We frequently get asked about our stance on third-party reviews of our VPN service and whether or not we engage in affiliate marketing. This topic is complicated, so here is an explanation of how it works and our position on the matter.
It may come as a surprise that many product reviews found on the Internet are actually paid ads disguised as unbiased reviews. Sometimes, the more a company pays, the more favorable its product or service is reviewed.
From a consumer's standpoint, this makes it hard – if not impossible – to know when a review is genuine and when it's a biased advertisement.
In other words, we do not pay anyone to write about Mullvad – good or bad. We don't even pay for links back to our website.
If we mention another product or service, it is always our own opinion.
and we make it a point to ensure that our ads look like ads and nothing else.
We pay for ads on Google, Twitter, and Facebook. You can check yourself! If you search for "VPN" on Google, one of our ads might show up in your results.
Sometimes we pay for banner placement on external sites. It's easy to discern that it's a paid ad:
We also advertise by sponsoring events and conferences when the mission is in line with our values.
We do, of course, right here on our website. Other than that, we have one partner that sells Mullvad in stores. They buy our VPN time in bulk, for a discount, and package and sell that as anonymous activation codes to be used with a Mullvad account.
There are a variety of reasons for why a customer would use a VPN. Given a particular use case, Mullvad might (correctly or not) not always be at the top of that list. Our service might not be the ideal choice for all, but we resonate with those who put a high value on privacy, and we strive to protect that.
Since we choose to refrain from paid reviews, we rely on the few independent reviewers out there who provide a thorough, unbiased write-up. Here are a few mentions that we are particularly proud to have received:
Of equal or perhaps even greater importance are the word-of-mouth recommendations from our satisfied customers who share our values. We strongly believe this will pay off in the long run.