Mozilla has some big plans in its store for us and it seems that this time they’ve outdone themselves (privacy-wise), as they decided to introduce Firefox Private Network, a lightweight VPN solution for the desktop (for now) Firefox web browser users.
Firefox extension with basic VPN functionality
According to the official page dedicated to their newest security solution, this is more of a proxy server rather than a full-fledged VPN service, but it should get the job done either way. The feature states that Mozilla’s partner, Cloudflare, provides them with the “Firefox Private Network proxy server” and that their privacy controls act as limitations to both what kind of data they collect and how long that data’s kept.
But we’re missing the obvious here: this service is not a stand-alone application, but an extension that you will need to deploy on Firefox manually before you can use it. If you’re familiar at all with Firefox, installing the add-on should be accomplished in a matter of seconds.
Firefox Private Network will be available for any desktop users who use the Firefox web browser. This means that mobile users won’t be able to access the extension, even though they might be using Firefox as a web browser on their phones or handheld devices.
Requires a Firefox account to work
You know how Firefox can give you a whole lot of useful features, right? The only downside is that you’ll need to create and use a Firefox account for those features to be available in the first place (e.g. Sync between devices, Pocket, etc), and Firefox Private Network makes no exception here.
So this “VPN” won’t require a new, separate account, you’ll be using your default Firefox account (assuming that you have one to begin with). More so, the extension will sync with any other devices that you’ve logged in your Firefox account on and it will be available in all of your toolbars.
How it works and how to get it
Firefox Private Network’s entire functionality is reportedly based on a single switch operation. You need protection? Flick it on. You don’t want to be protected anymore? Toggle it off, simple as that. Allegedly, the extension will have three (3) states, visually represented by three different icons: one for when the service is on, one for when it needs your attention (or reminding you to connect) and one for when it’s off.
Alright, this definitely sounds like fun, but how can we get our hands on it? Well, you might’ve heard about Firefox’s Test Pilot Program, but I bet you didn’t hear that it’s making a comeback with Firefox Private Network as its superstar this time.
The good news? For the moment, Firefox Private Network is free. The bad news? It’s only available for U.S. desktop Firefox users. We know that sounds a bit restrictive, but we trust that Mozilla will make the right call and lift the borders, allowing us non-U.S. users jump on the beta boat and join in the fun.