Best VPN for Firefox

Picking the right VPN provider can seem like an impossible task, given all the options that are out there. If you’re on the hunt for a VPN, in general, then our list of the best VPN services is the perfect place to begin your search. However, if what you’re looking for is the best VPN for Firefox, specifically, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you need a full breakdown of all that a VPN does, you should head over to our article explaining what a VPN is. Briefly, a VPN takes all of your internet traffic, encrypts it and routes it through a separate server to conceal your identity, location and activity.

With internet censorship on the rise all across the world, installing a VPN has become a crucial part of protecting yourself online. Other reasons to install a VPN on your computer include torrenting and protecting yourself against the dangers of public WiFi networks. 

Also, as net neutrality becomes less of a certainty, a VPN is essentially the only way to ensure that your ISP isn’t throttling your connection based on what you’re doing online.

Like we saw with our best VPN for Google Chrome list, Private Internet Access is the clear winner for Firefox, owing to its excellent browser extension filled with settings to tweak.

Best VPN for Firefox 2019

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$ per month
top features
  1. 1
  2. /month
    • PayPal, Credit card
    • 10 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. Visit Private Internet AccessPrivate Internet Access Review
  1. 2
  2. /month
    • PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin
    • 5 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. Visit ExpressVPNExpressVPN Review
  1. 3
  2. /month
    • PayPal, Credit card
    • Unlimited Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. Visit Windscribe Windscribe Review
  1. 4
  2. /month
    • Credit card
    • 6 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. Visit NordVPNNordVPN Review
  1. 5
  2. /month
    • Credit card
    • 5 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  3. Visit TunnelBearTunnelBear Review

What Makes a VPN Best for Firefox?

For this article, we judge the various VPN services on the same set of criteria that we use for traditional VPN reviews. Beyond that, we’ll take a close look at their browser extensions, in particular, seeing which allow you to do the most without opening or even installing their desktop applications.

ExpressVPN-Please-SignIn

Outside of the browser extensions, the most important thing for a VPN on this list is that it keeps no logs of any kind. Extensive logging can quickly make the VPN worse than useless, as it then instills a false sense of security. Speed is also critically important, as no one wants to connect to their VPN only to find that they need to wait ages for a video to buffer.

A large number of servers is also a big bonus, especially if they’re spread out between many different continents and countries. For many people, a VPN is a way to circumvent geoblocking measures, such as those of Netflix or the BBC, so having a large selection of countries to choose from makes this much easier.

Encryption is obviously crucial, as a VPN that doesn’t properly protect your data isn’t worth your device’s disk space. Although the importance of encryption is too big of a topic to cover in detail here, head over to our description of encryption to learn more about the various kinds, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

Although the above criteria covers the basics of a VPN, there are several other security features that we expect to see in a good VPN. These include DNS leak protection, WebRTC blocking and IP cloaking.

For many people, a VPN is simply a way to access streaming services or content not available in their location, so being able to fool the Netflix VPN ban — like the services on our best VPN for streaming list — is also quite essential.

Best VPN for Firefox: Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is a great choice for a VPN, in general, and is even better when you’re just looking at the browser extension. Compared to the other providers on the list, PIA provides you with a host of settings right there in the extension, and not using the desktop app means you bypass some of our annoyances with the service, such as it being locked to the system tray.

When it comes to security, PIA defaults to AES 128-bit, which is decent. You can strengthen your defenses by switching to AES 256-bit, but you can only do this in the desktop app. 

OpenVPN is the only VPN protocol choice with PIA, and if you want to learn more about what this means, check out our VPN protocol breakdown. To put it briefly, OpenVPN is an all-around excellent protocol.

Private Internet Access scores well on speed and offers 53 servers located in 33 different countries. Port forwarding is available in the desktop application, as well as a kill switch, but split tunneling is notably absent.

The browser extension presents you with three different categories of settings to play with. Under security, you can enable WebRTC blocking, forced HTTPS and Flash blocking. 

