The Top 3 VPN Extensions for Mozilla Firefox

A search for "VPN" among browser extensions in Mozilla Firefox will return more than 100 results. The good news for users who place a premium on their online security and privacy: Day-by-day there are more and more providers of these services. The bad news? As a result, the market has become cluttered and confusing. Which provider can or should be trusted? What is the difference between VPN browser extensions and desktop clients? Free or premium? Below, we'll answer all of these questions and introduce you to our Top 3 favorite VPN extensions in Mozilla Firefox.

Differences Between a VPN Client and a VPN Browser Extension

When searching through Firefox ad-ons a number of misnomers and inaccurate descriptions can be found, especially for VPNs. By and large, browser "VPNs" aren't actually VPNs at all, since such networks can only be created on an operating system, and not a single program or app. To better understand this, just think about how your operating system connects to the Internet, after which your browser, app, or other program subsequently uses that connection. VPNs work in much the same way, providing a "tunnel" through which your Internet connection (a road, for example) connects you to a VPN server, and ultimately, your search destination.

Here, a second important point should also be noted: A VPN encompasses all of your data traffic, irrespective of the program which is using the Internet, whereas a browser is simply one application (of potentially many) that utilizes your network connection to connect to the Internet. As such, browser "VPNs" only create a proxy connection which shields their traffic; nothing more. How effective this is depends, to a great extent, upon the type of encryption that the extension's "VPN" uses: While qualitative VPN clients use protocols such as OpenVPN, browser extensions tend to utilize less robust encryption, such as HTTPS.

In short: A VPN browser extension only protects data traffic in the browser, doing so with comparatively weak encryption, whereas a VPN client protects all data traffic sent over your Internet connection, not only that emanating from your browser. Our Top 3 best VPN browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox will show that there are exceptions to this rule, however.

Top 3 VPN Extensions for Firefox

Mozilla Firefox's status as one of the most commonly used browsers worldwide has not escaped the attention of VPN developers. As a result, most of the larger providers have released browser extensions compatible with Firefox. No 'silver bullet' exists for perfectly integrating functionality into a VPN browser extension, however, so each developer contends with the challenges that this poses differently. Our Top 3 below shows three different approaches to incorporating VPN functionality into Firefox:

1.

ExpressVPN - The Safe Bet

Best Overall 2020
ExpressVPN
(178,151)
Fastest VPN in our test
3000+ Server
160 cities in 94 countries
Saves no logs
30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN impresses with strong performance, a huge server network and excellently designed applications, but this quality also comes at a higher price.
Devices
3
Datenvolumen
unlimited
Protocols
6
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
+3 months
Black Friday Deal
ExpressVPN 12 Months
$8.33
monthly price
Visit Website
Best Overall
4.8 / 5
excellent

ExpressVPN not only came in first in our 17-provider evaluation, its browser extension also performed superbly. Among the browser extensions we reviewed, it's something of an exception since its not a stand-alone program, but can only be used in conjunction with the provider's (desktop) client. As such, it is much more an integrated 'remote control' for the main client than a browser plugin which relies on creating a proxy connection from your browser to the client. For anyone who can accept the need to have both (desktop client and browser extension) you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of perhaps the safest VPN browser extension on the market.

The interface of ExpressVPN's Firefox extension is identical to that of the desktop client: Next to the big "Connect" button, you can select from all server locations, or even get recommendations. You can also set the browser extension to automatically connect to a VPN when you start Firefox. To configure further options or settings though, you'll need to head over to the desktop client.

With its Firefox browser extension, ExpressVPN sticks to its strengths, combining performance, security, and convenience in the best all-round package.

Review Score
4.8 / 5
02/2020
excellent
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.7 / 5
Server Network
4.7 / 5
Installation and Features
4.7 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.7 / 5
2.

Windscribe - The Freebie

Windscribe VPN
(29,596)
500+ servers in 60 locations
Good free plan
Connect unlimited devices
Headquarters in Canada
Devices
unlimited
Datenvolumen
10 - ∞
Protocols
2
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Windscribe Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.1 / 5
good

One too many lapses, particularly in terms of speed, ensured that Windscribe couldn't fight its way to the top of our exhaustive evaluation of VPN providers. However, Windscribe's freemium version is worthy of commendation: It offers a very generous 10 GB of data per month (across all devices) which should be enough for normal surfing as well as access to a comparably large number of servers (10 different locations).

Equally impressive were Windscribe's variety of added features, which contrary to expectations, are not reduced or limited in the freemium version: Using "Double Hop" mode, which is activated by establishing simultaneous connections in both the desktop client and browser extension, you're able to route your traffic through two proxy servers, making your connection even more secure. There's also an ad-blocker, and other features like "Split Personality", which rotates the user agent of your browser to make digital fingerprinting more difficult.

Windscribe was our pick for the best free VPN, and its Firefox extension certainly doesn't disappoint.

Review Score
4.1 / 5
02/2020
good
Visit Website
Installation and Features
4.7 / 5
Performance
4.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.0 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.0 / 5
Server Network
3.7 / 5
3.

