Mullvad and Tailscale join forces in the name of online security

Mullvad VPN working on a laptop

One of the best VPN providers around has just joined forces with a popular mesh network service to offer users even more online security, without compromises.

Sweden-based Mullvad is known across the industry for its great commitment to privacy. With a strict no-logs policy (proven by a recent police raid), the provider even axed port-forwarding and recurring subscriptions in the name of security. 

Also known as the "VPN for developers," Tailscale claims to be an easy way to set up your very own secure peer-to-peer virtual private network. Unlike Mullvad and similar software, internet traffic doesn't pass via Tailscale-owned servers but is exclusively peer-to-peer between the devices inside the network. So, what are the advantages of mixing the two?

Mullvad and Tailscale partnership

"Since Tailscale was founded in 2019, customers have been forced to choose between either Tailscale or Mullvad without the ability for them to co-exist," reads Mullvad's official announcement.

Both Mullvad and Tailscale use the fast, secure, and open-source WireGuard protocol to encrypt data in transit. Yet, both services have their own limitations. 

Tailscale is great for establishing secure connections, but only between a select network of devices. Mullvad, like other secure VPN services, has the perk of making it appear as though you're browsing from almost anywhere in the world—almost instantly. However, they are bound to the providers' servers to do so.

By joining forces, the two companies want to offer the best of both worlds:

"VPNs have multiple purposes, Mullvad is for privacy. Tailscale is for access to devices in different locations," Jan Jonsson, CEO at Mullvad told TechRadar. "If you use Tailscale, you cannot use another VPN, for privacy. Now you can use Mullvad from Tailscale, benefiting from both products at the same time."

Tailscale customers can now make use of Mullvad servers as "exit nodes." This basically means that they can both access their devices inside Tailscale’s mesh network, while still connecting outbound through the many international Mullvad servers—over 650 across 43 countries and 74 cities worldwide, including the UK, US, Canada, Singapore, and most European countries. 

This is handy if, for example, you are abroad and want to access your home PC, but also need to spoof your IP address for browsing the web safely. This virtual routing ability enables more cyber-safe working environments, while simultaneously opening up and securing other use cases, like multiplayer gaming and torrenting.

Another service, NordVPN, developed something similar to harvest the benefits of both worlds. Its Meshnet feature is free to use directly from its apps and can link up to 60 different devices at once.

The new functionality is only available through the Tailscale app. To learn how to set up and use Mullvad's WireGuard VPN servers as exit nodes, visit Tailscale's website.

Chiara Castro
Senior Staff Writer

Chiara is a multimedia journalist committed to covering stories to help promote the rights and denounce the abuses of the digital side of life—wherever cybersecurity, markets and politics tangle up. She mainly writes news, interviews and analysis on data privacy, online censorship, digital rights, cybercrime, and security software, with a special focus on VPNs, for TechRadar Pro, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. Got a story, tip-off or something tech-interesting to say? Reach out to