Instagram launched Threads in October 2019 as a standalone app to chat with Instagram Close Friends, but that app is unavailable now since Meta launched a new Threads app last week as its Twitter competitor. It's available in over 100 countries, including the US and UK, but not in Europe. And you can't even use it in Europe via VPN since Meta has confirmed that it's blocking users in European countries from using Threads via VPN, resulting in profiles and content not loading and notifications not working.
“Threads is currently unavailable in most European countries and we have taken...
The Mullvad browser is the newest addition to the web browsers industry, founded in April 2023. This browser is a joint collaboration of the Tor Browser and the Mullvad VPN.
Simply put, it's a Tor browser that works with the Mullvad VPN instead of the Tor Network. Naturally, a browser partnering with a VPN directly makes it much more secure and safe than most other browsers in the industry.
In this review, we’re going to help you decide if you get the Mullvad Browser or not by delving deep into its features, privacy protocols, usability, pros and cons, and much more.
Mullvad browser: Features
Mullvad comes with a private browsing mode that doesn’t save your history, cookies, or any information that you might have shared during the session.
If you don't want anyone to track your online activities, this feature will be your friend and wipe off every last detail.
It offers up to 3 security levels, and you can choose which settings work best for you:
Standard — the default and the most basic mode, where all website functions are allowed.
Safer — all website functions that are considered dangerous are banned.
Safest — the last and final security level where only the most basic website features are allowed to run while the rest are blocked.
As you can see, turning on the “Safest” mode can heavily restrict your online activities, which is why we don't recommend it.
Another benefit of using Mullvad is that it doesn't work with too many extensions or plugins. After all, the more third-party software you add, the higher will be the risk of data leaks.
That said, Mullvad does provide you with the plugins you’ll need the most. For example, you can use the uBlock Origin plugin to block ads and unnecessary pop-ups.
Mullvad’s anti-fingerprinting technology makes it almost impossible to track any individual user on Mullvad. It achieves this by making the fingerprints and digital identities of all its users across an operating system look alike.
Just like the Tor browser, the Mullvad browser, too, is based on Firefox. This means that when a new feature is added to Firefox, it's considered for addition to Mullvad as well.
However, the addition is only done after the feature is thoroughly examined and it's confirmed that it doesn’t pose a security risk to the system.
Mullvad’s best security feature is the identity reset button that lets you reset your profile and delete all your cookies, histories, and favorites so that no activity can be linked back to your account. It's important to note that this feature won't change your IP address — it’ll simply factory reset your profile.
Mullvad browser: Privacy
A browser created in collaboration with a VPN provider is undoubtedly privacy-friendly. In fact, that was the bottom line purpose of this collaboration project — to provide users with a safe browsing platform equipped to combat new-age digital threats.
One of our favorite security features of the Mullvad browser is “Reset Identity.” As the name suggests, this option will remove all your cookies, browsing history, bookmarks, and tabs. It'll come in extremely handy if you’re worried that someone might be prying on your online activities.
The Mullvad browser also comes with the uBlock Origin plugin that you can use to block ads and pop-ups. And for trackers that might steal your information, Mullvad has an in-built combat system to restrict such activities.
Mullvad browser: Ease of use
Since the Mullvad browser works on Tor’s interface, those familiar with the latter will have an easier time getting to know how Mullvad works.
It follows the standard format of placing the stack of tabs at the top of the screen, followed by the address bar. To the left of the address bar, you’ll find page navigation options such as reloading or going back to the previous page, and to the right of the address bar, you’ll find your security features, browser cleaner, profile, and menu.
Under the Security tab is where you decide if you want to use the standard website protocols that allow a certain set of functionalities to customize and adjust the level of protection.
From the menu on the extreme right of the page (under the 3 dashes), you’ll be able to change the browser theme or add more extensions. All in all, the Mullvad browser is quite easy to navigate, and it'll not take you more than a few minutes to acquaint yourself with it.
Mullvad browser: Competitors
Mullvad was launched quite recently, so it's hard to tell who its immediate competitors might be. But one thing’s for sure is that it's trying to cater to a very specific target audience — those very particular about the level of security and privacy a browser offers.
This eliminates the majority of the people who use browsers like Chrome, Edge, and Bing. However, browsers like Avast, Firefox, and Opera that also prioritize data security can be considered Mullvad’s immediate competitors.
In fact, just like Mullvad, Avast, too, is developed by a company that is an expert in antivirus and VPN. Opera, on the other hand, is known to offer a free integrated VPN to all users. In short, all three of them are serving almost the same purpose.
Speaking of their performance, it's hard to compare the three, owing to Mullvad’s short experience in the market. We still don't have enough data to draw out a detailed comparison.
However, we do know that in terms of features, Mullvad has a few extra things to offer. It's the only one out of the three to offer pre-configured multi-level security modes. It's also the only one to offer a profile reset button that can immediately wipe off your entire browsing history from the account.
Also, you won't have to deal with the overwhelming number of options on the main page that both Opera and Avast are guilty of.
Mullvad browser: Final verdict
Mullvad browser is perfect for those who want VPN-like security in their browser without actually paying for a VPN. Features like private browsing mode, one-click profile reset, and anti-fingerprinting technology put Mullvad far ahead of the competition in terms of security and protection.
Another benefit of using this browser is its usability. The interface is quite simple. You have all the options you’ll need to run it smoothly, yet the main page isn't crowded with too many options — it's all perfectly balanced.
The menu and its options are easy to find because, unlike some browsers, Mullvad doesn't believe in hiding them from plain sight. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t give Mullvad a try.
GoodAccess VPN is an essential static IP provider, designed specifically for businesses. Based in the Czech Republic, it empowers small business owners to securely access essential resources from any location while allowing administrators to customize the settings via a web-based dashboard, as well as monitor for suspicious visitors and potential risks. GoodAccess aims to offer the benefits of a zero-trust model for remote access purposes wherever you and your workers find yourselves.
GoodAccess is the perfect solution for small and medium-sized businesses, boasting the speed of implementation as its standout feature. With the promise to create a robust virtual VPN moat around your business applications and assets and attractive pricing plans plus a free trial, why wouldn't you choose GoodAccess?
Let’s check if it delivers on its bold promises.
Plans and pricing
There is something for everyone with the plethora of pricing plans GoodAccess offers to its customers. The Starter plan is now free forever, covering the basics with their “basic secure shield” functionalities. This is a great starting point for a small group of freelancers who are looking to secure their startup network.
Moving on, we have the Essential plan that costs $9 per user per month, but requires a minimum of five users. In addition, for each dedicated gateway you will have to pay an additional $39 per month.
The Premium plan costs $14 per month per user and also has a minimum required amount of users set at five. It offers much more than the previous two plans and is ideal for cloud businesses.
Finally, the Enterprise plan is for larger organizations, with all details to be discussed with the sales department of the company.
If you opt for annual billing, you will be able to save 20%, which is a welcome sight for firms looking to lock in a long term partner.
All things considered, it’s a reasonable value for money if we compare GoodAccess with its more famous competitors.