NordVPN - The Speed Demon

Best Value for Money
NordVPN
(310,167)
5000+ servers worldwide
60 countries
No logs
6 devices simultaneously
Inexpensive 2-year package
NordVPN combines speed, user-friendliness and functionality into a coherent overall package that is also fairly affordable.
Devices
6
Datenvolumen
unlimited
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
+3 months
Black Friday Deal
NordVPN 2-year plan
$3.71
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.7 / 5
excellent

NordVPN was our price-performance winner, owing, in particular, to its very affordable 3-year subscription package. The provider's Firefox extension emphasizes simplicity and speed: With "Quick Connect", you can establish an instant VPN connection to a specific country, or choose one from a list featuring the last three countries you've connected to. For additional security, you can also activate "Cybersec", the provider's ad and malware blocker, and WebRTC leak protection.

Another advantage of NordVPN's Firefox extension is that it doesn't require installation of the desktop client. However, as we noted above, if you go this route, only your browser traffic will be protected and encrypted with HTTPS, in contrast to ExpressVPN's extension which encrypts all traffic (albeit only in conjunction with the desktop client).

NordVPN's Firefox extension makes a good impression with its variety of features and no-frills, fast performance.

Review Score
4.7 / 5
02/2020
excellent
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Server Network
4.7 / 5
Installation and Features
4.7 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.7 / 5
Customer Support
4.3 / 5

Alternatives

Most VPN providers offer browser extensions, and considering Mozilla Firefox's global popularity, it is one of the browsers for which extensions are designed first. Detailed reviews of 17 of the best and most reputable VPN providers can be found in our exhaustive and authoritative comparison.

Surfshark VPN
(25,851)
1700+ servers in 63+ countries
Unlimited number of devices
Many apps (Linux, FireTV, ...)
Saves no logs
Very cheap on the 24-month plan
Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on the market, but besides the price also impresses with strong protection, many features and a great support with 24/7 live chat.
Devices
unlimited
Datenvolumen
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
+3 months
Black Friday Deal
Surfshark 24 months
$2.49
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.6 / 5
excellent
hide.me VPN
(14,759)
1500+ servers
55+ locations in 34+ countries
Saves no logs
14-day money-back guarantee
with free plan
Devices
1 - 5
Datenvolumen
10 - ∞
Protocols
7
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
hide.me Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.6 / 5
excellent
VyprVPN
(51,029)
700+ servers in 70 countries
Saves no logs (Audited)
Company location in Switzerland
Premium: own VPN protocol
Devices
5
Datenvolumen
unlimited
Protocols
6
Contract Period
12 months
33%
Black Friday Special
VyprVPN 24-month plan
$2.50
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.3 / 5
good
HideMyAss! VPN
(44,709)
890 servers
280 locations in 190 countries
7 days free trial
Devices
5 - 30
Datenvolumen
unlimited
Protocols
1
Contract Period
1 - 36 months
HideMyAss! 36 month
$2.99
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.9 / 5
good
CyberGhost VPN
(132,781)
5300+ server
90 countries
Saves no logs
45 days money-back guarantee
Devices
7
Datenvolumen
unlimited
Protocols
6
Contract Period
1 - 18 months
CyberGhost 18 Months
$2.75
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.9 / 5
good
Mullvad VPN
(28)
500+ servers in 35 countries
Anonymous registration / no logs
New WireGuard protocol
Very simple pricing
Devices
5
Datenvolumen
unlimited
Protocols
2
Contract Period
1 month
Mullvad Flatrate
$5.85
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.9 / 5
good
PureVPN
(38,892)
2000+ Server & 300,000+ IPs
141 countries
31 days money-back guarantee
Saves connection data
Devices
5
Datenvolumen
unlimited
Protocols
6
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
PureVPN 1 year
$6.49
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good
IPVanish VPN
(17,925)
1100+ servers with 40,000+ IPS
60+ countries
10 simultaneous connections
Headquarters in the USA
Devices
10
Datenvolumen
unlimited
Protocols
7
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
IPVanish 1 Year
$6.49
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good
ProtonVPN
(13,798)
Strong focus on security
400+ servers in 30+ countries
Headquarters in Switzerland
Saves no logs
Devices
1 - 10
Datenvolumen
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
20%
Black Friday Deal
ProtonVPN Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.7 / 5
good
TunnelBear VPN
(275,697)
Servers in 22 countries
Offers free plan
Independent security audit
Headquarters in Canada
Devices
1 - 5
Datenvolumen
0.5 - ∞
Protocols
2
Contract Period
0 - 36 months
TunnelBear Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.6 / 5
good

Maybe you're wondering why we've only included premium or freemium providers and services in this Top 3. Especially for mobile devices, there are seemingly endless numbers of "free" services which claim to offer VPNs or VPN browser extensions. However, these are "free" in name only, since you "pay" for them with your data. Because online security and anonymity are the reason why VPNs exist in the first place, and should be their primary focus, we only evaluated established providers, most of which charge for their services, or offer limited functionality for free. Should you still opt for a "free" service, we recommend carefully doing your homework on the provider, as well as what is installed on your device or operating system when using their service.

Author (German Version): Martin Gschwentner
Martin Gschwentner majored in American Studies and Media Studies in Germany, the USA and France and works as a freelance editor in Paris. He is a doctoral student at the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Paris Diderot, where he is researching the influence of money on US politics. On EXPERTE.com he writes about IT security, data protection and software for the self-employed and small businesses.
English Translator & Editor: D Bare
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