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Mozilla VPN review: A credible VPN, but rivals offer a more rounded service

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
4.05
per month, with a 1yr subscription

A relative newcomer on the market, Mozilla VPN still has some catching up to do

Pros 
Perfectly speedy
Versatile multi-hop options
Impressively full-featured Android app
Cons 
Mixed results with streaming services
Comparatively few server locations
No support for routers or smart appliances
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In the annals of the internet, the Mozilla name has a proud lineage – it was founded in 1998 by members of the original Netscape team. Today it’s best known for the Firefox browser, but since 2020 the company has also offered its own fully featured VPN service.

To be strictly accurate, the VPN isn’t actually owned by Mozilla – it piggybacks Mullvad’s WireGuard-based server network, which means it offers the same choice of 35 countries to route your traffic through. That’s not a huge selection, and it doesn’t include any coverage at all in Africa, the Middle East or South Asia. Still, you do get a selection of privacy-friendly nations such as Switzerland and the Netherlands, a few more remote countries such as Brazil and Singapore – and plenty of servers in popular streaming locations, such as the UK, USA and Germany.

A rolling monthly subscription to Mozilla VPN costs £8.11, billed in US dollars. As always, it’s cheaper to pay up-front for a longer commitment, and unusually there’s a six-month option at £38.92 – equivalent to £6.49 per month. If that tempts you, you might as well go for the full year, since it only costs an extra tenner, and works out to £4.05 a month. That’s a reasonable price for an annual service, but it would be nice to have the option of saving even more by committing for two or three years, as offered by the likes of CyberGhost and Private Internet Access.

A subscription allows unlimited use from up to five devices at once, which can be running Windows, macOS, Android, iOS or Linux. You’re out of luck with other devices, however, as Mozilla doesn’t support manual configuration – which also means you can’t run it on a router.

Considering Mozilla is best known for its browser, it’s also a little curious that there’s no extension for controlling the VPN through your browser – but on Windows you can use the system tray icon to quickly reconnect to the last-used server, or bring up the full interface with two clicks.

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Mozilla VPN review: What’s it like to use?

The Mozilla VPN Windows app has a clean design that’s similar, though not identical, to the Mullvad app. The main window opens with a big on/off switch, while a panel below shows the currently selected server location. Click it and a list of servers flies in from the side.

We have to say, working with this list is a bit clunky. The search box at the top is slow to respond to typing, and the list of recent servers only remembers the past two connections, with no option to pin your favourite locations for regular quick access.

It’s annoying, too, that you can’t just pick a country, but must always drill down and choose a specific city to connect to. For countries that only have one server location – which is most of them – 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, since no indication is given of comparative load or ping time.

Mozilla VPN also offers a multi-hop option, which lets you define a double-VPN route between any pair of servers. However, since, again, 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 out. There’s something to be said for the ProtonVPN approach, whose curated multi-hop routes ensure your connection doesn’t grind to a halt, and always passes through at least one privacy-friendly jurisdiction.

There’s not much in the way of advanced settings, but you do get the option of choosing a custom DNS server that blocks adverts and tracking technologies. And we like the simple split tunnelling feature, which shows a list of registered applications and lets you exclude them from the VPN by simply ticking a box. There’s a built-in speed-tester, too, although you might not find it at first, as the little icon only appears when the VPN is connected.

For mobile users, the good news – sort of – is that the Android app is almost identical to the Windows one. And we’re not just talking about the look and layout: there’s an impressive degree of feature parity across platforms, with multi-hop locations, custom DNS and split tunnelling options all faithfully replicated here. Even the integrated speed tester makes the leap. However, our same gripes with the server list apply, and there’s no killswitch (which to be fair is normal on Android).

In all, Mozilla VPN is pretty straightforward to get along with, and we doubt you’ll come up with any pressing questions. If you do, though, be aware that Mozilla VPN doesn’t offer support by live chat – only via email. If you place a high value on fast, interactive help, you may be happier with a different service.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the fastest and most reliable VPNs available

Mozilla VPN review: How fast is it?

