Mozilla VPN’s logging policy is a little confusing, but ultimately impressive
Logging Policy & Jurisdiction
Mozilla VPN is owned by Mozilla, creator of the popular Firefox web browser. However, its VPN runs on Mullvad VPN’s servers. As such its logging policy is a confusing combination of the two company’s privacy policies. However, after some investigative work and speaking to Mozilla, we can confirm that Mozilla VPN’s logging policy is trustworthy.
While it’s fairly common for bigger tech brands to rent servers from or use the infrastructure of dedicated VPN services, they usually have fairly straightforward logging policies. Mozilla VPN’s is a little confusing, by comparison.
As Mozilla is its own entity, but uses Mullvad’s server network and technologies for its VPN, it has a logging policy which is a combination of both companies’.
We reached out to Mozilla for clarification and it was happy to explain to us how data collection and logging works for Mozilla VPN users. We’ve summarized this information in the table below:
The only personal data logged by Mozilla VPN which is actually tied to your usage is information about your device, such as model and operating system.
All Mozilla VPN usage data is handled and processed by Mullvad. As we said in our review of Mullvad VPN, it’s an exceptional no-logs policy.
You can 100% trust Mullvad to treat your privacy with complete respect, with next to nothing being logged on its global server network.
US & Swedish jurisdictions are poor choices
Our only real complaints with the two logging policies at play here are the jurisdictions of the two companies involved.
Firefox is incorporated in the US, while Mullvad is based in Sweden. The US is one of the worst countries on Earth for online privacy and is a part of the intrusive Five Eyes Alliance.
Sweden isn’t as bad as the US, but is still an EU member and as such is part of various international data-sharing agreements.
The good news here is that, with so little data logged, it’s unlikely you’ll need to worry about these jurisdictions. They are still a factor though, if a minor one.
Mozilla VPN is exceptionally fast
Speed & Reliability
Wherever you are in the world, Mozilla VPN is likely to record excellent download speeds. From our office in the UK, Mozilla VPN barely affected our 100Mbps download speeds when connecting to servers in the UK and Germany. Even connecting to further destinations like the US and Australia still produced good results.
When connected to a local server in the UK Mozilla VPN suffers just an 8% download speed loss – this is extremely good. You’ll barely notice any difference to your internet speeds with Mozilla VPN connected to a server near you.
Local upload speeds are even more impressive, with the UK Mozilla VPN server reducing speeds by just 4.6%. This means video chat, file uploads, and torrent seeding should be just as quick as you’re used to with no VPN running.
Local Speed Test results before using Mozilla VPN:
- Download Speed: 100Mbps
- Upload Speed: 98Mbps
- Ping: 5ms
Local Speed Test results with Mozilla VPN:
Download speed loss when Mozilla VPN is running: 8%
When Mozilla VPN is running at its absolute maximum it’s one of the fastest VPNs on the market. While conducting multiple tests over a longer period of time we did notice some fluctuations, but not enough to seriously concern us.
Mozilla VPN Long-Distance Speed Test Results
- 65Mbps connecting from the UK to East Coast US
- 90Mbps connecting from the UK to Germany
- 58Mbps connecting from the UK to Australia
- 55Mbps connecting from the UK to East Coast US
- 54Mbps connecting from the UK to Germany
- 31Mbps connecting from the UK to Australia
Mozilla VPN records very impressive numbers for both upload and download speeds, wherever you are in the world. This is partly down to its total commitment to WireGuard, one of the fastest VPN protocols available.
Our download speeds when connecting to Germany were almost identical to our speeds when connecting to servers in the UK – despite Germany being 400 miles further away.
Even when connecting to the East Coast of the United States our speeds stayed fast enough to stream in 4K.
We also want to give special credit to Mozilla VPN for being so fast to connect. Establishing a connection to a server takes no longer than a split second after you click the ‘connect’ button – it’s one of the consistently quickest we’ve ever tested.
Mozilla VPN uses Mullvad’s respectable global server network
As Mozilla VPN is powered using Mullvad VPN’s technologies and infrastructure, it also uses the exact same server network. That’s 833 servers across 38 countries and 68 cities. Of those servers roughly 20% are owned outright by Mullvad.
Sharing Mullvad’s server network means that Mozilla VPN enjoys all the same strengths and suffers the exact same weakness as Mullvad.
The main drawback is that Mozilla VPN’s server network completely ignores Africa, Central America, the Middle East, and large parts of South Asia, with no servers in those regions at all. Leaving billions of potential users with no option but to use servers thousands of miles away is extremely disappointing.
The rest of the world sees good coverage, though. Mozilla VPN has city-level server coverage in seven countries:
There’s also servers in 15 different US cities from coast-to-coast, so if that’s where you’re based you should get optimal speeds no matter what.
