder saying that Mullvad’s reps don’t check Facebook often and recommending email instead.

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I sent my question via email and received a response in under two hours. They don’t have a live chat option, but offer support from 7am to 4pm in Sweden’s time zone.

Although it wasn’t instant, I was impressed with their email response time. There are many VPN services that take 2-3 business days to respond.

Mullvad is also active on Twitter, where you’ll find product updates as soon as they happen and friendly responses to questions from customer service.

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The Bottom Line

Powerful security, but not great for streaming

Mullvad is an unsung hero in the VPN world.

It competes well with other big names like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Its app is easy to use, and installation is a breeze.

Mullvad really stands out when it comes to security. Its accounts are totally anonymous, and you don’t need to provide any personal details to register. You can even pay with cash.

So, if you’re looking for a cost-effective, security-conscious VPN, Mullvad should be at the top of your list.

If streaming and torrenting are important to you, however, read on for more info.

  • 160+ servers in 24 countries
  • No logging
  • Multiple protocols, including OpenVPN
  • Supported by various platforms
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • DNS leak protection
  • P2P enabled
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Get started with Mullvad VPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 0
Mobile app :
Number of devices per license : 5
VPN Plans: www.mullvadvpn.com
Mullvad VPN User Reviews
4.2
mkultra329
Oct 2, 2019
  •  5
Used them for years and have been nothing but impressed

I'm glad to see this review validates much of what I purchased this VPN for ages ago. The speed is generally less than non-vpn, which I expect, but it is never so slow that I wish I had a different VPN. Also, if it is noticeably slower I can simply switch to another location/country with one click and it is immediately resolved. My primary reasons for choosing them was the multiple concurrent connections allowed, multiple Operating systems supported, complete anonymity (no e-mail or anything else required and option of bitcoin payment event though I've never used that and stick with paypal), and the no log policy.


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    Alex Fredrick
    Sep 3, 2019
    •  5
    Simply Stated - Best in its class - Numerous Aspects

    If you are considering a VPN, stop considering anything other than Mullvad. I have used every VPN on the market and there is just no comparison to the features offered by Mullvad, Simplicity of their user Interface. Forget about all these numbers, (pings, speeds etc.) All the VPN's have same similar numbers so this is just wasting your time. However, aside from that, they are consistently updating and this company want to go #1, it obvious just one example for their customer service.


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      Peter Niklas
      Aug 10, 2019
      •  4
      Kate Veale is Wrong

      I don't know what Kate Veale was doing when she failed to use Netflix and BBC iPlayer with Mullvad VPN but i can confirm that both works with Mullvad VPN. I also don't get how she can get that bad download speeds being american and using the US based servers where I as a Swede get 10 times that speed using US based servers.


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