In a world in which your privacy matters most, two giants are vying for your attention in the VPN space: Mullvad vs. NordVPN. You likely recognize the latter, especially if you catch the latest trends on YouTube. NordVPN is a juggernaut in the virtual private network space, and their ad spend coincides with their stature.
On the other hand, we have Mullvad—a relatively new, albeit no less impressive, monthly service winning over crowds of VPN users daily.
So, how do the two compare? We will dive headfirst into their features, pricing, and service quality so that you may determine for yourself, which is the best VPN option.
Mullvad vs. NordVPN comparison table
|3rd party audit||Yes, by Cure53||Yes, by PwC|
|Advanced features||Kill Switch|
Onion over VPN
|Servers network||Over 700 servers |
in 36 countries
|5400 servers in|
|Streaming and P2P||Yes,|
but Streaming may be
in the mobile app
|Price||Fixed €5 per month||$4.92 /mo|
|invpn.com rating||4.5 / 5.0||4.8 / 5.0|
|Full review||Mullvad VPN Review||NordVPN Review|
|Get Mullvad||Get NordVPN|
The Pros and Cons of Mullvad
Like all other services on the market today, there are pros and cons to Mullvad. Let us explore a few and see how it stands up against the giant that is NordVPN.
- Mullvad uses a token-based account system, which provides you a username and password without an email address or name associated with your account.
- Mullvad does not limit or restrict your traffic or protocols.
- Mullvad does not keep any metadata or traffic information—they keep no logs on their servers whatsoever.
- Multi-hop feature
- Mullvad offers DNS leak protection.
- Mullvad accepts cash, bank transfers, PayPal, and credit cards.
- Some users report connectivity issues and slow browsing speeds.
- To reset the kill switch, users report having to reset their hardware.
The Pros and Cons of NordVPN
As a world-renowned virtual private network, it is safe to assume NordVPN offers countless pros and cons. They do, and we will detail the most important for you.
- NordVPN has big and fast servers network.
- NordVPN offers a “Double VPN,” in which your traffic uses two hops and undergoes thorough encryption at both nodes for extra security.
- NordVPN does not keep logs and this is verified by PwC AG Switzerland.
- NordVPN has wide range of apps.
- NordVPN offers 24/7 customer service via live chat and email.
- NordVPN had the incident with the network breaches for a few months before alerting their community.
- Often, users discover their download speeds fluctuate during weekends.
- They only allow P2P traffic via specific servers.
Most of us investing in a monthly subscription to any virtual private network are likely hoping to avoid wandering eyes. As such, privacy laws and how they affect our chosen VPN may be a big selling point.
For Mullvad, they are straightforward about how Swedish legislation affects their services. They do not store user data or traffic, though they are required by law to store accounting and payment records.
Regarding NordVPN and how they handle privacy laws, they claim to keep absolutely zero logs of your online activity. They do not store session information, user bandwidth, traffic data, IP addresses, or timestamps. Their home country of Panama is a little laxer with privacy laws.
In the past, users complained about NordVPN and its transparency. We mentioned in their cons list that NordVPN hid the fact that they endured a data breach. After a few months, they alerted their community of the violation.
But NordVPN claims they do not keep any logs? So, what did the hackers steal? It is unclear what they stole, if anything, in this case, as Panama does not require NordVPN to track any data.
Alternatively, Mullvad is exceptionally upfront about its data collection processes and is, overall, quite a transparent company. Unfortunately, Sweden has its privacy laws and data collection regulations, so an audit is entirely possible.
When you have a strong desire for privacy, you want it everywhere. Most focus on their home computers, which is fine. But if you use the internet on the go or a mobile device, protecting your data on the couch is just as important as in a computer chair.
So, let us explore which VPN service offers native app availability between NordVPN and Mullvad.
In a world dominated by technology and many mobile devices in each household, Mullvad built its business around accessibility. They offer native apps available on iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Linux.
No matter the operating system your device or computer uses, Mullvad is prepared to offer you security and safety online.
