If you’re a Mozilla Firefox user and shopping for a VPN, you’ll find that some of the top providers cater specifically to your needs. Many offer dedicated add-ons for the Firefox browser that can come in handy in certain situations.
A VPN service encrypts your traffic and tunnels it through an intermediary server in a location of your choice. It masks your IP address with one from your chosen location. This means no one can snoop on your activity, plus you get perks such as accessing geo-locked content.
Using a browser add-on — also known as an extension — typically won’t give you the same security as a full VPN, but it can provide a more lightweight option to mask your IP while you surf. We’ll go into more detail later, but overall, browser add-ons can come in handy but are not ideal for use all the time. This is why many VPN providers include them as part of a complete package.
Indeed, we recommend signing up for a full VPN service so you’ll have access to apps and add-ons to use across your devices and browsers as needed. VPNs are relatively inexpensive and don’t require a lot of tech-savvy to set up. Even so, there’s a great deal of variation between different providers, in terms of offerings and price, and some are simply not worth your dollars.
If you’re looking to use a VPN with Firefox, one of your major concerns will be whether a provider caters to you directly. Other factors to consider are speed, reliability, security, and ability to unblock streaming services. Since you’re signing up for the VPN package, you’ll want to consider the performance and functionality of both the browser add-ons and the full VPN applications.
To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of the best VPNs for Firefox users based on the following criteria:
- Includes a Firefox browser add-on or dedicated support
- Provides fast and reliable connections
- Can access popular streaming sites
- Provides strong security
- Has a no-logging policy
Panama-based NordVPN operates a network of more than 3,300 servers in over 60 countries. Its Firefox extension can be used alone, without the use of the app. It, therefore, offers a lightweight alternative to using a full VPN service. What’s more, unlike many proxy extensions, NordVPN claims to encrypt traffic through its Firefox extension as well as provide IP leak protection.
Settings can be configured such that the add-on connects as soon as you open the Firefox browser. A neat CyberSec feature will block suspicious websites to prevent malware and other threats from infecting your device.
NordVPN is a popular option for those looking to stream. The VPN service pegs some fast speeds and can unblock sites like US Netflix, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer, HBO, and Hulu.
A strict no-logs policy makes this provider ideal for the privacy-conscious user. Within the main VPN client, DNS leak protection and a built-in kill switch ensure that your IP is never leaked. Security is provided by military-grade 256-bit encryption.
The basic NordVPN package enables you to connect six devices simultaneously. If you tend you switch between Firefox and Chrome, you’re in luck, as there’s a Chrome extension available too. Note that the Firefox extension for Android has not been fully tested and users might experience glitches.
VPN apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
SaferVPN is headquartered in the US and gives you access to more than 700 servers in over 34 countries. Its Firefox and Chrome add-ons enable you to browse and stream at faster speeds than you’d get using the VPN app. While it doesn’t offer as high a level of security as the VPN app (no encryption), it is ideal for streaming content, especially if you have an already slow connection.
SaferVPN can provide access to US Netflix by connecting through its ‘US Streaming’ servers. As for speed, it’s one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested so there should be no issues streaming HD content or dealing with large files, even when you use the main app.
Overall, SaferVPN is solid on security and privacy front with the main VPN service providing 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and automatic wifi protection. It keeps no traffic logs and no connection logs that can be tied to an individual user. A basic plan allows for up to five simultaneous connections.
Apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
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Read our full review of SaferVPN.
Based in Romania, CyberGhost runs a network of over 1,200 servers in 57 countries. While it doesn’t offer a dedicated Firefox add-on, CyberGhost does provide automatic browser protection which currently supports Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.
You can use any of these to take advantage of CyberGhost’s newly revamped streaming options. Within the client, you can select the site you want to access, such as US Netflix, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer, and you’ll be connected to the appropriate server.
CyberGhost protects your privacy by maintaining a no-logs policy. Some connection logs are kept but cannot be tied to a specific user. Like many others on the list, this provider uses 256-bit encryption which is as good as it gets. You also have a kill switch and DNS leak protection to help protect your IP. A CyberGhost plan enables you to connect up to five devices simultaneously.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
ZenMate is a Germany-based VPN provider with a substantial network of more than 1,000 servers in 28 countries. It has been known to have some speeds on the slower side, but when using geographically close serves you can typically surf, stream and download with no issue. Plus, the lightweight nature of the Firefox add-on should speed things up even more. And its one-click connect makes it super convenient.
