Many users have difficulty choosing between Mullvad or NordVPN because both VPN services are reputable and offer high-quality security. They are fast, private, and easily affordable.
However, NordVPN is better than Mullvad in many ways. We found that it is much faster, better at unblocking restricted content on streaming platforms, and more private due to independent audits. Furthermore, you’ll pay less for longer NordVPN subscriptions since Mullvad offers planes at a flat rate of $5.00/month.
Mullvad isn’t all bad, though, but we’ll discuss its pluses in our comprehensive Mullvad vs NordVPN comparison. Our team tested each VPN service in terms of speed, level of security, privacy, feature reliability, geo-block bypassing capabilities, suitability for torrenting, and more. Read on to learn why you should go with NordVPN instead of Mullvad.
NordVPN vs Mullvad: specifications
NordVPN beats Mullvad in almost every aspect. It’s cheaper in the long term, includes many more features, supports a wide range of devices, and proves to be more reliable regarding security and privacy. Plus, in-house testing has shown that NordVPN is excellent for streaming, which, unfortunately, can’t be said about Mullvad.
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|Get Mullvad VPN now!
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|6000+ servers in 61+ countries
|858+ servers in 39+ countries
|WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
|Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
|All major OS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Kodi, routers, firewall, NAS, Roku
|All major OS, Linux, routers
Performance is one of the most critical aspects when comparing VPNs. Without stable and fast connectivity, you won’t be able to enjoy the internet to the fullest. In most cases, the speeds depend on the tunneling protocols that the provider uses.
Both contenders are on our fastest VPNs list. But as you can see from the table below, NordVPN wins by a landslide. That’s due to the proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol. It’s an enhanced version of the WireGuard protocol, providing better connectivity without sacrificing security.
Meanwhile, Mullvad mainly utilizes WireGuard. It’s a trustworthy and swift tunneling protocol that is widely used among the best VPN providers. Although much faster than its predecessors (OpenVPN and IKEv2), Mullvad’s implementation of it wasn’t as swift as NordLynx during testing.
Netflix and streaming comparison
|Other Netflix libraries
|Amazon Prime Video
If you’re interested in unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or other popular content platforms, NordVPN is the best service for streaming. We liked the fact that our team was able to access multiple foreign Netflix libraries, not just Netflix US and Netflix UK. Moreover, this provider easily unlocked BBC iPlayer and Hulu during testing. These streaming services are particularly notorious for their strict VPN blocks, but NordVPN just breezed past them.
NordVPN also offers Smart DNS technology aptly called SmartPlay, which our experts really liked. It allows unblocking geo-restricted content on smart TVs and game consoles, devices that don’t support VPN software natively. Adding to this, we enjoyed 4K UHD video quality with zero-lag, thanks to the speedy NordLynx tunneling protocol.
According to our research and as many Reddit reviews attest, Mullvad can’t bypass geo-restrictions on any streaming sites. That means that getting this service for watching shows and movies is rather pointless. For this provider, security and privacy have always been a priority, so it makes sense. However, we think that Mullvad’s price should be lowered then, since it can’t do what most premium, significantly cheaper VPNs have no issue doing.
Mullvad vs NordVPN – pricing
|Plans and payments
|7-day (requires Android)
|Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPay, cash
|Credit card, PayPal, Bank transfer, Swish, cryptocurrencies, cash
Mullvad and NordVPN have utterly different pricing strategies. For example, NordVPN offers extras, such as a free trial, special features, and additional discount codes. Moreover, plan prices vary according to tiers and subscription periods.
Meanwhile, what’s great about Mullvad is flat monthly rates, which is excellent if you don’t like overpaying for short-term plans. But the caveat here is that the price stays the same even if you stay with this provider for a year, making it a costly investment in the long run. Furthermore, Mullvad doesn’t offer any special subscriptions or discounts.
What both NordVPN and Mullvad have in common is the 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s an excellent fail-safe if you’re dissatisfied with the service in your first month of use. And the VPNs support various payment methods, letting users complete the purchase in the option that suits their needs the most. Still, if you don’t want to pay much, our experts think that NordVPN is better in terms of pricing.
