Mozilla introduced new privacy features to its VPN service, Mozilla VPN, earlier this week. The organization launched Mozilla VPN back in June 2020 in select regions and has expanded the availability since then.
Mozilla partnered with Mullvad, a Swedish company, and uses the company’s infrastructure for its own Mozilla VPN product.
Mozilla VPN lacked some of the features of Mullvad’s own VPN client, such as support for multi-hop connections or the integrated content blocker.
The update that Mozilla released this week introduces support for these features in the VPN client.
Mozilla’s official blog highlights the three new privacy features.
Multi-hop is an interested feature, as it routes the connection through two VPN servers instead of just one. The main idea behind the feature is simple: the user’s IP address is protected even if one VPN service is compromised.
User Device > Entry VPN Server > Exit VPN Server
This new powerful privacy feature appeals to those who think twice about their privacy, like political activists, journalists writing sensitive topics, or anyone who’s using a public wi-fi and wants that added peace of mind by doubling-up their VPN servers.
Mozilla VPN users can select the entry and exit VPN servers after choosing Multi-hop under Location; this gives them flexibility when choosing these servers. It is recommended to select servers in different jurisdictions to maximize privacy.
Mullvad notes that using multi-hop may also improve latency or performance, because sometimes, different servers may be used in that case that work better together.
NordVPN, another VPN provider, which supports the feature, does not give its customers options to select the entry and exit server when the feature is selected.
Mozilla VPN customers may set custom DNS servers in the client under Network Settings > Advanced DNS Settings.
The options include enabling content blocking DNS servers, to block certain types of unwanted content on the DNS level, or to select a custom DNS server that is used instead.
Three special purpose DNS servers are selectable:
- Adblock DNS to block advertisement.
- Anti-tracking DNS to block tracking domains and harmful domains.
- A combination of adblock and anti-tracking.
The blocking takes place on the DNS level, which is effective as it blocks connection attempts from servers immediately.
Many VPN services support blocking functionality. Private Internet Access has its MACE Content Blocker feature, NordVPN calls its CyberSec.
The new features add value to Mozilla VPN’s offering. Both features improve privacy, when enabled.
Most may prefer do subscribe to Mullvad directly, as it offers all the features of the service. Mozilla may reach markets that Mullvad can’t, and Firefox users may be more inclined to support Mozilla by subscribing to Mozilla VPN.
Now You: do you use a VPN service?
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