NordVPN vs. Mullvad VPN 2024 — Which VPN is Better?

Updated on: June 6, 2024
Fact Checked by Eric Goldstein
Gjurgjica Panova Gjurgjica Panova
Updated on: June 6, 2024 Writer

Short on Time? Here’s the Final Verdict:

  • 🥇 NordVPN  — Winner in Extra features, Servers, Speeds, Streaming, Gaming, and Customer Support. NordVPN comes with more extra features, like a smart DNS and dedicated IP addresses, maintains faster speeds for all online activities, has more servers, and works with top streaming sites reliably. Moreover, the VPN maintains low ping for gaming and has 24/7 live chat.

NordVPN and Mullvad VPN are some of the top VPNs on the market — they have excellent security and privacy features and offer good torrenting and gaming support. Plus, they have intuitive apps for all major platforms.

Both providers come with industry-standard security features, like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. Moreover, NordVPN and Mullvad also come with:

  • Perfect forward secrecy.
  • RAM-only servers.
  • Ad blocking.
  • Obfuscation.
  • DNS and IPv4 leak protection.
  • Split-tunneling.
  • Tor support.

That said, NordVPN is superior to Mullvad in many aspects. It maintains faster speeds across all servers, comes with more extra features, and has a larger server network of 6,266 servers in 111 countries. It also reliably works with top streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime, maintains low ping for online gaming, and has a 24/7 live chat. On the other hand, Mullvad has a small server network of 649 servers in 40 countries and has slower speeds. Plus, it doesn’t reliably work with many streaming sites. It also doesn’t match NordVPN in terms of extra features and customer support. On the plus side, it works in restrictive countries.

I compared NordVPN and Mullvad based on many metrics, including security, extra features, privacy, security, servers, speeds, streaming, P2P support, gaming, bypassing censorship, ease of use, plans and pricing, and customer support. Overall, NordVPN is much better than Mullvad, but I recommend reading the entire article to determine which VPN suits your needs the best.

TRY NORDVPN NOW (30 DAYS RISK-FREE)

NordVPN vs. Mullvad VPN — Quick Overview

NordVPN Mullvad VPN
💸Starting Price Starts at $3.39 / month Starts at $5.37 / month
📱 Number of Devices 10 5
🔐Security 256-bit AES encryption,
No-logs policy (audited).
Kill switch,
Full leak protection,
Perfect forward secrecy,
RAM-only servers.
256-bit AES encryption,
No-logs policy (audited).
Kill switch,
DNS and IPv6 leak protection,
Perfect forward secrecy.
🌍 Number of Servers 6,266 servers in 111 countries 649 servers in 40 countries
⚡️ Speeds Very fast on nearby servers and fast on distant servers Good speeds on nearby servers but pretty noticeable slowdowns on distant servers
🎥Streaming Support Works with Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ Works with Netflix and sometimes with BBC iPlayer
🔽P2P Support
(4,500+ servers in 45+ countries)

(649 servers in 40 countries)
💻 Apps iOS,
Android,
Windows,
macOS,
Linux,
Android TV,
Fire TV,
Chromebook
iOS,
Android,
Windows,
macOS,
Linux,
Android TV
❓Customer Support 24/7 live chat,
Email support,
In-depth support library
Email support
In-depth support library
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 30 days 30 days

Security — Both VPNs Are Really Secure

256-bit AES Encryption No-Logs Policy Kill Switch Leak Protection RAM-Only Servers Perfect Forward Secrecy
NordVPN Full leak protection (DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC)
Mullvad VPN DNS and IPv6 leak protection

NordVPN and Mullvad VPN are top VPNs for protecting your data. Both come with industry-standard security features, such as:

  • 256-bit AES encryption. It makes your traffic unreadable, and it’s the same type of encryption that the military uses.
  • No-logs policy. Prevents the VPN provider from collecting your data, including your IP address and browsing history.
  • Kill switch. Disables internet access if the VPN connection drops to prevent data leaks.

NordVPN also has an app-level kill switch alongside the regular kill switch. It shuts down selected apps if the VPN connection drops. I tested it with 5 P2P apps, and each one closed automatically when I disconnected from NordVPN.

