The best argument for the Firefox browser (besides it but being, you know, a good browser) has always been that it has no turn a profit motive. Mozilla, the company that owns Firefox and associated projects, is a nonprofit and can, in theory, put user privacy outset and fight back confronting surveillance commercialism. That theory is put to the exam with Mozilla VPN, a repackaging of Mullvad’s fantabulous VPN. With Mozilla VPN, you lot get stiff privacy protection, advanced privacy tools, and your fee supports ane of the internet’s good guys in the process. The catch is that costs significantly more than Mullvad VPN. Nonetheless, if what yous demand is a guilt-free, solid VPN, Mozilla’s offering is a strong choice.
How Much Does Mozilla VPN Cost?
In terms of functionality, Mozilla VPN does what all VPNs do: It encrypts all your net traffic and pipes it securely to a remote server. This ways that anyone watching your online activities, including your Internet access provider, won’t be able to see what you’re upwardly to. VPNs also help preserve your privacy by hiding your IP address (and thus your physical location), which makes it harder for advertisers to track your movements online.
Mozilla VPN is not, strictly speaking, wholly a Mozilla project similar Firefox. Instead of building and maintaining the infrastructure required for a consumer VPN, Mozilla found another visitor to partner with. During Mozilla’s primeval forays into the globe of VPNs, Mozilla courted Editors’ Choice-winner ProtonVPN. The final production, dubbed Mozilla VPN, is really powered by another Editors’ Choice winner: Mullvad VPN. Mozilla is not alone in making this kind of organization. Bitdefender, for case, partnered with Hotspot Shield VPN for its VPN product.
A monthly subscription with Mozilla VPN costs $ix.99 per calendar month. That’southward a skilful price coming in just below the $10.xi per-month average we’ve seen across the VPNs we’ve tested. It’due south still a bit too pricey to be considered i of the best cheap VPNs, however. Froot VPN and Kaspersky Secure Connexion are tied for the most affordable for-pay monthly subscription, at $4.99 per month. Mozilla’due south is, interestingly, also quite a flake more than than Mullvad’s €5 price tag.
Near VPNs offer a discount for longer subscriptions, and Mozilla is no different. A half dozen-month Mozilla VPN subscription costs $47.94, and a ane-year subscription just $59.88. That’s significantly less than the $70.06 per year we’ve seen across the services nosotros’ve reviewed. We advise confronting starting out with a long-term subscription and instead suggest that readers try a curt-term programme to make sure the VPN volition work with all the sites and services they oftentimes use.
Note that Mozilla VPN was initially on sale for $4.99 per month, but that price is no longer available. Customers who enrolled before the pricing change tin can continue to pay that monthly rate, but new customers aren’t so lucky. Mozilla pointed out that the almanac subscription works out to $4.99 when divided across 12 months, simply it all the same requires up-forepart payment for the whole year.
At that place are some free VPNs worth considering. Most, similar the Editors’ Choice-winning TunnelBear VPN, place a data limit on free subscribers. ProtonVPN, on the other hand, places no data limit on costless users and has an affordable, tiered pricing system that takes some of the pain out of upgrading.
Purchasing a Mozilla VPN subscription is a flake different than with other VPNs. First, you lot’ll need a Firefox account, even if you don’t plan on ever using that vulpine browser. Editors’ Choice winners Mullvad and IVPN don’t require any personal information and use randomly generated numbers to identify accounts for added privacy. Those services also permit you purchase a subscription anonymously, with cash sent to their respective HQs, while Mozilla VPN limits you to major credit cards. Mozilla also does not support payments fabricated via cryptocurrency.
What Do You Get for Your Money With Mozilla?
A Mozilla VPN subscription lets you use upwards to five devices simultaneously. That’s the boilerplate across the services we’ve reviewed, but a growing number of services are doing abroad with this limitation entirely. Atlas VPN, Avira Phantom VPN, IPVanish VPN, Editors’ Choice winner Surfshark VPN, and Windscribe VPN place no limit on the number of simultaneous connections.
(Editors’ Notation: IPVanish are owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s parent company.)
