MULLVAD VPN

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by FrgMstr, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    MULLVAD VPN is fully sponsoring HardForum's operational cost for a month. MULLVAD VPN wants to share its steps to online privacy.



    Steps towards online privacy

    1. Use a VPN service like Mullvad.

    2. Use Firefox and the Privacy Window feature.

    3. Install plugins to improve your privacy like HTTPS Everywhere, uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, Cookie AutoDelete, and Disable WebRTC.

    4. Use this page to double-check your online connection.

    5. Read more about changing your online habits in order to give you more privacy.


    Not using a VPN? Give Mullvad a try. Your new account will come with three free hours.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  2. jlbenedict

    jlbenedict [H]ard|Gawd

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    I signed up for Mullvad last month, as I have run into a situation where I finally needed to use VPN services.
    So far I'm pleased. Seems to be one of the reasonable priced services out there.
     
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  3. Joust

    Joust 2[H]4U

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    I'm guessing this was definitely NOT one of the VPNs keeping logs, reselling bandwidth, or the like?
     
  4. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    You would be correct.
     
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  5. Hagrid

    Hagrid [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Thanks! I have been using Mullvlad for over 8 months or so. It works great and is fast!
     
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  6. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Honestly first I had heard of it. Looking into it
     
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  7. Ihaveworms

    Ihaveworms [H]ardness Supreme

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    I go to China about every 1.5 years. Are they able to get around the great firewall? Last time I was there I used a different VPN.
     
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Thanks for the radar look, AT&T fiber is available here, and if I'm going to go through them definitely gonna need a VPN.
     
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  9. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    Those are pretty sound steps. Personally, I went a step further with step 3. and just noscript. Thankfully [H] works almost flawlessly with JS turned off
     
  10. TypeO

    TypeO [H]ardness Supreme

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    Gonna check it out. Been using PIA for about 3 years now.
     
  11. jmilcher

    jmilcher [H]ardness Supreme

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    Same here. I'll look into it though
     
  12. trandoanhung1991

    trandoanhung1991 [H]ard|Gawd

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    How's Mullivad compared to the likes of PIA? Currently I'm using VPNSecure.me but doesn't seem like it has the ravest of reviews.
     
  13. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

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    Mullvad is one of the better options out there. A good place to start for comparisons is https://www.privacytools.io - they list quite a few VPNs to compare which all ostensibly claim to be no logs, non US based etc... One can also check out https://thatoneprivacysite.net/ which has nice spreadsheet-based breakdowns of VPN features; Mullvad does well here too.

    Mullvad goes a bit further and has implemented some quality tech (ie they support WireGuard in addition to OpenVPN), open source utilities, and more - check out their technical list at the bottom of the Features page. It would be nice if they could give more info on their servers ownership and control of hosting and/or start something like ProtonVPN's "Secure Core" where they double-layer certain VPNs with the first hop being to a box totally inspected and controlled by Proton without any third party hosts etc). Aside from that and perhaps Swedish jurisdiction which is certainly one of the better locales if you're worried about advertisers or P2P etc... but is still part of the Fourteen Eyes, so if you're involved in journalism, whistleblowing, or doing something that might interest a state level actor in the EU or US, be aware.

    Unless I';ve missed something recently Mullvad is certainly a worthy VPN choice depending on your particular needs and wants and their support of the [H] is much appreciated.

    P.S.

    Kyle mentions some great Firefox addons! All of them (or a close alternative - for instance uMatrix is an alternative to NoScript but both need a bit of config to handle their power lest sites break etc.. and are not for installs on relatives' hardware etc. ) have a place in the privacy-seeking user's install.

    As far a Firefox (and Chrome if you must) addons are concerned I suggest checking out Privacy Possum - https://github.com/cowlicks/privacypossum - as a worthy replacement for Privacy Badger. It seems to be an upgraded fork with a wider toolbox of defensive measures built in; who knows if Privacy Badger will be updated/upgraded itself later so I'd keep my eyes on them both.

    I would also suggest looking into... Decentraleyes - https://decentraleyes.org/ - which basically replaces all of those remotely called commonly used web resources with locally hosted ones

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multi-account-containers/ - FF Multi Account Containers is a feature developed by Mozilla themselves that will let you have different container tabs with different properties that are in essence sandboxed from each other. The basic functionality is in the browser already with the current version, but the addon exposes and makes it much more convenient for power users

    I have many more but this is just a start of those that won't likely bork anything or require too much babysitting/config. Enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
  14. StoleMyOwnCar

    StoleMyOwnCar 2[H]4U

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    How many server locations do they have to choose from, and how good is the throughput?
     
