Mozilla is the company behind the popular Firefox internet browser, but in late 2019 it branched into the VPN sector, too.
It started as a browser extension called FPN (Firefox Private Network), which encrypted and protected users’ traffic. Mozilla used this project as a test to migrate to a full virtual private network service.
The browser extension protects users’ browsing traffic but does not cover the entire device. And while it’s useful for basic web security, it did not compete with other top-rated VPN services.
However, earlier this year, Mozilla upgraded the FPN to a full-service VPN product available on a subscription basis.
As of September 2020, the VPN is only available for Windows 10, Android and iOS devices. Mozilla says that Linux and macOS versions are underway.
Mozilla VPN is clearly at its infancy stage, and it is promising so far. We’ve tried out the service and will describe its features and capabilities in detail below. We’ll also examine how Mozilla VPN stacks up against other VPN services, its unique features, and what the service lacks.
In this review, we’ll consider some critical questions about Mozilla’s VPN service:
- What does Mozilla VPN offer?
- Does Mozilla VPN provide adequate security?
- Does it deliver on its promise of stronger privacy and security?
- How does it compare with the best VPNs on the market?
What Is a VPN?
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a network that encrypts a user’s internet traffic and protects their device. It helps users bypass geo content blocks, access online streaming services from any country, stay safe from viruses and hackers, and remain anonymous on the internet.
There are thousands of VPNs on the market, and all of them promise efficiency.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re shopping for a good VPN service:
Features To Look Out for in a VPN
Using a Virtual Private Network is the most efficient way to secure your browsing sessions, protect your device and remain anonymous online.
A VPN ensures that you don’t face any restrictions on the internet. It also protects you from unwanted spying, surveillance, tracking and other malicious activities.
Furthermore, a VPN prevents your internet service provider from throttling your internet connection. With a secure connection and a new IP address owned by your VPN provider, you can enjoy ultra-fast streaming from anywhere.
Here are the features to look out for in a VPN:
Encryption and Security
The value of a VPN would greatly determine how it defines its security. Quality VPNs should use advanced encryption protocols, which set the standard for how the service will protect your online connection.
A good VPN should provide maximum protection and encryption for users without affecting performance.
Speed is one of the most important metrics defining how fast a VPN creates a connection. Some VPNs would significantly slow down your internet connection, which leads to buffering whenever you try to play videos and streams.
Privacy and Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction dramatically influences how a VPN service carries out privacy issues. This is why top VPN service providers base their servers in countries that don’t perform mass surveillance on citizens.
They’re usually based in regions that have strong data protection laws for citizens. Good VPNs will also have a strict no-logging (also known as zero-logs) policy, meaning that they don’t keep records of users’ activities. If you want to remain anonymous on the internet, you should opt for an elite VPN to ensure maximum privacy.
Top VPN services offer customers multiple ways to reach out for support. These include live chats, emails, support tickets, phone lines and other communication methods. Customer service should also be available 24/7 to help users resolve issues.
Mozilla VPN Review
What Does Mozilla VPN Offer?
As one of the most anticipated VPN services in 2020, there are a few highlights of Mozilla and its key selling points. It has a top rating in simplicity, and you’ll see why in our review below.
One Virtual Private Network Protocol (WireGuard)
Some VPNs make you choose from several internet connection protocols. Unlike the competition, Mozilla VPN has made it very simple for users.
Mozilla VPN gives you just one connection protocol through WireGuard.
This protocol is highly commendable for its tremendous speed, security and stability.
Up to 5 Registered Devices
You can connect as much as five devices when you sign up for Mozilla VPN. This is notable as some VPN services would not accommodate up to five devices at once. Registering and deregistering devices is very simple through the account settings.
Mullvad-Powered Server Network
Mozilla has a network of over 280 servers across 30 countries worldwide. This is highly impressive for a new VPN service. Its network is powered by Mullvad, a free and open-source VPN software provider. It offers a range of advantages over the traditional third-party server leasing system used by some VPNs.
