Mullvad VPN Review 2023: Private and Secure, But Good for Streaming

Contents

But Mullvad quickly fixed any applicable issues and Atredis also ended up rating Mullvad VPN as “sound” from a security perspective.

Mullvad help center

The Mullvad VPN app makes it easy to use WireGuard.

If you prefer to use the WireGuard app download configuration files (requires login).

I have lost my account number. How do I get it back? #

App under Windows says: failed to apply firewall rules. #

This mostly happens with third party security and firewall software that blocks WFP from working correctly. The error will often show up in the daemon.log as : [talpid_core::winnet][ERROR] Initiate WFP transaction: The call timed out while waiting to acquire the transaction lock.

App says “too many simultaneous connections” when only using 1? #

This can happen if the Mullvad VPN app can’t find the TAP adapter. Solution: close and, re-install the latest Mullvad VPN App. Wait 5 mins (for the connection count to clear) and then try to connect, and see if this solves the issue.

Why can’t I use the internet after closing the Mullvad app on Windows? #

Go into the “Network & Internet settings” > “Change adapter settings” and then right-click the network adapter you use to connect to the internet and select “Properties” then double-click on “Internet Protocol version 4” and set it to “Obtain DNS server address automatically” Please make sure that you are running 2020.2 or later of our Mullvad VPN app.

Why do I get slow speeds? #

Our Connection Speed guide lists a variety of possible solutions. You can also read about throttling.

Why do I get CAPTCHAs all the time? #

This is a known issue that happens on many sites using Cloudflare. Please follow our SOCKS5 guide to reduce the occurrence of CAPTCHAs, or you can try switching to another server.

Do you offer discounts or have sales? #

We never have sales, but accepted cryptocurrency payments are discounted at 10&#37 due to lower fees and less administration. Visit our pricing page for more info.

How many computers or devices can I use my Mullvad VPN account on? #

You can use your account on up to 5 devices.

How can I see if a payment is processed or how much time I have left on my account? #

Log in to the Account Status page of our website.

Do you offer a money back guarantee? #

Yes, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee, except for cash payments due to anti-money laundering regulations. Read our refund instructions.

I have paid but can’t connect! #

If you get a message saying your account has expired, your payment is the problem. If you paid through your PayPal account, log in to PayPal and check the status of the payment. PayPal often changes its mind about transactions, sometimes days after a payment was made, without notification. For cryptocurrency payments, these do not get processed until the transaction has been confirmed. Bank wires can take 1–2 working days to get processed.

How do I cancel my PayPal subscription? #

To unsubscribe, first log in to the Account Status page of our website. Click on the PayPal Subscription icon and then on the Unsubscribe button.

Do you obey the EU Data Retention Directive? #

The directive does not apply to Mullvad because we are not considered an electronics communications service. This is also the case for Sweden’s Lagen om elektronisk kommunikation (LEK). Swedish legislation .

How can I tell if I’m connected? #

Visit mullvad.net/check to easily check your connection status, or you can visit our website and it will display the server you are connected to at the top of the website.

Is all traffic protected or only web surfing? #

All internet traffic.

What can I do about WebRTC? #

Read our guide on how to disable WebRTC.

Are you keeping logs? #

No, we do not store activity logs of any kind. Please read our privacy policy.

What if a court orders you to divulge sensitive user information? #

We don’t collect or store such information. There is nothing to divulge. See our privacy policy.

What if the connection is broken? #

With the Mullvad VPN app, all Internet traffic is automatically blocked until either the VPN connection is reestablished or you disconnect from or quit the app. This built-in safety feature ensures that your traffic is not accidentally leaked outside of our secure tunnel.

I get warnings when installing your software! #

That’s OK. Allow the software to install. The warnings occur either because your device requires admin authorization to install drivers or because some antivirus software gives a false positive on new app releases.

How do I turn on DNS leak protection in the app? #

DNS leak protection is always on. There is no option to disable it.

How do I force the Mullvad VPN app to use TCP protocol? #

If you are using the Mullvad desktop app, go to the Mullvad app settings by clicking on the gear icon in the top right corner of the app. Then select OpenVPN in the advanced settings and then go to “OpenVPN Settings” and click on TCP. If you are using a mobile phone or tablet then you can use the OpenVPN app instead, see “Other VPN software” in the Mullvad help center menu to the left.

