Mozilla is beta testing its paid-for Firefox VPN service

Users can sign up to be on the waiting list for the invite-only tool, available for $4.99 per month

Mozilla has unveiled the first paid-for feature for its flagship Firefox web browser in the guise of a virtual private network (VPN) service, which users can try out on their Windows 10 or Android devices.

The Firefox Private Network (FPN), Mozilla’s first VPN service, launches after months of speculation over the shape that the firm’s widely-touted paid-for features will take. The VPN is expected to be the first of many tools that comprise a subscription-based iteration of the Firefox web browser. 

Mozilla has always been hoping to attach a price tag to the service to ensure it’s not reliant on user data to generate revenue. Moreover, the firm insists that browsing or network history is not monitored or logged while the VPN is in-use.

Users hoping to join the beta testing phase can join the waiting list using their personal details, but they must first receive an invitation to download and install the VPN. 

The subscription fee, once an invitation is received, is currently $4.99 per month, although this limited-time pricing could change in future. There’s also a lightweight browser extension that’s free for 12 hours per month.

The VPN, which is currently only available in the US, allows users to encrypt their traffic on up to five devices by routing their browsing through a secure server, with a plethora of locations to choose from.

There are two settings for FPN including Browser Protection, which protects web browsing, and Full-Device Protection, which protects an entire device’s internet connection.

Mozilla’s VPN is built by Firefox and runs on a global network of servers powered by its partner Mullvad, using the WireGuard protocol. Mozilla’s partner for the Browser Protection module is Cloudflare.

Beta testing is only available on Windows 10, Android and Chromebook for now, although Firefox hopes to introduce the FPN beta testing to iOS, Mac and Linux devices soon.

Mozilla revived its Test Pilot programme in September last year to test the VPN tool, with the scheme aiming to establish the functionality of FPN as well as pricing models.

The development of FPN forms part of the company’s efforts to build out privacy-centric features, as well as the focus on privacy that the company has been pushing over the last couple of years.

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