Mullvad vs NordVPN: Similarities and Differences
As technology advances and more aspects of our daily life get moved online, the concerns surrounding online privacy and protection increase.
22:04 09 April 2020
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a great way to enhance your safety when connected to the internet. However, choosing the right VPN provider isn't as easy as it sounds. Everywhere you look, there are companies purporting to be the best option on the market.
Before you spend your hard-earned cash on something that you're not sure about, there are some important questions that have to be asked. Is the VPN provider reliable and reputable? Are the speeds quick enough for optimal performance? What's the desktop app like? What locations are offered through the VPN? All of these pertinent questions can make it easier to determine which VPN is best.
In this article, we'll take a look at two popular VPN options: NordVPN and Mullvad. Let's explore the similarities and differences between these providers to help you find the best for your needs.
The vast majority of VPN users interact with the service through their computers. While a poorly designed or functioning app might not be the main selling point, it's definitely a factor worth comparing.
NordVPN's desktop application offers users a seamless interactive map that makes it easy to select your desired location. If you're having trouble making sense of the map, zoom in a little bit and everything should be much clearer. With NordVPN's app, you get access to a clear list of locations as well.
Mullvad's application has recently undergone some major changes to transform it from something relatively basic to a modern app with an attractive and ergonomic map. It's a marked improvement from the rather arid app that preceded it, but Mullvad's computer extension still doesn't quite rise to the same standard set by NordVPN.
Verdict: While both options have high-quality desktop apps, NordVPN steals the crown for ease-of-use.
Speed is something that many VPN novices don't consider from the get-go only to realize how important this feature is later on. In reality, a VPN is pointless if a user's internet connection is tortoise slow. As a critical measurement of a quality VPN, both NordVPN and Mullvad made sure to outfit their VPNs with impressive speeds.
Verdict: This measurement results in a relative tie. Both VPN providers offer industry-leading speed.
Security and privacy
Since customers expect the utmost privacy from VPNs, both NordVPN and Mullvard have made a note to not trace their users' activities. Another similarity between these companies is the implementation of a no-logs policy. This means that it doesn't keep track of your activity. NordVPN is transparent about keeping track of your sessions' timestamps, but this info gets deleted after 15 minutes of disconnecting.
Mullvad really pushed beyond NordVPN in the privacy category when it comes to signing up for the service. While NordVPN requires an email like many providers, Mullvad goes a step beyond by assigning users a unique account number. This bypasses the need for collecting any of your personal information.
Verdict: Mullvad wins this category for not collecting your email during the signup process.
Since VPN's provide a key function in online privacy, it's important to be careful about what company you entrust with this service. Knowing the reputation of the company and the people involved can help you make a better decision when choosing between providers. While Mullvad is more transparent about its founders, NordVPN maintains anonymity.
NordVPN voluntarily underwent an audit from a third-party entity on the company's no-log policy in an attempt to improve its public perception. While the report backed up most of the claims made by NordVPN, there's a limit to how much information found in the audit can go public. Customers can see the full description from within their private account, though.
Verdict: Despite there being similarities in privacy and security between these two companies, customers might feel more comfortable working with Mullvad due to its transparency.
If you want to get the most bang for your buck, NordVPN is the best option. It offers more affordable plans if you're willing to fork up payment for three years at once. In total, you'll be spending around $108 or $36/year. If you opt for a yearly plan, you'll be paying $84/year. The shortest-term payment plan is by month and that's $12. If you're looking for a simpler payment system, Mullvad is your choice. This company only charges around $6 per month.
Verdict: Although Mullvad and NordVPN offer different pricing schemes, there's no obvious winner. The best choice will really depend on personal preference.
As one of the most popular streaming providers in the world, Netflix is a popular motivation for people to sign up for VPNs. Whether you're abroad or just looking to connect to another server, VPNs can improve the Netflix experience. While Mullvad doesn't promise to be able to connect to Netflix, NordVPN does make this statement. This isn't to say that Mullvad users can't connect, but it's certainly not guaranteed.
Verdict: NordVPN is the clear winner here since it offers its users some semblance of a guarantee that they'll be able to connect to Netflix.
Finding the best VPN for your needs isn't easy, but we hope this comparison of the two highest-rated providers on the market makes your selection a little easier. Don't forget to factor in your unique needs.