NordVPN offers several subscription options and tiers. The Standard plan includes the VPN only, and you can pick from:
The other two tiers are Plus and Complete. The former includes the NordPass password manager and a data breach scanner. The latter additionally offers 1 TB of encrypted cloud storage. Here’s the pricing:
While there’s no free version, NordVPN has a 7-day free trial. You can obtain it through the Google Play Store and use it with other compatible devices afterward. And if you want to try the service for an extended time without paying, you can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee.
If the prices seem too steep, you can always use a NordVPN discount coupon to save some cash. Payment-wise, NordVPN accepts credit cards, Google Pay, ACH Transfer, and cryptocurrencies. The latter method is great for privacy-cautious users. Lastly, you can find hard copies of NordVPN in some countries and pay by cash.
Mullvad VPN pricing
Mullvad has a set price of 5 euros per month. You can grab Mullvad VPN for a month, year, decade, or as long as you want. And while the service doesn’t have any special discount codes, a subscription costs 10% less by paying with crypto.
There’s no free trial either, so you’ll have to commit for a while if you want to test out Mullvad. On the bright side, the provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for that. The payment options include credit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, crypto, and cash.
|All physical servers
|Owns all servers
While a VPN doesn’t need thousands of servers to provide a fast connection, the number of available countries is often a deciding factor. After all, if the closest server is thousands of miles away, one should expect higher latency and less performance. Furthermore, the more countries a VPN covers, the broader the spectrum of foreign content you can unblock.
Mullvad VPN has a decent server fleet. The service has 858+ servers in 39+ countries. You’ll see that most of the connections are in Europe, with a few being in the Americas, Oceania, and Asia. Moreover, the provider owns a large part of the servers, with some being RAM-only.
Nevertheless, Mullvad is outmatched by NordVPN hardware-wise. The latter boasts 6000+ servers and covers 61+ countries globally. Additionally, all hardware is RAM-only which further boosts your privacy. Moreover, the company is working hard toward converting the fleet to 10 Gbps servers for better connectivity.
On the whole, NordVPN beats Mullvad big time. The former has better coverage, more hardware, and is constantly improving its server fleet.
|Major dedicated apps
|Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux
|Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux
|Other dedicated apps
|Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Kodi
|Chrome, Edge, Brave, Firefox
|Router, firewall, NAS
Mullvad isn’t much compatibility-wise. It only has apps for major OS, but there’s nothing for smart devices, and no official browser extensions exist. At least you can set it up on a router, which expands the 5 simultaneous device limit.
In contrast, NordVPN supports many more devices. The provider has dedicated apps for all major OS, including smart devices like Android TV or Fire Stick. Additionally, you can utilize the SmartPlay feature, which lets you stream on devices that don’t support VPNs.
Moreover, the provider has browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, Brave, Opera, and Firefox. And if the 6 simultaneous connections aren’t enough, you can protect your whole home network by setting up a VPN on your router.
So, NordVPN wins against Mullvad by a long shot. Our experts like that it offers more connections, better compatibility, and the possibility to set it up on a router.
Mullvad and NordVPN have dedicated applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Both companies strive for an easy user experience so the clients are streamlined and quick to navigate. We found that what differentiates the two services is that Mullvad offers a GUI for Linux users while NordVPN’s app is operated via a command line interface.
NordVPN’s applications for Windows and macOS are nearly identical feature and design-wise. During tests, we ran a few security checks too, and the apps passed them with flying colors.
Regardless of the operating system, users get all the specialty servers, Threat Protection, free SOCKS5 proxy, etc. The main difference is that only the Windows client has split tunneling, which our experts didn’t like since it’s a pretty handy feature to have.
We found that Mullvad’s apps for Windows and Mac also look similar, behave similarly, and get the same features. As is the case with NordVPN, though, the macOS application doesn’t have spit tunneling natively. While you can get it by using Tunnelblick, the configuration process might be too complicated for people new to VPNs, which is a drawback in our eyes.
NordVPN and Mullvad also offer fully functional Android and iOS applications. NordVPN’s, naturally, look a bit different than the desktop counterparts, but we found it easy to use nonetheless. Mullvad’s mobile apps also look identical to the PC version, making them a breeze to use.
