It began life as a simple Firefox browser extension, but Mozilla VPN is now a full standalone VPN product which secures all your internet traffic on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux.
The network is smaller than some rivals at 400+ servers across 60 locations and 35+ countries. To put that in perspective, ExpressVPN has 3,000 servers, NordVPN has 5,500, and CyberGhost boasts 8,900+.
- Want to try Mozilla VPN? Check out the website here (opens in new tab)
Mozilla VPN is powered by Mullvad's speedy and secure network. Some companies keep quiet about the fact that they're reselling someone else's service, but Mozilla is very open. Click the 'see our full list of servers' link on the Mozilla VPN website, for instance, and it takes you to the server list on Mullvad's site (opens in new tab).
Mozilla VPN's feature list has grown considerably since launch, and the service now beats many specialist VPNs in some areas.
The network is P2P-friendly, for instance (we torrented successfully on three test locations). Support for the speedy WireGuard protocol optimizes performance, and there's a kill switch to protect you if the VPN drops.
Multi-Hop VPN enables connecting to the VPN from one location (Phoenix, say, but you can choose anything from the location list) and exiting from another (maybe London), making it even more difficult for others to track your activities. Mozilla implemented this a while ago on desktop apps, but it's now available on Android and iOS, too.
Split tunneling support (confusingly called App Permissions here) allows you to decide which apps are protected by the VPN, and which use your regular internet connection.
Other highlights include IPv6 support, and the ability to choose an ad or tracker-blocking DNS server, or to use your preferred DNS.
Firefox users get an unusual bonus in support for Multi-Account Containers. You’re able to have separate browser tabs, each connected to a separate VPN location, or even not connected to the VPN at all. Instead of forever connecting, changing location or disconnecting, you just switch to whatever tab you need. (This Mozilla blog post (opens in new tab) has more details.)
There are still weaknesses. Mozilla VPN only supports the WireGuard protocol, for instance, so if that won’t connect on your network, you’re out of luck. There's no support for manually setting up the service on routers or anything else. And you still can't set up the apps to automatically connect when you access public Wi-Fi, either.
There's no live chat support, but Mozilla does have a decent number of support articles. You can also send questions to the support team from the website if you're in serious trouble.
We spotted one potential annoyance. Although Mozilla VPN says it works with up to five devices, that means specific, registered devices. If you use the service on two mobiles, two laptops and a tablet, for instance, you can't use it on a new device until you've signed out of one of the others.
A handful of companies do something similar (KeepSolid VPN Unlimited is one), but most providers limit you by the number of simultaneous connections only. You can still only connect a set number of devices at one time, but the VPN doesn't care which ones they are, and there's none of the hassle of registering or removing a specific device.
- How does Mozilla VPN shape up with the best Firefox VPN extensions
Mozilla VPN pricing
Mozilla VPN is priced at a reasonable $9.99 for its monthly billed account (opens in new tab), dropping to $7.99 over six months (opens in new tab), or $4.99 on the annual plan (opens in new tab).
Although that's not expensive overall, keep in mind that you're paying for access to Mullvad's servers. Go direct to Mullvad and you'll pay a flat rate of €5 a month (around $5.75), whatever the length of your subscription.
Payments are accepted via card and PayPal only.
If you sign up and the service doesn't work for you, no problem, you're protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee. There are no sneaky catches or exclusions, as far as we can tell (and we spent quite some time looking): if you're unhappy, just tell the company within the first 30 days, and you'll get a refund.
Privacy and logging
Mozilla sells its VPN partly as being from 'a name you can trust', and that's a major plus. Even if you think Mozilla's reputation comes largely from not being Google or Microsoft, it's still way ahead of most VPNs in the trustworthiness stakes, and its partner, Mullvad, is one of the most privacy-focused providers around.
The Mozilla VPN website makes its general approach very clear – 'Your privacy comes first', 'We don’t store your online activity logs on our servers' – and the company provides more information in a brief Privacy Notice (opens in new tab).
