How to Use Firefox Private Network to Encrypt Your Web Traffic

Mozilla this week began piloting its own browser-based VPN service, and if you're located in the U.S. you can start testing it for free right away.

Called the Firefox Private Network, the service promises Firefox users a more secure, encrypted path to the web that prevents eavesdroppers from spying on your browsing activity and hides your location from websites and ad trackers.

In that respect, it won't protect any internet traffic outside of your web browser, but it's a good option if you want to use an encrypted connection on the fly when you're using Firefox on a public Wi-Fi network, for example.


As a time-limited beta, the Firefox Private Network is currently free to try, although this does suggest it may become a paid service in the future. You also need to be a U.S. resident logged into your Firefox account using Firefox desktop browser.

If you can fulfill those pre-requisites, you can install the private network by navigating to this page, clicking the blue + Add to Firefox button, then granting permission for the network to be added to the browser.


Click the door hanger icon that appears at the top-right corner of the toolbar, and you'll see a switch that you can use to toggle the VPN on and off. A green tick in the icon indicates the secure network is active and your browsing activity is being encrypted.

Opera browser offers a similar free VPN service that cloaks your web browsing, but with the added benefit that it lets you choose the continent that you want your connection to reside. So if you're looking to access a location-restricted service (Netflix, say) from abroad, you might have better luck using it instead.



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1 week ago

how to securely use firefox: do not use firefox

Firefox is open source, has a good organization behind it and has many active contributors, how is it not secure?
Rating: 15 Votes
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1 week ago

Could you imagine if Apple offered a VPN service system wide for iOS and macOS?

How much would you pay per month?

Nothing. A company that touts privacy should make their VPN a free service.
Rating: 14 Votes
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1 week ago

Nothing. A company that touts privacy should make their VPN a free service.

how to securely use firefox: do not use firefox

What? Firefox is fantastic browser, especially when it comes to security and privacy.
Rating: 10 Votes
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1 week ago
VPN service is costly to run. A free VPN means there is something else being sold.

Remember that a VPN is a Virtually Promised to be Private network through someone’s servers.
Rating: 9 Votes
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1 week ago
Could you imagine if Apple offered a VPN service system wide for iOS and macOS?

How much would you pay per month?
Rating: 9 Votes
Avatar
1 week ago
Like I’ve been saying for years, utterly bizarre that VPN isn’t a default service provided by Apple.
Rating: 6 Votes
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1 week ago

Could you imagine if Apple offered a VPN service system wide for iOS and macOS?

How much would you pay per month?

Interesting. Would love to see such a service bundled with iCloud storage tiers.
Rating: 3 Votes
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1 week ago

Like I’ve been saying for years, utterly bizarre that VPN isn’t a default service provided by Apple.


1. It costs money. While Apple buries some cloud service costs into their device prices ( i.e., iMessage overhead ) . However, VPN is a bigger "can of worms". There are only so many add-on services people are going to pay for. If there are more willingness to pay for other services ( at better margins ) then Apple will probably pursue those first.

2. It is logistically more complicated if scale up and somewhat localize available servers. ( Yes, Apple outsources a bunch of their media caching and web service 'helpers' out to cloud infrastructure vendors. But if Apple is doing their "it is run by us and we're super private" it is going to be harder to 'outsource'. ).

3. A substantive amount of VPN traffic isn't about privacy, but about circumventing media distribution limitations ( e.g., watch video from country x that is suppose to be in country y ). Apple being a more active facilitator of that just will cause friction with the content owners and distributors that are being breached. ( that kind of web traffic is also substantive more expensive. )
Rating: 3 Votes
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1 week ago

What I hate about VPNs are how much they slow down your internet speed. I have 500Mbps and on VPN it's like 20-30Mbps. I do a ton of work online so it's not really an option.


Roll your own or use a smaller VPN service with servers closer to you. Personally I set up WireGuard on a VPS in my area and my speeds through that VPN are identical to the speeds I get without a VPN. Best part: it's only $5 a month for the VPS. Dirt cheap for a gigabit VPN with a 2TB monthly data cap. If you have basic skills working with Linux, you can follow this guide. I am happy to answer questions you might have in case you give this a shot, just PM me through MacRumors.

https://securityespresso.org/tutorials/2019/03/22/vpn-server-using-wireguard-on-ubuntu/
Rating: 2 Votes
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1 week ago

What? Firefox is fantastic browser, especially when it comes to security and privacy.

Trust me. I know. I started to work on the Mozilla codebase back in 1999. At that time it was still Netscape. My name is also on the about:credits page. As a contributor for something that you use every single day ;)
Rating: 2 Votes
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