Mullvad

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Mullvad
Mullvad logo.svg
Mullvad desktop client.png
Desktop client
Developer(s)Mullvad VPN AB[1]
Initial releaseMarch 2009; 13 years ago (2009-03)
Repositorygithub.com/mullvad/mullvadvpn-app
Written in
Operating system
TypeVirtual private network
LicenseGPLv3[3]
Websitemullvad.net

Mullvad is an open-source[4] commercial VPN service based in Sweden. Launched in March 2009, Mullvad operates using the WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols. Mullvad accepts Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Monero for subscriptions in addition to conventional payment methods.[5]

History[edit]

Mullvad was launched in March 2009 by Amagicom AB.[6] Its name is Swedish for mole.

Mullvad began supporting connections via the OpenVPN protocol in 2009.[7] Mullvad was an early adopter and supporter of the WireGuard protocol, announcing the availability of the new VPN protocol in March 2017[8] and making a "generous donation" supporting WireGuard development between July and December 2017.[9]

In October 2019, Mullvad partnered with Mozilla.[10] Mozilla's VPN service, Mozilla VPN, utilizes Mullvad's WireGuard servers.[11][12]

In April 2020, Mullvad partnered with Malwarebytes and provides WireGuard servers for their VPN service, Malwarebytes Privacy.[13]

In May 2022, Mullvad started officially accepting Monero.[14]

Service[edit]

As of April 2022, Mullvad's server list showed information for 823 servers across 38 countries (68 cities).[15]

A TechRadar review notes that "Mullvad's core service is powerful, up-to-date, and absolutely stuffed with high-end technologies."[4] Complementing its use of the open-source OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols, Mullvad includes "industrial strength" encryption (employing AES-256 GCM methodology), 4096-bit RSA certificates with SHA-512 for server authentication, perfect forward secrecy, "multiple layers" of DNS leak protection, IPv6 leak protection, "multiple stealth options" to help bypass government or corporate VPN blocking, and built in support for port forwarding.[4]

Mullvad provides VPN client applications for computers running under Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems. As of April 2020, native iOS and Android Mullvad VPN clients using the WireGuard protocol are available.[16] iOS and Android mobile operating system users can also configure and use built-in VPN clients or the OpenVPN or WireGuard apps to access Mullvad's service.[17]

Privacy[edit]

No email address or other identifying information is requested during Mullvad's registration process. Rather, a unique 16-digit account number is anonymously generated for each new user. This account number is henceforth used to log in to the Mullvad service.[18]

To help ensure the privacy of its users, Mullvad accepts the anonymous payment methods of cash, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. (Payment for the service can also be made via bank wire transfer, credit card, PayPal, and Swish).[4][19]

For users of its VPN service, Mullvad's no-logging policy precludes logging of: the user's IP address, the VPN IP address used, browsing activity, bandwidth, connections, session duration, timestamps, and DNS requests.[4][18] The TechRadar review notes that "The end result of all this is you don't have to worry about how Mullvad handles court requests to access your usage data, because, well, there isn't any."[4]

Reception[edit]

While Mullvad has been noted for taking a strong approach to privacy and maintaining good connection speeds, the VPN client setup and interface has been noted as being more onerous and technically involved than some other VPN providers especially on some client platforms.[20] However, a follow-up review by the same source in October 2018 notes, "Mullvad has a much improved, modern Windows client (and one for Mac, too)." A PC World review, also from October 2018, concludes, "With its commitment to privacy, anonymity (as close as you can realistically get online), and performance Mullvad remains our top recommendation for a VPN service."[17]

In November 2018, TechRadar noted Mullvad as one of five VPN providers to answer to a set of trustworthiness questions posed by the Center for Democracy and Technology.[21][22] In March 2019, a TechRadar review noted slightly substandard speeds.[19] However, a more recent and more thorough TechRadar review dated June 11, 2019 stated that "speeds are excellent."[4] While the latter review notes a shortcoming for mobile users in that Mullvad provided no mobile VPN client apps,[4] there is now a mobile app for both Android and iOS available.

