Mullvad vs NordVPN comparison 2023

Nadin Bhatt
Nadin Bhatt | VPN specialist and writer
Last updated: October 2, 2023
Mullvad vs NordVPN comparison
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Asking who would win in a Mullvad vs NordVPN fight is asking yourself what you want most from a VPN service. The latter is probably your best bet if you need an all-around provider. But is there something unique that Mullvad can offer?

In this comparison, I evaluate these services in key criteria: privacy, security, speed, global coverage, and price. A little spoiler alert, the ultimate winner probably won’t shock you. Don’t have the time to read the whole article? Below you’ll find a quick comparison to see which VPN has the upper hand.

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 more reliable regarding security and privacy. Plus, the service is excellent for streaming, which, unfortunately, can’t be said about Mullvad.

⭐Our rating9.6 ⭐8.2 ⭐
💸Current offerGet NordVPN 68% OFF!Get Mullvad VPN now!
💰Price starts from$3.49/month$5.00/month
💳Money-back guarantee30 days30 days
📖No-logs policyIndependently-auditedNot audited
🎮Simultaneous connections65
🌐Servers5800+ servers in 60+ countries858+ servers in 39+ countries
🔒VPN protocolsNordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
🍿 StreamingNetflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and moreNo
🖥️PlatformsAll major OS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Kodi, routers, firewall, NAS, RokuAll major OS, Linux, routers

Mullvad vs NordVPN – pricing

Plans and paymentsNordVPNMullvad
Free trial
7-day (requires Android)No
One month
One year
Two years
Money-back guarantee
30 days30 days
Payment options
Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPay, cashCredit 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, this provider doesn’t offer any special subscriptions or discounts.

What both providers 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, NordVPN is better in terms of pricing.

NordVPN 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:

Monthly plan$15.69/month$14.19/month$12.99/month
1-year plan$7.29/month$5.79/month$4.59/month
2-year plan$5.99/month$4.49/month$3.49/month

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 a 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.

Mullvad Flat Monthly RatesThere’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.

Speed comparison

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, 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 is not as swift as NordLynx.

NordVPN vs Mullvad VPN: 14-Day Speed Average

More live data from our VPN Speed Test tool
NordVPN Mullvad VPN
USA server
Download Speed254 Mbps255 Mbps
Upload Speed236 Mbps231 Mbps
UK server
Download Speed563 Mbps417 Mbps
Upload Speed474 Mbps483 Mbps
Germany server
Download Speed702 Mbps Data currently unavailable
Upload Speed653 Mbps Data currently unavailable

Mullvad vs Surfshark: which is more secure?

LoggingIndependently-audited no-logs policyNo-logs policy
Kill switch2 kill switchesYes (desktop only)
Leak protectionDNS, IPv6, WebRTCDNS, IPv6
RAM serversAllSome

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 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. Plus, the company hasn’t had its no-logs policy checked.

NordVPN wins the title of 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.


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.


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 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 a slight edge by offering anonymous registration, which means no email or other personal information. Combine it with an anonymous payment, and there’s virtually no way to track you down.

Servers location

Server specificationNordVPNMullvad
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.

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 5800+ servers and covers 60+ 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 and more hardware.

Features comparison

Smart DNS✅SmartPlay❌No
Ad & malware blocker✅Threat Protection✅Yes
Split tunneling✅Yes✅Yes
Specialized servers✅Yes❌No

Mullvad and NordVPN come with a fair share of features. Still, the latter takes the cake in this category due to its versatility and the sheer volume of perks.

Smart DNS

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.

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 this.

NordVPN defeats ads, blocks user trackers and prevents you from visiting malware-ridden websites with Threat Protection. This tool also scans your downloads for any viruses. And best of all, you don’t have to be connected to the VPN for it to work. Threat Protection is available on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and 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 all servers and can be used with every Mullvad app version that supports custom DNS.

Split tunneling

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 with Windows, Android, and Android TV, while the latter offers it on Android, Linux, and Windows.

Specialized servers

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.

Netflix and streaming comparison

Streaming platformsNordVPNMullvad
Netflix US
Other Netflix libraries
Amazon Prime Video
HBO Max✅Yes❌No
BBC iPlayer✅Yes❌No
YouTube TV✅Yes❌No

Not much to add here. If you’re interested in unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or other popular content platforms, NordVPN is the best service for streaming. It also has Smart DNS, which allows watching movies and shows on smart TVs and game consoles. Not to mention, thanks to the NordLynx tunneling protocol, you’ll get 4K-ready speeds wherever you are.