The firm collects your IP address when you sign up and use the service, along with technical information about its setup (installed app version, operating system, hardware configuration) and 'interaction data': when you log in, when the app requests the server information, and so on. Mozilla says the IP is only held 'temporarily', although it doesn't explain how long 'temporary' might be.
If you're unhappy with this, you can disable some of it. Our Windows app installer asked us whether we wanted to send usage data to Mozilla, making it clear what was going on, and giving us a chance to say 'no, thanks'. (If you don't notice the installer option, you can also turn this off from Settings.)
Mozilla says all the right things about privacy, but users shouldn't be left to take any provider's words on trust. We like to see some independent evidence that a VPN is living up to its promises.
In August 2021, Mozilla provided just that by publishing the results of a second Cure53 audit (opens in new tab) into its service.
This didn't look at the servers, but Cure53 did have an in-depth look at the apps, including the source code.
Cure53's report was positive overall, saying that only a single medium scale vulnerability was uncovered, and that the apps had 'grown significantly in security' since its last review.
Overall, we think the audit is positive news in a number of ways. The scope was significant, covering all Mozilla's apps; the company shared its source code; the audit results were reasonable, and it published the report in full. We give Mozilla a lot of credit for putting itself under that level of scrutiny, something which most VPNs still haven't done.
Getting started with Mozilla VPN requires creating a Firefox account, but that doesn't involve anything more than providing your email address and age. (Yes, age – we're not sure why, either.)
Account set up, we handed over our cash and the website directed us to the Downloads page. We grabbed a copy of the Windows app, which was downloaded and installed within seconds.
Mozilla VPN's Windows offering has a straightforward and very standard interface. A small console displays your default location, and you can click this to select another. A big On/Off switch connects and disconnects you as required, and icons plus a status display make it clear when you're protected, and when you're not.
The client doesn't have an 'Automatic' setting where it chooses the fastest server for you, and there's no Search box, filtering or Favorites system to quickly find your most-used locations. Getting connected takes a little more scrolling and clicking than we'd like.
There's some compensation in Mozilla's use of the ultra-speedy WireGuard protocol, which typically got us connected in 1-2 seconds.
The app didn’t perform as well in our connection stress tests, where we see how a VPN can handle awkward network situations (no internet connection, another VPN is connected, and so on). It occasionally hung on ‘Connecting’ or ‘Disconnecting’ screens for so long that we had to restart to recover.
If you’re only ever accessing the same few very standard Wi-Fi hotspots, you might instantly connect each time, and this won’t matter at all. But if you’re traveling more widely, you could find Mozilla VPN has the occasional connection issue. If you’re signing up for the trial, use your time to test the service on as many different networks as you can to see how it works for you.
Mozilla VPN's Windows settings begin with a simple split tunneling system. This enables setting up some apps to use your normal internet connection rather than the VPN, which can be handy to improve performance or fix problems (banking apps which won't run if you seem to be in another country, say).
A DNS Settings screen allows you to choose DNS servers which block ads, trackers or both, and you can also enter a custom DNS server of your own.
Our tests found Mozilla’s DNS options worked well. The default app settings successfully prevented DNS leaks. We turned on the ‘anti-tracking DNS’, then tried accessing 150 common trackers. Mozilla VPN blocked a very acceptable 116, including all the most important (Google, Facebook, and more).
A Notifications page includes an option to display an alert if you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network. That's useful, although more powerful apps can automatically connect to the VPN as required, too.
A handful of more technical features include the ability to use port 53 for connections, which might help you use the service in countries or on networks where a VPN is normally blocked.
As we mentioned above, there's no option to change protocol: it's WireGuard or nothing. But otherwise, there's a fair amount of configurability here, and Mozilla VPN certainly outperforms many competitors.