The non-profit Freedom of the Press Foundation, in their "Choosing a VPN” guide, lists Mullvad amongst the four VPNs that meet their recommended settings and features for VPN use as a tool for protecting online activity.[23]

The non-profit organization PrivacyTools.io has developed a comprehensive list of VPN Provider Criteria in order to objectively recommend VPNs. As of October 2021, only three VPNs had fulfilled those criteria.[24] Mullvad is one of those three recommended VPN services.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Doing the corporate shuffle (Updated)". Mullvad VPN. 3 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020. As a result, everything surrounding Mullvad VPN is getting shuffled into a newly created daughter company aptly called Mullvad VPN AB.
  2. ^ "mullvad/mullvadvpn-app: The Mullvad VPN client app for desktop and mobile". GitHub. Amagicom AB. 8 December 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  3. ^ "mullvadvpn-app/LICENSE.md at master · mullvad/mullvadvpn-app", GitHub, Amagicom AB, 8 December 2019, retrieved 8 December 2019
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Utilities, Mike Williams 2019-06-11T18:58:52Z. "Mullvad VPN review". TechRadar. Archived from the original on 13 June 2019. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Pricing Mullvad VPN". Mullvad VPN. Retrieved 15 May 2022. We accept cash, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, bank wire, credit card, PayPal, Swish, Giropay, Eps transfer, Bancontact, iDEAL, and Przelewy24. With credit card and PayPal, you have the option to set up a monthly recurring subscription.
  6. ^ "What is privacy?". Mullvad VPN. Archived from the original on 6 December 2019. Retrieved 7 December 2019. Amagicom is 100% owned by founders Fredrik Strömberg and Daniel Berntsson who are actively involved in the company.
  7. ^ "Services". Archived from the original on 25 September 2009.
  8. ^ "Test WireGuard with Mullvad". Mullvad. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Donations". Wireguard. Silver company donors. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Partnerships and Resellers". Mullvad. Archived from the original on 4 December 2019.
  11. ^ "We test Mozilla's new Wireguard-based $5/mo VPN service". Ars Technica. 22 July 2020. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Firefox Private Network". Mozilla Foundation. Archived from the original on 4 December 2019. About our trusted partner: Firefox Private Network [...] is a VPN built by Firefox using global WireGuard servers provided by Mullvad, which has committed not to keep logs of any kind.
  13. ^ Labs, Malwarebytes (23 April 2020). "Introducing Malwarebytes Privacy". Malwarebytes Labs. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  14. ^ "We now accept Monero - Blog". Mullvad VPN. Retrieved 5 May 2022.
  15. ^ "Servers". Mullvad VPN. Retrieved 18 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "VPN Services". PrivacyTools. Archived from the original on 4 December 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Mullvad 2018 review: A fantastic VPN has a great new look". PCWorld. 17 October 2018. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Mullvad review: A VPN that's all about privacy". Macworld. 28 August 2019. Archived from the original on 14 September 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  19. ^ a b Athow, Desire (19 March 2019). "The best Linux VPN 2019". TechRadar. 4. Mullvad. Archived from the original on 27 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  20. ^ Paul, Ian (19 June 2017). "Mullvad review: The VPN that doesn't want to get to know you". PC World. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017.
  21. ^ Li, Harold. "Use this checklist to find a VPN you can trust". TechRadar. Archived from the original on 3 November 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Unedited Answers: Signals of Trustworthy VPNs". Center for Democracy and Technology. 7 March 2019. Archived from the original on 18 April 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  23. ^ "An in-depth guide to choosing a VPN". Freedom of the Press. 5 December 2019. Archived from the original on 27 November 2019. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  24. ^ "VPN Services". PrivacyTools. Retrieved 19 March 2022.

External links[edit]