GoodAccess is your one-stop shop for unbeatable business security features - at a fantastic price. Its SASE (Service Access Service Edge) solution gives your online team the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can access all your cloud-based systems securely. It features 2FA/MFA (two-factor and multi-factor authentication) for an added layer of protection for logins, as well as SSO compatibility with Google, Azure AD, Okta, SAML, Active Directory, or LDAP. On top of that, its encryption protocols (IKEv2 and OpenVPN) offer robust 256-bit security. Plus, it's IPv4-only and has no DNS leaks, while port-forwarding is enabled too.
GoodAccess keeps your team members in check with its employee monitoring and access logging. You'll be able to get a clear view of how well you comply with GDPR, SOC2, or HIP to ensure granularity of access to only necessary materials and areas of the network.
Whitelisting your dedicated IP ensures that all of your online business systems can be trusted, eliminating the risk of employees being barred from shared online resources. Furthermore, personal VPNs provide additional safety measures such as a kill switch, which suspends internet activity should the VPN connection drop; adding this feature to GoodAccess would significantly bolster its security.
All in all, GoodAccess delivers the goods when it comes to security features, bringing it closer to more premium packages at a lower price.
GoodAccess packs several management tools built around the idea of user-friendliness and accessibility. For starters, you can manage gateways by instantly deploying a private gateway with a static IP for your employees. You can choose these among more than 33 locations across the globe. Using multiple gateways should help you in situations when you need backup or faster connection speeds.
Managing access is done by creating special access cards that can authorize it for specific resources and systems for individual employees or groups. You can easily assign these by the departments, granting different access authorization to, for instance, your marketing team as opposed to your IT personnel.
GoodAccess has really thought of everything, with 16 different application integrations available for businesses using SaaS apps such as WordPress, Google Cloud, Magento and more. Not only do these integrations set up a secure, private and encrypted tunnel from your app to your endpoint, but there is also copious documentation on how to implement each one. On top of that, you can even setup a single-sign-on provider such as Okta, Google or Azure, making GoodAccess a great choice for those wanting the extra protection or those that have already made the decision to use SSO as their main authentication method.
GoodAccess is designed with convenience in mind. Users can quickly view the active gateway and its associated IP address at the top, followed by a large button to enable the VPN connection. The systems configured by the team admin are listed below. Meanwhile, the options menu in the top left corner offers the chance to alter settings, read the terms of service or contact customer support.
The admin dashboard is a bit more intricate, as it allows for a tailored experience throughout the whole organization. Here, a complete overview of all members, gateways, systems and further options is available, each menu item is dedicated to a specific feature and featuring its own unique look.
Its control panel is dominated by an accessible and clean interface and a responsive dashboard that will help you get the most out of it in a short time. Navigating its buttons and sections goes quite smoothly and, even more importantly, intuitively. This is no small feat if you consider that you do not want to have your staff run in fear when presented with all the options hosted by this system.
All team members can be easily invited to be made a member of individual groups, with a tag-based system helping you filter them out subsequently based on the changing circumstances in the field.
The same level of user-friendliness is provided for the interface used to manage integrations and downloads.
Support and customer experience
The GoodAccess website's contact section features the company's address, and if you need to get in touch with the staff, you can fill out the short form provided. Alternatively, you can schedule a free online session with the GoodAccess Guru and address any initial installation problems, such as whitelisting or plugin issues. Furthermore, customers (especially Enterprise customers) can access 24/7 help through live chat or IT ticketing system. On their website, GoodAccess also provides customer reviews under the References tab.
On the GoodAccess website, Samohyb states that its VPN solutions are used by over 10,000 individuals, and over 1,000 teams. Despite this, it’s difficult to source many customer reviews.
GoodAccess provides some customer feedback on its website, under References. There’s overall praise for GoodAccess’ user-friendly control panel, its low latency (ability to process lots of data quickly), strong encryption, and easy-to-use access control settings.
We sourced two customer reviews from Capterra and both were positive about the overall user-friendliness, affordability, and reliability of GoodAccess. Although a problem with initial whitelisting is mentioned, it’s stated that this issue was quickly resolved with the help of GoodAccess Guru.
Compared with the starting price per user per month of NordLayer, GoodAccess’ equivalent is cheaper. However, NordVPN's offering provides security features GoodAccess lacks, such as a VPN kill switch and two-factor authentication.
Like GoodAccess, Encrypt.me is a VPN service that’s good for small businesses. It’s easy to use and offers similar features, such as a free trial and accessibility across all devices. That said, Encrypt.me notably offers more server locations—over 70 across 40 countries.
Small businesses looking to invest in a VPN service for their employees should definitely consider GoodAccess as a great starting point. With a fixed monthly fee that covers multiple users, it represents a cost-effective option for any organization. On the other hand, larger companies may benefit more from NordVPN Teams, a competing solution with additional features. Nevertheless, GoodAccess provides a free trial, so your business can assess the service before signing up for a monthly or yearly plan.
Larger enterprises should do well to check out more expensive VPN packages with more robust sets of advanced features.
For businesses on a shoestring budget or those that prefer to save on security, it’s an affordable option that does not feel like one at any time.
PingOne is an ideal solution to secure access rights management across multiple devices. It offers a unified console, single sign-on, and connection security with a companion application. Moreover, it can integrate seamlessly with other Identity Access and Management (IAM) systems such as Active Directory, Azure AD, CA Technologies, Oracle, and IBM. Enjoy effortless authentication for all your mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop devices with PingOne.
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Plans and pricing
Similar to Okta, Ping Identity has made it very complicated to choose the right pricing plan for your business if you are a small business owner. We start off with the firm’s Workforce plans, where we have three plans, the Essential, which costs $3 per user per month, Plus at $6 per user per month, and the Premium plan, for which you will have to go through the sales department to get a custom offer. The main differences between the plans relate to the functionalities the users have at their disposal, with SSO coming in as standard even with the lowest plan offering.
Next, Ping Identity offers their Customer pricing plans, which also have three levels. The Essential plan costs $20,000 annually, the Plus $40,000 annually and for the Premium you will have to contact sales.
Both Workforce and Customer plans have the option of 30-day trial, which could help you choose the right plan for you and your company.
PingOne offers powerful Multi-Factor Authentication capabilities, which include passwordless authentication, eliminating the risk of attack and removing the frustration of memorizing multiple passwords. Adaptive to the situation, it can utilize frictionless, behavioral, and contextual factors such as IP address, geolocation, and timestamps to determine any potential risks. Plus, their Single Sign-On feature allows users to access multiple applications with one single set of credentials, saving admins time by lessening password reset requests and discouraging the use of weak or recycled passwords.
Risk management also plays a key role, as it integrates with authentication flows and policies to track and notify any events during user sessions. It rates, and groups risk signals, displaying any risk associated with the user's device and delivering a risk score. Thus, administrators are better equipped to make the best decision for granting access with the help of Ping's intelligent authentication providing risk signals and evaluates user behavior according to context.