Like Mullvad, NordVPN aims to offer the most incredible accessibility to its users possible. Therefore, they proudly present their VPN services on up to 6 devices at any given time, and all on Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Android, Google Chrome, and Firefox.
For the most part, users will utilize a VPN while on their computers. As we all know, all of us have a favorite browser we use daily.
Mullvad doesn’t have any browser extensions because of its centric approach to privacy and security. As we know, browser VPN plugins are useful to surf the internet with a VPN but don’t provide full protection to the system.
NordVPN is available for Chrome and Firefox. You would think that, with over 5000 servers and a reputation as one of the most extensive VPN services on the planet, it could have extensions for the Edge and Opera browsers too.
How many devices do you actively use in your home at any given time? For most of us, while working on the computer, we often have a smartphone or tablet on the desk beside our mousepad. Sometimes, when security is a priority, you want easy access to your favorite VPN on each device simultaneously.
So, between Mullvad and NordVPN, how many connections can you have per account? With Mullvad, subscribers are allowed up to 5 simultaneous connections, allowing them to secure each device. For NordVPN, users may connect up to 6 devices simultaneously.
In this case, NordVPN wins with one extra device. To most users, the number of connections will not matter as much as other features. When connecting to a VPN, most will do so via a single device at any given time. But for those who do connect multiple devices, an extra one can never hurt.
Advanced VPN Features
Let’s dive deeper into the advanced features of each service.
- Kill Switch — Both Mullvad and NordVPN feature an intuitive, easy-to-use kill switch designed to completely shut off internet traffic if your VPN disconnects for any reason. Mullvad Kill Switch works more inclusive with one of the settings that make all internet connections blocked when Mullvad app is launched.
- Auto-Connect — Both VPN services feature auto-connect options, in which you may choose to start and run the app when you turn on your computer.
Own servers network
Unlike a virtual server, an own server is closed off. It is not shared with anyone else which, to many VPN users, is incredibly important. So, between Mullvad and NordVPN, which one offers dedicated servers?
At this time, Mullvad owns part of the servers from their network. They rent many of their servers too but claim each one is secure and reliable. For the servers they own, the VPN retains control over each, ensuring they are safe and fast.
NordVPN does not explicitly state they offer their own servers to its client base. As another thing but related to their server network, they offer dedicated IP addresses, which stem from countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, and Germany. So far, few subscribers complain about speed, though, so we suspect their 5000+ servers are, for the most part, and secure.
Free Trial Offers
Who doesn’t love free? We all love to take a new service or product for a spin before pulling the trigger and whipping out a credit card. In the case of VPNs, like NordVPN or Mullvad, where your privacy matters most, you want reassurance that these technology giants can and will protect your data. A 30-day free trial offers some insight.
When searching for a free trial, be sure to read the fine print. Many VPN companies, including these two, only offer money-back guarantees. You must still enter your credit card information.
Does Mullvad Offer a Free Trial?
Unfortunately, no. Mullvad does not offer a free trial for users. Instead, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is okay to an extent. But sometimes, you do not want to put your payment information online, which is one bit of data Mullvad does keep.
Does NordVPN Offer a Free Trial?
If you search up “NordVPN free trial,” you will quickly discover a landing page that claims a full 30-day free trial of NordVPN—unlimited access to their VPN services. But if you read the small print under the headline, you will notice they say you may cancel anytime and receive your money back.
It is not a completely free trial in the technical sense. You still must insert your credit card and, if you do not enjoy the service, you can request a refund. Unfortunately, many users report NordVPN is tough to interact with when refunds are on the line.
Here is where the Mullvad vs. NordVPN comparison splits. Pricing is the surefire way for a smaller VPN, like Mullvad, to best the big dogs, like NordVPN. If, in this case, the price per month is slightly lower for Mullvad, which it is, then they will easily entice savvy consumers who want to save a few dollars per month while still retaining the same excellent security.
But for those power users out there who know they want long-term security, for up to three years, then NordVPN’s per year pricing plans, which offer massive discounts per month, are easily worth every penny. It is entirely up to the user, though.