NordVPN’s mobile apps include specialty servers, Threat Protection Lite, and several other perks. The main difference is that Android owners get split tunneling and tap jacking protection, while Apple owners benefit only from Siri shortcuts. Again, our experts would like if NordVPN implemented the same features into the Apple apps. If other premium VPNs can do it, so can NordVPN.
Mullvad’s phone applications only support WireGuard and have the option to toggle local network sharing. The Android app has a split tunneling feature, so it’s a bit more equipped feature-wise than iOS.
|Free SOCKS5 proxy
|✅Yes (Windows, Android, and Android TV)
|✅Yes (Android, Linux, macOS)
Even though NordVPN is our #1 service for torrenting, there are some scenarios where we think choosing Mullvad is a better idea. Namely, if you’re a Linux user and want split tunneling to be available. And it’s not like Mullvad is slow – it proved to be quite speedy when we tested it for this NordVPN vs Mullvad comparison.
Nevertheless, tests showed that NordVPN offers better speeds when sharing files via P2P, which is essential for torrenting if you want quick downloads and uploads. Plus, it has dedicated P2P servers, which are optimized for torrenting and preventing ISP throttling. We actually saw an increase in download speed when getting torrents whilst connected to these servers.
Still, both providers are more than suited for downloading and uploading torrents. And this is pretty much the only category where NordVPN and Mullvad stand on equal footing.
|Ad & malware blocker
Mullvad and NordVPN come with a fair share of features. Still, our experts prefer NordVPN in this category due to the sheer volume of perks it has, proving this service to be versatile.
Smart DNS lets users circumvent geographical restrictions on devices that don’t support VPN technology natively. Only NordVPN offers this feature.
It’s called SmartPlay, and it automatically switches DNS servers whenever you’re trying to access blocked content. This functionality is built-in, meaning you don’t have to perform any extra steps for it to work. During testing, we tried it on our smart TV and PlayStation 5 console, and had no trouble unblocking Netflix Japan and Netflix Korea on these devices.
Ad & malware blocker
The internet isn’t the safest place to explore, with all those annoying pop-ups, trackers, and malicious software lurking around. Some VPNs take the extra step and offer blockers meant to battle these threats. NordVPN and Mullvad both offer an ad & malware blocker.
NordVPN’s Threat Protection cleared about 90% of adware during testing, proving this feature to be effective. Furthermore, it disables user trackers and prevents you from visiting malware-ridden websites. Our experts especially liked the fact that it doesn’t require a VPN connection to run. Currently, Threat Protection is available on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and NordVPN’s browser add-ons.
Mullvad offers its own Ad-blocking and tracker-blocking DNS service. As the name suggests, it blocks pesky ads and user trackers from monitoring your browsing habits. The feature runs on all servers automatically and can be used with every Mullvad app version that supports custom DNS. Our in-house tests showed that it’s not as effective at blocking adware as NordVPN, with only a 60% success rate.
If you want to customize your VPN connection, split tunneling is suited for this. With it, users can pick which apps should be excluded from or included in the VPN tunnel. Yet again, NordVPN and Mullvad have it.
NordVPN lets you pick which apps only work with the VPN, while Mullvad lets you exclude them from the connection. With the former, you can use split tunneling on Windows, Android, and Android TV, while the latter offers it on Android, Linux, and Windows.
These help you out when you want to boost specific online activities. It could be better privacy, faster P2P file-sharing, optimized streaming, etc.
Only NordVPN offers dedicated servers:
- Obfuscated. It’s the same as Stealth VPN technology, which is extra handy in countries under heavy internet restrictions. It makes your VPN connection undetectable and helps you bypass the toughest firewalls.
- Double VPN (MultiHop). It’s an advanced security feature that routes your traffic through 2 servers instead of one. This provides twice as much encryption and safety.
- Onion over VPN. These ensure maximum untraceability by routing encrypted internet traffic via the Tor network. Keep in mind that it naturally slows down speeds, thus, these servers are better suited for anonymity purposes.
- P2P servers. These servers are configured to provide maximum performance while torrenting.
- Dedicated IP. For those who bought a dedicated IP address.
Other Mullvad security features:
- Multi-hop (Bridge mode). The purpose of this technology is to boost your security on the web. It covers your online traces by tunneling your connection over multiple rotating VPN locations.