Under privacy, PIA lets you stop Firefox from accessing your microphone, camera and location, and also force it to disable various browser settings, such as autofill and safe browsing.

Next up is tracking, where you can enable MACE — a malware blocker — and disable HTTP referrals, which, in layman’s terms, means that websites won’t be able to tell where you clicked a link to their domain. There’s also a bunch of trackers you can block in this menu, such as cookies and social media.

Unfortunately, PIA is not a good choice for streaming. Although it can access Netflix, that’s about it, and other big streaming providers — such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video — can detect its presence and block you from watching any content on their platforms.

Other Reasons We Like Private Internet Access

PIA doesn’t keep activity logs, and this is a good thing, considering that the company is located in the U.S, a country that — through its PRISM program and Five Eyes spy network — has shown to have few scruples when it comes to forcing companies to comply with requests for user information.

No matter what operating system you prefer, whether it’s Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS or Android, you’ll be able to use PIA. In fact, it landed in first place on our list of the best VPN services for Linux.

For a full rundown of all its pros and cons, head over to our Private Internet Access review. You can also make use of its week-long refund period and check it out for yourself.

Pros:

  • Excellent Chrome extension
  • No logging
  • Fast

Cons:

  • U.S. based
  • Poor customer support
Starts from $ 333 per month
Save 52 %

ExpressVPN

If you’ve read our ExpressVPN review, you know that we’re big fans of the service. In fact, it was our number one pick for a VPN, in general, and although it doesn’t do quite as well here, it’s still a solid choice in pretty much every regard.

Unfortunately, the browser extension does not function at all without also installing the desktop application. Although you should always install the dedicated apps for all of our picks in this article, we would still like to make use of some basic extension functionality without doing so.

Another significant problem is the complete absence of any malware- or ad-blocking, which is something a lot of browser VPNs provide.

In terms of our standard review criteria, ExpressVPN covers all the bases. The VPN is very fast, topping our list of the fastest VPN services. It’s also the best VPN for streaming, and although it can struggle with Hulu and Amazon Prime, you can use it to watch Netflix and BBC iPlayer without any issues.

For encryption, ExpressVPN uses AES 256-bit, which is the gold standard. It also offers four different protocols, but you’ll have to go into the desktop app to change it from the default, which is OpenVPN. This is a great protocol, though, so most users will never need to do this.

Besides connecting, disconnecting and choosing a server, there is very little you can do in the Firefox extension itself. There are only three settings you can change: location spoofing, WebRTC blocking and HTTPS Everywhere. Although we’re glad these settings are present, we’d very much like to have more control without relying on the desktop application.

We have no complaints when it comes to server selection, though, as ExpressVPN sports a huge list of more than 2,000 servers spread across 148 locations in 94 countries. If the amount of choice feels intimidating, ExpressVPN lets you pick a region (for example, Europe) and the extension will choose the optimal server based on your location.

Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN

With more than 60,000 users, it’s clear that ExpressVPN’s browser extension is a popular choice among Firefox users. A likely reason for this popularity is its great commitment to privacy, keeping no logs of any kind and storing only a small amount of personal information for subscription purposes.

You can also pay with bitcoin, which provides even greater anonymity than if you were to pay via credit card or PayPal.

Although the service is a bit more expensive than others on this list, you certainly get what you pay for, and ExpressVPN also offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee in case you want to try it out for yourself.

Pros:

  • Great for streaming
  • Fastest VPN
  • Excellent privacy &  security
  • Large number of servers

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Does not function without a desktop install
  • No blocking of ads or malware
Starts from $ 666 per month
Save 49 %

Windscribe

As covered in our Windscribe review, this service offers a generous free plan, to the point where it’s our number one pick for the best free VPN. This is probably what has made Windscribe the most popular VPN extension for Firefox out of the five on this list, with more than 92,000 users to date.

