NordVPN vs. Mullvad VPN – Unveiling the Differences

NordVPN vs. Mullvad VPN – Unveiling the Differences

February 29, 2024 privacy 0

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs, much loved for its fast connections, top-tier security, and seamless access to streaming sites.

Mullvad VPN, while less mainstream, has gained attention recently for its commitment to privacy and a straightforward approach to VPN features.

So, how do NordVPN and Mullvad compare? Is there any difference in security, performance, speeds, and features between these two VPNs?

We answer these questions by comparing NordVPN and Mullvad side-by-side. This quick review breaks down the essential aspects in simple language, so you can make an informed choice based on your needs.

NordVPN vs Mullvad VPN – Which is better? 

NordVPN is superior to Mullvad in almost every way. 

It’s up to 10x faster, works with every streaming site, offers industry-leading security, and works out cheaper long term. The only VPNs that perform better in our tests are ExpressVPN and Surfshark.

In contrast, Mullvad VPN offers some interesting features, but mostly fails to deliver the kind of experience we expect from a premium VPN. For example, it doesn’t work with any Netflix library, it’s slow, and it only has 600+ servers around the world. NordVPN has more than 6,000. 

That’s just the beginning. 

Throughout this review, we’ll dig into each VPN’s security, speed, streaming, and privacy in much more detail.  

You can test both VPNs yourself thanks to their no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantees. Or read our full Mullvad VPN review and NordVPN review side-by-side.

But if you’re in a rush, stick to NordVPN.

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When it comes to monthly plans, Mullvad VPN is much cheaper. It charges a fixed rate of $5.40 regardless of how long you sign up for. In comparison, NordVPN starts at $12.99 for one month.

So, that’s a 2.5x difference.

However, looking at the longer plans, NordVPN comes out cheaper, starting at $3.39 per month on a two-year contract, compared to Mullvad VPN’s $5.40. $3.39 per month gets you all of NordVPN’s advanced VPN tools, faster servers, better access to content, and much more. 

NordVPN also offers new Plus and Complete plans that cost extra but include data breach monitoring, a password manager, and encrypted cloud storage. So, you could save money by canceling your separate password manager app and just using NordVPN. 

NordVPN and Mullvad VPN will give you a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee on every plan. You can install NordVPN on up to six devices at once, and Mullvad on five. 

So, while Mullvad seems cheaper, NordVPN is the clear winner here. It’s faster, more secure, and has way more advanced features. NordVPN is one of the top three budget VPNs in 2024. Mullvad isn’t even on the list. 

Winner: NordVPN

[[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”nordvpn” class=”btn btn-md btn-primary”]]Get NordVPN[[/post-object]]

Which has better features? 

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NordVPN and Mullvad VPN offer similar standard features you’ll find on any trustworthy VPN. These include: 

  • 256-bit AES encryption. This is the same standard used by militaries, governments, spy agencies, and banks across the globe. It’s pretty much unbreakable. 
  • Automatic kill-switches. If your internet is disrupted, a kill-switch immediately blocks your connection so no data is leaked.
  • Desktop and mobile apps. Both VPNs work on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux. 
  • Obfuscated servers. These specialized servers hide your VPN from detection – crucial in places like China, where VPNs are banned or scrutinized. 
  • Wireguard VPN protocol. This is one of the fastest, most secure protocols available. 
  • Split tunneling. Feed some internet traffic through your VPN while keeping the rest on your local network.

We’ll look at these and other features in more detail in relevant sections (like performance, speed, security, and privacy). But for now, just know these will cover your basic VPN needs, hiding your identity, data, location, and online activities. 

Advanced features

Mullvad seems focused on providing a simple, transparent, flexible VPN experience. As such, it’s missing a lot of advanced tech that’s now common in the very best VPNs. 