We’ve mentioned that Mozilla VPN uses the Mullvad network, and in our performance tests it proved reasonably speedy.

We first tried the service on a Windows 11 laptop, connected to a 200Mbits/sec Virgin Media home broadband line. With the VPN disconnected, Google’s Speed Test tool reported an average download speed of 214Mbits/sec – and connecting to a server in London had very little effect, with the testing tool registering an average of 205Mbits/sec.

We were also happy with Mozilla VPN’s performance when connected to a server in New York. While the trip across the Atlantic inevitably slowed things down a little, we still got an average download speed of 173Mbits/sec – 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 gave another solid performance, this time averaging 184Mbits/sec. And while US connections are always slower on Android, the Mozilla VPN kept up a creditable 114Mbits/sec. That’s only 10Mbits/sec behind the fastest score we’ve seen in this test – which, for the record, was achieved by ExpressVPN.

We’ve mentioned the split tunnelling feature, too: on Windows, Android and Linux, you can allow most of your applications to use your ISP’s connection at full speed, while only your chosen applications 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 firing up a BitTorrent client and you’ll find it works perfectly well across all servers. And as for video streaming, the recommended minimum bandwidth for 4K HDR video is 25Mbits/sec, and we’ve seen that Mozilla VPN can easily accommodate that.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll help you watch what you want, however. We found that connecting our Windows laptop to a US server enabled us to watch US-only content from Netflix and Hulu, but the Disney+ website refused to open until we’d disabled the VPN. Similarly, we were able to watch BBC iPlayer via the London server, but the BritBox and Now TV sites threw up errors.

Hopping onto our Android tablet didn’t help at all. With the VPN active, none of the UK-based streaming apps would allow us to play video, while the Netflix and Disney+ apps continued to show their UK libraries even when our virtual location was set to the US. It wasn’t possible to get into Hulu either, nor were we able to watch region-restricted Amazon Prime content – although that’s not surprising, because Amazon checks your registered home address, rather than relying on your IP address.

READ NEXT: The best VPNs with a free trial

Mozilla VPN review: Is it secure?

Mozilla is based in the USA, and that’s a big concern when it comes to protecting your privacy: thanks to Edward Snowden, we all know that routine surveillance is par for the course in the US. And as part of the “Five Eyes” alliance the US regularly shares information with the UK and other nations.

Still, things aren’t as bad as they may seem. Mozilla’s privacy policy includes a promise that no records are kept of what you do online while using the service. And remember that the network is actually operated not by Mozilla, but by Mullvad – which is based in Sweden, and protected by the strong privacy laws of that country.

The killswitch and multi-hop software features provide some additional peace of mind, too, and you can set the software to automatically activate a secure connection as soon as you start up your computer. Mozilla VPN isn’t as smart as other VPNs that let you mark individual networks as trusted or untrusted, however. You can’t even choose a particular server to use at startup: Mozilla VPN will just use whichever one you connected to last.

Mozilla VPN review: Should you buy it?

Mozilla VPN has decent security credentials, the server selection will be fine for most people, and speeds are rather good.

It’s hard to be enthusiastic about the overall package, though. We’ve seen plenty of VPNs with a wider global reach, slicker interfaces and more impressive abilities to unblock streaming services both at home and abroad. They work on a wider range of devices, they allow more simultaneous connections and several 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’ve every hope it will continue to mature rapidly. Right now, though, we’d suggest you check out something else from our run-down of the best VPNs 2022. Our recommendations each have their particular strengths, but we’d pick any one of them ahead of Mozilla VPN in its current state.

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Mozilla VPN: Quick facts

Based inUSA
Money-back guarantee30 days
Devices (simultaneous)5
Locations59 in 35 countries
SpeedFast
24/7 customer supportNo
Netflix and Disney+ allowedYes
BBC iPlayer allowedYes
Torrenting allowedYes
KillswitchYes
MultihopYes
DNS leaksNo
Activity loggingNo

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