- SOCKS5 proxy that boosts speeds while torrenting
Other NordVPN security features:
- Dark Web Monitoring. It checks if your email address linked with the NordVPN account has been leaked.
- SOCKS5 proxy
- Invisibility on LAN. When you don’t want your device to be visible on your local area network.
- Meshnet. Allows you to remotely connect to devices through encrypted private tunnels.
Overall, we found Mullvad to be a bit lacking in the feature department. While it’s not completely bare-bones, it doesn’t offer much functionality due to having less perks. As such, this NordVPN vs Mullvad comparison leans into the former’s favor yet again.
Mullvad vs Surfshark: which is more secure?
|Independently-audited no-logs policy
|2 kill switches
|DNS, IPv6, WebRTC
We found that NordVPN and Mullvad offer excellent security features. If you opt for any of the two, you’ll get industry-standard AES-256 encryption, IP and DNS leak protection, and responsive kill switches. But that’s where the similarities end.
NordVPN is based in Panama, boasts an independently-audited no-logs policy, and has RAM-only servers across the board. Meanwhile, Mullvad operates from Sweden, and only some of its servers run solely on RAM modules. But at least it has undergone various infrastructure, app security, account & payment services audits.
Considering all the data available and our in-house testing, our experts deem NordVPN as the most secure VPN. It’s located in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, has proven the veracity of its no-logs policy several times, and ensures total user confidentiality with RAM-only servers. Plus, all of its security-focused features worked reliably when we tested them.
NordVPN is registered in Panama, a country with no data retention laws. Adding to that, it’s far away from the influence of the Fourteen Eyes alliance. On the other hand, Mullvad hails from Sweden. It’s a member nation of the Eyes alliance, a group of countries that share the data of their citizens with each other.
NordVPN and Mullvad ensure subscriber security with industry-standard AES-256 encryption, reliable kill switches, and robust leak protection. NordVPN takes it a step further by having RAM-only servers, which automatically wipe data stored on them. Mullvad also has such servers, although we don’t like the fact that it’s only some of the fleet.
Lastly, Both NordVPN and Mullvad support cryptocurrency payments, which is a big plus in our books. It allows you to pay for the subscription anonymously, without leaving a trace of bank statements of the VPN purchase.
Once again, both contestants demonstrate that they’re serious when it comes to users and their privacy. However, only one of them is on our best no-logs VPNs list.
NordVPN boasts a thrice independently-audited no-logs policy. Time and time again, they proved that the company does not log user information. And it wouldn’t be possible to do, either, with all of the fleet consisting of RAM-only servers.
Mullvad hasn’t had its no-logs policy audited. Furthermore, while there are some servers that run on RAM, it’s not enough to assure most users. However, the company has undergone multiple audits that tested different aspects of Mullvad’s infrastructure. We read the reports and it seems like everything is up to par security-wise.
|Works in China
|✅Yes (Obfuscated servers)
|Tor over VPN
|✅Yes (Onion over VPN)
China is actively trying to block VPNs, but some services manage to break through the country’s tough firewall. Only NordVPN made it into our best VPNs for China list out of these two opponents.
The company offers obfuscated servers that hide all tracks of VPN usage. So, if the Great Firewall of China can’t detect NordVPN since it appears as regular internet traffic, it can’t block it. Another neat perk is the Tor over VPN feature. It routes your secured connection through the Tor network, where it gets encrypted several times, making it virtually untraceable back to you.
Mullvad doesn’t offer any such features for avoiding VPN blocks. In fact, the company doesn’t market itself as a suitable option for China. And users who try to access the free internet from this country while using Mullvad reportedly run into connectivity problems constantly, especially when using WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols. Bridge servers that should also help circumvent censorship don’t work most of the time, too.
|24/7 live chat
We found that NordVPN provides much better customer support than Mullvad. The latter has email ticketing only, which means that answers may take hours, if not days, to arrive. However, during that time, you can dig through Mullvad’s extensive knowledge base – chances are you’ll find the answer on your own.
In contrast, you probably won’t spend much time browsing NordVPN’s no-less rich support section. That’s because most of your issues will likely be solved by 24/7 live chat or, if the agents need more time to respond, via mail. Our team contacted NordVPN’s support countless times during research, and the people were responsive, polite, and knowledgeable.
