Mozilla sprinkles Firefox Relay with Premium fairy dust

You want more than five email aliases? Sure, but it'll cost you

Mozilla hopes to ramp up the monetisation machine with a paid premium version of its Firefox Relay service, upping the current limit of five email aliases to a near-unlimited number.

Firefox Relay hides a user's real email address behind an alias to both protect the user's identity and spare their inbox from spam. A relatively simple system, Firefox Relay sends and forwards incoming email from a user's alias email addresses to a primary email address, meaning that the primary address is kept hidden from prying eyes in favour of aliases.

Relay turned up last year in beta form and if it all sounds a bit familiar, it should. The tech giants have been grappling with the problem for a while. Apple recently added a Hide My Email option to generate a random email address to forward messages to an actual address.

The iPhone maker promised users it would not read or process any of the email contents and gave customers the ability to stop receiving the messages.

Moz's approach is similar in that it also promises not to read the messages and delete them after forwarding. It also allows the labelling of addresses – now synced over devices – to make it easier to keep track of which sites use which alias. However, it also only permitted five email addresses. In addition, attachments are limited to a maximum of 150kb (anything greater isn't forwarded). You also need a Firefox account.

Firefox Relay is free up to those five email aliases - Apple's service is part of paid iCloud plan. Relay is also a good deal more cross-platform than Apple's service, at least according to a Mozilla spokesperson who pointed out that "it is available on a variety of platforms including MacOS, Windows and mobile."

The premium version is, however, $0.99 per month (in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand) or 0.99 EUR/1.00 CHF in Europe (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland) to get more email address aliases. Once signed up, users receive a sub-domain alias from which any number of email aliases can be created.

Mozilla described the cost as an "introductory price" and did not immediately respond when we asked how long that would last. ®

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