tech2 News Staff Oct 23, 2018 11:30 AM IST
Mozilla is testing an integrated VPN with Firefox to enable even more secure browsing. The service is designed to allow users to browse securely without worrying about the kind of network they’re on or the security of the site they’re visiting.
A VPN or virtual private network acts as a middle-man between you and the internet. All your internet traffic is encrypted and routed to a VPN provider’s servers, the traffic is then allowed to get to its actual destination. Data coming back is handled in the same fashion. A secure and private VPN will not keep a record of your traffic, ensuring absolute privacy. Anyone who tries to trace your traffic will only be able to trace it to the VPN and no further.
The implementation of the VPN is also rather unusual. The service itself is simply ProtonVPN’s premium package. Proton, if you remember, is the maker of one of the world’s largest secure email services, ProtonMail. If you subscribe to the service via Firefox, Proton still gets the lion’s share of the revenue, but Mozilla takes a cut.
Mozilla’s implementation means that the VPN service will be activated when it’s detected that you’re using an unsecured internet connection, using public WI-Fi or browsing privacy-related sites. Sites like Hulu and Netflix can also trigger the VPN, reports MSPowerUser.
Testing for the service is happening in phases in the US. Users who are picked for the test will see a notification recommending that they try ProtonVPN.
While it’s great that Mozilla is considering bundling a VPN service with its browser, and recommending that people try a VPN service, it’s also a somewhat disturbing choice from a company whose products target the enthusiast crowd and whose community abhors ads.
This same community will now see an ad from Mozilla that pushes for a VPN service that they may not need or want. Yes, Mozilla could certainly use the additional revenue and the support of its users in this regard, and they did pick a VPN service that is very secure. However, the way they’re going about it might land the company in more trouble with its community.