Mullvad currently sits in ninth place on our list of the best VPNs. While this virtual private network is an excellent choice for many users, it has several glaring downsides. If you’re trying to avoid untrusted internet connections with your private, sensitive data, you should consider a Mullvad alternative.
- Mullvad is a reasonably good VPN provider, but users may find speeds fluctuating unpredictably. It’s also missing compatibility with streaming services and a large server network.
- NordVPN and ExpressVPN are premium alternatives to Mullvad that offer better (and more consistent) speeds, more features, better streaming service compatibility and larger server networks.
- Surfshark and Private Internet Access are affordable options that still offer significant advantages over Mullvad, and VyprVPN takes security up a notch.
- Windscribe is the only free VPN that we’d recommend. It’s more consistent in terms of speeds, and works better with streaming services than Mullvad.
Mullvad is secure, but speeds varied a lot between tests and locations, which might make this VPN service hard to use from certain locations. Additionally, Mullvad can’t access some streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer.
While Mullvad is a reliable VPN service and has secure VPN servers, those servers are located in only 39 countries, and very few are owned by Mullvad. With that in mind, let’s discuss what a good alternative to Mullvad should look like, and test-drive a few of the best options.
Yes, Netflix has a reputation for blocking Mullvad’s IP addresses. If you need a VPN to use with Netflix, you’re better off with a different VPN provider.
No, Mullvad is not better than ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN offers much more consistent speeds, better access to streaming networks, a larger server network and an overall better feature set.
Yes, and no — Mullvad may slow down your internet traffic, but sporadically rather than consistently.
Yes, Mullvad has a split tunneling feature that you can configure on a per-application basis.
The Top Alternatives to Mullvad
What Makes the Best Mullvad Alternative?
To make a VPN provider a good alternative to Mullvad, it should offer better speeds than Mullvad, a better streaming experience and a larger server network.
- ExpressVPN — Premium VPN with excellent streaming service support
- NordVPN — Premium VPN with over five times as many servers as Mullvad
- Surfshark — Affordable VPN service with more consistent speeds
- Private Internet Access — Reliable VPN with a huge server network
- Windscribe — Excellent free VPN service
The most important thing we looked at was each VPN service’s speed. Mullvad is only sporadically fast, so we made sure the alternatives all offered consistent internet connection speeds.
Another common complaint about Mullvad is its inability to unblock popular streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer. You won’t find it on our list of the best VPNs for Netflix either, so we wanted the alternatives to work with as many streaming services as possible.
We also wanted the alternatives to have a good server spread that covers more than Mullvad’s 39 countries. Here are the best Mullvad alternatives that offer anonymous VPN networks you can rely on for browsing, streaming and more.
The 5 Best Mullvad Alternatives
Without further ado, let’s dive into our top five alternatives to Mullvad, starting with the overall best VPN service provider — ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN’s clean UI makes using the service a breeze.
More details about ExpressVPN:
- Large server network
- Fast & consistent speeds
- Unblocks all streaming apps
ExpressVPN is our top choice, both here and on the list of best VPNs, even though it commands a price higher than almost all other VPNs on our list. The large server network, consistently fast speeds and excellent compatibility with streaming services make it worth its asking price, which you can read more about in our ExpressVPN review.
ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, which is the second best server spread of all VPN providers on our list. ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol, which we covered in more detail, is an open-source protocol that gives you all the benefits of WireGuard, with improved privacy. It ensures excellent speeds in every scenario, including when you’re trying to stream content.
A True Streaming Monster
While all the providers on our list can access most streaming services, none of them do it as easily and as consistently as ExpressVPN. We were able to stream on any platform, from any location, with no buffering issues whatsoever.
We agree that ExpressVPN “just works” — it shouldn’t be any other way at that price.
ExpressVPN takes a premium approach to pricing, with an annual subscription almost twice as expensive as our runner-up. You can get a refund under the 30-day money-back guarantee if you decide it’s not your cup of tea.
NordVPN’s UI is easy to get the hang of, but the settings menu is very confusing.
More details about NordVPN:
- Huge server network
- Blazing-fast speeds
- Great streaming compatibility
- Sometimes slow to reconnect
NordVPN offers excellent value when compared to ExpressVPN, but comes in second because it sometimes takes too long to connect to a server. NordVPN has a huge server network, with 5,497 servers in 59 countries, and blazing-fast speeds that are on average only 10% slower than unprotected speeds. You can find out more about it in our NordVPN review.
NordVPN also works admirably with all popular streaming services, allowing you to enjoy content from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. Online security is top-notch, thanks to a combination of 256-bit AES encrypted connection and the proprietary NordLynx protocol.
Excellent Speeds With NordLynx
The NordLynx advanced VPN protocol is NordVPN’s take on WireGuard, but with double network address translation (NAT) for an even more secure connection. It also has a very streamlined code, which makes it a faster and safer alternative than most protocols on the market (less code means fewer places to attack).
Don’t worry if you miss a sale with NordVPN — there is always a new one around the corner.
NordVPN offers a large server network with solid speeds and great compatibility with streaming services, and good value if you subscribe for a year. If you find you don’t like it, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark’s neatly organized server list includes their static IP address and multi-hop servers.
More details about Surfshark:
- Great value
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Large server network
- Inconsistent speeds at times
Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the VPN scene, but that doesn’t prevent it from being an overall excellent service. It has over 3,200 servers spread across 95 countries, making it the best server spread on our list. We covered it in more detail in our Surfshark review.
