Mozilla VPN Review – PCMag


The best argument for the Firefox browser (besides it just being, you know, a good browser) has always been that it has no profit motive. Mozilla, the company that owns Firefox and associated projects, is a nonprofit and can, in theory, put user privacy first and fight back against surveillance capitalism. That theory is put to the test with Mozilla VPN, a repackaging of Mullvad’s excellent VPN. With Mozilla VPN, you get strong privacy protection, advanced privacy tools, and your fee supports one of the internet’s good guys in the process. The catch is that costs significantly more than Mullvad VPN. Still, if what you need is a guilt-free, solid VPN, Mozilla’s offering is a strong choice.

How Much Does Mozilla VPN Cost?

In terms of functionality, Mozilla VPN does what all VPNs do: It encrypts all your internet traffic and pipes it securely to a remote server. This means that anyone watching your online activities, including your ISP, won’t be able to see what you’re up to. VPNs also help preserve your privacy by hiding your IP address (and thus your physical location), which makes it harder for advertisers to track your movements online.

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Mozilla VPN is not, strictly speaking, wholly a Mozilla project like Firefox. Instead of building and maintaining the infrastructure required for a consumer VPN, Mozilla found another company to partner with. During Mozilla’s earliest forays into the world of VPNs, Mozilla courted Editors’ Choice-winner ProtonVPN. The final product, dubbed Mozilla VPN, is actually powered by another Editors’ Choice winner: Mullvad VPN. Mozilla is not alone in making this kind of arrangement. Bitdefender, for example, partnered with Hotspot Shield VPN for its VPN product.

A monthly subscription with Mozilla VPN costs $9.99 per month. That’s a good price coming in just below the $10.11 per-month average we’ve seen across the VPNs we’ve tested. It’s still a bit too pricey to be considered one of the best cheap VPNs, however. Froot VPN and Kaspersky Secure Connection are tied for the most affordable for-pay monthly subscription, at $4.99 per month. Mozilla’s is, interestingly, also quite a bit more than Mullvad’s €5 price tag.

Most VPNs offer a discount for longer subscriptions, and Mozilla is no different. A six-month Mozilla VPN subscription costs $47.94, and a one-year subscription just $59.88. That’s significantly less than the $70.06 per year we’ve seen across the services we’ve reviewed. We advise against starting out with a long-term subscription and instead suggest that readers try a short-term plan to make sure the VPN will work with all the sites and services they frequently use.

Note that Mozilla VPN was initially on sale for $4.99 per month, but that price is no longer available. Customers who enrolled before the pricing change can continue to pay that monthly rate, but new customers aren’t so lucky. Mozilla pointed out that the annual subscription works out to $4.99 when divided across 12 months, but it still requires up-front payment for the whole year.

There are some free VPNs worth considering. Most, like the Editors’ Choice-winning TunnelBear VPN, place a data limit on free subscribers. ProtonVPN, on the other hand, places no data limit on free users and has an affordable, tiered pricing system that takes some of the pain out of upgrading.

Purchasing a Mozilla VPN subscription is a bit different than with other VPNs. First, you’ll need a Firefox account, even if you don’t plan on ever using that vulpine browser. Editors’ Choice winners Mullvad and IVPN don’t require any personal information and use randomly generated numbers to identify accounts for added privacy. Those services also let you purchase a subscription anonymously, with cash sent to their respective HQs, while Mozilla VPN limits you to major credit cards. Mozilla also does not support payments made via cryptocurrency.

What Do You Get for Your Money With Mozilla?

A Mozilla VPN subscription lets you use up to five devices simultaneously. That’s the average across the services we’ve reviewed, but a growing number of services are doing away with this limitation entirely. Atlas VPN, Avira Phantom VPN, IPVanish VPN, Editors’ Choice winner Surfshark VPN, and Windscribe VPN place no limit on the number of simultaneous connections. 

(Editors’ Note: IPVanish are owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s parent company.)

When it launched, Mozilla VPN had few features beyond the basic VPN. It has since added multihop connections to its list of features. This routes your web traffic through a second VPN server to ensure that your data is secure, albeit at a high performance cost. Many VPNs use pre-selected routes, but Mozilla allows you to mix and match your route. As of this writing, this feature is being rolled out to Mozilla’s various apps.