When information technology launched, Mozilla VPN had few features beyond the basic VPN. It has since added multihop connections to its list of features. This routes your web traffic through a
VPN server to ensure that your data is secure, admitting at a high performance cost. Many VPNs use pre-selected routes, simply Mozilla allows y’all to mix and friction match your road. As of this writing, this characteristic is beingness rolled out to Mozilla’southward various apps.
Mozilla VPN supports carve up tunneling in its Windows and Android apps. This lets you define which apps send their traffic through the VPN connectedness and which practice not. It’south useful for loftier-bandwidth, but low-security activities like streaming media or gaming. Notably, Editors’ Choice winners NordVPN and ProtonVPN are the only VPNs we’ve reviewed that offer multihop, split up tunneling, and access to Tor.
Along with split tunneling, Mozilla has also introduced a characteristic that detects when the network you’re on is attempting to load a captive portal log in screen. Captive portal pages redirect you to a webpage that prompts you for login information before you can use the net connexion. You lot mostly see these on public Wi-Fi networks, especially at hotels or on airplanes. VPNs can prevent the captive portal pages from appearing, and thus preclude you from getting online. Mozilla’s solution is to trigger a notification letting you lot know you demand to sign in. Nosotros’ll be testing this feature in the future.
Many VPNs provide alternative DNS options in their apps, but Mozilla goes a step further. By default, it will use its secure DNS when agile, but you can opt to choose ad-blocking DNS, tracker-blocking DNS, or ad- and tracker-blocking DNS. You can tin can also choose your own DNS server. Nosotros did non test the ad-blocking ability of these options extensively, but we did annotation that ads still appeared when it was enabled. We recommend using both the privacy features of your browser and a stand-lonely tracker blocker such every bit the EFF’south Privacy Badger in addition to whatever ad-blocking a VPN provides.
Increasingly, VPN companies are expanding their offerings into larger suites of security and privacy products. Hotspot Shield VPN, for example, now offers an antivirus tool in addition to several other privacy services. Mozilla has always emphasized open-source standards and respecting customer privacy, even in not-security projects like the storied Thunderbird mail customer and the Hubs VR meeting space. After Firefox and Mozilla VPN, the company’southward most explicitly security-focused products are the Lockwise password director and Firefox Monitor, which warns yous if your personal data appears in data breaches.
It’south important to retrieve that while VPNs are useful tools for protecting your privacy, they aren’t the solution to every trouble. Nosotros highly recommend enabling multifactor hallmark wherever it’s available, using a password manager to create unique and complex passwords for every site and service, and installing standalone antivirus software on your machines.
VPNs are not a new technology, and several methods for creating a VPN connection have been developed over the years. The OpenVPN protocol has long been our preferred VPN protocol equally it is open-source and can thus be scrutinized for vulnerabilities. The latest open-source hotness is the WireGuard VPN protocol, which has newer technology and promises faster speeds. We’re glad to meet this innovation in the VPN infinite.
Mullvad VPN has fully embraced WireGuard and Mozilla VPN besides supports WireGuard on all platforms.
Servers and Server Locations
Mullvad VPN, and, by extension, Mozilla VPN, has VPN servers in 37 countries. That’s beneath the average among services we’ve examined, and the list of locations isn’t as varied as we’d like to see. For instance, there’s only one server location for all of South America and none for the entirety of Africa. If you plan on using a VPN in those (enormous) chunks of the world, yous’ll accept to connect to a very afar server, which tin can potentially degrade the quality of your connectedness. Mozilla VPN has servers in Hong Kong, but not other countries with repressive internet policies such as Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam. ExpressVPN does a far better chore covering the globe with its server fleet.
The Mozilla VPN product site refers you to Mullvad’s list of servers, which is an splendid decision. This interactive list shows every server, where it’s located, whether information technology’s owned or leased, and much more. Information technology’south a simple human action of transparency that other VPN companies should emulate.
Mozilla VPN currently offers 400 servers, which is far fewer than nearly competitors. It’s even fewer servers than Mullvad VPN, which boasts 764 full, and far fewer than the 7,000-odd servers from CyberGhost. That said, a large fleet of servers does not necessarily ensure good performance. If we had to estimate, nosotros’d say that Mozilla’s modest offering has a lot more to do with being a relative newcomer, with fewer subscribers.
