This purely based on my own experience with both VPN apps. Others may find it different because there are so many factors involved.
Please keep in mind that Mullvad doesn’t have an affiliate program at the time I write this. This means I am not writing this to promote their service.
The comparison may not be apple to apple since I compare ProtonVPN free plan with Mullvad paid plan. This because Mullvad service only has a flat price: 5 EUR per month. Even if you buy 12 months ahead, the price is the same: 5 EUR.
Now, let’s see those problems that forced me to leave ProtonVPN free plan for Mullvad. Mullvad is 5 EUR per month.
It’s getting slower
I feel it’s getting slower and slower. I am not sure if it’s just me or others have this experience too. Though it’s getting slower and slower, it’s still usable. So, if this is the only problem, I may stick with ProtonVPN free plan.
Not only slower, but it also keeps disconnecting. I am not sure if the problem is on ProtonVPN side or my ISP side. But, I don’t see this problem when I use Mullvad.
Mullvad is much more stable. I never see it’s disconnected then reconnect.
More hassles to connect
This because I don’t want it to get connected automatically. So, I always make sure to log out from the ProtonVPN app. You can read more about it here.
As I write, I do aware of the “Auto Connect” option. I’ve kept it disabled but it’s not working for me on macOS Mojave. It keeps connected all the time.
For those who need VPN all the time, this will help. But not for me. I don’t need to connect to the VPN all the time.
Annoying problem with auto-connect
I noticed this problem some days ago. Even with keeping the ProtonVPN app logged out. It’s still connected.
I realized this when my Chrome suddenly showed “No Internet” error. However, the other devices that connect to the same Wi-Fi router are working fine. They can access the internet normally.
At first, I think this may be a problem with my Mac. I restart it but the problem persists. I search this silly problem on Google and I find someone suggests to open network preferences.
When I open it, here’s what I see. I am surprised! Why it’s there. I never set it up.
And even worse, that ProtonVPN connection keeps disconnecting then reconnecting again. This causes the “No Internet” problem on my Mac.
So, without hesitation, I deleted it and the “No Internet” problem gets fixed. I am relieved at this point.
The problem doesn’t end here.
The next time I need to connect to ProtonVPN, I open the app as usual. Then, key in my credential. After that, I just click that Quick Connect button.
Here’s what I see.
If I click Don’t Allow button, then it will keep connecting. Forever. Otherwise, when I click Allow button, then it will add the VPN configuration as shown in the first image above.
And this new VPN configuration will keep me connected to ProtonVPN without me realizing it. Until it keeps disconnecting and reconnecting which deteriorate the internet connection on my Macbook Air.
I also post this problem on Reddit here: https://www.reddit.com/r/ProtonVPN/comments/cusekl/why_now_its_asking_this_this_caused_its_always/
I am not an expert in VPN. So, I am not sure the reasons why ProtonVPN app does this, or why it behaves like this. As I remember, it didn’t ask to add VPN configurations in the past.
On the other hand, Mullvad VPN app is working as usual. It works out of the box without asking to add a new VPN configuration.
For those who need to connect to VPN server all the time, ProtonVPN will work best for them. It’s free. As long as they can endure the pain of disconnecting and reconnecting, you’ll be fine.
Unfortunately, it’s not my use case. I do need a VPN, but I don’t need to connect it all the time. Sometimes, I need it. Other times, I don’t.
Anyway, thanks for reading my story. ProtonVPN is good but it’s not for me now.