Tested: Mullvad Does Not Work Well with Netflix US
We tested each of Mullvad’s 13 US server locations and found that only the server in San Jose currently works with Netflix.
This is a significantly worse performance than we’ve seen in previous tests. To us, it indicates that unblocking Netflix is not a priority for Mullvad.
Other major VPN services, such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, openly and actively support Netflix users by providing resources on their websites explaining how best to access the service.
By contrast, Mullvad makes no mention of Netflix or any other streaming service on its website. Nor does it offer any streaming-optimized servers, like CyberGhost and PrivateVPN do.
Simply put, we don’t recommend using Mullvad for streaming Netflix.
For the time being, the VPN unblocks US Netflix in one of its server locations. But it seems as though it’s only a matter of time before Netflix manages to block these servers too.
Given that streaming does not appear to be a priority for Mullvad, we can’t recommend it as a reliable VPN for Netflix.
Disappointingly Small Server Network
Generally, Netflix blocks VPN users from accessing its service by identifying and blacklisting IP addresses that belong to VPN servers. It’s therefore important for VPN services to have large server networks, with thousands of different IP addresses, in order to reliably unblock Netflix.
Unfortunately, Mullvad operates a fairly small server network. It offers just 759 servers, spread across 38 countries. By contrast, our top recommended Netflix VPN, ExpressVPN, has 3,000 servers in over 94 countries.
Mullvad’s small network makes it much easier for Netflix to detect and block each and every one of its servers, making it an unreliable service for streaming Netflix.
Extremely Fast Streaming Speeds
Mullvad is one of the fastest VPNs around. If the service ever does start working reliably with Netflix, you can expect consistently quick speeds, full HD streaming, and minimal buffering.
In our most recent tests, we recorded an average speed loss of just 4%, with download speeds dropping from 100Mbps to 96Mbps on local, UK-to-UK connections.
International connections tend to be more important when it comes to streaming. Here, Mullvad still performs very respectably:
|Country||Avg. Download Speed||Avg. Speed Loss|
Our download speeds dropped about 27% when connecting to the US to unblock the American Netflix library. This sounds like a lot, but it is still more than fast enough for high-quality streaming. Here are the minimum speeds that Netflix recommends:
EXPERT TIP: Use the WireGuard VPN protocol to access Mullvad VPN’s quickest speeds. You can read more about this in our guide to the fastest VPNs.
Mullvad Doesn’t Work Well with Other Streaming Services
Mullvad generally won’t unblock other streaming services, either:
- Hulu: Mullvad is unable to bypass Hulu’s VPN restrictions.
- BBC iPlayer: BBC iPlayer is blocked when connecting through UK-based servers.
- Disney+: Mullvad does not work with Disney+.
- HBO Go: This was the only streaming service that Mullvad could unblock.
In short, Mullvad is simply not a good choice for streaming. It doesn’t work reliably with Netflix, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer.
NOTE: We’ve had some recent success unblocking HBO Go with Mullvad, but given the company’s seeming lack of interest in supporting streaming, we wouldn’t expect this to last for too much longer.
What Other Important Features Does Mullvad Offer?
While Mullvad isn’t a good choice for Netflix users, it’s an excellent VPN in many other respects. It’s great for torrenting safely and is one of the most private and secure VPNs we’ve ever tested.
Mullvad has an impressive no-logging policy that has been independently verified through a third-party audit. It also doesn’t require any personal information when you sign up, which is a great feature for privacy-conscious users.
The VPN comes with all the essential privacy and security controls, including AES-256 encryption, DNS and IPV6 leak blocking, and an automatic VPN kill switch. Users can also choose between two popular VPN protocols: OpenVPN and WireGuard.
Finally, Mullvad offers apps for all major desktop operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. It has a mobile app for iOS devices, but its Android app is stillonly available in beta.
For a more extensive overview, read our expert’s review of Mullvad.
Mullvad is not a good VPN for unblocking Netflix. It’s a great service for torrenting and it delivers very fast connection speeds, but Mullvad is simply not designed to work reliably with streaming platforms, like Netflix.