Interface and in use
For the user, PingOne couldn't be simpler. With one click of the URL provided, usually in the form of an icon on their desktop, they'll be in the PingOne cloud. For the first-time user, the connection procedure is quick and easy, and afterward, their desktop is populated with the apps to which their organization has given them access to. System administrators can also set up groups and link with Active Directory and a range of other settings to cater to their organization's needs.
Accessing cloud-based applications is a simple process: the user clicks on the icon of the desired application on their desktop and is taken directly to PingOne, where they are securely authenticated. For extra security, strong authentication can be used. After this, a token exchange happens to confirm the user's identity, and they'll be connected to the application. It's all seamless and invisible to the user.
The support the company offers is comprehensive, starting off with business phone numbers that will link you directly to customer support. If you are not a “phone person,” you can create a case for the firm’s support team to follow up on. A step up from some of the competitors is an offer for various certificates when it comes to using PingOne that users can pursue.
A detailed documentation section is available, but the documents tend to be heavy on technical jargon, which makes them harder to use for non-tech people. But fear not; there is a community forum with a few moderators where you can get answers to your questions. And finally, there is a Q&A section on the site, rounding out the comprehensive support users get.
At Ping, Information Security Management System (ISMS) is based on top industry standards, including ISO 27001 and NIST 800-53. The commitment to security is evidenced through the ISO 27001 certification, which the company has held since 2018. Every year since 2013, Ping Identity has been getting Identity as a Service (IDaaS) evaluation via SSAE 16 SOC2 Type II certification. There are also third-party assessors who audit products and control the environment to make sure security measures are working as intended.
Okta is a formidable rival, offering an abundance of features often hidden within its various pricing plans. Requiring more technical expertise, Okta provides an analogous service and in some areas, even superior choices when compared to PingOne.
In contrast to both PingOne and Okta, Twingate offers much less yet stands out with its granular security configuration and lower prices.
PingOne Cloud Platform is an advanced, cloud-based product with exceptional security and management protocols delivered on a single, highly-scalable platform. Seamlessly integrated with other software, it fits into existing workflows with ease.
No passwords are necessary thanks to its frictionless sign-on capabilities, meaning added risk-mitigation. For enterprises with broad customer usage, like retail, and businesses needing the highest level of identity security for compliance or confidentiality - like government, financial services, and healthcare - PingOne Cloud Platform is the ideal solution.
The Perimeter 81 security platform is a complete package of powerful tools designed to protect applications, local networks, and cloud configurations. Embedded in the suite is the business-class Perimeter 81 VPN – far beyond what you'd find with a consumer VPN provider. On top of the basics, the VPN provides a suite of features for managing user groups and securely connecting remote personnel to the company's intranet from any location.
All of the pricing plans, the three main ones, have a surcharge of $50 per month per gateway, which makes Perimeter 81 one of the pricier solutions in the market. The starting plan is called Essential and costs $10 per month per user and covers features such as split tunneling, private DNS, Wireguard protocol, etc.
Next is the Premium plan that costs $15 per month per user and on top of the Essential features ads, 10 cloud firewall policies, SSO, and 2FA capabilities. The last option is the Premium Plus plan which costs $20 per month per user and adds more advanced security features and wider coverage.
For all of the plans, if you go for annual billing, you can save an additional 20% on your purchase. Moreover, if you need more features, you can opt for the Enterprise plan, but you will have to go through the sales team to discuss details and prices.
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Perimeter 81 brings all the benefits of a traditional corporate VPN - safe remote access to corporate intranet resources and protection on unsecured public WiFi networks - without the cost and effort of expensive physical servers and specialized personnel. In addition, it provides flexible access to a variety of non-traditional network resources like cloud networks and IoT devices and can be quickly scaled with on-the-fly creation of private VPN server gateways with static IP addresses.
Administrators can monitor network activity, assign granular access permissions, and manage multiple user groups with team permissions via a unified management portal. With easy-to-use apps for major platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, Perimeter 81 also provides access to a large public VPN network, automatic WiFi protection, two-factor authentication, and integration with identity providers such as Google Suite, Okta, OneLogin, and Microsoft Azure Active Directory.
Further features include HIPAA compliance for healthcare, data protection for finance, and a multi-tenant cloud with IP configuration capabilities. All in all, it offers a plethora of features, but what you get will depend on the plan you go for.
Interface and in use
Perimeter 81 makes it easy to equip your team with the cloud-based service they need. Simply invite team members to join, and they’ll receive an email containing the instructions to download the Perimeter 81 client software, which works on a wide range of platforms.
Then, use the Cloud Management Portal to manage your team members, servers, and permissions. With the Team tab, you can view each team member’s activity and assign them different roles with different levels of access. To access the desktop app, just follow the easy sign-in wizard, which helps set things up with a few clicks.
Overall, the UI is clean and intuitive, making Perimeter 81, one of the easier options to use when you’re in need of protection for your network.
Perimeter 81 offers a plethora of assistance, particularly when setting up your management area. You can even request a complete demo of the system for a first-hand glimpse before making a commitment to purchase. A variety of help pages and instructional videos are available to help you master each feature and its setup. Plus, the website boasts an instant chatbot for answering any general queries about what the service provides and how to get started. In addition, you can submit a ticket for more specific inquiries and expect an emailed response.
If your query leads to an appointment, the rep will contact you rather than provide a direct and instant answer. This system is designed to ensure a smooth transition to sales, demonstrating the commitment to a business-first attitude across all areas. The level of help differs based on the plan you choose; Premium and Premium Plus subscribers are guaranteed prioritized aid, while Enterprise plan members receive 24/7 assistance. Those with Basic plans and prospective customers can expect a response during unspecified work hours.
Although Perimeter 81 has distanced itself from the SaferVPN brand, its VPN is located in Israel, where data protection laws are incredibly stringent and strictly limit the government’s ability to intrude on personal data.
Logging-wise, Perimeter 81 keeps track of administrative and team member activities, such as inviting new members, changing team permissions, creating access gateways and more. Connection logs like timestamps, device locations and hostnames are also recorded. Furthermore, original IP addresses are logged on private access gateways but not on public servers.
Okta is a strong competitor as it too offers a plethora of features, mostly hidden behind its numerous pricing plans. Though Okta requires more technical know-how, it offers a comparable service and, in some segments, even better options compared to Perimeter 81.
Twingate is another competitor, but with much less to offer compared to both Perimeter 81 and Okta. Better granularity when it comes to configuring all of the security details sets Twingate apart from its competition, along with its lower pricing.
Perimeter 81 is the perfect pick for businesses with multiple employees accessing a shared network. With its unbeatable security, user access control, and lightning-fast VPN servers, you'll be more than satisfied. Although it's pricier than some, its comprehensive packages make it worth the cost - ideal for burgeoning enterprises looking for a dependable network solution.
You might also want to check out our list of the best business VPN providers available right now
Google's VPN service has only been available to those who have one of the higher Google One tiers up until this point, but that's changing.
All Google One plans include the VPN going forward, although the rollout is ongoing and may take a few weeks to conclude. The service works for Google One members in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. Why only these countries? We can't tell you, unfortunately.
