Signing up for a virtual private network (VPN) can grant an added layer of privacy and security to your favorite online devices. In turn, this may give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protected as you surf the web. As you look for the best VPN services, Mullvad is one option you may come across.
This guide covers everything you need to know about Mullvad’s cost, features and limitations. Read our Mullvad VPN review to get the information you need to decide whether it’s right for you.
Best flat-rate VPN plan
One of the challenges of shopping for VPN plans is the different prices based on how you choose to pay. Annual plans have different prices than monthly plans, and many providers offer 24-month or even 36-month plans at yet another price. This can be confusing and make plan comparisons difficult.
Mullvad simplifies the shopping experience by charging a flat rate per month, no matter if you decide to stick with the service for a month or a year. It’s also committed to preserving your privacy — so much so that it won’t even collect your personal information for payments if you choose not to share it.
Mullvad VPN pros and cons
- Flat-rate, affordable pricing
- Free privacy-enhanced web browser
- Doesn't collect user data
- Multiple server types for advanced users
- No free plan or trial
- Doesn't offer subscriptions
- Allows only five simultaneous VPN connections
Mullvad’s main differentiating factor is its flat-rate pricing. The company charges €5 (around $5.30 per month as of November 13, 2023) for its service regardless of whether you pay for a month or a year in advance. This makes it easy to calculate the costs of being a long-term Mullvad customer and keeps you from worrying about introductory rates and renewal prices.
The monthly fee is also relatively affordable compared to the competition. For example, consider how Mullvad’s rate of $5.30 per month compares to the following popular VPN providers:
- Bitdefender: $6.99
- NordVPN: $12.99 to $14.99
- ExpressVPN: $12.95
- TunnelBear: $9.99
Free privacy-enhanced web browser
Mullvad has developed its own web browser in combination with the Tor Project. The company says it took on this project because it’s impossible to prevent standard browsers from extracting user generated data, nor are these standard browsers safe from fingerprinting.
The Mullvad browser is designed to be used with your VPN — not as a replacement — and can help you retain more of your privacy than you might while using another browser.
Doesn’t collect user data
You don’t have to worry about your data being collected by Mullvad. The company doesn’t record your actions while connected to its VPN servers. This means that even if a government agency asked for your information, the company could not provide it. Moreover, the company encourages anonymous payments, which provides an added layer of protection to customers.
Multiple server types for advanced users
Mullvad allows you to choose from several types of VPN servers and protocols when making a connection. It currently supports OpenVPN, WireGuard and Bridge protocols. This allows you to choose a protocol that suits your browsing needs and make different choices as those needs change. Mullvad currently has 653 servers, both owned and rented.
No free plan or trial
With Mullvad, there’s no way to try before you buy. Your only option is to pay the $5.30 for a month of access to see if you like it. The company says it doesn’t offer a free version because free VPNs tend to have hidden costs, such as data collection or forced ads. Nonetheless, Mullvad offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
Doesn’t offer subscriptions
One of the challenges of Mullvad’s service is that it doesn’t offer recurring subscriptions, in an effort to store less and less data from its users. Instead, you prepay for a year or pay month to month. Then, when the time runs out, you have to manually pay the company again to restart your service.
This practice might feel like a breath of fresh air if you’re tired of companies charging your card unexpectedly. However, it also makes maintaining your VPN subscription more of a chore.
Allows only five simultaneous VPN connections
Mullvad may not be a fit for large families or smaller ones with many devices. You can only connect five devices to your VPN at once. If you want to cover more than that, you’ll have to pay for an additional plan — or choose another provider with a more generous device connection limit.
Mullvad VPN plans
Mullvad only has one pricing model, and the cost for its services remains the same for whichever length of time you use their services. You can pay for as many months of service as you want, or pay in advance for up to one year. We take a closer look at these plans’ features below.
Mullvad’s 1-month plan is the cheapest way to try the VPN. Its features include:
- Anonymous account (no email address is required to open)
- In-house customer support
- Mullvad port forwarding
- Access to multiple Mullvad server types
- No activity logging
- Custom DNS server
- Access to the free Mullvad browser
- Integrated Mullvad killswitch
The company’s code is also open source and has been audited by trustworthy third-parties. This provides a level of insight into the company and its VPN that many competitors struggle to match.
