At the moment I am using Proton VPN (free) and want to move away. The main reasons I want to move away are;
Their free tier server locations are not in my country.
Speeds with the free tier can vary quite a bit.
I use Proton Mail and although I trust Proton I don’t want to have my internet traffic and emails in one place.
Their pricing is quite expensive.
My final options are, IVPN or Mullvad VPN. I cannot decide between the two, they are both great, trustworthy VPN’s that are recommended within the privacy community.
Main concerns about Mullvad:
No transparency report.
No warrant canary.
Main concerns about IVPN:
The price is quite expensive on the pro plan - which allows 7 devices over the 3 that the standard plans offers.
Both offer private ways of paying (cash & crypto) and both are very transparent. I believe that @Henry uses IVPN but was also considering using Mullvad but the lack of a transparent report or warrant canary moved him to IVPN.
I am willing to test both out, and most likely will, but I want to hear what you think.
I had the same dilemma.
The warrant canary may not be relevant since many sources say that investigatory agencies simply put caveats in their search orders that don’t allow warrant canaries to be tripped. (quote below)
[A final issue is that transparency reports aren’t always updated every time a warrant is served. Perfect Privacy only updates once a month, for example. Also, there’s also the simple fact that some of these orders expressly don’t allow warrant canaries to be tripped.]
I thought Mullvad’s response to the canary issue on Reddit was pretty good:
A warrant canary in Sweden is useless:
“Under current Swedish law there is no way for them to force us to
secretly act against our users so a warrant canary would serve no
purpose. Also, we would not continue to operate under such conditions
For me, it ended up being such a close race between IVPN and Mullvad that it was just down to price and the fact that IVPN is in Gibraltar and not one of the EYES countries like Mullvad.
I ended up with IVPN.
That is what I thought, warrant canaries are a nice to have but don’t really work in the real world.
I might go with Mullvad VPN over IVPN though as Mullvad offers gift cards through Amazon or proxysto.re + they also accept cash payments of 5 Euros instead of IVPN only permitting cash payments for the year. I think I will consider both of them a bit closer.
Even though Mullvad doesn’t have a transparency report or a warrant canary, I believe them when they state that it doesn’t matter in their case when considering the current Swedish law and that they would rather change their jurisdiction than let anyone monitor users’ traffic. However, I think that there is one essential thing you shouldn’t ignore when deciding between these two providers: the server network and the practices that can make it significantly more trustworthy.
A while ago, I gave IVPN a test drive since I wanted to know how they were performing compared to Mullvad, which I had used quite a bit already. I noticed that Mullvad was significantly faster. This is likely due to the advantages Mullvad has with the number of servers and owned servers that are both more secure and faster than regular rented ones. Also, Mullvad has started to move their servers from disk to RAM, which makes the possibility of logging more difficult and the servers themselves more durable. Moreover, Mullvad has had very innovative ideas about improving its system transparency. Its end goal is to let customers “verify and audit what is currently running on the VPN server they are connected to.” These are all things IVPN doesn’t currently have, which is why I think Mullvad has a clear advantage between the two.
It’s worth outlining that just because I use something isn’t a good reason for other people to do the same I make mistakes, and I will have different needs from others.
You can’t go wrong with either, the main reason I was using IVPN instead of Mullvad was because I had a generally not great interaction w/ Mullvad’s team, vs IVPN’s team was the opposite and I even got to meet Viktor (a team member of IVPN) in Portugal during the Monerokon conference. It seems silly, but getting to actually meet and talk to people behind software means 1000x more than what any website tells you about them. So my personal choice was to go with IVPN because there was no one I was going to trust more than people I actually talked to about their own service.
Notice I said, was, that’s because I recently migrated to Proton, since Proton added 10 connections to all users after their transition to Proton.me, and I couldn’t justify spending so much money on IVPN when I had a plan for an already good VPN paid for.
Aside from what everyone else has covered in this thread, they’re both top services and honestly I don’t think you can go wrong with either. The best advice I can give is to try both for a month and see which you prefer.
I haven’t tried IPVN yet. ProtonVPN would periodically hang both my Mac and Linux machines. NordVPN does not and seems faster in its fastest mode. Mullvad has most of servers in EU and also locked up my machine internet too often.