Anyway, the good news is...
PureKeep is the product of GZ Systems Ltd, a software company founded in 2007. GZ is best known for its PureVPN virtual private network service, which allows users to encrypt their traffic and disguise their identity while surfing the web. PureVPN is powered by over 6,500 servers spread across 78 countries, and users can connect to a nearby country to get the fastest speeds.
GZ is keen on expanding beyond a VPN service into a full-fledged cybersecurity platform, so it launched PureKeep and PurePrivacy in 2022. The former is the software we’re reviewing, while the latter is another tool that lets users block targeted ads and scan their credentials for data breaches.
PureKeep is a relatively new password manager app that hasn’t gotten many reviews. We decided to review it to help you decide if it’s a suitable password management tool for you.
PureKeep: Plans and pricing
A caveat about using PureKeep is that you can’t buy the software alone. You must first pay for the PureVPN service and choose PureKeep as an add-on. PureVPN costs $10.95 per month, but you’ll get a 70% discount on the final price if you pay for 12 months in one go. The platform is also currently running a holiday promo deal offering a 5-year subscription for $80.
The PureKeep add-on is pretty affordable. It costs $2.49 per month, and you'll get a significant discount if you pay for 12 months in one go. The platform accepts payments through credit and debit cards, PayPal, or cryptocurrency. There's a 31-day money-back guarantee during which you can request a refund if you're not satisfied with the app. However, note that cryptocurrency payments are non-refundable.
There’s no free trial period for PureKeep, which we consider a disadvantage.
One of the major challenges for active internet users is storing the passwords for their accounts on dozens of websites and applications. It’s easy to forget your passwords when you have too many accounts, which creates the need for a tool like PureKeep.
PureKeep lets you create digital vaults to store your passwords. These digital vaults work similarly to a real-world vault; it’s protected by a master password that you’ll need to access anything stored in it. You can store passwords for different websites in this vault and retrieve them anytime you want. All you need to remember is the master password, and your internet surfing will likely become easier than ever.
Passwords aren’t the only thing you can store in PureKeep’s vaults. You can also store sensitive files and documents, e.g., certificates, passports, confidential memos, etc. Users get up to 1 GB of storage space for every vault they create.
Almost everyone has a person or group of people that they can trust with sensitive details, e.g., a close friend or a family member. PureKeep lets you share your vault with such people, and they’ll be able to access your passwords and other sensitive files you store in the vault. This feature is beneficial in the case of emergencies where a trusted person may need to access your account.
You can also use this feature within a workplace, as in, share passwords to corporate accounts within your team.
Weak passwords represent one of the biggest vulnerabilities on the internet. They’re easy to guess, which makes any account with such a password vulnerable to hacking. To avert this, PureKeep includes a tool that generates strong passwords for users. Strong passwords are usually a mix of figures, letters, and symbols that are very difficult to track. This feature offers ample protection for your accounts on different websites and applications.
You can import passwords from another app into PureKeep with ease. Just download the password list as a CSV file and re-upload it to PureKeep; it’ll automatically extract the passwords and add them to your vault. Most password managers let you download your credentials as a CSV file, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Multi-Factor Authentication implies requiring at least two modes of identification before granting access to your account. You can set PureKeep to require another form of identification alongside your username and password to grant access to your account. It can be a one-time password sent to your email address or fingerprint recognition if your PC has the required sensor.
You can switch between dark and light themes for the PureKeep app depending on which one suits you best.
Given that you can’t get PureKeep without PureVPN, it’s ideal to include a VPN service as one of the platform’s features. A VPN works simply; you can browse using the IP address of another location and your browsing data is sent through a secure tunnel to the VPN provider's servers. The browsing data is then encrypted and rerouted to the website that you're trying to reach.
PureVPN has over 6,500 servers across dozens of countries, and you can connect to anyone you want. It's advisable to connect to the one nearest to your location if you want better speed. The VPN service hides your real IP address and protects your data from corporations, government agencies, and hackers. You can also use it to circumvent content bans. For example, if a video streaming service isn’t available in your country, just switch to an IP address hosted in a country where it’s available, and you can access the content on the service.
It's advisable to always use a VPN if you're browsing with a public Wi-Fi network, e.g., at an airport, cafe, or hotel. Public networks are often vulnerable to hacking and encrypting your browsing data protects you from potential harm.
You can download the PureVPN app on your desktop (Windows, macOS, and Linux) or mobile phone (iOS and Android). It's also available as an extension on web browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Brave. Likewise, PureVPN is available on gaming consoles (Xbox and PlayStation) and video streaming devices (Apple TV, Samsung TV, Android TV, Fire TV, etc.).
According to PureVPN's website, it doesn't keep logs of browsing activity that occurs through its VPN. Going by its word, you can be sure of your browsing privacy if you use the platform.
Your PureVPN subscription covers up to 10 devices. Once you set up the app on your device, it takes just one click to activate it and start browsing securely. Upon activation, the platform uses an algorithm to select the fastest server for you.
When researching for this review, we observed a pattern of users praising PureVPN for its speed and ease of use. There are no caps on bandwidth usage, so you can use it to browse as much as you want.
PureKeep: Interface and use
It's pretty easy to set up and use PureKeep. After paying, you can download the app on your PC and create an account. You can sync PureKeep with up to 10 devices at a time and access your passwords on each of them seamlessly. One major drawback is that PureKeep doesn’t have a mobile app, unlike many rival password management tools.
Once you launch PureKeep, you can create a digital vault and store credentials in it. The platform has an interface that’s interactive and easy to navigate.
You can contact PureKeep’s support team via email and live chat. The company’s support team is available 24/7, which is good. But, there’s no phone support, which we consider a disadvantage.
Before contacting the support team, you can check the official Support Center page, which contains articles and user guides concerning all aspects of PureKeep. You may find a solution on the page, which removes the need to seek direct support.
PureKeep: The competition
Popular alternatives to PureKeep includeLastPass and Dashlane. These are two of the most popular password management apps and have a much larger user base than PureKeep. Both of them have a free tier and mobile apps, unlike PureKeep. They also offer bulk plans designed for enterprise users, while PureKeep is built primarily for individual use,
PureKeep: Final verdict
PureKeep is a new password management app, so it lacks several features that one would expect from a password management tool. For one, you can’t access it via a mobile app or a browser extension but only from a PC. It also lacks single sign-on, an advanced security feature geared toward enterprise users.
However, PureKeep has some advantages over the competition, such as being much more affordable and easy to use.
Google One VPN is a simple VPN that comes bundled with the tech giant's premium subscription service, Google One. When we say simple, we really, really mean it. There are barely any options, settings, or features. You can't even choose a location. Hit the Enable button and the app automatically connects to a server in your country, then goes to work encrypting your internet traffic.
Google has expanded its app range since launch and the VPN now works on Windows and Mac, as well as Android and iOS. There's no way to manually set it up on anything else but with no real features, there's not much reason to do that.