One Fifth of Mozilla VPN’s Servers Are Owned by Mullvad
Most VPNs rent their server network from third party providers. Mullvad is a little different in that it owns almost 20% of its server network itself. All of those privately owned servers are in Western Europe and Scandinavia.
While there’s nothing wrong with renting servers, knowing that your VPN provider owns its own provides that little extra bit of security. While these servers are owned by Mullvad and not Mozilla itself, the principle still stands – Mullvad is an extremely secure and trustworthy VPN.
EXPERT TIP: You can see a full technical breakdown of all of Mozilla VPN/Mullvad’s servers on its official website.
Multi-Hop Is Available on Almost Every Server
Double VPN (or multi-hop as Mozilla VPN calls it in its app) is a technology which routes your device’s web traffic through two servers instead of one.
This can make your traffic harder to track and thus increase your privacy online. This comes at the cost of speed, though, as your data has to move through an additional location before its final destination.
Mozilla VPN’s multi-hop is impressive because it doesn’t limit you to a handful of entry or exit nodes – almost the entire server network is available for you to select at both stages.
If you’re curious as to how it works and why you might want to use it, we have a whole guide dedicated to explaining Double VPN.
Mozilla VPN is no good for streaming
Mozilla VPN is a terrible VPN for unblocking streaming services. It struggles with almost everything: it can’t unblock any Netflix libraries, it doesn’t work with Amazon Prime Video US, and other US services like Hulu and Disney+ block it. In our testing it only managed to work with HBO Max (inconsistently), All 4, and YouTube.
Mozilla VPN’s ability to unblock streaming libraries is unfortunately tied to Mullvad’s ability to do so, as it operates using Mullvad’s infrastructure. Despite being a great VPN, Mullvad is terrible for streaming – and therefore Mozilla VPN is too.
The good news is that we were able to unblock HBO Max, an excellent US streaming service with lots of unique content – we just connected to Mozilla VPN’s US – Raleigh server and it let us stream straight away.
We were also able to watch UK-based streaming service All 4 by using the United Kingdom – Manchester server.
Those two services are the limit of Mozilla VPN’s streaming abilities. Every other popular service we attempted to access blocked us immediately (like DAZN Canada, shown below) or, in some cases, wouldn’t even let us log in.
A good streaming VPN should be able to unlock plenty of services, as well as multiple Netflix libraries from around the world to give you access to as much content as possible. ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming – it unblocks 10 Netflix libraries, DAZN Canada, BBC iPlayer, and more.
A safe but inconsistent VPN for torrenting
Mozilla VPN is a fine choice for torrenting, but its download bitrate is inconsistent. It will keep your IP address anonymized, has a working kill switch, and P2P traffic is supported on every server.
You can torrent on all 833 Mozilla VPN servers without any data limits or throttling. We’ve verified through testing that the kill switch works properly (even if there’s no way to toggle it on or off in the app) so you don’t need to worry about your IP address being revealed if your connection drops.
The only real problem when torrenting with Mozilla VPN is that we found its speeds to be extremely inconsistent. Our test torrent file downloads at 10.0MiB/s without a VPN. One set of four tests with Mozilla VPN turned on logged an average download bitrate of almost 9.5MiB/s – that would make it one of the fastest torrenting VPNs we’ve tested.
However, a further set of tests measured Mozilla VPN at a much slower average download bitrate of 5.1MiB/s. We tried everything to recapture those initial blazing-fast speeds, but nothing worked.
You might be fortunate and consistently experience the first set of speeds, but we consider them to be a fluke rather than the standard.
Mozilla VPN’s only other flaw for torrenting is a lack of port forwarding, which is not available on any platform. If you want a technical VPN with plenty of features (plus excellent speeds), our AirVPN review found it to be an excellent choice.
Mozilla VPN does not unblock internet in China
When tested on our Shanghai server Mozilla VPN did not work to bypass strict web censorship. However, it does have a special mode designed for disguising VPN traffic which may work in other regions with less advanced internet blocks.
We test a VPN’s ability to beat online censorship by installing it on our remote test server located in Shanghai, China.
The issue we ran into while testing Mozilla VPN against censorship is that our test server runs Windows 10. Mozilla VPN’s Windows client does not have access to an advanced feature labeled in-app as ‘Tunnel VPN through port 53/DNS’.
This feature is available on macOS, Android, and Linux – only Windows is missing it. It’s meant to be used to obfuscate VPN traffic with the specific goal of masking it and therefore helping you beat censorship. However, that one restriction means that we can’t properly test it.
Mozilla VPN might work in China – so long as you aren’t using Windows. We found that without port 53 enabled we were still blocked by the Great Firewall of China.