VPN Kill Switch
This should be a basic requirement for any VPN, but unfortunately, some VPN services do not supply a kill switch in their apps. A kill switch prevents data leaks by cutting your internet connection if you happen to get disconnected from a VPN server.
This is important:Mozilla VPN offers a unique kill switch feature set by default for iOS and Windows devices. On Android devices, users will have to enable the kill switch manually through the settings.
Flat Pricing Features
Mozilla VPN’s flat pricing model is unlike most VPN services that offer various subscription types and plans. Mozilla VPN has simplified this process with a unified monthly subscription plan of $4.99, with no extra fees.
You don’t have to be a tech guru to configure and use Mozilla VPN. The interface is super easy to use, and you’re ready to go just with a few clicks—no advanced settings options, no maps and no confusion.
Note:Simply select your server location to connect to and use the on/off button.
What Does Mozilla VPN Lack?
While the simplicity of Mozilla VPN is superior, there is a drawback to it as well. There are a lot of settings and features that Mozilla VPN lacks, despite its advantages. You can argue that this is understandable since Mozilla VPN is still at its infancy stage.
In this section, we’ll look at some of the features missing from Mozilla VPN.
Limited VPN Connection Options
Mozilla VPN uses the WireGuard protocol, which is outstanding—but having it as the only option means that users can’t change connection protocol when they want to. Having the ability to change protocols ensures flexibility, which is a significant feature missing in Mozilla VPN.
As of September 2020, Mozilla VPN is not available for Linux and macOS users, which is a significant disadvantage. Additionally, there is no Mozilla VPN app for Fire TV, routers or Kodi. The lack of expanded device support means that Mozilla VPN’s user base is already limited after launch.
The top VPNs on the market boast thousands of severs in 50 to 100 or more countries and regions, enabling users to connect to any server in any location. In comparison, Mozilla VPN has servers just 280 servers in 30 countries around the world. The lack of server diversity is a significant disadvantage for users.
No Anonymous Payment Option
Mozilla provides basic security and privacy for users, but its anonymous payment options are greatly limited. With most other top VPN services, users can protect their privacy and financial information by paying for a subscription with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
However, Mozilla VPN only accepts card payment options, and it requires you to create an account and register your devices. If you want to get a VPN without revealing your identity in the signup process, Mozilla VPN likely isn’t for you.
Lack of Advanced Features
Mozilla VPN lacks some essential features that are the mainstay of any quality VPN service. The service comes without an auto-connect button, SmartDNS options and other advanced features—even though the subscription plan is almost the same as other VPNs that offer a variety of advanced features.
Is Mozilla VPN Worth It?
There are many reasons to choose Mozilla VPN over others in the industry. Here are some important factors:
Many VPN services do not live up to their promise, and some of them simply blow smoke when it comes to zero-log policies. Also, when it also comes to security standards and country jurisdiction, most of them fail woefully. Mozilla has earned the trust of users, and they have proven to ensure users’ privacy through the popular Firefox web browser.
Mozilla partnered with a trustworthy organization (Mullva), and the VPN uses a secured/trustworthy connection protocol (WireGuard). This is an essential factor to consider when opting for a VPN service.
Compared to other VPNs, Mozilla VPN is a privacy-focused and secured service. But its performance in unblocking geo-restricted content is poor, and it cannot be used to watch streaming sites that deploy geo-blocking technology. Mozilla VPN is certainly not a tool you should consider if you are searching for a VPN to access streaming sites.
Streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer deploy a strong geo-blocking system to detect connections from users outside of the service area, and Mozilla VPN has a tough time bypassing those restrictions.
However, it is up-to-par in terms of download speed, offering speeds of 60Mbps to 75Mbps on average. Speed tests from the service’s European data center reportedly topped out at a mega 260Mbps, while some VPNs struggle to hit 100Mbps.
What good is a VPN without adequate customer support to help you fix issues? Mozilla is highly commendable in this regard, and they offer 24/7 customer support by phone.
There’s also an online Mozilla VPN community that provides peer to peer assistance. You can also find a lot of useful information about the product through an extensive and resourceful knowledge base.
Who Can Sign up for Mozilla VPN?
