Mozilla relaunches Firefox Test Pilot Program with new VPN
Mozilla is bringing back its Firefox Test Pilot program to allow users to try out new features and services and its first new project is the Firefox Private Network VPN service.
The program, which first launched three years ago, was shut down at the beginning of this year but now the company has decided to bring it back but with some changes. In a blog post announcing the return of the Firefox Test Pilot program, vice president of product at Mozilla, Marissa Wood explained how the relaunched version will differ from the original, saying:
“The difference with the newly relaunched Test Pilot program is that these products and services may be outside the Firefox browser, and will be far more polished, and just one step shy of general public release.”
Instead of allowing users to try out new ideas from the Firefox team, the new Test Pilot program will more closely resemble a public beta test program as users will try out new products and services ahead of their official launch.
Firefox Private Network
Mozilla's Firefox Private Network may not have the word VPN in its name, but it still provides users with many of the same features of a VPN including the ability to access a private network while on public Wi-Fi and allowing them to hide their location from websites and ad trackers online.
Wood also explained why the company decided to include a VPN in its web browser, saying:
“One of the key learnings from recent events is that there is growing demand for privacy features. The Firefox Private Network is an extension which provides a secure, encrypted path to the web to protect your connection and your personal information anywhere and everywhere you use your Firefox browser.”
Mozilla has picked Cloudflare as its partner for the launch of Firefox Private Network and the service will use the company's proxy server. The new VPN product is available now as a Firefox extension though you'll have to be in the US and use Firefox on your desktop to take advantage of the service. Firefox Private Network is currently free but Mozilla could end up charging for the service in the future.
This isn't the first time that Mozilla has included a VPN with its browser as last year it partnered with ProtonVPN to offer a similar service to its users for $10 per month.