NordVPN offers multiple pricing plans, including one-month, one-year, two-year, and three-year plans. If you purchase a three-year plan, you will save money per month. Even if you want to try out NordVPN for a single month, the price is reasonable, plus they offer a full 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 1-Month Plan — $11.95/month
- 1-Year Plan — $6.99/month billed at $83.88 per year
- 2-Year Plan — $3.49/month billed at $83.76 every two years
- 3-Year Plan — $3.49/month billed at $125.64 every three years.
Mullvad, while significantly smaller, offers better per month pricing than NordVPN for many of the same features.
- 1-Month Plan — $6.39/month
As you can see, Mullvad offers a single pricing plan. You pay per month, for as long as you wish, then move on. It is simple and straightforward. It would certainly be nice to see Mullvad expand their pricing plans in the future, though we suspect that is in the cards. Most VPN companies ultimately offer annual pricing, which power users are quick to take advantage of.
Which VPN Does Reddit Prefer?
Reddit is an intriguing website. Everyone has an opinion they are willing to offer, and you will quickly discover that many will actively go against the mob if they have a favorite service. In this case, Reddit agrees on their favorite VPNs.
Regarding access to streaming services, like Hulu or Netflix, most Reddit users are satisfied with NordVPN. But for privacy purposes, Mullvad is a favorite, as the privacy protections appear to be more robust.
One of the most prominent uses for VPN services these days is to connect to streaming platforms, as we previously mentioned, which is Reddit loves them. When it comes to streaming, say, Netflix, how does Mullvad compare to NordVPN?
Overall, Mullvad makes no mention of streaming services like Netflix. For NordVPN, the ability to stream from anywhere globally and connect to other country’s streaming platforms for country-specific content is a significant selling point. They make sure to push their service hard in this way.
Unfortunately, some users discovered that, with Mullvad, connecting to Netflix is hit or miss. They could sometimes connect for country-specific movies and television series, but they could not connect more often than not. With NordVPN, no such issues arise.
How Fast Are Both VPNs?
Whether you are streaming or downloading content, speed matters; understandably, with a VPN service, you connect via servers located in countries across the world. You would suspect that connections would run wild with packet loss and lag, and your computer would slow to a crawl. Thankfully, that is not the case, though.
Both Mullvad and NordVPN have invested significantly in their network infrastructure. Their servers are both secure and fast.
When pinging Google, NordVPN users often encounter timeframes of about 25 milliseconds, while Mullvad users endure staggering 134-millisecond timeframes.
Again, it is understandable to experience some slowdown while running your connection through a VPN. But if you had to choose one or the other, chances are high you will opt for the one with better speeds. In this case, that means NordVPN.
How Does Support Differ
A central selling point for consumers is the quality of a company’s support. If something goes wrong, we all want to know that we can receive assistance with a quick email, text chat, or phone call.
Unfortunately, while Mullvad is superior in countless other ways, it fails in its customer support center. Right now, the VPN only offers email support and a knowledge base of written articles. On average, when emailing, it can take hours or even days before you receive a reply.
NordVPN, on the other hand, offers exceptional customer support in many forms. They have an average email response time far superior to Mullvad, 24/7 customer support, live chat, and a written knowledge base.
When comparing NordVPN vs Mullvad in terms of customer history, NordVPN is the clear winner.
Mullvad VPN vs NordVPN: which one to choose?
Overall, both NordVPN and Mullvad are exceptional virtual private network services, each with its pros, including affordable pricing structures, and cons, such as the lack of customer support sometimes, that users will either look past or will entice them to pick up a subscription straight away.
We took an in-depth look at Mullvad and how it is tackling the VPN market as an underdog, and NordVPN, which remains a giant in the industry. With a clear understanding of both, plus their features, which one will you choose to provide security and safety while you shop online, stream your favorite movies, or browse the internet?
In Mullvad vs. NordVPN comparison, we recommend choosing Mullvad VPN if you are looking for privacy & security and NordVPN if you are looking to expand your access to media content.