If you're hoping to unblock US Netflix or anything else, get connected in VPN-unfriendly countries, set up the VPN on a router, or anything even faintly advanced, then we can say absolutely, definitively, and without question, Google One VPN isn't the service for you.
If you're going to buy Google One anyway and you could use a lightweight service to protect your internet activities on public Wi-Fi, then it might be a different story. In this review, we'll look more closely at what Google One VPN offers, what it doesn't have, and find out whether this could be a smart choice for you. We're only reviewing the VPN element here. If you want details on the full package, you can check out our Google One review.
What is Google One VPN?
Although it's more basic than just about anything from the big VPN names, Google One VPN is a real virtual private network (VPN) that delivers the same fundamental security benefits.
Turn it on, and the app directs all your device traffic through a secure encrypted tunnel. Snoopers aren't able to access your data on even the most insecure of public Wi-Fi hotspots, and with your real IP address replaced by Google One VPN's server, it's more difficult for companies to track you online.
The big omission is Google One VPN doesn't allow you to choose a new virtual location (pretend to be in the US when you're actually in Australia, for instance). As a result, it can't help you access US-exclusive Netflix shows, say, or any other content that isn't normally available in your country.
Although that's a major downside, it also looks like web companies won't spend as much time and effort trying to detect and block Google One VPN connections. We'll get more into this later.
What are the apps like?
Google One VPN's Windows and Mac apps are just about as simple as you'll see. An opening dashboard lists two or three reasons you might use a VPN such as reducing tracking, staying safe on public Wi-Fi, and browsing securely. There's an On/ Off button, an option to launch when your devices start, and that's it.
Google's Android and iOS offerings look a little more complex, at least initially, because they include panels relating to Google One's various cloud storage features. Tap one to explore how your storage space is being used. A Sync option can back up your photos, videos, contacts or calendars, and a Clean up feature wipes junk files to free up more space. If you're not interested in any of that, though, just tap the iOS VPN panel and you've essentially got the same stripped-back interface as the desktop app.
Android users get a touch more functionality. A split tunneling feature allows you to choose apps that won't use the VPN, handy for anything that isn't compatible. A Snooze feature pauses the VPN protection for five minutes, then automatically resumes it, and integration with Android's system-wide kill switch protects you by blocking your internet if the connection drops. That's all good news, but the app is still seriously underpowered by usual Android standards.
There is a positive side to having next to no features; you've next to nothing to learn so anyone can use it. There's no need to understand technical concepts like protocols or even encryption. Just flip the switch when you need protection.
Unfortunately, the lack of features might compromise your privacy in some situations. Our tests showed the Windows app didn't have a kill switch, for instance, and when we forcibly dropped the connection, our real IP was exposed. The app didn't even warn us or try to reconnect, so Windows users could browse for hours, thinking they're protected, when they're entirely exposed.
Does Google One VPN store any logs?
Connect to most VPNs, and your login and user traffic is sent through the same server. That single computer knows your identity and where you’re going online, allowing a malicious VPN (or anyone who can compromise the server) to log your activities and link them to your account.
Google One VPN is designed so that you log in using one server, but your browsing is routed through another. This way, the first computer knows who you are, but not what you’re doing; the second knows what you’re doing, but not who you are. Even Google can’t see which sites you’re visiting (which means it can’t log them, either).
The service does log some very general data about VPN use: how many connections you’ve made in the last 28 days, for instance, and how many connections your account has active right now. But that’s not unusual – most VPNs monitor the number of active connections to enforce ‘maximum device’ limits – and there’s nothing here that can link you to any action online.
Google doesn’t have the best of reputations for looking after user privacy, but fortunately you don’t have to take its VPN claims entirely on trust. The company has open-sourced some reference libraries for its apps, allowing anyone with technical expertise to take a look at how it works, and in 2021 the VPN was audited by NCC Group.
The conclusions were generally positive, with NCC Group finding that the VPN worked as promised, and explaining how Google had taken measures to prevent the system being compromised (malicious employees can’t simply install a backdoor on their own, for instance).
The report warned that the technical protections ‘did not categorically eliminate the opportunity for Google to violate its privacy claims’, but any audit of any VPN could make a similar point: things look great now, but it’s possible a provider could cheat the system later.
Overall, although the system design, open sourcing and audit report will never win over the biggest Google skeptics, the reality is Google One VPN has more support for its no-logging claim than most of the competition.
How much does Google One VPN cost?
The Google One VPN is available in the following countries for eligible Google One members: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States
After signing up, you can travel to other countries and Google One VPN should still work, but it may not connect to a server in that country, which could lead to problems. If you use Google One VPN in Hungary, say, and it connects to a server in Germany, then websites may not serve you with the local content you expect.
The baseline Google One plan offers the VPN, 100GB of online storage, Google Photos editing features, and alerts if Google finds your personal details on the dark web. It's yours for a very low $1.99 billed monthly (regular VPNs ask $10-$13), dropping to $1.67 on the annual plan.
Higher plans add more storage and extra benefits, including premium Google Workspace features and up to 10% rewards on Google Play purchases. See our full Google One review for more details.
This could be good value in some situations. If you'll only use a VPN to protect yourself on public Wi-Fi when on holiday, for instance, giving an annual $4 to Google will cover you for a couple of trips. Bargain!
If you'd like to unblock content, get online in VPN-unfriendly countries, or do anything more complex, you can get a full-strength VPN for not much more. For example, Private Internet Access is just $3.33 a month on its annual plan. That's $2.03 over three years for a far more powerful VPN service.
How easy is Google One VPN to use?
The Google One app doesn’t even try to match regular VPNs for visual style. It’s really just a web page, with different sections on the VPN and Google One’s other features, and you browse it for whatever you need.
This still isn’t difficult to use: all you have to do is hit the Enable VPN button, then an Enable VPN switch, and typically you’re connected in around a second. Standard VPN apps usually require one tap rather than two, but that’s the only significant difference.
Android users can make life even easier by adding Google One VPN to their Quick Settings menu. After that, there’s no need to even launch the app. Connecting or disconnecting is then as easy as swiping down a couple of times and tapping the Google One VPN button.
What does Google One VPN unblock?
Most VPNs let you connect to servers in different countries. This allows you to appear as though you're in Manhattan when actually you're in Melbourne. This may allow you to access content that isn't normally available in your country.
Google One VPN's apps automatically choose your server, though, usually one based in your own country. So, as you can't change your region, you won't be able to unblock anything at all.
One issue with streaming sites in particular is they often look out for VPN connections and block access if they detect you're using one. We connected to the VPN and then tried to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer. None of the sites complained about Google One and we streamed content as usual.
Using a VPN can cause hassles on non-streaming sites, too. You might see annoying 'click all the tiles containing a bicycle' type CAPTCHAs, for instance, and some sites may block you entirely.
To test how the VPN handles this, we connected and accessed twelve websites (including Google) that can detect VPN use. The results were a real surprise. Commonly used free VPNs might be spotted on up to ten of our twelve websites, most commercial VPNs are detected by six to eight, but Google One VPN was flagged by only one website.
