Mozilla Tests Firefox VPN Service


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The popular browser is seeing whether users will pay a monthly fee for extra privacy.

How much would you pay for privacy online? 

Mozilla is willing to bet some users will pay $10 per month for a security and privacy boost, so it is offering a virtual private network service. The tech company announced the news in a blog post on Monday.

The service won't be immediately widely available. The company will begin testing the idea by offering the service to a select group of U.S. users starting Wednesday.

The company has partnered with ProtonVPN, a Switzerland-based organization, to help provide the software. ProtonVPN will take a cut of the revenue. The software works on Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android.

For users, a VPN helps prevent search engines and internet service providers from identifying and tracking you. It also makes it safer to use public Wi-Fi.

But what's in it for Mozilla? The obvious answer is cash.

"With this VPN experiment ... we’re starting the process of exploring new, additional sources of revenue that align with our mission," wrote Chris More, product leader for growth and services at Firefox.

There could be more to the company's decision making, though. Mozilla's browser Firefox competes directly with Google Chrome. The company also makes money through search-ad deals with Google, CNET reports. The VPN service could provide financial independence from direct competitor Google.