Mozilla’s own VPN service gets mobile apps

Mozilla, the company behind Firefox browser, has released an Android and iOS apps for its new VPN service, Firefox Private Network.

Since early this year the VPN service has been available in the United States for limited-time pricing of $4.99/month. More regions are coming soon, according to their website.

Firefox Private Network is designed to function as a full-device VPN and protect user privacy when surfing the Web and when using public Wi-Fi networks. Users can protect up to five devices with one account.

The Firefox Private Network is built by Firefox but it’s powered by their partner Mullvad, an open-source VPN owned by founders Fredrik Strömberg and Daniel Berntsson that since 2010 is accepting Bitcoin for payments. The VPN runs on a global network of over 100 servers in 30+ countries to allow for fast browsing and streaming.

Firefox’s VPN uses the WireGuard protocol to encrypt all the data. Besides, Mullvad and Mozilla respects user privacy and has committed to not keep logs of any kind.

Here, the problem Mozilla is addressing is that many users choose free VPN services that have to pay their server bills somehow which can mean logging the traffic of their users and selling it to third-parties. That cancels out the main reason to use a VPN.

However, according to Mozilla, only the premium option won’t monitor or log any user data. Their free version, provided by Cloudflare, “temporarily logs unidentified browsing history and deletes this data within 24 hours as a mechanism to detect and handle abuse on the network.” But they explain that neither Firefox nor Cloudflare has a way to associate usage with users, as each company “holds partial aspects of this data which are never joined.”

Firefox Private Network is in an invite-only paid beta for now. And they offer free browser-level protection with the Firefox browser extension. If you’re interested, you need to join the waiting list.

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