Mozilla VPN supports split tunneling in its Windows and Android apps. This lets you define which apps send their traffic through the VPN connection and which do not. It’s useful for high-bandwidth, but low-security activities like streaming media or gaming. Notably, Editors’ Choice winners NordVPN and ProtonVPN are the only VPNs we’ve reviewed that offer multihop, split tunneling, and access to Tor.

Along with split tunneling, Mozilla has also introduced a feature that detects when the network you’re on is attempting to load a captive portal log in screen. Captive portal pages redirect you to a webpage that prompts you for login information before you can use the internet connection. You mostly see these on public Wi-Fi networks, especially at hotels or on airplanes. VPNs can prevent the captive portal pages from appearing, and thus prevent you from getting online. Mozilla’s solution is to trigger a notification letting you know you need to sign in. We’ll be testing this feature in the future.

Many VPNs provide alternative DNS options in their apps, but Mozilla goes a step further. By default, it will use its secure DNS when active, but you can opt to choose ad-blocking DNS, tracker-blocking DNS, or ad- and tracker-blocking DNS. You can can also choose your own DNS server. We did not test the ad-blocking ability of these options extensively, but we did note that ads still appeared when it was enabled. We recommend using both the privacy features of your browser and a stand-alone tracker blocker such as the EFF’s Privacy Badger in addition to whatever ad-blocking a VPN provides.

Increasingly, VPN companies are expanding their offerings into larger suites of security and privacy products. Hotspot Shield VPN, for instance, now offers an antivirus tool in addition to several other privacy services. Mozilla has always emphasized open-source standards and respecting customer privacy, even in non-security projects like the storied Thunderbird mail client and the Hubs VR meeting space. After Firefox and Mozilla VPN, the company’s most explicitly security-focused products are the Lockwise password manager and Firefox Monitor, which warns you if your personal information appears in data breaches. 

It’s important to remember that while VPNs are useful tools for protecting your privacy, they aren’t the solution to every problem. We highly recommend enabling multifactor authentication wherever it’s available, using a password manager to create unique and complex passwords for every site and service, and installing standalone antivirus software on your machines.

VPN Protocols

VPNs are not a new technology, and several methods for creating a VPN connection have been developed over the years. The OpenVPN protocol has long been our preferred VPN protocol as it is open-source and can thus be scrutinized for vulnerabilities. The latest open-source hotness is the WireGuard VPN protocol, which has newer technology and promises faster speeds. We’re glad to see this innovation in the VPN space.

Mullvad VPN has fully embraced WireGuard and Mozilla VPN likewise supports WireGuard on all platforms.

Servers and Server Locations

Mullvad VPN, and, by extension, Mozilla VPN, has VPN servers in 37 countries. That’s below the average among services we’ve examined, and the list of locations isn’t as varied as we’d like to see. For example, there’s only one server location for all of South America and none for the entirety of Africa. If you plan on using a VPN in those (enormous) chunks of the globe, you’ll have to connect to a very distant server, which can potentially degrade the quality of your connection. Mozilla VPN has servers in Hong Kong, but not other countries with repressive internet policies such as Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam. ExpressVPN does a far better job covering the globe with its server fleet.

The Mozilla VPN product site refers you to Mullvad’s list of servers, which is an excellent decision. This interactive list shows every server, where it’s located, whether it’s owned or leased, and much more. It’s a simple act of transparency that other VPN companies should emulate.

Mozilla VPN currently offers 400 servers, which is far fewer than most competitors. It’s even fewer servers than Mullvad VPN, which boasts 764 total, and far fewer than the 7,000-odd servers from CyberGhost. That said, a large fleet of servers does not necessarily ensure good performance. If we had to guess, we’d say that Mozilla’s modest offering has a lot more to do with being a relative newcomer, with fewer subscribers.

Virtual servers are software-defined, meaning that a single hardware server can play host to numerous virtual ones. A virtual location is any server that’s been configured to appear as if it were somewhere other than where it is physically located. Neither is inherently problematic, but we prefer services that are transparent about where their infrastructure is located. Mullvad told us it only uses dedicated servers, not virtual ones, and that none of its locations are virtual.

