Mullvad preventing browser from working on cell connection?

I use Mullvad for a VPN on my Pixel but I noticed a problem and I don’t know if it’s unique to me. When I’m using Mullvad on a cell connection (T-Mobile) instead of a wifi network, I can’t really use the internet in browsers. Things like WhatsApp and YouTube will still work fine, but trying to check out forums or simple things in Brave won’t. I connect to my wifi network and I have no problems whatsoever.

Has anyone else come across this or know what could be going on? Is this a cell carrier problem?

1 Like

DNS likes to eat shit in mullvad, it’s possible that could be the root of your problem. Try messing around with dns on mullvad and see if that fixes it. (Also if brave has something of that sort tinker with that as well)

Wouldn’t DNS be the same whether I was using a wifi network or a cell network? I don’t have issues over wifi, but I do over the cell connection.

Thanks for the heads up about a DNS problem in Mullvad, though!

You could experiment with a different browser as well and see if those same sites cause issues, in which case it would be a brave problem.

I tried using different browsers and got the same results, so I don’t think it’s that.

However, I did run to see if maybe it was something to do with my network speed, and I think this might be the culprit. On my wifi I get 59 Mbps. On cellular I get 2.86 Mbps. Now that cellular speed strikes me as odd because I was on 4G when I tested it. Based on a quick search online I should be much higher than that so I may need to call T-Mobile about it.

I’m thinking the cell connection is just too slow to run through a VPN and get me the website I’m looking for. Hopefully that’s something I can fix.

Wireguard based VPN seems faster and more dependable. Being in US I note mullvad doesn’t have so many offerings locally compared to EU. In practice I get more network issues on laptops and desktops using Mac and Linux on mullvad and protonvpn than on nordvpn. Plan to try ivpn soon.

I also found weirdness when using Mullvad VPN with CalyxOS on Pixel 6 Pro. Worked great on WiFi but when switching to Mint (T-Mobile) half the apps would work, browsing and others would not. I suspected something with assignments of VPN usage to work profiles but instead of debugging further I just switched to ProtonVPN in Wireguard mode which works excellent no matter what the source of network connectivity.

Your post makes me think maybe it wasn’t profile assignments, but just that Mullvad doesn’t handle network switching too well when on cellular.

Funny you mention other apps because I did have trouble with one of those parking space apps where you pay to park somewhere in a city. It wasn’t working until I switched off Mullvad.

I’m on stock Android on a Pixel 6, for clarity’s sake, and I’m not using different profiles.

I’ve tried just turning Mullvad off, running the app, it worked, turning Mullvad back on through the same cell connection, and then the app don’t work. That’s one of the workflows.

For my situation, I did confirm that T-Mobile is having problems in my area, so for the time being I’m chalking it up to that. However, I do feel a little better to hear I’m not the only one, lol.

I have used PIA, Windscribe, Proton VPN and Mullvad. I find Mullvad is blocked by sites/services much more than the other three I have used.

Update: I tried running the same tests with free Proton VPN and I was able to access websites on the same browsers on my cellular network that I could not access with Mullvad. I’m not closer to a solution, but this is something to consider if you’re looking to potentially use Mullvad as your VPN provider. Kind of bummed.

I’m running the same setup Pixel (older), Brave, Mullvad. And on the contrary I have to say that Mullvad works flawessly for me. I’m using custom DNS from them for ad&tracks blocking and only other option which I turned on manually was “Local sharing”.

(there is also a VPN in Brave, but you said that you tested different browsers, so it cannot be it)

Thanks for the input! However, the fact that you’re not seeing a similar problem despite a similar setup gives me less hope. I guess it might just be one of those niche, user-specific bugs. :confused: