Our everyday life requires various kinds of protection – umbrella when it’s raining, gloves in winter and VPN for personal security on the net. This time, our article is devoted to a small VPN company, Mullvad, which performs functions of the guard in the virtual world.
This VPN provider with its headquarter in Gothenburg, Sweden, was exempted from the European Union Data Retention Directive in May, 2012. Mullvad VPN service is in the ownership of the Amagicom AB company. The first impression you get while visiting their website is not bad, in fact, though you’ve still got a feeling of some incompleteness. There’s no doubt that you may be mistaken but in order to find out whether it’s true or not, you should get acquainted with this VPN provider somewhat closer.
Mullvad VPN Plans and Pricing
The first thing to discuss is Mullvad’s pricing policy. All of us do not like wasting money in vain therefore we are looking for those things the prices of which are reasonable and the quality is, if not the highest one, then not the worst. So let’s see whether this VPN can satisfy an average customer.
Strange as it may seem, but Mullad has got only one pricing plan. According to it every subscriber has to pay €5 EUR per month and it doesn’t matter whether the whole time period consists of 3 months or a year. No discounts are available. Well, this tactics doesn’t look very attractive to us. There are plenty of VPN companies which have much better pricing plans variety and a kind of bonus systems for their regular clients.
Customers need some encouragement like discounts and it seems that Mullvad doesn’t know this. As to the payment methods, you can use cards (more detailed information is not give on the official website, namely about the cards’ types) or pay by Bitcoin, PayPal and Bank Wire. The thing we have met for the first time is that every client can even pay by cash sent in the post! To be honest, we are not vindictive, and if the quality of provider’s work is of the high level then why not to pay a corresponding price? Also, Mullvad offers 3-hour free-trial, which we believe isn’t enough for an average user.
Furthermore, Mullvad doesn’t have money-back guarantee. We believe it is connected with their pricing policy as it makes sence to pay month-by-month.
Mullvad VPN Features
However, we understand that a price and a free trial are not the only things to influence clients’ decision therefore we continued our analysis and looked through the other Mullvad features. Speaking of its security this provider supports two protocols – PPTP and Open VPN. Mullvad also has got DNS and IPv6 leak protection and IPv6 tunneling. In case of VPN connection failure it blocks all internet traffic.
The countries where Mullvad servers are located are not plentiful and include only 5 countries. The general number of servers is unknown. As a parallel, there are VPN companies the locations lists of which involve more than 50 countries with even up to 200000 servers. Nevertheless, Mullvad can be proud of such thing like compatibility which allows the use of different devices – Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS and Android. Besides, it allows three simultaneous connections.
On the one hand, Mullvad isn’t difficult to set up. Both processes of downloading and installing the software do not take much time and efforts. On the other hand, the software itself can cause some problems as the instructions are not clear.
Mullvad VPN Security and Privacy
It’s obvious that while looking for VPN we pay attention at many things, but very often the matter of fact is a security level. While creating a Mullvad account, be sure you won’t be asked any personal data like name and address. What is more, you won’t spend much time doing this – less than even a minute. Mullvad leads a well-though-out logging policy which means it doesn’t save any logs. According to the VPN provider it will not reveal any private information even if there is a law inquiry. Mullvad also offers such safe payment options as Bitcoin which does not require any personal data.
The technical side of Mullvad security system includes 2048-bit RSA and 128-bit Blowfish OpenVPN and PPTP encryption. There also instructions how to setup OpenVPN up on DD-WRT routers. However you won’t find this information anywhere, until you register and start using this VPN. Mullvads has also got DNS leak protection and an “internet kill switch” what creates the feeling of a proper security. It is also one of those providers which allow P2P.
Mullvad VPN Locations
Security is great but it doesn’t matter so much if there are no servers where it can be applied. A high quantity of servers all around the world is a part and parcel of a scrumptious VPN provider. It’s a pity, but Mullvad cannot boast of a long locations list as it has its servers only in 5 countries – Sweden, the USA, Canada, Germany and Netherlands. At the same time Express VPN includes 78 countries and IPVanish VPN has a list of 60 locations. Obviously, the path to success is not a straight or simple one, but Mullvad has to work hard in order to stay alive at the progressing VPN market.
Mullvad VPN Compatibility
Another issue to take into consideration while choosing a VPN provider is its compatibility characteristics. It seems that Mullvad doesn’t have any difficulties with it because the variety of devices which are compatible with this VPN is really satisfying. So, dear owners of Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android, if you’ve decided to become a Mullvad subscriber don’t worry as all these platforms are compatible with your future VPN provider.
It’s necessary to underline that there are certain peculiarities connected with the protocol use depending on the type of a device. For instance, if you’ve got iOS, choose PPTP, and for Android there are two options possible (i.e. Open VPN and PPTP). Besides, according to the company terms a customer can run Mullvad VPN on any platform as it offers source code files which allow this action. As to the simultaneous connections, you can count on up to three.
Mullvad VPN Speed
While you are deciding which VPN service to choose, keep in mind that there are such providers which can influence your Internet speed. Mullvad VPN belongs to those services which has only a slight impact on the speed quality. The results of our speed test have shown that serves located in Europe have a little bit better speed than those situated farther (i.e. North America). In general, the difference between the servers is about 50 Mbps. If to compare the Internet speed with Mullvad and without it, we can see that it’s not such atrocious as it could seem to be. The download speed with the use of Mullvad VPN is lower only for 2.25 Mbps, the upload one – for less than 0.2 Mbps. In general, an average subscriber will be satisfied with Mullvad rate as it won’t hamper the Internet surfing or watching a video. Moreover, it offers an absolutely unlimited bandwidth.
Mullvad VPN Support
Looking back at the previous Mullvad characteristics we didn’t expect to see a top-level support service. In fact, our expectations occurred to be right. Mullvad VNP has only two options available – FAQ and e-mail support. Well, if the problem doesn’t require an instantaneous solution then a client can look through FAQ articles with the hope to find necessary answers. But what should you do if there’s a need of a rapid help? An e-mail service with several hours waiting for your answer isn’t the best option. Every well-developed VPN provider has got a live chat and gives its subscribers a chance to call them in case of emergency. Mullvad has a lot to improve in this sphere in order to make its service more high-grade.
Pros and Cons
We are always honest with our readers therefore our conclusion concerning Mullvad VPN will contain not sickly-sweet words about their feasible future progress and improvement, but a harsh truth about their today’s functioning. We are not satisfied with Mullvad pricing policy and a number of available servers. We are indignant with the customer support. Speed and compatibility turned out to be fine, though nothing supernatural.
Though Mullvad is an average VPN in most of features, it provides top-level security and privacy. Isn’t it the main reason one would buy a VPN?