Virtual servers are software-defined, meaning that a single hardware server can play host to numerous virtual ones. A virtual location is whatsoever server that’s been configured to announced as if it were somewhere other than where it is physically located. Neither is inherently problematic, but we adopt services that are transparent about where their infrastructure is located. Mullvad told us it only uses dedicated servers, not virtual ones, and that none of its locations are virtual.
Mullvad does not use RAM-simply servers (also called diskless servers). Equally the proper noun implies, these are servers that do not store whatever data to disk. The company says this is not an issue since it gathers no data nearly customers. Other companies, such every bit NordVPN and ExpressVPN, made the transition on the grounds that these servers are resistant to tampering.
Your Privacy With Mozilla VPN
If a VPN company desired, it could intercept all the information that passes through its servers and then paw that information over to the highest bidder, or information technology could exist compelled to requite information technology to law enforcement. That’s why it’southward then important to sympathize the privacy protections of any VPN service you lot’re considering using.
What’s more than obscure is how these services work together. For case, Mullvad has nearly no information about its customers because of its account system that requires no personal information, information technology just issues you an account number. Mozilla VPN builds on Firefox Accounts, which requires a verified electronic mail address and retains such information equally the devices where you lot are using any Mozilla service connected to your Firefox account. It’southward possible that in a few areas at to the lowest degree, y’all should expect
privacy from using Mullvad on its own than with Mozilla VPN, simply many other VPNs employ systems similar to Mozilla’s. NordVPN, for instance, now has a suite of products available under Nord accounts.
But the departure betwixt Mozilla VPN and Mullvad VPN may exist negligible since Mozilla is no slouch when it comes to privacy. A company representative told us that Mozilla does not assemble or share customers’ network activity. Nor does it sell customer data. That’southward excellent.
Mozilla VPN is endemic by the Mozilla Corporation, which is office of the non-turn a profit Mozilla Foundation. It is based in the Usa and operates under The states police force. Mullvad is owned by Amagicom AB, is based in Sweden and operates nether Swedish police. Because the Mozilla Foundation is a nonprofit, it publishes extensive information on its internal procedure and governance.
Mozilla problems a transparency report for all its products and does acknowledge providing some information to law enforcement when compelled by subpoena. While information technology’due south disappointing that
data is provided, it’s far less than other major tech companies. A representative described the information retained by Mozilla as scant. “Every bit Mozilla VPN does not log, rail, or share your online activity, the information that nosotros do collect only allows u.s. to provision the service to our customers and empathize how our customers every bit a whole interact with the production.” This is similar to other VPN products.
Many VPN companies have begun issuing the results of tertiary-party audits to establish their security and privacy
bona fides. TunnelBear VPN is a stand-out example, issuing extensive audits annually. Audits are imperfect tools, simply we believe they are a valuable sit-in of a company’s delivery to privacy. Early in 2021, Mullvad released the results of an inspect of its infrastructure, significant that Mozilla VPN customers should take the same balls. In September 2021, Mozilla released an audit of its apps that was carried out by Cure53. We’re glad to see this attempt and hope both Mozilla and Mullvad continue to release regular audits.
Easily On With Mozilla VPN on Windows
We had no trouble installing Mozilla VPN on an Intel NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH (Bean Canyon) desktop running the latest version of Windows 10. Getting started with Mozilla VPN required first logging into our Firefox Business relationship. That’s very different from Mullvad VPN, which uses a randomly generated code to identify users and doesn’t carp with a password. Mozilla tells the states its VPN is available for Android, iOS, macOS, Ubuntu Linux, and Windows.
The app is extremely simple, built around a grey window with bold accent colors that are reminiscent of Firefox’south current design and branding. We dig the bold pinks, purples, and oranges, which requite the app a lot of visual sizzle in the same-y world of VPN apps. Information technology’s a great improvement over Mullvad VPN’south weirdly cramped desktop app. That said, TunnelBear even so has the marketplace cornered on friendly pattern with its simple interface, bold yellows, and friendly bears.
A toggle in the center of the window gets you online apace. Once y’all’re continued, the app transforms to a hitting imperial, and then information technology’southward like shooting fish in a barrel to tell when the VPN is active. Click this central card and the app displays your current network activity. The colorful chart is non particularly useful, but it is dainty to await at.
