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Mozilla VPN review

Mozilla VPN may be fresh, but it's packing potential and speed

(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

It might be a little light on features in its infancy, but Mozilla VPN is a secure, and high-performing option for occasional users. However, streaming support is poor, power users may feel the the apps are too simple and unconfigurable, and it's arguably a little too expensive for what you actually get.

For

  • Admirable privacy-first ethos
  • Simple to navigate
  • Very quick
  • A trusted brand with auditing

Against

  • Can’t unblock many streaming sites
  • Lacking features
  • Few configuration alternatives

Tom's Guide Verdict

It might be a little light on features in its infancy, but Mozilla VPN is a secure, and high-performing option for occasional users. However, streaming support is poor, power users may feel the the apps are too simple and unconfigurable, and it's arguably a little too expensive for what you actually get.

Pros

  • + Admirable privacy-first ethos
  • + Simple to navigate
  • + Very quick
  • + A trusted brand with auditing

Cons

  • - Can’t unblock many streaming sites
  • - Lacking features
  • - Few configuration alternatives

Mozilla VPN is still a relatively young product, coming from the well-trusted company behind the privacy-focused Firefox browser, yet it's already made itself known as one of the best VPN services. This is thanks to some impressive speeds, decent server coverage and a commitment to independent security audits. 

Originally a browser extension, Mozilla VPN is now an independent product providing system-wide protection for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android apps. Now covering over 40 locations with its 400 servers, it has wide enough coverage for most users. So, how does it perform, and is it the right option for you?

Mozilla vpn review - homepage

(Image credit: Mozilla VPN)

Mozilla VPN 1-minute review

Mozilla VPN’s network consists of just over 400 servers in around 40 locations, which should be adequate for most users. Experienced VPN users will be pleased to hear that Mozilla VPN uses Mullvad's VPN servers (a well-known and trusted brand), which it connects to via only the modern WireGuard protocol for maximum performance and privacy.

The network is now P2P friendly and offers a multi-hop VPN so you can enter from one location, say Austin, and exit from another, like London – keeping your location even more secure.

Features include a kill switch that can be set to deploy in the event that the VPN drops out. However, if this advanced-level security isn’t required for all your tasks, split tunneling ensures you can carry on browsing using a standard connection too.

Be aware that although Mozilla VPN works with up to five devices, they all need to be registered. So, if you’re already at the maximum capacity, you’ll need to deregister one of the devices before you can add another. Some providers, like KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, have similar rules, but most, like ExpressVPN, don’t force you to register a device before you can use it, which makes the process far simpler.

Pricing is a pretty standard $9.99 for a monthly account which drops to $7.99 for a six month plan, or go for a full year and it's the equivalent of $4.99 per month. All rather average then. However, you will benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee with no hidden catches, so you can test the service to see if it fits.

Mozilla VPN on paper

Client software platforms: Windows, iOS, Android, Mac and Linux
Supported protocols: WireGuard
No. of servers: 400+
No. of countries: 30+
Country of registration: USA
Payment options: Credit card
Real name necessary? Through credit card, yes
Encryption protocol: AES-256
Data usage: Unlimited
Bandwidth usage: Unlimited
Max. no. of registered devices: Five
Customer support: Knowledgebase and email
Privacy policy: No logging

  • More: If you're on Apple, check out the top Mac VPN

Privacy and logging

Mozilla is a trusted brand, and this track record is one of Mozilla VPNs key selling points. On top of this, Mozilla VPN has partnered with the well-known privacy-focused provider Mullvad, which gives the product yet more credibility.

Mozilla VPN review

(Image credit: Mozilla VPN)

At the point of sign up, Mozilla VPN does register your IP address, other technical information (such as operating system and hardware configuration), and some interaction data. However, echoing the Mullvad Privacy Policy, it doesn’t log traffic, IP addresses, information regarding session times, bandwidth, or DNS requests.

Mozilla VPN also encourages users to consider Mozilla’s general Privacy Principles.

Although not as technical as some other providers’, the company's privacy commitments are comprehensive. However, unlike many others this privacy policy is backed up by a third party audit of its apps by Cure53. 