  15. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

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    According to - https://mullvad.net/en/servers/ - 261 OpenVPN, 49 WireGuard (Fuck yeah!), and 6 Bridges - at the moment anyway. They don't seem to throttle or limit P2P, but I too am curious of the speed and latency, expecting that it may differ depending on the node. I'd also compare OpenVPN to WireGuard as while both are great, WireGuard is said to have less overhead/more performance. Then again, it all depends on user speed on a given node if something like this will matter or not.

    For those of us who are on >100megabit connections or especially near-gigabit, its always difficult to find a VPN capable of handling something close to our potential bandwidth
     
  16. Mullvad-Richard

    Mullvad-Richard Official Mullvad

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    China is very hit and miss, Their firewall works differently depending on where in China you are and also during which time.

    Some users have mentioned that WireGuard works well for them, others are able to connect with vanilla OpenVPN as long as they use IP-addresses instead of hostnames, and using port 443 with TCP, also lastly you can also try using our bridges with Shadowsocks.

    I would recommend that you set up everything before you leave, since it will most likely be harder once there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  17. Mullvad-Richard

    Mullvad-Richard Official Mullvad

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    Currently we have 71 cities active.

    When it comes to the throughput, I would recommend that you give it a try and see what you get, since there are many factors that affect performance,

    PM me if you wish to have an extended trial account to try out our service.
     
  18. ElementBilly

    ElementBilly Limp Gawd

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    Does Netflix/prime video work while connected?
     
  19. mda

    mda [H]ard|Gawd

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    Subbed for a few months total (one month at a time) when I have needed it, since they started sponsoring [H]. Just wanted to say. So far, has been good and has worked in China.

    Problem is, the internet in China itself is spotty at the time I was there, so connecting to Mullvad Servers or any other website outside of China was quite difficult.
     
  20. Mullvad-Richard

    Mullvad-Richard Official Mullvad

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    We do not guarantee that our service will work with Netflix / prime, that said, I gave it a try now and it worked with Netflix while connected to a server in the USA, however we are aware some servers work and others do not,
     
  21. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That's the very reason I'm on the fence about signing on a vpn service. I mean how do you really know that they're not keeping logs? You can't know, it is only about whether you trust the provider that they don't keep a history of everything you do. I'm not sure I can make that leap of faith.
     
  22. SeaFoam

    SeaFoam [H]ardness Supreme

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    Does Mullvad do port randomization on connect to get around port blocking? I've been looking for a new VPN.
     
  23. BSmith

    BSmith [H]ard|Gawd

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    I do the same, along with having the browser clear the cache and all cookies when I shut it down. I do allow [H] temporary JS access just to make the forums a bit easier to work with. No one gets permanent access. You never know a good site today, may be ripe with bad things tomorrow. Yes, I keep my tin foil hat on at all times and am considering having it [H]ard anodized!

    How are the latencies with this VPN? Where are their servers located?
     
  24. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Out of curiosity can ISPs still snoop on your traffic? I'm a little hazy but you go from home to ISP to VPN to internet, so the ISP still essentially acts like a router and collects all the data that passes through it? I say this because I am leaning towards AT&T for gigabit.
     
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  25. BSmith

    BSmith [H]ard|Gawd

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    It is trivial for any ISP to be able to snoop on any data stream. Most (I sam "most" as I cannot equivocally say "all") will not do it as their lawyers will have already told them, "What you do know can hurt you.". At least, that is what my lawyers told me when I was in that business.
     
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  26. SeaFoam

    SeaFoam [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's encrypted, so they don't know what the information is. It's just unknown data to them.
     
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  27. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

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    Indeed, they can see some connection from you to the VPN, given the encryption, bu that's all. Aside from the presence of some connection between you and the VPN all traffic including the contents thereof will be secure. Mullvad seems to offer some of the best encryption tech commonly available and more importantly sound implementation, last I checked.

    Regarding latencies and server locations, their locations are all helpfully listed on the Server page and the Mullvad rep mentioned 71 cities. Regarding location and throughput, its a bit outdated (October 2017) but legit reviews and reports (tons of VPN reviews are basically on a circle of faux review sites owned by VPN companies or advertisers themselves) of their performance suggests that they're very capable. Things will to some degree depend on your location, the server you choose, options such as mullti-hop, and more (ie try WireGuard as well as OpenVPN etc). In addition, certain sites advance rather quickly adding new servers, capacity, tech, and features... so what was only middling in the past could be much better now, depending.

    I've also edited my post above to link to https://thatoneprivacysite.net/ which has a good comparative chart of VPNs; Mullvad does well here too. The positive review I saw for Mullvad is also under their reviews/blogs section, but note that the charts seem to be updated with greater frequency than the individual reviews, so just keep that in mind.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
  28. SeaFoam

    SeaFoam [H]ardness Supreme

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    No response yet... Is that a no?
     