Looks like Google One VPN's ‘we don't unblock anything' stance has at least one advantage: content providers don't have much incentive to spend time and money trying to detect its users, and that could mean you're far less likely to be blocked while legitimately accessing sites in your own country.
How fast is Google One VPN?
We tested Google One VPN's performance using several benchmarking sites and apps including SpeedTest, Measurement Lab, Cloudflare, and more. We did this from a US home with a 1Gbps fiber connection.
The results were a little below par, with Google managing average download speeds of 345Mbps. That's a very long way behind the market leaders - IPVanish, NordVPN, and Surfshark all beat 950Mbps in recent tests. Still, it's perfectly adequate for browsing, streaming, and most other internet tasks.
Final verdict: How good is Google One VPN?
Google One VPN is a very limited VPN which just won't work for most users. The inability to change location means it can't unblock anything. No desktop kill switch makes it poor for Windows or Mac privacy. It won't even try to get you connected in China or other countries that block VPNs. If you only need the VPN for occasional mobile use while accessing public Wi-Fi, and you'll make use of the 2TB online storage space and other Google One extras, then it might, just about, get the job done. Even there though, the likes of Private Internet Access offer a far more capable service for only a little extra cash.
It seems like all the big security companies offer a VPN these days, but Norton Secure VPN is better than most. It's easy to use, has more features than you might expect, and is still surprisingly affordable.
Norton's network is a little small, with only 29 countries available and no city-level selections. Most are in Europe and North America, although there are servers in Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa.
There are apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. You can connect one, five, or 10 devices simultaneously, depending on your plan. Sounds reasonable, but beware, these have to be specific devices. If you buy a five-device plan and install the app on two laptops, two phones, and a tablet, you can't install it anywhere else until it's removed from one of your other devices.
P2P is supported, though not with all locations. Choose the ‘Torrent-Optimized Region' option in Norton's app and it'll connect to the nearest torrent-friendly location.
The service uses the speedy and secure WireGuard protocol but doesn't provide any way to get it working manually on other devices.
Checking the Windows app Settings box reveals some welcome features including a kill switch that protects your connection if the VPN drops, split tunneling which enables you to choose which app traffic should be routed through the VPN and which uses your regular connection, and built-in ad, tracker, and malware blocking, too.
Plans and pricing
Norton Secure VPN prices start at just $4.99 billed monthly for a single device license. Most providers ask $10-$13 for monthly plans, so if you only need to protect that one device, Norton looks like a very good deal.
Norton's five-device plan starts cheap at $3.33 a month billed annually, although that doubles to $6.66 on renewal.
The 10-device plan is priced at $5 a month on the annual subscription, rising to $8.33 on renewal. That looks a little costly to us but when bought in a bundle it can be more cost effective.
Buy Norton Secure VPN as a bundle with Norton 360 Deluxe and you'll also get an excellent antivirus for up to five PCs, Macs, mobiles and tablets, a firewall for PC and Mac, parental controls, a password manager, 50GB cloud backup space, and more. It's only fractionally more expensive at $4.17 a month for the first year of the annual plan, and still reasonable at $9.58 on renewal ($114.99 a year). If you're in the market for a new antivirus or security suite, that could be the best option.
Whatever your product preferences, Norton protects you with a 14-day money-back guarantee for monthly-billed subscriptions and a generous 60-days with annual plans.
Privacy and logging
The website claims that “unlike some other VPNs, we don't track, log, or save your browsing activities.” Sounds promising, but there's no more detail on the front page.
A 'What is a no-log VPN?' blog post vaguely states that although “Norton Secure VPN does not log information about where you browse on the Internet”, it does collect “other limited data in accordance with the NortonLifeLock Global Privacy Statement and the Product Privacy Notice.”
One unusual clause says “if suspicious behavior is detected or blocked” Norton might collect your IP address, license identifier, device identifier, and frequency of abuse of services for up to 7 days.
This leaves us with more questions than answers. What does Norton regard as suspicious behavior, for instance? Surely this must mean it's monitoring at least some user actions. In which case, will this data be shared with others? Norton's Global Privacy Statement does say that it will disclose personal data in response to a subpoena, warrant, discovery request, or a request with the purpose of identifying and/or preventing credit card fraud, identity theft, and other crimes.
This is all just too vague for us, and we'd like more detail on how the company handles your data. A Transparency Report giving some specifics on what Norton has disclosed to the authorities might be interesting. It's hard to see why a name as big as Norton can't join the likes ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and TunnelBear in putting itself through a public audit, to give potential customers real information on how it's looking after their privacy.
Norton Secure VPN's Windows app has a simple and straightforward interface which even the greenest of VPN newbies will figure out immediately.
Click the On button and the app connects to your nearest server. Alternatively, make your own choice from 29 countries in the location list. This is as basic as it gets – no ping times, server load stats, Favorites system, filters, or anything else.
Both the desktop and mobile apps have optional ad, tracker, and malware blocking. Many VPNs now offer some kind of content filtering, but can you be sure it's doing anything useful? To get an idea, we turned the feature on and tried a few tests.
Norton scored below 40% on our ad-blocking test (most VPNs average 70-90%.) It blocked a very respectable 69% of our test trackers, though, and (maybe unsurprisingly for a security company) protected us against 100% of our malicious test URLs.
The app doesn't include many settings, but what you get is worthwhile. These include settings to select whether to launch the app and automatically connect when Windows starts, enable the Kill Switch, and to set up split tunneling.
The main omission is any way to change protocol or customize how the VPN connects – it's WireGuard-only.
Oddly, the app doesn't provide any way to close it down entirely. There's no Exit, Quit, or similar button. Closing the app window simply minimizes it to an icon in the system tray and there's no right-click, Exit option there either.
We ran some extreme tests on the kill switch by ceasing Secure VPN's WireGuard processes and stopping its services. The connection dropped, but the app didn't warn us, the kill switch didn't block our internet, and our device used its regular unprotected internet connection as usual. Not good.
Maybe we were unlucky? We tried turning our router off and on to simulate a dropped network. A good kill switch should block everything apart from the VPN app until it can reconnect. Secure VPN didn't block our internet, didn't reconnect, and told us to try connecting again later.
Put this all together and it looks like the Windows kill switch is unreliable in the extreme. There's no way to be sure it will kick in and block your internet if the VPN drops, and that could mean your device traffic is unprotected for at least a few seconds, and possibly until you notice there's a problem. That may not matter much if you're just unblocking Netflix, but it's a disaster if you're doing anything more privacy-critical.
Keep in mind that this test was for the Windows kill switch only. It can't tell us what might happen with other apps. If you're only running Norton Secure VPN on Android, for instance, you won't be relying on Norton's app; you'll be using the very well-tested and reliable Android system kill switch.
Mac and mobile apps
The Mac app looks more appealing than Norton's Windows offering, with a colorful map highlighting your current location. It has the ad, malware, and tracker blocker, but is missing some of the more advanced features seen in the Windows app, namely WireGuard support, split tunneling, and the kill switch.