While using the Mullvad VPN app, I can’t access local shares, printers or services. What do I do? #

Open the Mullvad app settings, then click on Preferences and turn on “Local network sharing”. In some cases you have to use the IP address to connect instead of the hostname. If the device is on a different subnet (IP address range) then add a static route to that in the operating system. In Android this will not work if you have enabled “Block connections without VPN” in the Android network settings.

Do I get a shared or dedicated IP address? #

Do you support port forwarding? #

No, adding new ports has been disabled as of May 29th 2023. Existing ports will be deleted July 1st 2023.

I can’t send email! What do I do? #

Because of spam we block TCP port 25. Set your email program to send using SSL/TLS on port 465.

Which country will the IP address that I get be located in? #

The Mullvad app allows you to choose. Check out our full list of VPN servers and locations.

Do you limit speed/bandwidth or data volume? #

Can I configure the VPN myself or do I have to use your software? #

We provide OpenVPN and WireGuard configuration files for any device that supports them.

How do I tunnel IPv6 traffic in the app? #

You can enable IPv6 communication in the Advanced settings menu.

Are you blocking any ports? #

Yes, because of spam we block port 25. Because of a Microsoft security issue, we also block ports 137, 138, 139, and 445. We reserve the right to block any port or IP address in order to protect ourselves, our customers, and the quality of our service.

Running Mullvad in a virtual machine drops the connection quite often. How do I fix that? #

Please make sure that your guest VM is using static IP addresses.

Which ports should I open in my firewall for OpenVPN ? #

TCP : 80, 443, 1401
UDP : 53, 1194, 1195, 1196, 1197, 1300, 1301, 1302, 1303, 1400
(Ports 1400 UDP and 1401 TCP do not have DNS hijacking enabled, which might work better for pfSense users)

Can I use Mullvad without the GUI? #

Yes, by using the Mullvad command line interface. We also provide OpenVPN and WireGuard configuration files for any device that supports them.

Do you support my OS or device? #

We support Windows 10 and newer, macOS 11+ and newer, and Linux distributions such as Debian 10+, Ubuntu 20.04+, and the two latest Fedora releases. We also provide OpenVPN and WireGuard configuration files for any device that supports them.

Could I get a receipt that specifies VAT? #

Yes, please visit our Invoices guide for more information.

I have a business. How do I pay for your service without VAT? #

As we are a consumer retailer, we do not offer the option to buy our service without VAT.

I get Fatal error during driver installation. Failed to identify newly added TAP adapter. #

Please make sure that you do not have any antivirus or third party firewalls that might be blocking / restricting access for installing the TAP Adapter correctly.

How do I change the app’s language? #

The language is automatically determined based on your computer’s language settings. You can set the environment variable MULLVAD_LOCALE to the language you wish to use of the ones we have available:

If using Linux : MULLVAD_LOCALE=en-US ./mullvad-vpn

If using Windows you set it in: System -> Advanced system settings -> Environment Variables -> and then add a System variable called MULLVAD_LOCALE with the value of en-US for English.

If using macOS from a terminal: MULLVAD_LOCALE=en-US /Applications/Mullvad\ VPN.app/Contents/MacOS/Mullvad\ VPN

Keep in mind that you will need to restart the Mullvad VPN app for it to take effect.

Why does my iOS Devices get stuck at connecting after unlocking them ? #

One possible fix is to enable Seamless tunnel and also to have Reconnect on wakeup enabled.

Why do I get a TAP driver installation issue on Windows ? #

The error message “Fatal error during driver installation : failed to create virtual adapter: error 2” or “Fatal error during driver installation. Failed to identify newly added TAP adapter.” when installing the Mullvad VPN app. This is commonly caused by firewall / internet security software, for instance Comodo, please disable them and then try installing the app again.

Why do I get a lot of connection drops after starting to download or stream content on Windows? #

This is an issue with the Windows TAP drivers, and it is seen more often when using torrents, what you can do is install the older TAP driver version 9.9.2_3 and see if that resolves the issue for you, remember to reconnect after installing it.

