In the annals of the Internet, the Mozilla name has a proud tradition – it was founded in 1998 by members of the original Netscape team. Today it is best known for the Firefox browser, but since 2020 the company has also offered its own full-featured VPN service.
In fact, the VPN isn’t actually owned by Mozilla – it piggybacks on Mullvad’s WireGuard-based network of servers, which means it offers the same choice of 35 countries for your traffic to route through. That’s not a huge selection, and it doesn’t include any coverage in Africa, the Middle East, or South Asia at all. Still, you get a choice of privacy-friendly nations like Switzerland and the Netherlands, some more remote countries like Brazil and Singapore — and plenty of servers in popular streaming locations like the UK, US, and Germany.
A rolling monthly subscription to Mozilla VPN costs £8.11 and is billed in US dollars. As always, it’s cheaper to pay upfront for a longer commitment and, unusually, there’s a six-month option for £38.92 – the equivalent of £6.49 a month. If that tempts you then you can also opt for the whole year as it only costs a tenner more and comes to £4.05 a month. That’s a reasonable price for an annual service, but it would be nice to have the option to save even more by signing up for two or three years, like CyberGhost and Private Internet Access offer.
A subscription allows unlimited use of up to five devices running Windows, macOS, Android, iOS or Linux at the same time. You’re out of luck with other devices, though, as Mozilla doesn’t support manual configuration — which also means you can’t run it on a router.
Considering that Mozilla is best known for its browser, it’s also a bit odd that there’s no extension to control the VPN from your browser – but on Windows, you can use the system tray icon to quickly get back to the connect to recently used server or bring up the full interface in two clicks.
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Mozilla VPN Review: How to use it?
The Mozilla VPN Windows app has a clean design that is similar, if not identical, to the Mullvad app. The main window opens with a large power button, while a panel below shows the currently selected server location. Click on that and a list of servers will fly in from the side.
We have to say that working with this list is a bit cumbersome. The search box at the top is slow to respond to input, and the recent servers list only stores the last two connections, with no ability to pin your favorite locations for regular quick access.
It’s also annoying that you can’t just pick a country, you always have to drill down and choose a specific city to connect to. For countries that only have one server location – and most of them are – it’s a pointless extra step. And when there are multiple locations to choose from, there’s really no way to make an informed choice as there’s no indication of comparable load or ping time.
Mozilla VPN also offers a multi-hop option, which allows you to define a dual VPN route between any pair of servers. But again, since no information is provided about latency or performance, there’s no way to tell how fast a given route will be until you try it. There’s a strong case for ProtonVPN’s approach, whose curated multi-hop routes ensure your connection never stalls and always traverses at least one privacy-friendly jurisdiction.
There aren’t many advanced settings, but you do have the option to choose a custom DNS server that blocks ads and tracking technologies. And we like the simple split tunneling feature, which shows a list of registered apps and allows you to exclude them from the VPN simply by ticking a box. There’s also a built-in speed tester, although you might not find it at first since the small icon only appears when the VPN is connected.
For mobile users, the good news is – sort of – that the Android app is almost identical to the Windows app. And we’re not just talking about the looks and layout: there’s an impressive level of feature parity across platforms, with multi-hop locations, custom DNS, and split tunneling options all faithfully replicated here. The integrated speed tester also makes the leap. However, our same issues with the server list apply, and there’s no kill switch (which, in fairness, is normal on Android).
All in all, Mozilla VPN is pretty easy to use, and we doubt you’ll have any urgent questions. In this case, however, note that Mozilla VPN does not offer support via live chat, only via email. If you value fast, interactive help, you might be happier with another service.
READ MORE: Our pick of the fastest, most reliable VPNs available
Mozilla VPN review: how fast is it?
We mentioned that Mozilla VPN uses the Mullvad network and has proven to be quite fast in our performance tests.
We first tried the service on a Windows 11 laptop connected to a Virgin Media 200Mbps home broadband line. With the VPN disconnected, Google’s speed test tool reported an average download speed of 214Mbps – and connecting to a server in London had very little impact, with the test tool registering an average of 205Mbps.
We were also pleased with Mozilla VPN’s performance when connected to a server in New York. While the voyage across the Atlantic inevitably slowed things down a bit, we still averaged 173Mbps download speeds – plenty for downloads, streaming, and anything else you might want to try.
We then repeated the test on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 tablet running Android 12. The London server delivered another solid performance, this time averaging 184Mbps. And while US connections are consistently slower on Android, the Mozilla VPN maintained a commendable 114 Mbps. That’s just 10 Mbps behind the fastest result we’ve seen in this test — which, for the record, was matched by ExpressVPN.
We also mentioned the split tunneling feature: on Windows, Android, and Linux, you can allow most of your apps to use your ISP’s connection at full speed, while only your chosen apps go through the VPN.
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Mozilla VPN Review: Is It Good for Torrenting and Streaming?
Like many VPNs, Mozilla doesn’t make any explicit promises about file sharing — but try launching a BitTorrent client and you’ll find that it works fine on all servers. And for video streaming, the recommended minimum bandwidth for 4K HDR video is 25 Mbps, and we’ve seen Mozilla VPN handle that with ease.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will help you see what you want. We found that connecting our Windows laptop to a US server allowed us to only watch US content from Netflix and Hulu, but the Disney+ website refused to open until we disabled the VPN. Similarly, we were able to watch BBC iPlayer through the London server, but the BritBox and Now TV websites were throwing errors.
Jumping onto our Android tablet didn’t help at all. With the VPN active, none of the UK-based streaming apps allowed us to play videos, while the Netflix and Disney+ apps continued to show their UK libraries even when our virtual location was set to the US. It also wasn’t possible to hop into Hulu, nor could we watch region-restricted Amazon Prime content – although that’s not surprising, given that Amazon checks your registered home address rather than relying on your IP address.
READ MORE: Best VPNs with a Free Trial
Mozilla VPN Review: Is It Safe?
Mozilla is based in the US, and that’s a big concern when it comes to protecting your privacy: thanks to Edward Snowden, we all know that routine surveillance is taken for granted in the US. And as part of the “Five Eyes” alliance, the US regularly exchanges intelligence with Britain and other nations.
The killswitch and multi-hop software features provide additional security, and you can set the software to automatically activate a secure connection as soon as you start your computer. However, Mozilla VPN isn’t as smart as other VPNs that allow you to mark individual networks as trusted or untrusted. You can’t even choose a specific server at startup: Mozilla VPN simply uses the server you last connected to.
Mozilla VPN Review: Should You Buy It?
Mozilla VPN has decent security features, server selection will be fine for most people, and speeds are pretty good.
However, it is difficult to get excited about the overall package. We’ve seen plenty of VPNs with a wider global reach, sleeker interfaces, and more impressive abilities to unblock streaming services both domestically and internationally. They work on a wider range of devices, allow more simultaneous connections, and some of them are cheaper too, at least if you sign up for a long-term plan.
To be fair, Mozilla VPN is still a young service and we really hope it will continue to mature quickly. For now, however, we recommend you check out something else from our list of the best VPNs of 2022. Our recommendations each have their particular strengths, but we’d pick one over Mozilla VPN in its current state.
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Mozilla VPN: Fast Facts
|Based in||United States of America|
|Refund warranty||30 days|
|Locations||59 in 35 countries|
|24/7 customer support||no|
|Netflix and Disney+ allowed||Yes|
|BBC iPlayer allowed||Yes|