Only NordVPN has full leak protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks — Mullvad is missing WebRTC leak protection. That said, I ran leak tests on 5+ servers using each VPN, and I experienced no leaks.

I also like that both VPNs come with RAM-only servers. It’s an advanced security feature that writes data on the RAM instead of the hard drive. This way, each server reset wipes all data, so third parties can’t track your online activities.

What’s more, both providers have perfect forward secrecy. This security feature changes your encryption key for each session, minimizing the amount of data potential hackers could access.

Both VPNs also provide access to secure protocols, such as OpenVPN. Mullvad also uses WireGuard, which is a very secure, fast, and popular protocol. NordVPN has its own proprietary protocol NordLynx, which is built around WireGuard and is super fast.

Finally, NordVPN allows you to secure your account with two-factor authentication. This requires you to verify your login attempts with a time-sensitive code that’s generated by the app.

Winner (Security): It’s a tie

I couldn’t pick a winner since both VPNs are really secure. They both come with industry-standard security features, provide strong protection against leaks, use RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy, and have secure protocols. The only difference is that NordVPN also supports two-factor authentication.

Extra Features — NordVPN Wins This Round

Split-Tunneling Obfuscation Blocks Ads Blocks Malicious Sites Tor Support Smart DNS Other Features
NordVPN Dark Web Monitor,
Double VPN,
Tapjacking protection,
SOCKS5,
Dedicated IPs,
Meshnet,
SmartPlay
Mullvad VPN Multihop,
SOCKS5

Mullvad VPN has decent extra features, but it doesn’t compare to NordVPN, which has more extras and implements these features quite well.

Both VPNs provide access to split-tunneling, which allows you to choose which apps use the VPN connection and which don’t. For example, you can get faster speeds by routing only your streaming traffic through the VPN while everything else uses your local ISP connection as normal.

What’s more, each provider comes with obfuscation, which hides your VPN traffic from internet service providers for better privacy. I think Mullvad’s obfuscation is better, though, since it works in restrictive countries, while NordVPN doesn’t.

Both VPNs have an ad blocker, but NordVPN’s Threat Protection is much better because it blocks ads, ad trackers, connections to malicious sites, and malware-infected downloads. Mullvad’s ad blocker only blocks ads and ad trackers.

I like that both VPNs allow Tor traffic on all servers. This means that you can first connect to their servers before accessing the dark web. But NordVPN is better, as it also has Onion Over VPN servers, which allow you to connect to the dark web in regular browsers like Chrome. This is a lot more convenient than downloading and using the Tor browser.

Also, both providers have SOCKS5 proxy support, which changes your IP address but doesn’t provide encryption. That allows for faster browsing and torrenting. That said, Mullvad VPN’s SOCKS5 servers won’t work unless you access them via the provider’s VPN servers.

Both VPNs have double VPN connections, which send your data through 2 VPN servers instead of 1 server. However, Mullvad’s Multihop feature gives you the freedom to choose your entry and exit servers.

NordVPN provides access to the following extra features, which Mullvad doesn’t have:

  • Dark Web Monitoring. This security feature scans the web and notifies you if your NordVPN account login credentials have been leaked.
  • Tapjacking protection. The Android-only feature sends alerts if it detects that malicious apps have been added to the screen overlay.
  • Meshnet. Lets you connect up to 60 devices over encrypted VPN connections. You can use it to host virtual LAN parties or securely share files between devices.
  • Dedicated IP addresses. For a small additional cost, NordVPN will provide you with a unique IP address. A dedicated IP address will help you avoid reCAPTCHAs and access sites that block VPN access.
  • Smart DNS. Allows you to use a VPN on devices that don’t have native VPN apps, like gaming consoles and smart TVs.
  • SmartPlay. Mixes VPN and smart DNS technology on all VPN servers, which provides additional encryption.

Winner (Extra Features): NordVPN

It’s not a surprise that NordVPN comes on top, as it has an ad blocker that also blocks malicious sites, Onion Over VPN servers, a smart DNS feature, and SmartPlay. It also comes with more extra features like Dark Web Monitoring, tapjacking protection, Meshnet, and dedicated IP addresses.