I use the WireGuard kernel module and can’t connect. Why do I get “Protocol not supported”? #

Make sure the kernels and kernel headers that you are running match those from when you installed the WireGuard packages. If not, then upgrade them.

Try rebooting to see if the kernel module loads correctly: in a terminal, issue sudo modprobe wireguard && lsmod | grep -i wireguard .

Try installing and compiling the WireGuard source. Distribution packages sometimes don’t set things up correctly.

wg-quick fails, with the message RTNETLINK answers: No such device #

This can happen if you set a MTU that is lower than 1280 in the WireGuard configuration file, make sure it is not set to lower than 1280 and then try again.

Who owns Mullvad? #

The Mullvad VPN service is operated by Mullvad VPN AB which is a subsidiary of Amagicom AB. Both companies are 100% owned by founders Fredrik Strömberg and Daniel Berntsson.

How do I multihop with the app? #

In the Mullvad app: Click on the Cogwheel -> VPN settings -> WireGuard settings -> Enable multihop .

Is Shadowsocks available in the app? #

Yes. By using Bridge mode you will be using the Shadowsocks proxy.

How can I circumvent censorship or get around a restrictive firewall? #

Activate Bridge mode in the app. This will make use of the Shadowsocks proxy.

Where can I find my app’s local log files? #

Here’s how to find openvpn.log, openvpn.old.log, daemon.log, and daemon.old.log.

Via the app
You can easily access them via the app by opening Settings > Report a Problem > View app logs.

Via your computer
Windows: C:\ProgramData\Mullvad VPN
macOS: /var/log/mullvad-vpn/
Linux: /var/log/mullvad-vpn/

What can I do to reduce disconnections ? #

Try connecting over TCP and port 443. This often helps.

Downloading the Mullvad app is slow. What can I do? #

Installing Mullvad VPN app fails, what do I do ? #

If you get the error: “Fatal error during driver installation: Failed to enumerate network adapters: SetupDiOpenDevRegKey Failed” Then uninstall the TAP adapter from the system, reboot and then start the Mullvad VPN installation again.

Why am I leaking DNS requests to Cloudflare? #

Even when connected to Mullvad, this happens to Firefox users in the U.S. because of the browser’s default settings. To prevent this, open Firefox Options > General > Network settings > Settings, then deselect “Enable DNS over HTTPS.” Once you’ve done that, visit mullvad.net to verify that you’re no longer leaking information.

I get the error: “Failed to create virtual adapter: error 0” when installing what to do? #

* Open regedit * Edit Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DeviceInstall\Parameters * Change DeviceInstallDisabled to 0 * Install the Mullvad VPN app * Change the value back to 1

Unable to connect under Windows 7, and Daemon.log shows Failed to determine alias of TAP adapter #

Stand Alone security updates KB4474419 and KB4490628 were released to introduce SHA-2 code sign support. Make sure you install them

What about the Swedish Covert Surveillance of Data Act? #

Do you offer dedicated ip? #

No, it is not aligned with privacy since it somehow has to be linked to a user

Why do I get low speeds using WireGuard on pfSense (when using snort) ? #

If you use INLINE IPS then try setting it to Legacy mode and see if the performance improves after that.

How do I enable the kill switch? #

The app has a built in kill switch that is enabled by default and cannot be disabled. This is to prevent your traffic from leaking outside of the VPN tunnel if your network suddenly stops working or if the tunnel fails for any reason. Mullvad automatically protects your data until your connection is reestablished.

Some websites or apps think I am in Romania or Sweden, but I have selected a server in the USA or UK #

You can verify the location using https://mullvad.net/check . There are a number of different geolocation databases and it can take some time before they get the correct information and for the websites to update to the latest version of it. When connected to Los Angeles or New York some websites show the location as Romania. You can use another city like Chicago instead. When connected to London some websites show the location as Sweden. You can use gb1 or gb6 in London or any of the Manchester servers instead. How: You can select a specific server in the app by using the down-arrow on the right side of the country and city.

