Mullvad Web Browser: Can its advanced privacy features cause harm for the user?

Good morning,

Could a website detect a user who is using a browser that’s particularly strict on allowing what the website can and can’t learn about the user and then restrict the content of what that user is able to see on the website. E.g a user using Mullvad browser?

I’ve never used Adblock or any other ad blocking technology because I’ve always been paranoid about websites altering what I view on their web sites because they’ll detect I’m using some kind of ad blocking technology.

Youtube has been slowing down videos of users who are running adblock technologies. Could this happen with other websites as well?

In other words, can too many privacy protections in a browser actually harm the user and prevent or limit them from accessing 100% of the content on the website or as YouTube has done, by slowing the browsing experience?

Thank you for reading my question!

Edit: I just changed the topic to specify Mullvad Web Browser and not Mullvad the VPN.

if you define harm as websites being shit if you don’t let them invade your privacy then sure, privacy protections can be harmful

i guess it also partly depends on your threat model, whether accepting random sites trying to fingerprint you to not get content hidden is worth the tradeoff


Yes they can. Many sites block Tor Browser. But, IMO, the risk of websites changing content based on browser adblocking is much less than not blocking ads and trackers. Also, most websites don’t do this because it ends up being fairly resource intensive to do this and without clear benefit to the website (except perhaps in some cases such as YouTube or other media sites). You are much better off just using Mullvad Browser or uBlock and firefox than not.


Article of what I mentioned:

I’ve never even tried the Mullvad browser because of this fear. I’d really like to try it as it’s so popular here, but this fear holds me back.

Firefox is my main browser.

You can always just try it! It’s free and you can easily uninstall it if it doesn’t fit your needs. Outside of any website breakage concerns (which you can always test for yourself by just browsing with it), the other thing I’d keep in mind is that you probably don’t want to entirely replace Firefox with it, as it’s not good for stuff you need to stay logged into, given it clears everything on close. I use it for pretty much everything that falls outside of that category (quick searches, opening links sent by others, etc.) and it works great alongside Brave for the things I need to stay logged into or where a browser history is a genuine positive (longer research sessions etc.).

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It was an adblock-plus issue.

Again, as everyone here point it out. Only use uBlock Origin.


I appreciate your reply!

So your main browser is Brave for regular browsing where you need to login to websites like Google, Youtube, social media etc and then you only use Mullvad browser for sites may have negative intentions towards user privacy?

I’m just thinking if this is the best way to use Mullvad browser.

Do you use a VPN when you’re using Mullvad browser?

Ideally you should use a VPN (going to great lengths to prevent browser fingerprinting doesn’t make that much sense in my opinion if you are not also hiding other identifiers like IP address) but it is up to you, MB could still have value even without a VPN in some contexts, but is best used in combination with a VPN (Ideally Mullvad VPN, but any reputable VPN will do). (I have my Mullvad Browser set to block all connections unless they go through the VPN)

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I use it for pretty much everything that I don’t need to be logged into, but it’s not super strict (like sometimes I’ll use Brave private browsing simply because I’m already in Brave and I’m lazy). As for the VPN part, I do personally use one most of the time, and I’d say the bar for effort required to track you is highest (not considering Tor browser, which you didn’t ask about) when you’re using Mullvad Browser with a VPN compared to Mullvad without or Brave, but using Mullvad Browser without a VPN doesn’t suddenly make it worse than Brave or nullify its protections. As a metaphor, you can think of Brave and Mullvad as using lower and higher amounts of effort respectively to make yourself harder to recognize, as if you were either constantly changing clothes or wearing nondescript clothes that made you difficult to single out in a crowd. However, without a VPN, you consistently appear at your own house rather than out in public mixed in with other people, which makes it more likely it’s you despite how unrecognizable you are physically. Basically, using Mullvad for most things where you’re not identifying yourself anyways by logging in is the best case, and using a VPN along with it means you’ll fight off more advanced fingerprinting than if you weren’t, but Mullvad Browser itself is still an improvement regardless.

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