Privacy — Each Provider Is Great for Privacy

Logs User IP Addresses Logs User Traffic Audited No-Logs Policy Headquarters Open-Source Apps
NordVPN Panama (outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances)
(Linux app)
Mullvad VPN Sweden (inside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances)

NordVPN and Mullvard give access to top-notch privacy features. NordVPN’s no-logs policy has undergone independent security audits in 2018, 2020, and 2022. Mullvad’s no-logs policy has been proven true in 2020 and 2022. I also think it’s great that Mullvad VPN doesn’t log your email address, as it generates a 16-digit numbered account on signup, which you use to manage your subscription.

NordVPN has also undergone other security audits. Its iOS, Windows, macOS, and Android apps were successfully audited in 2019. Plus, its NordLynx protocol, browser extensions, and Threat Protection passed an independent security audit in 2022.

I like that NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, which is a privacy-friendly country with no data retention laws. What’s more, it’s outside the jurisdiction of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances, which is a group of countries that share surveillance data. On the other hand, Mullvad is headquartered in Sweden, which is a part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances. Although Sweden has mandatory data retention laws, they don’t apply to VPNs. Plus, even if Mullvad was asked for data, it won’t have any to give because of its no-logs policy.

Mullvad’s apps are open-source, which means that anyone can inspect the code to make sure that the service is safe. I also like that the apps are independently audited. For now, NordVPN has only open-sourced its Linux app.

It’s also great that both VPNs accept cryptocurrency payments. This provides more privacy than regular payment options. Plus, Mullvad VPN even accepts cash payments by mail.

Winner (Privacy): It’s a tie

Both VPNs have great privacy features. They come with audited no-logs policies and other security audits, plus they accept cryptocurrency payments (Mullvad even accepts cash payments). Mullvad is headquartered in Sweden, which is a part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances, but the country’s mandatory data retention laws don’t apply to VPNs, so it’s as trustworthy as NordVPN. I also like that all of Mullvad’s apps are open-source.

Servers — NordVPN Has a Larger Server Network

Number of Servers Number of Countries Virtual Locations P2P Servers Obfuscated Servers Dedicated IP Addresses
NordVPN 6,266 servers 111 countries
(4,500+ servers in 45+ countries)

(100+ servers in 15+ countries)
Mullvad 649 40 countries
(649 servers in 40 countries)

(30+ servers in 10+ countries)

NordVPN has a more extensive server network of 6,266 servers in 111 countries, while Mullvad has 649 servers in 40 countries. With NordVPN’s bigger server network, you’re less likely to connect to an overcrowded server and experience slowdowns. You’re also more likely to find a server nearby for faster speeds. Plus, there’s a higher chance the VPN has a server in your country, so you can use your local online services when traveling.

Both VPNs allow P2P traffic on their servers. Mullvad allows it on all servers, while NordVPN has dedicated P2P servers — even so, you still get more P2P servers with NordVPN (4,500+ P2P servers in 45+ countries).

Also, both VPNs support obfuscation on their servers. NordVPN has a bigger count with 100+ obfuscated servers in 15+ countries, while Mullvad only allows obfuscation on 30+ servers in 10+ countries.

Both VPNs support double VPN connections. NordVPN has double VPN servers in 5+ countries, while Mullvad allows custom double VPN connections so that you can pick your entry and exit server.

Only NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses, which allow you to get an IP that only you can use from 10+ countries, including the US, the UK, and Japan.

Winner (Servers): NordVPN

NordVPN is the winner. NordVPN has a vast server network of 6,266 servers in 111 countries, while Mullvad has 649 servers in 40 countries. Both VPNs support torrenting, obfuscation, and double VPN connections. In addition, NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses.