NordVPN, on the other hand, is one of the most advanced VPNs on the market. We won’t break down every single advanced feature it offers – you can read about them in our latest NordVPN review for 2024. But here are some highlights: 

  • NordLynx VPN protocol. Proprietary tech that delivers ultra-fast connections without compromising security thanks to lightweight, modern code. 
  • Dedicated servers. Pick a server for your online activities, including P2P, streaming, Double VPN, Onion Over VPN, and obfuscated servers to bypass anti-VPN surveillance. 
  • Device compatibility. Install NordVPN on smartphones, laptops, PCs, smart TVs, game consoles, VR headsets, and more. 
  • SmartPlay. Allows you to install NordVPN on devices that don’t natively support VPNs. 
  • Threat protection. Blocks ads, trackers, malicious domains, spyware, malware, and other online nuisances. Scan downloads and keep your device safe. 
  • Much, much more….

Finally, you need to consider server network. 

NordVPN has over 6,000 servers in 61+ countries. Mullvad VPN has a meager 694+ servers in 40+ countries. Mullvad VPN’s smaller network in fewer countries will impact connection speeds (servers will be too far away and crowded with other uses) and access to streaming content (Netflix and other platforms will quickly identify and block its servers).

So, once again, NordVPN wins this round.

Winner: NordVPN

[[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”nordvpn” class=”btn btn-md btn-primary”]]Get NordVPN[[/post-object]]

Are routers supported? 

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NordVPN and Mullvad VPN both support manual installation on various router models.

However, setting up a VPN on a router is much more technical than most devices. So, your VPN must provide comprehensive instructions and support. 

As such, NordVPN wins this round. Its instructions and Router Setup Wizard are easier to follow and more comprehensive than those Mullvad VPN offers. And if you run into any issues, you can connect the 24/7 live chat support. 


Winner: NordVPN

[[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”nordvpn” class=”btn btn-md btn-primary”]]Get NordVPN[[/post-object]]

What websites do they access? 

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Mullvad VPN struggles to access almost every major streaming website – including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+.

NordVPN, on the other hand, can access them all. It’s also fast enough for HD streaming from most countries and works with banking websites, apps, and other typically restricted online services. This all makes NordVPN one of the best streaming VPNs available. 

While NordVPN is one of the only VPNs that bypass China’s censorship measures, Mullvad VPN doesn’t function within “the Great Firewall.” NordVPN’s obfuscated servers and other stealth tech don’t just work in China – they guarantee open internet almost anywhere in the world. 

Winner: NordVPN

[[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”nordvpn” class=”btn btn-md btn-primary”]]Get NordVPN[[/post-object]]

Netflix libraries

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NordVPN worked with every Netflix library we tested. So, you’ll get easy access to regional shows and movies in the US, UK, Canada, and other popular countries. 

In contrast, Mullvad VPN can’t access any Netflix library. 

So, if you’re looking for a VPN for streaming Netflix content from abroad, NordVPN is your answer.

Winner: NordVPN

[[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”nordvpn” class=”btn btn-md btn-primary”]]Get NordVPN[[/post-object]]

Torrenting capabilities

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NordVPN and Mullvad both support torrenting across their entire server networks.

Mullvad’s torrenting support is basic. You won’t be blocked or penalized for torrenting on its servers; you have all the privacy tools necessary to keep your torrenting hidden. Mullvad is also compatible with top torrenting apps like qBittorrent. 

However, Mullvad is very slow when sharing large files. 

In contrast, NordVPN has no problem downloading and sharing massive files across torrenting platforms. It has dedicated P2P servers in over 40 countries. These servers are tailored for large file sharing, emphasizing privacy and efficiency, making it one of the best VPNs for torrenting.

The NordLynx advanced VPN protocol also boosts NordVPN’s speeds, without compromising encryption or other privacy guards. 

NordVPN and Mullvad VPN also adhere to strict “no-logs” policies, ensuring no data is recorded or retrievable from their servers. NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, one of the most private places on Earth, while Mullvad is located in Sweden – part of the 14 Eyes global surveillance alliance. 

While we trust Mullvad’s privacy policies, its location in Sweden and slow torrenting mean we’re handing this round to NordVPN.