However, Mozilla VPN uses Mullvad’s network for its servers. Mullvad has never worked in China in our testing. It’s unlikely that Mozilla VPN would be any different.
Mozilla VPN’s download page is also blocked in China. If you’re planning on using it in a country which censors its internet then you’ll need to download it before traveling.
Our regular testing has found Astrill VPN is the best VPN for China. It will also beat censorship in countries like Russia and the UAE.
Only available on the five most popular platforms
Platforms & Devices
You can only download and install Mozilla VPN on the most popular desktop and mobile operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. There are no browser extensions, no streaming device apps, and there’s no router support to cover your consoles or smart devices. You can install the app and sign in on five devices at one time.
You can only install Mozilla VPN on the five most popular mobile and desktop platforms.
This is disappointing, but it wouldn’t be so bad if Mozilla VPN could be installed on Linux – however, it can’t. That means that there’s no easy way to protect any of your devices which can’t have a Mozilla VPN app installed directly on them, like games consoles.
There’s also no apps for streaming devices, like Amazon Fire TV. Even if there was one, though, Mozilla VPN is so poor for unblocking streaming services that you probably wouldn’t want to use it anyway.
There’s also no Smart DNS service to help you bypass streaming blocks, and there’s no browser extensions either – not even one for Firefox, a browser made by Mozilla itself.
Mozilla VPN is still relatively new, so we can excuse its poor range of apps for now. We really want to see it broaden its scope in the near future, though.
Mozilla VPN Can Only Be Installed on Five Devices at Once
Perhaps the most annoying drawback, though, is Mozilla VPN’s five-device limit. Ordinarily a VPN will limit your number of simultaneous connections, but will let you install it on as many devices as you like. With Mozilla VPN, you can only be signed in on five devices at once, regardless of how many are actually being used at the same time.
Mozilla VPN has no leaks & industry-standard security
Security & Features
Despite a limited suite of features, Mozilla VPN is perfectly safe. It aced all of our IP and DNS leak tests. Its kill switch is automatically and permanently activated on all platforms and works well. There’s no protocol selection - every app uses WireGuard only, but it’s a quick and safe protocol so we don’t mind too much.
We can’t fault Mozilla VPN for its security. It passed every leak test we put it through, using the excellent WireGuard protocol as standard.
What’s less conventional, though, is that WireGuard is the only protocol available across all of its apps. Ordinarily VPNs will let you choose from a selection, but not Mozilla VPN. While it’s unusual, though, it doesn’t bother us much as WireGuard is one of the best VPN protocols currently available – it’s super fast and super safe.
Nowhere in the Mozilla VPN app or on the Mozilla website does it clarify what encryption cipher is used. We reached out to Mozilla support which stated that all apps use ChaCha20 encryption. This is standard encryption for WireGuard and, while it varies slightly to the more conventional AES-256, is just as secure.
We then used Wireshark to confirm that Mozilla VPN properly encrypts web traffic – and it does.
One of Mozilla’s few extra features is custom DNS, which allows you to pick from ad blocking servers, tracker blocking servers, both at once, or a custom DNS of your own choosing (such as Google or Cloudflare’s).
The ad and tracker blockers work well, but they don’t catch everything they should. However, almost every VPN in-built ad blocker struggles, as we discovered in our in-depth testing on whether or not VPNs actually block ads.
MozillaVPN also offers split tunneling, but only on Windows and Android. It’s not labeled exactly like that in the app, though. To access it you have to head to Settings > App permissions then toggle Protect all apps with VPN to the Off position.
Now you can choose which apps will travel outside of the encrypted VPN tunnel.
Extremely clean & simple apps
Ease of Use
We love that Mozilla VPN’s apps are about as straightforward as possible. Smartly-laid out and with clear labels for most options it’s a great VPN app for anyone new to VPNs. Its apps also look almost identical across every available platform.
How to Connect to a Server with Mozilla VPN
How to Change Settings in Mozilla VPN
When it comes to VPN apps, simpler is better – even if you’re an experienced user. Mozilla VPN is as simple as can be, and that makes using it a pleasure.
Mozilla VPN looks exactly the same on almost every platform, with only a feature changing here or there between them.
You can see what Mozilla VPN looks like on every platform below, as well as what’s different about each one.
Mozilla VPN Windows Client
While Windows is often the main focus for VPN developers, Mozilla VPN is unusual in that its Windows app is actually the only one missing one big feature.
‘Tunnel VPN through port 53/DNS’ is a feature used to help beat web censorship, but you can’t access it on Windows.
Everything else is present. The simple home screen lets you connect or disconnect, select a server, and also see how many devices you’re currently logged into your Mozilla VPN account on.