It's much the same with Secure VPN Android and iOS apps. Norton has tweaked the interface a little to suit portrait mode and smaller screens, but it follows the same minimalist approach. There is just the big ‘Connect' button, a plain location list, and a few tiny icons. Very simple and straightforward.
There are a handful of useful bonus features in the background. The iOS app has the ad blocker, and a ‘Wi-Fi Security' feature which can make the VPN automatically connect when you access an unsecured or compromised network.
Android has the ad blocker, split tunneling, and the kill switch, but its version of ‘Wi-Fi Security' is more basic. It'll warn you when accessing an unsecured network, but won't automatically connect. You're left to do that yourself.
Overall, Norton Secure VPN's apps are easy to use, and the Windows app has a few useful features. The other apps are distinctly short on functionality, and the Windows kill switch looks unreliable in the extreme, so there's plenty of work for the company to do yet.
Netflix and streaming
Norton Secure VPN is mostly sold on its ability to protect your details from cybercriminals when you're using Wi-Fi, and the website doesn't make any big claims (or even small ones) about unblocking big-name streaming platforms.
Our unblocking tests found some notable successes, with Secure VPN getting us into US and Australian Netflix, but failing in the UK, Canada, and Japan.
It was a similar story with other US platforms, as Secure VPN unblocked Amazon Prime, but didn't get us access to the Disney Plus site.
The mixed picture continued in Australia, with Secure VPN getting us into 9Now but failing with 10 Play.
Norton finished strongly in the UK, though, unblocking BBC iPlayer, ITV and, Channel 4.
That's far from a perfect performance, but Secure VPN clearly has some unblocking skills, and there's a chance it'll help you access other platforms we didn't test.
If you're looking to unblock just about anything, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Private Internet Access, ProtonVPN, PureVPN, and Surfshark each got us into every test site we tried in our latest reviews.
We measured Norton Secure VPN's performance by accessing its nearest server from a UK data center with a 1Gbps connection. We then checked download speeds using benchmarking sites and services including SpeedTest.net (website and the command line app), Measurement Lab, Cloudflare, and others.
The results were amazing, with Norton Secure VPN reaching a median 950Mbps+ across its best sessions. That puts the service alongside big names like NordVPN and Surshark on the performance front.
If your internet connection or Wi-Fi barely reaches 95Mbps, let alone 950Mbps, this won't in itself bring you a lot of benefit. 16 out of our top 20 VPNs reach at least 500Mbps, and it's likely that any of those will have all the speed you'll be able to use.
However, the ability to reach such an exceptional peak performance does suggest Norton Secure VPN has capable servers with high-speed connections, which aren't overloaded by other users. That's good news for everyone, regardless of personal connection speeds.
Run into problems with Norton Secure VPN and you could head off to the support site, but be prepared for disappointment. Although there’s plenty of content, most of it is on Norton’s core security products. There are a few FAQs, setup and usage guides, but nothing that begins to compete with the specialist VPN providers.
This makes sense for Norton’s core consumer market, and the site does a fair job of explaining the service basics to VPN newcomers. But there’s not much here for more technical users. We went searching for protocols, for instance, to see if we could find any advanced articles, but there were no hits for ‘WireGuard’, and ‘IKEv2’ had only three.
You can contact the support team direct via live chat and phone. We had quick responses to our test questions, the agents were friendly and helpful, and went above and beyond to help. When a previously lengthy chat couldn’t solve our issue, for instance, an agent remotely accessed our device (with permission) to try to fix the problem.
Overall, the support team doesn’t appear to have the level of specialist VPN knowledge we see with the top providers. But that’s no great surprise, considering it has to cover the full Norton range, not just Secure VPN. And the reality is if, like most people, you just want to ask a straightforward product question – what does this mean, where do I find that, is my local server down right now? – then Norton’s support should generally deliver what you need.
Norton Secure VPN review: Final verdict
Norton Secure VPN is simple and very fast, and if that's all you need – or, maybe, you're looking for a VPN and a security suite – then its back-to-basics approach might appeal. Experts will be frustrated by the lack of features, though, plus the Windows kill switch is a big concern, and there are many more capable and better value VPNs around.
Mozilla VPN is powered by Mullvad's speedy and secure network. Some companies keep quiet about the fact that they're reselling someone else's service, not Mozilla. Click the 'see our full list of servers' link on the Mozilla VPN website, for instance, and it takes you to the server list on Mullvad's site.
Mozilla VPN's feature list has grown considerably since launch. Now, the service competes well with many big VPN names. The network is P2P-friendly, for instance (we torrented successfully on three test locations), support for the speedy WireGuard protocol optimizes performance, and there's a kill switch to protect you if the VPN drops. Multi-Hop VPN enables connecting to the VPN from one location and exiting from another, making it even more difficult for others to track your activities. There is also split tunneling support (called App Exclusions here) that allows you to decide which apps are protected by the VPN and which use your regular internet connection.
Other highlights include IPv6 support, and the ability to choose an ad or tracker-blocking DNS server, or to use your preferred DNS.
Firefox users get an unusual bonus in support for Multi-Account Containers. Each Firefox tab can be connected to a separate VPN location, so instead of forever connecting, changing location, and disconnecting, you can just switch to whatever tab you need. This Mozilla blog post has more details.
There are still weaknesses. Mozilla VPN only supports the WireGuard protocol, so if that won't connect on your network, you're out of luck. There's no support for manually setting up the service on routers or anything else. Additionally, you still can't set up the apps to automatically connect when you access public Wi-Fi, either.
There's no live chat support, but Mozilla does have a decent number of support articles. You can also send questions to the support team from the website if you're in serious trouble.
We spotted one potential annoyance. Although Mozilla VPN says it works with up to five devices, that means specific, registered devices. If you use the service on two mobiles, two laptops, and a tablet, for instance, you can't use it on a new device until you've signed out of one of the others.
Although that's not expensive overall, keep in mind that you're paying for access to Mullvad's servers. Sign up for Mullvad instead and you'll pay a flat rate of €5 a month (around $5.50), whatever the length of your subscription.
Payments are accepted via card and PayPal only.
If you sign up and the service doesn't work for you, no problem, you're protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee. There are no sneaky catches or exclusions, as far as we can tell and we spent quite some time looking. If you're unhappy, just tell the company within the first 30 days, and you'll get a refund.
Privacy and logging
Mozilla sells its VPN partly on being from 'a name you can trust' and that's a major plus. Even if you think Mozilla's reputation comes largely from not being Google or Microsoft, it's still way ahead of many VPNs in the trustworthiness stakes, and its partner, Mullvad, is one of the most privacy-focused providers around.
The Mozilla VPN website makes its general approach very clear – ''Your privacy comes first'', ''We don't store your online activity logs on our servers'' – and the company provides more information in a brief Privacy Notice.
The firm collects your IP address when you sign up and use the service, along with technical information about the setup such as the app version, operating system, hardware configuration, and interaction data. Interaction data includes the time that you log in, when the app requests the server information, and other stuff. Mozilla says the IP is only held temporarily, although it doesn't explain how long 'temporary' might be.