Surfshark has also improved its streaming performance since we first reviewed it, and is now able to get into all streaming services with no issues whatsoever. Where it falls short is in the speed department — during our testing, the speed dropped when tunneling through locations that were farther away, which means Surfshark isn’t reliable when you need to connect to a different continent.
Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
Surfshark’s hallmark feature is the unlimited number of simultaneous connections it offers on any subscription. If you want, you can share the subscription with as many others as you can find.
Surfshark’s affordable price makes it an excellent value choice for budget-conscious users who still care about security.
Surfshark is as affordable as they come, with a two-year subscription at a price that’s a fraction of the competition. If you find that the inconsistency in streaming services bothers you, the 30-day money-back guarantee has you covered.
- : Unlimited GB bandwidth,
- : Unlimited GB
- : Unlimited
Mullvad’s UI shows you your real IP, as well as the IP that the encrypted VPN tunnel gives you.
More details about Private Internet Access:
- Very affordable pricing
- Over 24,000 servers
- Shadowsocks proxy support
- Can’t unblock all streaming apps
PIA is one of the most affordable VPNs out there, and it’s also one of the best Mullvad alternatives if you’re after a reliable VPN connection with plenty of servers to choose from. It has over 24,000 servers in 77 countries, which isn’t the best server spread out there, but it certainly tops the charts in terms of sheer number of servers.
Performance-wise, PIA is consistently very fast, with less than 10% speed loss when tunneling through its anonymous VPN network. Its only downside is the fact that it fails to bypass geoblocks on most streaming services, which is why it’s so low on our list. You can find out more about it in our Private Internet Access review.
Easy Proxy with Shadowsocks
Knowing how to set up and install a proxy is often a difficult process with most VPNs, but PIA makes it easy with the Shadowsocks protocol. All you need to do is pick a proxy, and you’re done — the VPN takes care of the rest.
PIA’s affordable pricing is reason enough to go for this VPN — speed and a large server network come as a neat bonus.
PIA is as affordable as they come, and comes with an industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re after a value-oriented VPN and aren’t that interested in streaming services, PIA is a solid choice.
Windscribe’s design may seem modern, but it is somewhat difficult to navigate on a desktop.
More details about Windscribe:
- Pricing: Free; $5.75 per month for the paid plan, or $1 per location per month for the build-a-plan option
- Provider website: windscribe.com
- Generous free plan
- Build-a-plan option
- Great streaming compatibility
- 3-day money-back-guarantee
- Difficult UI on desktop app
Windscribe is the best free VPN, and it has held that title for what seems like an eternity. It gives you a generous 10GB of data and 10 server locations to choose from, and works with all streaming services. You can get an extra 5GB of data if you tweet about Windscribe. You can find out more in our Windscribe review.
Windscribe’s speeds are solid on both the free and the paid plans, and we’re happy to see there is no throttling for non-paying customers. What we aren’t thrilled with, though, is the difficult desktop app that’s tricky to navigate. It has a bunch of abbreviations that are hard to understand, and has a confusing settings menu.
If you don’t need too many locations, Windscribe allows you to create your own plan for an affordable price of $1 per location per month, with a $3 minimum purchase. You can add as many locations as you like, though if you add more than five, you’re better off with the paid plan at $5.75 per month.
We wouldn’t say our online privacy is under attack, but we do appreciate the opportunity to browse the web privately.
Windscribe’s free plan offers 10GB of data and 10 server locations to choose from, and if that’s not enough, you can either go for the paid plan or build your own plan. Unfortunately, their three-day money-back guarantee trails behind the competition.
- : Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
- : 15 GB
- : Unlimited
- : Unlimited GB
- : Unlimited
Honorable Mention: VyprVPN
VyprVPN has a simple and clean UI with no unnecessary elements.
More details about VyprVPN:
- Excellent security
- Pretty large server network
- Speeds are inconsistent
- Doesn’t work with Hulu
- Very expensive
VyprVPN comes to the table with a large server network, a strong focus on security and compatibility with most streaming services. However, it has an egregious monthly price, which for many won’t be worth it. We cover it in more detail in our VyprVPN review.
The VPN boasts over 700 servers in over 70 locations, with no exact number of servers. Unfortunately, its speeds aren’t as consistent as we’d like, with farther away locations being significantly slower than those closer to us. Last but not least, VyprVPN failed to unblock Hulu, and streaming quality on other platforms was hit or miss.
Is Mullvad Better Than NordVPN?
NordVPN is one of our top choices for a secure VPN service that’s a good alternative to Mullvad. When it comes to features, NordVPN does a better job with both the basics and advanced features, such as obfuscated servers and double-VPN functionality.
NordVPN is cheaper and faster than Mullvad, and it offers those higher speeds more consistently. You can find out more in our NordVPN vs Mullvad article, but when all is said and done, no, Mullvad is not better than NordVPN.
Mullvad is a solid VPN service provider, but trails the competition in some scenarios. If you need more consistent speeds, a larger server network and better compatibility with streaming services, you should check out other VPN services, such as the ones we suggested above.
ExpressVPN is our top choice, but you won’t go wrong with any of the others on the list either. Have you tried any of the Mullvad alternatives we listed above? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thank you for reading.
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