Are you familiar with the work of Cure53? Well, Cure53 is a German cybersecurity firm that tests out various technologies like VPNs, applications, browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, etc.), to determine security holes that can be catastrophic.
A recent security audit carried out by Cure53 found MAJOR ground breaking security liabilities in Mozilla Firefox apps and VPN clients. The audit exposed security holes which can lead customers to cross-site WebSocket hijacking attempts.
To deal with these security issues, Mozilla launched their VPN client which can be used as an extension/add-on with their Firefox browser. However, the performance of Mozilla VPN is nowhere near to the leaders in the industry like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or Surfshark VPN. The security issues are still there which needs fixing ASAP.
But, should you leave your Firefox browser completely defenseless? The answer is pretty simple, ‘No.’
Do you really need a Browser VPN for Firefox?
Firefox was developed by Mozilla in the September of 2002. Till then to this day, 198 million people are using Firefox as their primary browser. That’s not a small number.
Further, Firefox is a free and an open-source web browser that utilizes Gecko rendering engine. It uses this technology to display web pages while maintaining current and anticipated web standards.
It’s a great browser, but all technologies are not perfect and may lack here and there in a few aspects. The same is the scenario with Chrome, Edge, Opera, Safari, etc. All of these web browsers have loopholes which can cause serious damage if a hacker or cybercriminal get their hands on them.
For online internet protection, the tech of VPN or Virtual Private Network was introduced. Initially, it was something that hardcore techies used to utilize, but with time it has now become an everyday user’s tool. Data is increasing, we all have shifted our live online, and the need for protection over the internet has turned into a necessity.
Some of the major attacks launched by cybercriminals on web browsers are as follow.
Common Browser Attacks
Web attacks are becoming so common nowadays that not even a single person is no longer safe over the internet.
Most common attacks is done via social engineering. The attack is mostly executed by sending phishing emails containing spammy and malware containing links. They try to convince users to take their ‘guided’ actions so their attack can be launched. Majority of the time, attacker takes the user to a web page where malware or malicious software starts to download automatically onto the device.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS):
The script sends the user’s cookies to the attacker’s server that are used by the attacker to hijack sessions by capturing screenshots, log keystrokes, and even remotely accessing the victim’s machines.
In this type of attack, the hacker compromises the user’s web browser and inserts themselves into the communication channels. It can also be termed as a ‘Trojan’ which can modify pages on the web including online transactions without anyone noticing what is happening.
Buyer’s Guide: Firefox VPN Extension
A VPN codes down your internet traffic by utilizing state-of-the-art encryption technology like AES 256-bit encryption, which still remains uncrackable to this day. Your internet traffic under the shield of VPN will seem gibberish to any third party including your local ISP (internet service provider).
Since we perform almost all of our tasks over a web browser like Firefox, so its protection is a must. You need to keep the following aspects under consideration while selecting the best Firefox VPN extension:
- VPN Reputation:
The VPN of your choice must come from a VPN provider which has a good reputation in the industry overall. Read the reviews, look out for ratings, and the opinions of experts regarding the best VPN services available nowadays.
If a VPN provides is not using AES 256-bit encryption, do not give that VPN a second look. All other types of encryptions have been cracked, hacked, and broken. 256-bit is the only type of encryption that has still not been cracked.
The encryption works by breaking down your internet traffic into smaller chunks of data and coding them in into cypher text making it seems like random characters. People who have the special key (which is customized for each user separately) can decode it.
The VPN provider must have a strict no-logging policy where it does not collect, store, or keep any type of data of its users. Several free VPNs out there collect data of their users and sell them to interested third parties which in turn causes severe inconvenience during browsing.
So, no matter what VPN you are choosing, you need to conduct thorough research regarding what type of data it collects and keeps from its clients.
- Defeat ISP Throttling:
ISP throttling is practised by Internet Service Providers in cases where an ISP targets a user who is using massive amounts of data bandwidth and cuts down their internet speed. This happens mostly in cases where a user is streaming HD videos online on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, etc. or a user is playing online games.
Practices like ISP throttling can be very frustrating for users who are paying a good amount of money for a speedy internet connection. A good VPN for Firefox will beat ISP throttling by masking your online activity from your local ISP.
- IP Masking & WebRTC Leak Protection:
Another major feature which you should look out for while selecting the best browser VPN is ‘IP Masking’ & ‘WebRTC Leak Protection.’ A good VPN hides your IP address from everyone and makes your online movement over the internet completely anonymous by providing you with WebRTC leak protection.
Best Firefox VPN Extensions
PureVPN Firefox Extension: Guide
PureVPN’s extension for Firefox is an all-in-one browser VPN extension. You can name anything a VPN should do on a web browser and you’ll find it here. Ranging from streaming restricted content, unblocking region-locked websites & their libraries, beating ISP throttling, and providing a completely anonymous experience, PureVPN does it all.
The company started back in 2007 and is now headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. The jurisdiction of PureVPN withholds great internet privacy and protection laws, thus ensuring that PureVPN follows the same standards.
Further, the company has 6,500+ servers located in 90+ countries all across the globe. All the servers are strategically placed so that they can perform efficiently and effectively in delivering you the best user experience over the internet i.e., complete internet freedom.