Speeds — NordVPN Is the Faster Option

Website Load Time HD Video Load Time 4K Video Load Time Time to Download a 20 GB File
NordVPN Instantly
(on nearby and distant servers)
Instantly
(on nearby servers)
1–2 seconds
(on distant servers)
Instantly
(on nearby servers)
4–5 seconds
(on distant servers)
12–13 minutes
(on nearby servers)
19–20 minutes
(on distant servers)
Mullvad VPN Instantly
(on nearby and distant servers)
5–6 seconds
(on nearby servers)
6 seconds
(on distant servers)
8–9 seconds
(on nearby servers)
12 seconds
(on distant servers)
15–17 minutes
(on nearby servers)
40 minutes
(on distant servers)

In my tests, I had the fastest speeds with NordVPN. Mullvad had great speeds on nearby servers, but there were noticeable slowdowns on distant servers.

I was really impressed with NordVPN’s speeds across all servers. On nearby servers, websites, HD, and 4K videos loaded instantly. Plus, it only took me 12–13 minutes to download a 20 GB file. On distant servers, the slowdowns were minor — HD videos loaded in 1–2 seconds, and 4K videos loaded in 4–5 seconds. I was also able to download the same file in 20 minutes, which is pretty fast.

I don’t recommend Mullvad to users who need to connect to distant servers. The slowdowns were much more noticeable on distant servers — HD videos took at least 6 seconds to load, 4K videos loaded in 12 seconds, and a 20 GB file downloaded in 40 minutes. That said, I had better speeds on nearby servers. Websites loaded instantly, HD videos loaded in 5–6 seconds with minor buffering in the beginning, and 4K videos played in 8–9 seconds with noticeable buffering. And it only took me 15–17 minutes to download the same 20 GB file.

Winner (Speeds): NordVPN

NordVPN is a lot faster than Mullvad. In my tests, it provided me with the fastest speeds for streaming, torrenting, and browsing on nearby and distant servers. On the other hand, I experienced noticeable slowdowns on both nearby and distant servers with Mullvad.

Streaming — NordVPN Has Better Streaming Support

Number of Streaming Services the VPN Works With Works With Netflix Works With BBC iPlayer, Max, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ Smart DNS
NordVPN 10+
Mullvad VPN N/A
(Only works with Netflix and sometimes BBC iPlayer)

NordVPN is a much better option for streaming than Mullvad VPN. NordVPN works with 10+ streaming services, while Mullvad couldn’t provide me with an exact number.

Each provider consistently works with Netflix, but NordVPN reliably works with top streaming sites like Max, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. Mullvad only works with BBC iPlayer, but not all the time.

Finally, NordVPN comes with a smart DNS feature, which allows you to use the VPN on devices that don’t have a native VPN app. On top of that, it has a SmartPlay on all of its servers, which uses VPN and smart DNS technology to add extra encryption to your VPN connection.

Winner (Streaming): NordVPN

NordVPN is the clear winner for streaming. It works with 10+ streaming sites, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Max, and BBC iPlayer. It also has a smart DNS feature and SmartPlay. On the other hand, Mullvad only works with Netflix and sometimes BBC iPlayer. It also lacks a smart DNS feature.

Torrenting — Both Providers Have Good P2P Support

P2P Servers Works With Top P2P Apps Port Forwarding SOCKS5 Proxy Support Kill Switch No-Logs Policy
NordVPN 4,500+ servers in 45+ countries ✅ (independently audited)
Mullvad 649 servers in 40 countries ✅ (independently audited)

I recommend both VPNs for torrenting. NordVPN allows torrenting on 4,500 servers in 45+ countries, while Mullvad supports P2P traffic on all of its servers (649 servers in 40 countries).

What’s more, both VPN providers work with popular P2P clients, like qBittorrent, Vuze, and Deluge. I ran tests on these apps while connected to both VPNs, and I never experienced any issues.

And both providers have SOCKS5 proxy servers, which provide privacy while torrenting by hiding your IP address but don’t use encryption, so you get faster speeds. Still, keep in mind that with Mullvad, you’ll still need to connect to a VPN server to use its SOCKS5 servers — while you don’t get faster download speeds that way, you ensure your P2P traffic is always secured.

Another great thing is that both VPNs have strong security features for torrenting. Both have a kill switch and a strict no-logs policy that has been independently audited. You also get good ad blockers that successfully block ads and ad trackers. However, I prefer NordVPN’s Threat Protection more, as it also protects you from malicious sites and malware-infected downloads.