  29. Hagrid

    Hagrid [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Dam them for not being at your service right away!
     
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  30. SeaFoam

    SeaFoam [H]ardness Supreme

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    I asked yesterday. It's not unreasonable to expect an easy question to be answered within 24 hours.
     
  31. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Might send them an email? Might have just missed it here since there were not tagged in the post? Possible to miss things in this format.
     
  32. craigdt

    craigdt [H]ard|Gawd

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    Cool!

    Ive never looked into a VPN before...

    Can a high functioning idiot figure this out?

    I'd like to support them for supporting HardForum.

    Edit-
    Dang, $5 per month? Unlimited traffic?

    So if I read the above posts correct, my ISP can't tell what the traffic is?
     
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  33. SeaFoam

    SeaFoam [H]ardness Supreme

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    All of the good ones are easy to use. There's an app, so you don't have to mess with any settings. Your ISP will only know that it's encrypted traffic, so they won't know if it's media/text/etc.
     
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  34. Sycraft

    Sycraft [H]ardness Supreme

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    No they can't. All they know is that it is encrypted traffic going to a given server. If they did some sniffing around they could figure out that it is a VPN in particular but that's it. Think of a VPN kind like a virtual Ethernet cable. You are, in effect, taking a long cable and plugging it in to Mullvad's network instead of your ISP.
     
  35. Mullvad-Richard

    Mullvad-Richard Official Mullvad

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    In our Mullvad VPN app, it will try different ports, You can also force it to use specific ones, for instance TCP 443 and others, when it comes to blocking, TCP 443 tends to work more often than other ports assuming a direct OpenVPN connection.
    Otherwise there is the possibility of using SSH or Shadowsocks to tunnel the OpenVPN connection, via one of our bridges however there is no currently support for it in the App, but it is being worked on.
     
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  36. kief of police

    kief of police n00b

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    I'll have to check this out. I've been using NordVPN for 4 years now. (Every once in a while you can find promo codes to get 2 years for only $70) . So just renewed my subscription a few months ago and love it. They are based out of Panama, keep no log files, have 475 servers worldwide, you can watch Netflix anywhere you are and actually watch all of the region blocked movies/shows. They give you 6 devices to use the VPN on which is fine for my laptops, desktop, Xbox One, Kodi Box, and smart TV. Or you can save 5 of those 6 devices and log straight in from your router so any device connected to your home router is protected and that only counts as 1 device. I have a fairly new ASUS router (N66U), so I had no trouble putting it on the router but if you aren't familiar with that kind of stuff they have amazing tech support that will either walk you through it or do it for you. (No, I've never called....I'm a network admin, but I have friends that have only said good things). And for an extra $5 a month you can get yourself your own dedicated IP address. So far out of the 4 years I've been using NordVPN I haven't found a device they dont have an app for or a custom OpenVPN installation. I guess I'll keep using these guys until my subscription runs out, but if anyone has or recommends a better VPN service I'm all ears. Just thought I'd share since I've had 0 issues and haven't found another VPN service that has Obfuscated servers, Double VPN, automatic kill switch in case you get disconnected it will kill your connection to that device or you can set it to kill only specific applications, special P2P servers for Torrenting, etc. Thanks RanceJustice for your post, and links. I checked out the privacytools.io site and NordVPN was on the list as being a good choice.




     
  37. nightfly

    nightfly 2[H]4U

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    Will using a VPN like this out of Panama solve my current Netflix problem? It's currently having outages in a lot of places. Outage map for 10/27/18 netflix outage map.jpg
     
  38. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Ok gave it a run for the 3 hour trial, very nice, simple so a monkey can make it work. Easy setup for torrent, easy to open up local network stuff, easy enough to switch servers, or to turn off. Speed seemed ok. Speedtest showed only about 5Mbps, not sure if that's because the server doesn't do much there, did a couple test torrents (for my kid) and got anywhere from 1-2MiB/s (roughly 10-20Mbps) so speed wise seems faster than what I've experienced in the past, others might require more speed, but overall nice enough for me.

    One thing that bugged me though is after I uninstalled the app, the adapter stayed around in the network settings. I realize if you use this sort of thing you obviously wouldn't uninstall it, but the fact it stuck around, even after a reboot makes me wonder.
     
  39. Mullvad-Richard

    Mullvad-Richard Official Mullvad

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    The reason the TAP adapter is left is that if we were to uninstall it, it could then potentially break other services that use the TAP adapter for instance other VPN providers, therefore we do not uninstall the TAP adapter.
     
  40. tsuehpsyde

    tsuehpsyde [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm not sure how this relationship was formed, but I have to admit, I'm a fan. :) Of the VPN services I've trialed, Mullvad thus far has been my favorite!
     
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