If you want to pay for more time with the Mullvad VPN servers in advance, you can do so by paying for one-year’s worth of the company’s VPN services.
Unlike with other VPN providers, you won’t save any money by doing so. However, it may be more convenient to pay this much in advance to avoid having to re-up your VPN monthly.
Mullvad VPN pricing
Mullvad has had a cost of €5 per month since the company was founded in 2009. There’s no guarantee that the price will remain the same forever, but going nearly 15 years without increasing prices shows the company is committed to keeping its price affordable for consumers.
That being said, if you plan on purchasing a long-term plan, it’s worth comparing Mullvad price to deals offered by the competition. For example, NordVPN’s two-year standard plan costs comes down to $3.99 per month.
Mullvad VPN financial stability
Mullvad is based in Gothenburg, Sweden, and is 100% owned by its founders, Fredrik Strömberg and Daniel Berntsson. Because Mullvad is a privately-held company, it’s not subject to the same financial reporting requirements as businesses that are listed on major stock exchanges.
This means that it’s difficult to assess the business's financial health without further data. The company’s longevity is a positive sign but may not necessarily be indicative of future financial stability.
Given this, purchasing smaller amounts of VPN access at a time may be better. Doing so will help limit your potential losses if the company were to go out of business and close off access to its servers.
Mullvad VPN accessibility
In this section, we look at how accessible Mullvad is as a company and as a service to different types of users.
The Mullvad VPN is supported by and has applications for all major operating systems, including:
- Mullvad for Windows (PC)
- Mullvad for Mac
- Mullvad for Android
- Mullvad for iOS (iPhone)
The company accepts a wide variety of payments, including cryptocurrencies and anonymous payments. This makes it possible to start a Mullvad account without providing sensitive payment details that may reveal your identity. You can pay for Mullvad with the following:
- Credit cards
- Bank wires
- And other payment systems
Mullvad only offers customer support through email. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Its support team is based in Sweden and is available to answer questions during Central European office hours.
User experience is subjective, which means your experience with Mullvad may not be the same as everyone else’s. That being said, Mullvad gives you the tools to create your own ideal user experience in a few key ways.
First, the platform has apps available across all major operating systems. This ensures you can use the VPN on all of your favorite devices.
Additionally, Mullvad features servers that use different VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, WireGuard and Bridge. This enables you to change the protocol you’re using as your browsing needs change.
Mullvad VPN customer satisfaction
Mullvad currently has a 4.1 out of 5-star rating on the Apple App Store. This is based on more than 500 user-submitted reviews of the app, suggesting a solid level of customer satisfaction. Some users have complained about dropped connections, while others have praised the app for its reliability.
The company has a customer review rating of 4.0 on Trustpilot. True to its claim of not paying for reviews or affiliates, their unclaimed profile states Mullvad has no history of asking for reviews.
Mullvad VPN FAQs
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How we evaluated Mullvad VPN
We considered each of the following factors while creating this Mullvad VPN review:
- Pricing: We compared Mullvad’s pricing to other VPN providers to assess its affordability.
- Features: We looked at Mullvad’s top features and considered how they appealed to different types of users.
- Customization options: We reviewed Mullvad’s customization options, such as VPN protocol configurations and its optional kill switch.
- Reviews: We looked at user-submitted Mullvad VPN reviews to see how real users felt about their decision to purchase this VPN.
- Accessibility: We considered Mullvad's ability to connect to the VPN on various platforms, make payments and contact customer support.
Summary of Money's Mullvad VPN review
Mullvad is an excellent privacy-centric VPN with a straightforward, flat-rate fee. Users report solid rates of satisfaction and the company accepts a wide variety of alternative payments. You can even create an account while remaining mostly anonymous.
The main downside to Mullvad is its lack of subscription options. Users have to renew theirVPN access on a monthly basis if they do not choose to pay for a year upfront. There are also unverified user reports of the VPN not working for bypassing geoblocking on Netflix.
If you’re still trying to decide whether you need a VPN, you can read our guide to learn more about the benefits these services offer. This could help you decide if Mullvad offers the VPN features you care about most.