Mullvad 2018 review: A fantastic VPN has a great new look

Mullvad 2018 in brief:

  • P2P allowed: Yes
  • Business location: Sweden
  • Number of servers: 304
  • Number of country locations: 33
  • Cost: €5 ($5.72 at this writing) billed monthly
  • VPN protocol: OpenVPN
  • Data encryption: AES-256-GCM
  • Data authentication: SHA384
  • Handshake encryption: 4096-bit RSA

Our favorite VPN is back with a much improved overhaul to its Windows client, more servers, and more country locations. The last time we reviewed Mullvad (the Swedish word for “mole”) the desktop client was its weakest point. It was very basic and looked more like a properties window than anything else. 

That was then. Now, Mullvad has a much improved, modern Windows client (and one for Mac, too). Let’s dive in to the new and improved Mullvad.

As we saw last year, Mullvad is all about knowing as little about you as possible, which is a huge win for anyone trying to stay as anonymous as they can online. The company doesn’t even want to retain your email address—whether a primary address or a “burner” one only for VPNs.

Instead, Mullvad issues each user an account number—current numbers are about 16-characters long. The company’s attitude seems to be that the less it knows about you, the better.

mullvadconnectedIDG

An active connection in Mullvad for Windows.

When you first start up Mullvad on Windows after installation, it automatically connects you to the network—in my case it first connected to Sweden. The app looks modern and clean, and very much like a Windows Store app. It starts with a non-interactive map in the primary section of the window to show which location you’re connected to.

At the bottom of the window you’ll see a Switch location and Disconnect button. The top of the screen, meanwhile, shows a green banner with the Mullvad VPN logo indicating you’re connected.

Click the Disconnect button and Mullvad shows your true location, the top goes from green to red, and the buttons at the bottom are labeled as the last country you connected to and Secure my connection.

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