Why can’t I see the CPU load or Network utilization of a VPN server ? #

The reason we do not provide this is because it would then give users a false sense of which server they should select. We try to ensure that all our servers have lots of capacity both in terms in Network and CPU If there happen to be performance variations on a given server, it is very likely not because of the server itself. It is most often because of internet routing issues. Try switching to another server hosted by a different hosting provider.

What license does the Mullvad VPN app have? #

Our app is free software and all the source code is GPL-3 licensed. Read more on our open source page. However, the iOS app when distributed on the Apple App Store is licensed under the Apple App Store EULA and not GPL-3.

Why Can’t I connect using Comcast XFINITY router ? #

If you have set it to maximum security, “which will block most applications except web browsing, email, iTunes and VPN.” , try reducing it to typical to see if you then can connect. Or use port 53 for WireGuard / OpenVPN to connect.

How can I become a Mullvad reseller? #

  • 1. Tell us briefly about your company (Name, business area and country/countries you are operating in).
  • 2. What does your company do?
  • 3. Why would you like to become reseller of Mullvad VPN?
  • 4. What quantities and volumes are you estimating to sell your first year?

Mullvad’s Website or API shows as insecure or is unreachable what to do? #

Certain routers block Mullvad’s website and API, and calls it “malware”. Some routers from Asus and TP-Link include a DNS filter from Trend Micro which blocks Mullvad because using Mullvad will prevent their filter from working. To turn it off follow these instructions. ASUS: Go to AiProtection > Network Protection > turn off “Malicious Sites Blocking”. TP-Link: Go to HomeCare or Security > Antivirus > turn off “Malicious Content Filter”. Some Verizon Fios routers contain McAfee Home Network Protection which can also block Mullvad. In that case turn off Parental controls.

Which IPs for setting up our ad blocking, tracker blocking and malware blocking using custom DNS ? #

Except Android (currently) these settings are built in as toggles, if you want to use configuration files, or if you are running Android you can use the following:Click on the gear icon (Settings), then Advanced. Scroll down to Use custom DNS server and enable it to add any of these DNS servers listed in the link below:
https://github.com/mullvad/dns-adblock#custom-dns-entries

Why can’t I use the internet after closing the Mullvad app on macOS? #

Try to turn off and on your Wi-Fi, or unplug and plug in your network cable. Make sure that you have a DNS set after disconnecting Mullvad by doing this: Go to the macOS System Preferences > Network and click on your active connection to the left. Then click on Advanced. and then the DNS tab. Click on the plus to add a new DNS server (for example 1.1.1.1).

Will Mullvad allow me to create a secure network between my computers/devices, or access other users #

This is not possible as each connection is separated.

There is a law to collect user data in India and other countries. Does this affect Mullvad? #

Mullvad does not collect user data. Mullvad is based in Sweden and none of the Swedish regulations (https://mullvad.net/help/swedish-legislation/) can force VPN providers to secretly collect traffic-related data. We also have no servers, infrastructure or staff in India.

I am using the ASUS stock firmware and when importing the Mullvad .ovpn file it says “File format or #

Open the .ovpn file in a text editor and remove the line “tun-ipv6” before you import it.

Using Mullvad on macOS, the app says “BLOCKING INTERNET: Unable to set system DNS server”. #

This can happen when something other than Mullvad is actively updating the DNS. Try to turn Wi-Fi Calling off in the FaceTime app settings and restart the Mac. Uninstall or disable other DNS, networking and ads/website blocking apps.

I can not install Mullvad in macOS Ventura. The installation program says: “The installation failed” #

Move the Mullvad installation program to the Downloads folder, and then start it again.

I am using macOS 13 Ventura and Mullvad says “Connecting to Mullvad system service”. #

Open the System Settings app and go to General > Login items. Under “Allow in the Background” you should find Amagicom. Make sure that is enabled. If it doesn’t help then open the Terminal app and run this command: sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/net.mullvad.daemon.plist If it asks for a password then use your Mac login password.

Why am I unable to Play music in the Spotify app for Windows when connected to Mullvad? #

This is a bug in Spotify that is discussed in the Spotify forum. It should work if you add the songs to a playlist first. This applies also when using Split tunneling.

I am trying to update the Mullvad app but it says “Failed to uninstall a previous version”. #

Restart the computer and then install the Mullvad app again. If it doesn’t help then try to temporarily uninstall your anti-virus program first, and then re-install it after having installed the Mullvad app again.