Winner (Torrenting): It’s a tie

You get excellent torrenting support with both VPNs. They both have good P2P server networks, work with top P2P apps, provide access to SOCKS5 proxy support, and come with strong security features for torrenting.

Gaming — NordVPN Has Better Gaming Support

Ping on Local Servers ( Macedonia ) Ping on Distant Servers
( The US )
Lag-Free Gaming Anti-DDoS Protection Router Support Cloud Gaming Support
NordVPN 20–22 ms 139–142 ms
(only minor lag, not game-breaking)
Mullvad VPN 22–25 ms 185–200 ms
(noticeable lag sometimes)

I used NordVPN and Mullvad while playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive — NordVPN was significantly faster than Mullvad VPN. On local servers, both VPNs provided me with low ping and fast speeds. However, on distant servers, I experienced higher ping with Mullvad VPN, while NordVPN maintained a lower ping. Moreover, I had lag with both VPNs, but it was more noticeable with Mullvad.

Both VPNs protect you from Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, but neither has anti-DDoS protection on its servers — that means someone could DDoS your connection to either provider’s servers, disconnecting you from them.

Also, NordVPN comes with Meshnet, which is a convenient feature if you want to host a virtual LAN party and securely connect up to 60 devices. What’s more, you can manually configure both VPNs on your router. So, you’ll be able to game on devices that don’t have a native VPN app, like gaming consoles.

Winner (Gaming): NordVPN

I really like NordVPN for gaming. It has much faster gaming speeds than Mullvad on both nearby and distant servers, and it also lets you securely set up virtual LAN parties with your friends. On the plus side, both VPNs prevent DDoS attacks and have router support.

Bypassing Censorship — Mullvad VPN Is A Better Option

Obfuscation Works in China Bypassing Censorship — Mullvad VPN Is A Better Option Works in Russia Bypassing Censorship — Mullvad VPN Is A Better Option Works in Iran Bypassing Censorship — Mullvad VPN Is A Better Option Works in Indonesia Bypassing Censorship — Mullvad VPN Is A Better Option Works in Saudi Arabia Bypassing Censorship — Mullvad VPN Is A Better Option
NordVPN
Mullvad VPN

While both providers have obfuscation, only Mullvad VPN works in restrictive regions, such as China, Iran, and Indonesia. It uses good obfuscation through the Bridge Mode feature to hide your VPN traffic from third parties.

Winner (Bypassing Censorship): Mullvad VPN

I recommend Mullvad VPN as it works without issues in restrictive countries, like China, Iran, and Indonesia. On the other hand, NordVPN doesn’t work in any restrictive regions.

Apps & Ease of Use — Both VPNs Are User-Friendly

iOS App Android App Windows App macOS App Linux App Smart TV App Router Support Other Apps
NordVPN
(Android TV, Fire TV)
Chromebook
Mullvad VPN
(Android TV)

NordVPN and Mullvad VPN have apps for most major platforms — iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android TV. However, only NordVPN has a Chromebook app and a Fire TV app.

Both VPNs have good mobile apps. They come with quick-connect features, which make it easy to find the fastest server for your location and user-friendly interfaces. Moreover, they provide helpful explanations for all settings.

Apps & Ease of Use — Both VPNs Are User-Friendly

Each provider has easy-to-use desktop apps as well, but I found NordVPN’s desktop app to be more feature-rich and better suited for beginners.

You can also configure each VPN on your router. Both VPNs have helpful tutorials to make the setup process easier.

Winner (Apps & Ease of Use): It’s a tie

I think both VPNs have great apps. Both have apps for most major platforms, except that Mullvad doesn’t have a Chromebook and a Fire TV app. The apps are very simple to install and use, and the VPNs also allow manual router setups.