You can then access a handful of advanced features, like custom DNS and LAN access, through the settings cog. You can also find split tunneling here, but Mozilla VPN calls it ‘App permissions’. Turn off the toggle labeled ‘Protect all apps with VPN’ to choose which apps to split tunnel.
Mozilla VPN macOS Client
The macOS app is exactly the same as the Windows app, except for a couple of features.
It has the port 53 feature which was missing on Windows, mentioned above, but is missing split tunneling. While this isn’t ideal, it’s also unfortunately common among VPNs due to restrictions in Apple’s operating system.
Mozilla VPN Linux Client
Mozilla VPN has an excellent Linux app.
Not only does it have a full GUI, something a huge majority of even the best VPNs neglect, it also has the full range of features.
You get split tunneling, port 53, double VPN, and custom DNS – it’s the only desktop platform with no compromises.
Mozilla VPN iOS Client
The iOS app is identical to the macOS app, which is always nice to see. It has the same simple, bright design and all of the same features as its Apple desktop counterpart (including no port 53 mode and no split tunneling – again, down to iOS limitations).
The only thing which might put you off here if you’re an iPhone user is that there’s no night mode, and Mozilla VPN uses white backdrops throughout.
Mozilla VPN Android Client
Just like Linux, Android gets Mozilla VPN’s most complete app. All features are available here, wrapped up in a package that looks identical to its desktop counterparts.
No live chat, but excellent email support
Mozilla VPN has no live chat support, which is something we expect of the very best VPNs. However, its email support proved to be terrific. The agent replying to us wasn’t the fastest, but they were able to answer technical questions in great detail and clear language.
Mozilla is a large company with many products, but we still wish that it offered live chat support for its VPN service. It can be frustrating having to wait for an email reply if something is wrong with your product here and now.
That said, we were really impressed with Mozilla VPN’s email support. We fired off a series of fairly technical questions and the Mozilla VPN representative replying to us answered with a level of accuracy and knowledge far higher than what we’re used to seeing from other VPNs.
There’s a Mozilla VPN online resource hub for doing your own troubleshooting, but it’s limited to just the basics: installation, setup, billing, and other topics like that.
Alternatively, there’s an extensive and active array of forums dedicated to all of Mozilla’s products – including its VPN. Any question you post there is likely to be answered by another user rather than Mozilla staff, but it might be quicker for you than waiting on email support.
Too expensive, even on its longest plan
Price & Value
In a marketplace where you pay less than the equivalent of $3.00 per month for some of the absolute best VPNs, Mozilla VPN is overpriced. At $9.99 its one-month plan is actually quite competitive, but $4.99 per month for one year is overpriced. There’s no free trial, but you can get a full refund if you cancel within 30 days.
Mozilla VPN is a hard sell. It simply isn’t priced competitively enough. While its one-year plan compares fairly to the same plan from other VPNs, Mozilla VPN loses out by not offering an even longer plan for greater savings.
So you can get a clearer idea of how much a VPN should cost, here’s how Mozilla VPN compares to some of the best services on the market:
As always, bear in mind that to get the best price you will have to pay the entire cost of the VPN’s subscription up-front.
US$9.99/moBilled $9.99 every month
US$7.99/moBilled $47.94 every 6 months
US$4.99/moBillied $59.88 every 12 months
Payment & Refund Options
Mozilla VPN’s payment options are disappointingly limited. You can use a credit or debit card, or PayPal. There’s no option for cryptocurrency, direct bank transfer, or any international payment cards.
Every subscription plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee which you can get quickly and easily by contacting support. Mozilla VPN states on its website, though, that this can only be redeemed once and on your first subscription period.
That means that you can’t resubscribe in the future then ask for your money back again, nor can you let your one-month subscription renew for a second month and ask for the money back on it.
Mozilla VPN is fast & safe, but has its drawbacks
The Bottom Line
There are a few obvious scenarios in which you should not subscribe to Mozilla VPN. For starters, it might not be available in your country. It’s also quite expensive, has a server network missing some major global regions, and it’s no good at unblocking streaming sites. It’s also highly unlikely to work in China.
While that may sound like a lot, though, it’s so good at everything else that those points may not matter to you. It has a lovely clean app for all the major platforms, it has exceptional download speeds, and you can 100% trust it to keep your data safe (with almost no logs whatsoever).
Alternatives to Mozilla VPN
You can’t discuss Mozilla VPN without mentioning Mullvad. Given that Mozilla VPN uses Mullvad’s network infrastructure and logging policy, you may be better off simply using the VPN that it’s so heavily based around. Read Mullvad review
Cheaper and much better for streaming, but without compromising on security, Surfshark is one of the best VPNs we’ve tested. Read Surfshark review
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