Clicking on Select Location brings up a list of bachelor server locations is organized by country, and you can aggrandize each option to run into the available cities. Y’all tin can’t cull a specific server—just a region—which is disappointing. Mullvad VPN does allow y’all to drill downwardly to private servers. Tabs at the tiptop allow you cull between single hop and multihop connections. Mozilla thoughtfully includes an explanation of multihop right in the Settings panel, and lets you lot choose both your entrance and get out location.
Since we starting time reviewed Mozilla VPN, the visitor has enabled split tunneling on Windows. Information technology’s well executed in the app, with a clean interface that makes it piece of cake to select which applications should run outside the VPN connectedness. We confirmed the feature worked as expected by excluding Chrome from the VPN connection and observing the results.
One quirk is that the app displays all the devices where you’ve logged into Mozilla VPN. Virtually VPNs limit you to simultaneous connections, just Mozilla limits the overall number of installations. We’re not fans of this model but it’southward easy to free up slots and does allow you lot to hands log out of devices remotely.
Despite the additional features Mozilla has rolled out since launch, the Settings section is still a bit sparse. The new DNS options are the most significant change and are handled smartly. You lot tin can also enable IPv6 (on by default) and Local Network Access (off by default). The latter is useful if you want to connect your device to other machines on your network, like a streaming box or a network printer. In our testing, nosotros confirmed that Mozilla VPN inverse our public IP accost and hid our Internet access provider information.
Netflix is notorious for blocking admission from VPNs, presumably to protect its regional streaming arrangements. In our testing, nosotros establish that nosotros could only stream Netflix Originals content while connected to a Mozilla VPN server in the United states. That’s disappointing, only it could also change at a moment’s detect. Streaming Netflix over a VPN is tricky.
Hands On With Mozilla VPN on Android
To test Mozilla’southward Android VPN, we used a Samsung A71 running Android xi. The app’s interface is very simple, with a lot of white space surrounding a hot pink earth in a higher place a connection toggle centered at the top of the screen. After choosing a VPN city location from a listing below the connexion toggle, the height one-half of the app screen turns purple and teal, signifying a successful connection. When y’all tap the icon in the top left corner of the colorful connectedness box, y’all run into your current IP accost, and a line graph and numbers showing your current upload and download speeds.
Mozilla VPN’south Android app is light on features. When you lot tap the gear on the top right side of the connection interface, and so tap App Permissions, you can choose to enable split tunneling for specific apps on the device. Different Bitdefender VPN, the app does not have an Machine-Connect feature or an internet Kill Switch.
We tested the divide tunneling feature on Android by first noting our IP address, indicating that the Chrome browser should skip the VPN, and and so activating Mozilla VPN. When nosotros checked our IP address in Chrome once again, the location didn’t change, signaling that the split tunneling was successful.
A VPN tin can help you protect yourself while you lot browse online, but whenever you use a new service, it’s a good thought to brand sure it’due south actually working. Nosotros went to DNSLeakTest.com and ran an extended test while connected to a server in Madrid. From our testing, it was clear the VPN was not leaking our data.
To test the reliability of the VPN, we navigated to YouTube.com and watched a few videos while still connected to the server in Madrid. The videos all loaded quickly and played at a high resolution without any issues.
We’ll update this review as more features go bachelor.
Hands On With Mozilla VPN on the iPhone
We installed the Mozilla VPN iOS app on an iPhone XS running iOS 14.six. The app has a simple pattern, featuring a hot pink world at the acme of the screen surrounded by a lot of white space, with a toggle below to connect to the VPN server. When you tap the toggle, the top half of the app’s screen turns purple and the globe becomes teal and bluish, signifying a successful connexion. You can choose the urban center where your VPN is located by tapping the list of cities beneath the connectedness toggle.
The app is simply a VPN, nothing more. Apple doesn’t like it when third political party services try to access or dispense apps on their devices. That said, Mozilla VPN for iOS is missing features other competitors similar Bitdefender have for their iOS apps, such as auto-connect, an internet kill switch, or split tunneling for spider web traffic.
Keeping your information safe online should be a superlative priority, and so you should make sure a VPN is masking your real IP address and protecting your DNS information. DNSLeakTest.com showed Mozilla VPN was not leaking data while connected to a server in Amsterdam during testing.
While connected to the same server, we went to Twitch.tv and watched a broadcaster stream a popular video game. The stream loaded quickly at the highest quality setting, and it did not buffer or stutter.
