Mozilla Firefox, or simply Firefox, is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, Mozilla Corporation. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards.
It’s been about ten months since Mozilla introduced its own VPN service, Firefox Private Network. Six months later, Mozilla expanded the secure browser initiative to Android devices, offering a free VPN app. Today, it was announced that the new VPN will be open for beta testing nationwide, no waitlist required to get in. In a few weeks, the service will exit beta under its new name: Mozilla VPN.
The company’s VPN was first offered in two tiers, a basic (and free) browser extension version, and a subscription-based app that cost $4.99 a month. The latter option provided whole-device protection, so unsurprisingly, there was a waitlist for it.
As of today’s announcement, the premium option is open for public beta testing on Windows, iOS, and Android, no waiting necessary — Mac and Linux apps are soon to follow. Starting soon, the browser version will also transition to a subscription-based plan, at $2.99 a month.
In an open letter to the public, the company shared some thoughts on how user feedback was instrumental in the growth and development of Mozilla VPN. For example, 70% of early beta testers said the VPN helped them feel safe and independent online. This speaks to one of the main selling points of the service: Mozilla’s “Data Privacy Principles.” The company claims that it’s actively forgoing additional profits by avoiding third-party data analytics platforms and relying more on their subscription-based business model.
Mozilla has beefed up Firefox Lockwise, its password management tool, to tell you when you’re making a more bonehead mistake than usual by reusing your passwords. Firefox already warned if a site you’re logging into has suffered a data breach. But in Firefox 76, released Tuesday, the browser now also tells you when you’re using that site’s password on another website and prompts you to change it.
Mozilla today launched Firefox 76 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Firefox 76 includes new Firefox Lockwise password functionality, Zoom improvements, and a handful of developer features. You can download Firefox 76 for desktop now from Firefox.com, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. According to Mozilla, Firefox has about 250 million active users, making it a major platform for web developers to consider.
DNS over HTTPS (DoH) helps protect your privacy and security online by encrypting DNS queries. Mozilla will automatically enable DoH for some Firefox users, but only if they live in the U.S.—and it may take a few weeks to roll out. Here’s how all Firefox users can enable it today.
To enable DoH, click the three horizontal bars in the top-right corner of Firefox and then select the “Options” button. (Click “Preferences” if you’re on macOS.)