Last week, Mozilla announced that its Firefox browser would block third-party trackers for all by default and yesterday, Mozilla announced a new product that could provide users with Firefox offers more privacy on the web: the Firefox Private Network, which claims to be "A secure, encrypted web path" – essentially, a VPN made of Firefox (though Mozilla never called it).
The Firefox Private Network may seem useful, but it has its limitations. It's a browser-based VPN, so it won't mask anything you do on the internet outside of Firefox – you'll need to install a dedicated VPN app if you want to protect more of your internet traffic. Mozilla recommends using the Firefox Private Network if you want to have an encrypted connection while using Firefox on a public Wi-Fi network or if you just want to better hide it from ad trackers.
If you want to try the Firefox Private Network, which is free, but in beta, you need to be US based, use Firefox on your desktop or laptop, and be logged into your Firefox account. If you have, install Firefox Private Network from this page, click the icon that appears on your toolbar, and a small menu will be taken down where you can close or close the VPN.
In a short test, I noticed that my download speed was 17 Mbps slow with the flip switch, but actually couldn't tell the difference while browsing. Firefox Private Network has changed my IP, which should block third-party trackers; but since it only moved my location to a nearby suburb, sites can still serve me local ads. Also know that if you want to appear to browse from where you didn't – or just want to watch Terrace House episodes before they're introduced to the US – you'll need to use another VPN service.
Mozilla says Firefox Private The network will be "free for a limited time," suggesting that it could be a paid service in the future – which is not a surprise. Last October, Firefox presented an ad for a ProtonVPN subscription to a small group of Firefox users, suggesting that Mozilla may have a vested interest in offering its own VPN. And Mozilla's CEO recently said Firefox would offer a paid subscription service for "premium" features in October and the bandwidth for a VPN service could be one of them.
The Firefox Private Network is the first project from Firefox's revitalized Test Pilot program. . The program previously focused on allowing users to try more experimental features such as vertical tabs, but Mozilla said the Pilot Testing program will now focus on "new, privacy-centric" products "that are" just one step shy of general public outreach. " Mozilla has not given a hint of what might be next.