We’ll update this review every bit more features become available.
Hands On With Mozilla VPN on macOS
We downloaded Mozilla macOS VPN client from the company’due south website and installed information technology on a MacBook Air (2020) running Big Sur 11.2.2. The installation process was handled past an installer awarding, and we had to give the app permission to make VPN connections on the reckoner.
The macOS app looks exactly like the iOS and Android versions. It’s a modest window with tons of white space and a small pink globe in the top center of the window. Below the connection toggle button is a list of cities where the servers are located, and below that is a list of devices using the VPN service.
Like the iOS version, the macOS version lacks boosted privacy features across the VPN itself when we tested it. Mozilla VPN does not have an internet Kill Switch or car-connecting capabilities, nor does it offer split tunneling (a feature that is offered on Windows)
To test a Copenhagen-based VPN server’s security, nosotros went to DNSLeakTest.com and ran an extended examination. The results showed that our public IP address and DNS data were non being leaked.
While connected to the same server, we visited YouTube.com and watched a couple of videos. They loaded instantly and played without any interruptions.
We’ll update this review as more features become bachelor.
Hands On with Mozilla VPN on Chrome OS
Nosotros downloaded the Mozilla VPN Android app onto a Dell Chrome 3100 with an Intel Celeron Processor. Mozilla VPN on Chrome OS is an attractive VPN application with a couple of helpful features. Split tunneling is a major pick that can be plant via the app permissions push in the main menu.
The Avant-garde DNS Settings menu allows yous to change your DNS to block ads and block domains. When compared with other VPN apps at a similar toll point, Mozilla VPN doesn’t have many features, only the app’s interface makes it easy to connect to a VPN server.
Speed and Performance
Using a VPN will well-nigh certainly reduce your upload and download speeds and increase your latency. To get a sense of that affect, we run a series of Ookla Speedtest tests with and without the VPN running. We so find the percent alter between the median effect of each set. You can read more than nigh our processes in our article on How Nosotros Test VPNs.
(Editors’ Note: Speedtest past Ookla is endemic past Ziff Davis, PCMag’s parent visitor.)
In our testing, nosotros found that Mozilla VPN reduced download speeds by 26.5% and upload speeds by xx.9%. Those are both potent scores. Its latency performance was less impressive, merely by no ways bad: Mozilla VPN increased latency by 57.ane%.
Considering of our express access to the PCMag Labs, we’ve decided to movement to a rolling testing model and update readers with a running list of results as we examination VPNs. Y’all can see the latest results in the table beneath, as well equally the current median outcome for each category.
Go along in mind that speeds tin vary greatly, depending on location, fourth dimension of day, and many other factors. Our speed testing is intended equally a snapshot for comparison betwixt services, not as an overall evaluation of a service’s functioning. We likewise discourage readers from focusing on speed. Features, price, and privacy protections are far more than valuable.
A Worthy Crusade
Mozilla VPN is eminently attainable to anyone. It’south cheaper per month than about New York City cocktails and has a snazzy only straightforward design that’s easily grasped. Someone without any technical noesis can go online fast with full VPN protection. While it launched with very little across a VPN, the addition of DNS options, split tunneling, and specially multihop connections mean that it can now compete with some of the best products on the market.
The fact that Mozilla VPN is powered by Mullvad VPN makes both companies look expert, but information technology also invites comparisons between the two that rarely favor Mozilla. For case, Mozilla VPN costs significantly more than Mullvad VPN. It also opted for a simpler, traditional business relationship organisation rather than Mullvad’s strange but extremely private account codes. Mozilla certainly has an border over Mullvad on ease of use, just it is hard to square that metaphorical cost over the actual, literal price tag.
While it is assuredly an splendid VPN, Mozilla VPN’s best qualities prevarication in its associations. Mozilla has, for decades, been an outspoken proponent of privacy, open up-source engineering, web standards, and the concept that the benefits of the net should exist shared by everyone. It’s also a nonprofit, removing it (somewhat) from the muck and grime of both big tech and the VPN manufacture. Like all companies, Mozilla is not perfect and has received fair criticism at times. Even so, it’due south as close every bit you can get to knowing that the money you spend on a VPN is going toward a skilful crusade.