Winner: NordVPN

[[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”nordvpn” class=”btn btn-md btn-primary”]]Get NordVPN[[/post-object]]

Setup & usability


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Both NordVPN and Mullvad VPN prioritize user-friendly experiences with simple apps and easy setup.

NordVPN is quick and easy to set up. It features a one-click connect button, suitable for new and experienced users. It works on many devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, gaming consoles, Amazon Fire TV, and Oculus Quest VP headsets.

Want more control? NordVPN lets you select various VPN protocols and change advanced settings, like a kill-switch and ad blocker. But if you’re new to this, you can just stick to the basic settings without fuss.

Mullvad VPN is also simple to use, offering a straightforward setup and a visually appealing app focusing on functionality. However, its device compatibility is more restricted, only supporting Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, and iOS.

While both NordVPN and Mullvad VPN are easy to use, NordVPN distinguishes itself with broader device compatibility and a balance between simplicity and advanced customization, catering to a diverse user base.

Winner: NordVPN

[[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”nordvpn” class=”btn btn-md btn-primary”]]Get NordVPN[[/post-object]]

Mobile features

NordVPN and Mullvad offer iOS and Android apps that closely resemble their fully-featured desktop counterparts.

Both provide quick connection features for instant server access, automatic kill-switches to prevent data leaks, split tunneling, stealth modes, and other functionalities. The mobile apps for both VPNs are user-friendly and can operate in the background seamlessly.

However, NordVPN’s iOS and Android apps have additional features, including Threat Protection for ad blocking and malware detection. Advanced features like the NordLynx protocol and other proprietary tools are exclusive to NordVPN and not in Mullvad’s offering.

NordVPN allows up to six simultaneous device connections, surpassing Mullvad’s limit of five. Considering the overall performance on mobile and other devices, this comparison leads to favoring NordVPN in this category.

Winner: NordVPN

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Performance & speed

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NordVPN stands out for its swift and stable global connections, boasting a vast network with 6,000+ servers across 61+ countries. Notably, it also developed an exclusive VPN protocol called NordLynx, faster than any other VPN protocol (without compromising security).

Our global team evaluated NordVPN’s performance across various activities, including streaming, downloading, gaming, and video calls. Regardless of location, NordVPN consistently delivered fast and reliable connections. We all experienced zero buffering, lag, or interruptions. Overall, NordVPN maintained an impressive average speed of 350 Mbps.

In contrast, Mullvad VPN presents a different scenario. Its server coverage is limited to 40+ countries. As a result, Mullvad consistently lagged behind NordVPN. In some tests, NordVPN was 7-10 times faster than Mullvad when connecting to far-away servers. 

So, this one is easy. If you need a fast, reliable VPN, stick to NordVPN – or try another top competitor like ExpressVPN and Surfshark. 

Winner: NordVPN

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NordVPN and Mullvad VPN offer feature standard security features like: 

  • AES 256-bit encryption 
  • DNS/IPv6 leak protection 
  • Automatic kill-switches
  • Obfuscated servers

However, while Mullvad focuses on basic security, NordVPN stands out for its commitment to advanced features, positioning it as one of the most secure VPNs available.

NordVPN and Mullvad employ 4096-bit RSA keys for encryption; although both are highly secure, compromising NordVPN’s RSA keys would be more challenging due to its proprietary NordLynx VPN protocol and other exclusive tools.

NordVPN’s MeshNet feature enables secure file and data transfers across multiple devices within its network, further boosting security with other NordVPN users.

While Mullvad VPN ensures your safety, NordVPN’s dedication to advanced software and comprehensive security measures makes it a compelling choice if you’re seeking an impenetrable, leak-proof VPN solution.

Winner: NordVPN

[[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”nordvpn” class=”btn btn-md btn-primary”]]Get NordVPN[[/post-object]]



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NordVPN has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the most privacy-focused VPNs globally. It operates from Panama, (in)famous for its absence of data retention laws and robust identity protection measures. It goes out of its way to never record any user activity data. 