I updated the Mullvad app, when I try to connect it says “Unable to start tunnel connection.” #

Try to restart the computer. If it doesn’t help then reinstall the Mullvad app.

Mullvad app says that I have too many devices. How can I find which device has which device name? #

You can find the device name in the Mullvad app settings > Account. You can find the device name for the WireGuard key if you log in to our website here: https://mullvad.net/account/devices

Can I exclude Windows Store apps with Split tunneling? #

No this is not possible. Check if the app has a normal Windows installer or if you can use it in a web browser instead.

Can I purchase more devices for my account? I have reached the five devices limit. #

We cannot add more devices to an account. You would have to get a second account or install Mullvad on a router with an OpenVPN or WireGuard client to use it with all the devices in the local network.

In the macOS System Settings there is a mullvad-exclusion user group. What does it do, can I delete #

Do not delete it. The mullvad-exclusion group is required for coming features. If you delete it then the Mullvad service daemon won’t be able to start and you can’t use the Mullvad app.

Do I have to be a Mullvad VPN user to run the Mullvad Browser? #

No, you don’t have to be a Mullvad VPN user to run the Mullvad Browser. But we highly recommend that you use a trustworthy VPN in combination with the browser.

Can I use the Mullvad Browser without a VPN? #

Yes, but if you don’t use a trustworthy VPN in combination with the Mullvad Browser your IP address won’t be masked. To avoid data collectors and mass monitors to identify you thanks to your IP address (and hide your traffic from your ISP) – use a trustworthy VPN together with the Mullvad Browser.

What data does the Mullvad Browser collect? #

Does Mullvad Browser make any outgoing connections? #

  • * Browser update (Mullvad)
  • * Mullvad Browser Extension update (Mullvad)
  • * Mullvad DoH (Mullvad)
  • * NoScript/Ublock Origin update (Mozilla)
  • * Certificates & Domains update (Mozilla)
  • * Ublock Origin filter lists update (various lists)

What’s the difference between the Tor Browser and the Mullvad Browser? #

The difference is the network used to access the internet. Tor Browser connects to the internet through the Tor Network. The Mullvad Browser is instead designed to be used with a VPN.

Why do you disable “Deceptive Content and Dangerous Software Protection”? #

Because it’s controlled by Google.

Why don’t you have more features within the Mullvad Browser? #

We focus on privacy first. Too many features could make it possible to identify you through fingerprinting.

Can I install other extensions? #

Yes, but that is something we don’t recommend. Extensions could make it possible to identify you through fingerprinting.

Can I use it on my smartphone? #

The Mullvad Browser is not available on smartphones.

What’s your business model? How does Mullvad Browser makes money? #

We don’t earn any money from the Mullvad Browser. Our income comes from our VPN service. The Mullvad Browser is a complement to our VPN service.

Where can I get help? #

Look at help/contact support.

Where can I share a bug/idea? #

Report it on Github or send an email to [email protected]

Why is the built-in password manager disabled? #

Use a external password manager, it’s more secure.

Why is the time wrong? #

The time zone is spoofed, to combat fingerprinting.

What’s this weird spacing around the websites? #

It’s called letterboxing, a function to combat fingerprinting (using your browser window size to identify you together with other measures).

How do I stay logged into specific websites between sessions? #

It’s not possible. It’s an action to combat tracking.

Is the browser only available in English? #

For now, it’s only available in English.

Where are my downloads? #

They are in the Mullvad Browser folder.

Will you support Firefox Sync? #

How can I add NoScript to the toolbar? #

– Right click on the menu icon
– Select “Customize Toolbar”
– Drag the NoScript icon to the place of your choice
– Click on “Done” at the bottom right of the browser

Why can’t I remove NoScript & uBlock Origin? #

While NoScript & uBlock Origin are extensions, they are integral part of the defense against browser fingerprinting in Mullvad Browser. NoScript is used for the Security Level feature. uBlock Origin is used to block third party trackers.