Although the free plan does have some limits, such as a 2GB data cap per month and only 10 available servers, this is still very generous considering you won’t be paying a dime. Furthermore, you can increase the cap to 10GB by simply confirming your email.

If you instead opt for the paid plan, you get access to 148 servers in 62 countries, rather than the 10 you’re provided with for free. If you don’t need that much choice, you can tailor your payment plan to fit your needs, with each additional location costing $1 per month.

The default protocol is IKEv2, but if you download the desktop application, you’re given the option of changing it to OpenVPN, IPSec or stunnel. 

Unfortunately, IKEv2 is quite easy for websites to recognize, meaning it’s generally not sufficient if you want to use Windscribe for a service that blocks VPNs. We have no complaints about the encryption, though, as the default option is AES 256-bit.

Windscribe also enjoys excellent speed, at least for downloads. Sadly, the upload speed and latency leave quite a bit to be desired, which makes it a bad choice for activities such as online gaming or other upload-intensive tasks.

The “pro” version gives you access to the full suite of blockers, including malware, social media, ads, porn, gambling, trackers, fake news, clickbait and cryptominers. Although you can still enable the system — named R.O.B.E.R.T — on the free plan, it will only block malware if you’re not a paying customer.

The “split personality” feature automatically renews your user agent, which increases your anonymity, and you can also enable WebRTC blocking and make the VPN spoof your GPS location and time zone.

Windscribe is also an excellent choice for streaming and even provides you with dedicated servers for Netflix, dubbed “Windflix,” that seem to work very well, as we had no problems with proxy errors while using the service to access Netflix. Because of this, Windscribe is among our top picks for the best VPN for Netflix.

Although there is a kill switch in the desktop app, there’s no split tunneling anywhere, which is one of Windscribe’s biggest weaknesses. However, you can connect as many devices as you want, which is a huge bonus.

Other Reasons We Like Windscribe

The only information Windscribe keeps on its customers is total bandwidth usage, VPN protocol username, what VPN server you used most recently, the amount of data you’ve used and how long you’ve been connected.

All of this, except for the total bandwidth usage, is wiped when you terminate your VPN session, and the only reason the bandwidth number is retained is to ensure that free users don’t exceed their data caps.

Pros:

  • Great free plan
  • Dedicated Netflix servers
  • Unlimited connections
  • Blocks malware & ads

Cons:

  • Poor upload speed & latency
  • No split tunneling
Starts from $ 417 per month
Free plan available

NordVPN

NordVPN is our number two pick for the best VPN service. Furthermore, it’s clear from our NordVPN review that we were very pleased with its performance, albeit with a few caveats. More than 58,000 people use its Firefox extension, making it a popular choice for the browser.

The VPN comes with a malware- and ad-blocker, as well as the ability to disable WebRTC. There’s no split tunneling, even in the desktop application, but you can designate what apps should ignore the kill switch. This is similar to split tunneling, but it is in no way a sufficient alternative.

NordVPN’s “special” servers are in the desktop app, which include P2P servers for torrenting, Onion servers for Tor connections (read our Tor review for more information on this) and double-hop servers that route your connection through two servers instead of one, effectively doubling your security and anonymity. Besides these special servers, NordVPN offers more than 5,000 regular ones in 62 countries.

It’s not all good news, though, as you can probably guess from NordVPN’s number-four position on this list. Its speed is incredibly inconsistent, and because the recommended server algorithm is utterly broken, you have to manually hunt down the optimal server. 

This can also make it hard to stream, as NordVPN can handle Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, but only on certain servers.

NordVPN’s real Achilles heel, in terms of this ranking, is the fact that you’re not allowed to pick a specific server in the browser extension. Instead, you’re given a list of countries, and NordVPN will pick the precise server for you. Given how broken the recommended server algorithm is, this is a huge weakness, in general.

For security, NordVPN defaults to OpenVPN and AES 256-bit encryption, which are the best choices in both categories. You can also change to IKEv2 if you download the desktop app, and although we prefer OpenVPN, it’s certainly nice to have the option.