Mullvad does not use RAM-only servers (also called diskless servers). As the name implies, these are servers that do not store any information to disk. The company says this is not an issue since it gathers no information about customers. Other companies, such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN, made the transition on the grounds that these servers are resistant to tampering.

Your Privacy With Mozilla VPN

If a VPN company desired, it could intercept all the information that passes through its servers and then hand that information over to the highest bidder, or it could be compelled to give it to law enforcement. That’s why it’s so important to understand the privacy protections of any VPN service you’re considering using. 

In the process of reviewing Mozilla VPN, we read through the company’s privacy policy. We found it to be surprisingly clear and readable as well as remarkably thorough. When we reviewed Mullvad VPN, we wrote, “Mullvad tackles the thorny issue of privacy with radical transparency, setting an example for others to follow in its privacy policy.” This is still true, and it speaks to the quality of privacy and transparency customers should expect from Mozilla VPN, as well.

What’s more obscure is how these services work together. For example, Mullvad has virtually no information about its customers because of its account system that requires no personal information, it just issues you an account number. Mozilla VPN builds on Firefox Accounts, which requires a verified email address and retains such information as the devices where you are using any Mozilla service connected to your Firefox account. It’s possible that in a few areas at least, you should expect more privacy from using Mullvad on its own than with Mozilla VPN, but many other VPNs use systems similar to Mozilla’s. NordVPN, for instance, now has a suite of products available under Nord accounts.

But the difference between Mozilla VPN and Mullvad VPN may be negligible since Mozilla is no slouch when it comes to privacy. A company representative told us that Mozilla does not gather or share customers’ network activity. Nor does it sell customer data. That’s excellent.

In its privacy policy, Mozilla explains that user IP addresses are received during account creation and when customers use Mozilla VPN. This is to find the user’s approximate location because Mozilla VPN is not available in every country. A Mozilla representative told PCMag, “GeoIP results are not stored and are computed at run time using a Geo-IP database.” We appreciate Mozilla’s transparency and that it explains how this temporary information is used.

Mozilla VPN is owned by the Mozilla Corporation, which is part of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. It is based in the US and operates under US law. Mullvad is owned by Amagicom AB, is based in Sweden and operates under Swedish law. Because the Mozilla Foundation is a nonprofit, it publishes extensive information on its internal process and governance.

Mozilla issues a transparency report for all its products and does acknowledge providing some information to law enforcement when compelled by subpoena. While it’s disappointing that any information is provided, it’s far less than other major tech companies. A representative described the information retained by Mozilla as scant. “As Mozilla VPN does not log, track, or share your online activity, the information that we do collect only allows us to provision the service to our customers and understand how our customers as a whole interact with the product.” This is similar to other VPN products.

Many VPN companies have begun issuing the results of third-party audits to establish their security and privacy bona fides. TunnelBear VPN is a stand-out example, issuing extensive audits annually. Audits are imperfect tools, but we believe they are a valuable demonstration of a company’s commitment to privacy. Early in 2021, Mullvad released the results of an audit of its infrastructure, meaning that Mozilla VPN customers should have the same assurance. In September 2021, Mozilla released an audit of its apps that was carried out by Cure53. We’re glad to see this effort and hope both Mozilla and Mullvad continue to release regular audits.

Hands On With Mozilla VPN on Windows

We had no trouble installing Mozilla VPN on an Intel NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH (Bean Canyon) desktop running the latest version of Windows 10. Getting started with Mozilla VPN required first logging into our Firefox Account. That’s very different from Mullvad VPN, which uses a randomly generated code to identify users and doesn’t bother with a password. Mozilla tells us its VPN is available for Android, iOS, macOS, Ubuntu Linux, and Windows.

The app is extremely simple, built around a grey window with bold accent colors that are reminiscent of Firefox’s current design and branding. We dig the bold pinks, purples, and oranges, which give the app a lot of visual sizzle in the same-y world of VPN apps. It’s a great improvement over Mullvad VPN’s weirdly cramped desktop app. That said, TunnelBear still has the market cornered on friendly design with its simple interface, bold yellows, and friendly bears.

A toggle in the center of the window gets you online quickly. Once you’re connected, the app transforms to a striking purple, so it’s easy to tell when the VPN is active. Click this central card and the app displays your current network activity. The colorful chart is not particularly useful, but it is nice to look at.