NordVPN is categorized as a “no-logs VPN” – it only records data essential to maintaining your account and its network operations. RAM-only servers and the prompt deletion of all user data within 15 minutes of disconnecting from the apps further solidify its commitment to user privacy.

Mullvad also uses RAM-only servers and follows a strict no-logs policy. However, it’s based in Sweden. While Sweden is one of the most privacy-friendly countries in Europe, it’s a member of numerous international data cooperation bodies. The country’s legal framework ensures that VPNs like Mullvad are not obligated to collect secretive data, but we’re still more comfortable with a VPN located far away from prying eyes.

Both NordVPN and Mullvad VPN facilitate anonymous sign-ups and payment via cryptocurrency. Mullvad VPN offers the option of cash payments, and NordVPN allows payment with anonymous gift cards purchased with cash in physical stores. 

Both VPNs have been independently audited to demonstrate the legitimacy of their privacy policies and user data practices. 

So, this round is close. Almost a tie. But we’re giving it to NordVPN for one reason: its location. 

Winner: NordVPN

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Customer service

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Mullvad VPN’s customer support has serious limitations. 

Unlike NordVPN, it lacks live chat. You have to rely on email for assistance, which is slow and cumbersome – especially for complex issues. Mullvad VPN instead provides a comprehensive and beginner-friendly knowledge base as its main resource.

NordVPN distinguishes itself by offering 24/7 live chat support with swift response times. 

In addition to live chat, NordVPN provides a searchable knowledge base, troubleshooting guides, product walkthroughs, and video tutorials on YouTube. The inclusion of a lively community forum allows users to post questions and receive honest responses and feedback from other users.

While both VPNs are designed to be user-friendly and may not require extensive support, NordVPN’s robust investment in customer service stands out, providing users with additional confidence and assistance options if needed.

Winner: NordVPN

[[post-object type=”gotolink” provider=”nordvpn” class=”btn btn-md btn-primary”]]Get NordVPN[[/post-object]]


Methodology: how we compare VPNs

We subjected NordVPN and Mullvad VPN to rigorous tests, consistent with the evaluation standards applied to every VPN review featured on ProPrivacy. Our assessment delves beyond marketing claims, scrutinizing each VPN’s features and tools extensively. Key aspects we examine include:

  • Global server networks: We prioritize VPNs with extensive, secure server networks worldwide, ensuring reliable connections regardless of the user’s location.
  • Fast connections: We look for VPNs that can deliver buffer-free HD streaming, rapid downloads, and smooth video chats anywhere in the world.
  • Airtight security: Our focus is on VPNs that offer robust security features such as military-grade encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protections, diverse VPN protocols, and advanced technologies.
  • Extra privacy tools: Our best VPNs have supplementary features like ad blockers, malware detection, stealth modes, and even dark web monitoring to enhance user privacy.
  • Content access: We rigorously test each VPN’s compatibility with popular streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
  • User-friendly apps: We prioritize VPNs with beginner-friendly, easily navigable apps requiring minimal instructions.
  • Good value: We recommend VPNs with transparent pricing, affordable subscription plans, and generous money-back guarantees.
  • Responsive support: Premium VPNs are expected to provide responsive support, including 24/7 live chat with human agents, email support, knowledge bases, and active user communities.
  • Transparent data policies: We ensure that any VPN we recommend adheres to transparent data policies, avoiding the sale of user data and ensuring clarity in terms of service.

For a deeper understanding of our testing procedures and criteria, refer to our VPN review methodology.


NordVPN consistently ranks as #3 in our best VPN lists, boasting cutting-edge tools and proprietary software that distinguish it from all competitors. It’s only outdone by ExpressVPN and Surfshark.

Mullvad VPN, while putting up a commendable effort, is inferior in every aspect. It is slower, more challenging to use, unreliable for accessing content, and lacks NordVPN’s advanced security and privacy tools.

Explore NordVPN risk-free using its 30-day money-back guarantee and discover why it is our preferred choice.

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