Naturally, when we got in touch with Mullvad’s customer support via mail, the responses took some time to arrive. Communication was straightforward, and our research team got what we needed, so there were no issues. Still, we didn’t like the fact there’s no live chat support, meaning you’ll have to wait a day or even more for solutions to your issues. And that’s a major drawback – what if your problem is time-sensitive?
Mullvad VPN vs NordVPN: Reddit users’ opinion
If you’re still on the fence about whether NordVPN or Mullvad is better, just ask Reddit! People there share their opinions and experiences of using both services. And according to Reddit, NordVPN is the ultimate VPN. Netizens seem to enjoy heaps of servers, fast speeds, and feature-packed applications.
Nevertheless, there are some Mullvad VPN fans out there, especially in the torrenting subreddits. Users praise Mullvad for offering useful features like port forwarding, SOCKS5 proxy, and amazing speeds. That’s why it’s no surprise that Mullvad VPN is among the best torrenting VPNs according to Reddit.
Mullvad vs NordVPN: video review
Would rather year the pros and cons of each service in video form? Here’s a quick video detailing everything we discuss in this Mullvad vs NordVPN comparison:
Mullvad VPN vs NordVPN: which one is the winner?
|9 out of 10
|0 out of 10
This NordVPN vs Mullvad comparison has a clear winner, and it’s NordVPN. It’s much faster, includes a larger selection of servers and countries, and can bypass geo-restrictions with ease. The fact this service is more affordable also plays a big part.
Furthermore, NordVPN offers a plethora of features, aimed both at improving your security and boosting certain online activities. It’s also compatible with a wider range of devices, with such perks as SmartPlay letting subscribers use the VPN on devices that don’t support such software natively.
Mullvad isn’t a bad choice per se – in fact, we’d recommend it for people who value transparency and privacy as it’s truly a secure option. Of course, torrenters will also like Mullvad’s great speeds, port forwarding, and split tunneling on Linux. However, it can’t bypass streaming platform geo-blocks, the server fleet is quite small, and there aren’t many features to speak of.
Thus, if you want a cheap yet versatile VPN that caters to all needs without neglecting security & privacy, go with NordVPN.
Is Mullvad better than NordVPN?
NordVPN is by far a better choice than Mullvad VPN. The former is a lot faster, safer, and offers more features. Plus, unlike Mullvad, NordVPN can give you access to geo-blocked content. Lastly, it’s a lot cheaper, even by industry standards.
Does Mullvad VPN work with Netflix?
Mullvad VPN does not work with Netflix. It’s great for privacy and security, but it’s not optimized for getting around streaming service geo-blocks. Therefore, NordVPN is a better option as it easily unblocks various Netflix libraries.
Is Mullvad still the best VPN?
No, Mullvad is not the best VPN. While the service is good for privacy, it’s far from the top. It does not work with streaming services, lacks support on many different devices, and is quite expensive in the long run.
Which is faster – Mullvad or NordVPN?
NordVPN is faster than Mullvad. This achievement can primarily be attributed to the in-house NordLynx tunneling protocol. It’s an enhanced version of WireGuard, with better speeds and security.
Which VPN is better than Mullvad?
NordVPN is better than Mullvad. It’s considerably faster, comes with a larger server network, and is capable of unblocking various popular streaming services. Furthermore, NordVPN includes a lot of useful features and is much cheaper than Mullvad.
Is there a VPN better than NordVPN?
No, NordVPN is the best VPN. This service facilitates the fastest speeds in the industry, offers a reliable security toolkit, and is very versatile. With feature-packed applications, streaming & torrenting support, and obfuscation measures that let you use it in internet-restrictive countries, NordVPN is the best option on the market.
Is NordVPN actually the best?
Yes, NordVPN is actually the best VPN available today. That’s because for a reasonably cheap price, the service ensures total user security & privacy and comes with plenty of useful perks. We’re talking about superb speeds, broad device compatibility, P2P-optimized servers, excellent geo-block bypassing capabilities, and more.
Can I trust Mullvad?
Yes, Mullvad is a trustworthy VPN service. It has undergone multiple infrastructure audits and is very transparent about what the company does and why they do it. Adding to that, Mullvad’s applications are also highly-secure and come with all the necessary security features.