Mullvad VPN is simple, fast, inexpensive and clear about its intentions, but you won’t be able to watch video when connected. There’s a single monthly price tier and no ongoing contract, so it’s the perfect low-commitment option.
- Fast speeds
- Low, consistent price of €5 a month
- Great range of cross-platform clients
- No use for streaming
- Connect up to 5 devices:Mullvad VPN can be used on five different devices simultaneously, making it useful if you want it your tablet and phone as well as your laptop.
- Multi-platform support:Mullvad VPN has clients for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, so it’s not restricted exclusively to PCs.
Based in Sweden, Mullvad VPN offers a single subscription option at a single monthly price. This fast, simple VPN service costs €5 (about £4.15) a month, regardless of how long you subscribe for.
But while the Mullvad VPN is fantastic for keeping your data safe as you browse the web, you can’t do so while using streaming services such as Disney Plus and Netflix.
Pricing and subscriptions
It costs £4.15/€5 a month, with no ongoing payment commitment.
That’s the only option, and it works out a very reasonable £49.80 a year. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Mullvad provides two different payment options to help those who wish to preserve their anonymity: cryptocurrency and my personal favourite reliable standard of stuffing some cash into envelope and posting it to the company.
Privacy and Protection
- Uses RAMdisk servers so can’t store your private data
- Committed to a no-logging policy
Unlike many simple VPN services, Mullvad has top-class security features with RAMdisk servers throughout its infrastructure. This means that server software runs fully in memory, so if machines are seized, there’s no data that can extracted from their hard disks.
Based in Sweden, Mullvad has made privacy its mission statement. Although local law isn’t as privacy-friendly as that of some other jurisdictions, Mullvad says that it’s committed to its no-logging policy and details exactly which laws could cause potential problems. Its commitment to transparency is admirable.
Like a number of other VPN services, Mullvad licenses its infrastructure to other companies, notably Mozilla VPN.
Features and usability
- Supports wide range of platforms, including Linux
- Lots of features, including a kill switch, ad blocker and split tunnelling
Mullvad’s desktop clients only use the Wireguard protocol, implemented with security features such as automatic key rotation. The experience of using the app is very consistent across all platforms, and Mulvad is one of only a few services (also including Perfect Privacy and Private Internet Access) that provide an equivalent Linux desktop app.
Mullvad supports a range of advanced features, including split tunnelling so you can exclude specified apps from the VPN, optional access to your local network, an always-on kill switch to take you offline if the VPN drops, Shadowsocks obfuscation and multi-hop routing to take you though two different endpoint locations, with the intention of making your activities even harder to trace.
Like an increasing number of VPN services, Mullvad offers the options to block adverts, trackers and malware.
- Above-average speeds in our group test
- Can’t be used while streaming video
All of my testing was carried out on a virtual desktop physically located at a data centre in London with a high-speed internet connection. This testing setup produces results under optimal connection conditions. VPN clients are tested on their default settings.
|Mullvad||388.00 Mbps||472.80 Mbps||197.60 Mbps|
|Reference Group Average HTTP||310.77 Mbps||306.83 Mbps||194.52 Mbps|
|Reference HTTP without VPN||489.60 Mbps||532.80 Mbps||490.40 Mbps|
Mullvad exceeded the group average in all my throughput tests, significantly so in the case of UK and Netherlands endpoints.
However, you’ll have to use split tunnelling to use most streaming video services while connected. Services like Netflix, iPlayer and Disney+ don’t want VPN users to access them, and Mullvad has no interest in competing with region-shifting specialist VPNs to make the attempt.
Should you buy it?
You want a great value VPN for security:
Mullvad VPN is one of best value VPNs around, costing as little as €5 per month without forcing you into any long-term commitments. Speeds are good, while it also has a no-logging policy to keep your data safe.
You want to use streaming services:
Annoyingly, you’ll need to deactivate the VPN (or use split tunnelling) when using streaming services such as Netflix, as Mullvad has made no attempt to compete with region-shifting specialist VPNs.
Mullvad is among the fastast VPN services around, and it’s really nice to have the option to only subscribe for as long as you need it without suffering any cost penalty. It takes security serious and is easy to use on every platform.
Perfect Privacy has a proven track record for security, NordVPN and ProtonVPN are faster and PIA works out cheaper if you get a long subscription. However, Mullvad does everything you need a VPN to do, and is the best choice if you don’t want to lay out for a long-term subscription you don’t necessarily need.
How we test
We run tests from a London-based connection that typically sees speeds between 500Mbps and 700Mbps, which means that we’re able to get a good idea of what each VPN’s maximum speeds currently are.
We test multiple endpoints from each provider in three locations: the UK, the Netherlands and the U.S.
Tested speeds with three endpoints: UK, USA and the Netherlands
Researched security and no-logging claims
Tested all available features
You might like…
No, Mullvad VPN requires a monthly fee of €5 to use.
No, Mullvad is not a good option when using streaming services.