In fact by August 2021 it had published not one but two audits, the most recent of which can be found here. Essentially it found that the apps had a few vulnerabilities and potential improvements were suggested – these issues have now been fixed.

How good are Mozilla VPN's apps?

Before using Mozilla VPN, you’ll need a Firefox account. After setting this up, we paid our subscription fee and were redirected to the Downloads screen. We were pleased to see the Windows client only took a matter of seconds to download and install.

We found Mozilla VPN's Windows client easy to navigate thanks to its familiar interface. You’ll see your location displayed in a pop-up box, and within the same pop-up you can also change location and switch the VPN on and off.

That said, the speed of the service compensated for any niggling issues, and we were connected in under three seconds. Comparably, OpenVPN connections take around five seconds, while some other protocols can take over 20.

mozilla vpn

(Image credit: Mozilla VPN)

You can choose to be alerted if your device connects to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, turn on or off IPv6, and optionally access devices on your local network. This simplicity will be welcomed by most, but seasoned users might expect a little more control.

The app has an Automatic feature which will select the fastest server for you. But the lack of search box or favorites system to quickly find previously used connections is a shame. A small console displays your default location and a big On/Off button can be used to connect and disconnect manually as needed, with icons clearly showing if you're connected or not.

Unusually, the Windows client’s kill switch can’t be turned on or off. It’s not regular, but it makes sense. If you have a VPN running why would you want to disable a feature that blocks unprotected internet traffic?

The presence of WireGuard and the VPN’s basic design made it difficult to test the kill switch using our regular technical methods – which, really, was a problem for us to solve and no bad thing on Mozilla’s part. However, experimenting with some new techniques, we did discover that occasionally when the Mozilla VPN Broker service failed and connection dropped out, we were only notified through a message on the client interface.

If you weren’t able see the interface, you wouldn’t know about the risks. That aside, though, the client worked extremely well almost all of the time thanks to its basic design, which mitigates any major issues. On top of this, the connection itself is managed by another Windows client for enhanced reliability.

The interface of the Android app is almost identical to that of the desktop client. This was a well-thought-out design choice that not all VPN providers make, and the consequence is that although it’s still relatively new, there don’t seem to be any lingering functionality issues that can often crop up in mobile versions of VPNs. 

The lack of a notifications on Android is a little frustrating as you don't get an alert if connected to a new network – something mobiles likely do a lot. There's also a lack of kill switch here, but of course you can just use Android's built-in kill switch.

The iOS app is even more basic, with no split tunnelling, no custom DNS setting and no ability to enable access to devices on your local network. On the plus side you can raise notifications for server switches and there is IPv6 support. Just expect it all to be very basic.

How good is Mozilla VPN for streaming?

Mozilla VPN is marketed as a secure, privacy-focused service as opposed to a website-unblocking specialist. Our review mirrored this, and although we were able to access US YouTube and BBC iPlayer, we couldn't access Amazon Prime, Disney+, or US Netflix. 

Strangely, iPlayer’s usually trickier than Netflix – but there you go. If you are looking for a streaming VPN, we’d certainly wait a while to see how Mozilla develops this aspect of the service before coughing up the cash.

How fast is Mozilla VPN?

Speed testing Mozilla VPN was a pleasure as that WireGuard protocol meant we were pleased to see some superfast speeds. Testing was done using a 1Gbps line in the UK with multiple sites checked with several testing platforms. 

The UK download speeds averaged 750-850Mbps which makes this one of the best fast VPN options out there right now. Only just beaten by the likes of NordVPN which hit a top-speed of 880Mbps in our testing.

Final verdict

Quick and easy to use, Mozilla VPN is already a decent option for users who are looking for a privacy-focused VPN. It also offers some of the most impressive speeds of any VPN you can get right now. Add in that security audit and this is well on its way. 

But without streaming unblocking working well, it still has a way to improve. For more advanced features, the big names are still leading the way with ExpressVPN and NordVPN at the front of the pack.

Luke Edwards

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.