Most anonymity enthusiasts are familiar with Mozilla. The company created Firefox – a rival to the ever-popular Chrome browser. Recently, it added a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to its suite of digital privacy tools.
But how does Mozilla VPN compare against a veteran of the industry, for example, NordVPN? After all, browsers are free to use and easy to alternate. Meanwhile, premium VPNs cost quite a bit, and so it’s best to know how a service performs in specific scenarios before committing to a subscription.
To find out, let’s compare Mozilla VPN vs NordVPN in the most common VPN use cases, such as speed, streaming, security, privacy, and more. After that, we’ll tally the results to see in what areas these VPNs can improve.
May 2022 speed and performance
First off, a glance at the connection speed of the two. Both providers are pretty much on the same page. Mozilla VPN offers one VPN tunneling protocol across all devices – the lightning-fast and open-source WireGuard.
On the other hand, NordVPN gives slightly more options. The best results are with its proprietary NordLynx protocol, which is based on WireGuard. Alternatively, you can also enable OpenVPN.
Although Mozilla VPN isn’t on it, our VPN speed test can show you the up-to-date performance results of some of the most popular providers.
As you can see, NordVPN is the fastest, while other WireGuard equipped services aren’t too far behind. Additionally, NordVPN has more protocol options and servers, which means it’s slightly quicker than Mozilla VPN.
|All physical servers||Yes||Yes|
|Owns all servers||No||No|
Speaking of servers, NordVPN runs a network of 5400+ servers across 60+ countries. All hardware is physically located in its respective countries, and some are even using RAM-only technology. This means that no data is stored on hard drives and instead gets wiped once the servers are shut off or restarted.
Meanwhile, Mozilla VPN has 400+ servers in 30+ countries. Interestingly, it partnered with Mullvad VPN and is using a significant portion of its network. These servers are all physical as well but lack RAM-only technology for added security.
|Free trial||7-days on the Google Play Store||No|
|Payment options||Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPay||Credit card, PayPal|
Mozilla VPN and NordVPN are using fairly conventional pricing plans. Both have pricey monthly plans and discounted long-term options. Naturally, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee with either service.
The critical difference is that NordVPN offers a free trial to test out the service and additional payment options, including anonymous methods. Shockingly, NordVPN is also cheaper than Mozilla VPN, making it the winner of this category.
NordVPN lets you choose from three different subscription plans:
- $11.99/month for a monthly subscription
- $4.99/month for a yearly subscription
- $3.29/month for the two-year subscription
The most extended plan comes with a generous 60% discount. It’s possible to find even better deals by perusing the available NordVPN coupons. Plus, you can take the service for a spin by grabbing the 7-day NordVPN trial on the Google Play Store. You need an Android device but only for claiming the offer.
Additionally, you can purchase a dedicated IP on top of the VPN subscription. It costs $70 annually and lets you choose from five locations (the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany).
Best of all, you can pay for the VPN anonymously by using various cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Naturally, conventional payment methods, such as credit cards, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and ACH Transfer, are also available.
Mozilla VPN pricing
You can subscribe to Mozilla VPN by choosing one of the following plans:
- $9.99/month for a monthly subscription
- $7.99/month for a 6-month subscription
- $4.99/month for the annual subscription
The annual plan comes with a 50% discount compared to the monthly subscription. Unfortunately, there’s no free trial with Mozilla VPN, but you can rest assured thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
And although Mozilla is a well-known privacy advocate, it hasn’t implemented any anonymous payment method. Instead, you can pay for the service with credit cards or PayPal.
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, IKEv2||WireGuard|
|DNS and IP leaks||No leaks||No leaks|
|Security features||Double VPN, Onion over VPN, CyberSec, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, split tunneling (Windows, Android, Android TV)||Split tunneling (Windows, Android)|
Whether you opt for Mozilla VPN or NordVPN, know that both are equipped with the essential features needed for overall security:
After that, the two services split into opposite corners of the arena. One is loaded with a full arsenal of security features, while the other has plenty of room for improvement. Can you guess which is which?
NordVPN security features
Unsurprisingly, veteran provider NordVPN is the one with a wide selection of security features. Here’s a glance at just a few of them:
- CyberSec. Once enabled, this feature blocks malicious ads and domains used for phishing.
- Obfuscated Servers. Using DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), censorship-heavy networks detect and restrict any kind of VPN traffic. By using Obfuscated Servers, your connection appears as regular traffic.
- Split tunneling. This feature is available on Windows, Android, and Android TV devices. It lets you customize your VPN connection and select which applications should go through the VPN tunnel.
- Double VPN. Extreme security can be achieved by tunneling your connection through multiple VPN servers. Of course, this comes at the cost of connection speed.
- Onion over VPN. These servers are running through the Tor network and provide multiple layers of anonymity.
You can find a complete overview of the available features by reading our full NordVPN review.
Mozilla VPN security features
Apart from the familiar brand name, Mozilla VPN offers little in terms of bonus security features. Windows and Android users are blessed with split tunneling, but other platforms have to contend with the basics of a VPN.
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy|
Although there’s little doubt about the privacy practices of Mozilla VPN vs NordVPN, it’s still a good idea to overview them.