Other Reasons We Like NordVPN

NordVPN keeps no logs whatsoever of your activity, and if you want to be even more anonymous, you can use a short-term email to register and pay via bitcoin. However, you do have to confirm your email, so make sure you can receive messages on the address you register with.

Prices are also excellent, especially if you choose the two- or three-year plan. You can check NordVPN out for yourself using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Great choice for streaming
  • Huge number of servers
  • Blocks malware and ads
  • Fast (sometimes)
  • Excellent price

Cons:

  • No split tunneling
  • Server recommendation is broken
  • Can’t choose specific servers from extension
  • Speed is inconsistent
Starts from $ 349 per month
Save 71 %

TunnelBear

TunnelBear is another VPN service with a fairly generous free plan, offering 500MB of data per month free of charge. However, as we pointed out in our TunnelBear review, there are several problems with the provider, which means it only barely makes it onto this list.

First, let’s cover the good stuff. Its encryption is solid, with the only option being AES 256-bit. Outside of the iOS app, the VPN uses OpenVPN, which, as we’ve mentioned earlier, is the best choice. We also couldn’t detect any DNS leaks during testing, and there’s a kill switch in the desktop application, but sadly no support for split tunneling of any kind.

When it comes to server choice, TunnelBear’s are located in 22 different countries, but unlike almost every other VPN, you can only select the country and not a specific location or server. Most of the countries are in Europe and North America, with only sparse coverage in Asia, South America and Oceania, and nothing at all in Africa.

Its speeds are inconsistent, at best, with download rates varying wildly depending on what server (or country, in TunnelBear’s case) you connect to. Latency is no better, making it a poor choice for online gaming. 

For streaming, it does no better, as we found all the biggest streaming platforms — Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video — were able to detect and block connections coming from the VPN.

It doesn’t get any better when you look at the Firefox add-on itself, as it is incredibly sparse. There are no settings you can change, and the only functionality present is the ability to pick a country and to connect or disconnect. There’s also no malware- or ad-blocker included, which would’ve helped negate some of the problems with the service.

Other Reasons We Like TunnelBear

Like the rest of the VPN providers on this list, TunnelBear keeps no logs of your traffic. However, it collects some data, such as your operating system and total bandwidth, which is worth bearing in mind. You can also pay in bitcoin, giving you that extra level of protection.

Customer service is excellent, as we found their replies to our inquiries to be surprisingly thorough. Although there’s no live chat, there is an extensive knowledgebase that should contain the solution to most problems you may encounter with the VPN.

Pricing-wise, TunnelBear is reasonable, if slightly on the expensive side of things, when compared to the deals offered by, for example, NordVPN. More troubling, though, is the complete lack of a refund period, meaning you won’t get the chance to test out the “pro” plan for yourself without parting with some cash.

Pros:

  • Fairly generous free plan
  • Thorough customer support
  • Good security

Cons:

  • Inconsistent speed
  • Bad for streaming & gaming
  • No refund period
Starts from $ 499 per month
Free plan available

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve read our best VPN for Firefox list, you should be more than ready to pick the right one for you. Private Internet Access is our top pick, but if you’re mostly concerned with streaming, you might be better served with ExpressVPN or Windscribe, the latter of which also offers an excellent free plan for you to test out.

NordVPN unfortunately falls down several rungs on the ladder when compared to our list of the best VPNs, in general, mostly because it doesn’t let you pick a specific server in the extension, and also from its incredibly inconsistent performance, which becomes much more critical when you’re relying on it to pick a server for you.

TunnelBear, on the other hand, is another good choice, even if it lands all the way at the bottom of this list due to its inconsistent speed, terrible latency and lack of a refund period. 

Now that we’ve reached the end of our list, what do you think of our picks? Did we fail to include your Firefox VPN extension of choice? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

Starts from $ 666 per month
Save 49 %
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