ZenMate will enable you access to streaming sites like US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. It protects your IP and records no logs for individual sessions. When it comes to security, the full ZenMate VPN service uses 128-bit encryption, which isn’t as strong as 256-bit, but is still considered very secure. It comes with a built-in kill switch to protect in case the connection is dropped. DNS leak protection is claimed, although this may not be completely reliable.
A ZenMate account enables you to connect up to five devices simultaneously. Apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
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Read our full review of ZenMate.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands and comprises a substantial network of more than 1,500 servers in 94 countries. As part of it’s VPN package, it offers dedicated browser add-ons for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
While some add-ons are work independently of the VPN application, these are a bit different. They serve to provide you remote access to your VPN controls from your browser and must be used alongside the appropriate app.
While you’re connected, your Firefox geolocation data will match the VPN location you’re connected to. As such, you can unblock geo-locked content such as US Netflix or Netflix libraries in other countries.
In addition to Netflix, ExpressVPN can access Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer. And if you have issues finding a server that works, the live chat option means someone will be able to direct you to an appropriate server right away. ExpressVPN’s fast and reliable service makes it ideal for streaming HD content as well as downloading or uploading large files.
Not only does it offer great functionality, but ExpressVPN is also solid when it comes to privacy and security. It stores no logs that can be traced to individual users so your activity cannot be tracked. Security is in the form of 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy. Plus you have a kill switch and DNS leak protection for all apps and browser add-ons.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and some wifi routers.
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See our full review of Expressvpn.
Can I use a free VPN with Firefox?
The VPN plans we’ve discussed here represent the best-paid plans available for Firefox users. As you browse providers, you’ll no doubt come across lots of free offerings, some of which may offer dedicated Firefox add-ons. There’s a lot to be said for getting anything for free these days, which is really the reason you need to have your wits about you when it comes to these services.
Some are simply lackluster in terms of features. For example, they may have slow speeds, a small number of servers, and low data caps. Many provide a very limited service in the hopes you’ll eventually cough up for a paid plan.
Others have more unscrupulous methods for profiting from users. These include logging user activity, enabling tracking cookies, and presenting annoying ads from affiliates. Since paid plans are relatively inexpensive anyway, they’re probably your best bet.
When to use a browser add-on instead of a full VPN
With some of the providers mentioned above, you have the option to use a standalone add-on, also called an extension or proxy extension. One of the main advantages of using an add-on instead of a VPN app is it uses fewer resources due to its lightweight nature.
That being said, this often comes at the expense of security. Many extensions will mask your IP address so that you can unblock content and prevent your ISP from recording your activity. But it doesn’t encrypt your traffic, leaving your information potentially exposed.
Some add-ons, like the one in the NordVPN package, will encrypt your traffic. Although, it’s important to note that this only applies to the browser you’re using it on. It won’t protect any other browsers or applications running on the device.
The NordVPN add-on also protects access to all sites, even non-HTTPS, and protects against DNS leaks. Again, these are features you won’t typically see with VPN browser extensions.
So what should you use? To put it simply, an add-on is fine in situations where speed is the most important factor, for example for general browsing or streaming. But in cases where security and privacy are important, you’ll be better off using the VPN app. The rare exception would be the NordVPN extension, which does offer a higher level of security than others.
Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a program that helps facilitate certain browser-to-browser communication, specifically audio and video. It is built into many browsers, including Firefox, as well as Chrome and Opera. WebRTC poses a risk to VPN users as it could potentially expose their real IP address. As such, some providers offer WebRTC leak protection with their standard service.
Even when this is the case, it doesn’t always carry over to add-ons, so it’s something to look out for. Basically, if you have WebRTC enabled and don’t have WebRTC leak protection, you could be exposing your real IP to the sites you visit, even though you’re using a VPN.
Of the providers on our list, NordVPN is the only one with a standalone add-on that provides WebRTC leak protection. ExpressVPN’s add-on works alongside the VPN app, so you’ll enjoy WebRTC leak protection from that one too.
Even with the other extensions, thankfully there’s a fairly simple workaround. All you need to do is disable WebRTC. To do this, first enter about:config in your Firefox browser address bar. You’ll get a warning message about the risk of altering advanced settings. If you’re happy to go ahead, you can click I accept the risk!
In the resulting screen enter media.peerconnection.enabled in the search bar. In the Value column, if it says false, then WebRTC is already disabled. If it says true, you need to change it to false by double-clicking the column.
And that’s it. You can use a leak checker like that provided by ExpressVPN to see if your IP address is exposed.
Bear in mind that while WebRTC is disabled, you might run into issues when trying to use certain applications that rely on the program. If you need to enable it, simply follow the above steps and change the value back to true.