Let’s begin with NordVPN. For starters, it hails from privacy-ensuring Panama. Secondly, it went through multiple independent audits of its no-logs policy. And lastly, it provides customers with the opportunity to pay for the service anonymously via CoinPayments. Overall, it’s difficult to top such confidentiality.
On the other hand, the Mozilla Corporation is based in the United States. This could cause concern because the USA is a founding member of the Five Eyes alliance. Plus, Mozilla VPN hasn’t been around long enough to go through a third-party audit of its zero-logs policy.
However, it’s using the server network of Mullvad, which had its infrastructure audited by Cure53. While reassuring, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the privacy practices of NordVPN.
|Major dedicated apps||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android|
|Other dedicated apps||Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick||N/A|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox||Firefox (Firefox Private Network)|
|Manual setup||Routers, firewalls, NAS||N/A|
Once again, Mozilla VPN falls behind NordVPN in another category. This time, it’s in the area of device compatibility. The only common feature is support for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
First off, NordVPN has bonus dedicated apps for other devices, such as Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick, plus browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Additionally, the VPN can be set up manually on routers using OpenVPN configuration files. This has two main advantages.
First, it allows you to secure more than the usual six devices simultaneously. Furthermore, you can get the benefits of a VPN connection on devices that don’t support VPN software natively.
On the other hand, Mozilla VPN doesn’t support other devices besides the main platforms. However, the Firefox Private Network browser extension is available for free as a separate product. It’s worth mentioning that it’s still in beta and only available in the US. Lastly, a single Mozilla VPN account permits you to connect five different devices.
Streaming in May 2022
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||No|
|Other platforms||Yes||Yes (BBC iPlayer)|
If you don’t care much about privacy, getting around geographical restrictions by streaming services is probably your top priority. In this category, there’s a clear winner, and that’s NordVPN.
For starters, NordVPN has a wider country selection, meaning you can access a greater diversity of global content. Additionally, it works well with numerous popular streaming platforms, such as Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and many more. Best of all, the unique SmartPlay feature allows you to unblock content on practically any device without missing out on encryption.
Meanwhile, Mozilla VPN seems more focused on privacy rather than geo-block circumvention. With this VPN, we only had luck with Netflix US and BBC iPlayer, while other streaming services didn’t budge. Naturally, both VPNs didn’t lag or stutter thanks to their swift tunneling protocols.
In conclusion, NordVPN is the overall best VPN for streaming, and Mozilla VPN has no chance of dethroning it any time soon.
Torrenting and P2P
|Allowed on||All servers||All servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||No|
|Split tunneling||Yes (Windows, Android, Android TV)||Yes (Windows, Android)|
Thankfully, both VPN services permit P2P traffic on all available servers and country locations. Furthermore, the fast connection speeds ensure a quick download of any file. And with split tunneling, you can customize your VPN tunnel only to affect your torrent client.
But once again, NordVPN gains the lead by having bonus features. Firstly, the specialized P2P servers are designed for torrenting and grant excellent connectivity. Alternatively, you can use the SOCKS5 proxy to secure your torrent client without enabling the VPN connection.
|Works in China||Yes||Yes|
|Stealth VPN||Yes (Obfuscated Servers)||No|
|Tor over VPN||Yes (Onion over VPN)||No|
Besides mundane activities like streaming and torrenting, some users need a VPN to circumvent online censorship. The Great Firewall is an excellent example of such restrictions that require a reliable VPN for China.
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for this scenario because of its multitude of specialized features. However, Mozilla VPN also works in restrictive countries, provided that you install the VPN beforehand.
With so many VPN use cases, the chances of running into some issues are pretty high. That is why providers must have reliable customer service available, ideally 24/7.
NordVPN delivers in this regard with around-the-clock available live chat. Naturally, you can also get help via email or by looking for a guide on a specific topic.
Since Mozilla is a non-profit organization, it’s not surprising that it doesn’t have customer service agents available 24/7. At least you can search through various articles or contact support through a ticketing system.
Best VPN by category
|Speed and servers||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Total wins||9 out of 9||0 out of 9|
NordVPN vs Mozilla VPN – which is better?
Finally, we have reached the end of our NordVPN vs Mozilla VPN comparison. I’m sure no one is shocked by the fact that NordVPN wiped the floor with Mozilla VPN. However, it’s unreasonable to expect newcomers in the industry to outperform the old-timers. Plus, Mozilla VPN is a solid choice for general privacy, especially if you want to support the Mozilla Foundation and its pledge for a healthy internet.
Which VPN would you pick and why? Share your preferences by leaving a comment!
Is Mozilla VPN better than NordVPN?
No, Mozilla VPN is nowhere near NordVPN. It lacks dedicated apps for various devices, has fewer security features, and doesn’t perform well when unblocking streaming platforms.
Is using Mozilla VPN a good idea?
Mozilla VPN is an ok VPN choice if you trust the brand and only need a VPN for general privacy. Otherwise, it’s not very good for streaming, getting around geographical restrictions, or widespread security for different devices.
Is Mozilla VPN free?
No, Mozilla VPN is not free. Subscriptions to this VPN service start at $4.99/month. However, the Firefox Private Network browser extension is free, although it’s still in beta and geo-restricted in the USA.
Does NordVPN have browser extensions?
Yes, NordVPN has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. You gain access to these by subscribing to any plan.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.