Mozilla, the company behind the popular Firefox web browser, is taking another step toward launching its own virtual private network, or VPN.
The software firm said it would be officially releasing its first official VPN product over the next few weeks. It’ll be named Mozilla VPN, changing from its original name of Firefox VPN.
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The firm isn’t exactly new in the VPN space. It’s been conducting a beta test of this VPN service since February, and last year launched a secure browser proxy for its flagship browser called the Firefox Private Network.
The Firefox Private Network only works with the Firefox browser and won't encrypt the traffic of other browsers or internet-facing applications and services. However, Mozilla VPN is a standalone product that will work on an operating-system level.
In a blog post (opens in new tab) yesterday (June 18), Mozilla announced: “The VPN will exit Beta phase in the next few weeks, move out of the Firefox Private Network brand, and become a stand-alone product, Mozilla VPN, to serve a larger audience.”
Mozilla went on to explain that the development of its own VPN was highly requested by users and an important priority for the future.
“We started working with a small group of you and learned a lot. With the VPN in your hands, we confirmed some of our initial hypotheses and identified important priorities for the future,” it said.
“For example, over 70% of early Beta-testers say that the VPN helps them feel empowered, safe, and independent while being online. In addition, 83% of early Beta-testers found the VPN easy to use.”
A fully fledged VPN from a name you know
Mozilla VPN will come with all the important features an industry-leading VPN offers, including split-tunneling and the ability to be used across different operating systems -- joining the ranks of existing Windows VPNs.
With Mozilla VPN, users will be able to connect up to five devices on Windows, Android and iOS -- and it’ll cost $4.99 per month, so not quite low enough to bother the providers in our best cheap VPN guide.
Mozilla didn't build out its own network of servers, however. Instead, it's using the existing network belonging to the very privacy-oriented Swedish VPN provider Mullvad. And it will be using the new, light and fast VPN protocol WireGuard, which Mullvad was among the first to widely deploy.
To begin with, the service will be made available to those based in the U.S. this summer. (Until now, you've had to join a waiting list to try it out.) But Mozilla explained that it’d arrive in selected regions later this year.