Generally across all the applications offered by PureVPN, they allow their users to select from four categories:
- Internet Freedom
- File Sharing
Also, PureVPN has been certified by KPMG when they conducted an independent security audit to check for the security loopholes their VPN applications might have. The security audit also scanned the no-logging policy of the VPN provider and declared it to be a VPN with a ‘zero-logging’ infrastructure.
The Firefox VPN extension of PureVPN is fast, offers quick connectivity, and one-click solutions.
How to Install PureVPN Firefox Extension?
To install PureVPN Firefox Extension, perform the following steps in your Firefox browser:
- Go to the official Mozilla Firefox extension store.
- Search for PureVPN and click on Add to Firefox.
- Your installation of PureVPN Firefox Extension will start. Wait for a minute or two.
- Your extension will be installed.
- You can access it via the logo of PureVPN located at the top-right corner of your Firefox.
How to Login and Connect PureVPN Firefox Extension?
Now that your VPN browser extension is installed, perform the below-mentioned steps:
- Navigate to the PureVPN icon at the top-right corner of your Firefox browser, and click on it.
- You’ll see the option of Login, press that button.
- Enter the username & password of your PureVPN subscription, and click on Login.
- You will be logged in, and the main dashboard of the VPN extension will be in front of you.
- Click on the Connect button and PureVPN will use its smart algorithm technology to connect you to the fastest VPN server following the region you are located in.
Note: Use the username and password you had set earlier during buying the subscription package of your choice of PureVPN.
How to Opt for a 7-Day Free Trial Period?
If you simply want to try out PureVPN’s Firefox Extension and see if it suits your needs or not, you can opt for a 7-day free trial period where you’ll get access to 5 servers. You can use those 5 servers to carry out a few operations online like unblocking websites or downloading content anonymously.
Here’s how you can do it:
- After downloading and adding the Firefox VPN extension of PureVPN, click on the icon at the top-right corner of your browser.
- You’ll see two options:
- GET 7 DAYS FREE TRIAL
- Click on the ‘Get 7 days free trial’ option and move on to click ‘Get free trial now.’
- After putting in all the necessary information, proceed.
- Your 7 day trial period will start.
PureVPN is a feature-rich VPN and you can experience a lot of those features in their browser extension add-on. It comes with all the goodies like IP Address Masking, WebRTC Leaks, 30+ Streaming Channels, and much more.
Here’s a small overview of their features:
- Military-Grade Encryption
As discussed earlier, unlike a simple proxy, a good VPN comes integrated with unbreakable encryption standards. PureVPN uses AES-256 bit encryption to carry out its encryption tasks.
This military-grade encryption is used by banks, financial institutions, sensitive agencies, governments, and militaries all around the world to protect their sensitive data.
- Wide Variety of Servers
PureVPN has dedicated servers optimized to meet the needs of their vast variety of users. They have 6,500+ servers placed in 96+ locations all across the globe. The servers range from streaming servers, unblocking servers, security servers, P2P servers, dedicated IP servers, port forwarding servers, and new servers are added regularly in their server inventory.
You can also select the server of your choice manually by going to the ‘Select Country’ option and searching for the country/city of your choice.
- Wi-Fi Protection
The Firefox browser VPN extension protects your operating system from public Wi-Fi threats. Wi-Fi’s are not secure when they are free or are meant for the general public like in a café or a restaurant.
Hackers sit on public Wi-Fi networks and try to access all the machines connected to that network by tracking the internet traffic of users. If your web browser is protected under the shield of a VPN, your internet traffic will get encrypted and the hacker on the public Wi-Fi network will not be able to monitor your movements over the internet.
- Unlimited Bandwidth
PureVPN allows their users complete freedom and one can use an unlimited amount of data bandwidth by switching between servers infinitely. Some VPNs like HotSpot Shield does not allow unlimited bandwidth which can be frustrating for a user.
- One-Click Connect
You do not have to jump between various switches and buttons to get the VPN going. PureVPN Firefox Extension offers one-click connectivity where its smart algorithm picks the best server instantly.
- Multiple Logins (10 Simultaneous Connections)
PureVPN allows you to make 10 simultaneous connections at one given time. Most of the top-rated VPNs (except for Surfshark VPN) do not allow more than 5 simultaneous connections. Using that feature, a PureVPN subscriber can protect their entire household simultaneously.
- Popular Websites
On the main dashboard of PureVPN, they have placed the feature of ‘Popular Websites’ which holds all the major websites (including streaming sites) which are accessed by millions of users daily. The list includes websites like Netflix US, Netflix UK, Amazon Prime US, BBC iPlayer UK, Hulu US, etc.
You can click on any of these sites, and then start using them instantly as their settings are already automated at the backend.
- Bypass Proxy
Users have the liberty to whitelist any domains or hosts which they do not want to be under the shelter of a VPN. For instance, you don’t want your online gaming sessions to be covered by a VPN. You can utilize the Bypass Proxy feature to allow your local IP address to be used when you connect to that domain.
The feature is similar to Split Tunneling.
ExpressVPN, PureVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark VPN are the top Firefox VPN extensions available in the market nowadays.
Mozilla has recently launched a free Firefox Private Network VPN as a free beta test. It is comprised of several limits (as most free VPNs are), however, it does come with automated encryption which is a helpful feature. Also, you can only use it for 12 hours per month.
The Surfshark VPN extension works seamlessly as a Firefox extension and enables the user to unblock all types of geo-restricted content with ease. You can also hide your IP address, change locations, and utilize the safety features it has to offer.