Mullvad VPN, a Swedish-based virtual private network (VPN) service, offers a range of privacy features and boasts excellent corporate transparency. However, with mediocre speeds, a clunky app, and a flat pricing model that’s only competitive for short-term use, it struggles to stand out among its competitors. In this comprehensive review, we explore the pros and cons of Mullvad VPN, its usability, speed, performance for BitTorrent and streaming, security, and whether it’s worth the investment.
- The Pros and Cons of Mullvad VPN at a Glance
- Mullvad VPN’s Unusual Pricing Model: A Double-Edged Sword
- Usability: Mullvad VPN’s Clunky App and Limited Features
- Speed and Performance: Mullvad VPN’s Achilles Heel
- BitTorrent and Streaming: A Mixed Bag
- Security and Privacy: Mullvad VPN’s Strong Suit
- Mullvad VPN Review: Is It Worth Your Money?
The Pros and Cons of Mullvad VPN at a Glance
|Good range of privacy features||One of the slowest VPNs we’ve tested|
|Excellent corporate transparency||Didn’t work with most streaming sites|
|Flat monthly pricing only competitive for short-term use|
Mullvad VPN’s Unusual Pricing Model: A Double-Edged Sword
Mullvad VPN offers a unique pricing model: a flat fee of €5 a month for five devices, equivalent to £4.38 at the time of writing. While this may seem like a bargain for short-term use, it doesn’t compete with other VPN services that offer significant discounts for longer commitments. For instance, Atlas VPN, CyberGhost, and PIA cost less than £2 a month if prepaid for three years. In the long run, Mullvad’s pricing falls short of its competitors.
Usability: Mullvad VPN’s Clunky App and Limited Features
Mullvad VPN offers native apps for various platforms, but its Windows app leaves much to be desired. The server selection interface is cumbersome, and there’s no way to sort, search, or mark individual locations as favorites. The auto-connect feature is rudimentary, and the mobile app lacks the full feature set available on the desktop version. Although Mullvad offers content-blocking options, split tunneling, and multi-hop mode, the overall user experience is underwhelming.
Speed and Performance: Mullvad VPN’s Achilles Heel
Mullvad VPN’s speed is one of its most significant drawbacks. Our tests on a Windows 11 laptop and an Android device showed significant drops in download speeds when connected to Mullvad servers. Although the speeds were still sufficient for browsing and streaming, you’re getting much less than the full broadband speed you pay for, and using Mullvad on a router with multiple devices could lead to sluggish performance.
BitTorrent and Streaming: A Mixed Bag
Mullvad VPN has a relaxed attitude towards BitTorrent, allowing it via all servers and even pointing users to a free online tool to ensure torrenting clients aren’t leaking information. However, when it comes to video streaming, Mullvad falls short. The VPN struggled to unblock most streaming services, including BBC iPlayer, BritBox, Now TV, and Disney+. If you’re looking for a VPN for international streaming options, Mullvad may not be the best choice.
Security and Privacy: Mullvad VPN’s Strong Suit
Mullvad VPN excels in providing a transparent and trustworthy service. It has a zero-logging policy and avoids collecting personal details by using a randomly generated 16-digit number as a user identifier. Mullvad also offers a 10% discount for anonymous cryptocurrency payments. The client apps include features to safeguard your identity, such as a kill switch and multi-hop mode. Additionally, Mullvad has undergone third-party audits and is upfront about who manages its infrastructure.
However, Mullvad VPN’s location in Sweden, an EU country and part of the “Fourteen Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance, may cause some concern for privacy-conscious users. While the company goes to great lengths to protect your anonymity and keep you informed, being based within the EU could be a point of unease for some.
Mullvad VPN Review: Is It Worth Your Money?
After thoroughly examining Mullvad VPN, it’s clear that its strengths are overshadowed by its shortcomings. While the service offers a good range of privacy features and excellent corporate transparency, its slow speeds, clunky app, limited global coverage, and uncompetitive long-term pricing make it difficult to recommend.
The user experience of the software leaves a lot to be desired, and its inability to unblock most streaming services limits its appeal for many users. While Mullvad VPN’s commitment to transparency and user privacy is commendable, it’s tough to justify its price when competitors offer better performance, features, and value.
In conclusion, Mullvad VPN might be suitable for users who prioritize privacy and transparency above all else and only require a VPN for short-term use. However, for most users seeking a well-rounded VPN experience, there are better options available on the market.