Why doesn’t Mullvad VPN have a VPN extension? #

A VPN extension makes it possible to use the VPN only for the browser. It’s very easy to click a link that will make your traffic go outside of the VPN tunnel. This is why we don’t propose this: it’s much safer to encrypt all your device traffic, to make sure there’s no unintentional leak.

Will removing Mullvad Browser Extension alter my browser fingerprint? #

It won’t change your browser fingerprint, it’s safe to remove it.

How can I display the bookmark toolbar? #

– Right click on the menu icon
– Select “Bookmarks Toolbar”
– Select “Always Show”

Why are some elements blurry on some websites? #

The blur happens because of canvas fingerprinting protection.
A canvas element has its dimensions specified in “content space” (in CSS pixels) and to render it properly, the website will ask the browser for the devicePixelRatio property, which indicates how many of the screen’s actual pixels should be used to draw a single CSS pixel.
When Mullvad Browser spoof the devicePixelRatio property, the canvas based elements can be rendered blurry if your screen’s actual devicePixelRatio does not match the spoofed value.

Why is the extension I installed not working? #

Though we don’t recommend installing third-party extensions, you can try checking the extension is allowed to run in Private Browsing Mode:
– In the menu, click on “Addons and Themes”
– Click on the extension
– Make sure for “Run in Private Windows”, “Allow” is selected

If the extension is still not working, please contact the extension developer as we’re not able to private support for third party extensions.

Known issue: as Firefox Sync is entirely deactivated, extensions will not successfully save data by using the “storage.sync” mechanism.

Why does Chrome / Chromium (Brave) based browsers fail on macOS with the error socket not connected #

To fix this, in the Mullvad app, please enable IPv6 found in “Settings” -> “VPN Settings” -> “Enable IPv6” or disable IPv6 on the network interface using the command “networksetup -setv6off Ethernet” or “networksetup -setv6off Wi-Fi” if using Wi-Fi .

How do I use Landline telephone when using Fritzbox and Mullvad? #

Try this when callers can’t hear you. Fritz!Box > Telephony -> Own numbers -> Connection settings Activate x Use a random port for the FRITZ!Box’s SIP service to the SIP registrar.

Mullvad on iOS or iPadOS says “Network error: The request timed out”. Can’t login/send error report. #

Delete the Mullvad app and install it again from the App Store. To delete an app you have to press and hold your finger on it and then select “Remove App” or “Delete App”.

How do I delete my account? #

To request deletion of your account, email [email protected].

Mullvad VPN Review 2023: Private and Secure, But Good for Streaming?

Mullvad VPN provides a never-changing price, fast speeds, and Netflix streaming. But it has a low server count and struggles with other streaming platforms.

Ben Walker , Author
Catherine McNally , Editor
Last updated Aug 31, 2023

Mullvad

Learn More
On Mullvad’s website

  • Anonymity features, such as cash payments and no email required
  • Never-changing price of about $5 per month
  • Struggles with non-Netflix streaming platforms

Mullvad is safe and secure with a big focus on privacy. But it struggles to unblock any streaming content that isn’t Netflix.

We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author’s own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

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All About Cookies does not include all financial or credit offers that might be available to consumers nor do we include all companies or all available products. Information is accurate as of the publishing date and has not been provided or endorsed by the advertiser.

Editorial Policy

The All About Cookies editorial team strives to provide accurate, in-depth information and reviews to help you, our reader, make online privacy decisions with confidence. Here’s what you can expect from us:

  • All About Cookies makes money when you click the links on our site to some of the products and offers that we mention. These partnerships do not influence our opinions or recommendations. Read more about how we make money.
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  • We aim to make sure everything on our site is up-to-date and accurate as of the publishing date, but we cannot guarantee we haven’t missed something. It’s your responsibility to double-check all information before making any decision. If you spot something that looks wrong, please let us know.

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.

Mullvad overview

Price* €5.00/mo (about $5.42/mo)
Free version No
Max # of connected devices 5
# of servers 891 servers in 39 countries
VPN protocol OpenVPN, WireGuard
No-logs policy No logs
Headquarters Sweden
Netflix access Yes
Details View Mullvad Plans

Price and exchange rate as of 08/31/2023.
All About Cookies Rating
Overall Rating:

“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.”

In this article

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.