Plans & Pricing — Both VPNs Are Affordable

Starting Price Free Plan Simultaneous Connections Payment Options Money-Back Guarantee
NordVPN $3.39 / month 10 credit/debit cards
PayPal
Google Pay
cryptocurrencies
30 days
Mullvad VPN $5.37 / month 5 credit /debit cards
PayPal
Cryptocurrencies
Cash
30 days

Both VPNs are quite affordable, although NordVPN provides better value. NordVPN offers 10 simultaneous connections, and Mullvad VPN offers 5 connected devices.

NordVPN offers a 1-month, a 1-year, and a 2-year plan for tier-based subscriptions. The Standard subscription starts at $3.39 / month and provides access to all VPN features. The Plus subscription adds NordPass, which is a password manager, and the Complete subscription adds NordLocker, which provides cloud encryption services.

Mullvad VPN has a fixed, flat monthly rate of $5.37 / month, which remains the same no matter which plan you choose. You can go for a recurring monthly plan, or you can make a one-time payment for 1, 2, 3, 6, or 12 months.

Both accept multiple payment methods, including credit/debit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies. Plus, each VPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee on its plans.

Winner (Plans & Pricing): It’s a tie

NordVPN and Mullvad VPN offer affordable plans. NordVPN allows up to 10 connected devices and has multiple tier-based subscriptions. Mullvad offers 5 simultaneous connections and has a fixed, flat monthly rate. Both VPNs accept multiple payment methods and have a 30-day money-back guarantee on their plans.

Customer Support — NordVPN Has Better Customer Support

Live Chat Email Support FAQs Tutorials Troubleshooting Guides Phone Support
NordVPN ✅ (24/7)
Mullvad VPN

Both NordVPN and Mullvad offer various customer support options. They have extensive support libraries that are packed with frequently asked questions (FAQs), tutorials, and guides for troubleshooting.

But only NordVPN has 24/7 live chat support, which always provided me with accurate and detailed responses. I also tested each VPN’s email support, and it usually took less than a day to receive a reply. The replies were always informative.

Winner (Customer Support): NordVPN

NordVPN offers better customer support, as it has 24/7 live chat. Still, both VPNs come with email support, tutorials, troubleshooting guides, and FAQs.

Overall Winner: NordVPN

NordVPN stands out for its extra features, security, servers, and fast speeds. It also has great streaming, gaming, and customer support. What’s more, it has 6,266 servers in 111 countries and user-friendly apps for most major platforms.

Even though both support obfuscation, only Mullvad VPN works in restrictive countries. It also has great privacy features and great torrenting support. It provides access to 649 servers in 40 countries and has user-friendly apps for most devices.

While both VPNs are good, I think NordVPN provides better value — it has more extra features than Mullvad, excellent streaming and gaming support, and more responsive customer support. It also maintains faster speeds and gives access to a larger server network.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is NordVPN better than Mullvad VPN?

Yes, according to my tests, NordVPN is better than Mullvad VPN. It has more extra features, faster speeds across all servers, and excellent streaming and gaming support. It also has more responsive customer support and a larger server network. That said, both VPNs provide good value when it comes to security, privacy, torrenting, ease of use, and plans and pricing.

Which is better for torrenting — NordVPN or Mullvad?

Either VPN is a great option for torrenting. NordVPN has 4,500+ P2P servers in 45+ countries, and Mullvad allows torrenting on all of its 649 servers in 40 countries. Plus, they both work with popular P2P apps, provide excellent security for torrenting, and have SOCKS5 proxy support.

Is NordVPN faster than Mullvad VPN?

Yes, NordVPN had better speeds in my tests than Mullvad. NordVPN was able to maintain fast speeds on nearby and distant servers with very minor slowdowns. However, Mullvad had noticeable slowdowns on distant servers.

Which has better streaming support — NordVPN or Mullvad?

NordVPN is better, as it works with 10+ streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. On the other hand, Mullvad has poor streaming support, as it only reliably works with Netflix (and sometimes with BBC iPlayer).

Read more about the best VPNs in 2024

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About the Author
Gjurgjica Panova
Updated on: June 6, 2024

About the Author

Gjurgjica is a cybersecurity writer who is driven by her passion for the written word and anything tech-related. When she is not in the role of a Safety Detective, she can be found wrapped in a comfy blanket, binge-watching her favorite shows.