Mozilla ups its VPN game – and the price – with split tunneling for Android, iOS
Early birds really do get the worm, it would seem
Browser maker Mozilla has enhanced its Virtual Private Network (VPN) service with split tunnelling and doubled the monthly pricing plan for new customers that don't want to commit to a one year contract.
The VPN service was launched a little more than a year ago, and Moz has since gradually added features and expanded the number of countries where it is available.
One glaring omission was split tunnelling – the ability to divide traffic and select which apps go through the encrypted VPN tunnel or the open network. Available on Android and iOS, the feature is one that has, according to Mozilla, "been requested by many users." It's certainly handy for high-bandwidth scenarios that might not need a full-on VPN.
One thing that almost certaily wasn't requested by users was a price hike for the VPN service. Originally launched at a hair under $5 per month, prices have crept up. The $4.99 per month tier is still available, but only to customers that sign up for a 12 month contract. A standalone monthly plan will now cost $9.99 per month.
Mozilla said it had "heard from consumers who wanted more flexibility and different plan options at different price points." Somehow we doubt those customers told Mozilla to charge them more, but here we are.
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Mozilla did say, however, that "as a token of our appreciation to the users who signed up when we first launched last year," it will allow them to hang on to their $4.99 monthly subscription, at least for the time being. The VPN services was first launched in six countries, including the US, Canada, UK, Singapore, Malaysia, and New Zealand.
New users will unfortunately have to stump up for the full 12 months if they want to pay the same.
While this won't break the bank, the direction of travel isn't great, particularly since Mozilla hopped on the back of Mullvad for its service. Mullvad, which has been around since 2009, charges a flat rate of €5 per month (or just under $6).
Mozilla's VPN is still only available in 37 countries, which is a little low compared to competitors. ExpressVPN, as an example, has 94 countries, while SurfShark has 65 (and unlimited devices). And Mozilla's VPN is not the cheapest.
Whether the warm, fuzzy feeling of supporting an internet pioneer is enough compensation will be down to the individual user. ®