Mozilla relaunches the Firefox Test Pilot program, which was previously suspended in January 2019. A new feature the company is currently testing is 'Firefox Private Network', a private proxy service powered by Cloudflare.
The company says that the new service can be useful in networks you cannot trust, such as public place Wi-Fi network. Once you connected to the service, it hides your IP address. The traffic between you and the proxy is encrypted. The browser will establish a secure connection to the nearest Cloudflare data center and the Cloudflare proxy will route your web-traffic to the requested website through the Cloudflare network.
Key features of Firefox Private Network
- Protection when in public WiFi access points – Whether you are waiting at your doctor’s office, the airport or working from your favorite coffee shop, your connection to the internet is protected when you use the Firefox browser thanks to a secure tunnel to the web, protecting all your sensitive information like the web addresses you visit, personal and financial information.
- Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are hidden so it’s harder to track you – Your IP address is like a home address for your computer. One of the reasons why you may want to keep it hidden is to keep advertising networks from tracking your browsing history. Firefox Private Network will mask your IP address providing protection from third party trackers around the web.
- Toggle the switch on at any time. By clicking in the browser extension, you will find an on/off toggle that shows you whether you are currently protected, which you can turn on at anytime if you’d like additional privacy protection, or off if not needed at that moment.
So, the feature reminds of Opera's built-in VPN, which is, despite the name, is also an encrypted proxy server.
Firefox Private Network is released as a browser extension. As of now, it is limited to Firefox desktop users in the US. During the testing, it is available for free. In the future, Mozilla may starting charging for it.