When comparing Mullvad vs Private Internet Access, the Slant community recommends Mullvad for most people. In the question“What is the best VPN provider? ” Mullvad is ranked 1st while Private Internet Access is ranked 4th. The most important reason people chose Mullvad is:
According to Mullvad, they retain no traffic information or metadata. Here is their statement in 2014 when inquired by TorrentFreak if they store _any_ logs that would enable linking an IP address and a timestamp to a user: > No. This would make both us and our users more vulnerable so we certainly don’t. To make it harder to watch the activities of an IP address from the outside we also have many users share each address, both for IPv4 and our upcoming IPv6 support.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro No logs are kept
According to Mullvad, they retain no traffic information or metadata. Here is their statement in 2014 when inquired by TorrentFreak if they store any logs that would enable linking an IP address and a timestamp to a user:
No. This would make both us and our users more vulnerable so we
certainly don’t. To make it harder to watch the activities of an IP address from the outside we also have many users share each address, both for IPv4 and our upcoming IPv6 support.
Pro Token-based account system
When signing up, a sufficiently long random number is assigned and given to you which serves as both username and password, without any need to provide a name or e-mail address or any other identifying information.
Pro Multiple payment methods
Bitcoin, cash, bank transfers, PayPal, credit cards are accepted.
Pro DNS leak protection
In the event of a DNS leak, not all traffic is routed through a secure network. Mullvad helps solve this issue by offering DNS leak protection.
Pro No traffic or protocol restrictions
Mullvad allows using any and all protocols that the user wishes, no traffic is restricted.
Pro Supports WireGuard
WireGuard is an extremely simple yet fast and modern open-source VPN program built using the latest cryptography. It's faster, simpler, leaner, and more useful than both IPSec and OpenVPN.
Pro Includes a kill switch
It's possible to set up the software to disconnect from Internet in case the connection to the VPN service is lost to not expose traffic in case of service failures.
Pro Has native applications for all popular platforms
The platforms that Mullvad can run on include: Windows, OSX, Linux, Android, and iOS. Additionally, Mullvad offers a source code that allows the program to be run on virtually any system.
Allows hopping from one location to another for additional security. This is great because everything "hops" through multiple locations effectively providing an additional mask and making it harder to trace the route back to the source.
Pro Based outside of the Five Eyes
Mullvad operates out of Sweden, and so is not exposed to the same privacy-corresive laws as it would be if it were in the US or another “Five Eyes” country.
Pro Offers a free trial
One of the things that makes Mullvad's free trial attractive is the lack of personal information asked to sign up. Once downloaded, the free trial lasts three hours.
Pro Not expensive
Only 5 € by month with a 3 hours trial period.
Pro No personal information required to register
autogenerated account number, no email accepted
Pro Great customer service
Mullvad customer service is helpful and responds quickly
Pro Easy to set up
Easy to set up Windows client.
For a single year of service the total cost is $39.95, which comes out to $3.33 per month. Making Private Internet Access one of the cheapest providers of VPN services on the net.
Pro Disconnects internet if VPN drops
If the VPN goes out, the internet will be disconnected so users will be protected from browsing without protection.
Pro P2P/Torrent service included
All users are able to access P2P networks without having to download a 3rd party client. Private Internet Access uses separate VPN gateways for browsing and P2P access, so both are optimized without interfering with each other.
Pro Multiple layers of security
Including IP cloaking, encryption, firewall, complete anonymous browsing & complete uncensored access to the internet.
Pro Multiple OS compatibility
Private Internet Access is compatible with MacOS X and iOS, without having to use a third party client. It also works on Windows, Android, Linux & more. In total, Private Internet Access is compatible with almost 40 operating systems.
Pro No traffic or protocol restricitions
You can use any and all protocols at your disposal, no traffic is restricted.
Pro Use multiple devices
Private Internet Access allows for up to 5 devices in use simultaneously.
Pro Instant setup
When you sign up, you will instantly get a user id and a password to use in their provided software (Windows and Macintosh) and they have tutorials and FAQs for Android, iPhone, Linux and other devices such as routers.
Pro Excellent service
They are very eager to answer any questions that you may have.
Pro Multiple VPN gateways
You can pick where you will appear to be from: the US (multiple), Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Romania, Canada, or Hong Kong.
Pro Multiple payment options
Payments are accepted through Bitcoin, Ripple, PayPal, Google Play (Mobile), OKPay, CashU, Amazon and any major Gift Card.
Payment plans are by the month, half year and by the year.
Currently $6.95/mo, $35.95/half year, $39.95/year.
Truly anonymous payments can be made by gift cards or Bitcoins.
A $25 Starbucks gift card gives you 100 days.
A $32 Best Buy gift card gives you 129 days.
A $50 Walmart gift card gives you 366 days.
Pro No logs are kept
According to Private Internet Access in 2013:
We absolutely do not maintain any VPN logs of any kind. We utilize shared IP addresses rather than dynamic or static IPs, so it is not possible to match a user to an external IP.
According to Private Internet Access in 2014:
We absolutely do not log any traffic nor session data of any kind, period. We have worked hard to meticulously fork all daemons that we utilize in order to achieve this functionality.
Con Seemingly permanent kill-switch
Client, if shut down, often seemed to keep the kill-switch enabled, with no way to reset besides a rest of the hardware.
Con French Mullvad Windows Client
Sometimes for a reason of French language, the Windows client does not connect to the chosen server. It can be bypassed by installing their beta client.
Con Not reliable
Multiple people have reported occasional connection issues as well as slow speeds. In one test, the users could only connect to servers within their own country.
Con Based in the USA
Private Internet Access is based in the United States of America and can subject to a gag order, so basically the NSA can do whatever they want without PIA telling their customers what the NSA is doing.
Con No free version
While they offer a variety of payment plans and payment methods, a free version of this service is not available to users.
Con Non Transparent "Proprietary Method" to detect violators of Terms of Service (ToS).
When asking a Customer Service Representative, how violators of ToS are detected, the CSR stated "Proprietary Methods." When asked for clarification, was referred to Legal Department.