While Mozilla's Windows client has a kill switch, there's no option to turn it on or off, or otherwise tweak how it works. That's good for security, as there's no way you can accidentally disable it. But this could be bad news if the kill switch causes some problems on your device, as there's no way to try and fix that.
We ran a few tests, and found the kill switch correctly blocked our internet if the VPN connection dropped.
We did notice problems in some extreme situations. If one of Mozilla's Windows services fails, for instance, protection is lost, but the kill switch doesn't kick in. The app warns the user about the disconnection, but there's a chance their identity and some traffic will be exposed.
Next, we closed a key Mozilla VPN process while connected. The VPN stayed up, but the app told us it had disconnected. We found our internet was blocked, and Mozilla VPN wouldn’t connect. We uninstalled, rebooted, and our internet was still blocked. It took some low-level network tweaking to restore our normal internet access.
These problems only showed up with our most extreme stress tests, and you may never encounter them in real-world use. But what these results suggest is Mozilla VPN’s apps aren’t the best at handling unusual network conditions, and we’re left wondering what other issues might be lurking under the hood.
Mozilla VPN's Mac app looks and feels almost identical to the Windows version, and that's both good and bad.
On the plus side, it's exceptionally consistent. Learn how the app works on one platform, and you'll have no problem using it on the other.
On the downside, it means the Mac inherits all the same Windows limitations. There's no 'Fastest server' option to automatically choose the best location, no Favorites system, no choice of protocol, for instance.
The app does have a few interesting touches. It includes Mozilla’s ad, tracker and malicious website blocking DNS, for instance, and can give you notifications if you connect to unsecured Wi-Fi. Other apps go further – the best VPN software can automatically connect when you access untrusted networks – but these are still features worth having.
Put it all together, and although it’s not exactly powerful, this is a decent Mac app. It’s simple to use, at least for basic tasks – choose your country, and all you have to do is click to connect, click again to disconnect. And in real-world use, the app worked well for us, connecting quickly and delivering decent performance all-round.
The Mozilla Android and iOS apps are near clones of the desktop builds, easy to use but with few features.
Browsing the menus, we managed to spot some differences to the desktop clients. For example, the Android app restores the split tunneling feature which isn’t supported on Mac, allowing you to choose specific apps that won't have their traffic routed through the VPN.
The iOS app doesn't have split tunneling (not Mozilla’s fault, it’s not supported on iOS), but you do still get ad, malware and tracker blocking DNS and some basic notification settings.
Mozilla's mobile apps aren't exactly exciting, then, but like the rest of the range, they're not bad, either. They all do a reasonable job of the VPN essentials, and if that's all you need, they might be good enough.
Mozilla sells its VPN on security and privacy much more than website unblocking, and our tests showed why: the service didn't get us access to BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, or Netflix in the US, UK, Australia, Canada or Japan.
There were one or two successes. Mozilla VPN unblocked Disney Plus, which we didn’t expect. In the UK, it unblocked Channel 4 from one of our two test sites, but failed with ITV. In Australia, Mozilla VPN got us into 9Now, but missed with 10 play.
Not a total disaster, then, but Mozilla is trailing far behind the best providers. ExpressVPN, Hide.me, Ivacy, NordVPN, PureVPN and Surfshark all unblocked every one of our test platforms in their last reviews.
Our performance tests found Mozilla’s WireGuard-powered download speeds peaked at 520Mbps. That’s far behind the likes of Surfshark and TorGuard, VPNs that reached 950Mbps+ in their last tests. But if your typical internet connection is slower than 520Mbps, or you’re using a VPN to protect normal browsing or streaming, Mozilla VPN is fast enough.
The company ended on a positive note in our final privacy checks, as multiple test sites found Mozilla VPN blocked all DNS and WebRTC leaks.
Mozilla VPN review: Final verdict
Mozilla VPN might appeal to fans of the company, and those who'd prefer a VPN from a well-known and trusted name. But it can't match top providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN in features, apps, locations, range of plans, unblocking and more besides, and demanding users might be happier elsewhere.