NordVPN Netflix

According to the research and Reddit, Mullvad can’t bypass geo-restrictions on any streaming sites. That means that getting this service for watching shows and movies is pointless. For them, security and privacy have always been a priority.

Device compatibility

Device supportNordVPNMullvad
Major dedicated apps
Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, LinuxWindows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux
Other dedicated apps
Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, KodiNo
Browser extensions
Chrome, Edge, Brave, FirefoxNo
Manual setup
Router, firewall, NASRouters
Simultaneous devices

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 offers a lot more. 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. It offers more connections, better compatibility, and the possibility to set it up on a router.

Desktop applications

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. 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 new app UI

NordVPN’s applications for Windows and macOS are nearly identical feature and design-wise. Users get all the specialty servers, Threat Protection, free SOCKS5 proxy, etc. The main difference is that only the Windows client has split tunneling.

Mullvad macOS app

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. But you can get it by using Tunnelblick.

Mobile applications

NordVPN and Mullvad also offer fully functional Android and iOS applications. NordVPN’s, naturally, look a bit different than the desktop counterparts, but it’s still easy to use. Mullvad’s look identical to the PC version.

NordVPN Android and iOS versions

NordVPN’s mobile apps appear different from the PC version, but they work just as well. Users get 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 from Siri shortcuts.

Mullvad mobile app

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.


P2P specificationsNordVPNMullvad
Allowed on
✅All servers✅All servers
Free SOCKS5 proxy
Split tunneling
✅Yes (Windows, Android, and Android TV)✅Yes (Android, Linux, macOS)

Even though NordVPN is our #1 service for torrenting, there are some scenarios where choosing Mullvad is a better idea. Namely, if you’re a Linux user and want split tunneling to be available.

Nevertheless, NordVPN offers better speeds, which is essential for torrenting. Plus, it has dedicated P2P servers, which are optimized for torrenting and preventing ISP throttling. Still, both providers are more than suited for downloading and uploading torrents.


Works in China
Stealth VPN
✅Yes (Obfuscated servers)❌No
Tor over VPN
✅Yes (Onion over VPN)❌No

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 Tor over VPN. It routers your secured connection through the Tor network, where it gets encrypted several times.

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.

Customer support

Support optionsNordVPNMullvad
24/7 live chat
Phone line

NordVPN provides much better customer support than Mullvad. The latter has email only, which means that answers may take hours, if not days. However, during that time, you can dig into 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 be solved by 24/7 live chat or, if the agents need more time to respond, via mail. I contacted NordVPN’s support countless times during research, and the people were responsive, polite, and knowledgeable.

Naturally, when I contacted Mullvad’s customer support via mail, the responses took some time to arrive. Communication was straightforward, and I got what I needed, so there were no issues. Still, be ready to wait.

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. Internauts enjoy heaps of servers, fast speeds, and various features.

NordVPN Reddit Review

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 VPN vs NordVPN: which one is better?

Device compatibilityWins✔️Loses❌
Customer supportWins✔️Loses❌
Total wins
9 out of 100 out of 10

NordVPN is obviously a better choice. It’s faster, safer, more compatible, and can bypass strict geo-restrictions with ease. Not to mention, it’s cheaper and offers more features than Mullvad.

The only scenario where you would want to use Mullvad VPN is for torrenting. But even in this area, NordVPN doesn’t disappoint and is a great choice because of other factors, like P2P-optimized servers. Thus, if you want a versatile service for all your needs, go with NordVPN.

Get the best deal today

You may also like to read:
NordVPN vs Surfshark vs ExpressVPN
NordVPN vs PureVPN
NordVPN vs PIA
NordVPN vs Mozilla VPN
Mullvad vs PIA
NordVPN vs Bitdefender VPN


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 blocks. Therefore, NordVPN is a better option.

Is Mullvad 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.

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  1. Elopra

    It’s disappointing that a big company as Mullvad doesn’t understand the importance of proper support. I mean, in this industry, 24/7 online chat is a must if you ask me. Any company that doesn’t have it is not even on my “to try” list.

  2. avatar
    Mikaela Bray

    Realistically speaking, few people will ever need port forwarding to use torrents because you don’t have to maintain a download/upload ratio on public torrent sites. It could also be said that NordVPN is better for torrenting because they allow you to get a dedicated IP (thus eliminating the need for port forwarding, but without the risk of having a forwarded port), whereas Mullvad does not. We’d still say they’re more or less equal in this area.

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