Mozilla VPN, a no-frills VPN service that protects your privacy well, has been available since April of this year. We’ll show you how to use the service.
Mozilla VPN: How to Use Mozilla’s VPN Service
Mozilla VPN is available for Windows 10 (only 64 bit), macOS (from 10.14), Linux (from Ubuntu 18.04), iOS and Android. Mozilla uses the Swedish VPN provider Mullvad to offer its service. It relies on the modern and slim Wireguard protocol, which works much faster than the outdated protocols such as Open VPN. Mullvad has greatly expanded its infrastructure to cope with the rush of new users expected from the collaboration with Mozilla. There are now more than 760 servers in 61 cities in 37 countries to choose from worldwide (as of May 2021). When it comes to privacy and transparency, you are in good hands with Mozilla / Mullvad. As with most VPN providers, a no-logs policy applies, meaning that no logs of your online activities are saved from the outset. What is not saved cannot be released to the authorities. Mozilla only collects some information for quality assurance and further development of the product and promises not to resell this data.
Mozilla VPN on Windows: Unlike Opera, which integrates a free VPN into its browser, Mozilla VPN protects all data traffic on a device, regardless of which browser you are using. To do this, you need to install the VPN software, the Windows version of which only supports Windows 10 with 64-bit. The software is designed in the style of a smartphone app and is very similar to its Android counterpart.
Installation and setup are done quickly, there is not much to set up anyway. After you have created an account including means of payment, you have to verify yourself once via the browser. Then it starts already. The Mozilla software speaks German and optionally about 20 other languages. However, the country and city names are in English. Mozilla offers help texts in German on the website.
In the network settings you can specify whether support for IPv6 should be activated and whether local network access is possible when the VPN is active. The latter is necessary if you want to use resources in your local network even when the VPN is active, such as network printers or shares on other computers. In the default setting, this option is not active, so network access is blocked.
Installation and registration are done very quickly and you can choose the country in which the VPN server should be located.
Under Notifications you can set whether you would like to receive a warning as soon as you connect to an unsecured WLAN. This is especially important on the go, be it in a hotel, in a café, on the train or at the airport. Finally, you can also decide whether the VPN software should be loaded automatically when Windows starts.
There are no other options. Mozilla VPN does not currently offer functions such as automatic connection, split tunneling or browser extensions. A kill switch for external IP addresses that cannot be switched off protects your privacy should the VPN connection be unintentionally interrupted. Dedicated servers for video streaming or P2P are not available.
Mobile VPN on Android: Mozilla offers apps for iOS and Android for mobile devices. The operation of the Android app is in German, but the country and city names are in English in contrast to the Windows software. This is also the case with Mullvad. There are even fewer setting options in the app than in Windows. If necessary, switch off the use of the more modern Internet protocol IPv6 or switch on local network access in the network settings. The latter enables you to access LAN resources such as network printers or shared folders even when the VPN is active.
“App permissions” means that Windows cannot activate split tunneling. Here you can specify which applications should use the VPN and which should not. By default, all apps are selected for VPN. On the start page of the application, behind the inconspicuous symbol (i) at the top left, there is a visualization of the current data traffic in both directions. As in Windows, the kill switch is always active and cannot be switched off.
After selecting a VPN location, the Mozilla software does not immediately establish a VPN connection. You must first press the activation switch. A connection to a suitable server is then established very quickly. When the VPN is active, the change of location is also quick and takes place without the detour via the activation switch. On Android, there were considerable delays in the test at some locations before the new connection was established, while for others the change of location only took two to three seconds.
There are only a few configuration settings available. This makes it easy to choose the right country server.
The use of international streaming services such as ORF Tvthek, BBC Iplayer or Netflix US usually works well and with sufficient bandwidth. For US streaming services, you may have to select a different US server several times before it works – there are a number of US cities to choose from. Downloads from the file host Zippyshare, which blocks users from some EU countries (including Germany), can be made by selecting another European country such as Poland or Switzerland.
Speed: The data rates that can be achieved for downloads are within the usual limits for VPN services. In practice, this means a loss of around ten percent. For example, with a 100 MBit / s VDSL connection without VPN you can achieve downloads of just under 12 MB / s, and with VPN around 10.5 MB / s.
The prices: Mozilla VPN offers a monthly subscription for 9.99 euros, six months are available for 6.99 euros per month and the annual subscription costs 4.99 euros per month. You can use the VPN service with a subscription on up to five devices, with no limit to the bandwidth or the amount of data. You can choose to pay by credit card or PayPal. Mozilla offers a 30-day money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied. There is no free offer to try out.
Mozilla VPN provides a no-frills VPN service that protects your privacy well. The operation of the software is kept quite simple, has few setting options and does not pose any puzzles. The price is fair, but you can get an even simpler price model directly from Mullvad: This always costs 5 euros per month, regardless of how long you are committed.
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