As of September 2020, Mozilla VPN is limited to people in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Singapore, New Zealand and Malaysia. The rest of the world would have to wait until the product is released in other regions. It is also not available for Linux and Mac users.
But it seems Mozilla is working hard on expanding the service’s offerings. Recently, it announced the addition of split tunneling for Android applications, which is a welcome development.
A Mozilla VPN subscription costs $4.99 per month and can be installed on five devices through one account.
Mozilla VPN vs. NordVPN Comparison
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs in the world due to its efficiency, security/ encryption features, and simplicity.
Since NordVPN was first released in 2012, the company has built a great reputation on the strength of their VPN service. NordVPN is on a league of its own when it comes to user experience.
As one of the most popular and efficient VPN applications, it’s helpful to use NordVPN as a point of comparison to Mozilla VPN. Both offer desktop and mobile applications. Here are the major differences and how they stack up against one another:
The kill switch feature is available on both VPN applications.
Server Network Size
NordVPN clearly outshines Mozilla VPN through its worldwide network of servers.
NordVPN offers a staggering 5,378 servers around the world, while Mozilla has over 280 servers.
NordVPN has servers in 59 countries, while Mozilla VPN has servers in over 30 countries.
Another area where NordVPN outshines Mozilla VPN is in the number of protocols. NordVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, IKEv2 and NordLynx, while Mozilla VPN uses only the WireGuard protocol.
Number of Devices
A single subscription account can be connected to six devices with NordVPN, while five can be connected to Mozilla VPN.
Anonymous Payment Options
Mozilla VPN does not offer anonymous payment, which is a significant flaw in its service. You would be required to create an account, pay with your credit card, and register your devices. But this is not the case with NordVPN, which allows for anonymous signups.
Bypassing Blocks and Geo-Restrictions
Mozilla VPN is lacking when it comes to bypassing geo-blocks and accessing streaming platforms. NordVPN can bypass notoriously strong geo-blocking technology and remain anonymous to anti-VPN detection systems. This is not true for Mozilla VPN, as it can’t access many streaming sites that deploy geo-blocking technology.
Pricing is relatively even between NordVPN and Mozilla VPN, as both are priced under $5. Mozilla VPN is priced at $4.99 per month, while NordVPN’s two-year plan costs $3.71 per month. NordVPN also offers a six-month plan at a more expensive $9/month rate.
Ad and Cookie Blocking
NordVPN offers a more robust ad and cookie blocking system than Mozilla VPN. NordVPN boasts a feature called CyberSec that can block even the most resilient cookies and ads on your web browser.
NordVPN offers a range of specialty servers that Mozilla VPN cannot match. It has servers for P2P activities, as well as Onion servers.
Double VPN System
On NordVPN, you can deploy a double VPN connection that can provide extended security features. Double connection slows down your speed, but it is more difficult to track. This feature is missing in Mozilla VPN.
This service comes with an additional fee in NordVPN but is not available in Mozilla VPN. It offers encrypted file storage known as NordPass & NordLocker, which you can use to encrypt and secure your passwords.
Final VerdictMozilla VPN is lagging behind NordVPN, especially when you consider the price of both products. Mozilla VPN is perfect for casual users at its infancy stage, whereas NordVPN is suitable for advanced users/connections as well as newcomers.
Like NordVPN, Mozilla VPN is a low-cost service that comes with an essential protection/encryption system. It is affordable, offers a simple user interface, a trusted brand reputation and has a rapid connection rate.
However, Mozilla VPN has some downsides too. It has limited configuration options, it can’t unblock many streaming sites and it doesn’t offer an anonymous registration option. Also, Mozilla VPN is only available in a handful of countries and it doesn’t have apps for Linux and Mac, even in regions where it is available.
Furthermore, Mozilla VPN registers your operating system hardware configurations and your IP addresses, but it doesn’t log your traffic. It doesn’t also log your internet sessions and your DNS requests. If you want a stable VPN service with servers worldwide, you should opt for NordVPN. It is evenly priced with Mozilla but clearly more dominant and versatile.