If you're unhappy with this, you can disable some of it. Our Windows app installer asked us whether we wanted to send usage data to Mozilla, making it clear what was going on, and giving us a chance to say 'no, thanks'. If you don't notice the installer option, you can also turn this off later in the settings.
Mozilla says all the right things about privacy, but users shouldn't be left to take any provider's words on trust. We like to see some independent evidence that a VPN is living up to its promises.
In August 2021, Mozilla provided just that by publishing the results of a second Cure53 audit into its service.
This didn't look at the servers, but Cure53 did have an in-depth look at the apps, including the source code.
Cure53's report was positive overall, saying that only a single medium scale vulnerability was uncovered, and that the apps had 'grown significantly in security' since its last review.
Overall, we think the audit is positive news in a number of ways. The scope was significant, covering all Mozilla's apps; the company shared its source code; the audit results were reasonable, and it published the report in full. We give Mozilla a lot of credit for putting itself under that level of scrutiny, something which most VPNs still haven't done.
Signing up with Mozilla VPN begins by providing your email address and age to create a Firefox account. Although most providers also ask you to register with your email address, Mullvad doesn't need any personal details at all, which could be another reason to just buy it from Mullvad directly.
With the account set up, we handed over our cash and the website directed us to the Downloads page. We grabbed a copy of the Windows app, which was downloaded and installed within seconds.
Mozilla VPN's Windows offering has a straightforward and very standard interface. A small console displays your default location, and you can click this to select another. A big On/Off switch connects and disconnects you as required, and icons plus a status display make it clear when you're protected, and when you're not.
The client doesn't have an 'Automatic' setting where it chooses the fastest server for you, and there's no Search box, filtering, or Favorites system to quickly find your most-used locations. Getting connected takes a little more scrolling and clicking than we'd like. There's some compensation in Mozilla's use of the ultra-speedy WireGuard protocol, which typically got us connected in 1-2 seconds.
The app didn't perform as well in our connection stress tests, where we see how a VPN can handle awkward network situations like no internet connection, when another VPN is connected, and so on. It occasionally hung on ‘Connecting' or ‘Disconnecting' screens for so long that we had to restart to recover.
If you're only ever accessing the same few very standard Wi-Fi hotspots, you might instantly connect each time, and this won't matter at all; however, if you're traveling more widely, you could find Mozilla VPN has the occasional connection issue. If you're signing up for the trial, use your time to test the service on as many different networks as you can to see how it works for you.
We started by looking at Mozilla VPN's Windows split tunneling system. This enables setting up specific apps to use your normal internet connection rather than the VPN, which can be handy to improve performance or fix problems like banking apps not running if you seem to be in another country.
A DNS Settings screen allows you to choose DNS servers that block ads, trackers, or both, and you can also enter a custom DNS server of your own.
A 'Privacy features' page allows selectively blocking ads, trackers, and malware. We turned everything on and tried accessing 156 common trackers. Mozilla VPN blocked a very acceptable 115, including all the most important such as Google and Facebook.
Switching to malware, we tried accessing 379 very new malicious websites and watched as Mozilla VPN blocked 99.2% (it missed only three.) Even ad blocking worked better than we expected, with our VPN-enabled connection scoring 90% protection in one test (that's better than uBlock Origin.)
A Notifications page includes an option to display an alert if you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network. That's useful, although more powerful apps can automatically connect to the VPN as required, too.
A handful of more technical features include the ability to use port 53 for connections, which might help you use the service in countries or on networks where a VPN is normally blocked.
As we mentioned above, there's no option to change protocol but otherwise, there's a fair amount of configurability here and Mozilla VPN certainly outperforms many competitors.
While Mozilla's Windows client has a kill switch, there's no option to turn it on or off or tweak how it works. That's good for security, as there's no way you can accidentally disable it. Still, this could be bad news if the kill switch causes some problems on your device, as there's no way to try and fix that.
We ran a few tests and found the kill switch correctly blocked our internet if the VPN connection dropped.
We did notice problems in some extreme situations. If one of Mozilla's Windows services fails, for instance, protection is lost but the kill switch doesn't kick in. The app warns the user about the disconnection but there's a chance their identity and some traffic will be exposed.
Problems like this aren't common and while you may never encounter them in real-world use, they suggest Mozilla's Windows app isn't the best at handling unusual network conditions. We're left wondering what other issues might be lurking under the hood.
Mozilla VPN's Mac app looks and feels almost identical to the Windows version and that's both good and bad. On the plus side, it's exceptionally consistent. Learn how the app works on one platform and you'll have no problem using it on the other. On the downside, it means the Mac inherits all the same Windows limitations. There's no 'Fastest server' option to automatically choose the best location, no Favorites system, and no choice of protocol, for instance. It's also missing Mozilla's 'App Exclusions' split tunneling feature.
The app does have a few interesting touches. It also includes Mozilla's effective ad, tracker, and malicious website blocking DNS. It can also give you notifications if you connect to unsecured Wi-Fi. Other apps go further – the best VPN software can automatically connect when you access untrusted networks – but these are still features worth having.
Put it all together, and although it's not exactly powerful, this is a decent Mac app. It's simple to use and worked well for us. It connected quickly and delivered decent performance all-round.
The Mozilla Android and iOS apps are near clones of the desktop builds, easy to use but with few features.
Browsing the menus, we managed to spot some differences between the desktop clients. For example, the Android app supports the split tunneling feature which isn't supported on Mac, allowing you to choose specific apps that won't have their traffic routed through the VPN.
The iOS app doesn't have split tunneling (not Mozilla's fault, it's not supported on iOS), but you do still get ad, malware, and tracker blocking DNS and some basic notification settings.
Mozilla's mobile apps aren't exactly exciting then, but like the rest of the range, they're not bad either. They all do a reasonable job of the VPN essentials, and if that's all you need, they might be good enough.
Mozilla focuses more on security and privacy than website unblocking, and our tests reflected that. The service didn't get us access to BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, or Netflix in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, or Japan.
There were one or two successes in particular countries. Mozilla got us into ITV and Channel 4 in the UK, for instance, as well as Australia's 9 Now.
Not a total disaster, then, but Mozilla is trailing far behind the best providers. ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Private Internet Access, ProtonVPN, PureVPN, and Surfshark all unblocked every one of our test platforms in their last reviews.
Our performance tests found Mozilla's WireGuard-powered download speeds peaked at 360Mbps. That's far behind the likes of NordVPN, Surfshark, and Windscribe. All these VPNs reached 950Mbps+ in their last tests. If your regular internet connections only ever reach a fraction of that speed, or you're using a VPN to protect normal browsing or streaming, Mozilla VPN is fast enough.
The company ended on a positive note in our final privacy checks, as multiple test sites found Mozilla VPN blocked all DNS and WebRTC leaks.
Mozilla VPN review: Final verdict
Mozilla VPN might appeal to fans of the company, and those who'd prefer a VPN from a well-known and trusted name. However, it can't match top providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN in features, apps, locations, range of plans, or unblocking. Demanding users will be happier elsewhere.