Mullvad's server list isn't the easiest to use since you have to scroll through the entire list to find a location you're looking for. There is no search function.

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:

  1. The type of servers Mullvad uses
  2. Who owns the servers
  3. 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.

Mullvad's server page lets you filter to see which servers are rented versus owned, as well as which servers are RAM or disk.

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.

Kill switch

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.

We tested the Mullvad VPN kill switch and could see that it was working if we tried to swap server locations while already connected to the VPN.

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.

We also tested Mullvad's VPN kill switch in Lockdown Mode. It worked like a charm — 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.

You can find Mullvad's kill switch and Lockdown Mode features in the VPN settings section of its Windows app.

Split tunneling

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's split tunneling feature lets you choose which apps get to disregard the VPN connection.

Encryption

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.

VPN protocol

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.

Mullvad uses OpenVPN and WireGuard VPN protocols, which are both highly secure.

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 lets you use the multihop, or double VPN, feature to add more layers of encryption to your connection.

Ad blocker

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.

The Mullvad VPN comes with loads of blocking services that allow you to block ads, trackers, malware, gambling sites, and 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 tested the Mullvad ad blocker on the Forbes site. Without the blocker turned on, we saw plenty of ads on Forbes.

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.

We loaded the same Forbes page with the Mullvad ad blocker turned on and voila — all of the ads were gone.

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.

Speed tests

  • 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:

We tested Mullvad VPN speeds — without the VPN turned on, we saw 118 Mbps download speeds, 12 Mbps upload speeds, and 11 ms 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%

Test results as of 11/1/2022.

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:

While connected to the Sydney, Australia, server, we saw our slowest speeds with Mullvad. (But this was to be expected since Australia is so far away.)

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 had no problem unblocking Canadian Netflix content with Mullvad.

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?

Test results as of 11/1/2022.

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.

Mullvad VPN didn't unblock HBO Max for us and we saw an error message instead.

We also tried a few other U.S. servers (Virginia, New York, etc.) with HBO Max and those ended up as blank screens.

When we tried other Mullvad VPN servers to unblock HBO Max, we simply got a blank screen.

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.

We also tried to unblock Disney+ with Mullvad and connected to several servers in the UK and US — 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.

BBC iPlayer seemed to know we weren't located in the UK when we tried to load it while connected to Mullvad. It wouldn't allow us to 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.

Not sure Mullvad is working? You could have a DNS or WebRTC leak. Here’s how to fix your VPN.

Mullvad compatibility

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 iOS app has more than 400 ratings and 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.

The Mullvad Android app has nearly 1,000 reviews and is rated 4.1 out of 5 stars.

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 protected].

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:

To report a bug or issue in the Mullvad app, you can select Support and choose Report a problem.

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.

We got an email response to a question we sent the Mullvad customer support team within 15 to 20 minutes.

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.

The Mullvad Help Center is basic but useful with its FAQ and support 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: $8.32/mo
  • Hotspot Shield: $7.99/mo
  • Mullvad VPN: €5.00/mo (about $5.42/mo)
  • Proton VPN: $4.99/mo
  • NordVPN: $3.19/mo
  • Surfshark: $2.49/mo
  • CyberGhost: $2.19/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.

But depending on your situation, you might prefer Surfshark for its unlimited simultaneous connections and low cost. Or CyberGhost for its low cost and higher server count.

Mullvad VPN cost

Plan 1 Month
Price per month €5.00/mo (about $5.42/mo)
Price per year €60.00/yr (about $65.04/yr)
Details View Mullvad Plans

Prices and exchange rates as of 08/31/2023.

Mullvad VPN payment methods include:

  • Cash
  • Vouchers
  • Cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and bitcoin cash
  • Debit or credit cards
  • PayPal
  • Other payment options, including bank wire, Swish, GiroPay, eps transfer, Bancontact, iDEAL, and Przelewy24

Mullvad accepts multiple types of payment, including cash and cryptocurrency.

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).

We found Mullvad VPN vouchers on Amazon for $29 for six months of service.

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 offers a 30-day-money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the service. You can typically start the refund process by emailing Mullvad customer service at [email protected]. Mullvad doesn’t offer refunds for cash payments because of anti-money laundering regulations.

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.