Opting to use a virtual private network (VPN) means you value your privacy, and Mullvad VPN just decided to make its service even more private by removing a very convenient feature: subscriptions.
Until now, it was possible to sign-up for Mullvad using either a one-time payment or a subscription. Subscriptions are really convenient, as they ensure your access to a service continues without having to remember to pay again because it happens automatically. However, Mullvad realized that subscriptions mean the service needs to keep some record of a customer’s payment so as to ensure they can provide a refund or recover a lost account. With a recurring subscription, that personal information can’t be deleted.
Subscriptions therefore reduce the privacy offered because of that stored information. In a blog post(Opens in a new window) published today announcing an end to subscriptions, Mullvad concluded, “Subscriptions clearly offer a lot of convenience but as we’ve seen that convenience comes at a cost and we no longer think this is an acceptable trade-off. We care deeply about usability but when it comes down to it, privacy has to win.”
Anyone with an active Mullvad VPN subscription doesn’t need to worry. Your account will continue to work as normal for at least the next six months. When the subscription expires or is canceled, it can’t be renewed and no new credit card or PayPal subscriptions will be accepted from now on. Instead, one-time payments are the only option and the price remains the same(Opens in a new window) regardless of whether you use the service for a month or a year. The only exceptions to that are if you choose to pay using Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or Monero, which come with a 10% discount.
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While this may annoy some users who like the convenience of a subscription, ultimately Mullvad is choosing to store less data about its customers at the cost of convenience. Surely that’s a good thing for anyone who values their privacy online.
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