Clicking on Select Location brings up a list of available server locations is organized by country, and you can expand each option to see the available cities. You can’t choose a specific server—just a region—which is disappointing. Mullvad VPN does allow you to drill down to individual servers. Tabs at the top let you choose between single hop and multihop connections. Mozilla thoughtfully includes an explanation of multihop right in the Settings panel, and lets you choose both your entrance and exit location.

Since we first reviewed Mozilla VPN, the company has enabled split tunneling on Windows. It’s well executed in the app, with a clean interface that makes it easy to select which applications should run outside the VPN connection. We confirmed the feature worked as expected by excluding Chrome from the VPN connection and observing the results.

One quirk is that the app displays all the devices where you’ve logged into Mozilla VPN. Most VPNs limit you to simultaneous connections, but Mozilla limits the overall number of installations. We’re not fans of this model but it’s easy to free up slots and does allow you to easily log out of devices remotely.

Despite the additional features Mozilla has rolled out since launch, the Settings section is still a bit sparse. The new DNS options are the most significant change and are handled smartly. You can also enable IPv6 (on by default) and Local Network Access (off by default). The latter is useful if you want to connect your device to other machines on your network, like a streaming box or a network printer. In our testing, we confirmed that Mozilla VPN changed our public IP address and hid our ISP information.

Netflix is notorious for blocking access from VPNs, presumably to protect its regional streaming arrangements. In our testing, we found that we could only stream Netflix Originals content while connected to a Mozilla VPN server in the US. That’s disappointing, but it could also change at a moment’s notice. Streaming Netflix over a VPN is tricky.

Hands On With Mozilla VPN on Android

To test Mozilla’s Android VPN, we used a Samsung A71 running Android 11. The app’s interface is very simple, with a lot of white space surrounding a hot pink globe above a connection toggle centered at the top of the screen. After choosing a VPN city location from a list below the connection toggle, the top half of the app screen turns purple and teal, signifying a successful connection. When you tap the icon in the top left corner of the colorful connection box, you see your current IP address, and a line graph and numbers showing your current upload and download speeds.  

Mozilla VPN’s Android app is light on features. When you tap the gear on the top right side of the connection interface, and then tap App Permissions, you can choose to enable split tunneling for specific apps on the device. Unlike Bitdefender VPN, the app does not have an Auto-Connect feature or an internet Kill Switch.

We tested the split tunneling feature on Android by first noting our IP address, indicating that the Chrome browser should skip the VPN, and then activating Mozilla VPN. When we checked our IP address in Chrome again, the location didn’t change, signaling that the split tunneling was successful.

A VPN can help you protect yourself while you browse online, but whenever you use a new service, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s actually working. We went to and ran an extended test while connected to a server in Madrid. From our testing, it was clear the VPN was not leaking our information. 

To test the reliability of the VPN, we navigated to and watched a few videos while still connected to the server in Madrid. The videos all loaded quickly and played at a high resolution without any issues.

We’ll update this review as more features become available.

Hands On With Mozilla VPN on the iPhone

We installed the Mozilla VPN iOS app on an iPhone XS running iOS 14.6. The app has a simple design, featuring a hot pink globe at the top of the screen surrounded by a lot of white space, with a toggle below to connect to the VPN server. When you tap the toggle, the top half of the app’s screen turns purple and the globe becomes teal and blue, signifying a successful connection. You can choose the city where your VPN is located by tapping the list of cities below the connection toggle.

The app is just a VPN, nothing more. Apple doesn’t like it when third party services try to access or manipulate apps on their devices. That said, Mozilla VPN for iOS is missing features other competitors like Bitdefender have for their iOS apps, such as auto-connect, an internet kill switch, or split tunneling for web traffic.

Keeping your information safe online should be a top priority, so you should make sure a VPN is masking your real IP address and protecting your DNS information. showed Mozilla VPN was not leaking information while connected to a server in Amsterdam during testing.

While connected to the same server, we went to and watched a broadcaster stream a popular video game. The stream loaded quickly at the highest quality setting, and it did not buffer or stutter.

We’ll update this review as more features become available.

