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Mozilla VPN review: A functional VPN that lags behind its rivals

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £3.96
/mth (1yr sub), inc VAT

Mozilla’s VPN does the job, but it can’t match the market leaders for speed, features or price


  • Reasonable performance
  • Versatile multi-hop options
  • Full-featured mobile support


  • Slow, clunky client software
  • Limited success with streaming services
  • Can’t be used with routers or smart appliances

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 VPN service.

To be strictly accurate, the VPN isn’t owned by Mozilla. It piggybacks on Mullvad‘s WireGuard-based server network, which means it offers the same choice of 40 countries to route your traffic through. That’s not a huge selection, and it includes only a single location in Africa (South Africa) and one in the Middle East (Israel). There’s no coverage at all in South Asia, and the publisher also warns the VPN won’t work inside China.

Still, you can choose from 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.

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Mozilla VPN review: What do you get for the money?

A rolling monthly subscription to Mozilla VPN costs $9.99, equivalent to £7.91 at the time of writing. As usual, a longer commitment works out cheaper, with a discount on annual subscriptions that halves the cost to £3.96/mth. That’s still pricey by VPN standards, though; sign up for a multi-year plan with Atlas VPN, CyberGhost, PIA or PureVPN and you’ll pay less than two quid a month.

The service 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, 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 a little curious there’s no browser extension. However, 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.

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

The Mozilla VPN Windows app has a simple design that’s similar to the Mullvad app. The main window opens to show a big on/off switch, while a panel below shows the currently selected server location. Click on that location label and a list of servers slides in from the side.

So far, so clear, but in use it feels very clunky. I timed a lag of nearly three seconds between clicking on the location and the server list appearing, and the search box at the top of the list is just as slow to respond to typing. It’s also annoying that you can’t expand the window to see more of the list at once – it’s locked at a rather small size, so browsing the available locations involves a lot of tedious scrolling. Nor can you pin favourites to the home page, so you have to delve into the list every time you want to switch your virtual location.

As well as letting you route your traffic through particular locations, Mozilla VPN offers a multi-hop option, which lets you define a double-VPN route between any pair of available servers. This is admirably flexible, although a little more assistance might have been helpful: ProtonVPN’s curated multi-hop routes help ensure your connection won’t be horribly slow, and will always pass 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. The killswitch is always active by default, and we like the simple split tunnelling feature, which shows a list of installed applications and lets you exclude them from the VPN by simply ticking a box. There’s a built-in speed-tester, too; you might not find it at first, though, as the little icon only appears in the main app window 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. 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.

The extra screen space makes it less of a chore to pick a server, and the whole thing feels a bit more snappy and responsive than the Windows software. However, our gripes about the organisation of the server list still apply, and there’s no killswitch.

Whatever its shortcomings, the Mozilla VPN interface is pretty straightforward, but if you do need help, note that you’ll need to create a ticket inside the online support system and wait for a response. If you want fast, interactive help, you’ll probably be happier with one of the many rival VPNs that offer support via 24/7 live chat.

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Mozilla VPN review: How fast is it?

I’ve mentioned that Mozilla VPN runs over the Mullvad network, but in our tests it wasn’t quite as quick as Mullvad’s own service.

I first tried it on a Windows 11 laptop, connected to a 350Mbits/sec Virgin Media home broadband line. With the Mozilla VPN disconnected, Google’s Speed Test tool reported an average download speed of 358Mbits/sec; connecting to a server in London caused this to drop by around 45%, to an average of 199Mbits/sec. That remains a decent wodge of bandwidth, but it’s a much bigger impact than we saw with Mullvad, which suffered a mere 4% performance hit.

Switching to the New York server reduced download speeds further to 175Mbits/sec, a drop of 51% compared to a non-VPN connection. Mullvad was faster here too, with a more modest performance loss of 36%.
mozilla vpn review performance chart average upload and dowload speed
I then repeated the test on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 tablet, running Android 13; this produced some curiously inconsistent results. Using the Mozilla VPN mobile app, I was able to get a much more credible 304Mbits/sec downstream from the London server – but the New York connection fell further to 139Mbits/sec.F

None of these scores are so bad that they will stop you from streaming, gaming or whatever else you might want to do, but they don’t reflect well on Mozilla VPN. Several other VPNs we’ve tested have incurred a performance impact of less than 5% when using a UK server – not just Mullvad, but also IPVanish, ProtonVPN, PureVPN and Surfshark. And almost any other VPN will give you faster transatlantic connections.

On the plus side, on Windows, Android and Linux, you can use Mozilla VPN’s split tunnelling feature to allow most of your applications to use your ISP’s connection at full speed, while only your chosen applications go through the slower VPN.

Mozilla VPN review: Is it good for torrenting and streaming?

Like many VPNs, Mozilla doesn’t make explicit promises about file sharing, but I tried firing up a BitTorrent client and found it worked perfectly well across all the servers I tested. 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 you can watch what you want, however. I found that connecting my Windows laptop to a US server allowed me to stream US-only content from Netflix, but Hulu detected the VPN and refused to play and the Disney+ website wouldn’t open at all until I’d disabled the VPN. Similarly, I was able to watch Channel 4 and Now via the London server, but BBC iPlayer and ITVX threw up errors.

Moving onto my Android tablet didn’t help. When connected to the London server, I saw exactly the same results from the UK-based streaming apps, with both iPlayer and ITVX refusing to play ball. And on the US side, Netflix once again served up its US library, while Disney+ and Hulu remained inaccessible.

I wasn’t able to watch region-restricted Amazon Prime content either, but that’s not surprising, because Amazon bases content on your registered home address, rather than relying on your IP address.

READ NEXT: Best VPNs for Android

Mozilla VPN review: Is it secure?

Mozilla is based in the USA, and that’s a potential concern when it comes to protecting your privacy. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know 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 capabilities provide further peace of mind, 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 reconnect to whichever one you used last.

Mozilla VPN review: Should you buy it?

Mozilla VPN has reasonable security credentials, and offers a fair range of servers with acceptable performance.

Unfortunately, that’s not enough to gain our recommendation – not when there are other VPNs out there with a wider global reach, and which do a better job of unblocking streaming services both at home and abroad. Their apps are generally more responsive and user-friendly too, and their long-term pricing frequently undercuts Mozilla’s.

If you’re shopping for a VPN, therefore, we’d advise you to check out our run-down of the best VPNs on the market. Our various recommendations have different strengths, but we would pick any one of them ahead of Mozilla VPN.

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Mozilla VPN: Quick facts

Based inUSA
Money-back gurantee30 days
Devices (simultaneous)5
Locations72 in 40 countries
24/7 customer supportNo
Netflix and Disney+ allowedYes/No
BBC iPlayer allowedNo
Torrenting allowedYes
DNS leaksNo
Activity loggingNo

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