Hands On With Mozilla VPN on macOS

We downloaded Mozilla macOS VPN client from the company’s website and installed it on a MacBook Air (2020) running Big Sur 11.2.2. The installation process was handled by an installer application, and we had to give the app permission to make VPN connections on the computer.

The macOS app looks exactly like the iOS and Android versions. It’s a small window with tons of white space and a small pink globe in the top center of the window. Below the connection toggle button is a list of cities where the servers are located, and below that is a list of devices using the VPN service.

Like the iOS version, the macOS version lacks additional privacy features beyond the VPN itself when we tested it. Mozilla VPN does not have an internet Kill Switch or auto-connecting capabilities, nor does it offer split tunneling (a feature that is offered on Windows)

To test a Copenhagen-based VPN server’s security, we went to and ran an extended test. The results showed that our public IP address and DNS information were not being leaked.

While connected to the same server, we visited and watched a couple of videos. They loaded instantly and played without any interruptions.

We’ll update this review as more features become available.

Hands On with Mozilla VPN on Chrome OS

We downloaded the Mozilla VPN Android app onto a Dell Chrome 3100 with an Intel Celeron Processor. Mozilla VPN on Chrome OS is an attractive VPN application with a couple of helpful features. Split tunneling is a major option that can be found via the app permissions button in the main menu.

The Advanced DNS Settings menu allows you to change your DNS to block ads and block domains. When compared with other VPN apps at a similar price point, Mozilla VPN doesn’t have many features, but the app’s interface makes it easy to connect to a VPN server.

Speed and Performance

Using a VPN will almost certainly reduce your upload and download speeds and increase your latency. To get a sense of that impact, we run a series of Ookla Speedtest tests with and without the VPN running. We then find the percent change between the median result of each set. You can read more about our processes in our article on How We Test VPNs.

(Editors’ Note: Speedtest by Ookla is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s parent company.)

In our testing, we found that Mozilla VPN reduced download speeds by 26.5% and upload speeds by 20.9%. Those are both strong scores. Its latency performance was less impressive, but by no means bad: Mozilla VPN increased latency by 57.1%. 

Because of our limited access to the PCMag Labs, we’ve decided to move to a rolling testing model and update readers with a running list of results as we test VPNs. You can see the latest results in the table below, as well as the current median result for each category.

Keep in mind that speeds can vary greatly, depending on location, time of day, and many other factors. Our speed testing is intended as a snapshot for comparison between services, not as an overall evaluation of a service’s performance. We also discourage readers from focusing on speed. Features, price, and privacy protections are far more valuable.

A Worthy Cause

Mozilla VPN is eminently accessible to anyone. It’s cheaper per month than most New York City cocktails and has a snazzy but straightforward design that’s easily grasped. Someone without any technical knowledge can get online fast with full VPN protection. While it launched with very little beyond a VPN, the addition of DNS options, split tunneling, and especially multihop connections mean that it can now compete with some of the best products on the market.

The fact that Mozilla VPN is powered by Mullvad VPN makes both companies look good, but it also invites comparisons between the two that rarely favor Mozilla. For example, Mozilla VPN costs significantly more than Mullvad VPN. It also opted for a simpler, traditional account system rather than Mullvad’s strange but extremely private account codes. Mozilla certainly has an edge over Mullvad on ease of use, but it is hard to square that metaphorical price over the actual, literal price tag.

While it is assuredly an excellent VPN, Mozilla VPN’s best qualities lie in its associations. Mozilla has, for decades, been an outspoken proponent of privacy, open-source technology, web standards, and the concept that the benefits of the internet should be shared by everyone. It’s also a nonprofit, removing it (somewhat) from the muck and grime of both big tech and the VPN industry. Like all companies, Mozilla is not perfect and has received fair criticism at times. Still, it’s as close as you can get to knowing that the money you spend on a VPN is going toward a good cause.


  • Helps support nonprofit Mozilla

  • Powered by privacy hawk Mullvad

  • Simple, snazzy design

  • Multihop and split tunneling

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The Bottom Line

Mozilla VPN protects your privacy, and your subscription fee supports a proponent of a free internet. It’s approachable and its recently added multihop and split tunneling options make it quite attractive, but it’s more expensive than the service that underpins it.

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